Acquittal! Jackson lied! Kirkland lied! Mossley lied!

September 5, 2018 I was accused of assaulting Jay Kirkland.  I was arrested, charged with common assault, jailed for 24 hours, paraded around handcuffed behind my back,  locked in a courtroom prisoner`s box, and treated as if I was a serious threat to all of society.  I was humiliated and shamed in the media and on social media.  I lost my seat on council.

The allegations made against me by Jay Kirkland, Janice Jackson and Hailey Mossley were false, and were knowingly false.  The allegations were concocted.

To get a conviction, the crown must prove all three elements of assault beyond a reasonable doubt.  Those elements are:

  1. there must be force applied beyond an incidental touch or bump.
  2. there must be an intention to assault and an intention to harm,
  3. there must be an absence of consent.

The crown did not and could not prove any of these elements. My lawyer provided ample evidence that none of the elements were met.

In entering an acquittal (morneau judgement October 4 2018), Justice Morneau made the correct decision, the only decision she could given the evidence.   I have much respect for Justice Morneau and I am truly grateful for her acquittal decision.

I agree with her observation that “Ms. Jackson was perhaps more sure of herself, yet the evidence demonstrated the some of that assurance was misplaced.”  I read that as a euphemism for “the physical evidence demonstrates that Jackson lied”.

My lawyer Elizabeth Barefoot submitted that Jackson had laughed and said“oooh that’s assault I love it”.  Jackson vehemently denied both.  Then Ms. Barefoot played for Jackson and the court my audio recording, in which Jackson clearly laughed and Jackson clearly said “oooh that’s assault I love it”.   Jackson then changed her testimony from “I did not laugh /I did not say “oooh that’s assault I love it”” to “I don’t recall laughing or saying that”.  ( A transcript of the exchange is here  Transcripts excerpts august 20 and 21 court recording). These are two of the lies Justice Morneau characterized as “[Jackson’s] assurance [of her own testimony] was misplaced”.  Justice Morneau very kindly  characterized Jackson’s lies as memory lapses made because so much time had passed.   I disagree.  In a written statement September 6, 2107, a mere 24 hours after the event, Jackson wrote “I reacted by saying ”that’s assault, stop””.  Not “oooh that’s assault I love it””.  Her lie 24 hours after cannot be blamed on a memory lapse.  It was a deliberate lie. Both were deliberate lies.

Kirkland and Jackson made the same false statement.  It is simply not plausible that Jackson and Kirkland had the same lapse in memory.   They colluded before they made all of their false statements.

Jackson’s biggest lie was her description of the alleged assault.

Jackson stated to police September 6, 2017 [Excerpt Janice Jackson statement September 6 2018} and swore under oath on December 7 2017 excerpt gammiedec7bailrevtrans} and again on August 21 2018 [Transcripts excerpts august 20 and 21 court recording] that a) the door clicked shut, b) Gammie leaped forward c)and leaning forward, not flat –footed, d) with the full force of his body weight hit Kirkland in the back, with two hands, from behind, and e slammed Kirkland’s face and left shoulder into the door, then f) f) hit Kirkland a second time in similar fashion. Then the same testimony on August 20 Link].

In trial I used photographs and drawings [Gammie’s PPT with final slides] to determine and demonstrate my location and Kirlkland’s location through the alleged assault if JJ’s version were true.  I showed what the security video camera could see and what the camera could not see.  In testimony I demonstrated that if Ms Jackson’s version of events were true, I would have been visible to the camera during the lunge/ leap and I would have had to be at least partly visible to the camera during the pushes.  But I was not visible to the camera at all during the alleged lung push/push.  The inescapable conclusion is that Jackson Lied.

Judge Morneau said she “had the benefit of Mr. Gammie’s engineering analysis of what could or could not have happened.   Justice Morneau is by her own admission not overly tech–savy.  So I very much appreciate the time she put into understanding my very technical analysis of what really happened and what did not happen, and my conclusion that Janice’s version was not physically possible.

