Aurora Citizen

News & Views from the Citizens of Aurora Ontario

Guest Opinion: Will Nigel Kean Put Community Ahead of Personal Ambition?

Posted by auroracitizen on August 22, 2010

Nigel Kean is the reason we have had the worst municipal government in Aurora’s history.

Phyllis Morris was the ‘winner’ of the 2006 mayoralty race — with less than 50% of votes — due to the candidacy of Nigel Kean and the vote splitting that ultimately defeated Tim Jones.

Nigel Kean was an adequate member of Council, but certainly not an outstanding one.

Now, again, in 2010, Nigel Kean is setting up to play the role of spoiler between incumbent Phyllis Morris and front-runner Geoff Dawe.

Nigel, if you had any sense of public duty, both to yourself and to Aurora and its citizens, you would withdraw from the mayoralty contest and run for Council instead. There is still lots of time, until September 10.

You will never make mayor, but you could turn out to be a great member of Council.

It takes a big person to accept one’s limitations. It takes an even bigger person to temper one’s personal ambitions in the best interest of the greater good of the community.

Please do the right thing; end your mayoralty bid and lead a new and rejuvenated group of people seeking council membership, as senior councillor. Lead the way to a general house cleaning and a new beginning.

You would earn the grateful thanks of your community. 


35 Responses to “Guest Opinion: Will Nigel Kean Put Community Ahead of Personal Ambition?”

  1. Anonymous said

    Is this really how people in Aurora discuss politics? A simple way to not elect Morris this year is to not vote for her. It’s up to the people of Aurora to decide who will win. Kean has plenty of experience on council and did, in fact, start the Aurora Farmers Market. He also declared way back in January that he was running for mayor so why are any of you acting surprised that he is running? When did everyone else declare? Let me make myself clear – declaring first is not the reason he should be elected (we are not still in preschool although many of you sound like you still hold that mentality), but I do see it as a sign of dedication. From speaking to Kean it is obvious he cares about this town and wants to dedicate his time to it and its citizens. There is absolutely no question about that. I fail to follow the logic that him continuing his campaign is a sign of any conviction than that. He does actually have a website. His platform and other information can be found here:

    I suggest you check it out and base your opinion of him on his platform and convictions rather than some absurd suggestion posted on a forum that his very dedication to the community is a sign of a lack thereof.

    • Robert the Bruce said

      Thank you the comment Mrs. Kean.

      Not voting for Morris is not enough. If you are going to vote, you have to vote for someone. The porblem is – as mentioned here many times – there are 3 running against Morris. If the “anti-Morris” vote is split between 3 others, there will enough votes for her and she will get in again. This happened 4 years ago and it is quite likely to happen again.

      Let’s be fair. He lists many achievements on his websites, but in most cases those same council achievements are shared by some sitting councillors as well as the sitting mayor. He did a number of things but not as a solitary figure – he was 1 vote in 9. Going to the farmer’s market and setting up tables does not make a mayor. Lord knows, Grainger can say the same thing now.

      What makes Nigel head and shoulders above the others? The fact he declared 9 months ago? I don’t think that is dedication, I think it was a nessasary thing because come election time, his campaign is being lost in the Morris shadow. He had 8 good months to get his ideas out there, only now he has his platform available. Relying on his past council experience is nothing to be proud of too, he is responsible for disfuntion too and was even in cohoots with the current Mayor.

      This Town is in serious need of leadership. Nigel has not shown it so far in my opinion.

      See you at the donut shop Saturday.


    • Anonymous said

      And should I thank you for your comment, Mrs. Dawe? Of course not. How fast you jump to conclusions concerns me, Robert the Bruce, I am not Mrs. Kean and I am not sure how she would feel with you assuming me to be her. On the topic of jumping to conclusions, if you have any issues with Mr. Kean please use something more substantial other than slander. Mr. Kean so far is the only candidate to bother speaking to me about the upcoming election and I felt the need to look up his platform before deciding on a vote. While I did appreciate the fact that he is attempting to actually interact with Aurora citizens, unlike some people here I felt it was important to look at the political issues rather than base my vote on only personal opinion. I found this message board on Google when I typed in his name to look up the platform. I suggest we all try the same. Look up the platforms of all the candidates. Debate the platform ideas of all of them but please stop squabbling over personal differences.

    • Robert the Bruce said


      You can be quite sure that I am not Mrs. Dawe… nor Mr. Dawe for that matter.

      I fail to see where I slandered anyone. I clearly stated facts that are quite well known. What exactly were my slanderous comments? That is quite a charge to level at me.

