"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

Monday 30 September 2013

A Hall of Mystery and Confusion

If  you were one of the thirty people who watch Council in Action that Councillor Abel refers to, you may have noted an exchange between the Chair and myself at the last meeting.

I was speaking to a recommendation from staff for a  $3,000, Gold Sponseship for the Sports Hall of Fame  Induction Dinner to be held at St Andrew's College.

I spoke of  Sport Aurora being provided with office space to assist in processing an application for a Trillium Grant .

The Mayor said  Sports Hall of Fame was separate from Sport Aurora.

I'd heard from the spokesperson a week earlier  the Mayor had been involved in the organization of the organization.

I accepted the  information he provided.

It was noted Councillor Abel and the Director of Recreation and Parks were voting members of the board.

The vote to provide the sponsorship lost in a tie.

Councillor Humfryes was quite upset. Noted the importance of municipal support for a Trillium grant application.

We heard that previously when a $25,000 grant went to another organisation that claimed local status.

Trillium grants are funded from lottery revenues.

I expect the issue to  return for a new vote  after Councillor Abel's resignation from the board and no longer feels he has to declare a conflict of interest.

This morning , Councillors  were joyfully informed  Sport Hall of Fame has received a $5,000. grant  uppn  request, from the Mayor's Charity Golf Tournament.

Sale of tickets to the dinner was also being promoted with no price given and a change of  venue from St. Andrew's College to a business in Aurora .

That was a Gold Sponsership of $3,000  from the town towards the Induction dinner.

An application for a Trillium grant  with support  from the town to ensure success.

$5,000. from the Mayor's Charity Golf Tournament.

And sales of  an unnamed number of tickets at an unnamed  price.

I'd say Sports Hall of Fame is touching all bases.

The benefit dinner was to  be held  at St. Andrew's College who don't do commercial catering. Then  the venue was changed but still in St Andrew's with assurance of no discord.

Then not in St. Andrew's at all.

And I  still don't  know what the organisation is about.

Olympic Gold medallists champions of yesteryear have been named  to beinducted   into the Hall of Fame . It's a corner of an upstairs lobby at the town hall where few people hang out.

What's it all about  Archie?

Why  do they need  any funding at all?

And  will there be accountability?

Modern Mythology

Councillors have just received an invitation from the TD to join a hundred  employees /volunteers
planting trees on a site on the south side of Vandorf , east of Bayview on October 5th . In the neighborhood of  Longthorpe  Court.

Hundreds of  new trees are planted every year in Aurora, privately and by the town.

Critical loss of trees is a myth created by the New Puritans. A sad song is sung or Ode to the Environment  recited when a tree is cut down.

The tree bylaw offends me in every way. The very wording "injury or destruction" grates

The current bylaw requires a permit to allow more than four trees to be removed in a twelve month period. The new bylaw reduces that to two.

The direction for a new bylaw came from Council.

An  applicant must retain  an arborist, erect  a sign on his property to inform  neighbors of his plans to "injure and destroy". Application  fees are based on individual trees.

Town staff  must visit the site. Type, Height, caliper, condition, and location of the fated trees must be recorded and staff must be satisfied of the need to remove.

Reports must be written and recommendation made.

 Neighbours can object.

Finally the decision is made by the politicians. They can refuse.

All that work. All that expense.  For a person to remove his own trees from his own property.

Finally the answer can be no.

No refunds are possible. Because all costs have been incurred. The process cannot be reversed.

The new Bylaw takes unto ourselves the authority to remove trees from golf courses and large expanses. Previously the Region held that responsibility.

They still will.

We will instead  have two agencies doing the same work  as was previously done by one.

The Mayor chided a few weeks ago. "We are not a small town any more Councllor
Buck " he said. "We are a $52 million business corporation"

And I thought;  we are so a small town  run by pea-brains. We are also  a $ 52 million  Business

The  Tree Bylaw will affect a minute number of properties in the town. Mainly large treed lots .
Where  a  house site needs to be cleared . They are the ones who will experience the effect of this particular piece of insanity.

New investment. New revenue. New " stakeholders " to share the expense and the burden of being  governed by a Bylaw  that requires a permit,payment of fees, agreement of neighbours and approval of fickle politicians ,to allow "injury and destruction " of trees  owned and growing on  private property.

Sunday 29 September 2013

Dance of the Sailor's Hornpipe

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Apropos to the Previous Post":

Sport Aurora is paid by local sports organizations.
I'm not sure what they have done for local sports yet, except publish a glossy magazine that shows teams from private schools and athletes not neccessarily from Aurora in their pages, and host a few evenings to honour people that have already been honoured by their various clubs and associations. Sponsoring this group smells just like the St. Kitts fiasco, with many council members lapping up the spin, and not seeing the hand out for what it is. Lobbying at it's municpal best.

Posted by Anonymous to Our Town and Its Business at 29 September 2013 05:19


Added information is welcome on this blog . Being anonymous is not an impediment. If it's not correct, it can be challenged.

The last sponsorship provided was $5,000. There was a string attached.A financial statement had to be provided  after the event.

No  receipts  were required to show how the funds were used .

Nothing  submitted to show how  the town's economy benefitted.

there are interesting inconsistencies in the way we do business.

In the last Council, the sitting Mayor and sometimes friends were able to access external legal consultants to the tune of hundreds of thousands  of dollars without  check and without accounting.

The Aurora Legion's property taxes  are paid by the town without knowing  percentage of revenue that services veterans of two world wars. The Legion competes with local business in the hospitality

We pay property taxes for a soccer bubble though the operation is deemed to be commercial. By the time the lease  expires, we will have contributed millions to a private business.

A million dollar property  is leased to a sports  organization for a dollar. a year. A club  house on the
property competes with  tax-paying business in the hospitality industry.

We  continue to provide a grant and increased it, to the Historical Society ten years after the museum closed for renovations  costing  almost  $4 million and never re-opened.

 The Historical Society promotes events "free " to the community.

A  Culture Centre Board ,  having displaced the museum ,pays no rent or maintenance and
receives $400,000 from tax revenues . They also promote programs  region-wide as "free".

We  leased a valuable industrial  property  for an indefinite period to a senior level of  government
 for less than the assessment we lost. To say nothing of the employment opportunities we critically need.

Yes indeedy.

 If  town revenues were  from any other source than taxes, this ship would be  sitting on the bottom of the  deep blue sea long since

Friday 27 September 2013

Every Day I Learn Something New

I learned something  else new this week.

The policy for  employee expenses includes playing  golf if it's in the  nature of networking.

Apparently  an employee can take the time off work AND  have expenses paid . Alcohol is not "normally " covered.

I  had a problem with my conference expenses. I lost the folder with  the receipts.

I spoke to the Chief Financial Officer about my dilemma.

 He said I should list the  items and submit them to the  Mayor's office  for  approval.

I did  that' listing the  allowable expenses  to the  best of my recollection.

I received  a response   seemingly from the CAO via the Mayor's office.

My expenses would not be paid without receipts.

The  relevant policy was attached for reference

I continued my search for the folder and found it . In a plastic bag  that came with  a Wendy's
apple-pecan salad which had been brought in from the car and thrown into a cupboard to maintain
an appearance of neatness and order in the house.

I was back on Council six years before I attended a  conference. I'm long past going off on solitary expeditions.

When Theresa  came home, she  indicated  she would be happy to come along.

In the last four years, I have been able to follow the clause in the Code of  Ethics , successor to the Code of Conduct, that requires Councillors to use opportunities to continue to learn.

