Yup, Hanging The Wildcats Equipment Outside Will Surely Help


It’s difficult to believe that after several weeks the issue of mould in the civic centre is still going on, but there’s a reason for that. Basically it’s because the city administration has failed in its’ duty and responsibilities in several ways; they failed to provide employees of the community with the necessary tools and equipment to prevent serious injury or illness to them, and they failed the community by not keeping good enough standards of operations,and they failed the community with their explanation of its’ actions during the time, and worse as of yet has taken no corrective or disciplinary action against those managers who were/are responsible for the mess through their inaction or lack of skill.
Four City of Woodstock employees were sent into a hazardous situation by their manager, a 28 year veteran of the city(who really should have known better if experience says anything)who was previously acquainted with how to clean up mould after running into a similar situation last year at Woodstocks’ Community Complex.

During that particular cleanup event, Woodstock firefighters and the board of health made special recommendations on how to clean up the mould with the Board of Health recommending that fire officials fit respiratory masks for each person working in this type of hazardous situtation. In consideration of that fact, it is not likely that the manager/management could claim ignorance when it comes to dealing with hazards like mould as they were all too familiar with that type of hazard as a result of their prior experiences.
Another major concern is that after the supposed cleanup was complete…or better yet, not complete, according to JP Hurley who recommended that the AIR DUCTS be cleaned extensively, and that the remainder of the building be cleaned at the soonest possible moment..as the change rooms and storage areas were not included in the cleanup, is that our city management certified the building as being fit for use, even though there was a strong likelihood that it should not have been occupied for the recent fair and that by doing so, the administration increased the potential for financial liablilty by refusing to perform all of the necessary cleanup and air quailty testing. Pity anyone who entered the building that suffers from a weak immune system. And as you can clearly see in the above photos, someone entered the building in order to hang the Wildcat equipment out to dry. I wonder if they were aware that air quality testing and a proper cleanup hadn’t been completed? I doubt it.
So in light of all of the information we have so far, is it any wonder that city employees feel that they are being bullied into performing unsafe tasks…and is this what we as taxpayers want? Do we wish to send our friends and neighbours into unsafe situtations that we would not entertain performing ourselves?No, not this taxpayer.
One thing I do know is that in the face of uncertainty it is always wise to excercise some caution and considering no one knew what types of mould were present at the onset of the crisis it would have been prudent for city management to call in the pros instead of leaving it up to the arena management to make a decision that could ultimately affect many persons in the community.
During the crisis city management made several radio appearances and were quoted in the local Sentinel Review. During that same time frame not one city employee that was put into danger was interviewed by anyone in mainstream media. From what I have gathered from conversations with many persons is that the city of Woodstock is in need of some type of mechanism that would allow for the airing of concerns through the entire chain of command. I would think that it should be called…WHISTLE BLOWER LEGISLATION. Basically, a protection mechanism for employees to blow the whistle on unsafe practices or crimes.(And holy shit batman…there is a litany of stuff that should be discussed from fire services to human resources, to management slights to people who should not be employed by any municipality as it appears they are corrupt to the core and blatantly not competent for their jobs.)
Perhaps management should be tested regularly to ensure they remain competent on the job. But then we may be left with the prospect of no management in the city of Woodstock… which may not be so bad considering it appears they have no idea what the hell they are doing anyways.


  1. Hugo
    Posted August 28, 2008 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    You’re right– not one non-management employee was interviewed by us. It doesn’t mean there weren’t several offers (still standing) to speak with them and grant anonymity to credible sources.

  2. Anonymous
    Posted August 28, 2008 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    Hugo if you can absolutely guarantee that union arena employees will be protected from telling factual truths about this issue then you'll get arena staff speaking to the press.

    We all know that everyone has contacts in & out. Someone in City Admin will find out where you hid the anonymity names and arena staff they will lose their jobs for slamming their employer. Maybe the press & public should broker a deal with council that protects arena workers from retribution for telling the truth.

    Would you put your career on the line without a guaranteed deal of protection? Believe me in that talking to arena staff they want to talk to you but feel treatened by losing their jobs for doing so!

    Let us know how you make out?

