You may have heard the news this week that Vancouver city manager Sadhu Johnston wants to hire a $95,000-a-year “senior social digital communications strategist” for his office.
The delivery of the news, which came via radio and television, focused on how sanitation services were being cut so Johnston could hire the social media guru.
The predictable reaction was outrage, which came largely and ironically via social media giant, Twitter, my favourite go-to source for facts, context and gauging how people really feel.
What happened at city council Tuesday – I’m sorry to report – was more complicated than pitting sanitation services against a well-paid social media employee.
Coun. Sarah Kirby-Yung was responsible for making it less complicated by zeroing in on line items in a city staff report that showed $329,000 in spending allotted for the city manager’s office.
Of that $329,000, a total of $95,000 was to hire the social media person, $105,000 for “ongoing funding” for a social planner and $129,000 for another planner.
Another set of line items in the report was related to equipment and staffing for litter pickup, street sweeping, staff operations and safety training programs, all of it to be delayed – not cancelled – until next year.
The net cut in the delay would amount to $130,000.
So there was the matchup for Kirby-Yung, who went on to pepper Johnston with questions, some of it transcribed below for context.
Kirby-Yung: “We have 1,800 staff laid off right now and we still have – without a reduction – three new positions in the city manager’s office, including a social media person and planning related roles?”
Johnston: “We are doing a lot more online right now. There’s a lot more happening social media wise. As an example of that, we’re broadcasting this meeting live on Facebook because of the technology challenges. So we’re seeing a huge demand at this point for that service across the organization.”
Kirby-Yung: “So we’re keeping $329,000 for three new positions, but we still have 1,800 people laid off and we’re cutting $130,000 in sanitation. Is that a correct summary?”
Johnston: “We’re not currently hiring those positions because we do have a hiring freeze. So at this point, those positions are not being pursued, but we haven’t removed the funding for them, though.”
Kirby-Yung: “But that is an option, is that right?”
With that, Kirby-Yung tried twice to reduce Johnston’s office budget but was voted down by Green Party councillors Michael Wiebe, Adriane Carr and Pete Fry, along with Mayor Kennedy Stewart and councillors Jean Swanson and Christine Boyle.
Boyle: “I don’t think it would be good practice to start cherry picking some dollar amounts specifically when we’re not identifying exactly what we’re giving up. I don’t support the process, otherwise we’ll be here all night with each of us saying, ‘Well here’s $300,000 that I would like to see go towards something that has been delayed or cut back.’”
Wiebe: “There’s a lot of work being done by staff, and I think there’s a lot of opportunities in this budget to see movement and I don’t want to see us go through each operational item. I think we should be at a policy level.”
Wiebe made those comments after hearing from Johnston that the city’s aim to balance its $1.6 billion operating budget is a fluid exercise, with more changes expected the rest of the year.
“Each department will make adjustments in their own budgets to prioritize and to address the changing conditions and the circumstances,” Johnston said.
“We may need to produce further savings later in the year, or we may be doing better than we thought because revenue comes back sooner and we could do more.”
All this debate and discussion occurred Tuesday because the city has lost millions in revenues since the pandemic was declared in March, and is facing a $111 million deficit.
Sanitation and the city manager’s office budget, you may have assumed by this point in the story, were not the only items in staff’s lengthy report that outlined cuts, delays and cancellations.
Have a look for yourself here.
A story that didn’t receive near or any of the attention that ‘Socialmediagate’ attracted was Swanson’s successful motion to save the city’s women’s equity, anti-racism and reconciliation initiatives that were on the chopping block.
For media this week, it was all about the social media position, with reporters hounding the mayor the day after the council meeting at an unrelated news conference at city hall.
This morphed into the wider question as to why the city has 40-plus communications staffers – a perpetual issue for media that has been fuelled by Non-Partisan Association councillors past and present, who have yet to land on the best number of media reps, graphic designers, multimedia people and others to be promoting one of the country’s biggest cities.
“This city has a budget of $1.6 billion, we have 10,000 employees and you’re talking about one position – somebody that hasn’t been hired,” a clearly peeved Stewart told reporters.
