Ford and Trump: an editorial

There has been a recent controversy in Ontario politics with Liberal leader Kathleen Wynne declaring that Doug Ford, the latest provincial leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario is similar to U.S.A. President Donald Trump of the Republican Party. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

While it is a fact that both are the spoiled sons of wealthy men who inherited their father’s money, so much about them is different. And while it is a fact that both the Republicans and the Conservatives use the same marketing teams for electioneering (not sure about Facebook mining), and that Donald holds lavish events at Mar a Lago while Doug hosts BBQs for Ford Nation in his backyard, it really is unfair to draw a comparison between Donald Trump and Doug Ford.

First, Donald Trump is a billionaire and Doug Ford is only a millionaire. Secondly, Donald has a full head of blonde comb over hair and Doug has short cropped blonde hair. Thirdly, Donald tends to an orange complexion while Doug Ford tends to ruddy. Fourthly, Donald allegedly enabled sexual assault abusers wile Doug alledgedly enabled addicts. Donald had no legislative experience while Doug had one term in the most dysfunctional city council in municipal history.

Now, it is true that both are populist sloganeers (Make America Great Again vs Make Ontario Great Again and America First vs Ontario First, and Lock Her Up vs Put Her in Jail) and the fact that they espouse the same mantra: Cut the red tape, help the taxpayer, especially the wealthy, support the hard-working white male voters (and the women who live with them), reduce government size, stop the welfare gravy train for the 30% chronically impoverished, and the blacks love me, “I’ve done more for the ethnics than anyone.”

Despite the fact that the U.S. economy and employment were on the upswing under Obama’s Democrats, and that the Ontario economy and employment were on the upswing under Wynne’s Liberals, why confuse the masses with facts when you can convince them to deny the birth certificate and “Burn the Witch!” Admittedly it’s hard to “Lock Her Up!” or “Put Her in Jail” if “she” hasn’t been charged or convicted of anything. But that never stopped a bullying populist liar before.

No, Doug and Donald are two different people. Although they do wear suits cut from the same ideological cloth, and Doug is reported to have mastered the art of the deal in his youth. one is from America and one is from Canada. We always thought we were a kinder, gentler citizenry than our neighbours to the south, but if Doug Ford is elected Premier of Ontario we’ll find out that we’re really not that different at all. It will be like watching Anne of Green Gables lose out in the cable TV ratings to Keeping up with the Kardashians.

As Kathleen Wynne tweeted “We’ve seen this movie before,” shortly after Christine Elliot won the popular leadership vote but Doug Ford won the PCPO leadership via the Ontario Conservatives version of the Electoral College,  I just never thought that it would be playing in theatres across Ontario. Although it has not yet been confirmed, there is a rumour that David Price will be head of security at Queen’s Park, and Don Cherry will be making the introductory speech from the throne before taking over as Minister of Hockey if Ford is elected.

Get ready for four years of rock ‘em sock ‘em politics.

***

Skid Crease, Caledon Journalist

  • image from narcity.com
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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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Peter Munk, you saved my life

Today marks the passing of a true Canadian icon. Peter Munk 1927 – 2018, nine meaningful decades of a life well lived. Little did I know at the time that the beautiful wooden cabinet Clairtone Hi Fidelity record player that sat in our living room as I was growing up was the product of Peter Munk’s first serious endeavour with his partner David Gilmour.

After the devastating loss of Clairtone in 1967 came the unprecedented success of Barrick Gold in 1983. And with that fortune, Munk began to give back. From the Peter and Melanie Munk Cardiac Centre to his School of Global Affairs at University of Toronto to his million dollar donation to the families who lost everything in the Fort McMurray fires, Peter Munk gave back to his chosen country.

Most selfishly for me, Peter Munk saved my life. Through his generous funding of cardiac research and training, the skilled team at Toronto General Hospital University Health Network brought me back to life, and continue to keep my big, fast paced heart in good health. I promise to earn it.

Peter Newman , in his book Titans, is quoted as saying that Munk, a refugee who lost everything to Nazi persecution in Europe, was driven by “restitution, redemption, revenge.” Restitution: restoring hope for those suffering from war, disaster and illness; Redemption: bringing balance to the dark and light forces in our lives;  Revenge:  holding the monsters to account.

Much like the mythical Count of Monte Cristo, Peter Munk escaped from the dungeons of war ravaged Europe to rise to a position of fame and fortune and use that fortune for good – with the greatest gifts, he said, to come after his death.

Well, Mr. Munk, I never met you, but my heart beats now because of your philanthropy. And by some fateful coincidence those three R’s of yours are  the three forces that have driven my journalism since my recovery. Thank you.

***

Skid Crease, Caledon

*image from mcleans.ca

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