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.
Monday, April 30, 2012
It would seem to be that way as far as provincial and federal politicians are concerned. Today's Waterloo Region Record carrys this story "Federal, provincial politicians skip Day of Mourning". In Ontario last year, 436 workers lost their lives on the job. Tens of thousands of others were injured or contracted occupational diseases. Credit should go to some municipal politicians who showed for the Day of Mourning at Riverside park in Cambridge. This would include Mayor Doug Craig. One of the no shows was our very own Liz Witmer. She is the long time M.P.P. who graces the front page of the Waterloo Region Record last Saturday and has just been appointed as Chair of the Workplace Safety Insurance Board (WSIB). I'm sorry but I still haven't stopped gagging. Liberal Premier Dalton McGuinty would like a seat or more addition in the legislature to help his beleagured party weather their minority government position. He has now enabled a bye election which I'm sure is the major reason for his promoting Conservative Liz Witmer to the WSIB. What exactly are Liz's credentials for this job appointment? Well she was briefly a Conservative Minister of labour. This is at least the equivalent of George Bush being an honourary president of Mensa or Saddam Hussein heading a human rights organization. Liz Witmer is a former Chair of the Waterloo Region District School Board. Perhaps her employment as a teacher assisted in that. Odd that she decided to get out of the rigors of working everyday in exchange for the political life. I guess one of the things I'm getting at is this: when was the last time a teacher got killed on the job? What possible empathy, perspective or knowledge relevant to workplace safety does she bring to the table? Is there a single labour leader in this province cheering her appointment as Chair of the WSIB? Dead and mutilated workers are merely a cost of doing business for Conservatives and their clients.
Sunday, April 29, 2012
If they have any credibility left it's a wonder. They are not an honest oversight of our police here in Ontario. Thay are biased and they are stupid about it. These are all signs of a system securely under political control and the politicans invoved are all about supporting the status quo in regards to policing. They are all about keeping the Chiefs and the police unions happy. God help us all with these political wooses. By the way it's just as bad right here in Waterloo Region. We do not have legitimate police oversight. We have a gutless wonder of a police board who are appointed by ...you guessed it ...politicians.
Saturday's Waterloo Region Record carrys this story "Three SIU investigators disciplined after French TV show raises questions". The TV documentary raised questions after the February shooting of Michael Eligon in Toronto. Apparently the Special Investigations Unit aren't even willing to try and appear unbiased. Their behaviour is an embarassment and their professionalism suspect. Furthermore their conclusions routinely support even outrageous police behaviour. This is exactly like the disservice the teachers unions have done to their own members. Automatically supporting cases of teacher misconduct is one thing. Entirely different is loosing their legal beagles to attack parents and indirectly children. Teachers were once respected universally in this province. As their accountability has plummetted so has respect for them.
Thursday, April 26, 2012
Every once in a while the saying "every dog has his day" comes true. In this case no disrespect is meant to activist Julian Ichim in referring to him as the dog having his day. Today's Waterloo Region Record advises us that Julian is suing both the Crown and the Police for their behaviour prior to the G20 conference in June 2010. The title of the record story is "Julian Ichim plans $4-million lawsuit against police and Crown". It is my understanding of the situation that police behaviour in Canada prior and during the G20 was far more suitable to a third world country ruled by the likes of a Ghaddafi or a Hussein. Nevertheless while I applaud Mr. Ichim's initiative in suing, I do hope that he has both an excellent lawyer and some financial support for this undertaking. To my mind Mr. Ichim is the canary in the coalmine. As he is treated for his political outspokeness, should be the same as all Canadian citizens are treated. Unfortunately it appears that there is a huge double standard ongoing. Our police and apparently Crown seem to feel that it's O.K. to abuse and mistreat certain Canadian citizens. Unsurprisingly those citizens would be the marginalized, the poor and the very loud. This is not O.K. and I'm hoping that Mr. Ichim's lawsuit is a wakeup call to our authorities.
Interestingly all charges relating to the G20 conference against Mr. Ichim were dropped. His alleged treatment by the authorities both before and during custody however were reprehensible . The fact that he has since been charged in connection with his Blog (Julian Ichim) certainly appears as nothing more than pettiness and personal attack by the Crown and clearly demonstrates the lack of power citizens have, compared to the state. It also demonstrates that citizens are always accountable and our authorities rarely are.
