Morning Coffee – By Aaron Hall

Weather forecast for Monday, January 8, 2018

A special weather statement is in place across Chatham-Kent.

Today – Periods of snow ending this morning then cloudy. Risk of freezing rain this morning. Snowfall amount 2 cm. Wind southwest 20 km/h gusting to 40. High plus 1. UV index 3 or moderate.

Tonight – Mainly cloudy. Clearing before morning. Wind southwest 20 km/h gusting to 40 becoming light this evening. Low minus 8.

Van Kestern not running in next election

Dave Van Kestern

Chatham-Kent Leamington MP Dave Van Kesteren is not going to run in the 2019 federal election.

The veteran MP says spending more time with his family is the primary reason he won’t be seeking re-election.

Van Kesteren made the announcement thorough a press release this weekend.

Van Kesteren has represented the riding since 2006.

NDP nominate Jordan McGrail in Chatham-Kent-Leamington

Jordan McGrail

Jordan McGrail will run in June’s provincial election as the NDP’s candidate for Chatham-Kent—Leamington.

McGrail won a nomination election held Saturday in Chatham.

“Families in this region need more public services – not more cuts,” stated McGrail in a press release.

“Students deserve more resources and opportunities, not cuts in classrooms. Patients deserve shorter waits for care, not more health care layoffs. People are really feeling the squeeze, and I know we can do so much better to make life easier.”

McGrail said Andrea Horwath’s plan for pharmacare – a prescription drug plan for all Ontarians regardless of age or income – and the NDP plan to drop hydro bills and keep them down by putting Hydro One back into public hands are important for her region.

“It’s time for a plan that offers hope for everyday families,” said McGrail.

“We can’t give Kathleen Wynne another chance to do more damage. But Patrick Brown and the Conservatives aren’t the answer, either. They support Wynne’s hydro plan, and their platform says they won’t change a thing when it comes to hydro.

“And, Brown has vowed to slash another $6.1 billion in jobs and services. He won’t tell us what he’ll cut or sell – but we know he supported Mike Harris when they cut 6,000 nurses and closed 28 hospitals, and he stood beside Tim Hudak when they vowed to fire 100,000 public sector workers.”

McGrail is a mechatronics technologist, supporting college students’ education in skilled trades and technology by developing labs and assisting students in the practice of hands skills to ensure they are ready for the work force. She’s also is a tireless volunteer, working on campaigns to support and protect public services and encouraging women to pursue careers in technology.

Jordan grew up just outside Chatham, and now lives with her family in Chatham, sharing their passion for agriculture, skilled trades, horse racing and hockey.

Accessible Early Literacy Stations introduced at CKPL

Chatham-Kent Public Library promotes early literacy and learning using engaging collections, resources, and programs.

CKPL offers Early Literacy Stations to patrons which promote literacy through technology.

These stations facilitate learning through interactive stories, games, and activities covering all areas of the curriculum.

The integration of blended learning at a young age improves literacy skills and school readiness and helps to prepare young learners for curriculum that is based on STREAM (science, technology, reading, engineering, arts, and math).

In partnership with Chatham-Kent Employment and Social Services, CKPL is able to provide Early Literacy Stations fitted onto ERGOtables which are accessible tables that are fully adjustable.

ERGOtables have cut outs that allow for improved wheelchair access. Users are able to reposition the height and tilt of the desk and adjust the monitor so it best fits their needs.

Early Literacy Stations are easy enough for even the youngest learner to use, but offer varying levels of complexity to keep older children and adults engaged and learning.

Literacy Stations also benefit special needs populations and seniors experiencing dementia.

Early Literacy Stations are available in English, French, and Spanish languages.

Accessible Early Literacy Stations are available at Wallaceburg, Blenheim, Dresden, Ridgetown and Chatham branches.

To find out more about literacy and learning at Chatham-Kent Public Library, visit

‘Blessing Of The Ground’ ceremony

Students, staff and parents will gather at the site of the new north Chatham Catholic elementary school early in January for a Blessing of the Ground ceremony.

The celebration will be the first of many to mark milestones along the way in the process leading up to the opening of the new school.

“It is fitting that as a Catholic community we begin this journey by asking God’s blessing of the ground,” stated Deb Crawford, Director of Education Designate.

“This will be a very special celebration.”

Student and staff representatives of Our Lady of Fatima, St. Agnes and St. Vincent Catholic school communities will be attending, along with parents, parish members and local dignitaries.

Following a brief ceremony at the site, the event will move to the warmth of Red Line Room at the Thames Campus Arena for a reception with hot chocolate, coffee, tea and cake.

In the meantime, work continues to secure a location for the south Chatham elementary school.

An announcement is expected early in the New Year.

The blessing ceremony will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, January 10, 2018 at the site of the new school, 801 McNaughton Avenue, W., Chatham.

Proposed new regulations to protect Canadians from exposure to asbestos

Federal government officials say breathing in asbestos fibres can cause life-threatening diseases, such as asbestosis, mesothelioma and lung cancer.

The World Health Organization has declared all types of asbestos carcinogenic to humans.

Recognizing the significant health risks from exposure to asbestos, in December 2016 the Government of Canada launched a strategy to ban asbestos and products containing asbestos by 2018.

As part of this strategy, Environment and Climate Change Canada and Health Canada have proposed new regulations which would prohibit, with a limited number of exclusions, the use, sale, import and export of asbestos and products containing asbestos, as well as the manufacture of products containing asbestos.

The objective of these regulations is to ensure that no new asbestos or products containing asbestos are allowed entry into Canada. Risks related to the continued use and sale of legacy asbestos and products containing asbestos – such as in existing buildings, equipment and vehicles – will continue to be managed by existing federal, provincial and municipal rules and regulations.

These proposed new regulations are subject to a period of public consultation.

Comments received during this period will be considered in the development of the final regulations, which will come into force later in 2018.

“Too many Canadians know first-hand the devastating health problems that can result from exposure to asbestos at home or at work,” stated Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change.

“By launching these new, tougher rules to stop the manufacture, import, use, and sale of asbestos, we are following through on our promise to protect all Canadians from exposure to this toxic substance.”

Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health, added that breathing in asbestos fibres is known to cause cancer and other devastating illnesses.

“Our government is committed to reducing the risks of exposure to asbestos,” she said in a press release.

“That’s why we are moving forward with these regulations to ban asbestos and asbestos products. My department will continue to increase awareness of simple steps that Canadians can take to avoid exposure to asbestos.”

In addition to the development of the new regulations to prohibit asbestos and products containing asbestos from entering the Canadian market, the government-wide strategy includes other activities to protect Canadians from asbestos exposure.

For example:

– Employment and Social Development Canada is establishing new federal workplace health and safety rules that would drastically limit the risk of people coming into contact with asbestos on the job

– Public Services and Procurement Canada is expanding the current online list of asbestos-containing buildings owned or leased by the Government of Canada

– The National Research Council is working in collaboration with our provincial and territorial partners to change the national, provincial and territorial building codes to prohibit the use of asbestos in new construction and renovation projects across Canada

– Health Canada is working to raise awareness of the health impacts of asbestos to help reduce the incidence of lung cancer and other asbestos-related diseases

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