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.
Wednesday, July 31, 2013
In what universe does police training justify the murder of a distraught teenager? Today's Waterloo Region Record carrys the story of the death of Sammy Yatim namely "Family of shooting victim doesn't blame all police". Some quotes from today's Record: "Yatim can be seen on video pacing the empty streetcar as shouts of "drop the knife" are heard.". Further "Yatim ... can be seen in security camera footage -obtained by Global News- dropping to the ground after the initial volley of shots.". "The security video ...appears to show that Yatim is still on the ground, his leg moving slightly, as six more shots are fired. Police are then seen boarding the streetcar and the sound of a Taser can be heard. The SIU confirmed that a conducted energy weapon was used.".
The streetcar was EMPTY of other passengers when police arrived. The teenager, obviously upset, was pacing INSIDE the bus with a knife in hand. Perhaps the suspended police officer who did the shooting was worried that Sammy Yatim was going to harm himself with the knife. Perhaps he was worried that Sammy Yatim was going to leave the bus and engage with twenty plus highly armed police officers. Perhaps the police officer was trained to shoot a suspect with a knife first, and then ask questions later.
Obviously the officer did not use any discretion whatsoever. Did he make any attempt to deescalate the problem? Obviously he made the decision to kill an eighteen year old boy. Nine shots followed by a Taser??? Maybe the officer had just come from a zombie or other horror film where bullets are not lethal to the bad guys.
This is not the first incidence where individuals desperately in need of help receive it at the end of a gun from police. Sometimes the police legitimately feel their lives are in immediate jeopardy. I can't possibly see how even the most biased, pro police spokespersons can make this case fit that scenario. But they will probably try.
Tuesday, July 30, 2013
Today's Waterloo Region Record carrys this story "Officer faulted for arresting drinker who criticized him". This occurred at the corner of University Ave. and King St. in Waterloo, five years ago. The officer involved charged a David Cormack with being drunk in public only after he and the accused had exchanged words about the officer's driving. In a suit in small claims court against the officer the judge indicated that "...there were no grounds for his arrest and detention."and awarded Mr. Cormack $2,500. Mr. Cormack was represented by lawyer Davin charney who has now won a number of suits in small claims court against local regional officers.
I wonder if and when our police brass are going to wake up and smell the shit. I wonder if and when our pathetic police board are going to wake up and smell the shit. Somehow our police are becoming petty bullies who like to throw their weight around. How many "anomolies" in police behaviour does it take before we realize that these attitudes and behaviour are becoming ubiquitous with our regional police? This is nowhere near the first or the last incidents of bad police behaviour nor are a fraction of them ever pursued. I personally know of two other cases of police abuse of authority resulting in jail time that have not been pursued. It makes me believe that local police have been encouraged to throw their weight around including provoking confrontations. That makes them no more than armed bullies in a street gang.
While very early going in an investigation, it sounds as if the death of an eighteen year old in Toronto at the hands of a police officer, may have some similar elements. To date I've heard the police officer pulled his Taser, a knife was produced and the officer then shot the eighteen year old. The exact order of events has not been proven in a court of law or anywhere else yet. That is the problem. While Police Chief Blair is stating that Toronto police will fully cooperate with the SIU (special investigations unit) that is less than encouraging or likely. The SIU do not have a solid legal authority (by intent) and are often ignored by police when they request information and evidence. Therefore when the Toronto police chief hides behind a toothless tiger, you have to be skeptical.
Monday, July 29, 2013
Today's Waterloo Region Record has this story "Ontario jail overcrowding at 6-year high". More than half of Ontario jails are holding more prisoners than they were designed for. Issues include health and safety in case of emergencies such as fires as well as spread of communicable diseases whether flus or much worse. Also putting three prisoners in cells designed for two with the third inmate sleeping on a mattress on the floor is beyond ridiculous. Some inmates are even beginning to sue the province for the overcrowded conditions. Violence in the cells is also more likely as tempers fray in the overcrowded conditions. One point which really grabbed my attention is this: 2/3rds of prisoners have not been convicted of a criminal offense. They are there on remand which means they are awaiting either a bail hearing or their trial dates. This is asinine. Is it any wonder offenders or even those simply accused have such little respect for the system around them? So much for innocent until proven guilty. This is unreasonable punishment for everyone including those who are not guilty of an offense.
