This Blog will discuss politics, government, corruption, police, S.I.U., courts, education, min. of attorney general, min. of labour, v.o.i.c.e. and other current and past events of interest to concerned citizens. In the "About me" section to the right and down I have included the names of persons whom I have tremendous respect for. Their influence on me however has been primarily environmental (and personal) and this is therefore a disclaimer that all words posted on this Blog/Website are mine and I alone am responsible for them. I say this with the greatest respect and affection to my friends.
Friday, August 30, 2013
Today's Waterloo Region Record carrys Luisa D'Amato's Opinion article titled "Province needs to take action to boost math skills". Her final two sentences in her article are "Let's stop wasting time, and start a pilot project that hires specialists to teach math in elementary school. It's what you might call a no-brainer.".
Interestingly and in line with a story in yesterday's Record titled "Students lag in math"; today's story quotes Wilfred Laurier University math professor David Vaughn namely "...the numeracy skills of incoming first-year students are getting worse- even if the students got good marks in high school.". Well dosen't that just tell the tale of our public school board/teachers union fiasco. Apparently school boards are big on hiring general arts grads out of university because they think they will make good teachers. Maybe they might for general arts courses but obviously not so hot for maths and perhaps not even for sciences. God help our brain trusts at the school boards. Obviously the provincial education ministry also hasn't figured out the problem yet.
Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Quite frankly I suspect that the alleged offensive comments by Board Vice-Chair Kim Denouden are no longer the story. She's been reinstated and there is no OCPC (Ontario Civilian Police Commission) investigation. The story is how the Police Board appears quite routinely and as Standard Operating Practice to treat the public as illiterate dummies incapable of grasping nuances. Today's Waterloo Region record carrys this story "Police board facing backlash". How incredibly embarassing for the three police board members on Regional Council to have to sit there while regional councillor Rob Deutshman submits a Motion to appoint a temporary replacement for Kim Denouden while she's allegedly (but in reality not) still suspended from her duties. How embarassing that this allegedly civilian appointee in reality was the defeated North Dumphries Mayor from the last municipal election. How weird is it that Rob Deutschman just happens to be the guy that kicked her out of office and then was trying to get a "temporary" replacement for her because the seat is too important to be left vacant. Hoo boy that's pretty funny when you realize how little they are paid, how seldom they meet and how very little they do. Oh and let's not forget that if they say something offensive to a cop whom they allegedly are overseeing; they can be suspended from their "duties". Regional Council and their board appointees have sure fallen down on this one. As professional politicians they are supposed to be able to keep pretend civilian oversight committees out of harms way. Controversy is for the provincial and federal legislature/parliament not for local politics. Anyhow thank yoy Kim, Rob, Tom and the regional cop who cried to the chief, Matt. You guys have raised the curtains for a peek into what until now has been an invisible committee.
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Today's Waterloo Region Record as expected is carrying this story "Vice-Chair back on police board". Seems Kin Denouden was suspended for all of one meeting. Boy I'll bet that's the last time she comments on a police officer spending too much time in the doughnut shop. Seriously nobody's talking and that's just not right. According to Councillor Tom Galloway and also the Chair of the Police Board "It's a private and confidential matter.". Really? And exactly how are we the public who just happen to pay all the bills over and over again supposed to know that? Ms. Denouden was on board business when she made an allegedly offensive remark to a Waterloo Regional Police officer. I expect when the smoke clears that my doughnut suggestion isn't that far off the mark. If that pettiness is indeed the case then here we have glaring evidence of the total nothingness that passes for civilian oversight of our regional police. The vice-chair verbally offends an officer and the citizens representative is suspended from attending a board meeting. The extent of the offense is so minor that the OCPS (Ontario civilain Police Commission) don't even bother having a hearing over it. Contrary to our regional politicians and Mr. Galloway the public absolutely do have the need and right to know what the hell is going on. Otherwise take your police board and just flush it down the toilet. It has zero transparency, accountability and credibility.
Monday, August 26, 2013
Saturday's Waterloo Region Record has the following story "Probe of police board incident may stay secret". As I was getting the link for this story I noticed that the vice-chair has been restored to the police board and we will see that story in tomorrow's Record. It is all very strange and I would like to know as the Ontario Civilian Police Commission have already concluded their investigation and restored Kim Denouden to her position on the board; then why was she even briefly so suspended?
This police board has never been transparent or accountable to the public and this whole incident is very disturbing. Is the tail wagging the dog when a police board member makes a comment to a police officer and she is suspended until OCOPS do an investigation? Who is in charge here? Apparently the police board could have investigated this incident themselves but chose not to. Why not? Are they that subservient to the Waterloo Region Police Service that they fear their reaction to a dismissal of a complaint against a board member? The public have a right to know who is driving the bus and under what authority. Is our civilian oversight really on such shaky ground that comments from a vice-chair to a police officer can get her suspended? None of this fosters confidence in the public that our police service are under control. Based on the behavior of many officers over the last few years it is becoming clear that they aren't under control. Looking at Toronto are we here in waterloo region headed in the same direction?
Friday, August 23, 2013
Oh my God this woman was a teacher? God help her students and their parents. What an obvious case of arrogance and entitlement. She obviously has fallen for her union's rhetoric about professional teachers this, that and blah,blah,blah. It was also a pleasure seeing former teacher union head and now Cambridge Councillor Donna Reid in court. She seems to have a habit of attending courtrooms with teachers who have acted out. I love that expression because it is part of the edubabble teachers like to use when describing others behaviour. Today's Waterloo Region Record carrys this story "Councillor says drinking didn't cause crash". Of course it didn't Pam. It was the wind, the rain, the darkness, the tires on your car, the lunar tides, tears in your eyes; whatever you want it to be. Afterall you're a former teacher and the folks like Donna Reid told you for years that you were a professional and everybody else was wrong, never you! The police officers testimony and the breathalizer readings shouldn't carry the same weight as that of the word of a former professional educater, now should they? Man up Pam, take your punishment and resign. Constituents can do better than what you've got to offer.
Thursday, August 22, 2013
Ten of the adverse effects were fatal, twenty-six patients had their health severely jeopardized. The real question isn't the number reported, it's the actual number of medication errors per year, per hospital and per region. I've had two close relatives hospitalized in the last five years. Both of them were on the receiving end of medication errors but neither of those would have made a list of severe harm or death. They were lucky, no thanks to the idiots in charge of the medication. Yesterday's Waterloo Region Record has this story "Medication errors led to severe harm or death in 36 Ontario patients in one year, report says". Plus I just recalled a friend died a few years back after a heart attack that saw him get to Grand River Hospital, given blood thinners and then bleed to death on the operating table. There is an old saying that doctors bury their mistakes. I wonder exactly who determines when an error has or has not taken place?
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Today's Waterloo Region Record has this story titled "Chief supports tickets for pot possession". The annual meeting of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police is currently meeting in Winnipeg, Manitoba. They may have come out of the dark ages with their suggestion to limit simple possession of marijuana to tickets only; but could they only have damaged a few hundred thousand more lives first? What about all the minor drug charges that have gone through our Kitchener courthouses this year alone? What about police officers who have been suspended, fired or demoted over simple pot use.
This is the height of hypocrisy. If tickets are appropriate now then they would have been appropriate ten, twenty or fifty years ago. Our courts have been deluged with these petty crimes and our taxpayers overburdened with dealing with them. Now you finally think backing off would be a good idea? Why don't you and your precious courts go f... yourselves? The older I get the more I realize our laws are a joke . They should have quit back at the ten commandments with the exception of the following law. Anybody who makes new laws should face capitol punishment. Hypocritical pricks enforcing stupid laws for decades and turning citizens into criminals for their own financial gain and status. The bunch of you go f... yourselves.
Tuesday, August 20, 2013
The seconde degree murder charges may be a no brainer but charging police with murder doesn't happen very often. The trouble is that when it does happen the conviction results are very low; in fact just about zero. Since the SIU was brought into being in 1990 they've charged ten other police officers with either murder or manslaughter. All were acquitted except one who later had his conviction overturned on appeal. Today's Waterloo Region Record has this story "Officer faces murder charge in shooting death".
It would almost appear as if juries are buffaloed into believing that a guilty verdict will open the floodgates to mayhem in their cities. Do they think that the police will suddenly stop doing their jobs as crime fighters if one of their own is appropriately convicted for mudering a citizen? It is a very strange situation but all eyes will be on this case as they have been from the start. Something needs major fixing with our police forces and far too many citizens have died unecessarily already. This is a perversion of what our police are supposed to be. Also to be addressed is the family's concerns about the other police present namely "Over 20 uniformed police officers were present and no one stepped forward to stop the gun shots or offer any mediation". It is a disgrace from start to finish.
Monday, August 19, 2013
You can't imagine the relief I'm feeling that at long last our Canadian judicial system is getting ready for a tuneup. Actually more than a tuneup; almost an overhaul. Yup by 2030 they believe that "All 31 targets are to be completed...". Wow I'll be a mere eighty years old just in time to sue the school board, regional police, local polluters, municipal council etc.. Oh but wait aren't there statutes of limitations that will let all those professional liars, cheats and thieves off the hook? Anyways at least my children will only be well into middle age when our judicial system finally begins to work properly. Maybe they will see some justice that we've all paid through the noses for and never received.
Oops there's another problem here. This report is written by the Canadian Bar Association. Aren't they a bunch of lawyers afterall? The author Melina Buckley is correct when she states how bad the system is both for civil cases in general and family law cases in particular. Our courts, judges and lawyers should all commit mass suicide for the pain they have unecessarily inflicted on Canadian parents over the decades. But they won't and not because it's illegal either. Today's Waterloo Region Record has this story "Access to justice in Canada "abysmal", law group report says".
Friday, August 16, 2013
Well now things are starting to make a little more sense to me. I knew the U.S. locked up more of their citizens for longer periods of time than other civilized countries but I didn't know why. Steve Kannon's Editorial in today's Woolwich Observer is titled "Ottawa should see that the failing U.S. justice system is no role model". According to Steve, despite massive billions of taxpayers dollars being spent/wasted; in fact the U.S. free enterprise, capitolistic system is at fault. So much of their judicial system has been privatized that in fact each incarcerated person is worth $30,000-40,000 in corporate profits. Therefore we are merely looking at a massive siphoning of tax dollars into corporate hands courtesy of the U.S. government.
Steve basically eviscerates the so called U.S. judicial system. It is a blistering attack upon their credibility, ethics and honesty. It also clearly indicates the essentially rascist nature of the judicial system. Fortunately for the Obama family however it is a combination of both rascism and classism. The U.S. system preys upon the poor and ethnic minorities especially black ones. Makes the Zimmerman/Travon Martin case a little easier to understand as well. It also shows me how and why the Sammy Yatin case in Toronto will probably turn out. Prime Minister Stephen Harper likes to emulate all the bad characteristics south of the border. Thus perhaps we are looking at our own future as well.
Thursday, August 15, 2013
Today's Waterloo Region Record carrys their Editorial "Police board dropped the ball". The Record are clearly and appropriately miffed that the local Police Board did their best to keep this incredible scenario quiet. These Police Boards have the power to hire and fire the Chief and his two deputies. That being said the last time they tried it back in the late 70's or 80's they had a firestorm on their hands. Chief Syd Brown was scapegoated for the sins of the local SWAT team's mishandling of the Henchmen motorcyle club raid. Chief Brown was already being undermined by his unhappy senior staff who had been overlooked for the Chief's job when the Police Board went to the Toronto force and hired their police union head, Syd Brown. They then tried to rectify that alleged mistake by too promptly firing him.
I've said it here before and it bears repeating. This Board does not and never has represented the legitimate interests of the public. With three provincial reps, three regional councillors and one alleged citizen at large, Kim Denouden, who was simply an unemployed former Mayor; the public's interests are ignored. The proof is in the pudding. The Board stated that they had no intent of sharing this problem with the public who are on the receiving end of a long list of failures by our local regional police. The Ontario Civilian Police Commission are supposed to release a report into their investigation of allegedly inappropriate comments by Ms. Denouden. We the public will be lucky to hear anything at all up to and including her replacement, if it ever comes to that.
Wednesday, August 14, 2013
Today's Waterloo Region Record carrys this story "Groups call for action on police shootings". Hundreds of protesters gathered outside police headquarters in Toronto yesterday demanding justice for the shooting and tasering of Sammy Yatin. Apparently there have been coroners' inquests into Toronto police shootings in the past but that their recommendations have not been adopted. It was also suggested by the mother of a police victim that Chief Bill Blair's announcement of a review by retired Justice O'Connor was essentially window dressing. Ruth Schaefer also said that "...police need to have more of an emphasis on de-escalation rather than using force, but what's needed is action, not more studies and inquests.". Amen to that. Whenever our authorities screwup a little they blame the victim but when they screwup big time and get caught then another "study" is required.
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
Isn't that just dandy? Not a public inquiry nor a coroner's inquest but a "review". Meanwhile the cop at the top (Blair) who's always defended police killings in the past is the one to appont Justice O'Connor. What the hell is that all about? What the hell is the mandate of a review? What the hell is this review on top of several others actually supposed to accomplish?
To date there is a mandatory review by the Police Chief (Blair)under the Police Services Act. Then there is the mandatory SIU or Special Investigations Unit investigation when police are involved in a serious injury or death of civilians. Finally the Provincial Ombudsman is also getting into the act. He is looking at what kind of direction Ontario provides police into the defusing of conflict situations.
All of this may very well distract the public from an unpalattable truth. Our police whether through law or practice have been given carte blanche to shoot and kill mentally or emotionally disturbed citizens. That is the bottom line. Obviously in a number of cases there was no immediate physical threat to either the public or police yet murder by cop has been permitted.
Today's Waterloo Region Record carrys the story "Retired judge to conduct rare review into police training, procedures".
Monday, August 12, 2013
Just what exactly the hell is going on? As if our faith and confidence hasn't been eroded by essentially ongoing and neverending police misconduct, from minor to major, and now this? Bruce Tucker, president of the police association (ie. union) states "You don't want to speculate on things like this but it must be pretty significant for her to stand down.". Really? The standing down refers to her being ordered by the OCPC or Ontario Civilian police Commission not to attend the Police Board's July meeting. Meanwhile Councillor Tom Galloway the Police board Chair has stated "...it's clear we're not talking about any criminal activity here. It's a matter of a conversation that someone has complained about.". Councillor and Chair Galloway also stated that "the alleged comments were serious enough that they would be considered a breach of the board's code of conduct if proven true.". Wow a breach of the code of conduct. My personal experience with codes of conduct is that they are a wimpy way to rein someone in who treats people the same way they treat him. In other words they are subjective and often the guilty party throws out that accusation to take the heat off themselves.
O.K. let's reassess. The Police Board are a paper tiger. Always have been. The OCPC aren't exactly a household name known for their outstanding work in keeping cops or anyone else honest. The Waterloo Regional Police Service (WRPS) have been in and out of the media the last few years with one police misadventure after another. Currently since the G20 fiasco in Toronto there have been rumblings about the province actually giving Police Boards some authority and teeth. Meanwhile a middleaged female, former municipal politician says something to offend a cop. And she is being investigated for so doing. Wow she must have asked him something really awful like the size of his pensi(on) for example.
O.K. I admit I'm speculating here but does anybody else suspect that this is much ado about nothing? Is this a little tit for tat going on. Are these children who just can't get along in the sandbox or is there something amiss that the public needs to be aware of? Normally our authority figures are smart enough not to air petty grievances in public because it makes them all look ...well petty. Let's hope we actually find out what is really going on. All of this is in last Saturday's Waterloo Regional Record.
Friday, August 9, 2013
Today's Woolwich Observer carrys this story "Council denys bid to return Al Marshall to CPAC". This occurred last Tuesday evening in Woolwich Council Chambers in Elmira, Ontario. As the story indicates I was both nominated and strongly endorsed by the Chemtura Public Advisory Committee (CPAC) which is a committee of council. Four of the five CPAC members nominated me while the fifth, one Mark Bauman who is also a Woolwich Council member did not. Councillor Bauman then went to an in camera session of Woolwich Council (as well as likely before) to spread his misinformation. At the CPAC in camera session where I was lucky enough to be a fly on the wall, he also used the truth sparingly while embellishing with factually fictitous nonsense at will.
Councillor Bauman is the only surviving member from the last municipal council who were shown the door en masse at the last election. Mark represented St. Jacobs and thus was spared the wrath of the Elmira and rural voters of Woolwich. Councillor Bauman has a long history on the previous several councils which merely went through the motions with their CPAC committee. Chemtura and the Ministry of the environment regularily bragged about how good the old CPAC was. Talk about a dead giveaway that the committee were co-opted.
In the 60's Uniroyal (Chemtura's predecessor) had several employees on the old Elmira Council. That influence has become more subtle over the decades but nevertheless the company maintain a serious influence and political pull in Woolwich and especially Elmira. Some of it is benign such as financial donations to community events and sponserships of sports teams whereas some is less benign. They are a very wealthy and powerful multinational corporation and they have a vested interest in muting or at least minimizing the influence of their biggest critics. Here in town that would be me.
Thursday, August 8, 2013
The Harper Tories have announced that they are going to finally tighten the rules on the temporary foreign worker program. This program has allowed Canadian employers unfettered access to foreign, desperate cheap labour. Cheap is good but for Canadian employers, desperate is even better. There are fewer complaints, fewer sick days, fewer reported injuries and simply fewer headaches. These workers are desperate enough to accept any working and living conditions because they probably still aren't as bad as at home, wherever that might be.
From now on employers must pay a $275 fee for each request to import a foreign worker. Employers can no longer automatically pretend that Spanish speaking is a prerequisite for the job here in Canada. Finally Canadian employers must give the first crack at these jobs to Canadians first. Wow revolutionary! Massive and growing unemployment in Canada was occurring as foreigh workers were being brought in, in record numbers. Essentially our federal government operating on Canadian taxdollars was siphoning that money into the pockets of agricultural and small manufacturing firms by allowing them to discriminate against Canadian citizens in need of jobs. Shameful and oh so Conservative.
Wednesday, August 7, 2013
Perhaps the title would have been more accurate as Emergency Room Bias or Emergency Room Chaos? Regardless today's Waterloo Region Record has a horrific story of a Manitoba man who died unnecessarily after being ignored for 34 hours in a hospital emergency room. The title of the story is "Manitoba inquest investigates why man who died had 34-hour ER wait". Brian Sinclair went to the emergency room of Winnipeg's Health Sciences Centre on Sept. 19, 2008. He had a diagnosed bladder infection which required his catheter being replaced plus antibiotics to fight the infection. He received nothing except a death sentence. Mr. Sinclair was of aboriginal descent and the family lawyer believes that was a factor. This afterall is Winnipeg where even the police have been alleged to drop off inebriated aboriginals in the dead of winter, miles from shelter.
