This Blog will discuss politics, government, corruption, police, S.I.U., courts, education, min. of attorney general, min. of labour, v.o.i.c.e. and other current and past events of interest to concerned citizens. In the "About me" section to the right and down I have included the names of persons whom I have tremendous respect for. Their influence on me however has been primarily environmental (and personal) and this is therefore a disclaimer that all words posted on this Blog/Website are mine and I alone am responsible for them. I say this with the greatest respect and affection to my friends.
Friday, October 20, 2017
Today's Woolwich Observer has quite an Opinion piece by Steve Kannon. Essentially Steve is suggesting as per his title that "A drug crisis unlike others, but pharmaceutical cash means nothing will change". The drug crisis is opiods and it includes prescription drugs that are being abused. Pain killers such as oxycodone are front and centre with illegal synthetics such as fentanyl being a result of the initial over prescription of the legal drugs. Canada has the second highest per capita consumption of opioids in the world with the U.S. being number one. Charming isn't that?
The real kicker is Steve's claims that much of this abuse is driven by pharmaceutical marketing to doctors and health professionals. Then Steve goes further by suggesting that the pharmacuetical manufacturers and distributors have even been lobbying the U.S. government for legislation to weaken the Drug Enforcement Agency's enforcement efforts. They lobbied successfully according to Steve by donating "...more than a million dollars into their (Congress) election campaigns.". Doesn't that give you a warm feeling knowing how legal it is to buy political influence south of the border. I would suggest that while influence can still be bought here, north of the border, generally it's done in more subtle, less blatant ways.
Steve's final paragraph is "But there's money to be made, and the corporate gaenda tops all. The crisis, deaths and all, is our political economy in microcosm. Expect hand-wringing and nothing else.".
Thursday, October 19, 2017
A lawsuit was filed last June against the Waterloo Regional Police Service. Unsurprisingly both the Waterloo Regional Police Services Board and the Waterloo Regional Police Association have put forth documents to the courts suggesting that the courts have no jurisdiction in the case. If either of these groups had behaved properly and followed their mandates in the first place this problem would not have been allowed to grow and fester for so many decades. They claim that the issues arising in the lawsuit, namely sexual harassment and discrimination, are governed by the collective agreement. Justice Deena Baltman will hear jurisdictional matters as well as the issue of whether the suit should be certified as a class-action suit.
Unfortunately after the court date of last September 25 in a Brampton Courthouse, the next date is not until June 2018. The lawyer for the Plaintiffs expects that Justice Baltman will reserve her decision and release thereof until the fall. This is far too long especially for female officers whose sympathies and leanings will likely be scrutinized carefully in the interim by both their superiors and their fellow officers. The title of today's Waterloo Region Record article by Liz Monteiro is "Constables start group for female officers".
Monday, October 16, 2017
Grassy Narrows, Elmira and Sarnia's Chemical Valley are all examples of neglect and negligence by our Ontario Ministry of the Environment. That they can delay, ignore and pretend that all is well in these communities is beyond all reasonableness. Basically it's politics first and the environment last. Only if the two on a rare occasion become aligned in their interests will progress be made environmentally.
Sarnia's Chemical Valley and Elmira's mini Chemical Valley have been infamous for a very long time. In Sarnia there are usually newspaper exposes every decade or so in the Toronto papers. The same thing has happened again with an investigation by the Toronto Star, Global News and two journalism schools. Benzene has been being discharged into the atmosphere in and around Sarnia, three to ten times above the annual criteria for some time now. Benzene is carcinogenic and is a cause of leukemia or blood cancer.
A health study of the nearby communities has been called for and ignored by Liberal politicians for at least a decade. It is being called for again after the release of the latest data. Of course all the usual suspects, in other words opposition politicians from the Conservatives and NDP are jumping on board the Health Study train. Similarly if the Progressive Conservatives win the next provincial election you can say goodbye to a health study anytime in the upcoming decade. Nobody really wants to disturb the chemical industry gravy train in the area.
Friday, October 13, 2017
Well it certainly is in the workplace. I spent roughly fourty years in the Ontario workplace and it's much worse than a joke. I have to assume that most provincial Ministry of Labour's are just about as ineffective and pro employer biased as the Ontario one is. Just like our provincial Ministry of the Environment, the proof is in the pudding. Our air stinks, our water requires more and more treatment in order to be allegedly safe to drink and our Great lakes as well as rivers and streams running into them are all polluted. Fish are contaminated and fish advisories barely cover the worst contaminants in the fish.
For the Ministry of Labour just look at the never ending deaths and injuries on the job here in Ontario. We are a disgrace and until or unless workers decide to shut down offending companies it will only get worse. The Ministry of Labour barely give wrist slaps to repeat offenders. Corporate convictions and fines nicely insulate the guilty human beings who make choices favouring production and profits over human suffering.
