Thursday, December 22, 2011

Big Thanks To Fundraiser Supporters

I would like to say thank you to those who came out to the card game in aid of Blair Tapper and his family last night. It was a tremendous turnout, I think there was 28 tables of 6 people and probably another 15 to 20 or so who didn't play cards. I would also like to thank all the people who didn't come to the card game but helped out in other ways with donations, buying tickets and everything else you have done.

Last night was a great example of how a community can rally together to help out a person in need. Lets us all pray that this next round of treatment sets Blair on the road to recovery and we can take some pride in the fact that we have come together to try and made that journey a little easier on Blair and his family.

PS: I am not sure who won all the prizes but I do know that Darryl Gosse won the Liquor Tree.

Friday, December 16, 2011

The New Budget Is Out And Tax Hikes Are Coming

I guess this answers my question as to whether there would be any public consultations regarding budget expenditures. I noticed that the budget is posted on the town website and tax hikes are coming.

In these times when people are not getting raises at work and jobs are being cut left right and center our council is increasing spending across the board. I guess this is why they don't hold public consultation process, so they can ram this stuff down our throats without so much as a whimper.

The budget document that the town puts on the website is a joke when it comes to actually showing people where our money is going. It is a pathetic 7 page document including cover pages and charts that is basically an overview. Typically this is what the town post on the site and I am hoping they post the entire budget document so we can see where all the money is going. Anyway here is a brief summary of how they are intending on increasing spending and taxes.

Public Works Department - 20% increase in spending
Planning and Development - 19% increase in spending
Economic Development - 33% increase in spending
Recreation - 22% increase in spending
Heritage and 2012 Commemorations - 57% increase in spending
Torbay Fire Department - 1.7% increase in spending
Administration - 2.5% increase in spending

Now with all these increases in spending they are going to smack us with a 0.75 increase in the mill rate. As if we are not paying enough all ready for the services we receive. Despite this something seems weird to me with the numbers. I am sure they all add up but I don't know how.

Our overall budget only went up $109,011.17
Despite that and the fact that we had a budget surplus last year that is getting applied to this year we are still looking for $390,104.38 extra revenues to have a balanced budget, that is where the tax increase comes in.

I don't mind paying taxes but don't jack up my taxes so that you can increase spending like drunken sailors. So basically there has not been a peep from one councilor about the fact that we have a big tax hike coming. Why is that? Someone over in that chamber must be uneasy about raising taxes while increasing spending.

Hopefully the entire budget document will be made available soon so we can pick through it and see exactly where all these increases are being spent. Are we increasing taxes on homeowners so that we can come up with money to throw big concerts and celebrate our town? Well I don't think that getting a big tax increase is something worth celebrating.

Basically for every 100,000 assessed value on your home you are going to be paying an extra $75 dollars in property taxes so judge for your self if you think this is a good idea or not.

Design Update

Made a few changes to the design of my blog. Any feedback you can give me would be nice. For that person who has nothing better to post than calling me a meat head don't bother LOL

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Torbay Yearly Budget

I have been reading in the council minutes that the yearly budget meetings are under way and I was wondering what is going on with them. I have heard significant mention of the fact that the City of St John's has budget consultations under way and wondered if there was a similar thing in Torbay. I have also lived in other jurisdictions where they do exactly the same thing.
I sent an email to the Town Council and the Town CAO to ask just that question. I would imagine that it would be a good thing for residents to be involved in the budget process so that we can have a say in what our priorities are and where we think money should be spent.

Maybe some residents feel that we need to install sidewalks along certain roads in our community and that would be the place to put the argument forward. Other resident might not want to spend an outrageous amount of money to hire a band like Great Big Sea to play for our town celebrations next year.

It would occur to me that if very few people go to council meetings, and information only trickles out of the town with regards to what is going on, and then a budget consultation process would be the best way for Council to set priorities according to what the residents feel they should be right now.

Lets face it some people cast their vote every four years in the municipal election then never give a second thought to how the town is run until the nest election. People need to get more involved and have a greater say in how we prioritize in our town and give council direction on how we want to proceed instead of council directing us.

Most times in our town by the time the general public find out what is going on the decisions have already been made. Council meeting minutes that are published to the town website are at least 2 weeks behind because they need to be approved at the next council meeting before being posted, as I understand it. From my experience they are usually around a month behind but I have to give them credit because when I first started reviewing the minutes on line they were several month behind so they have certainly improved in that area. For instance the most recent meeting minutes on the town website today are from Nov 14th, considering  that there was a meeting on Nov 28th those minutes were approved at the Dec 12th meeting I see no reason why they haven't already been posted. In fact I think they should be posted the day after the meeting with a disclaimer that they are not the FINAL approved minutes but that is just me.

The other source of information that reports on council is the North East Avalon Times or the Portugal Cove Paper as I like to affectionately call it is only published monthly. This means that by the time you get that paper in your hand you are reading about events that have already taken place and possibly decided. Possibly the greatest source of information we have at our disposal is word of mouth. When someone hears about something going on in the town that they thing people should know about they should tell their friends and spread the word. For instance I get updates from the TETC about what is going on with the Gosse's Pond development. I have been meaning to write an update on that but have not been able to do so as of yet. Despite my falling behind on that issue they are still providing me and many other people with the pertinent information with regards to what is going on and to a lot of other people too.

This type of information sharing is what we need to do in our town to ensure we develop with the interest of the residents in mind. It is difficult for anyone especially council to know what our priorities are if we don't tell them.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Card Game Fundraiser For Blair Tapper

There is going to be a card game fundraiser for Blair Tapper on Wednesday, December 21, 2011. Blair is my brother in law and he has been battling cancer for the last year. He is self employed and the wear and tear and necessity to rest have seriously hindered his ability to work and earn a living. Blair just finished a complete round of chemotherapy and now he just found out he will need to have a second round of treatment.

