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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Don’t be a Larry

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Recently the Mayors of the Region of Peel – Patrick Brown of Brampton, Bonnie Crombie of Mississauga, and Allan Thompson of Caledon – pulled a Larry. Many of us will remember Larry Vaughan, the obdurate mayor of the fictional oceanside town of Amity, the setting for the Steven Spielberg movie Jaws.

To refresh: Larry wanted to keep the beaches open for the money that tourist season would bring to the local businesses, even in the face of well-bitten body parts piling up on the beach and scientific experts letting him know that death was swimming in the waters offshore.

But Larry ignored that evidence and expertise, and more death followed, and the beaches closed completely.

So when business owners came complaining to our Region of Peel Mayors, they naturally turned to the Province. Unfortunately, the Ford government had just appointed an “Expert Panel” of economic advisors who were all too ready to relax the restrictions recommended by the Chief Medical Officers of Canada, Ontario, Toronto, and Peel.

The new system is known as the COVID-19 response framework: keeping Ontario safe and open. More correctly it should be titled “Keeping Ontario Open and Safe” since it tends to be more economic than medical in intent. The levels go from Green, Yellow, Orange, and Red, and finally to LOCKDOWN,

Under the guise of “defending local business”, the government permitted the Region of Peel to move Peel Region to Red–Control level, a more business friendly level than the current modified Stage 2. The next day, The Region of Peel Public Health nixed that idea and imposed the more restrictive measures, specifically:

Peel Public Health is strongly urging all residents to: 
Restrict close contact to your household and essential supports
Cease all indoor social gatherings and visits (with exceptions for emergencies, renovations or one-on-teaching / tutoring) 
Limit outside trips to essential activities only, and 
Cancel, postpone or hold virtually any in-person activities.

Now, dear Mayors in the Region of Peel, when we are in the middle of a global pandemic with COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths climbing to new records each day, don’t be a Larry. Close the beaches. And business owners, yes, businesses will suffer during a pandemic of this scale. The Bubonic Plague was a real downer on local economics unless you were a casket maker or gravedigger.

I live in Caledon, home to 85,000 souls, only a small percentage of whom are local business owners and their employees. In fact, the five biggest employers in Caledon are Delegant Construction, Mars Foods, Canadian Tire Distribution Centre, Verdi Construction, and Husky Injection Mouldings.

In Caledon, blessed with abundant walking and hiking trails and bubbling springs, surely we don’t need any fitness clubs and bars open as indoor venues to disperse virus laden droplets and aerosols, when we can exercise in the fresh air and drink spring water.

We are in the middle of the health crisis of the decade, perhaps the century. Listen to the medical and scientific expertise intended to protect the health and safety of the entire community. The coronavirus is saying, “You can pay me now or you can pay me later.” Remember that you are the Mayors of all of the citizens of the Region of Peel, not just the business owners. When it comes time to pay the bill, the tab is on you.

The way I see it.

Skid Crease, Caledon

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