Our Scruffy, Run-Down Town

There’s a gravel trail that runs along the waterfront, north of the Shipyards development, that’s been blocked by barricades since the spring. It’s been that way at least six months, perhaps longer. The path suffered erosion and some holes opened up along it. These were marked by barricades. Sort of. Most of the barricades collapsed some weeks (months?) ago, but no one from the … (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)

Failures in Cwood’s Typography and Design

Typography is the craft of endowing human language with a durable visual form. Robert Bringhurst, The Elements of Typographic Style (Hartley & Marks Publishers, 2001) I’m neither a graphic designer nor a typographer, but I spent many, many years working with design and type, as well as designers and typographers, enough to acquire at least a patina of their arts. I’ve read and studied … (more)

Chris Potts Nails It

Nailed it! In his latest blog post, former Town of Collingwood employee, Chris Potts writes about our council’s ill-conceived plan to hire a “climate change specialist” to add to the already egregiously expensive and bloated town payroll that taxpayers are burdened with: The Town of Collingwood seems to just hire and hire and hire, the next time we see this the position will be … (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 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)

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 … (more)

My Report About the Report About the Report

As I predicted (correctly) late last year, Collingwood Council was given a dumbed-down, $700,000-as-important-as-clean-drinking-water-report-about-the-judicial-inquiry-report. More than 900 pages of the original report reduced to a mere 15 to report on the report. And as I also predicted, it would include pie charts.  You can read it here: “STAFF REPORT #CAO2021-02 Phase One – Collingwood Judicial Inquiry Next Steps. You can also look at the … (more)

A Municipal Challenge to Democracy?

Collingwood has joined other local municipalities asking the province to revamp its Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA; a guide from the Information and Privacy Commissioner to the Act is also available here) to make the process more restrictive and less open. While some of those changes might seem appropriate to outsiders, I see buried in the wording of the … (more)

An Honourable Mayor?

Mayor Brian Saunderson has announced he is running for nomination to the provincial Progressive Conservative party in our riding to be able to stand as the candidate for MPP. According  to a story in Collingwood Today, he is not stepping down from his role as mayor, and will not do so even if he wins the nomination: Should Saunderson receive the nomination, he said … (more)

Striving for Mediocrity

On a council laden with dunces, deadwood, and dullards, it must be some consolation to our elected representatives, that they can at least claim to be less mediocre than Councillor Steve Berman. We all need someone to measure ourselves against, I suppose, and a low bar is so much easier to rise above. Berman’s first year in office was spent mostly consuming oxygen at … (more)

As Important as Clean Drinking Water?

I wonder how the people of Walkerton would feel about Collingwood CAO’s statement, reported in Collingwood Today, that implementing the 300-plus recommendations of the Saunderson Vindictive Judicial Inquiry (SVJI) is “equivalent with the top priorities we have, like providing clean drinking water.” I wonder how many people in our town will be saved from a painful, water-borne illness and possible death if, for example, … (more)

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