Thursday, February 27, 2014


While some people are getting upset about a possible town giveaway of public land (oh, where have we heard that one before?) others are taking note of a situation that appears to contravene town policy.  Barely mentioned in the opening remarks from the Monday, February 24 Regular Council Meeting was the reason for the absence of Ward 1 Councillor Stephen Passero  who was attending the Ontario Good Roads Conference in Toronto.

Of course, to sharp observers, this brought to mind the resolution passed in August of 2007:

Councillor Shular 
Resolution No. 7 
THAT: The Expense Policy be amended to require that Members of Council attending 
conferences, including AMO, require Council approval by resolution. 

No one recalls a motion to cover the expenses for this meeting, so it is probably safe to assume that Stephen Passero paid his expenses out of his own pocket for surely, he would never do anything against the accepted Expense Policy, now would he?

To a man who never asks a question he does not already know the answer to we'd like to ask:

Did you bring forth a resolution to Council to cover your stay at the Royal York and the convention cost?

Tuesday, February 25, 2014


Score another good thing that the present council has achieved.

Fort Erie Town Council ratified a new collective bargaining agreement with its unionized employees at its town council meeting on February 24.

The three year agreement prevented a potential strike by over 80 town employees represented by C.U.P.E. (Canadian Union of Public Employees)

This council has already ratified a budget that has the lowest tax increase in eight years and now, there's another three years' contract with critical town employees.

Not bad for a group that has had trouble "working together."

Of course, some will grumble about the recent one-year agreement with the Point Abino Association. Even The Post's James Culic could not contain his disdain for the money spent on the refurbishment of a national historic landmark. He reports that the town spent close to one million dollars to restore the light house. Actually, the figure was around $400K of taxpayer money to match a grant from the government. The remaining was from the sale of the Keeper's Cottage which was part of the original package purchased by the town over a decade ago. All in all, it was a good deal; an improvement of previous agreements as to access through the private road to the lighthouse.  It matches many such historic landmarks in that it isn't always open or easily accessible. Other lighthouses in fact, are just as difficult to access because of location.  Too bad some people can't put aside their prejudice against what they perceive as "rich Americans" to appreciate the beauty and importance of the Point Abino Lighthouse.

Of course, there are a few left who think that the Americans own most of the waterfront properties. I would say that the percentage of American owned lakefront properties has diminished greatly in the past few years. A lot of recent purchases of lakefront property has been by Canadians.  Funny how no one was upset when the summer residents paid taxes and utilities year round, thus making a major contribution to the town.  Some vilify Americans because a few chose to speak up about the proposed twelve story condo on public waterfront land.  Seems like a no-brainer that people who enjoy the beach would be against a looming tower, privately owned, on public waterfront property - the last in Crystal Beach.

Some are upset that the old Crystal Beach Pier is being removed. I just wonder who is paying for that since it belongs to the Crystal Beach Tennis and Yacht Club.  Sadly, it was also the scene of a tragic accident a couple of years ago. Maybe it is time to let it go. It can never be used again as a pier and it has become an eyesore.

We're still waiting for the removal of the snack bar and the Molinaro sales office that still has an "Open" sign near the door.

Give the Bay Beach Properties back to the people and let them decide what to do with it. I hope that certain town players understand now that they can't force people to accept a bad idea. The whole Bay Beach Development was conjured up by a town planner who is long gone; never lived here; and who refused to accept that the people of the community did not want a twelve story building (or two as it was first proposed) taking up the public shoreline.

Thursday, February 20, 2014


UPDATE: The lies continued in the "report" on the agreement between the town and the Point Abino Association regarding access and the length of the agreement. From the ninjas:

But rather than let a sleeping dog lie, good ol Donnie has to poke the P.A.A. with a stick and make amendment to make it a locked in 5 years which was *approved by the usual vote.  So now, Town staff has to go back to the bargaining table with the PAA who already, as noted earlier, doesn’t want us around, and ask them to sign up for 5 years, and by doing so ensuring that Donnie’s friends in P.A.L.P.S. get some revenues.”

* The truth is that Don Lubberts' amendment was defeated in a 5-2 vote.  

