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Monday, January 4, 2016

Making Headlines - 2016 Predictions from our Perspectives Virtual Panel

Each year The Hamiltonian asks our Perspectives Virtual Panel do do a little crystal ball gazing and make their predictions as to what might happen in Hamilton in this new year. 

Due to the popularity of the format we used last year, we once again asked them to capture their predictions in the form of a headline that might appear in a newspaper. We also invited them to create an optional one paragraph description under the headline to further explain it. 

We suggested that headlines can be based on predictions that may come to be, and/or may be formed in a light hearted comedic way. The only thing we asked is that the submissions not be mean spirited or otherwise violate our site policy.

Enjoy these predictive headlines submitted by our Perspectives Virtual Panel:

Presented in alphabetical order by surname:



Headlines by Graham Crawford

2 PROBABLES
City of Hamilton Pushes Ahead With Flawed Plan for Piers 7 & 8
Despite concerns expressed by a number of residents, the City of Hamilton is moving ahead with a plan to sell most of the land we own at Piers 7 & 8 to the private sector. Some members of the community voiced concerns about there being too little land allocated for public use other than a perimeter path along the edge of Pier 8. The City was criticized for putting money (sale price and new residential/commercial taxes) over bold designs for public space in the last remaining piece of publicly owned waterfront land next to widely admired and used Bayfront Park and Pier 4.

Council Votes to Support Innovative Plans to Address CityHousing Issues
The Board of CityHousing has announced an innovative approach to making a big difference to the lives of many people currently in, and currently waiting for, affordable housing. Through a combination of repurposing of assets, multi-level government partnerships, and innovative agreements with local developers, existing housing units will be repaired and new ones added in an ambitious 5-year plan. The plan required some true out-of-the-box thinking by Board members and Council. Although not a full solution to the complex challenges related to affordable housing, the plan has been hailed as being the most progressive and ambitious in decades.

2 IMPROBABLES
City Manager Releases Results of Dennison Benchmark Culture Survey
City Manager, Chris Murray, has agreed to Council’s request to the public release of results of an employee survey being used as a benchmark against which progress toward changing the damaged working culture at City Hall will be measured. Some Councillors were hesitant to push for the release of the information, but the majority said that openness and transparency outweighed the original decision to keep the data confidential. One Councillor said, “We bought ads in local media announcing we had been selected as one of the top 15 employers in Hamilton-Niagara, which I support. But, I also support sharing not only good news, but all of the news. We need to know where we stand, where we’re trying to go, as well as the kind of progress we’re making to close this very important gap. I want all residents to be part of this, not just a few select bureaucrats.”

Council Votes to Revisit Flawed Basse ‘Shovegate' Report and Apologizes For Their Silence in 2015

In a move that has caught many City hall watchers by surprise, Council has voted to revisit the report submitted by then-Integrity Commissioner, Earl Basse, regarding his much criticized investigation into ‘Shovegate”, the incident that saw Councillor and Police Service Board Chair, Lloyd Ferguson, physically grab and shove journalist Joey Coleman in the lobby of City Hall. After an oddly edited surveillance video was released that raised even more questions, Council agreed to revisit its nearly unanimous decision to receive Mr. Basse’s report even though he interviewed neither witnesses nor the victim. Council said, in a joint statement, they had erred in not questioning Mr. Basse’s decision to only interview Mr. Ferguson and including comments seemingly designed to provide a rationale, or worse an excuse, for Ferguson’s behaviours as well as comments that seemed to question Mr. Coleman’s journalistic integrity.

1 WISH
Council Agrees to Use New Our Future Hamilton Vision As Basis For All Council Discussions and Votes
Despite a discussion that at times bordered on the vitriolic, the majority of Councillors agreed finally to adopt the Our Future Hamilton Vision as its touchstone for the rest of this term of Council. The decision means the Vision, developed by an extensive consultation with tens of thousands of Hamiltonians, will be used formally in strategic planning, resource allocation, priority setting, and well as during Council debates on key, city-wide issues. One Councillor commented, “It’s about time we actually used the vision we created to help guide our discussions and decisions. Too often in the past, the vision was an exercise and not a strategic tool. I think adopting the vision in the way we have will keep us focused and transparent. It’s important for all Hamiltonians to see how what we decide contributes to helping to realize the vision we’re all chasing.”

Headlines by Larry DiIanni

Police Services Board Selects New Chief
After what was perceived to be a too authoritative choice the last time, the Police Services Board with Council's approval, selected Marineland's Barky the Trained Seal as the city's new chief cop.

