Caledon Perspectives: an editorial

Sometimes I cannot believe that I sit in the same Council Chamber as another Caledon journalist. Following the Tuesday, April 17 Council meeting, I wrote my regular news report for Just Sayin’ Caledon. It was a boring, but true W5 style news report. On Thursday, April 19 I read a completely different take on the same Council meeting in a local newspaper.

It reminded me of how different eye witnesses see the same accident depending on their perspective, which is why eyewitness accounts are so unreliable in court. Prior to the Council meeting I had attended the Citizen Recognition night at the Caledon Community Complex. It celebrated the best of the best in volunteerism and left all in the audience with a positive feeling. I took that perspective into Council.

When we regard the Town staff as people working on our behalf, and celebrating our accomplishments as a community, it puts them in that same positive light. Now, the majority of our elected representatives see their colleagues at the Town in that same perspective. A few take a more combative attitude. Ignorance is bliss. The same applies to the journalists who cover the Council meetings with a negative lens.

We recently lost an honest journalist who worked his craft with integrity. Bill Rea’s absence from the Council media desk will be sorely missed. From a news perspective, his unbiased and honest reporting was an oasis in a desert of fake news. I admit to a definite bias in my editorials – I am allergic to liars, bullies, misogynists, racists, religious extremists and pedophiles. I am particularly allergic to journalists who claim to be news reporters when they are proselytizing for local politicians and developers. It’s a character flaw of mine. But when I write a news report, I must be neutral, as was my Tuesday report on Town Council. My editorial today has a different lens.

Over ten years ago, a private speculator took the Town to task for the direction that the Province and the Town had planned for develpment. They installed one of their marketing staff as the Editor of a local privately produced newspaper called the Caledon Perspectives. They initiated a series of incendiary articles that pitted their development interests against the Town and the Mayor of the time. When a long series of litigations against the Town failed, overnight they pulled all of their newspaper boxes and the Caledon Perspectives died with a whimper.

You can read the whole history online in Hap Parnaby’s investigative report on this low point in Caledon journalism.

We do not need another local newspaper highlighting a politician who does not deserve the print space. I was at the Tuesday night Council meeting. The only thing redundant about that Council meeting were the questions asked by a Regional Councillor who seemed unable to understand the difference between an interim and an ultimate solution to all-day downtown parking in Bolton. Thank you to an Area Councillor for explaining it patiently. I know this sounds judgmental and partisan, and it is. I have lost all patience with populist politicians who don’t know their by-pass from a parking space.

I will let you know exactly my criteria for local politicians I think are doing a good job – they read the staff reports, they ask intelligent questions, they do not waste time at Council grandstanding about their accomplishments which may or may not have anything to do with the motion at hand, they are respectful to colleagues and town staff, they do not lie or spread misinformation to their constituents, and they try their best to work for the good of the Town, not their next career move. That is my criteria for judging the quality of an elected official.

And if you have medial literacy, reporters are even easier to judge.

***

Skid Crease, Caledon

For the full Hap Parnaby report go to :

Connections Between Local Media and Land Developers in Caledon   www.topix.com › Georgetown

 

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Caledon’s Good News

Praise and Parking

W5 style News Report originally published for Just Sayin’ Caledon

The regular Tuesday night Town of Caledon Council meeting was prefaced by an inspiring Community Recognition Night to hand out the Caledon Volunteer and Citizen Achievement Awards for 2018. It was a packed house at the Caledon East Community Complex, eloquently hosted by Carine Strong, herself a model of community volunteerism.

 Mayor Allan Thompson summed up the essence of the evening with his opening remarks, “Tonight we honour our neighbours, friends, family, work colleagues and fellow community volunteers who have gone above and beyond. These are people who give and give and then give a little more and who have made Caledon the wonderful community it is.”

For a complete list of recipients and awards go to the Town of Caledon website: caledon.ca/crn

Following the positive theme of that event, the 7:00 Town Council meeting proceeded quietly and respectfully. Of particular importance to the citizens of Caledon was the passage at Council of All Day Street Parking (ADSP) in the Bolton downtown business district.

Resident Jerry Gorman made a delegation to Council in support of the move to all day parking and included a handout visual showing the ultimate vision for the core. Council also received a citizen’s petition from business owner and resident Jimmy Pountney in support of the All-day Parking. That petition will become part of the tOwn’s presentation at the Region of Peel.

 

While this request has still to go to the Region for final approval, Bolton Area Councillor Rob Mezzapelli carefully clarified that positive public consultations and the parking inclusion in the Town of CaledonTransportation Master Plan should lead to a smooth passage at the Region. He also clarified that the all-day parking was an “interim” part of the plan intended to encourage drive through commuters to take the faster by-pass using Coleraine and the Emil Kolb Parkway. This will leave the downtown core a pedestrian and shopper friendly area with local traffic only.

Not only does this interim solution improve air quality by removing morning and evening rush hour idling cars, but it makes the downtown core of Bolton a safer place to work and shop. For those of us who walk and bike around Town, redirecting that commuter traffic has been a long time coming and is much appreciated. An added bonus is that commuters from the North Hill of Bolton won’t have to jockey with all that commuter traffic coming south from Highway #9.

The longer term “ultimate” solutions involve construction of traffic calming islands, landscaping, and a complete repainting of parking areas, through and turning lanes as illustrated in Jerry Gorman’s handout. It will take a while to educate commuters from north of Bolton to use the by-pass, but the majority of Council sees this as a beneficial first step.

Coupled with the good news feeling from the Recognition Awards, it was a positive night for the Town of Caledon. Now that’s environmental literacy!

*****

Just Sayin’ Caledon Editor’s Note: The Regional Councillor for Bolton was not in attendance at the Council meeting April 17, 2018.

  • image from restreets.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Bill Rea, a True Caledon Citizen

Bill Rea In Memorium 

This Sunday morning, April 8, 2018, Bill Rea quietly passed away. The longtime reporter and editor for the Caledon Citizen suffered an apparent heart attack in his sleep.

A role model for ethical journalism and a tireless reporter of all things Caledon, Bill was a voice of truth in a world of fake news. A mentor, advisor, and an honest critic, he will be missed deeply.

We who remain celebrate your life.

Skid Crease, Caledon

 

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