Council Rewards Its Friend. Again.

Our council has found yet another way to reward its friend, despite the recommendations in the report from the Saunderson Vindictive Judicial Inquiry (aka the SVJI) warning about “apparent” conflicts of interest with friends. Page 7 of the full SVJI report states (emphasis added): Councillors and staff should avoid providing or appearing to provide preferential treatment to close friends and family. They should not … (more)

Does Collingwood Mislead its Citizens?

The town’s “engage” page  for the upcoming “public” (virtual) meeting about the Saunderson Vindictive Judicial Inquiry (aka the SVJI) contains a deception (emphasis added): “The original estimated budget for the Collingwood Judicial Inquiry was $1.6 million. To date, the Town has processed and paid over $7 million. The costs will continue to be tallied through the completion of all associated bills and will be … (more)

Seven years in politics? But where?

In his latest email letter asking for support for his job-hunting effort, Mayor Brian Saunderson says, “Having served on Collingwood and Simcoe County Councils for 7 years…” Saunderson was first elected in late 2014, but did not take office in Collingwood until December 1, 2014. The inaugural meeting for the county was also that month: December 9, 2014. That’s six years and two months, … (more)

The $100 Million Mayor?

In a story on CollingwoodToday, our mayor, Brian Saunderson, shrugs off the costs of his Vindictive Judicial Inquiry (the SVJI) as being but a drop in the bucket for the town’s annual budget: He noted the town’s annual budget is nearly $100 million, and the inquiry costs amount to less than ten per cent of the yearly budget. Perhaps he was flustered by being … (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)

Where is Collingwood’s Pandemic Response?

I admit I am stumped. I have been looking online to find something that tells me what Collingwood council has done in response to the COVID-19 pandemic over the past year. I’m looking for real, concrete, measurable steps, things that benefit our community; things that residents and businesses can point to and say “This helped me survive.” I don’t want to read about promises, … (more)

The Judicial Inquiry and $7+ Million

Was it worth more than $7.7 million of your tax dollars? That’s roughly $8,400 a page (including, yes, the blank pages). That includes $232,866 in town staff salaries and $48,008 in staff travel expenses. Fifty-seven percent of that total went to legal costs, including $1.58 million on the town’s own legal costs. I can’t tell from the article linked above if the total includes … (more)

Collingwood and cannabis stores

Credit where credit is due: Collingwood council this week voted unanimously to allow a cannabis store to open here. That came as somewhat of a surprise given earlier negative comments from come councillors, but in the end they all agreed to it. It made sense to say yes, given that pot is now legal in Canada. Saying no would have made the community seem … (more)

SVJI costs continue to skyrocket

As I predicted earlier, the costs for Saunderson’s Vindictive Judicial Inquiry (SVJI) are going to climb through the roof. And of course you, the taxpayer, are going to pay for it. Last month local media carried stories that the SVJI – scheduled to begin this month (November) – wasn’t going to meet its deadlines. It was delayed and would not start until the “new … (more)

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