Thursday, January 17, 2008

Haldimand "Gas Tax Petition on Line"

Haldimand County is one of "337" Municipalities in Ontario that have been left out in the cold by Premier Dalton McGuinty.

The least we can try and do is ask for an inquiry or public hearing into the collection and disbursement of the gas tax revenues in Ontario.

Each one of us that drive and purchase gas in Ontario pay "14.7" cents per litre at the pumps to the Province of Ontario. The Province in return puts this money into the "general" coffer, and then grants only "certain" Municipalities the "gas tax funding". This needs to be investigated, as each Municipality in my opinion deserves and should demand their fair share.

So please pass this on-line petition to as many as you can, with many Municipalities in the same situation that we are, we can make a difference!

To: The Legislature of Ontario

Whereas; The Province of Ontario currently receives 14.7 cents from every litre of Gas sold in the Province;

Whereas; The Province of Ontario currently allocates these funds for roads,
bridges and transit;

Whereas; Not all Municipalities in Ontario have public transit;

Whereas; All Municipalities in Ontario however have roads and bridges in grave need of repair, and many Municipalities are under great financial burden do to the lack of funding;

Whereas; There are "445" Municipalities in the Province of Ontario, currently only "108" Municipalities receive gas tax funding from the Province of Ontario;

We the undersigned petition our Provincially Elected Legislators in Ontario to commence a Public Hearing into the collection and disbursement of the Provincial Gas Tax in fairness to "all" Municipalities of Ontario.


Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Haldimand "McGuinty where is our Gas Tax?"

I had a conversation a few days ago with Dianne Scott from Dunnville. For those who don't know Dianne she was instrumental in the Dunnville area in collecting names for a transportation petition that Toby Barrett introduced to the legislature.

During our conversation we were talking about the "gas tax" funds that Haldimand County receives each year. I had told Dianne that I had been at Council and I knew for a fact that we were receiving "gas tax" funds from the government that goes into our "roads reserve". What I didn't realize until Dianne called me back the next day was that we receive "zero" "gas tax" from the Province of Ontario!

Dianne took the time to call the new treasurer of Haldimand County and ask a few questions, one question was; do we receive "gas tax" funds from the Province? The treasurer informed Dianne that we only receive "gas tax" funds from the "Federal Government".

McGuinty promised the residents of Ontario that if he were re-elected as Premier he would make sure that his government was a "Fair" government! Well it seems that what is "Fair" government to McGuinty only includes just about "100" Municipalities when it comes to the "gas tax" that every one of us that drive pay at the pumps.

So I have a solution to this problem, Haldimand County along with the other "300" or so Municipalities that do not receive "gas tax' funding from the Province of Ontario should formally request that 14.7 cents per litre be deducted from the price of our gas immediately.

This is what I call "Fair Government".

Thanks to dedicated people like Dianne that go the extra mile!

So much for "McGuinty" and his "Promises" to deliver "Fair" government in Ontario!

Here is a news release I found while doing some research;

For immediate release
January 9, 2008

McGuinty gas tax funding leaves Haldimand, Norfolk at the curb
Rural residents miss the bus....again

Simcoe-Despite paying the same 14.7 cents a litre provincial gas tax as all other Ontarians, Haldimand and Norfolk residents continue to wait at the back of the line when it comes to gas tax funding.

At the end of 2007, the Ministry of Transportation announced $314 million in gas tax funding to 108 municipalities across the province - neither Haldimand nor Norfolk were included.

"This is yet another slap in the face for all those in our area who pay out gas taxes year after year," levelled Barrett. "We have the same needs for transportation services to access medical services, get to appointments, and visit family, we pay the same taxes, and yet we're left empty-handed while government gives our money to meet other - more urban - transit needs."

In the Spring, Barrett tabled petitions in the Ontario Legislature with over 1,075 Dunnville area signatures, requesting government "investigate the establishment of connecting public transit links between Haldimand county and Norfolk county communities and outlying municipalities, as well as to establish a mechanism to ensure rural municipalities receive the full benefit of the gas tax transit initiative."

