‘Barwick 4’ found guilty in the court of public opinion


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As if you didn’t already know this, the return of Cliff Barwick to St. Thomas council is all about balance of power and, ultimately, the construction of a new police headquarters.
Prior to the departure of Sam Yusuf, you had two, equal-sized camps in the council chamber, not unlike the disfunctional council of 2003 in which deadlocked votes were the norm.
With Yusuf’s departure last month, the balance shifted and the ‘Barwick 4’ – as Mayor Heather Jackson and aldermen Gord Campbell, Tom Johnston and Dave Warden have now been christened – were able to out-muscle the remaining three members of council in filling the vacancy.
There is no doubt Barwick will bring experience and decorum to the horseshoe. And the deciding vote needed to proceed with a new facility to house the city’s police service.
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Filling vacant council seat akin to musical chairs


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Monday’s vote to appoint former mayor Cliff Barwick to fill the seat vacated by Sam Yusuf has unleashed a groundswell of anger and accusations across the social media universe.
Not to mention some questionable logic and judgment from both factions of council.
To get the ball rolling, you have to ask, when council had 60 days to fill the vacancy – whether by appointment or by-election – why did the Barwick 4 feel compelled to call a snap vote just minutes after officially declaring the seat vacant?
That in itself brought out the red flags, prompting Ald. Mark Cosens to charge, “it’s obvious that had been orchestrated.”
Point taken.
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Stop the budget bus, we’re headed in the wrong direction


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The focus the government should be taking is job creation, especially in St. Thomas and Elgin. That’s the thumbnail analysis from Elgin-Middlesex-London MPP Jeff Yurek on the Ontario budget handed down Thursday.
“There’s pretty much zero for job creation or even getting our economy back on a somewhat level platform,” Yurek told City Scope on Friday.
“Spending is up $3.6 billion dollars at a time we’re trying to balance the budget. That’s just the wrong direction.”
Do you start with reeling in public sector salaries? Do you tinker with bargaining rights, as was the case with teachers?
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