Posted November 6, 2014
On a personal note at the outset, I want to declare that my wife and I voted for Frank Valeriote, twice.
We did so, despite the chaos that existed within the leadership of the Liberal Party. Among thousands of Canadians, we took a financial bath when the late Jim Flaherty put an end to the income trusts on Halloween, October 31, 2006. The result was a loss of millions by Canadian investors as income trust values plummeted.
That was the point that we lost faith in Mr. Harper and his policies.
But our faith in Mr. Valeriote faded when before the recent civic election he made robocalls citywide in support of Mayor Karen Farbridge. Cam Guthrie subsequently defeated her.
It was a political blunder that has his supporters in the city wondering why would he insert his influence in an election that was way out of his jurisdictional responsibility? Maybe he reverted to exiting Police Chief Bryan Larkin’s defense of endorsing Mayor Farbridge. Was it the “ I am a citizen and taxpayer in Guelph”, argument?
It’s only a matter of time before Mr. Larkin is called on that one.
Don’t worry sirs; you are not alone among the high profile endorsers of the Mayor who now have egg dripping off their noses.
The robocall defence of the mayor didn’t work.
But now there is growing concern among citizens that Mr. Valeriote will not be a candidate for re-election next year.
Several theories and questions abound. Not the least is the rumoured separation between Mr. Valeriote and his wife. Also there is the question of his involvement in Skyline properties in which he is alleged to be a member of the board. There is the question of whether his alleged investment, in this highly successful Guelph company, is contained in his blind trust. As a Member of Parliament, he is required, by party rules, to place his investments into a blind trust.
Was Mr. Valeriote involved in the rebuilt Gummer Building owned by Skyline? Or was he involved with the Farbridge administration giving to Skyline municipally–owned downtown parking spaces for more than 100 Co-Op employees scheduled to move into the rebuilt building?
The biggest question of all is why did a federal MP step into a civic election to take a side with the incumbent mayor?
Politics is a game of give and take. It’s about alliances formed to benefit the parties in power. Frank Valeriote is a member of the third party in Ottawa. In Guelph, there was more action, more opportunity and best of all, solid popularity with his support of the Liberals, the largest group of electors in the city.
His robocall support of the mayor did not go without notice of the Tories. They clucked that he was the pot calling the kettle black due to his 2011 campaign robocall experience resulting in having to pay a hefty fine. The fine was levied by Elections Canada after an investigation.
Sigh! Why has Guelph become the robocall capital of Canada?
The rumour mill is now saying that Frank Valeriote will not be a candidate in 2015. If that’s the case, he will be able to take his earned Parliamentary pension and get on with his life in Guelph.
The other rumour is that Lloyd Longfield, former President and CEO of the Guelph Chamber of Commerce, is waiting in the wings to contest the Liberal nomination if Mr. Valeriote decides not to run.
You need a program to tell the players in this game.