Another Roadblock for Mr Sofer to climb over

soferMr Amit Sofer, the Principal of the TVM Group, website here will be gnashing his teeth this morning. His project to build a residential condominium block and new Legion Clubroom will just have to wait a few more weeks for the final approval. Just when he thought it was clear sailing, a request to review the OMB decision has been placed on the desk of the Executive Chair of the OMB.

Mr Keith Oliver has written a letter outlining his request and paid his $125 filing fee. He is asking that another hearing be held as the first one “effectively denied the many members of the public, who attended (more than 60) their right to express their opinions on the proposed project to the Chair.” Read the request letter here.

In our cynical view this is a “Hail Mary Pass” but if the Executive Chair, Mr Jerry DeMarco, has any reason to establish public credibility of his organisation, the OMB, granting the request would be a mighty fine way of doing it.

Keep tuned.

The First Surprise

MoultonJust a day after admitting that, he the Publisher, of this report did not have a clue who the people would be, who would be chasing the recently announced seat to soon be vacated by MP Rick Norlock up pops a well managed and professional press release from Adam Moulton. Guess what, the Publisher still does not have a clue who this guy is. We know his Dad – very well – Ralph Moulton – he is the fellow behind the Cobourg Canadian Tire, local businessman and contributor to good causes.

In a Press Release, which looks like it came out of the PMO’s Office written by the short panted kids, (read it here) [well it would the author did work on Parliament Hill at one time -ed] , Adam Moulton hits all the right spots in the Harper Hymn Book, admitting to be a gun-owner, and sounding like a Libertarian. Adam even belongs to the same Church Denomination as Harper; looks like a very safe and predictable CPC establishment choice. For more info about Adam read his Linkdin Profile here this is pretty extensive so it may not stay up very long.

The sore spot for those who would like to see an independent person – not a backbench lackey, run for the job is the obvious contradiction stated in the press release. Quoting the boilerplate in his release – “Adam – like Prime Minister Harper – is committed to building a Canada that remains strong, united, independent, and free.  He is committed to lowering taxes paid by families, increasing government accountability to taxpayers, helping parents manage the costs of child care, taking a tougher line on criminals, and ensuring the Canadian Forces have the equipment needed to do whatever mission our men and women in uniform are asked to do.” Then comparing it to the declaration in the next paragraph – it doesn’t add up – “Adam brings fresh ideas, boundless energy, and a commitment to conservative values to this nomination.” There are no Fresh Ideas in his statement of beliefs!

So do we now await the arrival of another stalking horse – presumably someone from the Peterborough area – read this article from the Peterborough Examiner about  alleged election cheater Dean Del Mastro, the MP for Peterborough, here (staging a nomination for publicity purposes or does Deano still want to be an MP but face friendlier electors?) or will the local PCs ride this person into the starting gate?

What we do know is the we now have two contrasting visions of the way the Country should be governed presented to the electors of Northumberland Peterborough South. Between the traditional Liberal Laissez-Faire style of Kim Rudd and her devotion to the Dauphin, and his ideas, or another Harper clone prepared to sit on the back bench with all of his other Millennial buds just waiting to be told what to do by the boys in short pants and ready to read off the carefully scripted talking points issued from the Harper Bunker on a moments notice?

Kim Rudd’s early Christmas present

norlockKim Rudd, for those of you who do not know is the nominated Federal Candidate for the Liberal Party of Canada in the next election. I bet she will be pumped by the news that the incumbent MP – a Conservative placeholder who after a couple of terms has moved off the backbench to the middle – has decided to cash in another pension and go back to the Hills of Warkworth to pursue “family things” and good works.

Before the brickbats fly let us congratulate Mr Norlock for his devotion to the position of our Member of Parliament. A selfless job that requires many hours away from the family and he has done it well. Conducting Passport Clinics and handing out cheques for all kinds of government programmes he has done what the average Joe expects from the MP of any party – he has brought home the bacon!

However as an enthusiastic member of the “Harper Team” he has also represented the most obnoxious team of ne’er-do-wells that holds power for the present time. If you want accolades for Mr Norlock go to the site run by John Draper, a member of the local CPC executive and who provides very good and fast local news – “Cobourg News”. A post appeared last night that announced Mr Norlock’s decision and was soon picked by local tweats and blogs; read it here. One interesting snippet came in the last line of the article, “Stay tuned for updates on who will be the Conservative Candidates – early indications are that there will be some surprises.”

