"Cowardice asks the question...is it safe? Expediency asks the question...is it politic? Vanity asks the question...is it popular? But conscience asks the question...is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it because it is right." ~Dr. Martin Luther King

Tuesday 7 April 2015


Omitted yesterday were a couple of legal extravaganzas early in the Mormac Saga

In a contrived tribunal  behind closed doors,the former Mayor conducted with lawyer John  Mascarin at her elbow, Director of Leisure Services,Chief Financial Officer and CAO were called separately and cross-examined,having been instructed previously not to speak to each other.

The issue was emergency work  in the new Recreation Centre on Wellington Street to correct a design flaw. (Litigation recently concluded in the town's favour)

In a previous life,Mayor Morris graduated from a course at Seneca College and held a job for a short time at the Newmarket court house.

I was the only Councillor with  previous experience of town administration. Nothing I had ever seen bore the slightest  resemblance to the proceedings at hand. 

Neither Councillors nor staff were briefed beforehand. 

It transpired the miserable, degrading spectacle was to establish grounds to terminate the CAO without honouring his contract. 

It did nothing of the sort.

The CAO did leave. Under the terms of the contract when he accepted the invitation to join the Town of Aurora.

He was neither first nor last in exodus. TheTreasurer,second in the trio trial, followed hard on his heels. 

Despite requirements of the Municipal Act, a new treasurer was appointed over a coffee in a donut shop. Council was informed after the fact. 

Morris had an encounter with a lawyer at a municipal conference in Ottawa about the same time. 

Since Toronto withdrew from membership in the eighties, the Ontario Municipal Association needed sponsorships from legal firms, contractors and banks. They all attend to solicit 

The Town lost a property sale to the Region. An offer was made at asking price for town-owned land for regional police headquarters. The point arrived for the CAO to continue discussion.  

But Oh Dear Me No. that could not be . An opportunity to humiliate the CAO could not be allowed to pass. 

Morris and MacEachern were something to watch. My mother used to say "you don't know a person unless you live with them" . That's true. But you can learn a lot about them by serving on the same Council. 

The offer made on September 12th was never repeated. 
IIn November The  Auroran ran a story on the refusal to sell. 

Well all hell broke loose. 
A leak occurred from behind closed doors. 
Fingers were pointed 
The story was denied. 
Region Police were not planning a move. 

Regional Police Headquarters currently occupy the top floor of their building on Don Hillock Drive. 

A  lawyer the Mayor met in Ottawa was  at a Council meting to advise on the emergency behind closed doors. 

Purpose of meeting would not be publicly disclosed. 

"Ah no! Councillor Buck, you will not trick me into revealing that"  The Mayor said sagely.,

Mr George Rust D'Eye was the solicitor on hand. His first function was to persuade moi not to attend the closed door meeting.

First he asked had I retained legal Counsel. 

"Why  would I do that." I asked. 

OH! No!  he was not suggesting it. His argument continued. 

If the issue ended up in litigation,I might hear something to my financial advantage. It would be a Conflict of Interest and new legislation made it a very serious offence, he advised.

I attended the meeting. I listened to the scheme. 

With great discomfiture at my presence, the lawyer advised Council of means to deal with a Councillor who insists on following  her own rules. 

New Code of Conduct legislation coupled with appointment of an Integrity Commissioner, provided Council with power hitherto unknown.  

Mr. Rust D'Eye was  introduced as a former Municipal solicitor in Toronto. 

Written advice was requested to follow. 

I attended the next meeting as a diligent Councillor should, to discover the reason, as an elected official, I should forego 
authority to exercise my own judgement.

The report was presented. Questions were asked and answered. 

 Mr. Rust D'Eye was not retained again by that Council. 

That happened regularly. If a solicitor failed to deliver the required message, they shopped around for one who would.

John Mascarin became the regular advisor after that.

This is a post that took on its own direction.AN 


Anonymous said...

Oh boy.. here we go again... whoa is me.

Anonymous said...

You've got to hand it to Al Downey - Last Man Standing.

Anonymous said...

I have not heard much about Rust D'Eye lately but Mascarin appears to work for the Star making pronouncements and predictions, not all of which are wrong.
Although most of them are incorrect.

Anonymous said...

You could stage this as a gripping drama.

Or if the mood strikes a musical comedy.

By the way, what are all these old bacteria doing with their lives today?

Anonymous said...

Boy, you really unloaded there !
Subject to correction:
I believe that Mr Mascarin was the only individual other than Morris' lawyers who printed a legal opinion in support of her defamation suit.
There were plenty on the other side, most of which can be found in the Aurora Citizen files.

Anonymous said...

Morris and company must have been fuming when the experienced and learned Rust D'Eye failed to "shake you down." I recall your words to him were, "I don't know why you are staring at me".

Anonymous said...

14:26, he's in a bit of bother right now re: a possible conflict of interest involving the City of Brampton:


Anonymous said...

And talking about garbage, there is an article in today's Globe and Mail that the "City of Toronto is looking to take on one of its most persistent pests - raccoons - with a new generation of green bins specially designed to keep the rodents out.

The proposed new design, which will be debated at Toronto's public works and infrastructure committee this week comes after extensive public surveys, field tests and even the hiring of an 'ANIMAL BEHAVIOURAL SPECIALIST.'" Capitals mine.

The proposed new bins have larger wheels and a rodent-resistant locking lid.

Perhaps our august Mayor and councillors could refer this possible project to staff so that Aurora residents may just as raccoon free as those in Toronto. And they don't even have to hire a consultant - this has already been done by others.

What mess they do ain't nice!

Anonymous said...

Infecting other victims somewhere.

Anonymous said...

Did they ever find the horrible Leak that caused the panic ? I think it was just a lower staffer over a late beer. Certainly none of those who were accused.

Anonymous said...

Why was the former mayor so determined not to have the police here ? I would have thought it to be a good thing for the town.

Anonymous said...

She probably was as popular at the Region as she proved to be in town, 08:20. Her 'does not play well with others' attitude doesn't foster mutual back-scratching. Giving up industrial employment lands also wasn't a priority.