Oakville Homes

November 7, 2016

REMEMBRANCE DAY – 2016

One of the privileges we enjoy as Canadians is the right to free speech, something we take for granted but, was won for us by those who fought for our country and prevented those who stifle free thought from taking it from us. My blog exists because of the sacrifices made by those before me and hopefully we can protect this privilege in the future. Some paid the ultimate sacrifice and were denied the benefits we now cherish. Take a moment to consider how lucky we are that we can spread the truth so easily. Some still try to stifle the truth through lawyers and bully boys but, we as Canadians, will continue to protect what has been earned for us. Take a moment this November 11th to respect those who paid the ultimate sacrifice to give you what you have now.

 

remembrance-poppy

In Flanders fields the poppies blow

Between the crosses, row on row,

That mark our place; and in the sky

The larks, still bravely singing, fly

Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

Loved and were loved, and now we lie

In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:

To you from failing hands we throw

The torch; be yours to hold it high.

If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow

In Flanders fields.

Colonel John McCrae

REMEMBRANCE DAY TOPIX

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March 26, 2013

Oakville building department uses power when convenient? Not when it should?

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“Town was ready to block plant” – so read the headline on the front page of the “Oakville Beaver”. They are referring to the infamous power plant that was stopped in Oakville on the eve of an election. (Also Mississauga)

Liberals started the plant – Liberals stopped the plant – a Liberal was re-elected.

What can we say except that this political maneuvering may cost all taxpayers in the 3 digit millions. And, someone is going to pocket that money as well. Friends of the Liberals?

But, I like Mayor Burton’s comment: “Oakville was on track to block the building of a controversial power plant when former premier Dalton McGuinty’s government decided to cancel it amid strong community opposition.”

No building permit was to be issued based on pollution and safety concerns. I guess things have changed under Burton’s leadership. Under former mayor Anne Mulvale, a building inspector passed my furnace even though it had illegal wiring. Power plant gets stopped at great expense to the taxpayer while my house is allowed to be sold with illegal wiring.

At my expense.

I guess the building department only uses its authority when it is politically expedient. Oh, yes, I have mentioned that Wellspring received a donation from Mattamy Homes and Billionaire Gilgan (1.8B) at the request of Anne Mulvale.

For some reason we pay our taxes and trust the system, a system that is manipulated by those who use it for their own gain and hide behind the trust of those who believe in it.  The Town of Oakville tells us to trust the Building Department when it comes to the construction of our homes.  They don’t make the regulations but supposedly enforce the Building Code.  But, just how well do they enforce it?  My blog has shown they aren’t that good about it.  I know people who have been in court for years in regards to the Town of Oakville and certain environmental issues that have occurred.  Like human waste flowing in the Sixteen Mile Creek.  My kids swam in that creek, not knowing about the sludge overflowing into the watershed.  So much for standards.

You trust the Mattamy name?  For the full version, read the comment at the bottom of this blog.  This is how a builder will screw you.  The Town of Oakville was given a chance to correct the issues.  They state that they don’t have enough inspectors but refuse to pass a by-law stating that a new homeowner could hire a house inspector to monitor their build.  What better way to enforce the building code.

And, what professional and honest builder would balk at that?  How could they argue against a licensed professional and insured house inspector monitoring the build?  In commercial builds, the owner has people helping them so, it has been established practice in some construction.  Lets just expand the practice to protect homeowners.

Do not assume you have an occupancy permit.  Have your lawyer ask for one before closing.  Make the municipality work for those added charges to the price of your house.

Here is what our elected (and sometimes supported by donations from developers) officials would be protecting us from.  In this case, it just happens to be Mattamy.

