Thursday, May 26, 2016


Only one councillor and a couple of committee members left to go and the total removal of any possible chance for transparency is complete. The ouster of Ann Marie Noyes from her volunteer post as director of the gaming board was finalized pm Monday, May 23, 2016.  This was a chance for the minions and movers of the Old Boys Club to rid themselves of another pesky person who asks too many questions and tries to bring honesty to the gift-that-keeps-on-giving corporation run by the oft-embattled  Russ Wilson, who is taking his golden handshake and riding off into the sunset, in order words: beating a hasty retreat. But not before he and his buddies at town hall disposed of their chief inquisitor, former Ward 6 Councillor and not-mayor-by-five-votes, Ann Marie Noyes.

I received a first-hand account of the debacle from an attendee at the event. Here are some highlights:

 "All rise.  Kangaroo Court is now in session.  His worship Mayor Wayne Redekop is presiding.  Mayor, the two parties have been sworn in and are obliged to speak in generalities, point fingers, and in general obfuscate the matter whenever possible".  

It was a kangaroo court plain and simple and our illustrious Mayor was in on the action.  It was plainly clear from the outset from the way he ran the meeting during the delegate presentations that he was tired of the whole mess and just wanted to get on with removing her ASAP.  

The questions asked by the other 'interested parties' were merely an attempt to make it appear as if they were open minded and felt kind of obligated to ask a totally irrelevant question.  Hell, one Councillor even used the word 'irregardless' which isn't even a word (check it out). {Editor's Note: I hate it when that happens} Councillor Butler got totally lost during the presentation because she couldn't connect the timelines to when John Hill was a member and not a member.  None of her motions were seconded (her words) and they died on the floor.  John seconded most of her motions which then entailed discussion.  The committee members don't like that.  

Kris Knutt spoke very eloquently about his experience on the board.  Trouble was he forgot to mention that HE QUIT.  Too much work plus he was pissed big time that his buddy Russ was not selected for the CAO position.  I am sure they told him it was a slam dunk and just a matter of time before he gets the job (and it was).  

Knutt further stated that he knows all about profession behaviour because he is in a corporate setting every day.  Ya, right!  Clerk at Staples I guess qualifies.  He also said that the behaviour outside the meetings may have been 'cordial' but inside "EVERYONE BEHAVED UNPROFESSIONALLY".  The very thing they accused AMN of doing apparently was done by all.  Can you say double standard?  I was praying that Don would pick up on that comment and sure enough he did.  Seeing as there was unprofessional conduct by everyone could he be expecting to deal with the rest of the members being removed too? (paraphrasing).  

It was also very clear from the way Chair Graber answered, didn't or couldn't answer questions presented to him asking for examples of disrespect, unprofessional behaviour, and had the board 'officially' approached AMN regarding her behaviour and issued any kind of a warning.  Usually you get three strikes.  

And then Graber complained she had met with the CAO and the Mayor regarding serious matters of concern at the board level (her opinion).  This really pissed Graber and his cronies off so much they wanted to kick her out immediately.  Then, it turns out Graber did the same thing without authorization or direction from the board to do so.  "But, but, we are the executive.  We don't have to have permission" he stammered.  "But, isn't that the same thing you accused AMN of doing?  Isn't that a bit of a double standard?" asked Councillor Lubberts.  

So, the delegations are over and it's a ten minute recess.  "But wait a minute!!!!!"  Graber yells out and starts to walk down the side ramp to get back to the horseshoe.  This is really professional and it also shows a bit of the anger side of Mr. Graber.  "There were things said about the board that just weren't right and I want to make sure we tell people here and at home the facts about our board" he spoke in a raised voice to the mayor as he walked down the side.  Really professional for sure.  Redekop said with a wink and a nod "don't worry Larry.  We'll be setting the record straight when the report comes on the floor" nudge nudge wink wink.  

I was told there were plenty of lies being thrown around.  Why they did that only God knows.  It was a forgone conclusion that the clandestine meetings between Russ, the mayor, the CAO, etc. was enough to seal the fate of AMN.  

The lesson learned, and I hope that even those who are on the winning team now come to realize you don't mess with the old boys.  They are mean, nasty, and will slice your throat if you get out of line.  They have ways to deal with people like AMN.  Look no further than what happened to the Fort Erie Four.  And, John Hill's comment to Graber in the atrium following the end of Captain Kangaroo's Court was I guess I better stop asking questions or I will  be the next one to be kicked off.  Graber was speechless and looked like he was going to cough up his nuts.  My guess is that if he had any nuts he probably would have.  

