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Dalton, that is. Dalton McGuity, the former premier of Ontario and, in my opinion, the worst premier this province has ever had to tolerate.
It took everything in me not to hurl the nearest object at the television when he testified at the gas plant (fiasco) hearings two days ago.
There he sat, smarmy as ever, thinking we’re all stupid enough to believe his lies all over again. For the first time ever, I actually felt a pang of pity for unelected premier Kathleen Wynne who had admitted earlier the cancellation of the plants was indeed’ politically motivated.’
With typical McGuinty cowardice, he tossed Wynne under the bus. Squirming and avoiding a barrage of direct questions from both the Tories and the NDP (it was a lovefest for Liberal party Daltonites who did everything short of physically kissing ass) one of his first ‘answers’ was that he did it for the children.
I used to think the man was delusional… Now it’s been confirmed. Dalton must live in his own spherical world, as if someone blew bubbles and he evolved solely from the slimy solution.
The word, moron, inevitably comes to mind every time I think of the political coward who prorogued the legislature because the flames were lapping at his backside and he wanted a quick and dirty escape.
I watched almost all of his testimony, that too-familiar smirk still lining his face as he evaded the questions regarding his conduct, his honesty, his “integrity” and his actions.
When it comes to taking blame, Dalton is nowhere to be found.
After all the lies, scandals, boondoggles, fiscal waste and squandering, how anyone in this province thinks that McGuinty and the Liberals have done a worthy-enough job to be re-elected is simply beyond me.
Blizzard hits the target again with this accurate portrayal of Wynne-double-speak. (Gotta love Wynne’s term for taxes: ”revenue tools.”)
Yes, we “must have another conversation” about this, but making sure we follow Kathleen’s latest rule and have “a smile on our face” as we do so.
After ten years of this OLP crap, it’s time for change.
They say you deserve the government you vote for.
Well, I didn’t, nor would I ever, vote for Dalton McGuinty, yet I was subjected to his indisputable incompetence for almost ten years.
I was shopping in downtown Victoria Saturday when I checked my phone and read that Peter Kormos had died suddenly. It was headlined with bold, black lettering that read, ‘Breaking News.’ It was one of those moments where, no matter where you are, you let out an audible gasp, followed by utter disbelief.
I liked Kormos. I liked him because he had a backbone. I liked him because he thought for himself and he didn’t give a rat’s ass which politicians or political bosses he insulted if it were in the best interests of his constituents.
And that’s a refreshing breath of fresh air, especially in Niagara, where the word constituents becomes a dirty word the day after an election.
Unlike many politicians from the region, Peter Kormos frequently went against the grain and spoke up when he didn’t agree with party politics. In an area where there are so many smarmy, one-uppers who love to show up for photo ops cutting ribbons, or wearing hard-hats on a new construction site silently screaming ‘Look at me! Look at me!’ Kormos chose the higher, better road.
You see, around here, we’re ‘represented’ by politicians who wouldn’t recognize an original thought if it slapped them in the face and introduced itself.
From Liberal MPP Jim Bradley, who, in my mind, has been trudging along far past his best-before date, speaking in the same monotonous voice and repeating the same hackneyed phrases we’ve all grown sick and tired of, right down to the band of small-town wannabe-politicians that make up the capital M, capital F Me-First circle of incompetence at St. Catharines city council, it just plain stinks ’round here.
The late Peter Kormos stood out from the rest. A man of principle, he wouldn’t barter his beliefs like most politicians who prefer to lick the muddied boots of their superiors. Why, take Jim Bradley, for example. While he allegedly “understands” that many of his constituents don’t agree with the OLP seizing and killing dogs in this province, he is expected, I’m told, to “vote along with Mr. Guinty (at the time) and other senior” ignorant plods (my words) who apparently know better than any experts on the matter of the hideous and cruel breed-specific legislation.
Trying to get through to Jim Bradley is, well, akin to bashing one’s head against the proverbial brick wall. I imagine the man like a trained seal, performing best when Queen’s Park issues detailed and easy to understand how-to instructions, because Jim misplaced his cutting edge during that long winter of ’77.
I can’t imagine Jim having words or almost-fisticuffs with fly-by-night Dalton, or now, the unelected Kathleen Wynne, but Kormos frequently had words with his bosses. Just ask former NDP/Liberal flip-flopper Bob Rae who could neither tame, nor shut up, Kormos no matter how hard he tried. Unlike the rest, Kormos had steadfast beliefs, principles, and a conscience, and simply refused to compromise.
It also makes me speculate how Mr. Kormos would have voted last week on greedy Joe Kushner’s Motion for free food for everyone down at Church Street before the Me-First Circle of Incompetence begins at 6:30… right after prayers and a solemn vow to put the concerns and best interests of St. Catharines’ citizens at the forefront.
If it weren’t so tragically pathetic, there might be humour to be found.
Yes, the Ontario Lotus-Eaters Guild membership is growing by leaps and bounds.
Rest in peace, Mr. Kormos. You were one of the few with a conscience.
Since Senior MPP Jim Bradley is our local St. Catharines MPP and an avid supporter of BSL (yes, that’s right: Avid supporter of breed-specific legislation) I like to keep track of what Jim’s doing… or not doing, as the case usually is.
I popped over to Jim’s website earlier to read his blog. Here’s the latest:
P.S. There were no events in the Events section, either.
Helluva job you’re doing for us, Jim.
What a week for Ontario politics.
