Posts Tagged ‘citizen’

Should London Be Sued?

June 22, 2008

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fowgre avatarAre you a woman who’s ever been raped? Are you somebody who has ever been otherwise physically assaulted? Are you elderly and afraid to walk the streets past dusk? Are you a parent who worries about the safety of your children after they leave your house? If so, this post is for you…

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Closed Meetings at City Hall

May 31, 2008

fowgre avatar“The Municipal Council of the Corporation of the City of London has selected the Ombudsman of Ontario as the closed meeting investigator pursuant to section 239.1(b) of the Municipal Act, 2001, as amended. Requests for an investigation of whether the municipality or local board has complied with section 239 of the Municipal Act, 2001, as amended or a procedure by-law under subsection 238(2) in respect of a meeting that was closed to the public are to be submitted directly to the Office of the Ombudsman of Ontario, Bell Trinity Square, 483 Bay Street, 10th Floor, South Tower., Toronto, ON M5G 2C9. Further information is available at the Ombudsman of Ontario website.”

Despite the fact that I have frequently suggested to members of Council that there needs to be an Ombudsman for citizens to appeal to, and despite the fact that I referred to that when I appeared before the Governance Task Force, and despite the fact that I have also suggested that interested citizens ought to be able to subscribe to topics of interest (via RSS feeds, listserve, etc), not much progress has happened. I only just stumbled across this announcement on the City of London website by accident, while looking for something totally unrelated. And a quick investigation shows that there was no mention of it in any media release (that are posted on the city website).

Given that fact, and the previous communication that I received from the Ombudsman’s office, I’ve decided to make an inquiry about something that’s been gnawing at me for some time…

Do the kind of practices employed by the Corporation of the City of London and which I’ve complained about, effectively constitute a ‘closed door’? Things like:

  • Not publishing agendas online until the Friday immediately prior to the Monday meeting
  • Holding all of the Standing Committee meetings at the same time
  • The problem of citizens not being able to hear proceedings
  • Ignoring requests for recorded meetings
  • Ignoring requests that all votes be recorded
  • Ignoring communications about public safety issues
  • Refusing to allow me to appear before ACCAC
  • The secretive/deceptive manner in which my proposal for a Pedestrian Advisory Committee was handled

It will be interesting to see if the Ombudsman’s office is willing to investigate and, if so, whether or not they agree with me.

Lobbying for London’s Pedestrians

May 5, 2008

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Trying to keep you informed about what’s going on.

Look for the follow-up post.

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Paul Berton’s Belated April Fool’s Joke

April 6, 2008

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According to Paul Berton’s latest advertorial, “We’re redesigning the print version of The London Free Press…with a focus on local news.” *cough*

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Alt-Journalism, London Style

March 24, 2008

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Paul Berton over at the London Free Press likes to harp about the professionalism of his industry and to make aspersions about citizen journalism, but I think the fact is he’s scared. Scared that his shrunken workforce is no longer capable of turning out a quality NEWSpaper, and scared that the local online community is rapidly evolving into a force that can.

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GCPMCA – 2008/02/19

February 19, 2008

When: Tuesday, February 19 @ 7pm-9pm
Where: Glen Cairn Community Resource Centre
150 King Edward Ave., London
What: Glen Cairn & Pond Mills Community Assoc.
We all have something to share!

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Sued For Being an Exemplary Citizen

February 1, 2008

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Could this happen in Canada? In Ontario? In London?

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Monteith Appointed Citizenship Judge

December 20, 2007

mug shotOntario’s Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Diane Finley, announced on Tuesday that Russ Monteith has been appointed as a citizenship judge for a 3-year, part-time term.

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Khalil Ramal’s PR BS

September 4, 2007
FlickOffLiberals graphic
pig pic
Pigs at the Trough

Notwithstanding the fact that the election writ hasn’t been dropped and this is therefore legal, I find it distasteful that London-Fanshawe Liberal MPP Khalil Ramal’s office just sent out a full-colour glossy 5.5″ x 8.5″ PR postcard.

The justification from politicians for these things (and politicians of EVERY political stripe do it) is that it’s to keep their constituents updated about what’s going on. But, come on… how informative are they, ever? Truth is, these things are mainly taxpayer-funded PR pieces. The intent is to raise the politician’s name recognition, the biggest single factor in electoral success.

What I find most objectionable about this mailout, is the attempt to portray Ramal as somebody who is responsive to his constituents because he was “moved” by a purportedly oxycontin-influenced double-suicide and thereafter “introduced a private member’s bill to monitor the prescription of drugs like this one.”

Tugs at your heart strings, doesn’t it? I’m sure that it’s meant to.

Well, I’m another one of Ramal’s constituents. How responsive has he been to me?

To begin with, he didn’t demonstrate any respect for my democratic rights when I tried to contest the last municipal election and ran into a roadblock by ODSP and asked him for assistance. Apparently, that didn’t bother him at all.

Ask yourself this question… If Mr. Ramal doesn’t have any respect for the democratic rights of other citizens (and the right to participate in the democratic process is about as fundamental as it gets), then does Mr. Ramal have any moral right to hold public office himself?

Another example. I’ve been very active trying to promote pedestrian rights and speaking out about pedestrian safety issues. I was instrumental in having London police do a study about the intersection at Commissioners/Pond Mills, which is in the riding that Mr. Ramal represents. It’s one of those “channelized” intersections which are becoming increasingly popular with city engineers, and they’re characterized by rounded corners and pedestrian “islands.” In the study, London police confirm that this design is dangerous to pedestrians. Has Mr. Ramal shown any concern about this? Has he discussed the situation with the city? According to my recent Freedom of Information appeal, the answer is NO. Has he responded to me? The answer is NO.

I’ll give him credit for this though… he doesn’t seem to miss very many photo op’s.

Links:

http://www.londontopic.ca/article.php?artid=4798
http://www.altlondon.org/article.php?story=20070904084207978

Democracy under attack?

April 4, 2007

According to this CBC News investigation, Citizenship and Immigration Minister Diane Finley is attempting to downplay the number of Canadians who have already been stripped of their citizenship over the past 7 years because of obscure sections of the country`s 1947 Citizenship Act. And CBC estimates that there may be more than 200,000 current Canadians who are also at risk of losing their citizenship.

Political Salaries

October 6, 2006

  I am entitled to my entitlements.”
– David Dingwall

In today’s paper (“Politicians entitled to their entitlements?”; Victoria Stirling (London); LFP “Letters”; 2006/10/07), a local citizen muses aloud about the financial gulf between politicians and many of the rest of us.

I have long suggested that the salaries of politicians at all levels of government should be directly tied to the minimum wage, or to what those who are on welfare receive. Perhaps then, the politicians would be more cognizant of the plight of those that they profess to serve, as opposed to their own “entitlements.”

As part of my Ward 1 Municipal Campaign, I’ve promised that if elected I will attempt to have bylaw A-9 (which covers salaries and expenses for members of Council) modified in that manner.