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, September 28, 2012
I'm starting to get discouraged. I'm even questioning my own long standing beliefs that police officers who get in trouble need to be held accountable and it needs to be done publicly. Wednesday's Waterloo Region Record has a very short story telling us that an unidentified officer while off-duty has been charged with sexual assault. At this point it's an allegation, however he has been charged. I don't even want to start adding up how many local officers have faced either criminal or Police Act charges in the last few years. What the hell is going on?
Yesterday's Waterloo Region Record carrys an opinion piece by Carol Goar titled "Are we shrugging off PM's rewriting of the rules of democracy?". She is referring to the introduction of yet another federal government Omnibus Bill. The first was done last spring in regards to the budget yet contained legislation affecting environmental reviews, charities and so much more. This one just introduced, deals with free trade bills, exporting resources and business enhancing tax credits. These Omnibus Bills in a majority government situation make a mockery of democracy. There is not enough time for them to be carefully discussed and debated in the House of Commons simply based on their size and complexity. Prime Minister Harper is counting on Canadians being too worried about jobs and the economy to get involved. Those few who do make themselves informed will be dismissed as a minority of activists and troublemakers. Carol Goar is correct. Our democracy is under attack and not by terrorists or external forces. It is our own leaders and authority figures who continue to chip away at democracy in this country.
Thursday, September 27, 2012
Today's Waterloo Region Record tells us the sad and immature story of half a dozen regional police officers. The title of the story is "Police demoted after mocking public". One officer has been fired as well as charged criminally for voyeurism, breach of trust and obstruction of justice. Many of the other officers simply failed to distance themselves and or report his outrageous behaviour.
Diane Wood is the long time court reporter who has written this story. While some of the behaviour of these officers is merely immature a couple of incidents go well beyond that. One is in regard to using confidential police information about citizens and passing it along with gratuitous comments to his police friends. Another incident involves stealing and or photographing embarassing items while on a call at a suicidal woman's home. Clearly the public deserves not to be victimized by police officers whom they have called for help.
I find this story to be both bad news as well as good. The good is very simple. It appears that when these actions came to light, Waterloo Regional Police superiors were appropriately shocked and then took steps to disciplne and denounce this behaviour. Also I am pleased to see that both the criminal charges and the Police Act charges have been dealt with publicly, so that the victims as well as all citizens can regain confidence that this egregious, nasty and immature behaviour never again tarnishes the reputation of our local police force.
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
The Harper government have been found wanting by the courts in last Mondays Waterloo Region Record article titled "Obscene waste of taxpayers' money". Apparently the Conservative government has no problem sending young patriotic Canadians into harms way but they forgot to tell them that if they get injured, Ottawa will do their best to screw them out of their disability pensions. The waste of taxpayers' money refers to Ottawa spending money on lawyers for the purpose of clawing back military pensions. Shame on the hypocritical, lying bastards. I may disagree with sending our forces into sketchy parts of the world for even sketchier purposes but by God if they are there representing Canada and are injured then they deserve the very best care and pensions possible.
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Or more $$$ maybe depending upon who and how the calculations are done. Today's Waterloo Region Record has the story "Deal to move gas plant costs $40M". The announcement by provincial energy minister Chris Bentley came hours before the government was forced to release 36,000 pages of documents about two cancelled gas plants, one in Oakville and one in Mississauga. The cancellation of the Mississauga plant ocurred days before the last provincial election AFTER construction was well underway. The Opposition referred to the two decisions as "A Liberal seat-saver program".
The scandal has only been magnified by the Liberals refusal to make documents available to a legislative committee and indeed the Speaker of the Legislature had to order the government to make the documents available. Keep in mind that this was public taxpayers money spent to make things right with TransCanada Energy and construction firms who were out millions of dollars due to the government's reneging on promises and contracts. This is one more scandal the Liberals appropriately will wear into the next provincial election.
Monday, September 24, 2012
I have long viewed Julian Ichim as our local canary in the coal mine. We all know the old adage not to poke and prod the bear. In his case the "bear" that he deliberately pokes and prods is our democratically elected government, supposedly run by the people , for the people. Julian is an avowed Marxist-Leninist. Personally I couldn't care less if he was an avowed spiritualist who believed that all human life should be ruled by radio waves coming from Mars. He doesn't accept the inequality and hypocrisy of our free enterprise, capitolistic, democratic society and he's not alone. Unfortunately for him and other activists they are primarily alone when it comes to speaking out and standing up for their views and beliefs. Thus they become easy targets. Last Thursday's (Sept. 20/12) Waterloo Region Record carrys this story: "Julian Ichim to stand trial over blog post about officer".
