"Cowardice asks the question...is it safe? Expediency asks the question...is it politic? Vanity asks the question...is it popular? But conscience asks the question...is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it because it is right." ~Dr. Martin Luther King

Sunday, 30 June 2013

Clause 7 and the unwritten rule

Clause 7 of the Code 0f  Ethics   states the following:

Use of Town of Property

Members of Council will:

 *  only use town property ( including but not limitd to , real property,municipal vehicles, equipment,material supplies,intellectual prioperty and documents ) or services  of consequence,
for activities connected wuth the discharge of official duties or associated  community activities
having the sanction of  Council  or its committees.

This one is interesting.

The title  of Mayor is the property of the Town.

The person elected  to the office bears the title for four years. 

The title cannot be shed in a matter of town business.

It cannot be used  in a matter of private business.

The rule has always been  understood. Long before  there  ever was either a Code of Conduct or Ethics.

The key clause is "having the sanction of Council"

I had  to inform  the previous Mayor of the  restrictions on her use of the title  couple of times.

When the Mayor lent his name to the  list  of  names  used to influence  various organizations like the Rotary Club , the University  Women's Club  the Chamber of Commerce and whatever  other groups received a presentation from William Albino and Associates, the Mayor had no authority to do so.

No presentation had been made to Council. No support had been sanctioned by Council.

The Mayor's office was inappropriately used for the purpose of promoting a  private interest real estate deal.

It's not a Conflict of Interest, whatever  that's worth under current  legislation.

The Mayor does not stand to gain  financially from the scheme.

But it doesn't change anything.

The group went around making presentations to influence groups within the communiity claiming  to have  the Mayor's  support.

We don't know what else the groups were told . We were not there. . There is no record. They were not public meetings as we understand them.

Last week, in his comments in support  of the scheme, the Mayor said there were no secret meetings. Said it was inappropriate to suggest such a thing.

It was actually said by a member of the Heritage Advisory Committee where Mr. Albino apparently requested an in- camera meeting.

No such meetiing took place because advisory committees do not have the authority to hold in- camera meetings.

Nnevertheless last Tuesday Kathy Van Nostrand , speaking in Mr.Albinos place told Council hundreds  of residents have signed their names of the scheme.

They went about the town soliciting support from influential groups and collecting names and using the Mayor's title without the sanction of Council.

Well you know, according to the Code of Ethics and  the unwritten rule that preceded it, that is not precisely  Kosher.

Current path is a mere extension.

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "He huffed and he puffed and blew thehouse down": 

Sometimes, I wish there was traffic calming on Memory Lane. 

Posted by Anonymous to Our Town and Its Business at June 30, 2013 at 11:37 AM


Memory Lane and the Current Path is  what  this  Blog is  about.  To  focus public attention on decsions by Council.

There is never enough time  in debate for intelligent analysis of decisions being made relative to lessons learned from the  past. 

There's enough time for Mr. Albino ,a real estate promoter, to return again and again and again  and like water on a stone, promote the sale of private real estate because the Mayor  views the scheme as divine inspiration. 

There is enough time for Councillors to ask questions that allow a ten minute limit on  presentations to be stretched to two hours of discussion. 

There's unlimited  time for Councillor  Gaertner to   endlessly repeat  questions and dispute answers given by staff, out of proportion to all other debate on any given  issue. 

Enough  time for the Mayor to invite the Chief Administrator to join the debate, to  push it along in the direction the Mayor wishes it to go but does not see  it as his role to  take it.

There is never enough time  for debate i to go in a direction the presiding member does  not wish it to go.

That's where a blog, any blog, is a useful probitive tool. 

If a verbal argument has no validity, it's  a hundred  times  less  persuasive  in writing. 

At the beginning of this term, I considered the gap in experience between myself and new Councillors. I  recognised the  difficulty .

I considered my options. Should I dumb myself down and pretend not to know what I know. 

I quickly discarded that option. I'm not good at pretending.   I am  a natural born smart ass. It is a part of my character that has plagued  me all of my life.  

But the people who vote for me know that about me.  They  vote for me anyway. I decided a long time ago, I had found my niche in life. 

So once again, Blog is my option. What I don't get time to say under the rules of debate  I can 
complete   and amplify further on the Blog.

Those who want to read it ,can . 

Those who don't, well, they don't have to. 

He huffed and he puffed and blew thehouse down

He blew down the house of straw

He blew down the house of sticks

When he couldn't blow down  the house of f brick, he climbed down the chimney into  the cauldron of boiling water awaiting his arrival.

During the last term  of office, the town spent  Close  to three-hundred thousand dollars on the traffic calming scheme in the north-east quadrant. This term we had to start dismantling the same..

A communication from the Region indicates  Wellington/Yonge  intersection is among the worst  traffic hotspots in the Region . 

The  new condo on the north corner of Centre Street  will have ninety-six units and commercial units at street level

That traffic plan will likely have to be reviewed again. and more money spent to remove  obstructions to the safe free flow of traffic on those streets. 

In the last term,  Nisbet  Drive was moved west by a metre to allow  a sidewalk to be constucted a metre away from the property line on the east  and  a beautiful street tree removed to accommodate one resident's wishes. 

Also in the last term,  five or six residents on Knowles Crescent  got $60,000  handed to them to complete their  extravagant driveways  The acting-director of public works was pushed to the side and a consultant hired to negotiate to the lucky residents' satisfaction. 

Also, three lights  on Canadian Tire parking lot were hooked up to the  town's  street light system to satisfy demands of  residents of  condo owners who had a tri-party agreement  complete with dispute resolutions with Canadian Tire and one other party.

These  were but  a few solutions  conjured contrary to the town's  interest by the previous Council.

All  took the Oath of Office.   The majority signed the Code of Conduct.

At the Council meeting before last ,Councillor Gaertner accused the town's planning department of mis-handling   a matter  resulting in a cell tower being erected in another  municipality  under the regulation  of CRTC .

The Towns C.A.O.  followed with profuse apologies for the failure and vowed it would not happen again. 

The following week, a spokesmanfor residents   opposed to the cell tower  attended Council  and  demanded  a judicial review of the circumstances that led to the cell tower being constructed. 

Councillor Gaertner was joined by several Councillors  in supporting that request. 

All  of them of course too  the Oath of Office to ensblethem totake their seats and protect the municipality's  interest during their term of office.

We must give the people what they want" is  the Councillor's oft-repeated statement .

In her mind it seems "the people" are whoever is standing before her making  demands in their self- -interest.

It is difficult  to believe the Councillor's accusation of wrong-doing against  the town's planning staff  was  not the reason  for the demand for a judicial inquiry into wrong-doing by town 
planning staff.

Even more difficult  that it was not made  precisely for the purpose of  generating the demand. 

Saturday, 29 June 2013


There have always been rules in politics.  The Oath of Office is the biggie. 