“So what you’re setting up is a false narrative. I am very concerned about social disorder in this city, I’m very concerned about sanitation, I’m very concerned about rising crime levels.”
Added Stewart: “The focus in targeting one position – and the person hasn’t been hired yet – is kind of a weird story to follow.”
Another weird story is that Stewart’s office used Elettra Communications, which was involved in his election campaign, to manage his communications this week because his media guy was taking a week off.
Weird or not, my work of providing some context mixed with political rhetoric is done. You can tweet about it, if you like. Be outraged, if you must.
Canucks’ Media Night Wars | Sippin’ On A Coffee – Nucks Misconduct
This doesn’t make much sense.
Joining me on this uncoordinated keyboard smashing is a mutated apple, a cup of vintage office Joe, an incredible fritter from a European bakery (No apologies to Timothy Horton), munchies dominated by Pretzels and finally a glass of non-tap water.
What will all that is on the table ultimately bring to the blog table? Hopefully a read that has your mind content thus leading you to believe that me, yes me, @kylebhawan, may just become a fixture in your hockey life.
And if not, you know the deal.
It is what it is.
Somebody made that up
Another predictable answer for what was a predictable yet necessary rumor.
Ah what a time to be alive,
“That’s not true, somebody made that up.” – Jim Benning on rumours that the #Canucks are exploring the possibility of trading Brock Boeser
— Harman Dayal (@harmandayal2) July 13, 2020
This is Vancouver.
Then I realized it was some Minecraft thing.
— Daniel Wagner (@passittobulis) July 13, 2020
Make something up
I had 2 beers only.
If Petey is your bestfriend…
He’d want you ‘round all the time.
If only I had become a professional athlete. Only then I would know how vital personal friendships are in a potentially 10 month long business trip.
But i’m currently living the life I knowingly chose. One that has me blogging away at the medium rare age of 27.
Anyways, if I’m answering the phone calls, i’m listening to the second most talented Canuck of all time.
Drancer reporting Canucks weren’t pleased at Sekeres’ report about Boeser.
This note is the interesting one though:
“there’s a certain first-line Canucks centreman that would be absolutely furious if the organization made such a move.”
— Taj (@taj1944) July 13, 2020
Do the math
And let’s be honest, anyone who claims to be fans of our favorite sport can muster up this equation.
Canucks in “cap hell” + possibly losing Tanev + having Jim Benning as a general manager + this is Vancouver + invested fanbase + no Stanley Cup in 50 years of existence + a rainy summer + 2020 + Tofolli’s first ten games in blue and green = the obvious.
The morale of the story
It is and always will be a results oriented business. Nobody is safe.
Boeser called the rumours unnecessary and was disappointed by the timing of the tweets. Frankly, that’s Boeser being professional. We know he’s effin pissed and rightfully so. #Canucks
— Dr. Tej Dhaliwal, O.D. ️ (@DrTejDhaliwal) July 13, 2020
But would you do it?
Signal out to the masses of quarantined followers that the team is interested in parting ways with the 2018 Calder Finalist?
If I was a reporter with a trusted source and sits in one of the chairs on Vancouver’s favorite sports radio show, you damn right I would.
Matt Sekeres: I’m told the Canucks are exploring the possibility of trading Brock Boeser.#TSN1040
— Rick Dhaliwal (@DhaliwalSports) July 10, 2020
But would you do it in 2020?
*Takes a sip of the tea with the fruit and the nuts*
Look, I guess I’m not living in my version of a normal world. Things still don’t make sense and rightfully so.
The outlook of this team has changed for me in such a short and eventful amount of time. Gone are the moments in which I hope this team is taking one step at a time towards the goal a franchise can predict if moved with ease and precision. That couple alone should equate to being overly competitive year in and year out.
Nowadays I, @kylebhawan is just hoping for the best and letting go of those moments we really can’t control. Especially those during a futuristic offseason which honestly could start as early as next month or as scheduled in the late fall.
In my world circa 2020, cap space and asset management really could go down that lost porta potty.