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Sorry folks but that's just not happening in Canada and especially not in Ontario. Sure we have make believe environmental justice. We have public consultation. We have a Ministry of the Environment. We have an Environmental Commissioner and we have an Environmental Bill of Rights and all of them combined aren't worth five minutes earnings of one of the big boys in Canada. Money is indeed the root of all evil and it's also a very good indicater of the seriousness or not of our environmental protection. Our Ontario M.O.E. has fewer employees and less budget than it did in the 90's. What they are looking for now when they hire are public relations/media people and if they hire technical people they need to be very cognizant of the power structure. Independent, honest free thinkers need not apply. Ass kissers and toadies are always welcome.
Back in the eighties and very early ninety's we had what was known as Intervenor Funding. Individuals with confidence, knowledge and a sense of outrage regarding environmental degradation were able to challenge the M.O.E. as well as private polluters. With Intervenor Funding they could hire experts, scientists and expertise to assist them in presenting their cases to Environmental Appeal Boards for example. Those days are long gone because citizens indeed did challenge bad policy and bad decisions of the Ontario Ministry of the Environment. It was much more difficult even for biased Boards and Tribunals to ignore evidence from professionals with credentials and reputations behind them. Nowadays there are roadblocks galore and the financial roadblocks are huge. Citizens need to be encouraged and assisted not denied funding and threatened to be charged with costs if they are unsucessful.
Monday, April 23, 2012
Geoffrey Stevens has written the following Opinion piece in today's Waterloo Region Record "Political sideshows set to begin". He chronicles three issues, two of them provincial and one Federal. The Federal ones are in regards to the ongoing F-35 fighter aircraft aerial attack upon the Conservatives credibility as well as the credibilty of Public Safety Minister Vic Toews.
In the good old days politicians at least had enough respect for the Canadian electorate to lie to us with a modicum of plausibility to their lies. Not anymore apparently. If we are to believe Peter Mckay and the Tories, all the experts knew their projected fighter jet costs were off by Billions of dollars but honest injun the Defense Department and federal politicians didn't. Sorry me and millions of Canadians aren't buying that crap. Secondly the Conservatives terrifed many Canadian left leaners with their tough on crime pronouncements and legislative threats. We were all told that build them and they will come. Prisons that is. Sure our crime statistics are at an all time low and falling but trust us Conservatives we are going to build more prisons to house our potentially burgeonibg criminal population. A real skeptic might even assail the Tories (& Liberals) for their decades old immigration policies which could be construed as the potential source for all these wannabe criminals that Vic Toews sees around every corner.
Now the federal election is long gone and this month Vic Toews announces that the government are going to close three federal prisons (including Kingston) and hence save $120 million a year. Oh and by the way they aren't planning on releasing Bernardo and others, they are going to transfer these 900 prisoners to other federal institutions. Not new ones. Not provincial ones but federal jails that apparently have room for these 900 prisoners. Turns out there is no shortage of space and there has been no influx of new prisoners yet. To date the Conservative government hasn't come up with any kind of plausible explanation whatsoever. Maybe they are actually planning on telling us the truth. It was all an election ploy. Wouldn't the truth be a real change?
Sunday, April 22, 2012
The System. The Establishment. Fighting City Hall. Every now and then either a group of citizens or an individual actually wins. Or do they? The odds are totally stacked against anything resembling grass roots democracy. Our entire system is basically groups of financial elites attempting to mold government rules and regulations to their own favour. If 5% of the population control vast quantities of our resources of all kinds then they desperately want to keep the game tilted in their favour. Because of this they hire independent contractors (politicians) to act on their behalf and look out for their interests. All of this is complicated by the fact that it is necessary for the lemmings/sheeple to believe that they live in a democracy. This therefore is the primary job of the politicians. They must of needs constantly convince the majority of citizens that they are important, that they are listened to and that their vote counts. The reality is that by dumbing down the popoulation it is easier to manipulate everybody.
It is a constant ongoing battle. Just the fact that many corporations and well off individuals donate to both the Liberal and Conservative Party should be a significant tipoff. The other problem as indicated by politicians switching sides/parties is that of personal ego and status. Individuals with ambition only stay loyal to the party that seems to recognize their talents. If you aren't getting ahead in one party then await your chance to cross the floor or be offered a post worthy of your talents in another party. This therefore is why democracy has failed. When 90-95% of the players are in it for their own good then the remainder are hopelessly outnumbered and outmanouvered. Again the financial elite do not sponser, subsidize or bankroll good people for political office. They subsidize people who know where their bread is buttered. Honest candidates are to be feared not respected. They are to be slandered and backstabbed at every opportunity. What major party actually wants an honest individual as leader? An honest leader would be telling the citizens when the Party's policies were harmful to all but the well off minority. An honest leader would advise the public when the Party's position on an issue was self serving. I hate to say it folks but honest citizens while in the majority are hopelessly outgunned by the majority of dishonest politicians. Quoting a famous wit "It's not fair that 99% of politicians give all the rest a bad name."
