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theskeptic

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Reply with quote  #1 

At this recent Council meeting, the topic of a revised code of conduct came on the floor for discussion.  The justifications for this revised code of ethics as given by Crouse and Heron were interesting.

Crouse seemed to be focussed on matters which had been said rather than actual conduct which should be considered unbecoming. Russell's description of the Prefontaine hiring as "corrupt"; MacKay's open letter to the citizens criticizing Draper's hiring of Prefontaine as head of the Engineering & Planning Department; comments by Councillors on their blogs; and letters to insurance companies inquiring as to coverage for lawsuits all seemed to Crouse to be matters which should be curtailed. Heron, seemed to think that a revised code of conduct would have prevented her unproven allegations of ill-will between some Councillors and staff.

Double dipping, voting on a healing garden grant for a group of which your wife was the president, and participating in discussions about a lawsuit in which you are a defendant did not seems to be ethical concerns for Crouse. Providing misinformation about non-existent staff concerns about personal safety did not seem to be a ethical concern for Heron.

It is small wonder that other councillors expressed misgivings that this was simply being used as a tool to muzzle those on Council whose ideas of governance differ from their own.

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Murray Lambert

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Reply with quote  #2 
Talk about 'the pot calling the kettle black'. The mayor's comments on this matter represent the height of hypocrisy, as if he has any credibility at all when it comes to the proper conduct of an elected official particularly as it applies to the 'chief magistrate' of a municipality. It is apparent that not only does 'the emperor have no clothes' but he has no shame in parading about in such a manner. Such antics are befitting of a true demagogue.
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warmodel

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Reply with quote  #3 
Murray Lambert:  Re your comment pertaining to a "Code of Conduct" for the city council. I can't even imagine both CROUSE & HERON having the audacity to even address this subject matter. When it comes to HERON, you only have to think back to last month and the subject matter of security at City Hall  -  the story kept on changing. Re CROUSE, think back over the past number of years, its his rules in the chamber, never mind 'Robert's Rules of Order', Double Dipping/Triple Dipping  -  his having the funds rec'd for sitting as a chairman  directed to his holding company  and in doing so failing to submit these funds to the City of st. Albert  voting on matters where he should have excused himself , his not always being truthful to others, his use of filthy language to others in the presence of a number of people then immediately denies saying it the next day.   he should have been removed from office long ago. 
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Swallow1

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Reply with quote  #4 
@warmodel "he should have been removed from office long ago."

And yet, the people who don't seem to care about city politics or the cost of their decisions will continue to vote him (and her) into office...

Although people outside the golden bubble consider us a laughingstock, the only way some council members will go away is if they leave of their own accord.

Hey - and then, some brilliant fool will start a letter writing campaign to name a street or arena after them for their long service!

Bend over = they'll drive...
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theskeptic

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Reply with quote  #5 

In a rather telling phrase, Heron indicated that her motivation for an enhanced Councillor's Code of Conduct is to "set the next Council up for success." This, I suggest, seems to be code words by which to pass on the message to the Crouse/Heron voting base that through a new code of ethics they will be able to stifle any criticism by the three recalcitrant councillors.

After all, it must be remembers that at all material times Crouse and his minions have had a 4/3 plurality on city council. Therefore there has been no impediment to their agenda. They were able to spend $500,000 on an LRT study; able to increase the budget from about 300 thousand to over a million to renovate the 50+ building; able to spend thousands on a brass pine cone statute, painting streets in a temporary program, paint invisible bricks on a pedestrian cross walk, and able to spend in the order of 10 million dollars on destroying a historic forest area and build a road to no where while approving a traffic circle which will serve no utilitarian purpose. The only thing that has marred their "path to success" has been the public criticism of this non-sensical extravigence by Hughes, MacKay, and Russell.

Of course, one must not forget the Draper episode. These three councillors were able to create enough publicity and hence public dissatisfaction with Draper's reign as CAO that he had to be terminated. Since Heron publically expressed her admiration for Draper and was the sole vote to retain his services, I guess she considers that keeping him on staff to continue his despotic rule would have been a sign of "success."

So it seems clear that Heron's idea of "setting the next council up for success" is to create a code of ethics which stifles and muffles any criticism by those on council who oppose the nonsense perpetrated by the "4 horseman." It's obviously not "participatory democracy in action" but is rather a strategy by those who seem to be losing the battle for public opinion to continue with their agenda without the "inconvenience" of public scrutiny.

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warmodel

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Reply with quote  #6 
Just wondering:  This character CROUSE keeps on feeding information (news) to the Gazette.............makes one think that could it be quite possible that he is the paper's 'unpaid' political reporter.  If that was the case, just think how much news  (even if it was noted as being personal and confidential) he can feed by not only being the'Mayor' but also chair of the CRB. This individual is dangerous and the sooner  he is brought under some form of control the better for one and all.
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Since2000

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Reply with quote  #7 
As long as people vote for politicians based on -  "dress really nice and is so energetic.." democracy is doomed. 
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Head Honcho

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Reply with quote  #8 
Really? Good grief, Crouse has to be colour blind by the looks of his wardrobe and Heron's outfits, especially for those special holidays at council, (think Halloween),  make her look like a 16 year old. But hey, whatever turns people's cranks. 