Without swearing the Oath in the presence of a  Commissioner of Oaths , the elected is not eligible  to receive the trust  and authority of public office. 

The Oath of Office is  at one and the same  time recognition of  opportunity for abuse  and  criminalizes  any such abuse. 

Authority is not bestowed  until the Oath that binds is  administered. Trust is  presumed ntl it is abused. 

There are or were unwritten rules in politics. Mostly and simply  an understanding of a level  eneath which is unacceptable. 

For example, a family tragedy, accidental loss of a child would never be exploited for political gain.  

An attempt at same would be  recognized  and given the big chill. 
Proposing a Code of Ethics  would be recognized as the reverse of righteousness and receive the same reaction. 

Self-professed  righteousness implies moral superiority which is  easily recognized ad  not  well  received in polite company solong as it is dragged out from it hole and held up for all to view for te wriggling , slimy ,spineless creature it is. 

No astute politician would fall into  such an obvious and puerile trap. 

If  there is no substance beyond optics ,there is no future in politics. 

The  question of  expertise to write rules to govern matters of conscience comes into  play? 

It entirely depends  upon whose conscience .

Al Wilsons conscience?  Who can tell  how his sense of right and wrong  has evolved.  No doubt it  has.  

Of John Gallo's conscience? 

He asked the elderly woman to step aside , as opposed to Al Wilson who was part of the  same slate of candidates  Gallo was on. 

Who can say  what governs a person's conscience ?. 

This morning TheHonorable  Kathleen Wynn ,prior to a  run in tey   Gay Pride Celebration  in Toronto said

. " Rights and privileges are precious. We must protect them "

The harsh reality is , although  The Charter of Rights and Freedoms  was enshrined in law twenty-nine  years ago , still  there are those who believe it is meaningless document  If they  even know it exists. Were students  taught at it in Canadian schools? Do hey know what it means?  

As long as other people's rights  are being trampled and the  trampling is  done by a majority  it's A.O.K.

Thursday, 27 June 2013


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Late Night Tuesday":

It seems to me that the mayor and four councillors are not cognizant of the fact that they are supposed to be stewards of the public purse.

From my standpoint that means investing taxpayer money into projects that will be of benefit to the community at large and will enhance the town's provision of services to its residents.

The thought of spending $10million, give or take a few, on a defunct Heritage Theme Park on some of the most valuable land in downtown Aurora is not just inane, but borders on the criminal.

What statistical research data has been carried out to demonstrate the financial benefits of such a project? Does such a project exist anywhere else?

Is $25,000 now going to be pissed away on a feasibility study instead of being spent on something that would benefit the town? What consultancy of morons exists that states it is capable to conducting such a study? Will the town be equally vigorous in establishing its bona fides as it was in gutting the Music in the Park group? Possibly this consultancy will similarly blow up.

$25,000 might sound like chump change when related to $34million in the Hydro fund, but it is not if you ask any resident. They unlikely will say that this amount is of no consequence.

How did we get such a group of failed intelligences to occupy five seats on our council, including the mayor, who disappoints more with each passing week?

Late Night Tuesday

 Council didn't end until midnight on Tuesday. A considerable amount of time was allocated once  again to the real estate scheme  that would siphon off the $34 million Hydro asset if the Mayor has his way.

We also had a request from orner Ridge Road residents for a judicial inquiry into how the town handled the  issue of the cell tower in King  Township.

Councillor Gaertner changed her vote on the real estate scheme for a park on Yonge  Street.  Mayor Dawe is now allied on this issue with herself, Humphrey's Gallo and  Ballard.

If I were him,that alliance  would give me pause. They are not his friends.

$25,000  was approved for a "feasibility"study. The promoters  have been back again and again and again. Something a Council  member would be unable to do.

The meeting will be shown  on Friday  afternoon at 3p.m.  It will also be available  on Roger's Cable website .

There was a fibre optic problem on Tuesday. The Town does not pay Rogers for Council meetings  shown on T.V.

They do it  as a community service

Last term  Rogers sought permission to install  new cameras in  the Council Chamber  The last Council   contemplated  asking them to pay for the privilege.

I suspect there were a few Councillors  just as  happy  not to be on television.  There were always others who preferred to believe nobody was watching.

I had an  e-mail from a  taxpayer  furious  about fire department plans to install water softening equipment at fire halls so tat the pumpers don't have hard water spots when they are washed He thinks Council would likely take up the issue on behalf of the taxpayers.

I'm not so sure . I've  received information about excessive spending on unnecessary vehicles in the fire department.

I doubt  the  public  majority would be interested in  an analysis of  the service provided and the cost of the same.

The fire and police departments both do a pretty good job of promoting their services.

It's not of course a simple matter of comparing cost to service .

It's a matter of share of resources. The exorbitant cost of  both services means programs to provide assistance to those in need  are reduced  while their needs continue to grow.

I am talking about children, the majority of people in need. 

Council will not meet again until mid July.  Lots of time to talk about stuff  that neds to be talked about, 

Guest Post

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Implementation of the Code of Ethics": 

It has been said that “everyone knows already knows what's right and wrong – the difficult part is for people to do what is right”. And for some it is much more difficult than for others.

We have all these codes of conduct - everything from government to corporate to schools to kids sports. Are they there to set the rules or remind people of the rules that they should or do in fact already know?

I will not cheat in school.

I will not plagiarize my essays and homework.

I will respect the decision of the referee (or teacher, volunteer parent, ______ (you fill in the blank))

I will treat others with courtesy, respect and fairness.

And yet all of the above examples are broken time and again, day in and day out, here, there and everywhere. 

I truly believe that many organizations have such codes so that they can then point to the code and then point to the person and shout at them that they broke the code. In so many cases we don’t need a code to tell us it is wrong. I don’t care what the code said or what your lawyer interpreted for you based on the code, it was wrong – end of story. But for some the opposite comes into play. People may feel that they can do whatever they can get away with because it’s not written in the code. And so we keep expanding, amending, revising and re-writing our codes to include more definitive behaviours, more special cases all to no avail. Adults will act whatever way they deem to - always thinking that they are in the right regardless of codes.

It’s like the warnings on lawn mowers that says to not use them as hedge trimmers. Why? Because some unfortunate idiot did so in the past and the manufacturer has to put the warning label there to protect their company from future lawsuits. 

Mark as spam 

Moderate comments for this blog. 

Posted by Anonymous to Our Town and Its Business at June 25, 2013 at 1:32 PM

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

A Little Backgroud

Marshall Dillon has left a new comment on your post "Implementation of the Code of Ethics": 


"You get elected and do your best"... but heaven forbid if your best does not conform to the perception of those that have been councillors since Jesus was in High School. You will be taunted and lectured until your only defence is to add some hard-fast rules. You try to bring the Town in to the present instead of wallowing in the pioneer past. Then you loose the next election and everyone that has been rounded up in the posse wants to hang you from the tallest tree in the land. 

This Town is F'ed up.


