Cleaning up the mess…

It’s not enough that this edition of Collingwood Town Council had to resolve the downtown patio issue, the Admiral Collingwood Place debacle, and the general financial mess left by the previous council.

Now word comes down of one more mess: a commitment to cover any deficit for the Ontario Winter Games, in this case, $75,000 based on a presentation to councillors last night by parks, recreation and culture director Marta Proctor (who, by the way, wears none of this, coming to the job as she did long after the decisions had been made).

Really? The words of former Montreal mayor Drapeau spring to mind, echoing as they must have through the ears of councillors when they wrote that particular blank cheque, and evidently oblivious to how that turned out for Montreal (I think they only finished paying for the Olympics a couple of years ago).

They also based that decision on what appears to be an incomplete budget, based on the numbers flashed on the big screen in council chambers last night. I mean, really — how can the numbers for accommodation costs be more than 20% out of whack? The estimate for food was about 19% off the mark.

It doesn’t help the Huntsville version of the Ontario Winter Games last year walked away with a $200,000 surplus, thanks in part to considerable federal government funding; I suspect OWG benefited from some of that G8/G20 slush fund spread around in Tony Clement’s riding.

The feds answer thus far to our own MP Kellie Leitch has been the doors to the bank vault are closed.

(Even though just before Christmas I had about three or four of the Conservatives tenpercenters dropped off in the mailbox. Hey, Kellie, we gave the Conservatives a majority mandate — which I thought meant you guys would get down to the business of governing, and get your propaganda arm off the public teat.)

It’s unfortunate the volunteer committee tasked with finding money for these games has been given such an uphill row to hoe. Maybe we should be sending a bill to the people who sat around the council table at that August, 2010 meeting, and have them pony up their share of the shortfall…