The ghosts of Farbridge past

December 13, 2014

Glory be! Here we are 48 days following the civic election and the Farbridge chattering class still can’t bring themselves to believe what happened. The string of letters to the editors proclaiming the work of our former mayor describes her leadership in terms of an historic legacy.

That compares to the legacy of Jimmy Durante, that old time vaudevillian. Old comics never die, they just fade away.

And such are the cases of Scott Tracey, the former city hall reporter for the Mercury who resigned from the paper but ran unsuccessfully for council in Ward Four. Or take the Gang of Four. Their three-year CFRU weekly broadcast on the U of G campus is kaput as of next week.

Then there is the Laidlaw family, Maggie and husband David. Maggie lost her bid for re-election and the couple have been protesting in the letter’s pages ever since. But ye of little faith, there is always an election going on somewhere. Maybe Maggie should consider running for the NDP or the Greens in the next federal election. If you are serious Maggie, you’d better lock up your new domain name pronto.

Ah, the good old days. But don’t despair you followers of Farbridge. The word on the street is that the phoenix may rise from the ashes and contest the upcoming Guelph Liberal party nominating convention prior to the 2015 federal election. Yes, Karen Farbridge could be the Liberal candidate in that election. Which raises the question: Where does that leave Lloyd Longfield who has also been mentioned as the candidate to replace Frank Valeriote.

What a tangled web we weave. Longfield left his CEO job at the Guelph Chamber of Commerce to accept a position from then Mayor Farbridge, as a mentor to folks interested in establishing businesses in Guelph.

Well, that was then and the Mayor fully expected to be re-elected. For Mr. Longfield it became an opportunity to contest the Liberal nomination as Valeriote, as far back as last June, let it be known he was not running in 2015. The real reason for that decision has never been clearly stated, other than the explanation was to spend more time with his family.

The Liberals now face an interesting and intriguing conundrum. Do they choose the former mayor who is carrying baggage that most Guelph voters rejected in October? Those are the same voters who will choose the next representative for the city riding in the House of Commons. Or, will they select Longfield whose close association with Farbridge poses a dilemma for him.

Of course, this scenario may never materialize. The betting is that the Prime Minister is setting up a spring election date. His recent announcements of tax breaks and an increase in the TFSA annual contribution to $10,000, indicates the Tory machine is already in full election mode.

In Guelph, the Conservative riding association is mulling over candidates. They do not want to get caught in a squeeze with no candidate and an election being called.

And you thought the civic election was exciting. This one will be a doozie if Farbridge and Maggie run … against each other.



Filed under Between the Lines

4 responses to “The ghosts of Farbridge past


    Gerry:Oh,oh;your mention of Laidlaw and “…domain names(sic)…” will probably provoke more of her “cybersquawking”

    • David Birtwistle: And now we bring you that phoenix of local politics, Maggie Laidlaw, selected to be a member of the Guelph Mercury’s Community Editorial Board. What’s next? Karen Farbridge as person of the year?

  2. geo

    The Queen of the run on sentence.

  3. Paul

    HAVE A HEART YOU TWO – MAGGIE JUST LOST $33,000 And is iooking to make it up 😦 Of course the Mockery pays peanuts but look how big an elephant gets on a steady diet of them! I can think of one use for her column!!! 🙂

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