Get Out and Vote Today – Advance Polls open all weekend

Posted by on Oct 10, 2015 in Commentary, Local Politics, Politics |

Check your voter information card for location details.

Saturday,  Noon – 8:00 pm
Sunday,    Noon – 8:00 pm
Monday,   Noon – 8:00 pm

Don’t forget to take your approved ID.

Take your kids to the poll and show them democracy in action! Explain to them what you are doing and why you are doing it. It is never too early (or too late) to be engaged in the democratic process.

Take a friend. Ask your neighbour if they need a ride to the polling station.

 

Voter_Card1_edited

Get Out and Vote Today – Check your voter information card for location details.

 

If you didn’t receive a voter information card, visit the Elections Canada website to find out how to register.

Elections Canada toll free – 1-800-463-6868

Don’t wait until October 19, to find out that you can’t vote!

 

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Federal Political Party 2015 Election Platforms

Posted by on Oct 9, 2015 in Commentary, Local Politics, Politics |

The four national federal parties have published their 2015 election platforms.

Liberal Party of Canada – “A New Plan for a Strong Middle Class”

Liberal_2015-Full-Platform

“A New Plan for a Strong Middle Class”

 

Conservative Party of Canada – “Our Conservative Plan to Protect the Economy”

CPC_2015-Full-Platform

“Our Conservative Plan to Protect the Economy”

 

New Democratic Party  – “Building the Country of Our Dreams”

NDP_2015-Full-Platform

“Building the Country of Our Dreams”

 

Green Party – “Building a Canada that Works. Together.”

Green_2015-Full-Platform

“Building a Canada that Works. Together.”

 

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COGECO Behind the Ballot federal candidate debate for Northumberland Peterborough South

Posted by on Oct 3, 2015 in Commentary, Local Politics, Politics |

Behind the Ballot Host Dave Glover moderates the federal candidates debate held in the TVCOGECO studio on September 30th. Northumberland Peterborough South Liberal candidate Kim Rudd, NDP candidate Russ Christianson and Green Party candidate Patricia Sinnot debated for two hours on the issues effecting the riding.

Conservative candidate Adam Moulton declined to participate in the debate
 

 

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Port Hope Chamber Hosts Northumberland Peterborough South All Candidates Meeting

Posted by on Sep 24, 2015 in Commentary, Local Politics, Politics |

The Port Hope and District Chamber of Commerce hosted a Northumberland Peterborough South All-Candidates Meeting at the Cameco Capitol Arts Centre in Port Hope on Wednesday, September 23, 2015.

NDP Candidate Russ Christianson, Conservative Party Candidate Adam Moulton, Liberal Party Candidate Kim Rudd, and Green Party Candidate Patricia Sinnott were all in attendance.

Video credit: Chris Pelletier – www.northumberlandview.ca

 

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Northumberland Peterborough South Candidates Meetings in Campbellford & Brighton

Posted by on Sep 19, 2015 in Commentary, Local Politics, Politics |

I would encourage you to watch the following videos from the two candidates meetings held in Brighton and Campbellford this week. I would also encourage you to contact the candidates directly with respect to the issues that are most important to you.

We need to elect a candidate that is not only capable, but also represents our values as individuals and our values as a community. Ask yourselves two basic questions:

1. Can they “do the job”?
2. Do they represent my values?

 

Trent Hills and District Chamber of Commerce hosting a Northumberland Peterborough South All Candidates Meeting at Campbellford District High School on Thursday, September 17, 2015

 Trent Hills All Candidates Meeting Part 1


Video credit: Chris Pelletier – www.northumberlandview.ca

 

Trent Hills All Candidates Meeting Part 2


Video credit: Chris Pelletier – www.northumberlandview.ca

 

The Greater Bay of Quinte Chapter of CARP hosted a Candidates Meeting at the King Edward Park Recreation Centre in Brighton on Thursday, September 17th, 2015


Video credit: Chris Pelletier – www.northumberlandview.ca

 

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Brighton Emergency Notification System – Self Registration

Posted by on Aug 11, 2015 in Commentary, Local Politics, Politics |

This system sends simultaneous alerts to advise our residents of emergency situations or hazards that could affect your health and safety (e.g. major fire, hazardous materials, or shelter-in-place/evacuation notice).  Self-registration allows you to ensure that you get the call, either on a landline, cell phone or by text.

Please follow the step by step instructions provided to ensure you create a User ID and PIN correctly and enter your personal information correctly.

Participation in the Emergency Notification System is not mandatory. Your information is secure and kept confidential and can be removed from the system upon request.  For more information call 613-475-1744.

Please register with us to receive important emergency alert messages. If you are already registered, please click here to update your information or to request that your verification email is resent.