“I have found so many little issues in our Mattamy home. On their own, it’s trivial, but added up, the sum is just stupid. From suspected insulation issues around the living room bay window, master bedroom overhang, and garage, to hot air that just won’t reach the farthest room in the house (the master washroom) that results in a freezing master, to odd air flow where the upstairs can’t be cooled in summer. Wicked condensation in winter on ALL windows in the house that can pool and lead to mould if not kept up on. The carpet is just disgusting- the little living room carpet was made from two pieces!!!! The seam is very obvious. The pile is so flat and pulling up at the same time. The mortar in the bricks is like sand in some isolated areas. Caulking is already deteriortating and the house isn’t even 10 years old! The casement windows are a bitch to open and close and are already showing signs of falling apart. The spalling (spalling???) cement along the parimeter of the porch has all but crumbled away. I just had to replace the sump pump that comes on maybe 6 times a year. The yard landscaping is like a lumpy field of little hills.

All and all, I would never buy a Mattamy (or Devonleigh) or possibly other cooky cutter home from a large developer again. I really think basic workmanship is pissed away for speed. And it’s funny because this is the LARGEST purchase a person will make in their lives, and we have NO real way to get these mistakes corrected.

One person in our community had the wrong bricks and colour put up. Mattamy offered them something like 10000 in upgrades, but refused to let them out of the contract for the house, or correct the bricks. And really, that’s BS because of how much money we pay for homes. I give someone $350000, and I expect what I pay for.

But home consumers have zero rights in Canada.”

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August 25, 2011

Hallelujah – Oakville Homes back on line – Development Charges an election issue?

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“I’ve told the truth, I didn’t come to fool you.” **

First off, I’d like to thank WordPress.com for their support and understanding.  After a temporary shutdown to ascertain the facts, WordPress has reinstated my ability to post on this site.  I can understand their wanting to know all the facts before making a final decision and, once confronted with the facts, they made a decision to support the right to “Freedom of Speech”.  As a writer, I am aware that this sacred right depends on one ensuring that all facts are ‘TRUE” and that defamation and slander are not allowed.

One thing I have made clear with the Mattamy lawyer – if at any time Mattamy has an issue with what I wrote and can show it is in fact “NOT TRUE”,  they can contact me and, if right, I will remove the offending part and make an apology.  Maybe making an apology is something they are not familiar with.  I know they have been aware of this blog for some time and up to now, have not made any comments to have stuff withdrawn.  They have given a different viewpoint of the facts and, I have left that on my blog for readers to compare.  Mattamy must realize that as long as my FACTS are correct, then my OPINION is my own and I may state it.  They have their own opinion in terms of quality and they expect homeowners to follow that, so, I would think they would respect my opinion.  Obviously with the notice given me and WordPress, they do not respect freedom of speech and the right to express one’s qualified opinion but rely on heavy-handed “threatening???” letters from a Bay Street lawyer.  If Mattamy closes down this blog, then they are winning a battle that will diminish the rights and freedom of those wanting to tell their side of the story.  The Press doesn’t always do that, especially if it involves their advertisers.  WordPress and other blog allow this.  Again, thank you WordPress for allowing us to experience this freedom.

And, now to today’s blog, a few days late due to circumstances beyond my control.

There must be an election coming up soon.  The anti-Development Charge (DC) whiners are beginning their campaign to have DCs diminished.  In the Toronto Star (August 20) Stephen Dupuis ( President & CEO of BILD) puts forward a well documented argument that in some areas the DCs are too high and thus impact on affordable home ownership ( 7 to 10% of home price).  He mentions that all taxes and charges come to about 20% of the total.  I hate to say it but, you pays it now or you pays it later as a taxpayer.  Myself, I’d rather pay it up front instead of a lasting legacy in my yearly tax bill.  Although I guess one could argue that it would be shared with a multitude of others but is that fair.  I mean, the Milton developers profited with the taxpayer supported construction of the water line to Milton – something we all know we are still paying for.

Like a recurring STD.

Now, this can’t be all bad.  I mean, the developers are a group of people who have accumulated wealth through development to the tune of some being billionaires.  So, I can’t really see the DC’s being a problem for them.  Over time, the taxpayer has paid for the infrastructure and continue to pay taxes for maintenance.  Why would the developers feel that it was necessary to burden them with more taxes to pay for something they are initiating.  Why would they not feel that the newcomer should pay their way into the community.  Much like a golf club who charges an initiation fee.  Do developers complain about people having to pay initiation fees to get into their exclusive golf clubs.  I think they see it as a way to keep out the low-end riff-raff, otherwise we’d all be playing at Glen Abbey.

