What percentage of lawyers’ fees are paid by developers and their friends?

September 24, 2016

If municipal law is like franchise law, 90 % of legal fees are paid by the big corporations.

rod-northey1. How likely is it that Mr. Rod Northey of Gowling WLG is going to stop a $40 – 50 billion development when he represents the Midhurst Ratepayers’ Association (once, funded from a door-to-door campaign)?

  • If by some chance he did win and defeat Goliath, would that impress Geranium Homes and their peers, municipalities and Mr. Northey’s new fellow partners?

2. How likely is it that his job is to provide the pretense of a fair fight which assists in On Cooling the Mark Out, as Dr. Goffman defined it.


Top 10 People searched for on iLoveMidhurst.ca since it started

August 21, 2014

Person’s name and number of searches since December 11, 2011:

  1. jack hanna midhurst 144
  2. Earl rumm 136
  3. erving goffman 135
  4. christie cadotte 76
  5. cheryl shindruk 64
  6. mario giampietri 63
  7. james baldwin 26
  8. kim rumm 25
  9. carey degorter 23
  10. nicola mitchinson 22

Land speculation: there is risk in everything we do but but some games are fixed.

May 3, 2014

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.

Stakeholder Analysis

Three Card Monte

  1. Dealer (perceived as the only one who benefits/loses, 1 to 3 are “grifters“),
  2. two “gamblers” (“stupid” players:  really in cahoots),
  3. two look outs: (used to rope in innocents, repel “wise guys”, “Cool out the Mark“, and scan for the police),
  4. you the mark (the only non-accomplice).

Land speculation

  1. landowners/developers (direct and indirect) 1 to 6 versus 7 relies on information asymmetry and credence good service provision, repeat players),
  2. Bay Street lawyer for municipality (legal duty only to Corporation not to individual politicians , The Price of Law: How the Market for Lawyers Distorts the Justice System, Gillian K. Hadfield),
  3. senior administration (has no legal duty to answer questions of public honestly),
  4. township politicians: mayor and majority (1) refuses to get 2nd opinion on #2 advice, (2) refuses to fund separate lawyers to provide independent legal advice for any councillor who wants it and (3) each individual is too cheap/naive/deferential to authority to get their own independent legal advice about the outrageously false threats made by the “bogey man”#1,
  5. Province of Ontario (shifts political heat of breaching their own laws to a non-elected, quasi-judicial body),
  6. Ontario Municipal Board which provides the appearance of access to justice, and
  7. community represented by the monopoly advocacy of an extremely hard working, diligent and well-meaning group of volunteers  many of whom are first-time players.

List of Confidence Tricks

On Cooling the Mark Out in Midhurst

November 30, 2012

Erving Goffman 1922-1982

Boot tree with sign


…victims find they must suddenly adapt themselves to the loss of sources of security and status which they had taken for granted. A consideration of this adaptation to loss can lead us to an understanding of some relations in our society between involvements and the selves that are involved. In the argot of the criminal world, the term “mark” refers to any individual who is a victim or prospective victim of certain forms of planned illegal exploitation.

The mark is the sucker‑the person who is taken in.

An instance of the operation of any particular racket, taken through the full cycle of its steps or phases, is sometimes called a play. The persons who operate the racket and “take” the mark are occasionally called operators. Free Download

— see Midhurst Secondary Plan receives approval for first phase; other provincial concerns remain before OMB, Barrie Examiner, November 30, 2012.

Pro >=10,000 new homes:

1. “We agree that the remainder of the secondary plan should remain at the Ontario Municipal Board,” Springwater Mayor Linda Collins said in a news release. “Springwater fully supports the approach taken by the ministry.

2. Cheryl Shindruk, a member of the Midhurst Landowner’s Group which is in favour of planned development in Springwater, said the group is pleased with the process and the time frames the ministry has laid out.

“They’ve done a good job to see that it will be done in a managed way,” she said.

Pro <10,000 new homes:

But Kate Harries, of the Aware Simcoe environmental protection group, said they’re frustrated that important provincial decisions concerning the Places to Grow amendment are being made without a sitting parliament.

“We’re very disappointed in the Liberal government,” Harries said. “We’re very disappointed this is happening when there’s no opposition, like the NDP, who would have had many questions for (Minister Bob) Chiarelli.

“But yes, we do have hope,” she added. “We hope this is reversible because there’s very strong grassroots opposition to this. And we’re not giving up.”

The con is said to be a good racket in the United States only because most Americans are willing, nay eager, to make easy money, and will engage in action that is less than legal in order to do so The typical play has typical phases.

