Aren’t politics ironic, don’t you think?

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Irony, by common definition, is the expression of one’s meaning by using language that normally signifies the opposite, typically for humorous or emphatic effect. As students of English Literature, we learned that dramatic irony occurs when the reader knows what is going on, but the characters in the poem, novel, play do not.

Political irony is a little different. It occurs when politicians say or print or graphic something that is the total opposite of who they are and/or what they do or have done. The effect is not humourous but it does tend to emphatically highlight their hypocrisy.

Two examples will suffice to illustrate this concept clearly. The WE Charity controversy that dominated the media for much of 2020 was created by the Conservative and NDP parties for the sole purpose of tarnishing Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party of Canada. Although all of the spurious accusations against the government and its leader were found to be groundless by the the federal Ethics watchdog, the WE Charity was destroyed.

This was an international development charity and youth empowerment movement founded in 1995 by human rights advocates Marc and Craig Kielburger. They started it on a dream when they were teenagers, and it brought inspiration, opportunity and global success to youth around the world for over 25 years. In the summer of the pandemic when students desperately needed employment, the Conservative led attack against WE crushed the dream and their program to provide projects and grants to post-secondary students across Canada.

Less than a month after the dust had settled on the WE controversy, we received a full colour brochure in the mail from our local Conservative Party of Canada MP, Kyle Seeback. It had his smiling face on the front cover beside the banner headline “Opportunities for Youth” … too little, too late Kyle.  That’s political irony and hypocrisy in action.


The second example is closer to home. On November 26, 2020, Caledon Regional Councillor Annette Groves voted against her own Town of Caledon at the Region of Peel. The subject of the vote was a motion to reduce Caledon’s Regional Councillors by 2 and add 2 seats to Brampton’s delegation. Her colleagues in Caledon were totally blindsided. At a time when Caledon’s population is expected to grow exponentially over the next ten years, losing representation at the Region made absolutely no sense at all.

At a Special Session of Council streamed live on November 30th, Ms. Grove’s actions and the passing of the motion were widely condemned by citizen delegations and Councillors alike. The next day in our Canada Post mailbox, I received a full colour three-page fold out brochure. There on the front page was Ms. Grove’s smiling face beside the banner headline, “Dear Friends and Neighbours.” That’s political irony and hypocrisy at its finest.

With friends like these, we don’t need enemies. But we may need a lesson in media literacy to remind us that all that glitters is not gold. Those happy smiling faces and weasel word headlines are designed to lure us into the lie. Remember carefully the words of warning in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet:

O’ serpent heart hid with flowering face! Dove-feathered raven, wolfish-ravening lamb.Despised substance of divinest show! Just opposite to what thou justly seem’st.

Yes, when political irony is in play, put on your sunglasses, look past the glitter, and pray we don’t get fooled again.

The way I see it.


Skid Crease, Caledon

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The Betrayal of Caledon

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On Thursday, November 26, 2020, Caledon was betrayed by one of its own citizens, one of its own elected representatives. That person was Regional Councillor Annette Groves. And here is how it unfolded.

At the Region of Peel Council meeting that day, Mayor Patrick Brown of Brampton walked a surprise Motion on to the agenda that would remove two out of the five Regional Councillors currently representing the citizens of Caledon at the Region of Peel. The two seats that Caledon lost on Council would go to Brampton. Normal procedural guidelines and debate were suppressed and the Motion passed with the support of the Brampton and Mississauga Mayors and Councillors. The Mayor and Councillors from the Town of Caledon voted against the Motion with one notable exception … Caledon Regional Councillor Annette Groves.

Caledon’s Mayor and the other Caledon Regional Councillors were totally blindsided by the surprise walk-on Motion. Regional Councillor Jennifer Innis is hoping the Town Council will swiftly address Grove’s vote against Caledon’s citizens.

Caledon Mayor Allan Thompson responded immediately with an emergency communication to Caledon citizens: “This surprise motion is unacceptable. Representation on Council is important. This discussion warrants greater respect than a walk-on motion. If there are problems of representation to be addressed, they can’t be at the expense of diminishing Caledon’s voice on Regional Council. We are going to continue to play a bigger role economically for the region and in the Greater Toronto Area. Now more than ever, we need effective representation.”

A Special Live-Streamed Council Meeting was quickly called for November 30, 2020 to address this crisis. Local online news reporting on the reduction of Caledon’s significant reduction of representation at the Region of Peel drew a swift commentary from one Bolton resident:

“This surprise Motion was walked on by Mayor Patrick Brown and supported by Caledon Regional Councillor Annette Groves. It is totally unacceptable for a representative of Caledon to deliberately sabotage our representation at the Region of Peel. If allowed to stand, this act of betrayal will put the growth planning for Caledon at the mercy of Brampton and Mississauga politicians and their influential developer puppeteers.”

Citizens of Caledon should now be calling on their Council representatives to hold Regional Councillor Annette Groves accountable, publicly censure her, and in a recorded vote unanimously condemn her actions.

Regional Councillor Grove’s latest betrayal of Caledon is a confirmation that she is unfit to serve and represent our citizens.

The way I see it.


Skid Crease, Caledon

NOTE: The Peel Region meeting from November 25 is currently being streamed online.

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