If nothing else I believe that Julian has exposed the pettiness and human weaknesses within our system of government. All our legislation is written in such a fashion as to appear, at least on the surface, as noble, honest, truthful and proper. The problem is that petty, deceitful, selfish, lying human beings are in charge of the judicial system. Obviously not 100% of any subset of human beings are dishonest and deceitful. The old joke however that 98% of lawyers/politicians give all the rest a bad name isn't that far off the mark. It is not the noble and honest among us who generally aspire to either public office or to positions of power and authority. It is those whose character desperately requires the constant "fix" of authority and power who so aspire. They learn how to camoflage their ambition and need to be in charge. They hide behind "public service" and other aphorisms to justify themselves and their goals. Their only real goal is self.
The Julian Ichims of this world are viewed as a threat by people of this ilk. These people are offended by the lack of respect and deference they receive by Julian and other likeminded people. Politicians are pettiness incarnate. Criticism for them is always personal. It is at this point that abuse of authority rears its' ugly head. Those in authority feel and believe that this disrespect of the position (and of them personally) can not be tolerated. Partly as a deterrent to others and partly just to hit back they abuse their authority by using the apparatus of the state to attack specific activists. More than likely the Maude Barlow's and David Suzuki's are beyond reach of petty state attacks. The Julian Ichim's are not.
Julian's alleged "crime" in this case is ridiculous. An undercover police officer infiltrated the local group of human rights activists of which Julian was involved. This police officer used a psudonym of course and befriended Julian and others. It appears to me that the extent of this officer's contribution to lawfulness and public safety, all at taxpayers expense, consisted of hurting Julian's feelings through his pretend friendship towards Julian. These hurt feelings of course resulted in Julian writing about this individual's lying behaviour in his Blog. Of course this police officer is a liar. That's precisely what he was told to do by his superiors. Nevertheless Julian "identified" the undercover officer by his alias. Not by publishing his real name but by publishing his alias which the officer was freely identifying himself as. For that Julian is facing jail time. By the way the officer has since been identified by a number of major national newspapers, both by his alias and by his real name. It seems however that our judicial authorities and politcal presence above them are not want to waste taxpayers money chasing national reporters and newspapers who have the funds to defend themselves in court. Nope they're going after Julian who will be defending himself in court.
As I said at the beginning: Julian is the canary in the coalmine. Look around yourselves. Look at your friends, colleagues and relatives. Freedom is lost one step at a time and this is a very big step. Whose unpopular opinions and actions are next to be squashed by an overzealous state and the petty individuals hiding behind it?
Friday, September 21, 2012
The Waterloo Region Record has had back to back stories on this second attempt to get the Ashley Smith inquest off the ground. Yesterday's article is titled "Second attempt at Smith inquest" and today's story is titled "Parties seek standing at Ashley Smith inquest". For me the discouraging and disgusting factor is the time delay. The government personnel involved in taking FIVE years to get this important and crucial inquest underway, should be charged, fired and eventually spend time in an institution similar to the ones Ashley Smith served time in.
She died by suffocation in front of multiple authority figues on October 19, 2007 at the Grand Valley Institute for Women, in Kitchener. No one has been held responsible and no one has been charged or fired for standing idly by and watching her die. She was nineteen years old and in desperate need of psychiatric help. Instead our Correctional Services kept adding to her sentence and putting her in solitary confinement. "There will not be a silver bullet for what ails (the Correctional Service of Canada)," said Richard Macklin, the lawyer representing the office of the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth. Kim Pate of the Elizabeth Fry Society stated "We continue down the path of criminalizing and imprisoning people who really have other issues.".
Why do I believe that this is just one more unaccountable government agency that does exactly what it stupidly and bloody well pleases? Clearly the people involved AT THE TOP care nothing for right and wrong, justice or even decent human behaviour. It's just like so many other bureaucratic institutions worried about their personal status, power and authority. There is no real oversight or accountability until an avoidable disaster or tragedy strikes and even then the powers that be delay, obfuscate and muddy the waters to hide the government's ultimate negligence and lack of caring. Shame on all the responsible and guilty parties from Ottawa down to Kitchener and all the other institutions in between where Ashley Smith did time.