There is a facebook event set up and it would be greatly appreciated if you would consider going or if you can't go a donation would be great.

At this time of year it really hurts to see a family have to go through something like this, especially when they are so young and have young children. Hopefully many people will answer the call to help.

The Card Game will be held at the Holy Trinity High School, Wednesday December 21, 2011

If you would like to get more information you can contact Bud Tapper at 437-5998 or 691-6328.
Donations will be greatly appreciated.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Santa Clause Parade A Great Time

I haven't had time to get this post done past the heading but I wanted to say that the parade was great and the kids loved it. If I have only one complaint it would be that there were no garbage containers to put the Tim Horton's cups in that were left over from the free hot chocolate.

This was even more evident when I looked into our town sign and saw all the garbage piling up in there. To make matters worse it was still piled up there when I drove by at 12:00 Sunday. Well at least the kids had a good time and that is what these events are all about after all.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Traffic Lights On Bauline Line Not Working This Morning

As I stopped at the red light this morning on the Bauline Line I was informed by John Martin who is still out there with his sign protesting that the lights were not changing. I made a call to report it and hopefully it is not something that will be a common occurrence.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Finally The By-Pass Road Is Opening Today

I was just talking to one of the people taking the coverings off the road signs and she confirmed that it is indeed opening today.

I wonder how long it will be open before the first accident?

I am betting that it will be before the end of the week.

Friday, November 18, 2011

New Community Center In The Works?

I have been asking questions about this now for a couple of weeks and this is what I have found out combined with what I read in the Northeast Avalon Times today.

In 2009 the Town of Torbay adopted its recreation master plan. Since then the town has been moving forward with the implementation of that plan which includes a key component being a new Town Center. This town centre will house a new community center as well as a museum and public library and will be located on the parcel of land behind the current Town offices.

Within the community centre it is proposed that it will include a gym, multi-purpose rooms and a swimming pool. There will also be a reception area with visitor centre providing people with source of information related to the town and the general area. This will tie in with the fact that we are the gateway to the Killick Coast Touring route and highlight the East Coast Trail.

As indicated in a story in the Northeast Avalon Times there are also plans to have an outdoor skating rink in the winter. All I have to say to that is GOOD LUCK! I have some experience working on outdoor rinks both here in Torbay and in a more rink friendly environment in Ottawa. The amount of work involved in maintaining a rink like that is huge and volunteers are key. I don’t want to be paying Town employees to maintain an outdoor rink. I will gladly offer my services to help with that type of community project if it ever gets off the ground.

This past year the town conducted a feasibility study to examine the operating cost of this new facility. As part of that study there was a regional phone survey conducted to examine the catchment area in relation to swimming pools in the St John’s / Mount Pearl and the new Y on Ridge Road. Based on that study it has been determined that the pool is feasible on a regional approach. The reason for this is because the regulation with regards to population for a swimming pool is 10,000 people. Obviously Torbay doesn’t have a large enough population so a regional approach is mandatory in this endeavor.

The Torbay Council passed a motion on July 25, 2011 to proceed with the funding application and to seek letters of support from various interests. Before the submission of the application final approval must be given by council and that must have happened recently because a request has been sent to government for capital funding. Basically what that means in my view is that enough of the surrounding towns need to offer support for the project and I have no idea if that support has been requested. I do know that Mr. Parsons has not received a request for a letter of support and has no knowledge if the other towns have been contacted as confirmed by him this morning

As reported in the Times a request has been sent to Government for $16,000,000 under the 80/20 Multi-year Capital Works provincial program where by the town would pay 20% and the government the rest. I am not sure if the Town requested this money separately or as part of a larger infrastructure spending request. According to the MHA there is a proposal before government for a total of $25,000,000 in infrastructure spending with a wide range of projects included.

After speaking to the MHA for the district I got the impression that he is concerned that the town can’t seem to nail down its priorities. This is not the first time I have heard this opinion of Torbay Council and it seems to be a view that is widely held by many residents I speak to. They feel that council is all over the place with regards to what they want to accomplish and if you ask each councilor what the towns main priority is you would probably get several different answers. One might say a Town Centre, another will say sidewalks, and others may chime in on water and sewer. The advantage to having well defined priorities is that it would enable Mr. Parsons to work with council to have a more focused approach and a better chance to achieve common goals when requesting government funding. With this in mind however Councilor Tapper did state in the Times that is a priority, my question to that would be is this A priority or THE priority right now?

In the weeks ahead the Town of Torbay will be conducting their strategic planning sessions and hopefully coming up with a plan to move forward. This would be a great opportunity for the town to get it’s priorities straight and then deliver them to the people of the town. I look forward to hearing the results of those sessions and seeing the vision that council has for the future of our town, it certainly has every opportunity to be bright.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Torbay Pass-By Road Still Not Open

Yes I said Pass-By because that is what we have been doing to this road for the past few years. I was pretty confident that this road would have been opened this morning but I guess the fact that it has been raining prevented the contractor from putting the rest of the paint on it. God knows that all the dry weather we had so far in November wasn't enough time to pint a few lines.

One thing that I have noted though is how people are stopping or at least slowing at the red flashing lights on Bauline Line. I would say that it is a pretty smart move considering all the vehicles that have been using that road over the past few months.

I was pretty disappointed to learn that the remainder of Torbay Road won't be completed this year and we will all have to endure that washboard effect that Weirs has left us with. I was also surprised to hear that it will actually be Farrell's who will ultimately be finishing that portion of the road as well. One thing that we can say is that the pavement that Farrell's has done to this point seems to be well laid. Certainly a contrast from what the other contractor left us with between the by-pass road and the old airport road.

I am certainly not optimistic that Bauline Line will be paved this year either and that is especially disappointing to me as this is a road I use every day. The stretch of pavement between the Kinsmen Centre and Buckley's Hill is nothing less that brutal. After the coming winter I suspect that it will only get worse and before long the potholes will reveal themselves.