  3. Anonymous
    Posted August 28, 2008 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

    My question now lies with the President of Wildcats hockey… What is being done about the equipment you expect my daughter to strap on in September? Any idiot knows hanging the items in the sun surely wont kill mould spours. I would like an explaination or a full refund.

  4. jim bender
    Posted August 28, 2008 at 11:32 pm | Permalink

    Hugo: If you can you deliver some assurance in writing that will guarantee anonymity I will be glad to take it in writing to the concerned parties(staff of the city)and will let them give it a read.
    Everyone just wants to be sure that everyone is fully protected. If you can supply a letter with a guarantee, then we can get some people to talk.
    Should be pretty frigging good from what I’ve seen.

  5. Hugo
    Posted August 29, 2008 at 1:03 am | Permalink

    CUPE has been told several times and staff directly through members of city council and other reporter(s) who were approached here. Staff has/have been invited to discuss concerns with us with an offer that we would not publish or reveal identity. They have to-date chosen not to and I do understand the employment/job security concern. I’m not laying blame at anyone’s feet for that entirely legitimate concern.
    I also understand the CS staff isn’t that large of a group and I strongly suspect, based on other conversations, that management already knows who these employees are. Certainly members of council do.

    The invitation stands– call. 519-537-2341 ext. 249

  6. Anonymous
    Posted August 29, 2008 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    Was there not a law passed when Harper was elected?

  7. jim bender
    Posted August 29, 2008 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    That’s federal guys.

  8. Anonymous
    Posted August 29, 2008 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    It’s a god damn shame that these employees have no rights to speak when there health was put at risk by incompetent management. Why do people seem to forget that they sent 4 employees into this environment to clean with improper equipment and nothing is being done. They have no support from there local union who had the opportunity to speak in the paper but made the comment “were satisfied” when the employees are not. How in the hell can they make that statment when they don’t even work in that facility but THEY are satisfied. The employees are in a loose loose situation. They have no one to go to and now management has turned the story like it was there fault, there fault that the building was moldy, there fault that they were exposed to high levels of mold. Then you have the harrasement… harrasement from a Mr. Bev Burrell from the fair board that made comments to staff that there wasn’t any mold and that this was just a union stance to cancel the fair…. bullshit. I haven’t heard a peep from any of the user groups on this issue so we all don’t want to hear the whinning down the road when you had a chance to do something now.

    It’s all a damn shame.

  9. Anonymous
    Posted August 29, 2008 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    Who is going to fight for these employee’s jobs when they get fired for coming out and telling the truth on the story….. NO ONE! Hugo, how in the hell do you expect them to come to you… do your own investigating… you have been given enough information… do something with it or just go Mr. Berge and Mr. McFarland… I am sure they will give you some bullshit story to fill the empty pages of the paper.

    “I strongly suspect, based on other conversations, that management already knows who these employees are. Certainly members of council do.”

    This makes them feel real confident in talking to you Hugo…. here’s a head line “employee’s get fired for telling the truth” , “employees health put at risk by city, now they get let go”.

    I crock of shit.

  10. Hugo
    Posted August 29, 2008 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

    I was just stating the obvious– the CS dept. isn’t that big. None of the city departments are.
    The offer still stands.

    519-537-2341 ext. 249

  11. Anonymous
    Posted August 30, 2008 at 12:47 am | Permalink


    Staff directly have been told by members of city council…

    Huh? What the hell does that mean?

    Please explain that one. Have you spoke personally with an arena staff person to make that factual statement? From what staff tell me no one other than 1 council member has spoken to staff directly encouraging them to speak. There might be another councilor but it is not known what his/her position is on the matter from what I hear. And as you say they (CS & Council) already know the names of staff who are talking. Then how come the council members are not coming forth. If the CAO knows, is he not going to inquire as to the truth about what happend from these alleged employees?

    C'mon Hugo quit fishing and pull something together concrete! Blanket protection- negotiate it!!! The story of sick time, poor leadership etc that appeared in the London Free Press back inh the spring about their City Hall issues will pail in comparison to events in this commmunity. You'll sell huge amounts of papers which will probably have the stories covered by other news agencies. You'll get a promotion for being such a good reporter sniffing this one out. You stand to lose big time, as well as the community Hugo if you don't get this story. Your only scratching the surface. You have ONLY heard one side. Believe me from what I have been told the other is not pretty!

