Monday, October 20, 2014


Address it to our employees,
Say you won't be working here
If you vote for Ann Marie Noyes ♪♫♪

OK. It didn't really happen that way. Or did it?  Just days before the municipal election in 2010, Fort Erie Race Track employees received a letter from their union advising them that if they vote for Ann Marie Noyes for mayor; Bob Steckley in Ward 3; John Hill in Ward 4; Don Lubberts in Ward 5; and Paul Collard in Ward 6 they might lose their jobs. A similar letter was posted at town hall.  The timing was suspect; there was no time for a rebuttal from the candidates.  

Ann Marie almost won in 2010. Five votes separated her from incumbent mayor Doug Martin.  However, The Four Councillors won! 

And guess what? The Four voted in support of the racetrack. Every time. Well, except that one time when Don Lubberts did not like the last minute pressure put on council to cough up $500,000. to cover the lease on the race track.  He voted no but it passed anyway.  He was right as it turned out.  The race track did not need the emergency infusion of half a million dollars as requested.  The funding from the province came through.  The mayor said that the funding from the province came through two minutes before the deadline.  Do you really believe that? We didn't.  In fact, months later the money was still in the town coffers.  Then in September, the Fort Erie Live Racing Consortium asked for the money for "operating expenses." What?  

Don further angered the two-hatted head of the FELRC and the EDTC, Jim Thibert when Lubberts suggested that if the town purchased a parcel of land from the owners of the Fort Erie Race Track, it could be considered "bonusing."  When Jim gets angry, he sues.  He sued Don Lubberts for Conflict of Interest.  It is still up in the air as to whether the taxpayers will pay for this lawsuit or not.

In my little nightmare scenario, the Marina I envision is one Marina Butler whose name is associated with many of the incidents regarding The Four.  As former Human Resources head of the race track, she has had quite a lot of power over the employees.  She was quoted in a attack flyer attributed to Kim Zanko who is running for election in Ward 3. 

That flyer intimated that The Four were anti-development  Of course, Marina is running in Ward 4 against John Hill who she once requested a Compliance Audit for after the 2010 election.  Compliance Audits were also requested by Martha Lockwood against Don Lubberts who beat her in Ward 5 and Larry Graber against Paul Collard who beat him in Ward 6. The compliance audits cost the taxpayers well over $100,000. and no serious violations were found, just minor infractions. 

Back to Marina:  turns out that she helped fund the Conflict of Interest lawsuit against the four councillors brought by defeated former councillor, Tim Whitfield.  Still following?  And now she's running against John Hill.

What a tangled web.  

Oh, and in case you may have forgotten, here is the flyer that was sent out in early 2011 by a group headed by Kim Zanko who is now running for council in Ward 3.


Oh, did they mention a lawsuit?  That was after the Molinaro Project was passed. The councillors were not anti-development but why let a good slogan be ruined by the truth? Many developments have been approved, started and finished in the past four years and none were voted down by council. Just look at the words used in this hit piece.  This is just one example of the treatment The Four Councillors have received since they were elected - in spite of the letter.


  1. The biggest lie, they of the dark side put out , was that this council is anti- development, they believe as a former European Dictator once said "that if you repeat a lie often enough, the people will believe it", it did work when certain Republicans said that the 9/11 skyjackers entered the U S of A via Canada, when the reality was, they entered via Airports from Germany to NYC., as students ,studying for educational upgrades, none of them ever attended any classes, as the visa required, but they did study how to pilot planes and aim them at tall buildings.

  2. The burning jeans on the clothesline billboard is a bit much. If people had a tendency to giggle at all the strange political goings-ons here that one is likely to provoke outright laughter. Notice how no one actually attached their name to it? Or anyone elses name for that matter. Burning pants? Who can tell what the heck that is supposed to mean! Someone must have been drinking or high when they sat down and envisioned that strange yet amusing eyesore along a busy street in this otherwise painfully conservative town. What next? Political motivated printed handouts that that look like a scrabble board gone nutty? Oh yah, I think we saw that. As for the "Ninjars defending the Fort," after what we have seen lately, might want to review the security procedures. Its starting to look like they couldnt defend a plate of stale donuts from the flies, never mind defending the "Fort".

  3. Marina should be the poster child for why this town is in the complete mess that it is. She is only the latest in a long line of greedy self serving insiders that have taken advantage of this town again and again all for their own bank statements. I can only hope that the good people of ward 4 show her as much love as they showed the incumbent 4 years ago. A resounding GET LOST.

    She makes the last old boy /CofC plant Tim Whitfield look innocent.

    BTW she calls herself a politician on her Facebook page.....maybe she knows another ballot box is programmed to fall open again.