You know it is nice to see all the infrastructure money getting spent in our area by the provincial government but I just wish that someone would hold these contractors to account for the delays and time overruns. Why must the people be the only ones to suffer for what appears to be foot dragging by the various contractors involved in building that road.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Update on Jack Byrne Arena

I was speaking to the Chair of the Board of Directors, Brad Power, who also happens to be a Councilor in Logy Bay Middle Cove Outer Cove (LBMCOC). I have to say I was delighted to get the opportunity to speak to him and discuss the Jack Byrne Arena and one issue in particular was the snow clearing contract I had alluded to in an earlier post.

First and foremost Mr. Power was very forthcoming and answered all the questions I had and provided me with information above and beyond what I was looking for. He seems to be a very nice fellow and I look forward to speaking with him in the future.

I guess the first thing that needs to be mentioned is that the arena operates independently of all the towns that own the facility. It operates under the guidance of an arms length board of directors that consists of 10 members, 5 of which are Councilors, two from Torbay and one from each of the other towns. The other 5 members are citizen representatives and break down the same way as the towns in way of numbers. The manager of the arena is responsible for the day to day operations.

Even thought the arena is owned by a group of four towns; Flatrock, LBMCOC, Pouch Cove and Torbay it does not receive public funding to operate on a yearly basis unless they happen to find themselves in an operating deficit. With this in mind it also has to be mentioned that they are not required by law to seek tenders for purchasing and other contracts like snow clearing. This does not mean that they don't issue these types of tenders it just means that they really don't have to if they don't want to.

However because it is a community owned enterprise and the board wants to be open and transparent about everything, they do engage in the public tendering process. In fact the contract for snow clearing has gone to tender in previous years. The arena does offer the winning contractor the opportunity to extend the contract for an additional year at the same price if they choose to do it and that is what is happening this year. Here are some recent numbers to demonstrate how the contract has been handled since 2008.

These are the snow clearing contract prices for the last number of years

2008 - $7190 per month (Contract awarded through tender)
2009 - $7190 per month (Contract was extended for this year because the previous year was only three months as they had just opened so they rolled it in)
2010 - $5800 per month (Contract awarded through tender)
2011 - $4666 per month (Contract awarded through tender because an extension was declined by the contractor from the previous year)
2012 - $4666 per month (Contractor and Arena agreed to extend contract for an additional year)
2013 - Will go to tender again.

Mr. Power commented on how the price of everything seems to be going up and it is reflected in the range of bids they get each time they put the contract to tender. However as the numbers indicate they have managed to lower the actual cost of the snow clearing contract each year. The fact they offer the option to extend the contract for an additional year in my opinion offers a certain amount of cost certainty for a two year period, provided the contractor and the arena agree to extend it. As well I would think that the contractor would be conscience of the fact that if they provide an acceptable level of service that the contract could be theirs for an additional year. This practice seems like a win-win situation for all parties.

I have been told there are some exciting opportunities on the horizon for Jack Byrne Arena. One of which is the Arenas desire to obtain funding from various levels of government to purchase a new floor to put over the ice. This would enable the arena to host a wider range of activities and generate greater revenues, all of which is good for the future of the arena and the stake holders that own it….that is you and me.

I am sure that our MHA Mr. Kevin Parsons will be called upon to try and obtain the necessary funding for this improvement to take place on our behalf. So don’t be afraid to get your emails going to let him know that we would really like this money to improve our arena.

I am going to try and speak to Mr. Power again in the future to try and keep current on the happenings at Jack Byrne Arena.

Hopefully that paving will be finished this week

Well the traffic was brutal this evening and judging from how much they actually got paved we are going to be in for a long couple of days before it is finished. I just say look on the bright side, it is some short term pain for long term gain. We have been complaining about our roads here for a few years and now that they are getting fixed we are still complaining that they are taking too long. It won't be long before we are complaining that another section of road sucks HINT: Bauline Line, which I thought was supposed to get paved as well.

I would suggest that if you can avoid Torbay Road the next couple of days do it, otherwise, just sit back and relax and hopefully it will all be over soon enough.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Big Thank You To Town Staff

I went to the council meeting last night and at the end of the meeting I had a chance to discuss the fact that there is a serious need for some pole lights on Bauline Line roughly between my house and Max's Auto. They said they would look at it and at 9:42am this morning I received and email from the town CAO Dawn Chaplin informing me that a request had been submitted to NL Power to have a pole light installed roughly around 445 Bauline Line.

This is good for a couple of reasons, first of all we need the pole light but second of all the only light in our area is on the pole in front of my neighbours and they have been paying the bill for that for several years. This should allow them to get rid of that light now if they want to and save that money.

I know many people say they have trouble dealing with the town and they can never get anything done. This is certainly one example of where a simple request was made and the town took swift action to rectify the situation. I want to thank them for a job well done. Hopefully NL Power will work with as much urgency that the staff at the town did.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Torbay 2012 Celebrations

I guess the big year is approaching and the town has big plans for next years celebration. I took a lot of abuse over the fact I complained that the town was proposing to spend $200,000 to bring Great Big Sea here for a concert. So I figured I would try and find some more information about it so I contacted Councilor Roche because she is on the Special Committee for the 2012 Celebrations.

I asked her some very straight forward questions that she hopefully can answer because I couldn't imagine anyone pursuing such an event on this scale without first answering these questions.

1) How many people do you think are going to attend?
2) How much will tickets cost?
3) Where are we going to hold the concert?
4) What is the potential shortfall for the town if we don’t sell enough tickets?
5) Do we have an exit strategy if not enough tickets are sold to cover the cost?

Hopefully more to come when I get some answers and I am sure I will get them eventually.