Friday, July 26, 2013
Today's Woolwich Observer carrys the following Editorial by Steve Kannon "Drop TFWs while young people struggle for jobs". Well it's bloody about time that some newspaper spoke to this outrage. TFWs are Temporary Foreign Workers and this federal program has been abused by employers and politicians for years. The employers want the cheapest most subservient labour they can possibly get and the Conservative government are all about the ideology behind bringing in foreign workers. This ideology for years has been the "Oh Canadians won't do the dirty jobs. Canadians won't do the heavy, hot work in the summertime." I'm sure our government, if they could bring in Eskimos, would also be saying that Canadians are such wimps they won't work outdoors in the winter. The reality is and always has been that immigrants and TFWs are here to provide cheap, non-union labour. They are here to keep downward pressure on wages and unions. They are not remotely here for any kind of humanitarian reasons. That's all government bull.... and propaganda.
I am a little disappointed with Steve's reasoning but not with his conclusion. That conclusion is to drop the Temporary Foreign Worker program during this economic turndown and for governments to provide more job assistance to young Canadians .
This of course would come at a price. Young Canadians are not as expendable as foreign workers. Think health & safety legislation that TFWs don't have a clue about but those pesky home grown young Canadians just might. Think about unecessarily appalling living conditions here in Ontario for tobacco pickers from Mexico and other parts. And finally think about the lost psychological advantages to our employers. Right now they can tell foreign workers to work extra hours or else back to Mexico/Latin America you go boys. Young Canadian workers might just tell them to go f... themselves. That kind of independence is precisely what some employers and most Conservatives absolutely abhor. This program is a gift of right wing conservative ideology to well off pro Conservative employers and they like it.
Thursday, July 25, 2013
Luisa D'Amato has an excellent column in today's Waterloo Region Record titled "UW had no business being in Dubai". Luisa points out that Dubai by any modern standards is essentially "cruelly medieval". Gays, unmarried mothers and women in general are treated with contempt by the authorities. Recent atrocities include a young Norwegian woman who reported being raped by a co-worker. She was then arrested and charged with having sex outside of marriage. Impressive logic and thinking by the Dubai authorities wouldn't you say? Six years ago a fifteen year old French boy was raped by a group of men. When he tried to report the assault he was threatened by the authorities with being charged with homosexual acts.
A few years back I suggested it was a bad idea for a young female relative to travel on her own in India. She was very lucky and had no horrible incidents. Since then however the world has come to recognize what awful cultural and legal ethics exist there. Rape is common whereas charges and convictions are rare even when the victim knows who the perpetraters are. There are literally dozens of countries in the world that you could not pay me to travel to. Meanwhile some dim bulbs at U. of W. thought it would be just peachy to set up shop in Dubai. They are now out and as Luisa says they "...should stay out.".
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
I've personally been involved with public consulation here in Elmira, Ontario for twenty-three years. What a disgusting eyeopener. Uniroyal Chemical shut down all our drinking wells back in 1989-1990 due to their disposal of toxic wastes on their site. They did all of this in plain sight of the Ontario Water Resources Commission and then the Ontario Ministry of the Environment. The M.O.E.'s reputation and credibility were in tatters and then along came Varnicolor Chemical, also in Elmira. Things went from bad to worse with M.O.E. employees getting caught tipping off polluters about secret raids as well as other reprehensible behaviour. It took many years before we figured out that the Ministry didn't want to find any other guilty parties in Elmira because they had concluded a secret sweetheart deal with Uniroyal that let both of them off the hook. The M.O.E. didn't get dragged through the rest of the Environmental Appeal Board hearings and in exchange Uniroyal saved hundreds of millions of dollars in cleanup costs. The Ontario M.O.E. indemnified them against unknown contamination (at that time) allegedly undiscovered on their site.
So how else does the M.O.E. gain back public relations ground? Well they promote the formation of both the Varnicolor Liason Committee and the Uniroyal Public Advisory Committee (UPAC). The M.O.E. even went so far as to put their cleanup promises in writing in Control Orders. In the Varnicolor case they then unilaterally amended the Control Order to suit themselves. With Uniroyal they had already privately concluded their October 7, 1991 Settlement agreement aka "sweetheart deal". Unknown to us it superceded the public Control Order issued a month later on November 4, 1991. This was a classic bait and switch. This contemptible behaviour continues even unto the present. Just recently it has become apparent that the M.O.E. and Chemtura (formerly Uniroyal) are circumventing the Chemtura Public Advisory Committee (CPAC) and holding private, confidential talks. The cleanup scheduled for this summer on their south-east corner at GP1 & 2 was negotiated in secret while leaving CPAC completely out of the picture. Clearly Chemtura in exchange for spending money are being given the face saving "voluntary" designation for this cleanup. We are of course talking about the most toxic substances known to mankind, namely dioxins. Also the M.O.E. as part of the bargain are pretending that there no longer are either dioxins or DDT leaving the Chemtura site and moving downstream. Unfortunately the science does not back up either Chemtura or the M.O.E..
