"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

Wednesday 31 July 2013

A Couple of Corrections

I moved into my house in November 1963. It was built for us. No-one else has ever lived in the house.

In my last weeks of pregnancy we received notice to vacate the house we were renting in Toronto.

In the weeks between then and the house being ready we had to move twice . Once to a model  house on Murray  Driive. With four hills rein, one a new born.

I vowed never to be subject to someone else!s authority again. And I have not.

Restriction on laundry lines  only applied to end homes  in  town house developments. Logic being , the sight of a family's. personals on  a line in full view of the street adds. nothing to the. Landscape of the neighbourhood. .

Residents could use any other means of drying   washing outdoors. An umbrella dryer is an example.

The "Right to Dry ". campaign  was typical of the  easy scams  perpetrated with the  help of the Toronto media.

It  always. was much ado about nothing.

Someone has asked  why Councillor Abel and I don't  "Have it out" in the Council  Chamber.

Having a different viewpoint is just about having a different viewpoint. There is nothing to "Have out"

Also,  rules of order revised by this Council cut down substantially on opportunity to participate in a full discussion of any issue, no matter how significant.

I will do another post on that a aspect of our difficulties.  By itself ,it's  a substantial reduction. And we did it to ourselves.

A Daily Chore

I was hanging out my wash in the early morning. The sun was warm , the breeze was blowing about my ears and I could feel my hair . I thought about how long I'd been doing this chore and enjoyed it as much today as I always have.

Standing there , pegging out the garments one at a time thinking about things as I always have ,means nothing  whatsoever has changed about the moment.

I have another  routine of doing a quiick mental calculation about the price of something bought in bulk, as opposed to  single packaging. It isn't always cheaper.

That took me to thinking about  two hours of a Council meeting  spent in social chit-chat,no town business being accomplished  and the cost of the exercise.

Nine department heads are in attendance at meetings.  Add the Mayor and combined salary of three  other staff and we have a multiplication factor of twelve.

An average  salary of $156,000 a year makes the calulation simple.

Weekly salary is $3,000. Daily  is $600. An eight hour day  costs in excess of $80. per hour per person.

Two hours therefore is  $160 . Multiplied  by twelve amounts  to $2000.

That's the  salary cost of those two hours.

The figure is relevant . Time  staff spend at Council meetings entitle them to time off in lieu or  additonal salary.

Regulations changed a few years ago requiring municipalities , to pay staff for  additional hours rather than provide time off in lieu beyond a maimum number of extra hours worked.

The last  Council meeting  started at six and lasted until  midnight. We didn't complete the business. Not all staff were present all the time.

But all were present for the  social  chit-chat was happening , when no town business was being accomplished.

In the first year of the term budget discussions, Councillor Able told Council he had not met anyone complaining about high taxes.

For the Councillor that apparently meant we could increase taxes without concern.

It's an example of where we differ in  our view.

The average tax bill, without including water,sewer and storm water pond charges,  was $3,600. It
represents $300  a month

If a person living on old age security, unemployment insurance or government long term disabilty has  an income of $1,400 a month, a Councillor should not need to be told  property taxes are a totally disproportionate  amount of that income and represent a considerable hardship.

A home is often the only asset to show for a lifetime of work,  supporting a family, paying taxes
and contributing in many ways to the community.

Watching it swish down the toilet at a regular Council meeting by  mis-use  of the corporate business meeting to promote interests of  various  organisations that  have nothing to do with town business or expensive administrative staff  doesn't make it easier to accept  unnecessary tax increases.

Councillor Abel and myself are a canyon width apart on the  issue of burdening the community with regular tax increases.

Monday 29 July 2013

Let Me Count The Ways

You can ask me how I would  run things

It would take more than a blog to outline,

But the first thing I would do is remind  Council and the administration ,the function of  Council is  the business of the Corporation.

It is why we are elected. Why we are sworn into office.

It is why we are paid for our services.

To be making important decisions at midnight ,after six hours at the table, and consistently not completing an agenda , is neither efficient nor transparent.

The function of Council is not to act as social convener for the entire community . Certainly not to put that aspect of the community's affairs ahead of  the business of the corporation.

The voluntary sector of the community is separate from  municipal business.