With such a large landmass in the new Riding of “Northumberland, Peterborough South” we wonder just who the surprises are and will Cobourg continue to be the centre of the Conservative world in NPS? No doubt the local pundits will be abuzz but frankly anybody who defends this Conservative Party, let alone admits that they would like to carry the flag will definitely be in the minority around here.

SO how will Mr Norlock’s successor perform? As we know the only poll that counts is the one on election day and we do know that Liberals defeat themselves by staying away from the polls rather than switching votes so will the missing Liberal votes come back to push Ms Rudd into parliament? The best analysis of past electoral results came from a comment in the BR dated May 3rd 2011 submitted by someone called “One More Weighty”

In Northumberland Quinte West and before 2004 the previous riding called Northumberland:
The Conservative’s arc for share of the votes cast has been 2004 39% -> 2006 41% -> 2008 49% -> 2011 54%. Prior to that that vote was split either Canadian Alliance / PC or Reform / PC for 3 elections. Combine those 2 votes to get a comparison 1993 47% -> 1997 48% <- 2000 46%.
The Liberal arc has gone in the opposite direction 1993 50% <- 1997 47% <- 2000 46% <- 2004 40% <- 2006 36% <- 2008 29% <- 2011 21%

Yesterday Russ got his highest vote in 4 runs. Also the highest NDP vote ever. His previous best was 2006 = 11,334 (18%) in 2011 = 12,656 (21%)
Rick Norlock’s 54% of the vote is the best any candidate from any party has done here in 27 years. Since Conservative George Hees in 1984.
Yesterday in Northumberland Quinte West
* Conservative Rick Norlock 32,853 (54%)
Liberal Kim Rudd 12,792 (21%)
NDP Russ Christianson 12,656 (21%)
Green Ralph Torrie 2,796 (5%)

Voter turnout: 64.5% up 2.7%

Past results to compare yesterday to other elections here.
* is the winner.

2008:
* Conservative Rick Norlock 27,615 (49%)
Liberal Paul Macklin 16,209 (29%)
NDP Russ Christianson 8,2306 (15%)
Green Ralph Torrie 4,633 (8%)
Voter turnout: 61.8%

2006:
* Conservative Rick Norlock 25,833 (41%)
Liberal Paul Macklin 22,566 (36%)
NDP Russ Christianson 11,334 (18%)
Green Pat Lawson 2,946 (5%)

2004:
Conservative Doug Galt 22,676 (39%)
* Liberal Paul Macklin 22,989 (40%)
NDP Russ Christianson 9,007 (16%)
Green Steven Haylestrom 3,016 (5%)

2000:
Canadian Alliance Rick Norlock 11,410 (26%)
PC Ralph Zarboni’s 8,768 (20%)
* Liberal Paul Macklin 20,109 (46%)
NDP Ben Burd 2,141 (5%)
Green Tom Lawson 1,102 (3%)
With 20,178 votes (46%) Canadian Alliance combined with PC would’ve won

1997:
PC Ralph Zarboni 11,458 (25%)
Reform Al Matthews’ 10,602 (23%)
* Liberal Christine Stewart 21,609 (47%)
NDP Murray Weppler 2,678 (6%)
With 22,060 votes (48%) PC combined with Reform would’ve won

1993:
Reform Gord Johnston 11,552 (25%)
PC Reg Jewell 10,147 (22%)
*Liberal Christine Stewart 23,609 (50%)
NDP Diana Stewart 1,791 (4%)
With 21,699 votes (47%) Reform combined with PC would NOT have won

1988:
Conservative Reg Jewell 18,571 (43%)
*Liberal Christine Stewart 18,600 (43%)
NDP Gord Barnes 6,498 (15%)

1984:
* Conservative George Hees 24,060 (63%)
Liberal John Hill 9,534 (25%)
NDP Bill Cassells 4,633 (12%)

The riding boundaries have changed 5 or 6 times over the decades. Taking the riding that had most of the same population centres as Northumberland Quinte West does now – before 1984 Conservatives won 12 elections here and Liberals won 7.

We do not make predictions here but we will say that if the Libs keep their upward trend and with the local Cons and NDP fielding people with less name recognition that Kim Rudd, on her second time around, this Riding has a chance of going red.

Riding-map-1100

It’s about time

That we put our money where our mouth’s are! On Monday afternoon (11th August) the Cobourg Council will be facing a very large agenda – good job they went paperless or else they would have chopped a couple of trees for this one, – and tucked away in it  is a “Street Naming Policy”. This package of eighteen pages explains the way that Streets are named – after past Mayors and Veterans killed in action in WW1, and names of local Heritage significance. and it gives a list of the names of those on the list and the streets currently named.

