Montreal Simon: Why the Con’s Phony Tax Revolt Is Doomed to Fail

If you believe our Con media you might think that the entire country was rising up to fight the Liberal government's plan to make our tax system fairer.If you believe Andrew Scheer, you might think that millions of middle class Canadians are as mad as hell at Justin Trudeau for calling them tax cheats. Even ...

Scripturient: Montaigne and The Block

I do love reading Michel de Montaigne.  And writing about him. In 2014 alone, I wrote ten separate posts about him and his famous book, Essays. But since then, my reading habits moved on to other writers and topics. I hadn’t actually been reading Montaigne in the past few years, but recently while sorting some ...

Montreal Simon: Andrew Scheer’s Shameful Flim-Flam Act

We know that Andrew Scheer is a sinister religious fanatic. We know that he is a crass misogynist, and an anti-gay and anti-Muslim bigot.We know that he is a creepy demagogue, and a good friend of Ezra Levant.We know that he believes that we should pay to have children home schooled, and that carbon taxes are the work ...

Scripturient: Betrayal by the Block, again

Monday night, The Block will engage in their favourite political activity: betraying the public trust. In fact, it’s the only political activity they’ve engaged in this term, in which the public has been concerned. Everything else they’ve done has been to further their own personal agendas or entitlement. But Monday, they’re doing it up in ...

Scripturient: Taking credit for the work of others

A short while ago, I received an unsolicited email from the interim (and soon to be departing) CAO, John Brown, with the subject, “Ideas. Observations. Musings  . Opinions  . Facts ?” (yes, written just like that…). Although he says he never reads my blog, it inspired me to write this post. He wrote (copied in its ...

Scripturient: Utter contempt at council

Utter contempt. That’s what The Block showed for process at council, on Monday night. And for ethics. And for you, the residents. Utter contempt. But when they want to give benefits to their friends or themselves, boy do they rise to the occasion. Which of course they did, Monday. Anything for a buddy, no matter ...

Scripturient: The test of integrity

I’ve been complaining all this term that Collingwood’s standing committee system is broken. It is redundant, ineffective and expensive. It continues in use only because it was the brainchild of the interim CAO who The Block worship. But it is about to come under a test: one that will determine the integrity and ethics of ...

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week. – Naomi Klein highlights how capital and power combine to turn disasters into profit-making opportunities – while noting that the Trump presidency is just such a disaster. And Linda McQuaig discusses why we should see the income tax and other collective funding mechanisms as an important step in nation-building. ...

Scripturient: Small comfort from FCM

Collingwoodites can take small comfort from the wisdom of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. I’ve been told that last week at its annual convention in Ottawa, FCM delegates failed to return our own Councillor Jeffery to their board of directors, possibly saving local taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars this term. Taxpayers will no longer ...

Scripturient: ‘Senator’ Jeffrey gets more money again

The Block once again rewarded one of their own by granting Councillor ‘Senator’ Jeffrey an unlimited expense account to wine, dine and party across Canada on the taxpayer’s dollar. The Connection story is headlined, “Collingwood councillor seeks Federation of Canadian Municipalities seat. That – like so many other Connection headlines – is incorrect. She has ...

Scripturient: Collus-PowerStream responds about dividend

On the April 24 council agenda is an addendum that includes the response from Collus-PowerStream about The Block’s questions over the lack of a dividend from the utility. I wrote about this last month in Dividends for Dummies. I’m glad to see what I wrote then has been proven correct. The original letter from CPS ...

Scripturient: Saunderson shirks his responsibility to taxpayers

The town’s budget is by far the single most important thing elected officials have to manage. It’s complicated, affects everyone in town, reaches into every department, ranges through services, user fees, and ultimately determines the quality of life for everyone here. It is the one thing that demands the full attention, the full concentration,  the ...

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: EPCOR’s rate hikes create unrest

It seems EPCOR isn’t the most beloved utility service out there, despite the glowing comments the interim CAO made to staff recently. I was given a recording of his hour-long talk (aka sales pitch) for EPCOR and I can only say I hope no one listening fell for it (I’ll review his talk in another ...

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: Saunderson announces another tax hike

At Collingwood Council, Monday night, Deputy Mayor Brian Saunderson revealed The Block’s plan to foist its third tax hike this term on residents. Despite the report on the town’s financial situation by the interim CAO’s pet consultant that warned Collingwood is already overtaxed, Saunderson and his Block plan to raise your taxes AGAIN this term. ...

Scripturient: Collingwood Council’s missed initiatives

The word initiative derives from the Latin word initiare “to begin.” Since 1600, it has meant “introduce to some practice or system,” “begin, set going.” While any sort of action or engagement, positive or negative, can be classified as an initiative, generally one refers only to positive enterprises when describing political or social initiatives. I ...

Scripturient: Collingwood’s own Gong Show, part 1

Has there ever been a more inept, ineffective group at the council table in Collingwood? Certainly not in the 26 years I’ve been here. Not in the dozen years I covered it for the media, not in the 11 years I served on council have I seen anything so comical. Rogers TV really should put ...

Scripturient: Your $350,000 wasted

A Freedom of Information (FOI) request I filed recently shows a disturbing abuse of your tax dollars. Money was wasted that could have been spent on doing something good, something positive, something useful for Collingwood. Download the report here. In the two-year period between mid-2014 and mid-2016, the town’s administration spent $340,000 of your tax dollars on ...

Scripturient: 322 reasons why we’re better off with PowerStream

$322. More. Every year. $322. That’s how much more the average consumer household using 750 kW/month pays a year when connected to Hydro One, compared to the same household connected to Collus PowerStream. That means YOU will pay that much more, thanks to Collingwood Council. The Block, in particular. And it could be higher, if ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Winston Churchill and taxes #nlpoli

You have probably seen the quote and a picture of Winston Churchill flying around Facebook or Twitter since the provincial government introduced its budget in the House of Assembly a couple of weeks ago. “For a nation to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself ...

atypicalalbertan: How Much are we Subsidizing Private Education?

I have been actively involved lately in plenty of discussion about the public funding of private education that we do in Alberta. I don’t believe that we should be providing any public funds to private education. If you decide that the public system is not for you, that’s fine, then you should pay for it ...

Scripturient: Betraying the Public Interest

At last Monday’s council meeting, Deputy Mayor Brian Saunderson maneuvered so that interim CAO John Brown was allowed to publicly speak to the question of his contract being extended before any vote was taken. Even before anyone on council had a chance to comment on whether he should be allowed to speak. This motion was the topic of ...

Scripturient: The $1.2 Million Bird-Flip

Only 16 months into this term and I’m already worn out from saying “I told you so.” I warned you it would get worse just a few weeks ago. And look: IT DID. But you’re not really surprised, are you? The whole thing was choreographed by the Bobblehead Block Five through months of secret meetings and ...

Scripturient: When is a tax increase not a tax increase?

When blockheads don’t get what a levy is. This month, Collingwood Council voted for a tax increase that, through the admin’s sleight of hand, the bobbleheads believed wasn’t a tax increase. It was just the old shell game. According to a story in the Connection (which also didn’t get it), headlined “No tax hike, but ...