Community meeting

Second virtual community meeting for Wheatley residents following Prime Minister’s visit

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The Municipality of Chatham-Kent is hosting a second virtual community meeting on Saturday morning to provide Wheatley residents with an update on last month’s gas explosion, as well as another opportunity to ask questions.

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Residents can access the 10 a.m. meeting through the municipality’s Facebook page and YouTube channel.

The community meeting comes shortly after Premier Doug Ford and Natural Resources Minister Greg Rickford traveled to Wheatley on Tuesday to view the damage from the August 26 explosion that flattened two buildings and injured 20 people downtown.

Provincial politicians pledged their support to the community.

The ministry has engaged consulting firm Golder Associates to carry out an engineering analysis of the area and will also continue to fund a 24-hour hydrogen sulphide monitoring system at the site.

As with the first virtual community meeting on September 4, questions can be submitted in advance by emailing [email protected] up to two hours before the event.

Chatham-Kent Mayor Darrin Canniff, West Kent Councilors Melissa Harrigan and Mark Authier, Chief Executive Don Shropshire and Jennifer Barton, Assistant Deputy Minister of the Department of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forests, are among the participating officials.

Shropshire said the first meeting was attended by more than 300 people.

“Obviously we don’t have all the questions answered but we want to make ourselves available as much as possible,” he said. “COVID regulations limit public gatherings, so we’re doing the right thing.”