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.
Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Today's Waterloo Region Record has an Opinion piece by Thomas Walkom titled ""Secret evidence" against Omar Khadr a joke". Mr. Walkom actually uses an on-line posting of a psychiatrist's report (Michael Welner) by a right wing Conservative pundit by the name of Ezra Levant. I've seen Mr. Levant on T.V. and he certainly is right wing and he certainly is not shy and retiring in his opinions to say the least. nevertheless Thomas walkom in the Record basically disects the psychiatrist's report that apparently mr. Levant was relying on to show Canadian Omar Khadr in a bad light.
The psychiatrist's report is absolutely Kafkayesque in blaming the victim. Mr. Khadr after being seriously wounded almost to the point of death as a FIFTEEN year old child has been imprisoned by the Americans at Guantanamo Cuba for nearly a decade. The psychiatric report by Mr. Wellner purports to show various attitudes and personality characteristics of Mr. Khadr that would indicate he's a threat to Canada. That Prime Minister Harper and his Cabinet Minister Vic Toews would use that, on the face of it, rubbish, to justify their delay in following through on their promise to bring Mr. Khadr home after a decade in custody, is absurd and ridiculous. Please show me any adult much less fifteen year old who could be so grieviously physically and mentally abused for a decade who could "pass" some sort of psychiatric test for readmission to the country of their citizenship. He is a Canadian you idiots. Bring him home and deal with it as you promised him, the Americans and the courts you would.
Saturday, July 28, 2012
Last Thursday July 26/12 the Waterloo Region Record published this story by Carol Goar "The Mounties turn the tables on women". It's one thing being sexist. It's another thing being a male chauvinist pig. Finally being actively involved in sexual harassment takes it a step further. The recently appointed commissioner of the RCMP had it wrong eight months ago when he suggested that his getting to the bottom of sexual harassment claims and complaints would restore Canadians' faith in the Mounties. Bad news there Bob (Paulsen). Your Mounties are way too far down the road of disrespect, to turn things around that quickly. This is especially so when the ingrained and inbred culture hasn't changed. Typical of human institutions it's close the ranks, shoot the messengers and downplay and minimize all criticism.
"Four other members of the force have launched lawsuits, including a class-action suit by retired RCMP constable Janet Merlo on behalf of more than 150 women employed by the Mounties.". Apparently the nature of human beings, especially in positions of power and authority, is to discriminate. Whether the good old boys club or simply the buddy system, including favourtism, nepotism etc. this is the reality. Discrimination for job promotions, plum assignments, status and respect within the group is one thing and essentially disgusting in it's own right. When it gets to the point that groups within the Mounties, whether minorities or women, really have to be on their guard more against their colleagues and peers than against miscreants, felons and perps; then the situation is beyond abhorrent.
Friday, July 27, 2012
The above title refers to the obscenity occurring currently in Elmira, Ontario. The industry is Chemtura, formerly known as Uniroyal Chemical. They have generously shared their toxic wastes with Elmira as well as downstream communitys for decades. I have generally avoided posting on environmental issues here as I do so elsewhere. This partnership and crawling into bed together is however too blatant, self serving and contemptible not to.
The Ontario Ministry of the Environment are in the business of coddling polluters and running interference for them. Sometimes this direct government assistance to industry is subtle and sometimes not. Most recently in Elmira it's not. Chemtura and their paid consultants are trying to justify a pretend cleanup of Dioxins and DDT on the south-east corner of their site, right beside the Canagagigue Creek. They claim that these toxins are immobile. Yes they are in the natural environment, namely the soil but that's O.K. because nobody has tested downstream in the creek for over a decade to see if they are still moving off-site. Yes I said "still moving". It was determined over a decade ago that these compounds had been mobilized and they were found downstream several miles in the floodplain of the Canagagigue Creek.
