talking the legs off a chair

When Aurora council met Tuesday on the issue of electing York Region’s chair they voted 7-1 in favor. Two days later when the issue surfaced at York Region Council they voted 14-5 to defer.

One would have expected Aurora Mayor La-de-Dawe’s vote to be in favor. When it wasn’t the sense of frustration, betrayal and disappointment was swift with a tweet directed at him reading:

Your Council voted 7-1 to elect the Chair. #listentothem

Followed up with another:

To better understand La-de-Dawe’s refusal to listen to Aurorans we read in this Auroran article.

While our Mayor said he believes the idea of an elected chair “has merit”, an election at large where one person has to run a campaign throughout the entire Region of York might be cumbersome and cost-prohibitive.

Cumbersome and cost-prohibitive, that’s rich coming from the Mayor presiding over a
$6.2-million increase in the Town of Aurora’s Joint Oops centre.  It could also sum up the $600,000 cost to clean up mould on the renovations to the town’s Family leisure complex:Cost-prohibitive was the verdict when the town spent $20,000+ on a Cost Benefit Study of a multi-million dollar Hillary-MacinTyred-Park the mayor championed.

Cost-prohibitive was the verdict when the town spent $20,000+ on a Cost Benefit Study of a multi-million dollar Hillary-MacinTyred-Park the mayor championed.

Or how about the Mayor’s newer pet project: that “voice of Aurora” the Community Radio Station (and Sound Studio) that got as far as a $250,000 item on a council agenda this summer.

Year after year Dawe has never flinched in encumbering Aurorans with tax increases, both at the town and the region.

While trying to claim that Aurora is somehow receiving a higher level of service than its neighbours and that only Aurorans enjoy an “exceptional quality of life” the Region’s debt continues to grow under a leadership vacuum.

Under its original long-term capital plan, York’s debt was projected to exceed $5 billion as of 2020. A revised forecast had a new ceiling of $4 billion:

Now we are hearing a claim that the debt will never reach $3 billion:

Yes, the Region’s debt will peak and then go down.


Most of the debt will be paid for by development charges.


Yes the Region is on its way to fiscal sustainability everyone, no need for an elected chair at all. Besides running a campaign would be cumbersome and cost-prohibitive.

It’s not like other regions do it.

Oh, wait they do?

Durham Region does.  Let’s compare.

Durham has a population of 600,000+ while York Region’s population is 1,000,000+.

So at first glance one might conclude that the scale is tipped against York Region.  But York Region is only 1,762 km square while Durham Region is 2,523 km square.

If Durham has a more area to cover and manages, what is York’s argument again?

It’s not like candidates for Durham Region’s chair were seen running around like this:

Dawe is bewildered at the prospect of campaigning at all:  “Where will all that money come from?”

Gee, I don’t know mayor Dawe why don’t we examine your most recent campaign expenses?

Oh right we can’t because he filed them in a way that prevents transparency:

Seeing as how Dawe has violated the Municipal Election’s Act himself I’m not convinced he’s the voice we should be listening to with respect to how elections present too many backroom deals.

He’s all talk, and when he’s given a clear action, like the one Aurora council have him on Tuesday instead of listening to them he folded like a cheaply made chair.

* Broken Chair is a monumental sculpture in wood by the Swiss artist Daniel Berset, constructed by the carpenter Louis Genève.


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