Collus in purgatory

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Purgatory is how a staff person described to me the current situation of our local electrical utility, Collus-PowerStream (CPS). It’s the result of The Block’s and the administration’s incessant interference, manipulations, contrivances and scheming over the past three years. And it was evident, Wednesday, at the meeting where CPS presented its draft Distribution System Plan, a strategic plan for future maintenance and growth. They’re in purgatory because The Block have made the utility’s future uncertain. They cannot accurately craft business … click below for more!

The secret costs of the EPCOR deal

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Whether or not The Block sell our share of our public electrical utility to the for-profit, Edmonton-based EPCOR, it will still cost taxpayers millions. And I don’t mean just the rising costs of sole-sourced lawyers and buddy consultants the administration has hired (well over $1 million already, and the bills keep coming in). I’m talking about the hidden costs The Block won’t divulge because they don’t want taxpayers to realize how really bad a deal they’ve made with this devil. … click below for more!

The Block’s worst abuse of power yet

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I warned you. I warned you The Block would blame others for their own evil acts, that they would scheme and connive to sell your assets behind closed doors, and they would find a way to keep the much-disliked interim CAO on, no matter what the cost to taxpayers. I warned you they would lie, scheme in secret, and behave unethically in order to get their own way.  And I was right. They did it all, Monday night, behind closed … click below for more!

Betrayal by the Block, again

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Monday night, The Block will engage in their favourite political activity: betraying the public trust. In fact, it’s the only political activity they’ve engaged in this term, in which the public has been concerned. Everything else they’ve done has been to further their own personal agendas or entitlement. But Monday, they’re doing it up in style. And, of course, in secret. At the council meeting, Monday, there is what promises to be a lengthy in-camera session: Items for Discussion: a) … click below for more!

What will the secret EPCOR negotiations cost us?

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I was reading about the failed attempt by EPCOR – an Edmonton-based, for-profit corporation – to purchase half of Innisfil’s Power utility (InnPower) last year. Back in Sept., 2015, there was a story in the Barrie Examiner that noted: INNISFIL — Town council has approved the sale of 50% of InnPower (formerly Innisfil Hydro) to Edmonton-based EPCOR to create a new ‘strategic partnership’. At a public meeting to discuss the sale (remember public meetings and public engagement? Those are processes … click below for more!

We were lied to. Again.

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On Monday, the Block chose a new representative for the town’s half of the Collus-PowerStream board. They advertised the position in the local media and accepted applications from several qualified local residents. They made it look like they were actually going to follow the proper and legal process for the first time. They went in camera to discuss the applications. And who did they appoint when they came out? Councillor Deb “What’s a dividend?” Doherty. Yes, the same councillor who … click below for more!

More council secrecy, more council scheming

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On Monday’s council agenda there are again two in-camera topics that reinforce just how much little respect The Block have for process, ethics, the public, legality, openness and transparency. The Block will – again – secretly discuss privatizing our water and wastewater services to the out-of-province, for-profit corporation, EPCOR, and also secretly discuss appointing new directors to the Collus-PowerStream board. Both should be discussed and decided in public. Both should have had public input or consultation. But why should The … click below for more!

Collus-PowerStream responds about dividend

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On the April 24 council agenda is an addendum that includes the response from Collus-PowerStream about The Block’s questions over the lack of a dividend from the utility. I wrote about this last month in Dividends for Dummies. I’m glad to see what I wrote then has been proven correct. The original letter from CPS back in February, stated, “The Board decision was based on the Dividend Policy of the Corporation including consideration of an appropriate capital structure and working … click below for more!

Dividends for dummies

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A dividend, as defined by the Business Dictionary, is “A share of the after-tax profit of a company, distributed to its shareholders…” This is reiterated in the description from the Oxford Dictionary: “A sum of money paid regularly (typically annually) by a company to its shareholders out of its profits (or reserves).” So in order to pay a dividend, you need to make a profit. Otherwise all your revenue goes to operating expenses, salaries and taxes. And a dividend isn’t paid … click below for more!

Volte-face on water

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On Tuesday, Simcoe County Council voted to “… begin negotiations with the 16 municipalities regarding a “future role” for the upper tier in water and wastewater operations – a municipal domain.” The county wants to bring water and wastewater under its wing to standardize services and improve operating efficiencies much the same way it has done with housing and emergency services. Our deputy mayor voted in favour. The only story so far on this appears in the New Tecumseth Free … click below for more!

The Blame Game

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Remember The Name Game – that song from the Sixties that had those crazy lyrics: Shirley! Shirley, Shirley/ Bo-ber-ley, bo-na-na fanna/ Fo-fer-ley. fee fi mo-mer-ley, Shirley! Not the most intellectual lyrics of the era, I admit, but not forgotten and clearly suitable for local tastes. In Collingwood town hall, for example, they even sing their own version, The Blame Game: Bloggers! Bloggers! Bloggers! Bo-ba-loggers, bo-na-na fanna Fo-fer-loggers fee fi mo-mer-loggers, Bloggers! And so on. It’s part of the “not my … click below for more!

The onerous burden of responsibility

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Imagine you’re in high school one day around the end of the year. It’s warm outside, sunny, and you want out of the stuffy classroom. You’re not paying attention. You’re looking out the window, fidgeting. Daydreaming, miles away. The teacher drones on and on but you don’t hear a single word. Then, the bell rings. Just before the class leaves, you hear the teacher remind everyone that you are responsible for their safety, you are responsible for their wellbeing, for … click below for more!

The EPCOR sales pitches

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I’m told the interim CAO is distressed – apoplectic, really – that I am aware of his sales pitch information sessions in which he touts the wonders of EPCOR to town staff. Two sessions that I know of. At the most recent one he brought along EPCOR representatives to schmooze the staff. Apparently he is not winning them over. It might be because, as I have been led to believe, Mr. Brown has few fans. I’m told he is generally … click below for more!

EPCOR’s rate hikes create unrest

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It seems EPCOR isn’t the most beloved utility service out there, despite the glowing comments the interim CAO made to staff recently. I was given a recording of his hour-long talk (aka sales pitch) for EPCOR and I can only say I hope no one listening fell for it (I’ll review his talk in another post). Despite his stumbling blandishments, EPCOR’s management style isn’t all that popular. And if you do some searching for unflattering news stories about the corporation, … click below for more!

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