The polluters' best friend, the Ontario M.O.E., are willing to take Chemtura's word that after a cleanup a few years ago, upstream from the south-east corner, that any remaining Dioxins and DDT will not be mobilized and move downstream. This hope is actually more of a fantasy. Neither the M.O.E., Chemtura or their comsultants have provided a lick of evidence to support that theory. Their current plans are to scrape one foot of soil off the top of one of two former gravel pits that acted as the end point for toxic liquid drainage. They would then cap the rest with a synthetic liner. Elmira citizens, the public advisory committee (CPAC) and Woolwich Council are all opposed. Chemtura, their consultants CRA and the Ontario Ministry of the Environment are on board. Without M.O.E. support Chemtura would be in an untenable position. Here is a classic case of a democratic government supporting the unsupportable and incomprehensible. Thank you very much Ontario.
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
The Waterloo Region Record carried the following story back on June 23, 2012 : "Canada lagging in access to information". Canada currently is tied for 51st position in the world when it comes to freedom of information rankings. The Federal Law took effect way back on July 1, 1983 and to date has not been updated in any fashion. Canada apparently languishes behind such avante garde locales as Angola, Columbia and Niger. Wow! "Canada's lax timelines, imposition of access fees, lack of a proper public interest overide and blanket exemptions for certain political offices all contravene international standards for the right of access.". There are a total of 89 countries with some form of freedom of information legislation. 51st while not the worst possible outcome certainly doesn't promote confidence in our government's transparency or accountability. Sad to say this failure of our government is not just at the federal level. Try getting data and information out of any level of government. Clearly the governments themselves view freedom of information as an imposition. Worse yet they immediately go on the defensive assuming every request is actually a hidden attack upon themselves. Clearly our governments at all levels have a lot of guilt built up and a lot to hide from their own citizens. Lying to the population has been elevated to an art form and legislation to expose that is not met with favour. Be on the lookout for any updated or amended legislation in the future. I expect that there will be more not less loopholes inserted into new legislation.
Monday, July 23, 2012
Come on Canadians quit beating around the bush. Call a spade a spade. Employers love them and so does our provincial government. Neither group care if migrant workers are yellow skinned, black, red or if they come from Mars. There is absolutely zero discrimination here. Employers will hire anybody from anywhere and why wouldn't they? They are incredibly cheap labour. Cheap doesn't just define direct wages. These people will take all the crap that you can dish out and come back for more. That's the difference. They are desperate for work and desperate for money to send back home. Where they come from their are no opportunities, no social safety net , no labour standards and nobody gives a shit for them . Just like here nobody gives a shit for them. Here with a regular non union job when someone gets "uppity" or asks a question you don't like, you just fire them. But then it's embarassing because especially in our smaller communities you run into them again and you know they've been badmouthing you. With migrant workers it's just so much more satisfying to fire them AND kick them out of the country. You never have to feel guilty down the road because where they came from there's a thousand more willing to work dirt cheap, without safety standards and who will suck up appropriately to you.
Today's Waterloo Region Record carrys this story: "Vigil at site of Hampstead crash exposes plight of migrant workers". A group called Justice (Justicia) for Migrant Workers received phone calls from some migrant workers who wanted to attend the remembrance ceremony on Sunday in Hampstead but were told by their employers not to go. Others who did go without asking permission risk being sent back home. Saturday's Record also carried an Opinion article by Luisa D'Amato titled "Let's examine the dark, difficult world of migrant workers". It too describes the working conditions for 20,000 agricultural migrant workers from Mexico, the Caribbean and Central America. Why does our government love having them here? Firstly they can't collect unemployment insurance at the end of the season. They simply get sent home. Secondly they help keep wages low. Minimum wage low. Thirdly they do pay deductions on their paycheques while unable to collect benefits and finally they can't vote in elections and demand a better life like ungrateful citizens. One other thing to consider. Their wages and working conditions help to keep food prices artificially low for the rest of us. They are subsidizing our consumer lifestyle and they are essentially invisible and usually not a political issue. I believe that both our students and many of our unemployed would for a higher wage take these jobs. BUT the employers would have to treat them like human beings and that is the real stumbling block.
