Friday, June 20, 2014

Brian McMullan's Fear Of Mayorgate

How far will the machinations of Mayor Brian McMullan reach past common dignity and continue to be motivated by the fear of truth? The answer to such a question is not easy to settle on, as time and time again Brian McMullan has proven that something new is always on the horizon.

Brian McMullan's hate for Mayorgate is clear and proven. That hate feeds on Mayorgate's refusal to accept lies and deceit in public office. Mayorgate will not surrender to threat or intimidation, and under no circumstance will Mayorgate make alliances with anyone. At the same time Mayorgate's readers number now into several hundred thousand yearly with over 30 countries outside of Canada and the US, regularly visiting the articles presented. Locally Mayorgate is growing simply because the truth is researched and supported with undeniable fact, that is the key to each article. Now that in itself is a threat to someone like Brian McMullan.

On September 1st 2011 Brian McMullan had lawyer Christopher Bittle of Lancaster, Brooks and Welch issue a threat to shut down Mayorgate. In his egotistical world McMullan claimed that Mayorgate existed to only persecute the poor guy. Mayorgate began as a stand against the corrupt self-imposed censorship in a democratic society and has continued to provide articles that the standard media has ignored. Our issues traverse the spectrum from local through to international, always asking questions in the hope that we as people feel enough desire to step out of our daily routines of convenience.

Still Brian McMullan's fear of Mayorgate grows and if that is not to be considered true then another explanation of these actions by McMullan is welcomed, by Brian McMullan himself! Proof of this fear came in the form of contact by a candidate in the forthcoming municipal elections in October. Adam Arsenault, an unknown candidate for the top job in the city, had read Mayorgate. At this time there are four contenders declared, though plenty of time exists for another to declare his or her desire to steer St. Catharines. Besides Adam Arsenault, there are two current councillors Jeff Burch and Peter Secord, with another unknown in Mark Stevens.

Adam Arsenault sent an email dated June 9th 2014 stating that he had been “reading articles on Jeff Burch,” which had been published on Mayorgate. He had indicated that he wished to discuss more about this corruption at City Hall. Arsenault concluded by stating, “I want to help expose this via my campaign for Mayor.”

This email was received 11:17 am and seemed somewhat encouraging though as always a great deal of scepticism remained. Later that day another email was received from Mayoral Candidate Adam Arsenault, this one at 9:34 pm. Now things truly heated up. Arsenault states, “Hello Alex after I emailed you. I made a post on my twitter re the issue and a like to your site. Within a few hours I got an email from the mayor telling me to take down the posts or face legal action.”

Mayor Brian McMullan had threatened a candidate in a forthcoming election, even though Brian McMullan is not running for mayor in the election, and this comes directly and in writing from the candidate himself. What Brian McMullan had done is a direct breach of the law, but Brian McMullan has proven that being a bully is a tool he enjoys. The law to Mayor Brian McMullan has not always been something he has had respect for.

A question was asked of Adam Arsenault as to what did he link in his Twitter post. He responded on June 10th 2014 at 11:29 am stating “I posted a link to this...” The link was to the archive postings for August 2013 on Mayorgate. Three articles had been posted in the month of August 2013. The first was Deceit & Censorship Breed Corruption, then Cone of Silence Receives a Crack and finally Society's Checks & Balances, are they real? Reading through these articles it is clear that none of them deal with Brian McMullan, though they do centre on a different issue.

During this period in 2013 a situation developed around Merritton Ward Councillor Jeff Burch who intentionally lied to council and was recorded both on video and audio. Jeff Burch lied to cover up for a developer and owner of Sun Collision, Sam Demita. An Integrity Commissioner had attempted an investigation though was not able to complete her investigation and stated in her final report that the serious allegations against Councillor Jeff Burch had not been cleared. At the same time the media through the newspapers The Standard and Niagara this Week, and radio Newstalk CKTB, had ensured nothing was made public. It was the usual censorship to keep the truth silent.

