Collingwood deserves answers


The Most Secretive Council Ever
The Most Secretive Council Ever has never told the public why it has been so intent on damaging this community. We have never had an explanation why they are so inflexible, so hostile to other ideas, so adversarial to opinions other than their own. We have never been told why they are so focused on their own entitlement and give no thought for or support to the residents and taxpayers in Collingwood.

We have been kept in the dark about their motives and goals while The Block continues its destructive rampage against community institutions through these past two and a half years.

So much hatred, so much anger, so much selfishness, so much secrecy and deviousness in one council. This lowering of standards is unprecedented. But the electorate deserves to know why they were betrayed by the people they voted for, deserves to know why so many campaign promises were broken, why personal agendas and vendettas take precedence over the greater good.

We should and be told in public, not have The Block scurry behind closed doors as it always does when anything important or controversial is raised. And you know the local media will NEVER ask them why, or ask the tough questions about their motives.

So here is my list of things we want to know. I’m sure it’s not complete and you, dear reader, could add more to it.

Would someone on The Most Secretive Council Ever please tell us why…

  • The Block hates Collus-PowerStream so much it is selling the town’s share in our utility without public consultation;
  • The Block hates the partnership agreement with PowerStream that was lauded throughout the utility sector and electrical industry as a model agreement and a great deal for both sides;
  • The Block hates the professional auditors who examine the books for Collus and Collus-PowerStream so much that The Block refuses to believe they are in order and no money is missing;
  • The Block hated the shared services agreement with Collus so much it broke it – at SIGNIFICANTLY greater costs to taxpayer, and then added more staff in town hall to do for a lot more money what the former agreement provided at a bargain price;
  • The Block hates our electrical utility so much they have never gone there to speak to staff, never engaged them in open discussion, nor ever invited staff and its board to speak publicly at council;
  • The Block hates our airport, its board and our municipal partners, and has done everything it can to block a major industrial development there that could bring as many as 1,400 jobs to the area;
  • The Block hates Clearview so much it will block a much-needed revenue source the airport’s proposed industrial development represents;
  • The Block hates our local hospital, its board and our municipal neighbours who use it, and has done everything it can to prevent it from redeveloping on a better, larger site two minutes away from its current site;
  • The Block hates local doctors, nurses and medical staff. Is it simply because they voted almost unanimously to support the hospital redevelopment at the proposed site, so The Block feels it must punish them?
  • The Block hates our neighbouring municipalities and has not even informed them – let alone engaged them or asked their opinion – about decisions made here that affect them and their residents – water, power, airport, hospital for example;
  • The Block hates town staff so much they have driven two groups of staff to unionize for the first time in 150 years because they now fear for their jobs;
  • The Block hates the mayor so much they are disrespectful towards her and don’t follow meeting procedures to show their disdain;
  • The Block hated Ed Houghton, Marcus Firman, Don Green, Ron Martin and other staff so much these experienced, provincially-recognized senior staffers either quit or retired early – all of them eager to be gone rather than work for the town and continue to be harassed and bullied here;
  • The Block hates our procurement and code of conduct bylaws so much it approved numerous sole-source contracts with consultants and lawyers, the cost of which is more than $750,000 to date;
  • The Block distrusts our own legal firm so much they hired an outsider from another firm at $700-an-hour to do their skullduggery;
  • The Block hates town hall staff and the community so much it renewed the contract with the contentious interim CAO twice instead of hiring a permanent CAO who would have vested interests in our community, and saving taxpayers $150,000 or more;
  • The Block hates seniors and low-income earners so much it continues to raise taxes every year (could it be because they get a raise with every tax hike, too?)
  • The Block hates seniors and low-income earners so much it raised water rates against staff recommendations, just to rub salt into their wounds after the excessive tax hikes;
  • The Block hates seniors and low-income earners so much it continues to pursue the sale of our utilities knowing anyone who takes over will raise the rates considerably as soon as they can;
  • The Block hates our water and wastewater utility staff so much it entered into secret negotiations with an out-of-province, for-profit corporation to take them over without any consultation with the people who do the work;
  • The Block won’t listen to or read anything that might challenge their preconceptions including nationally-renowned publications like Municipal World;
  • The Block is so contemptuous of taxpayers they would grant Councillor Jeffrey an unlimited, unaccountable expense account to wine, dine and party across Canada in pursuit of personal political goals, and yet vote against a cost-benefit analysis to show it benefitted Collingwood;
  • The Block hates the former council and any of their decisions so much that they will destroy our community in their efforts to discredit the former council, instead of doing even one good thing while in office;
  • The Block surround themselves with spinners of alt-facts and wild conspiracy theories, and refuse to even entertain getting an outside opinion, let alone facts from reputable and credible sources;
  • The Block is so contemptuous of their responsibilities that they are under investigation by Ontario’s Information & Privacy Commissioner, the Ombudsman, the Ontario Energy Board and others for bad practices and failure to follow provincial laws, and their own policies and bylaws;
  • The Block is so contemptuous of openness and transparency that they fired the town’s Integrity Commissioner. Was it simply because people were complaining and demanding investigations into their lack of ethics? Or did they foresee too many more investigations ahead as a result of their continued behaviour?
  • The Block are so determined to get themselves voted out of office next election. If they don’t like being at the table, why did they run? Why do they stay there? Why don’t they simply resign now?
  • The Block hates Collingwood. It’s clear from all of the above, from all of their actions, and their behaviour for the past 30 months that they hate this town, and everyone in it – except, of course, for themselves and their tiny cabal of supporters. Why? What did the 22,000 other residents in town do to them?

I don’t get it. I don’t understand any of this or their motives. No one I’ve spoken to does. But Collingwood deserves answers. And as I always say, Collingwood deserves better.

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