Hidden Mobility Disabilities Free Resource

As you know if you’ve read a few of my posts, I raise awareness at every opportunity about the need to ensure equality for persons with disabilities.

Following my post, Council Candidates: Accessibility Evaluation, and due to some attitudes and misinformation I encountered during this campaign, I emailed this:

“Research has defined hidden mobility disabilities (HMD) as being able to walk – but only for 35-50 feet – and being able to stand unsupported – but only for 1-2 minutes – without significant health consequences.”

I urge you to attend a FREE WEBINAR:  Hidden Mobility Disabilities. Candidate Lori Wightman replied and let me know she registered. 

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Councillor Candidates: My Opinions, The Incumbents

My opinions are based on a variety of sources, my interactions, my own fact checking and my perspective as a person with disabilities and advocate.

THE INCUMBENTS: newcomers in 2018

With all the discussion about fiscal responsibility, debt control, strategic plan, KPMG Report, wasteful spending, over expenditures, lack of amenities, community safety, trust, transparency, Ombudsman Report, lack of decorum, sidewalks, road maintenance, fire hall, town hall, studies, design plans, , etc., do the incumbents deserve another chance? for 4 more years?

Peter Courtney is the only incumbent I would like to be re-elected. He has the courage of his convictions and asks tough questions that he acknowledges taxpayers relayed to him. Addressing issues is more important to me than spinning positivity for the sake of avoiding negativity and I trust he’ll do that.

Donald McArthur’s commitment to active transportation and trails, dog park, skate park and Open Air is obvious. He moved to waive the procurement policy and felt the kids were owed an apology and suggested the traffic by-law should be changed because of the distance to the Libro.

McArthur felt there’s a cry for help and he wanted to give more money to the Park House museum than was requested, an additional $6500. He mentioned their fundraiser, music off the back porch, which he has participated in so he’s aware of the museum’s accessibility barriers.

His self evaluation includes ‘hardworking and responsive.’ He angrily argued with a delegate and he hasn’t answered many of my emails. After his speech calling for no reference to Jeffrey Amherst in the new high school name, I asked him if it wasn’t hypocritical to promote ‘a step towards reconciliation’ for the new high school, when council has no jurisdiction to do so, yet dismiss the idea of a name change for the town?

McArthur vociferously promotes Open Air while I equally object to it because of its impact on businesses that are opposed, because its COVID related rationale for existence has ended and because taxpayer money should never be used to sponsor an event that may be contrary to the legislated principles and protection of equal rights.

Marc Renaud is not as vocal as some and also hasn’t answered many of my emails. After nudging and fact checking, he answered my blog reader’s question about removing Open Air barriers. He has minimized concerns about Open Air barriers and remained silent on my delegation about other barriers, including bureaucratic barriers, to the Accessibility Advisory Committee where he was Council’s representative.

Patricia Simone would be my nominee for a ‘mum’s the word award’ because for 7 months she has avoided answering my questions regarding her Notice of Motion and the town’s namesake, Amherst. Without discussion or a motion, Mayor DiCarlo pulled it from the agenda when it was to be discussed. She also hasn’t answered many of my emails or my blog’s questions. Her interest in not for profits is obvious, as is her dedication to heritage, but her promise to engage with residents, in my case, has not been kept.

Do Endorsements Matter?

It depends. I’d want to know a bit about the endorser and their reasons for their choices. Amid rumours of a slate, I looked for commonalities.

Leo’s lineup

Outgoing Deputy Mayor Leo Meloche publicly commented, ‘With the exception of the Mayor’s position here is the lineup I am supporting in the upcoming elections for Amherstburg Town Council.

For Councillor,
Lori Wightman
Linden Crain
Marc Renaud
Pat Simone
Don McArthur

For Deputy Mayor,
Chris Gibb.

I have had conversations with them and am confident in their ability to make key decisions that will move the Town forward while exercising financial stability. Wishing the team all the best.”

Leo’s

Gibb

Crain

McArthur

Renaud

Simone

Wightman

ACF

0

0

S Gibb Q

Heritage

0

Barriers

ACF is the Amherstburg Community Foundation where the website lists all the members of ‘our team‘ and ‘Community Builders‘ like Leo Meloche and Marc Renaud, 2021. Only those running are listed above.

S Gibb Q, is Chris Gibb’s wife and these candidates answered all of her blog questions.

As I previously stated, candidates are not obliged to answer anyone’s questions and I make no assumptions, although I do wonder if it would have been fair to answer all, or none, rather than favouring some.

