"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

Friday, 19 September 2014

Six of one and half a dozen of the other

I am a long time separated from Scottish politics. I imagine anyone who took the trouble to register intended to vote. So 84.6% turn out was not extraordinary.

If I have to give an opinion, or even if I don't, I think the vote was obviously for certainty.

Scots are essentially practical.It would be like trying to remove salt from water. I've no doubt every Scot believes they could manage their own affairs better. But they also recognize U.K. government services and finances are inextricably intertwined.

The  referendum was like asking people  to buy a pig in a poke.

Would I  have to have a Scottish passport to come and go freely as I do now?

Would I be a foreigner in London where I lived for eleven years,my husband was native and my oldest sons were born?

Would I pick up extra citizenship or lose one?

There may be more Scots and children of Scots  with U.K. status living in different parts of the aodld.
Would they have lost that if Scotland separated.

Maybe I should have had a vote.

My heart would have said yes . The practical would have said no.

Thursday, 18 September 2014

People ask for very little

If a candidate  listens  to people during a campaign, there is much to learn

We have read about a  resident who plans to put a sign on his door to deter candidates
from making a connection.

Time and time again I've  heard of a decision  to vote for a candidate because "he was the only one who knocked on my door and asked for my vote"

A  comment  made a couple of days ago about a candidate not being a taxpayer started a discussion.

The immediate  response was ...." So "

It evolved, as it often does to an accusation . That I attacked Councillor Pirri  for the same reason.

Councillor Pirri and I have agreed and disagreed during the term.It makes no never mind to either.

If I  ever made a point the Councillor's inclination to support an extravagance I opposed  because he
wouldn't be paying for it, would that be a low blow or would it simply be a strike against a weakness in his argument.

People  18 years and over have the right to vote and be candidates. If  successful, is it a dirty trick to remind them of their unique  circumstance ornis it a risk they were  willing to
take in running for office.

If Councillor Pirri  or his parents were multi-millionaire, and a person living on a fixed income hurled the charge he spends more having the hair on his pointy head cut than his parents pay in property
taxes, is  that not a telling point.

I think it might be. Especially in the heat of the moment when passion arises.

Or is passion  also a no-no.

Some would  argue council meetings should be apolitical. All present should adhere to  calm deliberate, dignified, demeanour, conscious of sensitivities and stupefyingly  dull.

A pox on that.

A rhinoceros hide is not a necessity for participation in politics. But it's not the place for the
easily offended.

Aurora's politics have always been robust. I take personal responsibility for upholding tradition.

The advent of  social media  has  expanded the opportunity outwards.
Simpering  politician  have a hard time coping.

They become whiney and quarrelsome.

I was at the Mayoralty Debate  last night.

Several candidates  introduced themselves to me.
One was the twenty-year old.
He is a pleasant young man ,looking older than his years, wearing a three piece suit ,intent on making a good impression.  He did.

These things also matter.

There are as many reasons for a person to vote as there are persons who vote.

In the last election, John Abel was extremely friendly. Last  night he walked past without acknowledging  my presence.

Politics is about respecting people and their differences.

Things go on in people's lives a candidate knows nothing about.

Often a voter  just needs a reason to hope.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Wrong impression

I didn't do all that work to produce those quotes.  They were not sent to me as a comment. I didn't know if the sender woukd want his  name attached. So I didn't.

But I didn't intend to create the impression the work was mine.

Sorry about that.

In Politics Pesky Little Details Matter

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "You were asking":

08:25, I recalled that it came up earlier in the term when Cllr Buck had a go at Cllr Pirri over it. It apparently mattered  then

Posted by Anonymous to Our Town and Its Business at 17 September 2014 11:05

********************

When George Timpson was a member of Council, he  lived at home. 

He made a point of paying the taxes on his parents property . He made sure people were aware .

It mattered then.

Chris Emmanuel lived at home with his parents when he was elected. Afterwards, he  rented a room in a fellow Councillor's  home 

It mattered then 

Councillor Betty Pedersen married and moved to Newmarket and although she still owned property in Aurora,, she did not run again  for Council

Councillor Pedersen had built a reputation and was held in high regard.

