Wednesday, June 24, 2015


Any questions? Martin no only admits under oath that he revealed confidential information to members of the public, he also admitted that there was no complaint filed by Heather Salter and no investigation took place.

Can you now see exactly who is responsible for this costly lawsuit? Can you now see why it was dismissed?

This was a witch hunt, plain and simple. Hatched by Doug Martin and Jim Thibert. There was no cause to bring this lawsuit, just a personal grudge and revenge.  

I hope they pay dearly for their part in all this.

Friday, June 19, 2015


Timed out!

That was the decision by Judge Sweeney regarding Strawman Tim Whitfield's application against The Four for conflict of interest. It's over - all but the costs, which should be borne by the appellant (Whitfield and his backers.)  That issue will be heard around the end of July as the lawyers prepare the paperwork.

I should have taken it as a sign when I pulled into the parking lot at court and a woman offered me a one hour ticket she had just purchased and could not use (library closed.)  As it turned out, despite a delay while the court reporter arrived, the decision was short and oh-so-sweet. Tim Whitfield should have done his "due diligence" when he first heard of the firing of Heather Salter. Instead, he, by his own words "put his head in the sand" until many months later and, at the behest of Doug Martin, filed a lawsuit against The Four.

According to Section 9.1 of the Act, there is a 6 week window of opportunity from the perceived breach of conflict of interest. Judge Sweeney cited numerous newspaper articles published at the time of the firing of Salter in April 2012 and the agreement that was accepted in late June of the same year.

Whitfield claimed in his affidavit and filing papers that he had no knowledge of the possible violation of conflict until much later that year, which put him in the 6 week window to file the lawsuit.

Judge Sweeney did not buy Whitfield's assertion that he knew nothing of the firing for several months after it happened. Not for a former councillor and golf buddy of Salter's husband. Whitfield's lawyer further put the case in the dumper by freely admitting that Tim was a mere "straw-man" chosen to be part of "Doug Martin's Lawsuit."

So, now it comes to money. Truthfully, there is no amount of money that can pay The Four back for what they have suffered at the hands of a bunch of sore losers. More on that later.

BTW, the "press" showed up at court today. I say "press" in quotes because Sarah Ferguson is not a legitimate example of the press. She came in and sat down with Doug Martin and chatted with him before court and after. No effort was made by her to present herself other than an ass-kissing toady for Martin and his gang. Just in case anyone has any doubts, there is no such thing as neutral in any description of the local news media. Not with toadies like Sarah Ferguson and James Culic around.

Another aside: Asshats like Dan Strugar who on one hand proclaim themselves as proud Kinsmen, then write nasty and disgusting things about people on Facebook are an example of what is wrong with Fort Erie. He is real quick to disparage others but he fails to realize that many know some very damaging things about his own life and family. I used to have a lot of respect for the Kinsmen but, if he and a couple of other loudmouth crap-spewing fools are any indication of the group, then it should be noted for others to see.

I am not jumping for joy over this decision; I am relieved. I still cannot undo the damage this whole campaign against The Four has done to their lives. This is bullying at the municipal level. Disgraceful.

Thursday, June 18, 2015


Dave Hurren (Counsel for Tim Whitfield): "It was Martin's lawsuit; Whitfield was added."

Judge Sweeney: "Was there any reason why Martin could not have made the application (for the lawsuit) himself?"

Dave Hurren: "No."

This was an exchange in Ontario Superior Court this morning (June 18) regarding the long, drawn out case against The Four (Bob Steckley, John Hill, Don Lubberts and Paul Collard) for conflict of interest in the firing of town lawyer Heather Salter in 2012.

As some may know, almost a year after the lawyer's dismissal.  a lawsuit was filed by former councillor Tim Whitfield against The Four for conflict of interest. He claimed that he knew nothing of the specifics of the firing until almost the end of 2012, thus making him fall within the six week period where such a lawsuit can be applied for within the parameters of the act. Whitfield claimed he knew nothing about the events around the firing of Heather Salter the previous year, even though he was a frequent golf partner of Salter's husband and admitted that he had read local newspapers and spoke with people on town staff. He has been referred to as a Straw Man because of his willingness to put his name on a lawsuit that was the brainchild of someone else. It is clear to any thinking person that the lawsuit was filed to destroy the reputations of The Four. 