So, the one-year agreement with automatic renewal unless one or both parties decide to amend or change the agreement was finally approved by a 6 -1 vote as recommended by staff. Don Lubberts expressed hope that a five year plan would have been better and he offered the amendment. He also wanted to hear the opinion of the Point Abino Lighthouse Preservation Association as they volunteer to run the tours of the historic site. That is all folks. Democracy in action. Not some kind of vicious plot.

And now, back to original exposure of a pack of lies from the ninjas.

It should come as no surprise to anyone that the Great Unwashed have a vendetta going against Four Councillors who were elected to council.  The GU have made up stories; repeated gossip and even misrepresented facts in their zeal to smear the Four Councillors.

Well, this time they went way too far - far into absolute slander and libel territory with their latest attack on The Four.  The problem is that it was ALL A PACK OF LIES.  Fortunately for them, they took down the offending post. Unfortunately for them, I have received a copy of the offending post.

It all has to do with the hiring of Hemson Consulting Ltd. to conduct a Development Charges Background Study. The report was presented to Council in Committee on Tuesday, February 18, 2014.

Here is what the ninjas said about the study:

So last night was no different. Another assault on our intelligence was launched when council received a report from a company called Hemson Development who was paid a rough sum of money, around $30,000 to do a development charges study for the town of Fort Erie.

So town council voted 4-3 to have this study done in Fort Erie.  The question is why? This is where the assault on us tax payers begins. An assault on our intelligence and where the smoke and mirrors begins....

This is the start of a tirade that questions the very integrity of the four councillors and accuses them of wasting taxpayer money on a study when they already received accurate information from Jim Thibert, head of the EDTC.

So instead, they voted 4-3 to hire an outside company. The question is, how was it tendered? How did they get the contract? How did they do their study, it happened real fast and was put together in less than two weeks. Did I hear Bob Steckley state in last night’s meeting that the report was roughly 6 pages long? That works out to $5000 a page including cover letter and index. The ninjas pump out more pages for the people of Fort Erie in one day for free. There are people in this town who bust their humps day in and day out to not even come close to making $30,000 and far too many who wish they could make that much in a year.
So once again, 4 men on council used our tax money for their own personal gain. They paid $30,000 for an opposing opinion to try and make Jim Thibert look wrong only they aren’t smart enough to realize that the they just insulted 30 of our top businesses in town with this report.


 November 19, 2012 Council in Committee Meeting - 2012

From the office of the CAO (That would be the Acting Chief Administrative Officer Ron Tripp.)


Hemson Consulting Ltd. be retained to provide the Corporation of the 
Town of Fort Erie with consulting services for the preparation of a 
Development Charges Background Study in the amount of $44,578.50 
(including HST). 

The recommendation went on to recount the tender process and how Hemson scored the highest on the criteria although it was not the least expensive. 

Here are the results of that recommendation, from the minutes of that meeting:

 Recommendation No. 6 
Moved by: Councillor Shular 
THAT:Hemson Consulting Ltd. be retained to provide the Corporation of the 
Town of Fort Erie with consulting services for the preparation of a Development 
Charges Background Study in the amount of $44,578.50 (including hst). 

So, the ninjas' Good Ole Buddy moved the motion to hire the consulting firm to perform the study and the money for the study was provided by an amendment to the capital budget of 2012 from the development charge reserve fund.

THAT: the 2012 Operating Budget be amended to include a budget of $42,000 
for the 2012 Development Charge Background Study with funding from 
the Development Charge Reserve. 


So, the whole post was a lie, based on the fevered imaginations of the ninjas, fueled by their hatred for four councillors.

Now for today's laugh, coming directly off the keyboard of the chief ass-clown of the One-Trick-Pony-Parade:

Our job here at the ninja is the tough one. An assault on our intelligence has been launched by these special interest groups in town, by former and current councilors. We are at war over the truth! We are at war over getting the right information out to the public vs. the false. As tough as that task is, we are somehow winning. My guess is that we are winning because of one simple fact, over the years, we have been getting it right and our predictions have come true and our numbers keep growing.

Editor's Note: I deleted some comments because they are off-topic. Not my usual way but I think we all need to focus on what has been exposed here. This is what the ninjas have been doing.  This time, we caught them in a bold-faced lie - actually a bunch of lies.  Comments meant to detract from the matter at hand will be deleted. We have proved our point.