Lots of things are legal. But in politics they matter.

Words to live by


Quotes About Free Speech
Quotes tagged as "free-speech" (showing 1-30 of 67)
Søren Kierkegaard
“People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use.”
― Søren Kierkegaard

Salman Rushdie
“What is freedom of expression? Without the freedom to offend, it ceases to exist.”
― Salman Rushdie

G.K. Chesterton
“To have a right to do a thing is not at all the same as to be right in doing it.”
― G.K. Chesterton

Kurt Vonnegut
“All these people talk so eloquently about getting back to good old-fashioned values. Well, as an old poop I can remember back to when we had those old-fashioned values, and I say let's get back to the good old-fashioned First Amendment of the good old-fashioned Constitution of the United States -- and to hell with the censors! Give me knowledge or give me death!”
― Kurt Vonnegut

Winston Churchill
“Everyone is in favor of free speech. Hardly a day passes without its being extolled, but some people's idea of it is that they are free to say what they like, but if anyone else says anything back, that is an outrage.”
― Winston Churchill

Ella Wheeler Wilcox
“To sin by silence, when they should protest, makes cowards of men.”
― Ella Wheeler Wilcox


Stephen Fry
“It's now very common to hear people say, 'I'm rather offended by that.' As if that gives them certain rights. It's actually nothing more... than a whine. 'I find that offensive.' It has no meaning; it has no purpose; it has no reason to be respected as a phrase. 'I am offended by that.' Well, so fucking what."

[I saw hate in a graveyard -- Stephen Fry, The Guardian, 5 June 2005]”


Richard Pryor
“You can't talk about fucking in America, people say you're dirty. But if you talk about killing somebody, that's cool.”
― Richard Pryor


Daniel Patrick Moynihan
“Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.”
― Daniel Patrick Moynihan


George Bernard Shaw
“All censorships exist to prevent anyone from challenging current conceptions and existing institutions. All progress is initiated by challenging current conceptions, and executed by supplanting existing institutions. Consequently, the first condition of progress is the removal of censorship.”
― George Bernard ShawMrs. Warren's Profession

Christopher Hitchens
“The struggle for a free intelligence has always been a struggle between the ironic and the literal mind.”
― Christopher Hitchens

Christopher Hitchens
“When the Washington Post telephoned me at home on Valentine's Day 1989 to ask my opinion about the Ayatollah Khomeini's fatwah, I felt at once that here was something that completely committed me. It was, if I can phrase it like this, a matter of everything I hated versus everything I loved. In the hate column: dictatorship, religion, stupidity, demagogy, censorship, bullying, and intimidation. In the love column: literature, irony, humor, the individual, and the defense of free expression. Plus, of course, friendship—though I like to think that my reaction would have been the same if I hadn't known Salman at all. To re-state the premise of the argument again: the theocratic head of a foreign despotism offers money in his own name in order to suborn the murder of a civilian citizen of another country, for the offense of writing a work of fiction. No more root-and-branch challenge to the values of the Enlightenment (on the bicentennial of the fall of the Bastille) or to the First Amendment to the Constitution, could be imagined. President George H.W. Bush, when asked to comment, could only say grudgingly that, as far as he could see, no American interests were involved…”
― Christopher HitchensHitch-22: A Memoir

Vera Nazarian
“A choir is made up of many voices, including yours and mine. If one by one all go silent then all that will be left are the soloists.

Don’t let a loud few determine the nature of the sound. It makes for poor harmony and diminishes the song.”
― Vera NazarianThe Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration

Abbie Hoffman
“Free speech means the right to shout 'theatre' in a crowded fire.”
― Abbie Hoffman

William Lloyd Garrison
“I am aware that many object to the severity of my language; but is there not cause for severity? I will be as harsh as truth, and as uncompromising as justice. On this subject, I do not wish to think, or to speak, or write, with moderation. No! no! Tell a man whose house is on fire to give a moderate alarm; tell him to moderately rescue his wife from the hands of the ravisher; tell the mother to gradually extricate her babe from the fire into which it has fallen; — but urge me not to use moderation in a cause like the present. I am in earnest — I will not equivocate — I will not excuse — I will not retreat a single inch — AND I WILL BE HEARD.”
― William Lloyd Garrison