Council is not an adjunct  to  provide promotional services to the  voluntary sector.

Volunteers have proven  themselves to be entirely self-sufficient without having politicians muscle in   to share the limelight.

Whatever support  is needed from  Council should not interfere with the corporation's business  from running  smoothly and efficiently.


I brought four new-borns home  in Aurora starting fifty -three years ago.

I never saw a public health nurse.

Well Baby care was their mandate  before we had a health  care system.

What does it have to do with the Municipality?

The Public Health Board functions at the Regional level of government. The Region makes appointments to the board. The Region pays  a portion of the Public Health Board's  budget.

The municipal property owner provides the Region with the tax resources to support the Public Health Board.

I ask  again. If the Public Health Board in Toronto considered it their concern to determine how many cyclist were being hit by opening  car doors...why  aren't  Public Health urses  concerned about how many  infants  have died locked in the family car in a heat wave?

Where are they?  Are they still on the public pay roll. What has been their mandate  in the last fifty years since we have had a  health care system and families have access to health  care by  medical practitioners?

Is  te question not elevant?

Things Are Not Always As They Seem

I think, in time, the blog will become  the great leveller  in society.

We all know about  current  stratas; wealth,  profession, wealth,academe, wealth, address and so on and so forth; all the credentials needed for some to feel superior to others which appears at times to be the greatest need of all.

The  comment  no doubt has  been noted that I do not publish all  I receive.
It's true.
It's not wrong.
I  do discriminate.
I do not publish comments that  call me a snob or a hypocrite.

I've  been writing the blog for six years; since  the second year of the previous term of Council.

At the time, it was the ends justifying the means.

Since then I have slipped into a comfortable routine.

There have always been readers who hate what they see here.

 At first I gave them leeway. Then I thought; how  stupid is that?

If they want uncivil comments  to be read about  my blog, let them write their own.

I do  allow critical comments about politicians.

It's one of the hazards of the occupation.

I think that while it may be uncomfortable, it is also useful for elected representatives to know how people are reacting to decisions  and how they are being made.

It's better than a poll. Questions are not contrived to skew the answers.

It appears  readers think of  this as their own blog .

That applies  to those who  don't like it and complain about not being able to freely express their hostility .

Well it is yours. You are free to say  what you want. As I am free not to publish if I don't want.

But I read your comment before making that decision.

I simply refuse to allow you to accuse me of being a snob and a hypocrite.

I do not have to believe I am something I am not ,to feel good about myself.

I am content to be who I am.

I do not believe a Council that thinks as  a block is an effective  Council. .

The opposite is true.

It is entirely reasonable to expect a nine member Council might reflect several different
perspectives and a deal of work  is required before a reasonable majority can be obtained.

That work should be open and plain for all to see.

Obtaining a majority for the sake of it, by back room deals ,and  slippery , underhanded means is not my idea of good governance.

An appearance  of "unity" is not necessarily a reflection of integrity or  intelligence.

Sunday 28 July 2013

John Abel's Guest Post

John Abel has left a new comment on your post "Beatitudes are Blessed ...":

"That is the Question" Councillor Buck's Blog, July 4, 2013.

Councillor Buck goes on to say;

"Development Charges are collected at the time building permits are issued. Families buying homes pay for the new facilities. No part of the cost of new recreational facilities are funded from the annual tax levy"

Repair and Replacement of Town facilities are funded from the annual tax levy. Our Council recently approved a 10 year Capital Budget Plan for our roads, facilities and fleet. I believe Aurora is the first municipality in the Region to employ such a plan.

The upgrade to the AFLC to accommodate the addition of a Youth Centre will be funded by Development Charges. This is an opportunity to address some of the design shortcomings of the AFLC at no cost or burden to the taxpayer.

Some of the comments posted voice their concerns about this project primarily on the cost and that it will be a burden to the tax levy. They may not be aware that the funding for the Youth Centre and the Upgrade to the AFLC is from Development Charges.


To be precise,  ninety per cent of development charge levies pay for capital  costs of new facilities. Ten per cent can be sourced from the tax levy.

It can  also be paid by the sports organization which is the greater user of the facility.  Or from the 

In Lieu of parks reserve fund.