Said, one Councillor on the Board, "We saved the taxpayers lots of money. Sardines are pretty cheap". And another boasted that 'carding' would not be allowed by Chief Barky. In fact, when it was suggested that it be outlawed, the Seal clapped vigorously. Another observer noted that Chief Barky pretty well likes and claps for everything he hears, making this one of the most peaceful tenures any chief will ever enjoy.

Police Services Board Selects New Chief...Again!
After a successful challenge by PETA, Hamilton's PSB has regretfully reversed its latest nominee, Barky the Trained Seal, in favour of a more experienced, albeit equally daring choice, for police Chief. The new nominee has much experience in the political scene at the national level which he has just involuntarily retired from. Although not coming from the police ranks, he has loads of expertise in law and order matters and consensus-of-one building. He has often taken the law into his own hands when the situation suited and has used force majeur to stifle opposition and silence those against his ways. Carding is not in the game plan for the new Chief, but outlawing 'barbaric multicultural practices like Oktoberfest and Festitalia are in his sights.

New Hamilton Chief Stephen Harper will move from Calgary to Westdale where he proudly says, "The West of the City is finally in!"

LRT off the Table for Hamilton

In a surprise announcment made by Charles Sousa, the Province is withdrawing its offer of $1.3B to construct a cross town LRT system. The Finance Minister cited delays in construction as the reason for taking the allotment away from the city. "Listen! Use it or Lose It! The Premier officially announced the money in the summer but I pre-announced last April 1 (see Di Ianni's 2015 headlines) nearly 10 months ago. That is ample time to at least put the first spike, if not the last, on the road. I see nothing and therefore you get nothing. Period." Mayor Fred Eisenberger, although dismayed, said that he understood the Finance Minister's Point, but vowed that with or without the Province LRT would find its way onto the 2018 re-election platform. "And that is a promise," he vowed.

Casino Sarcoa Opens to Great Fanfare
After the city's legal fight with the owners of Sarcoa over the noisy night club scene, a compromise has been found in a brand spanking new gaming casino. The loud thump of rock bands will be replaced by the mellifluous slot machine ringing of winning bells and chimes, which apparently only happen rarely anyway, satisfying local neighbours and pesky Burlingtonians.
Chief Croupier Graham Crawford was quoted as saying, "it's not as if I objected to all Casinos, it's just that the James Street location was a problem. And anyway, the job is fun!"

Ward Boundary Status Quo Rejected

Council rejected the citizen's panel recommendation for a status quo configuration on Hamilton City Council in favour of keeping all the same 15 wards, but forcing any mayoralty candidate to face off against 15 different candidates in each ward. "That is real change", cited one of the Councillors who scoffed at the prediction that Councillors would opt for the same-old, same-old. What if 15 different people win the mayoralty in each ward? , he was asked. "Well 15 heads are better than one, right?" was the terse reply.
It does make some sense if you don't think about it!

Headlines by Adrian Duyzer

Whitehead Proposes Moratorium On Downtown
Ward 8 Councillor Terry Whitehead has proposed a sweeping moratorium on downtown. The motion begins with “Whereas, downtown. Need I say more?” does indeed go on to say more, including among its clauses the “immediate cessation of downtown” and the "renaming of the area formerly known as the 'lower city'" as the “Mountain Resident Highway Access/Parking Zone”.

Hamilton Adopts New Motto
City Council has voted in favour of adopting a new vision statement for Hamilton. The new statement, “To be the best place in Canada to adopt vision statements,” replaces the previous vision, which was "To be the best place in Canada to raise a child, promote innovation, engage citizens and provide diverse economic opportunities.” Although the decision was not without controversy, City Manager Chris Murray strongly defended the new statement, stating, “It was important to us that our vision be something actionable and achievable that builds on our strengths and proven capabilities.”

Bob Bratina Hires Military Consultant

In a move that has raised eyebrows in the community, Member of Parliament Bob Bratina has announced he has hired a military consultant. “Hamilton always has been, historically, a military town. It continues to be,” said Bratina, defending the decision. Asked why a military advisor was needed for the generally peaceful riding of Hamilton East-Stoney Creek, Bratina said he needed advice on dealing with memorial installations and the growing influence of “renegade urbanists and bloggers”.

Headlines by Marvin Ryder

Canadian Dollar hits 68 cents U.S.
Iran starting selling its crude supply without the shadow of embargo in January. This exacerbated the flood of crude oil in the world and the price per barrel of oil fell below $30 US in February. Alberta Tar Sands oil was being sold for less than $20 US per barrel. A third whammy happened when the Bank of Canada cut its overnight prime rate by another 0.25% followed a week later with the Federal Reserve Board in the US raising its prime rate by 0.25%. Just in time for the March school break, it took $1.47 Cdn to buy $1.00 U.S.