Now, once their home is paid for and the initial development costs paid for, they join the larger group of taxpayers who all share in the continuation of maintenance on all infrastructure.  Now, that seems fair.  You see, I accept the fact that my taxes will go up over time to pay for the ever-increasing infrastructure.  Taxes that will go up faster due to the growth.  If the community maintained it size, my taxes would only go up to cover inflation etc to maintain the already in place infrastructure.  Developers bring new costs to the table.  So, DCs are only fair to ensure the initial hurt of infrastructure cost of new building is absorbed by those causing the growth.

So, with the Ontario provincial election coming up, it will be nice to see just where the developer’s donation money will go.  Liberal, Conservative or NDP (or other?) – who gets what?  Now, I don’t think I can sway the government with my $200 donation but when a developer goes into the thousands, just what can they expect for that money?  Why would any developer give thousands to a candidate when it is perfectly acceptable for little guys like me to give hundreds?  Is there an expectation of return on the money?

To date, both McGuinty and Hudak have not responded to any of my queries in regards to their thoughts on the Development Charges.  Why is that?  They either support or not support the concept and they either support status quo, a rise or lowering of the fee schedule.  Simple question that deserves a simple answer unless, there is more to be seen by those donating and how much.

When both candidates (actually, their workers) call me for support, they won’t tell me or say they will pass my question on.  I guess it is too delicate an issue and is too tied into donations.

So, one way for your taxes to go up is to see a lowering of the Development Charges.  Find out how each candidate feels on the matter.

If you don’t, don’t cry when your taxes go up while the developer’s wealth goes up as well.  They’ve done quite nicely so far.

** My thanks to Leonard Cohen – “Hallelujah”

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* The above is intended to show the reader examples of how to obtain a house inspector, no matter which builder you buy from. Remember, awards and advertising are designed to make you buy, not ensure you quality. We’ve shown that awards are not the standard on which to base your decision on. My use of my experiences are not made to embarass Mattamy Homes or Peter Gilgan but, are used because they are based on fact and show the larger picture that a house inspector is a requirement when buying a house, new or old from any builder. My experience only shows that in fact it can happen and is a fact of life. Your experiences with Mattamy may have differed.

August 4, 2011

Big Boss Hog and the Provinicial election. Taxpayer loses?

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One can sometimes predict the future if the information flow is good prior to the event. We all know that the developers, well, at least Mattamy, are not too happy about the Development Charges (and Planning Act and Green Energy Act maybe) and, on a few occasions, they vented displeasure.

Halton was a classic example of “Big Boss Hog” coming to town and expressing his opinion at a council meeting, along with a horde of uninformed lackies who had a holiday from the job site.  Kind of like Burl Ives in “Big Country“.

Recently, BILD celebrated yes celebrated, the developers win in getting the somewhat suspect and APPOINTED OMB to lower the Development Charges that were put forward at the behest of the taxpayer by our elected officials.  So much for the DEMOCRACTIC process we are so proud of but can’t seem to make it work.

BILD is the organization that awarded Mattamy – “Home Builder of the Year”.  Somewhat of a surprise as J.D. Powers and Associates dumped Mattamy due to construction, quality and environmental deficiencies. We can see just where BILD and Mattamy stand in terms of the taxpayer and elected process.

Now, as our provincial election looms on the horizon, we are starting to hear all sorts of promised CRAP from our candidates and incumbant elected officials.  We the voter know, that most is just pie in the sky, meant to entrap the less knowledgeable of us voters into voting by our heart and not our brain.  Look at the promises thrown out in the last provincial election and what has really happened?  And, please, don’t kid yourself.  The NDP and the Conservatives would not have made good on their promises either.  There is always the excuse – we didn’t know just how bad the finances were.