While the mayor tried to go through the back door to call The Four to task, he was unable to get anyone to take his assertions seriously. The excuse that Heather Salter filed a "harassment complaint" as the reason for her firing has never been proven. There is ample evidence of the reasons for Salter's dismissal. Martin aired revealing remarks at a council meeting about the conversations at an in camera meeting, which is a total no-no. So, Tim Whitfield became the Straw Man for Martin's lawsuit. This was reiterated by Hurren at least once more in his defense of possible champerty and maintenance in the defence's attempt to have the application dismissed.

And Marina Butler's name came up often under the "maintenance" definition. She was named as one of those who pledged support for Whitfield in the lawsuit. Excerpts of Mike Cloutier's writings were presented where he accused The Four of "stealing" $50K from the people to complete the termination package for Heather Salter. The package was agreed upon after another offer was rejected by Salter's representatives. It was also mentioned that Marina may have had an ulterior motive as she eventually ran against and defeated John Hill in the 2014 election. (It was also mentioned that Butler filed for a compliance audit against John Hill for his campaign expenses in 2010.)

A decision on the motion to dismiss will be announced at 10:00 AM tomorrow (June 19) at Welland Court Room 5. It the suit is dismissed, then there will lengthy discussions as who will pay for the massive court costs of this witch hunt. If the judge rules to move on to trial, testimony will begin.

This lawsuit is nothing but spite, filed by a sore loser with the help of a Lady Macbeth-like character. This is a perversion of the legal system. Hopefully it will soon end.

Monday, June 15, 2015


Thursday, June 18 is the court date for the well-funded attack against four councillors by election loser Tim Whitfield. While no one can predict the outcome of this event, if the right decision is made, then these four men can get on with their lives. So far, they have spent thousands of dollars to defend themselves against this vexatious lawsuit. It is all there, in the affidavits provided by Doug Martin, the late Rick Shular, and Stephen Passero that the lawsuit was thought up by certain individuals who had a personal grudge against the four. Tim Whitfield is just the patsy who agreed to bring the lawsuit. After this is all over, I will once again publish this information.

In the meantime, best of luck to four good and honest men who have been mocked, vilified and slandered since the day they were elected in 2010. Most of us know why; soon the general public will know. 

Look what passed at Monday night's council meeting:

That: $936,428 of the 2014 General Levy Operating Budget surplus be transferred to the GFESS Theatre Reserve Fund in 2015, 

This is tax money that will be used to fund the new theatre. Meanwhile the DSBN is rolling in money and tearing down historic schools. Does not pass the smell test IMHO.

Is this what you want? 

Tune in or attend tonight's council meeting to see where this council stands on using your hard-earned tax money. 

Saturday, June 13, 2015


Today was the successful reappearance of the Crystal Beach Community Garage Sale!

Yellow signs and yellow balloons showed the way to the bargains. Shoppers arrived early, early to enjoy the sales. Maps were even provided. The cost of the event (newspaper ads, maps, signs, etc.) was paid for by The Friends of Crystal Beach.

Look for an even bigger and better one next year!

Then, the local firefighters staged a band concert at Queen's Circle in the afternoon. A local band, Best Behaviour, sponsored by the Friends of Crystal Beach, played while people enjoyed the cool shade at the centre of the village.  Food and refreshments, provided by the Crystal Beach Station 6 Fort Erie Firefighters, were enjoyed by all. They even ran out of hamburgers! All proceeds from the sale of food will go towards the Cpl. Albert Storm Memorial Playground at Waterfront Park.

A Win-Win situation for the community.

The South Coast houses on Ridgeway Road are under construction and soon will have people living in them. These were pre-sold. Lots of places for sale in The Beach, but they don't last long as there is a very good turnover. Lots of people moving into the area from the GTA. The Beautification Committee has been working hard to gussy the place up as judges from Communities in Bloom will be in town soon. Remember, it was Fort Erie that won the national prize for a town its size thanks to the efforts of the volunteers and the refurbishment of the National Historic designated Point Abino Lighthouse.  No small feat there. Now, the town is in contention for international awards.

