Posts Tagged ‘Barrie’

Out of the limelight for Patrick Brown.

Thursday, February 15th, 2018

Have you heard that old politicos just fade away? Younger ones are noisier. For example, take Barrie’s favourite son, Patrick Brown. If you hitch your horse in front of any of the many saloons on Barrie’s main street, you are welcome inside but you best not say too loudly that Patrick Brown is a putz. There is some of misplaced loyalty here about.

But, Patrick Brown needs to look for a new way to make a living. You have to realize that a guy like Brown has nowhere near the savior faire of TV anchor Steve Paikin. There are venturesome ladies who might like to cut a notch in their bedpost for a TV personality such as Paikin. And if he really did invite (in a gentlemanly manner, no doubt) publicity-hungry Sarah Thomson to enjoy some casual sex with him, she should have been flattered. All she needed to say was a polite ’yes, please’ or ‘no, thank you.’

Brown is an entirely different matter. This is a guy who appears to be awkward and immature with women. He is no ‘playboy.’ No doubt he could possibly achieve some success with understanding women in their 30s. Yet, he goes after the much younger who are initially attracted to his political position but then find he has nothing of interest to talk about.

There is certainly nothing for those young ladies to complain about to CTV. If they were invited to Brown’s home after drinking too much and accepted, did they think he was looking forward to a spritely game of Monopoly? In both cases, they said they lost interest and asked to be taken home. He did. What is the problem? Is CTV complaining about his bad judgement or bad politics?

Brown ended up with three problems. First he was too upset to listen to his staff. He was paying them for advice and he was stupid not to listen to them. Being upset on camera is not a sympathetic position. It is too much like regretting being caught.

The second problem for Brown was that in his absence from Queen’s Park, the knives came out. Conservative MPPs could now say what they really thought of Brown.  They do not like him.

The third problem is that he will never get elected in Barrie—Springwater—Oro-Medonte, unless the Liberals run someone as immature against him.

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Copyright 2018 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

Brown’s political days are done.

Thursday, January 25th, 2018

When your entire life is politics, the end of your run can be a tragedy. Like the marathon runner, he is, he felt the eagerness for the starter’s gun and the highs of the final stretch. For the rest of his life, Barrie’s Patrick Brown can only say, ‘If only…”

No, there are no regrets for him. He knew the chances he took. He was not a person who attracted women. Making sexual advances on a person who works for you is reprehensible. There is no excuse.

What is also of concern is the cavalier way Patrick Brown could use his position as a Member of Parliament. There have been questions for years now about his involvement with charities such as a hockey event for the Barrie hospital. The claim that one of his accuser’s makes that he hired her to work on this charity event, pressed her to travel with him on his frequent trips to India and gave her a raise after making sexual advances is a sordid story.

Patrick Brown was a sorry sight at the Queen’s Park news conference on Wednesday. He called it to deny the allegations made by CTV News. Emotions on edge, he denied everything. If he had listened to any of his advisers, that would have been a very different event. It is an extremely difficult situation for anyone to handle and he blew it. Even if all the accusers would recant, he cannot recover from those few moments.

Patrick Brown is finished in politics.

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Copyright 2018 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

Brown plays bad with the big kids.

Thursday, December 14th, 2017

The first time I met Barrie, Ontario politician Patrick Brown, I wondered what this miserable person was doing in politics? He has no personality. He has little grasp of election issues. What I soon learned was that he is a gamer. And his game is politics. He plays the game of politics as a video gamer would use a PlayStation 2. It is his strength and it is his weakness. The true test of his skills will be on June 7, 2018—the coming provincial general election.

In watching Brown through five election situations over the years, I can report that he tends to push the envelope on what is legal. He obeys the rules—when he has to. I do not think some of his financial reports to the Returning Officer would bear up well under the scrutiny of a forensic accountant. He is a more effective campaign manager than candidate.

Most of Brown’s opponents admit that he is a good retail politician: he knows how to work the riding. His only problem is that he is not good with people. He is a poor public speaker. He does not have a good grasp of many issues. He has little humour and no empathy.

Since taking a seat in the Legislature of Ontario, he has been a weak Leader of the Opposition. He is no hero to his caucus. Neither the centrists nor the social Conservatives in the caucus trust him. He is telling everyone that he is a pragmatic centrist but nobody knows where he would be if in power.

His most serious problem has been a careless comment to the media that he thought was going to get him coverage. He failed to think through what he was saying. It was a play on words that was the same as saying the Premier was “on trial” in the Sudbury trial of two Liberal apparatchiks. That trial was dismissed by the judge and Brown has failed to apologize for the insult to the premier. He is being sued.

