Month: June 2018

Just bear with us for a few moments

A personal note from  the Publisher of the BurdReport:

You may think that I’m being an alarmist but the events of the last few days have been very worrying and disturbing. I refer to the activities of the United States and its  institutions. Specifically the way the enabling Congress has manipulated the rules of procedure to Mr Trump’s advantage and consolidate the power of the Presidency.

With the “manipulated” resignation of Supreme Court Justice Kennedy the President has shifted the power to make decisions to the Conservative side. This Court does not need any more shifting it has done enough damage with its recent decisions about Union Rights, and the Immigration ban.

As you know I have been in Europe for a few days, yesterday was our first full day in Berlin and the first exhibit we visited was the “Topography of Terror”. This exhibit is situated beside a piece of the Berlin Wall and is  a series of panels containing photographs, and quotes from the year 1933. This was the year that Hitler came to power and the panels tell, in a chronology, the way he did.

Realising that any mention of Hitler, on the Internet, invokes “Godwin’s Law” and automatically loses the argument but in this case the comparisons, in my opinion, between the events of 1933 and what is going on in the USA are so stark it has to be mentioned. I was so moved by the images and quotes that i had to share it. If the reader thinks this post is over the top so be it!

Read the text in the pics, think about the way politics is moving in the States and reflect. I do not expect the readers to agree with the BR, but at least the point of view must be considered.

Many a true word spoken in Jest

This phrase has been around a long time and the origin is clouded in mystery but is usually attributed to Chaucer. “The first author to express this thought in English was probably Geoffrey Chaucer. He included it in The Cook’s Tale, 1390″. Wikipedia history here.

This arcane phrase came to mind last night as the world, via Youtube, witnessed a throwaway comment from the current Mayor of Cobourg; Gil Brocanier. This thin-skinned and vain person, one who cannot miss an opportunity to put it to the people he doesn’t like, dismissed a delegation in a disparaging manner. Perhaps he thought he was joking, at least his sycophantic Council thought so as they joined in a small round of laughter. But those of us who have watched this social-climbing adherent to all things superior, it was just a demonstration of condescension toward a person that had the temerity to challenge a Council action.

But business as usual at the Brocanier Council.

The “joke” came at the end of a delegation where, Brocanier, grinding his teeth gave the obligatory thank-you to the delegation. The delegation responded by thanking the Mayor and Council for asking so many questions, “…….Normally when I am here nobody wants to ask any questions.” Brocanier responded with the throwaway line – “It’s not that we don’t want to ask questions, Ben, we don’t want to listen to you!” To see this on video click here

A disgusting response from the head of Council to a person who is exercising  a democratic right. But not to be unexpected after all this is the Mayor who is trying to restrict appearances by delegations at a future Council meeting.

A truly Jekyll and Hyde moment

Will the real Forrest Rowden stand up! At the Council meeting of June 11th Councillor Rowden (of Cobourg) obviously had a flashback and travelled back in time to his illustrious (????) career as Mayor of Hamilton Township. In his questions to a delegation, who appeared to question a servicing agreement between Cobourg and Hamilton Township He pugnaciously engaged in questions with the delegation seriously defending Hamilton Twps’ interests. Surely this Councillor in his peculiar inaction to defend Cobourg’s interests has demonstrated just where his interests lie. Truly this guy’s “buy before date” has expired. To prove the point he spoke at length about the time he was on a Hamilton Twp’s visit to Woodstock. He spoke glowingly about the tax-sharing agreements that that Municipality had secured with its neighbours when it supplied cross-border services, and then refused to even consider such an arrangement in the servicing agreement in question – confusing.

