Thursday, October 30, 2008

Our new ad

Oshawa politicians have allowed the Colin Carrie political sign to be remounted in the Legend's Centre. Our correspondence re this issue has been posted on this site. Following this unprecedented policy by city council to allow the posting of political signs on public buildings which is undoubtedly unique in the country, I am asking city council to post our ad under the same conditions. The precedent has now been set and there can be no excuse not to post our sign under the same conditions and in the same kind of prominent position. We shall keep you posted!

You can increase the size of our ad to a readable size by double-clicking it.

Might we also suggest you print this sign off and give it to your friends and neighbours or give them the link to this posting. Oshawa voters have to know the impact of the new election system on the city, on our taxes, and on our political leadership. Oshawa voters have to understand why politicians imposed a system not used in the country. It is an American system that requires the use of political parties to make it work. Municipal political parties are against Municipal Election Law in Ontario.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Latest on Cullen Gardens Fiasco

Council is considering a staff report at their upcoming meeting to consider awarding a sales listing to a local realtor.

Their efforts at national advertising in the past at a cost of over $6000 produced one offer to buy for $30,000...not much for the city's $234,000 expensive and ludicrous purchase based on an "insider" estimate of value of over $600,000.

Obviously the dearth of prospective buyers indicate the real value of the collection to underscore the naivety of council's judgement. Councillors who voted for this wastage of taxpayer money and those supporting this extravagance in wastage do not in my judgement exercise wise enough judgement to warrant them with trusteeship of our hard earned tax dollars.

You can search this blog on the left sidebar using the keywords "cullen gardens" to read our complete list of stories about this fiasco.

You will find many additional links in the articles including news articles of the sales attempts to date.

Monday, October 6, 2008

...on Political Signs in City Buildings

Why Don't they just "COME CLEAN"
... with the facts?


Subject: RE: To The Mayor and Council RE: Colin Carrie Sign
Date: Fri, 3 Oct 2008 17:02:25 -0400


Cc: Political and Media Mail List deleted

Mr. Longworth

The City’s facility advertising is in compliance with the Canadian Code of Advertising Standards. Our advertising agreement with Colin Carrie has been in place since March 28, 2008. Unfortunately during the term of the contract, the sign was not removed when the federal election was called. We have since removed the sign and thank you for bringing this item to our attention.

Tracy Adams


RE: To The Mayor and Council RE: Colin Carrie Sign

From: Bill Longworth (
Sent:October 6, 2008 11:18:55 AM

To: Tracy Adams (; (
Cc: Political and Media Mail List Deleted

Tracy Adams
Mayor and Council c/o city clerk

Your response does not at all address the issue of political or religious advertising on civic buildings which by convention is not done anywhere to my knowledge. The Canadian Code of Advertising Standards speaks to the truth, accuracy, and fairness of advertising and is quite general in addressing itself to print and media advertising and does not at all address any special institutional requirements. For example, it does not address the posting of signs in Parliamentary windows yet one MP who posted a "political" sign was ordered to remove it since "advertising" is not allowed in Parliamentary buildings. The Code defines the basic requirements of advertising. Carrie's sign in the Legend's Centre was accurate, fair, and truthful...but it was not appropriate for posting in a civic building.

Oshawa's decision to allow political advertising is akin to a church building posting advertising for sexual services. The Canadian Code of Advertising Standards does not prohibit advertising for sexual services and such advertising is found in many publications which speaks to the "class" of the publication and the readership it wants to attract. It is just not done in churches because it is not in good taste in those institutions and does not reflect the values of the organization. Similarly, I would think it a severe disgrace, for example, if advertising for condoms were posted in the Legend's Centre, despite the fact it is permissable by the Canadian Code of Advertising Standards and encouraged by public health policy. Judgement always has to be exercised and there is a time and place for everything.

Your response does not in addition address the question of who approved this advertising. I have asked whether this was a staff decision, whether it was approved by council, or indeed whether it was on the independent direction of a politician. I am also interested to know whether advertising in public buildings is subject to any policies developed by the city and approved by council. If there are no such policies, I would judge this to be a severe shortcoming in civic political and administrative leadership.

This is a serious matter and I am requesting full disclosure on this issue to me. In addition, I am requesting notification to me that political advertising will no longer be allowed in city buildings.

Bill Longworth,


Friday, October 3, 2008

Correspondence related to
Oshawa Public Buildings
being used for
Partisan Political Purposes

Issue Described in Sept. 30 Item Below

Subject: Colin Carrie Sign
Date: Thu, 2 Oct 2008 11:49:18 -0400


Mr. Longworth.

I am responding to your email of September 30, 2008 concerning a sign at the Legends Centre referencing the Constituency Office of Colin Carrie. This is to advise that the sign was permitted at the facility under an advertising agreement between Colin Carrie and the City of Oshawa. In accordance with the agreement, the City has removed the sign for the duration of the federal election campaign in order that all candidates are treated in a fair and impartial manner.

If you have any further questions please contact me.

Percy Luther

Manager, Records Information Systems
City of Oshawa

RE: Colin Carrie Sign
To: Percy Luther and The Mayor and Council
From: Bill Longworth (
Sent:October 2, 2008 4:56:42 PM
To:; Percy Luther (

Cc: (; mshouldra (; npidwerbecki (; (; jneal (; tdmarimpietri (; rlutczyk (; (; jhenry (; (; (; (;;;; Sandra Kranc (; (;; Durham OCentral News Joe (; news rogers 1st Local News Producer (; news Rogers TV Supervising Producer (; (; (; "news@oshawaexpress" M " ; " " ; " " ; " " ; " " ; " " ; " the Star Letters to editor " ; " " ;;"

Mr. Luther...It is rather unusual that political or religious advertising should be allowed on public property since these are both topics of public disagreement. This advertising is quite different than regular advertising such as for fitness centers, insurance companies and agencies, or Campbell's Soup. There has to be a standard. Would advertising for strip clubs or for sexual or escort services be allowed as a simple advertising contract, for example, or is there some standard and guidelines? If there are no advertising guidelines, this demonstates a serious deficiency in staff and political leadership in Oshawa.

As this instance of political advertising is a first for Oshawa public buildings, I have asked who made the decision and have asked that this information be publicly communicated. Political advertising in our public buildings implies funding support but as I suggested in my previous message, this would never indicate the Federal Party or the MP involved. This political advertising in Municipal Buildings is undoubtedly a "first" for any municipality in Canada and so the public has the right to know how and why the decision was made. I have asked whether it was a decision made by a politician, a resolution of council, or a staff decision. If a staff decision, I ask whether the decision was bounced off any politician. I do not believe any competent staff would see it as a simple advertising contract as you suggest without alarm bells going off and wonder whether a FOI request has to be filed to get to the bottom of this issue.

I ask also the date on which the sign was mounted at the Legends Centre be provided to me.

In your email to me, you indicate that the sign was removed in accordance with the advertising contract and so I ask if such removal is referenced in the advertising contract, why was this condition of the contract not carried out immediately when the Federal Election was announced.

The fact that the sign has now been removed indicates that it should not have been placed there during the Federal Election and I still insist not at all, election or not.

I also wonder whether this advertising cost will be included on the election costs reported by the Conservative Candidate to the Election Expenses Commission at the conclusion of the election as it did appear on the Legends Centre wall for a significant portion of the Federal Election period.

Bill Longworth,