The point is that Patrick Brown is out of his league. I am sure that his family was in despair of him ever passing the Bar Admission for Ontario. He looks like a hick and he is definitely small town. The reason he works so hard at this game of politics is because he is always behind. He has neither the smarts nor the skills.

He broke the rules to become leader of his political party and the party people should have called him on it. It is easy enough to prove. For him to find his way to the Premier’s office would be a disgrace.

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Copyright 2017 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

A station ghosts have forgotten.

Tuesday, November 28th, 2017

As the winds of yet another winter blow through the beautifully restored but empty train station by Kempenfelt Bay, you wonder at the foolishness of Barrie’s city council. In the words of an old television series, they see nothing, they know nothing.

The story of the train station started about 700 years ago when nomadic aboriginals would sometimes camp at the shallows at the south-west corner of Kempenfelt Bay to fish and enjoy the cooling breezes from Lake Simcoe. There might have even been some disputes with other tribes about the right to camp there.

Europeans only started showing up 300 years ago when the area served as a portage point on the way to the head of the lakes. It was about 200 years ago that a village started at the portage on the north side of the bay and a village called Allandale started at the south-west. Trains have been coming to Allandale since 1853.

Today, Allandale is in the centre of the City of Barrie and the train station lands have become the de facto GO Train terminus and bus station. The only problem is that the preserved train station (built in 1905) remains unused. GO Train services are all automated, tickets are in a machine, buses pick up and discharge passengers. The only problem is that nobody knows anything and nobody sees anything. Only ghosts are in residence.

My barber, who has a small shop near the bus entrance, has noticed one problem. People who have to wait for a bus or train have no amenities. There are no snacks or coffee purveyed and there are no washrooms. When in need of a washroom, people sometimes ask her. She does not really have public facilities, but she is not cruel.

When the small business owner asked her local councillor about this problem, he assured her there were facilities. She checked the entire site again and realized that her local councillor did not know squat. So much for him.

When she told me about the problem, I checked with Barrie’s mayor. He acknowledged the problem. But it is Metrolinx’s problem, he told me. They are responsible for the GO Trains, buses and facilities but not the unused train station. It is an historic site, owned by the city. It might be a long time before it is open to the public for any purpose.

It seems nobody is in any rush. With the discovery of some possibly human bone fragments on the site that could be 200 or 700 years old, the Ontario Coalition of Indigenous Peoples (OCIP) has demanded that the land and the station be turned over to them as an aboriginal burial site. Since other local aboriginal tribes and groups seem skeptical of OCIP’s bonafides, there has been no rush for the city to give away a multi-million dollar restored train station and the site.

But nothing more is expected until the Wilfrid Laurier associate professor of Indigenous studies hired by the city gets around to a fourth level study of the site next summer, looking for historical artifacts.

It  seems like a long time to wait for a washroom.

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Copyright 2017 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

Watt’s ugly leopard doesn’t wash.

Sunday, November 19th, 2017

We might be mangling some metaphors here but Jaime Watt can never wash the spots off that ugly leopard. The head of Navigator Ltd., Mr. Watt has spent many years advising Conservatives in the fine art of winning votes. He might be taking on too much of a challenge to try to sell us on Ontario Conservative Leader Patrick Brown.

Watt tells us in a recent op-ed in the Toronto Star that he believes that the Ontario Liberals have been the government in Ontario for the past 14 years because they are keen political operators and they connected with Ontarians. I think he jests!

The truth is that after the experience of being pissed on by Conservative Premier Mike Harris, the Tories have taken a long time making any comeback with Ontario voters. They had even endured three terms of ‘Premier Dad’ McGuinty and then seemed prepared to replace his replacement with a Conservative.

It almost happened but someone advised then Conservative Leader Timmy Hudak that he should promise to fire a hundred thousand Ontario civil servants. He did not understand that he was threatening the jobs and family stability of more than a million Ontario voters.

Coincidentally, Timmy made that promise to an audience at the Barrie Country Club. Patrick Brown (then a backbencher in Stephen Harper’s government) was the first person to jump up and congratulate Timmy on his brilliant idea. He probably realized then that Timmy would be vacating the leadership job soon.

And contrary to Jaime Watt’s view, Brown’s taking the leadership of the Ontario Conservatives was no accident. It was a carefully planned and executed con job. And in taking the leadership by less than fair means, Brown has turned loose all that is mean, unscrupulous and disgusting about Conservative activists in Ontario. Lawsuits and even a charge of fraud are being made over how people have been trying to win nominations.

Watt wisely concludes that the Liberal brand is struggling these days and that Brown is there to take advantage of it. Watt says this is why Brown is trying to shed all his former extremist positions that could offend voters.

Watt seems to think it is mean to suggest that Brown acts as a weather vane on policies and yet uses Trump’s strategies of vilifying his opponent.