Justice Morneau said that “Mr. Gammie most likely did push Mr. Kirkland from behind”.   This should not be taken as a finding by Justice Morneau that I assaulted Kirkland or was guilty of assault.  As argued above there are three elements to an assault.  Judge Morneau rightly did not find that I had applied force.  Justice Morneau did not find that a push (if there was one)  was intentional.  And justice Morneau did not find that there was no consent.

The push if there was one was too trivial to be characterized as assault or force applied.

In not finding any of the elements met, Justice Morneau was expressing reasonable doubt about both Kirkland’s and Jackson’s versions.

If anyone out there can demonstrate that it is physically possible for Kirkland’s or Jackson’s versions to have happened without the lunges and pushes being on the security video, please do so.

Until someone does so demonstrate, Jackson and Kirkland are caught in a big lie.

Hailey Mossley lied too, but not under oath.  claimed that: “Craig shoved Jay from behind – hand to Jay’s shoulder”.  sat in the foyer August 21 and 22 waiting to be called to the witness stand.  Ms. Mossley was in the video during the event.  On august 21 Elizabeth Barefoot showed that from where Ms. Mossley was in the video she couldn’t see anything.  It is no surprise that the crown decided not to call Ms. Mossop.  It appears that Ms. Mossop was treward for her effort anyway.

Jackson concocted the lies about what happened and what she had said and then somehow she convinced Kirkland to lie.  All to get me out of the picture.    Because I refused to recognize her claim to power.  Because I dared to publicly disagree.

If Jackson is re-elected, successful candidates will face this situation.   If they speak their minds instead of simply nodding agreement to Jackson’s agenda, they will be harassed and bullied, they will be falsely accused, and they may even be removed from council.

Do you want the head of council trying every trick in the book to get rid of those who refuse to salute her?  Do you want to be in a situation where the only residents with a voice are those that agree with the mayor? Electors beware.

 

Craig

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

How lawyer Lisus fraudulently presented appeal of MNRF stop order as if it were the town’s (8-8)

On March 22nd the town was charged with violation of the endangered species act.

On March 28th, 2018 the MNRF issued a “stop order” to prevent further habitat damage.

On April 10th, 2018 lawyer Johnathan Lisus sent MNRF a request for a hearing regarding the March 28, 2018 stop order. (Also called an appeal of the stop order.)

The April 10th, 2018 letter is here   SBrucePeninsualHearingRequest-10-APR-2018.

The letter has Lisus’ signature. But the words are mostly Janice Jackson’s.

With few exceptions (which do not apply here), by law all TSBP decisions must be made by council. Not by Lisus. Not by Janice Jackson. By council.

With few exceptions (which do not apply here) all TSBP decisions must be open to scrutiny by the residents.

Shutting council and the residents out of the decision process contravenes the letter of the Municipal Act sections 5 (1), 5 (3) and 227, and is undemocratic.
.
The decision to appeal the MNRF March 28 stop order and the decision to use the contents of the April 10, 2018 letter were made without council knowledge or approval, and without resident scrutiny. The decisions were made by Jackson or by Jackson and Lisus.

The appeal/ request for hearing is presented as if was a town appeal/ town request. It is not. It is a Janice Jackson/ Johnathan Lisus submission.

Shutting out council and the public and submitting their own position to the MNRF as if it was an approved town position is fraud.

Submitting positions as if they were town positions when they are not also violated at least the intent of the TSBP correspondence policy (policy A.3.2).

Jackson damaged more habitat last week. MNRF conservation officers are investigating. I expect there will be a third charge. That would put the risk to taxpayers up to $5,000,000.

Time to replace the out-of-control Bulldozer Bee.

Craig

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Craig Responds to Lois Keays re Land Claim

What follows is a part of a facebook thread regarding the Sauble Land Claim (https://www.facebook.com/groups/1916023288690195/).

Lois Keays:
We seem to agree on a major issue. Exorbitant legal costs with no apparent benefit to the residents. Lisus legal costs were published by Ana Vukovic on this thread as $263,981.00 March 31, 2015 to August 30, 2018. Prior to that our law firm was Donneley and Murphy. I have Donneley Murphy costs 2012 to 2015 at $27,253.49. I do not have the figures prior to that.

