Posts Tagged: "City Council"

‘Tis the Season for Giving at City Hall, Round 2

Barry Wells - - News & Politics
The London Yodeller

Barry WellsWhat can you buy for a bicycle-riding commie pinko who’s secretly devoted to destroying London’s longstanding Triple A credit rating?

A year ago in this fine upstanding organ, I penned an uplifting column to put everyone in the Christmas swing of things. Since that literary gem resulted in me getting cards and letters from people I don’t even know, I’ve reprised it for our new city council, which was officially sworn-in on Mon. Dec. 1 at the London Convention Centre.

Once again, I’m suggesting a variety of Christmas gifts for each of our 15 members of London city council, even though – and I’m sure my London Yodeller colleague Mary Lou Ambrogio will agree with me - the majority of them are bicycle-riding commie pinkos secretly devoted to destroying London’s longstanding Triple A credit rating. Continue Reading

What’s in a word? Plenty, if it’s ‘progressive’

Rick Young - - News & Politics
The London Yodeller
Mayor Matt Brown (left)

Mayor Matt Brown (left)

I suspect that the clichéd phrases that sounded so stirring during the campaign will quickly ring hollow if they are not turned into discernible action, and quickly

“Progressive” is a loaded term that was thrown around quite a bit in the recent London municipal election by several candidates and their small but well organized army of community engagement groups like Emerging Leaders, Citizen Corps and their Twitter followers and supporters.

During the campaign, it was used interchangeably as both an adjective and noun.

More often than not, it was used in conjunction with feel-good clichéd phrases like community engagement, collaboration, working together, new politics, and my personal favourite, going forward. Continue Reading

Independent Local Media Helps Cover All the News Bases

Barry Wells - - News & Politics
The London Yodeller


You’ll often find newsworthy stories on advisory committee agendas at city hall because it’s an early stage where new developments first unfold before moving up the chain to standing committees and city.

Due to the widespread media coverage, many Londoners are undoubtedly aware our city’s former fugitive slave chapel was successfully moved on November 12 from 275 Thames Street to 432 Grey Street – the once-empty lot to the immediate east of historic Beth Emanuel Church, the successor British Methodist Episcopal Church to the pioneer slave chapel (1848-1869). Continue Reading

A Return to my old Hometown; The Halloween Massacre at London City Hall

Barry Wells - - News & Politics
The London Yodeller

Along with my nostalgic trip to Woodstock, the 2014 election results are among the finest birthday presents I’ve ever received. Well done, London.

BARRY barryThe day before London’s extraordinary municipal election on October 27th, my older brother Darrell and I returned to our hometown of Woodstock, Ontario, to visit some old haunts and re-live a few memories. It was the first time we’d returned to Woodstock together since we left with our late mother in 1965 and moved to the big city of London.  Continue Reading

Do We Really Want to Encourage Low-Information Voters to Vote?

Mary Lou Ambrogio - - News & Politics
The London Yodeller

Mary Lou“If you’re looking for someone who will respect your tax dollars, don’t vote for anyone on the LDLC’s list”

As George W. Bush famously said, “a low voter turnout is an indication of fewer people going to the polls”. I can’t argue with that.

As an avid politics watcher, I can’t relate to people who don’t care about this fascinating sport. Why don’t they get engaged and participate? I have at times tried to come to some meaningful conclusion about what a low voter turnout tells us but, like Dubbya, I fail.

Is it a sign of the times? Does it point to a general malaise?  A lack of faith in the institution? Continue Reading

Jeff Schiller Loves Dogs

Vanessa Brown - - Interviews, News & Politics
The London Yodeller

photo 2Yodeller readers in Lambeth and Byron take note: small town boy Jeff Schiller is running for the Ward 9 seat and he’s taking no prisoners. An entrepreneur and active businessman, Schiller is all about good causes, working as a Big Brother and volunteering with Y.O.U. in London’s downtown. He might seem big city these days, but growing up in Belle River, his parents taught him that communities only work when everyone gives back. Now is his chance. I sat down with this municipal candidate hopeful at Williams on Richmond Street to talk about dogs, duty and determination. Continue Reading

Mayoral Contender Matt Brown

Vince Cherniak - - News & Politics
The London Yodeller

Bjn2eJfA“London, geographically, is two-thirds the size of Toronto, with a fraction of the population. So it’s no wonder that it’s difficult to cover the costs of the infrastructure renewal.”

Matt Brown swirls through the door of his campaign office, a war room with some 500 volunteers behind it, ten minutes late for a scheduled interview, but he’s got the poise of a busy-busy guy and you can’t help get caught up in his sense of mission. “Hey, Vince, good to see you, it’s been awhile,” he says, “I’ll be right with you.” Yeah, I’m thinking, it has been a while since we first requested an interview six months earlier — if that’s what he means — but otherwise, I don’t believe we’ve met before.

No matter, Brown, with his burgeoning team of supporters (who aren’t quite sure if he’s at a candidate’s debate or out knocking on doors), fits you in, and he  delivers astute and savvy thoughts about what holding the top civic job entails: he’s all about the future of our city, and its blueprint, currently being drafted in the London Plan. He’s focused on public transit and investing in core infrastructure.  You also glean that he and his wife are avid canoeists. They met on the French River, and they did a stint as wilderness canoe trip guides— they used to live on the Coves which offered them easy access to paddle the Thames. He’s also a big fan of Tulip trees (thumbs up, I say). Continue Reading

Jesse Helmer Plays Dodgeball

Vanessa Brown - - Everything Else
The London Yodeller

Jesse Helmer

Ward 4 is one of the most interesting council races in the upcoming municipal election. Incumbent Stephen Orser has been a rather, ahem, controversial member of our local government, often making it into the press for issues that most politicians would try to avoid—like Nazis and sexual harassment. There are several candidates running against him, but none as promising as Jesse Helmer. A small business owner, Helmer is married to a hometown London gal and brings youthful promise and a new perspective to the challenges faced by our city. I chatted with him about his favourite weird sport, his campaign and what he would bring to the job. Continue Reading

London’s New Political Messiah, The Great Confused Paul Cheng™

Barry Wells - - News & Politics
The London Yodeller

politics-for-dummies-imgQUESTION: What’s the difference between Ivan Kasiurak and mayoral candidate Paul Cheng?

ANSWER: Paul Cheng has money but Ivan looks better in a tuxedo.

CHENG’S LAW: When you don’t know what you’re talking about, just say you’re going to “run it like a business.”

A defining moment for wannabe-mayor Paul Cheng, 57, occurred during a mayoral debate on local radio station AM980 last month when Cheng said, “I’ve worked in 18 countries and signed cheques for more money than all the other candidates combined.”

In other words, The Great Confused Cheng™ thinks his purported globetrotting work as an oil-and-gas industry consultant more than qualifies him as London’s next mayor, despite zero city hall or community organizing experience (it’s a different group dynamic altogether than private business) and that his front-running mayoral race competitors Coun. Matt Brown, Roger Caranci and Coun. Joe Swan (with a combined total of 34 years on London city council) are mere pipsqueaks compared to him. Continue Reading