I question John's understanding that "alterations" to the AFLC can be paid from Development Charges. 

It was one of the two questions I requested  clarified before the vote was taken .

The Mayor refused to allow the questions .

We were voting to increase an allocation of funds from $4.6 million dollars  to $7.4 million and the Mayor  saw fit to cut  the debate to  time allocated. 

We can afford  millions of dollars of expenditure but not the time  needed to examine the  details.

During the discussion the question was asked if modification  for  existing facilities could be funded from development charges. I understand they can not. I believe the answer given  confirmed my understanding.

It also seemed obvious that Councillors had a different understanding of the facts.

The situation exemplifies the shortcomings of the Dawe  Mayoralty.

We had a single meeting in July. No general committee.

The agenda was huge and matters to be decided were  significant.

The hour of  commencement  was 7p.m.

Discussion of the business of the Corporation was not started until nine p.m.

Instead of being completed by the  publicized hour of adjournment , it continued until  midnight and was not  complete at that time.

Our  community is not well served by  this  haphazard process.

Saturday 27 July 2013


Toronto's Board of Health wants Police to check for how many cyclists are hit by car doors opening.

That reminds me of a question . Public Health Nurses are esponsible for the health of children in the Province.

The program was started during the  Depression in the thirties  in Canada.

Since then we have had  health and hospital care program.s.

How much responsibility does that leave for Public Health  Nurses?

When  so many small children were suffocated to death in locked cars recently, why were the Public Health  Nurses not in evidence ?

Why were they not calling for  police taction. then?

What  service are we receiving from Public Health Nursing Services?

Five Little Monkeys Sitting On The Bed

No single Councillor  has  authority to make decisions. A majority is required. That's five votes when all members are present.

Mayor Dawe, Councillors Abel, Thompson, Humphryes and Pirri were  the five who voted in favour of approving an  additional $2.6 million to tthe original estimate of$4.8 million. 

Councillor Abel is the only one who has put his arguments into writing. 

The Mayor expressed appreciation that eight students from local high schools formed  the steering committee with staff and architect representation.

Councillor Humphryes arguments are not clear. 

Councillor Pirri argued that as the youngest member of Council, he has a better appreciation of why the project wss exciting to the youth involved. 

He also argued for parents of youth. They want their children to have something to do after school. 

They do not want them to b e pre-occupied with game playing technology. 

All  members had their arguments ready. As if   pre-rehearsed. 

I found them to be without substance or persuasion

The thinking  was shallow . 

I realize my comments do not reflect well upon the  majority who made the decision. 

But they passed the Code  and Clause 3 requires me to follow this  direction. when relaying any information. 

A Tangled Web has been woven

In the first budget of this term the question of repairs to the ice-making equipment  and  other items  at he Family Leisure Complex were discussed.

I argued against continued maintenance of an extravagant and inefficient ice-making operation..

I suggested the arena be de-commissioned and the space used for a youth program.

Staff reported the  arena was home to the Aurora Figure Skating Club.

I received no support.

The Figure Skating  Club is reported by staff to be excited about  the youth centre .

It  might mean an increase in their membership and make their program less expensive and more
accessible and financially viable.

When the Stronach Centre  was being planned ,I argued for an additional ice surface at that location and de-commissioning the ice surface at the Leisure Complex because of the extravagant water use and financial inefficiency.

I received no support.

When the need  for a Youth Centre  was discussed I voiced my support  for particular needs   which were not reflected in bureaucratic plans.

There was some stirring of support.   Not from  John Abel that I recall.

The fact is , there has been experience in providing a service. The last operating program was Councillor Gaertner's  non-profit Hot Spot Club.

Its first location was Regency Public School.

While it operated in Lion's Club Hall on Victoria Street, it was well attended.

Then Bingo funds ceased to be available. The cost of rent and  insurance for damage to the facility by the little darlings proved to be too much for membership and admission charges to handle.

The program transferred to the auditorium of the community centre on Aurora Heights Drive. .

Attendance dropped to as few as twelve . A grant was applied for to cover rent. The program still failed to attract attendance.

The Aurora Family Leisure Complex is not more convenient access. That argument is specious.

