"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

Friday, 22 December 2017


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "'TIS THE SEASON FOR GIVING...AND TAKING": 

They are always asking people or organization with there hands out constantly,"What can we do for you?" How about asking the people who actually work and will be paying for all these lovely gifts what we would like? When I see 3 people and 2 trucks painting 1 fire hydrant, I'm really not too sympathetic with gov't employee issues.  

Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 21 December 2017 at 11:34


Thanks for the comment. 

Now here's an idea. 

Your Mayor  and Councillors are all on e-mail. 

As you say ,they are always asking what you think about things. 

Why don't you write one e-mail ,copy it to each, and tell them what you think of their munificent  generosity with your tax dollars. 

I have a question on your point about two trucks and 3 people painting one fire hydrant; why do you assume that's not a management matter? 

If you recognize how ridiculous it is, why don't you bring it to the attention of your elected representative and ask them for the explanation. 

While you're at it ,you might inquire how the half- million dollar software program they  bought without consulting the IT Department ,is working out. 

It wasn't compatible when they bought it.

 How did that get fixed? 

And ....have a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. 

Thursday, 7 December 2017


Community College instructors are back at work by order of the Ontario legislature. The long disruptive  strike was not about money.  It was about security of employment. 70-80% of college faculty work with short term contracts. The settlement partly changes that. Half the contract employees  move to permanent status. 

They will join the 20-30%  already permanent with  tax funded Statutary holidays, sick pay, health benefits and membership in the Ontario Municipal Employee Retirement Fund and a dozen other special benefits unknown  to workers in the private sector.  

They may qualify for a mortgage. 

The rest will continue to work alongside with the same responsibility for a reliable full-time program , without security of employment,health benefits, sick pay, paid vacations, pension fund or any of the numerous other employee benefits. In effect ,without equity on the job. 

Mortgage availability will still be a problem, as will raising a family.  

They provide the public services without equal compensation. 

The students supported the striking faculty. Secure employment isn't a dream. Without private 
wealth, it's a necessity. 

This week, a thirty year employee of the Town of Aurora retired from his job managing the parks.

Starting at eighteen , he grew with the town. Took courses paid by the town. Married, bought a home
raised a family, sent them to university ,sold his home,bought a farm. Now, in a new phase of life ,
he looks forward to leisurely retirement of travel and relaxation. 

Such opportunity is  not universal in a town work force today. Some have it. Some don't. Logic does not dictate. 

Nor in universities, municipalities, LCBO, and  numerous other public service agencies. 

On the other hand, government keeps expanding services. They travel the Province asking ,what else can the government to provide for you?

In Aurora, Councillors have decided to make elected office, a full-time job with no reference to job description. 

What they do not provide for full-time workers, they're ready and willing  to take for themselves. 

Sunday, 26 November 2017


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "JUDGEMENT IS A RARE COMMODITY": 

Were there assaults coming from Town Hall?

Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 26 November 2017 at 16:55

 In reference to assault and battery from within the institutions , I was speaking figuratively. . 
In my judgement , holding up quite well thank you, disrespect for law and order comes mainly 
from within the institutions themselves. If they're not  prepared to uphold the principles, I don't 
see how they can expect anything different. 

The abuse hurled at me regularly during the Mormac years was not physical. It was abuse all 
the same . 

Even if I was an unlikely victim. 

Saturday, 25 November 2017


LAnonymous has left a new comment on your post "AURORA 2017": 

I agree. It does look like a disorganized mess. But you're going to have to picture multistory
office and condo buildings all along the major corridors and that will be the future landscape of the Town. Revenue is the driving development plan. All this money spent on all these development plans, Master, heritage, Secondary, Promenade (I'm sure there's others) all boils down to how much money can a development bring to the Town and Regions coffers to pay for pet projects. 
Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 24 November 2017 at 12:14

You have missed my point. maybe deliberately..maybe not

Despite spending  on professional advisors ...staff and consultants....and despite Acts and Regulations, political decisions in Aurora are neither logical nor consistent. Neither town  business or  community is well-served. 

