Daily Archives: June 9, 2012

An ill wind blowing

By Jonathan Sher, The London Free Press
Crowds no longer come to the general store Joe Wood’s grandfather built 107 years ago.

Most of its products are gone too, the rural locale west of Strathroy too far from suppliers. Now, Wood is surrounded mainly by guns and ammo at the store.

Mayor David Bolton still stops by mornings to share gossip and drink a diet Pepsi. So Wood knows something about the kerfuffle at the township office of Adelaide-Metcalfe, a provincial creation that joined two tiny hamlets and farmland into a new municipality with only 3,000 people.

This week, more than 100 residents came to council — that’s 1 out of every 30 residents, akin to 12,000 Londoners showing up at city hall.

Some carried signs and shouted for Bolton to resign.

Others carried generations of ties to the area and spoke of their concerns diplomatically.

All were there to fight for democratic rights that in recent weeks have come under question:

  • Bolton twice phoned police to stop citizens from videotaping meetings. Police threatened an arrest the first time, but stayed out the second.
  • Deputy Mayor Adrian DeBruyn voted to set fees for wind turbine permits, even though his son has signed 32 leases with a wind company.
  • The township hired the mayor’s kids to shut off lights of a park and take away a few garbage bags.
  • The husband of the township’s administrator threatened a woman snapping his picture outside a private meeting between Suncor Energy, members of council and landowners who have signed leases for turbines. Read the rest of this entry
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