When  I ran  for office  in 2003 aftr  fourteen yar absence, Al Wilson was also a candidate. For the 
second or third  time without success. 

He didnt  make it. came in at the bottom of the poll. 

He took advantageof public  forum to hurl  abuse  at me, his voice rising to a shriek as he went on.
First time,  I  had a  word with  the Mayor. Told him it was not acceptable conduct.

Second time, I told him if it happened again I would not be responsible for my reaction and he might find it  harder to  handle. 

A couple of Councillors  thought he had a right to abuse a Councillor in  the Councl Chamber. 

Considering rules of order and requirement for civility to each other, I thought that was an odd understanding of how a Council functions.  but it wasn't the worst. 

After the next election Wilson took my place at the bottom of the poll. A need  for a re-count was not suggested. 

But at the first meeting Wilson and MacEachern formed a tag-team to interrupt with spurious points of order ,every time I spoke. 

I apologized and promised to do better.

Then , later. a family member asked; What's up with Wilson" 

Apparently  when I spoke  the Councillor would slide down in his  chair .roll his eyes  until  only the whites showed and let  his tongue hang  out the side of his mouth.

I was glad not to have  seen  that.

But I couldn't help wondering if any of them thought about the people at home who were seeing it.  And  knew quite well what to make of it without a word needed  from me. 

As long as the camera was running  I knew I was never alone. The dirty tricks were amplified. 

I did not start writing the blog until August 2007.

When it became  apparent I would not be permtted to participate then I decded to create my own 

I would write a blog. I would keep  whoever might be interetsed informed about events from my perspective. 

Like Topsy. it grew. 

Citizen of the Year...A Worthy Tribute

Ron Wallace was named Citizen of the Year last night in  the Council Chamber.

It was a heart-warming event. The  Chamber  was almost at capacity. A  couple of other events  had drawn in a  substantial audience.  But the  crowd rose to their feet in applause for the recipient of the award.

Citizens  of the Year are not always so well known or so warmly regarded. The  decision is made  by a Committee from nominations received. 

Ron has lived  in Aurora  most of his adult life . He came here as a reporter  from North  Bay when he was twenty-seven years old .

When his only child was born,he so loved the town, he named her Aurora. And she is beautiful. 

For years he  played  hockey on  Sunday with a  group calling  themselves the Church Dodgers .

He and the late Dick Illingworth  had a weekly cable T.V show called Ronnie and Dickie .

Last night, the Mayor cited Ron's involvements in  various  community organisations. There were many. 

He did not mention the one  I think , was most important of all.

Ron started from scratch a second weekly newspaper in Aurora An enterprise that before computers would have been  an entirely impossible undertaking. 

From my perspective, Ron Wallace  and  his little newspaper, The Auroran , saved the town whrn she needed it most. 

He wasn't young. He wasn't rich.  He was quirky, like  the rest of us.

He  always proclaimed himself  to be more of a sports writer than a news editor. 

But when he published  his little newspaper, he revealed himself ,for the  perfectionist he pretended not to be. 

He didn't do it alone. He had friends who worked for him .  Others who gladly contributed  items of interest, particularly historical, to the enterprise. 

He  suffered sadness and loss in his life  but  never complained. 

I can't think of anyone who  better deserved to be  Auroras Citizen  of he Year. 

And no-one who would appreciate  it more than himself. 

Tuesday, 25 June 2013


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Implementation of the Code of Ethics": 

Hey 11:37

The word you are looking for is 'lose'

'Loose' is the opposite of tight which it would appear you are with the former Mayor 

Mark as spam 

My Figer lipped tp delete when I meant to  publish

Sorry !!

Implementation of the Code of Ethics

Council  members  will be expected to sign  two copies of the Code  at the beginning of a new term
to convey to each other and all stakeholders that they have read and understood it. 

What chance Lance ?

The last Council did that at the beginning of the term. Where are they now?

They went further and adopted a Code of Conduct Bylaw  to  add teeth to their purpose. 



They  had  THE  POWA to punish with that one. 

However , requiring  a Councillor to sign a document  without commitment proved to be a bit of a problem. 

A lawyer was retained to write an opinion stating why it was imperative for all to sign. 

The lawyer stated failure to sign  might  cause"stakeholders" to believe the Councillor  was in breach of the Oath of Office .

But the last paragraph stated there is no physical  act to compel a Councillor to sign.

The letter was tabled with the agenda for all to know the seriousness of the situation. 

It was relatively simple to point out the lawyer's caveat emptor. 

The possible outcome of failure to sign might encourage the community to believe a Councillor was not committed to honorable conduct. I did not agree to the likelihood the community would think any such thing. 

The last  paragraph of the report  really emphasised the futility of the exercise.  A Coucillor cannot be physically forced to sign the document. 

The advice did not accomplish what those who authorized the expenditure hoped it would. 

Te people who always pay the piper, were obliged to pay anyway. 

It was only recently I read in  another legal  document that the Code of Conduct Bylaw  is unenforceable  No offence can be charged.  No penalty  imposed. 

That makes sense 

Monday, 24 June 2013

Still on the Code of Ethics

Clause 11. deals with harassment. After stating it is prohibited under the Ontario Human  Rights Code, It continues  on for four  more paragraphs. 

It defines harassment as "offensive to another person on the grounds of race,ancestry,place of origin, colour, ethnic origin,citizenship, creed, sex,age, handicap,sexual orientation,marital status, or famiy status and  other  grounds under the provision of the Ontario H uman  Rights Code. 

I was complained about  for harassment during  the last term of Council. But not for any of the reasons above. 

Th complaint was from a probationary  employee. Loss of  job confirmation would  certainly be an easy means of persuasion. 

I met  the employee six   months after the election at the  town booth at the Aurora Home Show . He showed his cell prone record of e-mails to indicate  the source of coercion. Still ongoing. 

His complaint was processed  by the Director in charge at the time. 

The Home Show  was the only time ,after an initial introduction, I ever spoken to the man. 

It was  probably  also the only time a harassment complaint  was ever filed by an employee against a Councillor. 

Code of Conduct  complaints with  their potential for "punishment"   show a similar record. 

The first, announced during public forum by the complainant, was withdrawn when the complainant learned her identity would be revealed. She had already publicly declared her intention. 

It was also against myself. 

The second  was by  former Councillor Al Wilson  accompanied by signatures of  five individuals who also happened to be Councillors and the Mayor.

 It was  proclaimed with great fanfare  and read into  the record by Councilor Gaertner in 2009.  Extensive  and continued publication followed. 

It was also against moi. 

The  next two received by  the second Integrity  Commissioner  in 2010 , were from former Councillor MacEachern. 

Both against myself. 

The  contract for the new  Integrity Commissioner was signed in April 2010. 

A further complaint filed by the probationer employee on July31st  It was withdrawn and replaced by the  Harassment complaint. 

Both  against myself. 