Monday, February 17, 2014



Mayor-by-five-votes ... Doug Martin
GM of the EDTC ... Jim Thibert
Ward 3 Councillor .... Bob Steckley (first elected in 2006)
Ward 4 Councillor ... John Hill (Beat incumbent Tim Whitfield in a landslide)
Ward 5 Councillor ... Don Lubberts (Beat a number of candidates, including incumbent Martha Lockwood)
Ward 6 Councillor ... Paul Collard (Beat out a few candidates to fill Ann Marie Noyes' former position)

The Ninjas: a group of malcontents, often referred to as the Great Unwashed or The Usual Suspects. Biggest mouthpieces are Greg Bonito and Lesley North.

It really all started in earnest after the 2010 election. Not only did four councillors get elected by good majorities, but the mayor almost lost his seat but for five votes. The people of the town who voted sent a strong message: we do not want our public waterfront land (Bay Beach) given away to a high rise developer.

But that message was not well received by certain people in this town and an effort was started to discredit the four councillors and anyone who stood out against the Molinaro deal. During the lame duck period after the election, a lawsuit was started against me as I was the blogger of record against the development and the part that Jim Thibert, head of the town's arm's length corporation, the Economic and Tourism Development Corporation played in the deal.  He was the puppet master in the campaign, setting candidates and campaigns against the four councillors, especially Bob Steckley. He also targeted Ann Marie Noyes, former councillor, who was running for mayor. He had promised to "crush them" because they openly questioned his tactics and his record at council. So, he convinced his then board, about to have some changes, to use taxpayer money to sue me for slander.  So far, that exercise has cost the taxpayers well over $20,000 and accomplished nothing.

A blog came into existence, offered by a couple of guys who fancied themselves as political experts. It was nothing but a hit piece for the disgruntled to vent their anger against those who were elected to office and anyone opposed to the Molinaro Deal. That went on for a couple of years until in-fighting caused the cessation of that blog and the formation of a new blog run by a hitherto unknown, chronically unemployed wannabe. From those beginnings rose a small but vocal group that soon took over as the Peanut Gallery at council meetings. From there, they escalated to harassment and bullying of those in opposition to the Molinaro Project. Of course, they turned on the four councillors with a vengeance. Soon came accusations of everything from hit-and-run to arson. Now called The Ninjas, after their favourite after-school TV program, they set about to dig for anything they could to embarrass or cause difficulties to the four and their supporters.

People were threatened; confidential banking information was leaked; multiple police reports were filed and their blog went on and on about every little thing the four did. They even followed the guys to a local watering hole after a meeting and took pictures through the window. Drive-bys of people's houses were frequent; pictures taken of vehicles and officials called in their obsession to drive the councillors out of office.

Of course, the mayor-by-five-votes was on board with these tactics; he even encouraged them by allowing their delegates to attack the four councillors during presentations to council. The ninjas also became Jim Thibert's go-to guys when ever he wanted to plant some information. In turn, they became mini-celebrities in their own warped minds. They thought they were doing good for the community, when, in fact, they were subverting the will of the people by attacking these duly-elected representatives. It is one thing to disagree with a local politician but another to wage a smear campaign against decent people with whom you disagree. 

(OK. Now you can say that I did the same to Jim Thibert. Not quite. I reported that he told a sitting councillor that she was "delusional." He did. I was there that night. He has done some very petty and nasty things to those who challenge him. He fought a FOI request through the courts which again, cost the taxpayers, and still hasn't produced everything required by the decision against his corporation. In my opinion, he has done a terrible job of leading this town's economic corporation. Otherwise, I could not care less about his personal life.)

But the ninjas do care about everyone's personal life, especially those they disagree with. Living in their glass houses, they have reported personal and confidential information about the four councillors, me and others who are against ONE DEVELOPMENT - the high rise at Bay Beach. The ninjas have lied to people, claiming that the four are against all development.  

And the worst yet: Mayor Martin convinced former and big loser Tim Whitfield to file a lawsuit against the four councillors for conflict of interest in the firing of town lawyer, Heather Salter. The other two councillors, Rick Shular and Stephen Passero supported the lawsuit with testimony.  So much for "Working Together" for the betterment of Fort Erie.  Heather Salter made obvious mistakes, especially those where she copied information from the Molinaros without double-checking first. She was openly insubordinate to the councillors, even at council meetings that are preserved forever on videotape.

