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, August 31, 2012
Wage rollbacks, benefit cuts and and heaven forbid messing with union contract negotiations are dynamite politically. Two Waterloo Region Record writers are approaching the same issue from vastly different directions. Today's paper has the following article from Luisa D'Amato "Police and firefighters are next in line". In her article she advises that we haven't seen anything yet. If we the taxpayers think that the teachers' are sympathetic targets for provincial austerity she is warning us that there is a whole lot more sympathy, respect and need to go after the police and firefighters budgets. They get paid more, probably appropriately so, and despite being municipal employees, it is provincial legislation around the arbitration process that will be changed and changed to lower the burden on taxpayers.
Mr Thomas Walkom in his Record article takes a fundamentally different tack. He suggests that the McGuinty government is taking a run not just at teachers but at the whole trade union movement. Mr. Walkom feels the Liberals are sneaky and duplicitous in their self interested attack on the middle class (teachers) and that it is motivated by their lust to win a majority government. He calls the Conservatives up front honest troglodytes on this matter.
So what do I think? I think both writers are accurate in their assessments. I also think the three sets of employees are all overpaid and that we the taxpayers are going broke paying public service employees so much more than we ourselves are able to earn. So what is the solution? Ideally the Liberals wouldn't have given the farm away for so many years to public service workers. Ideally our economy wouldn't be in the toilet. Reality says that public expenses and taxes have to come down, not forever keep going up. This could have been accomplished by the current system of negotiations and arbitration if reasonable and honest people, on both sides, thinking of the public interest had been involved. Unfortunately that has never been the case. So now we have a politically motivated cut and slash agenda. I still can't feel a lot of sympathy for any of them.
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
The problem is far too many employers know this and are pleased with it. The reality is that when labour legislation is passed in this province it's with business and industry being kept in the loop via wink, wink, nudge, nudge lots of loopholes. Also far too many employers know that enforcement of labour standards as well as health and safety standards are a joke. I can't believe how many years I worked in non union construction and never once saw a health & safety inspector. I can't believe that I worked for employers who had had horrendous accidents and there was no followup to see if things had improved.
Yesterday's Waterloo Region Record has an Opinion article by Carol Goar. The title is "Labour code neglects most vulnerable workers " and she is right on the money. Ms. Goar states that one in five workers have little or no protection from unreasonable bosses who break labour laws or circumvent them. From migrant workers to casual, part time and contract workers, far too many don't know their rights and even if they do they face being fired, blacklisted or deported for even complaining. I suggest that the real fraction is a lot higher than one in five. This is what is so infuriating to the majority when they see unionized public service workers who can't be disciplined much less dismissed for cause. Meanwhile their jobs hang by a thread at the whim of employers who aren't even truly accountable to labour laws.
Apparently there is a report recently written by The law Commissiobn of Ontario titled "Vulnerable Workers and Precarious Work". The industries most in need of reform include agriculture, construction, restaurants, hotels and home care. Does anyone remember the scandal earlier this summer involving restaurants taking a percentage of employees tips? This is just the tip of the iceberg. It's up to the Province of Ontario to update their labour legislation and standards but don't hold your breath. Far too many industries thrive on exploiting workers legally or illegally and they've been lobbying government for decades. Similarily ask yourselves where the majority of politicians come from. It's certainly not from the working classes. It's teachers, lawyers and business owners which is why we continue to get legislation and lack of enforcement which suits them just fine.
Monday, August 27, 2012
Last Thursday in the Waterloo Region Record was the first hint of the obvious. The title of the front page article was "Hudak hints at help for Liberals". O.K. so the Liberals have fallen out of bed with the teachers' unions. What an opportunity for the party of anti unionism, pro business and hence anti environment. Yup that would be the Conservatives.
Not a chance they would ever vote against a Bill that would at a minimum slow down the teachers' unions meteoric rise to the top of the money tree. While the Conservative Party has never been my favourite, nevertheless they have been consistent in their opposition to what they see as a powerful, influential union which long ago allowed teachers to forget their primary duty to students. Both the Boards and the Unions have behaved contrary to the public interest and the Liberals belated recognition of this certainly could be interpreted as past failures on their part. My concern is that they are playing politics right now and will make private deals to reward the teachers unions when we hit good financial times again. The teachers meanwhile may have recognized that the pie isn't growing anymore and they want one more bigger share before everybody's paycheques become downsized.
