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, December 31, 2014
Today's Waterloo Region Record carrys this story "Verdun can't spend winter in Barbados, judge rules". Yesterday at the Ontario Court of Appeal Judge Benotto turned down Mr. Verdun's request for a stay of his seven month house arrest. While the lawyer for Robert Astley had a lot to say and numerous quotes in the Record, very little of the Judge's comments were quoted. Again the issue dealt with Mr. Verdun's position that his wife does much better with her back ailments by spending the winter in warmer weather. Again lawyer Brian Radnoff had a lot to say about that albeit simply with opinion evidence versus anything substantial. I am aware that OHIP are not particularily helpful in the case of certain kinds of relatively common back surgeries. Ontarians sometimes get the surgery done in nearby U.S. cities in order to obtain relief in a reasonable amount of time. Whether Mr. Verdun's wife's health problems can or will eventually require surgery I have no idea. In the meantime I am somewhat surprised that her age was not taken more into account as well as her husband being her caregiver.
Tuesday, December 30, 2014
Today's Waterloo Region Record carrys this article titled "Verdun seeking sentencing stay in latest contempt of court case". While I had initially thought reading this article that the Record had come around and were at least writing neutrally, I was wrong. They had indicated that Mr. Verdun and his wife were in Europe seeking therapies for his wife's serious back problems. That is an improvement in their biased writing. Two paragraphs later however they are right back at their Verdun bashing by quoting the judge's rude and egregious remarks towards Bob Verdun. There was no mention that Mr. Verdun's wife suffers less back pain in a warmer climate than she does here in the winter. At the very least if the Record are going to continue quoting unaccountable judges cheap shots they could at least include Mr. Verdun's comments or reasons for his requests and or behaviour.
Monday, December 29, 2014
While the Fact-Finding Panel on Herbicide 2,4,5-T here in Ontario is better than nothing, that's about it. Their mandate was set by the Ontario government and it was set far too narrowly. While the health issue certainly is very important; an attempt to quantify it decades after the fact and based upon incomplete records, anecdotal evidence etc. can only accomplish so much. That said I have found some of the more factual parts of their report to date, very interesting.
What I am having trouble with is the alleged inability to indicate who manufactured the Agent Orange and what health guarantees or studies preceded it. It is one very bad thing to be dousing civilains halfway around the world with these chemicals during a wartime situation but it's another whole kind of worse to be dousing civilains whether employees or simply nearby residents with these chemicals simply to make more profits for the forestry industry. Similarily use along Hydro transmission lines, railroad tracks and highways boggles the mind. By the mid 60s there was growing evidence of the harm these herbicides were doing to Vietnamese civilians. Why were our provincial government still spraying here up until 1979? Was our government being lobbied by the chemical industry to keep things going?
I think that a judicial inquiry is what is needed. The public have a right to know who profited directly from the continued use of Agent Orange in Ontario. The public have a right to know what influence the chemical industry had in Ontario that they could peddle their toxic and poisonous products here. Is it simply that private profits carry that much more sway than public health?
Saturday, December 27, 2014
Recently I received an e-mail which included a link to an on-line article titled "Rogue Courts in Canada Trample Self-Represented Litigants". The article was in a website titled "Dissident Voice" written by Denis Rancourt. The link to the article was http://dissidentvoice.org/2014/09rogue-courts-in-canada-trample-self-represented-litigants/ .
Mr. Racourt chairs the Self-Represented Litigants Committee of the Ontario Civil Liberties Association. The OCLA has done excellent work over the decades in Ontario. Personally I had a taste of horrendously bad, perverse and hypocritical justice via Superior Court and justice robert reilly back in 1999. What a complete horse's ass that man was.
At the time I felt that it was simply my bad luck to have been inflicted with a biased, idiotic judge unfit to judge my dog much less human behaviour . Then I heard and read about how the courts treated Bob Verdun. The Libel suit was bad enough but the following criminal contempt of court convictions were disgraceful behaviour by the courts. Then after I learned that the OCLA were investigating unrepresented litigants and how these litigants were treated by the courts I began to see the scope of the whole thing.
Clearly our courts have fallen in love with their own puffery. Clearly they have lost their way morally and ethically. How much of this is due to being unaccountable versus how much is due to certain types of personalities being attracted to law I don't know. Pedophiles are attracted to professions and activities which give them access to children. Bullies and people of low character are attracted to politics and the law perhaps?
Wednesday, December 24, 2014
Governmental negligence and blatant stupidity have caused unknown quantities of pain and suffering world wide. Ontario and Canada are not exempt. While kowtowing to monied and powerful interests, here at home, they have subjected not only strangers to horrible deaths but even probably their own friends and relatives.
There is evidence in the 60s and 70s that both governmental aerial spraying as well as private spraying of herbicides was done directly onto young Canadians in the woods and fields below. When Ontario Hydro were warning their employees as early as 1954 not to inhale the spray or get it on their faces; clearly there were health concerns from hunman exposure. These behaviours and the non prevention of them amount to criminal negligence at the very least.
Here in Elmira, Ontario we can not understand how our Ministry of the Environment could have looked the other way at overwhelming evidence of off-site leakage of DDT and Dioxins with eventual discharge into the Canagagigue Creek by Uniroyal Chemical. Then to add insult to injury the M.O.E.C.C. again looked the other way while a manmade Drain was installed in approximately 1985, technically on the neighbour's property but running parallel to the Uniroyal property and within twenty feet of it in places. This Drain has drained the wetlands which were the initial holding area of these persistent organic polutants (POPs). This information was discovered in May of this year and to date all we've received are blank stares and denials of knowledge. Such unadulterated bullshit. Add to this it now appears that while the public were demanding adherence to the 1991 Control Order which stipulated 100% hydraulic containment of all aquifers on the Uniroyal site; the company were secretly constructing a groundwater collection system on the east side to divert grossly contaminated groundwater again onto the neighbours property with discharge to the creek via the Drain. This alleged groundwater collection system has of course been denied by the company, now called Chemtura. It was publicly presented to the Chemtura Public Advisory Committee (CPAC) two months ago and since that time various excuses have been half heartedly put forward by both Chemtura and the M.O.E.C.C.. The evidence for this alleged collection system is satellite photos showing lines, scars or trenches on their property going back to the 90s.
In hindsight and with recent knowledge that our provincial government was actively involved with the spraying of Agent Orange throughout Ontario from 1949 until 1979, their behaviour becomes clearer. After transmitting Dioxins for three decades and exposing citizens to their effects, one can understand why now they don't want to reopen that can of worms. The Fact-Finding Panel has focused on provincial government participation but as usual thse studies conveniently ignore all the other sources of exposure, some of which are briefly mentioned. These would include private use by farmers and municipal use to control weeds within municipal boundaries. It would seem that a heavily funded health care system would be the only atonement our provincial government, past and present are willing to consider.
Tuesday, December 23, 2014
DDT, Diacetyl, Thalidomide, P.C.B.s, Agent Orange (Dioxins), Parathion and Lord knows how many others that I can't rhyme off the top of my head. Cambodia, Serbia, Nazi Germany, China, Rwanda and again the list goes on. You can see where I'm going here. Yes every country has their "mass murderers" but really they don't even come close to the talents and abilities of governments to draw blood and commit carnage on a huge scale. If we added in all the countries who have ever been involved in a war with others then the list probably covers half the countries in the world. If we added in all the countries who have promoted toxic chemicals as being "safe" for their citizens we might even cover the other half.
Back in 2011 we were advised that various Ontario government Ministrys had been involved in spraying Agent Orange within Ontario for weed and brush control. That was horrible although at the time it was suggested that it had been used in northern Ontario along Hydro transmission lines and in other northern Ontario areas to discourage underbrush growth while stimulating production of commercially beneficial tree species.