Thursday, September 20, 2012
Today's Waterloo Region Record is no treat for Premier McGuinty. Peter Shawn Taylor has an Opinion piece titled "McGuinty's folly rides our school buses" and Luisa D'Amato has her Opinion piece titled "Liberal law is eroding trustees' influence".
Mr Taylor strongly makes the case that science and honest research do not and never have supported extending kindergarten and junior kindergarten to full days. It is in his opinion "...misguided, unproductive and entirely unaffordable.". The Drummond Report had strongly suggested ending the full day experiment. That recommendation was ignored as were the behavioral experts thoughts about young children further developing attachment bonds at home or in a family setting.
Luisa D'Amato comes at her criticism of the Liberals somewhat differently. She is suggesting that our provincial government are slowly emasculating our Trustees. She is correct of course but oddly seems to feel that that is in error. My personal experience with Trustees is that the good ones without a preset bias are in a tiny minority and are constantly being overuled by those with political agendas or worse yet political aspirations. Think of Liz Witmer and Catherine Fife for starters locally.
In the final analysis Luisa asks why we just don't get rid of Trustees altogether as they are a sham and only a shadow government. Peter Taylor wants to get rid of all day school for our youngest students and feels that this would also cut down on the number of students being dropped off in the wrong locations by bus drivers, early in the school year. My opinion is that they are both right.
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Today's Waterloo Region Record advises us that another judge has struck down a section of the 2008 Omnibus Crime Bill. Justice Alan Bryant of Ontario superior Court has declared unconstituional the section dealing with dangerous offenders. The title of the Record article is "Part of Tory crime law struck down by judge".
The section involved dealt with changing the onus of proof from the Crown to the defendant. "Tradionally the crown had to prove several requirements before someone is designated a dangerous offender, including a pattern of dangerous behaviour or likelihood of causing pain through a failure to control sexual impulses.". A prime example of this was the sucessdful designation of Paul Bernardo. With the new law the Conservatives passed "All the crown had to prove was that the offender was convicted of those (3) offences and was sentenced to at least two years. The offender then had to try to prove that he or she did not have a pattern of dangerous behaviour."
While there understandably is very little sympathy for convicted violent offenders nevertheless the designation of a dangerous offender means a felon can be given an indeterminate sentence and thus be locked up for life. Indeed there are cases where this is necessary (Bernardo) however the Crown had no difficulty proving their case with him and the idea of reversing the onus of proof is contrary to the Canadian constituion.
What I find strange is the apparent poor legal advice the governing Conservatives seem to be receiving. Why pass legislation that is unconstituional in the first place? Is it possible that they are trying to rewrite the constituion via the back door? If no one opposes them and takes their legislation to court do they then get a free pass to do as they please? The good news is that someone cared enough to challenge this change. Currently a single conviction of manslaughter or murder wouldn't come close to a life sentence. Therefore a dangerous offender designation based upon three convictions with only two year sentences seems well out of proportion.
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Maybe we are overdue for the Orange Wave here in Ontario. That being said it is a couple of Tory backbenchers who have turned up the heat on the McGuinty Liberal government and good for them for so doing. Last Saturday's Waterloo Region Record carried Luisa D'Amato's Opinion piece titled "Cambridge MPP "doing his job" by demanding documents". This article relates back to the Liberal campaign team's decision to scuttle the already underway gas plant in Mississauga just prior to the provincial election. That decision will cost Ontario taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation to the company with the signed contracts. The opposition parties rightly referred to the decision as part of the "Liberal seat saver program". Apparently Rob leone of Cambridge and Michael Harris of Kitchener are making damn nuisances of themselves by actually taking the job of opposition members seriously. They are appropriately demanding the release of documents from the Liberals which would assist both the opposition and the public to better understand and judge that pre election decision as well as the prior one in 2010 in Oakville. Quoting Rob Leone "What citizens want is accountability and transparency in government," , "They want information. It's about getting to the bottom of the issue.". Mr. Leone is correct and I only hope that when he, Mr. Harris and the rest of the Conservatives are back in power that they follow their own current advice. My opinion is that the Liberals are overdue for a visit to the Opposition side of the Legislature but will it be the NDP or the Tories in power? Was our local by-election an anomoly or the bellweather of things to come?