Apropos to the Previous Post

We had a tie vote recently. A recommendation was made for a "Gold " Sponsorship ($3,500) for an Induction Dinner for a Sports Hall Of Fame.

We learned the Sports Hall of Fame organization is not  Sport Aurora. It is separate.

The president of  the first was spokesperson for second which contributed to my confusion.

The tie vote came about because Councillor Abel is a voting member of the Sports Hall Of Fame.
He declared a conflict leaving an even number of voting Councillors.

The vote clearly caught the yes side off guard. Before the end of the meeting  Councillor Thompson requested the vote be called again. Councillor Abel declared he would resign from Sports Hall of Fame.

A recorded vote was called for  Councillor Abel's name was not called.

He had declared a Conflict. He could not participate in the discussion.

The vote was still a tie.

Councillor  Humfrey's was really upset.  The Sports Hall of Fame intended to apply for a Trillium grant.  Town support for the project was essential for a successful application. Council's failure to
provide the sponsorship would send a message to every young person in  Aurora that we did not support sports in Aurora.

Really, I thought.  Who do they imagine  provides the sports facilities and  maintenance services that make it possible  for them to play ?

Now it only remains for Councillor Abel to formalize his resignation from the Board of the Sports Hall of Fame  and back will come the recommendation to likely win the essential one vote  majority.

Yet  another application will go to the Trillium foundation for a grant of however much for whatever  purpose with the municipality's support without a public understanding what that's all about.

We've been there before.

Most  recent was providing office space to Sport Aurora so that they could apply for a  Trillium Grant
from the address of the Aurora Town Hall.

I believe that was successful.

That's  all I know about that.

I know a substantial number of sports associations are members of Sport Aurora.  I know they all manage their own affairs,collect registration fees from parents and pay user fees to the town for the facilities.

I know the town tries to keep user fees reasonable so as not to make it difficult for young people to participate. I'm not sure how successful we are on either score.

I knw my daughter and her entire family and friends can raise $23,000. in a single night  at the Newmarket Seniors Centre. They pay the fee  for the facility. They don't ask for it to be waived.
they solicit prizes in the community for a fund-raising auction.

Every year people are asking for tickets before they go on sale.

Trillium Grants are hard to get. Many groups with special needs  are refused because of limited funds.

I think if the Town is asked to pony up to prime the well,  we should know at least what  grant is
requested and its purpose.

I have no idea why a Sports Hall of Fame would  need  a grant. What social need  does that satisfy?

Why is it the business of the municipal corporation?

I don't know why, when registration fees are so high, Sport Aurora  needs a Trillium grant.

I  was at a loss to understand the $25,000. Trillium grant  and  various Gold and Platinum  sponsorships purchased by Aurora from the St Kitts outfit while they also enjoyed  a venue for a revenue producing event at town expense.

I have  certainly never heard a candidate campaign on a platform of  grabbing every opportunity that presents to fleece taxpayers for every nickel they possess.

Rumours Abound

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Looking for Logic in all the wrong places":

Like that B.S. park plan.They kept.knocking and now it seems tax payers are fronting the bill for their business plan.

Posted by Anonymous to Our Town and Its Business at 27 September 2013 11:25

I have some up to date information  about that.

I heard a rumour the funds approved by Council for the Consultant for the Heritage plan for the centre-east area of town ,were being used to develop a business plan for the real estate scheme for
the properties on North Yonge.

I called the Director of Planning and was assured there was no truth to the rumour.

Council to staff on a motion by Councillor Abel, directed  Director of Recreation  Services to provide a "feasability"  report on a "business plan ",  Nothing that would cost money.

I inquired  recently of the Director ;  how is that coming? He informed me the task had been transferred to the Manager of Special Projects.

That's the land use planner, expert on the Oak Ridges Moraine Act ,who was transferred from the Planning Department to the Office of the Chief Administration Officer.

I tell you this because this is what I know. And  what I know, you are entitled to know.

What I don't know  is what  skills a land use planner might bring to formulation of a business plan for a project that would involve  purchasing   sizable Yonge Street properties for several million dollars , removing them from the assessment roll , to develop  an airy-fairy Heritage Park with the Hydro Asset  Reserve Fund.

I have heard that the main protagonist of the scheme, William Albino, is actively promoting it wherever people gather.

It is fairly certain,  stuff is  going on behind the scenes that not all Councillors are privy to.

A hot rumor this morning  fresh off the grid, is circulating  Hillary House Ball will be held this year in  a facility in King. Because there is no banquet facility in Aurora to accommodate the event.

This year, the Chamber of Commerce will not be holding their gala awards dinner.  The last one was held in King Township  because there was no banquet facility in Aurora to accommodate the event.

Normally that would not be the business of the Town. Except that the Town is a member of the Chamber of Commerce and was in the habit of buying a "platinum " sponsorship to the  banquet to the tune of $8,500.

Holding the banquet in a neighboring municipality with a sponsorship  from our town was not well received.

But the banquet  cancelled will not save the town money. It is to be used  instead to publicize  the list of firms who have done well  in our town for twenty-five years or more.

We can always find ways to spend money.

Thursday 26 September 2013

Hillary House

Note the information about the Hillary House last event of the summer.

It says it's free.

The  Town gave the Historical Society a grant of $60,000. this year.

No town museum is being operated.

I suspect  the program at Hillary House is being funded from the town grant.

It's good to see how the funds are being used.

But it's erroneous to suggest the service is free.

Looking for Logic in all the wrong places

Council did not adjourn until 11.30p.m. again on Tuesday. 

To  answer a previous question, no, we did not get much town business done. 

We had four presentations about accessible transit. 

 First was about  mobility transit provided by the Region whose authority it is to provide it. 

Then we heard from a representative of a Spinal Cord Injury Organisation.  he told us how important it is for municipalities to be progressive.

We received a sales pitch from the makers of a newly designed  forward thinking accessible vehicle. .
When I asked if we were in the market for accessible vehicles, the Mayor explained it was  all abut our direction to staff to review the taxi bylaw.

Then we heard from  the owner of a Bracebridge taxi company.

We received a lot of information. Not all of it useful.

Bracebridge isn't in a Region. They are  part of the Muskoka District Council. They do not have a public transit system.

Taxi service is a private operation.  There are two companies in Aurora. Our only responsibility is to issue license  under the terms of the Municipal Bylaw.

We learned  Regional accessible transit provides door to door service. The fare is the same as regular transit fares. The cost is $40.00 a ride.

I think at certain hours and on certain routes we could probably provide door to door service to everyone who uses transit for that price .

We learned  meter rates  are the same for accessibility rides. Accessible licenses are available ,one for every ten thousand population. That's five licenses. Only two are issued. That's all that have been applied for. Because there isn't the demand for more service than the need for two licenses.

We could have learned all that from a staff report.

The Region is the authority in the business of public transit.

We don't operate taxi services.

So we spent a lot of time listening to a lot of stuff that was of no use to us.

We had a many - clause resolution from Councillor Abel about making applications for music grants.

It's a new initiative of the provincial government. One of many, it seems , in preparation for e
potential election.

Details of the plan haven't been worked out yet so no application can be processed.

I made a point ,in speaking to the resolution , on the irony of school boards having to contemplate elimination of music from the curriculum while the government contemplates giving  away money for music to municipalities.

The Mayor said I was out of order.  It may well have been so.

But  since there is no formula for a  grant process, the entire resolution  was redundant and therefore out of order.