      Perhaps after you look up Mr. Kean’s platform on his web site, you should do a little research on Mr. Kean’s actual track record of what he has done – don’t rely on his web site because you won’t get the whole story there. Of course, don’t do this for Nigel only, do it on all of the candidates.


  2. Anonymous said

    I received an unwelcome, unsolicited campaign email from Mr. Kean at my personal email address. I do not know the man; have never even clapped eyes on the man. I would like to know how he got my email address and why on earth he thinks it’s ok to engage in this kind of solicitation.

    • Robert the Bruce said

      That’s interesting. He has never grasped technology in my mind at all in the past. Was he inviting you to meet at the local donut shop so that he can get on his soapbox to tell you how he single-handedly gave us the Farmer’s Market; or how he has a thousands years of business leadership experience?

      I certainly hope that you call him and make sure that your email is removed from his purchased list. Otherwise he is playing with legal fire.


    • Anonymous said

      To RTB
      I asked how he got my email address; he did not respond. I am beginning to wonder if the Aurora Citizen shares email addresses. I cannot think of anyone who would pass my email along to him.

    • The Aurora Citizen has not and will not share email addresses with anyone. In most cases, we don’t have an email address for our comments.

      That is a pretty severe insinuation that has no factual basis. Maybe you should get an answer from Nigel before you start implying things like this. A retraction or clarification would be appropriate once you have the facts.

    • Anonymous said

      To Aurora Citizen:
      I have tried to find out from Mr. Kean how my email address wound up on his list. He has not responded; therefore I have been considering every possibility that might explain a link. I am merely trying to solve a mystery and not insinuate anything. If you say that a link between this blog and Mr. Kean is not possible then I respect that.
      The only one who can verify how he got my information is ignoring my question. So much for mayoral candidates.

  3. Anonymously said

    We have our answer. Nigel is putting personal ambition ahead of the community.
    Nigel is knocking on doors today. He is indeed going for mayor.
    “Positive Change for Aurora” citing his so-called “Business Management Experience”. “Dedicated” to what? “Founder of Aurora Farmers’ Market” – great, but what does that have to do with heading a multi-million dollar corporation.

    I really, really thought he would come to his senses and withdraw his candidacy for mayor. Perhaps if enough people tell him to his face when they open their doors that he’d be better off running as a councillor, there may be some time to stop his foolishness.

  4. evelyn.buck said

    Toronto’s politics are fascinating. Everything looms large. The Media. The population. The business interest. The budget.The campaign.

    The City’s Mayor has an amplified image. Whatever it is ,it is many times magnified over our own.

    There was nothing smooth or sophistiicated about Mel Lastman . He never did acquire a veneer but he continued to be successful in elections.

    Did his image truly reflect the city’s character? I think so.

    Last week a former colleague of Rob Ford , now an M.P. stated Ford was a member of his committee and he was a good Councillor.

    That’s a powerful clue. Does Rob Ford take care of people in his ward? Sounds like it. .Is he there when they need him. Sounds like he is.

    What does it tell us about the ideal candidate? Rob Ford with all his faults,is large as life and twice as obvious. Is that the ideal candidate for Toronto? Time will tell.

    In the meantime, we have four candidates in Aurora for the Office of Mayor.

    Does our current Mayor reflect our town’s character?

    Do we think Aurora deserves better?

    Are we going to keep talking computations and the ideal candidate or deal with the options that present themselves.

  5. someone who loves this town's food more than politics said

    “Vote splitting could certainly cause Phyllis to get elected again”

    replace “could” with “will”

    One conclusion that could easily be arrived at, and has not been discussed here is that Mr. Kean’s candidacy is strategic for this very end.

    I understand that Mr. Kean and Phyllis were very close when they served on council.

    Mr. Kean could very well be in the race simply to draw votes away from other challengers for the sole reason to get Phyllis re-elected.

    I don’t intend to give either the satisfaction.

    • KA-NON (wil apologies to the rapper) said

      That’s possible, but unlikely I think. The question is “What is in it for him”? Is there an answer to this question beyond the idea that they were friends and that he is doing this as a favour to her? Surely the man has more pride than that.

    • evelyn.buck said

      The only agreement Nigel has made was said to be at the beginning of the last election campaign. When the two agreed not to attack each other and concentrate a joint attack on the third candidate.

      It turned out to be a Faustian Pact for Nigel.

      He is hardly likely to repeat the mistake.