During the recent provincial election, the Ontario PC party proposed that every penny of provincial gas and fuel taxes be allocated for roads, bridges and transit across the province. Currently, all gas tax money goes into the general revenue pot, and Queen's Park spends only part of that revenue on what it's being raised for - for example, the McGuinty Government spends $1.9 billion of the $3.1 billion worth of gas taxes on roads bridges and transit.

Meantime, Barrett went on to highlight the work of the The Haldimand and Norfolk Rural Transportation Initiative, titled "Spinning your Wheels".

"It's heartening to see the people in our area working toward solutions for our rural transportation needs," stated Barrett. "I fear that without some real support from the Ontario Government - beyond one-time Trillium grants - we will all be, as the title suggests, 'spinning our wheels'."

For more information, please contact MPP Toby Barrett
at (519) 428-0446 or 1-800-903-8629

Friday, January 11, 2008

Haldimand "No Nuclear Plant slated for Haldimand County"

I had a conversation with MPP Toby Barrett on Monday of this week regarding a Nuclear Power Generating Station in Nanticoke. According to Toby, the New Nuclear Plant is slated for Clarington. I am wondering now where did the information originally come from that there was a possibility of a Nuclear Plant being built in Nanticoke? I certainly believed that this was a possibility, as recently (November 2007) Haldimand County spent $5,000.00 on a report regarding the benefits of a Nuclear Plant in Haldimand County. Well I did a bit of research (took about 10 minutes) and I had all the answers.

The following reports are from the Haldimand County website. One report from September 29th, 2007, and the other from December 17th, 2007. While I was doing some research on the quest that our Council has taken regarding securing a Nuclear Plant in Haldimand County, I came across some information from the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission.

Report PED-ED-06-2007 ( a little over midway down the page):

Report PED-PD-08-2007 is at the following link and is found near the bottom of the page:

What I found very interesting is that it seems that Haldimand County was "never" an option for a Nuclear Power Generating Station, as I found no information relating to Haldimand County. In fact in September 2006, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) received an application from Ontario Power Generation (OPG) for a licence to prepare a site for the future construction and operation of a new nuclear power plant at the Darlington nuclear site located in the regional municipality of Durham, Ontario. (this information is below as well in the regulatory related information)

The following information comes directly from the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission. It gives the history and related news releases regarding the building of a "NEW" Nuclear Plant in Ontario. This process seems to have started in September 2006.

Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission

Information Bulletin

07-10 October 18, 2007

Subject: Public Consultation, Draft Regulatory Document RD-346, Site Evaluation for New Nuclear Power Plants

The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) has released for public consultation, draft regulatory document RD-346, Site Evaluation for New Nuclear Power Plants.This draft document sets out regulatory expectations for site evaluations of new nuclear power plants. It takes into account all phases of the nuclear power plant’s life cycle, from site preparation to abandonment. Information gathered during the site evaluation process may be used during the environmental assessment process.

RD-346 sets out the technical safety and security criteria against which the CNSC will review the results of site evaluation when it receives an application for a Licence to Prepare a Site for a new nuclear power plant. The document represents the CNSC’s adoption and where applicable, adaptation of the guidance established by the International Atomic Energy Agency in document NS-R-3, Site Evaluation for Nuclear Installations and associated guidance documents.

Given the importance and complexity of the subject matter contained in draft RD-346, Site Evaluation for New Nuclear Power Plants, CNSC staff will hold an information session in the upcoming weeks, to help our stakeholders better understand this document. An overview of the document will be presented, along with an explanation of the safety philosophy, fundamentals, and principles underlying its development. A question and answer session will follow, to provide an opportunity to ask questions for clarification. Further details about this information session will be posted on the CNSC’s Web site at

"The consultation period is from October 16, 2007 to January 14, 2008."