The town solicitor informed Council  because  of the election, a moratoriu was normally implemented from  August 1st. 

It meant  no more work for the Integrity Commissioner but  the contract continued for  the full year anyway.  

So keen was Councillor MacEachern to make her bid for  punishment against myself.

Before  there was a Code of Conduct , a formal letter was circulated to Council by a previous town solicitor. 

Obviously in response to a request. 

It stated; Councillor Buck  has   every right  to express an opinion.   She goes right to the line. She never crosses the line. 

It wasn't good enough. 

There  had to be punishment. 

No matter how  much it might  cost, 

The last complaint was filed by a friend and associate of Councillor MacEacherh in the week before he Code of  Conduct  Bylaw was rescinded. 

Against moi of course. 

It too was withdrawn within days. 

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Communication Received and Responded

I was shocked to read the headline on page A5 of the Aurora Banner stating that the town was unlikely to help finance the Heritage Park concept.  I first heard about this project and saw the sketches at the April meeting of the Canadian Federation of University Women.  Everyone thought it was a wonderful project for the town.  It would revitalize the downtown and make it a welcoming place.  As it would back on to Fleury park, there are many opportunities for future ideas.  Although I live in Aurora, I go to Newmarket to enjoy Fairy Lake, skate at River Commons, and frequent the many restaurants and coffee shops on Main Street.  I would like the same atmosphere in Aurora.  I envision parking at the Community Centre and walking to Heritage Park and visiting the coffee shops and restaurants that would welcome me to Yonge St and surrounding area after my stroll in the park.My wish would also be for a future artificial outdoor rink in Fleury park as there seems to be room for this.  It could be serviced by the arena personnel at the Community Centre. Families would come to our downtown and keep it alive.

I can't believe that one councillor was quoted as saying "If it doesn't cost the town money, it would be wonderful".  I have lived in Aurora since 1974 and raised my family here.  I have waited and waited and waited for the $30 million in the Hydro fund to be spent on a project the town can be proud of.  This is the project. I urge you to support this, and I will be following the discussion and the vote.


Evelyn Buck

Begin forwarded message:

From: Evelyn Buck <evelyn.buck@rogers.com>
Date: June 23, 2013, 3:22:48 PM EDT

Cc: "mayor@aurora.ca" <mayor@aurora.ca>
Subject: Re: Heritage Park
Thank you for your input. I too  have an idea of how the Hydro Asset might be used  for the community's  best interest.

It does not involve spending millions of dollars  to take  million dollars , our breadandbutter  revenue out of our assessment base  to use  Yonge Strreet property  for a park. 

I doubt proponents of the project  outlined to the University Womens  Club  outlined how a municipality plans its parks..I doubt they know or care. 

My idea has been put forward  and won  Council's support some time ago but for a reason not hard to guess , Councils direction has not been followed. 

It involves demolishing  old worn out, no longer useful buildings that owe nothing  to the cxommunity and using the site for purposes already established  in popularity. 

Namely, the  State  of the Art  museum that Church Street School was renovated to accommodate at a cost of $2,3 million from the Hydro Asset and  several hundred thousand dollars raised in the community  by the Aurora Historical  Society  for the purpose

It  includes constructing  a building of several floors  to provide  multiple studio workshops 
for   people of  every age, to acquire proficiency and perhaps excellence in every art  imaginable not at the expense necessarily, of the taxpayers. 

The idea of   financial self-sufficiency is not an anathema to me nor I  imagine to any member of Council who understands why they were elected. 

On the other hand , current experience forewarns us of  a lack of self-sufficiency of the project promoted to your club .

Hillary House, completely and authentically furnished owned by Aurora Historical Society,  is not self-sufficient. The Society obtains a grant from the town of $50,000 a year, this year increased to $60,000 to keep a program going , despite all efforts at fund-raising,. 

A Board  operated Church Street School drains the town treasury of half a million dollars a year and enjoys free  use of our most precious heritage building. A building that symbolizes the vision of   a population of  two  thousand hard- working determined settlers,

Ms .......taking responsibility for decisions that will  affect a community years into the future is not the same as receiving a presentation during a pleasant evening of  association with one's professional peers. 

Thirty-three million dollars were derived from the sale of a very important asset. The decision was forced upon us by a senior level of government. 

Owning our own hydro utility was a significant advantage to the development of the progressive town  Aurora has been throughout her history.

A flash-in-the pan promotion  by a fly-by- night promoter who goes about soliciting support from influential  community groups , for them in turn to pressure Council to buy a pig in a poke  without by the way, putting any thought whatsoever into economic feasibility of the project. 

I was not here when Aurora was  settled. But I know where those people came from. I know what  they left behind. I know their hopes and dreams and their priorities and how hard they had to work. Fortunately for the well-being of themselves and more importantly , for their children, they  would have had no difficulty recognizing this  promotion  for the cash-grab  real estate scheme it  is. 

You have been frank with me Ms  ........ I  appreciate and respect your effort for what you think would be best for the community. do hope my own position on this issue  will enjoy the same respect. 

Evelyn Buck

UhAnonymous has left a new comment on your post "Code of Ethics 3": 

I ve ha've read a lot of criticism of senior staff on this very blo

Moderate comments for this blog. 

Posted by Anonymous to Our Town and Its Business at June 22, 2013 at 10:06 Pm

if you have read criticism you should be able to cite specifics. .Writing anonymously is accepted on this blog. Making allegations without proof is not.

You have read  and heard vigorous opposition to recommendations I consider  to be without merit.

That's my job.

Perhaps that's where we disagree

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Code of Ethics 3

Tuesday's general committee meeting gave an update on communications between the Town and Bell Telephone on the issue of  planting a cell tower on the King Side of Bathurst Street.

It amounted to nothing new; nil, zilch and zero 

Three neighboring residents were present. Council was ready to move to the next item on te agenda. But not before Councillor Gaeertner took a swipe at the Director of Planning and placing blame entirely upon his shoulders. 

For any other Councillor, it would have been an odd contradiction. 

Just  the week before, in a discussion on Code of Ehics versus Code of Conduct, the Councillor had reiterated her preference for the Code of Conduct because it provides opportunity for  punishment of others. 

The Code of Conduct had teeth. All the better to bite a person.I assume. 

Clause 4 of the Code of Conduct  requires a Councillor to "Refrain from publicly criticizing  individual members of staff  in a way that casts aspersions on their professional competence and credibility."

The Code also requires a Councillor to  regularly read and understand The Code and sign two copies to signify to each other and all stakeholders they have read , understood and accept it. 

It's such a crock. 

None of the Gang of Six ever saw a rule  that applied to them.  Nothing has changed. 

Nothing  on a candidate registration form guarantees an  ability to read and understand the alphabet, let alone guaranteeing intelligence, judgement and integrity , simply by virtue of having been elected to public office. 

