"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 12 April 2011


From day one, the media had the election decided. Well, they have their polls don't you know. It always interests me how they make elections their own.Of course, if I didn't watch the  media, I woudn't know that, would I ?

It's almost like  there's a lottery prize for predicting the winner. They are at it before the electorate  even realise an election  has begun.

We all know the impact the social media had on the Obama election. I'm not sure  it could happen here.It hasn't been tested yet. Those of us who use the internet assume more people are on than are. I think it's growing but it's not as big as we think it is.

The discussion on the Citizen Blog is thoughtful and lively and civil too. Of course that could be the  influence of the moderator.

Fifty million dollars spent in the conservative riding of Huntsville is big. Not just because the money was earmarked for another purpose  but because.....well  fifty million  is big.

It's hard to spend that much money in one place, in a short time without somebody paying attention.

I remember reading about Huntsville shopkeeper's concerns at the time of the conference. Nobody was talking about  the shot to the local  economy of fifty million dollars of federal funds.

I saw the Mayor last night on television in a press conference. He seemed to be emphatically denying any involvement. How could he not have been involved?

Stimulus funds called for municipal investment as well. Fifty million would require  a substantial municipal share. Huntsville  wouldn't have it.

Think  of the  public planning,  meetings,zonings , design specifications, tendering, site plans, contract awards, how could  all that happen without municipal involvement.

Who authorised the spending ? Things don't move that fast at the municipal level.

Look at our own meagre experience with the federal Department of National Defence. We spent $175Ks  before occupancy of  the hydro building , which we needed ourselves ,when we leased it to the feds . It swallowed up the first year's rent and more. We heard the lease was signed prior to the election. Then in March, we learned the rent didn't start until February. Then we were informed we couldn't see the lease because those are the  federal rules.

Municipalities don't usually have much to do with the federal government. It's often a three way deal  through  the Provincial government.

If I were an opposition party leader, I would be digging around at the local level in the absence of the precise wording of auditor general's report.

Deerhurst Inn was featured in photos in the news yesterday. Is that still privately owned or does the Province have a stake in it?

They showed pictures of a cinder block public washroom. A few hundred of them could be built with fifty million dollars and plenty left over for other stuff.

Another beautiful building looked like an arena and conference centre.Who owns that I wonder?

I gotta check the news.


Anonymous said...


Possibly Aurora could recommend some lawyers to sort out the mess in Huntsville.

A loose count might come up with 15-20 lawyers who have been involved in town legal affairs, either on behalf of the town, its former employees or those presently involved in litigation matters.


Anonymous said...

Hi Eveln, I hope that you post something today about your motion last night to spend $50K restoring Whitchurch's firewood pile (also known as the Petch house). Didn't see that coming.

BTW, loved your words re: "St. Kitts Press release". Nice to see some trepidation around the table as well, save for Cllrs. Ballard and Gaertner. Maybe people are starting to get it. Better late than never on this one.

Tim the Enchanter said...

Not sure what you mean by
"....not just because the money was earmarked for another purpose "

From the Industry Canada website June 25 2009

"The $50-million G8 Legacy Infrastructure Fund was founded in February 2009 and is dedicated
to legacy projects in the Parry Sound–Muskoka area. This strategy corresponds with Canada's Economic Action Plan to strengthen Northern Ontario communities."

So that's what they spent it on.

Yes. $50M is a lot and a fairly obvious case of pork-barrel politics.
I would agree that the approx $1B spent on the G8/G20 was ridiculous
but there seems to be suggestions and hints that this $50M was somehow stolen from the Widows and Orphans Fund and re-directed to Parry Sound Muskoka.
I must be missing something.
That said, full disclosure wouldn't be amiss either so let's wait for the AG's report.

I'm also not sure (I stand to be corrected) that the municipalities had to pony up their share to get the federal money either. We must remember that PSM is considered by the province and the feds to be "Northern Ontario" and sometimes the rules are different than here in the tropical south.

Basically PSM was selected for the summit and so Christmas came early for that riding.

The Industry Canada website lists a number of projects and their costs but I don't recall any complaints from the Libs or NDP at that time.

It's a bit disingenuous to pretend that they didn't know about the fund and what this money was being spent on.

Also, some are wondering why cash was spent on projects seemingly so far away from the actual summit location at Deerhurst.
I believe the answer will be that the region of PSM was considered to be the host - not just Deerhurst resort.
The region/riding is over 150 times larger in area than Newmarket-Aurora.

BTW - Deerhurst Resort was sold in Jan 2011 by a U.S. developer to Skyline International Development who own, amongst other things,the King Edward Hotel in Toronto and Horsehoe Valley Resort.