Sunday, January 18, 2015



The Friends of Crystal Beach Board met Sunday in a special meeting and voted to rescind its application for the Niagara Investment in Culture grant. 

"The decision was based on the Board’s very real concerns that the current application is likely to place FOCB and its members at significant financial risk."
- FOCB President Neil Campbell


Big question of late. Like many, I received an e-mail from an officer of The Friends of Crystal Beach inviting me to a meeting later this month to discuss a project about Crystal Beach.

Later, I found out that the e-mail, as well as the proposed project have not been authorized by the board of the FOCB. It's about an application (again, submitted without FOCB Board approval) for a community improvement grant for homes and businesses within the original village of Crystal Beach. This project would need to hire a consultant and the costs to the members could be high. I believe, as do others, that this does not fall under the mandate of the FOCB. It may fall under the mandate of the Crystal Beach Business Improvement Area, but that is that organization's choice.

From the e-mail:

Friends of Crystal Beach, Crystal Beach Business Improvement Association and the Beautification Committee have formed a collaborative partnership to work with Crystal Beach residents on this project.

The FOCB is not officially on board with the project as its board has reserved its decision to get involved because of possible costs to the membership to improve privately-owned properties. And the cost of "a consultant" which is a requirement in the grant proposal.


I believe that this "proposal" is part of a larger effort by convicted fraudster Gary Fraser in order to secure funding to improve a house and property that he owns at Queen's Circle. You may recognize it as a once historic summer guest home that is now merely a shell, having been stripped to the rafters and studs by the "owner," a firm that is associated with Gary Fraser. 

CORRECTION: Gary Fraser had been appointed to the board of the CB-BIA. He has since resigned perhaps due to negative publicity

He owns nothing and has a long history of investor fraud for which he served time. One of the corporations he's associated with, Starboard View Homes was previously under investigation by the Ontario Securities Commission. As a result, no sales or transfers of property purchased by the corporation can take place. That could include over five properties that were bought under the name of Starboard View Homes. The couple named in the allegation have since left Canada for the Philippines.

Also on the CB-BIA board is Arlene White who, I believe, is angling to get a plum appointment from the "proposal."  She also is a recent appointee to the board despite having no visible business presence in Crystal Beach.

In the meantime, Fraser, as front man for another investment corporation, has attempted to inflate local property prices by offering high-priced homes under construction on Schooley Road.  No, you won't see Fraser's name on any of the many different corporations that have come to Crystal Beach.  He is merely the Music Man, gathering easily convinced people to get in on the "ground floor." (His definition of "ground floor" is surely appropriate as one of the houses on Queen's Circle has been reduced to a dirt lot.)

Those of us who love Crystal Beach, its history and its promise, do not appreciate people coming in who have an agenda driven by greed. Sure, we're all here to make a living and bring Crystal Beach forward in style. I'm afraid these people will gut the beach; take its money; and leave it behind - in worse shape than when they arrived.


I can't help but wonder what the previous four years on council would have been like if Wayne Redekop, or at the very least, someone who knew how to control themselves and a meeting, would have been mayor. An observer would notice the difference between the meetings now and those of the previous four years. It's not just the new councillors; their contribution so far has been minimal; it's the mayor who provides the stark difference in meetings.  Donnie Lubberts still asks his questions. However, this time, he is given the time to ask and receive answers. No interruptions; no threats to cut off his mic; no temper tantrums and childish behaviour.  I even heard Mayor Redekop remark something to the effect of, "I believe Councillor Lubberts, you still have the floor."  OMG. Never heard that once in the previous four years.

A welcome change.