In Today’s News

In today’s news (April 2, 2012) in THE RECORD, the travels costs of some of the Region’s politicians are summarized.
Our own Councillor, Gary Price is the second most “pricey” politician in the Region when it comes to travel.

His expenses totaled $30,332 in 2009-2011.

He was a little behind Kitchener Mayor Carl Zehr who spent $34,115 during the same period.
Karl Kiefer took it a little easier on taxpayers spending a mere $28,957.
I’m not sure why Price and Kiefer felt much more entitled than Mayor Craig who it seems had a little more regard for taxpayers spending a measly $11,986.00
But I’m sure if these gentlemen run again, they will be re-elected. We can’t afford to get rid of them with all the knowledge they have acquired in their extensive travels.


Where the biggest travellers went, 2009-2011

City and regional councils spent $370,397 in the past three years on conferences and out-of-town travel. Here are the top 10. Some politicians visited the same place more than once.

 • Kitchener Mayor Carl Zehr, $34,115. Went to Brazil, Calgary, Halifax, Nunavut, Moncton, N.B., Ottawa, Quebec, Regina, Toronto, Windsor, New York N.Y., Whistler, B.C., Victoria, B.C. and Collingwood.

 • Cambridge Coun. Gary Price, $30,332. Went to Corner Brook, NL, Halifax, London, Ont., Moncton, N.B., Nelson, B.C., Ottawa, Toronto, Windsor, Whistler, B.C., Victoria, B.C. and Collingwood.

 • Kitchener Coun. Berry Vrbanovic, $29,461. Went to Boston, Corner Brook, NL, Halifax, Nunavut, Moncton, N.B., Nashville, Ottawa, Regina, Toronto, Victoria, B.C., Windsor, Whistler, B.C. and Collingwood.

 • Cambridge Coun. Karl Kiefer, $28,957. Went to Corner Brook, NL, Halifax, London, Ont., Moncton, N.B., Nelson, B.C., Ottawa, Toronto, Windsor, Whistler, B.C. and Victoria B.C.

 • Waterloo Mayor Brenda Halloran, $19,079. Went to Halifax, London, Ont., New York, N.Y., Taiwan, China, Toronto, Windsor, Moncton, N.B. and Whistler, B.C.

 • Waterloo Coun. Karen Scian, $15,612. Went to Corner Brook, NL, Halifax, Nunavut, London, Ont., Nelson, B.C., Ottawa, Toronto and Whistler, B.C.

 • Kitchener Coun. Geoff Lorentz, (both city and regional councils), $15,214. Went to Halifax, Houston, Toronto, Boston and Whistler, B.C.

 • Waterloo Coun. Diane Freeman, $13,309. Went to Burlington, Vt., Halifax, London, Ont., Toronto, Washington, D.C., Windsor and Ottawa.

 • Cambridge Coun. Pam Wolf, $12,900. Went to Halifax, King City, Ont., London, Ont., Toronto, Windsor and Whistler, B.C.

 • Cambridge Mayor Doug Craig, $11,986. Went to Halifax, London, Ont., Toronto, Windsor, Ottawa and Whistler, B.C.–politicians-catch-the-travel-bug-on-your-dime



17 Responses to In Today’s News

    Robert Ross April 2, 2012 at 7:11 pm

    Should be one-way tickets and a bed in a hostel.

  2. Debbie Duff Vitez April 2, 2012 at 7:33 pm

    Councillors Karl Kiefer and Gary Price at the Trough

    From the Hespeler News.. comments invited below

    Well it all started innocently enough back in 1996, when Karl attended his first taxpayer funded conference. He went with several veteran troughers Doug Craig, Jane Brewer and Victoria Clark.

    The conference was held in Toronto. They blew about $4,000. in tax payer money.
    (Brewer, Durocher, Price and Tucci and Clark) all attended the Association of Municipalities of Ontario conference in Toronto again.

    In 1999, Keifer and other troughers
    (Brewer, Durocher, Price and Tucci and Clark) all attended the Association of Municipalities of Ontario conference in Toronto again
    Total cost with other expenses a stunning $22,000. of tax money.