Registration Links:

Rural link (for those that live in the rural area of the Municipality)

https://www.ermsadvantage.com/register/brighton/Rural

Urban link (for those that live in the urban area of the Municipality – generally the area from Huff Road in the west to Vicari Rd and Bonn Rd in the east, and from Presqu’ile Parkway in the south to Little Lake Rd and Whites Rd in the north)

https://www.ermsadvantage.com/register/brighton/Urban

Presqu’ile link (for those that live in the park past the park gates)

https://www.ermsadvantage.com/register/brighton/Presquile

 

** For Business owners in Brighton – please ensure that you register twice (you will need two ID’s and two PIN’s), once for your residence and once for your business.  This will ensure that both your residence and business will have their civic addresses registered in case of an emergency.

 

Brighton Emergency Notification System self registration instructions

Brighton Emergency Notification System

Brighton Emergency Notification System

 

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Financial Statements for Brighton Municipal Election Candidates 2014

Posted by on Jul 17, 2015 in Commentary, Local Politics, Politics |

Financial Statements for Brighton Municipal Election Candidates 2014

Photo Credit – Brighton Events – https://twitter.com/EventsBrighton

 

Financial Statements (income and expenses) for 2014 Election Candidates

Summary of Financial Statements for 2014 Election Candidates

Summary_Financial_Statements_for_Brighton_Municipal_Election_Candidates_2014

Financial Statements for Brighton Municipal Election Candidates – 2014

 

The Financial Statement submitted by Ms. Cassin does not indicate that her campaign surplus was paid to the Municipality of Brighton. Failure to pay the surplus would place her in default of the Municipal Elections Act. The penalty for this default would make Ms. Cassin ineligible to run in the next Municipal Election.

In addition to the reporting of income and expenses, candidates are required to complete:

  • Schedule 1 – Contributions“, which include the names and addresses of contributors that contribute more  than $100
  • Schedule 2 – Fundraising and Activities
  • Auditor’s Report“, for those candidates that received contributions, or incurred expenses in excess of $10,000

This additional information was not provided in the document that I received from Deputy Clerk Kimmett, but I have requested this information and I will add it to this post once it has been received.

 

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Why Doesn’t Brighton’s Emergency Control Group Use Social Media?

Posted by on Apr 22, 2015 in Commentary, Local Politics, Politics |

I sent the following email to Brighton Mayor Walas and Councillors this morning regarding the lack of a social media presence by the Municipality of Brighton during the current state of emergency.

Dear Mayor Walas and Councillors,

 

During the ongoing “water main emergency” there has some criticism of the methods and detail of the communications sent out from the Municipality. One area of communications that has been totally absent throughout is social media. Although there have been efforts by a number of citizen volunteers and some Councillors to disseminate information online and via email, the lack of an official social media presence in an emergency in 2015 is shocking to say the least.

 

There was some talk of the Brighton Fire Department setting up a social media presence, but currently this has not yet materialized. However, the administrative assistant for the Fire Dept. was previously managing the Municipal Twitter and Facebook accounts. In emergency situations it is important that all responders have an “all hands on deck” mindset so that all available resources are employed to most efficiently and effectively deal with the situation at hand.

 

Therefore, my question is, why has the Emergency Control Group not utilized the trained personnel and the established social media accounts to deliver timely updates and information to residents?

 

Considering the aforementioned and since this emergency situation is ongoing, will the ECG be utilizing social media to provide further updates and information to residents?

 

Thank you,

Adrian Ellis

 

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Boil Water Advisory for Brighton remains in effect

Posted by on Apr 19, 2015 in Commentary, Local Politics, Politics |

April 19, 2015 – 8:47 a.m. A boil water advisory remains in effect for all residents on the Brighton Municipal Water Supply. Visit the Municipal website at www.brighton.ca for updates as they become available.

UPDATE: April 19, 2015 – 11:45 a.m.

A Boil Water Advisory is a public notification advising the public that their water has tested unsafe to drink and they must bring their water to a rolling boil for 1 minute prior to drinking, preparing food, making beverages and ice cubes, washing fruits and vegetables or brushing teeth. These preventative measures are issued to protect public health from waterborne infectious agents that could be or are known to be present in drinking water.

Please share this information with residents that may not have access to online resources.

Emergency Preparedness Guide

Brighton_Boil_Water_Advisory

What is a boil water advisory?

Anyone requesting further information or questions should contact the Haliburton Kawartha Pine Ridge Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577.

Or visit the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care website at www.health.gov.on.ca.

