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.
Thursday, May 30, 2013
Today's Waterloo Region Advocate carrys the following story "New employment insurance tribunal lopsided" and is written by Thomas Walkom. He refers to these plans as simply an extension of the Conservatives' war on wages. Decades ago I would have been hardpressed to believe that a Canadian government or any allegedly democratic government could be so blatantly partisan. By partisan I don't necessarily mean favouring one political party or another so much as favouring one class of people versus another. Store owners, businessmen, entrepreneurs, the wealthy, the self employed these are the folks I'm referring to. These are the backbone of the Conservative support and yet they still desperately need the votes of the rest of us to get and maintain political power. Perhaps if we are lucky it will be their us versus them ideology which will be their downfall.
In this specific case Mr. Walkom indicates the "juicy patronage" opportunities of the new social security tribunal. Its' connected members will be well paid and most are Conservatives including failed candidates, riding association chiefs, and Conservative donors. Wow just imagine how sympathetic this group will be to unemployment claims and or appeals regarding Old Age Security and the Canada Pension Plan. Mr. Walkom's point is that this new group are not remotely representative of society as the old one was. Labour in particular are being left out thus stacking the deck. This is mean spirited and come election time I hope voters remember who's been attacking (and postponing) old age pensions as well as umemployment insurance. The Tories are intentionally unravelling the social safety net and they are for the most part doing it quietly.
Wednesday, May 29, 2013
Following is the first sentence in a story published last week (May 24/13) in the Waterloo Region Record. "A man who was almost killed in a police shooting outside his Waterloo apartment was found guilty Thursday of assaulting the officer who pulled the trigger." Now reread that sentence carefully. It's important to know that the shooting victim did not fire a gun nor have one on him. Also while the shooting victim did indeed have weapons they were fortunately not used against the officer. Finally the officer was uninjured albeit after pulling the trigger five times he may have built up a little callous on his forefinger.
I'm going to give a similar albeit hypothetical scenario for thought here. A 155 pound man who is drunk accosts a young, healthy vigorous 200 pound man outside a bar. The drunk is verbally abusive and then follows up by wildly swinging at and missing the younger, bigger man. The 200 pound man defends himself from any followup swings by knocking the drunk unconscious with three or four punches to the head. The drunk spends several days in hospital after sufferring a concussion. The young 200 pounder is completely uninjured in the fracas and exonerated of any wrongdoing as he was not the aggressor.
So here is my question. Under these circumstances would the drunk be charged with assault? If so would it require a complaint from the uninjured youner and bigger man? What judicial purpose does it serve charging and convicting the drunk of assault after he's already spent several days in the hospital as a direct consequence of his misbehaviour? Keep in mind the consequences to the shooting victim were 100 times more serious than those to the drunk although the principle is similar. I simply do not understand exactly what is being accomplished by prosecuting either the drunk or the threatening individual who was shot five times. They both received very rough street justice on the spot.
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
Today's Waterloo Region Record carrys this story "Man claims he was blindsided at G20". A 32 year old man testified that he was peacefully taking photograhs of mounted officers at Queen's Park three years ago when he was beaten and arrested by Toronto police. He received a broken shoulder, bruises, sprains, cuts and scratches. To this day his shoulder is not back to 100% capability. The officer charged is Const. Glenn Weddell of the Toronto police. An independent witness came forward who had seen and partially filmed what he alleges was a completely unprovoked attack by Const. Weddell.
The eye witness and coroboration by the victim paint an extremely disturbing picture of some police behaviour at the G20. While this article refers to this as the first criminal trial of any police officers, in fact there have been both civil as well as Police Act charges heard already. To date a small number of police officers appear to have been out of control and nothing more than street bullies in their behaviour. Above and beyond civil and criminal penalties they must be removed after due process from their jobs as police officers. Anything less and we may as well admit that we are living in a police state that would condone unprovoked attacks upon citizens.
Monday, May 27, 2013
For decades it's been obvious to me that traffic enforcement entails a huge amount of money collection for our regional government. Police enforcement is not about traffic safety it's all about police hiding on roads that have speed limits lower than the roads, cars and weather are quite capable of handling safely. The better the road conditions and visibility the more money the region makes. Again for decades I was appalled as drunk driving accident statistics were being cheerfully ignored by our police every Friday and Saturday night outside our local hotels. All they had to do was sit and watch patrons stumble and shuffle their way to their cars in various hotel parking lots and accost them BEFORE they had an accident on their way home. Apparently that didin't go over to well with legitimate business owners of these fine establishments.