  6. Robert the Burce said

    I have been saying this since Nigel threw his hat in the ring in January. He says he has experience on council. True enough but I recall during that time he was joined to the hip of Phyliss Morris, much like a group of current councillors. Nigel, you came in third in a three horse race:

    Name Votes
    ======== ======
    Phyllis Morris (elected) 5208
    Tim Jones 4798
    Nigel Kean 2364

    During the last 4 years, all we have heard from Nigel is through his “sour-grapes” letters to the Editor. I have asked questions about his qualifications. He refuses to answer in an on-line forum but would rather discuss it at the local donut shop.

    I must say though, the other two candidates are virtual unknowns. We need someone to step up with brand recognition and these three step down.

    I fear in four years this blog will have the same posting about getting Morris out of office.


    • Anonymous for a Reason said

      I agree with RtB.
      I fear Phyllis is a shoe-in given the number and quality of the candidates.

    • evelyn.buck said

      Numbers don’t tell the whole story.

      The votes that cost Tim Jones the chair,came from Bayview east. Ms Morris promised the hydro transmission lines would be buried.

      They were not and are never likely tobe.

      People allowed themselves to be persuaded.They know better now.

      They are unlikely to be taken in again.

      You know…Fool me once,shame on you….Fool me twice shame on me.

      I can’t believe the simplistic and fatalistic analysis of electons I see here in this post.

      There are as many reasons for an election result as there are people voting.

      No-one can presume to forecast a result.

      Toronto has six canddidates running for Mayor.

      Rob Ford has the pundits in Toronto standing on their heads. Everything they do reflects in his favour .

      People in Toronto like to be able to identify with a candidate at the municipal level. They like to know the person in the Mayor’s office understands what their lives are like.

      Mel Lastman is an example. David Miller tried ,won and failed.

      Rob Ford just needs to be who he is and let it show.

      Too many people are hung up on the ideal candidate. And when you decide on all the qualities of an ideal candidate…where do you expect to find it.

    • evelyn.buck said

      One other thing. I served on Council three years with Nigel Kean. I do not know him well. He had friends who clearly thought highly of him.

      What I do know is, no-one has a right to tell another they should not be a candidate.

      People with political inclinations are not sitting receptive to that kind of advice.

      It is not useful to tell a candidate who is publicly committeed to a course, they should change course. No doubt Mr. Kean has many people encouraging him to stay the course.

      He’s the one investing time and energy and taking the risk of election or rejection. He must be the one to make the decision.

      Clearly he has.

      Leave him alone Stop being such a bunch of scaredy-cats. Start concentrating the energy where it will make a difference.

    • Richard Johnson said

      I have done some number crunching of my own, even before the election fireworks are officially set off.

      If we assume that one of the four mayoral candidates will get less than 800 votes (which I think is a safe assumption given the nature of this election – which is no reflection on the individual), and if we assume that Mayor Morris will lose more than 15% of her 2006 vote (which I also think is a safe bet, even after considering the town’s growth) then the real question becomes how the remaining two votes for change will be split. I personally think that voters will see where the momentum is and if they really want change they will vote accordingly. At this stage I highly suspect that the magic number will be in the range of 4,500 for deciding the next Mayor.

      Nigel got less than 2,500 votes in the past election however he may well have the ability to surprise as far as attracting a following is concerned this time around. That said, if he does not build an early and strong base of support then I think the voting public will eventually decide where a vote for change will be most effective. The fence sitters who want a change have good choices in any case, however they will have to make a choice early on if the necessary momentum is to be built.

      The pivotal question will come down to the question as to if we want new blood or experience at the helm. In this case experience could be seen as an advantage or disadvantage given council’s recent history, but I think that either way there will be a very clear front runner for those people considering a vote for change.

      My prediction at this very early stage, is that Phyllis will not get more than 4,250 votes (she got 5,200 last time), which leaves this as a very close but winnable race for those people wishing to implement the change that they may well have thought that they voted for the last time around.

      For what it is worth, I was off by a mere 2% in my prediction of the vote split in the last election, which is technically well within the margin of error.

      I think that if the voters of Aurora make a thoughtful and educated vote then we will have a whole new council and a new level of civility in our public discourse. One can only hope (as well as talk to your friends and neighbours).

    • Robert the Bruce said

      I am not prepared at this point to put numbers beside the names, but I think that this is the finishing order of the Mayor’s race the morning after the election.