Need I say More? The is still the question about the $400,000 uptick in revenue that allegedly was not distributed fairly if at all. Still lots of questions about that as evidenced by remarks on this blog in another thread.  I will reprint them here.

Firing a Volunteer said: Interesting council meeting last night, they removed Noyes from the gaming board. I guess she asked too many of the right questions that the old boys club committee didn't want to answer. From watching the council, the boards representative, made many general verbal accusations against Noyes regarding her behavior but when asked for specifics or examples was lost for words. He did comment that she went outside the board for information when she didn't agree with the information provided. Good for her. And God forbid she went to the mayor and the CAO to inform them what was going on behind closed doors. How dare she. Noyes's speech evolved around the process that was put in place to deal with bingo dollar distribution. She wanted the bingo groups informed and be part of the process. This behind closed doors, a who knows who, and what appears as preferential treatment needed a light shone on it. But those who know Noyes know her to be one for fairness and openness. Yes she asks allot of questions, too bad they got to close to the truth, so out she goes. Not to worry Russ Wilson will be "retiring soon" . I hope bingo organizations will start demanding answers when they do not get the increase dollars from gaming they deserve. Remember the OLG is the official rule makes here not the gaming board, the OLG gives the municipality set out the parameters, and the TOFE may be outside of them with this "new process behind closed doors selection " may run contrary to OLG policies. Bingo groups unite and fight for fairness and transparency.

Howie said: Getting thrown under the bus last night was another one of the "Good" ones. AnnMarie in her fight for fairness in distribution of over $40,000 among the sixty plus bingo charities mixed it up with Russ and lost.Of no surprise Council sided with the good old boys....the establishment. I hope the OLGC cottons on and straightens this Council out on rules of engagement.,,,but too late for AnnMarie. No matter how right she was it was a guaranteed outcome. She was pissing in the wind. She was too polite to point out that some of the various bingo clubs that did benefit had members that sit on that Board. Time for charitable groups to stand up and demand accountability.

Does it Ever End? correction was $400,000, not $40,000. Can't help but wonder what recourse she might take. Perhaps that was why a recorded vote was taken. End? 

Finally, Corruption Fighter remarked about the two local representatives at the region who voted to quash an audit of the Niagara Parks Commission. Closing ranks to protect more Good Old Boys.

In 2014, voters were fooled into voting out their only chance at some form of accountability thanks to a plan devised and co-ordinated by the "usual suspects" with a lot of help from the so-called "free press" (an oxymoron if ever there was one; ) some pretty dirty tricks; frivolous lawsuits and character assassination. And the easily gulled and threatened voters fell into line like lemmings.

And we all know what happens to lemmings. 

Saturday, May 7, 2016


Premier Wrynn recently revealed that former MPP Kim Craitor was forced to resign in 2013 due to sexual harassment allegations against him. He has since said that the allegations were "unfounded," although a third-party investigation did determine that there was evidence of harassment by Craitor. Since then, one of the complainants has come forward publicly. She, along with other Niagara Falls employees at Craitor's constituent office, had abruptly resigned as well. His long-time aide had already left for greener pastures.

Accompanying the article is a head shot of Craitor, taken several years ago, which shows a marked resemblance between Kim and entertainer Wayne Newton. What struck me is that there may be some justice in the world as Kim thought nothing of throwing The Four Fort Erie Councillors under the bus in his support of Jim Thibert, the head of the EDTC and his frequent lunch/golf companion.

Of course, many of us had already realized that Kim was a liar. He told a whopper just after the provincial tourism minister gave $2 million to Fort Erie for "tourism initiatives." That announcement was made with great gusto at a Chamber of Commerce meeting. Craitor was quoted in the local press as saying that there was no decision yet as to where the windfall was going, but there were a lot of possibilities for its use. Of course, we knew that it would all go to the flailing Fort Erie Race Track and it did. Of course it did.

Frankly, I would never have guessed that Craitor would sexually harass his female office staff. I had other suspicions about him amid some pretty disturbing accounts about money losses in a provincially held program. Many of us thought his abrupt resignation was due to that. We never believed that he was just "exhausted."

Craitor pandered to the wrong people in Fort Erie and gave the rest the impression that he was working in their best interests. He was not; he was a Thibert groupie. While he was palling around with narcissists, he was setting himself up for his own demise. I hope that he resigns from Niagara falls Council. He is done like a duck's dinner.