Thursday, April 19, 2012
I recently received a very nicely written letter from the allegedly Honourable Diane Finley , Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development. She is assurring my wife and I that her government and party ie. the Harper Conservatives are looking out for myself and other seniors. Really? She and they are looking out for our best interests by cutting our Old Age Security eligibilty from age 65 to age 67. This will not affect me initially because I'm in my 63rd year and it will be phased in. My wife on the other hand is ten years younger than I and is working full time. Now after I've been on C.P.P. and OAS for ten years she will not be able to retire and collect her old age security at 65 years of age. This will affect both of us as that RIGHT has been part of our retirement planning for years. We are not well off and a good part of that can be laid at the door of right wing governments like yours who have always made a mockery of workers rights, most especially non union workers rights. Whether provincial or federal your Ministrys of Labour are and always have been a farce. Secondly it is right wing governments like yours that have financially punished whistle blowers like myself. I'm known locally as the Varnicolor whistleblower, in reference to my involvement in ending horrible and gross pollution from Varnicolor Chemical in Elmira. Only now are we confirming their involvement in shutting down the drinking water supply for all of Elmira twenty-three years ago. Nevertheless local employers still discriminate against me for sending one of their own to jail twenty years ago.
Although doing well now my wife is a two time cancer survivor and how she will be doing at age 65 is anyone's guess. Regardless after raising two children and working both part time and mostly full time her whole life she should be permitted to retire with her full pension at age 65. Thank You Diane Finley and Stephen Harper for screwing us. Thank you for spending hundreds of millions of dollars stupidly over decades while assurring me that you can't afford to pay us our pensions.
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Yesterday's Waterloo Region Record carried this story: "New rules target homes for elder abuse". Unfortunately I wasn't able to find the story on line in order to provide a link. I did however find this story in the Record dated February 22, 2011 . It describes the new legislation passed by the provincial Liberals. Yesterday's story tells us that there are fifty retirement homes in Ontario with multiple outstanding complaints of a serious nature. The story also makes it clear that government oversight has been inadequate to the point of non existent at various times and places. Quoting yesterday's story "In 2010 the Toronto Star sent an undercover reporter to live for a week as a resident in a Toronto retirement home. The story exposed serious problems including filthy living conditions, terrible food, untrained and illegally paid staff and residents who were so sick they needed the medical attention of a government-funded nursing home." Like most other problems in our society, as long as someone is making money, our government would rather pretend that they are supervising and monitoring these problems rather than actually resolving them.
Saturday, April 14, 2012
In today's Waterloo Region Record, Luisa D'Amato takes the Teachers'unions to task. She does it without rancor or malice. She does it calmly and politely. She indicates that their interpretation of "singling out" is nonsense. Further she makes it very clear that the unions' interests and their members interests decidely are not in anybody's best interests but they themselves. Finally she also states this: "Asking for a wage freeze, or for an end to lavish financial perks that never made sense, is not bullying. It's the McGuinty government finally coming to its' senses. The title of today's Opinion piece is "Teacher union interest is not the public interest".
Friday, April 13, 2012
How is this person still a police officer? Throw his ass in jail for illegal detention and arrest and see if he gets an attitude adjustment. Yesterday's Waterloo Region Record has this story; "Arrest prior to investigation ruled violation of rights". Clearly Constable Saverio Manafo thinks he's a cop in a third world country. "He arrested in this case, as he apparently routinely does, without considering other options, because in his mind, if it turns out there are no grounds for the arrest, the individual will be released". The Ontario Court of Appeal while making it clear that this officer's routine behaviour is a violation of citizens' constitutional rights against unreasonable search and seizure as well as unreasonable arrest; nevertheless needed to do more to condemn this idiot officer's behaviour. Demote or fire him. Police like this are the reason citizens have little or no respect for the police.
Thursday, April 12, 2012
The older I get the more obvious it becomes. We have at least two classes of citizens in this country namely the takers and the givers. The takers are connected via politics, money or friendship to those in power. They reserve the good jobs with all the perks not for the most qualified or honest but for friends and friends of friends who are connected. Today's Waterloo Region Record has this story: "Former health network boss paid $260,000 salary after losing her job". Hmm! I've never been paid that kind of money while working for years, day in and day out, anywhere. I guess whistleblowers and other honest people need not apply.
