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.