Aurora Citizen

News & Views from the Citizens of Aurora Ontario

The Dirty Side of Politics

Posted by auroracitizen on April 21, 2012

Aurora saw the dirty side of Aurora politics poke its head out of its hole again recently. We had hoped that brand of politics had been run out-of-town last election — but alas it continues.

Recently Mayor Dawe made an intemperate remark during a confrontation initiated by Councillor Ballard. Councillor Ballard was making veiled allegations that Mayor Dawe had strong-armed the Aurora Cultural Centre into concessions that Councillor Ballard disagreed with — and Mayor Dawe responded “I have also stopped beating my wife”. Details can be seen in the April 17 issue of The Auroran – page 6.

No doubt — the comment was inappropriate and Mayor Dawe should apologize.

However, what was of equal concern was the additional fall-out of this remark.

In the April 12 issue of The Banner, a Letter to the Editor was published from Evelina MacEachern, former Councillor and recently defeated candidate and vocal supporter of defeated Mayor Phyllis Morris. It was published as an open letter to Mayor Dawe. In the letter, Ms MacEachern takes the Mayor to task for his comments. Was it genuine concern or political opportunism?

It is indeed a strange day when Ms MacEachern can take the high ground regarding language when knowledgeable Council watchers know she drop F-bombs in town hall on a regular basis during her terms as a Councillor. Her language and bullying behaviour was one of the contributing factors to the resignation by former Councillor Grace Marsh and is potentially part of the matters before the courts in the Councillor Buck abuse of power lawsuit against 6 members of last Council.

Knowledgeable Council watchers also know she was the real brains behind much of the political manoeuvring by defeated Mayor Phyllis Morris last term.

So it came as no surprise that her letter was followed up with an email blast — also on April 12 — by defeated Mayor Phyllis Morris which applauded Ms MacEachern for her letter and then tried to align herself with the yellow brick house and the white ribbon campaign. You can see it on Councillors Buck’s blog. Again, was it genuine concern or political opportunism?

Between these 2 people, they caused more pain and suffering by staff and people in our community than possibly any 2 politicians in the history of Aurora. Yet here they are trying to take the moral high ground on this issue.

Then to further demonstrate how dirty politics is in this town, former Councillor, Nigel Kean and also recently defeated mayoralty candidate jumped on their band wagon in the April 17 Auroran adding his own commentary. Surely if these 3 people are all commenting  — it must be genuine concern — not political opportunism?

You may remember the last time these 3 people worked together on anything. It was immediately after the election — where both Morris and Kean were handed stunning defeats — they joined together in Morris’s doomed 6 million dollar lawsuit against 3 Aurora families for comments made anonymously on this blog.

Ballard, MacEachern, Morris and Kean. What a team, selflessly giving to the Town of Aurora with no thought for themselves. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

Genuine concern about an inappropriate comment by Mayor Dawe — we think not. If that was really the case, would not a simple email or phone call to express their disappointment have served the ultimate goal of informing Mayor Dawe. Others surely took that option.

No. Instead they choose to try to embarrass and humiliate Mayor Dawe publically. Their standard method of operation.

Political opportunism — you bet!

Jumping on a comment to try to take advantage for political gain and revenge? You simply need to look at the history of the people involved and how they have worked together in the past to accomplish their goals to form your opinion.

We are pretty clear what the intent is. We also believe that while folks in Aurora may have been fooled in 2006 — they weren’t fooled in 2010. And they aren’t fooled now.

Should Mayor Dawe apologize. Absolutely. But he should do it because it is the right thing to do — not because some political opportunists trying to resurrected their failed careers say so. They have no moral basis or credibility to make the case.

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9 Responses to “The Dirty Side of Politics”

  1. JD said

    Nigel Kean was rabbiting on again in the Auroran this week, I see. I would like to point out to him that, Mayor Dawe isn’t above making an apology, which is more than can be said for our former mayor and some councillors, two of whom still sits at the table. God knows they have plenty to apologize for, given that they voted to spend our tax dollars on the former mayor’s legal costs – to the tune of $55k no less. Now THAT is something to apologize for but we haven’t heard one yet from any of them.
    So quit stirring up tempests in teapots, Nigel and write about some real injustices that we have all suffered!

    • Anonymous said

      There’s another councillor who is loath to apologise – think of a Caledonian monolith.