Meanwhile the Teachers' Unions should be realizing that as the average wage and family income is at best stagnant, they can't expect to forever make gains at the taxpayers expense. Good teachers are a fabulous boon to childrens education. Unfortunately as their wages have risen so much higher than the rest of society; far too many people have been drawn into the profession for that reason, rather than due to a real interest in educating our future. That is to the loss of everyone.
Friday, August 24, 2012
Most of the cases I've read about over the last few years regarding unlawful arrest and detainment have been pretty much black and white. This one however, published in today's Waterloo Region Record has considerably more grey in it. The article is titled "Judge finds local police at fault for unlawful arrests of two activists". On appeal a judge sided with Mr. Charney and his friend whereas the first judge, in small claims court, did not. I call this a pyrric victory in that a $500 award for being legally right won't come close to paying the legal bills.
There have been much stronger cases in which the Waterloo Regional Police have exceeded their lawful authority. This is why I am such a fan of Mr. Charney. Almost singlehandedly he has made our local police accountable for their illegal actions. There are a few other lawyers who have stepped up and done good work including Hal Mattson and Wayne Rabley over the years. Tellingly, "Insp. Kevin Thaler, a spokesperson for police, said the decision will be reviewed to determine if changes are required to training, policies or procedures.". The answer is a resounding and obvious YES! It is not illegal for citizens, on foot versus in a car, to refuse to identify themselves or to answer questions from police. This behaviour on its' own, absolutely is not grounds for police to arrest or detain citizens. It's long overdue for Regional Police to smarten up and obey the laws they are sworn to uphold.
To me a far more egregious case of unlawful arrest occurred on Ahrens St. in Kitchener, two years ago. A Waterloo Regional police officer forcefully stopped a gentleman walking on the sidewalk and demanded identification and answers from him. The gentleman refused to oblige or obey and was arrested, stripsearched and held overnight. This was neither the first or last time that our local police took it upon themselves to usurp their authority. They seem to have way too much attitude and ego and resent citizens pointing out exactly where their authority ends. Here is the link to that Waterloo Region Record story.
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Maybe compared to Mexican, Columbian, Turkish and Russian jails they aren't so bad. Maybe. I don't know first hand. I have spent extremely limited time in them thank God. That being said I tell you the fact that I've spent even five seconds in them involuntarily is a damning indictment of our legal system and justice officials. I do not and have never had a criminal conviction. At one time I simply assumed that that was a given and would never change. Boy have my eyes been opened. At one time I thought that "criminal intent" had to be proven in order to get a criminal conviction. Boy have my eyes ever been opened. We now have so many incredible bull shit laws that if the powers to be want you in jail, you are on your way. I was arrested for trespass, thrown in jail and then woken up in the middle of the night and informed that my charge had been "upgraded" to Obstructing Police. Are you kidding me? I asked the guard if perhaps my snoring had upset someone. He was not terribly amused.
This criminal charge was dropped when my local lawyer, Wayne Rabley went to the Crown and gave him an audio recording of an officer at the Elmira Detachment of the Regional Police, giving me the O.K. to pick up my son from Conestogo Public School that afternoon as his mother couldn't make it. The only reason the police were involved was because senior liars at the Waterloo Region District School Board were actively involved in covering up for the inappropriate behaviour of one of their employees.
What kind of sweetheart deal has been going on for decades between the police and school board officials? This nonsense played out over a year until the Crown advised the Regional Police that they the Crown would no longer prosecute me on Trespass charges laid by the police. At that point the Regional Police then advised the Waterloo Region District School Board in writing that they would no longer attend and charge me for Trespass when I showed up appropriately at my son's school. At that point the senior liars at the WRDSB then wrote me a letter advising me that as my behaviour had improved they were now giving me permission to do exactly what I had been doing for the last year without their effing permission.
Throughout this bullshit and nonsense by the school board the Regional Police brass aided and abetted the legal and financial harassment of a citizen. Individual officers attending at the school generally were very professional. It was their superiors who have shamed themselves and the police force. This citizen has learned nothing but contempt for the cowards and bullies at the top of both the school board and the regional police. Our courts and legal system can be abused by petty authorities for the purpose of intimidating and harassing honest citizens whether protecting their children or involved in non violent protest and dissent.
