4 Aug 2009

2010 Election not that far away - Abernethy the first target

People are already gearing up for the 2010 municipal elections, even though they are a little over a year away. But it is not too soon to begin planning to oust certain municipal politicians who very blatantly gave the one-finger salute to their residents during the last couple of years. Residents have every right to target those who refused to listen to overwhelming opposition to the incinerator, especially when so many tried to make their voices heard.

Silly me. I always thought that we elected our municipal council and mayor to represent us and to do what is best for the residents of Clarington. What happened? Do they not know that WE are their bosses? Have they become so big-headed that they don't need to listen to those who elected them? Do they honestly believe that they know better than 80% of the residents of Clarington? Do they really believe that the Region's propaganda was any more honest than the biased and misleading studies done by their paid consultants?

Those consultants were hired for one reason. They were hired to see the EA process through to a favourable conclusion (favourable to the already decided end result of the Region to make incineration the option of "choice"). Numerous times residents were told publicly that the Region had decided on this course of action in 2000, with their 20 year waste management plan. Of course that plan only mentioned that burning garbage should be looked into. It did not say that this was the course that should be taken.

Too many of our myopic councillors either can't read and comprehend or they intentionally twisted that plan to mean exactly what they wanted it to mean. The writing was on the wall (and in the direction given to the consultants) before the EA even began.

The writing is now on the wall for several councillors and a handful of Mayors of Durham municipalities. But none more so than Clarington, which harbours 4 who need to be replaced.

The Mayor of Clarington, with his sometimes incomprehensible mutterings needs to be soundly punished and relegated to the trash heap. He was not able to fool all his residents with such gems as his declaration in explaining his "No Waste by '38" motion which he made a point of making clear "didn't mention incineration or landfill". The reason for that? "Neither of these two options is acceptable to me, but you've got to do something with it," Abernethy stated.

You could have fooled us. The mayor was a huge supporter of incineration from the start, despite his attempts to convince residents that he was looking for the truth (not a very funny joke) and that he hadn't yet made up his mind. Early on he took a trip to Nova Scotia and made a home video of the Halifax Otter Lake landfill. All he was interested in was the seagulls (meaning there was garbage present) and that it didn't look pretty. He made that DVD available to people who made it available to even more residents for their viewing pleasure. Abernethy also promoted an industry made propaganda infomercial for SYSAV - yes, promoting incineration in Europe. He played it for audiences around Clarington, all the while promoting incineration. Yet he had the audacity to continue to tell people he hadn't yet made up his mind. How insulting to the residents of Clarington.

As recently as last month he said neither landfill NOR INCINERATION are acceptable. The way he has promoted incineration for the last 2 1/2 years it is apparent that he believes incineration is not only acceptable, but desirable. The facility will have floors so clean you could eat off them (his comments about the European incinerators) and even more important - no seagulls!

This mayor ran his 2006 campaign on having "an honest and open government". He also said, "The role of council is to manage the assets of the municipality and ensure that there is a democratic process." What exactly does "democratic process" mean to this man?

On his campaign video he also said, "There's a lot of important issues that have to be dealt with, and have to be dealt with uh, fairly, uh, dealt with uh in the best interest of all of the people of the municipality." Is that what he has done? NO.

"I think that what needs to be done is we need to have a look to see what will Clarington look like in 50 years from now." Well, for the next 30 - 35 years at least we will be dumping more pollution into an already dirty air shed where record numbers of children now have asthma, older adults have respiratory problems, and cancers are already on the rise. Now we will be adding to those problems and adding new ones. Does he care? Apparently not.

In 2006 Abernethy said, "Our municipal Council needs a made in Clarington agenda." Does that sound familiar? Like the "Made in Durham garbage solution" he is always promoting (which isn't made in Durham at all)? This incinerator being forced on Clarington residents is most certainly NOT a "made in Clarington agenda". Was this an outright lie, or was he so quickly and easily sucked in by Regional Chair Roger Anderson immediately after he was elected? Enquiring minds want to know! This Mayor betrayed Clarington and put the Region first and foremost, unlike the other mayors in the Region. He said on more than one occasion that he was "elected to represent the Region". Funny, I thought he was elected as Mayor of Clarington to represent Clarington.