Friday, July 20, 2012
I hope there is a special place in hell for lying Canadian politicians who get their jollies torturing Canadian citizens who are in need of help. Stephen Harper and the federal government have more than earned that outcome based upon their treatment of Canadian citizen, Omar Khadr. As a fifteen year old boy he was left in the temporary care of Afghan adults while his father was elsewhere. Their compound was bombed and attacked and Omar was grieviously wounded in the attack which resulted in the deaths of all the others in the compound plus one American forces serviceman. Then to add insult to injury, as a fifteen year old, seriously wounded Canadian citizen, he was charged with war crimes as well as murder. WTF. And it's not fair to say that Canada has done nothing. What they have done from the getgo is aid and abet the U.S. to justify their imprisonment and mistreatment of a child. There isn't a humanitarian organization around the world who have supported this treatment of Omar Khadr from the beginning.
Today's Waterloo Region Record carrys this story: "Former diplomat calls feds' delay in Omar Khadr case "unprecedented". This story on page A4 is a further condemnation of the Harper conservative government. Apparently they can't even make public promises in good faith. They publicly promised to repatriate Khadr if he pled guilty and served another year in Guantanamo. This agreement was between the U.S., Canada and Khadr. Well guess who's the only party to renege. Yup Canada.
Thursday, July 19, 2012
The former CEO, Dr. Chris Mazza, stated the above headline in today's Waterloo Region Record. His testimony concerning Ornge Air Ambulance service while never expected to be particularily self-incriminating was actually rather enlightening. We are left with the old proverb about two sides of the story, with the truth somewhere in the middle.
Not unexpectedly the provincial Conservative opposition are still lambasting the government. Frank Klees (P.C.) stated "It's very apparent that this government has circled the wagons and is throwing everybody under the bus, including you". Further Mr. Klees in response to Mr. Mazza's testimony stated "His testimony proves that the government is equally responsible for the massive waste of public funds".
I remain convinced that yes the Liberal provincial government were not minding the store and yes I remain convinced that the compensation package plus loans to Dr. Mazza was ridiculously high. That being said it almost appears that governments give exhorbinant remuneration to various arm length agencies to ensure loyalty and perhaps to even make government wages look reasonable in comparison. Wherever the whole truth eventually resides I believe that politicians of all stripes are doing a great job in convincing citizens that they the politicians are inept, corrupt, liars. Please keep up the good work and continue laying the groundwork for the upcoming revolution in Canada.
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
On June 26/12 Thomas Walkom had published this story "At Rio+20, Canada furiously backpedals on the environment". For me this story is more of a political than environmental one. It used to be sheik to be pro environment. Now it doesn't even seem to cost votes, not to be. Quoting Mr. Walkom "Yet many nations, including Canada, chose not to honour their commitments. When Harper came to power, all he had to do was deep-six Kyoto's corpse." "The other reason is that anti-environmentalists have raised their game. Theey don't call themselves anti-environmentalists, of course. They say quite the opposite. But the oil companies and carbon producers who fear that action against greenhouse gases might hurt their profits have a far firmer grip on government and, through advertising, on the popular imagination than they did in 1992. Their mouthpieces in government routinely denounce as radical ideologues those who dare complain."
Thomas Walkom's final paragraph is very sad for all future generations. "If the original Rio was a triumph for the environment, Rio+20 belongs to the antis. we are furiously pedalling backwards."
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
The front page of Saturday's (July 14/12) Waterloo Region Record has this title "Was huge land deal too costly". The sub title is "City of Kitchener's justification for pricey purchase not borne out in documents". These documents have taken four years to be released to the Record under Freedom of Information legislation. It appears as if the lengthy delay by the City has been to hide the fact that they weren't quite squeaky clean in their answers surrounding the purchase of the old Goodrich/Michelin property in Kitchener's south end. They had advised the media and public that the very high, some might say inflated price included the environmental cleanup of the site. Now it turns out that the cleanup had already been done by former owners and the inflated price still is difficult to explain. This case is a perfect example as to why FOI legislation was needed in the first place. It's just too bad that the authors of the legislation built in enough delays and loopholes to render it almost useless. Nevertheless kudos to the Record for again jumping through the hoops and loops in order to serve the public interest.