Special interest groups with neither interest or concern for  competence or integrity are generally in control. 

Mavrinac Park is such a great example. 

Legislation requires an updated Master Recreation Plan every five years.  To calculate accurate figures for lot levies. Lot levies are like legalized pilfering. 

The stated purpose is to ensure new homes pay the costs of new needs created by growth.

As well, developers  must provide land for needed parks. It's part of the overheard. 

Levies (taxes)  provide for additional  facilities such as swimming pools and arenas, fire halls ,police 
facilities,baseball diamonds, soccer fields and many needsthat might never be imagined. 

The Mavrinac neighbourhood had better than average park acreage.Taken care of in subdivision agreements and lot levies. At the expense of homeowners in the price of their homes. 

A separate school site proved unnecessary. . Because of a weird, inexplicable clause in the agreement, the town had a right to purchase the site. 

The town had no need for the site.

No purpose was identified for its use.  

Councillor Gallo, a surviving member of the Mormac gang, with an eye on the Mayor's chair,
curiously discovered the redundant clause

He followed the Mormac formula for success and circulated a letter to homeowners. The site should be a park,he told them, while bypassing the Council process.

Nothing daunted,Councillors Abel and Humfryes and others joined the chorus and valiantly declared all vacant spaces in Aurora should be parks. I kid you not. 

Mavrinac neighbours were naturally pleased and persuaded the cause was just. 

 With an election in the offing, misgivings received short shrift. 

The strategy didn't work for Gallo, as the hydro corridor issue worked for Mormac previously.

But legal costs were incurred to strong arm  the developer to sell the land to the town. Additional 
millions  were spent to develop a redundant park from which fund is not immediately 

Perhaps Capital Roads Reserve. Maybe Holman, Johnston and Browning re-construction was 
deferred a further four years , for development land to be used as a park without logical purpose.

From this day forward ,revenue from  land serviced with roads, sewers, water, street lighting,sidewalks,snow-plowing,fire protection,police protection and a myriad town hall functions 
Including high-priced professional advisors and elected representatives, is forfeit.

 News headlines are full of glad tidings and  pages of photos of smiling faces.

The town is named by an economic publication as a best place to live. 

Homeless families  are without homes. Food shelters provide food to people without food. 

Town services are provided by contract to avoid employer responsibilities and maintain inequity between two classes of employees. 

But  news headlines are full of glad tidings and pages are laden with photos of smiling faces. 

And very little interest is paid to how things are wangled. 

Wednesday, 22 November 2017


I took a little tour on Monday. 32 Wells Street was the start. The new build is up. It's  humungus . A tower  towers in one corner and the structure extends back twice as far as the neighbouring home. 

Stew Burnett  Park has a tennis bubble and a neat and pretty club house built in front. The 
parking  lot is a mucky unfinished mess  but full. The facility serves the tennis community for miles beyond our border. Why  not...it Is private enterprise.  But did Aurora taxpayers get shafted  for the club house and parking lot ? 

Mavrinac Park is huge and obviously unintended . On a major traffic artery with sewers, water service,
street  lighting, snow plowing, sidewalk plowing, police, fire and bylaw services and everything except homes to pay for all the services. A liability rather than an asset. 

In contrast to Well Street's new and deliberately-created congestion, the vast open space of Mavrinac Park is conspicuous in its emptiness.

We visited the playground for the disabled to see what $357,000. worth of special equipment looks like. Of all the spaces around the park ,three were disabled. No-one was using the facility.It was unimpressive. I understand  it's mostly used by neighbourhood children without special needs. I doubt the park is of any interest now it has been milked for all its worth. 

Our tour carried on to Wellington /Yonge intersection. 

We stopped at the lights and who should be crossing purposefully to the bus stop on the north 
Corner but my grandson Adam. He raised his hand in acknowledgement and made clear his independent bus trip home to Newmarket was his priority. 

He stepped up on the curb and my eye, following him, suddenly  fell on the dollar store, crouched in the shadow of the condo building under construction. So close it looked attached and built out to the sidewalk. 

For a second, I lost my bearings. Yonge Street shrunk.The most problematic intersection in town has been made permanently worse. 

