On March 22, 2018. In their Letter and Commentary section, the Caledon Enterprise published a letter by Derek Clark titled “Caledon deserves better”. Mr. Clark forgot to mention that he declared himself to be a candidate for the position of Regional Councillor Wards 3 and 4. A significant oversight since his letter was a direct assault on the sitting Council member in the Wards.
In his letter, Mr. Clark proceeded to take strips off current Regional Councillor Jennifer Innis for being a good councillor. Ms. Innis had spoken out on a radio talk show where she is a regular guest. She had commented on a case where the previous Caledon Mayor and her family had been threatened and bullied by development interests who were not happy with the Town’s planning.
Well, yes, Mr. Clark, the bullying and threats and assaults actually happened and were reported to the OPP. And yes, Mr. Clark, one of the accomplices served a three-year jail sentence for his role in the abuse. And yes Mr. Clark, the current Mayor had a rock thrown through his front window during another disagreement over the Town’s planning. This was also reported to the OPP. Time to be afraid.
This bullying and threatening is physical and psychological and intimidating, whether it is having someone beat up your husband or slur you on social media. Imagine Mr. Clark, if someone in Palgrave attacked you on social media with the #heknew just because you had hosted a reception at your home for Patrick Brown, allegations against whom have not yet been proven. And this kind of intimidation is already happening in Caledon months before the municipal election.
So, I couldn’t agree more with Ward 3/4 Candidate Derek Clark when he concludes that “Caledon deserves better.” Certainly much better than the pre-election self-interested slant contained in his letter. Before attacking Ms. Innis, Mr. Clark was an enthusiastic volunteer on Ms. Innis’ campaign team in the last municipal election. It was only when Ms. Innis decided not to run federally and vacate her Ward for a very eager Mr. Clark, that the collegial atmosphere dissipated. The mantra that Mr. Clark espouses in his letter seems to come straight out of the playbook of the two politicians in Caledon who continually oppose the Town.
Before going to print, I asked Mr. Clark and Ms. Innis the same questions by email. Only Ms. Innis had responded by Press time. These are her answers:
- Was Mr. Clark a member of your volunteer election committee?
- Did Mr. Clark encourage you to run for a federal nomination?
- Are you, like Mr. Clark, a member of the Conservative Party of Canada?
“Yes, Mr. Clark was an avid and dedicated volunteer and friend. He was a supporter until his decision to run for Council in the fall of 2017.
Yes, Mr. Clark encouraged me to seek the federal nomination for the Conservative party for the 2019 general election so that he may either run for Regional Councillor or Area Councillor in Wards 3&4. After much consideration, I clearly conveyed both to Mr. Clark and the current Area Councilor, Mr. DeBoer my intention and wish to continue to serve as a Regional Councillor. While I was humbled by the encouragement and support received by many, I have committed fully to the good people of Caledon and will be seeking re-election as the Regional Councillor for Wards 3&4.
Yes, While partisan politics has no place at the municipal level, I am a proud Conservative Member. And further, I am also proud of my employment history and the opportunity to have learned from some our finest Conservatives, like Hon. Ernie Eves, late Hon. Jim Flaherty, late Hon. Chris Stockwell and MP David Tilson. In my role as a Regional Councillor, I work collaboratively with members from all political parties as it serves in the best interest of Caledon and Peel.”
Clearly and honestly answered, Regional Councillor Jennifer Innis. There is nothing more satisfying in political reporting than getting a straight “Yes” or “No” answer to your question, along with factual truth in the details. No spin or fake news here.
As to Mr. Clark’s letter, there is nothing more despicable than seeing the desire for power corrupt the vocation to serve. Sorry, Mr. Clark, Ms. Innis is absolutely correct. If your letter is any indication, the good politicians of Caledon have every reason to be afraid. And the citizens of Caledon have every reason to vote very carefully in the upcoming election. I am very afraid, Mr. Clark, that you have already lost all credibility.
The way I see it.
Skid Crease, Caledon Journalist
image from Twitter