Posted November 23, 2013
Earlier this year, Coun. Maggie Laidlaw ran into trouble allegedly verbally abusing city staffers. This invoked an investigation by the Integrity Commissioner. Later Ms. Laidlaw apologized to the staffers and the Commish dropped the investigation.
At this point Laidlaw announced that she would not be a candidate for re-election in 2014. There was a giant exhaling of relief at 1 Carden Street over her decision.
Maggie is no ordinary councillor, an ardent cyclist who rides in rain, wind and slush. She works at a lab near the University and rides to her Ward 3 home eschewing a car or public transit.
Are you getting the picture? This is one dedicated supporter of the cyclists among you.
Maggie is also known as being thrifty and perhaps parsimonious.
She has been elected as a champion of the working folks and the left slant of the British Labour party. She is no shrinking violet and highly opinionated.
Maggie Laidlaw stepped over the line two years ago when she insisted that cyclists should be given an exception to make a right turn on a red light at Macdonnell Street and Norfolk Street. Vehicles are not allowed to turn on a red light. It is for good reason because of obscure sightlines looking left down the Norfolk hill. Maggie insisted that bicyclists should have a sign that exempts then from this rule.
Her request was transferred to Allistair McIlveen, manager of Traffic and Parking for the city. He pointed out that bicycles are vehicles under the Ontario Highway Traffic Act and are subject to the same rules as motorized vehicles. He was adamant in his decision.
So Maggie, undeterred, wrote back that the HTA was antiquated and need of serious updating, then added that she would continue to break the law and make a right turn on Norfolk Street, regardless of the probation of vehicles.
She is convinced that cars in Guelph will be history in 20 years. So should the greater majority of residents be bound by the demands of the minority?
Just because she prefers riding a bicycle to work or shopping, does that mean the city must spend millions to accommodate her choices of transportation? The current ten-year bicycle lane development plan is to cost $13,300,000.
Mayor Karen Farbridge stepped in and unequivocally stated that Coun. Laidlaw was out of line and reminded her that she would be breaking the law. It’s typical of this administration to tut-tut the miscreants.
Using words such as: “It is entirely inappropriate that you will disobey traffic rules,” tells you as lot about keeping the Farbridge coalition intact despite the errant meanderings of its membership.
If Maggie Laidlaw were a ballerina she would be in the back row of the Corps de Ballet.
Now she has changed her mind and intends to run again in Ward 3.
They deserve better.