Comment edited. It was a mistaken attempt at humour. - HH
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Murray Lambert

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Reply with quote  #9 
I was going to post a comment on the matter of politicians and their taste in clothing but after reading Head Honcho's reply I decided that I couldn't possibly top that! 
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danapop

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Reply with quote  #10 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Head Honcho
Really? Good grief, Crouse has to be colour blind by the looks of his wardrobe and Heron's outfits, especially for those special holidays at council, (think Halloween),  make her look like a 16 year old. But hey, whatever turns people's cranks. 
Wow don. That is disgusting and beyond misogynistic. Absolutely abhorrent. Wow. Just wow.

Comment edited. It was a mistaken attempt at humour. - HH
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Ann

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Reply with quote  #11 
Thank you Dana, you took the words right out of my mouth. Disgusting, shameful and misogynist beyond belief. 


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Since2000

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Reply with quote  #12 
Head Honcho nails it.  You PC babies go get your soothers.
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Ann

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Reply with quote  #13 
Since2000 H.H. edited his post and, until you have the balls to use your real name, your comment about P.C,babies is irrelevant.
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Since2000

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Reply with quote  #14 
Oh, Ann, do you need your soother? Someone get her a safe space!!!
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K Van Hoof

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Reply with quote  #15 
Yeesh, how old are you @since2000?
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warmodel

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Reply with quote  #16 
For everyone's information the "Silly Road" by the Silly Hall has finally been opened to traffic.  I'm sure that once a person has traveled over it that it will bring a lot of talk.  Other than swallowing a hell of a lot of tax payers money,  just what was gained by it.  Perhaps the individual who thought this up can come forward and explain just what the final cost for this excercise cost us  -  my opinion is that the TRUE  final figure will not be released to the public.  
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theskeptic

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Reply with quote  #17 
This is what happens when a discussion thread created to discuss the significance of the new proposals for a councillors code of conduct gets used as a Twitter account in which people's gut reactions are expressed in 140 characters without any reasons or justification for their opinions.  It brings to mind Dr. Hilda Neatby's book titled "So little for the Mind."
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K Van Hoof

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Reply with quote  #18 
Yes, skeptic. I don't always agree with your arguments...but at least they're arguments put forward with considerable thought, which I appreciate. Some discourse on here tends to sink down to a school-ground level.
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theskeptic

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Reply with quote  #19 
K van Hoof:  Thank you.  I think people often forget that there are many people on this forum who are very well educated and/or have considerable experience in very responsible vocations and professions.  Surely to goodness they should be able to post their ideas on this forum without fear of derision.  Surely to goodness they should be able to take umbrage with the perspective of the original poster and explain the reasons for their differing perspective without being subject to personal attacks.  Surely to goodness when a person makes an error and posts something which is offensive but then deletes and apologizes for his/her mistake the episode should be forgiven and forgotten.  

There is a whole Twitter/Facebook world out there where thoughtless and catty remarks appear to be the norm .... so maybe this forum should be something uniquely different from that world.
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theskeptic

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Reply with quote  #20 

Anyone can say they believe in "freedom of opinion and expression" when someone says something with which they agree. The acid test as to whether you actually agree with the principle of freedom of opinion and expression when someone says something with which you either disagree or find offensive.

Today the mantra of "political correctness" , the blurry world of truth by consensus, the legal tools of defamation, and the bureaucratic tools a "code of conduct" are frequently employed as euphemisms to disguise the fact that a particular group does not believe in freedom of expression for those who espouse beliefs with which they do not agree.

The opposition to the principle of freedom of expression are now rampant in our society.  The millennials who have spent years in the cocoons built for them by universities and colleges are now out on the streets demanding "safe spaces", freedom from "microagressions", and "trigger warnings" for anything that may contradict their world view and offend these poor delicate snowflakes. Rigorous debate over the truth of a matter is often suppressed in advanced liberal societies on the basis that all moral deliberations end up in unjustifiable preferences which cannot be adjudicated. Additionally the law of defamation is being used, not to protect people's reputations and compensate for an damages occurring from false statements, but rather as a tool to put a chill on the freedom of political expression. And finally, too often politicians use a "code of conduct" as a tool to silence their political opponents who all too frequently get the best of them in public debates.

As these people pontificate about statements being "politically incorrect", statements causing trauma that should be prefaced by "trigger warnings", or that everyone's "truth" is equally valid and therefore should not be subject to criticism, or that an enhanced code of conduct is required for a municipal council to operate productivily, it should be recognized that in actual fact they are saying " we are not proponents of free speech as an essential element in a free and democratic society." The very fact that these people are so numerous and vocal in their righteous indignation is a clear indication that the battle to reaffirm freedom of speech needs to be refought in every generation

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OMG

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Reply with quote  #21 
So sick of the pettiness and political correctness garbage! Can't even say HELLO anymore. Might get trampled on social media. Some people are crazy!
I love Jann Arden!! She lovingly referred to her mom as Eskimo.