Sandra Hanmer worked at the Waterloo-Wellington Local Health Integration Network as the chief executive. She got paid that kind of money for 2011 after she was let go in 2010. Is all the blame to fall on her or should it be shared with whomever went along with that deal? Is this why we spend more and more tax dollars, year after year, for entirely mediocre and slow health care? Are contracts with sweetheart clauses or golden parachutes standard practice in the health care field? What the hell is going on and when will it stop? To say that these kinds of practices are unconscionable goes without saying. People in this country need health care and the financial resources must be used wisely, not given away for non attendance at high level jobs.
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Luisa D'Amato wrote in the Waterloo Region Record last February 24, 2012 the following Opinion piece: "New role of school trustees is problematic". This article somewhat describes why I ran twice for school trustee in Woolwich-Wellesley over a decade ago. It is also why I feel badly for the likes of excellent Waterloo Region Distict School Board trustee Cindy Watson. She is battling an educational bureaucracy of low to minimal ethical standards mostly by herself. Past trustees have essentially sold the farm and given their power and authority to staff and the senior management. Some trustees may think or say otherwise such as trustee John Hendry: "Staff work for the board, ....The board doesn't work for staff." If only the facts supported Mr. Hendry but they don't.
This whole article by Luisa D'Amato dealt with the staff's recommendation that the board take over after school, day care. As Luisa correctly points out this didn't go to trustees for a vote. It should have. The best the trustees seemed able to do, at Cindy Watson's suggestion, was to set up public consultation sessions with parents. Thankfully the parents came out en masse , did not accept the idiotic propaganda session orchestrated by staff, and in no uncertain terms told the board where to go. Every once in a while parents sucessfully exert their appropriate influence on their childrens' education. It's way too seldom amd it's way too difficult and that's been done intentionally through self serving process and procedure by the school board. Added to that is the usurpation of power and authority by full time paid staff away from democratically elected trustees. Shame on parents over the last few decades for not keeping themselves informed and by not electing trustees who will represent them and when necessary stand up to the entrenched staff and bureaucrats at the school board.
Monday, April 9, 2012
This following article was written in the Waterloo Region Record last March 1, 2012 :
"Parents fought the education bureaucracy, and the parents won". This of course refers to the issue of after school care being taken over unilaterally by the school board. This story , like the one posted yesterday, was also written by Peter Shawn Taylor. Parent Craig Holland stated that parents "...pushed and we pushed and we pushed". Then Mr. Taylor states "Finally when all the diversionary tactics and self-affirmation failed, the board-staff and trustees-listened.". Peter Shawn Taylor also describes Mr. Holland's discription of the difficulties parents faced. "He described how the initial response to parental objections was that the plan rested with staff alone and there would be no input from trustees or voters. Then his group was told the point of no return had already passed. After that , Holland said it was framed as an issue of social justice; parents seeking to save non-profit daycares were thus "misguided"." Fortunately despite the best (worst) efforts of schoolboard staff the plan failed and the parents took the day. This article begs the same question as yesterday's and that is why staff (employees) with self aggrandizing motives have become in charge of our educational system, to its' detriment.
Sunday, April 8, 2012
Career bureaucrats have long learned how to have their way at the Waterloo Region District School Board. Sometimes it's smooth and subtle and other times they wield the big legal stick, backed by taxpayers millions of dollars which they control. Overall in my opinion it's a disgusting and contemtible system and as a direct result it lurches from one crisis to another. Yesterday's Waterloo Region Record carrys the following Opinion piece from Peter Shawn Taylor: "Waterloo Region's public school board plans new ways to ignore parents".
Recent crises include the Jesse Sansone unbelievable overeaction by a teacher, principal, School Board and FCS (CAS). Before that we had the extended day debate. "Faced with a massive wave of public outrage, and after months of stonewalling and diversionary tactics, the public board finally relented and shelved its takeover plan in February." If the system were honest and above board in the first place the bureaucrats involved in stonewalling and diversionary tactics would have been fired long ago. Unfortunately the foxes have long been in charge of the henhouse and no senior authority at the provincial level has ever seen fit to clean house. That's a shame and may be why our educational system will not and can not compete in honest world wide comparisons.
Mr. Taylor explores in detail the new rules that Trustees are introducing which will make public delegations so much less likely. He also compares them to delegations which go through rules to appear at our local municipal councils. It's an eyeopener. I learned many years ago just how badly broken the system is. Apparently it's not just broken enough for some of these self serving bureaucrats and their toadie Trustees. One notable exception is long time Cambridge Trustee Cindy Watson. Kudos to her once again for her principled objections to this plan.