    Quit insulting the employees with an invitation to speak & lose their jobs!!! Without protection that level of thinking is moronish!

  12. Hugo
    Posted August 30, 2008 at 4:59 am | Permalink

    I never said I was certain that management and council know names– scroll up and re-read it.

    There are other irons in the fire on this issue other than this wonderful (sic) exchange here.

    I don’t know how many more times you need to read the offer that still stands. Anonimity to a credible source– I cannot offer more than that.

    Only council, management or CUPE can negotiate whistle-blower job protection.

  13. Anonymous
    Posted August 30, 2008 at 10:56 pm | Permalink

    “Anonimity to a credible source– I cannot offer more than that.”

    Yes you can. You can offer anonymity to anyone who is willing to speak to you not just the ones you find to be credible.

  14. Anonymous
    Posted August 31, 2008 at 3:09 am | Permalink

    C’mon Hugo, pretend your doing a story on the Renegades when your at the rink… christ… even Bill McLeod says he doesn’t want to play in a mouldy arena… could you imagine the people who have to work there 40+ hours a week…. he’s only got to be there for 5 at most in a year. You know the story is there for you… and you know where to find it… be a journalist! I am not trying to attack you but your comments don’t help you in anyway.

  15. Anonymous
    Posted August 31, 2008 at 3:12 am | Permalink

    sorry to finish that thought, I did read above and that’s exactly what you said. All the ducks are aligned if you truly want a story…

  16. Anonymous
    Posted August 31, 2008 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    “There are other irons in the fire on this issue other than this wonderful (sic) exchange here.”

    Yes there are. Unfortunately they are all happening behind the scenes. “This wonderful public exchange” happens to be the only source of up to date information for the public. Accurate or not it’s all there is. That’s a real pity since this issue is about the safety of a building used by the general public.

    Like the man said, “all the ducks are aligned.” Why isn’t the story being told by the Sentinel?

  17. Anonymous
    Posted September 1, 2008 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    The story isnt being told because the S-R once again is a 2 bit 3 day old newspaper.

    I have it on good authority that staff have gone and spoken to Toronto newspapers who do feel this is a worthwhile story. They are requesting staff to make the calls, and no names need to be given so that they can do their investigation.

    Maybe at the same time they can also investigate as to the sinking ship we know as the S-R.

  18. Hugo
    Posted September 1, 2008 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

    Sorry, not interested in offering anonymity to just anyone. That person’s information needs to be credible. Documents, policies or lack thereof, other sources (whose identities could also protected), etc. backing up and supporting the information shared.

    It’s not carte-blanche.

    I would think anyone interested in speaking under condition their identity remain anonymous would have credible information. If you don’t have credible information, why are you wanting anonymity? THAT doesn’t make sense to me.

    Were you one of the four asked to clean? That makes you a pretty credible source with credible first-hand information. Better yet, are you the person who was doing the weekly patrol of Civic? Bring me the mask they provided you to wear and show me. Your information and perspective would be credible and hugely important to explaining what happened.

    Or are you the guy who knows the neighbour of the one of the guys whose brother is involved? Not so credible. Wouldn’t need to offer anonymity because I wouldn’t publish that kind of hearsay under my byline.

    Still wondering how my offer would work? You have nothing to lose by calling me and having a conversation. 519-537-2341 ext. 249 Or e-mail me directly at hrodrigues@bowesnet.com.

  19. Anonymous
    Posted September 1, 2008 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

    I am one of the 4 who was asked to go into the Civic Centre. I am one of the 11 now being harassed and treated unfairly. I am one of the 4 who never in a million years though Cliff would put me in such a situation. I am also one of the four that have been told to not speak to you or anyone else if I value my job. Take a look deeper and put yourself in my shoes. I need this job. You have no idea what is going on behind closed doors at the Complex. You dont get that 2 people are off on stress leave since all that has gone down. You said it yourself we are a small department. Well take that small department and take note that 2 of us no longer know how to cope with this. Two of us are shaken to the bone that our manager would put us in risk. Add to that our jobs are being threatened.