Is the snow clearing contract at Jack Byrne Arena being tendered?


I am going to be getting more information on this sometime this week and hopefully clear it up. There may be a misunderstanding and I have to follow up on it.


I have been told by a contractor in Torbay who called out to Jack Byrne Arena to ask when the tender for snow clearing would be coming out and was told there would be no tender and they are giving the contract to the guy who had it last year. 

The obvious problem here is that they are spending our tax dollars to pay for a service without even allowing other people to put a bid on it. Maybe we can get a better price if we allowed some competition in the bidding process.

The other part about this that is even more bothersome is the possibility that preferential treatment could be given to a particular company. I am not sure who is responsible for awarding the contract but it seems to me that all the towns involved in the operation of that arena have a stake in how they spend our money. 

I have sent an email to the Mayor asking him if this awarding of a snow clearing contract without a tender is in fact what is happening. I would like to hear what he has to say before I pass judgement on the issue as there may be extenuating circumstances that need to be explained.

Hopefully there will be more to come on this.


That is how many votes Kevin Parsons got last night in the election. That vote total was the highest of any candidate in the province. Congratulations Kevin on a tremendous showing and you certainly got a result worthy of all the hard work you and your campaign team put in.

2623, that is the number of votes that Geoff Gallant garnered and I would like to also congratulate Geoff on a great campaign. The vote totals that were tallied in our district of Cape St. Francis demonstrated that when good candidates work hard and connect with the people they will get out and vote.

Good job both of you and good luck Kevin.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Election Day is Today, Please Go Vote

I won't say that I don't care who you vote for because I have my preference, however I would say that you should go out and vote. Over the past number of elections right across this country voter turn out has been getting lower and lower and people have become disengaged and cynical about politics.

We are lucky here in NL that we have an economy that is humming along pretty good and candidates that are worthy of our votes especially the PC candidate Kevin Parsons. We need to get out and cast our ballot or else we are letting someone else decide for us.

Good luck to all the candidates in this election.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving Torbay

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone and I hope you enjoy the holiday. I think of all the things we have to give thanks for over the past year and the list goes on and on. Here is a few things I am thankful for today.

1) My Wife - She has been with me now for over 20 years and keeps me inline when I need it.

2) My Kids - They are pretty much the world to me and along with my wife the reason I get up in the morning and do what I need to do to give them what they need.

3) My Extended Family - Where would we be without our families? They are always there to lend a hand or provide advice or just listen.

4) Good Friends - There is something about good friends that can't be found anywhere else in your life. 

5) My Community - I give thanks that I live in a town that is safe and where kids can play and grow up without the constant fear of violence or crime around every corner. It is not perfect but the people living here make it as close as it can be. 

6) The Montreal Canadiens and the Toronto Maple Leafs. One team that I love and another that I love to hate. They are my Yin and Yang, they are complimentary opposites that keep life in balance and an escape from the rigors of everyday life. 

Happy Thanksgiving everyone and take a minute today to think about what you are thankful for.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Nice to see the town taking my ideas

I was driving up the road the other day and noticed this little trailer parked on the side of Torbay Road and it was telling me the speed limit and also my speed. I said to myself, I wonder where I was that before? Then I realized that over a year ago on August 18, 2010 I posted on my blog that this very thing was something that the town should consider and they did and I am very happy. These things work because they are not that common around here and they do catch your attention.

I don't care where they got the idea but I am glad they have it and are trying to do something to curb speeding along that school zone. Good job council and staff.

We have Curb Side Recycling Finally!!!

It took a long time and I have been talking about recycling on this page for a good while now. Finally on Tuesday I was able to put it out on the curb. I missed the first week but didn't miss this week. I put out 8 bags of recycling that may have otherwise went into the garbage, reduced my bags of garbage going to the landfill by several bags.

I am still curious to find out exactly how this program is going to work. I heard the mayor speak about the large tipping fees the town pays at the dump each year for our regular garbage, something in the neighbourhood of $40,000 I think. Anyway I saw that the tender was awarded to DBI Garbage Removal Ltd.. 
RESOLVED THAT the Town of Torbay award tender number 2011006 for curbside recycling for the period of September 12, 2011 to December 31, 2012 to the low bidder,DBI Garbage Removal Ltd.. The cost per household is $2.69 with a monthly cost of $7801.00. Total cost of the reminder of the 2011 fiscal year is $23,403.00. 
So does that mean that the total cost for the year is going to be $93,612? Plus the $23,403 for the remainder of this year? That is how it reads to me.

That is a pretty large expenditure but I think it is the right thing to do for the community. I wonder who gets the money for the recycled products? How does that work? Does the town recoup any money from the materials that we send to the recycling company?

I would be interested to know because our tipping fees are likely not going to drop a whole lot and we are adding almost another $100,000 to our waste disposal budget so instead of having $40,000 we will have $140,000. 

If anyone has any other information that they would like to share on this please be my guest.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Just Found Out We Have a Liberal Candidate

I guess the Liberals are pulling out all the stops and making sure they have a name on the ballot for the election. The candidate that they have running is Joy Buckle and if that name sounds familiar it is because she is the same person that stepped up to run against David Brazil in a by-election last November in Conception Bay East-Bell Island. I guess that is part of her job as a Liberal staffer to run around and run in seats where the Liberals have no one else interested. I say this much for her, she is a dedicated party loyalist.

I guess they did the same thing in Mount Pearl North. A man named Phillip Mullins who sent a tweet this morning expressing interest in running in the seat. 
"So [apparently] there is a liberal candidate opening in my riding. I just sent an email seeing if they'd consider me. Wow. lol."
By the afternoon he was officially the candidate. WOW is right. That is how easy it is to become a Liberal candidate in this election. Just send off an email and voila your name is on the ballot. Really how much checking out of this guy could they have done? He could have been a nut job who was just out for a few kicks and they are just going to put him on the ballot?

