Fulfilling a role? Who are you kidding?


Soviet propagandaThe bite of irony is in the air when a flimsy piece of blatant Block propaganda masquerading as an official media release is published by the town. It has the misleading headline, “Town fulfilling role in hospital redevelopment process,” but only delusional sycophants won’t read it as a Block screed.

When did town media releases shill for a group at the table, not represent the will of council as a whole? Did the mayor approve this dreck before it went out? I suspect not. *

It’s ironic that last term’s council was criticized by some of the very people who now sit on council now for releasing factual newsletters they decried as “propaganda” because these contained information that didn’t conform to a certain Block ideology. But this – this piece is so smarmy and disingenuous it’s embarrassing.

The town isn’t fulfilling any role – it’s simply an ideological tactic. The Block actively and aggressively tried (and is still trying) to prevent the hospital’s redevelopment on a new site. I’ve written about their efforts to derail the hospital several times in the past.

The piece quotes deputy mayor Brian Saunderson. Since when was he the spokesperson for the town? Why is he quoted at all except for self-aggrandizement? Oh I know, The Block doesn’t give a fig for policy, protocol or process, but this is arrogant beyond even that.

Here’s what he says:

Council has been given a mandate by the public through the Community Based Strategic Plan to support improved access to health care within Collingwood and we intend to continue to advocate on behalf of our residents to fulfill this goal.

Let’s start with the mandate. NO: paperwork doesn’t give council a mandate. A mandate is given by the voters but not some flaccid “Community Based Strategic Plan” that was neither strategic nor a plan. And it was a committee of The Block’s friends who cobbled this dog’s breakfast together under the guidance of an outsider consultant – not the public at large. That report was not a mandate – it was a wishlist and a poorly contrived one at that.

And have you read what this CBSP document says about health care? Here is what its so-called “plan” for healthcare is:

  • Council recognition of the need for highly accessible health care services to meet the needs of the Town’s citizens.
  • Explore the feasibility of undertaking a gap analysis of health care services in the Town.
  • Make appropriate enquiries by year’s end.
  • Advocate for at least 2 meetings to be held between local health care and wellness practitioners and community groups to coordinate awareness campaigns about health care services in the community.

This is what they call a “plan”? To recognize a need? To make enquiries? To explore a feasibility? To advocate for meetings? Those aren’t plans let alone strategic goals – they’re a minor to-do list. Nothing – NOTHING – in the CBSP mentions the hospital redevelopment, much less putting up roadblocks to it. Here’s the entire line about health care access in the CBSP:

The community has expressed a desire to pursue this issue further, however, and extend the promotion of a healthy lifestyle to include convenient access to the trails system, improved access to local health care, access to a range of social services, access to locally grown food, an appreciation of the natural environment, and an increase in shared public space.

Got that? The “community” (aka the committee of Block buddies) desires to “extend the promotion of a healthy lifestyle” by the vague “improved access to local health care.” That’s it: no details, no deliverables, no timeline, no budget, no concrete goals. Just some pie-in-the-sky rhetoric. Promoting a healthy lifestyle is a PR task, not a goal.

So Saunderson’s “mandate” is mere fiction; an attempt to justify wasting $30,000 of YOUR money on another witch hunt.

So tell me, Brian, how will stopping the hospital’s move to a bigger, better site that offers improved access and more health care services accomplish your “mandate”?

How will it improve anything if the Ministry of Health & Long-term Care gets fed up with your petty politics and interference, and decides to move the hospital to Wasaga Beach?

There’s NOTHING in the CBSP about the unnecessary and redundant, $30,000 “due diligence” review that Saunderson and his Blockheads approved.

And everyone knows they won’t read it – they don’t read their agendas, so what makes you think they will read a technical peer review? Let alone understand it? Besides one was already done – and didn’t cost the taxpayers a dime – which they didn’t bother to read. Another one will just gather dust with the first. But you, the taxpayer, paid for it this time.

Due diligence: just another term for procrastinating while you connive and scheme a way to stop the process. All part of The Block’s war on our hospital.

Collingwood deserves better.


* PS. Where was the media release about Collingwood being selected as the best city in Canada to run a business? Not a peep from the town. Why? Because it was through the efforts of the LAST council, not this one, that we got that award. You can thank the prescient planning and bold initiative of our previous council – Kevin Lloyd in particular – for creating an efficient, effective economic development department and its cooperative format. And of course Martin Rydlo, the EcDev director. This council has done its best to hurt our growth and local economy. Thankfully, they have so far failed. But they haven’t stopped trying… no wonder they don’t want to boast about the only good news we’ve had.

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