    So forgive me Hugo for not putting a lot of credit in your word. Your word means nothing more to me then Cliff’s word that put me in danger in the first place. Or Bob’s word who back peddled and had blatent disregard for my health and safety. Or Jim Caplings word who was my health and safety rep and didnt have the honor or respect for me that I had for him because he stood silent allowing me and 3 of my brothers to stand directly in harms way.

    Emails have a way of being forwarded or left so others can see them. There is nothing you can offer me that can put my mind at ease. And until you are in my shoes with your job on the line, your health being put at risk dont talk to me in your condescending almight attitude.

    If you truly wanted the story you could get it. Ask to sit with the Staff as a whole. We would talk. but dont centre the four of us out for a day late story to sell a few more papers.

    Ask to sit with us all, ask for copies of the reports, ask to see the MOL reports, ask to see the masks. Ask city management why 2 of the 11 full time employees are currently off on stress leave. Do your job while I cling to what I have left of a job.

    Yours truly, 1 of the 4.

  20. Anonymous
    Posted September 1, 2008 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

    There’s your story Hugo. There’s no copyright on blog comments. All you have to do is cut and paste.

  21. Anonymous
    Posted September 1, 2008 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

    1 of 4…

    We are deeply moved by your bravery in stating the above.That took alot of guts something so many people don't have in this issue. You now will have solidarity behind you for taking that step forward in this blog. You know who we are. If you suffer any hardship from management over this entry, let us know. We are at a point of taking some people draging & kicking to the press and blow the goddam thing wide open.

    People wiil be watching this developemnt very closely # 1 of 4

    Hugo you won't be the person who gets the story. You have insulted arena staff long enough. You have done your damage in the first story. You didn't for some reason ask a councilor for their comments as directed. You tried to save face by your second article & here you are begging staff to come to you for a chance to have it printed in the paper by you. We told you before that you would miss the opportunity if you didn't get on board. We meant what we said!

  22. Anonymous
    Posted September 2, 2008 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

    Have you got it Hugo???

    Are you on board yet? Have you put together something more tangible? Have you looked at the Ontario Gov't whistle blower provisions as a means of protection of these workers who are off on stress leave over this situation? Haven't you heard enough about personal health being effected by this issue? How long are you going to wait until the sentinal gets involved as a voice for workers who's health has been effected by their city employer?

    There is factual evidence that a senior administrator (Bob McFarland) is actively looking for the person who took the pictures rather than being concerned about 2 staff off on stress leave (as stated by 1 of 4 in previuos blog statement) & several others who are at a breaking point because of how senior management is dealing with this issue.

    There is a fact. Managament "head hunting" for picture taking. What are they going to do sue the public person who took the pictures? Did they want to hide this from user groups and the public? You bet they did!!! This is a mysterious undertaking & one might believe, exhibited guilty behaviour by Mr.McFarland? Lets get the son-of-a-bitch who took those pictures and showed the public the truth about what was going on! Nice one!!! Is this behaviour a sign that you finally accept total responsibility on behalf of Cliff for not doing his job or that you didn't do yours as his superior? Are they going to fire the staff person who took the pictures? The behavior by Mr.McFarland only confirms the fear of staff persons that they cannot go to the press because they have seen the actions by Mr.McFarland hunting for the picture taker. So Hugo print that!!! The facts of Mr.McFarland actively pursuing who took the pictures is out there. Print it!

  23. Anonymous
    Posted September 2, 2008 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

    I applaud you #1 of 4.

    Hugo your silence speaks a thousand words.

  24. Anonymous
    Posted September 2, 2008 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

    After all this back and forth has anyone ever thought of calling the Ministry of Labor on this. The law as I understand it is you has the Right to Refuse unsafe work without being reprimanded or dismissed. Also where is your union Rep if anyone talks and is reprimanded or dismissed then shut down the entire city works. No one should be bullied at work or anywhere else. How can we tell are children it’s not right in school but ok if you work for the City of Woodstock. One disgusted citizen

  25. Anonymous
    Posted September 3, 2008 at 12:07 am | Permalink

    Cliff Berge will run our arena’s into the ground sooner or later. I can’t believe he still has a job…. only in Woodstock.

    He must be thanking god that he has a couple buddies in City Hall or he would of be gone along time ago.

  26. Anonymous
    Posted September 3, 2008 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    I’m enjoying the pile on Hugo fest as much as anyone but let’s not forget that he isn’t acting independently. He doesn’t decide what gets printed and he doesn’t hand out assignments. The Editor does.