Obviously the guy couldn't have been very serious considering he withdrew from the seat during the debate, or maybe he watched the Leader he was supposed to be running for and couldn't get away from him fast enough LOL. 

I wonder will our freshly deposited Liberal candidate will do the same thing? 

Found Another Video, This One For Recruiting Business

I have been trying to find the minutes on the Torbay website, which is horrible to navigate by the way, and came across this video as well. I wonder when they will start airing on CBC and NTV?

Found this Great Video on Town Website

I found this video about Torbay on the town website and I think it is actually quite good. It shows a lot of the features that make our town beautiful and a great place to live. Seems to be very well done and I wonder what the plans are for that video. How is it going to be used to promote the town? Must have cost a good dollar to get that made and it seems fitting that we would use it to advertise and promote the town. I wonder if it is something that was done in anticipation of the big anniversary coming up.

Anyway, take a look and see what you think.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Just Finished Watching The Leaders Debate

Had to record it and watch it late as I was gone to Karate with my son but it was somewhat informative. The first thing I learned is that it is no wonder that we don't have a Liberal candidate running in our district. The leader of the Liberals was by far the worst of the leaders on that debate.

He must think we are all a bunch of idiots when he says he is going to maintain the service of the Coast Guard office here. The Premier rightly pointed out when she asked him how he was going to direct and control Federal Government ships. Of course he had no answer because he is just trying to play up to the sentiments of the people in rural Newfoundland. He must think they are a bunch of idiots too if they will believe any of the stuff coming out of his mouth. I kind of feel sorry for the Liberal voters in our area that they have no candidate. If they did, how could they ever support Kevin Aylward. Yvonne Jones was twice the leader he is, at least she seemed to know what she was talking about. 

Lorraine Michael was her usual well spoken self and displayed her passion for the issues that are close to her heart. She is an advocate for increased social programs and that plays well among her constituents, but she is short on details on how she could ever pay for what she wants to do. I guess that is the advantage of knowing you will not form government is that you can pretty much promise the world, with no fear of ever having to implement it. The Liberals are actually in the same boat.

I liked what the Premier had to say and the direction that the Progressive Conservatives have been leading our province in the last 8 years and it bodes well for the next 4. They have proven to be responsible when it comes to the public purse even though spending has increased a lot they have managed at the same time to run surpluses and pay down our debt. 

We have seen a lot of government investment in our area over the last number of years, and despite the fact that we have been inconvenienced by the construction that has been going on, I think it is just short term pain for long term gain. We have a new school, a commitment for another school in our area, a new bypass road which has it's benefits and disadvantages as we all know and a pile of other road work getting done every day.

I can't help but thank Kevin Parsons for all his hard work the past few years. Now that he has his feet wet and gained valuable experience about the workings of government I am sure he is up to the challenge to advocate on our behalf even more. I am looking forward to election day and sending him back to the House of Assembly to serve as our MHA for another 4 years.

Town of Torbay Proclaims World Breastfeeding Week

I got this story from VOCM and thought it was interesting 

The town of Torbay boasts the highest rate of new mothers who breastfeed in the province, and has been the first to officially proclaim next week, World Breastfeeding Week. 81 per cent of new mothers in Torbay breastfeed their babies. A number of moms and their babies, as well as representatives of Eastern Health, were on hand for the proclamation signing Tuesday at Torbay Town Hall.

Election Campaign Going Well

I was speaking to Kevin Parsons last night and he tells me that the response he is getting at the doors is amazing. He says that the support he is receiving from the voters is overwhelming and he really appreciates it. That hasn't stopped him though from going out and pounding the pavement every night to talk to as many people he can and hear their concerns face to face.

One thing for sure Mr. Parsons is not taking this election for granted. I have been told by many people he is working just as hard right now trying to get reelected as he has worked for us over the past 3 years that he has been our MHA. It is reassuring to see a person work for what they get and not just sit back when factors seem to be in their favor.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

A Few Thoughts About Torbay Council And Blogging In General

I have had some comments to a few of my posts that seem a bit overboard to me and just thought I would address one of them at least.
"I think the whole Torbay council needs to be wiped out and new people with new ideas brought on board." Anonymous up there commented that the Torbay council needs to be completely replaced. Sure! What a fabulous idea! Now who do you suppose would be willing to step up to the plate to take on what is virtually a thankless task? How many hours do you suppose they put into being on Council? It's certainly not just those couple of hours of monthly meetings that you hear about. Like being a teacher, there's a lot of work behind the scenes that we don't see or hear about. Please! Find us a whole tableful of replacement Councillors and a whole new Mayor, too! Then sit back while somebody takes swipes at the new kids, complaining about what a piss poor job they're doing and how they don't know what they're talking about, ad nauseum. Public office is not for the faint of heart. Being a good public servant requires more than just putting your face out there. I'm not saying the kids on this on Great Big Waste of Money
You see here is where things get out of hand. First of all I have never once suggested that the entire council or even one member should be replaced. Commenting on the on-goings at council whether you agree with a particular issues or not is a long way from calling for the banishment of the entire council.

I have been following municipal politics pretty closely for about 12 years now; and provincial and federal even longer than that. The fact that you differ on an issue or two doesn't mean that you are against everything that a person, Councillor, MP or MHA does.

People who run for public office deserve admiration and respect for taking on such a daunting role. Someone is always going to oppose you on some issue because you will never make everyone happy. These people work hard and put in a lot of hours to serve their community.

Municipal politicians have the hardest job in my opinion because they are the level of government closest to the people. The decisions they make at council and the policies they pursue effect the population more directly and personally then other levels of government. Add to this the fact that many of the decisions they make effect people they know personally, family members, neighbours and friends. This is an added burden that puts an extreme amount of pressure on a Councillor when it comes time to vote on a particular issue. When you add these circumstances and consider the amount of pay a municipal Councillor or Mayor gets then it is painfully obvious that it is by far one of the most difficult jobs in public service.

