The Business News Source for the Community of Sarnia - Lambton

Politics and paper ballots

Fri, 06/29/2018 - 16:03 -- Bernice Rade

Finally, the election signs have disappeared  and the public is no longer subjected to the many undoable promises being made by those seeking to govern the province.

As was expected, the Liberals no longer have party status.  Unfortunately, Kathleen Wynne got elected (barely) and will continue to be paid as an MPP by the beleaguered taxpayers of Ontario.

The NDP appeared to be confident that Andrea would be the next premiere but the voters did not want another spend, spend, spend government in place.  Her promises were unrealistic and, definitely, unaffordable.

The Progressive Conservatives will have a huge challenge ahead of them.  Having an outside party do a thorough audit to determine exactly where the province stands is a good first step, especially since the provincial auditor provided figures which differed substantially from those the Liberals brought forth.

I’m glad to see a ‘seasoned’ group of MPP’s elected with Doug Ford. It is imperative that he have capable and knowledgeable people working with him.

It’s unrealistic to expect  the ‘mess’ being cleared up as quickly as one would like but hopefully  the elected government works toward getting this province, which was once deemed the ‘engine’ of Canada, back on its feet.

At the June 6 meeting of Lambton County Council, Margaret Bird of Bright’s Grove, made a presentation with respect to the online voting system in place for the city of Sarnia and county.  Nancy Wright Laking, former clerk of the city of Sarnia and subsequently the clerk of Lambton Shores convinced the municipalities to hire Intelivote, a company that was in receivership and sold to Scytl in Spain.  She indicated they would receive a 4% kickback if all signed with the same company.  By the way, this clerk resigned her position with Lambton Shores shortly after putting into place a policy giving the clerk the authority to determine which taxpayers were ‘unreasonable customers’ and would be denied access to municipal staff.

Ms Bird explained that the voting procedure outlined by the Sarnia clerk, (that is to use their own personal iphones, ipads and laptops) was at odds with the requirements of Election Canada which states that all devices will never be used before or after the election.  She also provided figures revealing that the online costs would be higher than those associated with a paper ballot election.

Sarnia mayor Mike Bradley put forward a notice of motion which was tabled. It would ensure in the election act that 21 days must be given to change the voting system and a statutory public meeting  be held.

Since no questions were raised or comments made, Ms Bird left the podium to return to her seat.  It was then that city councillor Anne Marie Gillis stated  that 97 municipalities in Ontario implemented online voting.  She failed to mention that all, but one, also offered the option of paper ballots.  Was her ommission of this information accidental or intentional?  Sarnia is NOT offering the paper ballot option.

Persons intending to run for city council seats are not rushing to put their names forward.  Are they waiting to see what everybody else will do?

Considering the woeful performance by the present city council over this last term, it is obvious that ‘replacements’ are necessary.  About $400,000 was spent on the ‘integrity’ commissioner and lawyers in an effort by the wannabe-the-mayor councillors in their disgusting effort to push the mayor out of his office at city hall.   Councillor Gillis was appointed to be his ‘mouthpiece’ (he was instructed not to speak  to, but only address others through her ,~ good grief).  Councillor Cindy Scholten rummaged through the cupboards in the mayor’s office, demanded security at city hall as she somehow felt ‘threatened’, the city manager (oops CAO) doesn’t even speak to the mayor, the code of conduct muzzles free speech and on and on.  These actions were supported by all but Councillor Dave Boushy.  It was absolutely bizarre, something one might expect to see in a low budget movie.  In addition, costly ‘deals’  were made with developers and there was excessive spending on Centennial Park.  Roads are still horrible and other city facilities have been allowed to deteriorate.

It’s high time to ask questions and become informed so that this deplorable situation can be corrected by the October municipal election.

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