Since we have no authority in public transit, a presentation  from the maker of an accessible vehicle
was not relevant to town business . So it had no place on a business agenda.
That wasn't relevant . For  town business, it had no place on the agenda.

Since we do not operate taxi service, a presentation from a Bracebridge taxi owner was not pertinent to town business .  The information presented was  equally irrelevant to town business.

How did they get onto the town's business agenda?

It's twelve months  until  our  next election.

It  sure looks like the Boys for Fun and Frivolity and  the new Puritanism are  all set and ready to go.

Imagination  knows no bounds.

This Saturday will be the last day of the 'open daily' season at Hillary House - after this date visits can be made by appointment with a few days notice. Don't miss this opportunity for a last look at the 2013 exhibits and catch a live musical performance on the grounds - all for free! 

Volunteers are needed to help this event run smoothly - if you are able to give a few hours of your time please phone the ahs office at 905.727.8991at your earliest convenience.  Any help is appreciated. 


Thanks for the info

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "A Fool's Errand":

There was so much controversy over this development in the first place. Has weathered 3 terms of Council at least. Property sold and plans grandfathered before the morraine rules came into place. The original plan was for fewer homes on bigger lots. The old farmhouse was really beautifully maintained and furnished by the last owners in period fixtures. And ALL the trees on the property were lovingly cared for by the son who was an arborist. Most were cut down to make way for these "beautiful" mansions. So sad to see good intentions flushed down the drain, great ideas get sidelined by profits and good people misrepresented by many. I, too, would have purchased one of the adjoining lots in question to enjoy the large deciduous trees remaining in the development. Those large maples will never be replaced in size and grandeur by new plantings. Shame this had to happen at all. Shame. Nice elite development of million dollar homes with brand new community tennis courts to enjoy, the town certainly has helped its citizens with this one. Not.

Posted by Anonymous to Our Town and Its Business at 26 September 2013 06:51


Thank you for this information. I came back  in the election of 2003 ,the eve of the introduction of the Moraine Act. 

This  forlorn little house, sitting tilted on a  platform ,with one window protected ,the other not ,the chimney missing,  the front door opening into the dark interior,  certainly doesn't blend with the new 

Yet we all know of  new houses with Yonge  Street  addresses that can't be singled out from beautiful old homes adapted for modern use. I even have a hard time picking out the newcomers. 

The builders may have received   advice from town planners  but people have been restoring old homes  in the heart of  Aurora with no need whatsoever for bureaucratic assistance. In many instances, I think the best thing a municipality can do is get out of people's way ,trust to their judgement and learn from them.

There's a  fifteen year old subdivision on Bathurst Street with house designs patterned after red brick farmhouses with  gingerbread trim and balconies  all around. It's beautiful.

Sue Seibert, the town's  first planner, came to us in her mid-twenties. She grew  with the town  in her craft. Enjoyed great respect with the building and development community  and put a lot of love and tenderness  into guiding  Aurora's growth.  As far as was possible, to blur the lines between the old and new.

Sue had a lot  of herself invested in Aurora.  Retirement  held no appeal.  But circumstances were such  at the time, the alternative had even less.

The full extent of harm done to the town during one term  of office will never be fully understood.

The opportunity for recovery has not been fulfilled.

Y'know , jealousy is  obsessive-compulsive.  People  so afflicted can never be happy. They  can never allow anyone associated with them to be happy and there's little that can be done for them. They live in a toxic circle that pervades everything around them.

Wednesday 25 September 2013

A Fool's Errand

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Starting again.":

Ya know what's worst than the grading of this property....The neighbors.

Posted by Anonymous to Our Town and Its Business at 25 September 2013 20:10


The neighbours on Longthorpe Court are going to live side by side for a long time.

When written approval by the director   to remove the trees is received ,as required, the lot is properly graded and landscaped, the neighbors will no doubt come to-gether in mutual enjoyment of their homes.

Life is too short to do anything else.  There are no harsh words to regret.

At the same time, a great deal of unneccessary  kefuffle was created.

It has been clear from the beginning the trees could be removed by written approval by the director.

No amendment of a sub-division agreement was required therefore Council's approval was never necessary.

The trees are old  and have  been without care and attention  for at least twenty-five years.

A  neighbor's good will  is worth something ,is it not?

Trees can be replaced.

Fresh new trees  are pleasing to look at in their pale green lacy Spring  foliage .

A fresh new start  is exciting for everyone.

Growing it is  something to be shared.

No-one can be sure when a crisis might need the help of a  friend.

In  a dispute between neighbors, only fools rush in where angels fear to tread.

These neighbors were encouraged to believe they had a right where  they did not.  No favors done  there.

With  judgement , the  discord  can fade  and the neighbors will be what they  should be.

The rest of us can turn our attention  to the next element of the 80% emotional turmoil that , according to the scientists, is part of our being .

It's how we know we are alive.

But I'm warning you, never again call me a paid shill for a builder.

Rational thought and sweetness and light will vanish in the vapour.

Your anonymity  isn't that secure.

Tuesday 24 September 2013

Starting again.

I spent many hours yesterday and already today trying to overcome technical glitches in  completing the  last post. I gave up . I am starting anew where I left off ; with the Heritage Act

Amendments to the Act gave municipalities authority to designate without agreement by the property owner. In return, the owner has the right to apply to the municipality for tax reductions, grants and loans to bring and maintain designated properties to good and authentic condition.

I doubt the intention was for every  smelly old dump to be retained just because it was old.

Municipalities are not required to designate relics of earlier harsh times. Exercise of  sensible judgement would likely be presumed.

Fat chance!

If there isn't time for designation a sticker will be  stuck ,naming  jus about any and every property to be "of interest"

A Heritage division of the Planning department was created. An advisory committee was struck.

Heritage  and Environment are the new  Puritanism .

33 Longthorpe Court is an example of  work load needlessly generated.

The subdivision agreement was signed with a   small modest house of  a  hundred and thirty years
vintage to remain within a neighborhood of massive million dollar mansions.

Sales indicated what must have already been recognized by the developer when the agreement
Was signed.

The  old inadequate didn't sell. It had no curb value. No appeal. No surprise.

Inevitably an application  to amend the agreement to allow the house to be re-located had to be approved.

It now sits on another unlikely lot. In my judgement it represents a hazard.

I predict the developer wil eventually offer the house,free to anyone who might have a use for it. They will offer to re-locate it  to a site on a foundation of their construction. 

They might  even park it at the side of Vandorf Road for ten years waiting for municipal instruction.

The municipality in turn will chase its  tale for a decade. Spinning,spinning.spinning, in an ever-decreasing circle

But re-locating  the old house is not the immediate problem.  

Grading on the site at 33 Longthorpe Court was not addressed in the amendment  that permited the old house to be re-located.

The property was sold and a permit for a new house of twice the size with a walkout basement was issued without  a new grading plan required. An obvious oversight.

Satisfactory grading cannot be completed without removing three trees on the lot. No way. No how.

A  massive retaining wall needs to be built to accommodate the trees.

Oh calamity!  Abutting neighbours cannot live without the view of trees they do not on. Their lives  can never be the same.  They are apparently advised by a Councillor, they don't have to.

The Councillor will champion their cause.Shades  of the past.

Grading problems can be solved  by  a massive retaining wall.



Monday 23 September 2013


When I was elected  and before , farmers throughout Ontario were  abandoning old farmhouses and  building  themselves modern bungalows at the road.

The volunteer fire brigades might be invited to set the old one alight and use it for fire practice.