In November 2014, Chippewa of Saugeen First Nation (“CSFN”) had a very weak case and we had a very strong defence developed. We had a very strong chance of winning the lawsuit, and a very strong chance of getting our reasonable legal fees paid by CSFN. But it seems Janice Jackson has changed all that.

In 2015 or 2016 Janice Jackson, without legitimate authority, formed a committee of herself and Jay Kirkland and made the committee responsible for all decisions regarding the land claim. Jay told me later that the “committee” never met and that Jackson alone was actually making the land claim decisions. Jackson had without authority put herself in full control, shutting out the legitimate decision maker (council) and completely shutting out the residents.

For obvious reasons I cannot get into detail, but based on what I can see, which is limited, my feeling is that as a result of Jackson’s unlawful takeover, our position has been weakened. So now I expect that there is a greater risk of losing the lawsuit, and a greater risk that we will not recover our legal costs, and a greater risk that we will have to pay some of the legal costs of CSFN. Just an opinion.

The way to fix this is to get Jackson out of the Mayor’s chair.

While Mr. Gammie is very righteous in his undocumented analysis of the “Civil Litigation” while alleging that the Federal Government has no representative bearing in Crown controlled Reserve lands…or those subject to dispute, is ill-informed at best. While referencing my concerns as speculative, hear-say and red-herrings, I will contend that he has produced no documented evidence of his knowledge, but provides his views and opinions as fact. On one hand, I’m told I can access information and in the same breath told accounting of costs was removed (a fact of which I’m well aware).”
July 5, 2014 I presented my analysis to over 700 residents at the Sauble Community Center. My website at: http://craiggammie.com/Home.html has my July 5, 2015 presentation and about 29 other documents related to the case. I have not kept the site up to date. I plan to add the 2016 pleadings by the parties and my updated 2018 analysis and some excellent analysis conducted by David Dobson. My analysis is anything but “undocumented”.

What I said was that the Federal Government is not judging the lawsuit – the courts are.

“I was raised with an acute awareness of dishonoured Treaties.”

So was I. The treaty was not dishonoured.

”As to when I raised my concerns with the Town of South Bruce Peninsula about committing taxpayer funds, that was June 2015 when a response from Mayor Jackson told me I could get back to her in 3.5 years for a complete list of this Council’s accomplishments.

The mayor’s response, in my view, was improper, offensive and outrageous.

”You also suggest that this Land Claim has been in the Courts for 28 years…obviously without the financial involvement of the Municipality.”

The municipality has been financially involved since 1990 (as Amabel Township), albeit at a much lower level.

”And then I have this written quotation from Mayor Jackson: “Regarding the First Nations; We have not committed to full litigation. We have simply committed to discovering where we stand legally.”  So…what is it exactly? The Town of SBP is fully invested in litigation or merely “discovering” a position? Who was called for Examinations for Discovery?”
The mayor is not being truthful. We can change to the settlement route if we want to but unless there is a settlement we are committed to litigation. The third alternative of just not showing up to defend ourselves is not on the table.

I am pretty sure, but not positive, that there has been no discovery yet.

“As to the argumentative dismissal of my concerns about scarce municipal resources being used to encourage massive numbers day-tripping tourists, my reference is to the use of our “free” features, while adding huge burden to SBP infrastructure…roads, waste management, enforcement, policing, etc. etc. I have heard and seen…with my own ears and eyes, the toll it is taking on the ratepayers of SBP.”

I see your point. I agree with you. Tourism is a net cost to the taxpayers.

“Perhaps asking some of the ratepayers, not personally invested in a relatively insignificant commercial assessment at Sauble Beach, if they are happy with hundreds of thousands of dollars being spent on an idea of proprietorship. …..So what do we have? An insignificant commercial tax base from which to sustain an increasing demand on services, funded almost entirely by residential taxpayers, to ensure access by tourists to a natural resource…with virtually no cost-benefit.”

Please explain. Are you saying the $263,981.00 was spent on “proprietorship? Are you saying the $263,981.00 was spent to ensure access by tourists?

“I will do my due-diligence in finding fact based information regarding the First Nations filing of a suit, which is not forthcoming from the Town of South Bruce Peninsula. Instead we are asked to “believe” the assertions as described above.”

