Tag Archives: Lloyd Longfield

Let the finger pointing begin

By Gerry Barker

March 18, 3019


We elected two men to represent our interests. Sitting in the Ontario Legislature is Mike Schreiner, leader of the Green Party. With only himself in the Legislature, his party is not an official party under the rule of the Legislature.

The other is Liberal MP Lloyd Longfield, a backbencher in the Trudeau government who is facing re-election this October.

Now, as I understand it, last time the election of the Progressive Conservatives in Ontario June 7, split the cozy relationship between the Ottawa Liberals, led by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Queen’s Park Liberal government of former Premier Kathleen Wynne.

With recent events involving the SNC Lavalin affair, is this a good time to be a Liberal?

MPP Mike Schreiner, after spending $119,000 to get elected, has metaphorically become the Maytag, repairman in the Legislature after accepting his huge victory in Guelph. Now that he’s there he has no power, no support in the Legislature and no influence.

In the lyrics of the Irish Rovers: “Wasn’t that a party?”

But Schreiner is there for four years and Guelph voters, by a wide margin, put him there.

Along comes Mr. Longfield who blames the provincial government for “not being open for business.”

That’s rich coming from a federal MP who sat in the House of Commons for almost four years saying nary a word condemning the Liberal government of Premier Wynne for not keeping Ontario open for business.

What’s that expression? If you want to win an election start a fight.

That nervous rattle you hear among the Trudeau Liberals is the dessention of voters over many areas of Liberal power. Starting with The SNC Lavalin fiasco that has cost the party it’s Attorney General and Justice Minister and the Minister of Health.

As this is being written before the third cabinet shuffle in two months, what does it tell you about the internal management and stability of theTrudeau government?

The genesis of political finger pointing

Last year, the federal government signed a bilateral agreement with the province to distribute $10.4 billion of federal funds to Ontario municipalities.

To try and understand this, our city has one of the municipalities selelcted to receive funding for a number, including the new $63 million South End recreation Centre.

Mr. Longfield is said to be asking Mayor Cam Guthrie to pressure the provincial government to release the funds.

It is obvious that the city has been working diligently to move its projects forward.

Enter stage left: Guelph MPP Mike Schreiner who would be the logical contact to get things moving on the provincial level. Instead, Longfield wants the Mayor to act without mentioning the Green Party leader who represents Guelph.

What does Longfield know that we don’t?

The bilateral agreement included splitting the Federal money into four areas: Northern and rural; public transit; green initiatives and community; culture and recreational projects.

It comes to mind the Federal money that was spent by the Harper government in Cabinet member Tony Clements’s Muscoka riding to spruce  up the community for a visit by members of the G-20 meeting in Toronto. We all remember how that turned out.

Perhaps the Mayor should contact Mike Schreiner to help jump-start this funding.

The only problem, will the Tories listen to Schreiner?





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Your GuelphSpeaks Thanksgiving Weekender

By Gerry Barker

Posted October 11, 2015

Lloyd has a lot of ‘splainin to do – How to help Glen Tolhurst pay his Susan Watson legal bills – The dilemma Guelph voters face

Hey Lloyd! Where’s your campaign money coming from?

In a recent full-page ad in the Guelph Tribune, Liberal candidate Lloyd Longfield charged that his Conservative opponent was getting “tar sands” money from Alberta for her campaign.

Trouble is the stats claimed for Conservative candidates in the ad were for two previous federal elections and had nothing to do with the 2015 campaign.

Okay Lloyd, now that you’ve opened the door to campaign financing, what are the sources of your campaign spending? The amount of money your campaign has spent on advertising starting, even before the election writ was dropped, is staggering compared to that of your three major opponents.

Guelpspeaks knows how much advertising costs in the Tribune, printing and distribution, signs and robocalls. It is estimated that year to date; your campaign spending is the greatest of any candidate, Liberal, Conservative or NDP in memory. You started campaigning by spending money before the writ was dropped ending the Harper Parliament. Those payments do not count against your Elections Canada cap on candidate’s spending limits.

Tell us Lloyd, now that you’ve brought it up, how much have you spent and name the sources. It will come out after the election when your financial statement is published by Elections Canada. Why not ‘fess up now so the voters won’t think you are buying the election?

When the 2014 City of Guelph budget was being prepared in November 2013, Mr. Longfield, then CEO of the 884-member Guelph Chamber of Commerce, was quoted in the Guelph Tribune that property tax increases should be zero but no greater than the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

“Other cities are surpassing us in controlling costs and implementing technology solutions,” Longfield said accusing the city of not managing wage costs and productivity as well as it should.

In January 2014, mayoralty candidate Cam Guthrie also came out with the same ideas about limiting property tax increases to the CPI and containing operational costs.

