At one time a local Municipality used to be the first and last refuge for citizens to see their interests protected, their tax dollars used wisely and their problems from roads to schools, to land use issues and down to garbage handling, all get reasonable and responsible decison making results by the very people who were elected locally.
Not so today!
Over the past few decades a virtual slow motion erosion of your Rights and Democratic processes have been hijacked, dismantled and legislated out of existence by a very evil and despicable group of politicians that call Queen’s Park their home.
These various Governments over the years have sucked the very life blood and tax dollars out of small town Ontario until there isn’t enough left of what one can call their own Council left to be even recognizable as a legitimate office of the Land.
These various Municipalities across Rural Ontario have become nothing more than a highly organized TAX COLLECTOR for the Provincial pockets!
Here’s Ontario today, $238,000,000,000.00 (that’s billions) in debt, and having to pay a massive $10,000,000,000.00 per year in just interest charges on that debt and yet most people are wondering what the hell is going on?
This is what is going on. We are being robbed, cheated, beaten and sold out to scammers and developers who want our lands, homes, and money, all with the blessings of the Ontario Government.
And where are OUR Municipal Councils shouting at the top of their lungs that their townships are dying, virtually being abandoned and are in such dire straits financially that now all they can offer their electorate are surly faces, insulting comments when questioned and closed door meetings so the PEOPLE who pay their wages are kept in the dark almost continually.
When asked to explain contentious issues the Councils invariably look to the Association of Municipalities of Ontario, the AMO, for answers.
Supposedly an unbiased organization that has become to go-between between Queen’s Park and Rural Ontario’s Municipalities, does the following cause you any concern when you read at the bottom of the invitation how Nextera has been present at the last 6 AMO meetings flogging their Green Energy nightmare????
HERE IS THE STATEMENT CONTAINED BELOW:
“Nextera Energy Canada is pleased to participate in the annual AMO conference as an exhibitor, bringing awareness to the potential for wind energy in Ontario communities. This is Nextera Energy Canada’s seventh year participating in the conference.”
Maybe you could call your local Council on this one and ask them what the hell is going on? WE are paying these Councillors to attend these conferences where the host has become a LOBBY GROUP for Wind Developers???
Maybe this is the root cause of the rot within?
This is an invitation to a Councillor of a local Council in Ontario pushing their wind development.
They are the same group who are suing Esther Wrightman and trying to financially destroy this woman for having a negative opinion on their bully tactics in Ontario.
Also see the background that has developed so far on all that’s wrong within our Municipal Councils and why we should be removing this cancerous growth of anti-democratic rule from within every single township in Rural Ontario. Until that is taken care of, forget about fighting the Provincial level and winning anything!
Most Municipalities in Ontario have been “hijacked” and are actually being run by non-elected organizations!
This post is an update of an earlier one regarding CAO’s and how they may not be working in the best interests of your Municipality but for the interests of outside organizations that answers to the Provincial Government!
Most Councillors for Municipalities are elected by their friends, families and fellow neighbours as they are part of your community and live alongside you where you get to know their habits, personal information and backgrounds.
Not so Chief Administrative Officers (CAO’s)
Where do they come from and who hires them?
In many Townships across Ontario these days when a new CAO is announced and introduced to the public by way of a Press Release or township notification, they seem to always be from “somewhere outside” your Township.
All the more important is how much influence do these people have over decision-making inside Council Chambers and with your By-Laws that affect everything from fence heights to tax payments?
Typically Council Members always have the CAO hulking about in the background whenever anything formal is being discussed and specially during regular Council Meetings where many times the Council Members will ask the CAO for clarification in the discussions and ask if what they are doing is legal or Parliamentary.
At times it almost appears the CAO is driving the agenda. In a few instances the CAO actually addresses the public who attend Council meetings directly with advice or even admonishment on their behaviour.
For a paid employee who is paid much more than regular Council members and usually lasts a lot longer than a 4 year election span, these individuals have acquired a huge amount of influence over public matters even though they aren’t elected to behave so.
What could go wrong?…………………….PLENTY!
The Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) is supposed to be an “advisory” organization that bridges the gap between the Municipal and Provincial levels of Government and “advises” Councils when required, to make decision-making more transparent FOR the citizens of a Municipality.
According to their mandate: ………….“The MOU provides the opportunity for municipal input and reaction to provincial policy ideas (pre-consultation) so that they are fully informed as part of any provincial policy making process.”
Along with the AMO comes this organization which is was established in 1992 by the AMO to provide services to Municipalities and basically is the “go-to” org for Councils who admit that the job they were elected to do, “manage the Municipality for the PEOPLE” can’t be done by them, then they contact this group: The LAS (Local Authority Services).
After all, why should we expect that elected officials be able to do the job they were elected to do just because they say they can during an election campaign?????………………….actually……………YES!
To be truthful, we must agree that most Councillors are not fully informed bureaucrats that have intimate knowledge of Parliamentary procedures and tend to ask many questions on “language and details” that have to be used when By-Laws and legal contracts are being discussed and written.
That goes without saying. Hire someone who is knowledgeable. That would be the CAO.
BUT, and this is the elephant in the room, but, when the CAO is “hijacked” by the AMO and in turn if the AMO is “hijacked” by the Provincial Government, then Municipal Councils are then being fed a one-sided opinion of the outcome on debatable subjects.
Taking this idea to the extreme one could label the situation as“CORRUPTED“!
So who does a Council “go to” for a new CAO???
The following research may raise a few eyebrows and prompt concerned citizens to question their Council’s hiring practices that may not be totally “independent” of political influence!
The first stop in the “hunt” for a new CAO could start here at the Ontario Municipal Administrator Association (OMAA) .
This association apparently finds CAO’s, trains them and provides a recruiting service when a Municipality needs a new one.
Nothing wrong with that.
Then along came this little story from Sudbury when the Ontario Ombudsmen Andre Marin was deeply involved in an investigation on closed door meetings and the following announcement was made………….“Marin was out as the city’s closed-meeting investigator, and a private company was in.”
The full story is as follows and apparently some Councillors weren’t too pleased with this announcement. The Private Company hired was Amberley Gavel Ltd where a man by the name of Nigel Bellchamber works with this firm and trains CAO’s along with various services involving the Ontario Municipal Act and consults with Councils across Ontario.
Nigel Bellchamber was also part-time General Manager of the Ontario Municipal Administrator Association (OMAA).
For an in-depth look at how Agenda 21 and how our Municipal Planning agenda has been hijacked by an unelected group of individuals who mean absolute harm and loss of Property Rights to all citizens go to this link and spend time watching Elizabeth Marshall open this “can of worms” which lays out the reasons WE Landowners are being attacked by our very own Municipalities!
Additional information on how badly “hijacked” our Municipalities have become by outside sources can be located below:
“Combined with swiftly-growing public exposure of the devious “strategic planning process” that enables “integrated” Local Agenda 21/Sustainable Development/Smart Growth impositions on unsuspecting “local” populations, as clearly outlined in Section 6 of the 46-page “Municipal Primer on UNCED” that was prepared for the unelected “Federation of Canadian Municipalities” (FCM) and the unelected “Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment Inc.” (CCME) in 1994… copies of which I hear are now privately flooding the entire “left coast” of North America as well… in BOTH “official” languages, proving helpful also for speakers/readers of a south/central American spanish dialect anywhere south of the 49th …
Feb. 13, 2013
In less than 15 minutes, Ontario Ombudsman Andre Marin — a man who has clashed with city councillors and is generally supported by the public — was out as the city’s closed-meeting investigator, and a private company was in.
Ward 3 Coun. Claude Berthiaume brought up a surprise-to-some motion toward the end of Tuesday night’s city council meeting to reconsider its 2011 decision to appoint Marin as its investigator.
“We are in midterm. We have done two years, we’ve got two years left,” said Berthiaume. “I thought it would be a good idea to review the issue of the closed meeting investigator.”