It seems you do not believe what Janice Jackson says. I don’t either.

“The first order of business is to determine if SON (Saugeen Ojibway Nation) or SFN (Saugeen First Nation) are the claimants.”

The 2016 Plaintiff’s claim says “CHIPPEWAS OF SAUGEEN FIRST NATION”:

Click to access third-plaintiff-statement-of-claim-amended-april-21-2016.pdf

The town’s latest pleading:

Click to access south-bruce-2017-01-19-fresh-as-amended-defence-etc-of-south-bruce.pdf

That takes care of the first order of business. On to the second. Get Janice Jackson out of the mayor’s chair. October 22, 2018.

Craig

 

Posted in Uncategorized | 17 Comments

Does Audio Recording and Transcript of the August 11, 2017 Council Meeting Beach Raking Discussion Suggest that Janice Jackson, Jay Kirkland, and Matt Jackson Are Guilty of the Offence of Damaging Piping Plover Habitat?

Section 37 of the endangered species act reads:

“If a corporation commits an offence under this Act, an officer, director, employee or agent of the corporation who directed, authorized, assented to, acquiesced in or participated in the commission of the offence is party to and guilty of the offence and is liable on conviction to the punishment provided for the offence, whether or not the corporation has been prosecuted for the offence.”

The audio of the August 11, 2017 council discussion of beach raking is at: http://saublesewer.devuna.com/AudioDocuments.html

(Choose “2017”, then August 11, 2017 Special Council Meeting.  The beach discussion starts at 00:43:00 [hr/min/sec] and ends about 01:03:41)

A transcript of the audio is at:

http://www.craiggammie.com//documents/Transcriptpartaugust112017councilrebeachrake.pdf

In law they are presumed innocent, but still the August 11, 2017 council meeting audio recording and transcript may suggest that Janice Jackson, Jay Kirkland, and Matt Jackson “directed, authorized, assented to, acquiesced in or participated in the commission of the offence” of damaging piping plover habitat at the beach August and September 2017, and may thus be accountable per section 37.

They should resign immediately. And if they are held accountable in a court of law, they should not be allowed to force the residents to pay their fines.

Also from the August 11, 2017 audio and transcript, it is clear that Ana Vukovic and I tried to stop the bulldozing of plover habitat.

Like so many others, I bet on the wrong horse in 2014.   I will not make the same mistake in October.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Janice Jackson starts the mayoral race with a gratuitous and dishonest personal attack against her opponent Ana Vukovic (8-4)

In an interview with OSST reporter Denis Langlois, Mayoral Candidate Ana Vukovic properly stuck to the issues while candidate Janice Jackson chose to dishonestly bad-mouth Ana Vukovic (https://www.wiartonecho.com/news/local-news/jackson-vukovic-in-race-for-south-bruce-peninsula-mayor/wcm/5df68160-147e-4d30-a833-f87bd0e4a97a).

In what follows I provide counterpoint to Ms. Jackson’s ad hominem attacks.

From the Langlois OSST article:

“South Bruce Peninsula’s council sessions have been marred this term by “childish outbursts,” personal attacks and shocking tantrums, says incumbent councillor and mayoral candidate Ana Vukovic. The decorum has never been so bad, she said, in the 11 years she has been at the council table.”

“It’s a toxic environment. What I have experienced in the last year-and-a-half has been just unbearable. This has to be changed,” [Ana] said Friday in an interview.

“Vukovic, who submitted her nomination papers Wednesday to challenge incumbent Mayor Janice Jackson, said one of the key planks of her election platform is a vow to bring back “civility and respect” to local government. It is the job of the mayor to keep order in the council chambers, but that has not been done this term, [Ana] said.”

Ms. Vukovic is correct. There has been a lack of decorum, and a toxic environment, and lack of “civility and respect”.  All in my experience are due to Ms. Jackson’s tactic of bullying and harassing any council member who dares to disagree with her, and also Ms. Jackson’s total disregard for the procedural rules, and use (abuse) of the rules to shut out any member who does not agree with her.  In my view Ms. Jackson created the toxic environment and Ms. Jackson is the cause of the disorder and chaos.