      1st Phyliss Morris
      2nd Geoff Dawe
      3rd Nigel Kean
      4th Roger Clowater

      The total number of votes for 2nd and 3rd will be more than 1st (and the names may be in the other order – I doubt it), but our system – and you can complain about it forever, it is our system – the person with the most votes wins. It’s not a contest for the most votes against a candidate.

      Evelyn asks if our current Mayor reflects the Town’s character. I would further ask, do any of these above candidates reflect the Town’s character?

      While I am at it, what is the Town’s character? Is it the small town that long-term residents long for or is it the bedroom community that young familes move to to get away for the big city to the south? Toronto is a huge multi-cultural melting pot. Is Aurora? Does the council represent the cultural or ethnic makeup of the Town? If it does, Aurora must be pretty WASPish.

      I personally don’t think Nigel will step down but unless he does something soon to make himself the uber-candidate, he will be third again.


    • fed up said

      to robert the bruce

      you are unfortunately correct–beccause not enough people in this town really care–just look at this blog–20-30 comments per post if you are lucky and those by only 5 or 6 citizens–she will dance into the mare’s chair once again–and Kean will be the cause as before–it is up to the candidates to stir this citizenry into action and get out the vote–just look at the groundswell happening south of Steeles–an expected record turnout forecast this time around–Aurora will remain asleep at the switch as her royall highass (sorry, highness) sweeps to victory–not because she is what this town needs but because not enough of the voters give a dam.

    • Matt Maddocks said

      RTB; I respectfully disagree with your thoughts on the finishing order. But more, if that’s what you truly believe, then why fight anymore? Why try to inmplement change? I’m willing to guess though, that your posting is partly based on same sincere frustration most of us on here share. So I say this. Let’s start to make change. Get behind Geoff Dawe. Look very closely at the choices, and tell me that you don’t think he’s the best bet. It’s time to start to spread the word. Organize. Get tough questions ready for the debates. Just because the current mayor carries the balance of power in council, there’s one day she has no power at all, Oct 25.

      Let’s focus on one thing at a time. Let’s get the house cleaned up first. From there, I think the Town’s character will start to emerge all on its own.

  7. Thanks Will Be Given Come October said

    People, come on, Nigel has always only done what’s good for Nigel. If his past actions on Council are examined his claim for ‘experience’ being a necessary ingredient to be Mayor should be questioned.

    Pyromaniacs don’t make good Fire Chiefs.

  8. Knowledgeable in Aurora said

    Here is my post from another stream, worth repeating here, however I am not yet convinced that it should be Nigel that steps aside, however, 2 of the 3 should.

    Knowledgeable in Aurora said
    August 20, 2010 at 5:27 pm
    I would like to see Roger, Nigel and Geoff sit in a room together and decide on one to run for Mayor and the other two for Council.

    If they throw their collective supporters together and all campaign hard to unseat Phyllis it can happen. I think the other two could easily win Council seats just by showing us their co-operative interest in doing what is good for Aurora. All three would have my vote.

    We would then have the start of a new Council that could bring back some pride to our local government.

    Guess I’m dreaming……….

    • Anon Ymous said

      couldnt agree with you more! Vote splitting could certainly cause Phyllis to get elected again.

    • A for Anonymous said

      Sadly I don’t think this is every going to happen. Too many egos involved. As recently as yesterday I saw more Clowater signs up alongside Geoff Dawe’s. Kean or Clowater will not drop out for the good of Aurora.

    • Thanks Will Be Given Come October said

      Yup, it looks like Clowater’s two step campaign is in full force.

      Step 1: Find a Geoff Dawe election sign.

      Step 2: Put up a Clowater sign beside it.

      How original.

  9. Positive 2010 said

    I must agree that I would support Nigel for council.

    He is in fact the reason we are in this mess.

    He targeted Tim Jones and not our current Mayor in the last election.

    I fear the only reason he is stubborn on remaining in the race is he still is attacking Tim Jones who is supporting Mr.Dawe.

    Nigel I will back you 100% for council and will publically come forward.

    Please consider what Aurora will be with 4 more years of this.

    YOU can make a difference and sorry but people who once really cared about you are walking away because of your stubborn approach to this issue.

    You can be an amazing part of this great town.

    Do not have the citizens lose your efforts…….again.

  10. Matt Maddocks said

    There is a ground swell of support beginning to build around Geoff Dawe. I am supporting him, as well as many others I’ve spoken to.
    I agree with this post. In my opinion, Nigel Kean, as much as he and his supporters would believe otherwise, will not carry enough votes to win, but only enough to split the vote, possibly assisting Ms. Morris with another victory.
    Again, just my opinion, but I would hope that Nigel will drop out of the mayor’s race, and run for council. He’ll have my vote, and will have demonstrated that he is truly interested in the greater good of Aurora politics.
    C’mon Nigel, get on board with Geoff, and show that you want to help get this town’s council back on track to serve the people, and not just themselves.