Frankly, Mr. Watt’s reasoning does not appear to be a particularly good sample of Navigator Ltd.’s strategic thinking.

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Copyright 2017 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

The anti-women legacy of Patrick Brown.

Friday, November 3rd, 2017

Patrick Brown was first elected to the ultra-Conservative Barrie, Ontario city council at age 22. As a Barrie councillor, he fit right in. It took him another four years to win election in the local federal electoral district and be part of the back-bench yes-men for Prime Minister Stephen Harper. It was in Ottawa, that he showed his true social conservative colors and voted against women’s rights and same sex marriage. His legacy in Barrie is that of a repressive environment that makes Barrie one of the worst cities in Canada for women.

A recent assessment by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives places Barrie as number 23 of a list of 25 Canadian cities in their addressing women’s needs. The study measures local concerns such as economic security, health care, community leadership, educational opportunities and security within the community. Barrie is a sorry case.

While you can hardly blame it all on Patrick Brown, his lack of interest in women’s issues, his social conservative upbringing and the apparent dislike of him on the part of single women tend to mark him as part of the problem, instead of a solution.

The basic conservatism of city council does not help either. It hardly matters if the mayor wants to show leadership or not. The mayor alone cannot fight recalcitrant attitudes among city staff nor continually pit his or her one vote against the rest of council. Leadership takes a lot more political smarts than we have seen in the last three mayors of this poor benighted town.

One of the efforts in which Patrick Brown thinks he can claim Brownie points is the serious problems the city has had in providing doctors for a rapidly growing population. His solution was to allow doctors to cherry pick their ideal patient list and if those selections did not include the aged or chronically ill, that was tough on those people—the last ones who should be left to walk-in clinics.

Where Barrie has suffered the most is that nobody is taking a serious look at the type of businesses the city is attracting. Call centres and retail work do not contribute many high paying jobs. The council think that financial companies’ computerized back rooms are a big deal but they contribute only about one well-paying job per 100 square metres of space for the computers. Well-paying jobs for women take considerations such as day-care opportunities and after-school activities. These are not concerns, politicians such as Patrick Brown worries over.

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Copyright 2017 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

Bad bodings for Brown.

Thursday, October 26th, 2017

A large piece of the Ontario provincial Conservative’s election campaign went bye-bye the other day. Brown and his buddies must have been sitting around the party headquarters war room contemplating what might have been. The directed verdict of a Sudbury, Ontario judge cut the campaign off at the knees. The campaign using Donald Trump’s “Corrupt Hillary” theme would not work.

The problem for Brown and buddies is that any claim of corruption had to have a believability factor. You not only needed people who dislike the premier anyway but you needed that “maybe” factor. Without that maybe factor, the voters would know you were blowing smoke.

Consider how unlikely it would have been for Trump to win that election in the United States if there was not a question mark in many voters’ minds that maybe Hillary Clinton really was corrupt. And then, it was the credibility given the claim, in the last few days of the election, by the former Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, that threw the election. Finding out that the information was wrong after the election does not get your vote back.

Donald Trump had the money and the cunning and the lack of scruples and the luck to create the perfect storm. He also had a woman as an opponent who expected him to try to act like a politician and make mistakes. Trump was a political mistake from the get-go. His money made his campaign possible and his naiveté worked for him.

Brown’s problem is that his life is politics. He seems to have no problem doing what is mean, vicious and uncaring but his reflexes are directional and predictably political. He is unlikely to survive a debate with Kathleen Wynne. He does not operate on that plateau. It could be good television if it happens.

Brown’s buddies will have to find a stronger way to link Kathleen Wynne with corruption. We have seen in the test commercials that they are taking a reading on the idea of some mysterious “friends of Kathleen” being the benefactors of corruption but that is unlikely to catch on. The older gas plant kafuffle cannot do the job alone as the premier was never directly involved.

It would be nice to say that we are sorry that Patrick Brown is having these problems: But we are not.

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Copyright 2017 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

 

 

Brown: No more Mr. Nice Guy.

Tuesday, October 10th, 2017

Ontario Conservative Leader Patrick Brown does not have a problem. He is the problem. His handlers are not sure how to present him to provincial voters. They are concerned that the more people they introduce him to, the fewer people like him. It is not supposed to work that way.

At first, they thought they could show him in a sympathetic light because of a speech problem as a child. They found that now people can listen to him, they are not interested. They showed him as a marathon runner just like Premier Kathleen Wynne. More people edged away from him.

It is not as if the poor schmuck is not trying. When people wanted him to be a Right to Life supporter, he was there. When they wanted him to support abortion, he was there for that. Whatever you want him to be, he is there for you. All he wants is your vote.