Monday, July 16, 2012
And why shouldn't the responsible party go to jail? If there is a criminal negligence conviction as in this case then clearly jail time should be next. There were ""serious breeches " of health and safety legislation by Metron Construction". Criminal negligence behind the wheel of a car certainly ends up in jail time so why don't employers in this province go to jail likewise? Could it be that the law in it's infinite wisdom sees employers and management in a different light than workers? Could Judges possibly feel a little more sympathy towards persons of similar status and wealth as themselves?
So what exactly is the value/price of a dead worker? In this case it seems pretty clearly to be $50,000 per dead worker. Maybe there's a premium on native born workers or not. These afterall were "immigrant" workers. Do they have a leg up on native Canadians in that disreputable employers feel less threatened financially if there is an "accident"? Another interesting question I have is this: Do employers have liability insurance separate from Workman's Compensation that covers them in cases of loss of life and or serious injury? Until and unless there are serious consequences for employers, the death and mayhem on the job will continue. The Waterloo Region Record story (July 14/12) is titled "Firm fined $200,000 for deaths of four workers in avoidable fall".
Sunday, July 15, 2012
Stupidity can explain doing something dumb once. Stuborness or maliciousness might explain the same thing a second time. If our O.P.P. (Ontario Provincial P...ks) do this a third time there had better be serious consequences for them. Charging citizens with bull shit offences that are never going to make it to court is an abuse of authority and simple bullying. Are we back to the times that police are hired because they are the biggest, baddest, stupidest and toughest sob's out there?
Last Friday's Waterloo Region Record gives us this story "Drunk-canoeing charge still irks". There was no motor vehicle involved and there were no children at risk. A father, husband and citizen was charged for being over .08 while PADDLING a canoe. Oh and his buddy wasn't charged because the buddy was in the front of the canoe hence not the "driver". From this point on it just gets worse. His DRIVER'S licence was immediately suspended. As with the first time this bogus charge was laid, the previous year, the Crown dropped the charge but nobody informed the victim of this police harassment. He hired a legal services firm to defend him and they all went to court to find nobody there but themselves.
This kind of behaviour by our police forces should not be tolerated. Are some of them bored and simply trying to provoke honest citizens into a confrontation? What are the authorities going to say when a citizen is severely injured or killed and a police officer is in hospital having a paddle surgically removed from his arse? Police are supposed to be peacemakers not troublemakers. Police are supposed to be there to reduce fights, confrontations, injuries and deaths not provoke them. Weed out that hopefully small percentage that give you all a bad name.
Friday, July 13, 2012
Thank you Dalton McGuinty for really stepping up to the plate. Stephen Harper's Conservatives in Ottawa have been taking all the heat lately regarding meorals, ethics, contempt of Parliament, robo calls and on and on. You have stepped up to show citizens that it isn't just Conservatives who are the scum of the earth. In our moment of greatest tension and after your shared G2o fiasco in Toronto was starting to fade, you've done it again. Yesterday's Waterloo Region Record carrys this front page headline "Liberal brass killed gas-fired plant". No not the Liberal government nor the Ministry of Energy. The Liberal party strategists nearing the end of a difficult provincial election campaign reversed the decision to complete the gas-fired energy plant akready under construction in Mississauga. That decision despite signed contracts and ongoing construction will cost Ontario taxpayers $180 million dollars. Not the Liberals but you and I just to ensure that threatened Liberal ridings would stay Liberal and greatly increase McGuinty's chances for a majority government. Shame on McGuinty and shame on the Liberal government. And further shame on those of us in Kitchener-Waterloo if you vote Liberal in the upcoming by-election. And no I have no more confidence in the Conservatives locally either but at least it's not a vote for the Liberals.