Weekend Jottings

Had an interesting email exchange this week with the guardians of the public agenda:

On Tuesday evening the Publisher of the BR emailed the Municipal Clerk a request to be placed on the agenda for the June11th Regular Council meeting. Using the somewhat unfriendly application form , unfriendly in that on order to attach the form to an email the form needed to be filled out, printed, scanned and then attached to the email. Perhaps a “mailto” button could be put on the form to eliminate this? The bylaw, on the Town’s website dated 2016, asked that an outline of the presentation be submitted by Friday of the week. He received a confirmation email on the next day timed at 9.13 am. At 11.18 of the same day another email came from the Municipal Clerk:

Thanks for your Delegation request. In regards to your request the Mayor is asking that all delegates follow the Procedural By-law 079-2018 and you should provide myself the Municipal Clerk with an outline and a hard copy of your delegation to be included on the agenda of what you plan on presenting at the June 11th Regular Council Meeting, to provide Council and the Public within information. Please submit a hard copy to myself by Friday at 1:00 P.M in order to be included as a delegation for Monday June 11th, 2018. 

Well, that started an investigation with the procedure, what the Publisher discovered was that the bylaw on the website was an old one – 079-2016 had been replaced by 079-2017, and 079-2018 didn’t exist; but the website had not been updated. This bylaw was not written very well and confusing at first glance. Needless to say the requirement for the supply of a hard copy of the remarks is not in the bylaw – just an outline required. This is because some Councillors, as well as the Mayor wanted to know what was going to be said before it was delivered from the podium. It was explained to me that “councillors want to be ready to ask questions”. An ironic suggestion considering that some delegations never get asked questions as it is the ultimate political insult that can be applied by a sitting Council to a Delegation they either don’t like or don’t want to see. On reflection, it seems that the Mayor is bound and bent on trying to control public access to Council. We’ll see if it succeeds – just how many people will be upset by these attempts to restrict. Oh by the way the Publisher did not submit hard copy of his presentation – just an outline as prescribed in the bylaw.

Well aren’t we glad that is over – the election that is!

We at the BR would like to point out that Ontario is not “FordNation”. This disgusting way of labelling a Province into a Tribe is a silly way of classifying people. However we do note that although Mr Ford did win the majority of seats with only 40% of the total vote one can honestly say that he does not enjoy majority support. Let’s hope that he resists the normal Conservative way of ruling – only for his supporters and neglecting the opinions of the others. This attitude is summed by the phrase – “We won you didn’t – Go Away”. Any bets on how long Mr Ford pulls the usual political trick – “We have examined the books the the Liberals left us and they are in bad shape. We cannot fulfill the promises!” Gee there goes our “Buck a Beer” promise – the only one (promise) that made sense to us. 

There will be an interesting delegation to Council on Monday

The Publisher of the BR – Ben Burd will be speaking as a delegation about something he feels strongly about, and wrote about in a post (read here) last week. The outline of his remarks are here, on the agenda, but tune in to see what he really thinks he will be speaking to those points.

A few more candidates for October:

Four people had picked up nomination forms by the end of last week, one of them has said he has filed but the official list doesn’t show this yet. Johnny Percolides – Bio from CobourgNews – “A local real estate broker who has called Cobourg home for 10 years. Past experience in owning and operating a business, revenue and expense accountability and the ability to communicate with the public in three languages are some of my assets.  I am against any expansion of the Marina first and foremost because the local residents have repeatedly said they don’t want it.  It’s time for Municipal government to listen to their constituents and remember that they are voted in to represent them.  I believe the harbour and waterfront will be enjoyed by the majority today and for the future as opposed to the minority if the Marina were to be expanded.  I will be asking for your support on Election day to be your voice in Council who will listen and vote for what the clear majority wants.” We don’t understand the delay in filing with the other three – one of whom is a high profile person who used to be on Council, but surely more news soon. Other people have officially filed but they want to be School Board trustees:

  • Roger Brideau for the School Board – French Public
  • David Bernier for the English Catholic Separate Board
  • Anthony Caruso for the English Public School Board

One high point and a Verrry low point

The Waterfront saga rolls on. Council, rolled the dice on Monday evening, and lost. They had gambled that by cancelling the open meeting to be held at 1pm, where the merits of the Waterfront Report would be discussed by members of the public and wrapping it into a Committee of the Whole meeting they could control the process. Obviously they didn’t but set into motion a huge rubber stamp the next time it is debated. The meeting listened to twelve delegates and asked questions of the Consultants and the Direct of P&R. The result was a motion of deferral and a subsequent motion, from the Mayor “Restrict future delegations on the Waterfront Study to different presenters who had new information only that must be submitted for approval prior to delegation status approval” Hmm now the censors are coming into the act!

