Christian Conservative Christian "Independent"

I'm an evangelical Christian, member of the CPC, but presently & unjustly exiled to wander the political wilderness.
All opinions expressed here are solely my own.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Guelph's alternative paper reports on OPIRG scandal

The ECHO Weekly, Guelph's alternative (and typically left leaning) newspaper, has picked up on the whole OPIRG fiasco at the University of Guelph.

Adam Donaldson, a fairly well known local political commentator, published an article in this week's edition that continues the effort to shed some light on OPIRG's secretive decision making process. In response to your article Adam, from what I understand, the Guelph's OPIRG is refusing to even acknowledge the "Request for Information" submitted during the appeal process. One has to wonder what they're hiding, eh?

It's a pretty simple request... bring forth your docmentation proving that the extension of the nomination deadline was done on the up and up, and your problems are solved. Unless, of course, you're refusal to even acknowledge their request is because things WEREN'T done ethically.

Boy, you'd think that with a budget of $250,000+, they'd be more careful about keeping proper records. Maybe it's time for an audit, just to make sure everything's being done "by the book"...
No-PIRG, they didn’t. Did they?

Who would have guessed that a simple board of directors election for a small community activism group out of the University of Guelph would generate the kind of electoral fervour not seen since Bush v. Gore. Here’s the skinny: recently the Guelph branch of the Ontario Public Interest Research Group (OPIRG) held elections to fill vacancies on its board of directors. Controversy erupted after OPIRG extended the nomination deadline after it had passed. According to OPIRG, the deadline was extended because they had not received enough nominations to fill two community member seats on the board. However, some are accusing of OPIRG of playing partisan politics in order to keep four members of Guelph Campus Conservatives from being elected.

Now why would OPIRG, granted a left–leaning organization, want to keep out four eager and community–minded youngsters from joining their esteemed group? Well, it apparently has something to do with a Conservative conspiracy and some audio recordings, photographs and documents that were leaked from a recent Conservative Party student workshop at the University of Waterloo. Among those present at the workshop were Member of Parliament for Kitchener-Waterloo Peter Braid and his campaign manager, Aaron Lee–Wudrick. Reportedly Lee–Wudrick can be heard on the recording saying, "If it’s possible if, in one fell swoop, to take over the board of directors [of OPIRG], I think that it would be pretty impressive, and you’d be a hero to the Conservative movement if you can pull that off."

Two executives of the Central Student Association, External Affairs Commissioner Cailey Campbell and Local Affairs Commissioner Arden Hagedorn believed that the four members of GCC were taking those words to heart and sent out e–mails accusing them of trying to usurp OPIRG’s mandate. The four young men say that there was no hanky–panky with their decision to run for OPIRG’s board, and that they didn’t even know about the content of the U of W workshop; they simply wanted to make OPIRG Guelph more transparent and less partisan.

Needless to say though, that’s not the end of it. On his blog, the Christian Conservative posted a letter received through his anonymous source of the Request for Discovery filed by the four Conservative to the OPIRG Guelph Appeals Board. Amongst the papers being requested by the appeal are minutes and notes of all board of directors meetings from March 19 to 31; all resolutions made by the board both in and outside board meetings during the same time period; and e–mails between OPIRG staff, board, Campbell and Hagedorn. The response to this appeal was not known by deadline. For more information as it develops head to my blog at

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