Political Analyst and Observer, Bill Longworth's, Weekly "Eye on City Hall" Columns, as published in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada's Oshawa Central Newspaper

Monday, April 25, 2011

Oshawa Voters Have a Clear Choice in the May 2nd Federal Election

“Eye on City Hall”

A column of Information, Analysis, Comment, and Unfiltered Opinion
Reprinted from Oshawa Central Newspaper

Bill Longworth, City Hall Columnist
April 25, 2011

By the time you read this, the Federal Election will be one week away and hopefully you are planning to vote. After all, it is a responsibility of every citizen to exercise this right that is still being fought for in many parts of the world.

It’s unfortunate that many citizens take the right for granted and fail to take advantage of their opportunity to have their “say” in the important task of choosing a government for our nation.

I took the opportunity to vote in last Friday’s advance poll and was impressed with the numbers of people exercising their franchise on that day. Obviously there is a lot of voter interest in this election and we hope the voting turnout is high across the country.

This election gives voters a real choice between two distinct philosophies and two main directions ahead for this country. There’s the Conservative’s Jets, Jails, and Corporate Tax Cut Agenda vs. the Liberal and New Democratic Party Agendas that focus more on social programs like health care, pensions, and educational opportunity.

There are the campaigns that focus on hopes and aspirations of ordinary Canadians vs. those that focus on scare mongering, attack ads, and benefits for Corporate Canada.

Harper’s main message, for example, are the dire straights Canada would find itself in if he was not given a majority. Many citizens, of course, feel the reverse is true. That Canada would be changed significantly if Harper had a majority and unfettered ability to implement his extreme right wing agenda that he has developed over a number of years as policy wonk for the Reform and Alliance Parties.

But then, right wing politics, like religion, is worshipped unquestionably by the fanatics and true believers....and reports are now surfacing that Harper’s political philosophy is hugely influenced by the fundamentalist Alliance Church he attends. This despite the fact that the vast majority of Canadians, unlike the United States, believe in the separation of Church and State.

By way of illustration, Harper’s church opposes abortion and women’s right to choose, supports a law and order agenda and capital punishment, is anti-gay opposing same sex marriage, opposes stem-cell research (anyone here remember “born again Christian" George W. Bush on this?)...all faith based values that Harper would want to impose on the Canadian public given a majority, a dangerous practice in Canada’s pluralistic society.

This, of course, is part of the American way where the strongest right wing Republican supporters and opinion leaders are the Bible belt fundamentalist church groups...the politically motivated Gerry Falwells and Pat Robertsons of TV evangelism fame, that hold sway in influencing the American political agenda...and Harper has often been criticized as a PM that wants to Americanize our country...and giving him a majority government would be a good start to pushing our country to the intolerant right.

Last Wednesday, political forums were held at the John Street Branch of the Senior Citizens Centre and another held at the CAW hall sponsored jointly by CKAR radio and the CAW...and the contrast among the candidates was as broad as the philosophies that divide them.

Conservative Colin Carrie did not have the intellectual, debating or presentation skills or knowledge of the other two main candidates and thus came off as a much weaker candidate despite the seven years he’s been our MP. Many of his answers were simply read out of the Tory Platform Book, and he made some preposterous statements such as his criticism of the Liberals for their negative TV ads. While I don’t recall seeing any such Liberal Ads, I suppose he was wanting to go on the offensive to deflect criticism away from the Conservative character assassination ads that have flooded the airwaves for the last year criticizing Ignatieff with lines like “He didn’t come back for you.”

Liberal Candidate James Morton is a polished, cerebral, and slick Toronto Litigation Lawyer who is past president of the Ontario Bar Association, Osgoode Hall Law Professor, Media Commentator, and author of 17 legal texts. His practice focuses on commercial, criminal, and constitutional litigation at all levels including the Supreme Court.

James Morton is a most impressive candidate and would be sure-fire cabinet material on any Liberal majority or minority government if elected.

Unfortunately, as a parachute candidate, he is unknown in this parochial city that prefers well-known Oshawa names and it is doubtful whether even this “star” candidate can make up sufficient ground in the short election period. Beyond that, the Liberal Riding Association has not had a good campaign organization for some number of years.