Other resources:

Brighton Emergency Preparedness Guide

Brighton Emergency Response Plan

 

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Eastern Ontario’s Economic Development Strategy

Posted by on Apr 15, 2015 in Commentary, Local Politics, Politics |

Eastern Ontario’s Economic Development Strategy
Eastern Ontario’s Economic Development Strategy – Appendix A
Eastern Ontario’s Economic Development Strategy – Appendix B

Eastern_Ontario_Economic_Development_Strategy_2014

Eastern Ontario’s Economic Development Strategy 2014

Eastern Ontario continues to be impacted by a dramatically and radically transforming economy from what has gone before. Long term challenges of an aging society, market globalization, increasing energy costs, and changes in technology, promise to create ongoing issues for the region. This is coupled with evidence of heightened levels of investment by peer communities and regions looking to improve their level of service to existing and potential businesses. This reality affirms the need for a timely and collective regional approach that gives consideration to new approaches and new tools that recognize the systemic issues and challenges that are impacting our economic performance.

 

Where historically economic development has been driven by a competitive tax structure, the availability of serviced land, buildings, and an educated workforce, today’s economic development efforts are adding new elements to the traditional approach that require more comprehensive and collaborative strategies.

 

These include:

  • Supporting innovation and productivity within the business community;
  • Development and deployment of workforce that is responsive to the existing and emerging needs of business;
  • Leveraging cultural diversity to create linkages to emerging markets; and
  • Deploying a broader regional view of sectors, markets, infrastructure and workforce to reflect the reality of business, industry supply chains and trade.

Eastern Ontario must rethink the way it engages with its economy and with the opportunities it presents. To accomplish this, it must look beyond its past experience and envision the world as it will be – and as it could be if it is able to channel efforts and ideas in constructive, innovative and productive directions.

 

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Municipality of Brighton Civic Awards 2015

Posted by on Apr 12, 2015 in Commentary, Local Politics, Politics |

It was truly an honour to be nominated for the Citizen of the Year Award. Thank you to those that nominated me for the award and thank you to the many volunteers that that work tirelessly to make Brighton the wonderful place that it is to live and raise a family.

Brighton_Citizen_of_the_Year_nomination_2015_crop

Congratulations to all of the 2015 Brighton Civic Awards winners:

– Outstanding Achievement in the Arts – Sharon Caswell
– Outstanding Community Service – Dennis & Dorothy Fletcher
– Mystery – Community Promotions – Anja Croes
– Junior Citizen of the Year – Caroline Birch
– Citizen of the Year – Dave Sharp

Brighton_Civic_Award_Winners_2015

 

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The Sunshine List 2015 – Public sector salary disclosure

Posted by on Mar 28, 2015 in Commentary, Local Politics, Politics |

The Public Sector Salary Disclosure Act, 1996 (the act) makes Ontario’s public sector more open and accountable to taxpayers. The act requires organizations that receive public funding from the Province of Ontario to disclose annually the names, positions, salaries and total taxable benefits of employees paid $100,000 or more in a calendar year.

The act applies to organizations such as the Government of Ontario, Crown Agencies, Municipalities, Hospitals, Boards of Public Health, School Boards, Universities, Colleges, Hydro One, Ontario Power Generation, and other public sector employers who receive a significant level of funding from the provincial government.

The Sunshine List 2015  (Disclosure for 2014) – Public sector salary disclosure for Municipalities and Services

 

The Sunshine List 2015  - Public sector salary disclosure for Municipalities and Services

The Sunshine List 2015 – Public sector salary disclosure for Municipalities and Services

 

Public sector salary disclosure – all sectors

Definitions:

Salary – The amount shown as “salary paid” in this compendium may not represent the employee’s annual rate of salary in the current year. The salary required to be made public under the Public Sector Salary Disclosure Act, 1996 reflects the amount to be reported to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) on the employer’s T4 slip for the employee. The “T4 amounts” may include components that relate to a year prior to the current year. These may result, for example, from retroactive revisions to salary scales, from grievance payments or from vacation pay-outs upon exit from employment. Note also that the “T4 amounts” may exceed the employee’s annual rate of salary if the employee worked overtime during the year. The “T4 amounts” may be less than the annual rate of salary if the employee worked only part of a year.

In addition, remuneration paid in the form of per diems and/or retainers to an individual defined as an “employee” under the act are also subject to disclosure. These amounts are reportable, whether or not an information slip for CRA has been prepared/issued.

Taxable Benefits – The amount shown as taxable benefits is the amount shown on the T4 slip as prepared for the Canada Revenue Agency. These amounts can include free or subsidized housing, board and lodging, travel in a designated area, personal use of employer’s vehicle, interest-free and low-interest loans, other payments made on behalf of the employee such as relocation costs, employer contributions for basic life insurance, and tuition reimbursements. Travel and meal expenses incurred by the individual and reimbursed by the employer are not considered a taxable benefit.