Of note, Lori Wightman was the only one of the above candidates who answered my blog’s questionnaire. McArthur, Crain and Renaud, after nudging, answered one about removing Open Air barriers. Crain said yes and added, “If there are particular barriers in place,” which was similar to McArthur’s, ‘If there are persisting issues with accessibility.” Renaud mentioned parking and walking distance. Gibb and Simone publicly supported Open Air but didn’t answer my reader’s question.

One more common comparison: Richard Peddie (director), and Renée D’Amore (director), along with Linden Crain, were part of the T.H.R.I.V.E. team that created the Open Air White Paper. D’Amore wouldn’t allow my Facebook comments about the candidates’ nights at the Downtown Espresso that he is an owner of, and Peddie blocked me after a few tweets about barriers at the bookshop.

Heritage refers to the Architectural Conservancy Ontario Windsor-Essex chapter’s request for candidates’ heritage platforms.

Barriers includes meet and greets, website and twitter issues that may have excluded persons with disabilities.

Other candidates may share common interests, but these are only the ones I compared due to the rumours of a slate for information purposes only.

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Council Candidates: Accessibility Evaluation

It seemed like ‘accessibility’ and ‘inclusive’ were new campaign buzz words, but it was very disappointing to discover that 18 of the 25 candidates may have excluded persons with disabilities. The town was to have provided accessibility information ‘to ensure equal opportunity for all electors to access your candidate information and to interact with you.’

A few ‘A’ words come to mind; acceptable applies to a few but then there’s awareness, attitude, and ableism.

One Guide covered print material, websites, physical spaces, audio/video media, one on one communication, accessible parking, barriers, customer service, budgets, service animals and a resource. 

I wonder if the candidates with accessibility barriers read it or read it and ignored it?

JUST THE FACTS

Stats Canada states one in five (22%) of the Canadian population aged 15 years and over had one or more disabilities, or approximately 5000 Amherstburg residents.

The Retail Council of Canada states over half of the Canadian population is affected every day by disabilities, or approximately 11,700 Amherstburg residents.

ACCEPTABLE

John Laframboise’s meet and greet at the K of C hall was accessible and I didn’t encounter any issues with Joe Shaw’s website.

BARRIERS

Not one candidate made the no e-scooters pledge. I expected a simple yes or no answer to a reader’s question: Will you remove barriers during Open Air weekends that block people with disabilities from driving to the bank, local stores, bars, and generally driving through town?

Some candidates were in favour of removing the barriers, some would modify the time frame, some didn’t answer and some have publicly supported it but didn’t answer. For those who are in favour of the barriers, how will they fulfill their obligation to remove barriers, if elected?

Some print materials were unacceptable and for those who want to continue relying on social media, I would encourage them to learn how to remove barriers.

CandidateMeet & GreetWebsiteFacebookTwitter
Cerasa, Frankx
Prue, Michaelxxx
Rozankovic, Bobx
Atkinson, Nancyxx
Gibb, Chrisxxx
Moore, Gregoryx
Sanson, Dennisxx
Allaire, Mollyxxx
Argoselo, Andrewx
Crain, Lindenxxxx
DiPasquale, Frankx
Kearsey, Taraxxx
Kretschmann, Holgerx
McArthur, Donaldxxxx
Renaud, Marcxx
Simone, Patriciaxxxx
Theriault, Gerryxx
Wightman, Lorixxxx

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The Mayoral Candidates: My Opinion

My opinions are based on my having reviewed:

  • RTT profiles
  • Windsor Star profiles
  • CBC question answers
  • am800 Mayoral interviews
  • campaign print materials
  • online information
  • the one accessible meet and greet
  • Chamber of Commerce Candidates’ Nights
  • CBC Youth candidate interviews
  • survey responses to others
  • answers and responses to my blog’s questions
  • T.H.R.I.V.E. White papers
  • Amherstburg Community Foundation site and,
  • any interactions I’ve had with them.

The candidates are not obliged to answer anyone’s questions and I make no assumptions, although I do wonder if it would have been fair to answer all, or none, rather than favouring some.