Adam Arsenault had linked to articles that had nothing to do directly with Mayor Brian McMullan and had a great deal to do with Councillor Jeff Burch. Why did Brian McMullan threaten a prospective candidate in an upcoming election? Why did McMullan need to protect Jeff Burch from any questions being raised regarding his lies to cover up for Sun Collision owner and operator Sam Demita?

As most brave men Adam Arsenault erased the tweets and quoted back the Charter of Rights and its sections. Erasing the tweets then quoting these sections does not show one has any belief in the actual words of the Charter. Still Arsenault had sent copies to Mayorgate, though when asked about a copy of the threat by Mayor Brian McMullan, fear became more evident. Fear is a tool of any bully and cowardice is the truth each bully hides. Brian McMullan had played these tactics often enough, whether with Arsenault or with Regional Councillor Andy Petrowski or even his attempts with his lies about statutory declarations.

In this case fear and bullying worked. Arsenault's story now changed from “I want to help expose this via my campaign for mayor,” to this, “I may have given in but not without pointing out that they were wrong and breaking the law by doing what they did I wanted facts so I could build a strong fight and if I win I can expose them all. That would have a lot more credibility if the mayor exposes all the past corruption within its municipal government. I like to do things strategic.”

This exchange was on June 10th 2014 at 6:02 pm on the following day June 11th, Arsenault sent this, “As far as my tweets to Maggie I want them to think that there is no threat and I want to confront them in issues.” By now it was clear that Adam Arsenault is truly no threat to anyone in any way, and as far as the comment about confronting “them in issues,” maybe no one has told Adam that Brian McMullan was not running in the election. The apple once bitten never tastes the same again.

Maybe Arsenault's desire “to do things strategic” is now left open to embarrassing questions, his tweets to Maggie Riopelle surely provide an opening to Pandora's Box. First of all Maggie Riopelle should be identified as the Executive Assistant to Mayor Brian McMullan at City of St. Catharines (directly quoted from LinkedIn).

Maggie's background is not so impressive according to LinkedIn. She is currently a part time student at Niagara College chasing a web design certificate, with a Journalism Diploma from Cambrian College. Listed as Maggie's expertise and skills are journalism, communications, problem solving, social media, blogging, storytelling and social media marketing. Considering what is to be revealed now expertise and skills may be a little too adventurous a term.

As already confirmed by Arsenault he had tweeted Maggie as part of his being “strategic,” and not wanting “them” to see him as a “threat.” Adam Arsenault's tweet to Maggie was, “As a request of Mayor Mr. McMullan I have honoured his request to remove my tweets re Mayorgate.” Maggie Riopelle, Executive Assistant to Mayor Brian McMullan responded, “Thank you for your assistance. There is some history you may not be aware of. Feel free to call to discuss.”

Here you have it folks, skill and expertise in journalism, communication, problem solving, social media and so much more. Maggie on behalf of Mayor Brian McMullan confirms that Mayor Brian McMullan is in absolute fear of Mayorgate. Maggie confirms that Brian McMullan threatened Adam Arsenault illegally. Best of all Maggie confirms that Mayor Brian McMullan will slander Mayorgate in person and lie. Arsenault responded with, “Thank you, I'd rather speak in person than over the phone cause body language can speak a million times greater.”

Maybe this was an example of being “strategic,” though someone should inform Adam that an individual skilled in communication can use body language to lead one down any chosen path. Yet a voice when confronted with the right question is another thing all together. Still Maggie responded with this gem, “Feel free to call to book a time. The mayor would be happy to meet with you. He always welcomes people to his office.”

All the expertise in communication, journalistic diplomas, social media, storytelling, etc, etc came shining through here. In a fashion it smells so similar to the infamous telephone answering machine message confirming Mayor Brian McMullan's breach of law only a little more updated by 'twitting'.

Maggie with all her self-appointed skills and expertise has confirmed the slander of Mayorgate by Mayor Brian McMullan and by herself. Someone should have warned dear Maggie that it sits out in the open and can be snatched up a little like the old fashioned telephone answering machine. Strategy in this case makes John Beam look like a genius sitting in a storage locker with a flashlight and a cold Big Mac.

