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Title - The View from Dundas
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Follow Me on TwitterPhillip Blancher is a writer, web geek and communications professional by trade. He has written for a number of publications in Eastern Ontario and Northern New York State and also was a weekly morning show contributor for two area radio stations. As a resident of South Dundas for the last seven years, this long-time political buff has taken on an appreciation of small-town/rural life while also being a father of four and a soccer coach. Blancher's columns on OurHometown.ca will cover a range of his interests from politics, parenthood, local history and on his favourite NHL team, the Buffalo Sabres. If you have questions or wish to contact Phillip, you can email him at pblancher@ourhometown.ca
The Political Non-Drama is over
Phillip Blancher
OurHometown.ca

The Political Non-Drama is over
The political non-drama is over at Cornwall City Hall with council selecting the 11th place Gerald Samson as the replacement for now-resigned councilor Leslie O’Shaughnessy. Good for council with following the precinct set by the two previous councils, but knock it off with the drama. Local media outlets played up the possibilities that could have happened instead of council choosing the next-in-line, but really, Cornwall City Council had no other option. Most municipal vacancies in the last 20 years, except for large cities like Toronto, Ottawa or Kingston, have been filled with the next-in-line method.
PHOTO CREDIT - Facebook.com

South Dundas - April 17, 2012 - The political non-drama is over at Cornwall City Hall with council selecting the 11th place Gerald Samson as the replacement for now-resigned councilor Leslie O’Shaughnessy. Good for council with following the precinct set by the two previous councils, but knock it off with the drama. Local media outlets played up the possibilities that could have happened instead of council choosing the next-in-line, but really, Cornwall City Council had no other option. Most municipal vacancies in the last 20 years, except for large cities like Toronto, Ottawa or Kingston, have been filled with the next-in-line method. Just to make things absolutely clear, council should just pass a motion stating that this is the method that will be used always and forever, and end all debate for the future. They seem to go through this process once per term so it's good for them to set the record straight. It makes that 11th place finish all the more valuable, just ask Mary Ann Hug, Denis Moquin and now Gerald Samson.

If council really wanted to be creative with the process, they could do something that would draw more interest into local politics, make it fun, and make some money (like they don't need it). Take the 11th-18th place candidates, and run a reality TV type show sort of like "The Amazing Race" or "Survivor". Show it on Cogeco's community access channel, get some local sponsors to kick in some prizes and money for the city. Each day, eliminate someone from the contest. Give them challenges on local history, politics, issues. A disgusting food challenge too, perhaps an all-you-can-eat poutine challenge. At the end of the contest, the last two contestants get voted for by the six eliminated contestants, and the winner gets the big prize pack, the loser gets the council seat. It would be entertaining to see some of the locals get put through the paces, and Cornwall would get national attention for its "creative" democratic process.

Council could even be more forward-thinking and offer real-time Vegas-style odds and contest-by-contest betting. Net more money in for the city coffers, and it would be a good test case for if the population could handle a casino locally.

A fool and his/her money are soon parted

Casinos are a great idea if you want to tax stupidity. One of the key reasons we don't have more problems in this area with gambling, is that needing a passport to cross over the US Border to Akwesasne Mohawk Casino eliminates those marked as "most vulnerable" by the lefties. Getting a passport costs about $100 per person, plus tolls and gas to get there. That insulates those vulnerable people, susceptible to the lure of gambling, from going to a real casino. Instead those poor, vulnerable people, who are susceptible to the lure of gambling line up at the local gas station buying Nevada tickets, scratch tickets and getting their ProLine tickets clogging up the cash area for us who are just trying to pay for our overtaxed, overpriced gasoline.

People who want to gamble, are going to gamble, even if that decision isn't a smart one and they know it. They already do. They run sports pools, they buy ProLine, they grab a mitt-full of scratch card games. It's all the same. Putting a big shiny bow around flashy machines somewhere in Cornwall isn't going to change that. It's no different then having multiple LCBO and Brewers Retail outlets around taunting those who are alcoholics, or selling cigarettes in every convenience store taunting smokers. If people want to part with their money doing things that are stupid, that is their right. We don't need the nanny-state dictating more social-engineering on society, we get enough of that from the Ontario government.

Liberal End-game

The Dalton McGuinty Liberal Government is heading for a showdown on April 24th. They have called for a vote on their minority government's budget and it will pass. As I have written in this column before, some NDP or even PC MPP's will catch that 24-hour stomach bug that's been going around. McGuinty's playbook comes courtesy of Stephen Harper's five-years as Prime Minister of a minority government. Look for many more standoffs and many more capitulations by the hapless opposition at Queens Park. McGuinty's minority government has a shelf-life of about 30 months and it's going to be a long 30 months!

All-Day Kindergarten

The biggest flaw with McGuinty's All-Day Kindergarten program is that most first-world countries with all-day kindergarten only have one year of kindergarten at age 5. Ontario is ramping-up two years of all-day kindergarten at ages 4 (JK) and 5 (SK). The program would have much less resistance from those on the right if McGuinty had of thought of that. It's not saying much though because the previous conservative government got rid of Grade 13, which was an absolute disaster for the education system.

I Picked the Wrong Career

Stop me if you've heard this one. $35,000 spent on a consultant to put letters on a board and colour them in. The City of Cornwall did this one a few years back with "Cornwall, A City With a World of Possibilities". What a mouth full. Now the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry chose new logo for the county, "The Counties SDG". Hate to tell you this County Council, but you forgot the Ampersand in the name. At least North Dundas Mayor Eric Duncan acknowledged what a waste of money this exercise was. The counties didn't even get a "brand" for that $35,000, just some letters on the board. At least they didn't choose "The counties @45". Talk about playing off a piece of trivia that no one really knows. South Dundas Recreation Director, Ben Macpherson, did it right for the Recreation Department. He put on a contest, had local students submit designs, the best one was picked and they won a prize. The logo picked looks good and it cost a lot less than $35,000.

Between this "marketing exercise" and the "Dream to plan, to plan a dream" Cafe exercises a few weeks ago in South Dundas, I firmly believe I picked the wrong career. I should have been a consultant. To be a consultant all you need is to be in touch with your feelings, have a pack of crayons and a projector, and a really big shovel for all of the bovine excrement you need to move.


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