Your Guelphspeaks Weekender

By Gerry Barker

Posted August 16,2015

Newspaper Yuk of the week

 This week’s winner is the Mercury’s headline “ Getting to the bottom of the Topless issue”. Is this an inverted triangle of an unfortunate choice of words? You be the judge. LOL

*           *           *           *

The fall-out of the Susan Watson bomb that fizzled

When “city hall watcher” Susan Watson got out of bed Friday, she probably poured a double single malt into her morning coffee. It would turn out to be a bad day for the lady after trying to skewer former council candidate Glen Tolhurst and GrassRoots Guelph.

As it turned out the lady was not the skewer but the skewed.

William Molson, the independent accountant hired by the Compliance Audit Committee (CAC) to audit Mr. Tolhurst’s election expenses report, exonerated Tolhurst and GRG of campaign non-compliance charges in his final report.

Susan Watson’s claims directly were responsible for arranging this expensive charade of false accusations claiming wrongdoing by Mr. Tolhurst and GRG.

Most people would agree that the costs of this abortive attempt to discredit individuals and a citizen’s activist group should be borne by Susan Watson.

At the least, she should apologize to Mr. Tolhurst on the basis of unfounded charges that caused him great personal aggravation and anxiety for more than three months, not to mention personal expense.

While she’s at it, she should apologize to the people of Guelph for this baseless attempt to force her will to prevent accepted democratic rights for citizens to participate and render opinions without the threat of recourse.

*            *            *            *

Is Mike Duffy a Trudeau plant?

What genius thought that Mike Duffy, the rotund, affable Senator, who savours the good life, could be a hidden Trudeau plant?

Don’t scoff. The key witness in the Duffy fraud trial is Nigel Wright, former chief of staff to Prime Minister Harper. Wright is a religious man who believes in the Christian adage that one must help the poor and addicted.

Well, he sure came through for the Duff giving him a personal cheque for $92,172 to make his awesome appetite for the good life bills go away. He had piled up some dubious expenses as the travelling senator from Prince Edward Island. His Senatorial colleagues were telling him he overspent on his expense account and had to repay the money.

Then the RCMP got involved and Duffy has been charged with fraud, and a host of other serious offenses involving his days as a Canadian Senator.

While that case continues in an Ottawa courtroom, consider this. Nigel Wright, Prime Minister Harper’s former chief of Staff, is a wealthy and successful businessman who now works for the Onex Corporation, headed by Gerry Schwartz, a long time Liberal supporter.

Nah! That’s not happening.

Duffy may go to jail for his financial indiscretions, but he’ll have a whale of tale to write about how it all turned out. The book may help destroy the Canadian Senate, as we now know it, and make enough money to pay back Mr. Wright’s $90,142 charitable gift.

Nah! That’s not going to happen.

The Duff will spend his remaining days of freedom at his favourite watering hole buying drinks and reveling the gathering with his life experiences.

*            *            *            *            *

It’s time for our CAO to investigate the Waste Management mess

As reported this week, there are serious management problems ongoing in the operations at the city’s Waste Resources Innovation Centre (WRIC).

In a letter from the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) the city was ordered to clean up several areas of the site that failed to meet the standards of the certificate of agreement signed by the city.

This was no idle gossip or hearsay evidence, it was from the provincial authority that governs waste management operations including Guelph’s WRIC.

It all started with numerous complaints of foul odours emanating from the WRIC and affecting local residents. The waste management went into damage control and assured the residents that they were investigating the source of the neighbour’s complaints.

Then this week, eight WRIC workers were sent to hospital with respiratory and eye problems from a mysterious toxic material in the recycling centre of the site.

The sequence of complaints that have ranged for more than a month and a half is evidence of a lack of supervision and management of the site. Ann Pappert, the Chief Administrative Officer of the city, should immediately investigate the operation and reassure the public that these events will not occur again.

More importantly, she should insist on open and transparent operations of the waste management system. These would include giving the public advisory committee more authority to oversee the operations. The waste management staff should produce printed quarterly operational reports with financial details to the public. These would be inserted in the Thursday edition of the Guelph Tribune and on the city website.

The waste management has an obligation to the citizens. It’s time to live up to them.

*            *            *            *

A personal point of view

On a final note, Barbara and I would like to thank the many folks who supported us during the audit of Mr. Tolhurst. We were summoned to explain to Mr. Molson, the auditor, about GrassRoots Guelph Voters Association, Inc. We are pleased at the even-handed way Mr. Molson investigated the charges of the alleged campaign illegalities brought by Susan Watson.