History, as it had been alluded to by Maggie and the trembling Mayor McMullan, needs revisiting. It began with a simple corrupt act and a voice of a councillor confirming that act of corruption. Councillor Jennie Stevens left a message on a telephone answering machine, that message confirmed that Mayor Brian McMullan had fixed a lawful by-law fine. The amount is irrelevant, the type of by-law fine irrelevant, the act of 'fixing' is illegal. Mayor Brian McMullan and Councillor Jennie Stevens didn't simply peddle their influence they broke the law. An article titled A Fine "Fix-ed"? presented all the details as so called media in St. Catharines will not publish the truth and only clean up after our dear elected ones.

Censorship was and is not the solitary tool of the local bunch of news hounds. Marlene Bergsma of The Standard decided it was not enough to censor the facts, Marlene Bergsma took it one step further, hence the article titled You Are A Liar Bergsma. Brian McMullan himself showed his true colours when on October 22nd 2010 he decided to call me. McMullan said “your blog, you call me corrupt I have referred this to my solicitors in Toronto.” This was the same as his cowardly threat of May 11th 2014 and the imaginary statutory declaration.

The election campaign of 2010 had a number of wild issues flying through the air. Two articles one titled Candidate Double Dipping Campaign Funds and Minister Jim Bradley Protecting a Political Pal moved the veil somewhat to take a peek at our honourable representatives and Brian McMullan's star was shining at centre stage. By October 2011 Mayor Brian McMullan decided to stretch courage past a threat over the phone. He had Christopher Bittle of Lancaster, Brooks and Welch send an official letter of threat to shut down Mayorgate. It was simply another cowardly idle threat.

Mayorgate has kept on growing, though local issues remain an important component. Articles such as Salem's Witch Hunt Comes To Niagara showcased Brian McMullan's disregard for the law, and Mayorgate's Author Under Threat provided enough shock as to the lengthy attempts to silence an individual can be carried in a climate of censorship and corruption.

By 2014 the arrogance of Mayor Brian McMullan was no longer a surprise. In the article How Much Can A Koala - Bear, questions were raised as to how can one individual in a nothing position, in a small town, abuse the law and dignity and still walk away without consequence. At least Toronto's Robbie has the light of public attention to deal with. Laval, Quebec had an investigation to finally deal with, but here in St. Catharines, nothing but censorship.

Degradation Of Public Office showed how deceit had grown to a greater and wider scale, and the questions raised have not been answered. To be sure history will repeat itself and this is far from the final journey into the machinations of an individual who has been publicly challenged to prove how any of these points are not true in relation to him. Threat, intimidation and now even slander are simply the tools of someone who has no respect for the law or dignity.

To Maggie Riopelle, Executive Assistant of Mayor Brian McMullan the question is simple and publicly made. How were you going to slander Mayorgate and its publisher? You surely would not tell Arsenault that all of this history is true. If you did then one would question your motivation in your chosen job. Yet on the other hand how are you able to claim that any portion of this is untrue or without fact?

Mayor Brian McMullan made an unlawful threat to a member of the public. McMullan also knew that his threat was a lie as no legal action could be taken against Adam Arsenault for his link or his tweet. It was intentional intimidation and a lie. Yet the legal ramifications are enormous now, and the questions raised alarming.

Why did Brian McMullan threaten Adam Arsenault to protect Councillor Jeff Burch from the truth? The articles published in August of 2013 dealt with issues surrounding Councillor Jeff Burch's lie to council to protect and shelter the owner and operator of Sun Collision, Sam Demita. Those articles had nothing directly related to Brian McMullan. Councillor Jeff Burch had himself send NRP cops in 2010 to attempt some form of intimidation to silence questions of his possible association with Sam Demita. Now Mayor Brian McMullan who is not looking for re-election, has decided to threaten a potential candidate in the election. As always the questions surrounding Brian McMullan seem to begin with why.

