"Cowardice asks the question...is it safe? Expediency asks the question...is it politic? Vanity asks the question...is it popular? But conscience asks the question...is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it because it is right." ~Dr. Martin Luther King

Monday, 24 November 2014

This Just In

The Private Member's Bill proposes a number of amendments to the City of Toronto Act, Planning Act and other regulations. They appear to reflect MPP Peter Milczyn’s intentions that he outlined during his provincial election campaign and are items that were of considerable interest to him when he served as a City of Toronto Councillor and Chair of the Planning and Growth Management Committee.

requires the OMB to make decisions that are consistent with municipal  council decisions..

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The above is an exert from a  BILD newsletter received this morning .

It's one of those things you'd be better off not knowing.

I feel compelled to share anyway. This blog is not about leaving readers in blissful ignorance. 

Note the Honorable  mentioned was a city Councillor and Chairman of the Planning and Growth Management  Committee before rising to the austere dignity of  Honorable Member of the Legislative Assembly.

Note also the  long-held function of the Ontario Municipal Board  is to  hear appeals  and rule for or against municipal decisions. 

To require the Board to endorse municipal decisions, as proposed by the Honorable Member,  is to remove  entirely the function of the  board

That a Member of the Legislative Assembly, erstwhile chairman of the Planning  and Growth  Management  Committee of Toronto Council can be so utterly, appallingly  and dismally ignorant of the  function of the Ontario Municipal Board  is sufficient cause to send a sensible  person  run screaming into the night. 

Much  as many would have it otherwise, when selfish interest is affected, people who buy property with a legal designation have a legal right to use the property for the purpose purchased. 

At any time, under regulations of the Ontario Planning Act  there exists legal right to make an application to change the use of property if deemed  by the owner to be useful. 

All property owners have the same right. 

Under the Act , the municipality is required to process an  application within a certain time period. 
Failure to do so means the Ontario Municipal Board  may assume  authority to make the decision themselves.

Original purpose of the Ontario Municipal Board was to approve municipal budgets. 

During the depression, municipalities failed to collect sufficient revenues to cover the cost of operations. Some declared bankruptcy to escape payment for goods and services received. 

It was not a good thing. 

The OMB was created to be the  public watchdog .

Until  Regional Governments were created , the OMB had supervisory authority to approve  proposed municipal debt.

Think about that.


Finger slipped again

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Monday Morning Quarterback":

I wouldn't be able to refrain myself as well as you do. I would have called him a lot worse.

Posted by Anonymous to Our Town and Its Business at 24 November 2014 13:18


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It's hard to tell if there's only one  but not hard to tell the objective. 

The incident happened at an interesting  time.

For several weeks, candidates had been busy plastering public property  with private property.,

Some went so far as to suggest  additional police should be scheduled at greater public expense to protect  the private property set out  in display on public property.

Some vigilantes formed a posse and rode out in dark of night to catch the blighters but failed to obtain a license  number thereby missing out on opportunity to provide information to support a charge or multiple charges.

Feelings of outrage were so high, no doubt they too felt jail time would not be too harsh a penalty for  miscreants within our midst.

It's a good thing stupidity isn't an offense against social order.

Wait a minute...what did I just say?

Monday Morning Quarterback

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Free As A Bird....I Shall Be":

I don't think anyone likes to be called a jackass Evelyn, but you call a spade a spade.

Was you intent to ask the question to actually get the charges dropped or were you asking what it would take to get the charges dropped.

Posted by Anonymous to Our Town and Its Business at 24 November 2014 09:10


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Stephanie , like most of her generation ,spends a huge amount of her time texting reading texting and 
whatever else she finds on her  dinky tiny palm handy gizmo that connects her to the world.

I've  talked to her about trashing comments that contribute nothing to the conversation. Stephanie  finds it entertaining when  a blog moderator responds in kind.

