Rapid Response

Municipality Misled Me

October 22, 2010 - On October 21st, the A-Channel news stated that the mayoral race was between Randy Hope and Tom McGregor, and proceeded to promote Hope's campaign for free with a clip of … read more

Wallaceburg Forum Notes

October 19, 2010 - The Newspaper today did not appear to describe the same forum I attended last night. They gave Randy Hope 9 cherry-picked paragraphs of rhetoric dedicated to his responses, making it … read more

Plan for Prosperity

October 16, 2010 - I am pleased to release my Plan for Prosperity - a comprehensive platform of ideas and solutions designed to accelerate our economic development results. If I'm elected mayor, I won't need … read more

Mayor Hope Fell for Exaggerations

October 13, 2010 - With Victor Boutin poised to make another campaign stop in Chatham on behalf of mayor Randy Hope's "Vote Hope Or Else I Take My Millions And Go Home" tour to … read more

Everlast Condo Not Shovel-ready

October 5, 2010 - Since Victor Boutin of Everlast Group announced a $50 million condo/hotel project in downtown Chatham which he made blatantly conditional on Randy Hope's re-election, I've been searching for information. I … read more

Corporate Election Interference?

September 30, 2010 - It's deja vu - a potential investor has politicized a major development announcement with an endorsement of Randy Hope, promising to take his millions and leave if Hope loses. This … read more

Hydro Costs Poised to Skyrocket

- A major issue facing families, seniors and businesses is the escalating cost of electricity. Smart meters were installed under the promise of saving us money, yet most customers will have … read more

Executive Salary Increase

September 15, 2010 - In 2009, most salaries of Chatham-Kent’s Executive Management Team increased 7.3%. This comes in the middle of the worst recession since the ’30s, with local unemployment rating the … read more

October 13, 2010

Mayor Hope Fell for Exaggerations

Category: Rapid Response — Austin Wright @ 11:16 PM

With Victor Boutin poised to make another campaign stop in Chatham on behalf of mayor Randy Hope’s “Vote Hope Or Else I Take My Millions And Go Home” tour to announce the acquisition of more property at 143 Wellington Street, some additional information about his earlier statements has emerged.

Boutin told reporters he has built similar projects in other communities, including Woodstock and Hamilton and said he has been encouraged by Hope to invest heavily in Chatham-Kent.

But Boutin said that should the mayor fail to be re-elected next month, he would withdraw his plans.

Asked what might happen if Hope lost the election, Boutin responded, “that will change everything. I’m going to pull out.”- Wallaceburg Courier Press

Victor Boutin has but one single project in Woodstock, the renovation of an old sock factory at 311 Dundas Street into housing units. The project got off to a slow start, and required a zoning variance.

According to the Woodstock Engineering Department, the building is 60-65% done, and workers are aggressively attempting to finish the job. Woodstock has had no complaints about Everlast Group or Victor Boutin, though news of his election ultimatum in Chatham-Kent raised eyebrows. Woodstock says that is the only project on file by Everlast Group.

A Woodstock Sentinel Review reporter offered me the following observations: “The last I saw the building however, the renovation was well underway. Structural done, new windows, roofing complete, EIFS cladding and brick starting on the exterior, etc. Mr. Boutin had applied for affordable housing funding but did not receive any. The project was delayed for some time as there had been a fuel/oil tank near the property that had leached into the soil which required remediation prior to the work commencing. If they close the building envelope before the snow flies, the project should be complete by spring of 2011.

The value of this project is $2.5 million.

While this does appear to be a serious and genuine effort in Woodstock, the E.E. Paquette building renovation is not the same league as his brand new $50 million Boardwalk on the Thames proposal. It is also not complete yet. Mr. Boutin does not appear to have any record of completing buildings comparable to his Chatham announcements despite his boasts.

Boutin said he has taken that stand as a result of an experience in Georgetown when his plans for a large condominium project were delayed for years by that municipality.