Threat and intimidation thrive in a climate where the victims grab their tales and run. Adam Arsenault did nothing wrong in his tweet or his link yet he bowed to threat and removed it all. He claimed to tell them they were wrong by using someone else's words and reference the Charter of Rights and Freedoms of this great land. Arsenault did not believe in the Charter or he would have stood by its principles against a coward's threat. The time has long passed to demand answers and demand we shall continue.

Mayorgate will not run from threat, intimidation or from slander. Publicly Maggie Riopelle, Executive Assistant to Mayor Brian McMullan is asked what she planned to use as slander. To explain what she meant by her own words, “There is some history you may not be aware of.” Can you Maggie Riopelle deny any of the facts or history as published?

Mayorgate only expects silence in return!

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Saturday, June 14, 2014

Debbie Zimmerman Attacks Mayorgate

On May 19th 2014 I published an article titled Degradation of Public Office bringing to public light a divorce file at the Supreme Court, file #133/14. Patricia Ruth McMullan had filed for divorce against her husband and Mayor of St. Catharines Brian McMullan. That in itself is not newsworthy and Brian McMullan surely has no gossip worthiness. The reason for divorce is listed as adultery and Mrs. McMullan names Debbie Zimmerman, Regional Councillor for Grimsby as the partner in the adultery.

Rumours of the affair had circulated not only in St. Catharines but throughout the Niagara area for some four years. These divorce papers raise serious questions in relation to government and deceit. In addition to asking questions regarding the affair I reported that Mayor Brian McMullan had come to my place of work on May 11th 2014. Brian McMullan came to deliver a threat, he did so like a bully and coward. In turn I had challenged him openly to carry out his threat. He lay claim to some statutory declaration which in some way appears to bear relations to the Conservation Authority and my day off work. Like a coward Brian McMullan has remained silent. Either this so called statutory declaration is just a lie or Mayor McMullan is still looking for the unattainable, just like the lion from The Wizard of Oz.

Nevertheless truth is a bitter pill to swallow and now Debbie Zimmerman has issued a threat. In the threat by Debbie Zimmerman it states she will be, “contacting the host of your blog and requesting it be removed, in its entirety.” This threat comes under the letterhead of Sack Goldblatt Mitchell LLP and signed by a Jordan Goldblatt, it is dated June 2nd 2014 with file reference #14-1015.

The impudent monkeys of Mayorgate face-off once again against the potshots of threat, intimidation and harassment. Debbie Zimmerman's threat came in two parts and I have decided to post the whole thing as I had always with my response made publicly.

Reading the Notice Of Action two things become rather clear. First of all it is only Debbie Zimmerman who finds that the issues raised in Mayorgate's article Degradation of Public Office are in her interpretation not based in fact. By this claim Debbie Zimmerman is calling Mrs. Patricia Ruth McMullan a liar. Second, this whole threat is only on behalf of Debbie Zimmerman and not Mayor Brian McMullan. Brian McMullan has not denied anything.

Divorces by nature become messy, this is not going to be any different in the case of Mrs. Patricia Ruth McMullan and Mayor Brian McMullan. Although the ramifications of this divorce affect the whole of Niagara and its people. Lies and deceit are the key ingredients in any affair, and those lies are like flies circling the decaying carcass of a marriage. Those flies do not only circle the radius of the decay they spread further and further.

Debbie Zimmerman has now said that Mrs. McMullan is a liar because she had been identified as the other woman. Who can forget Bill Clinton's denials until finally the truth became heavier than a cigar box. Can anything other than denial be expected from Debbie Zimmerman? Still Zimmerman decided that her denial was going to be in the form of threat, intimidation and the shutdown of Mayorgate. Brian McMullan also threatened to shut down Mayorgate, and it was no different than the imaginary statutory declaration.

In the Notice of Action delivered by Sack Goldblatt Michell LLP there are six selected quotations which are claimed to be hurtful to Debbie Zimmerman. As always done by lawyers each is taken out of its particular flow and context to suit a claim. Trying to dissect these at this time will consume too many words. These quotations are followed by another heading 'The Comment,' relating to the fact that Mayorgate permits readers to comment. One such reader had done so, his name as it appears is Fred Bracken. Zimmerman's legal eagle claims that Fred Bracken had “further defamed Ms. Zimmerman” by saying, “Having an affair with a fellow regional council is news everyone should hear.”