Last Saturday's Waterloo Region Record carrys a story by Jeff Outhit entitled "Red-light cameras fall short". Clearly these too are all about the revenue and shockingly the increases in accidents at these camera intersections are of little significance to our regional officials. 31% more collisions and 51% more injuries AFTER red light cameras were installed is shocking but almost predictable. At $325 a pop drivers panic when the light turns caution and instead of proceeding through the intersection they slam on the brakes and then get clobbered by the guy behind them who doesn't have a chance. Afterall he sees the green light and the empty intersection and the last thing he's expecting is that the idiot in front of him will slam on the brakes a split second after the caution appears.
Now this is the reality today. Traffic enforcement isn't about traffic safety. It's all about speeding and collecting money with the corollary that yes drunken drivers will be stopped and charged as well. Short of that bad driving is virtually ignored. Failure to signal, failure to stay in the right lane unless passing, refusal to move over to let cars onto expressways are all ignored. Slow driving, inattention, stopping at empty roundabouts do not cause tickets to be issued. Are the idiots who hit the brakes as they are entering intersections just as the yellow light appears ever charged? Not a chance. It's the cars immediately behind them who get nailed. By the way talk about a double windfall for the region. They get the guys who are a split second late clearing the intersection AND they get the guys who rearend the brakeslammers who don't understand that yellow means you've got a couple of seconds to clear the intersection. No wonder our regional officials don't want to study the increase in accidents that they have caused based upon idiot drivers who probably have never gotten any tickets whatsoever because they don't speed.
Friday, May 24, 2013
Imagine that. According to yesterday's Waterloo Region Record the RCMP are "disappointed" that a former female member of the Musical Ride would be suing them for their alleged illegal and disgusting behavior. Quite frankly I am disappointed in the RCMP. Between one scandal after another followed by many female members now suing them for their behaviour, they have lost all credibility. Perhaps it's time that new potential female recruits go for their interviews and instead of selling themselves as good candidates for the Mounties they should instead demand heartfelt apologies on behalf of all Canadians for the abject and dismal failure of Canada's once proud force. Their behaviour cannot be tolerated or covered up any longer. Maybe just maybe they've seen the light. If they have and are indeed treating recruits equally then good for them. Just don't expect people to believe in you for a very, very long time.
Thursday, May 23, 2013
O.K. you tell me what's wrong with this scenario. A man is high on drugs, hallucinating, paranoid and obviously mentally unstable by everyone's account. The police officer who shot him multiple times sucessfully escaped any blame whatsoever because he was able to prove that the victim (who nearly died) was irrational to the point of advancing on an armed police officer while holding two knives in his hands.
We have read previously in the Record that Ryan Arcon was only given a 1% chance of surviving the shooting. Obviously he spent months in hospital recovering from his life threatening injuries. Now that he has recovered he is facing five criminal charges including assaulting a police officer and assault with a weapon. The jury are currently deliberating. Deliberating what exactly? Are they deliberating the defendant's sanity at the time the police officer was forced to shoot him? Exactly how obviously mentally ill or incompetent do you have to be to advance on an armed with a gun, trained individual, while you are holding knives?
If Mr. Arcon has been treated for his mental instability and is capable of rentering society without putting others at risk, then that should happen. Why did this case ever go to trial? Does anyone believe that Mr. Arcon had calculated intent at any point in time to do physical injury to anyone? If you have to charge him for anything then charge him with drug possession. These other heavy duty criminal charges are massive overkill. Doesn't everyone think he's already paid an incredible price for doing drugs? The title of today's article in the Record is "Jury weighing evidence at trial of man shot by officer".
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Well I've already seen the Ontario College of Teachers behave inconsistently before, but this is downright weird. They have in their short history been hell on wheels for teachers after the fact. Long after the fact including stripping teachers of their teaching certificates after they were convicted on criminal charges for abusing students. The Ron Archer case certainly comes to mind.
This case is far weirder. According to today's Waterloo Region Record a former teacher at Kitchener's Cameron Heights Collegiate, now retired, has been found guilty of professional misconduct by the college. The College described a relationship he had with a male student as "disgraceful and dishonourable". Furthermore quoting the Record "In the written decision, the panel said (the teacher) failed to maintain the standards of the profession when he abused a student.". At first glance that kind of says everything until we read further and learn that the teacher was never charged criminally and indeed a charge by the College of engaging in sexual abuse of a student was dropped at the hearing.
