Scripturient: John Brown’s letter got the attention it deserved

It went almost unnoticed, but on the agenda for the April 30 Collingwood Council agenda was a letter from the former interim CAO, John Brown, with eight questions (and some comments) about the CAO’s report on the costs of the upcoming judicial inquiry (item eight in the Consent Agenda portion). The letter itself is unsigned ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The malice that made the megacity.

Toronto as a megacity turns 20 this year. Canada’s largest city has once again opened the nominations for its city council to be elected in October. It will be another lost opportunity. It will produce another council of dilettantes and wannabes to argue over meaningless issues. Former conservative premier Mike Harris can continue to enjoy ...

Scripturient: The hypocrisy, it burns, it burns…

The Block on Collingwood Council can’t seem to go a week without diving into their deep, private lake of hypocrisy. Remember how they whined and snarled about the partnership last council formed with PowerStream to own and operate our electrical utility? How the Jeremiahs at the table lamented that a partnership deal was bad for ...

Scripturient: The Block Bullies

Like all schoolyard bullies, The Block use aggressive tactics intended to intimidate and cow anyone who stands up to or disagrees with them. From their phony, trumped-up OPP investigation – which after five years hasn’t produce a single charge, nor have any of the alleged miscreants even been interviewed by police – through the debacle ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The Beatification of Bill Blair?

It took the questionable memory of Toronto Police Services Board chair Alok Mukherjee to relate it and the writing skills of Toronto Star writer Tim Harper to forge it. And it took them over seven years to prepare it for publication. It purports to be an explanation of what took the G20 Summit in Toronto ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Choosing champions.

One of the aspects of populism that confuses people is that they can come from the left or the right or any other part of the political spectrum. Typically, the populist rises from the environment that generated the specific populist movement. This is why Donald Trump in the United States is not considered a populist. ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The redemption of Patrick Brown?

How do you like those phone calls you get from automated polling systems? The worst of them are the ones that want you to press one if you intend to vote conservative and two if liberal. I always have lots of fun with them by pressing numbers at random. But I had to pause and ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The indignities of the indigenous?

It is important that we respect Canada’s aboriginal peoples but calling them ‘indigenous’ is basically stupid. Your Oxford dictionary will tell you that ‘indigenous’ means ‘produced naturally in a region.’ Canada’s aboriginal peoples have roots in Asia and were nomadic to the point of their early ancestors crossing ice bridges to North America. All this ...

Scripturient: Our treasonous council

If Collingwood Council operated at a higher tier or government – say the federal level – they would be called treasonous and taken to court for their culture of deception, their attacks on our democratic and civic institutions, and for their ongoing betrayal of the public trust. But because they are only a municipal government, ...

Scripturient: Thoughts on local municipal governance

A popular political theory presents two basic and often contradictory models of how elected officials should (or do) behave as representatives. One is as a delegate: solely acting as a representative of the people who elected them. The other is as a trustee, serving (or attempting to serve) everyone under their governance. In practice, these ...

Scripturient: Madigan’s motion jeopardizes town

On January 15, Councillor Bob Madigan made a motion (seconded, of course, by his puppetmaster, Deputy Mayor Saunderson) to limit the progress of the Indigo/Eden-Oak/McNabb development at the south end of town. Madigan’s motion demanded that, …council provide no further approvals to the Eden Oak/McNabb development until such time as council as a whole has ...

Scripturient: Bullshit and hypocrisy again

You have to hand it to our Deputy Mayor: for all his many, many faults, he does do two things remarkably well: hypocrisy and bullshit. Neither does he do in halfway measures. No, when he dons their mantle, he wears the emperor’s new clothes with pride, head to toe. At January 15’s council meeting, Brian ...

Alberta Politics: Go figure! St. Albert report claims city will need 10 more cops because marijuana will soon be legal!

PHOTOS: St. Albert’s iconic City Hall. Below: St. Albert Mayor Cathy Heron, City Councillor Ken MacKay, anti-smoking lobbyist Les Hagen, and former mayor Nolan Crouse. ST. ALBERTA, Alberta An arresting news story in a community newspaper on Saturday claimed Ottawa’s plan to legalize marijuana this summer will result in more than $3.5 million in additional ...