I began the political week on Monday evening by tuning in to our local Cogeco Cable channel 10 to watch the scintillating goings-on down at St. Catharines City Hall. Usually a snooze-fest, or an evening to pat each other on the back – depends on whether or not land developers are present, or cheques are being handed over to the mayor. I was waiting to hear the verdict on councillor Mat Siscoe’s December 10, 2012 Motion – a step for more accountability by City-funded organizations. Specifically, the Lincoln County Humane Society, an organization that refuses to dole out memberships to St. Catharines’ taxpayers for fear of change in the directors’ ranks.
When I tuned in, a cheque for a cool million was being handed over from Hydro. Using a 13 year-old policy, the monies go to ‘operational revenues’ instead of a civic project fund. Councillor Mat Siscoe asked for a staff report as to why dividends from Hydro automatically go directly to operational revenues. (Jeez, what a spoilsport Siscoe is!) Seems mayor Brian McMullan and other councillors were so giddy with excitement (they really were…) that they pooh-poohed Siscoe’s request and carried on with the giddiness.
Gimme that cheque already!
Of course, this might not seem as absurd as it sounds, if it weren’t for the fact that on December 10, 2012, councillor Siscoe’s Motion for, well, animal welfare/open memberships/truth and accountability at the local humane society (LCHS) was sent to ‘staff’ for a detailed report (thanks for that goes to councillor Jeff Burch) while a Motion to look into an automatic deposit of $1M slides right through. Yes, a simple animal welfare issue that only needed an ounce of common sense requires a staff report, but a million bucks? Hell, just hand it over and tell Siscoe to shut up already…
(Of course, I’m being facetious. Councillors Siscoe, Stack, Washuta and Harris are usually the ones who can think on their own – such a refreshing change in any political arena.)
Later on that evening, after too many unrelated in camera sessions, and only by a slim margin, the ‘verdict’ was read and Siscoe’s December Motion was passed. Memberships now have to be part of negotiations… and some councillors had a problem with that!
Two snivelers on council complained like eight-year-olds standing at their classroom desks that they didn’t like some of the nasty mail that they’d been receiving on the ‘LCHS issue.’ It was ‘hurtful, Mr. Mayor.’
Hey, snivelers, how do you think the animals headed for the euthanasia chamber feel over at the LCHS because of your leaden feet? Get a backbone! You’re in politics, for cryin’ out loud. Deal with it.
Give me strength!
But enough of circle time down at St. Catharines City Hall. Let’s pop up to Toronto City Hall…
Rob Ford keeps his seat as mayor, much to the chagrin of many, as well as too many all-knowing lawyers who failed to get that one right. For weeks we’ve been told by those in the legal profession that he didn’t have a hope in proverbial hell. And that included John Tory. They all ate their words Friday morning and Christina Blizzard was given her field day and I, for one, enjoyed every moment.
I find it astonishing that the lefties are falling over themselves taking Ford from Magistrates Court all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada.
Hey, set your sights on the man who’s decimated this province for the last decade! He just walked away scot-free!
We also had to stomach the group of BSL-loving Ontario Liberal candidates plying their rhetorical lines the past while. All of them, once died-in-the-wool Dalton-worshippers, distanced themselves as far as humanly possible right up ’til the convention began and Dalton was within earshot. Immediately, he became the golden-boy, all of them towing the same, failed party line.
Pupatello, earlier being the good girl wanting to work with everyone, suddenly stated she wanted to “bring the opposition to its knees.”
(Put away the knee-pads…)
And by the way, Tim and Andrea want to know if you want your knife back now or later, Sandra.
Wynne, on the other hand, was on a roll playing up the sexual orientation card, not to mention the first-female-premier card. And the media fell for it again, including the chump who interviewed former NDP MPP (also openly gay) Peter Kormos. In true form, Kormos said it shouldn’t come into play whatsoever, and that was not the issue at hand. Good for you, Peter! Kormos said the Liberals have far more important issues to think about than Wynne’s personal choices. And Kormos is right. Why is someone’s sexual orientation making the headlines under Politics?
It’s as blatant as stating, ’The openly straight, heterosexual male, Dalton McGuinty, is no longer premier of Ontario .
I don’t think any of us care what your sexual preference is! I know I don’t!
Are we that stupid that we can’t see through this nonsense? Well, >2K of Liberal delegates loved it. So, on Saturday night, Ontario voted to elect… oops, sorry, ONLY Liberal delegates at the convention voted to put Kathleen into power.
That’s difficult to write, especially when one considers that she’s been in power for years, right alongside Dalton and his failed policies, lies and scandals. She isn’t new, she’s more of the same, and as she said last evening, she wants to “build on Dalton McGuinty‘s ‘legacy.’”
That’s some legacy! God help us!
All this, just as I was getting over Dalton McGuinty Jr. informing us that Dad’s main objective was to leave Ontario in great shape after his premiership.
And Jr.’s response? ”Mission accomplished, Dad!”
Pass the Pepto, wouldya?
Mission accomplished?? Oh, the idiocy of it all.
And Dalton’s comment? (Yes, he came out of the woodwork again) ”Congratulations to Kathleen Wynne and all the candidates. I’m proud to pass the torch and trust Ontario is in good hands.”
Got news for ya, Dalton… it hasn’t been in good hands for years and that torch petered out many moons ago. The numbers, lies and scandals are proof of that.
On second thought, I don’t think Pepto’s going to be strong enough to last me until February something – the magical date when Kathleen promises to open up the cobwebbed halls of the Ontario legislature. By that time, I’m going to need extra-strength Gravol by intravenous drip.