The reality is dramatically different. The Fact-Finding Panel on Herbicide 2,4,5-T gave their Report to the Ontario legislature back in June 2013. The Ministry of Natural Resources, Ministry of Transport and Ontario Hydro led the provincial Ministrys in applying 2,4,5-T and its' Dioxin contaminant (2,3,7,8 TCDD) throughout the province. This not only included the previously mentioned locales but also included 90% of the highways in southern Ontario as well as Ontario Hydro transmission lines and sub stations throughout southern Ontario. Then we have the pronouncement by this Panel that municipalities throughout Ontario used probably at least twice as much 2,4,5-T as the provincial Ministrys combined. Good Lord!
As early as 1954 Ontario Hydro were warning their sprayers not to inhale or even get the spray on their faces. By the mid 1960's Agent Orange and its effects were raising alarms in Vietnam. By the mid 70s the disaster from Dioxin contaminated Agent Orange was becoming common knowledge. Class action lawsuits were being filed by U.S. servicemen against their federal government in the 1980s. The spraying in Ontario with both provincial and federal approval ran from 1949/50 until 1979. Typical of culpable governments everywhere Ontario are using the Fact-Finding Panel to give themselves wriggle room. Science has long been used and abused by industry and government to give the appearance of transparency when the exact opposite is the intent. Injured and prematurely dead can thank their own governments for misusing and abusing the trust put in them by their citizens. Accountability doesn't exist in a democracy so figure out the free rein undemocratic governments enjoy. As always the innocent pay the price.
Monday, December 22, 2014
Jeff Outhit wrote the following article (Road Ahead) in last Saturday's Waterloo Region Record titled "Governments used secrecy to stifle timely debate on light rail". Apparently reporter Jeff Outhit and the Record have been filing FOI (freedom of information ) requests regarding Light Rail Transit for the last few years. Unsucessfully. Our governments from Regional, Provincial to Federal are all very secretive and have no problem simply saying no to FOI requests. Apparently just because we the taxpayers foot the bill isn't a good enough reason to supply us with the logic or rationale for decisions costing us hundreds of millions of dollars. Isn't democracy grand?
Friday, December 19, 2014
The November 22/14 Waterloo Region Record carried this story titled "Hamilton Tory admits trying to vote twice in last federal election". Is it merely coincidence that Robocalls was a Conservative party fraud and now we have a former president of the Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale provincial Conservative Association trying to vote twice in the last federal election? Or is this just S.O.P. for Conservatives wherever they can get away with it?
Bryan Vanderkruk apparently felt that if voting in an advance poll on April 23, 2011 was good then voting again on the day of the federal election (May 2, 2011) was even better. Fortunately he got caught and rather than be charged with a criminal offense he has been let go after agreeing to sign a declaration of his voting misdeeds. These "compliance agreements" are voluntary deals with the Commissioner of Canada Elections and avoids a criminal charge and conviction.
I just wish I had confidence that this individual has learned his lesson here. I also hope that his name is flagged for careful scrutiny at future elections. If he abides by the agreement and doesn't repeat his deed then the leniency shown him will not have been wasted.
Thursday, December 18, 2014
Last Friday's Waterloo Region Record carried this story "Ontario replaces G20 secret law with bill to protect courts, power plants". The G20 "secret law" allegedly permitted unconstitutional police tactics such as the "kettling" of hundreds of honest citizens in Toronto four and a half years ago. That was and will remain a stain on both Toronto and Canada for a very long time. This new law replaces a Second World War law that was designed to protect important infrastructure during a time of war from saboteurs. The Police misrepresented it and abused its' intent for their own purposes at the G20 Summit in Toronto.
The new law is designed to specifically protect nuclear power plants, electrical generating stations and courthouses. The provincial NDP have some problems with it regarding the possibility of cars transporting persons to courthouses being subject to searching without probable cause. This would be a reduction in citizens current civil rights. All in all both the province and the police handled themselves very badly at and before the G20 Summit and further scrutiny is an absolute must to preserve citizens freedom from governmental tyranny.
Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Today's Waterloo Region Record carrys the following story "Police pitch 3.65% budget increase". Last year the regional police budget was $140 million which was a four percent increase from the previous year. This year they want $146 million. That said Tom Galloway, the Police Board Chair, is counter suggesting a miniscule reduction of $450,000 from the proposed $6 million increase Waterloo Regional Police are looking for. Keep in mind that allegedly 92% of the budget is for salaries and benefits. That is clearly where cuts need to be made but instead they are discussing $20,000 in improved lunches for prisoners out of a $146 million budget. . For the love of God give them decent lunches but start trimming either employee numbers, benefits, salaries or all three. This pensioner sure as hell can't afford neverending tax increases and neither can most others.
Tuesday, December 16, 2014
The above title is the same one as in last Friday's Waterloo Region Record. All the honest parties around the Ashley Smith Inquest are condemning the behaviour of the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC). Apparently they are fully confident in their immunity from serious accountability. Otherwise they would have been desperately looking for any way possible to make amends or at least take some steps in recognition of their disgusting policies and behaviour which ended in the death of Ashley Smith. Apparently in Canada killing one person gets you serious jail time but doing it repeatedly via provoking suicide through mistreatment of incarcerated citizens does not.
From Ashley Smith's mother to Kim Pate of the Elizabeth Fry Society, the condemnation of Canadian federal prison authorities is unrelenting as it should be. From repeated prison transfers, years of solitary confinement and bureaucratic walls preventing visits after transfers the abuse of inmates was and is unrelenting. Our federal Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney, may he rot somewhere in isolation, did nothing but make excuses for the CSC. The authorities can't even seem to admit that solitary confinement is exactly that. They think that wordsmithing it into "administrative segregation" makes it better. It does not. It is cruel and unusual treatment and our prison authorities as well as senior federal bureaucrats desperately need to develop some morals and ethics.
Monday, December 15, 2014
This is but one more piece of wood to throw on the fires of radicalism and violence. When will our self serving, pompous bureaucrats, politicians and administrators ever learn? They want their cake and eat it to. They demand due process, respectful communications and condemn vandalism, violent protests and even disrespectful comments about themselves, all the while disrespecting those very same people who play by the rules in the Canadian way.
Last Saturday's Waterloo Region Record carrys this article "Tories blasted over Ashley Smith". Both Correctional Services Canada (CSC) and the federal government are used interchangeably in this article criticizing the rejection of some of the most significant recommendations which arose from the Ashley Smith Inquest. In particular recommendations meant to deter the ongoing use of solitary confinement as punishment have been rejected by the CSC and apparently their political masters. Other issues such as "institutional charges" which can ridiculously magnify the jail time for inmates who entered the system with as little as 30 day sentences need to be reexamined.
The CSC report is outrageous. It is the CSC and the government essentially saying the same things as they did during the iquest namely that there is nothing wrong with how they operate. This is the problem with giving respect to either a government or a federal prison system which has long ago proven they do not deserve respect much less consideration. May the Steven Harper Conservative government reform the federal prison system before Canadian citizens do it for them. May I live long enough to see that day.
Friday, December 12, 2014
Whether those governments are socialistic, communistic, democratic, monarchys or just plain dictatorships they are all contemptible. Democratically elected governments are merely the recipients of votes from uninformed and ill informed citizens subjected to public relations campaigns, puffery and brazen lying. In other words either the best liars are elcted or the candidates who have gone the longest without being caught lying, cheating or stealing. Recent bad behaviour during an election campaign usually results in a loss although even that is no guarantee.
