Aurora Citizen

News & Views from the Citizens of Aurora Ontario

Has “Right to Dry” Added Value or Just Publicity?

Posted by auroracitizen on October 2, 2009

Thanks to one of our contributors for this post.

The recently run ads are just one more way of people getting their message out when other communications channels are not necessarily capturing the full story. On a related note, I have yet another message I would like to share that is not likely to be picked up by the local media any time soon.

It struck me as ironic and a bit of a coincidence that the recent well written Banner story about the peaking plant project that could well be faltering in King Township, in part as a direct result of our Mayor’s actions and inactions (although that point was not made in the story), was pulled from the Aurora and King York Region.com / Metroland WebPages just a few days after being posted. On the Aurora page the story was replaced with a “Right to Dry” cloths line story featuring our Mayor’s accomplishments along with a quote from one of her long time supporters to boot.

To be fair, the York Region.com / Metroland Press website does appear to be updating stories more rapidly these days, so there may not be any covert or manipulative effort so steer public opinion, but from my vantage point some more well informed and balanced perspective will be critical as we lead up to the 2010 municipal election.

The Mayor’s Right to Dry efforts may have resulted in local power consumption savings that could amount to the annual consumption of two or three homes (but most certainly under ten homes), which is all well and good. The Provincial implications of the new Right to Dry legislation may have even resulted in saving enough power to equal the consumption from the developments that Aurora alone has approved for development in the past one or two years, however it should also be noted that it is this same Mayor that passed resolutions concerning the proposed gas fired peaking plant without even understanding the basic need or the viable alternatives or the fact that the peaker was in fact required for numerous valid environmental reasons, including supporting the power reliability needs resulting from the implementation of sustainable alternatives such as wind and solar power as well as the benefits resulting from replacing more dirty coal power sources. The implications of or Mayor’s handling of Council’s poorly informed and illogical stance on the proposed peaking plant are far more wide reaching than the recently featured Right to Dry Campaign that the Mayor is apparently so proud of.

From a power planning and approval perspective, Aurora’s mishandling of this issue could well have had an incredibly detrimental impact on any number of communities that could be now be faced with the Ontario Power Authority’s new procurement rules, where Aurora was once in a position to play a key leadership role in developing new standards and practices, however our Council’s very apparent incompetence and apathy appears to have gotten in the way of constructive and well informed dialog. I appreciate that very few people seem to care about following such matters closely, but I can assure you these issues of concern should be appreciated by anyone as concerned about the environment as the Mayor, Council and EAC claim to be.

If I have learned anything from my extensive experience with the Mayor and Aurora Council, it’s that a serious reality check is needed with regards to much of what the they are saying these days. Unfortunately our community can not always rely on investigative journalism to cover the full story to the extent warranted, so in closing, thanks again to the participants of the Aurora Citizen Blog for all of your efforts and interest!

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13 Responses to “Has “Right to Dry” Added Value or Just Publicity?”

  1. Council Cop said

    The Provincial Bill that was passed stops developers from putting restrictive covenants on new developments that are typically high density. The fact that there was never a municipal by-law that restricted cloths lines (as noted by Clr. Buck) is a separate issue.

    All of the older developments in town would have allowed for cloths lines but when developers started to build homes incredibly close to each other with postage stamp back yards, cloths lines became an issue.

    The fact is that the Mayor, The Banner and Home Hardware have no idea if or how the new legislation may have benefited Aurora, but given that I have not personally seen even one new cloths line in my very large neighbourhood or those around me, seems to suggest that very few new lines have in been installed as a direct result of the Provincial legislation in question.

    If the Mayor wanted to really be a friend to the environment she would start to build up, rather than continue to permit urban sprawl as well as communities that require residents to drive everywhere. Condominium Towers that are accompanied by large green spaces are far more energy efficient and make much more sense from an urban planning perspective but just try to get that message through to the Mayor ! Our Mayor, the G6 and EAC clearly have a very shallow understanding of what smart growth and environmentally friendly planning is all about. Garbage pick-up days, bird boxes and cloths lines are great (don’t get me wrong), but there are also some big picture concepts that seem to be well beyond these folks.

  2. Anonymous said

    It is true that Beaton and Buck were close friends but that changed during the last election when Beaton supported Nigel Kean for mayor.At that time Beaton showed great disgust in Morris but was always around McEachern and Kean. Both McEachren and Beaton even had Kean for Mayor signs on their lawns.I actually worked on Kean’s campaign and that is why I know.
    How times change, as does loyalty.

  3. evelyn.buck@rogers.com said

    I have known Rebecca since she was an infant. She grew up on my street and still lives here,She attended the same school as my own. Her parents were friendly neighbors.

