Fire and Fury at Caledon Town Council

“Never retract, never explain, never apologize; get things done and let them howl.”

Nellie L. McClung

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The following quotes clarify this journalist’s reaction, and lack of apology, to the impassioned indignation of “them”, as referenced above in Nellie’s quote. On Tuesday, January 16, 2018, in the afternoon Town of Caledon Council Meeting, a recent Integrity Commissioner’s Report that looked into possible violations of the Council Code of Conduct by two Regional Councillors, found they were not guilty of violating their Council Code of Conduct:

“Look honey, I ain’t buying what you’re selling so get out!”  S.L.J. Shortt

“It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” William Shakespeare

“I’m not a crook.” Richard Nixon

“I did not have sexual relations with that woman.” Bill Clinton

“My two greatest assets have been mental stability and being, like, really smart …. not smart, but genius, and a very stable genius at that!” Donald J. Trump

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So, let me ask my readers to judge how all of that fire and sound and fury signifying nothing could have been avoided.  The fire was ignited by the misinformation and confusion that flowed from a public meeting hosted by a regional municipal councillor, with another regional municipal councillor in attendance. That misinformation concerned a false accusation that the Town was providing free taxpayer funded transportation from outside of Town to a local workplace. The second bonfire was set, again falsely, because the Town was allegedly slowing down the availability of medical facilities to be built on a “gift” of land, the fine details of which were being negotiated privately in-camera. That led to the Mayor and a “member of the public” invoking their democratic rights, and civic responsibilities, to file a Complaint with the Town’s Integrity Commissioner.

Prior to the Complaint being filed it should be noted that the “member of the public” had asked for an apology, a retraction, and a clarification of the information from the parties concerned. The Complaint was filed when that request was not fully honoured.

Imagine we had attended that local meeting public meeting. Imagine that two Regional politicians were in attendance. Imagine that the regional politician directing the conversations of the evening had simply said, “There is a private shuttle funded totally by the company to our local workplace with no cost to taxpayers.” Period. And that the location and lands, like our possible land “gift”, required for specific types of medical care facilities are sized and approved for use depending on population and transportation, and are Provincial responsibilities. Or imagine that the other regional politician, had misinformation been discussed, clarified with correct facts immediately.

I can only imagine. And because that did not happen, I applaud the Mayor and the “member of the public” for raising their concerns. Now, the Town’s Integrity Commissioner did not find that the Council Code of Conduct had been violated. That was very good news for one regional politician who had previously been found guilty of two previous violations for using racial slurs and bullying colleagues.

But the “poor me” histrionics were way over the top. Sorry, regional politicians, you may not have been guilty of violating the Code of Conduct, but you were guilty of allowing your constituents to leave your meeting with enough misinformation that they attacked the Mayor and integrity of Town Council on social media and in a local newspaper.

So, as far as this journalist is concerned, “I’m not buying what you’re selling.”

Your crocodile tears may have been appreciated by the tiny base of supporters that was present at Town Council that afternoon, but a political lie for survival is still a lie. Idiots, crooks, liars, and megalomaniac geniuses – you are in good company. Just make sure that the next time you hold a public meeting, the cameras are running.

Note to self: if you are that challenged and irresponsible that you can’t get a simple piece of factual information across to your audience, get off the stage … and out of public office.

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Skid Crease, Caledon

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