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Scripturient: The stench of entitlement

You’d think politicians would learn from the recent investigations into Senate spending and the Mike Duffy trial, that Canadians have no tolerance for the gimme, gimme, gimme of politicians. Canadians don’t like the smell of a sense of ent… . . . → Read More: Scripturient: The stench of entitlement

Babel-on-the-Bay: Doors still open to municipal corruption.

If virtue is its own reward, what is the reward for hypocrisy? And what does it mean when municipal politicians tell you that there will be no more corruption when they ban corporate and union donations? What problems does that solve? What is the point when the most important contributions to campaigns are not recognized […] . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: Doors still open to municipal corruption.

Scripturient: Amateur layout and bad ads. Again.

I see the Town of Collingwood is still letting the EB layout its full page of ads in the paper. Tragic. Embarrassing. Cringe-worthy. The latest back page mashup has as its first ad the worst of the worst sort of ad layout, the sort only amateurs wou… . . . → Read More: Scripturient: Amateur layout and bad ads. Again.

Scripturient: Muddle-headed editorial palaver

There’s a muddle-headed editorial in this weekend’s Collingwood Connection titled “Citizens, not rich developers should drive political ship” (sic*) that shows (again) how little the chain’s editorial writers understand m… . . . → Read More: Scripturient: Muddle-headed editorial palaver

Babel-on-the-Bay: Toronto’s organized hypocrisy.

Would someone please explain to Professor Patrice Dutil at Toronto’s Ryerson University that the city already has party politics at City Hall. Of course—wink, wink, nudge, nudge—it is all kept quiet because we never want anyone to be held accountable. And if the Ryerson prof wants confirmation, he should ask our old friend from Ryerson, […] . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: Toronto’s organized hypocrisy.

Babel-on-the-Bay: Don’t forget Canada’s Minister of Pot.

Canada is certainly a slow-moving country. It takes six years to get the right just to have your day in court. How long it will take to actually get a class-action case to court is another matter. The only thing is that as time marches on, we should never forget the role played in the […] . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: Don’t forget Canada’s Minister of Pot.

Scripturient: Demagogues and democracy

“I just wish, at some point in time, councillors would show a little more integrity or credibility on the floor of council… It’s like every time we try to do something, there’s criticism, no matter what we do. I’d like to … . . . → Read More: Scripturient: Demagogues and democracy

Babel-on-the-Bay: The manipulation of preferential voting.

Back in the 1970s, we elected two aldermen (now called councillors) in each Toronto ward. The person with the most votes was known as the senior alderman and was given more perks and opportunities. The toughest part of campaigning for an aldermanic post at that time was convincing your supporters to not vote for a […] . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: The manipulation of preferential voting.

Scripturient: The latest FOI emails examined

One hundred and seventy pages of email correspondence between the town’s interim CAO, John Brown, and the Collus/Powerstream CEO, Ed Houghton, from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, , 2015, were recently released to the public as the result of a Freedom of Inf… . . . → Read More: Scripturient: The latest FOI emails examined

Scripturient: Collingwood’s broken committee system, part 2

Back in early 2015, I wrote that the experimental standing committee structure adopted by council was broken. Well, wouldn’t you know it, a year later, council finally agreed. And they replaced it with… you guessed it: another standing com… . . . → Read More: Scripturient: Collingwood’s broken committee system, part 2

Babel-on-the-Bay: Don’t get between the Photogs and Politicos.

Years ago at a dinner three of us were chatting at the head table reception. There was the Ontario party leader, a prominent member of the federal cabinet and this writer. The three of us were discussing nothing important and we studiously ignored the photographers and TV camera people recording our innocuous three-part tête-a-tête. It […] . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: Don’t get between the Photogs and Politicos.