Daniel Gilbert
“We live in a world in which people are censured, demoted, imprisoned, beheaded, simply because they have opened their mouths, flapped their lips, and vibrated some air. Yes, those vibrations can make us feel sad or stupid or alienated. Tough shit. That's the price of admission to the marketplace of ideas. Hateful, blasphemous, prejudiced, vulgar, rude, or ignorant remarks are the music of a free society, and the relentless patter of idiots is how we know we're in one. When all the words in our public conversation are fair, good, and true, it's time to make a run for the fence.”
― Daniel Gilbert

Napoleon
“Four hostile newspapers are more to be feared than a thousand bayonets..”
― Napoleon

“The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously.”
― Hubert H. Humphrey

Northrop Frye
“Nobody is capable of of free speech unless he knows how to use language, and such knowledge is not a gift: it has to learned and worked at. [p.93]”
― Northrop FryeThe Educated Imagination

Vera Nazarian
“Yawns are not the only infectious things out there besides germs.

Giggles can spread from person to person.

So can blushing.

But maybe the most powerful infectious thing is the act of speaking the truth.”
― Vera Nazarian

Thomas L. Friedman
“When widely followed public figures feel free to say anything, without any fact-checking, it becomes impossible for a democracy to think intelligently about big issues.”
― Thomas L. Friedman

Earl Warren
“The censor's sword pierces deeply into the heart of free expression.”
― Earl Warren

Robert G. Ingersoll
“Some Christian lawyers—some eminent and stupid judges—have said and still say, that the Ten Commandments are the foundation of all law.

Nothing could be more absurd. Long before these commandments were given there were codes of laws in India and Egypt—laws against murder, perjury, larceny, adultery and fraud. Such laws are as old as human society; as old as the love of life; as old as industry; as the idea of prosperity; as old as human love.

All of the Ten Commandments that are good were old; all that were new are foolish. If Jehovah had been civilized he would have left out the commandment about keeping the Sabbath, and in its place would have said: 'Thou shalt not enslave thy fellow-men.' He would have omitted the one about swearing, and said: 'The man shall have but one wife, and the woman but one husband.' He would have left out the one about graven images, and in its stead would have said: 'Thou shalt not wage wars of extermination, and thou shalt not unsheathe the sword except in self-defence.'

If Jehovah had been civilized, how much grander the Ten Commandments would have been.

All that we call progress—the enfranchisement of man, of labor, the substitution of imprisonment for death, of fine for imprisonment, the destruction of polygamy, the establishing of free speech, of the rights of conscience; in short, all that has tended to the development and civilization of man; all the results of investigation, observation, experience and free thought; all that man has accomplished for the benefit of man since the close of the Dark Ages—has been done in spite of the Old Testament.”
― Robert G. IngersollAbout The Holy Bible

William O. Douglas
“The framers of the constitution knew human nature as well as we do. They too had lived in dangerous days; they too knew the suffocating influence of orthodoxy and standardized thought. They weighed the compulsions for restrained speech and thought against the abuses of liberty. They chose liberty."

[Beauharnais v.Illinois, 342 U.S. 250, 287 (1952) (dissenting)]”
― William O. Douglas

Peggy Noonan
“I should say here, because some in Washington like to dream up ways to control the Internet, that we don't need to 'control' free speech, we need to control ourselves.”
― Peggy NoonanPatriotic Grace: What It Is and Why We Need It Now


“The true test of liberty is the right to test it, the right to question it, the right to speak to my neighbors, to grab them by the shoulders and look into their eyes and ask, “Are we free?” I have thought that if we are free, the answer cannot hurt us. And if we are not free, must we not hear the answer?”
― Gerry SpenceGive Me Liberty: Freeing Ourselves in the Twenty-First Century

Thomas Jefferson
“The only security of all is in a free press.”
― Thomas Jefferson

John Updike
“[I]n my own case at least I feel my professional need for freedom of speech and expression prejudices me toward a government whose constitution guarantees it.”
― John Updike


“When society gives censors wide and vague powers they never confine themselves to deserving targets. They are not snipers, but machine-gunners. Allow them to fire at will, and they will hit anything that moves.”
― Nick CohenYou Can't Read This Book: Censorship in an Age of Freedom

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Thank you Ka-non

This will be a short note.