The appearance is that the teacher maintained a relationship both at school and outside school expressly contrary to the orders of his Principal. Further complicating matters is that the student's parents were involved and except on one occasion seemed to be supportive of the relationship, whatever it may have been. So the teacher retired in 2011 and the College have stripped him of his teaching certificate in 2013. That's not very timely if indeed he was guilty of more than ignoring orders from his Principal. If he wasn't guilty of anything serious then this decision by the College is about a mile past problematic.
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Justice should both be done and seen to be done. Well it isn't and it hasn't been. Carol Goar writes in today's Waterloo Region Record the following Opinion article "Emergency repairs found for a broken justice system.". Ms. Goar is describing our family court system here in Ontario. Her description echoes everything I saw and experienced years ago in my descent into hell ie. our civil law system. If you are independently wealthy and can be represented by a lawyer 100% of the time you can nip in the bud disgusting behaviour by both judges and opposing attorneys. And yes they will take advantage in every way possible, the unrepresented client. Judges will even pretend to be doing the unrepresented party a favour while leaving them and their rights entirely in the dark.
Ms. Goar points out the anachronistic nature of the entire system. She points out the absolutely ridiculous costs involved whether paying for lawyers or even paying court costs on Motions brought by the other party that are blatantly grasping, reaching and or simply irrelevant. Irrelevant at least to the issues in the case although not so much if the idea is simply to drain the other party's pocketbook.
Ms Goar advises of several recommendations that were made by a law professor at the University of Windsor. These would be the "emergency repairs" she refers to. Unfortunately as she indicates they do not "...solve the fundamental problem: courts guarded by a coterie of powerful professionals. But they would make life easier for people seeking justice in a system that treats them as bothersome amateurs.".
Friday, May 17, 2013
Today's Woolwich Observer has this Editorial written by Steve Kannon: "Duffy case shows we're badly in need of Senate reform". Ethics Commissioner Mary Dawson is now involved and is reviewing the Prime Minister's Chief of Staff in regards to paying Duffy's impugned housing expenses.
This latest episode is again putting the spotlight on the Senate. Quoting Steve Kannon "It's even more embarassing given Harper's earlier vows to reform the Senate, promptly ignored upon election when he began stuffing the red chamber with cronies, hacks and failed politicians-58 of them since 2006.". Democracy Watch refers to the Senate as undemocratic, unaccountable, illegitimate and unecessary. Wow that's hardly being subtle.
All of this is too bad because there is a place in Canadian politics for a Senate. What there isn't a place for however is the blatant partisanship and cronyism involved in filling seats. Shame on our politicians for again finding a way to subvert a good idea.
Thursday, May 16, 2013
"The prospect of a $90,000 gift doesn't pass the smell test, said NDP ethics critic Charlie Angus, who called for a full investigation.". This quote and the following posting are based upon today's Waterloo Region Record story titled "Harper's chief of staff bailed out Senator Duffy". What is also interesting is last week's endorsement and praise of Senator Duffy by the Conservatives for his "leadership" in paying back $90,000 of improper housing expenses. Two other Senators are in hot water over housing expenses and the Prime Minister's Office hypocritically suggested that "Mr. Duffy has reimbursed taxpayers for his impugned claims. Mr. Harb and Mr. Brazeau should pay taxpayers back immediately.".
Really! I can just see those two gentlemen phoning the PMO and asking for a small loan to also set their affairs straight. On the surface it would appear as if Mr. Duffy has more and bigger friends at the top of the Conservative party than either Mr. Harb and Mr. Brazeau combined. One could be forgiven for thinking that the sense of entitlement is alive and well in Ottawa. Apparently a Senate seat is only the beginning when it comes to favours and rewards from grateful friends.
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Last Thursday's Elmira Independent has a Letter to the Editor which I have been unsucessful in getting a link to. The title of the letter is "School goes back to the future" and is a mother's opinion of where our public education has gone over the last several decades versus what she sees as "classical education". Classical education was the system used up until perhaps a century ago when so called professionals started to take charge of it. In her opinion the current public school education as she sees through her kids performance (or lack thereof) is not doing a good job.
She recently attended an information session at Fellowship Christian School which I believe is in Winterbourne. My kids went to the former Winterbourne Public School (now closed) and it is a gross understatement to say that my wife and I were appalled at some aspects of our childrens' so called education. Despite one pathetic year both my children have since excelled in academics with my son having graduated from Conestogo College as well as having received an Honours Bachelor of Science from a local university. My daughter recently received her Phd. in Biology from the University of Western Ontario. She received enrichment classes in public school and while she too experienced minor difficulties due to the iron clad tenure of a single teacher; I will admit that her educational needs basically were met through the public education system.
If this parent (Jackie Satnik) chooses to send her children to Fellowship Christian School I expect that they will receive an education based upon commonsense and proven curriculum. Just the expressions edubabble and flavour of the month theories tend to express what some have seen as attempts by school boards and other so called professionals to overly complicate the teaching of our children.
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Today's Waterloo Region Record carrys this story "Life sentences should not apply to children". I just about fell over when I read that headline. What kind of civilized society would sentence a child to life imprisonment for even the worst criminal behaviour? Well according to the Record article, American society does it fairly regularily. Furthermore despite a Supreme Court ruling against life imprisonment without chance of parole, several states have actively stickhandled around the intent of that ruling.
A couple of examples of horrific abuses of children were highlighted including the Dozier home for boys in Florida. The home finally closed in 2011 after decades of abuse and violence by the authorities upon the young residents. Many of these residents crimes consisted of trespassing, stealing cars and running away from home. Apparently the United States lack the idea of juveniles and minors that we have in Canada. True the pendulum can swing too far in both directions but surely the U.S. model is one to be avoided at all costs.
Monday, May 13, 2013
Back on January 9, 2012 I titled a posting as "Larry, Curley and Moe". I was referring to the Ontario Ministries of Labour, Transportation and Environment. My disrespect for these three in particular was primarily based upon my decades long experience with them. For greater in depth detail concerning MOE (Ministry of the Environment) one only has to visit the "Elmira Advocate". Google it or many other environmental issues and up it pops. Curley or the MOT has ticked me off for decades and this includes comments back on Jan. 9/12 as well as their recent behaviour concerning my father-in-law. Some bureaucratic, pompous, arrogant s.o.b lifted his driver's license on a the flimsiest of technicalities. An optometrist unskilled in the art of penmanship messed up a form, corrected it but too late it was in the hands of the MOT. Three years later and he just got his license back after jumping through hoops and loops in Kitchener, London and Toronto. Disgusting behaviour by a government that shoild be serving its' citizens not screwing them at every opportunity.
Larry is the Ministry of Labour. They found an employer at fault in Elmira, Ontario and ordered that they rehire an employee. This they did with obvious reluctance and then made the work environment untenable. The employee quit and went back to the Ministry of Labour who again investigated. This time they not only found against the employer for the second time but also uncovered improper behaviour by the employer regarding a second employee. Because it was a second offence completely contrary to the supposed good faith deal he had made in rehiring the first employee; the Ministry of labour threw the book at him. This time about a $10,000 fine was involved. To date by seizing one bank account approximately $1200 has been paid out of the $10,000 owed. Several years later and the employer has gone bust and his business sold under power of sale. No further monies have been forthcoming. Apparently Ministry of Labour financial orders are paper tigers. I kept asking why they wouldn't take him to court and instead they kept sending a collection company after him. Obviously government ministries orders for past wages etc. have very little legal weight. Rest assurred employers know this and aren't intimidated by them. Aren't non union employees fortunate to have the power of the Ministry of Labour behind them?
Friday, May 10, 2013
Today's Waterloo Region Record carrys this story: "Ex-Laval mayor arrested for gangsterism". Gilles Vaillancourt was known as "The Monarch" for much of his political life. He has now been arrested on numerous criminal charges which include gangsterism ie. directing a criminal organization. For anyone who ever thought that corruption wasn't rampant in Quebec, this last couple of years have been an eyeopener.
The basic corruption revolved around the awarding of public construction projects. Numerous bureaucrats, politicians and construction figures have been charged to date and the extent of the defrauding of the public is massive. Over paying contracts using public money apparently had become an artform. Frankly I was initially skeptical that anyone would rock the boat, implicate themselves or provoke the ire of wealthy criminal groups. Apparently to date I've been wrong as the Commission seems to be hitting paydirt repeatedly.
