Saunderson: An Affront to Democracy

PC nominee candidate Stella Ambler reported that her competitor, Brian Saunderson was anointed appointed as the party’s candidate for Simcoe-Grey without allowing the members to decide if they want him. Party members weren’t even given a warning that this was coming: the autocrat premier merely waved his hands and made it happen without regard to the desires of the party’s members. Ambler wrote in a recent … (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, and jobs … (more–>)

Saunderson’s Epic Blunder

A blunder of epic proportions? A sobering display of supreme incompetence and ineptitude? A total failure of communications, direction, and leadership? An underhanded excuse to hand our municipal water services over to a private corporation without public consultation? A rudderless municipal government fumbling from one crisis to the next with no future planning? An unprecedented assault against our neighbouring municipalities? Another attack on the construction industry … (more–>)

An Example Our Mayor Should Follow

In a recent story in the Quinte News (March 31, 2021) the headline told us, “Belleville Councillor Ryan Williams has resigned from Belleville City Council.” Williams was elected the federal Conservative candidate for the Bay of Quinte riding for the next federal election, and instead of staying on in council taking the town’s paycheque and benefits, he has resigned his seat. In his media release, Williams … (more–>)

The COVID-19 Vaccination Screw Up

For a long time during this pandemic, Susan and I were in the “not eligible” age bracket for the COVID-19 vaccination (65-79 years old) here in Ontario. Why our age group was left out I have never been able to uncover. Maybe some politicians felt we were more expendable than other groups. But late last week, the provincial government finally announced it had expanded eligibility 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–>)

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–>)

Bones of Contention: Saunderson’s Campaign Emails

In his latest email to potential supporters (dated Mar. 18 at 10:12 a.m.), Mayor Brian Saunderson again tries to leverage his role as mayor and Simcoe County councillor to get enough votes that will allow him to leave those roles he had committed in his oaths of office to perform “truly, faithfully and impartially exercise this office to the best of my knowledge and ability.” Yeah, … (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–>)

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–>)

Saunderson to Flog his SVJI at the County

On the County of Simcoe agenda for Feb. 9 is a motion from our mayor for the rest of the county to support the Saunderson Vindictive Judicial Inquiry (SVJI) and back his run-on motion: …Collingwood’s efforts to advocate for the Province of Ontario to make review, and/or commence consultation with the municipalities of Ontario and other stakeholder groups, such as the Association of Municipalities of Ontario, … (more–>)

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