At that time many  small frame  houses in the country  had no front steps up to the door. Taxes were higher with steps.

Later it became  a  DIY to renovate old farmhouses  while living in them.

Decorator  magazines  and T.V. shows featured  divine transformations.

One owner was asked the question;  Was  it worth it?

The answer was prompt and decisive. They couldn't wait to sell and forget  the  cataclysmic misery  of  ten years of living in a construction site and not knowing what the next problem would be.

I was asked ;" what  do you think ? Would you renovate  a hundred year old farmhouse?"

I thought  about  what I knew.

About sagging ceilings , bulging walls of lathe and plaster. Sloping floors with  bumps and rises and patches of rot here and there; Dirt  floors in basement crawl space.

Stairs ,little  more than ladders,sloping  towards the  outside wall of the  house ,leading to the second floor . Two sets .One out of the kitchen.

 Smell of old plaster and rodent  and insect infestation  I thought of  attic floors with  ceiling high enough for  sleeping pallets  for children and  a doorway that wasn't full height either. A wood burning stove might b in in the centre of the main floor with a metal chimney going up through a hole to the attic and through the roof.

House fires were regular events in the city and the country.

I said;

If an old farmhouse had any  renovation value , I think the old farmer would be the first to recognize it.

Instead , they  built modern bungalows down by the road.   Or  they sell the farm and winter  every year in Florida.

The  farm is their pension.  Farming doesn't provide  security for old age.

Saturday 21 September 2013

Yes you can help

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "A Tale of Treachery":

6:34 A chainsaw would be useless. Removal would be expensive and complicated. We can't help the guy.

Posted by Anonymous to Our Town and Its Business at 21 September 2013 19:33


You  can help. Call or e-mail your Councillors and the Mayor. Tell them what you think about the situation.
They will be pleaed to hear from you
They have already heard and listened to the three abutting neighbours.  And done what they wanted them to do.
Now  they need to hear from the  community.
From those who have no interest other than fairness  and common sense in the town's business.

Child Porn...Tots and Tiaras,,,Gay Pride Parades

A news headline this morning indicates France intends to make child beauty pageants against the law. Pictures attached are similar to the Tots and Tiaras show on American television.

Don't know the legal definition of child pornography. But what I have seen of the make-up on two and three year olds; the grinding sexuality of the routines performed and obviously taught to these infants;I cannot imagine it falls far short of child pornography.

It is offered as public entertainment. France is not known as a prudish society. They have drawn the line at allowing children, little more than babies, to be used this way . I think they are right.

 The NDP want the government to send a message to Russia about their anti-gay legislation.
 Do we know what the legislation is?  I have heard the Russian government doesn't want homosexuality publicly promoted.

 Have we had a public debate about that? Not likely? People are too afraid of being accused of being homo-phobic.

 Do we know what the restrictions are? Don't know that either. A comment accused me of being homophobic because I said I would not walk in a Gay Pride Parade.

 In the past I've seen,on television,some of the stuff that gets strutted in Gay Prades. Naked males with genitals trussed up in leather, carrying whips and wearing spiked dog collars around their necks.Leather  hoods on their heads like mediaeval torturers and executioners

All of which  comes under the heading of sadism and sexual depravity.

Parades shown on T.V. with Kathleen Wynn walking, Julian Fantino, past Chief of Toronto Poice or Bob Rae, past M.P. forToronto  Centre  no  longer show that stuff.

 Did the Parade change character or is. it just not   shown to protect the politicians or the innocents?

 But I saw children among spectators. That offends me. Most certainly I object to children being exposed to depravity depicted as a normal expression of sexuality.

 Is that what the Russians are drawing the line at?

Like the French?

If so,  I think they are right

We should not allow our freedom to say so, to be held hostage to the gay exhibitionists. I

I don't think they are the least bit gay. I think they're a bunch of miserable sods who won't be content until we are all as mad as they are.

 Furthermore, I think any self-respecting homosexual jealous of his or her privacy must feel the same way. Let me ask one more question to be going along with; if homosexuality is as natural as they say it is, ad I am in no position to argue, why does it need to be promoted at all? Heterosexuality doesn't get promoted.

 Why don't we all just mind our own business and get on with our lives? If you don't tell me what's going on in your bedroom ,I won't tell you what's not going on in mine.

A Favour Returned

I had a comment that the house built in 1880 had more right to be on 32. Longthorpe Court  than a "faux chateaux" 

 It was totally irrelevant to the issue..

I didn't publish it.

The same complainant objected to "the insult" to Councillor Gaertner being published. 

Councillor Gaertner had held elected office for  ten years. 

The lady is sublime in her confidence that  she knows exactly what the community expects of her. 

The authority to monitor words and phrases used  by others in Council debate  she claims for herself
and makes a practice of it. 

Using public resources for legal action  to curtail the right of free expression  to  others is also a power  she has exercised. 

With full confidence in her righteousness. 

No doubt  Councillor Gaertner  is not alone in her  views. She has been re-elected. 

That  there is not unanimous support  for her  conviction is also without question. 

Politicians are public figures. They make the choice when offering  to serve. 

Political views are subject to  public analysis and judgement .

Councillor  Gaertner  has not hesitated  to lower the boom  at considerable economic hardship, on  whoever might  disagree  with her views. 

It hardly leaves room for complaint  when the favour  is returned. 

Paul Simon...Fifty ways to leave your lover

You just slip out the back,Jack

 Make a new plan, Stan

 You don't need to be coy. Roy

 Just get yourself free,

 Hop on the bus ,Gus

 You don't need to discuss much

 Just drop off the key.Lee

 And get yourself free .

I love it. I love it. I love it.

 On this dismal rainy Saturday, I just want to share it with whoever might need a lift to their spirits.

 It's even better to watch Paul Simon perform it.

You can do that as easily as reading my blog.

Friday 20 September 2013

A Tale of Treachery

I said I would tell about the man with the two million dollar investment in a new home in Aurora. But Oh my...it is so convoluted as to be literally almost impossible to tell and even less likely to be believed. It starts off with a parcel of land being processed for development. In the centre of it is a small modest century house. The house is designated heritage. The development process can take fifteen years in Aurora. Cost per house is horrendous. Needless to say, developers will agree to almost anything to get construction started. It's the business they're in. Homes in the new neighborhood are massive.They fill the width of the lot. Three car garages,double doors graced with beautiful leaded lights. Clad in Carved grey stone. And there, forlorn amidst the grandeur, little plain white stucco with bits of gingerbread around a familiar peak of roof over a window. It took several years before that which was always obvious had to be addressed. This house did not belong in this neighborhood A planning amendment allowed it to be re-located. The vacant space was son sold and yet another million dollar mansion constructed. At the rear, a walkout basement. Change of house design and siting meant change of grading. But wait, trees on the lot will not allow for adequate grading and drainage of the lot and all the others around it. Another amendment is required to remove the trees. Once more into the brach and another amendment is processed on advice and under the guidance of town staff. An arborist report and approval of the Director is all that's required. At a cost of $4,000 the report is completed and a staff recommendation of approval is forthcoming. The way is clear for grading completed and product delivered as promised in the offer to sell and purchase the home. Ay weel, ye micht think it. Enter three abutting neighbors undoubtedly with encouragement of some misguided Councillors. They are determined not to to lose what is rightfully theirs; the view of their neighbors trees. Declaring their love and friendship for said neighbor they came as supplicants and begged for the trees to be spared. Apparently no qualms were felt about the shabby little house. The trees were a different story. The only thing less logical was the decision made by council. They refused to grant the amendment that met all requirements of the subdivision agreement. They decided in favor of pandering to abutting homeowners. The decision remains to be ratified on Tuesday. But that didn't stop Councillor Gaertner,showing no semblance of impartiality,from leaving her seat and circling the table, to high five and give a thumbs up to the victors under the nose of the homeowner who got the shaft. You've got the week-end. If they can do it to him they can do it to you. You have a chance to make a difference Tell your Councillors what you think of what they did in your name. We should all be ashamed. It sold

