Is Linda Jeffrey Credible?
Robbie Burns, the Scottish national poet (in his famous poem “To A Louse”) said it best. Burns’ exact words were, “O would some power the giftie gie us to see ourselves as others see us” are a useful guide to those aspiring to politics. The language has changed over the years but Burns was telling us that it would be instructive to see ourselves as others see us.
That’ unfortunately is not how some in politics operate. I dare not openly call politician Linda Jeffrey a “louse”. After all, I after never had a conversation with a louse. Make your own visit to the subject in any Marriam Webster dictionary. The descriptions are quite informative when it comes to alternative uses of the word “louse”.
However, returning to the Bard’s verse, it is informative to measure the entire “body of work” of politician Linda Jeffrey and compare her past actions as a politician to her present words as a candidate for the position of Mayor Of Canada’s Ninth largest City, Brampton Ontario.
According to Jeffrey’s campaign web site, she immigrated to Canada in 1983 and a scant 8 years later was elected to Brampton City Council. I can only conclude that throughout most her time inside of Canada, Jeffrey has lived off the public purse. Not a single detail of success in the real world (Private sector) is shown.
Thus, we are left to rely on this individual’s political track record as compared to her “platform” wherein she implies that she intends to clean up the City Council’s expense reports, introduce stringent policies on sole-source contracts and creation of something called a “gift registry” for both council and staff (sounds like a lot of weddings are in the works.) I frequently get notifications about gift registries from close friends who are about to celebrate a marriage or significant anniversary. (oh well, at least she is being creative but is sounding more like Martha Stewart than a politician. We’ll have to see how that one works out)
Finally, according to Jeffrey, Brampton (her home town) is lagging behind the rest of Ontario. That, of course had nothing to do with her own failure to represent her home town around the Liberal caucus table at Queen’s Park where she served in various Minister positions.
Rating Jeffrey’s performance in those capacities certainly does not portray this individual as an achiever. Given her performance results as a Cabinet Minister (in various capacities) over the years, there many indications of an individual who fumbled and bumbled through various Ministerial positions and provided proof of how the Peter Principle works.
As an Aboriginal person, I am required to assess her work in three Ministerial capacities: Youth Services, Native and Northern Affairs and Environment Minister. Sorry, there is nothing to boast about in those areas. Young Aboriginal children are still being forcefully removed from family/clan and tribe and handed over to various Children’s Aid Societies. Follow up audits are seldom (if ever) performed to determine the fate of these kids. I could expend numerous paragraphs explaining the cruelty and heartlessness of these things. Instead, I suggest that (if interested) you should contact dear friend and genuine champion of Aboriginal kids, Cindy Blackstock (Executive Director of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada.). You may learn the connectivity between the Ontario Youth Ministry’s workings and the huge link to the (in excess of) 600 cases of missing young Aboriginal women throughout Canada. (hint: Ontario is home to over 60% of the Aboriginal People in Canada – ergo, you can connect the dots yourself). Jeffrey’s outspoken support for another family-damaging piece of 2013 legislation ( Bill 13) which destroyed parental rights still has many in Brampton’s vibrant multicultural circles upset.
Turning to Jeffrey’s conduct while serving (I did not say performing) as Minister for Native And Northern Affairs, madam Jeffrey’s handling of the “ring of Fire File” established new, all time lows for bully tactics as she stomped into Thunder Bay, and demanded an immediate face to face with the Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) chief wherein she pronounced the Ontario government’s will concerning chromite mining in the ring of fire. It set back the constitutionally required “consultation” required process about 100 years. Jeffrey attempted to thwart consultation and invoke legislation (The infamous Ontario Far North Act), Bill 191) in her whirlwind visit to Thunder Bay. As a result of the “ruffled feathers” left in the wake of that fiasco, consultation was forced by way of the courts and resulted in a new Minister in her failed portfolio finally reaching agreement with the various tribes FOUR years later. (That is not a feather in Jeffrey’s bonnet).
Turning to environment, there are too many failures and near misses to keep score. The lowest hanging fruit on that tree is Madam Jeffrey’s work on the Melancthon Township limestone quarry file. That war involved 9,500 acres of environmentally sensitive farmland along the Nottawasaga Valley and the Grand River. The protests took place during Jeffrey’s time in office before she was finally removed as Environment Minister. Many of us formed up outside Jeffrey’s Brampton constituency office to protest. Throughout the entire process, Jeffrey showed little/no sensitivity to area voters who made tireless attempts to get Jeffrey to intervene. She avoided them and the issue until she was (again) removed from yet another portfolio.
Along Jeffrey’s path of Ministerial failures, it would be wrong to overlook her time as Labour Minister and her failure to act quickly in marshalling emergency help at the collapsed Algo Centre Mall in Elliot Lake in 2012. Jeffrey (while Labour Minister) also chose to ignore such problems northern mine collapses.
As to Jeffrey’s stated intent to “clean up” Brampton City Hall (of well!) I am not about to forget that Jeffrey and her Liberal cabinet colleagues sat around the same cabinet table on the days when the infamous gas-powered electricity plants (Oakville and Mississauga) were being scuttled. Jeffrey displayed he personal integrity in the Legislature at the time when (during question period, and on record) she any knowledge of fast breaking scandal that would end up costing Ontario tax payers over two billion dollars.
Jeffrey’s campaign material claims that she championed the Peel Memorial Centre for Integrated Health and Wellness. This sleight of hand is perhaps the most devious of Jeffrey’s scams. When she first ran for the legislature 2003, she campaigned to assure that (at long last) Brampton would get its long overdue second hospital and that this new hospital (now Brampton Civic Hospital) would NOT be a P3 hospital (Public/Private Partnership). Guess what? Brampton Civic became the first P3 Hospital in Ontario.
Not only did Jeffrey and her pals change their minds on the P3 concept, but she forgot to mention her plan to vote in favour of closing Peel Memorial Hospital. The next thing we saw was Jeffrey pictured with a sledge hammer knocking down an 18 year old wall at Peel Memorial.
Under Liberal “newspeak: the Peel Memorial Centre for Integrated Health and Wellness is constantly being referred to as a “hospital”. My private survey of numerous Brampton General Practitioner’s tells me that (a) this is NOT a hospital and (b) Brampton needs and deserves a second full scale hospital. Hospitals have surgical theatres, beds for patients and do not close at nine PM.
Thus is Linda Jeffrey’s legacy of “public service”. In my humble opinion, it is far from commendable or exemplary. What it does depict is an accumulated series of failures in various Ontario Cabinet positions and (most likely) an entire Liberal caucus who were delighted to see her depart Queen’s Park. For her now to attempt to find a “soft landing place” in municipal politics does not bode well for a thriving community.
I suggest that before Jeffrey set her goal on cleaning up Brampton and the inner workings of Brampton City hall, that she explain how her former Executive Assistant was nabbed for child pornography, having sex with a 15 years old female and repeated cases of sexual interference. Compounding things in the case of this former Executive Assistant was the fact that prior to being hired by Jeffrey; the gentleman had been forced to resign from a police force for a similar cause.