politicians caught cheating, part 3

The city’s five-member citizen committee – chaired by Jean-Pierre Kingsley, the former chief electoral officer of Canada – voted unanimously yesterday to prosecute Deputy Mayor Mark Taylor for violating the Municipal Elections Act after complaints about his campaign finances.
After hearing the verdict the Bay ward politician and former Jim Watson executive assistant expressed surprise despite the well-documented evidence against him.
Taylor was “unhappy and disheartened (CBC),” “dejected-looking (Citizen)” and “dismayed (Sun)” – who can blame him?
The vote against Mayor Jim Watson’s right-hand man was unanimous even though committee members are appointed by the very politicians they scrutinize.
At least one member of the committee contributed generously to Watson’s campaign war chest.
I only feel a TINY bit sorry for Deputy Mayor Taylor – he sure seems to be guilty as sin but why should he take all the heat when so many other councillors have cheated?
Councillor Eli El-Chantiry had multiple problems with his electoral finances, clear violations of the Ontario Municipal Elections Act, but the committee used its “discretion” to let him off the hook. Huh?
El-Chantiry received corporate contributions but didn’t accept them? He couldn’t return the problematic cheques because of a mysterious unexplained months-long illness? It doesn’t make any sense.
Kingsley and Vézina grilled the auditors, lawyers and politicians relentlessly, exposing their lame excuses and making them squirm. Wallace and Russell seemed to be apologizing for the beleagured politicians while the fifth member of the committee remained largely silent.
The councillors didn’t realize that it was illegal to use old election signs without declaring them at their real value?
Taylor made a “small clerical error” of around $5000? So many flimsy excuses – email me if you want a copy of all the many documented allegations.
Why pick on Taylor? The evidence condemning councillors Shad Qadri, Rick Chiarelli, Riley Brockington, Mathieu Fleury and Steve Blais seems just as damning, not to mention most of the other developer-funded councillors and the mayor himself.
City Hall journalists smell an important story and the evidence is clear – will transparency and accountability win out against privilege and power?
Will justice be done, even in the case of Coun. Taylor? Many expect a sleight-of-hand whitewash once journalists and taxpayers lose interest in this sordid example of widespread political corruption.
Or will Mr. Ready’s brave stand lead to a long-overdue clean-up of corruption and privilege at City Hall?

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One Response to politicians caught cheating, part 3

  1. Don Robertson (@DonRobertsonBC) says:

    Bonjour Le Hibou,

    This is all very disconcerting indeed. With Mark Taylor out of the picture, how would we fend off the resurgence of that insolent Cullen kid? We simply *cannot* go back to having an independent mind in Bay Ward; this isn’t how this town is supposed to work!

    The Mayor may have to resort to doubling down on the bake sale circuit in that jurisdiction. Let’s have more grip-and-grin photos for the unwashed masses! After all, giving seniors a warm ‘n gooey feeling is about as far as any mayor’s skill set need extend, so I say let Mr. Watson unleash the tiger that is is core strengths in Bay Ward until this mess with Mr. Taylor is sorted out, or else a worthy confederate is chosen as his successor. Say cheese!

    A temporary solution may be to simply merge Bay Ward with the one currently held by Jan Harder (née Brady). Perhaps the Red-Haired Dynamo of Barrhaven can whip the naive and ill-informed folks of Bay Ward into a more developer-friendly frame of mind, and therefore be open to whatever solution is devised once this Taylor business is resolved. (In the same vein as the Mayor’s unending bake sale tour, Harder has proven that all it takes to lock in the suburban vote is non-stop cooing over how great the suburbs are, how family-friendly this community is, and how life-affirming it can be to have to walk 28 minutes to buy a bag of milk.)

    Don’t think for one moment, however, that this couldn’t be a two-way exchange. As a way to curb youth crime in the Bayshore/Britannia area, Ms. Harder could arrange for select groups of young offenders from those neighbourhoods to spend a weekend in Barrhaven as a sort of “scared straight” program. Let ’em spend even 20 minutes south of Fallowfield Road and you’ll see how quickly they’ll pledge to get a part-time job, help little old ladies cross the street, and be nicer to their mothers. Mind-numbing boredom is the mother of all rehabilitators!

    In any case, this is a just a thought I wanted to put out into the universe. Just close your eyes and try to imagine the newfound friendship that could blossom between these two disparate communities. Before you know it, even the Lakeside Players would be in on the celebration with a new musical revue entitled “Give My Regards to Malvern.” (Actually, I’m writing the score and book for that baby, so yes, there’s an ulterior motive on my part. We need to create the circumstances under which such an opus would be appealing, or even make sense, to the good people of Bay Ward. If any of your readers have a better plan to achieve this, then may they please step forward.)

    Take care, and happy New Year!

    Yours in community-building,

    Don Robertson (née Juan)

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