From the Langlois OSST article:

“Jackson, ….. said she has faced “unprecedented challenges” as mayor because of former councillor Craig Gammie.”

That’s ridiculous and unsupportable.  I broke no council rules. I was never found by council to be in breach of any rules.  But it’s true I disagreed with Ms. Jackson, and quite often.  I do believe her when she says she found my dissenting views challenging.  But that does not give her the right to make false and hurtful allegations, or to bully, or harass, or punish me (or anyone else) for disagreeing with her.

From the Langlois OSST article:

“[Ms. Jackson] said it was disheartening to watch Vukovic “distance herself” from the rest of council and support Gammie in his final months on council.”

Ana has a lot of experience and wisdom.  She has disagreed with the mayor and the “rest of council” on many issues.  But in every case she disagreed with and voted against the rest of council not because she wanted to vote with me, but rather because she had considered the matters at hand very carefully and had determined that the “rest of council” was on a track that was not in the best interests of the residents.

Ms. Jackson does not seem to understand that Ms. Vukovic is quite capable of thinking for herself.  Ms. Jackson’s arrogance won’t let her even consider that a mere councillor could be right and she could be wrong.  Ana disagreed with the Mayor.   And true to form, the mayor attacked Ana for it.

From the Langlois OSST article:

““I can see now that Ana has created a ruckus at the council table to position herself for a second mayoral run,” [J. Jackson] said.”

“Ana” did not “create a ruckus at the council table”.  If she had it would have been recorded as a breach.  That did not happen.  Ms. Vukovic called out the May 1 bullying and harassment not to “create a ruckus” but rather because it needed to be called out.

When a council member disagrees with Ms. Jackson it gets spun as “created a ruckus”. That does not make it a ruckus. It just exposes Ms. Jackson as insecure and untruthful.

From the Langlois OSST article:

“I have been utterly disappointed because I expected maturity from our most senior council member.” [J. Jackson] said.”

Considering the attacks on her, Ms. Vukovic has shown remarkable restraint and maturity.  It’s Ms. Jackson’s bullying and harassing actions that are juvenile.

From the Langlois OSST article:

“Gammie was twice escorted by police out of council meetings and issued trespassing tickets in 2015.”

I was twice removed from my council seat and charged on allegations of trespassing.  The allegations were absolutely groundless, all based on Ms. Jackson falsely accusing  me of breaching a council rule.  The trespassing charges were dropped, with no admission of guilt, or of breach of any council rule.

That false trespassing allegation was just another in a long series of false allegations against me, including:

1) That I defamed the CAO ($750,000 lawsuit 2012 – dropped when the town ceased paying the CAO’s legal fees),

2) That I contravened the Professional Engineers Act (charges dropped 2013, no admission of wrongdoing),

3) That I shoved the pointed end of a stick into a man’s stomach so hard he doubled over in pain (2014 – no stick ever came near the man – the discussion was recorded on video),

4)That I breached the Law Society Act (2017 – I was completely cleared by the law society),

5) That I contravened the Professional Engineers Act (2016 – did not even get to charges)

6) That I harassed the clerk (no one would put a complaint in – allegations were goundless),

(and more).

There was never any finding of guilt by a competent tribunal.

Anyone can make false allegations.  Usually without consequence to the one making the false allegations.  But often with serious consequences for the accused.  Making false allegations is nasty and cowardly.

From the Langlois OSST article:

“Council later invited Gammie back to the table (after the trespassing charges).”

Denis missed the point.  Ms. Jackson proclaimed in May 2015 that unless I apologized and the apology was accepted by council I was out for the term.   I proclaimed that I would not apologize because I did not break the council rule I was accused of breaking.  I was not invited back to the table.  I just came back.  Ms. Jackson decided not to call the police a third time because the town lawyer told her that removing me was improper and the trespassing charges were groundless and that trying to keep me out would be improper and if Ms. Jackson persisted a judge would order me back in.

From the Langlois OSST article:

“Council voted in December to declare Gammie’s seat vacant, which Jackson at the time said they had to do because he had missed three consecutive months of meetings without council’s permission.”