Honeymoon Ends for Trudeau Liberals

After enjoying almost six months of "sunny ways" with the Canadian people, the love affair with the Federal Liberals ended with the first budget tabled mid-March. Although the Liberals had pledged to keep the Federal deficit below $10 billion, Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced an anticipated deficit of $15 billion. He cited a number of factors - lower than expected oil royalties, lower government revenues because of the "middle class tax cut", an inherited non-balanced budget from the Conservatives, and the need to spend more money on infrastructure especially in light of the green initiatives approved in Paris in December, 2015. Perhaps the biggest surprise was no discussion of legally distributing marijuana in Canada. Many voters had hoped marijuana would be available starting on 4/20/2016 but the Liberal budget set no timeline other than committing to "broad consultation" in 2016.

U.S. Steel Bankruptcy Imminent
In January, six days of hearings into the debts owed by U.S. Steel Canada to its American parent resulted in a March ruling by the judge that the parent is a preferred creditor owed almost $2.3 billion. By June, U.S. Steel in America had rallied the preferred creditors to bring an end to the court-ordered restructuring of U.S. Steel Canada. The creditors demanded payment of their debt and petitioned the court to put U.S. Steel Canada into bankruptcy while supervising a sale of assets. The situation for pensioners of U.S. Steel Canada remained confused as the unfunded liability in the pension plan was listed as a debt by the American parent company as part of its $2.3 billion total. The confusion only got worse after a provincial $3.0 million fund to pay benefits for retirees expired at the end of March. There was no additional money forthcoming to continue the post-retirement benefits.

Who Owes Tiger-Cats Compensation?
In May, the Hamilton Tiger-Cat Football Club filed a statement of damages against the City of Hamilton for lost revenue and inconvenience due to delays in the construction of Tim Horton's Field. Within weeks, the City filed matching claims against Infrastructure Ontario expecting I.O. to then file a matching suit against Ontario Sports Solutions. In a surprise move, I.O. did not file a suit as it noted O.S.S. had declared bankruptcy and had no money to pay. I.O.'s response was to ask a judge to dismiss the lawsuit saying the City's problems were with the stadium contractor. The City was reluctant to pay the Tiger-Cat damages with no prospects of recovering the money from another party. As the CFL season began, there were concerns about the fiscal health of the Tiger-Cats. The money from the lawsuit could turn out to be critical to the team remaining solvent.

Popular Local Citizens Named as Senators
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was faced with a large number of vacancies in the Senate. Though he pledged to reform the Senate, he had to keep the institution functioning until reforms could be decided. On April 1, Trudeau named forty Canadians to the Senate. These people came from every province and territory and, keeping with his cabinet appointments, were gender-equal. Hamilton saw two of its citizens appointed to the Senate. Ken Welch, the long-time sports journalist who lost his job in December, 2015, was placed into the Senate along with local environmentalist, Lynda Lukasik. Lukasik's appointment coincided with a new standing committee in the Senate on Environmental Issues.

Feel free to add your own on this thread. 

62 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    1. Hamiltonian Admin; please explain the origin of the term "Paddy Wagon".

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    2. Hamiltonian AdminJanuary 10, 2016

      We did not know the reference that the term had. Thanks for the information. We have removed the post as it does not comply with our site policy. Thanks again.

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    3. Chief Makes One Last Arrest

      Parting Chief of Police Glenn DeCaire surprised the public by making one final arrest before stepping down as Hamilton's Police Chief. Parking a Police Wagon vehicle in the front of city hall, the Chief walked into city council chambers and announced the arrest of each councillor and the mayor for “failure to Lead” and “ a paucity of integrity”. While the Chief’s charges were admittedly made up, he said his actions were more symbolic than anything, citing council failure to set aside politics in favour of the public interest.

      Mayor to Meditate Over City Issues

      When confronted by on his position on the assault on reporter Joey Coleman by sitting city Clr. Lloyd Ferguson, the Mayor again declined comment but said rather that he would consider the matter further during his outdoor yoga sessions in front of city hall. As reporters approached the mayor during one of these yoga session, he was seen to levitate and soon took flight away from the scrutiny. More, once he lands.

      Integrity Commissioner Investigates Cases

      In a surprise move, the new Integrity Commissioner has decided to investigate cases

      tsk tsk

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  2. In a move that shocked the residents of Winona, Clr. Brenda Johnson changed course and went on record as supporting the secondary plan for Winona, and supporting the removal of lands from the greenbelt, while behind the scenes orchestrating votes to oppose the secondary plan and oppose the removal of lands from the greenbelt. This surprise reversal in favor of the residents of Winona left the community wondering .