A Supplication

Airhead Arrested development Devoid of mental acuity. Demented Dipstick Dizzy dame Doesn't know it from a hole in the ground. Dolt Dope Entirely lacking in little grey cells Doesn't have the brains blessed with at birth. Lamentably Lacking The force is not with her I invite contributions to the thesaurus of words and phrases to be silently repeated in a litany under conditions of extreme stress. I might even design a string of beads to move between my fingers. Or a prayer wheel to spin silently like a Tibetan monk multi tasking in meditation or contemplation of the trials ad tribulations of life in particular field of endeavor Ten years I have labored in the vineyard, Lord. I could do without the sackcloth and ashes.

Wednesday 18 September 2013

Guest Post

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "A Farce In Three Acts or More":

This might actually be a good place to mention Maureen Dowd's column in today's New York Times.

I don't know if you are able to extract and post it to your blog, so will quote bits of it.

"On the most deadly day here since Sept. 11, 2001, with the capital reeling over the sadly familiar scene of a mass shooting by a madman, the chief executive stepped to the microphone and captured the heartbreak.

It wasn't the chief executive of the nation. It was Dr. Janis Orlowski, the chief operating officer of MedStar Washington Hospital Center, where three of those injured were being treated.

"There's something evil in our society that we as Americans have to work to try and eradicate," she said, her voice stoic but laced with emotion...."There is something wrong, and the only thing that I can say is we have to work together to get rid of it. I would like you to put my trauma centre out of business. I really would. I would like not to be an expert on gunshots."

She concluded, "This is not America."

Meanwhile President Obama also gave a speech, briefly addressing the slaughter before moving on to jab Republicans over the corporate tax rate and resistance to Obamacare.

The man who connected so electrically and facilely in 2008, causing Americans to overlook his thin resume, cannot seem to connect anymore.

With a shrinking circle of trust inside the White House, Obama is having trouble establishing trust outside with once reliable factions: grass-roots Democrats and liberals in Congress. He is finding himself increasingly "frustrated" by the defiance of Democrats who are despairing of his passive, reactive leadership.

Obama still has a secret weapon: Congressional Republicans, who might yet shut down the government or cause a cataclysmic default and make the president look good."

What is a real concern of mine is the extent to which Canada relies on the United States in very many ways, not the least being trade.

And this president still has more than three years left to serve.

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Moderate comments for this blog.

Posted by Anonymous to Our Town and Its Business at 18 September 2013 13:01

A Farce In Three Acts or More

I swear, if I were an accomplished playwright, I could not have written a more brilliant farce than last night's general committee meeting. It's like aliens have invaded from outer space and taken over the town without a single shot being fired.

Councillor Ballard wanted to know what the Province  intends to do with the Hydro corridor.

"They own it" he said "But when are they going to do something with it?"

Councillor Gaertner  repeated the question a few minutes later. "What is the hydro corridor for?" she asked.

Just last month ,both Councillors, along with the rest , were ready to spend  first $150,000 to stop  a cell tower from being erected in a neighboring municipality that was already up and running.

A couple of weeks later they were ready to spend half a million on a public inquiry to  discover  what villainy had taken place in the town's planning department that allowed the  tower catastrophe to occur.

We  settled for spending  several thousand dollars for legal advice about What to do? What to do?

People in the tower's neck of the wood had to look out their wonderful windows past the hydro lines
and have their view blighted by a simple white structure silhouetted against the blue sky on the other side of a six lane highway with thirty meter  set-backs  and a forest of trees on their side of the road.

Oh Calamity.

On the east side of town we have a power transmission corridor. Thee towers supporting power transmission lines are like  Mechano giants striding across the land carrying the load on their shoulders.  They have been there probably since immediately after the Second World War.

 Gaertner and Ballard  obviously hadn't even noticed.

The agenda item being  discussed was another bureaucratic fiasco that may or may not be worth telling.

gotta million of 'em.

The  next is about our town motto "Aurora. Where businesses thrive and neighbours care"

It's part  of the Town's Strategic Plan that promises to provide an exceptional quality of life for one and all.

I 'll tell you about a man  who is investing two million dollars in  building a home in Aurora and  how

his neighbours cared and he is not exactly thriving.

And  about the exceptional quality of life  provided to that property owner by the Council  that adopted that motto and  that Strategic  Plan.

No Bylaw...No Issue

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "It's Not A Conflict":

Proposed By-Law respecting Boulevard Maintenance

What is a boulevard?

Is this a grass and tree area contained within a concrete form? Do these run through the centre of major roadways, i.e. Wellington St. East through Magna on the south?

Are there other types of boulevards? If so, what are these and where are they located?

Are we talking about a "verge" that runs between a sidewalk and a road, fronting homes?

This most latter is quite properly the responsibility of homeowners.

But is there some confusion in terminology that might lead to a lack of understanding as to who is responsible for maintenance, the town or the property owner?

Could you please clarify this so that I can understand what is at issue.

Posted by Anonymous to Our Town and Its Business at 18 September 2013 10:47


Nothing is at issue. Council rejected the recommendation for  a Bylaw.

Ninety-nine  per cent of homeowners maintain town property adjoining their own. A handful do not.

The proposed Bylaw  was a typical sledge-hammer approach to kill a fly. The collateral damage would be colossal.

How would we prosecute people who failed to cut grass on public property?

Tuesday 17 September 2013

It's Not A Conflict

A pecuniary(financial  interest) for the purpose of the Conflict of Interest Act, which appears to be another piece of meaningless legislation, is when a Councillor would singularly ,or a member of his immediate family woud be impacted by a vote he casts on Council.

If a member has an interest in common with neighbors, of "general" interest,. It  is not a conflict of interest.

He can argue for their joint and common interest. But their advantage must be wieghed aainst the interest of the community at large.

We rely upon the judgement of the other eight members of council for that.

Being elected to Council doesn't mean one surrenders all rights as a citizen.

Some voters even prefer  a Councillor who can be counted on  to give him whatever he demands.

Councillor Gaertner  frequently expounds her  theory it's a Councillor's job to give people everything they demand. Other Councillors are of the same mind.

Like spending hundreds of thousands of  taxpayers' dollars on a fool's errand to force Bell Telephone to remove a cell tower which  they erected within all the regulations.

What's With These Liberals

Michael Ignatieff  was enticed from an academic career  and  his chosen career in  the States. He  identified himself as a resident of that country.

It took the  potential prize of the Prime  Minister Of Canada's office  to lure him home.

He didn't know a damned thing about ordinary Canadians .

 It showed.

It was that and the ongoing  Liberal sponsorship scandals  that landed us with Stephen Harper.

Stephan Dionne , another petulant academic, chosen  for the leadership by the youth wing of the party because they  had control.
Provincial Liberals apparently sent  a recruitment notice to Winnipeg to entice Glen Murray to give up his job as Mayor and come  to Ontario to save  the day  when George Smitherman  made his  mis-calculated bid for the Toronto Mayor's office.

