Good to Know

Actions Speak Louder than Gossip

Caledon Mayor Allan Thompson
Written by Patti Foley

It was, in some ways, a tough year for Caledon Mayor Allan Thompson.

“Not long ago someone said to me “actions speak louder than gossip” and really that has been key to getting through this year” said Thompson during a recent interview with Just Sayin’ Caledon. “My philosophy was just keep moving ahead and let my actions speak for themselves”

Thompson was accused by Kelly Darnley and Charles Bristoll, both formerly of the Caledon Chamber of Commerce, of a conflict of interest when he sold his family farm.

Unsupported Accusations

And, although the Ontario Superior Court of Justice Hearing was in April, it was not until November 30th that Justice Peter Daley released his decision, clearing the Mayor of any charges.

Speaking to Darnley’s application Justice Daley said that she “makes totally unsupported allegations.”

Justice Daley went on to say that a “pecuniary (financial) interest must be present and real” and “cannot simply be potential, hypothetical or speculative.”

The Justice stated that Darnley had “put forward a patchwork of disconnected assertions” and “failed to present any evidence whatsoever supporting the allegations.”

Referring to Charles Bristoll’s application Justice Daley ruled that it had “simply piggybacked upon the Darnley application” and that it lacked “any cogent evidence whatsoever.”

Stone through a House Window

Then, over the summer, the Mayor had the unpleasant experience of someone throwing a large stone through a window of their home.

“To me it was meant to be a message” says Thompson. It went through 2 panes of glass and hit a wall 15 feet away on the other side of the room. It was not accidental, it was a message.”

Nose to the Grindstone

Meanwhile, Thompson kept his nose to the grindstone and focused on his role as Mayor.

Something that came through loud and clear in our conversation was that there are 2 major barriers to Caledon being able to attract and accommodate the industrial/ commercial tax base needed for sustainability.

Firstly, lands intended for employment are frozen pending the decision by the Province on the GTA West Corridor. And secondly, there is a lack of adequate broadband to support emerging industries such as intelligent manufacturing.

“Broadband is a big priority for Caledon,” says the Mayor “I have had over 700 businesses and residents tell me that they cannot get hi-speed adequate to function for their home or business. And if that many have taken the time to make me aware I know that means there are many more out there. Fibre build-out through the SWIFT initiative is now underway.”

Thompson continues “And the Province has given us the opportunity through the Whitebelt Visioning Exercise to look at protecting employment lands for the future. About 80% of Caledon is protected space, so we need to have a “dream-vision” for that remaining 20% if we want to keep it sustainable for our kids. We need to ensure a good economic base so that our future generations aren’t driven out by high taxes.”

“We have 12 businesses here that want to expand right now but can’t get enough employment lands. We have another 7 “Top 100” companies that want to locate in Caledon but we don’t have enough employment land to accommodate them,” he adds.

Transit is another priority and a transit study is in January. Thompson expects the Consultant to deliver a report to Council in March. “If you want your commercial businesses to thrive, if you want our young people to be able to get to work, if you want our seniors to be able to age in place, then you need to figure out how to have affordable, sustainable transit.”

Thompson says he is happy that local residents are starting to see the benefits of the Enhanced Road Infrastructure Program passed by the last Council as local roads get some much-needed attention. And he is proud that the Community and Agriculture Fund was increased in the last budget so that the many volunteer-driven organizations can receive even greater support.

All in all it was a year of action. “There is always room for improvement, and we are making headway” he smiles.

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About the author

Patti Foley

Having spent 25 years in Bolton, Patti remains an advocate for Caledon. As a former Regional Councillor and a long-time community volunteer she is passionate about communicating information about its issues, news, events, people, non-profits and businesses.

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8 Comments

  • What was NOT mentioned in the media, is that court costs were awarded against Kelly Darnley I hear, a VERY strong message from the courts about what nonsense this was!

  • Well, we took the higher ground and held it. I hope this ends the antagonistic stance taken over the last several years by the Caledon Chamber of Commerce, under the misguided direction of Kelly Darnley, et al, and their minions in the “Your Voice for Caledon” lobby group.I hope Kelly Darnley had to pay all of the court costs. I hope the Town has the same success at the upcoming OMB hearings over the related BRES issues. I hope this is the end of the Kelly, Kim, Charles and Benny show because 2017 deserves much better. Happy New Year, Mayor Thompson!