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  3. "After what was perceived to be a too authoritative choice the last time, the Police Services Board with Council's approval, selected Marineland's Barky the Trained Seal as the city's new chief cop." LOL LOL LOL

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  4. decaire is gone. get over it. look around. take note of the PUBLIC attitude. what the majority thinks, not your commenters or staff. outside your blog, he was not widely respected, he did not inspire confidence, his staff and rank and file did not trust him. i look forward to all the updates from the hamiltonian on what great thing decaire is doing to make mac safer.

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    1. I found this feature both entertaining and informative. I'm not sure if I can come up with better headlines than I've already read.

      To the folks who have this animus against DeCaire- what objective stats and evidence of you have for your assertions. And what qualification do you have that would make you qualified to make such judgments?
      Sorce

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    2. sorce: what qualifications would i need to have you consider my opinion? and what qualifications do YOU have that would make you qualified to make such judgments? do people need qualifications to make judgements? youve never displayed any.

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  5. Show me otherwise Sorce. Public commentary is generally unkind to DeCaire. His stance on carding disqualifies him from respect. Any officer of the law that advocates breaking the law of the land to uphold it is spectacularly unqualified to lead our police force

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  6. @ taylor and Mr. Anon above. Clearly you are both unqualified to render any opinion on this matter other than an unqualified one, such as I have done. So, it is best not to pretend that that is all yours is. Anything over and above that, lessons your credibility.

    How exactly has DeCaire advocated breaking any laws? Do you know anything about laws?
    Sorce

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  7. Carding is constitutionally illegal and he's been told yet still defends the practice. Its not tough, hes breaking the law

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  8. how about his action team? when they were gold he took the credit. then a good many the action team were charged with CRIMINAL FELONY charges of various kinds. issuing tickets for offenses that didnt that didnt happen to people that had broken no laws. criminal enough for you?

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    1. It appears that some people here have this unshakeable fixation on the chief. And yet, appear to be fine with a city council who thinks it is okay to push a reporter, to call the premier a liar and citizens morons. And on it goes.

      Do you realize how silly your argument sounds. There are good and bad employees everywhere. That doesn't mean that the the Acton team idea was wrong., It just means that there were officers who were.
      Sorce

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    2. really? the "idea" wasnt flawed, the execution was? decaire wasnt paid for ideas he was paid to lead govern and police. when decaires single biggest accomplishment, the action team, the feat you boast about is exposed as a criminal lie, its all someone elses fault. the "bad apples". "the buck stops here" deosnt apply? whatever. you wanted criminal, alan taylor and i gave you criminal.

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    3. Funny the shove councillor is the one who campaigned to get the chief to un-resign

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    4. I wouldn't go as far as describing your and Alan's opinion as criminal.
      Sorce

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  9. very funny socre. you ask for facts, you say you will you respect facts, you get the facts you asked for and your response: childish rejoinders.

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  10. It's funny. In my line of work, facts and evidence carry a much more stringent criteria.

    Still waiting......
    Sorce

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    1. in your line of work you would likely be hearing a stern rebuke from a Magistrate for presenting such a weak argument

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    2. is sorce in the legal profession?

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  11. say it again: decaires action team that he built from the ground up, soup to nuts, and accepted an award for had the bulk of its team charged with multiple felony counts. respond to that DIRECTLY.

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  12. Already given. You are denying the facts

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  13. Sorry but when dealing with people who are fixated to the exclusion of all else, I have to practice an economy of words.
    I don't remember saying I was presenting an arugment. You seem to have made allegations without any specific proof. Show me indepedant proof sepearte and apart from your delusuonal dribble.
    Sorce

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    1. Mr. Taylor and anon. I am still waiting for any links to respected articles or sources that prove your allegations. Until then, it's just your opinion, misguided as I believe it to be.
      Sorce

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    2. The spectator and cbchamilton both publisheshed dozens of articles. You just refuse to accept the chief defies all calls to respect the constitutional rights of citizens

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    3. Wow. Now he is defying the constitutional rights of citizens. Another allegation without a single independent source. I didn't ask for dozens. Can you provide one, or will you continue to spew dribble
      Sorce

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    4. Where? Show me

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    5. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/hamilton/news/unjustifiable-human-rights-commission-slams-hamilton-police-on-carding-1.3294576 many more but there's your one since dozens is somehow worse than one