Friday, 21 June 2013



Thursday, 20 June 2013

Odds and Sods

The Supreme  Court has dismissed the request to appeal  the Rob Ford decision . Not surprising.

The media reported the decision had been appealed.  Not right. What he Supreme ourtdeals with is an
application to appeal. It can only be granted if there was an error in law in the decision being appealed.

So now  the record is intact. No municipal official  vharged with a conflict of interest  has had the penalty of being expelled from office imposed and prohibited from being a candidate  for seven years

Clayton Ruby, who made the application, is said to have provided services pro bono.

Mayor Hazel McCallion  at the press coference following her acquital, apparently stated  her legal costs were $500,000 and  she  would  be looking  to have them covered.

In Aurora , the citizen who undertook to  implement the Provincial  Conflict of Interest Act, at his own  expense was   required to pay the defendant's costs  as well  Which costs  were  indemnified by the Town's insurance.

The Town's premiums increased  this year  by more than $31,000. in consideration of  legal  costs expended . 

One can easily  conceive, when costs expended by an  insurance company have exceeded  premiums paid by the clien, increased premiums must be  the result and bourne by taxpayers. 

A blending of the Code of Ethics and Code of Conduct  has been  presented to Council  as directed .
It has been deferred. 

It's an interesting paradox. At a time of proliferation of unenforceable  Provincial Acts and Municipal  Bylaws, there has never been such profligate spending  on legal costs with so little to show for it. 

At he Provincial level we  are looking at an  excess of a billion dollars squandered for purely political  purpose. 

At the Federal level we have  Duffy and Wallin.  Both were high profile  personalities with  claim  to fame before appointment to the  Senate. 

More  than a hint  of service was apparently expected  were not in accord with the duies of the Senate. 

Senators normally disappear into the Senate.  But  not  those two. 

We have the inexplicable "  personal gift" of $90.000.  from the P.M.O.'s Chief of Staff. and the edited 
Committee Report on Duffy. 

Wallin, on the other hand, got thrown under the bus. She didn't have quite the heft of Duffy. 

But Wallin is no slouch. I don't think she can take kindly to the role of  sacrificial  lamb. 

Despite the posturing of the Prime Minister and his Courtiers and  a leaked  jovial video, I think Pamela is the one to watch. 

I think she's about ready to blow. But the timing must be right or the media won't notice. 

Just about every day I start a  post with intent of  examining  the ridculous wording of a Code of Ehics for  politicians  and every day I get diverted, 

It's the times we live in. 

Wednesday, 19 June 2013


A Late  Night

The Tall Ships are sailing into Toronto for the Redpath Festival. (t should be well worth  a train trip to Toronto with the young ones.

It's the stuff of memories. The kind that makes a child's imagination soar. Toronto  Centre Island is a magical  place. 

Last night was  a general committee meeting. The votes are to recommend to Council, Recorded votes are not taken in committee. So. I'm not  certain of the vote on the so-called  Heritage Park. It could  change again between now and  next Tuesday. 

But I don't think so. Everyone seemed  fairly strong in the conclusion they arrived at. 

No  public money was  allocated for a feasibility  study  for the HERITAGE PARK  whatever that may have been,

The vote was six to three. The debate was extensive.and I thought covered every angle. 

Some Councillors favoured the idea but didn't think  taxpayers should pay to prove the project is feasible.

Mr.Albino delegated again . He told us Mr.McIntyre was willing to sell his property to the town at several points below  value.

He noted Hillary  House would  be part of the project BUT didn't talk  about what  price the owner had in mind for the Redman Houe. 

Not that the Council chamber ,during a public meeting , is the place for real estate negotiations. 

Or the value of a  property is the price a buyer  is willing to pay. 

He  referred to people of status on the committee backing the proposal but didn't suggest willingness to invest in the project. 

The Mayor was enthusiastic about the idea. I don't imagine he will give up easily. The
next week will be a  test of resolve. But I don't think much will change . Most Councillors had solid reasons for their decision.

I called it a money grab. The Mayor scolded. Said the words were inappropriate.

I think "money-grab" is very appropriate terminology for that which I wished to convey. 

Councllor Gallo has his lap-top on the desk in front of him. He focused at one point in proving  what I thought happened previously had actually not . He shared the Mayor's enthusiasm but didn't think the taxpayers should pay to establish feasibility. 

Councillor Thompson was strong in his position the project had not been validated; 

I noted the Historical Society's dependence on the town for grant money to manage the Hillary House. 

I reminded Council of funds allocated from the hydro asset to create a home for the town's historical collection and how  trust  and confidence  were betrayed. 

But it's not done yet. Council is the vote that counts. 

I'm optimistic. 

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

A Decision Consistent in its Main Respect

Mayor Hazel Mc Callion  has dodged the bullet  for the seined time. Although the Judge  was severely  critical of her actions . The penalty of being unseated from office and ineligible to hold office has once  again failed to be imposed. 

Is anyone surprised? 

On Thursday, the Supreme Court will  decide whether  to hear an appeal  of a previous decision not to unseat Mayor Rob Ford from the office to which he was elected..

An election for  Mayoralty in Toronto would  cost $9 million .

OF course  Toronto taxpayers would pay. 

Sp who woud really bear the penalty ?

Rob Ford's  crime was apparently speaking against the decision of  Toronto's Integrity Commissioner that the Mayor should return donated funds  in the amount of $3,300 .

"Hpw can I do that" asked the Mayor. "The money is already spent for the purpose it was raised." 

What he should  have said was, there is no authority for the Integrity Commissioner to impose penalties under the Code Of Conduct legislation.

No offense can be charged under the Code of Conduct Bylaw. 

No penalties  can be imposed.. 

The Bylaw cannot be enforced  like other Municipal Bylaws. 

No  penalties have been imposed under the Conflict of Interest legislation, Even when a Conflict was found. As  in the case of a former Mayor of East Gwillimbury. he judge said yes, he did have a conflict but he didn;t intend it. 

The Province does not enforce the legislation. 

Responsibility  for enforcement rests with a private citizen. 

Private resources are required to be expended. 

Under the adversarial system of law, a citizen who takes the action  must defend himself against nefarious intent./

Where is the integrity or the moral compass in ay of this>? 

I think the judiciary have decided they should not do what the Province has  itselfg elected not to do . 

There was a day when  voters took care of the problem  or ot as they so  chose in an election. They still do. But the opportunity  comes but once in four years. 

Another example of short-sighted legislation. 

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Code 0f Ethics 2

A  story sometimes  occupies my mind to the point it must be written before anything else can take its place. 

I don't want to write it. It's long  and full of memories best forgotten . It may notbe particularly   politic

The current Council's discussion of a  Code of ethics last Tuesday triggered the flow  and I know I can't get at that until this one clears. 

A code of Ethics was in place at the time of  the 2003 election.

I registered as a candidate a week before the deadline. Former  Councillor John West  did as well although niether knew of  the other's intent. 

