Alberta Politics: It’s official: declarations of Cathy Heron and Cam MacKay mean there’ll be a real fight to be mayor of St. Albert this fall

PHOTOS: Cathy Heron announces her plan to run for mayor of St. Albert last night. Below: Mayoral candidate Cam MacKay, retiring Mayor Nolan Crouse, and Morinville Mayor Lisa Holmes. ST. ALBERT, Alberta City Councillor Cathy Heron announced Thursday evening she’ll be running for mayor of St. Albert. Ms. Heron’s widely expected declaration of her intention ...

Scripturient: 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 ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The poop power in waste water.

The one thing for sure is that some reader somewhere is going to give me heck for talking about fecal matter instead of politics. It seems that everyone is expert when it comes to human waste. It was delightful to read though the other day the Ontario’s environmental commissioner wants the politicians to get off ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Choosing mediocrity.

It has been difficult over the years to explain why preferential ballots for voting is a very bad idea. The current concern is that many municipalities may be turning to this type of voting without realizing the pitfalls. The Conservative Party of Canada obviously did not let people know what could happen when they used ...

Scripturient: How to piss off The Block

There’s an easy three-step process anyone can follow to piss off the seven-member Block on council (as well as the town’s administration): Do something good for a change; Accomplish something for the community’s benefit; Don’t involve The Block in the process. And that was just what was done last Thursday when our MPP Jim Wilson ...

Scripturient: Madigan to chair do-nothing committee

A story in last week’s Connection has the headline, “Madigan named chair of Collingwood development, operations committee.” Councillor Madigan has the dubious honour of chairing a standing committee that does nothing of value, has no decision-making authority and – like the rest of the standing committees – is redundant, ineffective and inefficient. Which is an ...

Scripturient: 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 ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Cole bites the hand feeding his activism.

Just who is the racist here? Do Torontonians need black activists stirring imaginary pots in our polyglot society? What is it Desmond Cole is peddling? If he has a case, why is nobody speaking out for Toronto’s Asian Canadians? Are they not also feeling the pinch of racism? It has been increasingly sad to watch ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Creating conflict for city and province.

They really cannot be doing it to ‘sell’ newspapers in this day and age. The Toronto Star has been busy building a supposed conflict between Mayor John Tory of Toronto and Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne. It is based on the recent Ontario budget that did not mention more funds for Toronto’s subways and other infrastructure ...

Scripturient: This man should resign

Can a municipality operate effectively with a toxic relationship between the mayor and the CAO? Can staff avoid being involved in the confrontation? Can the public expect the best service and support from its leaders if the two top people are at odds? Clearly not. A story in The Connection reinforced just how bad things ...

Scripturient: Shoulda, coulda, woulda

Two and a half years of calamitous mismanagement. Council motivated by wild conspiracy theories, maliciousness and personal vendettas. A rudderless, ruthless administration flailing and fumbling its way from one catastrophe to another. The town’s reputation ruined. Our municipal partners and neighbours alienated. Secret discussions determine the fate of our assets while the public is excluded ...

Scripturient: Why is this man still working for Collingwood? – part 2

Almost a year ago, I posed the question: why is the interim CAO still working for Collingwood? After his behaviour and aggressive, disrespectful grilling of the hospital board chair and foundation head, March 27, 2017, that question has even more significance. And, you might ask, why hasn’t council dealt with it? After all, his behaviour ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: A churlish chap called Cole.

You get the strongest sense from Toronto Star writer Desmond Cole that if you are white, you are wrong. And the Toronto Star editors allow this form of discrimination? It might surprise Mr. Cole to find that there are people who do not approve of discrimination in any form. And we are also very concerned ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Coddling the Cyberphobic.

Why are we doing this? Why are we catering to the cyberphobes among us? Why should they dictate progress? Or lack thereof? After a career in computers with a side interest in politics, it should be easy to convince the politicians and their retainers of the ease of computer voting. It’s not. Cyberphobia is a ...

Scripturient: Dividends for dummies

A dividend, as defined by the Business Dictionary, is “A share of the after-tax profit of a company, distributed to its shareholders…” This is reiterated in the description from the Oxford Dictionary: “A sum of money paid regularly (typically annually) by a company to its shareholders out of its profits (or reserves).” So in order ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Is this Toronto’s coming of age?

In a scholarly work this past week from the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, we learned that the City of Toronto is ready to cut the parental apron strings of the Province of Ontario. If you have never been involved in Toronto politics, you might even believe that is possible. It ...

Scripturient: The Blame Game

Remember The Name Game – that song from the Sixties that had those crazy lyrics: Shirley! Shirley, Shirley/ Bo-ber-ley, bo-na-na fanna/ Fo-fer-ley. fee fi mo-mer-ley, Shirley! Not the most intellectual lyrics of the era, I admit, but not forgotten and clearly suitable for local tastes. In Collingwood town hall, for example, they even sing their ...

Scripturient: 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 ...

Scripturient: Budget Bullshit

The first question you have to ask after following Collingwood Council’s sloppy and inept budget process is “Where did the money go?” Then the second question you have to ask, “Are they really that dense?” Yes, but let’s start with the first question. Back when he promoted dismantling the water utility from its partnership with ...

Scripturient: Empathy and The Dog Allusion

Empathy, writes Martin Rowson, is one of the things that make us human, make us civilized, allows us to interact without tearing one another’s throats out. Without it, we’d have no civilization; we’d be like the beasts of the fields. And we’d have no dogs or gods, either. Empathy is what makes us own pets ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Pride Falls.

Torontonians of all stripes and types have always been proud of their Pride Parade. Originating in 1981, the parade has cheerfully acknowledged the growing acceptance of diversity in a polyglot city. Today it is one of the largest events of its kind in the world and brings more than a million visitors to the city ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: For whom the Tolls Toll.

The premier’s office at Queen’s Park in Toronto has many roles. One of those is as a woodshed wherein one disciplines recalcitrant municipal minions who fail to realize that the provincial party in power makes all the rules. There was an awkward bit on a news clip last week of the Premier of Ontario and ...

Scripturient: Committee system still broken, still in use

“A committee,” wrote Sir Barnett Cocks, former Clerk of the UK’s House of Commons, “is a cul-de-sac down which ideas are lured and then quietly strangled.” How very appropriate those words strike us as we gaze at Collingwood’s ineffective, severely broken standing committee system. The brainchild of the interim CAO, and the very model of ...

Scripturient: Will the Block’s hypocrisy never cease?

Last term, when they were raising their pitchforks to storm the bureaucratic castle, the members of today’s Collingwood Council – those we disparagingly refer to as The Block – were loudly castigating the former council for having once done a sole-source deal with the company that was the only Canadian supplier of a product in ...

Scripturient: Collingwood’s casino roulette

I want you to read the following motion carefully. Take your time. It was passed by the former council in March, 2013 in response to the Ontario Lottery & Gaming Corporation (OLG) coming forward with a proposal to locate a gambling (“gaming”) facility in Collingwood: WHEREAS a properly developed Integrated Destination Resort which includes but ...