I appreciate the point. Lively exchange  does attract more attention.  I do want to I grow the readership. I do have the advantage of the last word. But at this point in time, civility in the main has greater appeal to me.

Occasionally calling  an anonymous spade  JACKASS  is as far as I am prepared to indulge myself.

Yet still  the  redundant question  persists :  What did I say to District1Desk Sergeant about the theft of a plain little white cardboard poppy box which may or may not have contained coin?

Read the posts; both  of them, . My question and the response received could not be more transparent.

I did not use my elected office to obstruct  police in  performance of their duty.

The senseless,heartless comment of the Legion spokesperson that the person who took the box  should  be sent to jail for two or three years triggered my outrage.

I may or I may not attend  the court to observe the sequel.

Previous advice from sound authority indicates  Justice  is not what people think it is and it is not what it should be.

We shall see.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

There is a Story

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Free As A Bird....I Shall Be":

Evelyn I believe the condo on Yonge was planned during your term as councillor 1986-88.Correct me if I am wrong

Posted by Anonymous to Our Town and Its Business at 23 November 2014 11:21


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You are not wrong.  It was a three year  term and I did not run for Council at the end of the term. The municipal election overlapped a Federal election. I was a candidate for the NDP and chose not to run for Council 

It was an interesting election. The late John West was incumbent Mayor and a challenger was the town's former CAO. the late Bud Rogers.

Highland Gate condominium construction was well up out of the ground by that time.

As noted in comments yesterday. Mr. Rogers enjoyed high status in the community and in his profession. He served numerous terms on the executive of the  Ontario Association of Clerks and Treasurers.

But it wasn't enough to take the Mayor's office from John West.

During the nineties I was not in office. Out of the loop so-to-speak. I believe the Rogers family moved to Barrie and  he took a position with Reid and Associates Consultant Engineers. I understand  a planning service  was added to their operation and Mr Rogers  had  that responsibility.



Saturday, 22 November 2014

Free As A Bird....I Shall Be

It had a call this morning.

From a distance.

Do I remember an O.M.B. Hearing on a previous proposal for development of the Highlands under the ownership of the late  Joe Shaw?

I don't . I was out of office from 77/80 . My caller knew I was not elected recently but called anyway.

It's  a bit odd.

One particular jackass is trying every which way for me to confess I identified myself as an elected official  in order to get a charge dropped  against a person unknown to me for stealing a poppy box.

After the election a couple of comments expressed  ecstasy at the results. One stated how overjoyed he/she was.

Apparently not sufficient to be content. Hence the need  to gloat.

One person's satisfaction derived from knowing my "power" was ended.

It's  interesting to discover weird ideas.

I 've never thought of a single vote on Council in terms of power.

However , I do know at least five who consider five votes to be  beyond the law.

Since  the time approaches I am no longer a Councillor, I allow my mind to roam over alternate topics for Blog.

I 'm still on the Council e-mail list . Still connected for  thirteen more days.

Then
 I shall be free.
 Free as a bird.
To do whatever comes naturally.
Whatever it might be.
That comes naturally to me.

Friday, 21 November 2014

What does it take?

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Facebook...Open Book....Few Surprises":

You can just as easily 'Unlike' a Facebook post/comment.
Posted by Anonymous to Our Town and Its Business at 21 November 2014 12:59

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Stephanie just told me that. But my grand-daughter was not on hand at the time.

No matter. there are a couple of other things that need to be said.

The flyer posted by Councillor Mrakas  on Facebook  was not identified. I had heard former Councillor, now MLA Christopher Ballard was  calling for a town hall meeting to oppose
residential  development.

I had seen an e-mail indicating Councillor Abel had referenced  a park.

Now  freshly elected ,full of enthusiasm for how much better things might be done with co-operation,
Councillor Mrakas has  put both ideas forward obligingly ,with neither name mentioned.

It is noted the flyer mentions " passive park" as the second option to infill residential development.