Now I am reading various criticisms of our jails. These include newspaper reports such as the one published in the Waterloo Region Record on August 15/12 titled "Overcrowded jail could lead to violence: union boss". I have also been following a Blog written by Julian Ichim (titled "Julian Ichim") a local, well known activist and social critic. Decades ago I would have automatically dismissed out of hand many of his allegations and conclusions concerning rot and corruption within our political systems. Not anymore. Recently he has published articles about our prison systems and jails. The pettiness and abuse of authority is stunning. One of his published articles mentions the Metro West Detention Centre in Toronto. What shocked me more than the actual allegation was the casual nature of its' mention. The allegation is that guards have killed multiple inmates. While I have zero first hand knowledge, nevertheless I am appalled and concerned. Could this allegation be true? Are our judicial and prison systems no better than those mentioned in the first sentence? Can individual bullies and evil overcome legislation and decency? Unfortunately I do know the answer to that last question. Good people can end up in jail. Innocent people get arrested AND convicted. The state owes an absolute duty to protect from harm those people it determines need to be incarcerated. Jail abuses and if true deaths need to be vigorously investigated and heads should roll including criminal prosecutions of those in charge and control.
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Today's Waterloo Region Record has this story "Liberals set to impose teacher deal". I have been following both this most recent "crisis" as well as our provincial education scene carefully over the last sixteen years since my wife and I experienced our own educational crisis involving our youngest child. In a nutshell I can say this: Both parties deserve to get their teeth kicked in. Currently our eldest is in her final year of a PHD in Biology and my son is in his final year of a Bachelor's degree in Biology. Our daughter did receive enrichment programs and classes in public and high school which probably assisted her in her obvious lifetime pursuit of learning. She did however bump into a couple of ass.... teachers along the way and not coincidentally at almost the same time and school as our son. Make no mistake both of them had far more good teachers than bad and only a couple that I would go so far as to describe as ass..... .
My issue with the School Board is this: they did little or nothing positive to improve the situation and everything possible including lying and manipulation to harass and intimidate many parents and students. Their behaviour went way past disgusting and contemptible. This is why I say that our provincial government should also get figuratively their teeth kicked in. The buck stops at the top and the Education Ministry has enabled decades of self serving behaviour by the School Boards including buying of labour peace and harmony via bribing the teachers and unions with taxpayers money. So finally now that the province is hurting financially they've decided to put on the brakes. All that being said NDP leader Andrea Horvath is correct when she suggests that this is also all about politics. The timing is equisite when you realize that the Liberals would love to win two byelections on September 6 and get a majority government. They were in bed with the teachers unions when it served their purposes and now it doesn't so they are finally doing the right thing. Shame on the lot of them!
Monday, August 20, 2012
The title above is an expression used by a group of dissident Mounties in describing problem Mounties who have been "Handled" for many years by the hierarchy of the RCMP. This dissident group decribe themselves as the "Re-Sergeance Alliance". I first heard of this group from the Cambridge Advocate website. They took some of their information from www.ifpress.com . I also note that a Brian Hutchinson wrote a story about this group on August 15/12 in the National Post. I am constantly amazed at the major newsworthy items which don't seem to get near enough publicity and distribution and this is one of them.
Mr. Hutchinson states that the recently appointed RCMP Comissioner, Mr. Bob Paulson "...has been attempting to mend fences since his appointment as RCMP Comissioner in November. He acknowledges the force needs to be reformed, and that it employs a number of wayward officers who aren't easily dismissed under current rules. He believes proposed changes to the RCMP Act will bring accountability to the internal disciplinary process and will make it easier for him to fire Mounties who commit crimes.".
Good Lord that is incredible! It seems that all parties are on board and stating/confirming that the RCMP has been run very badly and had little or no internal accountability. The Re-Sergeance Alliance perhaps have seen it all before. Maybe this isn't the first time so called reform has been proposed. If so that would explain their criticism and skepticism that this "cleanup" is going to be for real. What blows my mind is how the politicians in control at the federal level could let these issues simmer for so long. How could they allow such allegedly harmful attitudes and behaviours to become so ingrained within the Mounties? The word "corruption" is mentioned once in this article. My experience is that corruption requires at the very least, complacency at higher levels to flourish. This is a disaster that should have been honestly admitted to and properly dealt with a long time ago. Shame on all the responsible senior parties and politicians.