Oshawa’s NDP Candidate, Chris Buckley, is impressive in another way. Born and raised in Oshawa, he is president of CAW local 222 and lead Canadian negotiator for GM workers. In June 2008, Mr. Buckley received international attention for leading the historic fight against the closure of the GM Oshawa Truck Plant. He has been a long time fighter for pension and EI reform, and worker’s rights. He has put his money where his mouth is for years in terms of fighting for reforms for workers and for ordinary Canadians.

More importantly, during the candidate’s debates, Buckley very impressively demonstrated his quick repartee and his straight-talking “shoot from the hip,” “down to earth” style, the kind of guy that really knows how to make sense to ordinary people and says what they want to hear. Both Buckley and Morton, if either got elected, would be sure to find themselves in a cabinet seat in a minority parliament coalition government.

Both Morton and Buckley, if elected, have the skills, ideas, intellect, communication abilities, and talent, and a big view of important national issues to influence policy nation-wide on the governing of this nation while Carrie, if re-elected, would continue to be one of the uninfluential back row trained monkeys that raise their arm to vote when they were told to do so.

In his presentation, Carrie bragged about providing federal funding for many city projects, like Federal Grants for lighting for the Senior's Center pool rooms, highlighting his belief in the role of an MP as delivering mickey mouse “pork barrel” peanut-sized morsels of our tax money back to us in vote-buying Federal Grants. He's unlike his fellow Conservative, Tony Clement, who was able to direct $50M away from Parliament Approved Border Infrastructure Programs to his own Muskoka Riding just in time for the 2 day G8 summit there.

Both Liberal Morton and NDP Buckley mentioned the need for pension reform citing the need for guaranteed worker pensions. The simple method, both agreed, was to amend the Bankruptcy and Creditor Act to move pensioners to the head of the creditor line in the event of bankruptcy. They also mentioned prohibitions against corporations raiding surplus pension funds. Never again should there be workers, like those at Nortel, for example, that lost their pensions and their security after lifetime employment because all of the capital was siphoned off by creditors leaving pensioned employees high and dry.

In terms of pensions, Harper’s and Flaherty’s plan has already been floated as a trial balloon---they want to privatize the CPP to provide extra commissions to their banking and insurance industry friends and remove the idea of guaranteed pension benefits.

Both Morton and Buckley criticized the Conservative's corporate tax cuts stating that Stats Canada demonstrates that jobs are not created by corporate tax cuts but that the proceeds from the cuts goes to shareholders and increasing corporate cash reserves.

Clearly Carrie was outclassed in every way by his opponents. He often read answers to questions directly from his party briefing books, rambled on in ways unrelated to the question if he didn’t know what to say to it, and had some very nonsensical answers. In a question to how he would promote good job growth in Oshawa, Colin Carrie stated the same asinine answer that John Henry had spouted at the CAW hall during the Mayoral Debates. Carrie said Oshawa has a deep water port, the main rail line across the country, we’re on the superhighway linking Oshawa to markets, and we have an airport....how stupid an answer since we’ve had these attributes for the last 50 years and still have a net outflow of good manufacturing jobs.

It’s logical that Carrie had the same answers as John Henry to that question though as they both had the same speechwriter as their campaigns were intricately connected, Carrie even donating the maximum $750 to Henry’s Campaign, moneys that probably came from Carrie’s MP Expense budget funded from your tax dollars. Carrie donated over $2000 to 7 or 8 municipal candidates, likely from the same taxpayer funded expense account with involvement in a municipal campaign unheard of from Federal Politicians.

Carrie tried to tell the audience that the election was about the government record, financial responsibility, lower taxes (for corporations, he forgot to say but not for individuals), more jobs, the Conservative budget and an election Canadians don’t want while Buckley countered that the election was about contempt of parliament, health care, pension and EI reform, and worker rights, and cutting government waste as he referred to the $1.2B weekend photo op G8/G20 summits that trampelled the Constitutionally Guranteed Civil Rights of Canadians.

Buckley stated that any tax breaks should go to the workers generating profits in the economy and not the fat cats wanting to line their pockets on the backs of the workers.

Recent polls put Morton at 17.4% support, third behind Carrie at 44.8% and the NDP’s Buckley at 31.6% with the Greens trailing at 5.7%. While these polls are changing daily with the most recent poll showing Layton’s NDP overtaking the Liberals into 2nd place, one should remain vigilant about these polls (See most current poll) because they could have a roll in your voting choice.

