"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 11 June 2014

Fish,Fowl or Good Red Herring

I toyed with the idea of rising on a Question of Privilege last night.

At the previous council meeting, the Mayor stated   'Your conduct is inappropriate, Councillor Buck"

I waited  for the follow-up. None  came .

I asked; "Are you ruling me out of order, Mr..Mayor"

"I am" he said.

"Are you going to specify a reason, Mr.Mayor" I asked.

"No I am not " he said.

I think I said he had to . He  just repeated  that my conduct was inappropriate

Here's the thing; if a Councillor makes a statement that offends Council or a Councillor,
the presiding member has a duty to call the member to order. Point out the offending  statement.

The member then has an opportunity to remedy either with a withdrawal or an apology or both.

It called civil discourse. It;s the reason for the rules of order.

Without stating the point of order, the Mayor had no authority to interrupt me while I was speaking.

He was out of order. The remedy then is for the Councillor  to challenge the ruling of the chair.

At the time though what came into my head was that scene in Scent of Woman when Al Pacino
whacked  a table with his cane and  roared.

"No. you're out of order. If I was the man I was ( he was a combat veteran) I would take a flame thrower to this place" There was a lot more about the school being a place to shape young minds
and  what the principal was doing was the opposite.

The Principal, under threat of expulsion of a scholarship student, was trying to force him to give up names of other students for  dropping a paint bomb on his car.

It was a great scene in a great movie.

Anyway, I didn't rise on a question of privilege. There were other matters of priority,

But it was interesting to note. Time is of the essence when  there are delegations present.

The rules allow questions from Councillors. They specifically do not allow discussion  or debate or any other exchange wit the delegate.

The rules are not observed. Either Councillor Humfryes or Gaertner will feel compelled to express
heart- felt appreciation to the delegate for their service to the community.

Last night was no exception. First it was Councillor Gaertner then Thomson, I think Pirrie got in a word or two but the torrential outpouring came from Councillor Abel. On and on he lavished  enough praise to fertilize the entire ravine.

The Mayor gazed complacently throughout.  Obviously  completely satisfied with the Councillors supremely appropriate conduct.

Oblivious to the rules that prohibit the same.

People  half my age feel  sometimes  compelled to  remind me of how things  change. As if they better situated  in youth to judge than I am in maturity.

Times past,  a performance like Councillor Abel's last night would have drawn a collective groan from around the Council table.

A politician blatantly trying to catch a glow from somebody else's effort would quickly be  called to order.

With Mayor Dawe, things mostly depend on what makes him comfortable.


Anonymous said...

It was a testy meeting. My daughter who teaches says it is like that at her school where a new principal who is the terror of the district has been announced & is due this week. She arrives in the mornings as late as possible & is back on the road right after activities are over.

Anonymous said...

Ah, no one pays any attention to that part of meetings. It gets used for washroom breaks, tossing laundry around & making a quick trip to clean out the mail-box.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

The Auroran has a video of the all-candidates meeting which is great because neither Rogers or the town seem to have anything that I can find.

Anonymous said...


Reading through today's Globe and Mail first section I was struck by the captions of the articles/columns, so I thought I'd write them down in order, starting on Page A10:

"Ontario's lost swagger: It's now a have-not province with a don't-want election"

"Horwath, Wynne up the anti-Hudak ante"

"Each party leader must face the consequences of a loss"

"Elections too long, say Chow and Doug Ford"

"Former TDSB head may lose PhD"

"Kelly wants Del Grande to be named 'Deputy-Deputy Mayor'"

"Homeward bound: Made-in-Canada terror"

"Our hospitals are not ready for the grey tsunami"

"Ferry crew faces hostile crowd in court"

"Israeli parliament elects Rivlin as new president"

"Islamist militants descend on Mosul"

"Five U.S. soldiers killed by friendly fire amid ambush"

"With clock ticking, Obama scrambles to secure nuclear deal"

OUR WORLD is indeed a chaotic and often dangerous place.

Here in Aurora we seem to be living a privileged existence, where the local Council meetings are about as serious as things get. Very little emerging from them makes much of a difference on our lives.

Anonymous said...

Christopher is still all twisted up over that Browning House being taken down and out of its misery. I think I heard applause from miles around when that ugly thing was taken down. At least now something decent can erect from that property. How about a Park ? ….Just kidding Evelyn.

Anonymous said...

When this election is all over & the dust has settled, I would very much like to know why & how Dorian Baxter was included at all. He took up far too much time with his posturing & added nothing to the debates except a load of attitude. Speeches about how much he would lobby, lobby, lobby & hold peoples' feet to the fire ! Surely a candidate must provide a list of supporters to prove sincerity ?

Anonymous said...

I read Chris’s blog entry talking about the heritage rating on the Browning House. 92.5 out of 100? Maybe there was a mistake with the decimal placing. I would have thought 9.25 would have been generous.

To Quote the Bard said...

Your funny.