    As a reporter for the Sentinel Review he’s acting on behalf of the editor and publisher. I’d like to hear from them on this issue. I’d like to hear them try to explain or justify the editorial decisions that have resulted in the Sentinel Review becoming little more than an extension of the City Hall PR machine.

  27. Anonymous
    Posted September 6, 2008 at 2:41 am | Permalink

    This type of website and article is further evidence of how damaging uninformed garbage creates undue panic and concern amongst readers and frankly Bender should be ashamed of himself.

    The Wildcat sweaters were not simply “hung out” to rid them of mould. It should be understood that an independent air quality and mould study was completed. The mould found in the equipment room was not dangerous as per the scientific reports provided and in fact really required no special action. The mould found was the same stuff that just about everyone has found at one time or another in a gym bag or locker.

    The equipment was put in the sun (this kills any active mould, then industrially washed, then hung in the sun again. This does kill the mould and ends the problem. In addition, any equipment that still had any evidence of mould remaining was destroyed. Unfortunately no one bothered to take pictures of that.

    In addition you have succeeded in belittling a huge effort by volunteers to examine every individual piece of equipment, clean it and then store it in individuals homes in the complete and absolute interest of having safe and available equipment for the teams to use.

    The mould problem relating to the Wildcats equipment was so minor but it was treated with significant care and due dilegnece.

    Given your photos and mis-information you have undermined our credibility, our efforts and used it for your own sensationalist BS.

    Thanks for nothing.

  28. jim bender
    Posted September 6, 2008 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    re 10:41 PM…..

    Undue panic?

    Personally, if you want your kids to wear that stuff, go right ahead. I won’t be signing my kids up for hockey to wear this stuff.
    As for the content of this blog, oh well, not everyone enjoys what is written.
    I never said anything was the real story…all I’ve said is someone has a story to tell…and it ought to be told.
    If you disagree that the men who were put at risk should not be represented, then you ought to go hang ot with the city admin and work on burying your head in the sand a bit further,,,than it already appears to be.
    Obviously you must have inside information on what went on …
    Too bad you seem to be defending some pretty poor decisions.
    Me…there’s no shame:)

  29. Anonymous
    Posted September 6, 2008 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    “The mould problem relating to the Wildcats equipment was so minor but it was treated with significant care and due dilegnece.”

    It’s a pity that the rest of the facility and the health and welfare of staff weren’t treated with similar care and due diligence.

    You’ll have to come up with something a lot more significant than a one sentence assumption in a blog post to obscure the facts in this case.

  30. Anonymous
    Posted September 6, 2008 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    Wierd that they would read your blog and complain about having read it. Is that schizophrenia?

  31. Anonymous
    Posted September 6, 2008 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    Nope. Just stupidity.

  32. Anonymous
    Posted September 6, 2008 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    “you have undermined our credibility, our efforts and used it for your own sensationalist BS.”

    Since a number of the Wildcats have emailed Jim Bender and thanked him for his efforts I have to wonder just who this person is and who he or she thinks they are representing.

    Just who are the people you refer to when you say “our efforts?”

  33. Anonymous
    Posted September 7, 2008 at 1:34 am | Permalink

    I do not pretend to understand the risks or dangers, if any, that staff the general public or the arena in general has been faced with as the result of recent problems at the arena.

    I do know that the Wildcat equipment is safe and careful understanding and independent investigation as to what was required to make it safe was painstakingly folllowed.

    What I maintain is a problem is the total disregard for facts and the inuendo portrayed by showing photos of Wildcat equipment with a headline suggesting that something other than real care and action were taken.

    As far as my head being buried in the sand, if that means wanting to understand all of the facts and ensure they are correctly communicated, particularly in a forum attempting to portray itself as an information source, I am ok with that. It may be a better location than where your head appears to be buried.

  34. Anonymous
    Posted September 7, 2008 at 2:28 am | Permalink

    I also have inside information on this issue and I know for a fact the ladies that went into the Civic Centre to get the equipment were NOT made aware by the City that rooms were still off limits. Why wouldnt the City want them to know?

