In his latest email to PC Party members, Brian Saunderson predictably celebrates his anti-democratic appointment as candidate without having had to actually work for it. Our much-disliked mayor was rescued from likely failure in the nomination process by the intervention of the premier. But at the close of his email Saunderson writes,
…it is time to turn our heads to an election in 2022. We know it will take a lot of organization, commitment, and effort. I will continue to keep you posted on the work ahead. I look forward to working with you in the future to build a strong PC government.
The provincial election is a year away, and the municipal election almost 18 months from now. Yet Saunderson — ostensibly Collingwood’s mayor — has publicly announced he’s turning his attention to the provincial election. Instead, that is, of paying attention to the job he was elected to do. He’s running away. Rats and sinking ships, eh?
And all the while, he’s going to continue to suck on the public teat by taking the taxpayers’ paycheque for a job he didn’t want to stay in, a job he couldn’t be bothered to keep his commitments to, and is very eager to leave. How ethical is that?
That’s the sort of person our premier wants beside him in public office.
Here’s what Tony Veltri wrote on New Tecumseth’s Madhunt (emphasis added):
…that’s how you get Brian Saunderson appointed rather than having to contest the nomination. And Saunderson didn’t let principles get in the way and gladly accepted the near sure thing. That’s not a good sign of his ethics frankly…. That said, Saunderson should immediately resign his position as Mayor of Collingwood, because now as the PCon candidate Saunderson is forced to support MZOs which bypass municipal approvals; decimation of the environment if it gets in the way of development interests who support Ford; reportedly planned billions of dollars in cuts to education; continued expansion of for-profit health care in Ontario; unfettered residential development. Saunderson can’t continue to be mayor while also campaigning on an anti-municipal government agenda via the MZOs. Any decision he makes is tainted by his provincial candidacy.
Brian Saunderson, you’ve already shed your principles to accept the appointment, now at least be honourable to the residents in Collingwood and resign immediately.
One of the comments below this story notes:
…someone let Saunderson join the New Tecumseth ‘community fB group’, and now he’s flooding it with PC propaganda, while still sitting Mayor of Collingwood trying to screw us out of more money for water.
It’s long overdue for Saunderson to do the right thing and resign. I’ve been saying that since he first announced his candidacy. His focus hasn’t been on Collingwood since he announced his job-hunting campaign in January. Do you think he’s going to suddenly change and refocus on his job as mayor and member of the county council now when his escape looms? Me either.
He cannot wear two hats and the potential for conflicts of interest and accusations of influence peddling are tsunamis only the deliberately ignorant can pretend not to see.*
But even though he’s essentially abandoned his responsibility to Collingwood and its residents and announced his priority is elsewhere, he still expects to be paid by taxpayers. How ethical is that?
Just think of the mess he’s leaving behind for others to deal with: a job-and-revenue-killing bylaw to stop construction that may yet see lawsuits over it; the Saunderson Vindictive Judicial Inquiry (aka the SVJI) that has wasted $10 million of taxpayers’ money on a personal vendetta but failed to interest the public; the unresolved mess of the water pipeline contract with our southern neighbours; the unresolved mess of the unrestored but decaying grain elevators; our long-ignored crumbling streets and decaying sidewalks; local businesses suffering because the town has offered no financial help or support during the pandemic; the continued failure of the town to help residents of the affordable housing apartments solve their health and safety issues; the unresolved problems with street safety and traffic calming… and so many more issues he has now turned his back on.
Meanwhile, the sycophanti on our now rudderless council (not that they have had any real leadership other than being directed how to vote) will be jockeying to see who rises to the top in their effluent pond to assume the throne. We can expect their attention will be focused on pushing personal ambitions ahead of town business (with the exception of continuing their obsessive lavishing of taxpayer’s money for the SVJI as long as their leader remains on the public payroll).
Collingwood deserves better. Saunderson should resign.
*Or, as The Bard put it:
We shall find of him
A shrewd contriver; and, you know, his means,
If he improves them, may well stretch so far
As to annoy us all.
Shakespeare: Julius Caesar 2.1.157-160; Cassius to Mark Antony. Shakespeare had a lot to say about conniving politicians who sacrificed ethics on the altars of their ambition.