A small town, perfectly organized for all of its 160 year existence ,is suddenly a disorganized higgledy-piggledy mess.

Tuesday, 21 November 2017


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "MAIS NON...MON AMI ... IL N'EST PAS VRAIMENT": 

"You argue the charge was justified It was in fact dismissed.
IT WAS A BULLSHIT CHARGE.......a total waste of public resources. "

So, in the case of a lawsuit by a former councillor against other councillors and former councillors, the case was dismissed... I guess the case was unjustified.

Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 21 November 2017 at 10:07

That complaint was not dismissed

The jury was dismissed. 

After a midnight e-mail  from opposing counsel,when the five week trial had ended , save for his instructions as to law from Judge Mark Edwards,who had sought to preside in the case, he ruled 
complainant's lawyer Kevin  MacDonald  had made an "egregious" comment in his summation 
and dismissed the jury. 

Mr MacDonald said John Mascarin, counsel retained by the Mayor and paid by the municipality, 
was "reckless".  The word reckless was defined  in the context used. 

Edwards refused to allow evidence of the Integrity Commissioner's negative decision on the  complaint
written by Mascarin, on behalf  the defendant Mayor and 5 councillors contravening relevant provincial law and Regulatikns. 
The complaint was dismissed by Integrity Commissioner David Nitkin, as " purely political"

It  had been published in two newspapers and posted on the municipal  web site, on orders of the defendants, paid for by the town ,though never  identified as a communication of the town. 

The Judge also refused to admit evidence of  the unsuccessful SLAPP  law suit filed against three citizens by the Mayor at town expense. Town  lawyer, Christopher Cooper, who swore the affidavit and was the only witness, was found by that Judge in that trial,  to have lied and evaded questions. 

Mr Cooper's services were terminated by the incoming council after the former Mayor and three of  
defendants were rejected  by the Aurora electors.  

After dismissing the jury, Edwards acknowledged the complainant's legal right to a jury trial and 
the injustice of being so deprived by the lawyer's error. 

He said special consideration would be extended to compensate for the inequity.  

That never happened.

Several more weeks of work were spent gathering municipal experts aswitnesses and preparing a new argument, only to learn no opportunity would be provided to present. 

Only written arguments were accepted.

Thousands more expense went into a second exercise in futility and frustration. 

The Judge took nineteenth more months to write his decision.

He held the Mayor and five councillors had authority to use town resources, staff and finances, to publish a damaging statement about another councillor in every venue available. 

According to Mr. MacDonald, Judge Edwards  continued to receive communications from 
defendants' counsel  long after deadline for submissions. 

Cost  to the municipality was 31%  increase in premiums resulting from almost $1 million legal
cost to defend a claim which was initially denied by the insurers.

Despite the question, reason for changing the initial decision was never disclosed despite the 
question being asked. 

Public respect for law and order is the essence of civilization. 

The principle applies to  Police and the Courts.

When the assault and battery come from within the institutions, the prospect is grim. 

Monday, 20 November 2017


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "HELPFUL EXCHANGE": 

"Your knowledge suggests you are or were a policeman. You would likely not have laid that charge yourself but you're not unaccustomed to defending those who do. "

Wrong. I am not now nor have I ever been a police officer. However, ignorance of the law is not an excuse and as a driving enthusiast, I know where the limits of the law sit.  

Where you are wrong however is your assertion that the police are penalizing the young individual. Exceeding the speed limit by 50 km/h is an automatic suspension, vehicle impounding and a charge of stunt driving/racing. It is no different than the automatic 24 hour suspension of your license if you blow over 0.05 on a breathalyzer. The public as a whole (by electing the governments we have) has agreed to this level of automatic punishment.

No matter what age of the person doing the speeding, the same charges should be laid. 

Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 20 November 2017 at 08:34


O.K.you're not  a policeman . So..we will just have to agree to disagree . A lifetime of experience
is behind me. It will not be ignored .

An elected official's first responsibility is to say nothing  to undermine public confidence in law and order. The police do not keep us safe. Our predilection to law and order does. But they do need our respect. 

