Bad Behaviour, Disrespect in Council Meetings

There’s a video clip being shared on social media from the “special” meeting of the Strategic Initiatives Standing Committee Agenda, on Thursday, October 14, 2021 (full video here). It shows a dishevelled Councillor Bob “Lapdog” Madigan in the upper right corner of the screen. It’s worth watching to see how poorly some of our councillors treat their role and their office. The meeting was … (more)

Wilson Blames Council for Hospital Debacle, Brushes Off Saunderson

“I blame somewhat the local council,” said MPP Jim Wilson in this recent interview from the Peak FM about the continuing debacle of the hospital redevelopment. Well, so does most of this town. “We’ve not had a clear expression to Queen’s Park from the community, other than myself and Norah Holder, the President and CEO of the hospital, indicating that we don’t think you … (more)

Meng and the SVJI: Parallel Cases?

The ongoing case against Huawei’s Meng Wanzhou has an odd parallel in Collingwood. Our own petty, revenge-obsessed council’s threats to sue people who caused no harm nor have ever been charged with a crime has an echo in a comment made during Meng’s recent extradition hearings.  Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes said she was “skeptical of the validity of the United States’ claim,” according … (more)

Are Cwood’s Symbolic Gestures Mere Platitudes?

I’ve been wondering what the purpose is of the declaration that now starts every council and standing committee meeting. It’s a symbolic gesture, of course, but I cannot fathom what it’s meant to accomplish or who its audience is. The most recent declaration reads: For more than 15,000 years the First Nations walked upon, and cared for, the lands we now call home: Anishinaabek, … (more)

Saunderson’s Job-Killing ICBL Continued

James Madison, one of the US’s Founding Fathers said that a government “…without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a tragedy or a farce, or perhaps both.” Sure reads like someone describing our own council and their refusal to listen to the public during their discussion on the recent interim control bylaw (ICBL) that killed growth, development, … (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 … (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)

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)

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 … (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?”

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? … (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 … (more)

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