But, there are election promises and there are ELECTION PROMISES.  There is the public version meant for the masses and then there are those promises made to the supporters – donations.

Fact of life.

What we should be viewing is how the donations are going.  Who is getting what.  (LINK)

At the moment: (I’ll use Mattamy as the example but a view of the list shows a plethora of developers, etc putting out big bucks)

Liberals:              $9300

Conservatives:   $4800

Green:                  $Zip

NDP:                     $Zip

Considering Peter Gilgan’s son is in the Federal Green Party, would have thought he’d throw some money that way but no.  But then, considering the environmental record of Mattamy, I can understand the Green party would probably throw it back.

With the NDP – Mattamy uses a lot of non-union labour.  Nuff said on that one.

At the moment Mattamy is pushing for the Liberal’s with the donations but, as we get closer to the finish, if the Conservatives look like they are going to win, I can see a shift in tactics and maybe a large sum of support going to the Conservatives.  Maybe too close to the finish for it to be recorded properly and viewed by the general VOTING public.  We all know how Mattamy support kind of spoiled a certain municipal election.

I must say that the Liberals haven’t totally destroyed Development Charges, nor the Planning Act or Green Energy Act.  The Hudak Conservatives have already shown a dislike of some of these more progressive statutes that seem to favour the taxpayer.  Big Boss Hog wants less on the development industry and more on the taxpayer.  I am sure his donations will speak for him and he will try and get a more favourable tax base for the developers.  Can’t blame him in one respect – business is business and, you don’t become a millionaire or billionaire worrying about the little folk.

Carnegie built libraries but he allowed a town to be flooded and thousands killed.  All comes down to optics.  How will the donation field look near the end of the campaigning?

We’ll see.

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* The above is intended to show the reader examples of how to obtain a house inspector, no matter which builder you buy from. Remember, awards and advertising are designed to make you buy, not ensure you quality. We’ve shown that awards are not the standard on which to base your decision on. My use of my experiences are not made to embarass Mattamy Homes or Peter Gilgan but, are used because they are based on fact and show the larger picture that a house inspector is a requirement when buying a house, new or old from any builder. My experience only shows that in fact it can happen and is a fact of life. Your experiences with Mattamy may have differed.

July 22, 2011

McGuinty vs Hudak – who will be favoured by the developers?

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You can take this to the bank – there is a financial link between some developers and some politicians.

It can swing from donations to their war chest (campaign funds), donations to a favourite charity or cause or, just some spending money in their pocket.  A Google search will bring up the dirty laundry.  You will find that investigations have occurred in many jurisdiction, York and Halton being only two of a large number.

In the recent municipal elections in Ontario, campaign donations were a topic and voters were concerned just who was being supported financially by developers.  Some politicians even went so far as to deny any link to developers but we all know there was some kind of link.  Facts.

Lets face it – development is big, big money and developers want to maximize their profits like any other business person.  Problem is, some just don’t know where to draw the line.  And, once the money flows, like any business person, they expect a positive return on the money.  I think no one would say that someone investing in the future shouldn’t be rewarded but I do think they question how.

A community is not just a collection of streets and buildings.  A well planned community reflects those who live there and how they feel about their community.  A dirty community usually means there are underlying issues that need to be dealt with.  CPTED is just one way of ensuring a community grows in a desirable manner.

Developers and planners have a part in this.

Wrongly developed, and the community can suffer crime trends, economic hardships and a number of issues that make the place unattractive.  The developers don’t mind – they got their money and have moved on.

Everyone accepts taxes – we just don’t like them and, if they are oppressive, we try to change the issues that are causing the high taxes.  If you’ve read my blog, you know the issues in Halton – taxpayer funded water pipe to Milton and development charges.

A number of communities decided that the taxpayer was shovelling out too much money for the support of developer initiated infrastructure costs.  Development charges were levied to correct this unfair burden on the taxpayer.  Unfortunately, the development community went to war and got changes made.  Recently BILD celebrated the roll-back of development charges in several progressive communities.