Berthiaume suggested appointing private firm Amberley Gavel to do any future investigations into closed meetings. The company is part of the Local Authority Services (LAS) closed meeting investigator program. LAS is a subsidiary of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO).
“We have this opportunity to make changes and in lieu of the ombudsman use this group,” Berthiaume added. “I have a good feeling they do understand municipalities a lot better than the ombudsman’s office does.”
Amberley Gavel, a London, Ont.-based firm, was established by Fred Dean and Nigel Bellchamber. Dean was the City of Sudbury’s solicitor for 23 years and has also acted as legal counsel for Greater Sudbury.
Mayor Marianne Matichuk defended Marin, and said she was “not impressed” with the motion.
“At the last hour being presented with this and not even being informed about it, I do have the same concerns. I have no idea who this Amberley Gamel is.
“Quite frankly, I think the ombudsman is doing a good job. I may not like what he does, but that’s too bad … There’s a bit of transparency and there’s integrity with the process, using someone that other municipalities do. So I will not be supporting this.”
Ward 9 Coun. Doug Craig was the only other person to defend the ombudsman.
“I think if we’re going to have an ombudsman, we may as well have the current ombudsman that we have. We’ve had a pretty good time with him. He let us go a couple of times and took us to task here the last time, but if you’re going to have an ombudsman who does his job and gets things done, tells you what you’ve done wrong, that’s the kind of ombudsman I want.”
Last August Marin took council to task for being, as he called them, “the least co-operative body we have ever investigated.”
He came to Sudbury to investigate secret meetings held by city council in 2011 to discuss the performance of Auditor General Brian Bigger. Berthiaume and Craig, as well as Matichuk, were the only ones who agreed to participate in the investigation and interview process.
Ward 10 Coun. Frances Caldarelli, who has in the past pushed for council to no longer use Marin’s services, said the ombudsman was “unbelievably rude” when he came to speak to councillors in December.
“I think most of us would be very hard pressed to think of a reason why we wanted to continue that relationship. I think the ombudsman probably means well but I think he has very limited knowledge of municipalities.”
Despite defending Marin, Craig sided with his fellow councillors to support the motion to no longer use Marin as investigator. The motion passed 12-1, with only Matichuk voting against it.
“He’s someone who has done investigations for awhile, and I look upon him as someone who holds accountability and transparency,” she said after the meeting.
“I don’t know what this firm (Amberley Gavel) is. And to make a decision based on that, I like to base my decisions on facts, not (what) somebody said. So I would have liked to have seen a report, I would have liked to see more information and done my research.”
Update on Marin’s dismissal at Sudbury
By: Darren MacDonald – Sudbury Northern Life | Apr 21, 2013
Jamie Canapini not expected to be present when his future is discussed
City solicitor Jamie Canapini, left, has had a history of disagreements with Ontario Ombudsman Andre Marin. File photos.
The future of City Solicitor Jamie Canapini is expected to be the subject of a closed-door meeting before Tuesday’s city council meeting, Northern Life has learned.
But sources say Canapini isn’t expected to be present at the meeting, which Mayor Marianne Matichuk put on the closed-door meeting agenda at the request of some city councillors.
The meeting is the result of letters Canapini and Matichuk sent Ontario Ombudsman Andre Marin regarding council’s decision to fire Marin as its private meeting investigator. In March, at the mayor’s request, city council voted to send Marin a letter asking him to investigate complaints about the way he was fired.
There have been a number of complaints that there was a secret meeting before the Feb. 12 city council meeting, where, acting quickly on a notice of motion from Ward 3 Coun. Claude Berthiaume, all city councillors except for Matichuk voted to fire Marin.
Three councillors changed their vote – Ward 1 Coun. Joe Cimino, Ward 8 Coun. Fabio Belli and Ward 9 Coun. Doug Craig — at the Feb. 26 meeting, but it wasn’t enough to reverse the decision.
In the days following the vote, Marin said his office had received more than 40 complaints alleging city councillors had met in secret before the Feb. 12 vote. In an interview with Northern Life in February, Berthiaume said he had discussed his motion with fellow councillors one-on-one, but denied any meeting had taken place.