A passive park is one with no activity; no baseball diamonds, no soccer fields, no skate board facility. no all-season tennis  courts ; nothing at all to disturb peace, tranquillity and absolute privacy of the
neighbourhood.

No pesky human activity of any kind.

The golf course stretches from Yonge Street, behind Highland Gate Condominiums, right out to Bathurst Street.

The town is entitled to take 5% of development land for parks .

There could be a trail.

The creek would certainly be conservation.

The province has a policy for high-density infill with the objective of saving  farmland and  preventing urban sprawl.

The Region's  Planning Department is charged with responsibility for making that happen.

The situation has all the elements .

Facebook...Open Book....Few Surprises

 Facebook is not yet a routine  I have not adjusted to the discipline.

Recently my finger hovered with no purpose in mind  and auddenly  "Like" activated .

By the nature of  Facebook, it would not normally be an issue.

But it was a political statement. Councillor--elect Mrakas posted an anonymous leaflet rallying home -owners to an organization  meeting at the town hall on Monday night.  The golf club  closure is the issue.

Two options present as future use;  high density residential or a passive park.

Councillors Abel, Humphreys,Mrakas and Thoms have been consulted. They look forward to meeting with residents at the meeting.

Before the issue hits the fan,I wish to note IPad is a highly sensitive instrument. Too damned sensitive.

I did not intend to click on Like.

The suggestion Highland Gate  Golf  Course  does not come as a surprise.

If a redundant  6 acre school site, why not a 98.8 acre golf course ?

Endorsation  by  Councillors is hardly unprecedented either.

The town is currently engaged in litigation to compel  the developer to sell the property to the town for a fraction of it's value for an unidentified need with no documentation to support a park.

Mayor  Dawe is responding to golf course neighbours on status and the requirements of the Planning Act which provides  ample opportunity for input.

Councillor Mrakas is quoted this week on how well things go when everyone is on the same page

I suppose  he could have been referring to the Facebook page.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Who The Hell I Am

On Friday evening, I called the desk sergeant at Number One District  and asked what it would take to withdraw the charge for stealing a poppy box.

A store can withdraw shoplifting charges if they choose. It occurred to me if an offer was made to restore whatever was in the  box considerable expense and misery might be avoided.

Charges could not be withdrawn. The process had to be followed. Canadian Tire was referenced.

I wrote a post about it.

A  furious anonymous demanded to know;  " Who the Hell do you think you are?"

I  did not publish it. I don't have to respond to it.  But I want to.

Blog Readers know who I am.  I have few secrets.

I am the daughter and grand-daughter of two mothers who lost sons in the carnage of two world wars.

I was fifteen when my brother was killed.  He was twenty-two. My mother was sixteen when her brother's life blood soaked into the sand at the Dardanelles in Turkey .He also was twenty-two.

They disembarked in their thousands armed with rifles. Young bodies were ripped to shreds by the machine gun fire that awaited them.

My brother was in the Air Force in the  Second World War.

On a bombing raid over the Ruhr, the plane took a direct hit.  The pilot and co-pilot were dead in the burning inferno. My brother was wounded and his parachute in  the burning  part of the plane . He and a surviving crew member ,with one parachute between them, wrapped  arms around each other and jumped.

He knew they would black out on the way down. He told me when he was on leave the week before.

He had to jump or be blown to pieces when the plane  exploded in the sky.

My brother was buried in Dusseldorf . His identification tag, rosary missing the crucifix and a small pen knife  were kept safe while my mother continued to hope he would come home. She grew a little stash of  his favorites like apricot jam  for his return.

When the  war ended, a few months later, Patrick was still officially "Missing In Action"

We learned  the details  from the father of the surviving crew member who was taken as a prisoner of war

I notified the War Office.

By return telegram the War Office notified  us ;  Flight/Sergeant Patrick Finnigan  is  confirmed killed in action.