Unionized plants likely have better safety records simply because the union are under some pressure from their members to protect them and their legal rights enshrined in various provincial labour laws. Of course these laws are meaningless unless they are vigourously enforced as well as observed by companies. Without vigourous enforcement however they are a joke. Good companies hardly need these laws and bad companies ignore them if they think they can get away with it. Generally they can.
Old time attitudes among those in charge are barely swayed by legislation and public attitudes for some. Those attitudes are why employees can not sue negligent employers for millions of dollars. Employers lobbied hard for Workmen's Compensation laws which removed the right to sue in favour of the government handing out compensation to employees injured on the job.
When individual decisions are covered by government insurance it becomes much cheaper to ignore costly health and safety laws in favour of short term financial gain.
Never in all my years working in the non-union environment did I see anything even remotely approaching democratic decision making in workplaces. It mattered not that employees generally speaking were the ones risking life and limb. It mattered not that employees were putting their future earning potential at risk on a regular basis by performing dangerous work. Work that was unnecessarily dangerous simply to save time and money for the employer.
Then think of workplaces that have psuedo military styles and attitudes. Yes police work is inherently dangerous but when the chain of command allows quasi criminal Police Act charges to be laid for disobedience then it becomes ridiculous. Worse yet is when full criminal charges can be laid essentially for internal disciplinary matters that have gotten out of control, courtesy of police management demanding blind, unthinking obedience to the old boys network. As per yesterday's posting Police management have long abused their authority and it is decades past time for honest and real change. Fair hearings by unbiased persons without conflicts of interest would be a pleasant change.
Thursday, October 12, 2017
How can this be? After this past summer of lawsuits, revelations of misconduct and misfeasance combined with court decisions hammering various police services how can the media not be still covering these issues? Certainly there must be some news as to what is going on? While the lawsuit filed against the Waterloo Regional Police Service was a barnburner so was the 93 page "Report Of Systemic Misfeasance In Ontario Policing and the Coordinated Supprression of Whistleblowers". That Report by Kelly Donovan was shocking even to those of us who have long ago lost whatever naivete we had left. I knew there were problems locally but her report certainly makes it clear that the problems are systemic throughout Ontario and Canada. Amazing isn't it in this time and place that human beings continue to set up public institutions to fail. Human beings unchecked, unaccountable and non-transparent can sucessfully pervert just about any institution whatsoever. Poor political appointees by unethical, corrupt politicians guarantee poor organizational ethics and conduct. When the culture becomes more about maintaining the appearance versus the reality of decency and honesty and furthermore promoting the status quo when change is needed; then a housecleaning is needed from the top down. Show me an honest and courageous politician willing to attempt this and I'll show you a politician not long for this world. The rot is at the very top namely provincial and federal politicians. How can any institution subservient to them and dependent upon them not be so?
Wednesday, October 11, 2017
How broken? Well minor marijuana offences for decades have been just dandy for prosecutors and courts to spend their time on. Not too petty at all. Also allegedly in the public interest. ReallY? Especially now that our federal government are getting around to decriminalizing marijuana use and possession. Meanwhile what about all those people will criminal records and or who did jail time over marijuana use or possession? Will they get their lives back? Will they automatically receive pardons? How about apologies for arresting, charging, criminalizing and jailing them? Afterall they paid their price to society for what isn't even deemed to be an offence today. God human beings and laws.
Meanwhile I jump through literally months of hoops and loops trying to wind my way through an incompetent, user unfriendly legal system in regards to the Municipal Election Act. Multiple Woolwich Councillors break the law every which way to Sunday, I collect the evidence, present it on a silver platter to the Crown Attorney and what is the result? Oh thank you but despite a conviction being likely we don't think it's in the public interest to prosecute. What! Then why is it the law of the goddamn province! If it's not in the public interest to prosecute then repeal the goddamn law you asshats. Oh and while you're at it be sure to advise all municipal politicians it's open season and they can lie even more than usual when they fill out their Election Financial Statements.
Tuesday, October 10, 2017
Environmental system, judicial system, political system, educational system, health care; you name it they are all broken. They do not serve the taxpayers who pay the freight. They serve the vested interests who spend their time working there. I am quite confident in regards to the five systems I have listed with the exception of the health care system. That system I simply do not have enough information about. The others I've either been directly involved with or I have done considerable research into them. The health care system upon second thought has given me some data to go on. That would be a new hip nearly four and a half years ago. They also advised me at the time that the second hip was also in need albeit not as badly as the first one. Hmm. Based upon my symptoms now it could be another four and half years before I get it done. Or longer. What if it is longer? What if in ten to fifteen years from now I still don't see the need to get my second hip done? Can I reasonably assume that the whole thing was a scam? That whatever my issues were they certainly weren't my hips? My symptoms thank you are beginning to dissipate. While not perfect, remedial walking seems to be relieving the pain I had in my knees and shins. I was told that the hip surgery would help that pain. It didn't do a goddamn thing. WTF!
I think that I will comment further regarding the other systems in later posts. I've been doing that for the last five years plus and we'll just call today a foray into Ontario's health care system.