Last evening St. Catharines councillor Mathew Siscoe won the St. Catharines Progressive Conservative nomination. This means Siscoe will be going head to head with longstanding Liberal MPP Jim Bradley in the next election.
To say I am not a fan of Mr. Bradley’s political beliefs is an understatement.
Of the highest order.
Bradley’s been sitting as the Liberal’s rep in this region for far, far too long. Decades of what I can only describe as stale, same-old, representation. (Some might even have a beef with the word, representation.)
If you’ve read my previous posts about Mr. Bradley, he’s been an avid Dalton-follower, carrying the gauntlet to the bitter end, or at least until Dalton felt the heat of the gas flame (no pun intended to seat-saver gas plant scandals… oh, what the hell, sure there’s a pun there) prorogued, and went AWOL.
See, I’ve had enough of this province’s Liberal, scandal-ridden, nonsense. I’ve also had enough of the codswallop from Mr. Bradley’s office informing me that “Jim is considered the voice of reason at Queen’s Park.”
They tell each other that when they seize dogs and euthanize them, too. The voice of reason. I ask you!
But back to Mr. Siscoe.
He and City councillor Mark Elliott are both my ward councillors here in St. Catharines. Mr. Siscoe has performed well on our behalf.
Pity I can’t say the same for Mr. Elliott.
And I can write the same for Siscoe’s running mate, Bruce Timms.
I had a phone call from Mr. Timms’s office in early December asking if he had our support. I told the (very polite and cordial) lady that he used to have our support, but not any more. If he wanted my support, he could pick up the ‘phone and ask me himself.
And he did, not five minutes later. I gave him credit for that. I also gave him credit for his seemingly interested response when I explained the fiasco we’re dealing with at the Lincoln County Humane Society and its furtive Board of Directors. (But, frankly, I was a bit surprised that I needed to fill him in on the goings-on.) His last remarks to me were that he would find out more, even speak to Joe Kushner, since he “knows Joe” and would contact me again with some answers.
That was the last I heard from Bruce Timms until last week when he ‘phoned again to ask for my support, not having a clue who I was, and I told him we’d be voting for Mat Siscoe. Expecting him to enquire as to why, he didn’t. He thanked me and hung up.
The way I see it, if this is the service you get before an election, how bad could the service be after the election?
So on to Siscoe.
Mat and I have not always agreed on matters, but he does return phone calls, does encourage discussion, and as I’ve seen with the LCHS ongoing saga of membership dealings (or non-dealings, as the case is) he fights for his – and constituents’ – causes. (Tonight, he’ll be at the meeting at the LCHS office again with us to try to change things for the better.) He genuinely wants to alter the stagnant stage of politics in this city, as well as at Queen’s Park.
And we all know that’s long overdue.
It was interesting at the Holiday Inn last night watching the proceedings. There were about three ballrooms filled with people and the usual tables reserved for voter registration. Needless to say, asking a couple of simple utilitarian questions at these tables were met with terse responses, but then one usually expects that. Funny how a rented table gives one a sense of immense importance – almost more than the candidates’ agendas.
Both candidates’ rooms were filled with the same sorts of people; rooms of voters in winter coats awash in a sea of dark colours at this time of year. I was disappointed that there weren’t many younger voters there. Candidates really need to address that issue. At 6:30 registration ended and we all filed into the Holiday Inn’s Merlot Room to listen to Siscoe and Timms speak. The room was filled to capacity.
With a couple of “I nominate _____ because…” introductions, Siscoe was up first.
He looked the part, I thought. Smartly dressed in a dark suit, crisp white shirt, and tie, he addressed the audience. At first it reminded me of all the ‘public speaking’ speeches I’d listened to in my youth, but this man was determined. He is a youngster, comparatively speaking, in the world of politics, and he hadn’t found his footing yet with this crowd, but then this is his first dip into the provincial cesspool.
I wanted to stop him occasionally… Don’t speak as if you’ve memorized your script, take a few cues from that cad, but great orator, Bill Clinton, or even better, watch Hilary Clinton as she delivered her speech at the 2008 DNC Convention where she was indisputably one of the best orators I’ve witnessed. Pause once in a while for emphasis, instead of putting emphasis on some of your words like a junior traffic announcer first thing in the morning. Use modulation to your advantage. Stop and look us in the eyes, yes, even the ones at the back of that long ballroom. Connect with your audience, Mat, don’t talk at them. This isn’t high school politics, nor is it City Hall (where he is, I must say, and without doubt, the best speaker amongst City councillors.)
But having written the above paragraph, he was clearly the best candidate. He does have fresh ideas and, yes, enough frustration with the status quo that he is itching to do something about it. Anyone could tell that by simply listening to him. He just needs polish in the way he delivers his speech. Watch the great orators of history and see their style.
Siscoe is determined to lead, and I believe he will. He has it in him.
Bruce Timms was up next, looking rumpled and comfortable, and I don’t mean that as a slight. It’s just the way Timms is.
Mr. Timms disappointed me. There were too many political clichés, the expected lines, ‘look what I’ve done,’ remarks throughout his speech. I wasn’t fired up to vote for this man by any stretch of the imagination, even if I’d already decided to beforehand. Timms is too laid-back and it was evident after watching Siscoe’s ‘determined-to-win-this’ attitude just moments before.