As if there was any doubt as to the moral vacuum in the United States we have just been blessed with a Senate Report advising us that the U.S. government are complicit in the use of torture. While they may claim that the CIA misled U.S. politicians, the only way for that to ring true is to brng the guilty parties to justice. In other words criminal charges and trials of any and all who looked the other way or were directly involved in physical mistreatment of captives. There need be no debate as to whether solitary confinement, sleep deprivation, rectal rehydration or waterboarding are defined as "torture" or not. All those behviours are brutal and should not be condoned in a civilized society. To date they have been condoned in the U.S. which speaks volumes about their society.
Yesterday's Waterloo Region Record carrys the story titled "Report lists CIA torture in secret "chambers of suffering". As stated by Senator Feinstein the findings are "...a stain on U.S. history". They are that and so much worse.
Thursday, December 11, 2014
As Bob Verdun stated the other day, a lawyer's verbal assaults upon him were similar to physically assaulting a man in handcuffs. Mr. Verdun can not hit back verbally due to a court injunction against him. Well the Waterloo Region Record in their hypocrisy are basically doing the same thing. I am very disappointed in Luisa D'Amato whom I find the vast majority of the time to be clear headed and unbiased. Not so in her Opinion piece in today's Record titled "With his "breathtaking gall" Bob Verdun is lucky he's not in jail".
One relevant point should be made. The Record have long had a beef with Mr. Verdun ever since he sucessfully competed against them and the Elmira Signet in Elmira, decades ago, with his then newly started Elmira Independent. Basically Mr. verdun ran the Signet out of business.
Since then the appearance has been one of out of proportion glee as Mr. Verdun has faced legal difficulties while defending the public interest. It is actually difficult to understand how the Rim Park financial scandal could not have tarnished the reputation literally of all parties involved, both directly and indirectly. The City of Waterloo politicians certainly paid the price but not so much the direct beneficiarys of the ripoff of Waterloo citizens. Very strange.
Luisa calls Mr. Verdun's statements regarding his wife's health and needs as "self-serving claptrap". Really? And how pray tell does Luisa know this? The only testimony on the subject at court was apparently Mr. Verdun's. The Crown appear not to have disputed it even though after sentencing Judge Goldstein appeared skeptical. Again based upon what conflicting evidence pray tell?
I do not know if Mr. Verdun has contempt for Canadian courts. If he does I wouldn't blame him in the least. They are very worthy of all the contempt that citizens have available to muster. The very notion that contempt of anything is a criminal offence is contemptuous in its' own right. Apparently our courts are so enamoured with themselves they think they have the right to force respect and admiration of themselves upon Canadian citizens. They do not have that right. They merely have but one more stupid law that they can abuse.
Wednesday, December 10, 2014
Today's Waterloo Region Record carrys the following story "Verdun protests house arrest". Both the Record and the judge Robert Goldstein seem to enjoy piling on as they gratuitously insult Mr. Verdun during and after his sentencing of seven months house arrest. Keep in mind the sentence is for contempt of court due to his being abroad while a stay was in place for a 90 day house arrest sentence. His appeal was dismissed in his absence and he was ordered home to serve the 90 day sentence forthwith. Instead he arrived back in Canada thirteen days later and was charged again with contempt of court.
What as usual the Record manage to avoid mentioning is that the first contempt of court conviction was based upon Mr. Verdun going to his federal member of parliament, Steven Woodsworth for assistance. This allegedly broke the injunction against Mr. Verdun speaking about a civil suit regarding a wealthy indiviual who sucessfully sued Mr. Verdun. Our courts are nothing if not fair and hence just like any other wealthy individual with very high connections; the courts found in favour of wealth and status. It seems to me that the way our courts and judicial system are going, soon all of us will be guilty of contempt of court. I must add that I am not referring remotely only to our civil system but also our criminal system.
Mr. Verdun has long been a target of wealthy and priveleged individuals as he has championed in Elmira and elsewhere for environmental accountability as well as political, financial and legal transparency and accountability. As such he has offended many powerful movers, shakers and liars over the decades. Our courts in their infinite hypocrisy are simply allowing themselves to criminalize and stigmatize a public interest advocate. I can not suggest that Mr. Verdun's case alone has made me contemptuous of our courts, our politicians and our so called democratic system. It's taken a lifetime of abuses of power and authority to do that.
Tuesday, December 9, 2014
A week ago yesterday (December 1/14) the Waterloo Region Record published this story "Deadline passes for ex-residents to file for abuse compensation". This story involves three provincial institutions for the developmentally disabled in Ontario and how their care was neglectful and abusive. All three have been ordered by the courts to compensate victims to the tune of between $32 and $35 million. We are also advised that Premier Kathleen Wynne has apologized in the legislature to the residents of the three homes for the suffering they experienced there.
What we are not being told is the names of those in charge of the institutions and how the abuse became apparently the normal standard of care. Nor are we advised as to whether complaints had been going to the relevant provincial ministry for years about these problems and what if any response was received back from the responsible ministry. All in all yet one more shameful and disgraceful example of how our governments look out for themselves and not for citizens, even the most vulnerable among us.
Monday, December 8, 2014
Last Thursday's Waterloo Region Record carried this story "Haunted 30 years after Bhopal disaster". It is a report upon the lack of accountability by both private industry and the Indian government which allegedly were protecting their citizens both before and after the Bhopal disaster. While the extent of deaths, injuries and victimization of following generations becomes clearer, the medical and financial assistance has not kept up. Victims are essentially blocked from help from Union Carbide or Dow due to their own government's mishandling of the situation. Deaths ran to 15,000 while injuries and generational effects are closer to 500,000. In one sense it makes government culpability in Elmira, Ontario look small compared to what occurred in Bhopal.
Friday, December 5, 2014
Last Monday's Waterloo Region Record carried this story by Luisa D'Amato "E-cigarettes are helping tobacco addicts quit, and shouldn't be banned". Luisa is taking the province of Ontario to task for their further stupid assaults upon consumers and citizens. This time they are doing their best to discourage the use and sale of e-cigarettes which are in fact very effective in helping people to quit smoking. That said apparently our province are much more concerned with "sending a message" regarding smoking than to actually be part of the solution. The scientific studies are solid that these products work for the purpose intended. As far as other alleged issues, that is all that they are: alleged.
Thursday, December 4, 2014
Yesterday's Waterloo Region Record carrys Luisa D'Amato's Opinion piece titled "People so close to the edge can't afford government computer glitches". The story is all about the wasted millions the Liberal government has spent this time on computer software to allegedly improve monthly welfare and disability payments. The software was known ahead of time to be problematic due to its' use in other jurisdictions but nevertheless Ontario went ahead with it anyways. The predictable results are financially desperate and dependant people are not receiving their monthly stipends on time. These stipends are of course supposed to be high enough to live on, albeit just barely. Late payments due to no fault of the recipients simply is not acceptable yet Liberal Social Services Minister Helena Jaczek stated in the Legislature that "the opposition is trying to make a mountain out of a very small molehill". For the Minister it is obviously a very small molehill. For those however who aren't overpaid, priveleged Cabinet Ministers, it's the difference between eating or not. Shame on her.
Wednesday, December 3, 2014
"Bringing the administration of justice into disrepute". Are you kidding me? Today's Waterloo Region Record carrys this story "Judge elects to keep alleged fraudster Reeve behind bars". I've seen absolutely nothing like the judicial system itself when it comes to bringing themselves into disrepute. The alleged principle of "innocent until proven guilty" is worse than a joke. While the theft/fraud charges relating to the elderly and disabled are particularily nasty, nevertheless Mr. Reeve has been convicted of absolutely nothing, yet he languishes in jail. This is a prime example of a judicial system far to much in love with itself having lost their way. Recently I posted about the ridiculous percentage of incarcerated persons in this province who have never been convicted of anything. They like Mr. Reeve have been denied bail until their trial which in Mr. Reeve's case will be nearly three years after charges were laid. An honest, competent system does not jail non violent citizens for three years prior to trial. What the hell has happened in this country and province?
Tuesday, December 2, 2014
Today's Waterloo Region Record carrys this story "Civil forfeiture laws threaten property rights". Based on nothing more than size and financial clout earned/stolen from Canadians, our governments have become the enemy. Whether local school boards, provincial labour & environment ministries etc., they and their bureaucrats are all about control, respect and authority.
In the case of Bruce Montague our federal and provincial governments are running amok. He has no criminal record and no history other than of being a skilled and well respected individual in his entirely legal field of endeavour. Nevertheless both levels of government are doing their best to make an example of him because he has indulged in non violent civil disobedience of laws that he believes are immoral and dangerous. His "crime" is in refusing to fill out federally mandated forms and paperwork. Above and beyond threatened jail time and significant fines he has had his business inventory as a gunsmith, worth $116,000, forfeited to the Crown. As if that's not enough now the provincial government are threatening to seize his home where his business had been legally located for allegedly being an "instrument of unlawful activity". So let's just get this clear. Failure to fill out paperwork results in 18 months jailtime, forfeiture of $116,000 inventory plus the province are trying to seize his home. Excuse me and other Canadians wondering if we are living in Canada or is this now Russia or some other third world dictatorship?
Monday, December 1, 2014
The Toronto based Association in Defence of the Wrongfully Convicted has done it again. They've freed a man who's been in jail for the last decade for a murder he did not commit. "As a teen with mental health problems and a member of a visible minority, the lawyer said, (Mr.) Hay was "vulnerable" and police rushed to judgement.". Apparently other than being black the most significant 'evidence" was dreadlocks on the guilty party. Mr. Hay had short hair however the Crown found hair in a sink and claimed that Mr. hay had shorn off his dreadlocks. The Association in Defence of the Wrongfully Convicted had forensic experts determine that the hair collected was not from Mr. hay's scalp but from his face. The Crown's ridiculous case then fell apart.
My question is this: How many more embarassments must our perverted judicial system suffer before someone in authority says enough? When will our judicial system finally be put on trial? It does not serve our citizens and it certainly does not serve justice. Just like our education system it serves those stakeholders collecting all the taxpayer monies to allegedly deliver a product. It is a failure and long has been so. Last Saturday's Kitchener Record carrys this story
"Nightmare" over for man wrongfully convicted of murder".
Friday, November 28, 2014
Well it's not surprising to me to see that the provinces' largest school board is hopeless in a number of areas. A couple of days back the Waterloo Region Record carried a small article indicating that education Minister Liz Sandals was appointing an outside expert to review the troubled TDSB. Minister Sandals claimed that a "culture of fear" exists among staff. Isn't that just hilarious when you realize all the bullshit for years from school boards about removing bullying and harassment from the classrooms. I can recall at the time wondering if they were referring to student bullying or teacher bullying although appearently it's not politically correct to suggest that even one teacher in the entire province could possibly be so bad as to bully children. The infighting and political partisanship is so bad that police were recently called to a TDSB meeting. I love it!
Meanwhile on line there is a wonderful article (Toronto star) all about the same school board (TDSB) tampering with Freedom of Information requests. This had to do with requests for Trustee expense documents. It turns out that some Trustees are just a tad antsy for the voting public to see on what and how much they've been spending their money. Hence many responses forwarded by the FOI officer for the Board end up being redacted and altered improperly by Trustees. A lawyer and author of several works on freedom of information, Michael Drapeau, states that the FOI process "...is a victim to the open defiance, self importance and arrogance of individuals who place their interests ahead of the public interest and their fiduciary duties". Hey folks these lying twits and self absorbed jerks are in charge of your childrens' education. Why are we surprised that our children are falling behind academically when we continue to support such a ridiculous, self interested and absorbed inadequate education system.
Thursday, November 27, 2014
Call me a dinosaur. I'm 65 years old and hardly can claim to be enlightened on "womens'" issues. That said even I can figure this one out. The title of the article in yesterday's Waterloo Region Record was "Training for taxi drivers aims to avoid sex assaults". Really! I had no idea that taxi drivers (male or female?) were victimized that often. So I read the article. They aren't! It's their female passengers who are occasionally being victimized. After reading the whole article it's all so very clear now. The Waterloo Region Taxi Association "...plans to make sexual assault prevention training mandatory for drivers." Hunh! Is it just me or is that again somehow suggesting that taxi drivers are the ones being assaulted? The president of the Taxi Association then follows up with this clarifying statement: "I've been around a long time and the whole two years there... where we had this bad run of luck, I don't want it to happen anymore". So if I understand correctly, this bad run of luck would be male taxi drivers tripping and accidentally penetrating women with their whatsis? Yeah that would take an incredible bit of bad luck for that to happen accidentally. Ahh but finally we have some real clarification with the final comment: "It's how to teach cab drivers how not to fall into the trap of stepping over the line". Got it now. These hapless women are actually female Mata Hari's using their feminine wiles to trap unwary males into sex so that the women can extort national secrets out of them. This is a huge problem because we all know that cab drivers are simply short term, out of work, nuclear physicists looking to spill their secrets. Well done Waterloo Region Record on this article.
Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Yesterday's Waterloo Region Record carried this opinion piece titled "Ontario's education system needs reform". Basically it compares Ontario's system with that of British Columbia which is much more open and flexible to things like independent schools. "British Columbia offers a model of education financing and delivery that could reduce government costs and improve results." Both religious schools and specialized education schools are run as independent schools. Eligible independent schools which follow the provincial curriculum and hire accredited teachers can receive government grants to the tune of between 35 to 50 percent of government run schools. The results are incredible. Costs are greatly reduced compared to Ontario and student performance is clearly superior. It is estimated that the Ontario government could save between $849 million to $1.9 billion per year. The problem of course for the Ontario government is that those taxpayer funded higher costs essentially are simply taxpayers money buying Liberal votes from the teachers unions and the education establishment in Ontario. The cost savings will help Ontarians but at the expense of the Liberal Party. Guess why we haven't had reform to date.
Tuesday, November 25, 2014
Sometimes I wonder that there hasn't been more not less violence against whites in the United States. Last Saturday's Waterloo Region Record carrys this story titled "Two jailed in 1975 murder walk free after witness recants". The witness was thirteen years old and he had been coerced by police detectives in Cleveland into testifying that three men killed businessman Harry Franks on May 19, 1975. All three men were originally sentenced to death but fortunately Ohio's capitol punishment law was ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1978.
Many things should be apparent. Firstly blacks are convenient scapegoats for police forces looking to close difficult cases. Secondly the U.S. judicial system is just as bad as ours here in Canada. How in the name of God do you convict someone of being guilty beyond a reasonable doubt on no more evidence than a frightened thirteen yaer old can unreliably provide. Thirdly how many others have been wrongfully committed of crimes and since executed by the state never to have had anything approaching justice in their cases. This is a blight and a scandal both in Canada and the United Staets that continues to this day. Shame on both our federal governments as well as provincial and state governments who quite obviously don't give a shit.
Last Friday'w Waterloo Region Record carried this article titled "I'd never seen police "kettle" peaceful protesters: TV host". Steve Paikin testifed at the police disciplinary hearing for Supt. David (Mark) Fenton currently going on in Toronto. Specifically the crowd who were 'kettled" in one incident were "...sitting and chanting the words "peaceful protest."". As I've mentioned previously this police action is a permanent stain on policing in this province and country. For those who would assault, kidnap and forcibly detain Canadian citizens, there should be but one outcome and that is to face criminal charges and be imprisoned themselves. Nothing less will ever erase this stain on the civil liberties and human rights of Canadians.
