Monday jottings

Beachfront cafe

The contract has been awarded for the Beachfront canteen at the Cobourg beach. It goes to the couple – Lucas Cleveland and Montana DesJardins. They are the pair who want to open a greengrocers and ‘healthy food’ shop on King St but have been stymied by the lack of suitable premises. In accepting the tender the couple reaffirmed their comiitment to ‘healthy food’ but also will provide the usual junk (fries and dogs) that beach-goers have shown a likeness to. But this is where it gets sticky, The providers of the ‘beach-fare’ will also be a food truck, complete with Chef, and a hot dog stand. But if they are not actually stationed at the canteen then this could be seen as an unfair advantage to the others who have tried for years to get a foothold into the lucrative summer market. We at the BR thought that the RFP only asked for operators for the existing canteen ( a Town owned facility) but by using others in a cooperative fashion, outside of the canteen premises surely that would mean that others should be allowed to do the same. Bring ’em on and open the market!

Jerry Ford again

Give this guy his due he is not giving up, as much as some on Council would appear to like. Jerry is an advocate for disabled transportation and has railed against recent changes orchestrated by someone not on Council. We say that after reading his presentation to Council which appears in the agenda for Monday’s meeting. Read it here. Summed up it avoids the potential of being ruled out of order, because he concentrates on the service level changes enacted over the past few years. These changes apparently are illegal and breach the AODA – Provincial law. He is asking that service levels be reinstated to previous levels. To quote the presentation, “This is not a request for more, it is all about reinstating that which was taken away. The service level in terms of number of rides available has been consistent for 61/2 years and has now been reduced, while our population has increased 5% and demand on the accessible transit system is increasing. In 2011 the median age of the Cobourg population was 49.6 years, the 2016 census results have not been released but they will undoubtedly show that our population is aging.”

What will be interesting is the attitude taken by the Mayor to this presentation. Last time he ruled out any discussion of the topic because one of the parties involved in this area is involved in a legal problem with the Town. Let’s hope he allows discussion because this is obviously a problem caused by someone in Town Hall allowing the transportation company to reduce service levels by 25%. Get it fixed and obey the law. We say this based on Jerry’s presentation: “By reducing the pickup frequency without otherwise expanding the services to compensate for the shortfall, the town has effectively reduced the level of serviceby over 25% and therefore is in violation of the law.”

Legion application

On Monday evening the controversial subject of the Legion’s new building, and the 53 condos that are contained in the building will rise its head. A site plan approval has been given to Mr Amit Sofer, the developer. As most of the objectors to the aesthetics of the facade and design are not on the agenda we can assume that this contentious subject has cooled. All we can hope for is that this developer will conclude its discussions with the RCL Branch 133 building committee and get on with the build – the Legion certainly needs a new facility. What shape or form that new facility takes depends on good-faith discussions between both parties, not just dictatorial dictates from the builder.

Another conspiracy theory, take the time to read it

“A shadowy global operation involving big data, billionaire friends of Trump and the disparate forces of the Leave campaign influenced the result of the EU referendum. As Britain heads to the polls again, is our electoral process still fit for purpose?”  This is the first paragraph of a story in today’s Guardian newspaper. It is a frightening read, (story here) mainly because it is very technical and complicated but it is cutting edge stuff. Basically a military project has been used by shadowy companies to manipulate the subconciousness of peole who devour news. It is outside the usual election law financing consequently millions of dollars have been poured into these experiments in all of the latest elections in the world. Brexit being the last one and most successful. We do not know if the outcome of theses votes have been affected but indications are that they have. Why would companies pour millions into financing shadowy election groups if they did not have an indication of success. Quoting the last para. of the story: “This is Britain in 2017. A Britain that increasingly looks like a “managed” democracy. Paid for a US billionaire. Using military-style technology. Delivered by Facebook. And enabled by us. If we let this referendum result stand, we are giving it our implicit consent. This isn’t about Remain or Leave. It goes far beyond party politics. It’s about the first step into a brave, new, increasingly undemocratic world.”

So how does the internet influence elections?

Taken from the “Daily Mail”:

Gary Coby, director of advertising for President Trump’s Republican Party, said: ‘We take the name, address, phone number, email and we can take those pieces of data and send it on to Facebook. ‘Facebook’ then matches them to the user’s profile. So if you are on Facebook, I can match you and put you into a bucket of users that I can then target.’

Another strategist:

“Gerry Gunster, a political strategist from the Brexit campaign Leave.EU, said Facebook was key to its success. ‘You can say to Facebook, I would like to make sure that I can micro-target that fisherman in certain parts of the UK so that they are specifically hearing that if you vote to leave that you will be able to change the way regulations are set for the fishing industry. ‘I can do the same thing for people who live in the Midlands who are struggling because the factory has shut down. So I may send a specific message through Facebook to them that nobody else sees.’


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