It’s leadership that builds our future.

This is just an idle thought for a bleak February in Barrie. It is what a difference leadership can make. This comes to mind with the sour grapes announcement by Laurentian University that they are dumping their partnership staff and students at Georgian College. It reflects the abysmal failure of the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, Barrie City Council, Georgian College and the college’s University Partnership program. There was no leadership.

And it is leadership that greases the gears of this world in which we live. And frankly, Barrie will have none of that. This city is run by a grossly conservative cabal of civil servants, pathetic politicians and outside interests that hardly give a damn for our city.

There is no better example of this disgrace than Patrick Brown MPP. In years of representing this city in Ottawa, he never once demonstrated any leadership that would aid his city. As Ontario opposition leader, Brown harps at the Wynne government over the Hydro One fiasco that has already left the barn. Yet what did Brown say about the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities denying Barrie a university? Nothing.

Did you know that Kingston, Ontario that hosts the prestigious Queen’s University is much smaller than Barrie? The very successful Georgian College could become Georgian University at the stroke of a pen at Queen’s Park and it would open an entirely new vista for the city and for Simcoe County.

But do not look to City Council for help. Those milk toasts get their leadership from the city’s civil servants and that is taking the city nowhere. One look at that train station to nowhere on the bay will tell you where this city is headed—but watch the realty taxes keep rising.

Barrie City Council is so weak and leaderless it cannot even save Central Collegiate from being demolished. It is the only high school available in downtown Barrie and Simcoe County’s school ‘experts’ are going to bus our downtown students to portables in the burgeoning suburbs. This city cannot even look after its high school students.

And please do not laugh at the Liberal MPP presently representing Barrie at Queen’s Park. She was picked to be exactly what she is: a vote for Ms. Wynne.

Now if we had someone such as former Georgian College president Brian Tamblyn running provincially two years from now, we could have a Member of the Legislature who knew what he was talking about and could get things done. He is a potential MPP who would stand up for Barrie and make sure that the city had the facilities it needs. You wonder who could talk him into running?

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Copyright 2016 © Peter Lowry

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