Scripturient: Undermining the Mayor, and Theft

There are several changes to Collingwood’s procedural bylaw proposed. They will come up for voting on Monday night. Most are dry procedural stuff that will likely improve or smooth the normally byzantine process. But one section in particular t… . . . → Read More: Scripturient: Undermining the Mayor, and Theft

Scripturient: Debunking the Collus Myths

I was recently told a member of town council is publicly making two incorrect statements that seriously need to be debunked: Collus is 100% owned by the town (not 50%), and Collingwood only received $8 million for the sale of its share. Yes, I realize … . . . → Read More: Scripturient: Debunking the Collus Myths

Scripturient: Why We Deserve a Permanent CAO

First, a little history. Back in the spring of 2012, Collingwood Council terminated the contract with Kim Wingrove, the CAO, according to the terms in the agreement. In her place, council appointed the CEO of Collus, Ed Houghton, as interim CAO. In add… . . . → Read More: Scripturient: Why We Deserve a Permanent CAO

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… . . . → Read More: Scripturient: When is a tax increase not a tax increase?

Scripturient: Time for Closure

Thirty-six months ago a small group of disgruntled, angry residents, some with burning ambition to take a seat on council themselves, allegedly complained to the OPP about decisions made by some members of the previous council. Decisions they didn&#8… . . . → Read More: Scripturient: Time for Closure

Scripturient: The Wolf and the Dogs

Once upon a time, there was a pack of good-hearted dogs who were known for their good deeds, and indeed their good natures. They travelled around the town unmolested, loved by everyone they met, helping with the chores, keeping the town safe from wil… . . . → Read More: Scripturient: The Wolf and the Dogs

Scripturient: The Crafty Crow and the Doves

Once upon a time, an old crow lived by the seaside. He had grown fat over the years because he was too lazy to work for his food. He preferred to sit than fly. He followed the other animals to get their leftovers, taking what wasn’t his, and ann… . . . → Read More: Scripturient: The Crafty Crow and the Doves

Babel-on-the-Bay: It’s leadership that builds our future.

This is just an idle thought for a bleak February in Barrie. It is what a difference leadership can make. This comes to mind with the sour grapes announcement by Laurentian University that they are dumping their partnership staff and students at Georgian College. It reflects the abysmal failure of the Ontario Ministry of Training, […] . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: It’s leadership that builds our future.

Scripturient: Sloppy Reporting and Secret Agendas

One really doesn’t actually expect sterling journalism, good, investigative reporting or excellent editing from a community newspaper, but we do expect factual accuracy. And we expect reporters and editors to do at least the basics of their jobs…. . . . → Read More: Scripturient: Sloppy Reporting and Secret Agendas

Babel-on-the-Bay: It’s not the pipelines, it’s the bitumen.

Thank goodness for mayors who can call a spade a spade. Not every city enjoys that luxury. The only problem is that mayors and their municipalities have no jurisdiction over pipelines. What they do is posture for their voters and then conveniently remember it is not their bailiwick when the going gets tough. Toronto Mayor […] . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: It’s not the pipelines, it’s the bitumen.

Scripturient: De Officiis: Cicero on Political Obligations

No phase of life, whether public or private, whether in business or in the home, whether one is working on what concerns oneself alone or dealing with another, can be without its moral duty; on the discharge of such duties depends all that is morally r… . . . → Read More: Scripturient: De Officiis: Cicero on Political Obligations

Babel-on-the-Bay: What if nobody voted in the by-election?

We had a by-election for council in a Barrie ward the other day. Admittedly it was the middle of winter but you would think that more people would have voted. Out of almost 10,000 potential voters, only 17.5 per cent bothered to vote. It makes you wonder what the heck the city would have done […] . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: What if nobody voted in the by-election?

Scripturient: Collingwood’s Finances: Great Shape!

There’s been a lot of doom-and-gloom bandied about over Collingwood’s alleged dire financial picture this term. There have been the-sky-is-falling presentations and nightmare-inducing consultants’ reports that paint a bleak picture of… . . . → Read More: Scripturient: Collingwood’s Finances: Great Shape!

Babel-on-the-Bay: Justice denied: The Yatim trial.

At one time the Toronto police force was among the most respected in Canada. It had the overwhelming support and trust of the citizens it served. That is no longer true. The trial of Constable James Forcillo for murdering Sammy Yatim has told Toronto citizens that the police consider themselves above the law. The lesson […] . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: Justice denied: The Yatim trial.