I drove past Lorne Avenue twice today at its intersection with Davis Drive. 

The police were there, lights flashing, ludicrously.

Why on earth do we allow this ridiculous pantomime to continue?

The police are there, presumably, to protect the construction workers from angry drivers, furious they can't get through.

Or, maybe, the answer is more prosaic.

They are on hand to direct traffic.

But there is a big orange sign on Lorne telling everyone:


The police have powers to direct traffic - and I don't - but what an absurd waste of highly skilled police time.

The police should be out catching criminals not spending their days in idle chatter with construction workers.

All it needs is a one clause Bill to remove the obligation on police to be present when roads are being dug up and traffic may need to be redirected..

Perhaps our new MPP, Dawn Gallagher Murphy, could drag herself away from organising her Corn Fest and BBQ, and do this.

Gordon Prentice 6 October 2022

Do we need a new Library? 

Newmarket Today tells its readers

“No candidate in this election has campaigned on a new library building.” 

This is incorrect.

In the Newmarket Today questionnaire sent out to all candidates I was asked:

Should opening a second branch of Newmarket Public Library be a top priority for the next term?

We were all restricted to a one word answer (!) 

This was my full answer which I sent to Newmarket Today and posted on my election website voteprentice.com

Yes. But we need a new main Library. Our focus and our energies should be on replacing a Library that is too small to deliver services to our growing population. Eight years ago, the previous Chief Executive, Todd Kyle, spelt out the reasons why the Library was no longer fit for purpose. It’s too small. The building frequently leaks. We are way behind other comparable municipalities in terms of the financial support we give to our library.

Blame the pandemic

My opponent promised a new library in his 2018 election campaign (see right) but couldn’t get the support of his council colleagues during the “priority setting” meetings in early 2019. Vegh’s excuse for inaction (the pandemic) is just another of his inventions.

But, that said, getting a new Library is going to be a Herculean task. The Mayor doesn’t see a pressing need and, astonishingly, neither does the Library Board nor the Library’s new Chief Executive. 

For the moment, I am pretty much a lone voice.  

A New Building or Satellite Branches

The previous Chief Executive, Todd Kyle, (photo right), now head of libraries at Brampton, said the Park Avenue site was way too small. He posted this on the Library's website on 28 February 2018.

In 2018 he made his views clear:

“The last two terms of council haven’t put the library on the priority list. It would be nice to just have a space where people aren’t tripping over other people constantly.”

“The current location has restrictions on the land so we would have to build up to expand, which isn’t ideal. Our two options seem to be building a new facility or constructing satellite branches to increase our services to the public.”

So, to be clear, we need a new Library.

Gordon Prentice 6 October 2022

Read Heather Mallick on Toronto's libraries in yesterday's Toronto Star.

Today my little team canvassed London Road. There were five of us doing the work of five thousand.    

It’s hard work.

I’ve got to tell my life story in two minutes. Explain why I am running in another two minutes. And then ask permission to put my lawn sign on their property.

Five minutes minimum but often I am on the doorstep for 15 minutes.

There are no shortcuts.

Engaging with the voters takes time

I explain. I listen. I engage. The voters have got to get to know me.

I make my case to an entranced listener who, at the end of my spiel, asks penetrating questions before saying they don’t take signs. Not for anyone. I scream inside silently.

This happens more than once.

I meet a man who warns there are dangers in elected office. He says he was threatened many years ago when he blew the whistle on a man who was dumping toxic water into Lake Ontario. He was threatened. He is told it only takes $20,000 and we’d make sure your brains would be blown out.

I laugh at this. I tell him I wear an invisible Police Officer’s uniform. No-one is going to threaten me.

I spend as much time with the voters as it takes.

Speed dating

This is not speed dating. It’s gotta be slow and measured.  

People want to know who I am. Why am I running? Why am I knocking on their door? What am I going to do for them?

I’ve got to answer these questions head on. Without appearing weird or confrontational, impatient or bored.


Our new Conservative MPP, Dawn Gallagher Murphy, breathlessly boasts that she knocked on 25,000 doors in the Provincial election campaign earlier this year. She says her team knocked on 5,000 doors in three days!

That is 5,000 doors in 4,320 minutes. Or 52 seconds per door.


Not so fast, Dawn. Don’t rush. 

Take it slow. Get to know your voters.

Ford appointee and Office Manager

Dawn probably gets through the preliminaries by saying she was a Ford appointee and worked as the former Office Manager for Christine Elliott. And she is pure PC.

But that would have taken at least 45 seconds, leaving very little time for anything else. No time to ask the voters for their opinions on anything. 