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
The Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association are showing leadership and responsibility. The jig is up as far as special interest groups including teachers, doctors, nurses, police, firefighters etc.. While all of them are necessary and appreciated none of them walk on water. In fact overtaxed and underpaid private sector workers have had way more than enough. It's long past time that everybody shared in the difficult times we've been going through for years and which are forecast to get worse before they get better. Oh yes and my above list most certainly should include politicians who are by far the biggest pigs at the public trough. At least the other groups are generally on a daily basis helping society. Politicians are not; they are the experts at inequity and maintaining privelege for the monied elites.
Quoting Luisa D"Amato from her Opinion piece in the Record last Saturday (July 7/12) " When you take a look at the actual agreement between the Catholic teachers and the government, you see the work of teachers, not as a self-centred special interest group, but as the generous, student-centred professionals they are when at their best.". Monday's Waterloo Region Record also carried this major Editorial "Teachers' union sees reality". To date the other teachers' unions are rejecting the settlement that OECTA have accepted. Further details of the settlement are spelled out in this Editorial. I wonder at what point the other teachers' unions will realize that the only way they can have their cake and eat it to is to actually once in a very long while either be reasonable or even to make minor concessions. They have sucessfully bled the public treasury AND maintained the respect, goodwill and admiration of large segments of the public. OECTA whether out of honest public service or intelligent and far seeing self interest have realized that now is a really good time to be reasonable and more in order to maintain everything they've got. The alternative which the other teachers' unions need to realize is an angry public backlash resulting in a Conservative provincial government that would make them beg to have Mike Harris back!
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
Was it Shakespeare who coined the phrase "Much ado about nothing"? One of these years marijuana will be decriminalized but guess what? All the citizens charged and convicted over the last one hundred years won't be decriminalized. Something is basically very wrong with laws that criminalize individuals who at worst may be hurting themselves but not others. In this "criminal" case who exactly is the victim? Pretty clearly this officer has some serious issues that need to be resolved. This among other things is bringing the police and the administration of justice into disrepute.
There was a time when police had the reputation for hiding behind the "blue wall". Apparently that's gone down the drain when an undercover officer from another force is brought in to tempt a Waterloo Regional Police officer with a couple of ounces of weed. I agree it would be hypocritical for local police to arrest citizens for marijuana use and then turn a blind eye to its' use by their own officers. It's a bad law but two wrongs don't make a right and using entrapment to nail him criminally is reprehensible. Is this really the best solution the brains at WRPS can come up with? The impression I'm getting is that this officer is very unpopular for some other reason than what the public has been told. Today's Waterloo Region Record carrys the story: "Waterloo Regional Police officer admits stealing marijuana at work".
Monday, July 9, 2012
SIU Director Ian Scott "..."respects" the rights of subject officers to invoke their legal rights not to consent to interviews or turn over their notes.". Those words are in the July 6, 2012 Waterloo Region Record article titled "Many police officers refuse to talk to watchdog". I find this allegedly legal behaviour a little odd but even more am amazed at the attitude of Director Scott. He has been front and centre in pointing out and complaining about the lack of cooperation his office receives from police when they the SIU are called in to investigate.
I would also like a little clarification here. Is this refusal to be interviewed include refusal when the officers have a lawyer present to protect thier rights or is it a blanket refusal. If it's a blanket refusal then something is seriuosly wrong here. Why have an SIU in the first palce if it's going to be muzzled or be just a sham? Is the SIU simply one more tame "internal" complaint procedure without teeth? Keep in mind their mandate deals with serious injury or death to citizens. As far as officers' notes go, again this is just a tad odd. If I allegedly rob a store and then write about my experiences in this same store in my diary; then you'd better believe that diary gets seized as evidence. There has long been the appearance of a double standard when it comes to serious police misbehaviour and the rule of law. These statistics described in this Record article do not increase confidence that our police are accountable even for serious criminal behaviour. That is to the detriment of society and our respect for police officers in general.