He ranted against the "Mutton shell-game experience" - or was that "Mutton-Schell game" - (his words). "Higher taxes, higher salaries, higher mileage charges, and numerous international trips," Abernethy said. So what has changed since 2006? It has only gotten worse. Have we heard an apology to Mutton since then? No, only attacks on his campaign financing by Abernethy's former campaign team, and those charges are ongoing. Was Mutton faultless? Hell no. But was he worse than Abernethy? That is debatable at this point, but I'd say no. At least Mutton didn't give away the (Clarington) store to the Region while he was in office. Would he have, on the incinerator issue? Very possibly he would have supported the incinerator as he did quite a job in facilitating the political acceptance of the incinerator and approval of Covanta as the builder/operator. But we won't know because Abernethy beat him to the punch. At least Mutton surely would have gotten a better deal for Clarington. As it is, there is hardly anything in the Host Community Agreement that wasn't already in the works or owed to Clarington without it. That's another discussion altogether.

Speaking of Mutton, Abernethy said, "I've had enough of their experience. Have you?" I can tell you that I, along with the majority of Clarington residents (according to several recent polls), have had enough of the Abernethy experience. More than enough.

Abernethy in 2006 asked us to vote for change. This is not the change we wanted or anticipated. A Mayor who refuses to listen to the residents unless you are one of his favoured friends, or unless you are someone he considers "important to the community". Anyone who is a plain old resident, a plain old taxpayer isn't important to him and he has shown people that in spades, including not allowing street parties which could foster more community spirit. Including the elderly who have been the first to have services cut. Including those speaking out against the incinerator, who were basically given the Trudeau salute, in so many words. Including those asking for more time to speak or to be allowed more input. He shut people up, made them sit down if he didn't like what they had to say, and even went so far as to throw people out. One of the biggest complaints about former Mayor Mutton was that he was a bully. Abernethy has turned out to be as big a bully. But he hates that word because he threw out a resident for calling his best buddy Roger Anderson a bully. He'd better take a good look in the mirror.

I wonder what half-truths this Mayor will tell us during his 2010 campaign. Or will he give up and run away, knowing he hasn't a chance in hell of being re-elected?

Mary Novak and Charlie Trim deserve the same fate, although the word on the street is the Trim is retiring, allowing local ward 4 councilor Gord Robinson to attempt to move up to Charlie's regional seat. Fat chance, after the betrayal of his constituents and those of the entire municipality. Were it not for Robinson, who has now been given the label "traitor", at least we would have remained an unwilling host, which, in spite of statements to the contrary publicly by Anderson, everyone knew would be the nail in the coffin at the Regional Council vote. And it was. This man deserves to hit the unemployment line next year and there are already groups seriously working toward that end.

There are groups spread across Durham Region already making plans for the 2010 election. They are organizing and are determined. They are looking for strong, ethical and honest candidates who understand what democracy is and who will listen to their residents rather than their political bosses in issues affecting our very lives. There will be some massive campaigns not only in support of good candidates but also against those who need to be replaced.

Those who chose to ignore the will of the people will suffer the consequences in 2010. And they will deserve it. They think 2010 is far enough away that people will forget the insulting behaviour of these councillors and mayors, but the opposition to these people is building, not waning since the June Regional vote. We are not stupid. We will not forget. The damage done to our municipality which now has a very deserved reputation as being the dumping ground for Durham Region is irreparable. And Durham Region's reputation for being the dumping ground for York Region is also building. From Stop the Incinerator to Stop the Stink, we get all the crap from York while York Region gets all the benefits. Is that the sign of a good and effective Durham Regional council or leadership? We think not.

The "Elect the Chair" movement is alive and well, and has now been joined by the "Dump Durham's Democratically Deficient" Mayors and Councillors. The most targeted already of the Mayors is Abernethy, O'Connor, Pearce, Perkins, Shepherd and Ryan. Some (most) of these are very vulnerable. Pearce is probably the least vulnerable, even though Scugog could do so much better. The rest are not at all secure in their seats according to local sources. There are more Councillors already with a bull's eye on their backs. Stay tuned for more in coming days, weeks and months. Mayor Abernethy can be assured that we will "Vote for Change" in 2010.