In our opinion, this was a personal assault on the rights of all citizens to participate, be active and run for office in a municipal election without the threat of post-election legal action by disgruntled opposition advocates.

What happened last October was a historic example that democracy works. The people prevailed and thousands voted for change.

Unfortunately that change is slow in coming.

There is a definite split on city council and only the people can change that by being vocal and encouraging their councillors to be open-minded and support needed changes in the way the city is being run. Gerry Barker





Filed under Between the Lines

9 responses to “Your Guelphspeaks Weekender

  1. Bob

    I have often wondered if Duffy and Wallin were planted by the CBC. It is no secret that PM Harper would pull the plug on the CBC if he had his way; these former CBC employees are very well more loyal to the CBC than to the PM, and they have come pretty close to sinking his boat.

  2. Randy Norris

    The moon landing was a hoax. The World Trade Towers were brought down by controlled explosions. I’m handsome. All these are the ramblings of conspiracy freaks and my own delusions.

    It’s curious times when we can say the wildest thing and just because it was said somehow validates it. Duffy is plant. CBC conspires to bring down a government. “Ground Control to Major Tom”

    What relevance is the religion of Harper’s bag man?

    What is relevant in Harper’s “House of Cards” is a remarkable belief that the Conservative Party is the natural ruling party and winning is everything.

    Mr Harper, as the leader of the Conservative party, has created an atmosphere where Guelph campaign workers can deny citizens the right to vote. Where his right-hand man slides money under the table to cover up scandals by his Senate cronies. Duffy and most of Harper’s appointments to the Senate are nothing but carnival barkers for the Conservative party funded by the taxpayer.

    You called it, Mr Wright’s charitable gift. Give me a break. Gerry, you know better than most that you can put a dress on a pig but it’s still a pig. It’s still graft and it’s still wrong.

    I smell a conservative.

    • Randy Norris: I always enjoy reading your responses. Albeit they are leaning to the left, it has always been my experience that many on the left are humorless. In this case the Duffy plant piece was a joke. If I have to put a warning sign in front of my attempts to poke fun, satirize, and mock, then you are sucking the air out of my efforts to make light of certain events. And there is no shortage of opportunities.

      On another subject I am surprised about the left’s lack of reaction to the Susan Watson judgment. To her credit she was upfront about her plan to bury GrassRoots Guelph and Glen Tolhurst along the way. Instead of a strong leader among the left, she has become an embarrassment. Someone has to take the matches away from this woman.

  3. Len H

    So there are no crooked Liberal senators? Bottom line: The senate is a cash cow for friends and former soldiers of the ruling party at the time and needs to be abolished now.

  4. Randy Norris

    Yes, I admit it, I’m a recovering leftist. It’s been hard to break the habit. But with the support of my rightist friends, I have a chance. Yes, I do have friends to the right of me.

    Sometimes, it feels as if I’m Breaking Bad. I’m quite concerned that I will wake up and start believing that Sarah Palin is a rocket scientist. After deprogramming, I had hoped to be more rational not less. Rationality, unfortunately, seems to be in short supply.

    Your satire is not lost on me but as I said, just saying something gives even the craziest idea substance. Not everything takes on this transformation, however, since every morning I look in the mirror and tell it that I look like Brad Pitt. My wife of 42 years tells me that it hasn’t worked. Some ideas just can’t be out-Fox-ed.

    Of course, there are carnival barkers on all sides but this doesn’t mean that we should hold the current group occupying the PM’s office to a lesser standard. If anything, no matter the party, we should hold the government to a higher standard.

    I was a supporter of the triple E senate that was proposed by Harper in his first election. My naïveté, however, has become road kill. My hope for better government is lost in the rush to retain power. It’s a disease that claims both right and left.

    Change the government. It’s time for a full transfusion with new blood.

    I smell a Liberal

    • Randy Norris:
      Well done! Would you like to contribute your interesting views to I’m a one-man gang with my wife as editor and chief critic. I could use some other moderate and thoughtful points of view that reflect the mosaic of the city and beyond. I tend to be a centrist politically but respect good ideas, fiscal management of public money and provide services to those in our society who are in need.

      In Guelph, there are serious problems to be addressed and the people recognized it last October. Having been involved in election campaign management on all levels of government, I sense there is change coming on all three levels.

      Guelphspeaks is growing and our viewers are demanding more content, and I’m dancing as fast as I can. Want to help? There’s no money in it but perhaps later when we monetize the content. At the least let’s talk about it. Best, Gerry

    • Randy Norris


    • Randy Norris: Message not received. G

    • Randy Norris

      Let’s have a conversation offline
      You have my email.

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