And what about Tom? 

We know he keeps a list of past contacts, going back to 2018. And four years later he wants to get to know them again.

Gordon Prentice 5 October 2022                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

 Tom Vegh's latest election ad posted on social media (right) is breathtaking in its mendacity.  

The man is a pathological liar.

There is no other polite way of describing his behaviour. 

Protecting Green Space

Consider his election ad on "Protecting Our Green Space"

He says he will:

"Continue to support the protection of agricultural and environmentally-sensitive lands."

On 28 October 2021 in a vote on ROPA7 (Regional Official Plan Amendment 7) Vegh voted to allow the redesignation of the Protected Countryside portions of the Greenbelt in Vaughan from Prime Agricultural to rural against the advice of the Region’s Chief Planner. This would allow the land to be used for golf courses, soccer pitches and the like. John Taylor and Aurora’s Mayor Tom Mrakas voted against.

The Greenbelt Foundation had this to say:

"The ROPA 7 lands are located entirely within the Protected Countryside of the Greenbelt, are within the Greenbelt Natural Heritage System, and are designated as prime agricultural areas within the broader provincial Agricultural System."

The Greenbelt Foundation made its position crystal clear with no room for ambiguity. 

We are losing 319 acres of productive farmland every day

The Ontario Federation of Agriculture warns: 

"The preservation of farmland is a very critical issue in Ontario. According to figures from the Census of Agriculture released in the spring, Ontario is losing 319 acres of productive farmland every day. That’s the equivalent of 58 city blocks, nearly 800 hockey rinks or 4,785 tennis courts. In terms of food, that is enough acreage to produce more than 23.5 million apples, 1.2 million bottles of Ontario VQA wine or 75.6 million carrots."

The York Region Federation of Farmers protested but Vegh didn't blink. His mind was made up. Their prime agricultural land would be redesignated.

On the record

Vegh's votes at York Regional Council are all on the record.

He votes to allow development which will pave over open countryside, dismissing the concerns of our farmers and others.

Why does he dissemble?

In his on-line ad he says he supported the acquisition of over 2,000 acres of environmentally sensitive lands. That's what the Conservation Agency does. It's like saying you support the Police when they catch criminals - it's in their job description. 

But at the same time, wearing his York Regional Councillor hat, he votes to open up 7,785 acres of open countryside for development. This is about 12 square miles. (The Town of Newmarket is about 14 square miles.)

He also says he supports the designation of 71% of all lands as agricultural or open space making it off-limits to development. This is just a statement of the obvious. The 71% has been around for years and refers to lands designated under the Greenbelt Act and Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Act.

What on earth is going on in Tom Vegh's head?

Gordon Prentice 5 October 2022.

Note: blog amended on 6 October 2022. Vegh campaign ad (above) was posted on social media. It was not a "glossy flyer" as previously described.

This evening we are in Sandford Street where a blizzard of Tom Vegh signs appeared earlier this week. 

I am on a mission to find out why.

I have a little band of people with me. They do one side of the street and I do the other.

Houses that look empty and unoccupied always have a Vegh sign outside. 

It takes a long time to canvass Sandford which is a long street. But I am in no rush. I want to hear what people have to say.

I never hear people defending Tom Vegh and his record. It simply doesn’t happen..

Four out of five Vegh signs paid for by developers

When I say that four out of five lawn signs were paid by developers in 2018 and Vegh is now recycling them for his 2022 campaign they nod, soaking the information in.

I have a long conversation with a young woman who wants to know more about the proposed Mulock GO Rail station. I am on home territory here. Fast trains to Newmarket will be transformational. My enthusiasm is infectious. People living near GO Rail stations will see a million benefits.

Now I am spending ten minutes talking to an elderly man who suddenly says he is not interested in politics.

“Why then do you have a Tom Vegh sign on your lawn?"

“Because he was here first and asked me.”

“That’s not good enough.”

Now I am laughing:

“I’ve been answering your questions for ten minutes and you are now going to send me away with nothing? Let me put my lawn sign alongside Vegh’s.”

OK he says.

Making sense of QR Codes

Now I am talking to an elderly woman who clearly likes what I am saying.

I point to the QR Code on my leaflet. 

“This takes you straight to my website. You can find out a lot more about me there.”

Hmmmm she says.

“I don’t know about QR Codes. Can you please tell me how they work? I want to learn more about computers." 

Ten minutes later, satisfied, she says I can put up one of my lawn signs.

Sandford Street now looks very different. My lawn signs are everywhere.

Gordon Prentice 4 October 2022