During the  last discussion that saw a five to four vote in favour of approving $2.6 million increase in allocation of funds, the question was asked; what is required to be done at the AFLC  to bring it up to code.

Director of Leisure Services  responded $150.000 to replace the elevator.

Councillor Thompson later argued  the $2,6 million  extra allocation  is required to bring the building up to code.

Mayor Dawe refused to allow a  question to allow that fact to be clarified.

Councillor Thompson used the  wrong figures to support additional funds being approved.

Beatitudes are Blessed ...

Tyler Barker has left a new comment on your post "Guest Post Councillor Abel":

my reference to a political agenda was not in regard to Mr. Abel but in regards to his comment that people that are against the youth center all have one I believe his intentions on this matter are very sincere this will be my last post on the matter


Tyler  Barker is a  young man in his mid twenties  and a member of the town's accessibility advisory committee. He often delegates to Council on  mobility matters. As with many others in his circumstances, every day  of his life is a challenge.  He  needs help.   John Abel helps .They are friends. 

I welcome Tyler's participation in the conversation here. I hope he continues. With or without his signature.

I find John Abel's  dissertation on the AFLC site for a youth centre and defense of  immediate and unquestioning support of an additional  $2.6 million over original estimates to be without merit.

Clause 11 of the Code of Conduct deals with Harassment in the Workplace even though  it is covered under the Ontario Human Rights Code.

John offers a bunch of sanctimonious, holier than thou claptrap to explain the difference between his position and those who disagree.

C'est moi.

I do not take insult lightly.  As a politician perfectly capable of defending myself, I am here to  declare:



If a fight is what you want  it's  what you'll get. 

I don't care how sincere your intentions are. Pick on someone your own size why don't cha?

Like  Da Code tells us to, I'm  here  to tell you,


Friday 26 July 2013

Da code is the law.

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Guest Post Councillor Abel":

7:57 AM
If I read the comment of 7:21 PM correctly, the point would appear to be that nothing positive has emerged from this Council. And I tend to agree that there is a lack of constructive projects and plans that might be able to make the councillors work as a team.

Some times I  lose confidence and think it's not reasonable to expect the public to recognise the crux of the problem  just from the dynamics of council. 

Then a comment  goes straight to the  core amd  I take comfort again.

Council  has passed another unenforceable  Bylaw; a combination of the previous Codes of Conduct  and Ethics and a perfect illustration of  lack  of understanding of the antipathy the community had to  the  basic concept. 

Passing a new code to govern  political conduct  proved beyond a doubt how little this Council has grown in two and  a  half years of  exercising  authority delegated by the electorate. 

Da Code requires Councillors to read and understand it and sign it to convey their commitment. 

It's  a standard piece of writing. Recommended by staff. Obviously Councillors did not feel the need to read and understand it. 

 Just like the last lot. 

Staff were asked to combine the two previous Codes and they did.  Staff are not politicians.

The document is chock-a -block full of pitfalls for politicians. 

If politicians  are not sharp enough to recognize the job is not like any other, how can they be protected from themselves.

Clause 3  on Communications, requires  Councillors ,even if they disagree with the majority, to 
accurately portray decisions  and   attitude of the majority in the making of  same. 

In following the Code, I could say "The devil made me do it"  or  more to the point, " The Code requires  me to do it"

I have read  it. I  do understand it to the letter. 

In speaking to attitude:

I believe the Mayor has steadfastly refused to exercise his role of leadership and guidance as spelled out  in The Municipal Act. I knew it was going to be difficult for him to provide guidance  to others when he didn't know where he was going  himself. 

I did not anticipate that he knew exactly how he intended to exploit the opportunity and that he would opt out  of leadership altogether and chose  what he perceived to be the safer route.

He aligned himself  completely with the administration and  made no  effort to identify with  Council.

Our Mayor is an elitist. Thinks he knows how to handle people. 

He's wrong about that. 

As are most who  believe leadership is about "handling people"

His attitude is not good. 

A Council  needs  to agree on  one principle only; the common objective of service.  

If the Mayor is  focussed simply  on covering his own ass, no possibility  exists of creating a cohesive working Council. 

A divided  Council is an ineffective  Council

Fools rush in where angels fear to tread. 

