Let the whining begin, what makes Susan Watson run?

Posted August 4, 2015

In Monday’s Globe and Mail, Susan Watson, Guelph’s doyen of the left, complained about the high cost of the 11-week federal election campaign. Her argument was directed at the Harper Tories, the ones with the most number of seats. She says the Tories will benefit more than the other parties from the election duration.

Now, those of us who live in Guelph recognize the name Susan Watson and are familiar with her pathological political hatred of all things conservative, the political party, supporters, poutine, the color blue and lust for power.

In her Globe letter, she complained about the Tories changing the Canada Elections Act means that the Conservatives will spend up to $50 million during the 11-week campaign. She does not mention that under the Electoral Expenses Reimbursement program, it will also benefit the opposition parties including her own NDP. It is based on the number of seats held when the Governor General dissolves Parliament.

Susan Watson is concerned that the campaign is too long. Now you can see why her beloved NDP possibly may not have the horses to last until the finish line next October. Well, we’ll see. She doesn’t have to look further than Guelph to see what happens to a tired and mistake-laden administration that was rejected by the people. Keep smiling Susan, lightning may strike and we’ll wind up with a pizza parliament with no party winning a majority.

She doesn’t like political donation tax benefits

Her second complaint was the tax break all Canadians receive, those that file tax returns, for donating money to official parties. She says taxpayers are “paying the price” for voluntarily donating money to their chosen party and receiving a tax benefit.

Susan, Susan, this is a voluntary program that encourages public participation and each party benefits.

Oh! Here’s the solution. Why not file a complaint with Elections Canada? You already have led a group of people asking for a reopening of the robocall investigations regarding the 2011 federal election.

Susan, you are becoming a pesky idealist who has no trouble spending the people’s money to gag a group of citizens who did not support your idol, Karen Farbridge.

Last April, Susan Watson brought a complaint about a defeated candidate in ward six receiving a donation from the citizen’s activist group GrassRoots Guelph Voters Association, Inc. (GRG). Watson is a personal friend of defeated mayor Karen Farbridge. In fact, Susan and her partner, Dr. Ian Digby, each donated $750 to the Farbridge campaign. Now that’s friendship!

The $400 donation to Glen Tolhurst, she claimed, was illegal as it was from a third party. As it later turned out there is nothing in the Ontario Municipal Elections Act that disallows donations from third parties. This is similar to the thousands spent on more than 13 candidates in the October 27 civic election by the Guelph and District Labour Council. But, we’ll never know that cost or the sources of money, will we?

One has the cannon and the rest of us are the fodder

But Susan Watson pressed on. The city clerk, Stephen O’Brien, advised her to apply to the Compliance Audit Committee (CAC), to order an audit of Mr. Tolhurst’s official election expenses report.

Why was Mr. Tolhurst singled out? Susan Watson is chair of the NDP front group’s Guelph Chapter of Fair Vote Canada. She had the group research the official October election reports for information. Voila! Up popped the Tolhurst filing in which he spent less than $4,000. Fair Vote Canada supports proportional voting sponsored by the NDP and has established a nation-wide network to achieve it.

On May 6, the CAC, with only two of three members presiding, heard evidence from Ian Flett, Watson’s lawyer and her friend Denis Galon. Evidence was also heard from David Starr representing Mr. Tolhurst. GrassRoots Guelph was not asked or participated in this hearing.

The result was a unanimous decision to order an audit.

Who is going to pay for this frivolous attempt to embarrass?

So far the cost of this exercise is a gross representation of the facts and estimated to be more than $12,000. Here’s the breakdown: Hiring Toronto lawyer, Judy Johnson, to instruct the CAC members on how it should operate; the per diem costs to the three CAC members, Lyndsay Monk, Glen Greer and George Gorringe; William Molson, CA, the city appointed auditor with a base contract of $7,500 plus $500 per meeting and disbursements, and finally the unknown cost of city staff to conduct and process the audit.