A writer watches for details. While almost everyone was watching the candidates, I was watching the audience. Their faces reflected Timms’s slow, unaffected cadence. Snoozefest comes to mind, if you want the truth, because there was just nothing there to get these people nodding, applauding spontaneously where they wouldn’t ordinarily applaud. Their faces were blank, staring glassy-eyed at the stage.
I don’t want to know what you’ve done, I’m more interested in what you’re going to do.
I am pleased that Mat Siscoe won the nomination. St. Catharines, after decades of Jim Bradley’s insipid representation, needs to go forward with new leadership. The city has had its fill of dormancy. It’s time to wake up.
From the No Kill St. Catharines Facebook Page, a recap of last evening’s St. Catharines City Council meeting, aka The Total Sham:
Dr. Brad Davis gave an eloquent presentation to city council with respect to the saga of his membership application to the Lincoln County Humane Society.
He and his wife have been fostering cats and kittens for the LCHS for almost 2 years. In September 2012, they downloaded the membership application form from the LCHS website, and discovered that it was an intrusive application. Dr. Davis then decided to contact every humane society in the Province of Ontario to see what their membership practices are.
He discovered that the LCHS has the most expensive application fee ($50) in the province. The provincial average is $22. He also discovered that the LCHS has the most restrictive application process, including the following 5 elements that no other humane society requires:
1. The applicant must be sponsored by a board member;
2. The applicant must provide 2 references;
3. The applicant must detail previous activities in other not-for-profit agencies;
4. The applicant must detail all previous volunteer experience;
5. The applicant must detail qualities or skills that would benefit the LCHS.
Dr. Davis and his wife submitted their membership applications on October 3, 2012. To date, he has still not received any acknowledgement of his application, or a decision on it. As of yesterday, his wife’s application was one of 11 that were accepted by the LCHS, on the basis that those 11 applicants were active volunteers for the LCHS. Dr. Davis’s half of the foster home apparently did not meet muster, as his application was not accepted. Dozens other applications remain outstanding.
Dr. Davis talked about best practices for a not-for-profit agency: Transparency and engaging the community being two such best practices. The LCHS has shown in the last 3 months that it has a hostile relationship with the community. Its membership requirements are clearly designed to discourage membership despite its mission statement proclaiming a “strong commitment to fundraising and membership development”. It has thwarted applicants at every turn. Yet it is a strong membership that provides a base for volunteers and donors.
Seven applicants came before City Council on November 20, 2012. Following that meeting, Councillor Joe Kushner commented on their “impeccable credentials”. Yet the applications of all seven are still in limbo.
Dr. Davis pointed out that both Kevin Strooband and Joe Kushner have remarked that the LCHS had to protect itself from people who wanted to reform it.
Dr. Davis spoke about the repeated statement from LCHS management and board that adoption rates had increased 86% from last year’s. However, in 2011, of the stray cats that came into the shelter, only 312 were adopted. Thus, an 86% increase still puts the LCHS way below where its adoption numbers should be.
Dr. Davis acknowledged the efforts of the volunteers and foster families for the animals who leave the shelter alive, stating that people adopt, volunteer, and foster only because they want to rescue the animals FROM THE SHELTER!
Dr. Davis advised city council that by entering into a contract with a private agency, council is implicitly condoning the business practices of that agency. Therefore, council should require the LCHS to institute good governance and representative governance before entering into a contract with it.
Following Dr. Davis’s presentation, Councillor Mat Siscoe made a motion to require animal welfare agencies that enter into contracts with the City to have an open membership policy for the residents of St. Catharines. He submitted that the unwillingness to accept members has nothing to do with a difference in philosophy. Instead, it is a reflection of the fact that the community has no confidence in current LCHS practices. If the current board and management were confident that the community supported their current practices, they would be able to recruit members to support them.
Councillor Jeff Burch made a motion to refer Councillor Siscoe’s motion to staff, to examine best practices! Councillor Matt Harris added to the motion for staff to clarify the role of the city representative at the LCHS as he is also a board member. Councillor Siscoe then further added, should there be a referral, that staff come back with a report as soon as possible, and also contract negotiations with the LCHS be halted in the interim. With these additions, council voted 8-4 to defer the motion to January 21, 2013, with Mayor Brian McMullan stating that he was voting in favour only to see what staff would recommend with respect to the role of the city representative. Councillors Siscoe, Harris, Stack, and Washuta voted against deferring the motion.
A packed council room emptied out at that point. All attendees were disappointed that council failed to take a leadership role in directing the LCHS to be more progressive.
A copy of a letter I have just emailed to Mayor McMullan and St. Catharines city councillors after a sham of an evening at city hall.
A more detailed report of the evening to follow tomorrow.
Mr. McMullan and city councillors,
Tonight, those of us in the gallery, as well as those who weren’t able to attend, had a front seat view of the “in each others’ pocket” mentality that seems rampant at city hall.
Dr. Brad Davis’s brilliant presentation of statistics and information showed how truly – comparatively speaking – substandard our local humane society is. Councillor Mat Siscoe’s plea to fellow councillors urging them to vote for accountability and transparency was equally as compelling. To think that these two men had to provide presentations to earn St. Catharines taxpayers the right to simply have a membership card at the local humane society makes one wonder why the LCHS and the Board of Directors is getting away with their scheming and devious machinations. As disruptive as this is, it is more disturbing that the City of St. Catharines allows this to happen.