We are almost two-thirds through the current term.

Time  for assessments to  begin .

Tuesday 23 July 2013

Abel's Argument Is A Crock

The  point  of Councillor Abel's argument has no more validity now than when presented  at the   last Council meeting.

The recommendation was to increase the allocation of funds from  $4.8  to $7.4 million, 

The  debate was not  about providing a youth centre. It was for taking time to review the  new information  before making a final decision about the site selected. 

The five  who voted in favour  were prepared to decide, not to debate. One might even suspect the decision was made before the issue was  raised at the Council table.

It should be noted , the split is down the middle on this one. 

If Council represents the community, the odds are, the community is  also evenly divided . 

Those are not good odds when deciding a capital spending project.  It means half the  community is foisting it's will on the other half.

A Council focussed on satisfying  needs  will work harder to gain a consensus  which  includes community input. 

It's not  all about winning. It's about doing the rtight thing..

Funding  for the project is proposed by internal borrowing. From the  Hydro  Asset Reserve Fund.
The same source for the joint facility of public  works and parks.

Which, by the way includes a million dollars for  SNOW STORAGE FACILITY

That  should be our new logo. 




Guest Post Councillor Abel

John Abel has left a new comment on your post "Mathematical Conundrums":

I voted in favour of the cost to upgrade the Aurora Family Leisure Complex - AFLC. It is an increase in cost for the construction of an addition to the AFLC for a Youth Centre Facility.

The vote was 5 in favour, four against. It was the exact same vote taken in May (2013) when the budget for the facility was first approved.

To tear down the AFLC and build a Youth Centre from scratch, with a rink and pool would cost over $30 million.

To purchase land and make a stand alone Youth Complex would be at least $20 million.

As it is, the total cost is;

$4.8 million for Youth Facility ( May 2013 )
+ $2.6 AFLC upgrade (July 2013)
= $7.4 million ( plus permit fees ) Total

To postulate over $10 million is misleading. So is the statement - there is no public transit. The AFLC has designs flaws, but not structural flaws. Property taxes will increase, yes, but not due to the construction of the Youth Centre, or the AFLC upgrades.

90% of the cost is funded from DC's. For a term of 30 - 50 years, the construction of this facility will have little impact on property taxes. There will be additional funding from grants, community organizations, advertising revenue to help offset the Town's contribution.

The issue is not; are we going to pay.... it's are we going to pay now, up front, or are we going to pay more, a whole lot more later on.

How do we enhance our children's mastery over the tools needed to live intelligent, creative and involved lives? By investing fully in children today, we will ensure the well-being and productivity of future generations for decades to come.

That is why we provide schools, libraries, and recreational facilities.

Today, we are using 11 different facilities to run the 145 youth programs.

Dedicated youth space would allow the Town to offer more diversified programming, which would gear more towards special interests (i.e. technology, cooking, theatre, etc )

A recent article in the Toronto Sun "it takes a true political Leader to invest in children, because children can't vote"

There is an obesity crisis among our youth.
Unsupervised, inactive kids are glued motionless to social media.

It is imperative to take an action when presented all the documentation. Delays and deferrals can cost the taxpayers a lot of money. Council's job it to be informed and to make decisions.

DC funding is available for recreational facilities, and a long overdue (since year 2000 ) facility has been identified by Staff ( 4 separate reports on Youth Needs ) The Youth Centre has been set as a high priority.

By combining and constructing an addition to the AFLC, which is an excellent location, we can save millions of dollars.

The AFLC is a burden left for our Council to address. It has to be brought up to code, and modified to meet the design shortcomings of a past Council decision.

Why did four Councillors vote against a Youth Centre in the first place?

Have they forgotten about our children and forsaken the next generation?

Tyler might be correct. This could be a 2014 election issue.

In 2010, the issue was a Town funded SLAPP Litigation, approved by the then Council, that was front and centre during the 2010 election campaign. That didn't sit well with the electorate.

In this case, opposing the Youth Centre is about supporting the same political agenda. Ignore the reports, mislead the facts, and create division & confusion. Only empty heads and empty hearts would adhere to that sort of rationale.

If we don't stand up for youth, then we don't stand up for much.

