Friday, February 06, 2015

Feigned Indignation

Local radio personality Andrew Lawton has recently been put on leave in response to complaints about comments made on his show on AM980 earlier this week. Today I sent the following letter to Andrew's manager, Nathan Smith, standing up to support Andrew and call for him to be put back on the air.

Hello Nathan,

It is a common tactic of the left to feign indignation and call someone a bigot or a racist when they're losing an argument. It's much easier to silence someone by attacking them, than it is to engage in the debate.

Andrew Lawton brings an essential voice to debate in London. He brings attention to countless important issues within our city, our province, and across Canada. I have heard many times from others listeners, while they may not agree with him, they tune in just to hear the debate and his take on the topics being discussed.

I listened to Andrew's show when he was talking about the survey carried out by Emerging Leaders about whether the LGBT community feels safe in London. I didn't hear anything in this show that could be taken as offensive from what he said. He noted some statistics which gave context to the discussion which were entirely reasonable, and apropos. There were even several admittedly gay callers who agreed with what Andrew was saying.

It's feigned indignation and complaints coming from those who wish to silence Andrew Lawton, rather than join the debate that we're seeing now. They're trying to label Andrew as a bigot and have him taken off the airwaves. Giving into them would be a mistake.

Andrew Lawton has raised the reputation of AM980, bringing national attention to the station by hosting interviews with Justin Trudeau and Prime Minster Harper. His show has become a centre of debate for London politics, just recently drawing the city's attention to conflicts of interest among councillors and the political back scratching at city hall.

Andrew speaks the truth and brings character to AM980. I urge you to bring back Andrew Lawton and not give into this feigned indignation.

Andrew Culver


I urge readers to stand with Andrew Lawton, and contact Nathan Smith <>, asking Andrew to be put back on the air.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

London: A Decade Deeper

London:  A Decade Deeper
City spending from 2002 to 2012

Debt grew 50%       ...from $264 million to $396 million
which now costs taxpayers $88.5 million per year to service

Spending grew 83.7%        ...from $518 million to $951 million
that’s 3.9 times the rate of inflation

Full-time Employees grew 14.2%        ...from 2,686 to 3,067
and seasonal employees grew 328%        ...from 505 to 1,656

Compensation per employee grew 72%
costing taxpayers $396 million per year, or 82.4% of city’s annual tax revenue
while the Canadian average inflation-adjusted wage has remained flat

Average Household Tax Bill grew 74.5%
that’s 3.4 times the rate of inflation

London Police Service

Police compensation costs grew 102.4%

Average compensation is now $102,121 per LPS employee, up from $64,360 in 2002
London Fire Department
Fire Dept compensation costs grew 78.0%

Average compensation is now $130,806 per LFD employee, up from $76,888 in 2002

The average age of retirement for Police Service and Fire Service employees is 53 in most Ontario cities.

A city employee retiring under the OMERS pension plan with a salary of $48,000 will have made $50,000 in pension contributions, but will receive total pension payments of $960,000.

The Sunnier Side
For employees on the City’s Sunshine List

$100,000+ Club
In 2002, only 25 city employees, including 6 police officers, earned over $100,000.
In 2012, 393 city employees, including 191 police officers, earned over $100,000.

The 1%-ers
The top 10 earners at city hall will take home over $40 million in pensions if fully qualified for pensions when they retire

Banking Days Off
We owe city employees over $128 million in employee benefits including sick payouts and vacation payouts at retirement, along with health benefits after they retire

Golden Retirements
There are over 25 employees on track to earn pensions in excess of $100,000 the first year of retirement.

Sunny Salaries
Chief of Police salary was $205,717 in 2012, up from $139,337 in 2002
Fire Chief salary was $163,889 in 2012, up from $120,144 in 2002
not including an additional 30.4% pay towards benefits and pensions

Top 10 Pensions

Chief Administrative Officer
Chief of Police
Executive Director, Planning, Environmental & Engineering Services
Deputy Chief of Police, Support & Admin
Fire Chief
Chief Human Resources Officer
City Solicitor
Deputy Chief of Police, Operations
Managing Director, Corporate Assets
Director, Social & Community Support Services
Total Top 10 pensions

Unless otherwise noted, figures used in this report were obtained from the FIR documents. These are annual filing made by the City to the Province of Ontario, Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing.

Edit: Due to formatting limitations, the blog version of this report lacks the original footnotes. See the original document for full footnotes.

Thursday, November 21, 2013