Only councillors Siscoe, Washuta, Harris and Stack had the decency to put taxpayers’ concerns ahead of other agendas, in harsh contrast to councillors Phillips, Burch, Kushner, Williamson, Dodge, Secord, Elliott and Stevens’ votes to align themselves with councillor Burch’s de rigueur stalling ploy of sloughing off this matter to “staff” for further investigation.
I fail to see how “staff” – whoever they may be – can be any more expert on the matter than Dr. Brad Davis and others who have spoken to this matter in recent weeks.
I know I speak for many of us who are in the growing movement to induce transparency at the LCHS and do away with the corruption that is indisputably at work in the bedroom gambits of the Board of Directors. To think that councillor Burtch had the audacity to insist on further investigation before being able to vote on transparency and accountability simply boggles the mind. Obviously councillor Burtch has issues with transparency and accountability to taxpayers, as do those other aforementioned councillors who sided with his quick and suspect deferral.
I was ashamed to witness such injustice, bias and inequity at a council meeting of the city I live in. I was also, along with most others, appalled to witness your commissionaire rushing around like a waiter delivering cans of soda pop, water and notes as speakers were at the podium. Equally as appalling was the lack of respect for speakers when councillors felt it necessary to act like school children, getting up to leave during presentations, and entering the room with drinks in hand. Someone near me compared it to a three-ring circus, a second-grade school room, and I have to agree.
If every council meeting is run this way, then we taxpayers can well understand why so many issues are deferred to staff, committees, and sub-committees. Tonight, was red-tape bureaucracy in its finest hour.
What a disgraceful evening we all witnessed.
For some time now, there has been a growing movement to right the wrongs at the (St. Catharines) Lincoln County Humane Society, specifically, the questionable motives of its Board of Directors.
While I attempt to write about these issues here on a daily basis, I could not reach a wider audience without this blog’s followers, my Twitter followers who regularly re-tweet my posts to their hundreds of followers, and also to the Facebook followers who re-post and share all of this information. There are so many good people (trying to put a STOP to the high kill rates at the LCHS) and various social media followers from Ontario, from Canada, and all over the world who we have never met, or even know, but we all share a common interest: animal welfare.
Tonight is the St. Catharines City Council meeting where councillor Mat Siscoe’s Motion will be voted on. He will have much support in the gallery and we hope that this will be the beginning of the end of the shenanigans of the Board of Directors’ attempts to stop all membership applications.
*If you want to read how this Board does business, just look at the post below this one for an article written by St. Catharines Standard reporter, Marlene Bergsma, which outlines in detail exactly what goes on in the ‘backroom.’
I cannot, unfortunately, at least at this point in time, give any credit whatsoever to our mayor, Brian McMullan. He has remained silent on this issue when, as this City’s leader, he ought to be investigating the LCHS Board, since the City is the LCHS’s largest funding source AND councillor Joe Kushner sits on this Board as a MEMBER and regularly aligns himself with the Board’s questionable tactics.
Hopefully, the secrecy will soon come to an end and St. Catharines’ citizens will be able to become members of the Humane Society.
This, blog readers, is how the Lincoln County Humane Society’s Board of Directors informs the membership applicants of their membership status…
By posting a small notice at the local shopping mall!
Yes, stupidity continues to evolve. How can president Ann Davidson run a city-funded Board this way and get away with it?
How can the City of St. Catharines, the largest contributor of (taxpayers’) funds to the LCHS, ignore these antics? And where is Mayor Brian McMullan in all this? So far, he’s done absolutely nothing.
Read Julia McLaren’s excellent post titled, “Off with their heads” HERE.
Read this latest column by Marlene Bergsma that appeared in today’s St. Catharines Standard and the Niagara Advance.
Have you ever heard of a local humane society run this way?
ST. CATHARINES - The Lincoln County Humane Society has admitted a few new members, but is denying membership to dozens more — indefinitely.
Meeting by email over the past few days, the board agreed to accept 11 new people for membership, but they were only accepted because they are already “active” humane society volunteers, said executive director Kevin Strooband in an interview.
About 50 other would-be members have had their applications put on hold until the board can review its bylaws, Strooband said, but a bylaw review is a “pretty involved process” and there are no plans to tackle it.
Board member Grace Pang said she tried to argue that conducting the board meeting by email was wrong, but her objections were ignored.
“What is the point of (recently) approving a motion to have all your meetings open when you don’t have open meetings?” Pang asked.
St. Catharines Coun. Joe Kushner had made the motion for open meetings at a Nov. 21 board meeting. At that meeting the board also promised an answer on the membership applications in two weeks.
Pang said dealing with the memberships in secret by email was wrong. She emailed her concerns to the rest of the board, “but they ignored me.” She has asked that her opposition be recorded in the meeting minutes.
Meanwhile St. Catharines council, which has a $500,000 animal control contract with the humane society, is scheduled to debate a motion Monday which would require the city to only do business with animal control agencies that have open memberships.
St. Patrick’s Coun. Mat Siscoe made the motion, which says that “any animal welfare organization that receives money from the City of St. Catharines be required to have an open membership process for residents of the City.”
St. Andrew’s Coun. Matt Harris says he will be supporting Siscoe’s motion.
“I am not sure why the existing board is trying to impede the membership process,” Harris said. “I would think that it would be a great fundraising tool.”
Port Dalhousie Coun. Bruce Williamson said he supports open membership, but “I am not sure that city council can prescribe how an external organization operates.”
Merritton Coun. Jeff Burch said he needs more information.