Council could have presumed me innocent of the charges against me and given me permission to miss meetings.  Contrary to Jackson, council did not have to remove me.

From the Langlois OSST article:

“In May, Vukovic stated during a council meeting that she had been harassed by fellow council members and was called an “idiot, moron and psycho” at a special closed session.”

Ms. Vukovic was also called “a stupid old woman”, by bullies Ms. Jackson and Matt Jackson.  For disagreeing with the Mayor and the councillor.   Over a motion to add staff to the payroll at a cost of $300,000 per year to the taxpayers.  Which Ms. Ana Vukovic  considered unnecessary. Ana was bullied for considering the taxpayers.  Ana was bullied for properly representing the taxpayers.  Ana was bullied for doing what she was elected to do.

From the Langlois OSST article, Ms. Jackson’s comment about the May 1 bullying:

“However, Jackson said at the time that any words exchanged were outside of council meetings.“

It is true – the words were spoken outside of a formal council meeting.  But the words were spoken in council chambers.  Which is the workplace.   That made the nasty words “workplace harassment”.

And the May 1 words were also a breach of the council code of conduct (“no member will maliciously or falsely injure or impugn the professional or ethical reputation of any member of Council; every member has the duty and responsibility to treat .. one another appropriately and without abuse, bullying or intimidation; no member shall engage in any form of slanderous, malicious or demeaning communication in regard to other members of Council”).  Janice Jackson and Matt Jackson bullied, harassed, abused, slandered, demeaned, and all the rest.

Ms. Jackson’s response that the words were “exchanged outside of a formal council meeting” is typical J. Jackson spin/BS, and is an irrelevant distraction.

What is relevant is that J. Jackson did not deny that the nasty words were spoken.

What is relevant is that Ana filed a complaint against Janice Jackson and Matt Jackson under the Town’s harassment policy.

What is relevant is that J. Jackson did not deny Ms. Vukovic’s written allegations against her.

What is relevant is that an independent investigator is dealing with Ana’s complaint, with a report due, and with the Ministry of Labour watching.

That was the second complaint by Councillor Vukovic against Janice Jackson.  The first was, in Councillor Vukovic’s words: “in an email to me August 14, 2017 and also in the October 10, 2017 special closed meeting Mayor Jackson: 1) made false and hurtful claims that I leaked confidential information to a staff member, 2) falsely impugned my ethical reputation, 3) bullied me, and, 4) made vexatious comments to me that were unwelcome and were workplace harassment … in contravention of the council code of conduct”.

 Ms. Jackson buried that complaint.

From the Langlois OSST article:

“”Ana has voted against doing any beach maintenance whatsoever,” [Ms. Jackson] said.“

This is simply false.  And Ms. Jackson knows it is false.  Ana made a motion August 11, 2017 to do beach maintenance only with written permission from MNRF.  That’s nowhere near “Ana has voted against doing any beach maintenance whatsoever”.  Her motion was defeated by Ms. Jackson, Mr. Kirkland and councillor Jackson.

By ordering in the bulldozer, Ms. Jackson has breached the law, let the town take the blame, and made sure any consequences fall on the taxpayers, not on her.

From the Langlois OSST article:

“Jackson said as mayor, she has seized every opportunity to advance the town. South Bruce Peninsula is experiencing an unprecedented opportunity for growth, she said, and the town requires “a progressive, forward-thinking mayor who isn’t afraid to make tough decisions.””

A second charge was filed by MNRF against the town last week, for bulldozing the beach and damaging piping plover habitat in the fall of 2017.  Ms. Jackson’s decision to break the law regarding the beach at Sauble brought legal costs of $175,000 on the residents (so far) and put the residents of TSBP at risk of having to pay fines of up to $3,000,000.  And even more charges could follow.  Was that one of Ms. Jackson’s “tough decisions”?  Was that decision “progressive” and “forward-thinking”? I think not.  It was a reckless and dumb decision.

(The misguided nature of many of Ms. Jackson’s “tough decisions” will be the subject of a future post.)

A vote for Janice Jackson is a vote for more bullying of anyone who dares to disagree, and for chaos, incivility and a toxic environment.