Thursday, August 16, 2012
Yesterday's Waterloo Region Record has two stories on the above topic. The one on the front page (which surprisingly I can't get a link to) is titled "Light rail transit speeds ahead". The one on the next page is titled "Politicians invoke railroad visions". For me the second story is the scary one.
Story number one is simply an update as to ongoing steps in the process. It includes land acquisition and a few surprises that have popped up. Also included are lawyers fees and various consultants required. Apparently senior governments are contributing $565 million while local taxpayers via tax increases are throwing $253 million into the pot. I'm sure the downsized, unemployed, involuntary partimers and fixed incomers are less than overjoyed at this prospect.
Story number two is interesting. The first three words may be less than subtle on the part of the Record. "Big dreaming politicians...". O.K. the fuller context is this: "Big dreaming politicians say trains are the way of the future and referred to everything from Canada's first railway to bullet trains in Japan to make their point Tuesday.". WELL! It gets even more pompous with "Kitchener Mayor Carl Zehr said modern governments don't have the guts for the visionary infrastructure projects that built this country.". Further he referred to the trans Canada railroad when he said "That was nation building.". Well maybe it was but tacitly or subtly implying the same thing for the Region's LRT is pure hokum. Then Mayor Zehr suggested that "...the region's $818 million light rail plan has the same visionary feel.".
All of this is implying that Regional politicians have lots of guts and are far seeing visionaries. My experience has been that the shakier the logic, the greater the solution in search of a problem and the larger the millions being ponied up by the taxpayers; the greater the puffery and bullshit by the politicians. It's probably politically incorrect to suggest this but has anyone else noticed the statistically over representation by short statured males at the Regional Council Chambers? Is there a psychological phenomenon going on? I've always believed that career politicians have varying degrees of personality disorders (at a minimum). Could there be some attempt at overcompensation by short males who more than likely got picked on by cowardly bullies in public and high school? Just asking here! Regardless I don't think I'm the only one out there who sees some major aggrandizing going on at our expense. This community has serious poverty, homelessness, unemployment, health and environmental issues all of which could use and more importantly NEED those hundreds of millions of dollars. They won't get them possibly in order for a few politicians to leave a "legacy" project behind.
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Today's Waterloo Region Record suggests that twelve roundabouts at once along Franklin Blvd. is overdoing it. Today's article is titled "Cambridge Councillor to take on Region over roundabout plan". Cambridge Councillor Nicholas Ermeta is the one who seems to have run out of pateince with the Region. He wonders why three couldn't be built and then study the results. What is of interest is their safety and effectiveness at moving traffic.
Nicholas and other Cambridge Councillors have a point that Cambridge has been on the receiving end of a lot of experiments and decisions courtesy of the Region. This includes rapid transit buses versus light rapid transit trains etc.. This roundabout plan certainly seems to be putting Cambridge into the status of guinea pigs. It seems that not just private citizens but also municipal politicians are running out of patience with the Region always wanting to be ahead of the pack in allegedly innovative plans and directions.
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Somehow in this world wide economic slowdown, recession, downturn or whatever you want to call it; it just doesn't seem likely. The title however in today's Waterloo Region Record is "Farmers say labour shortage reshaping California food industry". Critics of this scenario "...accused them (farmers) of crying wolf to win sympathy for relaxing labour and immigration rules.". Furthermore in California at least "...studies have shown that most workers are immigrants living and working in the country illegally.". Farmers and others are suggesting that better job prospects in Mexico plus stricter enforcement at the border are making large inroads into the supply of labour.
Worker advocates are skeptical because they say the history of the farm industry is one of crying wolf regarding labour supply. Also these advocates suggest that if workers were in such short supply their working conditions and wages would be rising. To date there is no evidence of that. Personally I tend to believe that if you spoil any industry with low wages,and a lack of power for labour, it is inevitable that the labour will be exploited and working under poor conditions. I think that if the price of labour rose, along with the price of fresh fruits and vegetables, then you would see greater supply up to and including more domestic workers.