I particularly like this statement made on behalf of Debbie Zimmerman. “As publisher of the Article, and encouraging the Comment, you are jointly and severally liable for its defamatory content.” It is true I encourage comment and not only on the articles as they are posted. Debbie Zimmerman could have made her comments if she had desired. Instead she aims to intimidate and threaten.

Not only do I encourage comment on the articles, I also seek comment from individuals often via email. I had done so in this case. I had sent three emails which I had not spoken of in the article. No response was received to either one. I had sent emails previously to Mayor Brian McMullan asking for comment where he had ignored my questions. I had sent emails to Chair Gary Burroughs, to Councillors, and more each refusing to respond. The reason is simple, my questions are not sanitised like the other so called media. Zimmerman may have erased the email but I have copies, and if she refused to comment it was her decision.

According to the eagle of law, Zimmerman, his client, “is certainly aware of the allegations in the McMullan divorce matter, which she denies in their entirety...” As this “divorce matter” is before the courts and Debbie Zimmerman has not proven that Mrs. McMullan is a liar, this whole threat is based only on her word. For this reason I have decided to publish several pages from the documents filed at the Superior Court. A portion of this is a statement made by Mrs. McMullan and it is not easy to read at times.

In a divorce there are often outrageous claims and accusations. Betrayal brings with it pain and emotional distress, in this statement the pain is evident. I have also reported that an attempt to seal the documents has been made and a decision by the judge deferred till the 19th of June, 2014. Divorces are no different to any other matter before the courts. Richard G. Dearden, a partner with Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP in Ottawa, Canada represented The Ottawa Citizen, CTV Inc., The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Global Television and The Ottawa Sun before the Court of Appeal for Ontario after numerous non-publication and sealing orders had been issued in a high profile divorce case. The Court of Appeal on January 24th 2012 set aside the sealing orders and publication bans.

Justice Doherty, one of the three presiding Justices at the Court of Appeal for Ontario saidThe evidence cannot support the (the lower courts) conclusion that the orders were necessary to prevent a serious risk to the proper administration of justice. Absent that finding, the orders could not have been made under the controlling jurisprudence.” (Cristina Schmitz, Sweeping ban is set aside,, Feb. 10, 2012). Justice Doherty also confirmed that “personal emotional distress and embarrassment cannot justify limiting publication of, or access to, court proceedings and records.”

Richard G. Dearden concluded in his article titled Heavy Evidentiary Burden Imposed On Litigants Seeking Publication Bans and Sealing Orders, “Freedom of the press and the open court principle in family law proceedings were at stake in this appeal. Family law litigants cannot simply file hearsay evidence from their psychiatrist or psychologist who accuse the media of feeding frenzies and invasions of privacy. The convincing evidentiary standard is a significant burden to overcome and is not met even in cases of real emotional distress and embarrassment. ....Openness is the rule. Secrecy is the exception. Litigants have an extremely high evidentiary threshold to overcome to obtain any secrecy regarding Court proceedings and records filed in Court files.” (Richard G. Dearden, MLRC Medical Law Letter,, January 2013).

What “high evidentiary threshold” is Mayor Brian McMullan able to overcome to seal records in his divorce? A source close to Mrs. McMullan has stated in response to my questions regarding the appeal to ban or seal details of these proceedings, that it is not Mrs. McMullan who wanted the ban. It is clear that Mayor McMullan wants the ban as the details of the divorce are extremely uncomfortable for him.

It is not difficult to understand why Mayor Brian McMullan wants to seal the details of the divorce from public scrutiny. Ms. Debbie Zimmerman may not want this to be made public and claim all kinds of hurt feelings but serious questions remain unanswered.