“I would be in support of looking at what other municipalities require from organizations they support financially in terms of accountability and transparency and adopting a best practice,” Burch said. “A motion should not be directed at only one organization.”
Humane society president Ann Davidson was not available for comment. Strooband said the humane society is currently negotiating with the city for its animal control contract for 2013, so he would not comment on the potential impact of Siscoe’s motion.
…calls for desperate measures, as the saying goes.
I’ve learned the Lincoln County Humane Society’s Board of Directors is beginning to feel the heat of all the negative press about its questionable ways of going about running the LCHS.
There are only three days before St. Catharines City Council votes on councillor Mat Siscoe’s Motion for accountability, so perhaps things are getting a little hot under the collar for Board president Ann Davidson.
Has Ms. Davidson resorted to underhanded tactics? Is she beginning to worry that she and most of her No-Kill opponents might just be ousted from their ivory towers?
I can only ask myself these, and other questions, now the cat is out of the bag (no pun intended…).
Ann, perhaps your days are numbered. Perhaps too many taxpayers are now questioning your motives, and most of the other directors’ motives, as you continue to preside over the LCHS and its too-frequent killing of adoptable and healthy animals.
As I wondered yesterday about people like Barbara Kay and her sadistic views on dogs, I have to wonder about, not only the personalities, but the real reasons why some of these directors sit on the LCHS Board, terrified to issue memberships for fear of change.
Change! Ann, you listenin’ up? Change is good! Especially when it means saving animals’ lives.
Anyone who doesn’t want to accept outside assistance for animal welfare has something to hide. Does Ann have something to hide? She certainly doesn’t want anyone’s membership money, either (by the way, the LCHS Board is still hanging on to my $50. cash membership monies…) and she’s trying to defer membership issues left, right and centre.
To no avail.
I’m very much looking forward to Monday evening’s City Council meeting to see which councillors will support councillor Siscoe’s Motion. Will our lacklustre mayor, Brian McMullan, find the spine he needs to put an end to this nonsense at the LCHS? Taxpayers want to know. I certainly don’t want my tax dollars going towards this organization to kill animals that don’t need to be killed.
Of course, I’ve had no response to my queries to Mr. McMullan, nor from some of the other councillors. That’s called effectively dodging the issue in politics… like the Ontario Liberal government continuing to kill dogs that resemble pit bulls and not paying a whit of attention to the matter, despite hundreds, if not thousands, of queries.
Hopefully, we’ll see LCHS executive director Kevin Strooband and the Board’s directors at City council Monday evening. Chances are, they won’t show, but I’ll be happy to speak to them if they’re there and happy to report back to you via this blog.
This week I had the displeasure of reading a column by the above-mentioned Barbara Kay, which appeared in the National Post. The woman – as cold-hearted as one can possibly be towards animals and animal welfare, as the article suggests – is one piece of work, let me tell you.
You’ll recall the National Post – the newspaper in which former convict Conrad Black (or, as Barbie calls him, Lord Black) appears too often, pontificating about all and sundry, most of which pertains to how the judicial system in… pick a country… has pulled him through the thickets, mud and all, when he was innocent all along…
If you’ve ever read one of Conrad’s pieces, you’ll need a dictionary in one hand, whilst licking the thumb of your other hand to change pages as you look up every other word. He’s one of those lofty sorts who, I imagine, prefers to write in a dark, wood-panelled room, reminiscent of Mediaeval times. A dollar-store gold plastic crown might be nearby, perched precariously on Connie’s head, just to make him feel that much more the Lord amongst the rest of us serfs.
I imagine Barbie Kay lapping all of this up, licking the boots of someone she is perhaps trying to impress. But then, there are so many of them in the media that you have to sit back and wonder where they get the energy to keep up their game. Honestly, how many of us could devote an entire career to trying to impress people like Lord Black?
How many of us would want to? That’s the better question.
So this week, hard-hearted Barbie wrote a column damning canine behavioural expert, Cesar Milan, and the fact that anyone who has the best interests of pit bulls in mind are, well, idiots who don’t know any better.
Barbie, I’m guilty! I am an idiot in your scholarly world. I care about animals. I care about pit bulls and how they’re unfairly seized and killed.
By the way she writes, anyone would assume that Barbie Kay has devoted a lifetime to researching canine behaviour.
Well, sure, if you measure her knowledge to that of AWOL Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty and that former Liberal Attorney-General Michael Bryant. (He’s the one who just wrote a book about himself and his poor-me, addictive personality. This, after the death of cyclist Darcy Alan Sheppard. Bryant was driving the car that was involved in Mr. Sheppard’s death. Barbie, in another one of her I-know-everything-and-you-don’t columns, seems to portray Mr. Sheppard as something that sticks to the sole of one’s shoe after stepping in dog excrement.
I wonder, sometimes, how much money Bryant is pocketing on the death of Mr. Sheppard. But in Bryant’s warped world, the victim in the whole affair was Bryant himself, not the deceased cyclist.
What a trio, eh? cold-as-steel Barbie Kay, Lord-how-dare-you-convict-me-Conrad Black, and Michael-poor-me-Bryant.
It must be lonely up there on their noble pedestals.
Keeping this bunch of social odd-balls in mind, Barbie’s sheer hatred for pit bulls and, according to the Ontario Liberal government – “dogs resembling them” – and so many of them have been killed by this government to date that the >1000 number surely included dogs of all sorts – that she wrote an entire piece about these already unfairly targeted animals.