People have criticized me and personally attacked me because I have pointed out issues that I don't agree with. I have a right to express my opinion on various decisions of council as a whole of even an individual Councillor if I want to. There is nothing personal to it, as they have chosen to represent the people in public office and the public have a right to question and criticize when they feel the need. 

It is pretty bad that I had to disable Anonymous commenting because of a few people who have nothing better to do then attack me personally and be very hateful. I have no problem with criticism and I usually answer each one with my position. This is evident by the fact that I published a lot of those useless comments, I didn't just delete them and hide them. I think it is important that people get a chance to state their point of view and if they want to use my blog to that that all the better. Differing opinions is what makes politics interesting and advances debate and various issues. It is enjoyable and improves the conversation and gives me and anyone who may read the thread, different perspectives on an issue that they may have never thought of before.

If anyone has a story or issues that they would really like to talk about I would be glad to post your thoughts as an entire post, you could email me it and I will publish it. I would love it if my little website had differing opinions and views from other people. Feel free to contact me and I will certainly entertain the idea. My goal with this website is to try and inform people of the goings on in our town. It is certainly opinionated and subject to my personal views but that is how a blog like this works. The same would be said for any other poster who would like to post on my blog.

I know there are a lot of people out there who have strong opinions on various topics of public interest and I would love to have them contribute to my blog. The more differing views we can generate the broader reader audience would be attracted and more issues can be discussed.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Just Got Back From Kevin Parsons' Campaign Office Opening

It was a pretty impressive turnout. He certainly seems to have a pretty good team in place to start pounding the pavement in this election. Was nice to see a bunch of people I don't frequently run in to and say hello. Although I would prefer it if his office was in Torbay this is a good location, especially with all the Torbay traffic using Logy Bay Road these days to avoid construction delays. Anyway it doesn't matter where it is as long as people know where to get a hold of Kevin.

Kevin Parsons' Campaign Headquarters Opening Today

Well I guess the election is really starting to get underway. Kevin is having the official opening of his campaign headquarters this evening at 6:30. The office is located at 642 Logy Bay Road according to Kevin's Facebook site everyone is welcome.

This would be a great opportunity to stop by and ask Kevin some questions regarding our riding. From my experience with Kevin he is always willing to answer questions and if he doesn't have the answers he will try and get them.

There have been lots of announcements lately and that is a sure sign of an election coming and people are always a bit cynical when funding is announced on the eve of an election. In my opinion if it takes an election for the government to spend money then we should have more elections.

With this in mind I don't think we can complain about the amount of money that has been spent in our district over the past four years. Everywhere we look there is new investment by the government in our area and hopefully that is going to continue. I am confident that with Kevin as our MHA he will continue to lobby for funds to be spent in our area and as a member of the government he stands the best chance of getting it.

Personally I would like to see Kevin get a cabinet post. Considering how hard he works on behalf of his constituents I am sure he would bring a lot to the table in that capacity.

I will be sure to check out his headquarters tonight and I will be equipped with a couple of questions I would like to get answered. First and foremost on my mind is when will the bypass road be open. I heard Mayor Codner on the news saying that it will be late this year maybe early in the new year. That makes absolutely no sense to me considering the road is basically ready, the pavement is on, the guard rail is pretty much finished and the last hurdle would be the traffic lights. I can't see why that road should not be open by the end of September.

One thing for sure in this election is that Kevin will have a formidable opponent in Geoff Gallant the NDP candidate. Geoff is pretty well known in Torbay and had an impressive vote total in the last municipal election. He is in all likelihood going to run a strong campaign so anyone who supports Kevin should work hard if they want him reelected, don't take anything for granted. Personally I don't believe the election will be close but you never know.

Anyway, good luck to Geoff and Kevin. For those of us who support Kevin need to get out and show our support and do everything we can to put him back in the House of Assembly and in the Government.

Curbside Recycling Starts Today

Well today is the day that we can finally start putting our recycling on the curb and stop sending so much recyclable materials to the dump. This has been a long time coming but the Town of Torbay has certainly done the right thing here and the council should be commended.

Recycling has become a way of life for so many people and it is encouraging to see that our town is taking it seriously. I know that some councilors have been pushing for this for some time and I am sure they are happy that it is finally in place.

The schedule for pickup and the materials that you can put in the blue recycling bags is listed on the towm website and you should go and take a look. There seems to be a lot more items on the allowable list than what we usually take to the recycling depot on our own. Generally the most common item to recycle is plastic bottles and aluminum cans, however it is nice to see papers and other items that usually get burned in peoples back yard barrels added to the list.

Here is the link to the calendar and the list of items.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Sorry to Hear About Jack Layton

I was sorry to hear about Mr. Layton this morning. I may not have agreed with his politics but I respected the man and his conviction. Out of all the federal leaders he was the one who really stood up for his principles and what he thought was best for the Canadian people. I had an opportunity to meet him twice when I lived in Ottawa and he was extremely pleasant and seemed really down to earth.

There has been a huge void left in the Canadian political spectrum that may never be filled as well as he did it.

May God bless your family and may you rest in peace.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Paddy Daly New Open Line Host How Do You Like Him?

I don't know how many of you listen to Open Line, Back Talk or Night Line but I suspect that is it a good few people. I have been listening to those shows for years now and one thing always struck me as annoying is how wish washy the host have always been.

They never seem to take a stand one way or the other on an issue or ever call it like it is when it comes to the callers calling in. I don't know why they feel they need to be neutral, these are not news shows after all and are entirely based on opinions of the host and the callers calling in.

That is why I am beginning to like Mr Paddy Daly more and more each time I hear him. He is not afraid to take a stand on an issue and will point out when a caller states something that is so obviously false or ridiculous and call them on it. 