Canadians can vote on principle like voting for the Greens in this city or they can vote strategically to insure the election (or defeat) of a specific party.

If they support Conservatives guns, jails, and corporate tax cuts agenda and a prime minister who shows contempt for parliament they should support Colin Carrie. If, however, the find Harper’s leadership to be dangerous for this country, they should vote strategically for a larger objective, and that is to cast a vote against Harper.

In Oshawa, that means throwing their support behind the candidate most likely to defeat Colin Carrie. The candidate in the best position to defeat Carrie is the NDP’s Chris Buckley. Buckley should get the vote of strategic voters who are afraid of a Harper majority.

While the Liberals Morton would be an outstanding parliamentarian for the city and for the country, polls show him to be so far behind Buckley that he has little chance to win and thus voting for the Liberals in this riding is like voting for the Greens....throwing away your vote towards the greater objective...the defeat of Stephen Harper and his jets, jails, and corporate tax cuts right wing law and order agenda.

In any case, please make your choice...and vote! Canada needs your voice!

Be sure to follow Bill’s radio broadcasts, “Eye on City Hall”,
every Monday, 6-9 pm EST, on http://www.ocentral.com/thewave/

Monday, April 18, 2011

Does Stephen Harper Deserve A Majority Government

“Eye on City Hall”

A column of Information, Analysis, Comment, and Unfiltered Opinion
Reprinted from Oshawa Central Newspaper

Bill Longworth, City Hall Columnist
April 18, 2011

It seems a new bombshell is dropping every day and all seem to question Stephen Harper’s credibility, honesty, transparency, respect for Parliament and for the Canadian people.

Mr. Sincerity, Stephen Harper, thanks Seniors for their contributions... read from a teleprompter of course!
Our Federal Parliament approved $131M under the “Border Infrastructure Fund” to ease traffic congestion at our border crossings and you’d expect every penny approved to go to that purpose, wouldn’t you? Yet more than $50M of that cash was siphoned off for projects completely unrelated to expenditures Parliament had approved.

Every Canadian has cause to be damn angry at the lack of honesty, transparency, and accountability of the ruling Conservative Government which shows distain and disrespect for Parliament and for the Canadian people at almost every turn.

That $50M of Parliamentary approved funds to ease border crossing congestion went straight to "Tammany Hall" vote-buying spending rampages in Conservative Tony Clements’s riding for Stephen Harper’s photo-op $1.2B G8/G20 summit.

Harper’s bait and switch tactics are deceitful and dishonest at best and criminal at worst.

The G8 Legacy Projects funded with moneys approved for the border infrastructure improvements include public toilets, Muskoka roads, sidewalks, and parks improvements, improvements to downtowns in Huntsville, Bracebridge, and Gravenhurst, new highway signage, tourist information centers, and airport improvements, all of these projects quite distant, in some cases 100 Km, away from the G8 summit site.

I do suppose it is possible that if President Obama, or one of the other G8 leaders cloistered at the Deerhurst Inn Resort, found time to drive about for a little tourist site seeing on the two day Muskoka Conference, they may have found nature calling and shouted out to their driver....”Stop the Limo...I’ve got to have a pee at those public privies over there!” After all, when nature calls, job 1 (or job 2 for that matter) is not far behind! So spending the $275,000 for these privies 20 km away from the conference center might be a useful contingency (LOL!).

On the other hand, one could assume that the $50M spent in Tony Clement’s Muskoka riding was blatant vote buying. Even some conservative supporters are turned off by these tactics...and you should be too!

Vote buying is a common strategy for Harper's Conservatives! Two members of the Julian Fantino’s Vaughan Conservative Riding Association, one a former Federal Conservative Candidate, resigned their riding membership last week to protest $10M of your tax money being given to the Vaughan Health Centre in a fundraising drive being spearheaded by Fantino’s former fundraisers. This looks like a giant Harper payback for helping get Fantino elected!

It seems the bloopers, blunders, boners, bungles and botch ups orchestrated by the Harper Conservative boneheads never end. There’s another one every day! And you ain’t seen nothing yet!

The roots of the Harper Conservatives arose out of the Western Canada Reform and Alliance Parties which were seen as extremist and intolerant due to a number of statements by Reform MPs which were considered to be racist, homophobic, or sexist. The Reform Party called for the privatization of various government services that the party believed could be better provided by the private sector. These government services included a number of state-owned corporations including Canada Post, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, and Petro Canada (sold in the last couple of years under the Harper administration to Suncor Energy), and Harper and Jim Flaherty have recently floated trial balloons suggesting privatizing the Canada Pension Plan.

