AS ANYONE WHO reads this column on a regular basis knows, I have never been happy that our traffic people allowed to stand the screw-up to the lane configuration at Albert and East Streets that the line painters from Guelph foisted on us.
Thinking two new councillors in Ward 2 , Luke Dufour and Lisa Vezeau-Allen, might have different thoughts about the configuration than the councillors who have ignored the mistake for the past six years, I forwarded copies of past and present configurations to them.
I never got the courtesy of a reply, something that was quite a change from my dealings with councillors in the past.
Anyway, as a result of this, I decided to query Chief Administrative Malcolm White as to his views on the configuration of the intersection, which now has only one lane from Albert continuing north onto Wellington Street East where there had previously been two.
On Sept. 25 of last year I sent a note to White explaining that since I had gotten nowhere with the numerous columns I had written on the intersection, I thought I would take a different route, approaching the councillors with drawings as to how the intersection was and how it is now.
On Sept. 30 White acknowledged he had received the emails including the drawings. “I’ll have to delve into things a bit before I can get back to you, hopefully next week,” he said in an email.
On Nov. 23, I emailed White to remind him of my previous query. That same day he replied, saying he would endeavour to have his thoughts to me by Thursday.
It was the last I heard.
I think I now know why.
I have known White for a long time, dealing with him as deputy city clerk at city hall, then city clerk, then CAO, the position he now holds.
He never dodged a question, always getting back to me quickly. He was, to my mind, as straight an arrow as I had ever come across.
And therein lies the rub, what I now see as the reason he has been reluctant to get back to me.
You see, he cannot tell a lie. Such a thing would be anathema to him.
I did not have this in mind when I approached him but I now see I put him between a rock and a hard place.
Knowing his character and the common sense that is virtually his trademark, if he supported staff in their decision to go along with the changes made by the Guelph line painters, he would have gotten back to me quickly and said so.
His silence tells me that he does not agree with the configuration as it stands.
I know it changes nothing, but it is nice to know.
THE SAULT MAJOR HOCKEY Association is operating this season but under a very different set of rules because of Covid-19.
It began the season playing three on three but has since moved up to four on four.
There is a shortage of players so some will find themselves playing two games in a row. At the best of times a team will have only 10 players, including the goalie.
There are no face-offs
When there is an offside, the offending team must clear the zone with the puck being awarded to the non-offending team.
When there is an icing or the goalie freezes the puck, the same thing occurs.
When a penalty is called by one of the two referees, a penalty shot is awarded.
It is here that I got a real jolt when watching a game at John Rhodes Arena on the afternoon of March 13.
A player, given the puck at centre ice to take the penalty shot, simply shot the puck at the end boards. There were seven instances of this throughout the game but the most egregious came at the end of the game.
A penalty was called just before the final whistle with the score tied 3-3. By scoring the player could have won the game, but he too simply shot the puck at the end boards.
Well, apparently there has been an agreement made that this will be the case when it is decided the referees have made a bad call.
In this game there were many bad calls, all made by one referee as the other didn’t seem to see things the same way, nor did anyone in the stands.
The referee with the heavy whistle didn’t seem to realize he was getting the finger each time a player shot the puck at the end boards, the ultimate finger occurring when the player who had a chance to win the game didn’t take it.
I actually thought the hooking penalty called just prior to the end of the game was legitimate, one of only two I saw that way, although a couple, mainly involving collisions in the no-body-contact game, could have gone either way.
The same referee threw four players out of the game prior to the one I saw and threw four out of the game I did see.
I don’t really agree with the disrespect that is being shown the referees but I also don’t agree with the disrespect the referees are showing the players by calling penalties that border on imaginary.
I saw another game last Saturday and in that one, with different referees, there were only three penalties, all assessed to the same team in the third period and all I would rate as legitimate. That game also ended 3-3.
However, in light of what I saw the previous week and which apparently has been the norm, I still would suggest that some officials from Sault Major and possibly the referees get involved to clean this up.