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My opinion in response to the TVO episode featuring Richard Peddie and Lauri Brouyette, introduced as CO-CHAIRS of Thrive Amherstburg, is a third perspective.
It wasn’t clear if they were representing the group or speaking as independent investors. In response to Ashleigh Weeden’s comments, Ms. Brouyette said ‘We actually did bring in the community with us. We formed a group that we call Thrive and it looks at housing, it looks at healthy living, and everything that we want to be able to offer our community as a large group as a whole. Not just Richard and I. That’s not even close.’
An individual annual membership to join Thrive is $50.00. The THRIVE Board of Directors selected 9 placemaking initiatives and submitted White Papers to town council, one of which was Open Air Amherstburg, a contentious event that creates barriers to persons with disabilities when hair salons, banks, or the post office can’t be accessed due to street closures and almost 50% of the downtown businesses objected to.
I agree with Ms. Weeden: who gets to have a say is really important. Despite the input from persons with disabilities regarding the lack of on-street parking and public consultation of it, and the pleas of some retail establishments, Amherstburg town council will go ahead with Open Air again in 2022.