Monday, August 13, 2012
Today's Waterloo Region Record carrys this story "eHealth CEO Greg Reed takes $81,250 bonus while staff sues". There will be and should be a poitical price to pay for this situation. Two years ago then provincial Minister of Health, David Caplan resigned over the e-Health scandal. Essentially a billion dollars of taxpayers money went down the tubes in a futile attempt to develop electronic health records for Ontario citizens. Obviously one can see the medical benefits to having a centralized, computerized system which health professionals across Ontario could immediately tap into in case of accident, collapse, unconsciousness etc..
Now two years later while still working towards that goal and in the middle of cutbacks and austerity for Ontario/Canada citizens we learn two shocking things. Firstly the new CEO gets a $81,250 BONUS on top of his $329,000 annual salary while the rest of us get hours cut and wages frozen or reduced. Meanwhile we are paying for his wages and bonus out of our pockets. Secondly the rest of the staff at e-Health are suing to have their promised bonuses restored. WTF ! Who other than governments are making promises and commitments for financial increases ahead of time to employees? Similarily who other than politicians and governments are so out of touch with reality that they leave themselves exposed to legal action for undelivered wage increases? Private industry would readily advise suing employees to take their services elsewhere while they are suing their employer. While I'm not justifying harsh private sector reaction to unappreciative employees I am saying that there is a happy medium but apparently our governments can not and never have been able to find it.
Accoording to today's Waterloo Region Record (page B3) a female police officer has been charged with assault over an incident which occurred two days ago. The article is very small with few details although we are advised the incident occurred while the officer was off-duty. She will appear in Kitchener Provincial Court on September 11/12. Obviously no one has been convicted yet but nevertheless I must say that I have been quite shocked by the sheer numbers of our local officers who seem to be getting themselves into various legal difficulties.
Friday, August 10, 2012
In my semi-humble opinion there are two incredible articles in today's local papers. The Woolwich Observer (pg.9) located in Elmira Ontario has an Editor's Notes column titled "Government corruption is all around us, and shows no signs of abating". Wowser! Subtle that is not. Meanwhile today's Waterloo Region Record has this article by Carol Goar "Merger proposal will determine future of organized labour in Canada". Ms. Goar's article, while the title is less provocative and shocking, nevertheless paints for me at least, an incredible turnaround and watershed.
Is there some kind of connection here? Certainly governments of almost all stripes have at best shown antipathy towards the labour movement and at worst downright hostility and even persecution. I believe that there has been an ongoing rise of inappropriate and illegitimate government meddling and authority into all aspects of our lives . I further believe that there has been little or no organized mass opposition to date which has thus emboldened governments at all levels. There is a vacuum here which could well be filled by a group with numbers and money behind them.
Carol Goar's article advises us that at long last two large unions have seriously decided that there slide into oblivion can only be stopped by a huge expansion of their mandate. Instead of looking inwards to benefiting their dues paying members only, they are going to become social activists on a broader scale. They are going to embrace as members groups of citizens long left out. This would include the unemployed, temporary workers, community activists, self-employed, seniors and more. This is the work of the CAW (autoworkers) and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union who have been negotiating a merger and an expanded mandate for many months. Personally I think they are onto something big here.
Back to Steve Kannon of the Woolwich Observer. His litany of government scandals and corruption here in Canada is very scary. His logic and reasoning behind the growing power of both corporations and all levels of government is solid and this unaccountable power is an afront to democracy. Steve states that "Corruption also extends to the selling out of the public interest to corporations, most notably in the abdication of oversight and regulation...". The financial sector throughout North America take some direct hits from Steve again with solid reasons.
Constitutions and laws are mere words which unscrupulous and unethical people manipulate for their own benefit. This process has been ongoing for some time and has developed a momentum of its own. We are all leaving for the next generation a god awful political mess in which morals and ethics and common sense as well as the common good have all been abandoned upon the alter of greed. Politics is no longer about public service it is all about self service.
Wednesday, August 8, 2012
The good news is that the theatre of the absurd doesn't only infect the Canadian judicial system. The Waterloo Region Record back on July 30/12 had this story "Boat captain loses hand, faces gator feeding charge". My first , second and third impression was "Are they nuts?" . The guy's only got two hands. Is this charge a deterrent so that he doesn't risk his remaining hand? Then there is the matter of "feeding an alligator". Is he charged for dangling the fish over the side or is he charged for feeding the alligator his hand? Finally why is he charged with a second-degree misdemeanour for potentially giving the critter indigestion (his hand) but the wildlife officers who tracked and killed the alligator aren't penalized?