Now the ninjas have decided to be kingmakers to candidates set to challenge the four councillors if all else fails.  They have already blamed the four councillors for everything unfortunate that has happened in Fort Erie when they should be looking at the bigger picture as I have tried to point out from other media sources.

Too bad, one can't trust any of the local media, especially the so-called "hometown newspaper" that is actually part of a large consortium.  The slanted coverage in favour of their largest advertiser (the town) would make an outsider wonder what in the world is going on in Fort Erie.

I'll tell you what is going on in Fort Erie:

The democratic process is being thwarted by a few losers who refuse to allow duly-elected representatives do their jobs in peace and with respect. 

Meanwhile, the council unanimously approved a new budget that has the lowest tax hike in years. You won't read about that on the ninja site. No, that is not on their agenda. They prefer to make fun of the councillors' looks, occupations, friends and family.

I may be risking another taxpayer-paid lawsuit, but I am going to expose these fools for what they are - before they do any more damage to this community.

Saturday, February 15, 2014


Great article in the Globe and Mail today.


From the article:

"Add the effects of new passport requirements, border slowdowns and a high dollar, Niagara Falls Mayor Jim Diodati laments, and the effect has been “devastating.” Jim Thibert, the head of economic development for Fort Erie, recalls when his town across the river from Buffalo drew more than 80 per cent of its visitors from the United States; today it is less than 20 per cent, and not because of an increase in domestic ones."

So, for a national news article, Jim Thibert explains the effect of the loss of US tourism dollars. It differs from what he told council in his budget request. There he cited the lack of job skills for Fort Erians as the reason the unemployment is so high. He stated that jobs are available but Fort Erie workers do not possess the technical skills needed.

Yes, we knew that all along here in Fort Erie. We knew that Fort Erie has relied heavily on US tourism and investment dollars for over a century. Sure, the most recent losses can be attributed to the passport regulation and the US casinos, but I think that another factor is the anti-Americanism as expressed by certain locals.  The part time summer residents pay year-round taxes and utilities, yet, when they speak up about an issue that is important to them, they are told to go back to the States - or worse.

Finally, the article gets to the meat of the issue: the parochialism of the twelve municipalities that make up the Niagara Region.

"Phil Ritchie, a developer who has been central to efforts to revitalize downtown Niagara Falls, goes so far as to suggest the best thing Ontario could do for the region would be some manner of amalgamation that forces communities to get past their parochialism."

Oh dear, the cat is out of the bag!  I believe it will happen and it needs to happen.

Friday, February 14, 2014



Due to unsafe conditions and warmer weather, Fort Erie Fire Chief ordered the demolition of the Crystal Beach Ice Caves. Only one piece of heavy equipment was needed to knock down the caves Wednesday afternoon.

A BIG THANKS to Mother Nature, the media, visitors and locals for making Crystal Beach a place to visit in the winter.

We made the Buffalo News! Great pictures and video with the article

From Global News:

The parking lot at the Waterfront Park has been full the past week or so as hundreds of people visit the Ice Caves along the frozen shoreline of Lake Erie in Crystal Beach. Can't see much from this picture but it is quite a sight. Old-timers do recall a smaller version in the late 1960s at Bay Beach, but this assortment of caves is very rare.  It is also rare that the Great Lakes are almost completely ice covered. 

Families and photographers are enjoying the caves and local businesses are cashing in on the influx of visitors to Crystal Beach. Phil Smith of South Coast Restaurant offers free hot chocolate to anyone with a picture of themselves at the caves. Even the national press has reported on the ice caves.

So, for those who are winter-weary, a visit to the ice caves may restore your appreciation of our winter beauty. 

Editor's Note: Temporarily took down other article. This weekend, it's all about Crystal Beach!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014



Update: Jim Thibert was on hand for the local election coverge. This is the first time I heard this: Thibert admitted that the slots at the race track "weren't working." He said 84% of the slots market share was from the US. Went significantly down when US casinos Western New York

On Monday, February 10, 2014 Fort Erie Town Council voted unanimously to approve the 2014 capital budget. Unanimously. Even Mayor Martin cast a meaningless vote in favour of the budget.

Today, on the town's blog, the headline read:


Somehow, the four managed to lead the council into a budget that increases the taxpayers' cost by 2.72%. Many would say that is a great example of leadership, awareness and sensitivity to the prevailing economic climate in Fort Erie.  Of course, The Four's detractors will find a way to spin this to make The Four look bad.