Incumbent Councillor  McEachern promptly withdrew her registration  The media quoted the Councillor had changed her mind after seeing the new names. She preferred spending time with her chilldren.

The latter had always been an option, I took it the  reason the Councillor changed her mind was because she was certain the   electorate's choice  would not  be to her liking. 

I  took the comment to be offensive  from several angles but not worth stewing  about. It did not reflect well upon  the candidate herself and it would be obvious to many as the unkind cut it was . The problem would take care of itself eventually,   if maintained for any length of time.

My younger brother was seriously ill  in Joseph Brant Hospital in Burlington. I received the call on Remembrance Day.  I  spent most days of the election by  his  side. 

I was elected. An incumbent Councilor was the runner-up. 

My brother died. 

The  ex Councillor  had not finished yet, At the last Council meeting  of the previous term, a motion for a re-count  was put forward by herself. 

A re-count is automatic when the difference is  21 votes or less. The  actual count was twice that. 

The person who  normally requests a  re-count is the person who lost out. Not this time. Councillor Mc Eachern urged him , . He refused.  The  Councillor took  the onus  upon herself. 

Despite stated preference  for occupying  time  by spending it with  her children  the  Councillor was not ready to surrender to the electorate's choice. 

A lack of confidence in  voting machines  receommended by the  Municipal Clerk , also Elections Officer, was cited. 

The re-count took three days of staff time. 

Results were the same. 

The machines functioned perfectly fine. 

Little reference was paid to the Code of Ethics then or in the next election. 


Saturday, 15 June 2013

People will believe what they want.

Samsung Galaxy is a current commercial  sponsor of David Letterman. It shows parents attending a  Commencement , the mother with the camera, taking a photo of  the graduate receiving  his diploma. 

A  second graduate jumps into the photo, opens his robe to reveal himsellf in underwear with the obvious intent of spoiling  the photo. 

It doesn't happen. The mother presses a button  and  his image disappears.  The picture is perfect. To  the amazement of onlookers. 

I had a conversation with my grand-daughter. I asked what is Crack cocaine?

It's a derivative of cocaine, she said. 

What is its physical effect, I  asked. 

It makes people jittery, she said. 

I knew what I knew.

I watch a lot of late night television which often involves guests from the entertainment industry. 
It's not at all unusual to watch someone obviously high on something or other.  It involves a complete inability to control twitching and jerking of  just about every part of the body. 

On one show , the guests were Roseanne and one of her husbands. Both were a seething mass of motion.  It was terrible to watch. 

It's not uncommon for  a conversation  with a guest to revolve around rehab treatment and how long it took to get clean. At that point , the guest is in an obvious condition of  physical  deterioration.

Another  abnormal conditions presents when a guest is clearly oblivious to his surroundings. The ten minute guest spot is a trial for the host and a great relief when it's over. 

So, even if we do not move in circles where "recreational" drugs are common practice, if any amount of television  is  a habit, we cannot be unaware of their  terrible impact. 

We really don't need  to be told if  a person is an addict. The signs are  obvious.

If  a person exhibits no signs of addiction,  yet we believe they are, it comes down to  choosing  what  to believe.

It's like the person who commented yesterday that because I boycotted  the in-camera meeting 
that lasted until after one a.m., it meant I was not opposed to the decision  made for a  politician  to sue residents with public funds because she had been criticized

The point of this post is , people can be presented with exactly the same facts, and still arrive at a different conclusion.  There doesn't even need to be bias.

Friday, 14 June 2013

No...It was never that simple.

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Code of Ethics": 

Are you comparing Gaertner to McCarthy and Hitler?

You're being too kind. 


I am drawing  a comparison to conspicuous events in history . No doubt  plans were made behind closed doors and in  that obscurity, seemed innocuous at the time.

I  do not hold Councillor Gaertner   alone responsible  for decisions  by the last Council. Initiative   was  always carefully avoided . The collective was always cited. As it is now. The difference being , the collective is not a majority.  It numbers but three.

Councillor Gaertner has always depended on the leadership and guidance of others. 

It does not relieve her of responsibility and she does keep referring  with regret to the loss of authority to impose punishment. No doubt still  under  advisement.

It's hard to escape the  impression  " punishment"  or retaliation was  always the real objective of the Code of Conduct. 

I  could not re-call which State Senator Mc Carthy represented. But I did  anticipate a member of the circle would provide the  exact answer. 

Code of Ethics

It seems we have Councillors Gaertner ,Gallo and Ballard on the record  expressing  regret for the loss of authority to administer  punishment  under A Code of Ethics  Bylaw as opposed to  Bylaw for a Code of Conduct.

.On the one hand , we have Councillr Gertner's clearly and publicly acknowledged lack of understanding of the significance of the Oath  of Office. 

On the other, the lust for power to punish....retaliate, mete out the lash, take revenge  while claiming to be functioning at  "a gold standard of  behaviour"in keeping with the privilege of holding public office. 

It's an odd paradox. 

In the Middle Ages, Spain had the  Inquisition . . Priests  high and low  spent time devising  instruments  of torture, never heard of before ,to punish real or imagined  heretics to the one true faith. 

Power  corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. 

In recent history, Americans had McCarthyism  and the House Committee on UnAmerican Activities. 

Citizen's  lives were ruined by a  national paranoia sparked by a single individual. Normally fair-minded individuals were silenced  for  a time by fear of being named by the lunatic Senator from Maine.  Others gave up the names of their friends to save their own skin. 

The enemy was not without.It was within. 

There will always be a special place in history for Hitler's  Nazism and that idea of order in the universe.

Few countries were without sin. Including Canada. Ships wre not allowed to dock and disembark thousands of refugees desperately  seeking safe haven. 

Here in Aurora, in the  year 2013, three puny politicians  publicly express regret over  loss of power to punish  or retaliate against whoever might disagree with their doctrine  and interpretation of Rights guaranteed  by a Charter enfolded in our Nation's Constitution and signed into law as recently as 1984. 

All it needs for them to succeed is for the rest of us to bow our heads in acquiescence and pretend it isn't happening. 

Not here. Not in Aurora. 

Yes here. Yes in Aurora. 

They did it.

 Most  of them  paid a  price. 

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Deja vu

We have seen it before. 

It has happened again recently.

A resident took  the microphone, courtesy of council and prattled  about  personal real estate matters in her neighborhood , the vicinity of the newest of twenty-one  celll towers erected within the municipality.

 I heard my name. Then the word disrespectful. I glanced at the Mayor to ensure he was on top of the situation . Later I asked the Councillor nearest the speaker what exactly was said. 

Apparently the comment, addressed to myself was that I should  not  speak if I was going to be disrespectful. 

I said all I had to say about the Bell Cell tower erected in a field on  King Twp. side of Bathurst Street during Council's debate on the issue. 

Later, putting the dots together, I made  the connection. 

During the  controversy involving about fifty homes, Councillors received a flurry of  e-mails.

