No, Brian Hasn’t Done Any of That!

You probably got one of these disinformation campaign cards in your mail this week. It says that Brian Saunderson and Doug “Jabba the Hutt” Ford are “putting money in your pocket.” And then it lists three things Ford did by himself without Brian’s help. Or input. Or even vote because, after all, he’s been the MIA mayor of Collingwood, not an MPP. So how did the … (more–>)

Should Candidates and Officials Disclose Criminal Records?

Some questions about openness and truth to consider as we start a year in which we have both a provincial and municipal election coming… Should a candidate for office disclose their criminal records when they campaign? Should they disclose it only if they were convicted of an offence or should they disclose charges as well? For full public transparency and accountability, should officeholders disclose any charges … (more–>)

Time of Use Billing is an Assault

By returning to the money-grabbing time-of-use (TOU) billing, Ontario’s Hydro One continues its unrelenting assault on the province’s seniors, stay-at-home parents, the unemployed, night shift workers, those under lockdown, and every business and industry here. Time-of-use billing has always been nothing more than an egregious money grab by the service provider. This customer-hostile practice had been briefly halted during part of the pandemic because so many … (more–>)

County’s Lukewarm Response to SVJI

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 … (more–>)

Whatever happened to conservatives?

It’s hard to believe these days, but in many nations, conservative political parties were once actually the defenders of the nation’s interests, of the greater good, of the public, and of the state. They weren’t always the corporate shills, protectors of billionaires, privatizing libertarians, lobbyist puppets, Talibangelist lapdogs*, and racists they all seem to be today. No, once upon a time they actually cared about their … (more–>)

The slow death of media credibility

A story in the recent issue of New Republic opens: “A decade of turmoil has left a weakened press vulnerable to political attacks, forced into ethical compromises, and increasingly outstripped by new forms of digital media.” This points to the continuing erosion of public confidence in traditional media. While this piece refers to national (American) and international media, it applies equally to local media – all … (more–>)

Are facts inflammatory?

Inflammatory is the word I was told the Connection used this week in rejecting an ad by mayoral candidate John Trude*. That ad challenged some of the claims of one of his opponents by stating what actually happened at council this term in four areas: open and accountable government, the hospital redevelopment, working together with our municipal neighbours and sole-source contracts on major expenditures. All of … (more–>)

Why not to run for council

A recent article shared with me on Facebook, titled “Five Terrible Reasons to Run for Municipal Office” lists many – but far from all – of the reasons people should not run for office. It’s a good read and, since the silly season will be on us soon enough (some of The Block are already in campaign mode), you should pay attention if you plan to … (more–>)

The symphony of government

A good government in operation is like a symphony: disparate parts, dozens of different instruments and performers, each in their own space and place, all working together under the benign management of a conductor. When working in harmony, they are a delight to hear and see. There’s no “me” in a symphony: it’s the result of a remarkably efficient collaboration and trust of everyone involved. To … (more–>)

Brian the comedian

Following the success of Collingwood’s Comedy Duo, whose act has taken them on tour across the nation on the taxpayers’ dollar, our Deputy Mayor has entered the ring as our jester-du-jour. And since the Duo’s main act was sidelined recently by not being allowed to keep a snout into the FCM trough, it looks like Brian’s act may be the foremost comedy skit in the council … (more–>)

Sadly, it’s business as usual

I suppose you expect I am disappointed that not a single one of The Block had the spine, the moral compass, the ethical guts to resign after killing the hospital redevelopment. After all, I called on them all – plus the interim CAO – to resign immediately. Not doing so, I said, would prove everything I ever said about them. They didn’t budge. Well, my compensation … (more–>)

The OPP investigation after 48 months

Forty-eight months ago a very small group of disgruntled, angry residents – some with burning ambition to take a seat on council themselves – complained to the OPP, allegedly about decisions made by the previous council. Decisions and people this group didn’t like. Decisions they thought – without any proof – were shady. People they thought – again without any proof – were corrupt. Both conspiracy theories … (more–>)

I used to like him; not so much now…

Back in the ’70s when he ran for mayor and we both lived in Toronto, I voted for John Sewell. And when he won, I was a big supporter of his human-scale policies and planning, and enjoyed his youthful vigour and vision. Now, not so much. Sure, he’s a smart, well-spoken, erudite man with a long list of credentials. But he’s also wrong. At least about … (more–>)

Thick as a brick

You really have to watch Rogers’ coverage of Collingwood Council, July 11, 2016. Start around 2:08:00. That’s when the discussion about the upgrades to the brick at the Collingwood Curling Club begins. Another comedic episode full of zany antics and madcap mayhem brought to you by The Block. Be prepared to howl with laughter as Councillor Ecclestone attempts to justify hiding public information from view. Let’s pause … (more–>)

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