Somewhere Between ‘Beautiful’ and ‘Abysmal’, These Municipal Elections Weren’t Bad

At The Very Least, They Served To Pull Enough Teeth Out Of The Monster

A Brief Commentary by Doug Draper

Posted October 23rd, 2018 on Niagara At Large

On this first morning after these municipal elections in Niagara that were a rout for Al Caslin and many of his fellow travellers on the Region’s council, I woke up to email and Facebook messages that summed the results in words that ranged from “beautiful” to “abysmal.”


Niagara Region’s controversial chair, Al Caslin, running in St. Catharines for a regional council seat, had a lot of campaign signs covering the fences and walls of buildings in the city’s downtown area, but they didn’t do him any good. He polled 20th in a field of 23 candidates, along way from the top six where he had to be to win another term on the council. Photo by Doug Draper

Abysmal in the sense that for some people, the elections did not produce a total purge of Caslin’s cabal. There were still a few left at the end of the night, like Niagara Falls Mayor Jim Diodati and a regional councillor from that same city, Bob Gale.

But look at how many of them were booted out. Selina Volpatti from Niagara Falls, Patrick Darte from Niagara-on-the-Lake, Tony Quirk from Grimsby, Doug Joyner from West Lincoln, Brian Baty from Pelham, Sandy Annunziata from Fort Erie, Bruce Timms from St. Catharines, and last but not least, the chair of the cabal himself, Al Caslin from St. Catharines.

A few others from that viral group, including David Barrick from Port Colborne, Bart Maves from Niagara Falls and April Jeffs from Wainfleet, decided not to run for another term in these elections.

I have been saying for months that when it comes to this bunch and these elections, as long as enough teeth are pulled out of the head of the monster, it will be harder, if not impossible, for the monster to chew and tear up victims.

And I think these elections have pulled enough teeth out of the monster – maybe not out of the mouth of the one I have featured in the image here, but the one that was doing its Godzilla thing over the past four years at the Region’s council.

The few of them are left may want to go on rolling in the mud, but from the make-up of the many of the candidates that have been elected, it looks like they are not going to have a lot of others to roll around in the mud with.

True enough, some good people were lost in these municipal elections too, including Dave Augustyn from Pelham, George Marshall from Welland, Henry D’Angela from Thorold, Kim Craitor from Niagara Falls, and Kelly Edgar from St. Catharines, just to mention some – and thankfully, it only was some.

And in at least a few cases in these elections, there were cases where in a field of, let’s say nine candidates where there were four seats to win, a good candidate would win a seat but by fewer votes than someone who also one and had behaved like a creep over the past four years. It left me wondering how aware the voters in those communities were aware of the records of these people on council.

All that said, this reporter has covered more elections than I care to count over the past 39 years and none of them, in my view, have ever produced perfect results. Sometimes the results, like the ones produced in this past spring’s Ontario election, have been horrific.

Yet on balance, the results of these municipal elections are far from abysmal.

I think they have done enough to pull the teeth out of the monster that made Niagara’s regional council the ugly, divisive, dysfunction mess it has been over the past four years.

What do you think?

For everyone who views campaign signs as a blight on the landscape, they are being taken down too, or at least they should be.

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 “A politician thinks of the next election. A leader thinks of the next generation.” – Bernie Sanders

One response to “Somewhere Between ‘Beautiful’ and ‘Abysmal’, These Municipal Elections Weren’t Bad

  1. I am dellighted that Annunziata was cast aside. Dissapointed in the voter turnout. Wondering how all of those new councillors will handle their jobs as they are not entry-level. Sorry to see Dave Augustyn lose. Grateful for ABN.


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