Bob Rae joined  Liberal ranks. They took all he had to  offer and gave nothing in return.

The candidate replacement  has been highly educated outside the country. as apparently has been her
working career . Place of employment is currently New York City.  Are we to assume she commutes to work  from the  Riding of Toronto  Centre.

Do the Liberals presume voters loyal to Bob Rae will  be sufficiently dazzled by academic credentials and  high  employment status in the US. to  switch automatically to their new star.

If  Garcon Joli Trudeau had anything to do with the selection, he may be smoking more pot tMunicipal Councillor encounters people in many professions in the course of  a day's work.

I'm here to tell you. a list of credentials can be  as long as an arm, , if there is no judgement, no common sense,  you got nuthin'

Linda McQuaig has been pouring her heart out and baring her soul for years  on the Canadian scene.

I believe her profession is accountancy but I don't know  details of her credentials.

I've never met her. But I read everything she has to say that I come  across. I listen to every word.

She is a proud Canadian who cares  passionately about making a worthy successor for Bob Rae who served his country well and  left , an unsung hero, with sadness but no bitterness.

If she is elected , she will illuminate whatever space she occupies  in  the halls  and corridor of power.

I just  thought of the irony of  the comment ; " I would rather be dead than NDP"

It's a take off  from the American  jingo when they were determined to save the world from communism  waging a  war in Korea and Vietnam coplete with  Agent Orange and flamethrowers. Killing thousands and sacrificing lives  of  thousands of  young  Americans.   While spending millions of their own resource

They failed.
The world saved itself  espite theit efforts.

Monday 16 September 2013

Read The Following Twice For Good Measure

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "N.D.P.. Candidate for Nomination for Toronto Cen...":

It's interesting to see you say that McQuaig "would be an outstanding candidate fort any political party."

I would have to go with Chrystia Freeland, the Liberal candidate. She was born in Peace River, Alberta.

And my decision is not based on party politics or philosophy.

She is a graduate from Harvard University with a Master's degree from the University of Oxford, where she was a Rhodes Scholar.

Freeland's career in journalism with the Financial Times, Washington Post and The Economist speaks to her experience in international affairs as well as economics. She has served as deputy editor of The Globe and Mail, the managing director and editor of consumer news at Thomson Reuters and most recently as United States managing editor at the Financial Times, based in New York City.

A recent book, a New York Times bestseller, was the winner of the 2013 Lionel Gelber Prize for non-fiction reporting on foreign affairs. It also won the 2013 National Business Book Award for the most outstanding Canadian business-related book.

Stephen Harper is an economist by education and has never held an honest job in his life.

McQuaig has a distinguished career that is skewed toward the social side of life, as in socialism, which by itself is not a bad thing. But the NDP will not form the official opposition following the next election and her potential role as an MP will be wasted.

While I am not a great Trudeau supporter, mainly because he lacks the experience, I think Freeland might play a major role in designing a Liberal platform, and not just with reference to economics. And depending on how things play out during the next couple of years - any more scandals? - the Liberals might win a minority.

I would rather be Green than NDP.
Posted by Anonymous to Our Town and Its Business at 15 September 2013 20:38

I attended a conference in St.John Newfoundland years ago. The cod had all but disappeared.
Robbing the natives  of their livelihood. 

Dalhousie University carried out a unique project. They went out  into the communities  with cameras
and crew and invited people to express their thoughts  on film about what the problem was and how it might   be corrected.

They brought the material back  to the University and edited. Went back to the communities and invited the same people to come and watch and listen to themselves.

It was like taking the thoughts out of their heads and putting them on the table and  examning them for substance.

I published

 the comment above for the same purpose.

I Did Not Know That

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "A Variation On The Park Theme":

The park and parking were for the soccer pitch. And a busy one at that. The 10 year and unders play (or played) there several evenings per week. The parking was perfect for participating families. We never minded using that little facility. The soccer club will miss it, as fields with adequate parking is not  readily available in Aurora.

Posted by Anonymous to Our Town and Its Business at 16 September 2013 06:5


In the beginning, this park was intended to replace the town park. That didn't work out because the town park is part of the town's heritage. 

The soccer pitch is nota regular soccer pitch. It is useful  for nothing else but small children to learn to play. Certainly it is not useable for tournaments when parking is at a premium. 

No, that park is a misdesign. The parking is formulated just  as it is at the town park. And that is ridiculous. 

There needs to be  a correction. How much has been spent on the road  and possibly underground services encircling the park, at this point of my inquiry appears to have been that much too much. 

I published the comment about Councillor Gallo's  address because there was no reason not to.
(I know that's  a dangling participle)  The Councillor's address is a matter of public knowledge.

But I never knew  he lived in one of those town houses facing the park. 

Of course it throws light on the subject. 

Each one of those town houses  has access to at least two of  the parking  spaces  lining the park,
Twenty -four-seven.

The goalposts can't make the space between into a regulation soccer pitch and part of the town's inventory.

Councillor Gallo would have  every reason to want the status quo to continue.

There's no law that  prohibits him for arguing for his and his neighbors advantage.

He has declared that he lives there.

But how great the  personal as opposed to the public advantage, is relevant to the weight of any argument the Councillor might advance.

That park needs a re-design even without the inclusion of an accessibility playground.

And Council needs to talk more about what that is.

Sunday 15 September 2013

In The Eye of the Beholder

12.53 comment to Variations on a Theme post.

You are right. No member of  council has authority to direct staff.  It's covered in. Clause  4
of the Code of Conduct. 

Which  was  the predeccessor of the Code of Ethics. 

Which was preceded  by  a  written policy. 

Which was preceded by  a common understanding of the principle of  democracy. 

The various Codes  have required Council members to read and understand   whichever Code  is in effect. 

Therein  lay the perennial problem. 

It may be something like Quebec's  proposed Charter of Values ; interpretation  . 

It depends on who you happen to be talking to .

If, for example , you talk to Councillor  Gaertner ,you would  receive a different interpretation than if you're talking to me. But it  could be the same  as several other Councillors. 

Which is why I haven't signed two copies of the document. one to remind me of my commitment to abide by  principles, not commonly understood  let alone practiced by other members of council. 


Charter of values...Charter of values...Charter of Values.

Doesn't matter how many  times you say it , it doesn't begin to make any sense

Perhaps it loses  something in the translation.

Does it mean  the  values of someone born almost a century ago?

Does it mean the values of this or that religion? Of however  one was raised?

Hill billy values or city slicker values?

Ontario Lottery Commission values.? They just increased he price of 649 Lottery  tickets  so they can have  two prizes a week instead of one.

Is that about value?

What are  values ?

Does it depend on who you're talking to?

Like a Cultural Master Plan  perhaps?

N.D.P.. Candidate for Nomination for Toronto Centre

Linda McQuaig is a candidate for the N.D.P.nomination for the  Toronto Centre Riding vacated by Bob Rae, former  Leader of the N.D.P., turned Liberal.

I mention it because I think Ms. McQuaig would be an outstanding candidate for any political party.

Everything  I know about  the candidate makes me realize how badly we need candidates of her calibre  to serve  the nation.

If I were a  resident of Toronto Centre  I would take out a membership  in the NDP to be able to vote for Linda McQuaig

A Variation On The Park Theme

 Tuesday we had another repeat  discussion on Queen's Jubilee Park, on John West Parkway.

For the whole of this story,  we have to go back a year:

David Engish Park is in a  new subdivision in the south-east.