    But it was in 2001, when Councillor Karl Kiefer fell into the trough.
    He spent a total of $12,339. of tax payers money to attend conferences.

    He was now aiming to get on the Board of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.

    So off to Board meetings in Quebec, B.C. and wait for it….. conferences in…..the Yukon and Banff.

    He also managed to go to one in Toronto.

    Now we know the Yukon and Banff were facing many similar issues to Cambridge. (name one!)

    In 2001, there was room in the trough for another Cambridge Councillor so come on down Gary Price.

    Gary went to B.C. and of course the Yukon and Banff conferences.

    Price came in with a $11,544.00 expense claim. Just pissing away our money.

    In 2002, Coun. Karl Kiefer, now a Federation of Canadian Municipalities board of director spent more than

    $7,000 to attend conferences and seminars.

    His fellow trougher Gary Price also spent $7000. of our money.
    Lets fast forward to 2008.

    According to The Record, Karl Kiefer and Gary Price were the biggest spenders on city council in 2007.

    Both represented the city at five municipal conferences as far away as Calgary, Alta., and St. Andrew’s, N.B.

    Kiefer’s total travel expenses were $10,021, while Price claimed $9,311.

    The Record in 2009 exposed Gary and Karls Whistler BC conference bondoggle.
    Coun. Karl Kiefer blew $4,349
    and Gary Price: $4,317 of taxpayers money.

    They were not alone however as veteran troughers
    Councillor Linda Whetlam( $4,020.)

    and Mayor Craig ($2,100) joined the sending spree.

    Sadly newcomer Coun. Pam Wolf seems to be fitting in real well as she attended the Whistler conference as well, spending $3,381.
    if someone had to go (doubtful) why did the City of Cambridge send 4?

    Price and Keifer should resign but due to public apathy in Cambridge, no one cares, no one votes, so the taxpayers will continue to get shafted by pork barrel politicians

    Thomas Vann April 2, 2012 at 7:52 pm

    Maybe if Gary runs again Al he will have ALL the poll locations around his area and all the people will have to go to the East side to vote so as to save money.

    Last election wasn’t it 4 polls around his house area and 1 for the ENTIRE West Side which is the same size

    The meals these guys must eat as well. Yikes. We can’t afford to keep them.

    Look over the last decade and these boys seem to always be the top pudding eaters of funds. OOPPss, a Preston lawyer will hear this one downstairs.

    You thought l didn’t know. Well Al, l have the paperwork if ya were ever interested in seeing it. By the way; Who gets their old office computers and equipment they replace every ?

    Al they are entitled to all this so let’s not worry about saving the taxpayer a dollar.

    Nice article Al. The facts can sting.

    l for one was concerned for Gary having a heart attack after the election. The stress of the election and how it was going to turn out must have been terrible for him.

    For his health reasons l sure hope he doesn’t try it again.

    His speech has been affected as with other things and he doesn’t need to prove anything further.

    He’s going to go down as probably the best alderman of all time and maybe in all of Canada.

    Enjoy sir, you deserve it all. Best wishes.

    Bev McDowell April 3, 2012 at 7:25 am

    This article omitted to state that Doug Craig went to China last year. Who paid for that trip? Did he pay for it out of his own pocket? The Times has reported that he is going to China again this year.

    Gary Worton April 3, 2012 at 9:42 am

    Question 1: Why? Does he like Chinese food that much?

    Question 2: When they go on these junkets, do they have the ‘significant other’ tagging along; or perhaps a
    couple of rug rats?

    Just wondered, that’s all.

    Allan Dettweiler April 4, 2012 at 12:37 am

    In Today’s News – specifically, I am referring to Greg Pautler’s crafty Letter to the Editor, Cambridge Times, April 3, 2012.

    Mr. Pautler is telling us that if the NDP members of the Legislature vote against Daddy Dalton’s budget, they are voting against the expansion of Cambridge Memorial Hospital. What rubbish!

    What fear-mongering!

    In his letter, he stated that a vote against the budget means the hospital expansion will be lost.

    Mr. Pautler should be ashamed!