Views and Top 10 “people searches” & Posts: iLoveMidhurst.ca, 1st six months

June 1, 2012

Total views: 6,565

Tip 10 People Searched for on iLoveMidhurst.ca

  1. Erving Goffman
  2. Earl Rumm
  3. Jack Hanna
  4. Christie Cadotte
  5. James Baldwin
  6. Mario Giampietri
  7. Cheryl Shindruk
  8. Winanne Grant
  9. Nelson Hickling
  10. Rev. Thomas Williams
Top 10 Posts viewed
  1. Industries sometimes get taken over by bullies
  2. It’s a Shame about the Midhurst Sprawl Plan.
  3. Midhurst timeline & 1942 map
  4. Use historical business models to determine similarities and differences in the present situation  
  5. Does Springwater township have a Zero Tolerance policy for bullying on its property?
  6. What good is money if it can’t inspire terror in your fellow man?
  7. Springwater councillor tries to prop up increasingly wonky Midhurst Secondary Plan
  8. When homeowners are bullied, What is an appropriate response for a municipal government?
  9. Ignorance, allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have.
  10. How did Day 1 of Midhurst’s Petition Blitz work out?

Could scoundrels exist in either real estate development or local government in the Midhurst area?

April 21, 2012

Other places, for sure. But not in my neighbourhood or people I trust. People I trust would never con me.

I would suggest watching this eight minute video from The School for Scoundrels. You decide for yourself who is playing the role of the Operator, Booster, Mark, Cheating Shill  and Smoother.

Predictable Flaws in Human Perception that can be Exploited: These roles change over time and notice how whether someone is a “good man” is irrelevant. It’s behavior in the situation, not the personality characteristics when they’re playing with their grandchildren that is important to watch. The road to hell is paved with best of intentions.  It is do or not do, there is no try. Fundamental attribution error.

Time :: Role Played

0 :: The Mob – a group of confederates who are in on the hustle (plus others)

0:54 :: The Operator – organizer, leader, sets the tone, charming, false fool, actor, scapegoat

1:09 :: Operator says:  “We got to get a sucker in here it’s going no where. We got to get a sucker in, okay?”

1:18 :: “Here’s one coming down now in a Hawaiian shirt. I think he’s a Yank. Let’s get this, this bugger. Bring him in, boys. Bring him in.”

1:11 :: The Capper – boost stakes to make short con game worthwhile

1:30 :: Opening the Gate

1:34 :: Mark – the outsider, the hick, rube, patsy citizen

1:50 :: The Cheating Shill

2:01 :: Booster – draws in, encourages involvement, charming, smiling, trusting, “your ally” against hostile others

2:12 :: Closing the Gate

4:33 :: Peeking the Poke

5:09 :: Busting the Capper

5:57 :: Old Switcheroo: The Operator Cheats

6:49 :: Operator says, “CUT”; The Mob walks away. (Mark realizes, only partially, the game)

7:23 :: The Smoother – steer mark away from the authorities (police); cooling the mark out; adjustment to a reduced status (see Goffman)

8:16 :: The Pick – the real value is the con on the end, three card monte is only part of a larger game

I learned this identical process by watching business format franchising for 15 years. I no longer ask the three Springwater Township officials that I have a legal relationship with (Linda Collins, Dan McLean and Jack Hanna) any questions. I met privately with Mr. Hanna twice and we agree to disagree.

The game was to distract, delay, obstruct during this time period:

  • from the time the Midhurst community “wised up” to the Midhurst Secondary Plan (the mark clued in) and
  • to getting this scoundrel play in front of the Ontario Municipal Board for them to rubber stamp.

All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages.
As You Like It, William S.

Has Springwater Township declared war on Midhurst?

April 20, 2012

Over 200 township residents pack council chambers this week asking for a dialogue in a responsible manner.

How does the township show its good faith?

A salvo of spin, protect the elite (your base)  and blame the victim (your success in community building is the fault/salable product).

–see Growing attraction: Springwater Township officials say plan for massive growth in Midhurst made in good faith

Maybe petitioning the province to have a seat at the table with Barrie and Springwater to talk about a voluntary Midhurst annexation is a worthwhile consideration.

Does any Midhurst resident really expect anything but more of the same insincerity, thinly veiled contempt and obstruction from the present and future township councils? This is a “phoney war”: the Township’s objective is to rag the puck long enough for the OMB to rubber stamp the Midhurst Secondary Plan. After the zoning is done the public selling of the annexation of the Midhurst lands can begin (see On Cooling the Mark Out).

The choice in politics is almost always between the least contemptible of alternatives.

Land, ambition, and economic expansion. The Province of Ontario, City of Barrie, Simcoe County, Springwater Township, Ontario Municipal Board and a volunteer group of Midhurst residents.

Is the idea that Midhurst is today’s Sudetenland so outlandish?

Neville Chamberlain, Munich Agreement: The Munich Agreement was an agreement permitting the Nazi German annexation of Czechoslovakia’s Sudetenland. The Sudetenland were areas along Czech borders, mainly inhabited by ethnic Germans. The agreement was negotiated at a conference held in Munich, Germany, among the major powers of Europe without the presence of Czechoslovakia.

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