  2. Just Asking said

    If Bev Oda is forced to make an apology for her abuse of tax-payer dollars late June, why have we not heard from Morris & her minions of the past council for their behaviour?Not a single peep from any of them.

    • anonymous said

      Ms. Oda is also being required to repay the money although she is stalling about the limo fees she rolled up by being so far from the conference site. Aurora must be doing something wrong. No apology and the former Council members are STILL getting legal fees paid by the taxpayers. Not one of them has stepped forward to settle and repay.

    • anonymous said

      Why should they? We can’t force them and we are all far to polite to even say anything.

  3. Anonymous said

    Apologies are long over-due. But none from Mayor Dawe over that incident. I have some quibbles about other things, including the infamous flip-flop, but on this single incident he gets a walk.

  4. Same old, Same old said

    Reading the text of what Councillor Ballard said to Mayor Dawe makes it evident that the speech had been scripted, rehearsed and poised to achieve maximum effect. That the entire debacle wasn’t worse is a credit to Aurorans who saw the first few moves and knew to expect more from the same sources. Nor should we be complacent now – there may be a shot or two left to come at us.

  5. Thanks be Given said

    This is as old as the hills. Everyone knows there is no good answer to the question: “So have you stopped beating your wife?”

    No doubt Mayor Dawe’s expression was simply used to explain the result of either a yes or no answer to Councillor Ballard’s equally ridiculous and tactless question.

  6. Disappointed said

    Politics and politicians cover the entire gamut of human motivation, ethics and morals.

    There are some who wish to provide true public service to their constituency; they often wish to give back to their community for the success they have achieved in it.

    There are others who appear to simply want to be seen in public, get their pictures in the paper, get quoted for some opinion or other regardless of its value. These are primarily publicity hounds and are seldom dangerous on their own.

    Finally there are those whose only motivation is their perception that they will be able to wield power; they are control freaks. At the municipal level a mayor only has one vote on Council. If the other members maintain their individual opinions and are inspired to act in the best interests of the entire community, the mayor will not have a great deal of power. It is only when there is a slate of council members who blindly follow the mayor’s leadership, something like a pack of sled dogs, that you see abuse of office. If members of Council had retained their individual opinions and beliefs, you can bet that the former mayor’s defamation action would never have seen the light of day. By herself, she did not have the power to make this happen. But because she was the lead bitch of a sled dog team, there was no stopping her.

    Just have a look at Toronto’s current mayor and you can see how a man with power lost it, very publicly and very fast. It will not return.

    In provincial and national politics there exist political parties, and these provide a whole extra level of power, often providing a premier or Prime Minister with a big stick to use in dictating to the rank and file. Fortunately time usually catches up with political leaders or parties, and the voters become convinced that change is what is necessary and they vote accordingly. But they are not necessarily electing a better government, simply a new one. So the process starts all over again, policy statements, cabinet appointments, etc.

    It takes time to acquire experience in office, it takes time to find where the bodies are buried, it takes time to learn which civil servants are loyal and competent and which are not.

    But it did not take very long, really a matter of days, for the Morris administration to seize the reins of power. That would normally not have come so quickly or so easily.

    And it did not take very long for the gang of six to spew their poison through the town hall.

    What resulted was four wasted years, time squandered and millions wasted on consultants and lawyers.

    It was hoped that the new Council elected in October, 2010, would be able to move forward, not get bogged down in the many old, lingering messes that carried forward. But this has not happened to any great extent. Three councillors simply fill space and contribute nothing to the town or its council’s deliberations, one or two others are unpredictable, and soon you have a guessing game around the council table.

    And Staff picks up on this and, being only human reacts accordingly, which at times means that very little, if any, progress is made. Discussions linger over weeks instead of decisions being taken in days. Jazz and the Centre come easiest to mind.

    And for former politicians, who contributed absolutely nothing to the town while in office, to start writing idiotically insane letters in the media, I say to you, crawl back into your holes and rot.

    We need to take another look at who is allowed to seek office – should they be graded first? How do you sift the chaff from the grain when you clean it? You don’t want chaff showing up in your bread.

    Unfortunately anyone can run for office, and because the voters are disengaged and not interested in getting to know more about the candidates, we tend to get second or third rate people getting elected.

    Aren’t you glad that the town has only spent $80,000 on a Vision Statement? Just imagine what it must feel like in the Defence Minister’s office where they are trying to explain an extra almost $20billion on two projects.

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