Monday, September 17, 2012
Saturday's Waterloo Region Record carrys this story "Danger rides our school buses". Clearly when a number of children from three to four years old are let off unsupervised at the wrong stop, then something is badly broken. Are our highly paid brain trusts in fact half so clever as they would have us believe if they can't figure out that very young children are not responsible for their own safety and security; that it is adults who are. Is the system of contracting out bus servies to private companies at fault? Whatever, the responsibility still rests with the School Boards. Parents send their children to school to educate and prepare them for the world; not to intimidate and terrify them by abandoning them on the side of the road in a strange neighbourhood. School Boards fix this problem now and fix it right the first time. Maybe if you focused on your core mandate, that would be children not unions and politics, you might accomplish far more and have more public support.
Friday, September 14, 2012
The cases of Canadians being mistreated and abused via allegations of terrorism are still rising. Yesterday's Waterloo Region Record has this article "Reasons for 12-year detention getting murky". Please no investigation takes twelve years unless you aren't trying or you are intentionally delaying all along. In this case evidence has been established that Egyptian Security forces under the former President Mubarak routinely invented plots by their political opponents simply as excuses to round them up. In this particular instance the individual involved has been in Canada since 1995 and either in jail or under house arrest here since 2000. Thomas Walkom in his article raises excellent questions as to the competence and integrity of cabinet ministers involved with the security certificate process.
CSIS also has dirty hands. The Canadian Security and Intelligence Service gained much of its' "intelligence" from the likes of torture loving despots including Egyptian ones. The older I get the more embarassed and ashamed I am of being a citizen of a country whose government is able to rationalize unjust, unethical and immoral treatment of human beings. This would include the Ottawa area engineer Arar, the child soldier Khadr and now this Egytian born person who came to Canada as a refugee. Good Lord our justice system is in enough trouble as it is but to literally have two sets of rules for two classes of citizens and residents is worse than pathetic. It's a public embarassment and I'm old enough to remember when Canada was known around the world as a moral and ethical country. Not so much anymore.
Thursday, September 13, 2012
Today's Waterloo Region Record advises us that 283 workers died in Pakistan. Not in a year and not in a decade. The title of the article is "283 killed in factory fires; lax safety blamed". 258 died in a Karachi factory fire and 25 more in a different factory in Lahore on the same night! Many of those dead were "...trapped behind locked doors and barred windows- highlighting the atrocious working conditions in a country where workplaces often lack basic safety equipment and owners bribe officials to ignore the violations.". A local analyst was quoted as saying the fire was one of the deadliest in the country's history and "It is reflective of the utter collapse of regulation and the enforcement of labour laws in the country".
Closer to home where it's easier to look smugly down our noses at "backward" countries around the world we have this tiny article in yesterday's Waterloo Region Record: "Death of migrant worker 13th in Ontario this year". The 38 year old Mexican migrant worker died at an orchard operation in Prince Edward County. Last spring we had multiple fatalities of migrant workers in Hampstead, just west of Kitchener. Our wonderful Ontario Ministry of Labour are investigating. They are about twice as effective as our Ministry of Environment which isn't saying much at all. The question in my mind is what direction are we going in? Is Pakistan improving and moving towards a Canadian model of on the job health and safety or is the new economy, fewer and weaker unions and mass unemployment leading Ontario and Canada in the direction of third world countries? If capitolism, free enterprise and right wing politicians have their way we will join places like India, Vietnam and Pakistan where labour is cheap and life has even less value to the powerful.
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Congratulations to Luisa D'Amato for her Opinion piece in today's Waterloo Region Record titled "Teachers must keep students away from this fight". I would characterize it as one of the most beautiful and eloquent testimonials to teachers that I've ever read. This is coming from a reporter who has literally years of experience on the education beat at the Record and who has seen both the best and the worst our education system has to offer. She has written scathingly about various flavour of the month educational theories as well as having covered various nasty legal setbacks to the reputation of our educational system. For example I wish the Ron Archer scandal and criminal conviction was the only one but alas it is not.
Luisa basically tells teachers what many already know and that is that good teachers literally are caring for the citizens of our future. Their influence is monumental. She advises them that overall they have earned huge public respect and they have been compensated very, very well by the school boards (read taxpayers). She also advises them to take the high road despite Premier McGuinty's "heavy-handed" Putting Students First Act. Yours truly has been extremely critical of one of the local school boards and also of the various teachers' unions. That being said I agree with everything Luisa is saying and I would be thrilled to see the teachers take the high road in this dispute with the provincial government.