    The $13,000.00 cleaned the main area. The fair was allowed in and then the building was shut back down. The City then hired Hurley back to do the remainder of the cleaning for another $6000.00++. The air ducts will be next.

    The Wildcats are NOT at fault here. They did what they had to do. They have NOT been made aware of many of the circumstances however.

  35. Anonymous
    Posted September 7, 2008 at 3:10 am | Permalink

    Hugo and jim have done a good job on this. Is it hard to think that neither of them mean no harm, and perhaps they are not assigning blame or meaning innuendo with the comments they have made?

  36. Anonymous
    Posted September 7, 2008 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    “I do not pretend to understand the risks or dangers, if any, that staff the general public or the arena in general has been faced with as the result of recent problems at the arena.”

    That’s right. You don’t. Neither do I. For all we know that building full of festering mould could have been completely benign.

    You sound like a reasonable and concerned person. If you had been in charge of that building and discovered that it was full of mould would you have sent unprotected workers in to try to clean it up without finding out if it was toxic first? Would you bully and intimidate your staff to try to keep the story under wraps? Would you allow the public to use the building if there was the slightest chance even one person might fall ill? I wouldn’t and I doubt that you would either.

    That’s what this is all about! It’s not about mould. It’s about irresponsible and negligent management who don’t hesitate to put both staff and the public at risk to save themselves the embarrassment of having their incompetence revealed.

    The fact that Jim was unaware of all the details regarding the Wildcats uniforms is unfortunate but that doesn’t have anything to do with the real problem.

    The mould may not have been dangerous but the people in charge are.

  37. Anonymous
    Posted September 7, 2008 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    ps: We still don’t know how dangerous the situation was since the people in charge have refused to release the lab reports. Why all the secrecy? If their statements to the press and public are true then the reports would only serve to back up their story. Of course, if they lied………

  38. Anonymous
    Posted September 7, 2008 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

    I appreciate your concern about this issue and perhaps you know more than I.

    My complaint is a simple one. The picture and headline used on this web site implies that there was and still is an issue with the Wildcat uniforms. This is simply not true. The fact that these pictures were used and somehow tie the Wildcat Girls Hockey Association to this charged issue is unfair and unwarrented. We have no issue with the case either you are the city or the Sentinal are presenting. Our only concern was the safety and health of our players and we took steps to rectify the situation. We have not (and will not) store the equipment back in the Civic Arena until we are assured that it is safe.

    Unfortunately your pictures and inuendo are damaging and force us to defend ourselves for a non-existant problem.

    If as was suggested by another blogger that “The Wildcats are not at fault here” then remove the pictures and damning caption.

    Simple and fair request I think.

  39. Anonymous
    Posted September 7, 2008 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

    “Simple and fair request I think.”

    I think so too, if you are in a position to make such a request. Do you represent the Wildcats in some official capacity? If so you should email Jim and ask him to clarify or modify the headline. I think you’ll find he’s an agreeable fellow …even to people who have no appreciation for his efforts.

  40. Anonymous
    Posted September 8, 2008 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    “Given your photos and mis-information you have undermined our credibility, our efforts and used it for your own sensationalist BS.

    Thanks for nothing.”

    This sounds like a Cliff Berge quote…

  41. Anonymous
    Posted September 8, 2008 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    Probably is.

  42. Anonymous
    Posted September 8, 2008 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    I wouldn't allow my children to use the equipment & I think that there should be more people like Jim who try to get to the truth rather than hide it in a closet.

  43. Anonymous
    Posted September 8, 2008 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

    please see recent comments posted on new article from Jim to wildcats “nope, I am not belittling….”

    It is my hope that we can join efforts rather than fracturing them because people want to divorce themselves from the issue?

    Are you with us wildcats or against us?

    Signed: The real people (arena staff) who have their jobs threatened for going to the press!

  44. Anonymous
    Posted September 9, 2008 at 3:33 am | Permalink

    The Wildcats are clearly not at fault here and yes they have made every effort to clean their equipment and I have no doubt it will be clean. The problem as I see it is this. The City is not providing copies of the reports that it should be. You as an organzation can ask for copies of the air quality reports, the mold sample reports, the Board of Health reports / letters, the MOL reports, Hurley reports. Beyond that you can ask for copies of the invoices from Hurley to see what exactly they paid to have cleaned, etc. All of this information can be obtained under the freedom of information act.