Here in Canada at least our judicial system attempt not to behave in a fashion that will bring the administration of justice into disrepute. Of course they fail all the time but at least they are aware that malicious or frivolous law enforcement will reflect very badly upon them. Apparently not so for our south of the border cousins.
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
According to the story in last Friday's (Aug.2/12) Waterloo Region Record "It was "unreasonable in all circumstances" for the federal government to appoint a third-party manager for the financially troubled First Nations community of Attawapiskat, the Federal Court ruled Wednesday." So far so good but then the Court decided to throw a bone to the government by suggesting that there was no political malice nor intent to embarassthe reserve or its members. Give me a break. If it was unreasonable based on all circumstances then clearly the reason was either gross incompetence and stupidity or it was for self serving reasons. That would be self serving political reasons. Keep in mind we are dealing with Conservatives here. Conservative as in anti union, anti welfare, anti gay, anti ...well you get the picture. Prime Minister Harper and his Cabinet decided they could look good on a humanitarian basis while sending a clear message that the reserve were the authors of their own misfortune and they the party of business and industry would bail them out while carefully usurping full financial control of the reserve. That is just about as political as it gets.
Clearly the Court has refuted any suggestion that the band had been mismanaging funds. Furthermore the Court stated "The decision to appoint (Marion) did not respond in a reasonable way to the root of the problems at Attawapiskat nor to the remedies available". It seems obvious to me the federal Conservatives were more interested in the optics of the situation and in "managing" those optics then in solving the problem. This is Canadian politics at their worst.
Monday, August 6, 2012
Politicians don't like it because it reflects badly on the incumbents. Opposition politicians however may see things a little differently. Last Saturday's Waterloo Region Record on page A3 has a story titled "Quebec corruption fighter may shake up election race". Unfortunately the Record don't appear to have this story on line for me to provide a link to.
Jacques Duchesneau is the former Montreal Police chief. He was hired by the Quebec Liberal government to produce a report on illegalities within the Quebec construction industry including illegal funding of political parties as well as bilking of the public purse. This Mr.Duchesneau did but apparently it was a little too sensitive or embarassing for the government who sat on it. Then it suddenly appeared in the hands of the media last fall. Now Premeier Charest has deemed it necessary to call a public inquiry. It turns out that it was the same Mr.Duchesneau who provided the report to a journalist. He claims that he was convinced that the Liberal government wouldn't do anything with it. Ouch!
At this point in time speculation is that Mr. Duchesneau will be running in the upcoming Quebec provincial election under the new Coalition Party. Mr. Duchesneau has two crime reports of which the one still has not seen the light of day. He ties in the construction industry with the Mafia and with illegal political funding. This could be a most interesting upcoming provincial election. Usually in politics bought and paid for consultants stay that way but every once in a while a refreshing surprise comes along.
Friday, August 3, 2012
Rather disappointingly I can't bring up the Waterloo Region Record's story from two days ago (Wed. Aug 1/12) to provide a link to it for the benefit of the readers. The title of the story is "Ornge ex-CEO's defence "nonsense"". Well that's rather bluntly put by provincial Health Minister Deb Matthews. Further quoting the Health Minister "The problem was the leadership at Ornge was more interested in what Ornge could do for them than what they could do for the patients of this province.".
You know the older I get I begin to see a pattern. Governments are all about voter perception not about good governance. Governments are all about "managing" crises not about avoiding or solving them. I am also beginning to suspect that governments put their friends and supporters in these high paying positions hoping that they will be loyal first and foremost. These supporters and friends at the same time seem to have a sense of entitlement. They've been good, loyal friends of the government and now they are going to get a little sugar.
The Ornge air ambulance scandal may yet be the downfall of this Liberal government. It's one thing to throw all the blame on the executives and Board of directors as Deb Matthews has done but who the heck appointed them in the first place? It sure wasn't me and I doubt it was you. It was the McGuinty government. Keep on castigating Chris Mazza and the Board; the least that will happen is that Premier McGuinty will throw Health Minister Matthews out of Cabinet. the worst that will happen is they won't get their majority government and not too far down the line the voters will have had enough.