If the Conservatives get a majority government, we are sure to see the re-emergence of the right wing legislation reflecting the Reform ideas Harper described in his firewall letter to Premier Ralph Klein such as replacing the Canada Universal Health Plan with a two-tier private and public health insurance system, anti abortion legislation, and reduced social program expenditures, all publicly supported by Stephen Harper in his writings. Harper once stated that he favoured scrapping universal health care and replacing it with "for profit" U.S. style health care. Harper's principal objective is to Americanize all aspects of Canadian Society creating a society favouring the rich and privileged...and armed---with Harper's intent to scrap the gun registry.

One of the keys to Harper's present election platform is a reduction in Corporate taxes from 18% to 16.5%...and these corporate tax rates are already among the lowest in the world. The lost government revenue necessary to balance the huge defit budgets, of course, will have to be picked up by you, Mr. and Mrs. Middle Income Earner, either through tax increases or the slashing of social programs.

We have seen inklings of Harper’s Right Wing and Extreme "My Way or the Highway" Agenda in his trampling of Civil Rights during the G20 Gadhafi style police smackdowns, his government’s withdrawal of government CIDA grants for Kairos, a church-based aid group because it supported abortions in its third world work (the famous Bev Oda “NOT” controversy), and Harper’s key current election platform of funding Jets, Jails, and Corporate Tax Cuts all funded through spending cuts to support the poor and middle class through spending on higher education and social programming to provide opportunity to ordinary Canadians.

In showing distain for Parliament and its traditions, Harper refused to provide documentation to MP's about the costs for the jets and jails he proposed and thus was ruled by the Speaker of the House to be in Contempt of Parliament, the first time a Westminster Democracy of any of the 178 in the world following the British Parliamentary model has been found to be in contempt of its Parliament---a serious matter that Harper puts down to simple political gamesmanship.

Harper calls potential coalition governments "dangerous and reckless"...no way! They are the common governments in many countries and are likely to be so in Canada into the future as long as the Bloc wins support in Quebec at the expense of the old line parties.

Coalitions governments now exist in Britain and in Australia, Austria, Germany, Italy, Japan, Israel, and many other countries, and Lester Pearson's 1960's Minority Liberal Governments brought us National Health Care, Canada Pension Plan, the Auto Pact, and the Canadian Flag---productive governments indeed!

Harper’s misrepresents the truth on so many fronts in his efforts to retain control.

He rants about the “dangerous” and “reckless” coalition that will result if Canadians don’t give him a majority yet his Conservative Party is a coalition of the Reform, Alliance, and the Progressive Conservative Parties.

Also, in 2004, Harper plotted to form a coalition with the NDP and the Bloc Quebecois in order to wrest the Prime Ministership from Paul Martin’s minority Liberal Government and in a TV interview in 1997 strategized overthrowing a minority Liberal Government by a coalition of conservative parties.

Harper does not respect the traditions of Parliament. When he was about to lose confidence in a House of Commons vote, or when he wanted to squelch the release of sensitive information, he has simply closed down parliament---twice---not at all protective of the traditions of Parliament followed by “honourable” Prime Ministers!

And yet Harper continues to dispute the recent “Contempt of Parliament” ruling of the speaker.

He’s a guy that makes up the rules as he goes along. He obviously believes that the ends always justify his means.

With Harper’s history of coalition building, it is extremely dishonest for him to now call them reckless and dangerous!

Dangerous is what Harper would be if he ever got a majority government and started implementing some of the programs he developed as a policy wonk for the Reform Party.

Fortunately, I don’t believe that Harper will get that majority he craves because his campaign launches a different controversy every day. He has been courting the ethnic communities with government handouts, and as I write this, Etobicoke Centre Conservative candidate Ted Opitz’s campaign team has asked multicultural groups in the riding to wear “ethnic costumes” for a photo op backdrop at Harper’s televised rally in the riding. This has resulted in controversy within the ethnic communities as costumed ethnics appeared with signs “Is this ethnic enough?”, “I’m Canadian,” “Harper’s Photo Op Prop,” “I’m very ethnic,” “CTV news...Is this ethnic enough for you,” etc, ridiculing the request from the Conservative Campaign Team.