A Guest Post about the Marina issue

NO TRESPASSINGCobourg is blessed with a lakefront promenade extending from beach to beach, uninterrupted by private property. Along Victoria Park beach it is easy to step off the promenade to sink one’s toes into the soft flesh of sand. Along the west beach Boardwalk (Thanks bunches for this, Mayor Delanty) it is easy to step off onto rocky sand and the naturalness of its undevelopedness, a sort of meadow meets shoreline romance.

Let’s rehab this man

boggsheadThe man in the pic should be famous – in Cobourg. Having said that I am as much to blame for his lack of recognition as anybody as I was on Council when this was happening. In the eighties when a new subdivision, just off D’Arcy St. was being built the builder, as was policy Council named a cul-de-sac of swanky homes, Boggs Court.

One Hundred Years Ago

Are-you-one-of-Kitcheners-ownAugust 4th 1914, was the day that Canada entered the First World War.

Cobourg was a Urban, market Town of about 5,000 people. It was, and had been for the previous one hundred years, a place for the Military. Not a Garrison Town but one that supported three very active Militia Units.

Sometimes people tell me to get a life

posted by the Publisher:

Have you ever had projects you have started that assume lives of their own? This one of mine has. Six and a half years ago, in the depths of the 2008 recession, I started to track the Statscan pages for local employment numbers. From time to time I have I have referred to the numbers, usually to point out that despite puff pieces from the local MP and other bigwigs, and to look realistically at local social conditions. Now the project has so much data it would a shame not to check every month for differences – hey things should be better after six and a half years shouldn’t they? But apparently not.

This plan needs a makeover

Now that the dust has settled from last week’s discussion of the need to expand the boating services provided by the Town, and it has become apparent that the Consultants involved have little interest in providing any thing other than a Marina expansion it is time for the good Burghers of this Town to step in and get involved in a big way.

A bit of an anti-climax but the message is still the same – be patient

newmarina

This is the concept from the Parks and Rec Master Plan. Click to enlarge

Yesterday’s Committee Meeting, where the Cobourg Council listened to local resident and Willow Beach Field Naturalists (WBFN) representative Richard Pope ask a couple of relevant questions did not spark the expected fireworks. Armed with one easy question – Why hasn’t the WBFN been contacted by Marina Marina Manager, Paul Gautier, about concerns they have about the Marina expansion, Council had no answers, only soothing promises.

A fine piece of Irony

In the same meeting, on Monday 7th of July at 4pm, that Cobourg Council is adopting a policy that tells them, and the world, how to govern transparently, read report here a member of the public has written a letter to them, and will appear as a delegation to complain about the process being used to by the Town to solicit public participation around the Marina expansion plans.

Yes it is true, Miriam Mutton wants to be Mayor

Mutton_sHaving heard on the twitterverse that a big announcement would be made on Friday on the Drive-in show hosted by Dave Glover, we went to their facebook page and discovered that the big announcement was a big one. Councillor Miriam Mutton had announced that she had just filed papers to contest the race for Mayor – she wants to be Mayor!

A quick and dirty analysis

eologoLast Thursday vote was a bit of a humdrum affair – no excitement and most appeared to approach the duty as just that a duty. Just looking at the statistics and pondering awhile doesn’t do much except reinforce stereotypes.

As we all know Lou Rinaldi was elected and Rob Milligan lost his seat and the NDP and Greens fielded candidates. Was this an unexpected result? Probably yes if asked at the beginning of the campaign but not at the end of the campaign.

Well we’re glad that’s over

electioin2The Provincial election that is. Only in Canada and the UK and Australia the USA, can 68% of the electorate be told to rub salt and that their political aspirations don’t count. Until we adopt proportional representation look for minorities to rule the majority. For a party that will call itself Progressive – the Liberals, we will now see just how progressive they will really be.

We don’t need no stinking zoning

Because the Official Plan says that a developer may have six storeys that is what he could have had! So saith the OMB. The official representative of the Board, that’s what Mary-Ann Sills called herself all day, ruled that despite a height restriction of the zoning bylaw of a maximum of three storeys, in the area in dispute six could have been built. Never mind that the six storey limit allowed by the OP was qualified by certain conditions that opponents say the applicant never met, the zoning bylaw was ruled redundant by this ruling.

One last chance

FordJerry Ford, a Cobourg resident, has been an accessible transit advocate for twenty years and now he has to appear before Cobourg Council again tonight. He appeared last week to talk about the awarding of a contract to an unknown out of town company – BTS  website here.