"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


I did not anticipate writing a sequel to the post about feeling invisible.

 Chris Watts has posted  about  a $90,000  federal grant towards rehabilitating the mouldy smelly old contaminated shed that has occupied a corner of  the Town Park for more than a hundred years. 

The town paid the feds more than half a million for the dump.

The CAO. advised Council, cost of removing asbestos would be $120,000.

Now we learn contamination is much more and estimated cost of remediation is $275,000. 

Chris Watts'  in depth professional research into issues is invaluable. 

In the current post he states John Abel is saying the transfer should not have cost the town. 

Well now, that's new. He said no such thing at the time of the transfer. I,on the other hand,took  a strong and vehement position that negotiations should be conducted at the political level. Us versus them. Face to face, Toe to toe. 

At the photo opportunity, Lois Brown,David Falconer photographer, myself and one other were on hand before the rest. I told The Honkrable what I thought of the town being gouged and funneling funds into the federal treasury for the property. It was a disgrace. 

It was as if I wasn't there. She proceeded to tell the other two about having earned all her badges and crowned as a member of a young farmers group growing up in King.

I think the experience became so regular I barely noticed any more. I put it down to bad manners. 

I remember  a post about being heavily involved in a different contentious debate. The report by Brock Weir was as if I wasn't even present. It wasn't the first time. 

But It was odd . Neither bias nor hostility were evident....and yet..at times it seemed like I didn't exist.

Now Chris Watts has done the same and it's just weird.

Chris refers to Abel's statement  as though it had never been heard before .

Not for one moment do I argue my presence on Council has not been felt. 

The occasions are undeniable. Paranoid ? Perhaps. Even critics keep harping on my independence

Being old is unique to each of us.  Chance is a good thing. 

My immediate references  are to mother, grandmothers and a single isolated connection to a maternal great-grandfather. All from a different time in another place. 

In another post, I will explore the matter further. 


Anonymous said...

In certain circles it is well known that Lois Brown seems to have been short-chaned in the grey matter department and she would be far more useful were she to be and stay invisible. Possibly a role in agriculture - shovelling it rather than talking it.

As for John Abel every time he opens his mouth he seems to create another blunder. He often talks too much without first thinking about what he intends to say. I continue to associate him with Heritage trees.

Anonymous said...

We have seen Cllr Abel switch- hit before. The least costly example was that of the 3 " heritage " trees.
" Save them, " Remove them, " " Fight for them "
It all depended on who had spoken last,

Anonymous said...


Chris has not slighted you.
In fact he enhances that you voted against the acquisition at 500,000 dollars plus.
At that same meeting Mr.Heard spoke and suggested $2.00 at max I think.

I knew his Father personally and am aware he managed that facility for the DND.
Mr Heard spoke to losing his father to lung disease,due to the clean-ups of these facilities.

It was a word of awareness I believe.

Christopher Watts said...

My apologies Evelyn, it was not my intention. I was focusing on the discussions of the August 25th meeting of council.

I have updated my blog post with a link to the Auroran covering the council meeting where the purchase of the armoury was discussed: http://www.newspapers-online.com/auroran/?p=8139 Also of note from that meeting is a delegation from David Heard on this same issue speaking to a token amount purchase price of $2.

One point of clarification is that my findings do not show that "The crown did not take the building without playing for it."

The Candian Parliment's 1875 fiscal year end report, available for viewing online here:
https://books.google.ca/books?id=Q1tEAQAAMAAJ&pg=RA1-PA41&lpg=RA1-PA41&dq=Joseph+Fleury,+government+grant+to+battalion+drill+shed+at+Aurora&source=bl&ots=2X0nlbV84g&sig=1in_otR3qaZoK2HlMI4-Oe2TTC4&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CCgQ6AEwAGoVChMIhObRjcfdxwIVgouSCh15kgF-#v=onepage&q=Joseph%20Fleury%2C%20government%20grant%20to%20battalion%20drill%20shed%20at%20Aurora&f=false shows that Joseph Fleury provided the property for the drill shed in exchange for a $600 government grant.

On the National Defence website there is a page that speaks to policy surrounding Disposal of Department of National Defence Surplus Infrastructure: http://www.forces.gc.ca/en/business-infrastructure/disposal-surplus-infrastructure.page

Noted is a distinction between routine and strategic disposal, the Aurora Armoury being routine.

It states that "lower value" properties can be sold relatively easily and normally sold in their “as is” state.

Given the zoning, heritage protection, fire regulations and growing remediation costs from its "as is state" I'm unconvinced there were other buyers lining up for the building.

We should expect both more tire-kicking from the town when it pursues acquisitions as well as an established plan for facility usage that factors in capital and operating costs.

Anonymous said...

That CAO is no longer available to explain a whole lot of advice he handed out.
The next budget is going to have to be a work of art the way the dollar signs are binging.

Anonymous said...

The latest excuse: " The CAO said it was a good deal "

Onus not Anus said...

Here's the time line as I remember it.

1. DND decides that they need to move the QYR and the afiliated Cadet Corps out of the Aurora Armouries.

2. DND and the Town (in what some say was a "secret" deal) negotiate the lease of the former Aurora Hydro building which had no "technical" purpose to the Town and was for all intents and purposes surplus.

3. Oppontents of the deal scream. What about the old building? They should at least let the Town have it.

4. The old Armoury is declared historical.

5. DND decides to divest itself of the old building and reaches a deal with the Town - (secret? - don't know).

6. Opponents scream. Why did we get the old building?

7. Town needs funds to fix up old building. Same opponents scream. Why we get the old building?

I guess you can't please everyone.

Anonymous said...

I think that Doan place could be this council's Petch. They are already putting money into the wreck.
We have to hope they realize that no one wants Hallmark either. It's been on the market for ages.

Anonymous said...

The CAO advised a lot of things - some might even have been true.

Anonymous said...

@ 13:58
We got it because DND wanted to unload it and somehow the due diligence about its condition went wrong.

Anonymous said...

All I know is that whoever is acting as the realtor for the Town, should get a new job.

Anonymous said...

All I know is that EVERY Councollor sitting at that table can take any and all blame or praise for the deal.

To write against now - after being turfed at the polls - and somehow look nobler or smarter than the others is sham.

Look at the photo of thoe that were there for the takeover! Pictures say volumes.