My gosh, we just barely got over the story about Stephen Harper’s Campaign Team ejecting a young girl from a rally as the planning team found a picture of her and Ignatieff on her facebook page.

Interesting how Harper is so keen on screening stuff like this when a recent story describes a 70 year old top Harper advisor, disbarred lawyer Bruce Carson,who had spent jail time for fraud (5 cases) and was recently “outed” for influence peddling in negotiating federally funded water purification contracts with aboriginal communities in which his 22 year old girlfriend would get 20% commissions. Incidentally this same advisor had been invited to dinner at the Prime Minister’s 24 Suffolk Drive residence accompanied by his former live-in girlfriend, a woman deported from America for running a prostitution ring and for money laundering.

There’s a new scandal every day and we’re only seeing a small sample of what we’ll get with a Harper majority.

Lord! Please save Canada from a Stephen Harper majority!

Be sure to follow Bill’s radio broadcasts, “Eye on City Hall”,
every Monday, 6-9 pm EST, on http://www.ocentral.com/thewave/

Monday, April 11, 2011

There's Gold in Them There Government Palaces

“Eye on City Hall”

A column of Information, Analysis, Comment, and Unfiltered Opinion
Reprinted from Oshawa Central Newspaper

Bill Longworth, City Hall Columnist
April 11, 2011

The Sunshine List of high roller public servants has just been published and no doubt has all private sector workers yearning for public sector employment.

The list confirms that there are now two classes of workers---those that work in the public sector and those that work in the private sector.

According to a Canadian Federation of Independent Business Report, Federal public sector employees enjoy a 15.1% wage premium over their private sector counterparts. Similar premiums over the private sector are earned by Provincial and Municipal government workers.

But wages are just part of the story according to the CFIB Report. Public sector non-wage benefits such as pensions, paid vacation time, paid health and insurance benefits, etc. remain, on average, 60 per cent higher than those of equivalent private sector employees boosting the Federal employee wage/benefits premium to 23.3% over their private sector counterparts when non-wage benefits are included.

And dramatic Public sector employment growth, up 24% since 1998, combined with the salary premiums paid public sector employees, has fuelled dramatic increases in the costs of government, all banking on that seemingly bottomless pit of taxpayer cash that redirects our disposable income away from the productive segments of the economy that would contribute to growth of every citizen’s standard of living and to the country’s productivity and wealth.

Since 1998, total wages and salaries paid to general federal government employees are up 28% compared to inflation and private sector wage growth over that period.

And then there is the question of job security. While private sector wages are frozen, workers laid off and plants shuttered, and workers fall prey to the vagaries of the sputtering economy, public sector workers soldier on with iron rice bowl job security with their guaranteed salary and benefits increases that bear no resemblance to the uncertainties in the real world

When we consider the wage and benefits premiums enjoyed by public sector workers, the Ontario’s Sunshine List, the list of public sector workers making over $100,000 annually, rubs salt in the wounds of taxpayers footing the bill.

The current Sunshine List for the City of Oshawa, lists 81 workers making in excess of $100G’s, 6 in excess of $150G’s, and one, the City Manager, at $259,110.75 including his taxable benefits. There were only 71 workers making in excess of $100G’s the previous year for a high income growth factor of 14% over the previous year, an unsustainable growth of city hall high income earners that city taxpayers just cannot afford.

Computing from a city report of February 2009, there were approximately 1194 total city employees at that time stationed in the various work sites with about 550 of these at city hall. Assuming most of the highly paid workers work out of city hall, almost 15% of city hall workers would be in the $100,000+ salary levels. This is a proportion of top earners not to be found in any corporate head office in the country.

In comparing salary growths for 2009 to 2010, the City Manager went from $251,526 to $259,110, a $8435 (3.3%) increase, Commissioners went from $168,192 to $181,978, a $13785 (8.2%) increase, the Auditor General went from $163,589 to $169,842, a $6253 (3.8%) increase, the City Solicitor went from $140,883 to $152,415, a $11,532 (8.2%) increase, and the City Clerk/Sr. Director Level went from $127,822 to $136,408, a $8553 (6.7%) increase....and all this without any market-place bottom-line performance criteria.