Scripturient: Who ya gonna call?

This song keeps running through my head: If there’s something strange in you neighborhood Who you gonna call? (your councillor) If there’s something weird And it don’t look good Who you gonna call? (your councillor) With apologies to Ray Parker, composer of the Ghostbusters theme song. More than three years after I left council, I ...

Scripturient: The report The Block don’t want you to see

Late last year, BMA Management Consulting produced a hefty 517-page report called a subsequent one for 2017* that examines a wide variety of socio-economic indicators in more than 100 Ontario municipalities: taxes, user fees, population, average home value, water/sewer, economic development programs and more. As Owen Sound notes on its website: The study identifies both ...

Scripturient: What became of Better Together Collingwood?

Rather amusingly, the Better Together Collingwood website is still online. The latest event noted on the site is a rally for Monday March 25, 2013. Its Facebook page also remains intact, although the most recent post there is dated Jan. 15, 2015. But what are stale-dated entries about non-existent activities of a fake association among ...

Scripturient: Brian suddenly realizes there’s a budget process.

Over on BBFFWS (Brian’s BFF’s Web Site) is a sort-of-a story about Collingwood’s 2018 budget. It’s really just some comments about a document this council won’t even get a peek at until sometime in late January, and won’t get through the approval stage until late spring or even early summer. Even though all of our ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: King Street. Where T.O. business goes to die.

Did you hear the exciting news? The streetcar pilot project on King Street in Toronto is moving people faster. What for, we are not quite sure. It seems that in the evening rush hour, you can potentially get home for dinner five minutes earlier. For whatever it is worth, you can also get to work ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: A station ghosts have forgotten.

As the winds of yet another winter blow through the beautifully restored but empty train station by Kempenfelt Bay, you wonder at the foolishness of Barrie’s city council. In the words of an old television series, they see nothing, they know nothing. The story of the train station started about 700 years ago when nomadic ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Black on black.

It never pays to be pedantic but enough is enough. I try not to sound off on how others write, spell, punctuate or capitalize. I can make my own mistakes. And if I get on my high horse, the wife calls me ‘Anal Alan’ after the role of the brother in “Two and a Half ...

Scripturient: It’s about the process, stupid…

My negative comments on the impending privatization of our electrical utility (and potentially our water utility once the first deal is sealed) drew some online criticism recently. None of those critics refuted any of the facts I offered, or attempted to debunk any of the numerous documents I quoted and linked to. Nor could they. ...

Scripturient: The secrecy and deception behind Collingwood’s utility sale

Meetings held behind closed doors late into the night. Personal vendettas. Kickbacks. Conspiracy theories. Scams and phony reports. Backroom deals. Unethical politicians conniving. Dubious legality. Shady characters pulling strings from the shadows. Scheming. Minions acting like thugs. Cowardice. Hidden contracts. Lies and deception. A deal they can’t refuse. A financial shell game. The betrayal of ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The tiny, tidy minds of reformers.

Reading about the recent report on political reform for our cities from the University of Manitoba, reminded me of my old friend David Crombie. It was almost 50 years ago that he was still a nascent conservative and teaching at Ryerson and I was handling communications for the Ontario Liberals. We had some spirited and ...

Alberta Politics: Wildrose-style insurgency smacked down in St. Albert as progressive Cathy Heron elected as mayor

PHOTOS: St. Albert Mayor-elect Cathy Heron with the author of this blog post last night at her victory celebration. Below: Newly elected councillors Natalie Joly, Ken MacKay, Ray Watkins, Jacqui Hansen, and re-elected incumbent Wes Brodhead. ST. ALBERT, Alberta Let’s start with the basic score: Cathy Heron, widely perceived as the most progressive candidate for ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Cole considers claiming the mayor’s chair.

The Toronto Star’s columnist on city issues, Edward Keenan, thinks black activist Desmond Cole would bring some excitement to the race for mayor next year. He thinks that the race would be a bit of a snooze without Cole. When you consider that the main contenders so far are incumbent Mayor John Tory and wannabe ...