CK Officials Pleased with Premier's Visit to Wheatley

Following a meeting in Wheatley this morning, municipal officials expressed optimism that the province has a greater understanding of the crisis facing the community following an August 26 explosion in the downtown core.

Mayor Darrin Canniff, West Kent councillors Melissa Harrigan, Mark Authier, CAO Don Shropshire and Fire Chief Chris Case met with Premier Doug Ford and Greg Rickford, Minister of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry.

Mayor Canniff said the province delivered on the key issues identified by Chatham-Kent.

"We wanted the province to lead the investigation into the cause of the gas leak. Today the province announced that Golder Associates has been contracted to do that as well as provide gas monitoring and recommend options to mitigate risks," he said.

CAO Don Shropshire said the fact that the premier met with citizens of Wheatley who are spearheading community recovery efforts was important.

"Seeing and hearing first-hand how the explosion has affected the community brings the issue into focus much more clearly than reading a report or getting information second-hand," he said. "I'm thankful the premier and minister took the time to meet with those who have been most affected."

Mayor Canniff said by speaking with residents the premier was also able to feel the spirit of the community, "The citizens of Wheatley have shown tremendous resiliency and they are determined to get through this and come out stronger."

He noted that part of a statement from Premier Ford reads, "We want the families and businesses that have been affected by this incident to know that our government has their backs." 

"When the premier makes a statement like that it means a lot," the Mayor said.

For more information contact:
Darrin Canniff
Municipality of Chatham-Kent
Phone 519-360-1998 x 3001

Don Shropshire
Chief Administrative Officer
Municipality of Chatham-Kent
519-360-1998 x 3010

Media Contact:
Jim Blake
Communications Officer
Municipality of Chatham-Kent
519-360-1998 x 3624