"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

Thursday 30 April 2020

“”Don’t Pay The Fine, You’ll Only Encourage The Bastards”

The story of a mother, ticketed in the park, was published in the Toronto Sun yesterday. Today, Premier Ford commented, the by-law officer could have used better judgement. It’s not what our doughty leaders in Aurora said.

At Tuesday’s Zoom meeting, Councillor Humfreys brought up the subject in new business at the end of the wrangle.With suitably sad countenance, the Councillor referred to “harsh” and ”really nasty comments” made in social media. Gazing earnestly into the camera, she assured all 29 viewers, Council is trying to protect lives. ”There are two sides to every story” she said, “and you have to know both”.

Next day, the Mayor told a local reporter he could not comment because the matter was before the court. But we already know from the bylaw officer, the town has a ”zero tolerance” policy in effect. 

I made nasty comments on social media about the bylaw. Several. It’s a nasty bylaw, with nasty intent. I plagiarized the title of a book I bought and advised “Don’t pay the fine. You’ll only encourage the bastards”.

I struggle to find titles for blog posts. I bought the book because of its title. I read a few pages. Nothing definitive emerged and I knew it was unlikely. But the title certainly grabbed my attention and apparently Councillor Humfreys’. I was titillated. She was daintily horrified.

Anyway, thanks to the bylaw and zero tolerance application, Aurora has acquired notoriety.
Burlington did the same with a 17 year old shooting a few baskets in an empty park. The same explanation was offered. Kid had a bad attitude... oh yeah... and that merits an $880 fine.

As if we don’t have enough to contend with, Great Tunderin’ Jasus, what will they come up with next to relieve our worries. After watching Councillor Humfreys on Tuesday with a foot firmly planted on each side of a barbed wire fence of awkward height and her own construction over parking spaces in a site plan, I shudder to contemplate. 

I think I like these Zoom-in meetings. Councillor Gilliland was in her basement. A window in the wall behind was a clear indicator. Councillor Gaertner could have been in her late mother’s North York Apartment. She did a lot of swaying back and forth and waving her arms about. Councillors Thompson, Kim and Gallo all had doors in the backdrop and light walls. The Mayor had a suitably studious background of dark wood panelling and bookshelves. His voice was surprisingly light. 

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