Friday, November 21, 2014
Yesterday's Waterloo Region Record carrys this Opinion piece from Luisa D'Amato titled "Liberals will close schools because they're broke after pacifying teachers". Luisa relates the promises from the Liberals including premier Kathleen Wynne that there would not be cuts to Health or Education. Apparently that's long out the window now as the Liberals face massive deficits. The interesting part of course is the math when you look at recent concessions given to the teachers. The auditor general this week advised that those concessions to pension benefits and sick leave cost taxpayers $468 million. Just about exactly the $500 million that the Liberals are trying to now save by closing schools. The irony of course, and this is hardly the first union to screw newer employees for the benefit of more senior ones, is that indeed it will be the more recent teachers who are let go first as schools close.
Thursday, November 20, 2014
This idiot Toronto Superintendant should be facing criminal charges exactly the same way Michael Sona did over in Guelph. Mr. Sona interfered with citizens rights to vote. Superintendant Dave (Mark) Fenton denied citizens their liberty amd indeed incarcerated hundreds in deplorable conditions based on nothing more than they were present during daylight hours in downtown Toronto. What an incredible asshole. Throw him in jail at least for the same length of time that Mr. Sona will be serving namely nine months.
It has taken four and a half years to bring this jerk to a lousy disciplinary hearing. Meanwhile Canada and Canadians civil rights have literally been in limbo while we await the consequences of illegal behaviour by seniopr police officers. Hey you idiots, revolutions have occurred for less. Some day Canadians will wake up and then watch our polticians squeal. Today's Waterloo Region Record carrys the following story "Senior officer faces renewed G20 anger".
Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Today's Waterloo Region Record carrys this article titled "Region's public school trustees to put expenses online". Jeff Outhit of the Record staff is dutifully reporting attempts to make trustee expenses clearer and more public on a timely basis. Mike Ramsey is the current leader in trustee expenses at $23,948 for conferences in Toronto, Thunder Bay and california over the last four years. While the reporting on expenses will be clearer and more timely there appears to be no attempt to either reduce expenses or the number of conferences etc.. I find the usual platitudes from trustees about how these out of town and even out of country conferences make them better trustees a little thin. My interpretation is that they are little more than taxpayer funded junkets and perks for trustees who overall do little or nothing to benefit children, parents and education in general. Most of the trustees are there simply to hold down a chair and protect the staus quo, which means protecting school board staff and union personnel from any attempt to lessen their influence and power over the system. This includes resisting any initiatives which would reduce inflated salaries and perks.
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) are all about appearances and public relations. Hence the new name. This is the third change I've seen since I seriously started studying their behaviour twenty-five years ago. They actually went from M.O.E. to M.O.E.E. or Ministry of Environment and Energy and then they went back to simply the Ministry of Environment. Recently due to the press around climate change and of course they've changed their name again. What has been consistent throughouit is their ability to talk the talk while utterly failing to walk the walk.
Enforcement of our current environmental laws are a joke. Here in Elmira we are even being bafflegabbed that the M.O.E. do not have the authority to go on private property in order to investigate spills, odours , complaints or any other reasonable evidence pertaining to pollution. The Chair of the Chemtura Public Advisory Committee (CPAC) recently had to quote part of the Environmental Protection Act to the M.O.E. to convince them that they do indeed have the authority to go private property.
A recent letter from the new Director of the West Central Region of the Ontario M.O.E. is a typical example. Written on behalf of the Director it purports to be responding to a CPAC Resolution, endorsed by Woolwich Council requesting that the M.O.E. undertake a comprehensive investigation of the east side including off-site of the Chemtura property. This M.O.E. letter is uninformed, inaccurate and generally dismissive of the concerns of local residents as well as of the local Council. Yes the power and money are in the hands of Chemtura canada, Not in the hands of Woolwich Township. Nevertheless it would be nice for a change if we could see our provincial government and Ministry actually working on our behalf rather than on the behalf of the polluter.
Friday, November 14, 2014
If I had more confidence based upon the history of the Waterloo Regional Police I'd be less likely to suggest that these stun guns are simply toys for boys. My expectation is that each and every cop is going to be dying to try theses things out and guess who will be disproportionately targeted? You got it: young males, drunks and anybody else with an "attitude".
Today's Waterloo Region Record carrys the following opinion of a member of the Community Editorial Board, one Joyce Hodge. The title is "Stun guns should be used sparingly by police". Overall I find her article to be balanced and she does have concerns both with the costs involved, the need for them and as well she states "...the officers who are using stun guns need to be extensively trained and monitored to assure they are using the devices appropriately-and only when absolutely necessary." Amen to that.
Thursday, November 13, 2014
Surprisingly I can't find this article on line in order to give a link to it. It is a surprisingly large and detailed article titled "Cancer survivor says OPP was unfair"and was published this past Monday (Nov. 10) in the Waterloo Region Record. The complainant is seeking a human rights hearing because he feels there was not adequate accomodation made for him after extremely serious and major cancer surgery. After reading the story it certainly does appear that his superiors were trying to get him to quit by rushing him back into front line duties with the OPP. Frankly based upon the description of the surgery it really makes no sense whatsoever to have insisted that he be back on patrol even if it was mostly patrol from a car. His surgery has resulted in significant weakness in his leg which often leaves him unbalanced and prone to falls. He felt that office duties were much more appropriate after his surgery. Mr. Flameling makes reference to a culture that may have been acceptable in the 60's but is certainly not nowadays.
Tuesday, November 11, 2014
Are you kidding me? Minor shoplifting including stealing cheese strings ends up with the cop firing his gun four times in the city, in a residential area. Why the hell isn't the cop charged with attempted murder and or reckless endangerment? There had been a theft followed by a car chase. No weapons were involved in any of the charges against the driver yet the officer drew his weapon and opened fire after confronting them in a parking lot. The extraordinarily convenient excuse was given after the fact that the officer had been informed "...that the car may be tied to firearms...". There were three or four people in the car and the pig opens fire on them for minor shoplifting and for running from the police. For the love of God get police like that the hell off the police force. Other than killing everybody in the car he could also have killed innocent civilians outside the car with his missed shot or the one that hit the car other than the two that went through the windshield. The menace that officer posed to the public was far greater than that posed by those currently charged and in custody. Today's waterloo region Record article titled "Theft of snacks led to chase, gunfire".
Monday, November 10, 2014
I came across this expression about twenty-five years ago in Elmira, Ontario. I have no idea who coined it but it was in relation to the Ministry of Environment plus a number of consultants on behalf of Uniroyal Chemical. They were present at a public meeting for the purpose of misinforming the public about the best way to deal with Uniroyal's destruction of the Elmira Aquifers plus extensive damage to Canagagigue Creek and all life in it.
That was around 1990 or even the big public meeting in 1995. I am expecting that we'll have another one soon as the M.O.E. and Chemtura attempt to head off even more devastating revelations surrounding their environmental misbehaviour. It turns out that they've been permitting/allowing toxic discharges from their site into the natural environment off of their site. Of course for a few million I have no doubt that they can somewhat buy their way out of trouble once again. Isn't money a fabulous way to buy legitimacy and respect?
All the key elements are in place. A Ministry of the provincial government (M.O.E.) have two summers in a row determined that there is excessive levels of DDT in the sediments of the Canagagigue Creek. These readings most conveniently are downstream of where a recently discovered manmade Drain has been found. The north end of this Drain ends about 85 metres short of the south end of Uniroyals former toxic waste pits on their eastern property line. There is a pipe running from the direction of the pits into the Drain. Further adding suspense is the recent discovery via Google earth of a line, scar or trench which runs for hundreds of yards north to south and then jogs east to end right at the end of the eastern pits as previously mentioned, 85 metres from the Drain. At first blush one could certainly be forgiven for assuming that this pipe is simply the extension of the line, scar or trench. To date that has yet to be proven although testimony from a local landowner is tantalyzing.
The lies and deception have already started. Look for all the stops to be pulled out. This one could do serious damage to many, many self-important people.
Friday, November 7, 2014
There was a story in the Waterloo Region Record titled "Woolwich votes for big changes at the top" on October 30/14. This story listed some of the likely reasons for changes in Mayor and Councillors. In some cases the reasons were the same for both. In other words Todd Cowan's expenses scandal probably was the icing on the cake for many after a number of boneheaded moves he made as Mayor. It is quite likely that the complete housecleaning less Mark Bauman in apparently remote and isolated St. Jacobs, was leftover disgust from the Mayor's sins being put upon Councillors Al Poffenroth and Bonnie Bryant. Agreed Councillor Bryant faced stiff competition regardless from Sandy Shantz but her coming in second last after total newcomer Doug Hergott was frankly ridiculous. Having shared a conversation with Councillor Bryant the day after the election I am even more convinced that this Township have sufferred a loss with her departure. Personally I hope she runs again in 2018 for Council.
Thursday, November 6, 2014
O.K. now that headline is intentionally eyecatching. It's meant to be. Do I agree that a less lethal tool than a gun for either subduing suspects or for defending officers and the public from unprovoked violence should be available. Absolutely yes. Is the Taser the right tool. The answer is a firm maybe. It doesn't kill as often or as emphatically as a firearm but no mistake it can and does kill on occasion. Today's Waterloo Region Record carrys this article "Police to triple number of stun guns".
Maybe the Taser will save the lives of agitated suspects, mentally ill persons acting out and maybe even felons with a knife or club. If used appropriately and carefully first over a year ago in Toronto, Sammy Yatin would still be with us. Instead those idiot officers shot him with a firearm multiple times and then when he was down they Tasered him. That's the kind of crap I'm worried about here. There are bullying officers on every police force. That is primarily because of union protection and failure by management to weed out the bad apples before they kill a citizen. These bullying officers will believe that they have the right to routinely give out "attitude adjustments". Therefore instead of a slap or punch they will think it just dandy to Taser someone who mouths off at them. That's the problem.
Wednesday, November 5, 2014
The politicization of everything drives me crazy. Especially the politicization of the environment. This politicization is exactly why we have to be knocking at disaster's door before anything actually gets done. Everything else is just window dressing until what is obvious the whole planet is finally accepted as fact by politicians with agendas. These agendas of course are directly set by who's lobbied (paid) them the most money recently. Look at climate change. How many years and how many scientific reports were necessary before the politicians decided that despite the oil and gas industry lobby; that they really must do something. Burning of fossil fuels is getting too close to an irrevocable tipping point.
This politicization also carrys over into public consultation. What a great idea for the polluters and or regulators to control so called independent public consultation. This is called having your cake and eating it too. The provincial government controls the Ministry of the Environment as well as local municipal governments who are trying to get infrastructure funds from the province. Any municipality who push too hard say on environmental matters soon learn that their Application for funding on other matters has hit a roadblock. What a system!
Tuesday, November 4, 2014
Peter Shawn Taylor wrote in last Thursday's Waterloo Region Record the following article "The municipal election makes history-ancient history". Mr. Taylor compares ancient Athens to the Region of Waterloo today. It is an interesting comparison for at the very least the history lesson from the past regarding overeaching governments. Mr. Taylor suggests that Chair Ken Seiling has a layer of soft authoritarianism and glory-seeking beneath much of his agenda. Mr. Taylor also takes to task a number of regional initiatives dealing with development, infilling and the environment such as watering restrictions and the green box. Mr. Taylor even criticizes the nanny state somewhat via the regional Health Department's meddling in our food choices as in healthy food choices. While I don't agree with everything Mr. Taylor says there is certainly an accuracy about a lot of it. Eventually he gets around to Light Rail Transit and how expensive, glorious and ambitious the project is. Mr. Taylor's final shot is to wonder whether LRT will someday end up as no more than a Greek tragedy. Interesting comments and comparison.
Monday, November 3, 2014
Last Saturday's front page Local Section of the Waterloo Region Record carrys this story "Son who fired to help his father jailed". Basically the Crown had initially charged him with second degree murder and two counts of attempted murder. He had left his room at his father's home and discovered three assailants had barged into the house uninvited and the largest one at 6 foot four and 350 pounds was attacking his father. He did what any son or daughter would do and he defended his badly outnumbered and outmuscled father. He did this by using a tool which was built for that purpose, called a handgun. He shot two of the assailants each in the arm and the biggest once in the chest. All three fled without further shots being fired. The Crown and police in their infinite wisdom and stupidity or malice charged him with the above offenses. They had to know how asinine those charges were hence by overcharging they gave themselves room to negotiate lower for a plea deal which they got. I find that repugnant but typical of a perverted and incompetent justice system.
Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Luisa D'Amato's Opinion column of last Friday (Oct.24/14) carrys this article "Trustees are essentially toothless, but choose them wisely all the same". Luisa rightly points out that about fifteen years ago our local School Boards lost the power to levy taxes as it was taken over by the province. While Luisa states that this was to ensure equality of education dollars spent throughout the province per child I believe there was more to it than that. I believe that the province rightly understood that School Boards were abusing their taxing privelege and routinely spending money unwisely as they could always go directly back to the taxpayer well. The fact that the province is now , as Luisa states, ""...telling them exactly how to do everything." may also be due to a relatively understated lack of confidence in the School Boards. Finally Luisa also points out that "...trustees put themselves into a hands-off relationship that gave most day-to-day decision making power to school board administrators.". So what's left for the trustees? Very little although many are still fond of being cheerleaders for the school board bureaucracy. Unsurprisingly, historically retired teachers have enjoyed being trustees where they can give back; not to the students but to their teacher union collegues. Such a system is why Ontario students are doing poorly in comparison and why the province has slowly been taking authority and responsibilty away from them. May it continue until the system is seriously reformed.
Tuesday, October 28, 2014
Well the electorate have spoken. Loudly, clearly, rightly and wrongly they have spoken. In Cambridge Donna Reid and Pam Wolfe were reelected. Good grief. Maybe the electorate don't have full knowledge of Donna but they sure should have figured out the hard drinking Pam who allegedly can be impaired (> .08) with only a couple of glasses of wine. I attended her trial in Cambridge and the lies were fast and furious hence her conviction on some of the charges. Look at Ken Seiling. A 29 year incumbent and he was running scared from Jay Aissa for a while. Lots of heavy duty spending plus at least for once he did get pushed prior to the polls. Well the electorate have spoken and I await five years down the road as the regional bills keep on mounting.
Then we have Woolwich Township. Right up to the last issue of the Woolwich Observer they were slamming Mayor Todd Cowan. The last issue even had a political cartoon of him as a huge pig at the trough. Subtle it was not. Yes he deserved to lose and not only did he come in last of four candidates for Mayor but his biggest public detractor via an ownership position in the Woolwich Observer, Pat Merlihan, won a councillor's seat in Ward One. Past Council experience did not help Ruby Weber or Al Poffenroth. It did surprisingly help Murray Martin who was turfed last time out by newcomer Bonnie Bryant. She was strongly against the proliferation of gravel pits and Murray was not clear in his position. He's back and she's gone although she had attempted to wrest the mayor's chair from Todd Cowan. Lynne Hare also lost in Ward three which surprised me. She had been a strong and forceful advocate as well against poorly sited proposed gravel pits. Sandy Shantz is the new mayor and she is both well known and well liked in Elmira and area.
So do the electorate know what they are doing? The answer is yes and no. Examples abound. They made good choices and they made lousy choices. It's a crapshoot unless as with Mayor Cowan you are determined to prove that you are an ass. And yet look at Toronto. Rob Ford is back on Council. Perhaps Todd just didn't try hard enough to be an ass.
Monday, October 27, 2014
There is a very good reason why Robert Badgerow is the first person in Canada to be put on trial for the fourth time for murder. This is not a charge nor a crime that should allow do overs of this magnitude. It is a serious enough handicap to be charged by the Crown with all its' resources and have to defend yourself using your private resources. In Mr. Badgerow's case he was initially convicted and spent eleven years behind bars before being released on appeal. Two further trials ended in hung juries hence acquitting him. Then the murder charge was stayed in 2012 as there wasn't any new evidence and a judge ruled he had been through enough. Apparently not as the Supreme Court has dismissed his request to appeal the Ontario Court of Appeal decision that he be retried yet again.
I have absolutely no idea as to whether Mr. Badgerow is an innocent man or a murderer. What I do know is that he has spent eleven years in jail, been exonerated and then recharged yet again. I also know that this case is making our judicial system look ridiculous and petty. Just because somebody, somewhere figures they've got their guy is not a reason to keep him in perpetual legal limbo for the rest of his life. Four times on trial is two or three times too many. Anybody ever hear of tie to the runner? If you can't keep this guy convicted then move on. He's already served eleven years in jail and you can't prove that he's guilty of anything. Let him go and get your shit together next time. The Waterloo Region Record article is titled "Hamilton man first to be tried four times for the same killing".
Friday, October 24, 2014
This week's Woolwich Observer has another shocking but nevertheless incisive Editorial by Steve Kannon titled "The game less rigged, local elections offer a real chance at democracy". Steve gives facts and data to support his thesis that Canadian democracy is essentially lost to a few players who have sucessfully seized control of both power and money in Canada. He refers to elections here as "...so much window-dressing, with real power resting firmly in the hands of the few...". Furthermore Steve refers to journalist Chris Hedges who has stated "...we now live in a corporate dictatorship, the result of a decades-long erosion of the progress made in the post-war years. ". "The corporate elite, through a puppet political class and compliant intellectuals, pundits and press, still employs the language of a capitolist democracy. But what has arisen is a new kind of control, inverted totalitarianism,".
While Steve believes that municipal elections are less rigged he still gives a few local examples of municipal/regional corruption. This includes a sense of entitlement as expressed by the expense claims of Woolwich Mayor Todd Cowan as well as the Waterloo Regional Councillors "...who said one thing in the last election, then voted to support the white elephant that is light rail transit...". The long reality is that decisions are not and have not been made in the best interests of the majority of Canadian citizens for a very long time.
Thursday, October 23, 2014
Peter Shawn Taylor in today's Waterloo Region Record has hit the nail on the head. His Opinion piece is titled "The referendum we've been waiting for is finally here". Mr. Taylor goes through the sordid manipulation and obfuscation that has come from our Regional Council since 2009 regarding Light Rail Transit. Regional councillors spoke one way and then voted another once safely ensconced in their Regional seats after the 2010 election. It's payback time for those who misrepresented their constituents and that includes yet once again our own Todd Cowan here in Woolwich Township. Mr. Taylor advises that seven regional councillors claimed to be against LRT when they were running for office in 2010 only to have switched their vote afterwards. Besides turfing your local reps the biggest event would be finally the ouster of forever Regional Chair Ken Seiling. He's from Elmira and frankly I'd love to see him put out to pasture. His behind the scenes deceit on Elmira issues has not sat well with me for years. Indeed Jay Aissa seems to be the one possible candidate to do it and it's unfortunate that there are so many other candidates to split the anti Ken/anti LRT vote.
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Oscar Pistorious has been sentenced to five years in prison for "culpable homicide" in the death of Reeva Steenkamp. While in his case there never was any doubt that he was the shooter; O.J. Simpson's lawyers sucessfully (with the jury at least) raised some doubt as to whether he did the deed or not. Eventually Pistorious was convicted of "culpable homicide" and sentenced yesterday. There are those who felt from the beginning that it was out and out murder but Pistorious and his lawyers argued sucessfully that it was a combination of fear, adrenaline and or stupidity that caused him to fire 9 mm bullets through his bathroom door killing his girlfriend. If he got away with murder then shame on him. If it was exactly what he was convicted for then his disregard for whomever was on the other side of the bathroom door has appropriately earned him a five year sentence. I suspect that here in Canada or in the U.S. he would have been looking at closer to fifteen to twenty years in jail for his crime. In that sense (legal one) he has gotten off lucky. If he didn't mean to shoot his girlfriend then he has a lifetime of guilt and remorse ahead of him for his errors.
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
The Waterloo Region Record carried the following story on September 19, 2014 titled "Nuke site opponents protest secret meetings". I'm posting this story now in part due to my posting of last Friday regarding the matter of pills to combat radioactive exposure near Ontario nuclear sites. Is it any wonder that activists would appropriately be up in arms regarding their elected representatives breaking the Municipal Act by avoiding public meetings only? The results of an investigation seem to be quite clear that a number of local Mayors were indeed meeting in secret with nuclear waste representatives over an extended period of time. This hardly allows for transparent and open democratic methods for citizens to become informed and to be able to cogently debate or criticize the issues. Secret meetings tend to be for the purpose of settling privately issues that absolutely effect the public interest. Worse yet it is also apparent that no one in authority at the provincial level seems willing to take ownership of the serious issue and ensure that it is not repeated. Basically everyone is treating it as a "my bad" situation which is not good enough for such a serious breech.
Monday, October 20, 2014
Back on September 2, 2014 the Woolwich Observer published their Editorial titled "You must think like a bureaucrat to justify $25,000". This Editorial lambasted Woolwich Council plus senior bureaucrats who made the decision to spens $25,000 while chasing $3,200 double expensed by Mayor Todd Cowan. Also keep in mind that as of that date Mayor Cowan had already returned approximately $2,700 of his alleged "ill gotten gains". Steve Kannon of the Observer describes Council's decision to spend the $25,000 as nothing more than CYA or Cover Your A.. . As Steve states it "...was an easy misdeed to identify..." yet both councillors and senior staff wanted a third party to do the dirty work for them all expensed to Woolwich residents. Further Steve writes "This is just the latest example of both groups living inside the same bureaucratic bubble, the one where even the most crass and self-serving ideas make perfect sense inside but not at all to everybody else.". I suspect that Steve is essentially correct but I also suspect that this is the norm for the vast majority of Councillors and staff municipally. Yes relying on experience is not inherently wrong however it is the Councillors who were elected not the staff and perhaps this occasionally becomes lost on one or both parties.
Friday, October 17, 2014
Are you kidding me? am I kidding you? Is this for real? It must be April 1. Today's Waterloo Region Record carrys this story "Nuke plant neighbours will get pills". The eye popping news is that this has been ordered by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission. It seems that the Ontario authorities have been dragging their feet in getting these pills available to nearby residents of nuclear facilities in Pickering, Darlington and the Bruce nuclear stations. Doesn't this make you want to buy a home anywhere near any of these facilities? tell me this . When these facilities were originally being sited did our authorities tell anybody that they would end up having to carry KI (potassium iodide) pills "just in case". I suspect not.
