Sunday, August 29, 2010

There's a Rooster in 'da Coop!

I wanna talk about Gord McClure who I affectionately refer to as Gord McCluck. He's a chicken farmer from the west side of Caledon who somehow managed to get himself elected to Caledon council four years ago. During that four years he sat next to our mayoral wannabe cupcake and he lapped up all her attentions. She fed him candy, she giggled at him, batted her eyes and in her ever so adroit and subliminal way she often manipulated him for vote support. Now you can't take that away from her because sometimes a girl just has to do what a girl has to do to get her votes. A sentiment, I'm quite sure that our Ward 5 Regional Candidate Amanda Squire also subscribes to.

I'm pretty sure I'm not on Gord's Christmas card list as I'm not exactly one of his favorite people. It's funny to be able to visibly see the beads of sweat form along his brow when I get starting to chatter at him. I make him nervous and I just love every single minute of it. I've had my issues with some of Gord's decision making and I've let him know it. Not to mention one of his biggest gaffes of publicly disclosing in camera information for which he had his wrists thoroughly slapped. There were many who called for his head on a platter at that time. He's one of the councillor's that I've been so hopeful that when this election rolled around that we'll have seen the backside of. The south western side of Caledon has its own plethora of issues and they, much like Bolton, need strong, resolute, well informed leadership. He is just not that leader.

Ok, so here's the thing. I was out last week at an event in support of Marolyn Morrison and up struts Gord, all puffed out like a big 'ol rooster, all a smiling and just full of himself. He says to me " opponent withdrew his candidacy this morning...." followed with a grin like the Cheshire cat who just swallowed the canary. I shook my head at him and said "Yeah, Dave Lyons withdrew because his Father, John, is dying so it makes me wonder why you are all so smiley and giddy." Nice sentiment on your part Gord, real heart warmer you are. You are gloating about this withdrawal while the Lyons family are holding vigil on their Father's life. Do you think you could have at least shown a small modicum of class and respect to the Lyons family. Oh no, out comes the gloat. This Rooster needs to have his cox comb straightened out but real quick.I poke him and say "ya know Gord, I told Dave Lyons that even if he just left his name on the ballot, never even sent out a flyer, never posted a sign, never knocked a door, he'd still beat you." Gord's smile dropped quicker than if I had just heaved a twenty pound bag of potatoes off the CN Tower. "No he wouldn't have!" Gord replied in a pouty way. I resolutely responded"Oh yeah, he would have." I can see the glistening on his forehead...more beads of sweat as his face reddens. Which brings me to my next and most important question for Councillor Gordo McCluck.

If this is a gathering for support of Marolyn Morrison's re-election then what the heck was he doing there? It's blatantly obvious that during this past term he's been the mayoral wannabe's go to man for support. Anything to break those usual 7-2 vote scenarios. Amazing what a bit of eyelash batting and a desk drawer full of Werther's candy can get you these days. I'm hoping that at least he held out for the chocolate covered Werther's.

So I just came right out and asked him...."Gord...what are you doing here? One would assume that you'd be batting for the other's the deal Councillor McCluck?" Oh here come those beads of sweat and a lot of stuttering. Ok peeps, are you ready for this response because I sure wasn't. Here's what the smug 'ol Rooster had to say.

Well actually Annette has disappointed me on a few things, I counted on her for some support and she wasn't there for me so I've decided I'm not supporting her for Mayor." I turned to the the couple standing next to me and said "ok, you heard that too....Councillor McClure is not supporting Ms. Grove's in her bid for a mayoral seat." Holy chicken wings Batman! The Rooster tells da 'Coop that his little candy Pez dispenser ain't his mayoral pick. I just love days like this.

The sour soother of all of this is that this silly old Rooster is going to waltz back in to office uncontested unless someone puts their name in within the next week and a half. I'm quite sure that Gord McCluck is just checking the days off his calendar. This is a sad, sad day for the residents of Ward 2. Is there anyone over there on the west side paying attention any of this? All the election drama continues.

On a more sombre note, I'd like to extend my personal condolences to the Lyons family and especially the lovely Jewel, John's wife. Dave, I know you are smarting big time right now and I know your heart is broken. Please know that you and Judy, along with the whole Lyons clan have a community behind you that love and respect you very much. We are sending you all of our strength and faith over this next little while.

I know I've titled this column "There's A Rooster in 'da Coop" and I for the most part don't take requests but I've decided that this column should really be referred to as "Play Misty for me". So to the the Lyons family, this one's for you.

