"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

Friday 4 September 2015


A comment attempts to outline the process of the town's acquisition of the mouldy old shed on the corner of the town park. It's not accurate. Could  be deliberate or a misunderstanding. Facts matter. I don't mind repeating them to keep them as straight as they can be. It's hard when so much trickery is going on. 

The  town had everything to do with the facility becoming vacant when the Feds apparently signalled  
intention to close Fort York and Aurora Armouries as a cost-cutting measure. 

Whatever went on in the Mayor's office with Chris Ballard, Citizen Chair of the Economic Advisory Committee, the town parks department was evicted from the former hydro property and it was turned over to Queen's York Rangers . Mr. Ballard was not then elected .He was involved with the Rangers. 

At a closed meeting ,the CAO informed Council of a successfully negotiated lease with the feds for the hydro building. Later, in public. Councillor Gaertner congratulated the CAO for his good work. 

Town archives were  stored in the hydro office building. Heritage salvage in the huge yard.Park furniture. Including a gazebo was manufactured in the service space  which also provided ample storage for vehicles and equipment.,

For QYR, two hundred thousands dollars were spent for a sprinkler system. The complete  financial outlay was never reported for them to move in was never reported. It certainly made a hole in the revenue from rent. 

Rent revenue was presented  as an asset. Offsetting costs for maintenance were not factored.Loss of Grant -in -lieu of taxes was also a deficit and excluded from the calculations.

Real estate value of several million was not considered. Sold into the private sector, the financial asset would have been realised. Real  estate taxes in an amount of $67,000 a year would have been paid   to the town treasury. 

Jobs would have been created. 

A  sale would have meant a substantial contribution towards the cost of building the new joint facility  in the planning stages at the time.

Another  alternative, was for the parks department to move from Scanlon Court leaving  space for the works department  to expand and eliminating the need for the new site that cost more to remediate than purchase.

The Municipal Act requires a bylaw declaring a property surplus that is not needed by the town. 
Provincial regulations did not stand high on the priority list durting the Mormac years.

Queen's York Rangers won a reprieve through Aurora Council enabled by the Town Administration at the expense of Aurora taxpayers. 

National security, they said, required the lease to be  secret.  

The last (mostly the current)  Council extended the lease for thirty years. IT IS A GIFT TO THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT not dissimilar to the Culture Centre.

All about silly empty snobbery and pandering to the entitled. The worst of all reasons for public decisions. 

A Royal Ball replete with Royal guest was organized  to raise funds for dress uniforms.it was in Richmond Hill.

Dignitaries flocked to the auspicious occasion, tickets no doubt paid at taxpayers's expense.
They got to talk to Royalty. He was just like anyone else. 

May the Saints protect us from ourselves because nobody else can. 

The name on the  location sign was changed from Aurora Armouries to Governor John Graves SImcoe Armouries. 

For sixty years QYR have been keen to honour the original Commanding Officer of the Regiment. He served a tour of duty in Colony Canada then went home to England. 

The sign has since been painted out. 

Changes to the  interior were made without town knowledge or approval. The huge yard is vastly under-utilized.

Whatever interest is served by lease of a town-owned building, it is  not the interest of the  municipal corporation; not in any shape or context. 

Half a million for a decrepit shed  in need of quarter of a million for de-contamination ,is  just the final insult to the town, so badly served  for eight years.

The federal grant -in-lieu  of taxes is also forfeit. Still another  deficit to town coffers.

Mes Amis, It's not corruption you have to worry about; it is unbelievable stupidity. 

While you sleep, they rob you blind and clothe their actions in the white robes of virtue.


Anonymous said...

I know of at least 3 local busineseeses that would have been interested in purchasing or leasing that hydro building. It would haven't been for "national security", it would only have meant more local jobs, and increase revenue for the town. But I don't think that's part of the Town's "Master Plan".

Anonymous said...

The huge error was that claim of security for not revealing details to the tax payers.
And, you are right, Evelyn, it was sheer stupidity that still has a ripple effect today because the
whole affair remains fuzzy.

Anonymous said...

And parking is a real problem in town - could not that yard be used to take some of the day-trippers' vehicles ?

Anonymous said...

I think this council sort of assumed that the market would miraculously fit in there.
Certainly one cannot accuse them of over-thinking when it comes to real estate transactions.

Anonymous said...

Thirty years definitely makes certain that they are not going to have to deal with it again.

Anonymous said...

What "Day trippers"?

Anonymous said...

"Whatever went on in the Mayor's office with Chris Ballard, Citizen Chair of the Economic Advisory Committee, the town parks department was evicted from the former hydro property and it was turned over to Queen's York Rangers . Mr. Ballard was not then elected .He was involved with the Rangers. "


Mr Ballard was involved with the Queens' York Rangers Association. This is a civilian organization to support the volunteer members of the QYR. The QYR is a Canadian Army Reserve regiment operating under the Department of National Defence. Ballard's involvement with the association had 0% influence with the deal. Get your facts straight.

Anonymous said...

0% influence? Is that right?? Ok, lets just say I buy that, and lets also say the Mayor at the time had 0% influence with the deal. So who ever drew up that lease and approved it was who exactly?

Anonymous said...

Did the Mayor draw up the lease? Doubt it, she's not that bright.

You ask who approved the deal. Quite simple, the Council of the Town of Aurora at the time.