A vote for Ana Vukovic is a vote for honesty, integrity, transparency and civility.  And a lot of experience and common sense.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

MNRF Lays Second Charge Against TSBP For Damaging Piping Plover Habitat (Craig’s 8-3)

In April 2016 Sauble Beach habitat of the endangered piping plover was extensively groomed by a company registered to Deputy Mayor Jay Kirkland under contract to the Town of South Bruce Peninsula.  Council did not authorize the grooming of habitat, and was not informed that the grooming would be done.  The grooming was clearly in violation of the applicable town policy.  No charges were laid.

In April 2017 Sauble Beach habitat of the endangered piping plover was again extensively groomed, this time by a numbered company under contract to the Town of South Bruce Peninsula, that numbered company being registered to James Ray Kirkland, brother of Deputy Mayor Jay Kirkland.  Council did not authorize the grooming of habitat, and was not informed that the grooming would be done.  The grooming was clearly in violation of the applicable town policy.

On March 21, 2018, following a nine month investigation, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry  charged the town with contravention of the Endangered Species Act, alleging that the April 2017 grooming damaged piping plover habitat.

In August and September 2017 plover habitat was again extensively groomed, this time including bulldozing of habitat, this time by town staff.  Council was warned beforehand that the grooming would be unlawful.  Once again, council did not authorize the grooming of habitat.

On July 25, 2018 the MNRF laid a second charge against the town, alleging that the August/ September 2017 grooming damaged habitat in contravention of the Act.

With the two charges, the town is facing up to $3,000,000 in fines if convicted.

And there could be more charges.

Because the taxpayers are already paying the Town’s hefty legal fees ($176,085 to date and increasing rapidly), and because any fines will be paid by taxpayers, it is incumbent upon the town to be open and transparent and honest about this matter.

Yet there has been no word from the town regarding the most recent charge. And the legal fees, which have not been authorized by council, are also being kept from the public.

Habitat is defined at Sauble Beach as 500 meters each way North and South of a nest, from Lakeshore Blvd. in the East to the edge of Lake Huron in the West.  An area that was habitat while a nest is present continues to be habitat for at least one year , and as many as five years, after the birds have left the nest.

The Endangered Species Act prohibits damage or destruction of piping plover habitat. Since November 2012 TSBP policy also clearly prohibits mechanical grooming of habitat.

Council has never authorized, by resolution, grooming of piping plover habitat.  Janice Jackson, Jay Kirkland and Matt Jackson were warned in the special council meeting of August 11, 2017 that what they were considering was illegal and could bring serious consequences.

There is indication that Janice Jackson, using authority she does not legitimately possess, sanctioned the grooming of plover habitat spring 2016, spring 2017, and fall 2017.  There is indication she had support from Jay Kirkland and Matt Jackson.

There is indication that Janice Jackson, using authority she does not legitimately possess, sanctioned the grooming of plover habitat spring 2016, spring 2017, and fall 2017.  There is indication she had support from Jay Kirkland and Matt Jackson.

Some residents are saying that Janice Jackson directed the impugned grooming and is trying to hide her brash actions and the consequences of her brash actions out of fear that public knowledge of her role in the affair and the charges and the legal costs will harm her re-election prospects.

Some say she is trying to hide her actions out of fear that she will be personally charged, or will be personally held accountable for the town’s contravention.

The town appears in court next on August 29, 2018 for an attempt at resolution (for example a guilty plea).  If the matter cannot be resolved, a trial date will be set.   Many are watching closely.

 

Craig Gammie

Squabble Beach

Posted in Uncategorized | 8 Comments

Is the 2005 Sauble Area Small Water Systems Debacle Repeating Itself? (8-1)

Around 2005 there was a project to bring a bunch of Town of South Bruce Peninsula small municipal water supply systems into compliance with Ontario law.

The Ontario environmental assessment process was used to select, from a range of alternatives, what to do.

Brad McRoberts, then TSBP manager of public works, commissioned the environmental assessments on the Sauble area systems.

But instead of letting the process lead to a choice of what to do, an alternative was selected and the assessment was rigged to support that selection. The selection was to combine the many small systems into just four systems (Sauble school, Oliphant, Huron Woods, Foreman) and upgrade.

