$17,297.48 For One SVJI Meeting!

John Megarry filed a Freedom of Information Act requesting the town provide the costs of having the two lawyers from the town’s inquiry legal team speak online to council for one meeting in February. The amount for that single event seems gobsmackingly high, considering it was done virtually and not in person: $17,297.48!  Just a reminder: the legal team for the inquiry was sole-sourced … (more)

Saunderson’s Petty Vindictiveness on Display

If you ever doubted our mayor, Brian Saunderson, was engaged in a petty, personal vendetta against people who thwarted him in 2012, you only need to read a recent article in CollingwoodToday, titled, Council to hire lawyer for potential action against parties involved in judicial inquiry. And, as usual, our secretive council scurried behind closed doors to hold their discussions in order to make … (more)

Saunderson Follows Stalin’s Lead

In the 1930s, the Soviet dictator Josef Stalin removed his political rivals and enemies from history. Literally: he had their images brushed out of photographs, their names removed from books. Those he didn’t like simply disappeared from public notice. Kim Jong Un and Mao Tse Tung similarly erased their opponents. And now our own mayor wants to follow the example set by these dictators. … (more)

ICBL Sinks Development and Saunderson’s MPP Dream

I wonder if our mayor, Brian Saunderson, gave any thought to what last night’s vote to kill construction in Collingwood might do to his dream of becoming our riding’s next MPP? I’d say both went down the tube when the draconian, interim control bylaw to stop providing building permits (the ICBL) was passed. In one meeting, our mayor and his cabal managed to alienate … (more)

Does Collingwood Mislead its Citizens?

The town’s “engage” page  for the upcoming “public” (virtual) meeting about the Saunderson Vindictive Judicial Inquiry (aka the SVJI) contains a deception (emphasis added): “The original estimated budget for the Collingwood Judicial Inquiry was $1.6 million. To date, the Town has processed and paid over $7 million. The costs will continue to be tallied through the completion of all associated bills and will be … (more)

Once Upon a Time in Collingwood

MORE THAN SIX MONTHS after council received the final report from the Saunderson Vindictive Judicial Inquiry (aka the SVJI), council has finally seen fit to hold a (virtual) public meeting about it (April 7). Given their history of secrecy and deception, I suspect most of them begrudge even that one “public” activity. It is, after all, the first such public event since the previous council … (more)

Quidnuncs on Council

A quidnunc is “a small-minded person, focused on petty things.” That’s how Gord Hume describes them in chapter five of his book, Taking Back Our Cities (Municipal World, 2011). Hume adds, “We have far too many of them on municipal councils across Canada.” I wonder what he’d say if he learned we had nine of them on ours? Hume continues: It’s the councillor who … (more)

Collingwood’s Version of QAnon: the SVJI

A story in CollingwoodToday titled, Council orders CAO to sift through old COLLUS documents kept by EPCOR shows just how far into the conspiracy pit they have dug themselves. They are so totally obsessed with the events of a  decade ago, that they happily continue to waste administrative staff time and more of our tax dollars digging through the old records of emails that … (more)

Why Won’t Council Answer Megarry?

Collingwood resident John Megarry is asking of council the tough questions our lackadaisical local media should be asking. But he’s not getting any replies. In fact, he’s being stonewalled. (You can see the video of the latest council meeting here, with Megarry’s deputation starting at 0:15:22).* To date, Megarry has made two deputations to council about the Saunderson Vindictive Judicial Inquiry (aka the SVJI), … (more)

Floccinaucinihilipilification in Collingwood

Floccinaucinihilipilification*, the longest non-technical word in the English language, is when you consider something to be unimportant, worthless, useless, or generally valueless. Basically, it means it’s rubbish. As Robert Heinlein wrote in a 1951 scifi novel: Digby was a floccinaucinihilipilificator at heart—which is an eight-dollar word meaning a joker who does not believe in anything he can’t bite. Robert A. Heinlein, The Puppet Masters (1951). I … (more)

Berman’s Cowardly Comment

Late last month, Collingwood council heard from the town’s inquiry legal team* justifying the cost of the Saunderson Vindictive Judicial Inquiry (aka the SVJI), which many residents feel was an exorbitant waste of our tax dollars. The Collingwood Connection reported that Councillor Berman engaged in a to-and-fro with Will McDowell (of Lenzcner Slaght**): Coun. Steve Berman asked if the parties involved had been more … (more)

The Inquiry Cost $250,000 More? Were We Lied To?

Hidden costsFormer councillor Tim Fryer is back on the agenda this coming week, making another delegation to the Strategic Initiatives Standing Committee about the true costs of the judicial inquiry (aka the Saunderson Vindictive Judicial Inquiry, or SVJI). I admire Tim’s tenacity at trying to get the truth out to the public about this debacle. My respect for him has risen considerably since he’s been off council, but I wish he had been such a bulldog for the truth when he was at the table (I wrote about Fryer’s last appearance in front of the committee here).

At the very end of the agenda, you can read Tim’s letter, starting on page 161* and continuing through page 166. What’s most interesting is that he included a letter from the town to EPCOR, included on pages 163 and 164. That letter shows the town agreed to pay EPCOR’s legal costs over the SVJI of $250,000 or more. Yet those costs do not show up on the town’s most recent official accounting of the costs for the SVJI (read it here) **

For a council eager to censor “fact-check” residents’ comments and letters so they conform to the party line, it seems highly hypocritical to find that the town itself isn’t forthcoming about the facts. Yet we now learn that $250,000 was mysteriously left out of the calculations. As Fryer writes,

I figured if a $4 Walmart or $8 Tim Horton’s expense charge could be included then certainly something like the $250,000 or more of EPCOR’s legal expense coverage, as per the Side Letter Agreement terms established with council after the CJI was initiated, should be too.

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