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June 25, 2014
Community Sustainability steering committee members announced
15 community members appointed to committee to lead development of Oxford’s first Community Sustainability Plan

County Council accepted a recommendation Wednesday evening to appoint 15 community members to a steering committee that will spearhead the development of Oxford’s first Community Sustainability Plan.


The Community Sustainability Plan Steering Committee appointments follow a county-wide recruitment drive in May seeking citizens with knowledge or experience in social issues, culture, health and wellness, environmental issues, seniors' issues, youth issues, business and finance, rural issues, urban development, or other factors that help shape a secure future.


After a review of the applications, the Community Sustainability Plan Ad Hoc Committee selected the following people to represent Oxford’s communities and interests with respect to human, economic and natural resources:


Jay Heaman, South-West Oxford

Ian Heikoop, Norwich

George Klosler, South-West Oxford

Marilyn Price, Blandford-Blenheim

Chris Friesen, Woodstock

Bryan Smith, South-West Oxford

Jeff Surridge, Woodstock

Dave Steenburg, Woodstock 

David Gilvesy, Tillsonburg

Cher Sprague, Zorra

Joan Morris, Norwich

Ian Stevens, Woodstock

Nicole Langlois, Zorra & Ingersoll

Jurgen van Dijken, Woodstock

Jason Smith, Ingersoll


The key role of the Steering Committee will be to advise Council on the development of the Community Sustainability Plan, including a decision-making tool that can be used to assist or guide Councils, business groups, service organizations and other interested stakeholders in their planning work.


The proposal for a Community Sustainability Plan was accepted by Council on March 26 as an effective means of developing a policy platform from which the County and area municipalities can influence decisions that secure our future, including new landfill development, source water protection, caring for an aging population, waste management and other concerns. The study is expected for release in July 2015, although some parts of the plan may be released earlier.


This evening’s Council report on the Community Sustainability Plan Steering Committee appointments was tabled as a closed session report, and then released to the public on Council approval.


Read Council Report CAPSO 2014-165





Don McKay, Warden, County of Oxford

“Last year, County Council made a commitment, through its Strategic Plan, to view decisions through social, financial and environmental sustainability lenses. At the same time, we recognize the interdependencies of this work, and that having a grassroots, community-based approach is the best way to move forward in planning for quality of life and future well-being. We look forward to hearing what our communities have to tell us about their priorities for the future.”





County Council approved funding on March 26 for an external resource to expedite work on the Community Sustainability Plan, which will also be supported by staff from each of Oxford’s area municipalities.


Members of the Ad Hoc Committee include Warden Don McKay and Deputy Warden Margaret Lupton; County Councillors Ted Comiskey, Marion Wearn and Pat Sobeski; and local area municipal Councillors Mel Getty (Tillsonburg), Pat Lee (Norwich) and Ron Sackrider (South-West Oxford).


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About Oxford County


Located in the heart of southwestern Ontario, Oxford County has a population of approximately 109,000 people across eight municipalities that are “growing stronger together” through a partnership-oriented, two-tier municipal government incorporated as the County of Oxford. One of Ontario’s richest areas for farmland, Oxford County also boasts a rapidly expanding commercial and industrial sector that is bolstered by its choice location at the crossing of Highways 401 and 403. The County is home to a thriving local arts, culture and culinary community, as well as conservation parks, natural areas and more than 100 kilometres of scenic trails. The Oxford County Administration Building is located in Woodstock. Visit or follow our social media sites at Oxford County’s Strategic Plan is at





Tommasina Conte | Strategic Communication & Engagement

519.539.9800, ext. 3503 |




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