If numbers are an indication, interest  abounds in the topic of this last week. I owe the Mayor and Councillor Abel for bringing the issue to the fore.

Bits and pieces have been filled in far as I am able,while still involved ,after five years , in the litigation. I  was in my 81st  year when it started.

In the last week, there's ben  a frenzy of hysterical effort to re-write the narrative of the nightmare years.

I am mindful of the people whose lives were blighted. Former staff and Council members who shared the experience but had no recourse.Others who had to retain legal counsel to protect themselves from harm even after separation from the town.

Their stories may never be told.  But they are not forgotten .

" The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing"  Edmund Burke of

There comes a time when a person has to do what's right.

Guest Post

KA-NON has left a new comment on your post "You were asking":

@22:42 The reason she should keep repeating that no offer of settlement was made, is because the reason the point about settling was made in the first place was very likely to intimate (without saying it directly) that the plaintiff (Buck) was offered a settlement, did not take it, and is therefore solely responsible for the large claim amount, and the increased premiums, which of course come out of the taxpayer's pocket.

As I see it, there are three things worth repeating.

First, is that there was no settlement offer made. Why is this the case? Evelyn said then, and has repeated often since, that a simple apology could have made this go away.

Second, even if the insurance costs for this case continue to skyrocket, we should remember that the genesis of the claim was the malicious and politically-motivated conduct of the prior power-plant, NOT Evelyn's reasonable and rightful attempts to right the wrong. Each of us would do the same.

Third, that there are numerous other hits on our liability loss runs, as well as direct legal costs in pursuit of fruitless/questionable goals (e.g. attempts to prevent legal golf course development) that are/were contrary to the Town's interests, and have cost us all boat loads of money. Why is there no fuss being made over those?

I am very disappointed in Mayor Dawe and Cllr Abel for the production that they put on, and for the lengths they went to in order to lay the blame for increased insurance premiums at Evelyn's feet. It was clearly a naked political tactic, and certainly not very becoming. I would hate for that act to fool 

anyone into believing that Evelyn is responsible for the increased premiums.
Posted by KA-NON to Our Town and Its Business at 16 September 2


Monday, 15 September 2014

You were asking

KA-NON has left a new comment on your post "Cain and Able and the biblical Mess of Potage":

Is the $845K an incurred expense, or is a large portion of it a reserve amount? Hard to imagine they have incurred that much in legal fees.

***********************

Documentation was provided to council last week listing various categories of claims paid out guy the insurance company over. a period of years.

The objective  of the report was to explakn the reason for a hefty increase in premiums. 

The figure if $845.000. was identified as  Person! Injury  In brackets ( Buck v Morris et al)

The figure of $153,932 was identified as Conflict of Interest (Hervey v Morris, Morris v Aurora)

The funds paid out by BFL  totalled more than  half of all claims paid from January 1st 2008 until August 21st 2014.

Title of the Report is 
Town of Aurora 
Impact of Claims  on current and future liability premiums. 

The increase in premiums for this year was 40%

I have tried to avoid the subject of legal expenses paid on behalf of the defendants in the litigation in which I am complainant .We  are currently awaiting a Judge's decision.

Mr Sinardo in answer to a question by councillor Abel indicated the normL process is to  bring the parties together to effect a settlement.

He was  not asked why the normal process was not followed in this case. He did not offer an explanation. 

I suppose it's possible he did not know .

And yet... it's hard to accept  he attended a Council meeting to explain a huge increase in premiums without knowing the facts. 

As mentioned before, an obvious question about why legal expenses were paid to defend 
the former Mayor from a Conflict. Of Interest  charge remains unanswered.