After Remembrance Day, I watched a T.V. feature on Winston Churchill. In the First War he tried  to alert politicians and Generals to the reality of machine warfare. It was hardly a secret.

No matter.  They sent  millions of  men to their deaths carrying rifles and wearing tin hats against
tanks, howitzers and machine guns.

They sent artists to record the history of war , then banned the exhibition  because they depicted the awful fear,despair and certain knowledge of impending doom on the faces of men who were little more than boys.

Charlie Rose had an American General on his program last week.  He has written a book pointing out the obvious.

Lessons  we do not learn from history ,we are doomed to repeat.

Today's armies are volunteer. They do not number hundreds of thousands of  conscripted men. They
can't be court-martialled by an officer  and shot to death  on the spot for desertion.

War is not like anything previous. Friends are not who they appear to be.Enemies appear to be friends.

Wars  need to be fought differently.,

The General is frustrated. Just like Churchill was a hundred years ago.

I don't believe the awful nature of my brother's  or my mother's brother's deaths are respected or acknowledged by sending  idealistic young Canadians to be blown to pieces by roadside bombs in Afghanistan.  Or to return home traumatized by the horror they have witnessed  and the senselessness of it all.

I believe wars are lost  by the side whose army is decimated first.

At the ends of the second war, allied troops discovered they were killing fifteen year old children in uniforms.

I don't believe wars are won.

Quite the contrary.

No amount of money raised by the sale of poppies and wreaths, nor theatrical performances at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Day convince me otherwise.

I am the daughter and grand-daughter of women who lost  sons in circumstances no mother should have to bear.

At the hands of their own leaders.

I do not forget.

It 's who the hell I am.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Slightly Indisposed

An eye test procedure  at 9.00 am has blurred my eyesight for most of the day.

Hence no post. Thank you for the comments.

No progress reports  have been provided yet on the Joint Work Space.

I would have voted to eliminate the more extravagant items in the design.; specifically the green roof and a complete floor of space  with no purpose  identified.

I believe the site location is completely inappropriate.

I  urged Council to step back and take time to assess.

The majority voted otherwise. The decision to proceed  was made.

I do not expect any change.

Obviously there is concern in the community.

 I think comment  is  always legitimate

In the matter of the food pantry and financial support from tax revenues.

I do not agree the town has authority to impose taxation for contributions to charity ...any charity.

I believe dependence on food banks in this Year of Our Lord  2014 is a both shame and  a disgrace.

That it co-exists with extraordinary affluence makes it even less acceptable.




Monday, 17 November 2014

Aflluence is a Fact of Life For Some.

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Seeds of Turbulence":

"We have our own top-heavy fire and police costs."

True dat. When people - and councillors - complain and nitpick about Town expenditures, looking to cut those of their hobby-horses, you never hear a word about the ginormous, uniformed 'elephant in the room.

Posted by Anonymous to Our Town and Its Business at 16 November 2014 18:17


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Futility  and risk are likely consequence of focussing on the "uniformed elephant " drivers in the municipal budget.

Futility because contracts are aubject to mandatory arbitration seldom, if ever, favourable to management.

Risk because police and firefighters are local heroes.

As contracts are successfully negotiated , their wages, work conditions and benefits become the standard in all other professional negotiations.

They are the affluent. Their living is derived from tax revenues. High taxation is not  a concern.

Much of their high salaries are funneled off to senior levels of government in taxation to augment their revenues.

Political parties solicit their support. Dalton Mc Guinty on the eve of elections was surrounded by firefighters holding signs aloft . "Firefighters for McGuinty"

Does anyone question  how teachers and health care workers are likely to vote?

While Ontario cultivates public sector millionaires, $124 million are distributed in questionable Trillium grants, special education programs are cut in schools, funds  are not available for social housing and people at the low end of the scale are reduced to begging or stealing poppy boxes.

Food banks have become established institutions in a  modern  affluent society.