John Hamilton Lyons - December 29, 1925 - August 25, 2010 Rest in Peace

Saturday, August 21, 2010

I am Canadian

Gonna make this post a really quick note. Through the whispering pines of Bolton I have heard that there apparently is a movement afoot to shut down coopSpeak. Oh geez, I wonder who might be behind that little insurgency? Hmmmmmm....doesn't take much grey matter to figure that one out, does it.

One teensy tiny but rather important item. Before they get themselves all riled and fired up about shutting me down, thinking that they actually have that right and ability, they might want to take out a few minutes out of their day and read this; It is Section 2 which is referred to as Fundamental Freedoms from the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. It says:

Fundamental freedoms (section 2), namely freedom of conscience, freedom of religion, freedom of thought, freedom of belief, freedom of expression, freedom of the press and of other media of communication, freedom of peaceful assembly, and freedom of association.

To those people I say this. If you don't like the blog, don't read it. To those who think they have the ability to prevent me from writing it I say go back to the previous paragraph and read it again.

I'd just like to take this opportunity to thank all those people who are working behind the scenes to try and shut me down or discredit me. Please, by all means, keep it up. This week I had the most visits here on my blog than I've ever had before so this local blogging diva is really chuffed and one happy camper at all of this open action here at coopSpeak. If anyone has any suggestions about who I can send a thank you card for all that help, drop me a note. Love to hear your suggestions.

Happy Saturday. A girl goes west today to husk corn and meet some of my western Caledonites. Stay tuned because I'll have a few more comments to add to this later.


See my foodblog coopspeakeats with my review of the Valleywood Residents Association Corn Roast!

the girl behind the innocuous little blog that apparently no one is reading.

Monday, August 16, 2010

A Boy Named Sue

I love Midnight Madness. For as far back as I can remember it has always been a part of the summer time ritual synonymous with life in Bolton. As I recall the late Ralph Ransom was one of the original driving forces behind this annual summer time street party. How I miss his booming voice on the street as he would be organizing the set up. It was always a Friday night of burgers at the Rotary booth, Sno-cones with the kids, local entertainment on the stage and a chance to say hello to so many people you haven't seen in ages. Did I mention how much I love Midnight Madness?

Well this year it was a Midnight Madness of a very different kind. What started out as a beautiful, warm summer night and dinner with friends in the newly re-opened Baffo's, quickly turned into the Nightmare on Main Street. I got separated from my husband as we were both stopping to talk to different people. I was doing one of those 360 degree visual searches through the throngs of people, looking for him, when I realized that he had been hijacked by Terry Groves. I could see that Terry had his left hand firmly clamped on to my husband's shoulder and I could also see that Terry was right up in his face, his mouth was moving a mile a minute and he was waving his hand around. My husband's face was stoic and he wasn't speaking much. I snapped a picture from behind as I heard Terry loudly proclaim right close in to my husband's face "win or lose this election, after it's over I'm coming out swinging." Huh? Coming out swinging? Swinging at who?

I stepped around the side of my husband and chimed in "so what's all this chatter going on here and who are you planning on swinging at?....." Immediately Terry says "I'm talking about you...." Dennis looked at me and blithely says "he's telling me to get you under control....." Mr Groves then informs me that he is going to come after me and that he going to sue me. Great, another lawsuit on the already long list of his lawsuits. At least I'm in good company......Anne Livingston, Marolyn Morrison and now me. Hasn't the Groves family had enough of being involved with lawsuits? I wonder if he gets a bulk discount with his lawyer because he must have some monster legal fees for all these lawsuits he's incurring. Which leads me to wondering where the money comes from for all of that legal beagle activity. Lawyers can cost a pretty penny. Of course, as I recall, I believe at one point, Mr. Groves began representing himself during the legal action involving the Mayor. I really think Terry should change his name to a boy named Sue, a far more fitting moniker I would say.

"Are you threatening me?" I ask. "You are going to sue me for what? Being sarcastic?" Mr. Groves stepped right up into my personal space, pointing his finger in my face and began a rant about how I've been writing things about his wife and that he didn't like it and that I had better stop it or else. Or else. Whenever we tried to respond to any of his comments he just spoke over us, raising his voice as he continued to make menacing gestures towards me. I asked him three times to take his finger out of my face and to step back out of my space. He is doing all of this while wearing a tshirt that says "Annette Groves for Mayor". This ladies and gentlemen is the man behind the wannabe Mayor. The height of this ridiculousness hits its peak when he challenges me to a public debate. Yo dude, hasn't anyone told you. You aren't running for public office, your wife is. Do you have any idea of how silly you sound? Oh wait, is calling someone silly considered slanderous? Geez, maybe I need to call my Attorney. All of this carry on over a small, inconsequential, local blog that apparently no one is reading.

