The Fox, The Hedgehog, and The Mayor

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Brian Saunderson is a Hedgehog. Not literally: metaphorically. At least that’s how I read Isaiah Berlin’s 1953 essay that classified people into two categories; Hedgehogs or Foxes. Berlin wrote that Hedgehogs had a single, central vision; one core ideal through which they viewed their entire world. Foxes. on the other hand, pursued many ends, often unrelated and even contradictory. Their interests ran across many different schools of thought, areas of interest and belief systems. Berlin considered himself among the Foxes.* … click below for more!

County’s Lukewarm Response to SVJI

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Seems our mayor failed to get the response from the county for the Saunderson Vindictive Judicial Inquiry (aka the SVJI) he hoped for. Rather than welcoming the report with open arms, Simcoe County Council seemed hesitant to do more than what appears a token gesture of support “in principle.” One might even think some of them actually read the 900-page report with its 306 often redundant or irrelevant recommendations and thought, “This isn’t right for my community.” Saunderson pitched the … click below for more!

Saunderson Failed to Engage Public on His SVJI

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Despite his continuing efforts to promote and lavish public funds on the Saunderson Vindictive Judicial Inquiry (aka the SVJI), our mayor has again failed to make the public interested in his expensive report. The latest foray into self-promotion was the virtual “public meeting” held last week (the first public meeting about the SVJI since it was called for, more than three years ago!), which, as I predicted, was not a public event as much as another harangue from himself and … click below for more!

Council Rewards Its Friend. Again.

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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 conduct municipal business or encourage the municipality to contract with individuals with whom they have a … click below for more!

Does Collingwood Mislead its Citizens?

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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 posted to the Town’s website.” But the town’s own accounting of the costs to date that … click below for more!

Once Upon a Time in Collingwood

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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 motion to initiate the inquiry, more than three years ago. It’s been two years … click below for more!

Council Just Waves Its Hands

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Council waving its hands. Making ineffective flapping gestures. It sounds like it should be some sort of metaphorical phrase. Something from the Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra episode of Star Trek. But hand-waving is actually a metaphorical term that means failure to deliver the goods. And also trying to deflect attention from your failure. Wikipedia describes it as, … a pejorative label for attempting to be seen as effective — in word, reasoning, or deed — while actually doing nothing … click below for more!

Collingwood’s Version of QAnon: the SVJI

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A story in CollingwoodToday titled, Council orders CAO to sift through old COLLUS documents kept by EPCOR shows just how far into the conspiracy pit they have dug themselves. They are so totally obsessed with the events of a  decade ago, that they happily continue to waste administrative staff time and more of our tax dollars digging through the old records of emails that were already subpoenaed and sorted through by the Saunderson Vindictive Judicial Inquiry (aka the SVJI) two … click below for more!

Why Won’t Council Answer Megarry?

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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 hope he makes more. He wants to know how it happened, who had secret … click below for more!

Floccinaucinihilipilification in Collingwood

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Floccinaucinihilipilification*, the longest non-technical word in the English language, is when you consider something to be unimportant, worthless, useless, or generally valueless. Basically, it means it’s rubbish. As Robert Heinlein wrote in a 1951 scifi novel: Digby was a floccinaucinihilipilificator at heart—which is an eight-dollar word meaning a joker who does not believe in anything he can’t bite. Robert A. Heinlein, The Puppet Masters (1951). I was thinking of that word as perhaps the most wittily appropriate to describe the report from … click below for more!

Let’s Play “Spread the Virus!”

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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 week. As reported on CollingwoodToday: Collingwood council is demanding an explanation from the province … click below for more!

Berman’s Cowardly Comment

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Late last month, Collingwood council heard from the town’s inquiry legal team* justifying the cost of the Saunderson Vindictive Judicial Inquiry (aka the SVJI), which many residents feel was an exorbitant waste of our tax dollars. The Collingwood Connection reported that Councillor Berman engaged in a to-and-fro with Will McDowell (of Lenzcner Slaght**): Coun. Steve Berman asked if the parties involved had been more forthcoming with information, would the cost have been less. McDowell said there were many opportunities for … click below for more!

The Inquiry Cost $250,000 More? Were We Lied To?

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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?”

Another Sad Day for Collingwood

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It’s sad to see any council devolve into pettiness and paranoia, but not surprising when this thin-skinned group does. In a story on CollingwoodToday, council voted 4-3* to censor “fact-check” letters or comments from the public. It’s so very Stalinist of them that they need staff to ensure the public’s comments march in step with the party line. What next? Purges? Gulags? Show trials? Oh wait, we already had that with the SVJI. And what qualifications do staff have to … click below for more!

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