Celebrating the increase of taxes upon the taxpayer actually.

Mattamy Homes and Peter Gilgan led the charge in Halton by trying to intimidate our elected officials with hordes of bused in workers and force them to reduce the development charges.  He failed but the BILD machine won with the developer favouring OMB.  I wonder just how much Mattamy Homes invested in supporting BILD in this matter?  And, did any politicians have a say in the matter -ones who had been favoured with a developer donation.

Provincially, the Planning Act and the Development Charges Act have a say in how a community will develop itself.  You, as a tax paying citizen do not have the final say on how your community will be developed.  No, the appointed OMB has that right.  But, you would think community input would have some say.  It seems that the community does support development charges but private interests will prevail.

We now have the provincial elections coming up in Ontario.  It appears it will be a slugfest between the reigning incumbant Dalton McGuinty (Liberal)and the challenger Tim Hudak (Conservative).

Remember, it is the province who can change the Planning Act and the Development Charges Act, along with the Green Energy Act and Environmental Protection Act.

Now, reviewing the past history of developers, who do you think they will support?  Who will receive the bulk of the money, declared and undeclared?

I can’t talk about all the developers but, some have shown in the past their feelings about certain laws.  Mattamy pooh-poohed the Building Code in my case, broke environmental laws in Milton and Ottawa and, I guess the Planning Act in Ottawa when they sold houses before they got permits.  We kind of know where they stand on these issues – proven fact.

Now we ask the question – who will Mattamy Homes and Peter Gilgan swing their support towards?  Someone who has been working under the aforementioned acts or, someone who may want to make some changes once in power.  Where will the political donations go – to whom?  What offers of support will be see in the future?  We’ve seen the support in the past to someone who stated there was no support from Peter.  Maybe it was only moral support?  As they say, there is no free lunch and thousands of dollars in donations are made with some expectation of payback to ensure profit.

But support is support.  And, just who will win then when it comes to making a decision – developers or tax-payers?  The OMB has shown its colours with the recent BILD supported attack on community development and the taxpayer.

I guess we will know the colours of those being elected when we see just who is handing out the money.  I doubt my $100 will get me preferential treatment and I know I can’t compete against millionaires and billionaires.  Neither can the taxpayer.

Methinks we will see more as the election campaigning unfolds………………………….

MORAL SUPPORT??

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* The above is intended to show the reader examples of how to obtain a house inspector, no matter which builder you buy from. Remember, awards and advertising are designed to make you buy, not ensure you quality. We’ve shown that awards are not the standard on which to base your decision on. My use of my experiences are not made to embarass Mattamy Homes or Peter Gilgan but, are used because they are based on fact and show the larger picture that a house inspector is a requirement when buying a house, new or old from any builder. My experience only shows that in fact it can happen and is a fact of life. Your experiences with Mattamy may have differed.

May 4, 2011

Weak building code standards = poor quality=rich builders.

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My blog started out due to Mattamy Homes being able to sell me my house even though they used an illegal (code) wiring method to ensure the sale went through.  Even the Town of Oakville Building Department agreed they would never issue a building occupation permit under the circumstances.  But, as time went on, I realized I wasn’t the only person getting the shaft by the “Billionaire Builder”, Peter Gilgan.

I have a gag order on what occurred in my house but, I have been able to pass on the experiences of others in terms of the level of quality and service offered by Mattamy Homes.  I’d offer to tell about other builders but, it seems there doesn’t seem to be many issues with other builders.  Oh, I know there are some real bad builders out there but, in terms of complaints, it appears that Mattamy is mentioned the most.  At least from what I have seen.

Mattamy Homes has had issues with following proper procedures in relation to the environment, quality control issues, using minimal code practices in homes which one would expect a higher level of standards and, a plethora of other issues.

I just received the following comment and I think it really tells it all:

It’s unfortunate how low the standards are for a house that is up to “code”. Over the long run, it doesn’t help the owner(s) or the builder – the seller ends up frustrated and the builder has to deal with complaints. Wasted time, energy and resources to correct issues that could have been dealt with by constructing at a higher level of sophistication. It’s too bad people are more interested cost over quality.

