The Affordable Housing Myth

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Let me start with a few basic, uncomfortable truths about housing. It’s a myth that municipal politicians can, without a coordinated and regional approach that includes private developers and upper-tier levels as well as stakeholders and advocates, solve anything related to housing. And even then, it requires the involvement of provincial and sometimes the federal governments (as well as possible funding from them). Affordable housing is one of the biggest and most challenging issues for municipalities across Canada. A lot … click below for more!

Let Them Eat Cake

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The Continued Arrogance of Brian Saunderson Our gormless backbencher, the CONservative MPP Brian Saunderson, recently exposed his egregious arrogance in a comment to CollingwoodToday about the province again burdening municipalities by downloading more costs onto them. For Collingwood, that means another $615,000 added to our expenses.* He didn’t even bother trying to explain — let alone justify — the downloading, merely shrugged it away. That’s arrogantly disrespectful of how the town deals with spending and what burden it puts on … click below for more!

An Odium of Politicians

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The proper collective noun for a group of politicians is “an odium,” at least according to James Lipton in his delightful book, An Exaltation of Larks (Ultimate Edition, Penguin Books, 1993). I was thinking of how appropriate that term is, this week, when I read the odious comments from our mayor in the Connection. Odium, the Collins Dictionary tells us, means “dislike, disapproval, or hatred that people feel for a particular person, usually because of something that the person has … click below for more!

Vindication At Last!

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The headline in CwoodToday reads, “OPP concludes investigation into JI events; no charges laid.” After ten years, the OPP finally shut down the investigation that actually concluded several years ago. And even then we knew the results: no one under investigation broke any laws. Not even the Municipal Act or the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act. Ten years during which innocent people were under suspicion, had their lives and work affected, were accused of wrongdoing, had reputations ruined, and suffered … click below for more!

The Municipal Voting Debacle

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On voting day, Oct. 24, Collingwood’s online voting system suffered serious problems that prevented residents from voting. This happened not once, but twice in the same day. Voting had been open online and via paper ballot (at the library) since Oct. 3, but apparently many people decided to wait until the last day to vote. Yet on the last day, Oct. 24, barely an hour before voting was to close (8 p.m.), candidates received this message from Becky Dahl, Manager, … click below for more!

The Death of Local Democracy?

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Thirty nine per cent. That was the risible turnout of voters for the local municipal election here in Collingwood. Significantly fewer than half of our eligible voters made the effort to participate in our democracy, even though they could vote in person or on the internet for three weeks. It was never easier to cast a ballot, never been more convenient, never took less time, yet 61% of local voters chose not to. Why? That’s a question that keeps me … click below for more!

What Happened to Trebor?

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Back in late 2020, local media was singing the praises of a new company called Trebor RX at 395 Raglan Street in Collingwood. Its entrepreneurial owner, George Irwin, promised great things for the new plant and its innovative products, including creating up to 100 new jobs.* The idea sprouted in spring, 2020, when Irwin got the idea to start making masks in Collingwood, and when offered masks by a colleague, he got an order for 40,000 from the Collingwood General … click below for more!

Thank You for Your Support!

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Thank you to everyone who endorsed my nomination papers, who donated to my campaign, who took a lawn sign, and, of course, who voted for me in this 2022 municipal election. Three thousand, three hundred and forty seven of you believed in what I stood for and voted for me; a mere five votes shy of winning a seat on council. That was 38.1% of all the votes cast for council, and 15.1% of eligible voters, but not quite enough … click below for more!

Should mayoral candidates endorse council candidates?

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One of Collingwood’s current mayoral candidates is doing meet-n-greet events and openly endorsing a fixed slate of the seven council candidates she wants to be elected with her (but not, curiously, a deputy-mayor; see below). Is this appropriate for a would-be mayor? I don’t believe so. First, in the last two terms, we’ve seen how a slate of candidates can negatively affect governance by voting en masse for whatever their leader wants regardless of its impact on Collingwood. This term, … click below for more!

How to Win an Election

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Anyone running for office should consider reading How to Win an Election, by Quintus Tullius Cicero, translated by Philip Freeman. It’s a short, small book subtitled An Ancient Guide for Modern Politicians (Princeton University Press, 2012). It contains both the Latin and the English translation of Quintus’ letter to his more famous brother, the orator Marcus Cicero. Quintus penned it in 64 BCE when Marcus decided to run for the position of Consul, the highest office in the Roman Republic. … click below for more!

Another Abuse of Power and Position

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As this term of council winds down, with only a few weeks before the election, it seems some members at the table can’t help themselves abusing their position and their power. Their sense of entitlement is an embarrassing display. At tomorrow’s council meeting (Sept. 20), Councillor Jeffery will make the following notice of motion: THAT Council appoint Acting Deputy Mayor McLeod as Deputy Mayor for the duration of the current term of Council. This isn’t just a change in title: it … click below for more!

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