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 posted to … (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 approved Saunderson’s … (more–>)

Council Just Waves Its Hands

Council waving its hands. Making ineffective flapping gestures. It sounds like it should be some sort of metaphorical phrase. Something from the Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra episode of Star Trek. But hand-waving is actually a metaphorical term that means failure to deliver the goods. And also trying to deflect attention from your failure. Wikipedia describes it as, … a pejorative label for attempting to be … (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 pops up … (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 were already … (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), but we … (more–>)

Saunderson Still Won’t Do the Right Thing

Mayor Brian Saunderson swore an oath at the council inauguration in 2018 that included the promise to “truly, faithfully and impartially exercise this office to the best of my knowledge and ability.” And yet barely halfway through his term, he announced he wanted to get out of that commitment and leave town for a better-paying job as an MPP in Toronto. What sort of “best” is … (more–>)

Let’s Play “Spread the Virus!”

I see Collingwood Council wants the province to end the lockdown, but hasn’t said anything about improving public safety or accelerating the vaccinations if that happens. That suggests to me they are okay if the coronavirus spreads again, and strains our hospital’s already stretched capacity to deal with it. At least, that’s the message I got from the latest facepalm-worthy discussion and motion by council this … (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 forthcoming with … (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.

Continue Reading“The Inquiry Cost $250,000 More? Were We Lied To?”

Still Can’t Escape the B.S. (Brian Saunderson)

It’s late February as I write this and still our mayor, Brian Saunderson, refuses to do the ethical, the moral, and the RIGHT thing for the town and resign his office while he openly hunts for another, out-of-town, better-paying job.* It’s been more than a month since he admitted he doesn’t want to be our mayor and instead wants to be the riding’s next MPP. Seems … (more–>)

Another Sad Day for Collingwood

It’s sad to see any council devolve into pettiness and paranoia, but not surprising when this thin-skinned group does. In a story on CollingwoodToday, council voted 4-3* to censor “fact-check” letters or comments from the public. It’s so very Stalinist of them that they need staff to ensure the public’s comments march in step with the party line. What next? Purges? Gulags? Show trials? Oh wait, … (more–>)

The Hypocrisy Goes On

Anyone having supervisory responsibility for the completion of a task will invariably protest that more resources are needed. Hacker’s Law of Personnel, coined by Andrew Hacker in The End of the American Era, Atheneum, 1970. At the end of the Feb. 8 virtual meeting of Collingwood’s “Strategic Initiatives Standing Committee,” under “other business,” Councillor Jeffrey (~2:02:20) worries about the “lack of staff resources” the mayor has … (more–>)

Will Madigan Pay for Inquiry Costs?

In a recent story on CollingwoodToday about the Saunderson Vindictive Judicial Inquiry (SVJI), Councillor Bob “Lapdog” Madigan commented that he wanted, “…those who are responsible for this need to be held accountable.” Since neither the inquiry nor the OPP found anything illegal or criminal in the proceedings (no charges have been laid, although the OPP began its investigation in 2014!), the basis for a lawsuit would … (more–>)

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