This is what I call a flip flop. Then-Councillor Prue spoke about the Gordon House not being accessible, campaigned to ensure all town buildings are accessible to facilitate an open and inclusive municipality, then agreed the Gordon House should be repaired – not a word about accessibility during that discussion. No answer to a question about it either.
Then-Councillor Prue made these comments at a December 2021 council meeting:
very brief questions, the act, the Ontarians with Disability Act, is nearly 20 years old, and January 1, 2025 everything’s supposed to be in place and I’m just wondering, do we have time or what are the plans for this year we’re going to be at 2022, what are the plans for this year for the buildings that are not accessible? This one is not accessible. The tourist facility at the Gordon house is not accessible. The two that come immediately to my head these are big capital expenditures or maybe we have to move I don’t know but have we got time to do it? Are you putting Are you going to recommend a lot of money for this year or possibly next year’s budget because a fair amount is going to have to be spent because we can’t wait any longer. (emphasis added). (audio)
January 2022, then-councillor Prue commented:
I don’t know that we have not done everything as a council we should have done to help the many people who live in Amherstburg to have accessibility to our town and to its services. I’ve said this to council before I was the initial speaker in the legislature on this and I was very unappreciative of the fact it was taking 21 years to come to fruition, but that’s about to happen now.
2022 Campaign website Prue working for you: Priorities included Ensure all town buildings are accessible to facilitate an open and inclusive municipality.
February 12, 2023 Email to all members of council when agenda was published:
it’s hard to rationalize the grant application to spruce up the Gordon House. ‘Inclusive’ and ‘diverse’ seem to be the newest buzz words, but we can’t be an inclusive, welcoming community if we exclude people with disabilities. why is the tourism department not based in the tourist booth on the highway where the building is actually welcoming without barriers? will heritage once again take precedence over accessibility?
February 13, 2023 Mayor Prue commented during the discussion of grants, including funding for the Gordon House to complete the painting and siding, install a storage shed and replace windows.
any other discussion? Seeing none I’ll pass the gavel just for a second. I’m going to vote with the recommendation that’s just been made because this I have never been on this council or seen anybody on this council even in the past look away from money that a senior level of government is going to give to the municipality. This does not bind us to anything. If they want to give us 50 or $100,000 or whatever it is, I think we should take it. You know we have the Gordon house is the oldest building. It’s in need of some structural repair. For sure we need an economic development slash communications officer. And if this helps us to move along, then I think we should and I’ll take the gavel back. Any other discussion? All those in favor? Opposed? Carries. (emphasis added).
February 15, 2023 Email to all members of council after the vote:
i predicted council would confirm the importance of the Gordon House, but i would still appreciate an answer to my question: why is the tourism department not based in the tourist booth on the highway?
Councillor Crain: Tourism Windsor-Essex operates the tourism booth during the summer months as an information centre.
The burg watch: thanks, but that doesn’t answer my question.
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Disclaimer: the information is presented as is according to my notes. videos are available at the town’s website.