Mayoral Candidates

The first time I met JOHN LAFRAMBOISE was at his meet and greet and I appreciated that of the two meet the mayoral candidates’ events, his was accessible at the K of C hall. Laframboise addressed rumours he’s aware of and offered documentary evidence to refute what has been circulating. He took regular breaks during the sharing of his platform to invite audience members to question him. I concluded that he is a task-oriented person who prides himself on completing tasks and taking on challenges. I followed up with an email and he indicated he would be pleased to show anyone documentation; his phone number and email are publicly available on the candidates’ page of the town’s website and in this post, Candidates Address Rumours. During the Chamber Candidates’ Night, he was also the only mayoral candidate to specifically acknowledge the need to make the town hall accessible.

Laframboise’s platform includes creating a ‘desperately needed’ strategic business plan for the town, ensuring residents’ participation in the decision-making process, addressing the lack of amenities in the town’s parks, and reclaiming the town’s senior citizens’ centre.

I feel that Laframboise is a well-rounded candidate with proven leadership, impressive job experience in multiple sectors and extensive volunteer involvement:

Sports…Hockey, as a Volunteer
Head Coach North Stars Elite Program, and Villanova High School, Organized the Senior Men’s Sunday Night Hockey League

Community Fundraising…Volunteer
Door to Door for the Ambulance Squad
Door to Door for the Lion’s Club Swimming Pool
Door to Door for the 1st ARENA

Served as a Volunteer…
Chairperson for Team Canada Olympic Basketball Team
Chairperson for the 100th Anniversary of the Basilian Priests in Amherstburg
Board Member for the United Way of America Council in Washington
Vice Chair of the Canadian Host Committee for the Republican Convention Detroit
President of the National Catholic Broadcasting Foundation of Canada.


The Artisan Grill event to meet MICHAEL PRUE was not accessible, which is surprising, given his speech about his involvement in the provincial accessibility legislation passed in 2001. For that reason, I hold him to a higher standard. Prue’s website and Facebook page also may have issues that prevent some people with disabilities from accessing information. Prue spoke in opposition of the 2020 recommendation to request an extension to the website accessibility compliance deadline from the province but voted in favour of the motion. Reaching a consensus is fine, but so is disagreeing and voting in opposition, especially if one feels strongly about an issue. Decorum has been a complaint and Prue advertises he is an expert on Rules of Order and maintaining decorum. I wonder how many times during the last four years he raised a point of order to return to proper decorum. His website lists 12 priorities and his literature acknowledges residents’ concerns he’s heard, along with his commitment to act and resolve the issues. I would have been more impressed by a long list of specific accomplishments rather than listing political positions as experience.

I also would have appreciated more consistency in the action regarding correction of minutes. During a council meeting this year, Prue questioned committee minutes, the presence of his wife, a member, at a committee meeting and the recording of votes. I pointed out an error in the minutes of another town committee his wife chairs when I appeared as a delegate, and he was silent.

Prue’s commitment to heritage is obvious; he proposed 6 actions in his platform. Also, at the October 17 council meeting, Prue wanted to hear from staff or the proponent, in attendance, whether 6 Heritage Committee’s recommendations will be carried out. The proponent agreed as he also did when he attended the committee’s September 29 meeting.

Prue has not answered many of my email questions to council members nor did he answer any from my blog to the candidates or my questions on his Facebook page. His literature includes a testimonial from an anonymous Facebook page.


My opinion of FRANK CERASA is brief. He readily admits he’s not a politician, and I don’t think being one is necessarily a good attribute. He comes from a business and union world. He seems committed to planning for the future, being fiscally responsible and sharing information with taxpayers. He likes a hands-on approach and would like to bring in increased revenues through developments but also maintain the heritage. In response to concerns from taxpayers, he promises no new taxes in 4 years, and he knows that will be a challenge. He would welcome input from the community and recognizes the need for larger council chambers.


I haven’t had a conversation with BOB ROZANKOVIC. When he announced his intention to run last fall, I sent questions that he didn’t answer. I agree that taxes need to be held by finding efficiencies within municipal staff, but we never learned if we would have realized more significant savings with the OPP and whether those potential savings might have helped pay for the current lack of amenities. The town’s finances have been a hot topic since 2014. Some municipalities saved up to a million dollars annually through OPP services and Council did pass two motions to obtain an OPP Costing. Unfortunately, at its inaugural meeting, the Joint Police Advisory Committee (JPAC) “determined that the OPP costing process is not feasible.”

I didn’t appreciate that Rozankovic was a JPAC member when it excluded the public to discuss the policing RFP on four occasions. The Ombudsman concluded: Failing to comply with the terms of reference was wrong under s. 21(1)(d) of the Ombudsman Act.