I once covered public school board meetings as a reporter.  

Presenting  an award to a graduate student, chairman Don Cousins said his generation had made a horrible mess of things and the future rested with young people like the recipient. 

It must have been about this time of the year. My mind was occupied with the sacrifice of
the generation immediately ahead of my own. The comment was not appreciated.

Years passed and the chairman . He was a brave stalwart ...continued in public service in 
various roles including the last as Mayor of Markham .

The award winner would now be close to sixty without notable difference in society. 

My granddaughter and I debate. She argues I am not ordinary. I am egocentric.

I argue she doesn't know what she doesn't know. 

Charlie Rose has been accused and I've been asked why I have not commented. 

I've been gathering my thoughts. What do I know? 

I will no longer be able to enjoy something that matters  to me. 

I think what Charlie does is an art form.

 Stephanie feels Kevin Spacey is a brilliant actor. Both have apparently had careers cut short. 

She and I are of different generations but we each have a personal stake.  

Last night, I watched a video of David Letteman receiving the Mark Twain Award for Humour at 
the Kennedy Centre .

A few years ago,Letterman disclosed during a show, he had had an intimate relationship with a member of his staff. Because of his fame and wealth, blackmail was attempted. He took the bull 
by the horns. His career and his family survived 

Others have not. Many have been accused. 

Young women in media and political circles have had the platform for several decades now. 

They fought for equality. They got it. 

Newscasters are paired, one of each sex. 

Women in the military have the right to kill and be killed. Mothers go on tours of duty and leave infants and toddlers in someone else's care.  

They join fire departments. Have the same right to be out of shape and unfit as any man .

They become police officers and work until they can have a year's maternity leave after the birth. 
Office jobs and maternity uniforms are provided. They certainly can't get behind the steering wheel
of a patrol car. 

The right of women reporters to be in dressing rooms after a game, when players are showering and naked and generally in a state of disorderly conduct, was an issue. Not sure how that was resolved. 

They sought equality but apparently it wasn't all they wanted. 

The occupational hazards are not acceptable.The world of men must change to accommodate them. 

I'm waiting for someone to accuse Christopher Plummer, then try finding a second replacement 
for Kevin Spacey. 

I await a logical definition of a "slut walk". .. and the correct pronoun for a transgender person. 

When will art currently hanging in museums be removed forever because the artist was a miserable
wretch of an expletive -deleted male. 

Until that happens,I want Charlie Rose to continue doing what he does better than anyone.

If young women don't want to work for him, they shouldn't.

When he hires new staff , he should make sure they are straight males who won't be shocked to 
see him coming out of the shower naked. 

Saturday, 18 November 2017


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "HEAR ME ROAR": 

Another vehicle doesn't need to be involved for a charge of racing to be laid. As of a decade ago, driving at least 50 kmh over the posted speed limit can result in a racing/stunt charge. It sounds like your subject was justifiably charged, and that your ire is misplaced. 

Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 18 November 2017 at 18:03


Thank you for your  input but I disagree. You argue the charge was justified It  was in fact dismissed.

It took a court proceeding, legal fees and miles and miles of tedious travel,for car and licence to be returned to the lawful owner, after sitting unsecured in a junk yard for a week. 
The charge did not stand up in court. It failed. Evidence did not support it. 

IT WAS A BULLSHIT CHARGE.......a total waste of public resources. 

So far, I've focused on cost, though not all of the cost, to the person wrongfully charged. 

I've also touched on breach of trust between sworn officers of the law and the public. Their 
authority over our lives when they wear the uniform and carry a gun is no small matter. 

Loss of respect is real, not affordable, unacceptable and totally needless. 

The costs of court procedure is secondary but not insignificant. 

Police officers are paid witness fees and court time which of course is lost from policing.  Visit a 
court house some time and see the officers are there, milling about in their numbers,  for hours any 
day of the week. 

Judges or magistrates are occupied listening to arguments ....at their convenience. 

They are potentates of their domain .....paid regardless of competence .

Prosecutors have to be paid and facilities provided. 

