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Letters: may 31
Re: Bud Clayton and Pine Meadow, Pauline Smart
Re: Pitbull Ban, Chantel Winney
Who is listening to the people?, Daniel Wilson
Tree thief, Simon Spanchek
Thank you so much for attending our council meetings and for your very responsible reporting. Haven't been attending North Frontenac Township council meetings as of late but in reading your editorial (You Can't Do What Clayton Did, May 24), I think it best that I and ALL North Frontenac tax payers start!
The public perception of matters raised in your May 24 edition of the Frontenac News could lead to an erosion (a bigger one) of the public’s confidence in the council and its work.
The more I read, the more I was shocked at what transpired! Any ONE of these actions on its own would cause a taxpayer some concern...but list them all together....and this is a blatant mismanagement of funds and an absolute breach of trust.
Approving a $100,000 commitment this late in the year after the budget has been set and approved. What budget line is this $100,000 commitment coming out of if funds weren't allocated in the budget? Is there a slush fund that we tax payers don't know about? Is it this council’s practice to approve funds of $100,000 (or any amount for that matter) without a formal written request or financial data? If so, accept this as my letter of request for such! I know for a fact that this isn't normal practice as I have seen council drag more than one business owner through rigorous hoops just to get a building permit!
Is it the mayor’s and councilors’ normal practice to vote and discuss issues to which they have a direct connection? Mayor and councilors, upon their acceptance of their positions on council, had to take an oath or make an affirmation and pretty sure as part of their orientation, all were given the definition and made familiar with the term "Conflict of Interest". Looks like they all may want to re-read that literature!
Accountability in my municipal government is important to this municipal taxpayer. I believe taxpayers expect that the people they elect to positions of mayor and councilor should possess the ability to exercise their duties with the highest standards and ethical conduct. It is my opinion, in this situation, North Frontenac Council and staff, as a whole, have failed.
I think the saddest and most disturbing part of all of this is that you, a reporter in the gallery (who is not allowed to speak out during session) was the only one who apparently had any sense that something was not right here! I can only imagine your frustration, ’cause I'm feeling it too, that there before you...was the Mayor engaging in a wrong act, then Councilor Betty Hunter follows his lead, and then there sat five other councilors, and at least two (one being the CEO) other township staff members and no one questioned or commented or showed any concern for what was taking place before their very eyes!
Thank you for having the decency and sense to speak out and let us know that went down. I also share your view that Bud Clayton and Betty Hunter should have stepped down or should remove themselves during the discussion of this matter, but am now thinking they should stay on the Pine Meadow board and step down as mayor and councilor!
Public Confidence – It is intangible. You cannot hold it. You cannot taste it. You cannot smell it. You cannot hear it. You can break it, however, very easily.
I am seriously concerned about the lack of common sense in government today. I fought the Pit Bull ban when it first came out years ago and now I've been following/supporting Bill 16, to ban the ban and allow Pit Bulls and other "Bully breeds".
The Liberals are trying to put a stop to Bill 16, which is absolutely outrageous! Especially after hearing all the expert testimony. All the experts agree...the breed is not to blame; owners who train and/or breed for aggression are the ones to blame. In the UK, Pit Bulls are known as Nanny Dogs because they are so good with kids. Breed-specific bans do nothing but leave in their wake heartbroken children (and adults) when their loyal family dogs who wouldn't hurt a fly are removed from their homes and destroyed. The Pit Bull Ban has NOT, I repeat, NOT reduced the number of reported dog bites in Ontario. And Pit Bulls do NOT lock their jaws when they bite. Sure, they have a strong bite, but actually the bite force of a Pit Bull is 235 (a human is 120), a German Shepherd is 238 and a Rottweiler is 328. Just for comparison, a Snapping Turtle is 1000 and a Crocodile is 2500. So why punish a breed that is well-known to be good with children and has a less than average bite force? Doesn't make much sense to me.
The way a dog is raised is what determines whether or not it will be aggressive towards people, just as parenting determines how a child behaves. Punish the deed, not the breed! Anybody who knows dogs and knows how loyal and loving they are has enough common sense to realize that the dogs aren't the problem. Perhaps, instead of punishing innocent animals and their owners, they should instead punish those owners who train or breed dogs (any breed) to be aggressive.
In my younger years I ran a pet sitting business. I NEVER, EVER had a problem with a Pit Bull, a Rottweiler, a German Shepherd or ANY big dog. The only dogs that seemed to pose a problem were the little dogs with "small man syndrome", and cats! Some cats attack completely unprovoked. Perhaps we should ban all cats. Really? Do you not see how idiotic and illogical this ban is? Punish the deed, not the breed. It goes against all common sense to ban a breed or a species for what it MIGHT do. Using that logic, every man has the means to commit rape. So we should lock away all men to protect women from what men MIGHT do. Has government really become so entirely illogical? You can bet I won't be voting Liberal...common sense seems to have completely forsaken them!
The other day a remarkable thing happened in Canadian democracy. As now can be seen on Youtube, David Wilks, Conservative Member of Parliament for Kootenay-Columbia in BC, held a meeting with his constituents. Hearing their views about Bill C-38, the omnibus budget bill recently tabled by the federal government, he shared his own with them and he wondered what they thought he should do about addressing all of those concerns.
The people at the meeting were worried that the 452-page bill had too many non-budgetary items included within it for Parliament to give them proper scrutiny. They wanted Mr. Wilks to vote against his own party’s budget because, regardless of how one feels about the government’s approach to the economy, the bill is deeply flawed as a piece of legislation. There are changes to a vast array of unrelated issues, from fisheries to the environment, employment and even one allowing U.S. police to operate within Canada. Most of these are significant amendments to existing legislation and will not be reviewed or debated and may or may not reflect what Canadians want. Readers here may like some points and dislike others, but you will not get much help from the government to form an opinion or to express your views.
The remarkable thing about the meeting David Wilks had with his constituents is that this is what the Reform Party, the Canadian Alliance and the Conservative Party had promised to do when they were in opposition. They said that they would consult with the people, listen to their constituents and represent their views. Mr. Wilks heard the concerns people have about Bill C-38 and said that he shared at least some of them. He seemed ready to bring the views of his constituents to Ottawa, although he also spoke about his feeling of powerlessness as one lone MP whose voice could not change things. Not two hours later, he issued a “clarification” stating his support for the budget. One can only guess at the pressure brought to bear upon him to do so.
When in opposition, Mr. Harper used to criticise the Liberals for doing this kind of thing and he was right to do so. It is impossible to examine everything in the time available and for 308 MPs to vote with a simple yes or no when there are so many different issues packed into one piece of legislation. Many important matters won’t be given a thorough examination and many MPs will want to support only some of the items under consideration. Now that he is in power, Mr. Harper provides little opportunity to inform or, especially, to listen to Canadians. Apparently, even MPs have trouble being heard.
Given his roots in the Reform movement, his stated belief in the populace, and his strong support of Mr. Harper, I wonder whether our Member of Parliament, Scott Reid, would be willing to bring to Ottawa a message of concern about the Trojan horse that is Bill C-38. I also wonder why Mr. Reid has held no meetings with constituents about this enormously important legislation, as Mr. Wilks did. And I wonder if the people of Lanark-Frontenac-Lennox and Addington are concerned about a government and an MP that now seem to be acting with the same arrogance and sense of entitlement that we saw from the Liberals before them. I wonder who is listening to the people.
There is a tree thief in Maberly.
Yesterday I went out to visit a