With or without ethnic bias this case is disgusting and horrific. There is currently an inquest under way five years after his death. Similar to the Ashley Smith case here in Waterloo Region, apparently delaying these official investigations gives the guilty parties time to get their stories straight and ducks in a row. Shame on the lot of them. There is no excuse or reason for this kind of behaviour.
Tuesday, August 6, 2013
Last Saturday's Woolwich Observer carrys this Editorial "Latest shooting feeds public's distrust of police". Steve Kannon of the Observer also repeats the nasty history Toronto cops have in regards to shootings of ethnic minorities. He then rightly points out the damage police did to themselves with their behaviour at the G20 Summit. If ever activists were able to shine a light upon police misconduct and police-state rules; that was it. Steve also suggests that Police Chief Bill Blair should have been fired especially during the aftermath as police kettling incidents, incarceration and even beatings were demonstrated.
Similar to my own comments, Steve suggests that Chief Blair now promising to cooperate with the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) is kind of precious. His personal history is one of refusing to cooperate with them in many past incidents. Steve adds "Stories of police misconduct, malfeasance and corruption anywhere-the RCMP, OPP or any municipal department-tars the entire system, and feeds the growing distrust.".
All of this adds up to more accountability being required. Yes this most especially includes our Waterloo Regional Police. They have never been truly accountable to us the citizens much less to so called police boards or regional politicians. It is however regional politicians who have let them get away with murder. Perhaps not on the scale of Toronto cops but who the hell wants to be compared to them anyways?
Friday, August 2, 2013
Today's Waterloo Region Record actually is carrying two seperate stories regarding police cruiser accidents. The first from the front page is titled "Over seven years, 246 police crashes" and the second on page B3 is titled "Guelph aims to improve officer safety". In my opinion, despite the relatively low key writing, both stories are horrific. The second is focusing on the recent tragic death of Officer Jennifer Kovach. She was responding to an officer needs assistance call and while speeding to that call lost control of her vehicle on slippery roads.
Jeff Outhit wrote and researched the crashes on our major commuter routes (regional roads). His numbers do not include city roads or highways therefore his statistics are necessarily on the low side. A total of 64 people in this trimmed survey were injured with half of them being police officers. Apparently officers are at fault 1/3 of the time with commonly driving too close or losing control of their vehicles the cause, presumably due to hurrying to a call or in pursuit of another vehicle. Sixty percent of police collisions occurred on dry roads.
This article suggests that based on number of miles driven that these police crashes aren't out of line. Sorry but I'm not buying that. I think the combination of young age, driving inexperience, adrenaline and a culture that says cops are supermen/women is a very dangerous one. Officers are allowed to exceed the speed limit and I see the results outside my home in Elmira regularily. Cruisers, mostly with lights flashing, are racing by on their way to respond to either a rural accident west of Elmira or possibly in pursuit of a speeder. That said I don't hear or see the speeders. What I see and hear are police cruisers literally going double the speed of the cars that they are pulling over on Church St. west on the edge of Elmira. The time is long past to rein in officers speeding; with only rare exceptions.
Thursday, August 1, 2013
Rodney King, Robert Dziekanski and Sammy Yatim have something in common and that is that police brutality and lying is being exposed. Cell phones and cameras are putting the power back into the hands of the people. If you want to beat and murder individuals then you are going to do it publicly in front of thousands and you will be held accountable. Today's Waterloo Region Record carrys an Editorial titled "Another view: Big Brother is being watched". Some of the quotes from the Record's Editorial are hair raising such as "Some eyebrows would have been raised, given the troubling history of Toronto police shooting mentally ill people in the act of brandishing various household implements (a paring knife, scissors, a small hammer)." A second quote is crystal clear "Videos made it obvious that there was no compelling need for an officer to open fire on the teenager." Does it get any clearer than that? Have Toronto police and police brass learned nothing since the G20 fiasco when they abused the rights of thousands of citizens? Those abuses included unlawful detention and beatings. When did Canada become a third world country and when will it be restored to it's former glory? Shame on the Toronto cops and shame on their so called superiors.