As I had said, I sent emails asking for comment and was ignored. That is nothing new to me. Mayorgate is hated for a simple fact, I as publisher won't play any games with the truth and with fact. I owe no one any favours and make no alliances. So the threat to shut Mayorgate down is not new. I will not give into threat, at the same time I will not ignore any opportunity to present all sides of a story. The decision to ignore that opportunity is only the choice of the individual who makes that decision.

An email was sent to Chairman Gary Burroughs regarding this whole situation, I asked Chair Burroughs specific questions, as I had of McMullan and Zimmerman, Burroughs ignored that email. Yet a request for a Freedom of Information application had been filed wanting access to my email to Burroughs. Who made this request? How could they know that I had sent an email to Burroughs unless it was someone like Brian McMullan or Debbie Zimmerman who had ignored my emails to them? A private communications between a constituent and a head of government is now the centre of a Freedom of Information application. Asking who, how and why leads to only more questions.

Bullying, intimidation and slander are the tools of cowards, Brian McMullan came to my place of work with a threat on Mother's Day. It now appears the supposed statutory declaration was simply another lie by Brian McMullan. Was it meant to frighten me in some way I don't know. I have had reason to deal with the Conservation Authority and I do get two days a week off, the rest is only in the mind of a coward. Whether or not Ms. Zimmerman likes it she is named by Mrs. McMullan and statements made by Mrs. McMullan cannot be ignored. The source close to Mrs. McMullan also stated that Mayor Brian McMullan and Debbie Zimmerman were witnessed going into the King Edward Hotel in Toronto together. The witness then confirmed the room booking and the name it was booked under.

Debbie Zimmerman has claimed that the article I wrote was unfair and defamed her. She had refused to comment. Brian McMullan refused to comment. Regional Chairman Gary Burroughs refused to make a comment. Yet Zimmerman now has decided to say that Mrs. McMullan is a liar and the whole mess has not even gone to court.

Reading Attachment A provided by Mrs. McMullan to the divorce file leaves the reader distressed. Bullet 3 (the individual points are not numbered) and 4 speak for themselves, as one reads further Bullet 6 hits the hardest. It is easy to understand why Brian McMullan wants the details sealed. Amongst all the clearly evident pain in Attachment A's author, Bullet 2 truly shows a callous contempt to another's dignity. Brian McMullan had called the police in another matter which had no merit. In the case of Regional Councillor Andy Petrowski, Mayor McMullan called the police, used a court order against Andy Petrowski only to disregard the court's time and public expense by not showing up at the court hearing and dropping the whole matter.

During the period when Brian McMullan lost his home to the bank for non-payment of mortgages the local 'press' called it a private matter. In St. Catharines and the Niagara Region families are struggling on only a few hundred dollars a week to survive, with children to feed and bills to pay. Looking at what Mayor McMullan earns a year it is hard to understand how a base salary of $83,769 that reaches $163,733.01 including expenses is not enough. Bullet 4 truly leaves a shock in anyone's mind.

image: CHV20 - Canada's Government - who is who in government

Now Mayor Brian McMullan has Debbie Zimmerman do her threat. As publisher I asked questions and will continue to do so. I am not The Standard, I am not Marlene Bergsma and I will not lie or sanitise the facts for Mayor Brian McMullan, or anyone. Mrs. McMullan's pain is clear and evident, and Debbie Zimmerman calls her a liar. Here Zimmerman and her legal eagle may try and take offense to such a fact. Yet if you claim something is not true then the opposite of truth is a lie.

Debbie Zimmerman had also provided bullets in the Notice of Action. She expects that only her word is to be taken as truth. She does not answer any questions and only calls Mrs. McMullan a liar. Though her attempt to intimidate Mayorgate has close similarities to Brian McMullan's. If Brian McMullan is successful in sealing the court proceedings then no one will know the truth. If Brian McMullan makes a deal with Mrs. McMullan then no one will know the truth.