Thursday, August 2, 2012
Both yesterday's and today's Waterloo Region Record carry stories about the latest lawsuits filed against the Toronto police involving their G20 behaviour. Yesterday's is titled "Police face new G20 lawsuit over "hairy legs" profiling". Today's is titled "$1.4M lawsuit against G20 police alleges sexual discrimination". These are totally different allegations as they concern arrests made the day after the vandalism occurred in downtown toronto. Clearly the Toronto police were still on a rampage of retaliation as they swooped down on a group of people leaving a Yongue St. restaurant. The profiling as per the notebook of one of the police officers had to do with "all parties appear to be protesters; back packs; clothing and females all have hairy legs.". Keep in mind this is the day after the vandalism and detruction. That quote describes the sole "evidence" and reason for arresting, detaining, locking up, searching and depriving Canadian citizens of their liberty.
Rank and file Toronto police were given carte blanche by their superiors to violate the civil rights of citizens in retaliation for the embarassment the police sufferred with police cruisers being torched the day before. This cannot be "fixed" by money. The responsible senior officers and politicians need to have their liberty infringed upon albeit via open courts. Police and politicains across Canada need to know that there are real consequences to unlawful arrest and detention. Real consequences does not mean taxpayers money buying the cops out of trouble. If this is all that happens then I'm sorry but Canada is done as a democracy.
Wednesday, August 1, 2012
This is a very scary case. Last Saturday's (July 28/12) Waterloo Region Record has this story "Former RCMP officer gets no jail time for obstruction". What concerns me above and beyond the appropriate obstruction of justice conviction is everything else that is left unsaid. This officer, namely Cpl. Benjamin Robinson, killed a young motorcyclist with his car. Who was at fault for the accident? That Cpl. Robinson had been drinking was not in dispute but does not necessarily prove his fault for the fatal accident. Unfortunately the vast majority of vehicle fatalities occur with stone sober drivers. HUA was and is the biggest cause of car accidents (HUA- head up ass). The criminal conviction relates to this experienced officer leaving the scene of the accident, ostensibly to take his children home. While at home and prior to returning to the scene he downed a couple more alcoholic beverages. In effect these post accident drinks made it impossible to prove if he was impaired before the accident as any experienced police officer would know.
I said this was a scary case. It gets more so. Cpl Robinson is still before the courts on another totally unrelated charge. Sort of. He is charged with perjury in connection with his testimony at the public inquiry concerning the Polish immigrant's (Mr. Dziekanski) death at the Vancouver airport in 2007. Yup Mr. Robinson was there and indeed was one of the FOUR RCMP officers who took turns tasering Mr. Dziekanski. The one small relief is that Mr. Robinson is no longer a RCMP officer. My question is will he or should he be in jail for either or both of these tragedies? The public deserve to know ALL the facts not half of them.
Yesterday's Waterloo Region Record informs us that despite their other known faults, senior management of the RCMP are also liars. The title is "RCMP sex harassment suit draws hundreds of complaints". Oh now wait a minute . I may be assuming that just because hundreds of women (to date) are claiming sex harassment, that a mere handful of senior male Mounties are lying. Shame on me. Maybe the men are honest and all these women are lying. On the other hand here's a novel idea. Maybe the issue isn't sex harassment. Maybe the issue is why are the male dominated staff at the senior levels not focusing and concentrating on, lets see now, crime, security, citizen protection and old fashioned police work? Have we all heard the old adage that idle hands are the devil's workshop? Could it be that as senior management lose focus on their mandate to the public that inappropriate concerns, biases and directions have been subtly shifted down the chain of command? How else can you explain the apparent focus on making women officers miserable from within the department? This is not an isolated occurrence. It almost sounds like an orchestrated plan to get rid of women officers. Again is the sex harassment merely gender bias run amok or is it a symptom of a much deeper rot permeating the entire institution? Clearly the men are far too focused on "cleansing" their colleagues and restoring the overwhelming maleness necessary for their peace of minds. Internal RCMP problems of this magnitude have been condoned if not tacitly supported at the highest levels. These highest levels also include the political structure behind the Mounties. A house cleaning of both senior management AND of the politicians responsible for overseeing the Mounties is long overdue.