People charged with crimes are released from jail because dockets are overcrowded and 
courts never get ito trial. 

I've spent  time in court houses. It's not like the real world in any sense. They create their own caliphates and it's theirs, all theirs.

And it's all on our dollar, yours and mine .

My "ire" is not misplaced, my friend. 

On the contrary, it is very well placed... right here in this Blog. 

Friday, 17 November 2017


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "HELPFUL EXCHANGE": 

I agree with you Evelyn. That was totally an abuse of power, and it's legal. To make matters worse they all defend themselves and stand in solidarity with their "brothers/sisters"
when one of them gets into hot water, hiding behind their union like children instead of responsible men and women who are officers of the law. It's unfortunate, but we have more cowardly police officers than heroes out there with no leadership. I hope this poor guy gets a break. 

Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 17 November 2017 at 14:47

The racing charge was dismissed. Impound fees for the car $565.... because of the racing charge 
Two long trips had to be made. One to bring him home when his car and licence were taken from him ....because of the racing charge. The second was to collect the car.

 Legal fees brought the financial outlay to $2,200. with more to go. 

A week of employment lost and a donation to the cancer society to get an immediate decision 
from the hearing. 

A fine was imposed  and demerit points for speeding. 



The complaint is, a police officer  deliberately and wilfully laid a false charge .  

He was not called to account. 

A wrongful charge dismissed is not a correction. 

An abuse of authority occurred with intention to harm. 

Huge resources are expended  by police departments to promote public support. 

York Regional Police have a motto  " TO SERVE AND PROTECT"

Respect for law and order is imperative. Public support is essential for police to do their job. 

Many officers are everything and more, we could  want them to be. 

Too many are not.  Unfortunately, their abuse of authority is countenanced  by the rest. 

Good judgement and common sense are not common. Not among police forces and not on 
court benches and not in government circles. 

Our young citizen learned two lessons. The first is financial. He will recover. 

The second, equally important in my view, is not to trust the police. Will society recover? 

I don't believe anyone can argue that's a good outcome. 

Twenty-odd years ago, we had a chance to be different. YR Police Association made sure it didn't happen. 

We're living in a different world now. We have the Internet. 

It would be better if needed changes were made within the institution. 

I doubt that's going to happen. 

I think it's going to get messy. 


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "WHEN IS SERVICE NOT SERVICE....WHEN ITS ABUSE": 

Not sure what you stance on this story is but I can tell you mine.  

1. The posted limit is 60 km/h and he was clocked doing 110. Ignorance is no excuse - as you know. I am sure there are signs to indicate what the limit is at that area. Regardless, if the posted was 80 and he was doing 110... he should also be ticketed. 

2. The racing charge I have an issue with. I believe that Racing (or Stunt driving as some call it) should have some other actions involved to put it into that category. Being 50 km/h over the limit is not an indication of either racing or stunt driving - especially if you are a lone vehicle. However, the law is the law. Everyone that watches local news knows that these situations get you the impounded vehicle.  

3. His car may have been sent to junk yard. However, that may be where the local police put impounded vehicles and means nothing to the story. They did not "junk" the car. 

4. No license, no employment, legal fees, etc. are all part of the penalty. I find it hard to feel sorry for him to be honest. He may work hard but he did not think hard and he did not consider the consequences.

Too bad

Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 17 November 2017 at 08:36

I appreciate the prompt and matter of fact response.  Part I do not dispute, part I do and part 
I suspect is defence of an action for which there is none. 

You affirm the racing charge is not justified. You acknowledge some other action needed to be present
to lay a charge in that category. .. and you establish, for the rest of us, that charge led to impounding the vehicle and removing his licence which he needs to keep his job. 

My position is, that  charge was an abuse of power not unlike all the other abuses we are reading about today. 

A young person's rights were  violated. By a police officer. 

Your knowledge  suggests you are or were a policeman. You  would likely not have laid that charge yourself but you're not unaccustomed to defending those who do. 

Your offhand dismissal of the horrendous hardship as part of the penalty is not even remotely acceptable. 