    Having run as a candidate in the last election, I don’t think there was a single candidate that wasn’t agreeing to the hospital expansion.

    Just because someone doesn’t support the overall budget, doesn’t mean they oppose the hospital.

    The Liberal Budget makes little effort to reign in this provinces out of control spending. The proposed budget means that instead of a deficit of some $16 Billion, the McGuintyites will pare it down to $15 Billion.
    Big deal.

    So, when Mr. Pautler complains about another election which will cost “hundreds of millions of dollars” he should think about the interest the government is paying annually on the accumulated debt of well over $200 Billion.
    The cost of another election is chicken feed compared to those interest payments.

    Any money spent to get rid of the Liberals and their incompetent spending – it’s money well spent.

    Dalton is driving Ontario to financial destitution.

    Mr Pautler has a lot of nerve when he refers to the Liberal’s out of control spending, in part, as “protecting gains in education”.
    What absolute rubbish.

    I’m assuming he is referring to full-day kindergarten which the Liberal’s stubbornly defend even as the ship is sinking.

    Now I’m not thinking for a moment that the Conservatives would have the guts to bring Ontario the type of budget we really need at this time.
    That would be a balanced budget. A budget that brings public sector wages down to the same level as private sector.

    Specifically, a cut of 10 to 15% in public sector wages and benefits is what is needed. NOW!!!!

    Anything less just will not cut it.

    The problem most parties face is that they cannot give Ontarians what so desperately is needed because the vast majority of Ontarians won’t support that kind of logical thinking.

    The bottom line is that we are almost certainly doomed in Ontario.

    Brace yourself folks! The crash is coming. Think about how you will live it the lean years which are coming.

    I remember a number of years ago when New Zealand went through financial Armageddon. They had to shoot the baby hippopotamus at the zoo.
    They had to do all sorts of unimaginable things when the money ran out. Police cars were paid for by car dealers who put ads on the side.
    That’s the sort of thing coming to Ontario. And, it’s all because of the likes of McGuinty – and Pautler.

    Wake up Mr. Pautler! You owe it to your grandchildren.

    Allan Dettweiler April 5, 2012 at 8:19 am

    In today’s news, THE RECORD, April 5, 2012
    Well, Mayor Dougie is headed back to China at a $10,000 cost to taxpayers. They want “to make business and cultural connections”.
    According to the Mayor, “we’ll get that back in spades” in “the business that will come into our community”.
    Well, perhaps it’s so.
    But, I’m not sure any of this increased business will benefit the majority of taxpayers. Our taxes won’t decrease at all.
    Now, I’m thinking if this is such a darn good deal for business, them business should pay for the trip for the Mayor and his delegation. We can’t afford to pay the bill.
    We have a dam to build – I think.

    Furthermore, let us say the Mayors little business excursions are such a good deal, let’s have the Mayor stay in China for an extended period. Say, until election time in 2014.

    I’m perfectly willing to have Rick Cowsill fill in as acting Mayor in the interim.

    As a matter of fact, I think I could come up with fill-ins for most of the Councill members who want to take extended vacations to drum up business.

    Has anyone really explored business and cultural possibilities in Siberia?

    Maggie B April 5, 2012 at 9:49 am

    Allan, I love that idea, “Siberia!” Maybe we can get a group together and have a City Hall built there, not quite as elaborate as the one the taxpayers didn’t have a choice in building here though! As for China, Mayor Craig, in my opinion, the taxpayers, landlords and yes, the responsible tenants, have more than enough debt, especially since they were given the added financial responsibility of paying the water bills for the “Deadbeat Tenants”, sort of like “shooting fish in a barrel”, but I suppose this is way easier than thinking things all the way through and perhaps putting in place a debt collection who can actually “Target” the real culprits, the” transient tenants” and make “THEM” “SOLELY” responsible for “THEIR” “PERSONAL” debt!!!! “YOU USE, YOU PAY!” Debbie, I’ve probably gone off topic, but I don’t really give a rat’s ass!

    linda Whetham April 5, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    Our very own P.M. went off to China and came back with less Oil and two Panda Bears that have been loaned to Canada that will cost one million bucks to feed, just imagine what Mr. Craig can bring us back to little ole Cambridge….Maybe some Funding for his Theatre?…….

