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 ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Pride Falls.

Torontonians of all stripes and types have always been proud of their Pride Parade. Originating in 1981, the parade has cheerfully acknowledged the growing acceptance of diversity in a polyglot city. Today it is one of the largest events of its kind in the world and brings more than a million visitors to the city ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: For whom the Tolls Toll.

The premier’s office at Queen’s Park in Toronto has many roles. One of those is as a woodshed wherein one disciplines recalcitrant municipal minions who fail to realize that the provincial party in power makes all the rules. There was an awkward bit on a news clip last week of the Premier of Ontario and ...

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: 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 ...

Alberta Politics: St. Albert Mayor Nolan Crouse says he won’t seek fourth term in surprise announcement this morning

PHOTOS: St. Albert Mayor Nolan Crouse at a Remembrance Day ceremony (Alberta Native News photo). Below: Councillor Cam MacKay, Councillor Cathy Heron, former deputy premier Thomas Lukaszuk and former Wildrose candidate Shelley Biermanski. ST. ALBERT, Alberta In a lengthy statement on Facebook posted early this morning, St. Albert Mayor Nolan Crouse announced he does not ...

Scripturient: Thank you and Happy New Year

Twenty seventeen will arrive one second later than expected, thanks to the addition of a leap second added to balance the atomic clocks with the Earth’s actual time. One more second for my readers to browse, I suppose, although 2016 was such an awful year that few folks want it to stay around any longer. ...

Scripturient: The vulgar crowd

Profanum vulgus. The vulgar crowd. Not, however, as you might suspect, an apt description of the remaining few supporters of The Block that rules Collingwood Council. While perhaps appropriately described, to me that small handful are better described as naïve, gullible and even intellectually vulnerable, moreso than merely vulgar. But that’s not what this post ...

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: Those pesky costs The Block forgot to mention

Who sends out your water bills? Collus-PowerStream. It’s all part of the shared services agreement. Yes, that simple little agreement that for 15 productive, cooperative years linked our water and electrical utilities with mutual resources. That same agreement The Block dismantled and handed over to the interim CAO two years ago to rewrite and update. ...

Alberta Politics: Calculating St. Albert City Councillors’ meeting attendance – from best to worst

PHOTOS: St. Albert City Council. From left to right: Bob Russell, Sheena Hughes, Tim Osborne, Nolan Crouse, Wes Brodhead, Cam MacKay and Cathy Heron (City of St. Albert photo). Below: A few shots from the author’s personal collection, which includes Mayor Crouse at one of the many community events he also goes to, Cam MacKay, ...

Scripturient: No, Brian: Elvis isn’t in the CBSP

At the Nov. 28 Council meeting (seen here on Rogers TV), Deputy Mayor Brian Saunderson blathered on in cliché-rich, lawerly manner (starting 1:14:05) about how much the Elvis Festival means to his “Community-Based Strategic Plan” (1:16:18) – that committee-based wishlist which was neither strategic nor a plan. What does he mean when he claims that ...

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: I used to like him; not so much now…

Back in the ’70s when he ran for mayor and we both lived in Toronto, I voted for John Sewell. And when he won, I was a big supporter of his human-scale policies and planning, and enjoyed his youthful vigour and vision. Now, not so much. Sure, he’s a smart, well-spoken, erudite man with a ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Will Toronto charge for parking on the DVP?

Did you hear that Toronto Council are now considering making the Don Valley Parkway and the Gardiner Expressway toll roads? This is hardly the first time the suggestion has been made and it is probably not the last. It shows you how desperate the city is for revenue other than taxing businesses and homes. When ...