Eestlased Kanadas 30 Sep 2015  EWR
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 - pics/2015/09/45911_001.jpg

We can learn that talk is cheap, whether it is the Estonian House Board or real estate developers talking. Let's review some of what the Board Chairman, and the EH Board stated about the Tribute deal, when they were trying to" sell " the deal to the shareholders, and "close it " quickly, just as they are again looking for a speedy " close " with the new developer.

Previously, the EH Board stated, "The decision was made on the strength of the Tribute offer, a FACT that stands on its own and something that is in the Board's opinion, an IRREFUTABLE FACT." The bottom line is, that after much exploration there is simply NO other viable way forward. WE ARE CERTAIN OF THIS. To suggest otherwise is to mislead the community."

Are we being mislead once again? The EH Board likes to make their statements sound like facts, whereas, in reality there are no facts or real plans available about this EM2 development. Should we be voting on an L.O.I. with even less information than the previous one? Is 6 days enough time to make an informed decision?

We can learn that the voting only has the appearance of democracy. Mathematically, the votes are stacked for this new developer to build an EM2/CONDO TOWER. Although the Estonian Credit Union representative at the shareholders meeting on Sept. 26th, emphatically stated that the bank votes do not determine the outcome of any vote, we can observe numbers to the contrary:

Estonian Credit Union 714 votes/shares
Eesti Selts 278
Skautide Malev 192
Kungla 140
Meeskoor 115
Gaidide Malev 77
EKN 40

*Top 7 Shareholder Organizations (there are others)
** Correct if inaccurate.

Organizations like the bank, for example have not formally gone to their own shareholders to ask how they should vote. The bank has repeatedly been asked to do so by various shareholders at meetings, online, privately, and in articles, but has ignored these requests completely. Seems like whoever is in possession of a group's shares has control over how the organization votes. Is this manner of voting democratic and representative of your view? All of this makes a good case for one vote per shareholder NOT one vote per share. Ask your organization’s representative how they will vote.

We can learn that developers are NOT in the business of pleasing and catering to the requests, whims, and desires of small ethnic communities. That is not what they are all about. They are 100 % all about the bottom line - MONEY. This means that the functionality of any space associated with the development suffers. This means the builder will include considerable leeway for themselves with respect to altering floor plans, hall and room sizes, design and other features, no matter what anyone tells you at this stage.

We can learn to listen carefully to what is being said, and take note of what the EH Board chooses very deliberately not to bring our attention to. When questioned at the recent meeting about what we, the Estonian community would own in the future, once this EM2 /condo development is built, the Vice-Chair responded in no uncertain terms, "We won't own any land, but we will own the air."
Is it not better, in any case, to own the land?

Whether one is for or against the building of EM2, it would certainly be sensible, wise and judicious to allow shareholders more time to make an informed decision that provides the best future for our Estonian community.
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Jan 31 2018 - Toronto Eesti Maja
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