  • Diana
    I wonder who backstopped the court costs for Darnley & Bristoll? I doubt that it was there own money being used to pay for this frivolous action.

  • We should also reflect on the fact that the Bolton Heritage Conservation District (HCD) has become another victim of our Chamber of Commerce, who have appealed it to the OMB despite their members being consulted frequently. The consultant, ERA Architects, have said that ours was the most extensive consultations of public viewpoints they had been involved with. On our Town Council our Mayor and all but Bolton’s Regional Councillor approved the Heritage District Plan. Town staff, Heritage Caledon members and Bolton citizens and historical groups put hundreds of hours into ensuring that a high quality plan was produced. The OMB hearing on this will not be till later in 2017. Yet right next door in the west of Vaughan, often considered cowboy country when it comes to business, there are THREE HCDs, Kleinburg, Maple and Woodbridge, all of which are popular with local retailers. We desperately need business leadership in Bolton that thinks beyond its own front door.

    • In an article discussing gossip, it is surprising to me how much misinformation is contained in these comments.

      The Caledon Chamber of Commerce is not involved in any action at the OMB. Ian, you should check your facts before you make statements that are completely untrue. To the best of my knowledge, the Caledon Chamber of Commerce has never even commented on the historical designation issue in Bolton.

      While the Mayor may have been found “not guilty” of the charges filed under the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act, we will still see whether he will be found “not guilty” in the court of public opinion if he chooses to run for re-election.

      It simply boggles my mind that the taxpayers of Caledon and the defeated Councillor who runs this column and has moved away from Caledon, believe that it is appropriate for the elected mayor to have taken a $600,000 “loan” from a developer, when he never made a payment on that “loan” in five years. To not only find that there is nothing inappropriate about that “loan”, or that the Mayor might be favourable to those developers who gifted him with that large “loan” that you aren’t required to make payments on, just makes me scratch my head and wonder what is wrong with people.

      I don’t know about you but I would love to be given a $600,000 “loan” that I am not required to make payments on. But just try to Google Rupee Manor. They don’t appear to exist as a real loaning institution. That opportunity won’t be available to the ordinary taxpayer like you and I in Caledon. So ask yourself, what makes the Mayor different? Are these developers philanthropists? And their charity of choice is Allan Thompson?

      And to attack and make libelous statements against Kelly Darnley and Charles Bristol, who were brave enough to bring their very real and legitimate concerns to Court, as is their right in our democratic society, is a terrible miscarriage of justice. I think it is interesting that people keep wanting to accuse other nefarious interests of funding their case. It is a sad commentary on our society that you can not understand that people would be brave enough to do something just because they believe strongly that it is the right thing to do. I hope that Ms Darnley and Mr Bristol take legal action against the people who keep making those libellous statements that someone else funded the case.

      And it will be a terrible thing if Judge Daley issues a cost judgement against them. What that will do is effectively end forever the chance that any private citizen would ever bring a charge forward under the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act. Do you really want to live in a democracy that doesn’t have the checks and balances built into our electoral system that allow people to bring their serious concerns forward to our judicial system?

      We get the government we deserve.

      • Hello Ms Carmichael. I will watch for a response from Mr Anderson regarding his comments that you have challenged in your paragraph two above. With respect to the fact that after living 25 years in Bolton I am currently residing elsewhere, and the fact that I missed getting re-elected (by a substantial 79 votes), I would point out that neither hold any relevance to the Justice’s decision on this case. However the fact that on one hand you speak to the right to bring concerns to the judicial system and on the other hand disrespect and disregard the outcome that process has produced however is baffling.

  • I wish to comment only on the appeal of the designation of downtown Bolton as a Heritage Conservation District. To the best of my knowledge the Chamber of Commerce has never taken a position on the designation. The previous Board of the Downtown Bolton Business Improvement Area (BIA) did take a position in support, but without any consultation with its members. The present Board took an impartial canvas of its owner members who proved to be overwhelmingly opposed. Only after that, did the Board pass a motion in opposition.
    However, the appeals to the OMB were not filed by the BIA but by twelve individual owners, funded entirely by themselves.
    As to the extensive consultation, the concerns of business owners expressed at these meetings were largely ignored.
    Just getting the facts straight!
    Jean Carberry
    Chair, Downtown Bolton Business Improvement Area