He said it came down to the fact that the newly-elected mayor there didn’t have the same level of support that the previous one had of the project, and Boutin said he doesn’t want to see the same thing happen in Chatham-Kent. - Wallaceburg Courier Press

Mr. Boutin immediately hired the defeated mayor of Halton Hills to spearhead his Barber Mill project. While no evidence has been found indicating that mayor Bonnette did not support the project, Boutin’s use of a rival can only be self-inflicted damage. Most of the opposition came from the public.

Despite a formal freedom of information request, mayor Hope and the municipality refuses to release the most basic of information about Mr. Boutin’s proposal.

I am asking mayor Randy Hope what Mr. Boutin requires that only Hope can do.

In my opinion, this is going to cost taxpayers a lot of money.


  1. Methinks that something smells rotten in C-K.

    Comment by J. Burgess — October 14, 2010 @ 3:31 PM

  2. First off let me say that the more I hear from Mr. Boutin, the more I don’t trust him. He talks out both sides of his mouth and there is no proof he even has the financing for any of his projects. My dad always told me, if it looks like crap, smells like crap, it’s probably crap.

    Mr. Boutin may be the first person in a long time that has shown interest in investing in Chatham-Kent but he certainly won’t be the last, especially with the influx of retirees from the GTA this area is supposed to see within the next 10 years.

    Secondly, I was just on the letters to the editors section on the Chatham daily news website when I noticed quite a few posts by a user calling himself “Right On!” There have been multiple requests for this user to identify themself, the user has failed to do so and side stepped the requests. Mr. Wright, it is assumed this user is you. If so why are you refuse to identify yourself and why are you side stepping these requests? As a mayoral candidate I would think that you would want to be as straight forward with people as possible. I have become very wary if you because of these actions. If you’re doing this now, what can we expect if you are elected as mayor of Chatham-Kent?

    Comment by B. Masse — October 16, 2010 @ 12:08 PM

  3. Yes, I am Right On. As such I’ve tried to maintain a respectable level of debate online. I did not think it was any secret who I was, since I’ve heard directly from other CDN bloggers who did know. When I started blogging there were reasons why I could not use my real name like some bloggers chose to do. The newspaper was refusing to print any of my opinion letters because some of them were critical of the mayor, and they had a policy to protect him. There’s more to it, but anonymous comments allowed things to be said that were otherwise silenced. When I announced my candidacy, Bob Boughner wrote an article but told me he wouldn’t print any of my comments about the mayor’s record because they had a policy not to for fear of being sued. This should not be happening, which is one reason I’m big on ethics reform. At any rate, I tried not to post anything that I would not one day want attributed to me.

    I did not answer right away because I am out putting up signs everywhere and meeting people instead of spending time online. If elected as mayor, you can expect that I will be very open and approachable, and circumstances will change in Chatham-Kent such that people won’t have to be afraid for their jobs and family if they speak out and participate in our community. In other words, I was trying to champion free speech.

    Comment by Austin Wright — October 16, 2010 @ 5:15 PM

  4. Fair enough. I apologize if I came off as attacking you. I realize that you cannot spend a ton of time online but I did see your posts on the CDN were from yesterday and the first two responses side stepped the question being asked which I found suspicious. I did not know the back story or how to contact you directly, this was the best way I knew how to contact you.

    I’m relatively new to the CDN and its comments section so I didn’t know who you were until it was suggested in the letters to the editor section. Again I apologize for coming off as if attacking you. Truthfully I just want honesty for a change when it comes to our local politicians. I have written Mayor Hope, Dave Van Kestern and Pat Hoy, all about different issues and have always gotten what I have felt as being canned responses or responses which deflect blame. Chatham-Kent needs accountability and someone who won’t hide behind a title. I’m hoping this change starts with this municipal election.

    Comment by B. Masse — October 16, 2010 @ 5:58 PM

  5. No problem. These days are keeping me so busy! I hope the end result is that change we need to bring in accountability. You might say I have an inside scoop on how bad things really are, but my campaign has been trying to bring a positive message and solutions.

    There was a response to my FOI request about the Boardwalk waiting in my inbox when I got back. The short answer is that I can’t have a look at any documents because there aren’t any. Nothing has been submitted. This is indeed very strange.

    Comment by Austin Wright — October 16, 2010 @ 6:18 PM

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