  4. the liar, liar, pants on fire billboard didn't even explain what four Councillors lied about, did it?

    Kim Zanko was on record as the group's spokesperson for the flyer. Then she did distance herself from the first billboard with the same photo of the child on it. I believe the second also very costly billboard was from the same organization that no one would admit to belonging to.

  5. Cowards never show their face & will never put their name to anything. They just Hit & Run & wait for the fallout hoping that others agree with them, then of course they will take ownership, if it goes the wrong way for them then they keep silent.
    Bullies behave in the same manner but at least they put their name out there for all to see.(except of course the FE NINJAS who are a very mis guided group of NON starters). Hopefully the electorate will get mad & vote back the 4 & tell the other candidates that they don't like their politics.

  6. Going to need a lot more than "development " so your children can "stay". Other than the shameless inept grammer, that picture looks like a rip off from the Save The Children Fund posters from the 70's and 80's. In those shots the children were playing in the muddy water behind a small wood hut. In both cases they look equally unhappy. So whats the message here?. For younger people to "stay" we may need a trade school, good public transit, a library system that isn't saturated with shallow fiction and staff that talk like they're 9 years old. Also, good meaningful employment with affordable housing for students and workers alike. Too much to ask?? Maybe. No one expects all that to appear overnight, but a solid plan to approach those goals in a timely and cost effective way from ANY of the candidates would get my vote. In future, as well, votes from the children who did "stay" and will in future, vote for an idea, as well as a face they can recognise as forward thinking.Someone who really does care about the community, not just some short term profit .

  7. Why don't we split off a piece of the Sugarbowl park and ask a couple of developers to come forward with plans to develop it. They can have that piece of land in turn for putting in a new pool! There, problem solved! Not nearly as many people use that park as much as they use Bay Beach.

  8. Okay ..... so why don't you stop with the B.S. about these supposed letters threatening job losses, or tell it straight !!!!

    a voter wrote : "I saw a copy of the letter sent out that threatened those working at the Race Track that they better vote for candidates on the list provided or they would lose their jobs. There was another notice hanging at Town Hall briefly with the same threat to staff."

    Now you are saying that it was the Union that wrote the letters. We all know that a union cannot have a person fired.

    Sharon, you of all people know very well that this is all being twisted to suit your agenda. As a union activist, you KNOW that sometimes unions will support certain candidates. We've even seen tv commercials about that.

    In this case, perhaps based on information received, the union is advising their membership that the candidates they listed do not support their employment and because of that, have cautioned them about they jobs being in jeopardy if these people are elected. Sadly, that did infact turn out to be the case.

    So why don't you tell the truth about these letters, post copies of the? Let the readers interpret them with their own opinion.

    I suspect that would will not do that, nor even accept this post, because you are who you are ....... no Integrity.

    1. John, you should try to convince that to those employees that got that letter.

    2. I worked on many election campaigns when I was a union organizer. We followed strict protocols in the literature that we were allowed to hand out. We only endorsed candidates, never mentioned that anyone would lose his or her job if they voted for a certain person. The letter referred to contained a veiled threat that if the employee voted a certain way, he or she might lose his or her job. That was an egregious act by the union. It was my job to bust such "company unions" as they do not act in the best interest of their dues-paying members. I have seen the letter sent in 2010 and will post it when I can get a copy.

      "In this case, perhaps based on information received, the union is advising their membership that the candidates they listed do not support their employment and because of that, have cautioned them about they jobs being in jeopardy if these people are elected. Sadly, that did infact turn out to be the case."

      What did you mean by that? Are you trying to say that The Four Councillors had anything to do with the closing of the slots or the scale-back of the racing dates at the track? Surely you know that the slots were closed by the province.

      Now, here is a quote for you by Bob Steckley from March 20, 2012

      "I personally have a problem when I hear ... 'It's horse racing or health care, what do you want?'" councillor Bob Steckley was quoted as saying, in regard to just one of the Liberals' coy tactics in its campaign of misinformation against the horse-racing industry.

      "I think that's nothing more than a bunch of B.S. They (the OLG, Liberals) talk about how revamping the gaming industry is going to create jobs without any mention about the jobs they're doing away with it, the jobs at the slots and potentially the jobs in horse racing that will come as a result of (no) slot income.

      "I don't see any way that they will make up the jobs that are lost with the jobs they say they're going to create."

      Does this sound like someone who does not support the workers at the track?

    3. Thank you Sharon for accepting my post and Thank You again for responding to it. Thank You in advance for accepting my post replying to your post.

