No I didn’t

January 31, 2011


I have come to expect in my position to be told things I have said but haven’t, places I’ve been but wasn’t and actions I have taken but didn’t.

For instance, when the Smoking By-law came into effect, several restaurants felt they had found a way around the by-law.  One constituent was very angry with me because I had, according to her, eaten in one of these restaurants.  When I responded that I had actually never been to the restaurant in question, she replied that I was clearly lying.

Sometimes it is amusing and sometimes irritating.  Mostly, I am puzzled.

Sometimes, I wonder why what has been suggested is an issue in the first place.  Sometimes I wonder if it was true, why would I lie about it? And sometimes I really struggle to understand what my motivation could possibly be.

I was reminded of this today as I travelled down to be part of the official opening of the new LCBO at Clair and Gordon.  There were A LOT of people at the opening.

Apparently during the election, there was a rumour going around that I was personally interfering with the LCBO opening in this location.

First, I like the LCBO (especially their magazine!)

Second, help me out. What possible reason would a Mayor have not to want to see new retail services come to a growing part of our city?

Third, Council, let alone the Mayor, does not even have that level of control.  We approve the Official Plan which determines where commercial development will occur. The planning for the commercial node at Clair and Gordon occurred several years ago.  Council does not approve where individual businesses will locate.  That decision is up to the business sector and the results of their market analysis, confidence in the economy and business planning decisions.

It was Councillor Todd Dennis that brought this rumour to my attention.  He thought it sounded ridiculous.  He was right.

I do understand that it can be very frustrating for the first people moving into a new neighbourhood because commercial development always follows residential development.  Once businesses have the confidence that their customer base is there, they will come.  Sometimes there is a long wait for this point to be reached but we have clearly reached that tipping point at Clair and Gordon.

About Karen Farbridge

An unwavering change maker seeking a just, democratic and sustainable world.

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2 Comments on “No I didn’t”

  1. Marc Seguin Says:

    This has a bit of defensiveness. I really felt you were above that. I guess we are all human and have our sensitive spots. Try to rise above false accusations. Eventually it reveals more about your opponents than it does about you.

  2. kfarbridge Says:

    Actually not feeling defensive about this at all – at least not today 😉

    I thought it was illustrative and a helpful story to address some common misconceptions about local government and the role of municipal politicians.

    While some of these rumours are politically motivated, I do believe some arise from an honest misunderstanding of how the “system” works. I also feel the reason why some of these rumours land so well in our community says more about that misunderstanding than anything else.

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