In  the vicinity of the sales office, a large white sign  informed  potential homebuyers  of the park's location including two tennis courts.

The Master Recreation Plan called for x number of tennis courts by  within the five year term of the plan. David English Park was the opportunity to provide.

The subdivision agrement was long since signed . Homes  were already occupied. The sign was  faded and weatherbeaten.Development  charges had been  collected.

Provision of the deemed essential tennis courts was already behind schedule.

Tenders had previously been called. Bids were beyond budget . Parks staff decided if they acted as their own contractor, the  project could be brought in  within budget .It was within their authority to do so.

Works they could do themselves ,they did.  A satisfactory price was negotiated for  the court surface  and a date settled for the job.

Successful contractors are not sitting aound waiting  for the next job to start.

If they're not working ,they're not earning.

Councillor Gallo noticed  the work  on the tennis courts. His recollection was , it  had not received Council  approval  He contacted  town hall and  a stop work order  was issued.

To cut a long story short ,the tennis courts were not completed until this year.

On Tuesday, Councillor Gallo's  re-call of Council approval  was again at odds with the record . Queen's  Jubilee Park and authority to plan an accessibility playground was sought. The Councillor felt the  cart was before the horse. The neighborhood should be consulted before  plans  are created.

Unlike the David English Park ,where before the long approved commitment to tennis courts  was halted immediately prior to completion  without  prior consultation and without  any useful purpose.Quite the opposite.

Queen's Jubilee Park. as noted by the Councillor, is his neighborhood.

I drove  around that  park on Friday. There's nothing there. A couple of goal nets allows children  to
Learn the rudiment of soccer.Not a bad thing

But I dscovered  something weird about the park.

It's minute. But it has provision for parking on both the north  and south side.

A fully paved road encircles the park. The rioad and the parking probably occupies more  land than the park.
On the one side  , about twenty town houses are serviced by the road

A full road allowance  on three sides  of the park , probably with lighting and maybe sewer  and water lines,  service nothing.

Like the house that Jack built.

By the close of business on Friday,I was unable to discover a sensible explanation.

Saturday 14 September 2013


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Truth or Fiction":

Do you remember when it was necessary to fill out a form & sign your name when visiting the In & Out Stores ? Visitors from other countries were horrified that they were being required to register as alcoholics. We are now seeing the same nonsense. Wonder what happened to all those bits of paper ? Made people paranoid.

Posted by Anonymous to Our Town and Its Business at 14 September 2013 19:10


Comment accidentally rejected.

I do remember having to drive to Richmond Hill.

Truth or Fiction

Truth is stranger  than fiction. Never a truer word was spoken.

I watched York Region Police harvesting a  pot crop on television all day yesterday. It was a methodical team.  I listened to the news account several times. 

It seems the field was  detected  by a  helicopter with special equipment.  

It looked like  a large field. 

The crop was well over policeman height. 

It must have been growing for a while.

Long  enough to have been detected before it was due to be harvested.

I've watched police hauling out a crop of  before. They just stuffed it into plastic bags and hurled it into the back of a truck

Not this time though. This stuff was being treated with tender care.

Tarps were used; long plants  carefully laid out straight, leaves at one end  and roots at the other. Stems  were neither bent nor broken. 

When the load was  sufficient, the tarp was hauled by several officers . holding up the corners .along the ground and carefully loaded on to the truck.

Well, ye know. if ever there was a trial, the stuff would be evidence. 

I've often  wondered what the product would be after being stored in plastic bags for a while.

We know hash can be baked in brownies. Smoked in pipes. Puffed through a Hubble. And ,as grass, rolled into a doobie.

But we don't  know how any of that could be offered in evidence of a crop growing in a field.

Always providing of course ,you've caught the culprit responsible for planting in the first place.

The Canadian Association of Police Chiefs are now on record that a person caught with pot for personal use should not be indicted for a criminal offense. 

There are just not enough  jails to hold them all.

The Premier of the Province has acknowledged she has puffed on pot. As has the Leader of the Federal Liberals. The have both denied having adopted the habit.

There appears to be acceptance there is medical benefit from a toke or two. 

Now the question that has to be asked is how  illegal can it be to grow a plant in a field?

Friday 13 September 2013

Guest Post

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Now You See it...Now you Don't":

From the minutes of the most recent meetings of the two committees you mention, I note that Environmental has Clrs. Pirri (Chair) and Gallo (Vice Chair. The others mentioned may be members of the public and/or staff.

Trails is chaired by Clr. Gallo with Clr. Ballard as Vice Chair. Among (Other Attendees) is "Public Health Nurse."

From your description of the gift it could be nothing except the magnificent donation of something in excess of 80 acres of land by Mr. Frank Stronach.

I do not know the terms and conditions under which this donation was made although it would be very surprising if it did not contain certain desires on the part of Mr. Stronach.

You state that the two "committees met with a representative of the donor. Apparently some members had ideas of their own about the facility design.

I find it more than a little strange, and totally unacceptable that a gift to the town worth millions of dollars is being discussed in such a manner that the public has not heard a single word about the "ideas."

There are a total of three councillors on these two committees and I consider two of them to be losers. What input have other members of Council contributed?

Has Mr. Stronach, in fact, rescinded his donation?

Posted by Anonymous to Our Town and Its Business at 13 September 2013 15:55

I have  told you what  I know.  A presentation was made to Council.  The amazing , incredible details of this beautiful gift were outlined by Mr. Stephen Hinder on behalf of Mr. Stronach. 

A motion was passed by Council to  refer  the the advisory committees. Why? I have no idea.

Why should any person other than the elected body have anything to say about receiving a gift.

But apparently they did. They had suggestions for changes  in the design for 
the donor's representative. 

If you read the comments you will see there are those who question accepting the gift. 

Who else had  authority?  Well.....citizen  advisors...and we gave it to them when we passed the resolution to refer the gift to them for their consideration.

I would not have thought anyone could have screwed this up.

Apparently I was wrong.

But it sure looks like they have.

Now You See it...Now you Don't

You know  what I think about advisory committees. They create  an unnecessary work load  and slowdown the process of town business and i some incidence, create an illusion of progress.

More tax resources expended with no identifiable returns.

In April a delegate appeared at Council to offer an amazing gift of an environmental park with an interpretation centre.

The gift was one of a kind. Once in a millenium.

Aurora had never  before experienced such generosity.

The  gift  offer was referred  to two advisory committees; the Trails  Committee and the Environmental  Advisory Committee.

Like we needed to  weigh its acceptability.

The committees apparently met with a representatives of the donor.  Apparently  some members had ideas of their own about the facility design.

Six months have passed since. Nothing further has been heard  of the magnificant offer.

Not a word.

Not a dickey bird.

 Nuthin'. Nil.

Not a whisper on the wind. Not a flutter of a wing.

All is silent..

Nothing is known.

Except of course about how we managed to make a generous multi-million dollar offer disappear.

You Die if You Worry. You Die if You Don't

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Story Continued":

Sounds to me that EB wants the accessability work to be done to fit HER scooter et al. What about those needing access when EB is dead.

Posted by Anonymous to Our Town and Its Business at 13 September 2013 07:50


There is no  part of the town hall that is not accessible  to the public  at any time.

Doors open at the touch of a button.

A  dais is prepared , with microphone on a stand , for any person with a physical challenge who wishes to address Council.

Equipment is  available for anyone who has hearing difficulties. All they have to do is ask.

The town has appointed an Accessibility Committee  according to the terms of reference of the Accessibility Act.