Again, I’m hoping the best for those athletes that represent this city. Who really don’t have to be giving us something to watch let alone monetize. I know this sounds cheesy, even from this Wisconsin native, and it ignores that fact that those same athletes risking it all for your viewership & wallet are also risking it all for their dreams and goals.
But it really is, what is is. For @kylebhawan at least.
Even if I hear it, the above rumor, I ain’t saying sh*t in 2020.
As the recently high-school graduate Quavo would say.
MEDIA NIGHT WAR
I’ll be real and I’ll be honest. I don’t really know what’s going on here. @kylebhawan is an old soul who can’t take the time to comprehend a Twitter feud and hopes they would just save it for the ring.
Aka the airwaves.
Or in 2020, anywhere consumable via headphones.
That being said, I am a firm believer in learning new concepts that could help this life of mine. So let’s attempt to comprehend this battle.
A bit of a reach
I actually don’t know if I stand by this header.
It was just there and my dogs at the door.
Preach, man. Concern for me is that they’ll be hard pressed to improve next year, but long term these issues aren’t too different from any other team in the league.
— Dan Riccio (@DanRiccio650) July 11, 2020
Drance wants to dance
And did he ever actually hang up?
I have to come back to this.
“Aren’t too different from any other team”? Let me know when you find another club with $20M in salary cap commitments tied up in bottom six forwards (Sutter/Eriksson/Baertschi/Beagle/Roussel).
I’ll hang up and listen.
— Thomas Drance (@ThomasDrance) July 12, 2020
Wait, what happened?
We at the Nucks Misconduct Network didn’t have enough to clear the bill to air the entire fight on the now 14th greatest Canucks blog according to a unnamed source.
Ahh to be mad at such a putrid sized wallet would be reasonable, I guess.
Nonetheless the show goes on.
This entire market has been diaper filling piss babies for the last two weeks and it’s been an embarrassment. Your team is finally good and there’s an actual playoff series to talk about
— Andrew Walker (@AndrewWalker650) July 12, 2020
Bad luck and sh*t
I couldn’t have said it better myself.
The Canucks fanbase is passionate and smart. We are so invested in the team, we consume every angle and an endless amount of content, despite the incredible amount of bad luck and shit we have endured.
None of that is embarrassing. Stop the self loathing.
— Sam (@samanthacp_) July 12, 2020
You can call me a piss baby
Honestly, I’ve probably been one a couple hundred times.
It’s all good.
It is what it is.
You’re not a piss baby. You’re an informed fan in one of the most hockey educated markets in the world. It’s okay to have an opinion on what you think the team should do – it’s part of what makes being a fan fun.
— Darryl Keeping (@dkeeping) July 12, 2020
They’ll take less than you think
I should just call this the Taj Report btw.
Pettersson and Hughes are able to sign contract extensions after 9am tomorrow.
— Taj (@taj1944) July 13, 2020
iSIGN Media Announces a Shares for Debt Transaction – GlobeNewswire
TORONTO, July 13, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — iSIGN Media Solutions Inc. (“iSIGN” or “Company”) (TSX-V: ISD) (OTC: ISDSF), a leading provider of interactive mobile proximity marketing and public security alert solutions announced it has entered into a debt settlement arrangement with various companies and individuals in which the Company has agreed to issue an aggregate of 11,457,788 common shares at a deemed price of $0.05 per share in settlement of debts owned of $572,890.
Included in this transaction are various companies that are either wholly or partially owned and controlled by Josip Kozar, iSIGN’s Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Kozar is deemed to be a “related party”, as such term is defined in Multilateral Instrument 61-101 Protection of Minority Security Holders in Special Transactions (“MI 61-101”), being the Company’s Chief Executive Officer and currently holding approximately 15% of the Company’s issued and outstanding common shares of the Company.
For this transaction, the Company has relied on the exemption from the formal valuation requirements of MI 61-101 contained in section 5.5(a) of MI 61-101 and has relied on the exemption from the minority shareholder approval requirements of MI 61-101 contained in section 5.7(a) of MI 61-101.
This arrangement is subject to the approval of the TSX Venture Exchange (“Exchange”). The Company will issue these shares, which are subject to a four month hold period, once approval has been received from the Exchange.