Sorry, even the town website is giving council its props. 

Déjà Vue all over again. 

 When the Niagara Parks Commission decided to drop the proposed $150 million redevelopment of the Niagara Parks Marina located on the Niagara River close to Fort Erie, EDTC GM Jim Thibert called a press conference in January 2012.

"Citing that the decision is unfair to the developer, Warren DAC/Sentex Developments, Jim Thibert, manager of the Fort Erie EDTC and Ron Tripp, the town’s acting Chief Administrative Officer said they were hoping to gain audience with Tourism Minister Michael Chan and Minister of Provincial Parliament Kim Craitor, to further discuss this dispute which threatens the future of a $150-million redevelopment."

Two years ago the issue was brought up by Jim Thibert. What happened? Does anyone know? 

Now, two years later, the issue is brought up again. Interesting timing. Of course, council gave its unanimous endorsement to a resolution to approach the Niagara Region and the province to pressure the NPC to renew the development project.

I would guess that Jim Thibert does not think that anyone will remember the last go-around about the marina. Some of us do remember that there was a lot of local opposition because it was to be such a massive change to the scenic Niagara Parkway. Those who live near the proposed marina project were going to be severely impacted and they let the developers know that in public meetings.


"Due to liability issues -- and the fact that it was losing about $40,000 annually -- the NPC signalled its intent to shutdown the marina in 2006. At the time, mayor Doug Martin and then-MPP Kim Craitor stepped in to voice their opposition and the marina was kept open. Working with the town’s Economic Development and Tourism Corporation resulted in a marina development company, Warren DAC, stepping in to take over operation of the aging facility.But when it came time for phase two, a planned $120-million redevelopment of the marina by Warren DAC, the project came to a screeching halt after the NPC declared the whole process invalid and kicked everything back to the planning phase in early 2012.
Craitor later revealed it was because the request for proposal process, which was jointly launched by the Town of Fort Erie, the EDTC and the NPC, was improperly executed. According to NPC rules, no external agency, such as Fort Erie’s EDTC, is allowed to be involved in the request for proposal bidding process."
Does that mean that the mighty Jim Thibert made a mistake? Sure seems like it. Why is Thibert always "making deals" anyway? Shouldn't he be concentrating on bringing in new business and economic development  to Fort Erie instead of trying to be Donald Trump without the comb-over? 

During my research I came across the Tourism page of The Town of Fort Erie.  It was titled:


Three major developments were touted on the page. The Canadian Motor Speedway (just getting started);a major development at the Fort Erie Race Track (never started); and the marina (stalled.)

Hardly "creating success" as the page boasts. Remember this?

"Nordic Gaming/Fort Erie Race Track – Potential home to a new $300 million dollar destination attraction at the site of the Fort Erie Race Track. Initial plans call for a convention facility, water-park, indoor carting facility, hotel, retail outlets, commercial space, restaurants, golf centre, Niagara wine pavilion, and new grandstand and backstretch facilities. Designed to act as Niagara’s southern tourism anchor, the destination attraction will provide visitors to Niagara with still more to do. Complimenting the tourism amenities and gaming facilities already in place in near-by Niagara Falls, the Fort Erie Race Track destination will also act as the Southern Gateway to Niagara and will offer visitors a unique opportunity to re-visit the Niagara area and explore Fort Erie as a component of their visit to the region."

Didn't the council of the day pledge some money towards this project? Why is this still on the 
town's tourism page? The whole tourism section needs updating. In one story, the Waterfront Park is described as "just steps away" from the public beach. Everyone knows that the beach near the Waterfront Park is not very good. The public entrance to Crystal Beach is a lot more than "a few steps." Of course, there is no mention of the National Historic Site, the Point Abino Light House, quite visible from Waterfront Park and Bay Beach.

 Who writes these brochures? 