    Mr Craig also stated that the Mayor gets a lot more respect in China…..l.o.l.

    Robert Ross April 5, 2012 at 2:45 pm


    Bev McDowell April 5, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    I agree with you, the taxpayers of Cambridge have enough debt to pay and should not have to pay for this 10,000 trip to China. If the Mayor wants to go to China, in my opinion, he should be doing it on his own dime !

    How many weeks do we have to “close one of our libraries” to pay for this?

    I read in the Times last week that the city is spending 10 Million to service the Boxwood Industrial Park.

    Where is this money coming from?

    In the last election we where debt free but this is no longer the case and as you said Allen we also need money to fix the Riverside Dam. Where will we get this money?

    I would like to know what our total debt is at the moment…….does anyone know?

    Thomas Vann April 5, 2012 at 9:23 pm

    Nice job Allan. What did the mayor bring back last time?

  13. Debbie Duff Vitez April 5, 2012 at 10:04 pm

    I can only imagine what a great City this would still be with Rick Cowsill as Mayor..

    les April 6, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    “Any money spent to get rid of the Liberals and their incompetent spending – it’s money well spent”

    Allan, this line sounds like something right out of the play book of one of the other parties.
    I am somewhat surprised at you. Throwing good money after bad! Wall of shame on you.
    Here would be just a few criteria that would entice me to buy into that statement.
    The party/politician Federal or Provincial that would take anothers place would have to :

    1. Not lie. Ever! When caught you are out on your ass for life. No second chances.
    2. Be completely transparent when asked for information on the use of our money, without the use of FOI, Privacy Act and all the other fluff legislated to protect them, not us.
    3. Be accountable fully for every dime spent of tax payers money collected, department by department and eliminate the ” general fund ” into which all of our tax money is thrown so nobody can figure out where it goes and how much is really in there.
    4. NEVER I mean f#@&ing NEVER, answer a question with another question that has absolutely nothing to do with the orginal topic.
    When caught with excessive spending or untrue statements, we already know 15 years ago the previous party did it too. We are speaking of what ” YOU ” just did and want to know why. What they did is no excuse for you now doing the same or worse.
    5. Balance the books. When setting up a budget, it must be transparent and fully accountable line by line, item by item. No fuzzy forecasts that don’t and cant’ hold up a week later.
    6. Eliminate all tax on tax such as the HST at the pumps for starters. It is nothing short of theft.
    7. Keep your promises. It’s what you campaign on and is documented at the time of the election.
    8. Stop saying that it’s the ” people of Canada ” that want what is being proposed, especially when your have been elected by a slim minority of the minority that actually voted.
    9. Stop giving raises to people because they worked for your party/campaign.
    10.Stop giving jobs to people because they worked for your party/campaign.
    11. Stop golden parachutes to those that have been proven to have abused their priveliged position.
    They should instead be charged in court like everyone else rather than given a life time of retirement money to leave.

    Give me 6 out of 11 and I would agree it would be money well spent, but you can’t can you.

    Allan Dettweiler April 6, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    Les, I stick by my statement. No, I don’t like to “throw good money after bad” BUT, Dalton has proved he doesn’t get in. Not in a significant way. He hasn’t shown any signs he will balance the budget any time soon. Coming up with a budget that cuts only $1 Billion when the overspending is $16 Billion. Just won’t cut it.
    Now, I fully understand Dalton’s dilemna. He wants to stay in power. It appears that even with the budget just presented, there might be an election which the Liberals stand a very good chance of losing. Thanks to the privileged public sector who care only about themselves.
    But, Dalton’s had a good run. He helped bury this province – especially with his stubborn refusal to get rid of full day Kindergarten. Insane. Can’t afford it. This is Dalt’s attempt, in part, to keep the privileged “educators” appeased. They are going to bail on Dalton just because he want’s a freeze.