About iSIGN Media
iSIGN, a Canadian company based in Toronto (Richmond Hill), Ontario is a data-focused, software-as-a-service (SaaS) company that is a pioneering leader in the areas of location-based security alert messaging and proximity marketing utilizing Bluetooth® and Wi-Fi connectivity in complete privacy. Creators of the Smart suite of products, a patented interactive proximity marketing technology, iSIGN enables the delivery of messages to mobile devices in proximity, with real-time reporting and analytics on a variety of metrics. 2019 winner of Richmond Hill’s Innovator of the Year award. Partners include IBM, Keyser Retail Solutions, Baylor University, Verizon Wireless, TELUS and Mtrex Network Solutions. www.isignmedia.com
This news release may include certain forward-looking statements that are based upon current expectations, which involve risks and uncertainties associated with iSIGN Media’s business and the environment in which the business operates. Any statements contained herein that are not statements of historical facts may be deemed to be forward-looking, including those identified by the expressions “anticipate”, “believe”, “plan”, “estimate”, “expect”, “intend” and similar expressions to the extent they relate to the Company or its management. The forward-looking statements are not historical facts but reflect iSIGN Media’s current expectations regarding future results or events. These forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from current expectations. iSIGN Media assumes no obligation to update the forward-looking statements, or to update the reasons why actual results could differ from those reflected in the forward-looking statements.
© 2020 iSIGN Media Solutions Inc. All Rights Reserved. All other trademarks and trade names are the property of their respective owners.
iSIGN Media Solutions Inc.
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor Its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the accuracy of this release.
Ambassador Bridge owner 'Matty' Moroun dead at 93, report Detroit media – Windsor Star
Article content continued
Fellow tycoon Warren Buffet also had a 25 per cent share of the bridge. But in 1979, Moroun purchased the bridge outright and took full control.
According to Moroun, his goal with the bridge purchase was only to get his trucks moving across the border smoothly.
Truck traffic at the bridge soared under the North American Free Trade Agreement. Central Transport bought out more and more other trucking firms until Moroun’s business interests stretched overseas and around the world.
By the mid-2000s, Moroun’s empire included more than 100 companies and affiliates across the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.
His vast real estate holdings made him the second-largest property owner in Michigan, behind only the state government itself.
Moroun was also believed to be the third-biggest property owner in the city of Detroit.
When Moroun spoke to the Star in 2006, he was tiring of his reputation as a pirate in business, and suggested he wanted to be considered a builder of the local and national economies.
“You know, when you get my age, you start to think a little bit about how you will be remembered,” Moroun said at the time.
—with files by Dave Battagello
The CRA's Pursuit Of Real Estate Data Goes South Of The Border – Tax – Canada – Mondaq News Alerts
Service outages, compromised security possible unless government takes common-sense approach to Huawei – BT CEO – RT
Today's coronavirus news: Human clinical trials begin for Quebec-made COVID-19 vaccine candidate; India's cases jumped by another 28000 and are fast approaching 1M – Toronto Star
Silver investment demand jumped 12% in 2019 – report – MINING.com
Iran anticipates renewed protests amid social media shutdown
Richmond BBQ spot speaks out about coronavirus rumours Vancouver Is Awesome
- Politics14 hours ago
Trudeau apologizes for not recusing himself from WE Charity contract discussions
- Sports14 hours ago
Auston Matthews confirms he tested positive for COVID-19
- Media14 hours ago
Trump administration accused of ‘onslaught’ against media by UN expert
- Health23 hours ago
More calls to 811, long lines after officials tell Montreal bargoers to test for COVID-19 – Globalnews.ca
- Media24 hours ago
iPolitics AM: [UPDATED] Trudeau set to face media amid new questions on WE Charity contract controversy – iPolitics.ca
- Tech21 hours ago
Ubisoft is giving away Watch Dogs 2 for free on PC, even if you missed its event – TechRadar
- Sports19 hours ago
Maple Leafs’ Auston Matthews says he tested positive for COVID-19 – Sportsnet.ca
- Economy23 hours ago
US regrets foreign interference in Libya's economy – Anadolu Agency