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.


  1. The reason that there are many expensive waterfront properties in Fort Erie owned by Americans is because wealthy Canadians at that time purchased their cottages on the lakes north of Toronto.
    They didn't look in their own backyards.

    On another topic, but same stream, I thought the pier was off limits for construction because the Ministry of Fisheries determined it was a fish breeding area. Has the demolition been approved? As I recall, removing and relocating all of that sand from Bay Beach a few years ago had not been approved by the Ministry of Natural Resources.

    1. Yes, you're right about the fish breeding area. Another example of marketing misinformation. The Crystal Beach Tennis and Yacht Club was originally named and marketed as having boat docking facilities. Then they found out that they could do no improvements or changes to the pier. I remember this because, back in the day when the Waterfront Park was being planned, we found out that there could be no permanent docks nor refueling facilities because of the designation as a fish breeding area.

      The Ministry of Natural Resources explained away the town's removal of sand from Bay Beach to Thunder Bay as just a transfer of town-owned sand. They were upset that they were not informed ahead of the transfer, but, as we all know, the town did it very quietly. One man who took pictures of the sand removal was visited by NRP and told that it was illegal for him to film the transfer.

      BTW, one NRP officer and friend of fellow cheese smuggling chargee, Scott Heron, will go to court on Thursday (Feb. 27.) Another NRP officer has already resigned from the force and paid a $15,000. fine.

  2. "visited by the NRP for filming the Town's shady doings"

    What is this Nazi Germany 1933 with Hitler solidifying his rule? Democracy in Canada is under attack by questionable actions by the police such as this. I wonder who "ordered" the visit?? Someone way up the top at TOFE with connections in the region and the police no doubt. One guess is more than enough.

    I can only hope this new police chief is cleaning his force up and we in this town clean up our very dirty act as well. The FOUR have paid a huge price personally for trying. Support them or return to old time filthy Fort Erie politics.

    1. All I know is that since the new chief arrived, I stopped receiving visits from the NRP. I did speak to the chief about the harassment and he sounded like he was angry about it. I have been advised to contact police about the latest threats against me by someone named Tim Cashman.

      And, speaking of videos, there was one taken of alleged-cheese-smuggler Bernie Polino's establishment showing Conflict-of-interest challenged Martha Lockwood working the adjoining tee shirt booth. (This was shortly after she campaigned to award the lease for the snack bar to Polino.) That person was also visited by NRP and told that it was illegal for her to videotape on the beach.

      Bernie Polino's business partner in the snack bar was NRP Constable Scott Heron who is currently answering to charges of cheese smuggling. Polino once bragged to me that he had "friends on the NRP" after I complianed about his unsafe handling of large propane tanks for his snack bar in the sand as the original snack bar had been condemned due to code violations.

  3. Was the money received from the sale of the "Keeper's Cottage" not Taxpayer's Property. It was sold for a song. So, indeed, the refurbishing of the Lighthouse cost the taxpayers is closer to the million mark, plus the difference in value of the Keeper's Cottage and the actual sale price.

    1. You also need to factor in what the town paid for the lighthouse property. The keeper's cottage was sold below its market value, but the town paid next to nothing for the property in the first place. What was it? $150,000. for the Keeper's Cottage? The light house cost $1.

      You happen to believe that it was not worth the price to fix the light house. Fine. It's been refurbished. Get over it.

  4. To "Kevin":

    at least we have something to show for the lighthouse, I believe a designated federal historic site by the way. It's unfortunate that it is in a gated community. Maybe something can be negotiated, who knows, at least it is safe for now.

    What do we have to show for a decade plus of the EDTC that has cost many MANY times what the lighthouse has cost no matter how you slice it?? Rhetorical question as the answer is NOTHING!! We get a very poorly acted session in council once a year or so when they need money, otherwise NOTHING NADA ZILCH!!! Actually I have been somewhat remiss here, we did manage to piss off the party in power in Toronto with those lunatic banners whilst our hand was out for track saving money. Good value for millions of our tax $$$. Job well done as we're now going backwards.

    Let's go into what this mayor has cost us with all his lawyers on speed dial, at several hundred $$$ an hour times weeks and weeks of legal charges, to say nothing what it has cost fighting OMB after OMB appeal, fighting ourselves because the man in charge has a hidden agenda. The agenda is very obvious to anyone with more than a lick of common sense BTW. It's about as base as they come. Stick your nose in the air, if it stinks it's because there is something very wrong.

    I really love the lunatic fringe here that goes to extremes to attack anyone who raises the flag on these issues. Do these mentally challenged storm troopers not see that all these high level "mistakes" are not costing them their own tax dollars(to say nothing of our heritage,natural resources and futures), or are they so busy kicking the crap out of someone (because they think they license from someone higher to do so and thus are safe) that they are blind? Answer is these bully types exist in all societies unfortunately and are used by unscrupulous power mongers to further their lust for power and thus money What these pawns of power don't realize is that they are very expendable and the second their usefulness is over, they will be made to disappear as they are an embarrassment to their political masters.

    Who needs TV soap operas when you live here. No wonder we enjoy the reputation that we do with the rest of the region.

    And you "Kevin" have the gall to try and muddy the waters with such a relatively small distraction. What's this a new variation on our so called leaders of politics and economics chant " Not My Fault " with a big child like pout for effect??

    SUPPORT THE FOUR end local stupidity/ignorance it costs you huge tax $$.

    1. Just take a gander at this BLAST FROM THE PAST

      $2 million from the province (taxpayer money) that went into the pockets of a big conglomerate for something that never happened. Imagine what other uses that $2 million would have had for our local tourism - cough - Bay Beach? Look at the year : 2008

  5. Hey Sharon not too many people remember the NON Refundable deposit escapade.
    I guess maybe they should be reminded that certain people have no qualms about how they spend taxpayers money. You are right that $2 million should have been used to improve something in the Town eg The swimming Pool, Bay Beach, infrastructure for Crescent Park & lots of other important projects. What the Unwashed of East Fort Erie don't get that it is their idols that have squandered money.

    1. The $2 million was slated for Tourism and Development. The EDTC has no responsibilities towards the pool of the flooding in Cresent Park and "lots of other important projects" within the town. Got it. The Council is the one who should be addressing those issues.

      Sure, the money could have gone towards Bay Beach, but where are the jobs there? Everybody is whining about jobs. The EDTC put the money where the jobs are, the race track. And guess what ....... those jobs are still there.

    2. You're right about one thing: the money was to go to tourism, not for fixing infrastructure. However, you are wrong that it went towards the track. It went directly to El-Ad, the foreign-owned conglomerate that was planning a huge development on its lands near the race track. $2 million went towards a plan. A plan that was abandoned not long afterwards. Read the article carefully.

    3. Kevin, how many business have left and moved from Fort Erie since Jim T has been in charge of the EDTC? and How Many Business's has he brought in to this town?

  6. The good and the bad about the internet is that such articles don't disappear over time. They live on in archives. Why was there no investigation into this waste of taxpayer money through the province? The money should have been given over to various local groups to enhance tourism opportunities all over town. Not just down the rabbit hole for some rich foreign property owner.

  7. When the province wasted $180M on the power plant in Mississauga, $2M is just pocket change.........

    1. So, if the waste is "only" $2 million, that's OK with you? The waste on the power plant was inexcusable but any waste is inexcusable. This is public money.


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