Stakeholder comments, including names and affiliations, may be made public.
Draft documents can be consulted online on our Website. Comments can be submitted electronically, to

To order a printed copy, or to communicate with us in writing, please contact us at the address below.

Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission Regulatory Framework Division 280 Slater Street, P.O. Box 1046, Station B Ottawa, Ontario K1P 5S9

Regulatory-related Information


Darlington Nuclear Generating Station: New Nuclear Power Plant Application

In September 2006, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) received an application from Ontario Power Generation (OPG) for a licence to prepare a site for the future construction and operation of a new nuclear power plant at the Darlington nuclear site located in the regional municipality of Durham, Ontario.

In November 2006, the CNSC conditionally accepted OPG’s application subject to the provision of further information.

CNSC staff has determined that the application is for a project which requires an Environmental Assessment under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (external link) and related regulations before any licence may be granted.

In May 2007, the Project Description was accepted as suitable for the Environmental Assessment determination and for the implementation of Federal Co-Ordination Regulations (external link to legal text).

News Releases

CNSC Announces Early Referral Decision on Environmental Assessment Regarding Ontario Power Generation Inc.’s Proposal to Construct and Operate a Nuclear Power Generating Station at the Darlington Nuclear Site in Ontario


January 8, 2008

Following a Commission meeting held on December 5, 2007 in Ottawa, Ontario, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) announced today its decision to request that the federal Minister of the Environment refer to a review panel the environmental assessment of the project for new nuclear reactors proposed by Ontario Power Generation Inc.’s (OPG).

The referral is now with the Minister of the Environment for his consideration.

OPG has applied to the CNSC for a licence to prepare a site for the future construction and operation of additional nuclear reactors on the Darlington Nuclear Site within the municipality of Clarington, Ontario. An environmental assessment is required pursuant to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act before the Commission may proceed with its consideration of the licence application.

The Commission, in making its decision, considered OPG’s project description. The Commission also considered the views already expressed by public interest groups and in media reports on major nuclear projects, as well as the Commission’s extensive experience with consultation on major nuclear projects. The Commission determined that public concerns warrant that a request be made to the Minister for an early referral to a review panel.

A Record of Proceedings, including Reasons for Decision and transcripts of the hearing are available on the CNSC Web site at, or by contacting the CNSC.

The CNSC regulates the use of nuclear energy and materials to protect health, safety, security and the environment and to respect Canada's international commitments on the peaceful use of nuclear energy.

Pascale Bourassa
Commission Secretariat

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Haldimand "Really People We have Nothing to Hide!"

In accordance with Bill 130-The Municipal Statue Law Amendment Act, Haldimand County recently had to amend some of it's by-laws. These amendments took place in December 2007.

A few of the changes to the Municipal Act 2001 came into effect January 1st 2008. One of these changes was that an individual could formally put in a complaint to the Ombudsman of Ontario regarding "closed sessions" of Council Meetings. The procedure would be that if you felt that your Council was carrying on business of the Municipality behind closed doors and you felt that they were doing this "wrongfully", the Ombudsman would investigate on your behalf.

The procedure for a formal complaint to the Ombudsman of Ontario is directed to the Ombudsman, either through mail, phone call or the Internet. The Ombudsman is an unbiased organization that investigates government bodies. There is no charge for this service to either parties involved. The Ombudsman has nothing to gain by this and in my opinion would work for the best interest of the people.

An option for Municipalities was to have an "independent" investigator. The Association of Municipalities of Ontario has trumped up to offer their services under the heading of Local Authority Services Ltd. (LAS), at a cost of $300.00 a year contract fee and a daily fee of $1,250.00 plus tax, and applicable expenses such as Lunch, gas etc., and this is based on an "8" hour day. LAS states that the average investigation should take "2" days.