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
The Waterloo Region Record ticks me off the way they change the titles on their newspaper articles, as the day unfolds. What started as "Hudak blames unions for PC loss to NDP" morphed into something about "...union muscle...". It makes it difficult to provide links to their stories when they keep changing their titles. Anyways yes of course any group or lobby has some power, as in more power than any one individual. It is a little disingenuous however for Mr. Hudak to be referring to public sector unions as "...dangerous and ominous for the province to see that power on display.". Oh God yes; just look at how union power has ruled us politically in this province for what...four years back in the early 90's. Federally it's even worse. Aren't the danged NDP and unions?...what in opposition?
I will say this. I like Tim Hudak. Don't mistake me here. I'd never vote for the prick. I just like him because occasionally he actually speaks bluntly and truthfully. Conservatives would cheerfully chew off somebody else's arm in order to ban unionism outright. They'd love to find a way to stickhandle around the right of free association. They hate the Rand formula and yes there are occasional bad employers out there but all the workers and non elites have to do is change jobs to get better conditions and wages. Everybody can be as ruthless as Henry Ford or the Rockefellers and become millionaires. The world is so simple for Conservatives and they just can't grasp that for every good job there are a hundred crappy ones. As long as they and their friends get the good ones then what's the problem?
Yes the public sector unions and the provincial NDP backed Catherine Fife big time and provided 700 volunteers. Somebody give me 700 volunteers (plus $$$) and watch me get elected. What also helped of course is that both McGuinty (Liberal) and Hudak (Conservative) drove union support directly to the NDP. And finally get over it, it was a by-election. Maybe she will get re-elected and maybe she won't. Pretending however that unions and labour have too much power is simply untruthful and ridiculous. Unionism has never been so weakened throughout North America as it is now. Can they come back from the brink? Maybe but they've actually got to do more for labour in general and not be so ridiculously myopic in legitimate matters concerning employee misconduct and incompetence. Backing the bad apples no matter what weakens unions' credibilty and their legitimacy. Fix that and maybe, just maybe they can make gains in the labour force. In other words seize the moral high ground from employers. That really shouldn't be so difficult.
Monday, September 10, 2012
Saturday's Waterloo Region Record has a heart breaking story on the front page. The title is "Grieving mother questions hospital". As this is literally front page news I don't know why I can't get a link to it via the Record's website. Regardless the sub title further describes the thrust of this story namely: "Son's death spurs call for inquiry into care at Cambridge Memorial". "Her son was 25 years old. "He died in in June in Cambridge Memorial Hospital, a week after being admitted for an overdose." The mother wants accountability for her son's death as various aspects of her son's care including several days in restraints seem suspicious. A 2008 coroner's inquest into the death of a mental health patient from similar causes, in Toronto, noted the "potential lethality" of physical restraints and called for their use only when absolutely necessary and for the shortest time possible.
When an eighty or ninety year old person dies in hospital, no one is particularily surprised. A twenty-five year old who has been admitted due to an overdose should not be dying a week later and after several days of being in restraints. Clearly this case calls out for an honest, open inquiry into all the facts. The problem is that this is Ontario. Political "considerations" will arise. These include public confidence in our institutions. In an ideal scenario, transparency, accountability and openness would prevail. If this grieving mother had a few million dollars behind her she could assure herself of justice and transparency. Otherwise as I stated, this is Ontario.
Friday, September 7, 2012
I've been resisting mightily criticizing the McGuinty Liberal government for their plans to rein in teachers' extravagant pay and benefits. Well actually in fact I suppose I've more or less said a pox on both their houses. I guess I've made it clear that I think the former best buddys deserve each other. McGuinty is throwing the teachers under the bus for political reasons ie. he thinks that finally public sentiment is against them and so he's finally going to do what he should have done a long time ago.
The problem is how he's going about it. Today's Waterloo Region Record has this story "Hearings on contentious teachers' bill wrap up after less than 24 hours". In that article "Andrew Lokan, counsel to the Canadian Civil liberties Association, said the bill is unconstituional and undemocratic by quashing the right to strike." Further he added "The government has called this bill the Putting Students First Act, but a more honest title would be "Putting Democracy Last," . Yeah even I had to admit the hypocrisy in the name of that bill.
Two wrongs don't make a right. The system of negotiated settlements between School Boards and the teachers' unions is pathetic, incestuous and self serving. In other words just about the same as McGuinty's partisan, self serving Putting Students First Act. A pox on both their houses.
