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Fake News:

It’s the new mantra of Donald Trump and it has hit Guelph.

In a recent blog posting by an amateur blogger of some renown, it stated without equivocation, that I voted to sell Guelph Hydro.
Below I am quoting from his blog.

“Coun. Phil Allt voted to sell the utility but then hedged his decision by saying he wanted more alternatives. Some councillors, who voted not to sell Guelph Hydro, also said their vote depended on the SOC (Strategic Options Committee) phase two report in midyear.”

Nothing of the above could be further from the truth.

Why respond to things that are a complete fabrication? Are these bloggers like excited little puppies just barking up the wrong tree, like Don Quixote tilting at windmills, or worse, deliberately creating hysteria with Fox News like hyperbole? Do they have some influence? The answer to all these is “yes” as the US presidential election reveals.

Bloggers have followers. I felt compelled to correct the record with one follower of the blog from which that mistruth was extracted (note, that is the only place from which it could have come –  professional/working journalists have been accurate in their reporting).

My response:
Dear Mr. S, thanks for the email. I note your email is addressed to the mayor. However, as I voted to hear all options (not, I stress, to sell Hydro) I thought I would weigh in.

In considering all aspects of why I believe that selling is a bad option, I wanted to have all information. I cannot speak for others who voted that way but due diligence requires a thorough investigation. So far, my investigation has led me to conclude that there is no solid foundation for a sale of the utility.

As I said, I cannot speak for others who voted but I want it to be clear up that I voted for due diligence. In fact, a motion to merge or to keep status quo will NOT come to council before July (I suspect actually that will be autumn).

If you wish to talk about this I am available for a discussion. However, that will not be prior to next week as I am currently out of the country.
Sincerely,
Phil Allt

For me, due diligence is paramount. So too is the quadruple bottom line. This is succinctly summarized by columnist Edward E Lawler III at forbes.com

Organizations need to be held to quadruple, not triple, bottom line performance standards. They need to perform well financially, environmentally, socially, and in how they treat their employees. How they treat their employees often gets included in the triple bottom line definition of the social category, but it warrants a separate and distinct set of measures and a high level of accountability. It is an area where the impact of organizations is measurable, significant, and may be quite different than the impact on the communities in which they operate.

In the case of Guelph Hydro, let me add a 5th caveat – our assets must operate in the best interests of the city in the long term. In my mind, selling was never an option. We can ensure a commitment to the quadruple bottom line only if we continue to have a strong hand in the future of Hydro, be that in a merger or as a wholly owned asset of our City.

Remember, in the world of alt-right and fake news – the truth sometimes is hard to discern. I am glad I stated over and over, and that it was recorded that I am opposed the sale of Guelph Hydro. I want more information in order to perform due diligence. Is that not what people want in a councillor?