  1. Abernethy is only elected because of the false arrest of Mutton last term. I wonder if someone from the Durham Regional Police was friends with Abernethy or his campaign team as we know he did not win on intelligence.
    That Host Community Agreement was laughed at by York Councillors saying they must really want the Incinerator in Clarington not to have any real compensation in the HCA.
    I'm not mad at Abernethy being rather dumb, I am mad at those that sold him at my door and others, surly they were going to try and control him given his lack of grey matter. I look at the public Abernethy team of John Reid, Elva Reid, Maureen Reid, Mark Hendrix, Luke Prout, Susan and Jim Dacosta, Marion Manders and Bill Tomlinson as those truly to be mad and angry at.
    When we take Ab and some councillors out, do not allow those associated with the Abernethy Campaign to be part of any team, unless it is Jim Richards who has cleared the air about his involvement more than sufficiently.
    Remember the names above, they are the true architects of what we have today, Abernethy is just their wind up doll that has a vocabulary of a 5 year old.

  2. Obviously this poster is someone from the Mutton team to be able to identify all of those that helped out Abernathy. I don't know the Mayor (only met him once before) but I do know most of the people you have listed and the are all fine people who care about their community. Whether or not the incinerator is the right way to go, in no way is Abernathy as bad as Mutton. Clarington wouldn't have gotten a better deal, but Mutton would have.

  3. Clarington got a terrible deal, and our Mayor by saying that "we got everything we wanted" is so out of touch and out to lunch it is difficult to comprehend. Mutton would have at least gotten a better deal for Clarington, not the meagre pittance we settled for in the host agreement.

    I hope Abernethy, Trim, Novak and Robinson are comfortable with selling out our health for nothing. The big $650,000 per year we get "in lieu of taxes" is less than we would have gotten for property tax, that is why the Region was so quick to jump at it. The roads? The region would have had to upgrade or put in the new roads anyway so that the garbage could get in to their fancy new incinerator. Nothing good there. The promise to START an EA for services to the Science Park in east Bowmanville is only that - to start an EA which they can stop or change at any time if Clarington doesn't do exactly what Anderson orders them to do. He has all power over our timit, no-wit pro incinerator councillors. And that science park is all to benefit the Mayor's good buddy Dr. S. who owns the only company in that park and of course spoke in favour of the incinerator so he could get his services, not because it is actually good or healthy. Greed. Stupidity. Blackmail. Clarington leads the way.

    My family will be leading the way out of here, moving to a place where my children will be safer and where Councillors actually listen to their residents, not their political bosses!

  4. Plenty of people knew/know who Abernethy's campaign team was - they made no secret of it. Today however, most of them wish it was a secret as they're embarrassed they ever supported and worked for such a poor political representative. There are the notable few who will follow Abernethy anywhere. But most of them have already indicated they won't support him again. Good for them.

    I voted for Abernethy in the last election and I kick myself every day now for doing that. I won't be fooled again and I would bet the farm that neither will the majority of Clarington voters.

  5. I see that the first post to this great editorial mentioned my name as an Abernethy supporter (in part). I think I have cleared myself (but not my conscience) about this on this site before, but I will do so again, just for the record. In the last municipal election, I acted as campaign manager for one Linda Gasser, trying to oust Regional Councillor Charlie Trim. Needless to say, we failed to win the hearts and minds of the electorate in wards 3&4..but we tried! In any event, due to the mail-in vote system which I thinks sucks, the campaign for local and regional councillors was over a week or more before the polls closed. For that reason, I spent most of the final week knocking on apartment doors, helping with signs, etc. for the Abernethy team. Did I think this twerp was a brain trust? No! Did I think he had a good chance of beating Mr. Mutton? Yes. I felt it was time for a change, and change we got... I have apologized many times (here and in Council delegations) for voting for/working for this jerk, and I do so again. There was mention in the post about people being banned from speaking at council...I was one (of two) of those people. I was labelled a radical by this so-called leader and his followers, and I'm proud of it. The more distance I can put between he and myself, the better.