Therefore the Ontario M.O.E. use public consultation more as public relations. Thay have no real intent to actually listen to and change environmental cleanups no matter how well informed the local citizens are. It's all a game to them and the only real players are the polluter and the Ministry.
Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Gynne Dyer has written a World Affairs column in the Woolwich Observer titled "Today we're all sitting around like frogs in a pot". This is a very intense, fact filled analysis of the direction the world's food supply is going and it's not a pretty picture. Both droughts and greater heat are predicted to substantially decrease the long term food output throughout the world, both developed and undeveloped. Governments have all been involved in short term thinking with short term goals and been ignoring this looming food crisis. What is even more chilling is the alleged attitudes of the richer countries. As food production plummets they feel that their wealth will buy them the food they need while their military can keep third world refugees or armies at bay. It kind of makes a joke about so called humanitarian reasons for large immigration here in Canada for example. That has always been nonsense but when things get really bad Canada will join her southern big brother in isolating North America from Africa and parts of Asia such as China and India. This kind of reminds me of the British cheerfully buying up what little food the Irish produced while the poorer Irish literally starved to death during the Potatoe fanmine in the 1800's.
This is a bleak scenario and also indicates further hypocrisy as many countries try to reduce the level of private ownership of firearms by their citizens while they themselves are arming to the teeth. Canada's military thank you very much have been expanding nicely under many years of Conservative government.
Monday, July 22, 2013
Amazing how petty people gravitate towards positions of authority, somewhat as pedophiles gravitate towards contact with children eg. boy sprouts, summer camps, residential schools and hoo boy teachers. I threw that last one in there because they've got the strongest union and the biggest chip on their shoulders. Luisa D'Amato has an Opinion Piece in last Saturday's Waterloo Region Record titled "Sometimes rules deserve to be broken". She describes in detail how an idiot federal bureaucrat, paid for by you and I, managed to put a new Canadian in their place, just because he could. It was a classic example of a petty rule and a petty employee exerting what petty authority they had.
My only comment to Luisa is look around carefully and you will find this s... everywhere. This is what this country has become right in front of my eyes, during my lifetime. Quite frankly unionized government employees are amongst the worst offenders. However walk into anyone else's turf and they think you've set your rights aside as you enter the door. The vast majority of these rules are hypocritical and one sided. Municipal governments love to have Codes of Conduct and so do corporations. The fact that the bodies promoting these rules ignore them with impunity doesn't seem to phase them in the least. In the case Luisa has written about an infant in arms was counted as an adult allegedly requiring an extra chair.
This country has become a country of overbearing laws and overbearing rules that bear little or no relevance to either the ten commandments nor to simple respect for others. In fact it seems clear to me that these rules (and laws) are designed to show disrespect for others.
Friday, July 19, 2013
I recently came across a story on-line from the April 30/13 edition of the Cambridge Times. The title is "The line is being drawn in the sand for Ontario's Children Aid Societies". The story is written by Catherine Frei and it is a horror story of abuses of power and authority and children. Worse yet while she quotes other expose's in the National Post and Toronto Star, miraculously nothing seems to have appeared in our local papers. This I find extremely disconcerting.
Bill 110 is before the Ontario legislature and was introduced by the NDP. It has passed first and second readings but this has occurred before only to have the legislature prorogued. The provincial Ombudsman has received over 3,500 complaints against various Ontario CAS's between April 2005 and February 2013. To date the Ombudsman does not have the authority to investigate CASs but we hope that that will change.
Thursday, July 18, 2013
Residential school scandals, Japanese internment, war measures act, CAS abuses, police brutality, Catholic priests sexual abuse and church coverup, wrongful murder convictions; I've only scratched the surface of the list . Most but not all of these are government scandals with clear victims. The victims are children and adults who as citizens of this country thought they had some basic human rights. Apparently not if it's your government behind the abuses.
