Q: Why the winged pig?
In 2009 a small group of area business owners and investors had a meeting to discuss the new illegal “apartment tax” placed on water/sewer bills in North Huron. Some property owners saw their bill jump over $3,000/year per property, this was on top of the highest property taxes in Ontario. Staff and council’s attitude and comments that landlords could afford it despite the unfairness was why Wingham Free Press was born, along with the Free Press network.
In an attempt to draw attention to Wingham and its corruption the group decided to post area OPP press releases in their entirety. The owners unanimously agreed at the time that the Public has the Right to know what the police are saying about them, and sending out to hundreds of traditional media outlets. The WFP archive has been used several times by members of the Public to hold police forces to account.
Our journey has saved Wingham taxpayers millions of dollars over the last decade, disbanded the Wingham Police Force, exposed municipal waste, backroom deals, exposed police corruption, got several high level resignations, got more sidewalks cleared in the winter, created a police press release database, started North Huron Block Parents, got council to live stream council meetings, etc. etc. All on a near zero budget.
A Free Press is the only “opposition party” for municipal governments in Ontario. It is the duty of a Free Press to question and hold municipal governments to account. To maintain that independence a Free Press can not take any money from any level of government.