Children are a quality of life. When our children are happy, then we are all better human beings.

Why did I vote in favour?

It's about investing in an identified, well researched, facility, funded through growth revenues (DC's ) that provides services for our Youth.

Our community is better, more attractive, and subsequently drives up our retail property values.

An opportunity to invest in our Youth and our Community, that's why I voted in favour of the staff recommendation.

Mark as spam

Moderate comments for this blog.

Posted by John Abel to Our Town and Its Business at July 22, 2013 at 2:55 PM

Thursday 18 July 2013

Mathematical Conundrums

 If six halves  of grapefruit are  placed together on the table ,is the  total three whole grapefruit?

Yes  indeed.

If six half intellects are seated around a table , is the total three pr even one whole intellect?

Not a chance,. 

Last week's news was full of tumult catastrophe. and grief. 

Floods wiped out  homes and belongings in the west. A runaway train  created  nferno in a small town and fifty lives were lost. 

In Pamplona,Spain , a bunch of maniacs "ran with the bulls " for excitement and  twenty-three suffered injuries from being  crushed in  tight  spaces and  two were gored by bulls. 

On Momday my geat granddaughter Claire's stitches were removed and the cut on her forehead is healing nicely.Thanks to a fastidious team of doctors at South :Lake Health Centrte.

On Tuesday, Council had the  July meeting  to deal  wiith town business . It started at six and finished at  miidnight. The business  was not completed. 

The  same thing happened in June. The meeting adjourned at midnight without completion of the agenda. 

From seven until  nine on Tuesday however , all who decided to use  the Council meeting for their own objective were accommodated from seven until nine. Leaving one and a half hours to deal with twenty- six items of business and spending millions of dollars.

Town business always  comes last and gets short shrift in the time available.

It's one of those odd equations mentioned above. 

Contracts  were recommended to be awarded for work on several streets.

Work leading  to  this point is what occupies  a team of employees in their daily  occupation. 

Two residents appeared before Council to request  cancellation of the projects They claimed to speak for all residents on three streets. Hilldale, Hillside and Kenlea Court.

Since hundreds of thousands of expendirures have already been made, we may assume the work is needed, The streets are public rights of way. The municipality is responsiibile. 

Nevertheless, Councillor Piirri  moved the requests be granted. 

The  final decision was to defer and direct the Director of Environment and infrastructure to  determie the wishes of the neighbourhood. 

It wasn't clear how., But Council did spend time debating the issue and deferring decision. 

Yet anbother recommendation  came  forward  to increase  funds for a youth  centre by $1,6 million because costs  of utilizing a  site unknown at the time the site was  selected. 

Deferral  was requested for time to consider and consult with the communiy. 

No such  consideration was givem . Th valiant five needed no  further time to donsider spendijng $7.4 million as opposed to $4.8 million.

 So confident are they of the superior quality of their  collective wisdom. 

In the next post I will try, according to  Clause 3 of th Code of Conduct unenforceable bylaw attempt to explain the reason and attitude of the majority decision. 

Monday 8 July 2013

The Way We Were...and Are

Five  by-elections on August 1st.

What  chance the  cost of canceling the second  natural gas fired generator plant will not yet be public?

It won't make much difference. It's  not hard to take the figure from $640 million to $1 billion. 

Every timne we see a flashback. the  Premier's hands   are  spread in submission that the decision was political.

I wondered this morning  about the impact will be on the short campaign. 

Then I thought, probably not much. After all, in a lesser sense ,we are currently doing the  same messing about  in Aurora.

At  the last Council  meeting , residents in the neighborhood of  the neat little cell tower on Bathurst Street demanded a judicial review  of the town's part in the project.

Councillor Gaertner  previously proclaimed the town's planning staff to be at fault. The CAO expressed profound apologies  which provided the cue. 

I have never heard of a judicial review that didn't cost millions and wasn't justified by  the  acrid smell of corruption. 

Yet  some Councillors were eager  to support  it. The same who were ready to spend $150.000
for a court injunction to stop construction of a tower already constructed. that complied with all the required  regulations.

Whatever it costs to satisfy the residents, however futile ,no matter what the rest of the community thinks, that's what the  entitlement brigade  demand and the council caballeros are ready to spend. 