Yesterday's Waterloo Region Record carrys the latest abomination by a federal canadian government. It's an old scandal so there probably is no one left alive to take responsibility for it now. The title of the story is "Canada's new dirty little secret". The sub-title is "Hungry aboriginal children and adults were subject of nutritional experiments that started in 1942".
Professor Ian Mosby of the University of Guelph researched and wrote the historical article which was recently published. It is beyond shameful what bureaucrats and psuedo scientists felt they had a right to do with desperate, starving aboriginals in Manitoba, Alberta, Ontario, Nova Scotia and British Columbia.
Keep something clearly in mind. Yes Canada like every country has individual pyscopaths. The real threat however to multitudes of Canadians comes from our own governments at all levels. They are sociopaths and pyscopaths with government funded resources behind them.
Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Today's Waterloo Region Record carrys this story "Activists wonder if they're enemies". Seems that a leaked memo dealing with the federal government's recent cabinet shuffle is a tad embarassing. "...the Prime Minister's Office asked ministerial offices to provide a list of unhelpful bureaucrats and "friend or enemy stakeholders" to guide the incoming boss on who to meet and avoid." This memo certainly appears to highlight an us-versus-them style of thinking within the Conservative government. According to Barbara Jackman, a lawyer and immigration activist, "It's petty and childish. And to pass it on to the next minister is more pettiness and childishness.".
Ms. Jackman is absolutely correct. But guess what? Unfortunately our government are made up of human beings and just as clearly as I've often said before it isn't necessarily the cream that rises to the top.
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
The article appeared in the Waterloo Region Record last Saturday. The title is "OPP officer charged over Markdale crash". Apparently it took the province's Special Investigations Unit (SIU) four months to lay a dangerous driving charge but I suppose better late than never. Appearances are that an OPP officer at an impaired driver spot check decided to pursue a nearby snowmobile. Whether he had legal grounds to do so I do not know. The result however was horrific as the officer crashed his car into the moving snowmobile causing severe and life threatening injuries to the rider. Keep in mind the trial has not yet taken place although SIU director Ian Scott is quoted as saying "...he has reasonable grounds to believe the officer committed a criminal offense...".
Is it possible that all our police officers in Ontario should be banned from watching cop shows on television? Is it possible that they occasionally tend to emulate the antics they see displayed by Hollywood. Accurate or not I'm getting a mental picture of an OPP officer thinking he's Starsky & Hutch while in pursuit of a snowmobile. The result was just an inch short of tragic.
Monday, July 15, 2013
Last Saturday's Woolwich Observer has an excellent Editorial by Steve Kannon titled "We're cottoning on to the fact corruption is systemic here, not just elsewhere". Transparency International is a Berlin based organization concerned with corruption worldwide. They have just released their 2013 Global Corruption Barometer and the findings especially as related to Canada are astonishing. Basically they survey 1,000 people in 107 different countries around the world in regards to their perceptions and opinions of corruption in their own country.
Clearly Canadians while still quiet and polite know what is going on around them. Politicians, courts, police and judicial systems do not have the public persona they think they have. Canadians know that when it stinks, that something is rotten and it's usually at the top. The really scary thing is that Canadians confidence and trust in our governments are rapidly plunging. Democracy can not survive forever based upon past deeds and behaviour by our governments at all levels.
Sunday, July 14, 2013
One of my areas of focus in this Blog has been our judicial system here in Ontario. I am about to include an e-mail that I sent earlier this morning to a gentleman at the OCLA or Ontario Civil Liberties Association.
OCLA for SRLs Working Group
Good morning Mr. Rancourt: I found your e-mail on-line, last night, while looking for related matters dealing with a local judge (Robert Reilly) here in Waterloo Region. I would like to receive announcements about the Working Group's activities. I was a self represented litigant in Superior Court ? in Kitchener a number of years ago. I was self represented because I quickly spent what little money I had on numerous frivolous Motions put forth by the teacher suing my wife and I. She of course had the full support of her union, colleagues and the Waterloo Regional District School Board. She and her husband are also very well off (he owns his own company) including having a custom built rural estate. Financially I never had a chance.