I didn't do my usual thing of responding to each. Town staff ,other Councillors and the Mayor  were all engaged running around like chickens with heads cut off trying to make the problem disappear.

I did speak to the issue at Council.  I had no interest in spending $150,000 of taxpayers money on a futile  gesture. 

I don't live within the distance that made me eligible for notice of intent to erect a tower .The resident at the microphone was one of the ten who did and  failed to use the  opportunity for input prior to the cell tower erection. . 

After the initial  furious flurry, I received a late e-mail from a resident who posed several questions for me to answer. 

I acknowledged  his communication and  posed several  questions to answer to himself. 

An e-mail campaign generally has a lengthy circulation list. The late  e-mail to me must have been on the list and the  e-mail from me was likely  returned to the entire list. 

I received a response from Councillor Gallo requesting that I remove his name from the list because he did not want to be associated with insults and disrespect to residents. It was promptly followed by one from Councillor Ballard echoing the sentiment. 

Both  reflected the oft-expressed philosophy of Councillor Gaertner that a Councillor's job is to give 
"the people" whatever they  wish. Kind of like a Fairy Godmother. 

It's a philosophy I do not share. 

I e-mailed back  if they knew how to remove themselves from someone else's circulation list they should do so immediately.  I would not be offended.

I sit alongside Councillor Gallo at the Council table. He sits next to Councillor Ballard. Afterwards, no hint was given to the exchange .

I figured  it wasn't on the record for my benefit. But  instead for the people on the circulation list.To make  the right impression. To ensure the residents knew who their real friends were. 

And  that's what prompted the resident  with the cell tower problem to come to Council , take  microphone , courtesy of Council, and blow a  fart in my  general direction. 

Like I said a couple of weeks ago. Councillors are just people the same as everybody else. It's functioning in the fish bowl of politics that makes them behave in  weird and ludicrous fashion. 

Wednesday, 12 June 2013


Since the Inaugural , Councillor Gaertner has made clear at any and every opportunity, continued profound loyalty and devotion to the  former Mayor . It was as though the new Council were usurpers of power rightfully belonging to others.

Decisions  of the former  Mayor  have always been defended by the Councillor 

Last night was no exception.  A draft of the new Code of  Ethics was on the table  for discussion and direction  that a Bylaw be prepared. 

As usual, the golden merits of a Code of Conduct were re-introduced.  The  advantage of enforcement and punishment were cited by Councillors Gaertner and Ballard. 

The latter referred to the activity  of writing things about people .and  the need for punishment to control the nefarious practice. 

No-one at the table referred to Councillor Ballard's habit of tweeting nasty things about colleagues. I thought  I demonstrated  remarkable  discipline. 

I made the point  that a Code of Conduct does not permit  an offence to be charged, No penalties are attached to the Bylaw.. Unlike other Municipal Bylaws, A  Code of Conduct Bylaw cannot be enforced. 

But sparks  flew when the issue of going in-camera  to discuss legal advice on the former Mayor's  
current  legal suit against the  Town for recovery of costs  incurred by herself in a SLAPP  action against three constituents during last election. 

Five Councillors, including Gaertner and Gallo, voted to  make that happen.  Counciillor Ballard has repeatedly argued in  defence of the former Mayor in public meetings. 

When the motion was made to go in camera, Councillor Pirri expressed his position  discussion should be  public.There is no  guarantee information would not be leaked. 

I echoed the Councillor's concern and added my own.  I worried aloud Council had no reason to expect confidential advice would not  be relayed to the other party by her defenders.

I noted the problem was  created in the previous term when matters which were not  business of the corporation were taken behind closed doors and  improper decisions were made. 

On a point of privilege , Councillor Gaertner   stated her integrity  had been challenged and demanded an apology .

Mayor  Dawe requested I change my wording. I  responded I found myself between a rock and a hard place and  no other wording  sufficed to express  my  concern .

A serious dilemma presents itself. 

The Mayor ruled he would not recognise me for the rest of the meeting. We recessed  in camera ,
returned to public session and  unanimously approved external counsel to defend the  former Mayor's claim against the town for $290.000.

And  so, the drain on  public resources continues. 

It may be timely to request once again the complete tally to date of funds expended  for the obsessive pre-occupation  of  expeditionary law of the previous term of Aurora Council. 

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

What a Tangled Web was woven

I think it's a good thing a statement has been  made by  the Town about the suit filed against  the municipality by the former Mayor.

Complications from the legal activities of the last term  have continued into the current term.

Notice of Action served on the town involves a decision made in a closed door  meeting in the previous term.

Two Councillors on the current Council , voted in support of  a  carefully calculated resolution that cleared the way for a lawyer to be retained and suit launched against three residents  of the town. It was eventually ruled a SLAPP suit meaning .. launched   to prevent Public Participation in  public affairs,.

I boycotted the  in-camera meeting.  A  politician being subject to criticism  is  never  the business of the municipal corporation. No authority exists for a Council to use public resources to undertake such action.

That meeting continued until after one a.m. the following morning. The result was an ambiguously worded resolution  used  by a lawyer for a lawyer to be retained and a contract signed  and court proceedings commenced without  necessary, further, authority from Council.

The  current council has met and deliberated a number of times to  resolve issues emanating from that  infamous decision.

Each time, two  Councillors  who voted for the original decision have been present and engaged.

It would be difficult to imagine or warrant, under these circumstances, that confidentiality can or is being maintained.

This morning  Councillor Gaertner, one of the two, has e-mailed a request for copies of all documentation pertaining to the new notice of action.

I think there's a problem with that.

A Conflict of Interest suit filed  by a resident , at his own expense ,against the former Mayor, required staff members to be called as witnesses to  what transpired   during the  closed   door meeting.

The Town provided each staff member with legal counsel  to protect their interest as public servants.

How or  whether that affected  testimony,I cannot say.

I did not attend the meeting nor the court hearing.

But it worries me.

We all know the  surprising result of that proceeding.

A learned judge in the justice system has been heard to say frankly:

"The justice system is not what  people think it is. Nor what  they would like it to be"

Unfortunately ,I believe we can all agree .

All About Eve

A story I read  at least twenty years ago is much in my mind. The opening paragraph is as clear as the  first time I read it.

A woman is passing from the kitchen with a cup of hot chocolate in  a fine china cup and saucer. She is taking it to her husband who is upstairs,bed-ridden from the pain of arthritis.

As she passes through the hall,  a letter falls through the mail  slot of the front door.

She puts the cup and saucer down on a beautiful expensive  little antique reception table and goes to pick up the letter. It's a  Government of Canada communication and addressed to herself  which in itself  would be odd,if she had not  been expecting it.

She stands in front of the table and opens the envelope . It contains her first pension cheque. She raises er eyes and gazes at herself in the mirror above the table.

She looks at the cheque. Then at the hot chocolate .Some of the  cooling liquid has spilled into the saucer. She hears the querulous voice of her husband berating  her clumsiness .Goes to the hall closet and  retrieves  her coat , hat and  handbag .