Three residents were  personally  sued for damages in the millions . Agreement to reimburse  the toin the event  the suit was successful was twice 

The town did not  pay out almost a million dollars for legal  fees. 

The insurance company did. 

The town paid premiums to the insurance company
The insurance company  consequently increased  premiums to the town to cover the legal expenses they agreed to pay on behalf of  defendants and complainant. 

Petch House Re-visited

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Happy Days":

I think it is a great idea. And I do recall whose idea it was. There might even have been refinements suggested in the question asked of residents about the use of Petch, Give the thing a chance. Someday the Auroran might run have a little list of  anouncements
Posted by Anonymous to Our Town and Its Business

I accidentally deleted the above comment . I could only bring it back by copying. 

Last I heard about the Petch House it has not been given an occupancy permit by the  Building Department.

Why I have no idea. 

It does not have power hooked up lthough power is available and power outlets are installed. 

The wood floor  is waiting to be installed whenever  the word is given. 

Until  power and the flooring is in and an occupancy permit given we can't offer use of the building.

It's a shame. And extremely frustrating.

Cain and Able and the biblical Mess of Potage

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Chris Emmanuel.":

"A politician worth his salt doesn't whine."

You mean like you did about Dawe and Abel after last week's council meeting?

Posted by Anonymous to Our Town and Its Business at 15 September 2014 09:28


***************************

Bless your innocence. Did you think I was whining when I told readers what those two did.

Do you  think anyone but me would have brought it to attention. 

Geoff Dawe and John Abel are just a couple of guys in the last election who had the advantage of circumstances beyond their control 

The  prime  objective  of the election was to toss the incumbent rascals out. 

If I have a criticism of either, it is disappointment. I can't even blame them for that.

They had no reason to believe I would handle my responsibilities differently to any time in the past. 

I had hopes but no real grounds to expects anything from them.

Neither had political experience and sadly they took their lessons from those  who were  defeated.

John Abel moved a motion a number of months ago to have a representative from the insurance company come to Council and provide an explanation for the increase in premiums. The figures he apparently wanted  were not  disclosed on that occasion.

This time  it was the Mayor's resolution. Obviously it had more clout. Figures were produced.The purpose was served.

John was first to draw a comparison to my opposition to  paying the Feds  a half million for that old wooden shed in the corner of our town park.

Geoffrey followed up but with a little less assurance.

Once they had the figures there was little further interest .

Like why did the insurance company provide a person no longer in office with $143,000 to defend against a Conflict of Interest . Clearly the decision to sue three residents for millions in damages was  a personal action. The action was lost. The  court found it was intended to silence political criticism.

Why did the insurance company  pay $143,000. to defend the indefensible.

In the matter of $845,000  in other legal  fees , the  Vice  President  indicated   the normal process is to bring the parties together to seek a settlement early in the process. He did not explain why the normL process was not followed.

Nor  did he explain why the first lawyer assigned was replaced at the request of the defendants with a lawyer of their choice.

The boyos both, Dawe and Abel, with biblical fervour ,had no interest in anything but  figures and assigning blame.

The thought occurs; the  Honorable Member of the Provincial Assembly Premier Kathleen Wynn is suing for defamation, the Honourable former(?) Leader  of the Opposition. Tim  Hudak and a colleague .

The accusation was made that public records  in the Premier's office were shredded after Ms Wynn became Premier. It's a serious accusation because it's against the law.

The  relevant question.....

Is the provincial insurance company paying Kathleen Wynn's legal fees?

Or Tim Hudak's et al ?

Or both?

What  impact will that have on  provincial insurance premiums?

If there's an increase, is Kathleen Wynn responsible for the suit  to protect her reputation against Tim Hudak et al ?

Or is Tim Hudak  et al responsible for intent to damage the Premier's reputation ?

Maybe Wikipedia has the answer. Like the one about personal injury.

Chris Emmanuel.

Chris Emanuel  is bowing out of Newmarket politics after three terms. He has written a piece on Facebook with his thoughts on politics and social media.

Chris is an affable young  man . I was interested in what he had to say particularly about social media.  He notes people say  negative  things on social media they might not say otherwise,

A moderator is not required to publish negative  comments. There is a question of judgement .

