Scripturient: Deception, The Block, and EPCOR

The Ontario Energy Board (OEB) is currently conducting hearings about the proposed sale of our publicly-owned electrical utility, Collus, to the for-profit, out-of-province corporation, EPCOR. Several documents have already been entered into the record and you can read them here. Most of them are fairly technical and steeped in opaque legalese, but download and read ...

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: Wasaga pulls airport support

Another post where I get to say “I told you so.” Wasaga Beach pulled its support for the Collingwood Airport just like Clearview did a little earlier. Told you they would. Why? Simple: because of The Block. Seven of our councillors resolutely stand in the way of growth, business, development, jobs, a better community, our ...

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading. – Thomas Walkom discusses Canada’s likely NAFTA decision between an even worse deal than exists now, and no deal at all – though it’s worth recognizing that the latter choice shouldn’t be seen as a problem. And Alex Panetta points out the Libs’ total lack of transparency as to ...

Scripturient: Collingwood’s culture of secrecy

For the past fifteen months, I have been trying to get a copy of the Request For Proposals (RFP) sent out to potential buyers for the purchase of our public utility. For the past fifteen months, the town has fought me, has refused to hand it over, has challenged my appeals to the Information and ...

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 ...

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading. – Matt Bruenig writes that the concentration of wealth and power which is largely being attributed to crony capitalism is a natural byproduct of laissez-faire economics as well: An economy that distributes the national income based solely on the marginal productivity of each unit of capital and labor ...

Scripturient: EPCOR and The Block’s Big Lie

For all their evils and its wrongs, the Soviets did some things very well: propaganda and disinformation. As one writer commented in the Spectator, “Communist ideology dismissed the idea of truth as a bourgeois construct. What mattered was power; and you baptised as truth those doctrines which provided it.” Stalin defined truth as what he ...

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week. – Steve Burgess points out that we shouldn’t be the least bit surprise by the latest news of politically-connected billionaires managing to tilt the tax system in their favour. Ed Broadbent calls for a much-needed end to tax policy that favours the wealthy in efforts to avoid contributing to ...

Scripturient: Open vs secret at Collingwood Council part 2

In the previous part of this story, I provided dates of meetings and events in the terms of the previous council (on which I sat) and the current council. I documented how last term, the sale of one half the share of our electrical utility (Collus) was sold to the municipally-owned PowerStream (now Alectra) through ...

Scripturient: In camera, closed door meetings in Collingwood, 2015-17

Using the agendas posted on the town’s website, I tallied up the number of Council’s in-camera meetings for three specific topics this term: Collus-PowerStream (including the share sale, shared services agreement, advice from Mark Rodger and board appointments); the hospital redevelopment, and the airport (including the request for a letter of intent and possible sale ...

Scripturient: Open vs secret at Collingwood Council

How two Collingwood councils handled the utility sale process very differently Last term, Collingwood Council went through a lengthy, open and public process to sell a portion of its electrical utility, Collus. That open process – with full discussion, community involvement, consultation and public input, and local media coverage – resulted in 50% of the ...

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 ...

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading. – Paul Wells writes about Justin Trudeau’s natural affinity for the rich and privileged, while the Star remains unduly willing to give him the benefit of the doubt when it comes to fulfilling promises of Indigenous reconciliation and tax fairness. And Chantal Hebert discusses Bill Morneau’s role at the ...

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading. – Nathaniel Lewis and Matt Bruenig discuss the relationship between massive inheritances and ongoing wealth inequality. Nick Hanauer makes the case for much higher taxes on the wealthy as part of a plan for improved economic development, while a new Ipsos poll finds that three-quarters of Americans are ...

Scripturient: The Block are privatizing our public assets

So Brian and his Block minions want to sell our airport. Our publicly-owned asset. And they’re doing it without even the pretence of the courtesy to tell us why. No public input, no public engagement, no open discussion over it. In the flaccid Connection story, it notes, In November, 2016, deputy mayor Brian Saunderson asked ...

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week. – Mike Savage and John Hills write about the respective takes on the sources of inequality provided by Tony Atkinson, Thomas Piketty and Joseph Stiglitz. And Michael Spence discusses how economic development needs to be inclusive and based on trust in order to be sustainable: First, as we concluded ...

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on the corporate sector’s expectation that it will be able to write laws and set public policy for its own benefit – and the disturbing number of examples of it being allowed to do just that. For further reading…– Jenny Uechl reported on both the secret CAPP meetings which set British Columbia’s climate policy ...

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading. – Rachel Bunker writes that Equifax represents the worst of an out-of-control capitalist system, as a poorly-regulated and unreliable credit reporting operation is making profits for itself by reinforcing existing discrimination among other businesses. – Naomi Klein discusses this summer’s spate of wildfires and widespread smoke as showing ...

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading. – Stefan Stern writes that our current corporate culture needs to be changed in ways going far beyond reining in excessive executive compensation: Wage inequality is also a symbol of something more fundamentally wrong in the business world. Too many corporations are competing to achieve the wrong results in ...

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading. – George Monbiot examines the history of James McGill Buchanan, Charles Koch and others who have used massive amounts of time and money to ensure that wealth wins out over democracy in shaping U.S. policy – and how their influence will sounds familiar elsewhere as well: The papers Nancy ...

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading. – Michael Rozworski discusses the importance of workers exercising power over how our economy functions. Robert Booth reports on a forthcoming UK study showing the desperate need for improved quality of work and life among low-income individuals. And Lana Payne writes that a strong labour movement is essential to ...

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading. – Claire Provost writes about the spread of the private security industry – which now exceeds the size of public police forces in Canada among other countries – as a means of privileging the protection of wealth over public interests. – Meanwhile, Lana Payne comments on the importance of ...

Scripturient: Collingwood deserves answers

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 ...

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Afternoon Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading. – Dani Rodrik argues that it’s too late to try to compensate the people being deliberately left behind by trade deals – and that instead, we need to make sure their interests are actually taken into account in how trade is structured: Today’s consensus concerning the need to compensate ...