      No Sharon, I am not saying that " The Four Councillors had anything to do with the closing of the slots or the scale-back of the racing dates at the track." and certainly I know that the slots were closed by the province. But a unified council could have perhaps swayed Provincial attitude .... not likely ..... but would have at least shown a concern of the impact that their decision would have on our community.

      Your reference to Bob Steckley's words of March 20, 2012 is redundant. Infact I read, by his passage "I don't see any way that they will make up the jobs that are lost with the jobs they say they're going to create." is a submission of defeat rather than accepting ANY opportunity of a job opportunity.

      Now, let's look at a date around when the supposed letter was written. Ann Marie Noyes and Bob Steckley always butted horns with the rest of the council. Through their associations, yourself included, they adopted a negative attitude towards the consensus of the council. They adopted a "devil's advocate" attitude .... if they say yes, then we say no. Through the 2010 election campaigning, it became evident that other candidates, through association, adopted the same attitude.

      This was very obvious and clear through the campaigning for the 2010 elections, and sadly confirmed by the meeting with a lawyer and signing affidavits shortly after the election by a group of four on another issue. But still, the fraternity was there. They would ALL concur with the attitudes set by their associates of the previous council

      Sharon, lets not beat around the bush. You once wrote that you had no ill feelings towards the racetrack closing because you are against gambling.

      Perhaps a feather in your cap, but, the attitudes that those ( I suspect, as I have never seen the supposed letters) listed in the supposed letters reflect your own, and it is well known that they had contact with yourself and others during their campaigning which may have directed their attitude towards their initiative should they be elected.

      I agree with you, that recommendations of union executives do not normally suggest to their membership NOT to vote for someone but rather TO vote for someone. But in reality ..... what is the difference. The letters that they post for their members is for their membership's best interest. You sorta imply that one is lawful and the other isn't. And again ..... I would really like to see those letters posted so I and others can form our own opinions as to their content.

      Again, Thank You in advance for accepting my post, and I look forward to your rebuttal.



    4. Actually, I have had very little contact with The Four councillors. Especially in 2010 when I deliberately stopped the blog and stayed the hell out of the election. Afterwards, I was glad that The Four won because I felt that they would try to steer the town in a direction that protects our precious public waterfront land.

      As to the race track, I remember it in its glory days. It was a beautiful, wonderful place to visit and enjoy. Like the amusement park, it is in the past for me. I have seen up close the problems with gambling and my attitude toward the sport of racing has changed. That is my opinion and I would never expect anyone else to follow it. I still do not like to see millions of taxpayer dollars spent to prop up the race track year after year. The track is like any other business and should be self-sustaining. The slots certainly helped that and I believe it was wrong for the province to pull the plug on the slots, mainly because of the job losses. But I still do not like seeing a gambling venue hailed as the be-all and the end-all of a community. I wish someone would look into the possibility of Fort Erie as a possible tech hub between the two countries. Perfect location. Jobs that would require training and education would keep young people in town and build up the tax base. Someone has to offer these kinds of companies incentives to settle or re-locate here. Better the millions be spent on the future than on a pastime from the past. Harsh, but true.

  9. There is a rather curious rumor out there that some one is interfering with the regional race by making a comment that a certain candidate is no longer running.
    This type of behaviour is against the elections act & the individual spreading this rumor is well aware of the elections act. What else can the dark side come up with to control this election but a better question is WHY? What is it that makes these desperate souls go to extreme measures in a Municipal election to control the out come. There is certainly something rotten in "Fort Erie"

  10. When it comes to jobs, my son who has a degree in engineering and a MBA, for the last 25 years he was a trouble shooter dealing with water and sewage solutions, he went to Black creek School, and also an Ontario Scholar, graduating from Mc.Master in Hamilton, would he be considered to run our Town , his last name would make him ineligible , when he left School about 8 smart kids from our neck of the woods high tailed it for Alberta , many have their own businesses ,so much for the lie, that the people here are uneducated,, as stated by our highly educated??? JT head of the Fort Erie EDTC.

  11. The comment that a "unified" Council could have perhaps swayed Provincial attitude. Look, the mayor who only won the election by 5 votes had no interest in unifying his newly elected Council as he should have done. He wasn't at all pleased that the 4 Councillors who were elected by wide margins weren't his chosen 4.

    Then comment that Noyes and Steckley had a negative attitude in the previous term.

    No point trying to reason with someone who isn't logical.

  12. Our esteemed mayor wasn't supposed to vote FOR the agreement to give Molinaro the Bay Beach lands. In contentious issues he is supposed to vote AGAINST, according to Robert's Rules. However, he doesn't seem to think that rules were written to be followed, but to be ignored. This whole mess is on his head not the four councillors.

  13. Hey, they can't even spell correctly on a billboard no less! taxe-hike????


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