Right to the point.

And, we have Mattamy Homes who continually won awards from J.D. Powers and Associates and most recently, BILD GTA.

Here in Canada, we just had our Federal Election.  One reason we elect people to Parliament is to ensure that laws are in place to protect the citizens of this country.  Laws designed to ensure everyone gets the proper treatment.  In my case, a builder was shown to have broken the law in order to make the sale.

Did the Town of Oakville do anything?

No.

To get rid of the complaint they passed it to the Province, who nicely buried it.  Interesting thing though.  One Town of Oakville councillor voted to have the Province look after it.  After he was elected to the Province, he did nothing on the complaint there.  There is an upcoming provincial election coming up and I will certainly remember his help in this situation.  I just wonder who donated to his election purse?

The comment from my reader only shows that you, and only you, can really ensure you get what you pay for in a house.  The only way to do that is to hire a smart real estate lawyer and, a PROFESSIONAL house inspector.  With this team, you just might survive.

Some people depend on luck and a builder’s reputation.

Just remember, Mattamy got a lot of awards and there are a lot of people pissed off with the quality they got.

Oh, and the reason the Province would not pass a law ensuring that a potential homebuyer had the “right” to hire a house inspector?  Said it would cost the homebuyer money.  Hey, big pension guys, wake up and smell the coffee.  It was optional and if they decided to exercise that option, yes it would cost them money.

Hell of a lot less than what Mattamy did to me and others.

But, based on some of the people elected in this last election (one spent most of the campaign time in Los Vegas), we aren’t necessarily electing them based on their common sense.

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April 25, 2011

BILD Awards are somewhat soiled when you consider reputations.

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First off, for those that celebrate, I hope you had a very enjoyable Good Friday and Easter Sunday with friends and family.  For those who don’t, but got the long weekend off, hope it went well for you.  And for those that worked – thank you, it is appreciated.

Few days ago, I got involved in some online Tweeting concerning the upcoming Canadian election.  One person tweeted that he felt my BIAS towards the Town of Oakville was shaping my comments.  Well, one thing, if I did have a bias towards the Town of Oakville I doubt if I would have supported a candidate in the last municipal election, still live here and, volunteer in a local organization.  No, I love the way Oakville has been shaped (downtown) and would like to see it maintain its character.  We don’t need developers coming here and changing the very essence of why people moved here just so they can make their billions.  Change will happen but it shouldn’t destroy why we moved here in the first place.

Do I have a bias against something though?

I guess I do if you call wanting the Town of Oakville building inspectors to do their job properly a bias or, that our Planning Department take into account our past history when making changes.  Sometimes they seem to fall over backwards to help out the developers.

They don’t understand that you can build on the past without destroying it.

Fortunately we have had some people who think ahead and ensure that the taxpayer doesn’t pay the freight for billionaires to get their way.  I may be biased when I see people take the advice of self-serving lawyers and don’t even apologize for what they did wrong, even when their own people say they did do something wrong.  Of course, these same lawyers would have bent over backwards to protect mistakes made by Mattamy.  Some of these same advisors even go to work for Mattamy later.

So, I must say that my feelings towards a Town of Oakville that shows no shame in protecting the likes of Peter Gilgan and his illegal methods does not shape my political feelings, unless I think billionaires are being given preferential treatment over the common working stiff.  That isn’t happening, is it?  🙂  (for the legal beagles – read my previous blogs for illegal methods – all documented and ready)

What I am very surprised at is that an organization as big as it is, BILD, would even contemplate giving an award to Mattamy considering how Mattamy has been shafting the homebuyers in several jurisdictions.  I know, it is a GTA award and nothing big has happened here lately, unless you call some of the issues with the factory built homes in Milton an issue.

