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Opening comments: More at the end.
This article escaped my attention on May 4, till after the latest postings were made to web-sites and news releases were being sent out. Thankfully one of my many community supporter alerted me to its presence. It was very unexpected to read in the Toronto Star a fairly factual piece about me - thank you - and having said that, on to the usual business.
A word from a pesky political mosquito. It would be nice to read that for most of the last 11 years I have lead the Friends of the Cawthra Bush & Greater Mississauga Area, also the Cawthra Ratepayers' and Residents' Association. As a community leader who disagreed with for good reason with the City and Mayor, everything was done to put an end to the efforts by the community to be meaningfully involved in government decision making process. The even City wrongly refused to recognize our Ratepayers group, how Democratic is that?
A "self-styled citizen advocate"? Better than what I have been called in the past but the fact is I am a Democratic activist standing up for the rights of the community and all Canadians, as best I can & yes there has been lots of community support over the years. In that time I have gone from a person who was beyond voting, not involve in government and politicians, to leading groups - running for government offices. Along the way have tried to learn as much as I could from those who have been at this longer than I and know the ropes (pun intended), better then I. Whatever style there is, is based on my limited financial ability, limited knowledge of the ways and means of Mississauga politics, being on the outside of the circles of power and mostly having to deal with Hazel McCallion.
That last point is the most important. In a Democracy elected officials are suppose to be the ambassador from the taxpaying public, the community representative who represents the community in government, to keep it just and who's door must be open to everyone equally. So the fact of the matter is that the FEISTY Mayor of Mississauga, Hazel McCallion, could have got up any day in the last 11 years and decided that it was time to recognize I way not going away no matter how often I was threatened or abused, so lets turn things around, work together for the greater good and all be winners - that day was not on Hazel's calendar. Looked up feisty means on the Internet and got these meanings - [[adjective] irritable and looking for trouble; "too touchy to make judicious decisions"] & [aggressive, excitable, nervous, touchy but is now more often used to mean 'spirited', 'assertive', 'able to speak up for oneself' (usually applied to women)] - the general meanings are describing very undesirable character traits, especially for an elected official and yet Hazel McCallion is very feisty & elected. I treat Hazel McCallion as a politician, with little regard for age and gender, which is suppose to be the way it should work. If she wants special treat because of either her age or gender, it has not been noted to me.
So she has chosen not to put a end to the years of ill will between the community and City hall because it serves her agenda - for some reason. Her style is to abuse people till they give up and go away. However, that does not work every time and when it fails, it usually does big time. So here I am - I am not going away and I will not let the past be covered-up or rewritten. If this is "irritating the heck out of Mayor Hazel McCallion and her council.", remember their job is to work with the community, NOT slap us around or lie to us till they get their way.
Personally, would have preferred to have saved the Cawthra Bush for future generations years ago and got on with my life but duty called and a certain Mayor greatly under estimated my resourcefulness, creative nature, stubborn stick-to-it-ness when the cause is right, willingness live in poverty for the greater good, to soak up her punishment and return it with interest. The media should really be asking why Hazel has not made peace, what is she holding out for - her goal in all this? What is it worth to her, to keep this going?
Toronto Star - May 4, 2006, Thur. - By ? - R6, Political Notebook - (a new section).
Thorn in McCallion's side pulls smooth move
Like a pesky mosquito, Don Barber keeps buzzing around Mississauga city hall and irritating the heck out of Mayor Hazel McCallion and her council.
The self-styled citizen advocate has had many run-ins with city officials since surfacing several years ago in a fight to preserve the city-owned Cawthra bush from logging.
Barber was back at it again recently when he appeared before council to announce that he has established a website, http://the-democratic-reporter.com, to present a "political history and almanac of Mississauga."
"This will fill in the gaps. . . regarding our political past and give candidates the real story about how elections are fought in Mississauga," Barber said.
At the same time, Barber apologized for missing McCallion's 85th birthday on Feb. 14 and presented her with a bottle of Harvey's Bristol Cream.
"I understand this is your favourite beverage," Barber said.
''Thank you. That's very nice of you," McCallion responded.
"I'm sure there's true sentiment behind that."
[COMMENTS BY DON B. - ]