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Candidate Diane Pouget Addresses Rumours

As the burg watch blogger, my hope is that voters check facts and contact candidates to make informed choices, especially because there are so many running and rumours are rampant. I had a conversation with Councillor Candidate Diane Pouget about the topic and offered her the opportunity to address them here.

Councillor Candidate Diane Pouget

People have been approaching me directly and asking if I’m well. It seems they’ve been told I am not running due to illness, which is not true.  I believe this is a deliberate attempt to influence voters for voting for me.

I am always available to the public.  I attended each and every Council meeting in the past four years, either in person or virtually.  I answer all phone calls and emails, as long as they properly identify themselves.  I did not respond to a blogger, who refused to identify herself and I understand her husband is running for Deputy Mayor.  I asked her (Sarah Sally) 10 questions and asked her to share them with her audience.  She didn’t answer, but chose to chastise us for not responding to her questions.  It should be noted, that 10 candidates refused to respond to her blog as an unidentified person.

I mailed out 9,100 flyers.  It was disturbing to learn, that some people have not received my pamphlets. However, despite these setbacks, I will continue to answer questions and concerns from the taxpayers of our Town.  It is quite obvious with 25 candidates running for 7 positions and the large voter turnout so far, our residents are very unhappy with the lack of performance and lack of trust of this Council.

I believe people know that I am an honest hardworking candidate and I have a proven record of representing our community in a fair and trustworthy manner.  If I am elected, I will carefully scrutinize the Town’s finances and if we find any discrepancies, I will vote to have a Forensic Audit to discover if there was any criminal activity or wrongdoing  and hold those accountable, if there were any violations of our financials.

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Candidates Address Rumours

There are so many active discussions online about the candidates, in addition to the coffee shops, compared to 2014 when I first facilitated questions from residents to candidates.

Lately, I’ve spent more time online than I care to in an attempt to be better informed and the same rumours keep popping up.

I reached out to two candidates; I specifically asked Mayoral Candidate John Laframboise if he would provide his phone number for people to call regarding questions and/or rumours. I specifically asked Deputy Mayoral Candidate Chris Gibb if he would address rumours appearing online.

I won’t duplicate the rumours here but I provided screen shots and or mentioned the online location of them and both candidates were happy to grant me permission to post their responses.

Mayoral Candidate John Laframboise

I served as ”the Volunteer President of the Assumption Heritage Trust Foundation“ appointed by the Foundation Board. I resigned June 2012 along with ALL FOUNDATION BOARD MEMBERS …after Bishop Fabbro CANCELLED more than 2 MILLION DOLLARS in Pledges to the Campaign.

We were actively soliciting 12 Million Dollars of ASKS at the time.

The Windsor Community Foundation pledged $135,000, The City of Windsor Heritage Fund pledged $250,000, Assumption Parish pledged $567,000, The Baker Foundation $ 100,000, Riverview Steel $100,000, to name a few.

Jeff Baker was the Lawyer for the Foundation and Jerome Brannigan, Deputy Police Chief City of Windsor was the Treasurer …very easy to VERIFY what I am saying is true!

Unfortunately the Windsor Star buried the truth in the Paper months later.

I would be pleased to SHOW the Final Report and audit by Price Waterhouse to anyone.

John Laframboise 519 259-3636

Deputy Mayoral Candidate Chris Gibb

I was asked by the Town to sit on a committee, with many others, to review the resumes of the people who applied to be Amherstburg’s CAO back at that time. The committee reviewed the applicants and then presented John Miceli as the most qualified applicant at the time. He was eventually hired by Town Council. I have attached a copy of the Council meeting minutes showing which councillors voted for and against his hiring.

As far as the rumours regarding the police bill, for those saying that I owe the town money, that is a lie. I do not, nor have I ever owed the town any money. I was part of a group of volunteers that were asked by the Town to run a festival. We were then presented with, what we felt, was an unjustified bill from the Amherstburg Police. We disputed the bill with the police board and with the town. It is actually quite an interesting story for anyone who has had dealings with the former Amherstburg Police Services Board.

If you ever want to get together to discuss these issues further I would be glad to sit down with you.

Chris Gibb

Miceli hiring_1

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Chamber Council Candidates – Missed the Show?

The link to last night’s candidate event is available on the Chamber of Commerce’s Facebook page.

It felt awkward, candidates having to switch seats, only some questions to some candidates and time wasted on candidates having to repeat lengthy questions, not to mention audio cutting out and the show being delayed.