And the other half are unwilling to risk anything  either

So,  the legal department  is tasked with sussing out ianswers to irrelevant questions to avoid the inevitable  decision that has to be made. 

Once there  were Neanderthalls,  then Hunter -Gatherers, the  Stone Age, the Iron Age, the  Age of Enlightenment, The Renaissance, Feudalism and Slavery, Depressions ,Oppressions and Recessions.

Now we have Generation X and  the Age of Entitlement and a bunch of  limp-wristed liberals in charge. 

It's no way to run a railroad. 

Sunday 7 July 2013

Has Anybody Noticed ?

John Tory and  Focus  Ontario  hasn't been seen since Mr. Tory  offered the opinion The Globe should not have published allegations  about  Councillor Doug Ford when he would have been sixteen years old. 

Mr. Tory and the program have not been seen since. 

I looked forward to the  repeat on a Sunday night.

John Tory is a Conservative.  I'm not.  He  is  also intelligent, knowledgable and  forthright. 

He is perhaps the best  Premier  Ontario never had.

Leslie Frost was the best they ever had. 

I don't know if the program had reached the end of a contract.Or the ratings  suddenly plummeted. 

Or that it was abruptly cancelled. 

Or if it was simply a co-incidence that Mr. Tory dared to suggest bad  judgement on the part of the Globe and Mail's  editorial board. 

Or if they have any influence at all  with Global Television. 

Maybe somebody out there knows something  more?

From the mouths of babes

Four year old great- grand-daughter  Clair flies to Canada  for the summer every year from the U.S.  

Yesterday,  she  informed her Great-Aunt Heather 

" I live in Washington. It's up in the sky"

The Choice is Yours

Creation  or Evolution.

Adam and Eve are a stretch. Especially since Eve got all the blame and punishment

Adam might have been first but what a wimp he turned out to be.  It's probably why The Lord had to take a second crack at it  with a rib to get it right.      

It's hard to believe the wonders of the animal world, including ourselves and giraffes , all came from a single cell dividing itself deep withion the ooze of life beginning. 

Where did the ooze come from? Everything points to earth being rock . a hard crust, with a molten core.

A third   alternative  being posited is that we started off as creatures from another planet. It's distant and obscure  but intriguing nevertheless. 

So we have  three choices. 

We always have choice.

When it comes right down to it, choice is a matter of personal judgement. 

We can choose to believe Stephen Harper's  avowed  denial  of  Nigel Wright's decision to give Mike Duffy  a present of $90,000  from his own personal resources. 

Or we can choose  not .

We are not  saying the truth is not being told. We are simply choosing not  to believe the account we are  given. 

I did not believe Mr. Harper when he said it the first time. No matter how oft-repeated  I still do not believe.,

The story is simply not credible 

A Leader who does not accept responsibility is not a Leader. 

Even if  Nigel Wright could so easily be separated from ninety thousand dollars of his own resources to cover someone else's ass , the Prime Minister is still responsible for the choice he made for  Chief of Staff .

Stephen Harper  knows no more about politics than Mike Duffy. Or Pamela Wallin. Or any of the rest chosen as nominees. because of the color of their skin, their  religion. sex or sexual proclivity or high profile for any other reason but proven ability. 

They don't  even know what they don't know  and need  to learn. 

It's a tremendous show of disrespect to  the people they are sworn to serve. 

Any one of the extraneous factors  listed above might help a candidate get  elected.

It may  even lead them to believe  election is  all that matters. 

It's not. 

The relationship between the electorate and the elected  is personal. It needs to be  carefully constructed ,stone upon stone. Each one lovingly placed. 

No shortcuts.

Mis-steps  require  it be done right  the second time. 

It can't  be faked or fudged. 

But it can be well and trully fuddle-duddled up. 

It  will not stand  in good stead in that circumstance. 

The  corrupt sponsorship inquiry did not reflect on Jean Chretien. He was  already gone. 

Paul Martin bore the brunt but was not responsible. 

Stephen Harper's mis -steps are epic. They have not been subtle. 

We have seen the numbers grow over the years but the whole story is yet to be told. 