Now some might say I deserved Terry's vitriol, after all, I do often refer to his wife as the "cupcake"or as the Developer's Candidate and I don't paint a very kind picture of her. I have absolutely no problem with taking the heat that comes with being an opinionated kinda girl. I'm also quite well versed in the understanding about the parameters of slander and libel as many people who opine are. Last time I checked though I live in a country where I'm entitled to my opinion and I'm also entitled and free to write about it.

People don't have to read the blog. Some people don't like the blog, some people love the blog. Either way I have the right to write my opinion. This is the true test of tolerance for the right to freedom of speech. Writers & opinionists such as Ezra Levant, Mark Steyne, Michael Coren and even that wretched Anne Coulter, espouse opinions and material that totally and completely offend people and while I may not agree with some of their perspectives, I respect their right to the freedoms that allow them to do this.

How funny it was though to hear Mr. Groves tell me that he prints out every single copy of my blog but he hasn't actually read any of them. He told us that he doesn't read anything at all, none of the local papers, not my blog, not anybody else's scribings, not a word of anything...he just doesn't read. So wait, let me see if I understand this. Terry Groves is going to sue me over something I wrote that he hasn't even read? This just gets sillier by the minute.

If I had been taking off on the incumbent Mayor, Marolyn Morrison, you could bet your bottom dollar that the Groves camp would have been laughing their arses off, cheering me on and encouraging me to keep it up. They would love every single minute of it. I wrote Councillor Groves about the Friday night incident. She denied that her husband threatened me and that she insisted she was running a clean campaign. So now I'm going to call this couple the Cupcake and Mr. Clean.

Let's get the Windex out on this so we can have a clear view through the glass at this "clean" campaign that Annette Groves says she is running. On Friday night I saw a group of young men, all wearing Annette Groves for Mayor tshirts, bopping about Midnight Madness. I watched one of them walk right up to the Mayor and say "Hi, we are supporting Annette Groves for mayor. Would you like to support her for mayor?" Mayor Morrison, politely smiled and responded with "well actually I am the Mayor and no, I don't think I'll be supporting Mrs. Groves." The kid laughed in her face, turned around, scooted back to his crew and guess who is standing with them. Yup, Mr. Clean himself. They all stood there pointing, laughing and looking at the Mayor.

That was a really disgusting and blatant act of disrespect, not only to the office of the Mayor and the residents of this community, but also to a woman who has devoted two and half decades of her life in public service to her community. Those actions, which were obviously manoeuvred by the mayoral wannabe's husband, were completely unnecessary. It was pure ignorance personified. That is the tone of what Mr. Clean brings to this election. So, tell me Annette Groves, is this your idea of a clean campaign?

So here's my parting message to you Mr. Clean....oh look, I've just written another blog piece, not for you to read because you made it quite clear to us that you don't read. I wrote it just so you had another piece of paper to print out. Alas, another tree bites the dust.


Postscript: Here is the official response from the office of Annette Groves. This is what is posted online.

Annette Groves for Mayor of Caledon Official Statement from the Annette Groves Campaign: "The Annette Groves Campaign will not engage in the type of politics that Christine is trying to create. We will remain focused on the issues facing the municipality of Caledon and find ways to resolve them that benefits the Taxpayers."

We would like to extend our thanks and appreciation to so many who have contacted us since this incident occured. People who witnessed what happened on the street have offered to come forward to the police with us. People have emailed us photographs in case we needed them. I've received more notes, calls and emails than ever before. Your support is appreciated. Again, thanks.

Saturday, August 7, 2010


The cupcake speaks. A diva listens.

"As your elected representative, I have a long standing record of being pro active in planning our future and ensuring Caledon grows in a responsible manner while gaining the benefits associated with growth and leaving no community behind. Smart Growth in general is a necessity because it represents progress." - Regional Councillor & Mayoral Candidate Annette Groves

A diva ponders. Hmmmmm. What does this cupcakeSpeak really mean? More diva pondering. Ok, so let me give this to you in coopSpeak language. This is straight up pure political rhetorical cow patties. I'm fairly certain you can understand that language.

Councillor Groves claims that she has a long standing record of being proactive in planning our future. Annette Groves has never once ever voted in support of our Official Plan.. The official plan that is a well thought out, forward thinking plan. It was built with consensus from citizens, politicians, consultants and regional/provincial guidelines. It was an official plan that was developed through a very effective public process that had tons of clarity and community participation to it.