There were at least two ways that the process was prejudiced.

Firstly, the costs were averaged for the four small systems, making the cost per user of the Oliphant, Huron Woods and Foreman (Chesley Lake) systems appear to be much lower than they really were, and making the costs of the Sauble system look higher than it really was.   This averaging was done for both capital and ongoing operating costs.

This was an inappropriate thing to do.   I believe that if the costs of the four systems had been kept separate in the decision process, the Foreman, Huron Woods and Oliphant upgrades would have been considered too expensive and the alternative solution of residents installing private systems and getting off the municipal systems would have been chosen instead. I believe that if costs had been properly portrayed, the systems would never have been upgraded as they were, as the costs were simply not feasible.

Secondly, there was an end run around the environmental assessment process.  The environmental assessment process requires that an adequate number of alternative solutions be carefully considered to cover the full range of possibilities.   That full range should have included residents installing private systems and getting off the municipal systems completely.  But the private systems solution was never considered seriously, if at all.  This too shut out the private systems option.

In my view the private systems option was eliminated because it did not fit with the agenda of then mayor Carl Noble to eventually install a TSBP- wide (or larger) water system.  The private systems option was incompatible with what was then dubbed the “big pipe dream”.

With the two deceptions Mr. McRoberts and Mr. Noble managed to get approval for their solution, (amalgamate several Sauble area systems into four upgraded municipal systems).  The result was a set of four systems, but at a price.

Here’s from the sun times June 22, 2010:

“People who own properties on the Foreman, Amabel-Sauble, Oliphant and Huron Woods water systems in South Bruce Peninsula will soon receive notices informing them they each owe the town somewhere between $9,441.223 and $12,270.86.”

If my memory is correct, the final capital bill was more like $8000 per residence, but that is still very high.

And the ongoing costs were and are also very high.

And the Oliphant system has never worked properly, even though lots of general taxpayers’ money has been poured into it.

The town is putting on a consultation Friday, July 6, 2018 at the Amabel-Sauble Community School, 3:00 pm to begin to address the issue of high costs of the Sauble area municipal water systems.

Current TSBP Chief Administrative Officer Brad McRoberts, the very person that around 2005  shuffled the obvious low cost solution (private systems) right off the alternatives list, and who bears much of the responsibility for the current high capital costs and high operating costs systems, is now coordinating an effort to get the costs down.

The private systems solution was put before council in the current term.  But Mayor Janice Jackson kept putting up obstacles, mainly by saying that going to private systems would require prohibitively costly environmental assessment processes, (that cost per assessment being estimated by previous manager of public works as in the $200,000 plus range).

The Mayor is wrong.  She has characterized the process of switching to private systems as “fragmentation” (which would require an expensive environmental assessment).  But in fact the process of switching to private systems is not “fragmentation” at all, and would not require expensive environmental systems.

I hope I am wrong, but my concern is that the solution of going to private water supplies and shutting down some or all of the Sauble area systems will once again not be seriously considered, and through deception and false “facts” will be eliminated, or already has been eliminated as an alternative,  just like it was eliminated around 2005.

I believe that CAO McRoberts and Mayor Jackson and her council supporters have an agenda, that being either to use taxpayers’ money to get developers to build adjacent to the areas supplied by the Sauble school system and supply them with the Sauble school system, or to force all Sauble residents to abandon their private supplies and get on the Sauble school system, or both.   The latter of course will increase water costs for those currently on private systems to several hundred or even thousands of dollars per year.

And because the Ministry of the environment will be reluctant to move Sauble residents from their private systems to municipal water systems unless a municipal sewage system is also installed, Sauble residents could be looking at not only being forced to get onto a costly municipal water supply system, but also being forced to get onto a municipal sewers system, at a capital cost of $40,000 to $100,000 per residence, and additional high monthly costs.

All residents of TSBP, and especially Sauble residents, should be very concerned about where things could be heading.

I encourage all to attend the meeting Friday July 7 and watch very carefully for any attempt to deceive.

Please pass this on to other TSBP residents, especially Sauble Beach residents.

 

Craig

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment