Posted June 9, 2014
For eight years now there has been an axis of political power in the City of Guelph. MPP Liz Sandals is our representative in Queen’s Park. She has been involved in a series of scandals, and crisis in management that has emerged since Dalton McGuinty left office.
Mayor Karen Farbridge has advocated policies that have caused explosive increases in taxes and user fees. Her agenda contains self-serving capital projects that have resulted in Guelph being one of the most expensive cities in Ontario in which to live and do business.
Between the two of them, there is a failure of commitment to the public trust followed by expansive growth in long-term liabilities. These are not bread and butter issues.
In Ms Sandal’s case, she has been a senior member of the Liberal Wynne/McGuinty government. She was aware of the $12.5 billion deficit the province has been carrying for the past six years. Yet she tells voters at their front door that the Liberals have balanced the books in their 11 years in office.
That is not true and she knows it. Fidelity to the electors and telling the truth is missing in action.
Mayor Farbridge has controlled a council that has made some monumental financial mistakes that have and will, cost the citizens long after she is gone. For eight years, she has operated a closed-door administration in which the vast majority of citizens is locked out and forced to pay.
Guelphspeaks offers a selection of choices. Some to consider when you vote June 12 and October 27.
* If you are in favour of spending $1.1 billion to demolish two natural gas generating plants in Mississauga and Oakville in order to elect three Liberal MPP’s in those ridings, then vote for Liz Sandals.
* If you are in favour of making deals with private interests to build 20-year contracted wind farms and solar facilities, and guarantee payments twice the kilowatt/hour cost compared to nuclear power, then vote for Liz Sandals.
* If you believe that Ontario’s electricity supply is being well managed despite the fact that the province now is the highest-cost power supplier in North America, then vote for Liz Sandals.
* If you believe that it’s okay to carry a operating budget deficit in provincial finances that has extended since 2008, thereby doubling the provincial debt to $288 billion, then vote for Liz Sandals.
* If you believe that spending your way out of debt as proposed by the Wynne government, is a solution to paying down the debt and balancing the books with no deficit, then vote for Liz Sandals.
* If you believe that the mismanagement of the Ornge air ambulance program and the e-health project, costing millions was a smart move by the Wynne/McGuinty government, then Liz Sandals is your candidate.
* If you believe that public service unions who operate underfunded pension plans, is sound financial management, then vote for Liz Sandals.
Now here are come choices about the Guelph civic election.
* If you believe that Guelph needs a $33 million organic waste processing plant that was built three times larger than the city needed for the next 18 years, then you should vote for Karen Farbridge.
* If you believe that the administration’s determination and policies to get people out of cars and use bicycles and public transit, then vote for Karen Farbridge.
* If you believe that property taxes should increase each year at twice the rate of the Consumer Price Index, then vote for Karen Farbridge.
* If you believe the administration’s priority to spend millions rejuvenating the city’s downtown at the expense of other parts of the city with capital needs, then vote for Karen Farbridge.
* If you believe that Guelph’s public servants are underpaid and overworked, then vote for Mayor Farbridge.
* If you believe that Guelph police need a new $34 million headquarters, then vote for Karen Farbridge.
* If you believe that council was not involved in the firing of Urbacon, the main contractor of the new city hall, thereby losing a $19 million lawsuit, then Karen Farbridge is your candidate
* If you believe that the city has been really well run for the past eight years, then re-elect Karen Farbridge.
* If you believe that Guelph’s growth in attracting businesses, creating jobs and providing affordable housing is successful, then vote for Karen Farbridge.
Do you see the power parallels between these two political leaders?
Both are described progressives who have their own visions of a perfect community but care little of the needs of their citizens. Above all, they both have no regard to the costs of their projects or the management of finances.
In both cases these leadership candidates have shared visions of what they believe their constituents desire but little regard of the costs or the fallout when things go wrong.
In both cases we have reached a breaking point and those eligible to vote should make every effort to vote June 12 and October 27.
It’s time to retire these enfeebled governments, Ontario and Guelph.