Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Bennett's Crew Declare Candidacies, Developers do Happy Dance; Hendry Finally In for Town Ward

Labour Day weekend brought long-anticipated hot summer weather to Peterborough. It also signaled the beginning of the active campaign period for the 2014 municipal election. Time to plant lawn signs!

Just like the muggy weekend weather, mayor Daryl Bennett left Peterborough residents waiting all summer. Would the taxicab business owner ever get around to informing the public whether or not he intended to seek re-election? Given the attitude Bennett displayed toward openness and transparency during his first term, few were surprised by his summer secrecy.

The public weren’t the only ones waiting around. Bennett created a traffic jam as councillors Bill Juby, Len Vass, and Dan McWilliams, the mayor’s compadres on council, chose to wait until Bennett declared before they would declare their candidacies. Predictably, once Bennett finally got around to informing the public that he would indeed seek a second term, Juby, Vass and McWilliams all followed suit in the week leading up to Labour Day.

The Fab Four constituted two-thirds of the voting bloc that rammed many motions through council in the past term in 6-5 votes. Bennett’s other two key votes belonged to Andrew Beamer and Bob Hall, both representing Northcrest. Together, the six managed to advance the agenda of suburban sprawl and the interests of developers by pushing the Parkway and the outrageous Jackson Park bridge to facilitate big new subdivisions on the city’s outskirts.

Beamer didn’t wait around for Bennett, declaring his candidacy early on for a second term representing Northcrest, the area on the hook to host the Parkway and much of the aforementioned sprawl. Hall has not put his name forward amid rumours that he’ll seek the federal Liberal Party nomination for the next federal election, hoping to run against Dean Del Mastro, or whoever replaces him. Of course, local Liberal Party members may have other ideas as to who they want to carry their torch.

Hall has developed a reputation for over-booking himself and resorting to e-mail form letters when corresponding with Northcrest residents. He spent more money than any other candidate during the last election, maxing out his limit of $14,000, yet received only 2478 votes, just 138 more than third-place finisher Dave Haacke. Where did Hall get the money? Much of it came from the development industry, and much of that came from out of town, including Mocor Investments Mason Homes (both based in Concord, Ontario) and Brookfield Homes,  the Ontario arm of Brookfield Residential, one of the biggest developers in North America. You can read Hall’s 2010 campaign financial statement here.

Mocor Investments co-owner Saverio Montemarano also controls Melody Homes, and a company called Liberty Greens. Through Mocor and Liberty Greens, Montemarano contributed thousands of dollars to the campaigns of Bennett, Beamer, Vass, and McWilliams, which you can see at the link above.

Is it just coincidence that Melody Homes owns big tracts of land in the north end and is hoping to fill them with houses? Try reading the terrible experiences of people who bought from Melody Homes here and be glad you’re not one of them.

As reported by the Examiner, Montemarano was also behind Del Mastro’s ill-advised push for a convention center on Little Lake in 2008.

Doesn’t it seem like out-of-town millionaires have more say over Peterborough’s growth agenda than the people who live here?

Of course, with an out-of-town millionaire like Bennett as our mayor, what else would one expect?

One might also wonder why Ashburnham residents keep voting in Vass, another wealthy businessman residing out in the county. And why Town Ward voters keep electing Juby, who doesn’t live downtown.

Maybe, being typical Canadians, we just don’t mind letting rich men from far away make decisions for us.

Or do we?

Running against these stale incumbents are a host of candidates who are actually interested in representing views other than the ones Bennett wants them to. Several of their websites are on the sidebar. There’s also a link to the City Hall webpage where you can see who’s running where so far.

Just this morning, former Examiner editor Jim Hendry became the latest candidate. Hendry will challenge Juby in Town Ward, as reported by the Examiner today.


  1. At last, Peterborough is going to finally get its much-needed referendum on the Parkway, otherwise known as the 2014 Municipal Election. Let's get out the vote and resolve this issue once and forever more. If we vote in a new council, this time the results will be binding. Thanks, BTF, for putting up this blog.

  2. Well done BTF. It's great to read a comprehensive account of the way things really are in Peterborough. The unvarnished truth must be told.
    I love the financial statements for Hall and others.
    People have got to wake up!