I challenge anyone who thinks that a twelve story condo tower on our last piece of public beachfront in Crystal Beach will improve tourism.  Just visit Crystal Beach any time this summer - especially on a hot day. Community groups are working hard to find ways to attract people to the town because they know that Crystal Beach is a hidden gem, just waiting to be discovered as a quaint and lovely place to enjoy all year round.

Someone once said that the closing of the amusement park was the best thing to happen to Crystal Beach. She was criticized for that statement, but I understood what she meant. Despite the gated community where the amusement park once stood; despite the "red-lining" of the village; despite the attempt to sell off/give away our only public beachfront property; despite the rancor and the nastiness directed at anyone who stood up to save the beach property; despite all that, people are still investing in the community.

And that is a very good thing.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015


The events at the June 8 Council in Committee Meeting have drawn a number of comments to this blog. I have highlighted some them in this new thread.

All this comes as no surprise to me. This is the continuation of the plan made shortly after the 2010 election that was code named: 4-2-0. The goal was the elimination of the four councillors elected that year who were going to try to work for the people instead of the usual "Good Ole Boys" mentality that has ruled Fort Erie for decades. They succeeded as best they could amid slanderous posters and fliers (thanks, Kim Zanko and friends;) biased press; and finally expensive lawsuits.

BTW, the hearing date for the Conflict of Interest lawsuit is now scheduled for June 18 and 19. Three years after the day the lawsuit was filed by former, badly beaten in the Ward 4 election, Tim Whitfield, at the behest, as he stated in his testimony, of the people who wanted the four councillors gone. (Now there is one helluva run on sentence.)

So, have at it. And welcome back to 2002 when the whole Bay Beach Properties Nightmare began. 

FE Farce: Tonights Council meeting was not about Bay Beach, but about power and control. Why bother to go to the expense of an ad for applications from residents and then ignore them? Why hire a consultants and ignore their recommendations? No doubt a coup has taken place. The jokers are running the show.

Mr. McDermott on the focus group and his "fresh eyes" is a joke. Maybe we should resurrect some of his comments about eating toad legs, or perhaps some of his comments about Donnie. Yes, he is so impartial and unbiased and meets the requirements of "fresh eyes". We are watching you George with "fresh eyes"! Perhaps those comments should be posted so the true George McDermott could be revealed.

Corruption Fighter: Georgy is a liar. 

He was adamant during the last election, when challenged, that he had no connections whatsoever to the Ol Boys Club. His actions again and again clearly state otherwise. 

I have another suggestion for you Georgy........stay the hell out of Crystal Beach. It's a long way from the east end and even further with it's completely different attitude. Part of the problem here is simple jealousy as the east end slides further and further into decay and CB pulls itself out of the disaster of the closing of the park and then selling out to a developer for a now walled community and limited access to the beach. Real forward thinking there by the so called leaders of that day.

Worry about your own ward Georgy as there are more than enough issues there to keep you busy and let CB continue it's recovery. So it begs the question, Georgy.......what do you get by giving away the last and best beach in the area?? or should I ask how much???

John AM: Applications for input from residents? The present council needs to create the "effect of listening" to residents concerns, and they are, sort of, but when it comes to acting on any of those concerns, not so much. Listening then ignoring what is said. Lots of nodding, even some note taking, this is an old trick used time after time. Weve seen it before, we will see it again. The only people that receive anything from these "ads" are the people that run and profit from the business of putting out a newspaper. Ads for input?? Like the expencive consultants didnt suggest that bit of nonsense. So, lets go for it. If its input they want, its input they will get, in spades.

FE Farce: Let's not forget the dark side of Ms. Zanko. Wasn't she the spokesperson for Citizens of Greater Fort Erie for development or some bizarre, pro-business, all business group that put up that bulletin board that called the 4 councillors liars and other derogatory names? Such good representation! Such a class act!

Meg: Does Ms. Zanko have "fresh eyes" for the Focus Group when that hateful group she represented were in such strong support for a huge condo on our PUBLIC BEACHFRONT?