Friday, July 6, 2012
Yesterday's Waterloo Region Record carrys this story: "Feds deny foreign workers for sex trade employers". For a very long time the Canadian government whether Liberal or Conservative have assisted sex trade employers bring in women from outside the country to work as strippers, escorts and massage parlour attendants. Visas and applications from the sex trade have all been handled by our federal government. Similar to bringing in construction workers and labourers under the guise that there weren't enough domestic workers available so too have foreign women been brought in. Apparently Canadian womwn lack the skills that these foreign trained women bring with them.
The reality is as old as it comes. Desperate foreign workers whether male or female will work for less money, under worse conditions including health and safety. This whole program has been abused forever and it's only now apparently becoming a liability to our federal government to continue to work as pimps to the sex trade. The hypocrisy is something else. Our federal governments in their partisan rush to promote all things Conservative including cheap labour have aided and abetted this industry. The understatement of the century is that of Immigration Minister Jason Kenney : "Frankly this should have done a long time ago." Do you think?
Thursday, July 5, 2012
Another title for this posting could be the last sentence in Luisa D'Amato's Opinion piece in today's Record namely "...CONSERVATIVES HAVE COME DOWN FROM THE HILLS TO SHOOT THE WOUNDED.". The actual title of her piece in today's Waterloo Region Record is "Labour unions might be some workers' sole protection". In the middle of her article she does clarify that "...unions are the only counterforce that protect workers in a global economy in which business interests hold almost all the cards.".
Regarding "shooting the wounded" Luisa points out that only 16% of private sector workers are unionized. Putting that differently 84% of private sector workers are non union. Ontario has the lowest rate of unionization in Canada with the exception of Alberta. Yet the Conservatives rather than blaming globalization, free trade or a race for the bottom in labour and environmental standards would rather take cheap shots at the few remaining unions left. They want to end the "Rand" formula relating to the paying of dues. This will merely exacerbate the complete and final end to private sector unions AND that is exactly what this is all about . Real Conservatives don't do labour work. They own and they manage and they have suceeded in shrinking the middle class and reducing equitable income distribution. But it isn't enough. They are greedy and they are stupid and they will continue to mould the economy for the benefit of the few while lying to the many. Canadian Conservatives, like U.S. Republicans are sucking up everything that isn't tied down. We've had class wars in North America before and it sure looks like these idiots want them again.
Wednesday, July 4, 2012
An Opinion column in today's Waterloo Region Record is certainly timely. It's written by Martin Regg Cohn and titled "Hudak's new Tory vision: a low-union, low-wage Ontario". My only criticism of Mr. Cohn's article is the word "new". Yes some Tories are further to the right than others but nevertheless Hudak's position is hardly new. The reason this opinion piece is so timely is of course courtesy of the Marriott beach resort in Muskoka by the name of Rosseau. Talk about blatant and talk about arrogant. Meanwhile an idiot spokesperson for the Ministry of Labour is quoted as saying "we look forward to continuing discussions aimed at ensuring a fair and balanced relationship between employers and employees". There has never been such a relationship in this province during the last fourty years that I've been in the labour force. That comment is sheer puffery and horse manure. That it's coming from a Liberal spokesperson tells you that at heart they aren't much better (or smarter) than the Conservatives.
There are a number of reasons why Ontario's manufacturing sector has hit the skids although Ontario and Federal governments are front and centre. They embraced so called free trade knowing that a few would get richer and many more would lose ground. For Tim Hudak, leader of the Ontario Conservative party, to scapegoat organized labour for Ontario's decline is just precious. Labour never was that strong and certainly in my working life has grown smaller and weaker. Yes I've seen abuses by organized labour but for each one I've seen a hundred abuses by organized business and industry. While the sharing of tips with management/ownership is a front and centre issue, those idiots in Muskoka thought it was just a great time to blackmail their unorganized labour into giving up a larger percentage of their tips. Shame on the company, shame on the management and shame on a Ministry of Labour and province of Ontario who have fostered these disgusting attitudes among employers.
