Instead of a Meet the Candidates Night, it was Mistreat the Incumbents Night at the Stevensville Memorial Hall on Thursday, October 2, 2014 which featured candidates running in Wards 4,5 and 6. At least that was what Team Jimmy did in order to trick potential voters into thinking that the EDTC is doing a great job bringing jobs and industries to Fort Erie and that the three incumbent councillors have done nothing.
Some of those candidates who lavished praise on Jim Thibert appeared to be recent converts to the team. Mark Wilkie once stated on Facebook that "if the town invested in infrastructure instead of a dead horse track that only provides temporary part time jobs, maybe our roads, sewers, and water lines would be in better shape!" That was then, now Wilkie is all aboard Team Jimmy following a special meeting at the race track hosted by Thibert where he brainwashed (actually a light rinse would have sufficed) the invited to his greatest hits: a marina that has been stalled for years; a speedway that will not open until at least 2017 and a race track that subsists on millions of taxpayer dollars.
The complicit Fort Erie Chamber of Commerce provided the questions for the candidates that were heavily weighted in favour of Jimmy's arm's length corporation and against the many good things that the three incumbent councillors have achieved in the past four years. It was a well-staged hit piece that follows the scenario put into effect shortly after the 2010 election. That plan, dubbed Project 4-2-0, started with the slander lawsuit against me; Compliance Audits against three of the winning councillors; attacks in local newspapers and social media; and then a lawsuit against the four for conflict of interest, the latter being the apparent brainchild of Thibert and Mayor-by-five-votes Doug Martin.
The Usual Suspects were in attendance in force, waiting for their cues to heckle and disrupt the proceedings. Typical of the bully mentality so prevalent in Thibert's speeches and presentations to council. This is a man who likened the town to a prostitute and was behind a banner that hung at Town Hall insulting the Liberal government in Queen's Park.
Thibert himself had filed a separate suit against Ward 5 Councillor Donnie Lubberts for conflict of interest. In an article describing Lubberts' possible conflict, the Icon of Conflict*, Jim Thibert used foul language that is totally inappropriate for the man who represents Fort Erie. Great attitude, eh? And are the taxpayers going to pay for this lawsuit as well?
So, what we have come to call The Dark Side is now congratulating itself for a "successful event." Marina Butler, who brought a Compliance Audit against John Hill after the 2010 election; and helped fund the lawsuit against the four councillors; appeared to have been provided with the questions in advance. Of course she would; she's a member of the CofC inner circle and ally of Thibert.
So, it still comes down to this: this election is all about Jim Thibert. He has been behind all the events and lawsuits leading up to this day. His fingerprints are all over this election in the way legendary Boss Tweed would approve.
Update: I failed to note the comic relief provided by George Jardine. He may have used colourful language but he was dead right about the state of affairs in Fort Erie.
Greg Bonito was finally served court papers after a failed attempt at the event.
The backlash against the Chamber and the behaviour of the certain people at the event has spread. Some actually left when it got so out of hand. They are now firmly in the camp of the incumbent in their ward. Before, many came to hear the candidates before making their decision. Afterwards, they were very angry that the proceedings were allowed to get so out of hand.
*How can the General Manager of the Economic Development and Tourism Corporation also be the head of the Fort Erie Live Racing Corsortium? Only in Fort Erie, eh?
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