Saturday, February 8, 2014


With an election coming up, it is as important as ever that voters inform themselves before they vote. The by-election in Niagara is very important. Brigitte Bonner sent this letter to various media in the area. I have not seen it published anywhere else, so I offer it to you here:

We have been hearing alot in the news about Tim Hudak’s “Million Jobs Act”.  But what is it, really?  From what I understand, Hudak wants to limit funds to unions in the hopes of eventually destroying them all.  His plan is a copy of the “Right to Work” scheme that is prevalent in the U.S.  He touts this as giving “rights” to workers, that is, the right to refuse to pay union dues.  But how will that actually help the average worker in Ontario? In South Carolina, where Right to Work laws have existed for over 50 years, the minimum wage is only $7.25 per hour.  People there refer to the act as the “Right to Work for Less Act”.  Is this where we’re headed?  Implementing the Right to Work Act will make it more difficult for unions to survive.  Unions help workers by fighting for things like fair wages, good working conditions, job safety, job security and benefits.  Not only do unions help those workers in a unionized workplace, but they fight for legislation that can benefit all workers in Ontario. In other words, the average worker in Ontario will suffer. Of course Tim’s plan will help big business because they will have more power and more profit.  In Fort Erie we have already seen hundreds lose their jobs over the past years.  In one case an American company in Stevensville simply shut their doors and walked away from their employees without any prior notice or assistance to help them deal with so suddenly being jobless.  Some had worked at the plant for over three decades.  Hudak’s plan will certainly cause more events like this.  Without unions, workers will have more difficulty getting fair wage increases. With rising costs for necessities such as food, gas and hydro, many people today already work two to three low paid, part-time jobs just to get by. How are we to pay for these things with lower wages?  How will the average person be able to raise a family and live decently? We won’t.

Hudak says his plan will create jobs and “modernize” employment.   Perhaps by this he means companies won’t have to build their industries thousands of miles overseas.  They can build their industries in Ontario, where there will be an abundance of cheap, powerless labour for them to exploit and profit from.

The right to say no to a union is much less important than having no right to fair wages, job security and safe working conditions.

 If Mr. Hudak thinks he will have an easier time of getting his party into his “hometown”, he can think again.  People around here know what he’s like and don’t want him back
Brigitte Bonner

Editor's Note:
I concur with Ms. Bonner regarding the Right to Work philosophy.  It is union busting, plain and simple.  Met up with it when I was a union organizer in the States.  Organizing people into a decent union has always been a challenge but, Right to Work laws make it near impossible.  Any worker should be very afraid of this trend.  
Like many have come to realize, the PC party is unrecognizable from what it was just a few years ago.

Friday, February 7, 2014


People dependent on the Fort Erie Race Track can breathe a sigh of relief that an important by-election is happening in the riding and that a provincial election looms in the Spring.  Joyce Morocco, the Liberal candidate for Kim Craitor's former seat made the announcement today that funding is available for the 2014 season of the historic horse track.

While EDTC General Manager Jim Thibert and Fort Erie Mayor Doug Martin can rightly take a bow for their efforts, it probably would not have taken place if it were not for the hotly-contested race in the Niagara Falls riding which includes Fort Erie.

HERE is on article on the subject. From the article:

"Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak says it’s clear the timing of the Fort Erie announcement is tied to next Thursday’s by-elections in Niagara Falls and the north Toronto riding of Thornhill."

Yes Tim, it is poitical. Like when you go on radio ads proclaiming your love of your home town  when the truth is that you abandoned Fort Erie for a riding with a higher profile/ Alas, they all play political games and the stakes are high because of upcoming provincial elections.

While the details are very sketchy, it may boil down to the number of races, rather than racing days that will make up the 2014 horse racing season at Fort Erie.  Speculation is that the track will have 400 races in 2014, similar to the 2013 season.  It is yet to be determined if the proposed Year of the Horse Festival will be part of the package.

The earlier Airbus announcement, plus the racetrack announcement is very good news for Fort Erie no matter how you interpret who is responsible.

Meanwhile, unemployment in Niagara tops the national average at 8%.  That is for all of Niagara, not just Fort Erie. Infact, it is a trend that is felt in many cities and towns all over Canada and the U.S.

I supposed the Four Councillors of the Apocalypse will be blamed in some way for the high Niagara unemployment rate.  (BTW, they were retroactively responsible for the War of 1812.)


Folks, I have to apologize for recent mistakes in The Strand Blog. Boy, was I ever wrong!