Winter is approaching. She dons  the outdoor clothing, slips her feet into fine leather shoes. Puts the cheque in her handbag and leaves  her home in the upscale Montreal suburb forever.

It's not a long story. Nor is it a tale full of excitement and joy. There is true trial and hardship.

But the picture on the  book cover shows the outline of a woman reclining in a  dark basement doorway.feet elevated on a stool clad in front of her ,in worn out running shoes , looking  out into  a blaze of sunshine with one hand leaing down idly scratching the head of a contented feline curled  on the floor beside her.

A Bishop's wife told me about the book.  I told a few others.  On a memorable lunch hour in the cafeteria of the MacDonald Block at Queen's Park, it was good for a vigorous , hilarious conversation among half a dozen fully appreciative women all  of an age but  of vastly different circumstances.

It was a good read.  I recommend it.

A Change in Plans

Last night Councillors received a communication  from the Town. 

A statement has been issued in response to a query from the media. 

The Town takes the position the lawsuit is without merit. The allegations  are not factual. The Town will defend it's position. 

It dooesn't mean I am free to  enter into the legal argument but I belive it means the community is free to enjoin. Anonymously or otherwise. 

I think I've published all comments received. But if I have inadvertently deleted any, feel free to
repeat . 


In any instance  of the Town being involved in litigation, Councillors are  required  not to  comment on the subject.  All communications are confidential between the  legal department and Council.

I understand the Aurora Citizen is up and running and open for comment on the issue. 

I will refrain from publishing comments  at this time.

It can be taken as read ,I am not without opinion in the matter.

I just can't talk about it. 

Thank you for your understanding. 

Monday, 10 June 2013


In any instance  of the Town being involved in litigation, Councillors are  required  not to  comment on the subject.  All communications are confidential between the  legal department and Council.

I understand the Aurora Citizen is up and running and open for comment on the issue. 

I will refrain from publishing comments  at this time.

It can be taken as read ,I am not without opinion in the matter.

I just can't talk about it. 

Thank you for your understanding. 

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Add-on to the Cacaphony

I  have heard Former Premier  Dalton McGuinty, seldom attends the legislature.  Frankly, I was surprised  that he attends at all. I assumed he had taken his departure from politics.

Why  not? Because he did not resign his seat. Only the Office of Premier.

Isn't that convenient.  

But if the purpose was to remove himself from  responsibility for the decision made on the power generating plants , and let someone else carry the can, why not resign his seat ?

Why not indeed?  

The  party  then would been left with  a one seat majority. 

A  Ratberger resignation from the ranks  like Ratberger on principle from Harper's Party would  have leave them with no majority at all.

Would  The Honorable Andrea Horwath be able to master sufficiently intricate steps  to  justify keeping this government in power and maintain face?

It's not c;ear she accomplished  that with her last performance. 

Information the Premier's Office broke the law and deleted records  related to  a near billion dollar decision to cancel legal contracts for political  gain cannot be overlooked. 

I think  by maintaining the government in office, as of now, all three parties at Queen's Park are complicit  in obscuring the facts..

The Old Boys Network is functioning  well at Queen's Park. 

Not so  well on Parliament Hill.

Saturday, 8 June 2013

A Cacaphony.

It's hard to focus when the noise is coming at you from a hundred, it seems, different directions. 

The  news  on  Canada's  western satellites includes  news  from the East. News  in  the East  doesn't have the  same  element of  the west but generally, we're not missing much ,no matter where we are
tuned in. 

It's easy to listen to all of it and react   Not so easy to focus on a particular issue and respond.

The Ontario issue of the cancelled power generation plants have taken what I thought from the beginning  would be an inevitable turn . 

At the time it was made, the decision was unbelievable. 

Not only were the contracts signed  and sealed ,  the projects were up and out of the ground. 

Legally there was no turning back at that point without horrendous penalties. And I mean legal  liabilities. 

That the decision, made on the eve of an election, removed it from any other possibility than political was without question. 

Only one individual could have made it. It had to be the Premier. No-one else came close to having  authority. Even  that is questionable. 

But  it means only one  can be held accountable

Premier Kathleen Wynne offers the explanation the wrong decision was made on  location of  the plants.

If it was , why were contracts signed and  stamped with the Official  Seal.?

Why was construction well under way and the decision not changed  until it appeared the Liberal Party might not win a governing majority.?

At what point is the public interest wholly subservient to political expediency?

Why did  staff in  the Premier's office take  it upon themselves to delete the e-mail trail  on  the  contract cancellations?

How could there be such ignorance of  the importance of the public recordz?

The questions are endless . As it seems is the tally of the cost of the cancellation decision.

The figure is  now up to $849 million .

How can ithat be explained?  rationalized ?  justified ? excused or accounted for? 

I think the story is  only half -told. 

And police involvement  is a politician's worst nightmare ?


Friday, 7 June 2013

The Prodigal Returns

I've been away. I don't like to tell I am away when I am going away.The house wasn't empty ..it just seems like a sensible precaution.I took the i pad with me. Did not use it. 

I  was at the FCM conference in Vancouver.; Federation of Canadian Municipalities  along with 3,200 other delegates The  work day starts at 8 a.m. and finishes at 5 p.m. with a lot of tedious stuff going on in  between .

Much of the program was work study tours. Which is a good thing. .Seeing  and comparing how other cities are  doing things is always  enlightening. 

Keynote speakers were Jmses Brookes Minister of Heritgae, Thomas Mulcair,  Leader of the Official  Opposition  and  Justin Trudeau, Liberal Leader.

Rick Hanson gave  an excellent presentation  Should have been an inspiration to all present. He had a full house to hear him and a very appreciative audience.

The theme of course , was the need to make our towns and cities accessible  and pay attention to new designs in the industry. 

The Minister of Heritage has interesting plans. The Museum of Civilization is being changed to the Museum of Canadian History. 

He told of his dismay at how little importance the educational system gives to our country's history. 

BTW he was first elected Councillor in Burnaby-Coquitlam when he was twenty-four years old. He is not  forty  yet. 

He is incensed by the thousands of historical artifacts that never see the light of day in the Ottawa Museum. He intends they will be circulated to community museums  throughout he country instead of mouldering in obscurity in  Ottawa warehouse facilities. I could feel his pain. 

My daughterTheresa and grand-daughter Robyn came with me. I've gone by myself too often over the years.

On Sunday we walked from one side of the city to the other and took the water bus  to Granviille 
Island.  I rode my Go-Go scooter.   A Children's Festival was being held. The place was crowded with city  dwellers enjoying the amenities. It was a beautiful warm sunny Sunday. 

The  Market ,Artisan's Fair and groups of impromptu entertainers were  sheer delight. 

We went to Whistler's Village and drove through  Squamish on the way back to the Airport. 

It's good to be home.