Councillor Groves tried to completely usurp the official plan, even though it was the will of the people of Caledon, the will of the Caledon Council and the will of the Regional Council, by attempting to bring a motion to the floor of the region only a week after ROPA 24 was voted on and adopted by all three municipalities of the region. Thank goodness Regional Chair Emil Kolb was on his game that day because he shut her down quicker than a Scotsman closes up his wallet when asked for money.

It was Councillor Groves who tried to knee cap the Town of Caledon and its citizens by stripping away the town's right to do its own planning and move it completely under the planning umbrella of the Region of Peel government. Excuse me? Why on earth would our own town want to hand over the reins of its planning development and direction to Mississauga & Brampton? Councillor Groves was prepared to completely circumvent the town's ability to have management of its own growth. How is this a demonstration of the integrity and the trust needed for responsible leadership especially as the highest ranking elected official of our community. It was subterfuge of the most negative kind and an act of mutiny against Caledon.

What benefits is Councillor Groves referring to in her statement? Urban sprawl and residential urban development doesn't pay its own way. It never has, it never will. If Councillor Groves got all that sprawl she has been so valiantly scrapping for there would be massive tax increases to all Caledon residents. I'll be bringing the math forward on those formulas shortly. I'm just waiting to verify fiscal numbers from the town treasury.

How is acting like an out of control rogue representing us in a responsible manner? Simply, it is not.

Caledon cannot afford this kind of leadership.

"Smart Growth in general is a necessity because it represents progress." Smart growth is such a hot button punch phrase and our wannabe mayoral cupcake is going to use it alot. It sounds smart. It sounds like she's got her finger on the pulse of the understanding of growth. Don't be fooled people. So what exactly is "Smart Growth"?

There is an actual official body at the Province of Ontario called the "Ontario Smart Growth Network". They speak to things such as a movement back to urban villages, non automobile networks, fostering healthy communities and controlling urban sprawl. All sounds great, right? All sounds like it speaks to what Caledon is so desperately trying to utilize to protect uncontrolled and improperly planned growth, right? Think again.

Scratch beneath the surface and the facade of Smart Growth and you'll discover it also speaks to a population target of 50 citizens per hectare of ground. That ground includes both commercial/industrial and residential. Now in a place like Mississauga & Brampton they can easily meet their targets of 50 citizens per hectare because of things such as office towers and condominiums. In Caledon, and in particular in Bolton, we are meeting about 38 citizens per hectare of the requirement.

So think about this. If Councillor Groves supports Smart Growth then what she is really saying is that she is supporting increasing Bolton/Albion's population by at least another third of the current population. That is just for Bolton, imagine if she could get her hands on the rest of Caledon and apply the same fundamentals of her Not So Smart Growth strategies. Is this Councillor Grove's version of responsible planning in our communities? Wow, that is some kinda cupcakeSpeak.

I sure hope the western side of Caledon is tuning in on her planning strategies. I'm quite sure there are several developers just salivating at the thought of spreading far and away outside of Bolton. I think that is what she meant when she said "no community will be left behind" which is really cupcakeSpeak for "As your Mayor I will support Smart Growth for all of Caledon." Egads. That is one whole lotta cupcakes in the Bolton Albion & Caledon community. It is my personal opinion that when you wipe away all of Councillor Groves rhetoric, and there is a lot of it, what you really have is that she is essentially the DEVELOPER'S CANDIDATE. I just can't say it any plainer and more straight forward than that. Councillor Annette Groves is the developer's candidate. If she gets elected then we might as well just hand over the keys to the town to the developers and change the name of our community from Caledon to Vaughan. The only silver lining of Councillor Grove's support of Smart Growth is the silver that will be lining the pockets of the developers. Cha-ching!

This is very savvy campaigning in the Groves camp by using the Smart Growth tactic because for the most part most people don't understand the fundamentals of it. It sure sounds good. Ultimately though it will become the very tool that Councillor Groves, if elected Mayor, will use to open the door to massive urban sprawl. I will say this again. Simply put. Simply said. Councillor & Mayoral wannabe Annette Groves is absolutely the Developer's Candidate.

How's that for some basic coopSpeak?

Stay tuned for more cupcakeSpeak to coopSpeak to come. I've got a sweet tooth craving tonight. Time to eat some cake...cupcakes.


A post script from the Author: Wowza. My email box has been flooded with notes. By far and away this is the most personal reaction I've had to a blog posting yet. Thank you for your notes, your comments and your input. I'm really happy to hear that my explanation of what "Smart Growth" is really about has finally begun to take hold. This is a good thing. Keep on reading. This blog author is very appreciative.