I think it's an advantage for politicians to know what people are thinking....good and bad. They should be  evaluating support  or opposition to the ideas  Chris talks about.

Not all have merit.  Not all are free of political intent.

Politics  have always been fraught with risk.  Kinda like log rolling. . If you  don't learn to keep your balance a regular plunge into  ice cold  river is inevitable.

That  experience is also useful.

Chris claims he is not leaving politics because of negativity. He is looking for a new challenge.

I think that's unlikely. Chris Emmanuel demonstrated a serious lack of judgement and social responsibility. He acknowledged his fault. He was remorseful.

He had to make a judgement about whether the community would be  willing  to overlook the fact he was in charge of a vehicle while rip-roaring drunk.

No-one  else is in a better position to judge . No-one shares the responsibility.

No  person can be blamed for reminding voters of a salient fact.

I think Chris made the right decision to leave politics.

But he loses points for judgement by complaining about negativity in politics and the social media.

Negativity in politics is a given. Some people are nice. Some are not. Some are nice most of the time but sometimes not. Others are nasty all of the time and never not.

Some don't stand up  too well to  functioning in a goldfish bowl. They can't handle criticism.

Some make decisions that cannot be overlooked and then there are consequences.

A politician worth his salt doesn't whine.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Happy Days

There was a wedding at the Petch House on Saturday. I understand it's the second  in the house.

I was down there on  Friday with my grand-daughter taking  pictures. That's when I heard about the wedding. I thought it was odd . Nothing had been said about weddings. A secret perhaps.

The building has been sitting , neat and pretty in a perfect location for over a year. Time seemed to come to a halt as far as being available for any purpose .

It's down a little slope  just beyond  the southern arbor entrance to the Arboretum.

A small courtyard of crazy paving surrounded by flower beds sets of the front entrance.

In a grassy area an old iron wheeled farm wagon is a mass of blossoms. The wagon
was found  in a barn ruin and brought to its current showcase is probably of equal vintage.

The path meanders past the house, deeper into the Arboretum.We took some pictures .It's a beautiful walk. Despite  or maybe because of  the cool dull day ,it was a place of peace and tranquillity.

I think it's odd that  the house has not been celebrated. Almost as if it's an intent .Wouldn't that be positively weird !

All the fab labs ,satellite universities and fantasy heritage theme parks pursued   in a frenzy with hours of staff  time, consultant fees and potential for millions to be drained from the town treasury.

All of which came to nought, nil ,nada, zilch and zero.

While the lamentable ruin perched mouldering on the shoulder of  Leslie Street was shovelled clean of mould , feces  and rotting carcasses.....was taken apart board by board and transported to a yard in the Village  of  Vandorf.

Boards and pieces of boards were sussed out from  heritage salvage in the town's possession to replace rot in the structure.
Windows were custom designed by experts  elsewhere  and installed.

Clapboard siding to match original cladding of the building was also custom milled to complete authenticity of design. Logs never intended to be exposed to the elements were once again clad

The whole put together  again with artisan expertise.

All within budget.  Half paid by financial donation.

But not before consultant engineers (2) had  been paid a whack for a mass of verbiage contributing nothing. The second fee was  $8,000. and recommended an expenditure of $440,000

An initial report advising extent and budget for the project was provided by Van Nostrand of Vandorf
at no cost. The same Van Nostrand  who eventually undertook and completed the project

So now ,bearing no resemblance to the disgusting discard that bore no resemblance to the original structure that sat rotting and mouldering  to our shame, awaiting it's fate on Leslie Street for more than a decade, it has  continued to sit a further year, empty and forlorn, awaiting a staff report to complete wiring and install the vintage floor boards.

Except for two couples who have sought it's use to celebrate their weddings

Concrete floor and  lacking power but no matter, romance enough to celebrate their vows of commitment.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Please think again

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Toronto..Act 3":

We have an improvised sign on the front door:
No Politicians Please
If we don't already know you from your work in town forget it

Moderate comments for this blog.
**************************

This is not the tradition in Aurora. We respect people who put their names forward to serve.

