Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Oshawa Using City Buildings
for Partisan Political Purposes

To The Mayor and Council,
c/o Oshawa City Clerk

Local Media

Local Federal Candidates

I am distressed, concerned, and aghast that Oshawa taxpayer funded public facilities should be used for blatant politicking on behalf of any Federal Political Candidate or Party.

The Legends Centre, funded by the Oshawa taxpayer, has a large metal political sign supporting Conservative Candidate, Colin Carrie, prominently and permanently affixed to the wall just inside the main entrance on the wall opposite the public library.

Anyone seeing this sign might reasonably believe Carrie, or the Conservative Federal Government, had a role in funding this facility for the Oshawa taxpayer. Indeed we all know that this facility was built at considerable expense solely by the Oshawa taxpayer, the highest taxed residents in the entire GTA. Indeed, even if the Federal Government was involved, the Government of Canada would be listed…not the party or the riding member.

In any case, a significant proportion of Oshawa taxpayers do not support Carrie or his party and so it is radically unfair to use their taxpayer funded facilities to support candidates and parties that they oppose. By displaying Carrie’s sign, the City of Oshawa is publicly sanctioning him as our MP in Ottawa which is at odds with the viewpoint of many Oshawa taxpayers.

Displaying a political sign, whether during a federal election or not makes a political statement that would not be made in any other public building in the country. Once again, Oshawa is living up to its motto, “Prepare to be amazed!”

I request the details of how the decision was made to allow this partisan politicking on Oshawa Public Property. I am particularly interested in knowing whether this was a resolution of council, a decision of staff, or a unilateral decision of a politician like the mayor who was once President of the Oshawa Federal Progressive Conservative Association.

I believe also that the individual(s) responsible should be publicly identified and disciplined for this gross lack of judgment, probably the only example of such lack of judgment in the entire country.

I wonder, as well, whether the expense of this advertising and the cost of producing the metal plaque is being identified as an election expense on the part of the Conservative Candidate. I believe also that the offer for displaying Candidates signs should be made to all candidates if displaying political signs is now part of Oshawa public policy.

Bill Longworth,
September 30, 2008