Judge Robert Reilly professed nuetrality and fair play at the start of a month long civil trial towards my unrepresented status. It did not happen. Out of the blue decisions such as denying me a jury trial took my breathe away. Asking me in court during the trial whether or not I would appeal a contrary decision surprised me. Refusing to seriously address my complaint during the trial that testimony from a verbal Discovery process was obtained after badgering me repeatedly. I of course was unrepresented during this Discovery? process. I was the last person on the stand (2 or 3 days) for cross-examination and when I was finished I was advised by Judge Reilly to put my wife Betty on the stand foe examination and cross-examination. I advised him that Betty and I had thought it over and decided not to put her on the stand. While she was a co-defendant (co-respondant?) with me there had virtually been zero evidence entered against her during the month long trail, hence our decision. I was frankly shocked by the response of Gary Petker, lawyer for the plaintiff, and by Judge Reilly. They were BOTH angry and upset. Judge Reilly told me that I had to put her on the stand in order to back up my evidence and testimony. By this late in the trial, as naive and totally inexperienced as I was, I had finally begun to believe that I was being railroaded. Therefore I advised Judge Reilly that I had had several nuetral, unbiased parent witnesses testify already on my behalf. If he wouldn't accept the undisputed testimony of citizens unrelated to me by blood or friendship then why would he remotely accept my wife's testimony on my behalf. He and Mr. Petker were very upset. In hindsight I'm pretty certain that as Betty was a co-defendant and they had zero testimony against her. The only purpose in putting her on the stand was to trip her up and attempt to twist her words into something incriminating. They virtually had nothing else on her as she was not and never had been remotely involved in any of my activities .
In Judge Reilly's approximate 86 page decision he totally dismissed all the testimony of six or seven other parents who had had similar problems with the teacher as Betty and I had had. I believed he used the term pied piper in suggesting that I had some influence over them. Most I had never even met prior to our mutual classroom difficulties involving the teacher and our children. Judge Reilly exonerated Betty and found me liable civilly. He awarded what ended up at $603,000 after interest to the teacher to be paid by myself. Obviously I had no funds to appeal his abortion of a decision. I believe that as a SLR (self-represented litigant) I was taken for a vicious ride through the judicial system.
Thank you for your attention and any information/announcements that you can send me.
Sincerely Alan Marshall (519) 6692801
99 Church st. West Elmira, Ontario N3B 3K7
Friday, July 12, 2013
Today's Waterloo Region Record carrys this Opinion piece by Luisa D'Amato titled "LRT car turns heads, but questions remain". This is in reference to a slightly smaller than the real deal train brought to Kitchener for display purposes outside Regional headquarters on Frederick St.. Luisa points out a few positives with LRT such as the seating capacity being triple that of current buses. She also agrees that our current reliance on the automobile and living in the suburbs is not sustainable forever. The current transit model is as follows "...so most of the people who ride buses do so because they don't have cars. Overwhelmingly they're students and people on low incomes.". In order to make this proposed LRT work Luisa suggests that middle-class and high income people will have to live in the downtowns and preferably without cars. If they aren't willing to switch then this is an expensive boondoggle.
Why are our regional politicians overwhelmingly so adamant that this $800 million dollar plus idea is a good one? Yes there will be money from both the feds and the province. It's still about $253 million of local money. Maybe our regional politicians are sold on the idea that they are going down in history as visionaries. The expression is a legacy project. No matter how self serving they may have been along the way this one project will seal their reputations forever. Politicians aren't there to serve the public generally speaking. They are there to serve themselves and their friends. They however want their cake and to eat it. They want it both ways. Help themselves, friends, and those with similar philosophies AND be remembered forever as a father or mother of the LRT. It's a no-brainer folks.
Thursday, July 11, 2013
Today's Waterloo Region Record carrys this story by Allison Auld "RCMP did all it could, watchdog says". The focus of the story deals with whether or not the RCMP in Nova Scotia responded properly to a woman who claimed her her husband had been abusing her. Then in desperation when they allegedly hadn't been protecting her, she attempted to have her husband murdered. Now the story seems to suggest that the RCMP did do the best they could.
For me there's another whole story here and that is the courts involved in her trial for counselling to commit murder. In 2010 the trial judge found her under duress due to abuse and acquitted her. He also suggested she was not receiving appropriate help from the police. That ruling was later upheld by Nova Scotias's Court of Appeal. Finally the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the entire duress defence was bogus and should not have been used much less accepted by the two lower courts. All this leads me to ask what the hell kind of courts do we have in this country. Apparently the woman's husband is asking the same question as he is calling for an inquiry into how the courts handled the case.