At this time Debbie Zimmerman can lay claim to hurt feelings yet the trial for divorce has not begun. She is the woman identified in legally filed documents at the Superior Court. When she was approached, as were others, for comment she ignored the approach. Now she first has to successfully prove that she is not the 'other' woman and that Ruth McMullan lied. That has to be done in court and in the open. Instead Debbie Zimmerman decides she is going to threaten, intimidate and attack. Yet Brian McMullan has not denied anything at all.

Mayorgate answers all threats publicly and will not run from the truth. There are still serious questions to be asked and as new information has come forward those questions and more will be raised here on Mayorgate.

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Friday, June 6, 2014

Election Caravan of 2014

On June 12th 2014 Ontarians are off to vote in another provincial election, it is also a year that will host the municipal election festival across the province. For now we have the three main parties running around trying to sell what they are about. Naturally each party selects candidates in local areas who may in some way correspond with the party values and ideals. Here in St. Catharines that is almost an ironic joke.

First to hit the treadmill is the sitting government led by Premier Kathleen Wynne. The Ontario Liberals have had a rough ride of late. Scandals shadow the party and the notion of skeletons in the closet has almost reached the level of a Greek Comedy.

When Dalton McGuinty made a run for the back door he left behind a mess. Kathleen Wynne has tried to put on a face of a strong leader interested in only the future. Has the smoke and mirror game worked? Maybe this election will turn out to be a true test if the alternatives had some real value in them.

Wynne's Liberals can't get past two major stumbling blocks and both are related to each other. First off the horrific bungling of the gas plant cancellations. No Ontarian can in any way understand how the taxpayer is to be responsible for such a massive cost. No matter how Wynne or her cohorts try, no excuse, no lie can fully explain what had happened, and the truth will never see the light of day. After all this is Canada and we do not hold our elected representatives accountable for anything, that would take courage and it has never happened.

Second, and equally horrific is the mess surrounding the deletion of emails and the fraudulent cover-up of documentation. In this case it is the criminal code that has been breached and no one would believe that such drastic actions were simply the act of some underling. Ministers had to be involved and possibly at the highest level. True we still hear of ongoing investigations and the opposition bellowing on the campaign trail. Wynne still talks of moving on and not dwelling on the past. In the end no investigation will result in action taken or charges laid, not against a minister.

So the Liberal caravan is on the road, with possibly only one saving issue in their hands as an offering, and that is an Ontario Retirement Pension Plan. There are those who have criticised the whole idea as something we don't need. Noticeably the criticism comes from those living off the public purse and living rather well. Can it be possible to ignore all the dishonesty and deceit over one good idea?

Back in St. Catharines the Liberals have a veteran running once again in the name of Jim Bradley. This Liberal holds the record for the longest sitting MPP at Queen's Park. Jim Bradley also is the minister who had given direct instructions to two directors at the Ministry of Environment to alter documents already presented at the legislature some two years prior. All of this to simply protect pals in the Niagara area. When his pal Mayor Brian McMullan broke the law and fixed a lawful by-law fine, Jim Bradley as the Minister for Municipal Affairs ensured no action was taken against Mayor Brian McMullan, he even made a financial contribution to Mayor McMullan's re-election dish.

During the horrific C-difficile outbreak as bodies of innocent victims fell around him Jim Bradley simply waived around the Liberal cheque book and the promise of a new hospital. A new hospital St. Catharines did get, going well over budget costing in the end close to $759 million, and leaving a mountain of questions in relation to its location. Once again 2014 sees Jim Bradley walking the beat and telling all who will listen that he can be trusted. At the same time his opponents in St. Catharines are far from an exciting pair. Jimbo's record is not likely to be broken in 2014.

Speaking of opponents the Liberals are up against Tim Hudak's Conservatives and Andrea Horwath's NDP. How much of a race this really is, it's hard to predict. Tim Hudak has blown it before and once again he started off by putting the working families on side by promising to cut 100,000 public service jobs. He has made it clear he wishes to slash at social services that are provided to the most vulnerable in our community. Tim Hudak also made a swipe at teachers and the hair salons. He has clearly endeared himself to the average individual who makes up the majority of the voting public.

