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Babel-on-the-Bay: Who is reforming policing?

It seems everybody is in on the act these days. The Province of Ontario is reviewing the Police Services Act. The City of Toronto keeps appointing committees to solve its budget problems with policing. And the cops are just digging in their heels against change. But the question that has to be asked is, “Who […] . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: Who is reforming policing?

Scripturient: Alger Hiss, Richard Nixon and Collingwood

Remember the case of Alger Hiss? I didn’t think so. It was before your time. Mine too. But let me jog your memory, just in case you’re older than I am. Or perhaps just well read in recent history. Hiss was a US government employee, a diplom… . . . → Read More: Scripturient: Alger Hiss, Richard Nixon and Collingwood

Scripturient: Power, naked ambition, and corruption

No matter how many times you watch the film, Titanic, the ending is always the same: the ship hits the iceberg. Sort of like watching Collingwood Council these days. They just keep hitting the iceberg. And hitting it and hitting it and hitting it. But … . . . → Read More: Scripturient: Power, naked ambition, and corruption

Babel-on-the-Bay: What’s with bicycles in Toronto?

We always agreed with the healthy aspects of cycling and never thought much about bike lanes on city streets. That was until city council’s passion for cycling got carried away. They are spending millions of taxpayers’ money on restricted bike lanes and further tying up traffic. Are these people nuts? You really have to wonder […] . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: What’s with bicycles in Toronto?

Babel-on-the-Bay: Politicians are just like us.

Maybe it is because they are never a hero to their valets that we have never been overly impressed with politicians. As a publicist and confidante to many politicians over the years, we have found that they share the same foibles, failures and frustrations as anyone else. Nobody is perfect and the person offering to […] . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: Politicians are just like us.

Song of the Watermelon: Vancouver Sun Letter

I have a letter on The Vancouver Sun’s website (online only, it would appear) replying to a ridiculous op-ed piece that blames the high cost of housing on “mass immigration.” My response is restrained in both tone and word count, … Continue reading . . . → Read More: Song of the Watermelon: Vancouver Sun Letter

Scripturient: The 50% Solution

Imagine you want to go out for dinner with a friend. Get some wings and beer. You like mild dry rub wings, and a nice, crisp lager. Your friend likes sticky and spicy, with a dark stout. The restaurant will bring out the food and drinks split accordin… . . . → Read More: Scripturient: The 50% Solution

Scripturient: The Leadership Crisis

In his latest book, The Leadership Crisis, Gord Hume defines seven characteristics – the Seven Cs – of great political leadership*. See how many you can recognize as attributes within our own council: Competencies, including people, organiz… . . . → Read More: Scripturient: The Leadership Crisis

Babel-on-the-Bay: A Richler’s epiphany on Toronto.

In a somewhat rambling op-ed for the Toronto Star the other day, Noah Richler tells us of his experience as a sacrificial lamb (candidate) for the New Democrats last year. He also explains (sort of) why Bombardier cannot seem to deliver Toronto’s streetcars. Being a Montrealer by birth, Richler’s decision to run in Toronto-St.Paul’s was […] . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: A Richler’s epiphany on Toronto.

Scripturient: The CAO’s expenses

Earlier this year, I filed a Freedom of Information (FOI) Act request to see the expense records of Collingwood’s Interim CAO for 2015 and 2016 to the end of March. You can read these records by clicking on the links above. Let me start by saying… . . . → Read More: Scripturient: The CAO’s expenses

Scripturient: Two conferences and a show

I had the honour and the enjoyment of attending two municipal conferences last week. While no longer directly involved in politics, I am able to keep my finger in some of the political pies through my current work for an NGO. Plus, I like to remain inf… . . . → Read More: Scripturient: Two conferences and a show

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