Wednesday, July 10, 2013
Well, well, well are we perhaps seeing some cracks in the blue wall here? Granted police officers are unionized almost without fail, which generally speaks volumes about their employers whether upper police management or impotent police commissions. Last Monday's Waterloo Region Record carrys this story "Police chiefs want power to suspend pay". Apparently Ontario is the only province where police chiefs cannot by law stop paycheques to suspended officers. Personally I like that idea as I suspect there is way too much cronyism and favouritism anyways. Why do you think all the officers have a union to protect their interests in the first place? It certainly isn't any expression of faith or confidence in senior mangagement. Also innocent until proven guilty seems fair to me.
There is the rub. Once convicted of a criminal offence should an officer immediately lose their pay or as is currently, only after being sentenced to jail? If not sentenced to jail but dismissed after a hearing under the Police Act is that the time to drop the financial axe? Then of course there are the possible appeals of either a criminal conviction or of a Police Act dismissal. I would agree that right now the balance is tilted way too much in favour of officers who are in trouble. At the same time I don't believe the Police Chief, unilaterally, should be the final arbiter of an officer's livelihood.
I think what galls citizens and taxpayers is the glacial speed of the process. From charges laid, suspension to conviction to dismissal can easily be three or four years. This is far too long to keep an officer on the payroll who eventually is found guilty in criminal court. An officer only up on Police Act charges is a different matter. That I could see waiting until all avenues are exhausted before stopping his pay.
Tuesday, July 9, 2013
Today's Waterloo Region Record carrys this Opinion article by Marco Navarro-Genie titled "Firearms seizure increases mistrust of RCMP". High River Alberta was evacuated due to the terrible flooding which recently hit Calgary and numerous other communities in Alberta. The RCMP however are learning a lesson which should be shared with the rest of Canada. This has to do with "...the purpose of justice is not the blind application of the law but the promotion of fairness and goodness." Our western Mounties ordered homes evacuated and then went door to door allegedly checking to see if people had complied. They then proceeded to enter homes, according to this article, even locked ones. Once inside they purloined/stole/confiscated firearms that had been left behind due to the emergency evacuation order. Nice Eh! Who the hell are you afraid of, a couple of outlaw motorcyclists or the world's largest street gang, namely the police?
Again this article suggests that "in plain view" might actually have included firearms in people's closets. If so then this goes beyond stupidity and enters the realm of extraordinarily bad legislation. The article asks the question "Are the Mounties more interested in boosting their incident report statisitics than in protecting the rights of vulnerable citizens?". I believe that this is a big driver for police enforcement everywhere. Afterall continually dropping criminal activity literally costs the top cops big money at budget time. Our national police force seem hell bent on destroying their own credibility and trust across Canada. Job poorly done Mounties.
Monday, July 8, 2013
Yesterday's Waterloo Region Record has an Opinion piece by Luisa D'Amato titled "Child protection gets short shrift from province". Pretty clearly Luisa's title says it all as to whom she believes are doing things properly. In no uncertain terms Luisa would rather err on the side of potentially overprotecting (& overspending) when it comes to child welfare. Her first sentence is "Show me a family where the father beats up the mother, and I'll show you their emotionally abused child.".
Maybe there's some semantics involved here. I would suggest that show me a father who's been accused of assaulting his wife and I'll show you a very bad family situation where probably everybody, adults and children, are sufferring emotionally, whether there was an assault or not.
In principle I agree with Luisa. In practice, human institutions and bureaucracies routinely run out of control. Their behaviour while espousing motherhood and apple pie is only constrained by legitimate accountability and transparency. FCS are currently under attack in Ontario for overstepping their authority and overeaching in some cases.
Friday, July 5, 2013
Well I am pleased and proud of our Waterloo Region Record. Today's Editorial is titled "Lay down the law for our police". In no uncertain terms the Record make it plain that the behaviour of numerous officers over a long period of time is not only unacceptable but that Police Chief Matt Torrigan needs to do more and say more to resolve these stains upon the force. "Yes, a few bad apples-10 in total-do not mean the entire department, with more than 700 officers, is rotten.". Agreed and that is a very valid point. However the Record also rightly point out the following "But the public needs to know the department treats its reputation as something that must be held sacred by its officers. And the public needs to know the department is doing its best to discipline or dismiss every bad apple.".
For a start sweeping transgressions under the rug via settling civil suits with taxpayers money is not O.K. It is especially not O.K. when these same civil suits have gag clauses in them. In other words when the police are at fault, paying off complainants firstly with taxpayers money and then uping the payout by insisting on confidentiality (gag) clauses is beyond the pale. The Regional Police do their reputation more damage with that kind of coverup than if they released the judge's decision or the settlement agreement itself.