But, maybe there is more.  We know that Mattamy had my issue whitewashed in Town of Oakville Council under Mulvale’s watch.  But then, he did donate to Wellspring.  And the YMCA and the Oakville Hospital as well.  Does that buy immunity from the Building Department?  He got it in my case.  Investigation and report buried and no knocking on the knuckles.  What other sins are being buried on behalf of Mr. Gilgan?  One wonders.

No, I am not really biased in terms of this upcoming election.  I’m picking the lesser of 3 evils.  No matter which way we vote, each party has its vultures who will pick the bones of the Canadian taxpayer.

You just have to pick the one who doesn’t hurt you as much.

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April 19, 2011

Halton riding has “No Old Boys Club” but, why?

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I find this particular blog difficult to write.  I am sure there will be people who will chastise me for doing it but, I really feel it should be said.  Especially with me not being a true fan of Mattamy.

Matt Gilgan

He is the son of Peter Gilgan.  Like they say, you can chose your wife or friends but not your relatives.

I have never met Matt and will not comment on his past with Mattamy except to say he left Mattamy as a Vice President (read high salary here) to pursue a career in politics.  Based on his interests and job skills, he picked the “Green Party”.  He was quickly nominated as the Green Party Candidate.

Although the original has been wiped from the website, his nomination was viewed very positive:  “said Amy Collard, Halton’s Green Party candidate in the 2008 federal election. ” Matt Gilgan is the ideal person to represent the Green Party in the next …”

Why would he be a good candidate?  The following from the Flamborough Review:

“Many environmentalists and residents have publicly accused developers, including Mattamy, of displaying a blatant disregard for nature and the environment in the construction of new homes in Halton.

Gilgan agreed that developers in Halton could be more conscientious of the environment.

“I’m also disappointed in the way things are turning out in north Oakville, Milton and north Burlington and I think there are a lot of opportunities for improvement,” he said. “I think the model right now is people want to buy more house, but sometimes less is more, and we need more efficient housing. I also think there could be more emphasis on making foot and bicycle travel more realistic.”

Gilgan said town planning using environmentally sound practices is one of his priorities.”

I guess what bothers me is that he made a committment to the Green Party and everything on-line points to him as the candidate and then what happens,  someone made a decision to replace him. 

I am assuming though, that it was not his decision to not run.  If it was his decision not to run, then I wish him well in his new endeavours and hopefully he can use his skill set to benefit the community and his family.  Someone can also send me a note if they wish to show this blog is pointing the wrong way if they wish.

Originally, along with Matt there was Connie Bowie-Laurin (Liberal), Pat Heroux (NDP),  and Lisa Raitt (Tory).  They replaced Matt with Judi Remigio.  I have no comment on Judi and will assume she is suitable for the job.  I am not here to chastise her but the Green Party and their decision on this, if in fact they were the ones who instigated it.

Inside Halton.com has a heading: “No old boys club in Halton riding“, alluding to the fact it is an all-girly election race in Halton.  South of the border in Oakville, it is all boys. A “no girls allowed” club I guess.  🙂

I just hope that the Green Party did not decide the optics were bad with 3 women running against one man in Halton and decided it would be best for the Green Party to parachute a woman into the race and thus attract more female voters.  I believe this whole election is a total waste of time and money and the money spent on it could have helped out a lot of people but, since we are in it, might as well try to get the best candidate elected.  I’m in Oakville so, who wins in Halton is someone elses problem but, based on what I saw, Matt Gilgan had good insight into what is happening in our urban envelope and would have made a good candidate. 

If he was in fact booted out to accommodate the optics of an all girly race then, I would be embarrassed as a voter in Halton to think they would use this scam for an election.  Voting based on sex isn’t really the way to go.  Maybe voting for sex but that is another matter. 🙂

And, if I am wrong Matt and you decided to move on yourself, then I wish you well in the future. 

Good luck.

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April 15, 2011

Oakville politics – mirroring Chicago ward battles. Mattamy – your thoughts?

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With the Canadian Federal election campaigns going full-bore, one wonders where all the money comes from to pay for all the expenses.  Yes, we have legitimate funding, such as from the Federal government itself but, we do wonder just who donates and who accepts.