They  mostly finance campaigns from their own  resources. They spend many hours tramping streets and climbing steps.

It doesn't cost anything to be civil.

Without candidates we would have no democracy.

My first campaign was three years after coming to live in Aurora and five after arriving in Canada.

I was never completely mobile. I campaigned  by telephone. I called every home on the voters'

' list and . made two call backs if I didn't find anyone home.

Of all the people I spoke to, there were never more than three rude responses.

Aurora is a great town. We need to maintain  and restore the traditional standard of dignity and civility.

I have signs to place in lawns.

Financial donations would be much appreciated.

My phone number : 905-727-6457

E-mail address.: evelyn.buck @ rogers.com


Another Chapter on Litigation costs



I continue to be assailed for denying freedom by choosing not to publish certain comments.

No such thing. I have no obligation to provide a platform to everyman.

If comments are offensive or abusive,in my judgement ,they will not be posted.

It's  my decision to make.

There are no rules yet for social  media.

It may be there never will be.

It means we have to exercise personal discipline. I' ve made a few changes since I began. Sowem were from gut instinct .Others from events.

In 2010 in Aurora   Some stuff went down we ll learned from.

A severely critical comment was published about tformer Mayor Morris in the Aurora  Citizen blog.

 It was political.

Yet the town's CAO , stepped out of the administrative role and without authority from Council ,

 e-mailed demanded the comment be removed ...by a deadline.

The demand was repeated.

Then a special meeting of Council was called , during an election., to discuss a critical comment.
of the Mayor on a blog.

An ambiguous motion was passed giving staff authority to do what was necessary to deal with the matter. I understand the motion had been prepared beforehand.

I did not attend the meeting. Politicians are subject to criticism. It's the nature of things. .One might say the essence of politics. It was not the business of  the corporation or the administration.

During the election, without further communication, Councillors learned  while knocking on doors, the Town  had commenced litigation against three residents....moderators of the Aurora Citizen Blog.

A municipality never proceeds to court without Council authority.

Despite  being twice  and recently advised by the town solicitor of  no provision in the town's insurance coverage for an elected  member to precipitate  legal action...  Legal action had begun.

We have learned recently, legal counsel  was retained by the CAO. and the town solicitor was the only affidavit filed against the residents in the proceedings

The eventual result was dismissal and  a judgement that the proceeding had been an attempt to silence  political criticism.

Four of  six  members who assented to the ambiguous motion were turfed out of office.

The residents were vindicated.  But the price was high. The action was successful in that the Aurora Citizen has not published since.

The new Council after paying another solicitor $8,000 for advice, paid $43,000. in legal fees to date and terminated the town's involvement in the action.

I did not vote for either expenditure. I said we would be were ill-advised to pay the fees with town resources and we had not heard the last of it.

Nor had we.

A  Charge  of Conflict of Interest was filed  by a citizen against the former Mayor on the basis she voted to spend town funds on personal litigation.

She was quoted as saying she had no intention of spending her money. I had her that vow before.

Despite there was no insurance  coverage for the litigation  and Ms Morris was no longer an elected member,  the insurance company paid to defend the Conflict charge.

We learned last week the cost was $143,000.

The citizen who filed filed the legitimate charge was ordered to pay court costs.

So much for citizen justice.

Last week, the  town solicitor provided information to the media about the current status of litigation between Ms Morris and the town.  As I said ,we had not heard the last of it.

A suit was filed for payment of $250,000.to cover Ms Morris costs "on behalf of the town"

There have been further proceedings . I may not be at liberty to speak of that so I had better not.

This post ! As often happens took itself in a different direction.

It was to be a short comment about freedom of expression and the right to decide what would appear on my blog.

I should be working on my campaign

I have signs. I prefer to put them on private lawns. I can keep  better track of them.

Financial contributions are welcome.

My phone number: 905-727-6457

e-mail address: evelyn,buck@rogers.com

Any help I receive will be much appreciated.

P.S. Ms Morris twice failed to sign and return a document committing to refund the municipality's cost  for the litigation from  the millions claimed in damages if the litigation was successful.