  • I'm sorry that I said that Jim Thibert was not at the recent expansion announcement at Airbus.  (How was I to know he had been shunted off with those not on the VIP Tour?)
  • I'm sorry that I criticized Stephen Passero for his attempt at a joke at Premier Wynne's expense. (How was I to know that Passero is a professional comedian?)
  • I'm sorry that I remarked about Mayor Martin being in Florida while we freeze here. (How was I to know that he was meeting with his Fort Erie friends down there?)
  • I'm sorry that I misspelled Lesley North's name. (I copied it from the town's agenda.)
  • I'm sorry that I have so inflamed others that they have to resort to personal attacks against me. (Not really, but it does show how desperate they are to shut me up.)

However, I'm not sorry that I published a first-hand account of the Airbus announcement. In fact, I'll reprint it here:

"The fact that Jim Thibert wasn't hogging the spotlight was very telling. It tells me he didn't have anything to do with this new contract and they were not going to let him take the credit.
I’m sure Wynne remembers the banners at the track and at town hall.  Jim Thibert did not talk to her at all.

The plant manager, Wynne, Regional Chair Burroughs, Federal EDT minister Goodyear and Stephen Passero took a tour of the factory.

All the other dignitaries that were not invited to go on the tour were in the big meeting room mingling and talking with workers from the factory.

John Hill is the acting mayor, but the mayor asked Stephen Passero to speak on his behalf. So disrespectful of the policy in place and it was done to elevate Stephen during an election year. 

Four National TV crews, Four national newspapers and lots of local press were there. When Wynne got up to speak she mentioned that she had had a great tour with the four gentlemen and named them, but when she came to Stephen Passero, she had forgotten his name.  She turned around to him and said, 'I’m sorry I've forgotten your name'.

So, when Passero got up to speak he thanked everyone behind him that had been on the tour.  When he got to Wynne’s name he turned around and said,  'and Premier uh,uh,uh. I’m sorry. Oh, Wynne.'"  

Not funny, Stephen. Not funny at all.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014


I now hear that he was there. OMG! And he didn't get to take a victory lap or get into any of the pictures? So unlike Thibert, the master grand-stander.

Eyewitness account of press event:

"The fact that Jim Thibert wasn't hogging the spotlight was very telling. It tells me he didn't have anything to do with this new contract and they were not going to let him take the credit.
I’m sure Wynne remembers the banners at the track and at town hall.  Jim Thibert did not talk to her at all.

The plant manager, Wynne, Regional Chair Burroughs, Federal EDT minister Goodyear and Stephen Passero took a tour of the factory.

All the other dignitaries that were not invited to go on the tour were in the big meeting room mingling and talking with workers from the factory.

John Hill is the acting mayor, but the mayor asked Stephen Passero to speak on his behalf. So disrespectful of the policy in place and it was done to elevate Stephen during an election year. (Editor's Note: Typical small-minded move by the mayor.)

Four National TV crews, Four national newspapers and lots of local press were there. When Wynne got up to speak she mentioned that she had had a great tour with the four gentlemen and named them, but when she came to Stephen Passero, she had forgotten his name.  She turned around to him and said, 'I’m sorry I've forgotten your name'.

So, when Passero got up to speak he thanked everyone behind him that had been on the tour.  When he got to Wynne’s name he turned around and said,  'and Premier uh,uh,uh. I’m sorry. Oh, Wynne.'"  

Not funny, Stephen. Not funny at all.

(Editor's Note: way to treat the premier, asshat. Another insult to add to the long collection of insults.)


Big Announcement today at the Airbus plant on Gilmore Road. Forty new jobs at what is now Fort Erie's largest employer - not the race track. These are skilled technical jobs at the helicopter plant that already employs some 235 people.

And, where was Jim Thibert when the announcement was made by Gary Goodyear, federal minister of economic development for Southern Ontario and Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne?  No where to be seen.  On hand for the photos were Ward 1 Councillor Stephen Passero, presumably representing the mayor who is in Florida; Regional Chair Gary Burroughs; Airbus CEO Romain Trapp and another unnamed executive of Airbus (formerly Eurocopter.)

Could he not have been invited? Like he "uninvited" Ann Marie Noyes to the opening of the Fort Erie Racetrack. Oh Snap! Not invited to the big dance?  You just know that Thibert would have been there hogging the spotlight if he could. Sounds like Airbus took care of getting help from the feds and province without Jim's help.