On March 26, Matichuk asked city councillors to support sending Marin a letter formally asking him to investigate those complaints. The city’s new closed-door investigator, Local Authority Services, has said it can’t look into any meetings held before it was officially appointed.
“I would like to request our city solicitor send a letter to the ombudsman requesting he investigate the complaints we know he has received,” Matichuk said March 26. “I think we owe it to the public … to close this gap.”
But in the April 3 letter Canapini sent the ombudsman, the city’s lawyer suggests Marin has a conflict of interest in this case, and says the city would be satisfied if he were to delegate the investigation to a third party.
“Having regard for the importance of a closed-door meeting investigator’s independence and impartiality, the investigation of the alleged meetings by the Office of the Ombudsman … may result in a conflict of interest,” Canapini writes.
“As such, my client would be amenable should Mr. Marin choose to exercise his powers … to delegate the investigation to an independent investigator.”
However, a day later, the mayor’s office sent a letter saying that Canapini had gone beyond what was asked of him.
“The letter you received April 3, 2013, contains opinions of the city solicitor that the mayor and council did not authorize him to express,” Matichuk’s letter says.
Following through on researching more information on Nigel Bellchamber we attempt to find his website which is listed on Gavel’s website as: N. G. Bellchamber & Associates since 2001.
No website exists, not that it is wrong, but one would wonder why a Municipal Council would hire a consultant and pay them with tax payers dollars and not have any modern reference site where citizens would have access to that consulting firm.
If you do a “search” for N.G. Bellchamber & Associates you will come up with at least 155 results showing that this company has been very active within many many Councils in Ontario and makes one wonder when COA’s are “trained” by a private enterprise, can they graduate with a totally unbiased attitude when assuming a post that is definitely supposed to be non-political??
The real issue here is why would a Council dump our Ontario Ombudsman in favour of a Private Consulting firm that has documented “associations” with CAO’s across Ontario????
Further research shows that Nigel Bellchamber is deeply involved in“Sustainable Development” within Municipalities“ also being actively promoted by the AMO which of course is just a soft description of Agenda 21 which has now been OUTLAWED in many U.S. jurisdictions!
The statement ”transparent and open” is being used so often lately by Provincial and Municipal politicians that are being questioned by concerned citizens about their behaviour that one cannot dismiss irregularities like the above any more without digging deeper and demanding that Councils across Ontario open up their hiring practices for all Ontarians to see and scrutinize instead of being told that everything was done in a closed meeting and cannot be publicly exposed!
How public participation can be Halted!
Feb 21, 2013 By Richard Turtle
EMC News -Madoc -Beginning last week, Centre Hastings Council won’t be opening the floor to questions at the end of its regular meetings, but has increased the number of possible delegations from three to four.
Council had invited public questions in the past but enacted a bylaw last week to end the practice. At a recent workshop for municipal councillors and department heads held at the Madoc Arts Centre, presenters Fred Dean and Nigel Bellchamber urged against deviating from an existing agenda by allowing unscheduled public input.
So with a pair of delegations and a list of regular business, the session continued according to the existing items remaining.
With provincial energy regulations being imposed on municipalities, Tyler Peters arrived in Madoc last week to remind officials of their obligations in the coming months.
Peters is president of Evergreen Energy Solutions, an engineering and energy management company based in Bancroft, who appeared as a delegation before council last week. Peters explained that there are two stages to the provincial regulations, in place since January 1, 2012, requiring municipalities, hospitals, school boards and others to conduct a review of facilities and provide a report on energy demand. By July 1, he says, an assessment of buildings must be conducted and the reports filed with the Ministry of Energy. The second component, he adds, involves the creation of a longer-range energy plan, due July 1, 2014, with reassessments every five years.
Asked by Clerk Pat Pilgrim how much such an assessment would cost, Peters replied that costs are based on a formula which takes into account the number of buildings and square footage, estimating a cost of $7,500 to conduct a review of five to eight buildings. Costs could vary significantly depending on variables such as the distance between buildings.