Ok, my title isn't quite as catchy as the 80s cult movie, The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover, but it was the best I could come with in the absence of some of the more pithy writers in our local scene. The allusion just might work since it seems our town is figuratively eating some of its own, and that's what happens in the movie, although with Helen Mirren, it's not figurative. The movie was French, it was the late 80s; need I say more?
(Disclaimer: please know I am not trying to imply that any of the characters in the news story out of Collingwood last Friday is playing a role similar to any character named in the title of the aforementioned motion picture. I do not imply in any way that I consider or that I think you should consider any of the people named in the CBC story to be a chef or involved in cookery or theiving or cannibalism or, for that matter, loving. I use this particular movie title as a joke because the movie title features four characters and so does the CBC story. Plus, I got a giggle writing 'lover'. Also, brother and lover sort of rhyme.)
My, my, what an interesting weekend! Nearly every person I spoke with in town had an opinion about what they perceive as a scandal bursting forth over Collingwood.
Boiled down, the story that came from the CBC Friday was this: people have complained to police. Seriously, that's it so far, because the OPP won't even confirm there's an investigation underway. After this afternoon's rally, the story will become about how many people showed up at a pre-council pro-openness rally. Oh, and what they said while rallying, of course.
As I explained to a listener a couple of weeks ago, "People being angry and upset is not news. People being angry and upset and doing something about it? That's news." Three separate prongs of complaint made it a triple word score for the CBC. I'm sad at not breaking this story, but I assure you, I tried.
So the news is the complaints, and also confirmation from the parties mentioned that the mayor's brother has done business with businesses which were doing business or trying to do business with the town.
The optics are not good. The brother of the mayor consulting for companies that have dealings with the town is not against the letter of the law. Is it against the spirit of the Conflict of Interest laws? That will be up to The People to decide.
But aren't there some missing pieces to this tale? If this thing's really going to have what we in the news biz call 'legs', the private school soccer bubble mess needs to be connected somehow to the membrane covers for the old pool and new rink, the not-really proposed casino within an as-yet-unplanned resort and also, somehow, the newly demolished Mountain View Hotel, not to mention the developments stalled and restarted and stalled again. Now, that's a story I would have fun reading, and it would be good enough for a movie, French or not.
(disclaimer: the above paragraph is intended soley as satire and in no way reflects any knowledge, rumour or any other thing on my part except an attempt at humour.)