I could only imagine the poison dripping from Barbie’s pen as she wrote her piece. She really did remind me of a fairy tale’s ugly witch, for she was that ruthless.
It makes you wonder about people like that, doesn’t it? At what point in their lives did they develop such hatred? In Barbie and Bryant’s case, such a hatred towards animals, it appears.
I’m sure there’s a medical explanation behind it all, but then I’m not a medical expert, so I won’t try to speculate. If I did, that would be like columnist Barbara Kay touting herself as an expert in animal behaviour, and we all know that’s not the case. It just wouldn’t wash.
I suppose hatred towards animals is something the rest of us couldn’t possibly understand. People like Barbie and Bryant might walk past an animal being tortured without a thought, when compassionate people would immediately help. What makes us so different?
What angered me is that the National Post pays for Barbie’s articles. Inflammatory opinions in a newspaper like that is a last ditch attempt at grabbing attention; sort of like the tabloids at the local supermarket’s check-out counter. You just can’t take them seriously.
People like Barbie Kay and Michael Bryant irritate me because there are so many better people out there giving their (unpaid) time (unlike Barb and Bryant) to run rescue organizations – in this instance – for pit bulls and “dogs resembling them.”
Isn’t it enough that these dogs are tortured enough? Not only by abusers, or overpaid athletes – like Michael Vick – who deliberately abused these creatures for profit, but they’re crucified in the media, too. In Ontario, and other places where the insanity of breed-specific-legislation is enforced, they are hunted down by by-law officers who might hold a grudge (that reminds me of the City of Brampton incidents where two innocent dogs were seized, to the outrage of so many) and by Michael Bryant, who, at the risk of repeating myself ad nauseam, couldn’t even identify the very dog he was banning on CITY TV news.
Yet, these are the people who are “the experts.” Well, if they’re “experts,” I don’t want to be. I’d rather rely on real experts, like Milan, and the devoted people and organizations that work on a daily basis to save these dogs from torture, abuse, cruelty, the current Ontario Liberal government, and uninformed writers like Barbie who perhaps was feeling particularly sadistic one evening and wanted to create a stir because life was a tad boring. All in the name of “scholarly writing.”
Hey, Barbie, ‘scholarly writing’ just doesn’t cut it. Especially when you were writing that piece before one of your “appearances” and needed to fill a few seats in the audience.
Lowest of the low, isn’t that the expression?
To all of you who don’t carry around the baggage of hatred, those people who continue to attempt to abolish breed-specific-legislation, keep up the great work. Many, many animals have been rescued, freed from torture and cruelty. That’s the bottom line. An insignificant woman like Barbara writing an inflammatory column means nothing in the larger scheme. You just have to take her for what she is: unusually cold-hearted and a writer who is certainly not an expert in canine behaviour.
Really, her views are laughable.
So, Barbie, I hope I can speak on behalf of compassionate animal-lovers everywhere when I say to you: You might want to think about sticking to academic articles, because you’re making a fool of yourself writing about dogs of any sort.
I have a 42 year old friend who is suffering from brain cancer. He also suffered a severe stroke this past April, which left him without 95% of his speech and the use of the right side of his body.
He is a fighter if I ever saw one. He is one of those who refuses to give in to an insidious disease that not only affects him, but affects his tightly-knit caring family and friends who surround him.
Once an accomplished athlete winning a university football scholarship, the fact that he has fought this cancer for the past few years doesn’t surprise anyone who knows him. His strength spurs us on to fight alongside.
He is, without doubt, a tough man. A big, tough man with an extraordinary love and compassion for dogs.
But then, those are the real men amongst us, aren’t they? Not the Michael Vick types, the cowards who pit dogs against each other to fight so that the weak, like Vick himself, can profit.
As if he wasn’t making enough money from playing professional football.
That’s greed for you, folks.
The real men are the ones like my friend who fight cancer on a daily basis, the rounds of chemotherapy, suffering its debilitating effects.
There are two parts to this article:
- That the Ontario government doesn’t provide medical coverage for some essential cancer-fighting medications; and,
- That both our local Lincoln County Humane Society and the government of Ontario refuse to use their considerable clout to provide therapy dogs instead of euthanizing/killing them for lack of anything better to do with the animals.
If you’ve read my posts on this blog, I’ve written countless times about the current Ontario Liberal government having the power to seize and kill any dog that resembles a pit bull. I believe that no animal ought to be killed merely for its physical characteristics, but here in Ontario Canada, it happens on a regular basis and it has since former Liberal Attorney-General Michael Bryant and premier Dalton McGuinty made it a warped and cruel priority.
If you’ve read my posts on this blog, you’ll also know that I am appalled by the ways in which this current Liberal government has conducted itself over the last decade. Riddled with scandals, haphazardly spending money that the province doesn’t have, and with a skewed sense of understanding priorities, this government is now in the grips of a Liberal party leadership race to see who will replace premier Dalton McGuinty. He resigned a while back when the effects of his questionable governing caught up with him. After proroguing the legislature, everything at Queen’s Park – and the province – has been put on the back burner, including a Bill to end breed-specific legislation.
Meanwhile, the people of Ontario go on with their lives.
My friend continues his rounds of chemotherapy, despite the fact that the Ontario government does not cover his essential cancer meds. His family works day and night – and I’m not turning a phrase here, they do work days and nights – to cover the costs of the medication he needs.
I am tempted to spew insults at Dalton McGuinty, Health Minister Deb Matthews and former Liberal ministers involved in the eHealth scandal, the ORNGE scandal and other wastes of money. I am tempted to spew insults at the Ontario Liberal leadership candidates for not answering my, and many, many others’ emails and queries regarding their stance on BSL.
