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,


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