Thursday, May 9, 2013
First off I suspect that there are rules, conditions and procedures involved. In other words I hope injections aren't given simply as a punitive exercise. Secondly I know there are rules in regards to physically restraining human beings in beds. Hospitals are supposed to be very careful with bed restraints as there are multiple issues including fatal blood clots that can occur. Thirdly I just have to ask about a psychiatrist prescribing antipsychotics and anti-anxiety drugs over the telephone. I suspect that if a psychiatrist in private practice ever did that he could lose his license. Is there some legislation somewhere that says that it's O.K. to prescribe medication by telephone interview with a third party?
Today's Waterloo Region Record has this story "Ashley given several forced injections: inquiry". The inquiry into Ashley Smith's death at the Grandview Institution in Kitchener is still underway in Toronto. Miss Smith asphixiated herself with a ligature while jail guards watched; because they had been ordered not to intervene until she was no longer breathing.
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Todays Waterloo Region Record carrys this story "Ottawa tells research council to move away from basic science". The timing is unfortunate for our federal government in that recently they have been on the receiving end of criticism suggesting that they are anti science. Whether they are or not this announcement will certainly be received differently by business than it will by the scientific community. Science, research and knowledge are all intrinsically valuable in their own right. Often discoveries today don't lead to applications for many years. I think of it as demanding that a creative fiction writer can only write on matters that are currently relevant. Or that anyone involved in creative thought and work must work to somebody else's schedule. It just seems like such a bad idea.
Neverthelss our federal government as well as our minister of state for science and technology believes it is better for Canada in the long run. Obviously the opposition parties are also not much impressed with this recent announcement.
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
Not only does the idea of mandatory sprinklers in nursing homes seem a good idea but I have to ask the question why hasn't it been the law for decades? I actually thought that it was and I'll bet a lot of other Ontarians assumed it was as well. Over the last few years there have been various incidents involving patient to patient violence within nursing homes coming to light. There have been demands for more staffing and coverage during both peak and non-peak hours.
This is one of those Mom and apple pie type issues. Has there been resistance over the years to the idea by lobby groups for nursing homes? Of course it is imposing a cost but we can hardly pretend to be a caring and respectful society towards our elderly without taking basic steps to protect them. Quoting the Record article "There have been at least 45 fire-related deaths in Ontario seniors' homes since 1980.". That is not how our citizens who have contributed a lifetime towards this province and country should meet their final day.
Monday, May 6, 2013
Today's Waterloo Region Record carrys this story "Justice Canada releases damning report". The article is specifically in regards to sexual assault victims and consists of 207 people across Canada being interviewed as to whether they had "...confidence in the police, the courts or the criminal justice system...". Apparently the majority had little or no confidence in the system from start to finish. This is a very bad situation in that our court system likes to suggest that justice must be done and it must be seen to be done.
My first thought is that this survey certainly speaks loudly in regards to sexual assault cases. I'm wondering if the results would be the same with victims of different crimes or better or worse. While I personally have little confidence in our judicial system overall nevertheless I can see difficulties involved with prosecuting sexual assault cases without witnesses, injuries or corroborating evidence.
There are a number of recommendations considered including more thorough investigations, sensitivity training for police and faster processing of complaints. This article is especially thought provokong in light of the recent suicide of a young victim whose alleged attackers had not been charged by police. It is my understanding that further investigation is now underway. This case certainly screams out as one that desperately needed further investigation sooner rather than later.
Friday, May 3, 2013
Saturday's Woolwich Observer carrys this opinion from Editor Steve Kannon "Liberals back NDP auto insurance plan; benefits remain to be seen". According to Steve "We're all overpaying for car insurance, though the industry would have you believe otherwise.". Holy Crap Steve. Are you actually saying that private business would out and out lie to their customers? Is nothing sacred anymore? Steve also suggests that it is "...another step by insurance companies to reduce coverage while continuing to boost rates.". Man so they are actually try to screw us from both ends? Allegedly auto insurance fraud is a big problem in Ontario. Finance Minister Charles Sousa is at least partly buying into that when he suggests "We will crack down on fraud, make roads safer...". Well right off the bat, I can smell the bullshit. The only way to make roads safer is to remove the idiots from them. Notice I say idiots not speeders. You can't drive for five minutes anymore without seeing drivers texting, phoning, lollygagging, turning without signaling and just basically driving with their heads up their butts. And our police do NOTHING! They're much too concerned with speed ticket revenue. The really awful drivers literally just lurch along blocking, delaying and sowing confusion wherever they go; all the while so proud of themselves for being "careful". Their incompetence and lack of sole focus on what they are doing (driving) is way beyond them. And our police do NOTHING!