" Fasten  your seat belts, it's going to be a bumpy ride ''

Once the police  fasten their teeth onto something, they do not let go 

Thursday 4 July 2013

That is the question

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Clause 7 and the unwritten rule":

Granted, 4:40 PM, but that wasn't the question. The question was about which services or facilities in town cover their costs (capital and operational). Do the "sports centres" 

There's  an air of  entitlement to the question .

It calls for an answer.

Anyone who has raised  children in the  town is well aware of user fees  charged for sports  facilities.

They know  also sports  organizations  must  have executives to manage  business affairs Parents to volunteer as coaches and team managers.

The town's web site no doubt has information about user fees.

For a number of years, ninety per cent of capital cost of construction  have been covered by
development  charges.

Minor Hockey has in the past paid a surcharge on user fees when new ice facilities were needed

When artificial turf was installed at Sheppards  Bush, ninety per cent was funded  from D.Cs
ten per cent  came from a sports organization.

The  Town's web site  no doubt  provides the information about user fees  They are not a secret.

Development  charges  are collected  at the time  building permits are issued. Families buying homes pay for the new facilities.  No part of  the cost of new recreation facilities are funded from the annual tax levy.

If the question is intended to prove capital costs of construction and  operating costs should be on the
backs of the taxpayers. the argument does not carry.

Only one facility provides services at  the expense of the taxpayer ; the  Culture  Centre  at Church  Street School. \

The town provides rent free facilities, maintenance costs and  a grant of $370,000 to  provide Region wide programs.

Paid for from the  pockets of the taxpayers of Aurora 

Capital costs of renovations came from funds raised in the community. grants received from Heritage
Ontario  and  $2.3 million from the town's Hydro Reserve Fund ,  all for the  specific purpose of a state of the art museum and cultural services. 

Community trust was betrayed.

The Entitlement  Generation were in charge.  They had the  powa.

They wanted it.

They took it.

 They cared nothing what the community thought.

It's  been done before, they said.

Well ....No....It has not.

It will not be allowed to pass.

Wednesday 3 July 2013


Los of questions being asked about  Yonge Street as a Park.  Few answers from the scheme"s
promoters. Supporters are also very few. 

The University Wpmen's  Association  member  liked the pictures .Pictures of what? 

I have a story to tellI.   It's  extremely relevant. 

1967 was Canada's Centennial Year. The  Honorable  Judith La Marsh, Member of Parliament for Niagara, was Minister of State, in charge  of The  National Celebration. 

It was fabulous. 

A collection of steam train engines  became available for any municipality that could use them.

Jack Moore,  a resident of Wendelrley Drive. was on the staff  of York University,in charge of special events.He brought the information to the town. 

The town owned  fourteen and a  half acres known as the  Petlovanay property. It had been acquired through non-payment of taxes. 

It  had a railway easement. 

Aurora's development was due to  being Head of Rail.   Aurora was the  last  stop for the first
train out of Toronto. 

We had  the location . An easement from  the railway.  The History was ours and the collection was there  for   the  taking. 

Enthusiasm was  at a peak. It was  clearly a great opportunity. 

One member of Council did not agree, He appealed the decision to the Ontario Municipal Board. Details are hazy. But the steam  quicly went out of things 

. I was a  new Councillor in 1967. Very conscious of what I did not know. I was watching and  listening. Didn't  fully understand  how one member could  put  the kibosh on an opportunity that everyone else thought was meant to be. 

But  that's how it was. There was no talk of  putting up a fight. 

Just the acceptance of  reality that if everyone wasn't on board with the idea , it  could  not succeed. 

The town sold the Petlovany property , serviced, for $ 35,000. on a promise of  four new industries to be located  there . On the day the $ 35,000  sercicing contract was let,  the property was re-sold 
for $75,000. making $40,000 profit  for the buyer  on a down payment of $5,000. and   producing no  industries  for the town. 

It didn't happen without a fight .  I lost it. 

The town ended up buying back part off the land for  a works department site. I was out of office then  and I  asked what we paid but nobody wanted to tell . 

I learned  a lesson then.  I learned it fast  and I learned it hard. 

But I learned  it never to forget it. 

A scam  is not hard to recognise,.