Scripturient: The onerous burden of responsibility

Imagine you’re in high school one day around the end of the year. It’s warm outside, sunny, and you want out of the stuffy classroom. You’re not paying attention. You’re looking out the window, fidgeting. Daydreaming, miles away. The teacher drones on and on but you don’t hear a single word. Then, the bell rings. ...

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 ...

Scripturient: The EPCOR sales pitches

I’m told the interim CAO is distressed – apoplectic, really – that I am aware of his sales pitch information sessions in which he touts the wonders of EPCOR to town staff. Two sessions that I know of. At the most recent one he brought along EPCOR representatives to schmooze the staff. Apparently he is ...

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: Monetizing our public assets

In the town’s disingenuous press release (really just a sales pitch for EPOCR) about its obsessive drive to privatize our utility services, it has this paragraph: The Town’s RFP process solicited proposals from a wide range of potentially interested parties that could maximize the value of the Town’s remaining investment in Collingwood PowerStream Utility Services ...

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: The Block lied. Told you so.

If you read the media release published by the Town of Collingwood this afternoon you will realized just how much you have been lied to these past two years. It’s titled, “Council to pursue Hydro Share Sale discussions with Epcor.” This is the “unnamed company” whose name The Block and the administration tried – unsuccessfully ...

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 ...

Scripturient: The Block torpedoes the hospital, again

When their sole-sourced consultant’s report failed to give The Block the high ground to oppose the Collingwood General & Marine Hospital’s redevelopment plan, the weasels on council and in the administration decided to undermine the hospital from a different direction. And they hired another consultant. That’s right: wasting $30,000 of your hard-earned tax dollars on ...

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: Council is privatizing our utilities

Collingwood council and its administration are planning to privatize both our water and electricity utilities. All, of course, without consulting you, the public. Some members of council have even stated – with a straight face, mind you – they would ask for your input at a later date. A date long after it’s too late ...

Scripturient: The PowerStream deadline looms today

Big day for Collus-PowerStream today: the deadline for acceptance of PowerStream’s sale offer for the remaining share of our utility expires this afternoon. And of course Council will finally deal with it at the special meeting called for noon, today, mere hours before it expires. Nothing like waiting until the last moment. They’ve had a ...

Scripturient: More council Christmas carols

A few preliminary verses for your consideration this holiday season… perhaps my readers might like to offer their contributions or extend the verses below. To the tune of The Holly and the Ivy: The folly of our council, So evident to see Fumble, flail and bumble Of this we all agree. O the rising of ...

Scripturient: Council’s report card: Year 2, part 1

As we reach the end of our Council’s second year in office, halfway through its mandate, it is time again to assess the collective performance and list the accomplishments of our elected officials. To avoid accusations of egregious negativity, I will list council’s accomplishments first. And to avoid further accusations of meandering through overly long ...

Scripturient: Collingwood’s own Gong Show, part 2

As promised, here is the second part of the Gong Show analysis from December 12th’s council meeting. Like I said earlier, it’s perhaps more like a Keystone Cops or Abbott and Costello skit than the TV show. As always, you can follow along on the Rogers Community TV broadcast, starting at 2:16:30. Laugh aloud at ...

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: Collus share bid received

My sources tell me PowerStream submitted a bid to purchase the town’s share of the Collus-PowerStream utility, late on Friday, December 9. While the amount was not stated, I am told it is a “very fair” bid. This is so far going as I predicted in my earlier post. PowerStream paid $8 million cash for half ...

Scripturient: Stumbling towards the utility’s demise

This week, Collingwood Council met in a special meeting to discuss an request from its utility partner, PowerStream, to waive some conditions of the shareholder agreement. This meeting appears to have been called by the interim CAO, which seems to me to usurp the mayor’s authority, but we know the administration – in partnership with ...

Scripturient: Corruption, Collingwood & the Collus Board

The Most Secretive Council Ever has comfortably assumed the mantle of The Most Secretive and Corrupt Council Ever. As I warned in a previous post, The Block was going to appoint someone’s friends to the Collus-PowerStream board – and do it both illegally and unethically. And last Monday, they told us they had done it. Fait ...

Scripturient: Muzzling the airport board

The Collingwood Airport Board wants to get its own legal opinion about the Clearview Aviation Business Park request for a non-binding letter of intent to negotiate access to the airport. Seems reasonable for the board charged with oversight of the airport to want to make sure that any decisions made best represent their mandate and ...

Scripturient: Corruption and conflict of interest

Ever get that uneasy sense of deja vu? That some ugly, undemocratic event you’re watching at council, some autocratic, conniving, secret and self-serving act is something you’ve experienced in the past? That those nasty breaches of ethics, those conflicts of interest, those ignored bylaws and broken trust are things you’ve already seen at the table? ...

The Cracked Crystal Ball II: The Ethics of Wikileaks

Wikileaks, and other information repositories like it, raises some interesting ethical problems. To date, Wikileaks has pretty much taken a wholesale approach to the information that comes its way – it all gets published regardless of its validity, relevance or timeliness.  Many have applauded this, especially with bulk leak of government documents in the past ...

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on what we need to do to clean up political funding – and how both the Saskatchewan and federal systems offer painful examples of the problems with big money in politics. For further reading…– Brad Wall’s top-up pay from the Saskatchewan Party – being one of the many noteworthy uses of the corporate and ...