    As an organization that wants to show care and compassion for their players why not ask for the information?

  45. Anonymous
    Posted September 9, 2008 at 3:35 am | Permalink

    Apparently there is a staff meeting tomorrw at 3:30pm in Goff Hall to discuss this with the staff. Maybe hugo should be at that meeting… Could be interesting!

  46. Anonymous
    Posted September 10, 2008 at 3:32 am | Permalink

    Nope wasn’t interesting it was the same shit different day. Cliff didn’t have the balls to say much and Bob “bobblehead” McFarland said a whole lot of nothing but yet it took 45 minutes.

    Cliff and Bob…. you want the lines of communication open well hows this for open….. you fucked up ROYALLY. Things will never ever be the same between us and you. You belittled us. And showed no respect for us. Don’t expect us to like you or respect you ever again. You may think you can silence us and play games with us but we know better. And when things get tough again and you make more stupid mistakes and trust us we both know you will, we will be there ready to take you down at any costs.

    You have our word on that!

  47. Anonymous
    Posted September 10, 2008 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    Are you saying this was a let’s just be friends again sort of meeting?

  48. Anonymous
    Posted September 10, 2008 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    Shucks Boyz, did any of you think it was gonna be a mutual reach around and a kiss on the cheek after kind of experience? Takes 2 peeps 2 make a baby, seems like only one wants to wipe any ass here.

  49. Anonymous
    Posted September 10, 2008 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    Well what did you expect arena staff?

    To the best of my knowledge Cliff hasn't held a beginning of the season staff meeting since he booted out Bill Fishback as Manager in 2000. (OH yeah Cliff we know what happened! Your a really nice guy!)The ONLY reason they had this one was to try & calm things down. Sorry Bob didn't work! Read the staff person response to your meeting. You still don't get it. You haven't dealt with the person responsible other than stick up for him. Cliff doesn't know how to run an effective staff meeting anyways and only dictates. Oh yeah, I forgot he holds staff meetings with lead-hands once a week which amounts to him saying everything & when someone has something contentious he shoots it down with 2 other kiss ass workers who can't get their mouths open for fear of choking. Just ask 2 of the credible lead-hands they'll tell you how great the communication is in lead-hand staff meetings. That's why shit happens! He doesn't want to LISTEN to anyone other than himself or the 2 fools who kiss his ass!

    It ONLY took 3 fucking years to convince him that whitewashing the green pad ice saved money in energy costs, produced a superior product of ice & esthetics made the rink much more brighter by reflecting light for skaters & spectators. Would he listen to several front line staff who have the highest credentials-C.I.T.(Certified Ice Technician) in their field? NHL Facilities Certification!!! "NO" "you guys don't know what your talking about". This from a former Director of this Region with our Professional Organization The Ontario Recreation Facilities Association (O.R.F.A.) How embarrasing!!! We had the only arena in the country not having their artifical ice whitewashed outside of our neighbours in the northern most regions of this country. But Cliff is an innovator. He was hoping that it would catch on to show how smart he is! How embarrasing!!!

    Oh your laughing? There's lots more stories. The public just hasn't heard all of them. Arena Staff could write a best seller on how to NOT manage a recreational facility by Cliff Berge.

    Oh how we wish to have Bill Fishback return. Now there's a manager who used is head for more than a hat rack. We miss you Bill! You could argue with him & in the end move on, him buying the coffee. He was fun to work with. Arena Staff respected Bill. Arena Staff actually learned something from him about Facility Management & Ice Production. They didn't have the hate that they have for Cliff. Other than the 2 kiss ass self serving workers mentioned above earlier, I would bet that if you canvassed all other staff (F/T & P/T)that you would get a unanimous statement that staff dislike cliff to the core. They don't have any confidence in him. They have no respect for him and do not especially after this mould issue trust him.

    As the Arena Satff person said "things will never be the same between us & you"

    It is time council & PBP to make the necessary move to avoid more serious issues from developing down the road. Are you waiting for a worker to punch him out? Are you waitng for his expert management skills to place a worker in a situation of injurying him/herself? Which by the way has factually occured!!! There is a lot on record telling you that you have a serious problem with Cliff Berge. Doing nothing makes you culpable for damages! Are you willing to turn your eyes the other way and take full responsibility because it ills you to appropriately discipline a Senior Manager?

