On Thursday, March 28, 1985, Oshawa MP Ed Broadbent’s assistant, Nester Pidwerbecki, was quoted on page 3 of the Oshawa Times as saying, “They are going to have to break up the country club and it is going to be the best thing that ever happened to Oshawa” in response to news that the OMB had ordered the Ward System to be implemented in Oshawa. “How can I describe our feelings,” he continued, “we’re elated.”
He said up to now Council had been composed of people who have had enough money to afford the high price tag of a general election campaign.
“Now people who are relatively unknown may figure they have a chance where there was none before,” he said. “Instead of spending a lot of money to cover the whole city, they can now concentrate on one area and reduce the cost factor.”
Describing the then “General Vote” Council as an “elite group”, Pidwerbecki said he expects some new faces on council after the next municipal election in November.
My how times have changed since Pidwerbecki joined city council. Now that he is a member, he introduced a motion to Oshawa City Council to include a plebiscite question about returning to the General Vote….the very system where he suggested it was impossible for an incumbent to lose their seat on council. He was supported by the majority of council, all of whom wanted to guarantee their future against electoral defeat. He, and the other councilors who voted for the plebiscite, all want to join the “country club” Pidwerbecki derided in 1985.
It is an abrogation of civic duty when politicians want to serve themselves rather than the citizens they are supposed to represent.