Thank you for visiting.
I am honoured to contest this election and ask for your help, your support, and your vote.
As a 40 year resident of Oshawa, I have raised my family of three adult daughters here, all of whom reside and work in our city.
Thus, going forward, I have a vital interest in the health and vibrancy of Oshawa, an interest I have worked to promote in many ways over my years residing in our city.
If elected, I pledge to listen to you, to seek your comments on important issues, and bring reasoned discussion and mature and responsible judgement to all City Council votes affecting the future of this city.
From my issues link, you will see that my chief priority, if elected, will be in working to improve the way City Hall WORKS FOR YOU…not for the politicians or the developers. I have definite ideas enumerated on my “issues” link to make council more accountable, more open and transparent, and more responsive and representative….a council that truly LISTENS TO YOU!
Other priorities outlined in more detail under the “issues tab” include:
- Return of Ward Elections to make politicians more accountable…if they’re voting for tax increases, you phone your ward politician and state–“if you vote to increase my taxes, you lose my vote!”
- Spending controls at City Hall
- Development of a “Good jobs Strategy” to attract Good Industrial Jobs including new ideas to bring back auto production to make Oshawa North American’s Premier Auto Production Center, and bring back the jobs we had in our heyday. Click here to see the plan!
- In addition, still on the jobs front, I will promote development of a High Tech Industrial Park near UOIT and a brand New Industry—Developing, Modelling, and Building Innovative Prefab Student Micro-Housing Projects (Homes for the future–think Expo 67 Habitat for Humanity Project) for Export to the World (and also an innovative solution to our student housing problems–a solution that comes with Permanent Good Jobs Benefits for our City). Similar microhousing communities for seniors with onsite medical care, recreation programs, meal service, social services, etc. are envisioned to provide independent-living housing for seniors moving from their own house to their own microhouse—in a microhouse community with lawns/walkways/gardens etc, not the typical sterile high rise soapboxes we’re presently building. Depending on the economic model chosen, these could either be owned or rented units.
- Waterfront Development
- Elimination of proposed lakefront Ethanol Plant
- Downtown Renewal
- Dead-set against any airport runway extension
- Want longer term planning so that we don’t get apartment building in the backyards of homeowners as behind the theatre complex at Grandview and Taunton…also better planning would have anticipated a need for student housing around UOIT and would have provided for this
- Free Hospital Parking for Oshawa Seniors verified by driver’s licence, and Free Daytime 1/2 hour Downtown Parking
- Spending Controls over Policing that consumes half your Regional Taxes despite decreasing crime rates
Return to ward elections, MY NUMBER ONE PRIORITY, is fundamental to city progress as little, beyond conflict and controversy attracting widespread media attention, has been accomplished over Council’s last 4 year General Vote Council Term—So following is the City Council Record of significant actions.
- City Council eliminated the Auditor General position, to eliminate independent oversight of City Hall spending.
- City Council overspent between $1M-$2M on a potential waste transfer station without a business plan or sufficient due diligence which ballooned our city debt higher than the debts of all other Durham Regional Municipalities combined. When city personnel tried to fit garbage trucks into the garages, they wouldn’t fit through the garage doors, and just recently, pollutants have been found on the property draining throughout South Oshawa requiring unanticipated expensive pollution cleanups, and the entire 6 inch industrial concrete yard had to be dug up and replaced…this so far looks like an expensive “white elephant” on the city’s (and taxpayer’s) hands, bought with less diligence than you’d put into a home purchase. And it was bought with the same real estate agent representing both sides of the transaction, something that is never done…..and it sounds like something is fishy about the whole deal…a rush to sell (why?) and a rush to buy (why?) and a real estate agent acting for both sides (why?) and not prepared to fully disclose or do his due diligence less he lose the lucrative commissions!
- City Council carried on secret discussions, without any consultations with Oshawa Ratepayers, to sell the Oshawa PUC which would have increased all city electricity bills to provide the buyer with the necessary revenue to buy our PUC from us. In effect, we would have paid for it ourselves with higher power bills, but lost ownership and all of its profits previously returned to the city to help keep our already “sky-high” taxes down.
- City Council prepared lists of citizens and invited Durham Undercover Police Officers used to dealing with organized crime to attend and carry out brutal assaults and arrests on interested citizens attending city council.
- City Council lodged multiple lawsuits against politically involved citizens and lawsuits and assaults against fellow councillors.
- Constitutional Lawyer, Cara Zwibel, Director of Fundamental Freedoms at Canadian Liberties Association, in both a letter and a presentation to City Council says City Politicians are stifling public input and participation and they are infringing on citizen rights and freedoms guaranteed in Canada’s Bill of Rights.
- National Press Reporter calls Oshawa City Council “A reign of Terror” as Civil Liberties Lawyer addresses a Committee Meeting of City Council stating, “City rules that bar citizens from public meetings at city hall stifle dissent and may contravene the Canadian Charter of Rights.”
- Oshawa Express calls City Council dysfunctional.
In a survey just released by the Conference Board of Canada, Oshawa ranked last in a list of 50 large Canadian cities as the most attractive places to live and work in Canada. Massive change is needed—change I plan to bring to Oshawa as your visionary, progressive, problem-solving, and action-oriented city mayor.
