Talk about Corporate Welfare!
Our illustrious Council has given Bell Aliant $1,00,000.00, to provide Broadband in the County!
This stroke of genius was at the recommendation of the IT Staff, which certainly indicates their vision and intelligence level.
This is the same IT staff that haven’t been able to put Wireless into the Bruce County Museum for $30,000.00 after it was offered to the County free by a local service provider. Free is too expensive don’t you know! $30,000 for $300.00 worth of Radios. My God what are they thinking. They actually turned down a donation.
The reality of the situation is that, the Province, through OMFRA (Ministry of Agriculture), has provided $1,000,000 in .30 cent dollars to deploy internet service to underserved areas. The program,which is intended to service rural communities and buy McDinky some votes is great idea gone wrong.
The Bruce County IT Staff, identified Sauble Beach, Colpoy’s Bay, Red Bay and the Walkerton area, as under serviced areas.
Now I may be a hick from the sticks, but at last count there are upwards to 7 service providers in each of these areas.
To make matters worse, our attentive, well paid professionals , in the IT department, hired a consultant for $5,000.00 to review the three tenders submitted. Why are we paying staff , if we have to hire outsiders to do the staff’s job?
The consultant, a Telus reseller, (Telus being a stakeholder in Bell Aliant) gave a biased Bell commercial, as a report to the Human Resource committee in November, recommending Bell as the proponent of choice. Imagine that!
The Consultant, Compu-Solve of Barrie, Ontario, choose to ignore the local contenders in his report.
Now let me see, Bell in conjunction with Tellus and Rogers, have deployed a cellular solution in Bruce County, using their cell sites to transmit internet, telephone and television in a complete package. They planned it, deployed it, without government funding , but instead with shareholder funds.
It should be noted that the price for this service is high, it has throughput limitations and it just doesn’t work in most of the county. That is not to say that it won’t improve with time, but $1,000,000.00 for a product that doesn’t work??? But what the hell we don’t have enough unemployed in this county, we can use more. The little guys will find something else to do or maybe they can go on welfare after they lay off their employees.
Keep in mind that in 2000, Bell was given $9,000,000 by the Feds to deliver internet to remote communities, of which Bruce saw nothing.
It was the little guys that took the bull by the horn and deployed wireless internet to the remote areas of Bruce County, no help from the Feds, the Province or the local government. These guys went and did it for anyone that wanted it ,when Bell and the rest of their gang laughed and said there was no market.
It is interesting to note that Gwen Gilbert, Charlie Bagnato and Larry Kraemer voted against the recommendation, citing that they wanted more time to review the tenders submitted and understand why the local service providers were not approved.
Think about this for a minute, Bell gets a million large, to do what they were going to do anyway and bonus they get to stomp out their local competitors, all with the support of our elected representatives.
What are these guys, our elected representatives, smoking??
I am advised by a local ISP, that they submitted a 650 page tender complete with engineering and never received any questions or interviews for clarification of their submission. The IT Staff and the consultant must really know their stuff if they can go through a document of that volume and understand it all so well, that they don’t need any clarification. Wow are we ever lucky. Not!
Think about this, the consultant was hired on October 15, 2009, he went through all three tenders in 30 days and managed to eliminate all but Bell without any questions. Isn’t this amazing! I wonder if he can walk on water every couple of thousand years.
It should be noted, that one of the Proponents, was made up of four local companies, that made a joint submission. These are the same guys that deployed, using their own money over the last ten years, in an area that the big boys had no interest in, even though they accepted a government handout to the tune of $9,000,000 some 9 years ago to do exactly what they are doing now.
I reviewed the Bruce County Communications Corp. submission and had more questions than carter has pills after reading the first 20 pages. Yet the consultant and the IT Department had no questions at all.
On December 3, 2009, Council voted to enter into an agreement with Bell on a go forward plan, over the objections of Gwen Gilbert, Charlie Bagnato and Larry Kraemer. The vote was carried 4 to 3 in favour.
Gwen Gilbert, brought forward a motion to delay for 30 days so that Council could review the tenders and understand why the locals were not acceptable. This was seconded by Charlie Bagnato. This motion was defeated by recorded vote of 4 to 3. But , not before, the CAO cautioned Council, that they could be sued if they supported the motion to review the committee report. (This guy must be the keeper of what ever they were smoking). Lets think about that for a minute, Council could be sued for delaying a decision for 30 days because they wanted to review a committee recommendation, before they handed out $1,000,000.00 tax dollars to a billion dollar company. Get serious!
They should to be ashamed of themselves. I would be surprised if most of those that voted for this travesty, can spell internet let alone understand the submissions made.
It is a sorry day in Bruce County, when our Coucil of elected representatives, vote in favour of putting the local business out of business by giving tax dollars to a Publicly traded company.
They should be giving a medal to the the little guys that provided internet to the area ,with their own money time and energy, not slapping them in the face as a reward for their efforts.
Thank God there is an election coming and these clowns can face the music.
Remember, come election day, Bill Goetz, Mike Smith, Milt McIver, Ron Oswald and Mich Twolan support the ideals of corporate welfare and using your money to destroy local business. God Bless these fools, cause I am sure nobody else will!