Whitcombe: Hortons owner should apologize

Puslinch Mayor Brad Whitcombe says if discussions about the entrance to the Aberfoyle Tim Hortons are to resume, the owner must first apologize for his “belligerent behaviour” towards township officials.

Whitcombe said the ap­proach taken with council by Tim Hortons franchise owner Craig St. Germain – which included threatening to remove sponsorship of all Puslinch events – was inappropriate, as was the manner in which he addressed township staff.

“It’s not the first time this has happened,” Whitcombe said. “I’ve quite lost my pati­ence with it.”

The mayor explained the township done a good job of addressing issues at the corner of Brock Road and Nicholas Beaver Road, and “It’s unfortunate [St. Germain] doesn’t ap­preciate it.”

The issue came up at the council meeting on Oct. 1 after  councillor Don McKay asked Public Works Superintendent Jim Howlett if he had heard anything recently about a culvert near the Tim Hortons entrance, which St. Germain had said needs repair.

Howlett replied that his staff had previously “never touched” the entrance – the only work done by the township nearby was to pave the shoulders of the road because of the amount of truck traffic in the area.

“If people want to drive in the ditch, I can’t do anything about it,” Howlett said about the problem of drivers short-cutting the Tim Hortons en­trance, which resulted in a pot hole. However, Howlett added the township has since installed reflectors at the entrance, which seem to be addressing the problem.

Whitcombe stressed the township has been more than accommodating with the business.

“The entrance was designed by them,” he said.

McKay agreed and echoed the mayor’s comments about the good job done by staff in the area of the Tim Hortons.

He said St. Germain seems to have calmed down ever since his Sept. 3 visit to council was documented in a Well­ing­ton Advertiser article, which was “precise” but may not have been a good thing for St. Ger­main.

McKay said a Guelph Mer­cury article, published  four days after the original Adver­tiser story, had St. Germain “trying to back peddle” from his original hard stance.

St.Germain had told council he was going to “remove all support for township events.” But he later told the Mercury he wasn’t talking about the local “Timbits” youth soccer team – despite specifically men­tioning that support in front of council.

St. Germain also told the Mer­cury his only intent was to remind council about the important role Tim Hortons plays in the community.

McKay said last week it appears St. Germain has not withdrawn support for Pus­linch organizations and events, because the local agricultural society recently received its usual contribution from Tim Hortons.

St. Germain was unavailable for comment by press time.