"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

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Speculation is Rife

The first park naming right was auctioned  at a fund-raiser during the last term.So much money was paid it was considered a  great  success and  I believe three more  parks were offered to be named The practise continued. Mayor Dawe simply defends it.He is not responsible for the idea.

The Armories  issue was initiated  some weeks ago with a Motion from Councillor Abel directing staff to inquire into potential use and disposition. No public report emanated from the motion. No use was  identified. It morphed into an in -camera matter  dealing with acquisition of property

Information about the 1874 "instrument" with the Village of Aurora  on September 14th
 and " registered" September 16th was  not provided.Although a question of  title  was asked.
Discussion behind closed doors was also challenged.

The parks department was using the hydro property productively. Heritage salvage was being accommodated  in the yard .Town archives  were safe and secure in the offices.

The whole were evicted to make way for Queen's York  Rangers.  A Lease  was signed that could be viewed only by the former  Mayor but  no other Councillor because of national security. The lease was also amended by the former Mayor after she was defeated in the last election.

The lease was negotiated by the CAO who was publicly commended for excellent work by Councillor Gaertner during the Council meeting when the conveyance to  Queen's York Rangers  was finally made public.

Up to that point everything had been done in secret. No doubt the Town Solicitor knew about it, and the Municipal Clerk who had to sign it with the Mayor on behalf of the corporation.

Comments coming through indicate confusion about sequence of events. It is confusing. I'm not sure it can be sorted out.

There was never an approach to Council by the Queen's (that would be Victoria) York Rangers. Never an explanation about why they needed to vacate the Armouries. I did hear, after the fact, the Federal government was planning to close both Fort York Armouries and Aurora Armouries.

Fort York has the museum of artifacts of  the Rangers. It is extensive.

Aurora has rented space in the old library to Air Cadets. There's a building in Newmarket that accommodates Navy Cadets.

If Fort York Armouries and Aurora Armouries were closed, it would mean the
Rangers would no longer have a home. Likely would mean the regiment would be disbanded.

It would still not be the responsibility of the Town of Aurora to prevent that from happening.

But that may be exactly what we did. Quietly and secretively. So quiet and secret neither the council or the community were ever formally informed.

One wonders...who else was in on the deal? Was National Security never more than a screen to hide the real deal?

Could we have provided the required facility for public works for $5 million instead of $29 million had it not been for the Queen's York Rangers need for survival?

Whose ox was gored in the process?

Whose interest was served?

Certainly not Aurora Taxpayers.


Anonymous said...

And there still is no safe place to store the Heritage salvage.....

Anonymous said...

If one defends an idea, that takes responsibility for perpetuating it. There are other initiatives from past councils that have been either continued or discarded.
Auctioning off naming rights is a perfectly sound idea to raise funds for the use of the town. I would draw the line at having the proceeds be given to a charity. Any charity.

Anonymous said...

Last term, filing a FOI request with the town was useless after the first few drew information that the public were not supposed to know. Heck, none of the councillors recognized the figures that had been provided about legal expenses. I believe the current administration has said that this will not happen. It is far too late in the term now to test that theory. But I think we probably should have run a few through just to be sure. Missed the boat there.

Anonymous said...

"Whose interest was served ?

Certinly not Aurora Taxpayers"

I disagree.

If the QYR was disbanded, how many Aurora "tax payers" would have been without their full time (in the case of regular forces personnel) and part time (in the case of rank and file of the QYR) jobs?

Every reserve or militia regiment has full-time staff that are assigned from the rolls of regular forces. They are paid for administration of the unit. Also every member of the unit - from the recruit that just joined to the senior officers, are all paid for their service.

When I was in high school, being a member of the local reserve regiment was my "part time job".

How many opporuniities exist in Aurora for part time employment after the usual route of fast food outlets is exhausted?

I can't help but wonder why you don't put down your iPad and rather than putting down the contributions of the QYR get on your little scooter (I saw you on it Saturday coming from Metro) and go over to the former Hydro Building and see what goes on, what has gone on and what will happen. See how this is an organization that helps this community. I don't think you get it.

Anonymous said...

"The parks department was using the hydro property productively. Heritage salvage was being accommodated in the yard .Town archives were safe and secure in the offices."

We know, we know, we know. But the proverbial horse has already left that particular barn. The stable door is closed; keeping on repeating it won't change the situation - deal with what is NOT what could have been.

Anonymous said...

Our heritage is one room on the end of the card table at christmas.Our salvage has gone poof too.Why do they want to ignore our past.Is it connected to defense?

Anonymous said...

I believe the idea was to show precedent. No ?

KA-NON said...

@11:51, you pose a number of "How many" questions, in what appears to be a rhetorical fashion.

Ok, then ... how many? Please answer.

Also, while I am sure that the QYR "help this community", not including any reference to the importance of the military, willingness to be put in harms way, etc., (I'm not discounting all of that, just trying to restrict the question to a current local economic one) do they help it $24 Million worth?

Anonymous said...

How many times do you need to be shown it, 12:48?

Anonymous said...

Well Ka-Non,

Some of that information is secret and cannot tell you.

I beleive however that the nominal roll of the Aurora squadron is about 200 strong - full and part time.

Military reserve units are trained to assist civic authorities with various tasks. Traffic control, emergency assistance for things like flood control, weather damage, etc. The unit is a resource to the Town and if Ms Buck's ignorance is an indication, no one over at John West Way know what the hell they can do.

Ever since Mel Lastman called in the army to plow snow and took a beathing for it, no one reaches out to the military resources that are right there.

KA-NON said...

Thanks, @11:50/@14:04.

I was not aware that there were 200 F/T & P/T employees of the QYR that live in Aurora. I would have thought that a goodly number of them would be from out of town.

That said, whether they live in Aurora or not, I am not sure that the town should be taking a $24MM hit in order to provide them with a place of "employment". They are not the Town's employees, no more than the folks at Magna, State-Farm, or even Bulk-Barn are.

Don't get me wrong, I am not against the QYR any more than I am against apple-pie or motherhood. However, I resent the fact that the town is being made to bear such an extraordinary financial burden to support them.

Anonymous said...

It's funny how the $24 million "hit" is already being perpetuated. Too many people take opinion and speculation as "facts" around here.

Anonymous said...

They could have helped during the ice storm - IF they had been here. Would have been met with a hug & cold chocolate.

Anonymous said...


You're damn right they could have helped during the ice storm.

Remember the ice storm in Quebec in the late 90's? Reserve units from Ontario were deployed to Quebec to assist.

All it takes is the Mayor to make a call to the district commander of the Army. We could have had troopers helping with cleanup while other Town resources did other things.

It boggles the mind.

Anonymous said...

Sure they could have helped...And what would the bill have been?

Anonymous said...

Silly old me...I was assuming it would be neighbours helping neighbours. Sort of like when off-duty hydro workers come back to help.

Anonymous said...

18:35-Actually there was a lot of neighbors helping neighbors, and local businesses helping out as well. It wasn't like you could have depended on the Town for any help. Now that we're going to spend $27 million on that garage, I'm sure services will improve.