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    6. In Toronto same stuff, police chief defies law. http://www.cbc.ca/beta/news/canada/toronto/concerned-citizens-to-end-carding-demand-end-to-controversial-policing-tactic-1.3098291

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    7. Liberals Conservatives lawyers all say its illegal, in fact a judge ruled evidence was admissible even though it was unconstitutional

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    8. Liberals Conservatives lawyers all say its illegal, in fact a judge ruled evidence was admissible even though it was unconstitutional

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    9. After all of your allegations, this is what you got? Essentially a difference in opinion and interpretation? WE should all be jailed if it comes down to that.
      Sorce

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    10. Essentially you have blinders on. Firmer attorney general and osggod law society are pretty credible

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    11. As is a judge who ruled carding is illegal but admissible anyway

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    12. Allan and whoever else.....I'll have to leave this debate. I am astonished that anyone would suggest that the Chief should be removed, broke the law and all that extreme gibberish, based on the interpretation of carding from a human rights perspective. It's a thorny issue that must balance the deliberate and thus immoral practice of prejudging people based on color, race, creed etc., with stopping people because they are incidentally within range off the crime. To suggest that the Chief's views when trying to find this balance are criminal, is ridiculous. I leave this debate disappointed but unsurprised that it's all sizzle and no steak.
      Sorce

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    13. To suggest it's OK is astonishing

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    14. There is no balancing act on rights, either we have a right or we don't

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    15. Carding is not about being questioned in relation to a crime, its about the random detention of citizens and retaining their personal information without cause

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    16. my concern is his deceit. When quoted in the Spec by Molly Hayes on 6/26/2015 the headline read "Hamilton Police Chief adamant they do not practice carding"
      Is this another example where you and I are too stupid to understand the intricacies of Police work?
      Or a "leader" who had real difficulty being honest and upfront?

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    17. Agreed, dishonestly is not a trait I look for in police

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  15. Why does Larry Dianni still get press? Why reach out to him, he was a one term Mayor. His post is childish.

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    1. how many terms have you served? At least Larry has the conviction to attach his name to his commentary, whether it is genuine or satirical. Character which you seem to lack

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  16. I just don't understand why the Hamiltonian gives time to Larry Dianni. Was Mayor of Hamilton for 3 years and served as a Councillor for 3 years. A total of 6 years and he gets press. His entry is juvenile. I love the Hamiltonian but when I see posts such as this from this individual I wonder if I should ever log on again.

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    1. Hamiltonian AdminJanuary 09, 2016

      Everyone is welcome on The Hamiltonian and joining the Perspectives Virtual Panel is free and open to all. We respect the fact that not everyone will agree with any one's person views at any given time, hence what makes The Hamiltonian and other sites necessary. You, as well as anyone else continues to be welcome here.

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    2. Hamiltonian AdminJanuary 09, 2016

      will not agree, rather

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  17. sorce: i never talked about carding. i cited the numerous illegal acts and multiple criminal charges laid against members of the ex chief decaires "award winning" action team. you wanted illegal, there it is. please, defend the indefensible.

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  18. I have been reading this since it came out and I don't know how it turned into an attack on Chief DeCaire. Personally, I think he was and is a great leader that has been treated terribly by the press and by a few others. Most people I know, including cops, liked him. I think we will get someone who knows how to take orders from city council. I guess thats what some people want. don't think Hamilton is no longer able to know leadership. If you think Fred Eisenberger, Lloyd Ferguson, and 80% of all the other councillors are leaders, then you really deserve what you get. Thats all i can say.

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  19. A poll taken of Hamilton police indicated a large majority want DeCaire replaced. Not sure where you see wide spread support for the chief. Its more like universal disdain

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    1. I am sick of this now. What poll? Show me a link. Do you have ANY facts? I am starting to see what Sorce was saying.

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    2. http://m.thespec.com/news-story/5963691-police-chief-de-caire-should-go-says-union-survey

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    3. http://www.900chml.com/2015/10/16/48197/

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  20. I feel that this is what everyone is missing:
    "Job longevity as a factor, must be acknowledged to be a valid consideration. But when one couples that with a substantive pay cut and voluntarily stepping down from such a prestigious position, it may be reasonable to assume that there is more to the story."

    Read the article on TH about the Chief

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  21. Allan Taylor. I think your dance partner left the dance floor.

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  22. no shock. socre runs away whenever he is proven wrong, which is always. then he waits a few days and goes back to get the last word. notice how he never once responded to any fact presented? childish jokes and dismissal is all he has.

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  23. Why is one guy picking on DiAnni. He is using satire to make some very good points. Get over it.

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    1. He made a good point about the Police Chief.
      Sorce

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