Opinion: Full credit is due to Grimsby council

By Mike Williscraft

Without question, the best thing Grimsby has done since they swore their oath to serve the community in December 2018 is their approval of a site alteration bylaw on May 18.

Yes, it was great to get the good ol’ bioheadache sold off, but impact of commercial filling of property in south Grimsby was having a devastating effect on property owners in the areas which were taking hundreds of loads of fill from who-know-where every day.

I have hammered on Grimsby council for many blunders and child-like behaviour – yes, some of which was still evident at the same meeting with more silly “point of order” shouting – but, due to timing, that silliness gets a pass.

The fill bylaw should have been put in place 20 years ago when issues first arose, but it was all ignored.

When the current major circumstances materialized starting on Kemp Road with absolutely massive quantities of fill not only ruining the land on which tons of earth, concrete and steel refuse was dumped, but the huge mountain resulting mountain undoubtedly will impact neighbours.

The dirt, grime, noise, dump truck drivers urinating on the lawns of property owners, the whole gamut of crap those people have had to deal could have been curtailed if the previous council reacted.

They did modify the site alteration bylaw but those changes really had not teeth and did nothing to stem the tide.

At the same time, West Lincoln was having serious issues with fill as well. They went through a lengthy process of public meetings, legal input and council debate two times over to get their bylaw in place. Several times over many months ink was burned in this space urging Grimsby officials to simply pick up the phone and talk to the neighbours to the south, just as this current administration has done. And it may be possible that they did call, but there certainly was no visible impact.

Approving the new bylaw, which leaves no option for profiting from taking fill, is a best-case scenario for the town as a whole.

With West Lincoln’s bylaw in place and finally Grimsby getting up to speed, I would not be shocked if the number of dump trucks rumbling up and down Mountain Street in Grimsby is reduced by half, it not two-thirds.

If they happen to be making their way beyond the border of West Lincoln to the south or east, running through Grimsby’s downtown would not longer be an efficient route for them, so two massive birds could be taken out with one stone.

That is good work any day and for a group which has laboured mightily with even the most simple tasks, getting a big one executed should be considered a welcomed sight by all.

* * * * * *

So let’s talk face shields and this relaxing of provincial guidelines for a second.

For sport, we’ll mix in a little media chatter.

First, of course the incidence numbers will go up. Restrictions have been lessoned people are out and about more. Even when things were locked down there still were COVID-19 cases popping up.

Not to sound like a ghoul, but we cannot stay shuttered in our homes for a year. The question ultimately is, is the incidence rate of new cases “manageable” for the health care system?

We all need to adhere to social distancing guidelines and best practices still, but only a vaccine can pave the way to eradication.

Part of best practices, these face shields we were able to introduce a couple of week ago have really taken off. Lincoln launched a shield program Friday and West Lincoln may not be far behind, so glad to see it has all been so well received.

Many businesses have asked for extra shields in Grimsby in addition to the two they can get for free thanks for the Town of Grimsby and the DIA as well as manufacturer Wood Workers Unite. Starting this week, we have received the extra supply to start selling shields for $6.78 (HST included).

We are telling people cash is preferred so we don’t have to run a ton of transactions through the business – as we are not retailers – but as with this whole mess we are in “do what ya gotta do” mode.

Anyone can pay be e-transfer as well, or credit card if needed. Of course receipts will be issued for all.

And a big shout out to Drew Gall and his team for getting a prototype child shield ready in one week. That was amazing!

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