In the last Oakville municipal election, former mayor Ann Mulvale, who was running against incumbant Rob Burton, made a point of stating she was not accepting any funding or donations from the “Development Community”.  Although readers of this blog remember a picture of good old Peter Gilgan of Mattamy Homes standing beside (behind) her at one of her events.  Just a personal friend I guess.

Supposedly, those running for election are to keep track of all monies, donations, etc that come to them for their election campaign and, they must submit this list.  Failure to do so on time results in them not being able to run in the next election.  Supermodel Enza falls into this category for the Toronto elections.

I know in Ann Mulvale’s previous life as mayor of Oakville, she spearheaded a fundraising for Wellspring and Mattamy Homes, a major developer in the area, came to the rescue.  Interestingly, it was the same time my complaint against Mattamy was before the Town. 

Guess what happened to it?

I recently read an article where politicians and donators could get around the reporting legislation. 

Quite easy actually. 

Big boss wants to support a politician but is limited in the amount he/she can give or, doesn’t want to show up as a supporter when they are lobbying for something. 

What do they do? 

Give their employees money to donate as individuals and then reimburse the employee.  Not bad. 

Maybe we should pass legislation that states that those who donate to a politician’s campaign should list where they work.  Crap, I forgot.  It’s the guy getting the donation that has the power to pass the legislation. 

Guess that won’t happen.

Maybe we should be looking into just who supports our federal candidates and to the tune of how much.  Might be interesting to then note just how they vote on matters.

I read one Tweet that alluded to Oakville politics becoming much like a Chicago ward battle.

Boss Gilgan.  Has a nice ring, doesn’t it Peter.

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March 30, 2011

Major Developers may be down but not out in Halton.

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As the Federal candidates for our newest Federal election ( 4 in 7 years) start-up the process and hit the hustings to try and explain why they will do any better after this election, our municipal politicians (those who made it and those who didn’t) are finishing off the process by submitting their election expenses/donations. 

If you go to the Town of Oakville link, you will see who gave what to whom during the election, although some are just interim in order to fulfill the legal obligations of a time deadline.  One interesting thing to note is that Max Khan, a new Federal liberal candidate, was voted into the Town of Oakville council during the last municipal election. 

He has decided to go Federal. 

What I found interesting was that he had no contributors – he paid all the expenses himself.  I kind of think he knew beforehand that he wouldn’t be around long and didn’t want to burn any contributor bridges, so to speak.  Shame though.  If he gets elected to the Federal level, we will have to have an expensive by-election.  But, that is another issue.

What was noted in the Oakville Beaver was that DEVELOPERS were notably absent from the contributor listing for Ann Mulvale, known as “Asphalt Annie” to her friends.  Even Peter Gilgan didn’t give her any money.  Guess he’d already given her enough in the past.  Being a supporter of Mulvale, I guess the Beaver wanted to make sure all knew this.  They made no comment about the other financial statements in regards to developers.  Must have realized this was a sore point for Mulvale.

A check of some of the other candidates also showed an absence of Major Developers as contributors.  Of course, I wouldn’t recognize their names as an individual but, as an individual, they certainly have the right to donate money within the specified amounts to a candidate of their choice. 

Does all this mean anything in the grand scheme of things?

I think so.  As we know, Mattamy was very strong about the Development Charges and most of the present Oakville Council aren’t overly sympathetic to their arguments.  They also aren’t threatened by the Mattamy tactic of flooding council chambers to try and sway the politicians.  And, I doubt that the busloads of workers that were brought in are even taxpayers in Halton.  They didn’t even know why they were there, according to former Halton Chair Pomeroy.  So, why would Halton or Oakville council listen to those who want the taxpayer to spend money but don’t pay any themselves locally.

Yes, the major developers were quite in Oakville’s recent election but it could be the cloud before the storm.  We know Councillor O’Connell in Pickering wondered how many candidates in her council took the developer handout while allowing Mattamy to change it’s submitted sub-division plan. 

And, we know they can donate money in other ways. 

Right Peter.

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