An employee on the payroll is described as Accessibilty manager.

The committee has authority to strike a budget. Council has authority to assign  a budget allocation.

The committee decides how best to use  the funds to improve accessibility within town facilities.

At Tuesday's meeting, at the end of the interminable wrangle that passes for debate, I asked the question:

What part of the Council  Chamber  or any of its amenities is not accessible to any person with physical challenges?

Total silence was  the response.

E.B. is not dead yet. If I were you, I would not  be concerned about that.

You may not be around to worry .

Thursday 12 September 2013

How Great We Are Not

Universities are going to review  student orientation in wake of chant promoting non-consensual sex.

We know headlines don't  always capture the full essence of a  news story.

But it does seem to me after a week of watching the news has not captured the full essence of this. Particular story.

Everything I've seen or heard indicates the chant referred  specifically to 'under-age girls"

That's a child,.

"Non-consensual sex"

That's rape.

First year  university  students  are young adults. They are not from the class of the unwashed masses.

 They are from the middle classes;  the  offspring of doctors, lawyers, clergy and
cabinet ministers  and various  public servants.

The chant wasn't about the Joy of Sex.

It wasn't  about furtive, secretive, skulking sleazy  making of child pornography.

It was  public raucous chanting ,by scions of the high and mighty. about raping a child.

Just what kind  of a culture is  our modern  multi-cultural society?

When was the last time we  really looked at what we have wrought?

Instead of   a steady diet of pontifical political mouthings  of how great we are.

Only in Canada Eh!

Wednesday 11 September 2013

A Story To Be Told

My first-born is in  Athens with Mary. mother of three  grand-childre  and grand-parents of four , soon to be five ,of my great-grandchildren.

A photo on Facebook yesterday showed the Aegean Sea ,likely fronm a balcony or roof. Therre's a soft mist over the mirror- like surface of the water.  Mary is the photographer. The caption she  has underneath ; "Morning has broken"

I wish I was there. I know I can get there . My scooter will carry me to the door of the plane. It will  await me at the door  when I arrive .  But whether or not the scooter will handle the slopes and inclines of the  geography of the place is another consideration. Whatever the port, tge land alwys rises. Steeply.

I am   not majorly incapacitated .  Every minute  of my life is not a gargantuan challege of  mobility.

But may have a better  sense of how it is to be less than  physically capable than someone without  the experience.

Last night's meeting took a tedious, repetitious turn with a memorandum  to Council that , in terms of accessibility, the  status quo of the Council Chamber  remain the same.

Th Town hall is relatively new. Two  ramps  provide access to the floor of the chamber. A couple  of impediments  intrude into the  proper  width of the ramps. One has already been removed by the town's carpenter. A second remains to be dealt with when the order is given. A third is possible if the second is not enough.

The  first  improvement was identified by  Rick ,the custodian.   He watched  me negotiate a turn in the ramp.  "That railing could be reduced by four inches that wouldn't be missed " he said.

By next meeting, the deed was done. With such expertise, there was no sign the  four inches had ever existed.

The second  impediment is  five inches  depth of millwork  framing the overhead monitors. It  protrudes at shoulder height .  The ramp is about three feet wide. Five inches  lost with sharp corners
At shoulder  height matters.

Everyone who knows the carpenter tells me  he could handle  the modification with ease.

When the  request was made for improvements, nobody asked me.  In fact  when I attempted  input I was ignored.

The March Of Dimes were asked for  advice.

Cost was $450.

The specialty  architect who designed the  museum in the Church Street School was retained to  design improvements.

Cost was $4,700.

Estimated cost of  proposed improvement : $110.000.

The floor of the  chamber was to be raised by a foot. The infrastructure  servicing  the desks would  have to be taken out and replaced.

The floor would be at the level of the first row of spectator seating, rendering that row useless for spectating.

Story Continued

At that point  I could not be ignored.

The modification was not approved. 

Last night's memorandum was to leave well enough alone and   direct the  town's carpenter to make minor modifications to improve the situation. 

That started Councillor Gaertner on her  endless crusade on behalf of the  downtrodden.

"The committee is not satisfied" she said " They want  SOMETHING"

"We are not adhering to the requirement of the Act" she said.  Then  citied wording  about providing "dignity to the disabled" 

Round and round it goes, where it stops nobody knows. 

Until the chair accepted a motion to "Move the question"

It's the  means avalable  to  bring to  conclusion a discussion that has no other objective but to hinder a decision being made.

Politicians being what they are, there's always a chance somebody will come up with an alternative that will  avoid a decision and accomplish nothing but get the thing off the table. 

Tuesday 10 September 2013

I am back

Nearly a week of messing about ,ending with a couple of hours of technical service at the house. I'm almost afraid to believe everything is functioning properly.  I suspect it hasn't been for weeks now.

I can't imagine what life would be like  without the magic of instant communication. But maybe the break will prove to have been a good thing.

Quebec Premier Pauline Marois is still in the news with the Quuebec Charter of Something or Other.

I have something to say about that:

The Premier was criticized for  comments  she made when the G20  had met. A Liberal M.P.P. immediately demanded  an apology.

The Premier said U.K. is a tiny island.

It is.

She said multiculturism is the cause  of social unrest being experienced in the U. K.

It is.

The U.K. is a small island  that played a monumental role in world history.

Social unrest   has everything to  do with  class culture.

We dont have to look at the U.K. For that evidence.

A few months ago, we were   horrified by an atrocity that maimed and killed  innocents at the
Boston Marathon.

An anniversary of 9/11  is upon  us once again.  Will we ever forget?

A plane out of Vancouver, a bomb planted  on board, exploded off the coast of Ireland , bloowing to pieces hundreds of innocents . Literally...tiny babies in  their mother's arms.

Does anyone argue these appalling events  have nothing to do with difference in culture.

When three  young daughters and  an aunt are found dead in a  car submerged  in a lock near Peterborough and the father and brother are charged with their murder,  can the terrible facts of their deaths  be said to have nothing to  do with  a culture foreign to our own.

Yes it's true ,hundreds of thousands of  members of a myriad of cultures are among us with respect for the laws of our culture.

Does it mean we should never mention the inhuman fiends  who  do  not ?  And never intend to do so.

Does it  mean  we should turn a blind eye?

Does it mean  a person  with authority of elected office should  apologise for making statements of the obvious?

That we all know  are true.

I don't think so.

Monday 9 September 2013

No access

I am suffering from withdrawal symptoms. So many things to talk about and nobody to talk to.

Thursday 5 September 2013

One potato...two potato

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Shoot in the foot":

Evelyn... you're wrong. My post was not to discredit this poll. My intent was to demonstrate that the online poll mechanism that the Auroran uses is not and will not be accurate.

I have no knowledge of a previous post's claim to 12, I just tried it and got bored after 10.

My comment supports nothing nor does it opposed anything either. Just trying to make sure people do not read more into psuedo-facts.

YOu may let the poll stand, bu it is about as accurate as an Environment Canada long range forecast.

Posted by Anonymous to Our Town and Its Business.


Except to  the people who took the opportunity to cast a vote, the poll is no longer relevant. 

Council paid no attention to it whatsoever.  They never even gave it the time of day. 

They are interested only in  the single vote that decides millions of dollars of spending.

The vote to approve was five. The vote against was four. Even without a poll ,no more than half the community  is in favour of the project.

An  astute politician would not consider  those odds worth the  gamble.

But the issue now is not the youth facility.

It's  the  apparent disregard for the community's input.