Monday, May 22, 2017


Damning With Faint Praise

Three female Cambridge Councillors present at an International Women's day breakfast last March. Two of the three routinely (if not always) vote with Mayor Craig. The third Jan Liggett is her own person. She votes according to the issues which means sometimes she votes contrary to the Mayor's position. Over the last two and a half years Cambridge's mayor has been displeased. He has his sycophants on Council, both male and female and Cambridge citizens know who they are. He has made it very clear by past behaviour whom he favours and whom he disfavours on his Council.

Along comes a golden opportunity to show some class. Maybe just as we have a Mother's Day and a Father's Day, perhaps we should have both an International Women's Day as well as an International Men's Day. Or perhaps most men would be embarassed by the simple, historical fact that women have long been valued for their traditional strengths and grossly undervalued for so called men's areas of strength ie. organization, courage, strength, decision making under fire etc.. To deny that women have for centuries and millennia been discriminated against just as African-Americans have been in the U.S., would be beyond ridiculous. Hence a golden opportunity for the Mayor of Cambridge to simply add his weight to the belated recognition of all women as having virtues and strengths equal to those of their male counterparts.

Nope not Mayor Craig. He used the opportunity on International Women's Day to damn with faint praise a female councillor who disagrees with him on many issues. How clever and subtle he was by praising his two favourite women councillors as "...mentors that have helped shaped my values on women's issues." Pretty swarmy that was Doug; taking a backhanded, partisan slap at a female colleague on International Women's Day.

Interesting to me that the Integrity Commissioner is an Interim one, namely Agree Inc.. The firm of ADR Chambers departed in March but did not disclose why. Up here in Woolwich, ADR Chambers are our Integrity Commissioner just as they are in Kitchener and Waterloo. I was present for their presentation to Woolwich Council recently and was quite impressed. Impressed with their presentation that is. It was smooth, professional and folksy all in one. Almost gave me a warm glow in my heart. Wow does truth and honesty actually have a place anywhere in politics? Does anyone else find this whole exercise just a little unlikely?

The province have mandated by legislation that municipalities have Integrity Commissioners. This of course is one of the more corrupt provincial governments we've had in recent memory and they are legislating integrity in municipal governments? Might just as well legislate that all politicians must tell the truth upon pain of three wet noodles across the head otherwise. Yes that sanction is just about right. These Integrity Commissioners report to Council who are not remotely bound to follow their advice anyways. Best case for Councils is that these Commissioners merely reinforce their positions by adding their supporting opinions (as in Cambridge) and worst case scenario is that Councils say thank you for your opinion but we respectfully disagree and then restate their position for further public consumption. Are they all window dressing or are some for real? Only time will tell. So far however not so good.

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