[The Peter Bailey Case is Central to Democracy]
I have not always agreed with Peter Bailey but have always agreed with his right to freedom to dissent.
This case is pivotal to democracy and representative government; a concept that is at the very centre of democracy.
I met and spoke with Peter and found him to be a genuine and sincere individual. He is certainly not some quack -nor is he one to not speak his mind.
The saga of Peter Bailey’s quest for justice erupted during the often rancorous and extremely high pressured lobbying efforts to force a light rail transit system through the middle of Brampton’s heritage rich down town core.
That any decision to embark on such a deadline driven manner leant itself to any number of genuine suspicions. The entire process raised a number of genuine questions in the minds of many of us. If the addition of this rail link was for overall public benefit; why was it necessary to present it in a “my way or the highway manner, without room for compromise or consensus? Why would the Ontario (Liberal) government, itself bogged down with over $300 BILLION in public debt invoke on such a high pressure scheme to expend yet another nearly $200 million on a whimsical project? Why did it appear that that the impetus behind the pro-LRT lobby had so many dotted lines linked to the provincial government? Why did so many prominent and long time residents oppose the project and why were their objections obscured by a dozen or so alleged millennials who, in most cases were not rate payers? Why was our local city council not forthcoming in disclosure of annual operating costs that would almost certainly be borne by local municipal tax payers who were already about to face unwieldy property tax hikes including a previous download of hospital construction costs that rightly should have been fully funded by the province? Why did Brampton’s newly elected mayor permit her council to become divided and tossed into the highly divisive realm of provincial politics?
So many questions remained unanswered and such a sweltering carpet-bombing of slick lobbying, when matched with an absolute and arbitrary deadline to “take it or leave it” left large suspicions in the minds of many.
Gerrymandering is defined as the practice that attempts to establish a political advantage for a particular party or group by manipulating district boundaries to create partisan-advantaged districts. Gerrymandering is an aberration and a flagrant departure from truth, morality and society’s right to representative government.
Bailey had questioned the appropriateness of one candidate seeking election in Brampton’s last municipal election. He had challenged that individual’s bona fides to seek public office in a community where he was allegedly not a resident. Those complaints (according to Mr. Bailey) had fallen on deaf ears. They were simply never acted upon by various municipal and Ontario officials. Moreover, given the highly divisive strategy that was taking place inside city council chambers and the high pressure deadlines being imposed by Queen’s Park and its appointed cadre of transportation experts (Metrolinx), Bailey sought injunctive relief so as to not permit an alleged out of time member of City Council to take part in the “show-down vote” to either accept or reject the light rail transit link into Brampton’s historical downtown core. Bailey failed in the attempt to get an injunction. However, the judge did state that the case was not without merit and would be better served by way of a full-scale trial.
Such an eventual trial would permit full-scale examination (under oath) of the subject regional councilor.
It is ironic that the present City Council of Brampton sought to recover court costs for this individual at the heart of the matter. That decision to attempt to extract over $60,000 form a pensioner flies right in the face of Brampton’s newly elected mayor who had promised “openness” and “transparency”.
The over-arching question in this legal matter has vast ramifications. How conceivable would it be to load or pack a municipal elected body with outsiders (non residents) so as to achieve things that may not necessarily be in the best interests of the residents?
There is a Crowd Funding effort set up to raise funds in support of Peter Bailey’s quest for justice. I will be handing Peter Bailey a personal cheque in the next week to defend democracy. I am endorsing this fund raiser and inviting all my readers and friends to help out with a donation. The matter is much broader than just a local-Brampton issue. It has terrible implications that may well attack the concept of representative government. Think about it. A donation of $50 or $100 is a small price to pay for democracy.
Here is the link for donations. Why not show support for this cause – if only to say that you believe that democracy, freedom of speech and representative government is important to you?
Copyright Thunderbird Rising 2016
The above article is copyrighted. You may use, copy or distribute this article conditional on attributing your source (Thunderbird Rising) and the author (Lloyd Fournier)