Well Lloyd, it didn’t take long for you in 2014 to resign from the Chamber to take a job with Innovation Guelph offered by Mayor Farbridge. Next, Liberal M.P. Frank Valeriotte announced he was supporting Karen Farbridge and would not be a candidate in this year’s election.

Was this a set-up by the Liberals to fill the Valeriotte void?

I don’t know about you but sometimes political expediency gets in the way of electing our representatives in an above board and democratic way.

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Help Glen Tolhurst pay his defence legal cost for being falsely accused

Glen Tolhurst, a former candidate for council in ward six, was singled out last April as contravening the Municipal Elections Act (MEA) for receiving a donation from a third party.

Susan Watson, friend and supporter of defeated mayor Karen Farbridge made the complaint. She applied to the Compliance Audit Committee who ordered an audit of Mr. Tolhurst’s official election financial statement. She claimed that Tolhurst received an illegal donation of $400 from GrassRoots Guelph (GRG).

An independent audit of Tolhurst’s report found he did not contravene the MEA and that GRG acted legally in making the donation. The citizen’s of Guelph must pay $11,400 toward the costs of this Susan Watson complaint.

Now Mr. Tolhurst is asking for help to pay his legal bills incurred during his defence of the Watson allegations

You can donate at his support site. Here’s the link:

https://www.gofundme.com/n95uhsns .

Please click on the web site and consider making an online donation.

Feel free to spread this request far & wide particularly by Twitter, Face Book, or other social media.

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My voting dilemma

In about a week, the citizens in Guelph will elect a new member of the House of Commons. Reading the cascading number of polls, it appears that Justin Trudeau could become our next Prime Minister with a minority government.

In Guelph there are two major party candidates who are ahead of the pack. A third candidate, Gord Miller, of the Green Party, is likely to run a clear third when voting concludes next Monday night.

My preference for our Member of Parliament is for a candidate, who has experience, has run successfully for city council more than 24 years and narrowly won the riding in 2011 against Liberal Frank Valeriotte. She is a past president of the Canadian Federation of Municipalities.

Her Liberal opponent, Lloyd Longfield, has never run for public office. His single credential is being President and CEO of the Guelph Chamber of Commerce from which he resigned before last October’s civic election.

My heart beats for Mr. Trudeau but not Mr. Longfield.

I have major differences with the historical policies of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, but I am voting for Gloria Kovach.

My reasoning is simple. I believe Guelph needs an experienced and seasoned M.P. who represents Guelph and breaks the municipality’s grip by the leftist Liberal/NDP axis of power. It is one that has ruled our community, leaving it with among the highest property taxes on Ontario, a $23 million loss building a new city hall, and a waste management system that fails an estimated 13 per cent of residences and businesses.

The rest of the field has little chance of winning the Guelph riding. I do like Mr. Miller and he may be a spoiler for the NDP’s Andrew Seagram and Mr. Longfield.

But I’ve been around long enough to realize the party is not over and if the advance poll numbers are any indication, there will be a big turnout. That always spells trouble for the incumbent.

The word is that people vote old and tired governments out.





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Your GuelphSpeaks Weekender

By Gerry Barker

Posted October 2, 2015

The Guelph File

Mercury editorial rides above the madding crowd – If only the Guelph progressives would do a Mulcair – The great goose management strategy – Candidates who want to be Members of Parliament


Mercury editorial tries to put lipstick on a pig

Guelph’s newspaper of record, recently offered its interpretation of Susan Watson’s abortive attempt to deny third party participation in municipal elections. Her efforts resulted in costing the citizens $11,400 for an audit that absolved Glen Tolhurst and GrassRoots Guelph from contravening the Municipal Elections Act (MEA).

If the city-appointed audit said there was no breach of the MEA, why are the citizen’s required to pay? The Mercury editorial loftily claims it’s a matter of interpretation. It goes on to say that the case became “a matter of polarized viewpoints.”

Before going further, it is important to understand that not only the city must pay the costs of this exercise but also Mr. Tolhurst has substantial legal fees to pay, to defend him against charges that were totally dismissed by the auditor.

The Mercury stated: “In the end the auditor found Tolhurst made a few minor errors in his election expenses report.” Those errors totaling less than $2o4.60 did not satisfy the auditor that Mr. Tolhurst contravened the MEA.

Yet the Mercury says: “By the letter of the law, those minor filing flaws were enough to qualify the audit as warranted and not something that should have costs covered by the complainant, as might have been open to the audit committee to order.”

Throughout the editorial, the person who launched this frivolous exercise, Susan Watson’s name is never used. But Mr. Tolhurst’s name is used along with GrassRoots Guelph.

The Mercury headline atop the story reporting the Compliance Audit Committee’s final report stated, (paraphrased), Committee says Tolhurst will not be charged.

It is a sad day in city journalism when such a biased editorial in the paper of record, continues to support the administration today and for the last eight years, with equivocation.

GuelphSpeaks has written 687 posts in three years about the abuses of power, fiscal mismanagement, failure to investigate vital issues, not getting both sides of the story, and failing to apply critical thinking during that period of the city’s administration on the Mercury editorial pages.

Unfortunately, what can you expect from a corporately owned newspaper that has its editor in chief working at the Kitchener Record? When the late Lord Thomson remarked, “news is the stuff we put around the ads,” he set the benchmark of editorial content for the Guelph Mercury and Guelph Tribune.

For years the emphasis in the TorStar owned Metroland, operators of the Mercury and the Guelph Tribune, has been on the advertising revenue particularly the money spent in the Tribune for so-called “City News” multiple pages. The estimated annual cost to the city is estimated to be more than $500,000.

Is that not a reason to keep the political leaders in the community comfortable when it comes to managing the news in favour of the incumbents?

This editorial proves that no matter how hard you try, you can’t put lipstick on a pig.

*            *            *            *

It’s happening to NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair and it can happen here

Reviews of the Friday French language debate between the federal leaders showed that Mulcair’s support in Quebec is eroding rapidly. And it’s mostly due to his stand on allowing Islamic women to cover their faces while swearing in to becoming Canadian citizens.

The dainty half-face masks are a custom among many Islamic females and indigenous of their culture, before deciding to become a Canadian. A recent decision by the Federal court said the women did not have to remove their Naqib for religious reason. Ta Da! It’s a Charter issue under the subtext, freedom of religion.

The question remains, when does the Charter of Rights and Freedoms kick in, before or after becoming a citizen?

The Harper government is appealing to the Supreme Court of Canada to overturn the court decision and insist that during a citizenship ceremony, they must reveal their faces.

Mr. Mulcair was in favour of allowing the women to cover their faces even if it was in a private citizenship meeting with a judge.

The trouble emerged when most people in Quebec want the faces uncovered during the official citizenship ceremony, regardless of their previous cultural demands.

He has alienated many Quebec NDP supporters leaving the campaign wide open to the Liberals and the Conservatives.

Now, if only we could have a “Naqib” moment in Guelph to loosen the grip of the NDP-dominated progressives in our city government, the playing field would be leveled and common sense would return.

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Cheeky geese create another $50,000 policy debate

Apparently, the city administration has recognized that Guelph has a Canada goose problem. Living near Riverside Park, one has do the doo-doo dance while strolling along the river

This has prompted creation of a Goose Management Strategy. Estimated cost $50,000.

Here are some suggestions: Hire some goose dogs to keep chasing the pooh birds until they go to Cambridge or winter in the Everglades. That would diminish their numbers as the alligators and pythons would relish dinner.

Perhaps set up public pooh stations for geese. Of, course training them could be a problem. It would be similar to the problem of training late night revelers relieving themselves in public downtown.

The trouble is the geese have been allowed to get too comfy in the Guelph parks and no longer migrate.

Maybe we could hire that guy who flies his light plane with the geese in formation. Ah, but where does he leave them?

“Fly me to the moon

Let me play among the stars”

Frank Sinatra, 1970

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This is an election where experience counts

There are seven candidates running for the Guelph federal seat in Parliament. It’s a pretty good gig as there are plenty of incentive because the pay and perks are above the Canadian family average. The candidate’s approved election expenses are paid by the government, provided they obtain enough votes.

Of the seven, only one, Gloria Kovach, running for the Conservatives, has campaigned in both civic and federal elections. She has also served as President of the Canadian Federation of Municipalities. Her record as a city councillor for 24 years gives her the edge among all the candidates, being the most qualified of the seven candidates to represent Guelph.

Her chief opponents include Lloyd Longfield for the Liberals. He is a past president of the Guelph Chamber of Commerce and has never been elected to public office. Spending on his campaign appears to be more than the other candidates.

Running for the NDP is newcomer Andrew Seagram, who also has never run for public office, let alone being elected a Member of Parliament.

Gord Miller for the Green Party was a senior civil servant as Commissioner of the Environment in the Ontario government. He too is a newcomer running for elected office.

Other candidates include:

Tristan Dineen representing the Communist Party of Canada

Kornelis Klevering of the Marijuana Party

Alex Fekri of the Libertarian Party

It is an eclectic mix representing a number of views that make up the Canadian mosaic of political interests.

There is a growing feeling that the three major candidates on the left of the political spectrum will suffer from vote-splitting. The most likely strategic voting victim could be Lloyd Longfield with two other candidates, Miller and Seagram, vying for the same constituency.

The most surprising outcome may be the support of the Green Party’s Gord Miller.

When the dust settles on October 20 the winner having had the most effective ground game paired with experience, will be our new M.P.


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