    Like the arena staff have said for YEARS. One of these days the BIG ONE is going to happen. Well it did PBP with this mould issue and Cliff still operates with IMPUNITY!

    It's not going to go away Paul if you sit back and do nothing that citizens & staff are asking you to do in the overwhelming circumstances. Your choice?


  50. Anonymous
    Posted September 24, 2008 at 2:37 am | Permalink

    Apparently mould has been spotted at the Complex. It is growing rapidly in dressing room #8 and #10. Bob McFarland was emailed on the issue and his response was “its just dirt”.

    Good to know something’s NEVER change.

  51. Anonymous
    Posted September 30, 2008 at 4:35 am | Permalink

    to all arena staff reading this blog….

    You need to come together in solidarity to take this issue head on. You cannot continue to live in fear of your jobs! You cannot allow Bob, Cliff, Jim & CAO to hold you responsible for not knowing how to clean mould up. How embarrassing to be blamed on the front page of the paper! You cannot allow them to hold you speechles and hostage on this issue as well as others of late.

    It's time to have the courage and come together and stand up to the plate. You all have stories of being mistreated. You all were there at the staff meeting when McFarland cut you off from discussing the mould concerns at the civic . Are you going to allow that prick to say that they took their licks? C'mon guys don't take this B.S. from this insensitive prick. To say "if people don't want to get over it too bad we are". Are you going to allow him to be that insensitive to you after putting 4 of you in harms way exposing you to toxic mould? Do one of you have to become so ill before you & fellow workers will say something? How can you reconcile this behaviour yet say that your superiours won't do anything? Take control and charge of this totally unexceptable behaviour and attitude towards you.

    You need to stand in solidarity and realize that strength is in numbers. As long as you do that they can't and won't take you all on. You know that if they do the community will get involved because it will become a front page story.

  52. Anonymous
    Posted October 2, 2008 at 3:25 am | Permalink

    Another arena staff is off on stress leave…. what is it going to take???

    You have 4 guys off because of 2 incompetent managers.

    Its time for City hall to wake up!!

    Does anyone from above care?

    You have 2 more I would put money on being off before the months end. That will be 6 will that be enough?

    There is no strength in numbers. Cliff and bob won. They are the 2 most insensative bastards on the face of this earth.

    Guess what Bob we too are over it and there will be no more cover ups from your mistakes.

  53. Anonymous
    Posted October 2, 2008 at 3:29 am | Permalink

    I heard one of the arena staff knew what was going down and already saved Cliff’s ass. No wonder he is off on stress leave! I’d hide too.

    This isnt the first time he’s helped out his best man. When will we learn???

    To the rat…. you are worse then Bob and Cliff put together!

  54. Anonymous
    Posted October 4, 2008 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

    I think you mean MC not best man!

  55. Anonymous
    Posted October 5, 2008 at 11:06 pm | Permalink

    Has to be a staff person….

    The only reason you say Bob & Cliff won is because your an idiot. You like to mouth off big and brave in this blog. But where the F..K are you when it comes time to step up to the plate? I've got a grievance for you asshole. Put in a grievance that a person other than an arena staff employee was driving the Arena forklift loading transport trailers at the civic today. Why weren't arena employees driving the forklift? It's their job and it is in their job description!!! What's next, Minor hockey coaches driving the Olympia's? The only reason they are winning is because of cowards on staff like you. So blow it out your ass! NEXT TIME! What's next time, workers being mamed, killed on the job? You must really think a lot about your fellow workers who were exposed to toxic mould! You must think a lot about your co-workers who have taken the fall guy for Cliff & Bob in the front page of the paper! You must really care about your co-workers who are off on stress leave because of this incident. Still cleaning mould are you without guidelines and proper training? My, you might as well go have your lunch with Cliff, Bob, Jim, Billy & Rob. Your not a co-worker with any integrity!

  56. Anonymous
    Posted October 8, 2008 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    Mr Douglas I do not work for the City. I dont have option to file a grievence. Maybe you should focus your energy on something other then bashing your fellow employees. I was simply stating that I believe they won. End of discussion.

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