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2015 IN REVIEW
By Tim [email protected]
This wasnt just another news release from York Regional Police.
Never in my career have I seen such a community uproar from something the police sent out over the wire.
But the news that a high-risk offender would be coming to live in the Schomberg community was is certainly the talk of the town-ship this December.
In fact, Keith Theodore Constan-tin, who was released on probation after serving a four-year sentence for sexual assault with a weapon and an 18-month sentence for breach of a curfew condition, was released last July.
He only arrived in Schomberg after he was hounded out of, first, a neighourhood in Hamilton and then Stoney Creek.
Constantin also has prior criminal convic-tions for sexual assault, sexual assault with a weapon, assault with a weapon, assault, robbery and pos-session of explosives.
His arrival here, where he is liv-ing in whats called a secure group home setting by those officials in the know, has set off a firestorm of concern. Residents and township officials were so worried that a com-munity information meeting, which drew 600 people, was held at the Trisan Centre just days after it was revealed Constantin had arrived.
Even assurances from govern-ment and police officials that secure measures and monitoring was in place have not been enough to sat-isfy upset citizens.
A Facebook group of more than 1,000 people has sprung up with the goal of pushing Constantin out of Schomberg and getting him into a secure facility where its believed he would get the treatment he needs. The group has vowed to push local MPs and MPPs and ministers until they get the result they want.
Local people have printed post-ers and lawn signs warning the community about Constantin and telling everyone to be wary of his presence.
The story is ongoing, so its uncertain at present what the out-come will be.
By Tim [email protected]
Any time you get wind that a multi-national company is coming to your township, that is BIG news.
And nothing was bigger in King Township in 2015, maybe in the past decade or more, than the deci-sion by Magna International to bring its world corporate headquar-ters to King City.
It was the story of the year.The official announcement
didnt come until mid-May, but the rumour mill was chugging full blast earlier in the month, especially when I heard from a reliable source Magna had purchased land in King City for around $50 million.
Another media outlet let the cat out of the bag a day or so before I was able to confirm the rumour, but once calls were made to plan-ning director Stephen Kitchen and Mayor Steve Pellegrini, confirma-tion was official. It was impossible, at least then, to get Magna to return a call.
Magna had indeed bought land at Jane and King Road for about $40 to $45 million and was mak-ing the move from Aurora, where it had long had its headquarters, to King by the end of 2017.
To say King Township officials were thrilled by the news would be the understatement of the year.
Imagine suddenly seeing your employment base boosted by 625 high-paid positions, not to mention what an employer such as Magna will do to the local tax base.
Im just sitting here wondering if your white horses are parking outside, said King City Councillor Cleve Mortelliti.
Im ecstatic and I know all of council are and Im thinking, I was on council when Magna came to King, added Mortelliti when Magna reps presented their futuristic-look-ing preliminary building designs at
a meeting this past June.Longtime King Township Coun-
cillor Linda Pabst, a 21-year council veteran, said: I have seen a lot of things come and go in King Town-ship, but were so proud of Magna coming here. Its the highlight of King City and King Township.
Pellegrini, in his initial com-ments about Magna, didnt spare praise for the auto-parts giant, call-ing its move to the township, The best thing thats ever happened to King. At a later meeting, he added Magna will be the jewel in the
crown of King. It is our great for-tune that theyre staying here (in York Region). I couldnt be prouder. It really is setting King above the rest.
The 200,000-square-foot, three-storey, L-shaped office will centre on the corner of King Road and Jane Street and will have a link to a 120,000-square-foot, 20-metre-high research and development facility located along Jane Street.
The Magna development will also include a pair of ball diamonds, a pool and a soccer pitch for use for its employees within a total office space area of 40 acres. In all, Magna has purchased 105 acres at Jane and King and may use the additional 65 acres to attract other Magna-friendly tenants in the future. That can only bode well for King Town-ship, which is heavily tilted toward a residential tax base and needs more industrial and commercial taxpayers.
Magna still needs to bring for-ward a formal development appli-cation, followed by a site plan to the township, but those formali-ties will come early in 2016 and are expected to be easily approved. Construction will follow later in the year and Magna expects to have its employees housed and working at the corner of Jane and King by the end of 2017.
Magna move: King City to be site of headquarters Reporter Tim Kelly recalls some of the big local news items from 2015
Land on the southeast corner of King Road and Jane Street.
Offender release sparks concern