Thursday, February 8, 2018


It was less than two years ago that Woolwich Council badly miscalculated. My first question is did they do it on the advice of their CAO, David Brenneman? If so I'm surprised that he hasn't left the ship by now. During March and April 2016 they suffered the wrath, indignation and contempt of the local Waterloo Region media and likely more.

It may have started in August 2015. That is when Council got up and walked out on my Delegation to them. They firstly kept interrupting my Delegation with petty complaints about its' content then they got up and walked out. Not coincidentally they had been on the receiving end of a lot of bad publicity already what with Mark Bauman, Sandy Shantz and Scott Hahn all publicly embarrassed over their failures to produce accurate election financial statements as required by law. Then they also got hit with an embarrassing slap on the wrist from the provincial Ombudsman because they'd been holding iiegal closed (in camera) Council meetings.

They were still on the prod when Dr. Dan Holt came to Council the following March to thank them for putting warning signs, not to eat the fish, along the Canagagigue Creek. Council looked like complete idiots after Dr. Holt asked why they refused to let him speak and they sputtered and hemmed and hawed and made noises about he should go to an environmental committee of Council rather than to Council. They were grasping at straws at best and it showed. Then when they relented and he publicly thanked them for taking the initiative with their signs along the creek, well you could have heard a pin drop. Committed to turning their disgraceful behaviour into a complete public fiasco they then passed a Motion stating that in future all proposed Delegates to Council first had to go through the appropriate Council appointed committee.

CKCO-TV, 570 News Radio, the Woolwich Observer, and the Waterloo Region Record just jumped all over Woolwich Council. News stories, Opinion pieces and Letters To The Editor took turns condemning Woolwich Council and their obvious attempts at both censoring citizens and for discriminating against local environmental activists. Dr. Holt, myself and Lynne Hare all spoke at the next Council meeting and we roundly blasted them for their ham fisted attempts to silence both free speech and critics of their decisions.

Lynne Hare lectured Council about democracy and free speech. Contrary to Sandy Shantz's comment that Council is not a soapbox, Lynne advised her and Council that yes Council Chambers are a soapbox for concerned citizens to bring their issues to Council. The Woolwich Observer had a wonderful cartoon showing a skunk letting loose in Council Chambers with the comment that "Like we couldn't see that coming". Local newspapers used words like "cringeworthy spectacle, censoring and gagging the public".

Deceitful to the end, Council then tried to wiggle their way out of both their behaviour and the Motion they had passed at the previous meeting. Mark Bauman suggested that they had slightly amended the Motion to now state that Delegates would be given the option to go to committees first, but if they wanted they could come directly to Council. Even in defeat Woolwich Council were more interested in face saving than in doing the right thing. Councillor Murray Martin, always the class act, stole the show with his petty, vindictive comment referring to environmental activists as "those people" and "people like that". At least most of Council knew when they had publicly made fools of themselves. Once again Council showed that their Rules of Conduct, Procedural By-Laws and the like are meant to only control the public. They feel that they are exempt from their very own rules of decency and respectful behaviour.

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