I have heard on other shows people calling in and saying stuff that is so utterly stupid and foolish and the host just says something like "that is very interesting caller, certainly a different point of view, lets see if someone else has a similar opinion, Bye Bye"

Come on, nobody is going to have a similar view unless they are as crazy and paranoid at that last person and I must admit just when I think it couldn't get any worse someone else calls in and basically blows the last person out of the water for weirdness, I guess it is entertaining.

The impression I get from Paddy and certainly I could be wrong but I find he has some integrity when it comes to responding to callers and issues. He is not simply going to let ridiculous, foolish and unfounded statements go unchallenged. Seems to me he is willing to dig a little deeper to a certain degree and put his own opinion into the conversation which is something I think is sadly lacking in Newfoundland Talk Radio.

I am hoping for a more enlightened and truthful talk radio experience from Paddy than we have seen in the past from other hosts. Hopefully the wish washy execs down at VOCM don't try and reign him in and shut him up before he really reaches his potential. The truthfulness of his commentary is refreshing to me and I am hoping he can become even more hard edged. I have fond memories of listening to Lowell Green on talk radio in Ottawa for years and I would love for someone to deliver his style of radio to the listeners of Newfoundland and Labrador. I don't think we are quite ready down here for a personality like Lowell Green because he is a bit too extreme for the masses here.

It is going to be interesting over the next little while to see how Paddy does but I am hoping that he will be successful and change the landscape of talk radio for years to come. Good Luck Paddy

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Curbside Recycling Program Starting Soon

Although it has been delayed the Torbay Curbside Recycling Program is set to start on September 12. I have to say that this is great news and something I have been hoping that the town would adopt. I was a bit disappointed when all the other towns on the North East Avalon had programs in place while there was still little action on it in Torbay. One could expect that it would be harder to put in place as our town is bigger that our neighboring communities.

Regardless of when it starts it is better to have this program that not to have it. It really drives me nuts when I look at all the stuff that gets thrown in the trash around here and dumped in the landfill. Speaking of which Landfills are something else that drives me crazy, everyone talks about climate change and CO2 gas but you rarely hear them talk about Methane which is 21 times more effective for retaining infrared radiation from escaping the planet. Basically that means for the same amount of methane as CO2 it is 21 times more harmful in regards to climate change, that is a really rudimentary comparison but I am not a scientist.

I would like to see our Provincial Government do something about the use of landfills and come up with some new and innovative ways to reduce their use but it seems our provincial government and the City of St John's have no vision when it comes to this sort of thing. There are ways to harness the methane gasses produced in landfills and convert it to energy to be used in homes.

In Ottawa right now that have a plant running at one of their landfills that converts their solid wastes into electricity and an inert slag that is used commercially in construction projects. Basically they are turning their garbage into something useful and reducing the footprint of that landfill and helping the environment.

A plant like this could pretty much reduce our need for landfills to nothing and produce enough electricity to power thousands of homes in a cost effective way. Check out this link and see for yourself how things can be different. Zero Waste Ottawa

Regardless of what our provincial government decides to do in the long term with relation to recycling and waste management in general we should all participate in the program that our town is putting in place for the good of the environment and also to make the program cost effective for the town.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Touched a Few Nerves I Guess?

Wow, it seems that the fine people of Torbay who don't like what I have to say certainly take it to heart. I just wish that when you comment on my blog you would attach your name to it instead of being a coward and hiding behind an anonymous post. Everyone knows who I am and I am not afraid to say how I think things are and if you don't agree with me that is fine, we will differ on opinions.

Anyone who comes on this blog and calls me a Dummy is really doing a disservice to themselves and their arguments and anyone who knows me can attest to the fact that I am no dummy.

Lets see where to begin addressing some of the wise comments left by the courageous anonymous posters.

Anonymous said...

Craig Get yourself involved in a volunteer group. Then maybe you could shoot off your mouth and know the rights and wrongs of what you talk about. Ever hear of grants that are used not as council sees fit but what is was applied for.

Yes I have heard of those and usually they come along with a 90% - 10% formula where the Town pays 10% and the Province pays 90%. If our Provincial Government gives our Town $200,000.00 so we can hire a band for a single concert they should all have their heads examined.

Our Council needs to be using out tax dollars for what they should be used for and that is fixing our roads and getting better water and sewer and providing services for our residents, maybe a swimming pool or even a facility where someone who was maybe having a function like a wedding could have it in Torbay instead of spending their money in other communities.

Anonymous said...

Craig Scott you are some smart there buddy.not.Open your eyes and not your gobb,Torbay is doin just fine before your two cents.YOU GOT IT ALL WRONG DUMMY.
I shouldn't even dignify you with an answer but I will. Your right everything is perfect, we should all just shut up pay our 2500 or 3000 in taxes and sit back and relax.

Anonymous said...

 Actually I happen to believe that it is a good thing to point out things that are wrong. I guess good is in the eyes of the beholder. One thing is certain no matter what I have to say I always put my name on it and don't hide my opinions.

Anonymous said...

I have been here longer than Craig has been born...Great place, great people .I don;t give a shit about your rose glasses . Go back where you came from .....
Well first of all, I was only born once so I have no idea what you are talking about. As for go back where I came from? What are you some kind of bigot or something? One statement you say how wonderful the place and people are then you make a statement like that? I am from Torbay so I guess I am where I came from!

Anonymous said...

You're complaining that a candidate is going to community events!? There's a thing called accessibility, it's very important in a democracy
Actually the election has not been called yet and I am not even sure it is legal to be passing out campaign style literature that far before the election. Also I am not an NDP supporter and will most likely be campaigning against Geoff. I have nothing against the man, I like him but we just disagree on the political spectrum and I am sure neither of us will take it personally, he is a stand up guy.

