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February 09, 2012


Was it worth it?

Money not well spent. :-( What a shame.

Worth every penny.

$233K as of Dec 31st -- is this the final amount?

Lets look at the greed issue.
McCrae had no children.
His Medals apparently belonged to his Sister (because of his death in 1918).
They "disappeared" and after a gap of many years turned up in the hands of an auctioneer. So how good a guardian of the Medals was the sister?
A benevolent man Mr. Lee pays about $502,000 for them and donates them to the McCrae House. What a magnificent gesture.
Then the wife of former failed politico John Turner and another relative raise a stink about these medals. Greedy, Greedy, Greedy. No charity in their hearts whatsoever. Net result the City pays $233,000 as per the press to an outside agency to deal with their demands.
Some things to think about:
Why was Turner's wife so greedy? The effort by Mr Lee was magnanimous, the actions by Mrs. Turner and her relative were mean spirited and avaricious. What better place for the medals than in the John MacCrae museum in the City of his birth.
So who is the hero in this, and which of John McCrea's relatives are lower than a snake's belly?
Next question - How many Lawyers are on City Staff? And why then whenever there is a problem does the Legal Beagle call in the heavy hitters from Bay Street to handle the case at premium fees?
And what exactly did they do for this significant expense? Does this mean that the City Lawyers are so weak that they could not have contacted the claimants and negotiated the same result at no extra expense to the City?
And have they never heard of the Taxing Master? That is the authority that examines the Legal fees of any Lawyer or legal firm to determine whether the fees were appropriate for the services performed and if not, then the fees are scaled back, quite often to a fraction of the billed amount.
There is so much that is rotten at City Hall, and of course as long as you have an OPIRG activist as Mayor, this City will continually be screwed financially.

Sorta bad all around, the mistake his sister made was leaving them with her lawyer, it doesn't seem fair that it was his family that got the money. And then we have to pay more lawyers to keep them. I sense a trend here.

Just another example of a total waste of taxpayers money by Farbridge's approval. It only amounts to nearly $2.00 per every man woman and child to make a settlemen with somthing that we owned. Its clearly a case of outside lawyers bambozzingly our staff and Mayor. NO balls at City Hall

And in other news, this:

Mark.Amorosi@guelph.ca to administration
show details Feb 24 (2 days ago)

Hello Guelph Standard,

The City interacts with legitimate media outlets that follow the Ethics Guidelines of the Canadian Association of Journalists.

Please be advised that after consideration, the decision has been made that the City of Guelph will not respond to requests for information from any personal ‘blog’ website.

Therefore, I am writing to inform you that the City of Guelph will no longer respond to requests for information from your blog website ‘The Guelph Standard.’


What? If you have a blog Guelph won't respond to your requests for information?

I suggest a number of easily-obtainable, inexpensive, yet particularly inconvenient ATI (Access To Information) requests. You'd be surprised what a broad range of info must be released under the act. The beauty is that even if the requests are unrelated, they'll wonder what you're fishing for. People with something to hide: it's fun to pull their chains.

What info was he looking for?


It say they are members of the Canadian Association of Journalists. Do they not follow the ethics?

tonyt -- I don't think City Hall has made a statement that the Guelph Standard was not following the CAJ code of ethics.

In an ironic twist of affairs we have paid $233 K (+ additional billing? + staff time?) to work out an agreement regarding wartime medals and at the same time seem to be formalizing the notion of City Hall-approved media outlets. All over a request for the expenses of a Councillor attending a conference in Italy.

Two questions for your ward councillors:

1. Do you agree that councillor expenses should be made public -- yes, or no.

2. Do you agree that City Hall should have a policy about who and who it does not answer questions from?

Simple questions, yes or no answers from your councillors. It would be interesting to know what media outlets and journalists think of this as well.

Thanks, Craig.

Pretty cut and dried, it seems to me. Councillor, ostensibly all about the less fortunate, blows taxpayer cash on completely frivolous trip to Italy.

In the absence of information I will take a page from Maggie Laidlaw and assume the worst.

It would seem that you would be correct in that, GOCorporal; as far as assumptions go, given the nature of the information sought -- i.e., it's not staff severance kind of stuff -- we can speculate that either:

1. It would be embarrassing to release it;
2. The powers-that-be are sufficiently self-assured in their right to determine fairly arbitratarily the basis by which what info gets released to whom that it doesn't particularly care how it looks. Or it is oblivious to it.

Both seem to be partisan in nature. One stems from arrogance though.

In the end, City Hall has boxed itself in with this new direction. In a few ways.

I can think of blogs, even "personal blogs" that really don't involve journalism per se that would have cause to pose a question to someone. Even to a City Hall. It will be interesting to see the inconsistencies in how this new dictum is applied. But those who are journalists should reflect on the slippery slope of all of this.

Official speak, hello, old friend.

Chill rollin' in.

And on Cam's Ward 4 News website:


Looking forward to Cam bringing his motion to Council.

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Joanne Shuttleworth is the newsroom lead in municipal affairs coverage for the Guelph Mercury. She is a former Guelph YWCA Woman of Distinction honouree and a past winner of an Ontario Newspapers Award for her work as an editor. You can reach her at jshuttleworth@guelphmercury.com

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