"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 26 August 2015


Grace Marsh posts on Facebook  a photo of a thirty-five year old street tree marked with a red R signifying slated removal. The tree was damaged during street re-construction two years ago. 

The Marsh's have watched the tree grow for thirty- five years. Grace is sad.

I am shaking with a familiar sense of  frustration and frankly...recurring rage. 

I drove down that street on a Sunday and saw the roots torn away and canopy burned to a crisp with the heat from the ripping and tearing digging machine,

It didn't have to be.The contract called for protective fences  to surround the trees. Distance from the trunk was circumscribed. 

The town's an arborist drew up the specification. The parks department is responsible for the urban forest. The contract  called for the arborist to be on hand  to supervise at contractor's  cost.  The  contract included the specification at the award price. 

The town department responsible for the project  failed miserably. The tree in front of Grace's house will not be the only one destroyed. The entire street of thirty-five year old trees were subject to the inexcusable irresponsibility. 

I raised the issue at the Council table. No  interest. No reaction. No support. No response. 

Times  change. Yes indeed. 

In the past, shameful incompetence could not have been ignored. It would have cost at least one highly- placed individual his job. 

Two years later, one has departed. 

It's not enough. 

Responsibility for supervising  re-construction of Grace  Marsh's street was the same for renovation and addition of the Aurora Family Leisure Complex. It's still not finished and hundreds of thousands over budget. 

Imagine what it's like to conscientiously specify in a contract what must be done to protect thirty-five year old trees trees only to see the requirement ignored and trees destroyed despite best effort. 

It's  been like that in Aurora for five years. 

The years of Geoff Dawe's absolute mindset against micro-management. 

To say nothing of the maudlin hypocritical crap endlessly spouted around the council table about a Bylaw to prevent injury and destruction of trees on private property. 


Anonymous said...

Mismanagement is not a surprise.

What is a surprise and gross negligence is that residents and taxpayers do not become engaged with the operation of the town, with its staff and with the ten elected officials who are supposed to SERVE US.

If we don't care, why should they?

That's the trouble with our democracy. The voters don't care and they don't bother to vote. All they can do is bitch about the consequences and it is they who are responsible for these.

The next municipal election is three years off.

But the big one - federal - is less than two months away. Will we forget Duffy and the senate scandal, the multi millions pissed away on helicopters that aren't available, submarines that don't work, an economy in relative tatters, a possible further Central Bank cut in interest rates (soon we may be paying the government to store our money for us as in a few countries - negative interest rates) and its Governor making small talk with the Prime Minister about economic matters - both in complete ignorance of the facts and a solution. If it were not for the blossoming American economy and its positive impact on ours, we would truly be beggars.

Come on people, exert yourselves - VOTE.

Anonymous said...

He sure micromanaged the insurance premium presentation before last year's election.

Anonymous said...

I'll be excercising my right to vote, but it will be tossed, as I will not be voting for any of the canditaes.

Anonymous said...

Typical. God forbid if a resident asks to take a tree down on there own property, but if its Town's business....no biggy. Bylaws are only meant for the few.

Anonymous said...

Well said 21:29!

I too saw the picture Grace posted - it's quite disgusting that this is happening with zero regard for the residents ...... sometimes things like trees hold something much more special than just it's beauty .... family memories.

Anonymous said...

There were some things done around Town Hall, looks empty, and the parking lot now is so visible, like we need to see more cars.

Anonymous said...

This is pretty much the same council that had a canniption overf those 3 trees on a guy's property. Had Cllr Humfryes got her way, the trees would still be dying there and the family would be living elsewhere,

Anonymous said...

The only thing that merits full attention appears to be the sports brief.

Anonymous said...

If Grace could get her tree labelled " heritage ", they would be all over themselves trying to save it.

Anonymous said...

And another front page story from today's Globe and Mail proves that even the provincial government is incapable of managing something as fundamental to our safe existence as a new prison. Our government, you and me, Mr. Ballard, is paying to replace 1,700 windows at its"new flagship jail" after inmates broke several panes, one of a series of potentially dangerous growing pains that have plagued the country's second largest jail and compelled hundreds of staff to apply for transfers.

Toronto South Detention Centre opened 20 months ago and has been the scene of numerous malfunctions, including cell doors that either don't close or don't open, poorly placed smoke detectors and tricky computer hardware.

Possibly the Ontario Liberals should deed the prison to the federal Conservatives, who wish to appear as expert in the art of sentencing and imprisonment. This would provide the prime minister with another platform from which to preach security, be it from local or imported terrorists.

It seems that governing must by necessity involve ineptitude.

Anonymous said...

I am sorry about Grace's tree but there is nothing that can be done to change town policy so soon into a new term. There is no will to change.

Anonymous said...

8:29 They cannot be everywhere. One has to do the deed quickly and hope the neighbours do not rat you out. I have a neighbour who sent his aging mom to the door when the by-law guys showed. She nattered at them in Polish until they gave up.
He never even go a notice.

Anonymous said...

Ah, such law-abiding residents like you and your Polish neighbour, 19:02.

Anonymous said...

Look at what happened south of Henderson on the West side.3 acres cut and tons of fill brought in.
A remediation was ordered and now it sits inactive and for sale.
I do not trust staff or this council or the previous ones.

Anonymous said...

Got a rise out of you.

Without Exception said...


As it should to any resident who feels that the rules apply to everyone.

Anonymous said...

Is that a current sign ? Because that place might be tied up in court proceedings. Think maybe the first owner
went bankrupt ?

Anonymous said...

Right, and you wanted a designated area where the rules of some would have been applied to all.

Anonymous said...

The rules don't apply to everyone. Especially in government. Never has and never will.

Anonymous said...

Hmm, I don't think you've quite got the grasp of the principle, 16:53.

Anonymous said...

It is not a matter of principle. Rather it appears to be a proliferation of anal rules all instigated from a small pod of cranks.