Jann Arden

You know I would NEVER intentionally hurt anyone's feelings right?
You know the picture of my mom that I posted with her winter coat/parka on, with the caption above it that has caused an uproar- to me- was meant with such adoration and love and innocence. In my heart, it was the CUTEST thing ever. NEVER was I directing any sort of negative slam at ANYBODY on the planet.

The vitriol that smothers the internet, with stupid, misinformed comments is shocking and discouraging to say the least. MOST of the people commenting in a hateful fashion towards me the last 36 hours, have NO clue what they are even commenting about- or what I might have done. They've not seen mom's photo with my dog- they LITERALLY don't know why they're commenting, they just have caught wind that I did something terrible and immediately write to me on twitter or on here to tell me what a horrible racist I am.

It does get to me.
It does make me feel bad.
To think that I somehow hurt a group of people with my obviously naive completely innocent use of the 'E' word really boggles my mind.

It's the stupidest, craziest thing to watch unfold.
I'm not sure what else I can to do, but say I'm sorry and move on.

I personally think it's gotten to a ridiculous point when ANY objective, informed, educated person, can look at mom's lovely picture and from THAT...call me a racist.

Sad indeed
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Galt

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Reply with quote  #22 
In Saturday's Gazette (Gender-based attacks) Hughes definitely hit an homerun when she said "There's far greater issues that are facing governments at all levels that need to be the focus of both the people in government and the media. How are we moving forward? " Obviously we aren't.

When wanna-be politicians opt to do a smear campaign on an individual who realizes they made an error in putting an unnecessary comment online, removes it and admits to an error in judgement; when the Gazette sees it fit to do a two page spread about this, it's obvious how far we as a society have fallen down Alice's rabbit hole

It's interesting to note that political individuals like Hughes and Notely, who have both been at the receiving end of faux pas comments, quickly moved on with their jobs. Unfortunately society's mentality can be likened to the pecking of chickens - nasty.

Maybe this is the result of packing people into high density environments.
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theskeptic

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Reply with quote  #23 

Traditionally, we determined right and wrong according to Judaic/Christian values which were formulated by Church scholars, such as Aquinas, who were well versed in moral philosophy. This formed an objective criteria, exterior to self, which the individual attempted to live by.

However, political correctness is based on a subjective truth by consensus theory. It seems that conduct is characterized as "acceptable" or "unacceptable" by some amorphous, anonymous, unelected, self appointed opinion makers.

Exactly who decided that the word" Eskimo" is now politically incorrect? Were these people elected to some sort of position in society where they would make these moral judgments for the rest of society? Did they ever conduct a referendum to determine whether a plurality agreed with their judgment on the "Eskimo" question? Of course not. The whole political correct movement is basically mob rule in which self-appointed opinion makers (usually left wingers) arbitrarily decide what is politically incorrect and their lemmings dutifully fall in line so they can then claim they have a consensus. The "thought police" then swing into action to ensure that a particular word is expunged from popular usage on the theory that if you don't know the word ... you can't think the thought.

Since it is simply an exercise in mob rule based on some psychological theory, it is not surprising that rational logical thought does not form a major role in the decision making equation and "feelings" are given priority. Consequently absurdities abound. For example one of the favourite cliches of the politically correct is "Oh .... you are so judgemental" So the politically correct crowd have made a judgement that it is "inappropriate" for other people to make judgments. Go figure.

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Steve Stone

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Reply with quote  #24 
The skeptic great comments! I will add the following:
Word Engineering preceeds Social Engineering. Hence the disappearance of many words from the Judaic/Christian values and the introduction of new and invented language have engineered a loss of morality (another disappeared word) and gave birth to Relativism as the norm in today's world.
Relativism is the return of "Might is Right"; those with the greater political power and wealth get to strongarm the rest.
Our society seems to have forgotten that neither man, the State nor democracy is the author of Truth.
Result? Chaos. Society seems to be no longer interest in Truth, only what is convenient.
A sad state of affairs, no doubt. But that has always been the battle in one form, shape or fashion.
Pride is the fall of man, but there is always faith, hope and love to return to
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Observer

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Reply with quote  #25 
While I generally agree that there is too much political correctness in certain instances and the Jan Arden thing is blown out of proportion, Skeptic you are wrong in the assertion that "self-appointed opinion makers" decided the word Eskimo is a derogatory term.

Here in Canada - Alaskan Eskimos still use that term - Canadian Inuit have led the push to phase out the word Eskimo because they do believe it to be a derogatory term. SO it is not coming from over-sensitive leftist, but from within the culture itself. Yes, there are some Canadian Inuit who do not care either way but many do.

If the culture itself tells the world that the correct moniker for their people is Inuit and not Eskimo there should be enough respect out there for people to oblige that request.

It is similar to the use of the term Indian as opposed to First Nation or aboriginal. What the people themselves consider acceptable is very regional and in some case hyper-local down to the band itself.

All that being said, I don't think Jan Arden was being racist but there are some Inuit people who feel very strongly about the word Eskimos, some go so far as to equate it to the "N" word.
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