“Sunshine Lists” – Public sector salary disclosure (previous years):

If you review the historical data in the respective Sunshine Lists, you will discover that Brighton’s CAO Frost received a 12.5% salary increase in 2011 and a total increase of 34% in the 5 year period from $107,694 in 2009 to $149,378 in 2014.

CAO_Gayle_Frost_salary_increases_2015_cpi

CPI = Consumer Price Index Inflation Rate

“Just one of many reasons why four people didn’t get re-elected and why we need to get a handle on escalating costs!” – Councillor Baker, March 2, 2015

 

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No News is Good News, Misleading News is Bad News

Posted by on Mar 8, 2015 in Commentary, Local Politics, Politics |

Recent “news” reports from Quinte News, “Frost contract under review” and 95.5 Hits FM “Brighton council will review its year old contract with Chief Administrative Officer Gayle Frost” [Edit 09/03/2015: 95.5 Hits FM deleted their Facebook post], raise some serious questions regarding the journalistic integrity and independence of these two local “news” outlets.

Before reading further, I would encourage readers to listen the audio recording from the March 5, 2015 Brighton Council meeting that was included in the report by 100.9 myFM titled, “Brighton Council will get in the “know” when it comes to employee contracts“. I attended the Council meeting and I can confirm that the report by myFM is an accurate account and this is corroborated by the audio recording.

However, as you can see from the following screenshot, the Quinte News reporter Ms. Joyce Cassin filed a completely different report that I find to be inaccurate and misleading. What is also concerning is the response from Quinte News once comments were submitted questioning the accuracy and content of the reporting. As you can see from the first comment, it is clear that the person identified as “St8 UP” was mislead by the article. The third and fourth comments from two residents that attended the Council meeting clearly contradicted what was reported and at this point Quinte News closed the comments. Even more concerning than the actual closing of the comments is the fact that they chose not to display the third comment by the person named “Jeannine“, thereby limiting the contradictory evidence.

After some discussion of this on social media, Quinte News re-opened the comments on the article and a member of the Quinte News team made a post attempting to defend the article by Ms. Cassin. The comment was made by Mr. John Spitters, but rather than reveal his identity, he chose to post the comment under the name “John“.

Quinte_News_Frost_contract_under_review

I have sent the following questions to Quinte News and at the time of the writing of this blog post I have not yet received a response:

1. Why did you close comments on your post? Is is because it was inaccurate and misleading and you were concerned that you would be called out?

 

2. Before closing the comments, there were comments made by a person called ‘John’. Why did Mr. John Spitters not identify himself as an employee of your company and a colleague of your reporter Ms. Cassin?

 

3. Why do you state that the contract with CAO Frost was signed a year ago, when in fact it was signed almost two years ago?

 

4. How was it determined “That left only Frost’s contract”? You don’t have to name the source, but you do have to state that it did not come from the meeting, otherwise you are just misleading the public.

Another inaccurate and misleading article was posted by 95.5 Hits FM “Brighton council will review its year old contract with Chief Administrative Officer Gayle Frost“.

955_Frost_Contract2

955_Frost_Contract1

I have sent the following questions to 95.5 Hits FM and at the time of the writing of this blog post I have not yet received a response:

1. You organization appears to be independent from Quinte News, but your headline includes the same inaccurate information as Quinte News. So, do you report the news independently, or do draw from a common “article pool”? If you have a reporter attend the meeting, why did they copy and paste information from another reporter at the meeting? If it was the other way around, perhaps you could confirm?

 

2. How was it determined “That left only Frost’s contract”? You don’t have to name the source, but you do have to state that it did not come from the meeting, otherwise you are just misleading the public.

 

3. Why do you state that the contract with CAO Frost was signed a year ago, when in fact it was signed almost two years ago?

 

4. You state, “which it was revealed at the meeting had been drawn up by the previous council to protect the CAO from harassment”. Since CAO Frost’s contract was NOT discussed at the meeting, how can you make the claim that it was, let alone the claims made in the quotation itself?

 

5. Are your reporters not trained to check the spelling of names when they reference them in their articles? FYI, you can find the correct spelling via the Brighton Municipal website at www.brighton.ca.

I would suggest that if recognized “news” outlets do not have reporters that are capable of writing independent articles that are based on fact, then they should not publish the articles submitted. Otherwise they are doing themselves, their advertisers and our community a disservice.

I don’t have any issue if these “news” outlets want to post opinion-based content, but they shouldn’t try to pass it off as “news“!

 

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