    Now, for the original editorial by Watchdog. It was right on the money. This Mayor has no leadership skills and no people skills. He has (in my opinion) sold out our once great municipality and the good people in it. I wonder what he has been promised by Mao Anderson? As a Mayor, he is the worst we have ever had in Clarington (former Town of Newcastle) and he's a disgrace. There is an army of people waiting for 2010 to ensure that this dud is not reelected if he has the nerve (or lack of grey matter) to even consider running again. I predict he has done the job he was commissioned to do, and he will not run. However, I also believe that a (small) handful of his previous campaign team (tired old political hacks) will attempt to convince him to run so that they will continue to enjoy the newfound power they have enjoyed by having this dink in office. I for one pledge to work very hard to see him defeated if he does choose to run.

    As for Trim and Novak, I can only suggest that Trim will not run again (can he do any more damage to Clarington than he has done thus far? Mao Anderson appointed this pushover to head the Works Committee, even though he had never served on it before for a reason; so he could control him and the incinerator process; well done Mr. Anderson, it worked! You had this fella pegged just right - another Anderson puppet. What a shame. As well, Councillor Novak certainly does not deserve to be re-elected. She has done nothing to question or stop the incinerator from being placed in her own Ward. Wow; it defies logic. Another brain trust! I know that folks are already organizing to see the end of her in 2010. I only hope the Courtice public can convince Councillor Foster to run against her - he'd be a sure fire winner!

    I understand that Local Councillor Gord 'Judas' Robinson plans to run for the Regional seat in 2010 to replace Trim. Hope he knows where the EI office is. If he runs against anyone with even an ounce of credibility he is sure to lose now that he has sold out Clarington to Roger 'Mao' Anderson and his band of Regional henchmen. Gordy is toast!

    Speaking of Anderson; he has been in total control of everything political including most politicians with the exception of most of the Oshawa Regionals (excluding Pidwerbecki and Kolodzie - true Anderson puppets) and a scant few like Litley, Parrish, Jordan, etc.) He runs DR like a dictatorship and is (in my opinion) a real bully. The time has come to have a democratically elected Chair for Durham Region, not a coronation borne of horse-traders.

  6. I was just ireading the posts, agree with everyone except the 2nd anonymous. I for one am hoping Mutton tries to oust Anderson. I read Mutton wont run for the local level, why not take Anderson out.

    Also, with Clarington having a 1.1 million dollar deficit, why did Abernethy not get this covered in the HCA. I remember Hamre saying it was illegal to budget a deficit under the municipal act, I would say falsifying permit income to and letting a deficit run is illegal as well.
    Word also has it that Abernethy is working with Metrus to not dayight the Graham Creek on the new subdivision in Newcastle against the GRCA's wishes, time to organize for our environment again.

  7. I hope someone tries to Oust Anderson, but I'm not so sure Mutton is the one to do it. He has a lot of baggage, especially now with working to help Covanta build an incinerator here. Covanta has a horrible record both environmentally and with labour. Mutton's strong connection throughout the incinerator fight in FAVOUR of incineration will hurt him just as it will kill Abernethy's chances and Novak's, Trim's and Robinson's chances of being re-elected. Also hurt are Pat Perkins, Dave Ryan and other Mayors.

    Opposition to these individuals is growing with the help of several groups who are already working on next year's campaign. It is interesting that there are groups organized and organizing to oust some of these people.

    There are a LOT of people organized to oust Anderson at the first opportunity too. Remember that "Elect The Chair" campaign? It has been resurrected and will be going full steam ahead.

    Next year's election will be one of the most entertaining in a long time.

  8. Peggy,

    If you're looking for a great candidate for Regional Chair, rest your eyes on Oshawa Councillor Brian Nicholson. He would be excellent.

  9. It's time for al of them to go. Look how much money woo expensed, that's a lot of money. It's time that are elected officials look at the affordability of living in clarington and durham.
    Right now costs are only going up and up both locally and regionally. As for reminissing about the past adminsistration, it would not have been any better, they started the tax and spend pattern.
    clarington tax guardian

  10. Tax Guardian, I hope you will be attending the Clarington Special Council meeting on Monday, August 31, 2009 - 9:30 a.m. Council chambers, 40 Temperance Street, Bowmanville.

    The topic will be a budget review and amendments to the 2009 municipal current and capital budgets. If you want to speak as a delegation at this meeting then sign up by the Wednesday (noon) prior to the 31st, or by the Friday before at the latest. Tell them directly what you think and give suggestions to them. If you can't speak, then write to them and ask that your letter be considered at the meeting.