Thursday, July 4, 2013
Today's Waterloo Region Record carrys a story titled "Man felt humiliated after police shared nude photos of him". This of course deals with the same issue as yesterday's posting here regarding former Officer Knox. I was a little skeptical as to the motivation behind the lawsuit and suggested that as the officer had both been convicted and fired from his job for his behaviour that the lawsuit was "piling on". Well I've reconsidered after today's story in the Record. One I believe that the victim involved has been seriously hurt by this incident and more should be done to help him whether it's a lawsuit or something else. Secondly I must admit that I am moved by the comments of Police Chief Matt Torrigan. The victim's lawyer, Davin Charney, suggests that this incident as well as other recent ones point to a "...troubling police culture that goes beyond one bad apple.". I believe that Mr. Charney has hit the nail on the head and while Chief Torrigan is strongly denying any systemic problem, nevertheless he and others are saying the words "systemic problem". Perhaps this lawsuit is needed as the final impetus towards reform of our current police culture. I'm referring to issues such as the blue wall as well as macho issues whereby officers don't ever admit to psychological problems including stress.
Wednesday, July 3, 2013
Civil law can be and often times is nothing more than a petty, financially well off individual getting payback with full legal impunity from the courts and the police. It is a disgustingly contemptible set of rules allowing one piece of shit individual to harass and eventually steal money from another. Why do you think that moral and ethical groups such as Mennonites avoid the courts ? The expression voting with your feet comes into play as they stay away from our judicial system like the plague. Generally speaking if you've been victimized and you haven't got bottomless pockets, then feel free to go to court and get victimized all over again.
Today's Waterloo Region Record carrys this story "Lawsuit over nude photos seeks $900,000 from regional police". This story was in the Record last year in conjunction with criminal charges of Breach of Trust and Obstruction of Justice against Officer Knox of our Waterloo Regional Police. Now don't get me wrong but Officer Knox is a real piece of work. While on a call he took photos of a man sleeping in the nude in his own home and then shared them with a few select fellow officers. For his disgusting behaviour Officer Knox has been punished including losing his job and I believe being convicted on the two mentioned criminal charges. Two other officers were also implicated including one whose only sin was trying to get his brother officer off the hook.
So using civil law terminology yes you have a cause of action. Officer Knox took photos in a private residence of an individual sleeping in the nude and distributed them with other officers. My question is what difference does money now make in this case? The officer was charged, convicted and fired. Is this civil suit anything more than piling on? Is this civil suit just a legal method of harassing an already severely punished human being for their bad behaviour?
Tuesday, July 2, 2013
Our local FCS has come under appropriate criticism for their part in things like the Jesse Sansone case. In this instance a young father was arrested and charged because one idiot teacher and one idiot FCS overeacted to a crayon drawing by a young child showing her father protecting her from a "bad guy". The father in the drawing had a gun. Similarily the Julian Ichim website often has major criticism of the FCS for allegedly overeacting and stepping in and seizing children unecessarily. Saturday's Waterloo Region Record carrys this story "Child welfare agency too quick to intervene: audit".One interesting quote from the provincial audit is there are "more admissions per 1,000 children than other child-welfare agencies in similar-sized communities...".
I see some conflict between the provincial agency and our local one. I truly don't have all the facts and am hesitant to suggest as to how significant these findings in the audit are. That being said I am sure that there are local families who have had their children seized perhaps prematurely or inappropriately. I still think there needs to be more accountability of our local FCS but don't know if this audit will be helpful or not.
Monday, July 1, 2013
Late last week the Waterloo Region Record published this story by Colin Perkel about Ashley Smith namely "Prison reports altered, inquest hears". Launa Smith a senior manager testified that she was ordered by the warden of the Grand Valley Institute in Kitchener to alter use of force reports. The warden at the time was Brinda Wilson-Demuth and allegedly she did not want "...the reports flagged by regional or national headquarters as indicative of a problem at the prison.". Apparently this strategy worked for Wilson-Demuth, career wise, as she received a major promotion in the spring of 2007. It obviously didn't work quite so well for Ashley Smith who later died.
We are still waiting to see if the regional or national headquarters were ultimately responsible for the directives at the ground level which ultimately killed Ashley Smith.