Through the services of LAS, an individual that had a complaint would have to go to the Haldimand County Clerk's Office. The procedure would be that you go to the Haldimand County Clerk's office fill out a complaint form with background information and the county would forward your documentation to LAS. Once the complaint was put in, LAS would pull from their pool of investigators, these investigators would be individuals that are for an example past CAO's like Bill Pearce. In my opinion this is biased, as the AMO's mandate really is for the protection of the Municipality.

If a Municipality had not contacted the Ombudsman of Ontario by January 1st, 2008, the Ombudsman would automatically assume the investigation process until such a time that the Municipality would contact the Ombudsman and inform them of any changes. So really what I am saying is that there was no "emergency" for Haldimand County Council to make a decision.

Well obviously our "elected officials" here in Haldimand didn't want to waste a minute in making their decision, in fact they signed a "2" year contract! Haldimand County Council in a vote of 7-0 voted to adopt the services of LAS! I don't know about you, but I certainly have a problem with this decision. I wonder do we have that much money floating around? As there is no precedent set here of how many complaints could be presenting themselves, this could cost the taxpayer a huge amount of money.

There are a lot of residents out there that feel our county is behind closed doors more than they are in the public view. So my question is why on earth did this Council not see the wisdom of going with the Ombudsman? It would have certainly proved to a few of us that Council Members want the "residents" to have faith that our "local" officials take "transparency and accountability" seriously.

In my personal opinion, Council has just "closed the door right on our asses".

The following is some background information about what has been going on in the past few months;

"Ontario cities, including London, are being misled by their own lobby group over its plan to investigate public complaints about closed-door council meetings, Ontario's ombudsman says."

"The AMO clearly has a live business interest in generating revenue from towns and cities, a conflict which is not made apparent," Marin wrote in a terse letter to AMO head Doug Reycraft.

At the heart of Marin's swipe is a requirement for all Ontario municipalities to appoint by Jan. 1 someone to investigate public complaints about closed council meetings. Marin has offered to provide the service for free.

AMO has offered to councils a group of retired municipal administrators, known as Local Authority Services Ltd. It would charge $1,200 a day while probing complaints.

So far, 28 municipalities (there are over 400 municipalities in Ontario) have decided to hire LAS. But Sarnia, led by Mayor Mike Bradley, decided to go with the ombudsman and his free-of-charge service.

While London's board of control is recommending taking the AMO option, one controller says Marin's objections should be a red flag for council.

"I certainly would be listening to his position," Gina Barber said. "The whole proposal from the AMO just creates a situation that's too cosy.

"AMO does some wonderful work for us, but here we're talking not about what's going to be done for us, but what's going to be done for the public."

Back off, says ombudsman Peterborough Examiner Friday, Nov. 30, 2007

Ontario's ombudsman says he wants the provincial association of municipalities to back off on its personal, inflammatory, inaccurate and misleading statements about his office.

André Marin made the request last week in an open letter to the Association of Municipalities of Ontario that he posted on the ombudsman's office website,

The two are at odds over the provision of investigative services for closed- door meetings held by municipal councils.

As of Jan. 1, people will be able to file complaints, which could lead to an investigation, when they believe a meeting has been wrongly closed to the public.

The Association of Municipalities of Ontario has created a pool of investigators that municipalities can pay to use, while the ombudsman's office has offered to provide the service for free.

Marin used an example from Peterborough, attaching a copy of an Examiner story to his letter, to illustrate how the municipal association is competing for the work.

"The 'key messages' contained in the AMO's position statement are fraught with personal, inflammatory and - most importantly - inaccurate and misleading statements," Marin states.

"Such inaccuracies do a disservice to citizens who expect and deserve an intelligent, principled debate on the issue of open government at the municipal level."

"Peterborough County, and several of its townships, have gone with an independent investigator who's a former chief administrator of another county."

The association clearly has a business interest in generating revenue, a conflict which is not made apparent in its position statement, Marin states. The association put together the service on a cost recovery basis, said Doug Reycraft, president.

"It's not intended to be a money maker," he said. "It's one option that's out there. Some municipalities may choose it, some may choose to use the ombudsman, others may appoint an individual they believe is qualified to make the investigation."

