Do not be alarmed by simplification, complexity is often a device for claiming sophistication, or for evading simple truths.
― John Kenneth Galbraith
- Chinatown (1974 film)
The publics’ tolerance for the way corporations influence politicians is changing. At least for the dumb and dumber varieties.
A good story from CBC.ca drawing in my old franchising friend, Canada Bread and Maple Leaf Foods and wastewater, is called As Fords exit mayor’s office, conflict probes intensify:
The proposed fee hike would have raised Maple Leaf’s wastewater surcharges by between 35 and 75 per cent, according to city estimates, potentially representing a total yearly increase of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Both Ford brothers voted against, helping defeat the proposal 22-18.
Coun. Mike Layton, who was pushing for the fee hikes, said it would have been straightforward for the Fords to declare an interest without complicating council’s deliberations.
“You declare a conflict of interest, you leave the room for that vote, and no one pays any attention to it,” he said in an interview. “It’s not rocket science.”
As usual, it is the single voice that sounds the alarm.
The third complaint, a court action under Ontario’s Municipal Conflict of Interest Act, alleges the Fords voted on and tried to influence agenda items at City Hall affecting their company, Deco Labels, and some of its customers. Even with Doug soon to be out of office and Rob in a lesser role, the civic activist who brought the case said her plan is to “see it to its end.”
“The vagaries of an election don’t give you a pass for past behaviour,” said Jude MacDonald, who noted the stakes are high: She’s asking the judge to ban both Fords from holding municipal elected office for the maximum seven years.
And one of the Fords wants to be the Ontario tory leader?
Or is it to set into place effective corporate control over the water and sewer revenue of one of the fastest growing areas in Canada?
Each mayor and deputy mayor in Simcoe County’s 16 municipalities automatically sits on county council when they’re elected.
Question: Is there an undisclosed, personal, pecuniary interest in everyone running for mayor or deputy mayor in the October 27th election because economic theory indicates profit-maximizing control of monopolies leads to avoidable, inefficient economic rents? These over-and-above market-justified cash flows can create a series of perceived and real conflicts of interest (ie. opportunistically increase the net present value of the lifetime earnings of new and former county politicians and county senior staff).
Pecuniary Interest Disclosure: Since January 2, 2014, I have been a registered candidate for Deputy Mayor of Springwater Township. My only pecuniary interest is part ownership of a residential property in Midhurst which has used well water and septic system for the last 54 years. The perceived forced, future hookup to water and sewers that would come with the Midhurst Secondary Plan, MSP has decreased the market value of this family asset. I restrict my business consulting to individual and groups of franchisees in the North American business format franchise industry.
As a candidate for deputy mayor, I would oppose the privatization of water management in Springwater Township and the county if elected.
There are three of us vying for this position: the incumbent is an uber-staunch MSP supporter and the other one became a Midhurst resident in 2014, appears to be using robo calls, and filed his papers two or three days before the September 12th election deadline. David Donnelly estimates the market value of an approved Midhurst Secondary Plan at $40-billion.
In January 2009, the city’s electrical utility (Barrie Hydro) merged with PowerStream Inc.
Jeff Lehman, PowerStream Board member and Mayor of the City of Barrie, along with Brian Bentz, PowerStream President and CEO, present cheque for $250,000, in support of Georgian College’s solar power-assisted electric vehicle charging station project, to MaryLynn West-Moynes, Georgian College President and CEO and Gwen Strachan, Georgian College Board Chair.
Done deal: Collingwood Mayor Sandra Cooper and Barrie Mayor Jeff Lehman shake hands to formally announce the creation of Collus Powerstream.
Many Barrie residents have found that their monthly bills have doubled since that time.
And does this have anything to do with the Midhurst Secondary Plan’s potential to start a trans-watershed, county-wide water supply and wastewater treatment network of pipes?
The only large body of water that seems capable of taking the estimated 10.6 million litres daily is Lake Simcoe.
Will the Minesing Wetlands — Nottawasaga River — Wasaga Beach (READ: massive green algae plume on the world’s largest freshwater beach) be destroyed by the developer’s “Plan A”?
Or is “Plan B” a better solution: hooking up to the Barrie grid about 0.5 km away on the west side?
And which one was A or B to start with?
The key to all confidence situations is that the those being taken (the “innocents”) believe that there are independent actors at work.
The game is not building houses: the play is flipping title on newly-rezoned land. And buying Barrie’s waste- and supply-water systems.
Three Card Monte