Anonymous said...

negative Craig ......lets enjoy G.B SEA
How much would you pay for a ticket? I would pay maybe $30 bucks but at that price there is no way we would break even.

Anonymous said...

Why are people mad at Mr scott he is so smart and good we all should be like him.
Finally someone said something sensible LOL


Anyway, I have no idea why people get so bent out of shape and have to attack me. I don't mind really, because someone has to support those people on council who would make such a frivolous expenditure or else they wouldn't be elected.

I just wish you cowards had the guts to put your name of the comments you make.....

Take Care

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Great Big Waste of Money

Well I haven't been blogging in a while although I do thank all those people I have been talking to lately who tell me they read my blog on a regular basis.

However when I saw the story today in the North East Avalon Times about our council voting unanimously to look into spending $200,000.00 to have Great Big Sea play a concert in Torbay to commemorate the towns 40th anniversary. Well I just about flipped! 

I had just finished reading a story about how council is pissed because we didn't get funding for a new fire truck for the Torbay Volunteer Fire Department. The mayor sounded as though the equipment we have now is barely working when he describes the state of the three pumpers, this is from and article in the North East Avalon Times.
"Right now we have three pumpers in name only, " Codner said, explaining the 1974 pumper is in working condition, but was supposed to come out of service in 2007. A 1997 pumper truck has electrical problems and does not always start. The town's 2007 vehicle which it shares with Flatrock, "well at least it starts, " Codner says
Anyway that story goes on to talk about all the new problems and accidents we are going to have when the so called by-pass road opens so we really need a new truck.  I though to myself that the mayor has a good point and maybe we do need some new equipment. Coincidentally the amount of money that Pouch Cove got from the province for their new fire truck is $200,000.00

So here is my suggestion to the Mayor, take the $200,000.00 you want to spend on a concert and buy a God damn fire truck out of it or at least fix the electrical problems on the one we do have. Something that will benefit the entire town for years to come instead of a few people for a couple of hours.

How many times does this bone head council need to get kicked in the head before they realize that it hurts? From all the comments I have heard from people they thought the Hill Side Festival this year was a bust. I agree that the weather wasn't the best as I can attest to as I froze my but off with the family to take in the Masterless Men concert on the final Sunday. That doesn't excuse the turnout for the concert at Jack Byrne Area the prior week, I was told there was a setup there for 400 people and less that 100 showed up.

But don't worry, council says that for Great Big Sea the tickets will be sold ahead of time. What the hell does that mean? Because they will be sold ahead of time we can cancel the show if it doesn't sell like they think they will? How much will that cost to cancel that band and try and get another one at the last minute?

But that is OK, the tickets will be sold in advance, that's right, for $200,000.00 we are going to have Great Big Sea and we will sell the tickets ahead of time. I wonder how much they are going to sell the tickets for? By my calculations if every person in Torbay went to the concert, roughly 7000 people we would have to sell tickets for around $29. That is if we squeezed 7000 people into some field in Torbay somewhere which is highly unlikely. Judging from past experiences in our town for this type of event we may be looking at 500 people max, that would increase the ticket price to a cool $400 a piece just to pay the band. Say we really had a huge turnout and had a 1000 people there we are still looking at $200 a ticket to go see Great Big Sea.

WOW! is all I can say to that. I have seen Great Big Sea in Concert maybe 20 times over the last 20 or so years and I don't think I have ever paid over $30 to see them and that was on the high side. I would never pay 200 or 100, I might pay $50 if it included my wife and two kids.

If our councilors go down this path and spend that kind of money to have a concert that clearly for that price is a pipe dream, then the people should take notice and kick every one of their asses to the curb next election. Ideally the entire council would resign and have their heads examined. They want the committee to look into it? I have your committee right here........Don't do it because we can't afford it, the numbers just don't add up.

$200,000.00 can buy an awful lot in a town like ours. The Mayor is always talking about sewage treatment and the fact that we are maxed out on our water supply and how we need to address those needs. Well that $200,000.00 when used in conjunction with the 90% - 10% funding formula with the provincial government can ad up to a $2 Million dollar project. I know that is a pretty generalized scenario but that funding formula does exist and could help us with some badly needed projects.

On Sunday I was in Logy Bay - Middle Cove - Outer Cove for their festival of Friends. The entertainment was great, two of the best Newfoundland bands on the go right now The Navigators and Shannyganock played back to back and they were great. I am sure you could get the both of them and a few other acts to play in Torbay for a lot less that $200,000 and still possibly be able to get the friggin fire truck electrical problems fixed.

Oh, on a side note, I thought it was cute how Geoff Gallant was going around at Liddy's Kitchen Party giving out his little orange NDP cards and wished him luck. However after seeing him schilling for votes at the Hill Side Festival, then at the Flatrock Soiree (with Lorraine Michael in tow) and then again at the Festival of Friends in Logy Bay it is just too much for me. I am not alone in this as many people have commented on it is getting on their nerves but I commend him for jumping into the ring and taking on our sitting member Mr Kevin Parsons even though I think it is extremely unlikely for him to win.

Like I told Geoff, I won't be voting for him and I will be campaigning against him but I wish him luck.

Anyway, thats all for now, take care :)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Old Pictures of Newfoundland and Torbay

These are some pictures I received by email from a lady in Ontario that reads my blog. I believe that they are pictures that she got from her husbands grandfather. Anyway I thought I would share them.

I don't know where this one is but if anyone has an idea that would be great, it looks familiar to me but I can't be sure. Kind of looks like Pouch Cove.

This one is the Anglican Church in Torbay, that is pretty clear.

Newfoundland Hotel

This looks like it was taken from Middle Cove

Not sure where this is

I am pretty sure this is Pouch Cove


Flatrock I think



Not sure where this photo was taken, may have been in the old convent

 Another picture of the airport

Not sure where this one is either

If anyone knows anything about these pictures please let me know, thanks