Thursday, April 5, 2012
Friday March 30, 2012 the Waterloo Region Record carried the following story "G20 accused wanted to "stick it to system"". Well whether that title was true or not, I'll just bet he wants to stick it to the system now. According to this article Byron Sonne was arrested in June 2010 and held in custody for 330 days. His trial on charges of possessing explosives was into closing submissions last week. He was arrested prior to the G20 Summit, similar to a number of local activists here in Kitchener-Waterloo and Guelph. Aside from all the surveillance prior to any criminal activity is one particularily notable fact. Mr. Sonne didn't possess explosives. He did possess apparently a large "array of legal chemicals" however. What the hell is going on here exactly? Whether or not his claim that he had the chemicals for the purpose of producing fuel for a model rocket hobby is legitimate or not, the fact is what kind of a law says you can't possess explosives but you can possess the chemicals to make them? What kind of a law says you can legally possess and produce rocket fuel if indeed it's the same as possessing explosives? This case has a similar odour to it as the ones involving local activists who allegedly "conspired" to incite mischief and vandalism.
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
It must be tough being a cop and being on a budget. In the March 22/12 Waterloo Region Record Brent Davis has the following story "Chief makes pitch for more resources". Allegedly the public meeting was to discuss the Regional Police 2012-2014 strategic business plan but a skeptic might be forgiven for thinking it had to do with the black eye the local cops have gotten for their idiotic behaviour and overeaction in the Jesse Sansone case. Regardless Chief Torrigan used the opportunity to pitch for more money from beleagured taxpayers. Allegedly fifty police officers were recently removed from the investigative units and redeployed to front line patrol. I see that as a good thing when the investigative units have enough manpower to put full time infiltraters into local activist groups ahead of the G20. Don't get me wrong here. There is a time and place for this and I suspect that the undercover cop in the Nadia Gehl murder case was a good move. Also Chief Torrigan bemoans only having three cops available for the school resources program. Well once again referring to the Jesse Sansone case as well as personal experience; far too many idiot teachers and principals use our regional police for their personal vendettas and ego/authority power trips. Good riddance if the police are now too busy to go looking for trouble that doesn't exist.
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
March 28, 2012 in the Waterloo Region Record, Luisa D'Amato wrote the following Opinion piece "Budget strikes hardest at society's most vulnerable". Luisa slams the liberals not only for their pettiness and meaness but as much for their puffery. The finance minister and other senior Liberals have the gall to suggest that even in hard times they are taking care of the poor. Poppycock! They weren't taking care of them in good times and now it's hard times and they've decided not to throw them a concrete anchor. Well bully for you Dalton McGuinty and friends. Further as Luisa points out certain items made it into the Liberal budget and certain things didn't. She states "But this budget tells me that they are still picking and choosing their favourite kinds of people, and the poorest of the poor aren't on the guest list.". Finally Luisa comments about the alleged 7.6% unemployment rate in Ontario. Give me a break. Those Statscan numbers have been bogus for decades. They are not and never have been an accurate representation of the number of people legitimately out of work and unable to find jobs. They may or may not be a compilation of people on unemployment insurance but that is an entirely different kettle of fish.
Monday, April 2, 2012
Yes it's a health issue, but a lot different than the one which showed up in Vietnam and other countries first. This posting today concerns Ornge Air Ambulance. The newspaper stories about this scandal are sickening. They are sickening for a multitude of reasons. People are dying in this country due to a lack of financial resources in the health care system. They are dying despite record setting health care expenditures. The economy is in the toilet and our taxes are out of sight. We are paying world class taxes for third world delivery of services. The waste and lack of government oversight into tax money wastage is criminal yet no one goes to jail. All Stephen Harper has to do to sell his "get tough on crime bill" is to tell Canadians that he's going to put politicians and bureaucrats in jail.
On Thursday March 22, 2012 the Waterloo Region Record printed this story "$730M to Ornge poorly watched". It deals with a report by Ontario auditor general Jim McCarter. He outlined massive wastage, expenditure and lack of government oversight into the operations of Ornge. Quoting the Health Minister Deb Matthews's somewhat belated criticism : "We have many challenges in our health-care system right now, and I cannot tell you how disgusted I am when I see people who are entrusted with responsibility in our health-care system to put their own interests ahead of the interests of the people that they are there to serve." This scandal has been unfolding over the last few months. Heads have rolled at Ornge but it's nowhere near enough. Heads need to roll on the government benches until this crap stops. Entrusting our money to politicians is like entrusting catnip to cats and beer to alcoholics. At least the alcoholics eventually pass out and stop drinking. Our politicians never stop spending 24/7.