    Rebecca’s alignment and assistance to Councillor MacEachern creates some small awkwardness between us. But nothing that interferes with a lifetime of friendly relations.

    Rebecca was the person who persuaded me to start attending council meetings in 2002.
    Which eventually caused me to put my name on the ballot for election at the end of that year.

    Now you know everything I know.

  4. The author of the inital post said

    Thanks to “Something Fishy in Aurora” for noting the links that still remain on the York Region.com website.

    The interesting thing for me stemmned from the fact that the story was almost immediately pulled from the King webpage where stories are still posted from mid-July and the story was also pulled from the Aurora page almost immediately when it was replaced by the “Right to Dry” story that included what looked to be at least one quote from a known supporter of the Mayor’s. The title of the story also changed. These developments just struck me as worth noting as “interesting”.

  5. Puzzled said

    Cllr Buck, weren’t you and Rebecca Beaton tight at some time? Wasn’t there some issue that the two of you were championing a few years ago?

    The memory’s hazy but I seem to recall something along those lines.

  6. evelyn.buck@rogers.com said

    The right to a clothesline campaign came about when someone who bought a town house with a covenant against clotheslines, complained to the Mayor about it.

    The only area in Aurora with the covenant were town homes with back yards visible from Wellington Street.

    The covenant applied only to clothes lines. No other drying equipment was prohibited.

    There never was a town bylaw. The person who bought a house with a covenant made a personal choice.

    I smiled when I read the quote from Rebecca Beaton about how clothes lines are flying off the shelves at Home Hardware.

    If they are ,it has nothing to do with a prohibition that never existed and more to do with Rebecca’s willingness to repay her friend Councillor MacEachern and her friend Mayor Morris, for all the favours they have provided to Rebecca.

  7. Elizabeth Bishenden said

    Does anyone suppose the “Right to Dry” campaign saved enough energy to pay for the photocopying and dessemination of all the press releases and discussion associated with it?

  8. Anonymous said

    The Mayor has used this Right to Dry too many times and still seems to get mileage on it. As a family, we have always had a clothes line as have many people on our street.
    I am not sure why this line gets so much press when anyone can hang out their clothes.
    As she did with the hydro issue and then turned her back on those who helped her get elected she is now doing the clothes line thing again to get Aurora residents thinking about anything other than the real problem in Aurora. Legal issues, lawsuits,empty town buildings and regular exits of Town staff.
    Do not let her fool you again.The mayor and the GOS should all be voted out of office.

  9. Anonymous said

    Judging by the low-level of activity on the comments to this post, I think we have our answer. Mayor Morris has milked the right to dry for all she can. Her “record” on the environment is suspect.
    Didn’t we see her cruising around in a big Jaguar? And her Enviro-pal Sue Walmer in her gangsta Escalade. God help the planet.

  10. White Knight said

    I don’t really understand all the hoopla about the right to dry and why it is being paraded as a huge accomplishment. Since it has been permissible I have not seen one outdoor clothesline in my entire neighbourhood. I totally agree with “Someone who…” with respect to hanging out clothes in this climate from November to April… who in their right mind would and who would imagine that there would be any significant energy savings?

  11. Something Fishy in Aurora said

    Are you sure the story was removed? Most stories remain on the site you just have to search for them.

    Not sure which story you are referring to but a quick search came back with these two recent ones

    http://www.yorkregion.com/article/96786

    http://www.yorkregion.com/article/96764

    Which is actually the same report run on different dates.

  12. Anonymous said

    This mayor has hung everyone in Aurora out to dry

  13. someone who loves this town more than politics said

    I fail to grasp why “the right to dry campaign” has been resurrected for any other reason than some weak attempt at trying to latch on to a PAST success. Given the failure on so may fronts recently I guess Morris has to reach back to find something positive and haul it out so she can parade around like a saint again. It is insulting that she chooses to parade around when her motives are so transparent.

    We get it, everyone HAS a right to dry clothes, this happened what 3 years ago? You got your picture taken with Al Gore, everyone is impressed. Now get off your high horse and act like a Mayor for once during your term.

    First off, does anyone believe the mayor actually has and uses a clothes line? Yeah right she probably has her staff send out her laundry to the dry cleaners.

    Secondly given our climate do you really expect a significant energy savings, I seriously doubt that anyone will be hanging their clothes outside from November to April.

    That said I believe this posting does a great deal to point to a far GREATER failing on our Mayor’s behalf about embracing green initiatives and solving real power issues.
    Her actions, or lack thereof, on the Peaking Plant issue paint the real picture.

    We all know what needs to hang out to dry, and we will exercise that RIGHT next November.

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