    • Tim the Enchanter said

      I have met Mr. Dawe and he seems like a decent fellow but I haven’t heard any specifics as to any plan he may have if elected.
      His lack of experience doesn’t bother me – this current Clown Council has tons of it and look at what that got us.
      I’m not knocking your decision to support him but would you mind sharing your reason(s)why?
      I’m currently undecided.

    • Matt Maddocks said

      I’ve met and spoken with Geoff. My initial impressions are of a man who listens first, then offers his thoughts and questions, with a sense of openess and humility that I’ve not seen from any other mayoral candidate. I consider myself a fairly good judge of character, and Geoff strikes me as a man who’s not in this race for any other reason than to genuinely serve the town and people of Aurora. His website,, details his reasons for running, his vision for Aurora, and his background. As a man who raised his family and ran his business here in Aurora for over 30 years, Geoff has a stake in this town, and has seen Aurora go through many changes, so he’s got a good understanding of what folks in this town want to see from their municipal leaders. He’s commented to me that Aurora belongs to all Aurorans, not just a “select few”. As well, he shows a true passion for returning Aurora’s pride back to the community, something now sorrowly lacking given the circus that Ms. Morris has cultivated over the past 4 years.
      He’s intellegent, professional and humble. Those are characteristics not often seen in a politician, and I believe this is because Geoff is not a politician – he’s a leader. Having not held political office before is frankly, in my opinion, an asset for Geoff. He won’t be hemmed in by policy and procedure. While adherence to the rules that govern municipal order is essential, I believe he’ll quickly learn the required “ropes”, but challenge the status quo with a refreshing “why can’t we do that?” approach. I would even go so far as to look to the Rob Ford example in the current Toronto election campaign; Ford contiues to gain in the polls over the “more experienced provincial politician” George Smitherman, for the reason that Torontonians see Rob Ford as the man they can identify with, and the man who identifies with them, their issues, and their city. Here in Aurora, Ms. Morris is the certainly the “more experienced” politician. She rules using political process, codes, commissions, and bylaw, but unfortunately, stopped listening to Aurorans many years ago. Geoff Dawe brings no baggage, and will cut his teeth in Aurora politics by listening to what the people have to say.
      These are some of the main reasons why I’m supporting Geoff. I encourage everyone who wants to know more about him to simply phone or email the man, talk to him at the Farmer’s Market, meet for a coffee, or at the very least, check out his website.

    • Anonymously said

      Ah, I’m not sure Geoffrey Dawe would welcome the comparison to Rob Ford…even if it is your perspective of Geoff being “a man of the people”.
      He is a very nice man, but I’m still waiting for him to speak to particular issues.
      His website is lacking in that respect.

    • Tim the Enchanter said

      Thanks for that Matt
      I’ve checked out Geoff’s website and blog and will keep watching for updates but it looks promising so far.
      Like many others, I’m looking for new blood this time around
      and with the possible exception of Collins-Mrakas or McRoberts (should they run) I won’t be considering any of the current council.
      However, I need to see some concrete proposals.
      Meaningless piffle like “I promise change” and “I’ll do better” doesn’t count.

    • Matt Maddocks said

      Anoymously – to clarify, I did not intend to link Rob Ford and Geoff Dawe, on a person to person basis. The point I was making was in reference to how important or not a level of vast political experience brings to the office.

    • A for Anonymous said

      I too have checked out Geoff Dawe’s website and blog which has an entry as recent as yesterday. I am encouraged by what I read. I don’t believe Nigel Kean has a website, Roger Clowater does and a weblog but his latest blog entry was May 29, which ironically addressed him being interviewed by the Era Banner on his use of social media for his campaign. Ha! He seems to have all but disappeared aside from the dozen or so lawn signs visually cluttering my neighbourhood. I really have no idea where these two mayoral candidates stand on any issues. And the 7 candidates running for councillor? Aside from Wendy Gaertner, I have no idea who these people are, and whether they are supporters of the current regime or are looking to get elected to change things. At the risk of sounding incredibly naive, how can I find out more about these candidates before election day? I don’t want to make the same mistakes as I did last election day, so I suppose I will be relying on this and other blogs as well as The Auroran to help inform my choice.

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