Clearly, there are fundamental problems with our city governance. For the city’s sake, the “POWER/CONFLICT POLITICS” exercised by the voting block of 8 (Diamond, Pidwerbecki, England, Henry, Aker, Chapman, and Sanders) WHO SUPPORTED ALL OF THE ABOVE ACTIONS HAVE TO GO…and so does the general vote which sets up conflict and competition by making all city politicians competitors for the same citywide vote, all the while making them less responsive and accountable to you. “Job One” for a general vote politician is promoting their name recognition all at the expense of productive service to YOU! — That’s why we need to return Ward Voting! And, what is worse, if a councillor comes up with a great idea, why would any of his/her councillor competitors support it and give the “idea” councillor a leg up on them in the next election? The result? Council inertia and stagnation! And that last place ranking for Oshawa in that Conference Board of Canada ranking!
I first fought in the early 80’s for ward elections with my group “Ward System Now” and won them for the city in a 1985 23-day OMB case I personally presented.
Unfortunately, I have again been required to lead the fight for the return to ward elections after an irresponsible Pidwerbecki/Nicholson motion that resulted in the convoluted 2006 ballot question that undemocratically bamboozled, manipulated, confused, and duped the people into giving council apparent support to eliminate ward elections that no citizen had ever complained about.
Council members supported the motion, and the process of providing insufficient voter information or promoting any public discourse or discussion, because they wanted to get rid of ward elections which were less secure in extending their political careers, required huge door-to-door campaign efforts, and once elected required time-consuming efforts in looking after their ward and ratepayer concerns. City Politicians wanted easier elections and an easier workload once elected. THEY WANTED A SYSTEM THAT BEST SERVED THEM—AND NOT YOU!
They didn’t care that ward elections produce more democratic, responsive, representative, and accountable city councils that guarantees every neighbourhood politicians elected by their community to represent their community interests at City Hall. City Council members forgot that their prime purpose was to serve the public interest, not their own interests…and their efforts to remove the election system used in virtually every community in Canada was not democracy’s finest hour!
I want every member of my Council to be concerned only with the public good they can sow, not the personal rewards and benefits they can reap!
Ward (constituency) elections are used at the Provincial and Federal levels and virtually all municipalities in the country.
City Hall, at the direction of city politicians who want to retain the General Vote at any cost, is continuing to hoodwink and mislead voters into supporting retention of the General Vote by pointing to the numbers of politicians you can vote for as the “carrot” of the General Vote, and have sent a flyer to every city household suggesting this as the merit of the General Vote.
In fact, the numbers of politicians you can vote for is the least significant point about elections. If it was so important, Federally, a ward or constituency or riding election, we’d vote for every one of our 300+ MP’s from a GENERAL VOTE ballot containing perhaps the names of 1500 candidates. We’d get to vote on all 300+ MP’s but lose our guaranteed MP for our city and without a MP elected by our city, we’d have no representative at the government table, or anyone responsive in steering our community problems through the government maze, and no one accountable to us to represent our community needs at the government table.
This is exactly the trouble with electing general vote politicians for city council. It just doesn’t work…and its undemocratic! While it may be effective in getting old politicians re-elected based on name recognition only and not on their job performance, it is not good for taxpayers or the city. The General Vote would be laughable and ridiculous to implement for the country based on being able to vote for all MP’s….just as it is laughable and ridiculous for Oshawa—if only the results weren’t so painful and damaging to the city.
Be sure to VOTE YES FOR WARD ELECTIONS on your election ballot.
City Politicians, with their dishonest flyer, are suggesting that votes are like money—the more you have, the better. In point of fact, votes for general vote politicians are like monopoly money, because it gets you and your community politicians whose value is zero accountability, zero community representation, zero responsiveness to your concerns, zero interest in listening to you, and zero chance of you making best choices on your upcoming election ballot which will have 62 candidates for you to consider and get to know—That’s why incumbent councillors like the general vote, they know that they can “hide in the weeds” among the giant list of names you’ve probably never heard of and get your vote based on their name recognition only, and not on the value of their contributions to you and this city.
Votes for all politicians as an important factor in voting is ludicrous and fails to insure guaranteed representation for all neighbourhoods of the city, fails to provide responsive politicians, and fails to provide politicians elected by your community to be accountable for looking after your community concerns. That’s why Oshawa’s General Vote System is seldom used, even in small communities, in the country….and Oshawa is the largest municipality by far using the undemocratic General Vote system in the country.
The General Vote System undermines the most basic foundations of democracy—political accountability, political responsiveness, and guaranteed representation for all parts of the city. These are the crucial points highlighted in Ward Voting that are necessary to produce good city governance, not the number of votes you get as the city flyer suggests—all points I made to city council when I first saw a draft of the city flyer months ago, a presentation made to 8 sets of deaf ears belonging to the voting block of 8 isted above—all of whom want to retain the general vote system that best serves to prolong their political careers and reduces their workload and campaign efforts—-and I think the election system should serve voters first rather than the politicians–don’t you?
A return to ward elections is also editorially supported by Oshawa This Week. As their editorial states, “Voters will be given the option of voting for a return to the ward system — something we prefer to promote greater accountability with city taxpayers.”
Thus, I ask everyone to vote “YES” on the following ballot question–
Are you in favour of electing all Oshawa Councillors, being (i) those elected only to City Council, and (ii) those elected to both City Council and Durham Regional Council, other than the Mayor, by ward vote instead of general city-wide vote?
Beyond my interest in returning Ward Elections, I also have a broad vision for city renewal and policy formulation on a broader scale. Please press this link to go directly to my “Issues” Page to see these details.