Friday, January 12, 2007

In reference to my previous blog on this matter the councillor who "flipped out" on our dear and sacred Major Sam Katz was our local councillor for this area (Elmwood-East Kildonan). She was not actually the originator of the new name for loan-ducker Mayor Sam Katz. The term "sell out-Sammy" was yelled out by the crowd at the meeting concerned. Her rather alliterative term was " "mindless mincing minions" for the members of Katz's "cabinet" the EPC (Executive Policy Committee) who towed the proper line at the meeting. I'm sure they will get their proper reward, either in this present life as city councillors or in the future life when they do business with the City.
Thomas was, of course, called "unprofessional" by the winners of this little fracas. "Professional" is one of the great misused words in the English language. She actually "showed emotion"- the proper English term- because her constituents had been betrayed while her opponents were busy with the gloating of "got you now you son-of-a-bitch" which is, of course, VERY "professional". When the people you represent have been lied to and deprived of their rights then "emotion" is "not professional" while talking behind peoples' backs and gloating at a victory is quite "professional". "Professional" has come to mean very much the power to smile at some poor bugger while you screw them over. No emotion there, of course, because smug satisfaction doesn't count as an emotion in that ideology.
Of the members of the EPC only Mike O'Shaughnessey (Old Kildonan) voted against the proposal to close the Kelvin Community Centre. Many kudos to him, though I'm sure he will have to make it up to Sammy to stay on the EPC. For out of town readers the EPC is appointed by our local right wing Mayor, and it has powers accorded to it separate from the full City Council.
Molly has in her possession a copy of 'The Herald' written shortly before this atrocity took place. this, our local community newspaper, expressed some optimism that the decision to close this centre would be rescinded, but events have proven this wrong. The PLAN to build mega centres goes on even if we up the road DON'T want an expansion and even if the problems at Kelvin have been corrected.
The COST, by the way, awarded to some consulting firm that planned the consolidation of Winnipeg's Community Centres was $500,000. One wonders whether City employees couldn't have done this for the cost of their salaries. But maybe somebody wouldn't have received a favour then? One also wonders about the consistency of this present administration who are the first to point out the cost of "consultants" hired by former lefty Mayor Glen Murray (not that Molly defends lefty corruption either, but the old saying about "sauce for the goose" holds here). One should also note that the PLAN (like many of Stalin's five year plans) has an "estimated" cost of $43 MILLION. No "consultant" will ever be hired to compare this cost with that of keeping our present Community centres running.
Spokesmen for the 'Concerned Elmwood Neighbours' noted that the meetings of the EPC were held during working hours when many residents of Elmwood and East Kildonan could not attend, and that many of the residents of Elmwood don't own cars (a rather poor neighbourhood) necessary to take their children to the Bronx Centre. The spokesman also noted that this is part of a general plan on the part of the City to close centres in poorer neighbourhoods of the city.
The final vote on the closure will take place at a a general meeting of City Council on January 24th. Load voices are required and encouraged.
Molly Notes:
This is one of the sad situations that result when there is NO libertarian socialist alternative ready to present alternative ways of organizing society. the simple fact is that, as long as a government gives the money, you are dependent on said government. When the complexion of the government changes , as it has here in Winnipeg, you are simply shit out of luck. The usual "lefty" solution, advocated by those who have never seen a tax or a government expenditure that they couldn't love is no solution, as this situation amongst many millions demonstrates. The ONLY solution is independence for community initiatives, and no matter how much Molly may advocate the conservative option of preserving this or that community asset, she recognizes that this is not some sort of eternal and infallible guard-whatever leftists may say.
The real !!! guard would be a reform of tax law, federal, provincial and municipal, such that people could choose the expenditures that their tax dollars went to. Organizations such as the United Way already offer this option. It is not impossible. One could also say that contributions to this and that would be "deductible from income tax" as so many things are today. If your buying sports equipment for your child is a tax deduction under federal law(as it is now) then a contribution to a community centre should be as well.
Community Centres will never be free of external powers that impose their agendas for ideological reasons until they are financially independent. THAT should be a long term goal.

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