Politicians are never around when they need to answer direct questions. One has to save up those questions for when they come a-knocking at the front door at election time.
Instead, I will tell you about the waste at the St. Catharines Ontario-based Lincoln County Humane Society, an organization with monumental animal euthanasia rates and a Board of Directors so furtive that it would make Hollywood film noir writers cower in comparison.
While there are organizations all over the globe that are fighting for the rights of dogs subjected to breed-specific legislation, here in St. Catharines Ontario, it is especially painful, inasmuch as we also have to fight our local humane society. (Flies in the face of common sense, doesn’t it? A humane society that is more intent on killing cats and dogs than actually saving them.)
But back to my friend in hospital… Yesterday, he was visited by Mae, a volunteer who brought along her dog, Lucky, not only a therapy dog, but a a dog that was rescued after Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana, USA.
As you can see by the photographs, Mae is introducing Lucky to my friend, a committed dog lover, as is his family, including his sister and her partner, who are the proud owners of three rescue dogs of their own.
Unfortunately, you weren’t witness to Lucky’s (surgically shortened) tail wagging (it was broken whilst she was injured during Katrina) which was furiously waving from side to side as my friend held his hand to her and Lucky allowed him to pet her head during the visit. We didn’t know who enjoyed the visit more, for there were six of us in that hospital room, but I think it might have been me, but then Lucky looked pretty damn happy, too, so it’s a toss-up. 😉 ( a it of levity…)
Lucky, a mixed breed, stayed for about ten minutes before moving on to other patients, but in that time, my friend laughed and tried to speak, finally enunciating clearly the words, “thank you, thank you,” to Mae and Lucky as they stood beside him.
It was more than evident the benefits to all parties in that room yesterday. A strong man fighting cancer, Lucky, a dog who had survived the horrific effects of Hurricane Katrina, Mae, her owner, who volunteers her time with her dog to benefit others, and my friend’s family whose spirits are bolstered by the obviously positive effects of a ten-minute visit by one dog.
At the Facebook page, No Kill St. Catharines, these are the sorts of efforts that are foremost in the minds of its members. Instead of killing animals at an alarming pace at the Lincoln County Humane Society, why can’t more dogs – and cats – be saved and put to worthwhile causes?
Sadly, Executive Director, Kevin Strooband, and his band of Directors, headed by president Ann Davidson, are more interested in photo opportunities and keeping out anyone who wants to become a member of the LCHS. (If you haven’t read my posts – and Julia McLaren’s – about the surreptitious goings-on with the LCHS Board, I encourage you to read Julia’s blog, or click on the heading at the top of this page to see exactly what hush-hush, behind-closed-doors shenanigans are taking place within our own community by the LCHS directors.)
Appalling doesn’t even begin to describe the Board’s conduct.
Just as unaccountable is the City of St. Catharines and Mayor Brian McMullan, who spend enormous amounts of taxpayers’ money funding the Humane Society. The City’s representative on the Board, councillor Joe Kushner, is one of those directors who is as furtive as the next, yet the City and the mayor won’t investigate its own to get to the bottom of this quagmire.
Is anyone accountable in politics anymore? Well, actually, yes. St. Catharines city councillors Mat Siscoe and Matt Harris are. They are two St. Catharines city councillors who are desperately trying to change the seemingly ‘classified’ affairs at the LCHS and bring about transparency for deserving taxpayers. I can’t say much for the rest of the City’s councillors who, on precedent, appear particularly indifferent about the whole thing.
Doesn’t seem like much to ask, does it? But you’d be staggered if you were engaged in this issue like some of us who are simply trying to bring about a simple concept like transparency and to gain memberships to the LCHS. Yes, that’s right, the Board of Directors doesn’t want ANY members to join for fear of change, apparently. It’s their number one priority to defer memberships as long as they can so that change will not come about over there on Fourth Avenue.
Despite local newspaper, radio and television coverage, the Board’s attitude is ‘Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead.’
In the meantime, dogs, cats and other animals are being euthanized until we can bring about that change at the LCHS.
In the meantime, my friend who is battling cancer doesn’t have the “luxury” of having his main cancer medication covered by OHIP, because McGuinty and his government are dodging the ramifications of a decade of scandals by proroguing the legislature. No getting through to them now.
In the meantime, any dog that resembles a pit bull in Ontario is still able to be seized and euthanized, simply by the animal’s physical characteristics. (And if you want to see travesty in action, search my blog’s tags for City of Brampton and its Mayor Susan Fennell for posts I wrote on that disgusting witch-hunt for family dogs a while back. What the two families caught up in that disaster had to go through was thoroughly repugnant. Mayor Fennell, the City of Brampton, and the animal “experts” involved in that case were a disgrace.
In the meantime, think of the possibilities those pit bulls and ‘dogs resembling them,’ as well as dogs and cats on the endless euthanasia list at the LCHS, could do as therapy animals. These ideas could be brought about if only the LCHS Board of Directors wasn’t so fearful of new members and the bright beacon of positive transformation.
Instead, my friend’s family works unremittingly to pay for his cancer medication; pit-bulls and ‘dogs resembling them,’ and dogs and cats at the LCHS, are struggling for basic rights in a province that touts itself as forward-thinking and civilized.
If this is a civilized society here in Ontario, we are witnessing despair as we have never witnessed it before.