Those of us who have watched Patrick Brown here in Barrie since he was young have found him to be very flexible. We have never heard an original idea from him nor a reasonable reason to vote for him.

But now Brown is under the direction of his friend Walied Soliman, Chair of Norton Rose Fulbright Canada Ltd. Soliman is the guy who looks after the problems for the international law firm. You can think of him as the guy who might have helped throw the Ontario Medical Association into a tizzy over the past year. Somebody must have shown the greedy specialists how to oust the more reasonable old guard.

But Patrick Brown could be Soliman’s biggest challenge. There is a large province to be won here. Since Patrick Brown stole the leadership of the Progressive Conservatives two years ago, he has been marking time. The Liberals have been ragging Brown unmercilessly as Opposition Leader but since he has no policy positions, he simply takes a position that he sees to his advantage. It might keep the media people in the legislature amused but it promises us a very nasty election next year.

The most recent attack ads on the Wynne Liberals are straight out of the Donald Trump songbook. It forecasts a disgusting campaign to come. When you launch an attack this early that says the Wynne Liberals are “corrupt” and “untrustworthy,” the road can only be downhill from there.

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Copyright 2017 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

The Conservative knives are out for Brown.

Wednesday, September 6th, 2017

Have you figured out why Ontario Premier Wynne is looking so smug lately? It has finally occurred to her that she not only has a chance to hold on to power in next year’s election but she is even getting help from Conservatives. Rather than support some of the extreme right-wing splinter parties that are forming, such as Trillium, these Tories will give Wynne more time to hang herself while making sure they have an honest choice to replace Tory leader Patrick Brown. And believe us, the political knives are out for Brown.

Those of us in Brown’s Barrie area electoral district could almost form a three-party campaign to ensure that Brown is defeated.

From the first time I met the little weasel 13 years ago, I wondered why anyone would ever want to vote for him. It took a short time to find out that he was a user and he used whatever lie was needed to bring people into his web. There are hundreds of people here in Barrie waiting for the opportunity to turn the tables on him. They are a force.

But like most of Brown’s problems, he brought it on himself. His upbringing is as a right-wing Catholic. He has proved to be anti-abortion and anti-same sex marriage. Not that he has any success with the ladies. What we hear in his home town is that women do not like him. Even the ones on the religious right are just not interested.

That enables Brown to concentrate on politics. That seems to be his primary and only love. He never seems to let the truth stand in the way of a good story. He certainly used dishonest tactics to win the Ontario leadership. When confronted on issues, he tends to consider a nimble turn-around to be the best defence.

Brown is a marathon runner and a mediocre hockey player. He has never contributed any thinking to Conservative party policy and has always avoided getting involved in it. He is desperately hoping that the Conservative Party will come up with some ideas for next year’s election. He is a political organizer, not a thinker.

The preliminary website for the Conservatives creating “I’m Out.ca” for Ontario Conservatives is honest and straightforward. They certainly do not like Mr. Brown. It will be fun to see how that movement grows before next spring and the June 7 election.

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Copyright 2017 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

Brown’s battling beginnings.

Tuesday, July 25th, 2017

It is getting so bad that even PostMedia writers are wondering when Ontario Conservative Leader Patrick Brown is going to show some maturity. They are starting to question Brown’s ability to run a political party. He is certainly not getting the nomination process right.

Many want to write it off to the vulnerability of the Wynne Liberals. The only problem is that Brown has no leadership skills and he sends the wrong signals to the party. He is the guy who stole the party leadership through signing up thousands of new immigrants from the Indian Sub-Continent. Nobody thought to ask if all those people had paid their own memberships.

And so why should people who want to run as Conservative candidates want to play fair? Conservative Party nomination meetings all over Ontario are turning into fiascos. There have been claims of ballot box stuffing, illegal memberships, party officials’ interference, incompetent meeting management and candidates who might or not be the type of Tory they say they are.

It is such a mess, we are starting to wonder what is going on in Barrie, a town which Brown has always pretended to run. We have it on good authority that Brown will be the candidate in the electoral district of Barrie—Springwater—Oro-Medonte. The last federal election in this riding had the Conservative winning by 86 votes. They lost the city but won the rural vote. There are lots of us who are laying in wait for Brown. We will roast him.

Brown is so arrogant that he is running his former executive assistant in the new companion riding of Barrie—Innisfil. Shawn Bubel who worked for Brown over the years is running for the nomination in that riding that includes the south half of Barrie. He has the same weakness as Brown as a candidate in that he lacks the life and business experience that makes for a good politician. People who have run businesses, met a payroll, worked daily with people and shown real leadership have a far better understanding of peoples’ needs than people like Brown and Bubel who have devoted themselves to political manipulation and using people.

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Copyright 2017 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me