 

High Point of the meeting

The report was over 500 pages and most councillors agreed that they had not had sufficient time to understand all that it contained and also that the public would not have had enough time so a final vote on adopting the report was deferred to the Council meeting on July 3 instead of on June 11. It should be noted that those who complained about not getting the information had, or should have had, identical information if they read the documents from the Parks & Rec committee proceedings of May 16 (these documents had been posted on the internet at that time).

 

Low point

At the end of the meeting Mayor Brocanier put forward a motion that would “Restrict future delegations on the Waterfront Study to different presenters who had new information only that must be submitted for approval prior to delegation status approval”.  His idea is that he doesn’t want people presenting the same old information.  His motion passed. As said before the only comment to be applied to this motion is one of contempt for such a motion. Surely Council should be able to stand a few more people telling them how they feel! On a video review the notice of motion that the Mayor made was legal in a CoW but if he wants his name attached to it in a regular meeting he cannot – Roberts Rules state that the Chair of a meeting cannot make a motion. He must step out of the Chair to make a motion – let’s see if he does!

Weekend Jottings

The last week of the campaign – five days to go:

Will the NDP surge translate to seats? The consensus is NO. The Libs have conceded to the others but with a caveat – elect some of us and we will help to stop a majority government, they don’t answer the question of what will happen if they have to prop up Dug Ford. Watching this campaign has been like watching a re-run of the Trump campaign except this is an expected victory slipping away as opposed to a Trumpian surprise. Dug Ford winning will be no surprise but will still be greeted by the majority of voters as the dreaded apocolypse. Unfortunately we will discover that an effective opposition is powerless and we should look forward to four years of austerity, when we don’t need it and the extension of income equality.

A crowded afternoon:

Monday 4th June will see a crowded Council agenda. Originally it was planned to have a public meeting to receive/discuss the Waterfront Study /Master Plan. But the scheduled start of 1pm has been pushed back to the regular Council time of 4pm. The mind boggles as to the reasoning for this – thinking about it in the edit we have a theory on this – read  on. The BS answer given was to allow the public time to get off work and get to the meeting. Now the consultant’s presentation and public meeting will take up much of Council’s time. Look for a marathon session on Monday afternoon. Just means that any business on the agenda will get short shrift, after all the Council will want to get home on time. But back to that Waterfront meeting. The consultants will not be brief, after all they have a plethora of power-point slides to read back to the audience, and then the delegations will start. It now becomes apparent as to why the special meeting was wrapped into the Council meeting. A special meeting would have had an open invitation to the people who wanted to speak, a Council meeting means that people who want to say something have to register to speak – what a sneaky way to cut down the participation. Sorta makes a farce out of the Strat Plan #1 objective – transparency and open dialogue with the Citizenry!

King Donald the First:

Watching the events in the USA for the past couple of years have made our heads spin. With the powers of the Presidency being unassailable, especially by the clones and puppets in Congress, it is obvious to anybody watching that we don’t have a President in the White House but a Monarch with very little restraint from the Legislatures. With the latest move by the President’s lawyers issuing a leaked letter, which was from the Lawyers to the Mueller Investigation (and obviously leaked by the lawyers), in which claims that executive privilege exempts him from being questioned or answering to a subpoena, this effectively makes him untouchable and therefore the First Monarch of the United States of America. George Washington and the Rebels will be turning over in their graves. The New York Times analysis of the letter can be read here, read it – this letter will not be going away soon.