And therein lies the problem. The police are officers of the law. They are not the law. 

Penalties are not decided by police officers. In court ,they are witnesses.  

There was no evidence of racing. 

He documented a lie. Deliberately. 

He abused his office to do harm. 

He's a policeman for God's sake. 

In my judgement, he  is not entitled to wear  the uniform. 

He should find himself one day standing at the side of the road, in splendid isolation, without his uniform. 


I have a new story involving a young man  living in Ontario. 

His job is driving and distribution and being away from home much of the time. 

At nine-thirty in the morning , on his way to his first call, in an area with a normal speed limit of 80 kms, 
he was driving at 110 kms...30 over speed limit he thought. 

He was stopped . Actual speed  limit was 60 kms. The charge was driving 50 kms over.

With nothing whatsoever to indicate it, a charge of racing was added. 

The car was impounded, his licence removed and he was being left in that isolated place with no means of transport. No way of getting on with his job.   

He had to beg for a ride to civilization.. 

The car went to a junk yard, with an impound fee of $50.a day. 

The incident happened miles from home . Both parents made the trip to bring the car home. 

He is currently without the licence necessary for his employment.  

Fees, possibly in thousands, to defend against the charge of racing and plead guilty with an explanation are in the offing. 

He's an earnest young man. 
Works hard . 
Just married.
New bride works extra shifts and exercises thrift to save for a house.

Respect  for the law keeps the community safe.
It can't be taken for granted. 
It's easily lost.  
Once lost, not easily recovered. 

Thursday, 16 November 2017


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "HOWEVER LONG IT TAKES...I'M GAME": 

Oh! I get it. The friend of a friend thing. I hear that's very popular in political circles. 

Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 15 November 2017 at 21:14


I thought not to publish this comment. Slight in substance, it's hardly worth repeating. 

I thought again and realized... it sarcastically echoes a point I'd made. 

It's true, politicians can help people with problems and in return, supporters help re- elect.  It's not always true, not of all politicians nor of all perceived problems.  But consistently true of some. 

Nine members, elected independently, render chicanery less likely. 

At the first Chamber of Commerce Mayor's Luncheon of Mayor Dawe's term , he informed a named guest, of sidewalk to be built on the Industrial Parkway. 

The recommendation had come  from the Director of Infrastructure with no indication of a request.
no Council input or direction.

The pleased luncheon guest had obviously asked the Mayor and received.

Mr.Dawe  was immediate past-president of the Chamber. It wasn't the first indication town interest 
was not first. But it was the first I couldn't ignore or deny. 

I helped him get elected. It was secondary to my primary intention but disappointment was profound all the same. 

It got worse. 

A Council seldom gets elected without a candidate  or two willing to sell their soul for votes and voters wiling to buy.  

Nine Councillors elected independently reduce the opportunity for that practise to  prevail. 

With  the  Mormac "slate" , and a re-shaped administration, Council went to hell in a hand basket. 
The gang -of -six  and staff worked hand-in-hand. Checks and balances vanished into,the mist of antiquity.  

In the Dawe council, even rules of order were altered to smooth the path to perdition. 

Recent debate to reduce the number of Councillors is a case in point.

The Mayor was absent.The item could have been deferred but was obviously deemed of insufficient significance for his input. 

Councillor Thompson made his usual argument. He asked politicians in other municipalities and read a Harvard Study. 
Councillor Pirrie wanted to know why others changed their minds but failed to repeat his own logic.
Councillor Mrakas wasn't quoted. 
Councillor Thom saw no reason to change the number .
Councillor Gaertner opposed the motion. 
Councillor Humfryes moved the motion and saw it as a step towards a ward system when she would 
be able to serve "her area " better. 

The ward system was rejected by ballot in the previous election. 

Recently discussed is a move to make council office full-time. The idea would be easier sold with two fewer Councillors.  

Logic dictates, if economy is the criteria, the community would be better served by amalgamation with 
the Towns of Newmarket and Richmond Hill. 

Considering electoral disinterest , the whole Aurora shebang would hardly be missed, save by the NIMBYs  and other eccentrics among us.