"All of Ontario's 445 municipalities are currently scrambling to comply with a new requirement under the Municipal Act to appoint someone to look into public complaints by Jan. 1."

"AMO, through its Local Authority Services Limited, has seen a business opportunity and moved to fill it with a team of investigators a sort of retirement home for municipal bureaucrats that it's actively marketing to municipalities."

"The Ombudsman, whose services are free, has proven an effective watchdog that investigates government maladministration with honesty and integrity."

AMO's mandate; (The Association of Municipalities of Ontario)


The mandate of the organization is to support and enhance strong and effective municipal government in Ontario. It promotes the value of the municipal level of government as a vital and essential component of Ontario and Canada's political system.

Local Authority Services Ltd. (LAS)

LAS was created in 1992 by AMO to deliver programs and services that help municipalities reduce the cost of "common expenditures and increase revenues."

LAS has established a bulk electricity procurement program for all interested municipalities. This program is expected to realize substantial savings for municipalities for all electricity consumption, including street lighting accounts.

The Natural Gas Program currently purchases more than 10,000GJ of natural gas for over 2,200 physical locations within 175 municipalities and other public sector organizations. In 2006 the program provided members with 14% savings compared to utility gas rates.

The ONE Funds investment program, jointly operated with the CHUMS Financing Corp. offers a diversified way for municipalities to invest short-term and long-term surplus funds. Recently an Equity Fund was launched as a way for municipalities to leverage new investment powers provided by the Province.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Haldimand "Local Councillor Charged"

lThe following was taken from Haldimand "Vote Deferred Again", that I posted back in August of 2007. I can't believe that this actually took almost "5 months". What the hell is wrong with our system. If that had been you or I, we would have been charged on the spot. I can only hope that the "Crown" and the "Court" do the right thing. It is called "Justice".

We stayed in the council chambers for about 10 minutes talking, we then proceeded outside, to discuss what we were going to do next. Once outside we noticed Councillor Sloat just outside the side door on his cell phone. Merlyn Kinrade and Jeff Parkinson left the group to go and speak with councillor Sloat. We all stood there watching, I was little concerned about the body language of Councillor Sloat, and then all of a sudden Jeff starting walking towards us and Merlyn and Councillor Sloat went inside the building.

This is what happened, (Jeff Parkinson quote’s) "Buck Sloat suddenly grabbed my shoulder with one hand and ripped my digital recorder aggressively out of my pocket with the other proceeding to drop it on the concrete below".

I would like to at this time send a my personal apology to Jeff on behalf of the residents of Haldimand County. Councillor Sloat was out of line when he assaulted Jeff, and I would hope that Councillor Sloat publicly gives Jeff an apology on Monday August 13th, 2007. If he refuses, I would then expect that Mayor Trainer will need to send her apology on behalf of herself and Council!

This incident is currently being investigated by the O.P.P., I will update you when I know the outcome.

If Councillor Sloat is charged with assault, and found guilty, he will be forced to leave his post as a Municipal Councillor, and will be unable to run for council for "6" years!

The following is a post from Jeff's site today. This will update you on what has transpired since August of 2007! Kudo's to Jeff for his tenacity, not many would have gone through what Jeff has the last five months!

Haldimand Councillor Charged with Assault
by Jeff Parkinson;

After much effort by myself and Merlyn Kinrade, a Justice of the Peace has signed a criminal charge of assault against Haldimand council member Buck Sloat, and he will have to appear at the Cayuga court house on February 6, 2008 at 9am to answer to the charge.

The foundation of the law and order that we are fighting to see upheld clearly states that Mr. Sloat is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, so please consider all statements below to be alleged until such time as they are proven.

The circumstances are somewhat unique as the OPP refused to lay this charge and I had to go to court personally to get it done.