Meanwhile in Ontario we pay more than the rest of Canada for insurance premiums while receiving less and less. The insurance idustry have clout but apparently they too are more focused on speeders and drinkers and haven't pressured the police to clean up the lazy and incompetent drivers out there who cost us all in the long run.
Thursday, May 2, 2013
O.K. maybe there is about to be a turnaround here. Usually I refer to teachers as spoiled, unappreciative and overpaid. Ah hell let's stick with that. But... at the same time you should hear about teachers' status, wages and standard of living around the world. U.S. teachers get little respect and a whole lot less money. In Scotland where my daughter has been recently the wages for teachers are bad. Now part of this reflects the fact that the Scottish economy consists of sheep, tourism, abandoned coal mines and distillerys. Ouch!
Today's Waterloo Region Record carrys this opinion of Thomas Walkom titled "Tories low-wage goal still in place". Mr. Walkom suggests that recent back pedalling by the Conservatives on their programs to undermine Canadian workers are merely temporary. High immigration, foreign workers programs, outsourcing of jobs to low wage countries are all part of the Conservatives plan to lower domestic wages. Two days ago I posted here quoting the Canadian Chamber of Commerce suggesting that their interests weren't the same as those of working Canadians. Clearly Canadaian business have the ear of the Conservative party whereas labour does not. This would include teachers by the way. Our provincial Tories are just chomping at the bit in their frenzy to kick Ontario teachers back into the stone ages. You would think the Teachers' Unions would keep that spectre front and centre and strive to make nice with the Liberals and the NDP.
Regardless what do you think of a national party whose primary objective is the lowering of the living standard for most citizens? This of course is with the raising of the living standard of the chosen few. Wow! No wonder money flows to the Tories from those chosen few plus unfortunately many others who are ill informed. You know politics is a dirty business. Maybe the Tories simply need to broaden their horizons, promise teachers the sun and moon and then enjoy the financial fruits of the very well off teachers retirement funds. Once again it's politics of the cannibalistic kind. If you can't improve everybody's wealth in today's economy then pick your friends and shaft everybody else.
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
The above headline may surprise a few folks. Here in the Advocate I've given my fair share of criticism to our federal Conservative government on issues ranging from Canadian civil liberties, muzzling of scientists and personal attack ads on politicians. That being said I do know personally a few Conservatives and while I disgree with their politics, I am confident that they are sincere, well meaning people.
Well today's Waterloo Region Record backs that up. Apparently there are even numerous Conservative backbenchers who also don't agree with attack ads whether on television or in flyers. The article in today's Record is titled "More Tory MPs say no to attacks on Trudeau". I am impressed with the ethics of these Tory backbenchers in not participating in the distribution of personal attacks on Trudeau via flyers in their own constituencies. I also am impressed with the number of "...Conservative MPs asserting their autonomy from the party brass.". Recently in Ottawa a number of Conservative MPs have been pushing for greater freedom of speech for backbenchers.
Last but not least I could not help but notice the very last sentence in this story namely "Rathgeber, one of the most outspoken MPs, says he has resisted attempts by staff at the Prime Minister's Office to vet the content of his personal blog.". Wow! This has a personal significance for me. I have another Blog which is focused on environmental issues in Woolwich Township (just north of Kitchener-Waterloo, Ont.). Recently I've been advised that as by far the most knowledgable independent citizen in Woolwich Township in regards to Chemtura (Uniroyal) and the cleanup of the drinking water aquifers; that I will not be appointed by Woolwich Council to the volunteer citizens advisory committee (CPAC) because they don't like my other Blog (Elmira Advocate). Apparently on occasion I've been known to disagree with decisions the local council has made regarding gravel pits, bio-fuel plants etc.. To clarify this opposition to and wish to vet/censor/remove my Blog I should be more specific. It is the mayor and most probably CAO of the Township who are leading this blocking of my attempts to become a CPAC member. Apparently small minds think alike whether at the federal or municipal level.