Willow Pond

Election = good news

With all of the polls now reported, it looks like we have some positive news to share with everyone.

Most importantly for us, Ward 3 candidate Corinna Traill — the most vocal supporter of the Liberty Summer Seminar, who promised to propose a motion specifically addressing the Seminar — won with an impressive margin of victory. With all of the polls now reporting, Corinna Traill won a decided victory over her nearest competitor 1,694 to 1,012.

Second most important is the fact that Jim Abernethy, who suggested that my mom and dad could “beg” for forgiveness (upsetting not just us, but popular Clarington blogger Marven Whidden), was defeated by Adrian Foster. In fact, Abernethy nearly came in third, edging out Paul Adams by less than 400 votes.

I’m excited about Foster’s victory, because part of his election platform was about “fostering community.” Here is what I wrote about my email exchange with Foster:

Yesterday and this morning, I had an email exchange with Adrian Foster, who is a current councillor, and is also a candidate for mayor. Marven Whidden, the popular local blogger, blogged about Foster’s plan to work collaboratively with residents to encourage the kind of activities, like Whidden’s “illegal” neighbourhood street party, that build community spirit and promote the kind of municipality we all want to live in. Foster’s platform includes this:

“We need to encourage our residents to enjoy sharing time and talent together. I do not support levying fees for public festivals nor do I support making safe, organized street parties like Morgandale’s ‘illegal’. Let’s foster, not hinder community spirit“.

That plank piqued my attention.

I sent Foster an email to find out if this platform has the Liberty Summer Seminar in mind as well. After all, the LSS is an annual event that brings people together to celebrate and promote Canadian classical liberal values and institutions. He told me that the LSS is the kind of event that he had in mind. Then he sent me a quote this morning to use on this blog:

“As a purely personal observation, I’d suggest that we would all be happier if this whole incident had not occurred. The upside is that we’ll be compelled to review some of our policies with an outcome that could promote, rather than hinder agri-tourism and gatherings such as your own. I’d hope we can be creative enough to find ways to maintain the integrity of our zoning by-laws where neccessary while at the same time allowing flexibility where it makes sense. In simple terms, moving forward, we need to look for solutions rather than problems.”

As for solutions, Foster says that he would look into a variety of possible options, including temporary re-zoning for the weekend of the Seminar, for example. This should not, however, be necessary, since it is hard to believe that the Liberty Summer Seminar, given the kind of event that it is and the way it is run, is contrary to any bylaw.

In our own Ward, Wendy Partner defeated Tim Tufts (congratulations Wendy), and Willie Woo decisively defeated our former local councillor Gord Robinson. Gord came to visit our family right after news of my mom and dad being charged hit the Toronto Star. After suggesting that he was going to do what he can to help, we didn’t hear from him. Not a peep. It was nice of him to come and visit us in person, and to speak with my mom. But we needed active help, not passive support. He didn’t do anything.

I did, meanwhile, have a long conversation with Willie Woo. He told me that council was in a tough spot, but that he sympathized with my mom and dad, and would like to see our issue resolved collaboratively, and without the nuisance and expense of a full court trial.

I did not have a chance to speak with our new local councillor Wendy, but I did have long and fruitful conversations with our new regional councillor Willie Woo, and with our new mayor, Adrian Foster.

Just now, we’re very optimistic, and we look forward to speaking with the new council and mayor about putting the Clarington saga behind us.

1 Comment

    As promised, the post is up at Natasha’s site. Abernethy has been given a well deserved treatment.

Leave a Reply