    I’m trying to figure out what you are saying. Don’t worry, it’s not your fault.
    I think, correct me if I’m wrong, you are saying that the other parties that would replace Dalton can’t live up to the high and worthy standards you present. You would be correct. You know full well that I don’t have a lot of faith in the Conservatives or NDP. That is why I ran.
    OK, I have more faith (for the moment) in the Conservatives, but they will end up with us hating them just as much as Dalton. They will look after their buddies etc.
    So, perhaps money spent to get rid of the Liberals only to be replaced by the others is a waste of money. That I will concede. BUT, I’ll be damned if I am going to support any party in power who governs irresponsibly.
    What party will I support? A party that balances the budget NOW. A fairy tale dream? Yup. Won’t happen.
    We are screwed. Little doubt of that. The public sector with all their voting power will drag this province down.

    Now Les, I’m just curious. If you were in Dalt’s shoes. how well would you do with your 11 points above? Actually, I have a lot of faith in you.
    If you were running locally, theres a damn good chance I would support you. Depends of course who was running against you. There are a few other good people in the area .
    As much sense as you make to me, I can’t for the life of me figure out why you support the Liberals. I know the Libertarian thing is only a dream – those of us who choose that party may be a little idealistic – OK, very idealistic.
    I’ll say it again. WE ARE SCREWED!

    les April 7, 2012 at 8:38 am

    So in a round about way Allan, you agree with me.
    I currently support the Liberals because there is no other viable alternative like it lump it.
    I am not a born and raised party person. Let’s use the example I have often heard. My great grandfather’s mother’s father and all his relatives were all conservatives so I am too. That doesn’t mean I am now scared straight to vote Tory to keep the faith. In fact it has usually been the opposite.
    I am not a political newbie either to actually think that even 3 out of 11 could be accomplished and if they were, for very long. Politics is a dirty word for a reason.
    To answer your question, if elected to anything and I am running for nothing, those points are the way I would act at all times, which is in part why I haven’t been elected when I did run many moons ago.
    Peopledon’t accept the truth even when proven on paper.
    Doug’s version of how much is/will be spent on the entertainment centre is a classic example of that.
    His figures so far are only out by 4 million and counting.

    So I responded to your final question in my second line of this note. There is no other party offering anything better, nor do they have a leader with any less or more credibility.
    Therefore, why change horses in the middle of the stream. Libs are still the better choice of all of them. In a minority, we rely on good opposition to put forward positions that can influence the party in power to make better choices. If they don’t, there is the real fear of being voted out. That hasn’t happened yet eithe largely because the other parties have nothing to offer as an alternative that would get them elected.
    A minority as in Ontario, is an ideal political environment in my view, as the plug can be pulled on the party in power if they get truly out of line.
    Unlike the majority government at the Federal level as you can see, is running roughshod over everything without fear or consideration for what they say or do until their term runs out.

    Allan Dettweiler April 7, 2012 at 11:05 am

    Yes, there is one party offering better. But, they won’t get elected due to greed.
    Les, the Liberals, and Dalton, have lied and screwed up enough, they should be turfed. Yes, we will probably hate the Tories in short order should they get in.
    The ones that will hate the Tories the most (should the Tories get in) is the public sector greedy, self-serving a-holes.
    Given that the Libertarians won’t get in since they don’t even have enough running, I am willing to tolerate the Tories until they prove they won’t do what they promise. Actually, they don’t promise a balanced budget either.
    I can’t stand Hudak. I can’t stand Dalton. I wouldn’t vote McSquinty if he held the last tube of Preparation H that I needed. (no, I’m not a perfect asshole).
    So, in my opinion, we need more choices.
    Les, you should vote for an alternative – whatever it be. Sort of a protest. Now, I’d love to have you vote Libertarian, but there is Green and there are independants. And depending on the election there are other choices as well. They won’t get in, but it registers your disapproval of the status quo (unlike a spoiled or refused ballot which doesn’t hurt the big parties at all).
    As for the federal Tories, I think they are starting to sweat the jet thing.
    No kind of a minority government in Ontario is desirable – yes, the plug can be pulled – for more not too much different.
    Bottom line, I’ll say it again. Ontario and Ontarians is screwed. Get ready for the big crash. As far as I’m concerned it’s coming.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *