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Like all schoolyard bullies, The Block use aggressive tactics intended to intimidate and cow anyone who stands up to or disagrees with them. From their phony, trumped-up OPP investigation – which after five years hasn’t produce a single charge, nor have any of the alleged miscreants even been interviewed by police – through the debacle of how they handled the sale of Collus, to bullying the hospital, to their puerile judicial inquiry, The Block are hellbent on their vendettas.
This is a group that continues to set the bar lower at every turn. This latest bit of dirty politics shows they haven’t reached their lowest level yet.
Last week, Mayor Cooper, Councillors Lloyd and Edwards received letters from the county’s integrity commissioner saying that he cleared them of any wrongdoing in a complaint against them.*
What complaint? you ask. None of these three were even aware of one until the letter exonerating them arrived.
It seems the complaint was filed by a member of The Block only last month in an attempt to prevent these three from discussing in public or participating in council discussions the judicial inquiry, its costs and the waste of public funds ($1-$2 million of your money) – or comment on its cringe-worthy pettiness and spite.
No, The Block didn’t tell these three they were filing it. No, The Block didn’t raise any issues in public (that would require a spine). They did it as they always do – in secret.
No, they didn’t have the courage to speak up face to face to these three. That would be how mature, responsible, ethical people behaved – totally against the Block’s character. No, it had to be a cowardly, “anonymous” complaint. In other circles, we call it “backstabbing.” Very Block-like.
The basis of the argument in the risible complaint was that the judicial inquiry would require these three to “lawyer up” and therefore they had a pecuniary interest in the outcome. So in discussing the issue (and in the case of Cooper and Lloyd, voting against the budget), the complainant alleged these three broke the town’s Code of Conduct. Stop laughing.
Yes, I know: what utter hypocrisy. Given the number of times The Block have broken that code, have acted unethically, immorally and even illegally, it is a facepalm moment that even one of them would complain of such behaviour in others. After all, The Block FIRED the town’s own Integrity Commissioner simply because he was investigating so many complaints against them in their very first year! Yet here they are, using an outside IC to do their dirty work. Hypocrites all.
Hogwash, said the county’s IC (well, he used more words, but that’s the gist). And rightfully so. It was a cheap and dirty political move on The Block’s part, and he recognized that, but hey, we’ve come to expect nothing better of them.**
No one needs a lawyer for this inquiry – it’s not a courtroom and no one is charged with anything. The only ones who think there was something wrong are a group of myopic conspiracy theorists who sit at the council table. In fact, many people are eagerly looking forward to the opportunity to publicly expose The Block’s perfidious dealings, their secretive and deceptive maneuvers to privatize our utilities. Volumes of documents are being compiled. Statements are being written. Truth will be told.
This will be an indictment of the whole lot of despicable Blockheads, not of the former council. The Block’s bad faith, their deceptions, their secrecy, the lies, the conspiracy theories, their scheming and conniving will all be exposed for everyone to see.
You have to wonder who would suggest that people who have done no wrong – who acted in good faith, engaged in an open, public and democratic process and followed all the rules and ethics – need to “lawyer up?” Maybe someone used to bullying and intimidating people? Maybe in a courtroom? Maybe someone who filed the complaint that launched the phony OPP investigation? Maybe the same person(s) who got their ski-hill buddy to run a bunch of unfounded allegations and rumours in the media as “news” when it was really nothing but yellow journalism?
Your guess is as good as mine. But I sure have mine.
The IC saw the complaint for what it was: cheap, dirty politics unworthy of an investigation. He didn’t fall for it (unlike the OPP). And he told them, in essence, to bugger off. No doubt they had a tantrum over that and huddled in some dark corner to plot something new.
The judicial inquiry itself is a desperate attempt to 1) continue to blacken the reputations of good people from the previous council; 2) vindicate The Block’s wild and wacky conspiracy theory that has as much credibility as the flat earth; 3) continue to punish those whose votes at the council table last term killed the proposed $35 million Central Park Taj Mahal, and thus killed the career prospects in the recreation sector of one of their members; 4) use taxpayers’ money to achieve their personal vendettas; 5) launch their collective election campaigns by making it look like The Block are taking an ethical high ground instead of rolling in the bottom-of-the-barrel mud as they are actually doing, and 6) diverting the public attention from the real issues: The Block privatizing our public utilities in secret, killing our hospital’s redevelopment plans, ruining our relations with municipal neighbours, killing the much-needed airport development and its hundreds of jobs, and the disaster they have made of our finances, taxes and civil service. (It’s very much like Trump whining on about Hillary’s emails simply to deflect attention from his corrupt business practices, his racism, his Russian overlords and his lack of any coherent plan or policy. But I digress.)***
It’s just more dirty politics from people who simply cannot and will not offer us anything better. They don’t set the standard, don’t offer good examples: they snipe from below and behind. And of course they called the pet CBC reporter to help spread their fecal matter around.
The Block prove once again how they are undeserving of being our elected representatives. Petty vendettas, personal agendas and dirty politics have no place at the table. We need representatives who think and care about the community’s welfare, not just themselves or what benefits their own wallets.
Collingwood deserves better.
* While Mayor Cooper and Councillor Lloyd are accustomed to such abusive and deceptive behaviour from the Block, it must have been a heartbreaker for Councillor Edwards who has tried so hard to be one of their gang, supporting their motions just for a kind word or a pat on the head.
** The IC’s decision is not confidential, by the way and should be added to council’s consent agenda so everyone knows how petty and vindictive The Block are. Those few who don’t know it already, that is.
*** One of The Block recently told a local resident on the phone that the inquiry was going to look into why Collus overbilled the water treatment facility for so many years (because someone mistakenly installed two meters). Well, that’s a lie, because that isn’t even mentioned in Saunderson’s motion, and the oversight was discovered later. This caller was told the motion would take to task Councillor Tim Fryer, who was CFO of the electrical utility during most of those years, yet failed to noticed the discrepancy in billing in all that time. The Block even turn on their own, it seems, when they want to spread blame around. Methinks it’s meant instead to embarrass Fryer and deter him from running for the deputy mayor position that Saunderson’s lapdog, Councillor Madigan, has already pegged for himself. Neither, however, deserve to be re-elected.
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