  11. Council could and should make cuts to the over-inflated budget, but starting out with cutting snow clearing for seniors and disabled residents was certainly a very poor PR move and something they should reconsider. There are other cuts that should be made first. I saw that they're looking to hire a lot of new instructors for Community Services. A hip-hop dance instructor is more important than helping seniors clear snow from the sidewalks in front of their homes? Snow and ice removal is a health and safety issue. That should come first, shouldn't it?

    How about if the Mayor gave back a portion of his large salary for not representing his municipality or the wishes of his residents? Same goes for the others on Council. If they don't want to listen to us, why should we pay them? If the shoe fits...

  12. Its incredible that this site and its patrons still harp on an election that has been over for 3 years. OK we voted in an absolute Moron, and we watched Mutton ruin his family and political career – but doesn’t anyone want to move on and leave the past in the past? Nobody deserves this much “airtime”.
    To Anonymous: former Mayor Mutton was not falsely charged, he was falsely acquitted.
    Jen Mitchell couldn’t have said it any better, her family is leading their way outta here, as are we.

  13. Just wondering. How many jobs will be created with this incinerator?

  14. To Bowman: Approximately 33 jobs will be created (long-term) by this incinerator. Thousands could be created if instead we increased diversion by going toward a zero waste future (as was done in Halifax).

  15. To anonymous:
    Elections are not that far off. 2010 will be here before you know it, and residents should be aware of what has gone on over the past couple of years and be looking for a new Mayor. There may be someone out there who is considering running. They should know how little support this mayor now has. He can try to rehabilitate himself during this next year but he has done too much damage to repair it. If he stopped the HCA or changed his vote on the incinerator, or allowed the peer reviewers to finish their jobs, or allowed Clarington staff to participate in the EA review, that might help. But he won't do any of those things.
    The past isn't the past when we still have a Mayor who needs to be replaced.
    As for John Mutton, I doubt he will run again as that past isn't far enough in the past, and his support of incineration and working with Covanta to build this incinerator - that takes him totally out of the picture. Just like Abernethy, Trim, Novak and Robinson.
    We are looking for someone to take us toward a brighter future.

  16. I'll say it again - we're on our way outta here. Our house is listed for sale and we'll be moving away not only from Clarington, but from Durham Region, after the sickening show they put on over this incinerator business. They didn't even wait for all the information/studies to be in before they voted. They were in such a rush to push this thing through. They have NO EXCUSE for that as they always said they wanted ALL the information before making a decision. That was their excuse for passing it through each step of the way. In the end they couldn't wait any longer so voted for it before the only independent reports were completed. The consultants Durham hired were a joke, but not a very funny one. Does anyone other than the Pro-Incinerator Councillors have one bit of faith in their studies? I'd say a big whopping NO.

    We're on our way outta here, and I've heard from a lot of neighbours who are doing the same. They've ruined Clarington and the Region's reputation for not being resident friendly or green is increasing daily. I'm sick over this.

  17. As a relatively new resident in clarington I must say the blog is dead on the money! I have experienced first hand the mayor and coucils cover up, shut up and go away mentallity to the every day tax payer of clarington. I have spent almost two years dealing with these tell you what you want to hear, fake, sorry representatives we have in council at this time.
    No matter what issues are on the table the sad truth is the issues are being dealt with by people who don't listen to the people who put them there but rather impose there own will and fail to buck the trend.
    Hello! Don't we pay these people to do what's right for the people.
    I'm pretty sure this government has loads of scandle.
    Hmmm, maybe something will come out and we won't have to worry about the mayor or any of his circle of clowns.
    You know what they say, give em enough rope and they'll hang themselves.
    What we need is a person with integrity to captain the ship who isn't there because his buddies put and keep them there! Who knows maybe a mans man will run in the next election and actually make a difference in peoples lives.
    Oh by the way, its all possitive ahead for claringtons housing market. When all the jobs that are created by our new ovesized oven start you'll be able to sell your house for at least half of what we paid so you can say all's not lost!

  18. whats up everyone

    just signed up and wanted to say hello while I read through the posts

    hopefully this is just what im looking for, looks like i have a lot to read.

  19. pretty cool stuff here thank you!!!!!!!