July 13, 2014
The Mercury can’t get enough of that space filler called “who cares” news.
Turning an innocuous message to members of the Guelph Chamber of Commerce into a chamber of horrors by printing page one news, not just on one day but two days.
There was nothing illegal about the ToryFeds sending an email to the Chamber members. Seems only 20 objected out of more than 200 members. That’s not a resounding response. Heck, with the recent election of the Wynne Liberals in Ontario one would think more Liberals in the Chamber would have objected.
The organization did not hack into the Chamber database. The message was not illegal “spam” as one lefty, a non-member claimed.
Conclusion, it’s a story about nothing.
Then an editorial dredged up the Tories’ alleged involvement re the 2011 federal election robocall in a recently held trial. It was an effort to bolster the newspaper’s belief that the “email blast hurts the party’s reputation” is perhaps wishful anticipation of the trial outcome expected next month.
If only the newspaper had delivered such passion covering the firing of Urbacon Buildings Group in 2008. Further, failing to investigate subsequent events such as the terms and conditions surrounding the hiring of Hans Loewig, the alleged perpetrator of the Urbacon firing.
Two months after throwing Urbacon off the job, Loewig, a contract worker, received a four-year permanent employment deal as Chief Administrative Officer that included a starting salary of $198,000 per year. Also he was not required to move to Guelph from his home in Brantford and was granted an annual 12-week unpaid leave of absence.
The Mercury never investigated these details. The paper never questioned why the chief of the city staff could take off for three months of the year plus his regular paid vacation time. Who was in charge? How did he communicate with staff and council? Was Loewig just phoning it in for $198,000?
What other perks went with that reward for services rendered?
The paper never sent its municipal reporter to cover the Urbacon lawsuit in Brampton. It never questioned why Hans Loewig was not called to testify in view of CAO Ann Pappert claiming after the judgment was announced that he, acting alone, was the one who fired Urbacon and council was not involved.
Instead, the Mercury chooses a specious non-event that defies basic journalistic standards to bolster its apparent bias toward anything or person who leans to the right.
Perhaps this is something the Ontario Press Council should examine but unfortunately, its mandate does not adjudicate stupidity.
And that’s a good thing!