These one year pay increases are clearly unconscionable during yearly inflationary times of 1.3% (2009) and 2.4% (2010) but do indicate how “outrageous greedy civil servants can be. While you’re hoping to keep your job, they are grabbing pay increases of these mind-blowing magnitudes.

Actual wage 2010 increases by city senior bureaucrats quoted above ranged from 3.3% to 3.8% to 6.7% to 8.2% to accompany the 2010 inflation rate of 2.3%. Even the last term of council increased city taxes by 13% while inflation hovered about 3% over the term. Government costs are increasing far faster than citizen’s pay increases.

As an example of escalating salaries, if we compound the city manager’s salary into the future at the 3.3% increase he had last year, his 2010 $259,110 salary would compound exponentially to $267,660 in 2011, to $276,493 in 2012, to $285,617 in 2013, to $295.043 in 2014 at the end of this council term, to $304779 in 2015, to $314,837 in 2016, to $325,226 in 2017, to $335,959 in 2018, to $347,045 in 2019, to $358,498 in 2020, to $370,328 in 2021, to $382,549 in 2022 a mere 10 years into the future. These kinds of increases will bankrupt our citizens! Just how much can we afford? City officials need some restraint...and some common sense!

All this while Provincial Finance Minister Dwight Duncan has recently announced Ontario Welfare rates for a single person will rise 1% ($5.92) from $592 to $597.92 monthly, while a single mother raising a child will get an additional $10.14 monthly.

Shame! The single welfare mother with a child will get a measly extra $121.68 a year while some city employees will get a yearly salary increase of $13785.

Reminds me of my youth when my welfare family of 5 lived in one room in downtown Toronto.

The growing disparity between the rich and poor is highlighted by the obscene raises taken by senior city bureaucrats and this disparity is raising alarms by widely divergent voices from Chinese President Hu Jintao to British Prime Minister David Cameron to IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn.

In 2007, Canada's highest paid 100 CEOs pocketed the average Canadian's annual pay of $40237 by 9:04 a.m. on January 2, the first day of work in the new year.

Income inequality has emerged as a major social and economic issue in Canada and elsewhere, writes Canadian author and political commentator Frances Russell. No longer is it the sole concern of the left. A working paper by the International Monetary Fund states that if income inequality remains unaddressed, the revolutions taking place in the Middle East could possibly spread elsewhere.

It’s now time for those city politicians who got elected based on tax restraint to start pegging staff salary increases to performance and to some semblance of reality reflected in the private sector.

Thoughts from the Federal Campaign Trail

Got a Colin Carrie election flyer Wednesday inscribed with the apparent personally handwritten message, “Sorry to have missed you---Colin.” Only perplexing thing about this was it was delivered with my regular mail by the postman. Leaves me wondering whether the postman is campaigning on behalf of Carrie on his rounds----or is this a cunning and dishonest deception by the Carrie Campaign?

We do know Harper’s main message in seeking a majority government is to decry the potential for an “unstable” and “dangerous” coalition government, the same coalition he worked to form to unseat the Martin Government in 2004.

Harper fails to mention that it was a Lester Pearson Minority Government that brought us the Canada Pension Act, the National Health Act, the Auto Pact, and the National Flag---proof in the pudding that minorities have been good for Canada.

Did you unknowingly donate to some Municipal Election Campaigns?

The municipal candidate’s campaign financial forms are now on the city website. They disclose that Colin Carrie donated $750 to Mayor John Henry’s campaign and $200 to each of Roger Bouma, Bruce Wood, John Neal, and Tito Dante Marimpietri.

The real question is whether Carrie unethically and dishonestly used his parliamentary expense accounts, and thus your tax dollars, to donate to these campaigns.

This is only a part of his undue influence however. There are so far only two Carrie signs in my neighbourhood both arriving in the first days of the election. During the municipal election, one had a Henry sign and one had a Bruce Wood sign, that neighbourhood resident probably turning down Henry’s sign as he is a close neighbour of mine.

The indications grow stronger with the Federal Election that Carrie used his campaign team, his sign locations, his telephone bank, and probably his parliamentary expense allowance to promote conservative candidates at city hall, an undue influence usually avoided like the plague by most senior government politicians...but perhaps part of Stephen Harper’s agenda to gain control of politics across the country right down to the municipal election.

Be sure to follow Bill’s radio broadcasts, “Eye on City Hall”,
every Monday, 6-9 pm EST, on http://www.ocentral.com/thewave/