On August 7, 2007 I attended a council meeting at the municipal building in Cayuga to hear the outcome of a resolution by Council to monitor the correspondence of Mayor Marie Trainer. During the lunch break, Merlyn Kinrade and I noticed Mr. Sloat standing on the back steps of the building and decided to go talk to him to see if he could tell us anything about the resolution before council.

A short time into a conversation between me, Mr. Sloat, and Mr. Kinrade, Mr. Sloat became upset, grabbed me by the shoulder, pulled the digital recorder from my pocket where it had been clearly visible the entire time, and dropped it to the concrete below.

After lunch Mr. Kinrade and I attended the OPP station in Cayuga to file a complaint of assault. Constable Andrusyk agreed to take our statements after spending considerable time trying to council me not to proceed with a criminal complaint and assured me that the matter would be investigated thoroughly. He suggested that I would hear from him within a week with the outcome.

Two weeks later I phoned the OPP station as I had not heard anything and I was told that Constable Andrusyk was on duty and would be paged to call me. He called me late the following afternoon and informed me "Basically we’ve reviewed the statements and everything, we’ve spoken with Mr. Sloat and at this time there is not enough grounds to lay any charges".

Around this time I learned that a person can see a Justice of the Peace at the Courthouse and do what is called swearing a private information which is basically filing a charge for such things as assault or theft as a private citizen.

I attended court several times as there were various delays not the least of which was my inability to attend due to a head injury suffered in December, and today myself and Mr. Kinrade told a Justice of the Peace what happened at which time he issued process for the charge which means Mr. Sloat has now been charged by the court with assault, and will receive a summons to appear at a later date.

The entire procedure was handled with the utmost professionalism by the Court system and both a crown and Justice of the Peace were brought in from another jurisdiction to hear the complaint to ensure total impartiality for both Mr. Sloat and myself.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out in Court as the Justice informed me that the Crown may at their discretion simply dismiss the charge at a later date, and the Crown who attended these hearings was opposed to it as she stated "it’s not enough of an assault for the crown to be interested in pursuing", but after reading from the Criminal Code of Canada, the Justice clearly stated that this falls under the definition of assault and issued the charge.

I asked the crown if I could speak with her after the hearing to enquire about her opposition and her answer was simply "No".

Regardless of the outcome of this charge, it’s nice to know as a Canadian that when the Police fail us, we do have other options at our disposal to pursue justice.

Jeff Parkinson
Caledonia Wakeup Call
Canadian Advocates for Charter Equality

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Haldimand "The Law is the Law?"


I hope this makes its way around CANADA several times over!!!

So if the CANADIAN government determines that it is against the law for the words "under God" to be on our money, then, so be it.

And if that same government decides that the "Ten Commandments" are not to be used in or on a government installation, then, so be it.

And since they already have prohibited any prayer in the schools, on which they deem their authority, then so be it.

I say, "so be it," because I would like to be a law abiding Canadian citizen.

I say, "so be it," because I would like to think that smarter people than I are in positions to make good decisions.

I would like to think that those people have the Canadian Public's best interests at heart.


Since we can't pray to God, can't Trust in God and cannot post His Commandments in Government buildings, I don't believe the Government and its employees should participate in the Easter and Christmas.... celebrations which honor the God that our government is eliminating from many facets of Canadian life.

I'd like my mail delivered on Christmas, Good Friday, and Thanksgiving & Easter. After all, it's just another day.

I'd like our Government to be in session on Christmas, Good Friday, Thanksgiving & Easter as well as Sundays. After all, it's just another day.

I'd like ALL Representatives to not have to worry about getting home for the "Christmas Break." After all ~~~it's just another day.

I'm thinking that a lot of my taxpayer dollars could be saved, if all government offices & services would work on Christmas, Good Friday & Easter. It shouldn't cost any overtime since those would be just like any other day of the week to a government that is trying to be "politically correct."

In fact....

I think that our government should work on Sundays (initially set aside for worshipping God...) because, after all, our government says that it should be just another day....

What do you all think????