Your money is paying for this and is being used to press a vexatious and frivolous complaint that has no basis of fact.

Now the question is, who pays for all this?


Filed under Between the Lines

5 responses to “Let the whining begin, what makes Susan Watson run?

  1. Randy Norris

    Of course we know who pays for it, taxpayers. Mr Harper leads the parade on exploiting the taxpayer. Why do we need a federal campaign that lasts longer than it took for the earth to cool after the Big Bang. Campaigns were originally long because of the difficulty of travel and communication. The only reason this campaign is so long is rooted in Mr Harper’s desire to win at any cost even if the taxpayer has to shoulder that cost.

    Why do you continue to link Ms Watson’s actions to everything that’s bad? Is the Farbridge Cabal behind every left wing party in Canada? It is possible that someone could vote against Ms Farbridge and Mr Harper without imploding because of the ideological contradictions.

    The Conservatives should be defeated and that includes the local conservative candidate. Ms Kovach has a history of not listening to taxpayers when she was on Guelph City council. It’s a characteristic that Mr Harper and Ms Kovach share.

    • Randy Norris: You were going great until you invoked Ms. Watson who has done something bad to the citizens of Guelph. For the 44th time please do not link me to the conservative party and its provincial offsprings. I am not a member of any particular party and surprise! No fan of Harper. But having said that, I think Gloria Kovach is the best candidate to represent Guelph in October. I am in no position to judge that she had selective hearing of taxpayers but I do know that she represented her ward well. Her former constituents would attest to that over the 24 years she served on council.

  2. Randy Norris

    Gerry unfortunately this is the second time I have ever commented on your column and I have never called you a bad name. You conservative, you. How can it be 44 times?

    If it walks like a conservative, talks like a conservative and smells like a conservative, must be a conservative. Don’t get me wrong, I have friends who are conservative but would I would never vote for one…..woops…. I did vote conservative once but I was young and naive. Mulroney was a crook. But I digress.

    I’m surprised that you hide behind “I am in no position to judge…” You obviously feel that you are in a position to judge the Farbridge Cabal but not Conservative incompetence at the federal and municipal levels.

    I smell a conservative.

    • Randy Norris: Okay, it was a small exaggeration that I said I am not conservative 44 times, it just felt like it over the past eight years. I’m not the only one to judge the “Farbridge Cabal” I recall last October that more than !9,000 citizens judged the group and Ms. Farbridge. You may be whistling past the graveyard if you believe it was okay for the Farbridge (Cabal) to dismiss the cold hard fact the Urbacon has already cost Guelph more than $14 million. Party on, Garth!
      Thanks for your commentary and observations. We are fortunate in this country to be able to express ourselves without rabid recrimination. However, it seems lately that the Farbridge Cabal, i.e. Susan Watson, is determined to sink the good ship GRG, using public money to do so. Sigh! The more things change the more they stay the same.

  3. Glen N. Tolhurst

    Gerry – The operative word in the title of your posting above with respect to Susan is the word “run”. Does anyone know if she has ever run for any elected position? Somehow I doubt it as that would require a rational thoughtful platform and running would expose her to public scrutiny.
    It is rather simpler to lay in wait for someone to run who disagrees with her perception of the world and then along with her like minded cohorts snipe away at that person.
    Has she ever divulged who is paying the cost of her lawyer (Ian Flett of the Toronto law firm Eric K.Gillespie Professional Corporation) for the drafting of the audit documents and presenting them at the CAC? Is it her or a collection of labour /leftist sympathizers?
    Whilst looking into funding, has anyone admitted to covering the costs of the We Are Guelph web site and have the candidates shown on the web site declared any contribution in kind or funds on their election filings?
    It seems that she flits from one to another “cause du jour” and if in doing so targets someone who then has to incur legal expenses, well tough bananas for them. That’s life in the socialist lane in Guelph!

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