In St. Catharines the Conservatives chose their representative months ago. He is Mat Siscoe, a school teacher at Saint Paul High School in Niagara Falls. Mat Siscoe is a physics teacher, and by explaining the laws of physics he may shed light on the Conservative platform. As a politician Mat Siscoe really is not one. He is a first time councillor elected to the St. Catharines City Council with no other prior experience. As a City Councillor Siscoe has been a shy one with little said or done to gain any attention. If form or past actions were to be considered he is definitely not a boat rocker. When it came to vote for a new by-law to be implemented on behalf of a developer who had broken the law willingly for over five years, and taking into consideration that a fellow councillor Jeff Burch lied to council, Mat Siscoe raised his hand with all the rest.

The third opponent out of the starting gate comes in the shape of the NDP and Andrea Horwath. Now Horwath has been around for a while, she has flirted with the Liberals offering support, then like a little child changed her mind. Who really knows what's on Horwath's mind. This time out she has said that the corruption of the Liberals was enough and she was not willing to take it anymore.

Andrea Horwath said “I'm guided by my principles,” she also seems to like taking quotes as the one by John Steinbeck, “Power does not corrupt. Fear corrupts... perhaps the fear of a loss of power.” She then accused the Liberals of cynical manoeuvring and “politics of the worst kind.” As of the 29th of May there began reports of a possible coalition government between the Liberals and the NDP.

So what principles guide Andrea Horwath? The NDP selected candidate for St. Catharines is one Jennie Stevens. She is not known for any truly eloquent statements though she is known for something less pleasant. On her candidate profile for the Our Team section of Andrea Horwath's Makes Sense web page, Jennie Stevens lays claim to this statement about herself: “Worked closely with the Niagara Health System to protect healthcare in St. Catharines after the loss of the St. Catharines General Hospital.” Has anyone told Jennie Stevens of the newly built St. Catharines General Hospital on 4th Avenue which ran over budget with a final cost around $759 million. Oops!, a lie or just a little error?

Since principles are of high value to Andrea Horwath an email was sent to her with one major question relating to the chosen candidate for St. Catharines. There has been no response from Andrea Horwath or any crony from her camp. Jennie Stevens NDP Candidate ran from any potential questions, though the issue does not disappear simply because it is damaging and proves the level of hypocrisy both from Andrea Horwath and Jennie Stevens.

In 2010 Jennie Stevens left a telephone answering machine message. That message in Steven's own voice confirmed that she brought an issue of a by-law fine to St. Catharines Mayor Brian McMullan, and in her own voice Jennie Stevens confirmed that Mayor Brian McMullan had fixed the lawfully issued fine so as the individual did not have to pay it. An Integrity Commissioner confirmed that such an act was a criminal breach of law. Jennie Stevens had threatened legal action when the recording of her voice was first released. Naturally Stevens did not follow through with her threat.

As you listen to the voice of Jennie Stevens one thing stands clear, principles were not and are not part of anything she had in mind when she left that message. Jennie Stevens now represents the NDP and Andrea Horwath has her face on every sign with the name of Jennie Stevens. Andrea Horwath runs from the truth and refuses to answer a simple question. What principles really guide Andrea Horwath?

June 12th is nearing us all, and Ontarians will have to make a choice in the end. In St. Catharines it is hard to see anything but a win for Jim Bradley, regardless of the scandals or the corruption. His opponents are either inexperienced or simply hold no credibility. The Conservative candidate Mat Siscoe can only carry the hardline supporters of the Conservative Party. Anyone looking for an alternative to Jim Bradley will find it difficult to justify a vote for Mat Siscoe.

On the other hand the NDP candidate Jennie Stevens carries with her dark questions that even her party leader runs from. Corruption was an issue raised against Jennie Stevens several years ago and no answer has been provided. Andrea Horwath it appears sees little faith in her candidate as all of the signs with Stevens' name provide a third of the space for a photo of Horwath.

Clint Eastwood had to deal with only 'The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly' while here in St. Catharines we have 'the shy, the corrupt and the conniving.' Take your pick and good luck for the next four years.

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