And, did I hear that Airbus is now the largest employer and largest manufacturing plant in Fort Erie? You know, the company that employs all those skilled technicians. But wait! Fort Erie doesn't have skilled workers according to Thibert in his insult-filled report to council recently during budget deliberations. Way to insult the people of Fort Erie: tell them they aren't smart enough for the jobs available. Word about town is that many were incensed over Thibert's remarks at the budget meeting - again. For the second year in a row.

And where was Jim Thibert when it was announced that a CIP could be a boon to businesses in Fort Erie? From the article:

Heyworth said there are three types of improvements 

business owners will be able to apply for—façade 

improvements, signage and constructing apartments above 

commercial buildings—if council approves the program.

Read the whole article:

Sunday, February 2, 2014


Can't help it. I am fascinated by the Governor Chris Christie situation. He is facing possible impeachment for his alleged involvement in the closing of three crucial lanes on the busiest bridge in the world as well as alleged misappropriation of Hurricane Sandy Relief Funds.  The story keeps getting bigger and better as, one-by-one, his closest advisers fall under the weight of federal and state subpoenas.

Late Friday, his former adviser and appointee to the powerful Port Authority, David Wilstein, revealed, through his lawyer, that Christie knew of the planned shutdown early in September 2013. The shutdown of the lanes from Fort Lee, New Jersey  caused massive back-ups on the bridge.  The excuse given was that a "traffic study" was underway for four days. Christie has always maintained that he knew nothing about it until early January of this year. Wilstein's bombshell revelation is part of his bid for immunity and coverage of his massive legal bills.

What really got me laughing was Christie's response via e-mail.Something about it sounded familiar. Oh yeah, I know now. It was similar to a recent rant by some other blogger who threw out a bunch of accusations, hoping that it would sway people's opinion. Christie even mentioned that Wilstein was once "an anonymous blogger."  LOL. Big mistake for Christie because he often used that "anonymous blogger" to further his agenda while he was a prosecutor with an eye on the governor's office. He personally appointed Wilstein to the post at the Port Authority.

What I have gotten out of this whole Christie fiasco is that he is a bully who decided to bully a whole town because it did not fall in line behind him and its state representative defied him over judicial appointments. What has been revealed is the threats and intimidation he served up to various mayors and representatives who did not support his initiatives - and developer friends. What will eventually cause his impeachment is proof of his deliberate channeling of Sandy Relief Funds to places where his developer friends had projects, regardless whether the towns were severely affected by the hurricane.

Does this sound slightly familiar on a much smaller scale?  Is the campaign against me, your not-anonymous blogger an attempt to shut me up or shut me down - take your pick? Seems that way. Which actually encourages me to keep on. Shows me that this blog is serving its original purpose: to offer another view of what's going on in Fort Erie.  And it seems to be getting through to many people that all is not as it seems in Fort Erie and that there has been a concerted effort to squash the voice of the people.

In 2010, the voters elected a council, four of whom were offering different views than the mayor. Since then, blogs and even the mayor and his cronies have done everything they can, including filing a lawsuit against the four, to drive them out of office.


Now, what does that tell you?  

It tells me that something isn't right in Fort Erie. It also shows me how desperate the mayor and his cronies are to continue their agenda.  So desperate they are that they decided to use taxpayer dollars (around $25,000.) to sue me. This, you would think, was their greatest achievement since the last election, the way their bloggers go on about it.  Yeah, real show of co-operation and caring by the mayor & company. Sue a blogger; sue four duly-elected councillors and allow a pathetic display of partisanship to play out at a council meeting.

Yeah, that's leadership, eh?

BTW: Kimberly Zanko and Marina Butler are their favoured candidates in the attempt to take back control of the council. These two have been part of the mayor's network, colleagues of Jim Thibert and ardent followers of the Old Boys' agenda. Marina Butler has been hankering for John Hill's Ward 4 seat for years and she heavily supported Kimberly Zanko's unsuccessful bid for Bob Steckley's seat in Ward 3 in 2010. Tim Whitfield, who was ousted by a landslide in Ward 4, is the man behind the lawsuit against the four councillors. Apparently though, he is destitute after a fire destroyed his house last fall.  So his friend, former (defeated) councillor Martha Lockwood, tried to get her service club to donate money to him.  Meanwhile he assured the court that he is financially able to bring the lawsuit as he has to be able to pay court costs if the suit is thrown out. Hmmm.