Thursday, September 6, 2012
Today's Waterloo Region Record gives us the exciting news that once again our taxes will take a hit based upon increased security staff for our new downtown Courthouse. Odd isn't it that we only hear about this permanent addition to the police budget at this late date? Currently the annual policing budget for Waterloo Region is $125.7 million. Wow! Compared to provincial health care and education it's an absolute bargain. Of course while those services are received regionally and municipally they are paid for at the provincila level. Policing on the other hand is paid out of local tax revenues. Mind you who are we kidding. Whether municipal, regional, provincial or federal, it's all the same taxpayers.
Check out the math of $1 million dollars divided by 18 special constables. That's over $50,000 per constable per year to start. Not bad presumably for high school grads followed by a two year college course in Law and Security or Police Foundations. Absolutely nothing is too good for our legal and judicial systems. Afterall we now have over 300 police officers on the regional force earning more than $100,000 per year. When will this craziness stop? Currently, belatedly Premier McGuinty has decided that teachers and doctors need to suck it up somewhat. He has already served notice that police and firefighters are next. All of them are long overdue however if they are smart they will keep their mouths shut, take their medicine and wait for the economy to pick up. Then they can go right back to overcharging for their services the always beleagured taxpayers.
Wednesday, September 5, 2012
This article was in the Waterloo Region Record on August 14/12. The title was "Lawyers warn reforms will strain legal system". Federal Justice Minister, Rob Nicholson, has essentially turned down the request for greater legal aid funding for lawyers and the accused. The Record states "Members of the association's national council maintain federal tough-on-crime legislation will mean more trials and more jail time for more accused in an already strained system. The council passed a resolution over the weekend urging Ottawa for the review.". Dan MacRury of the Bar Association further added "It's clear that the new laws are going to put an increased demand on all the players in the criminal justice system". He suggested that federal monetary increases have gone into police forces and the building of jails.
There certainly is money available to the justice system. Just look at that nearly finished monstousity in downtown Kitchener. I drive by it occasionally and all I can think is the millions of taxpayer dollars going into buildings and infrastructure. Those do not guarantee justice. Never have and never will. People can improve justice if they aren't grossly outnumbered by those more into self-interest. The older I get the more I see how human institutions become overun with the latter. Public accountability is an anachronism to be given lip service only to.
Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Well Jay Lebo has done what probably he was told to do by his parents as a child. That is to tell the truth no matter the cost. Well this is Canada and if his allegations are truthful his future career has probably taken a nose dive. Here in Canada whistleblowers are routinely rewarded with defamation of their character and financial assasination. Last Thursday's (Aug. 30/12) Waterloo Region Record carrys this story "Ordered to mislead auditors: ex-aide".
Mr. Lebo while testifying at Ontario legislative committee hearings stated in regards to backdating documents that that "...was the only time I was asked to do something illegal. It was not the only time I was asked to do something morally wrong.".
Clearly this testimony will not assist the most senior people within Ornge although it may back the provincial government's claim that Ornge was a rogue organization.
Monday, September 3, 2012
Last Thursday's Waterloo Region Record carrys this story "Date set for Ashley Smith hearing". The time frames and delays are of course intentional. It is not in the government's interest nor in the interest of our judicial and penal systems to look into the facts surrounding this tragedy. Ashley Smith was a nineteen year old girl originally arrested at age thirteen for throwing crab apples at a postal worker whom she thought had intentionally delayed delivering a cheque to a welfare recipient. She spent most of her teenaged years in custody, courtesy of our political, judicial and penal systems.
Her time in custody had nothing to do with her original "criminal" behaviour and everything to do with her reaction to spending her teen years in jail and huge amounts of that time in isolation. Isolation is a nasty and brutal way of punishing those already being punished with the loss of their freedom and everything else. Isolation is all about power and control and human beings in positions of power and authority need it to be constantly validated. This is done by abusing their authority routinely with those who are powerless and under their control. It is by demanding acknowledgement of their superiority and control at all times.
Canada should be ashamed of how they treated Ashley Smith. Our authorities certainly are not. They continue their attempts to manage this crisis with no remorse and no incentive to avoid it happening again. All they want to do is prove that they played by their stupid rules and that no one in particular behaved in a negligent fashion. They will probably succeed in "proving" that a teenaged girl held in captivity and isolation for years and months was the author of her own misfortune. That their rules permitted, indeed demanded that the guards stand there and watch her suffocate to death will be glossed over. There should be at a minimum manslaughter charges laid against the responsible persons and that means not only the ones at ground zero but especially those in charge; making and enforcing inhumane rules.