Municipal election primer: pumping capacity or another Taj Mahal

Water Operations, Brantford Ontario ©

Why was there taxpayers’ time and money to build a Taj Mahal to the water gods in Brantford, Ontario.  But no taxpayers’ time and money to monitor the pumping capacity of the city’s sewage system (until 2017)?

Water Operations, Brantford Ontario ©


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Municipal election primer: Will city’s land purchase of 6719 acres fix current roads? Part 4

Here’s another arterial road that is on the laundry list of roads in Brantford, Ontario that require TLC.

Brant Ave., Brantford, Ontario

If it ever gets redone, will subpar asphalt be used for a quick (but not lasting) fix?


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Municipal election primer: do you need that new city hall

Brantford City Hall, 100 Wellington Sq. © CityofInsight

Brantford City Hall graces 100 Wellington Square in Brantford, Ontario.  It was built in 1967 to mark Canada’s Centennial.  Mr. Michael Kopsa made excellent use of Brutalist architecture in its design.  This included provisions for expanding the structure.

Unfortunately, it is brutal how the current city council ignores all this and is under the illusion that yet another game of “musical buildings” (Brantford’s expensive obsession) is necessary.  When the music stops the the city hall occupants will take their seats in the former federal building at the corner of Dalhousie and Queen Streets.

Federal Bldg, 60 Dalhousie St, Brantford, Ontario

We have asked The City of Brantford numerous times for a Cost Benefit Analysis that justifies the need for a new city hall.  No response to date.

So, not only do you need to ask yourself if a new city hall is necessary, you need to ask yourself the question we first broached in 2016:  Do you mind paying twice for your federal building?

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Municipal election primer: oh where, oh where should that new retailer go?

Oh where, oh where have the plans for Brantford’s little Costco gone?

Oh where, oh where can they be?

With the Craig St. location coming up short,

and the Wayne Gretzky Parkway and 403 interchange change to long,

Oh where, oh where can it go?

Oh Henry St., oh Henry St., there you go!

Henry St., Brantford, Ontario ©

Henry St., Brantford, Ontario ©

Henry St., Brantford, Ontario ©

Henry St., Brantford, Ontario ©


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Municipal election primer: do you need a new hospital?

Is the drywall still curing on your current hospital’s last addition?

Has a provincial government investigation found your hospital to have an “unacceptable failure in both governance and executive leadership?”1

Did that investigation find the hospital failed to balance its budget in consecutive years?

Has the president and CEO of your local healthcare system been fired and the board of directors dissolved?

Has a hospital or facility within your local healthcare system become a shell of its former status; e.g., a closed emergency department, a closed surgical department, a closed walk-in clinic?

Is it difficult to find on the internet past media coverage of and letters-to-the-editor on your local healthcare system, especially if has a checkered past?

If yes, then your municipality needs to make better use of what it has instead of giving credence to the usual few suspects who love to spend other people’s money.




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WANTED: Canadian Trade Negotiator

The successful candidate will know that:

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is not a sacred cow.

A good trade deal should bolster Canadian business/manufacturing and small-town Canada, not do the opposite.

Canadian cows and poultry are not sacred.

A sound negotiator prevents foreign dumping of products.

You do not sign a sucker of a deal, e.g., Ambassador Bridge/Gordie Howe International Bridge fiasco.

You do not sell the family farm, e.g., the sale Nexen (Canadian oil and gas company) to China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC Group).

A well negotiated trade deal should not need a dispute settlement mechanism.

You must understand the priorities of the leader or potential leader of a country well in advance of trade talks.

Your country’s international negotiating prowess is enhanced when it has fair and balanced national trade.

Fair trade is the goal.

Trade is NOT free.


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Municipal election primer: does your elected official know when to move on?

How many terms have each of your elected officials served?

Unfortunately, elected officials rarely know when its time to move on.  Democracy is best served and protected when an elected office is renewed through new people.

How do we know this?

  1.  Mr. Ben Franklin said:  “In free governments, the rulers are the servants, and the people their superiors . . . . For the former to return among the latter does not degrade, but promote them.”
  2. Mr. Einer Elhauge’s report for the Cato Institute showed that “term limits lessen the influence of seniority. His research demonstrated that long-term lawmakers from both major parties vote for more bureaucracy than do lawmakers who have been in office for shorter times. Term limits lessen the ability of lawmakers to develop cozy deals with either bureaucracies or special interests that seek to get something from government at everyone else’s expense.”1

Until term limits are fully mandated, it’s up to you, the electorate, to act as arbiter of democracy by supporting new people who run for office.

Let’s remember that an elected seat is not the property of the holder.




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Do you have common sense?

If you put your garbage to the curb not more than 24 hours before collection day, you may have common sense.

If you use lawnmowers and other noisy tools, machinery in a residential neighbourhood on any day but Sunday, you may have common sense.

If you keep your unleashed pets on your property, you may have common sense.


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Rain Man vs. reality, part 2

If “community living” agencies have the best interests of people with developmental disabilities in mind, when was the last time “community living” agencies provided the families/guardians of the people in their care:

  • a physical report, including copies of medical tests
  • a list of medications/supplements
  • a psychiatric report
  • a psychological report
  • a dietary report
  • a GAAP-compliant financial report


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Municipal election primer: how many reps are needed at meeting?

Do your municipal reps like spending your money on out-of-town meetings?

At the Association of Municipalities of Ontario’s 2018 meeting (August 19-22), Brantford, Ontario City Council felt the urge to send eight, count them—8—reps:

  • The Mayor
  • The Mayor’s Chief of Staff
  • Three City Councillors (one of whom retires in two months)
  • The CAO
  • The GM of Community Development
  • The Director of Strategic Planning and Community Partners

Hmm, we wonder if they attempted to reduce the four days, three nights tab by sharing rooms?



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