Tuesday, July 3, 2012
You have to hand it to our regional government. They've really got their priorities straight. One bus driver has been charged (not convicted) with careless driving due to a serious accident with a pedestrian at a roundabout. The young lady has returned to school but still faces a challenging recovery. She is very lucky to be alive. Meanwhile there is an uproar over traffic circles although most of the criticism seems to be in areas of pedestrian use. This is understandable as the majority of car collisions are relatively minor but it's an extraordinaryly lucky day when a collision between a car and a pedestrian can be termed minor. Last Thursday (June 2/12) the Waterloo Region Record carried this story "Crash probe kept secret".
It seems that Big Brother at the Region knows so much better than all the rest of us. They are investigating the accident including reports to and from the regional police, the Ministry of Transport and documents to and from two "collision committees" at the region. The Record on the other hand "...has appealed to Ontario's Information and Privacy Commissioner for the internal collision probe, on the grounds that the public needs to understand the collision to assess if the roundabout is safe, if alterations made to it are appropriate, and if it could happen again.". Apparently the region feel that the public using these roundabouts on a daily basis should just trust them and not concern themselves when near fatal accidents occur. Once more kudos to the Waterloo Region Record for standing up for the public interest. The regional politicians on the other hand are a tad too concerned with their progressive image and don't want informed criticism on one of their distinctive showpieces, namely roundabouts.
Monday, July 2, 2012
It's a start but only just barely. Alok Mukherjee is the head of the civilian oversight Board in Toronto whose duty is to ensure that the municipal force follows all procedures, laws, rules and regulations and conduct themselves appropriately and professionally. The Board's failure wasn't so much during the crisis as it was during the weeks and months prior to the G20 Conference in downtown Toronto. This is in the findings of a recently released report by retired justice John Morden. "Effectively, Morden said, the board failed to live up to its responsibilities.". I would suggest that that finding also applies after the fact as well. The civilian oversight board's silence has been overwhelming. This unfortunately may well be the norm with many municipal police boards. They are political appointees and why would any politician appoint someone who might actually have the temerity to question the status quo? I'm willing to bet that our own local police board here in Waterloo Region is so incredibly low profile that 99% of our citizens couldn't name even one or two of the members. This is a symptom of a do nothing, good old boys club board. We've seen the negative results of these kinds of corporate boards and now we are seeing them with police boards.
Last Saturday's Waterloo Region Record carrys this story "Board admits mistakes in G20 policing". Other faults described by justice Morden deal with a complete lack of communication between Toronto police and their board. The board were essentially given the mushroom treatment and worse yet they appeared to accept that treatment, almost as if it was the norm. "Morden's review comes weeks after Ontario's independent police watchdog blasted police for violating civil rights, detaining people illegally and using excessive force.". Alright so now we have the official versions of what everyone already knew. What is going to be done about it? Who is going to be held accountable?
Even the headline in last Saturday's Waterloo Region Record raised my eyebrows somewhat: "Three police forces helped nab ill officer in sting". Obviously with a headline like that, the question is why did it take three police forces and why are any police forces trying to "nab" an ill officer in the first place? I will admit that my opinion on what first appeared as a simple case of stupidity/immaturity by a local police officer has been affected by comments received here in the Advocate.
The Record states "...Robson is one of several local officers charged with crimes or professional misconduct in a scandal involving drug use.". Further the Record states "...Robson was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder due to incidents on the job and had developed marijuana and alcohol addictions as a result.". Boy this is way past any expertise or experience I may have in the realm of PTSD and or addictions. I will say that Officer Robson certainly would not remotely be the first police officer to succumb to these very real on the job dangers. What I don't know is the likelihood of sucessful professional intervention that could either get him back on the job or as a minimum relieve him of the negative health effects of PTSD. Nor do I know how sincere an effort has been made by our local force to rehabillatate this still young officer.
I hope and expect that these questions are answered at the upcoming trial and also hope that whether he stays on the force or not that senior officers and the police association face up to the mental and pyschological stresses officers face. Physical on the job injury can be much more easily seen but is sometimees less difficult to treat.