Thursday, October 16, 2014
Today's Waterloo Region Record tells me exactly what I've learned over the past twenty-five years. The title is "Greed, dishonesty, apathy...and disaster". A judicial inquiry has determined that "...the real story behind the collapse is one of human, not material failures...". Commissioner Paul Belanger delivered his report yesterday and it is a scathing indictment of authority at all levels. From various engineers who "...were more concerned with pandering to clients than with protecting the public..." to "...the mall's various owners hid the problems, then tried to sell their way out of them when patchwork fixes didn't work.". There were also wilfully blind municipal officials including the Mayor, council and building inspectors. "They failed to enforce, or were ignorant of, their own bylaws" and "their approach was one of "non-interference" aimed at safeguarding the mall as a social and economic hub that provided significant tax revenues."
I see this kind of similar crap right here in Elmira, Ontario literally every day of the week. So called professional engineers prostitute themselves to make their polluting client look good and overall the municipal councils of the last twenty-five years have been in bed with the polluter not the public. That said our current council have dramatically stepped up but they are notable for their dissimilarity to previous councils.
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Well this is actually kind of precious. Yesterday's Waterloo Region Record carrys this article by a Wayne Erdman who appears to have been a career educater and teacher of mathematics. The title of the article is "There are many reasons for poor math results". Interesting but especially so as two of those reasons leap out to me as being institutionalized and bureaucratic reasons. Firstly "The vast majority of elementary teachers have liberal arts degrees, with very few, if any, math specialists on a school's staff.". Gee you'd almost think that many teachers aren't so much the best and brightest as much as they are the weakest and or laziest. Secondly "...Grade 9 applied math is assigned to non-specialist teachers for various reasons, such as to save the young phys-ed teacher's job...". Ahh are we now getting into union contract language? Contract language of course negotiated and agreed to by the School Boards. You'd almost think that the welfare of their students really isn't their first priority. Or maybe it's their first priority after School Board staff, teachers and other unionized staff. What a system. And yet we wonder why some of our kids finish high school and even university with mediocre at best, english or math skills.
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
Many people don't want to admit that all kinds of abuses of both adults and children have occurred in Canada. Whether native children forcibly put into residential schools or in this case coloured children put into a home in Nova Scotia. There have also been instances of child abuse for mentally handicapped younsters in various institutions across Canada. The Waterloo Region Record carrys this story on October 11, 2014 titled "Premier apologizes for abuse at Home for Coloured Children". While this apology certainly seems both appropriate and grossly overdue one must still ask: Why did it take so long? The answer is usually a lack of both honesty and courage at the political level. A sufficient ie. grotesquely long length of time must pass in order for the guilty parties to be safely dead and buried. Yes it is disgusting but keep in mind this is institutionalized abuse we are talking about. That means at a certain political level there was oversight and most likely full knowledge of what was going on. Those in power and authority may throw lower level employees under the bus but they always want to pretend that governments do no harm. Horse manure. Governments of all stripes and kinds around the world are the biggest abusers of our fellow citizens up to and including murdering them. There hasn't been any kind of significant genocide anywhere in the world without full government complicity as a prerequisite.
Monday, October 13, 2014
Tomorrow night at Woolwich Township Council (7 pm.) the public will get an insight into the longstanding corruption rampant within the Ontario Ministry of the Environment (& Climate Change). It is in my opinion corruption of the kind endorsed indeed demanded by our provincial government. While the M.O.E. has a mandate to protect both human beings and the environment from pollution this is impossible when they are tightly controlled via the government of the day through the cabinet and ministerial system. The Minister of the Environment is a member of the governing party's cabinet first and foremost. He takes his orders both from them as a whole and from the Premier. His M.O.E. mandate and responsibilities and duties come a far second to his political responsilities ie. to the party and premier.
Tomorrow evening the Chair of the Chemtura Public Advisory Committee (Dr. Dan Holt) will be a Delegate at Woolwich Council in Elmira, Ontario. Elmira is the location of the infamous Uniroyal Chemical shutdown of the municipal drinking wells in 1989 due to toxic contamination of the groundwater. As a Delegate tomorrow Dr. Holt will be advising Council of the ongoing failure of the M.O.E. to do their duty and protect citizens as well as the environment. He will be asking for Council's support and endorsement of a Resolution requiring the M.O.E. to step up and do their duty regarding longterm releases of Dioxins and DDT into the natural environment, specifically the sediments and floodplain soils of the Canagagigue Creek. For the past two decades both Chemtura and the M.O.E. have been hiding behind CPAC and claiming support for most of their initiatives, occasional action and gross inaction. No longer can they sell the municipally appointed citizen representatives as supporting their misrepresentations and pretend cleanup of the Uniroyal/Chemtura site.
It is my understanding that besides local newspaper coverage (Elmira Independent & Woolwich Observer) that Rogers Cable TV (#20)will also be present and they usually air at either 9 or 10 pm. the same evening.
Friday, October 10, 2014
Well apparently it does in Canada. The Fraser Institute have done yet another study on rising police costs for Canadian municipalities and apparently both budgets and numbers of officers on burgeoning police forces do not reflect the dramatically falling crime rates in Canada. The Waterloo Region Record on September 24/14 carried this article "Crime rates fall in Canada but police costs rise". Surprisingly to me at least this report claims that Waterloo Regional Police are actually financially one of the better managed forces in canada. Well, well. Overall even ignoring falling crime rates the number of police officers per 100,000 population has been rising. This is seen by financial analysts and municipal politicians alike as simply unsustainable. The big problem is and always has been a lack of backbone by local politicians. Afterall who wants to go into an election being branded as soft on crime. Of course an uninformed public also feeds into those myths and sterotypes.
Thursday, October 9, 2014
A few days back the Waterloo Region Record advised us that yet another teacher is up on criminal charges due to alleged sexual activity with one of his students. Now I had at first thought that we were talking a high school student and I was going to raise the elephant in the room and that is whether or not for example a sixteen year old to eighteen year old is either too young for sex or whether they've already been sexually active prior to the teacher coming along. The problem with that elephant is upon rereading the newspaper article I'm getting the strong impression we aren't talking secondary but in fact elementary school. Oh my but that just took things way out of the realm of "oops my bad". The age of consent is raised when it involves a person in a position of authority over a young person plus there decidely aren't many parents who send their high school kids to school and would stand for a teacher getting intimately involved with them. Once we are talking junior high I believe we are way beyond breech of trust and basically into statutory rape regardless of consent, simply based upon the age of the child/student.
So now we have a different elephant in the room. This teacher (allegedly) is damaging the reputations of all the good teachers out there. This teacher deserves initial union protection but at some point if proven guilty needs to be dropped like a hot potatoe. The elephant when minors are concerned is this. Are pedophiles with university degrees targeting children through their career choice? Does teachers' college adequately screen for either prior convictions or even serious allegations involving minors? Theoretically since the Ron Archer scandal our school board (WRDSB) are obligated from the teacher level to senior Board staff to immediately report any suspicions whatsoever. That was a long overdue change. Now perhaps more care and accountability is required even before a teacher enters the classroom.
Wednesday, October 8, 2014
The Waterloo Region Record carrys the following article "Ontario's financial woes create an opportunity for education reform". Essentially British Columbia are way ahead of Ontario in both the quality and sucess of their school education systems and also in the cost. Issues such as Catholic funding, JK and independent schools are handled totally differently and apparently better in B.C.. There they have decided that both the School Boards and Unions serve the people and not the other way around. Calculations have been done regarding the costs differences and hence savings available for Ontario. considering Ontario's current extremely high debt this whole idea of reform seems to be a no brainer. Now lets get past the entrenched interests.
Tuesday, October 7, 2014
It's really been a tough decade for Canada's finest. Basically it's been one disaster and crisis after another. This latest one is described in a story in the Waterloo Region Record titled "Brain-damaged man says Mountie who assaulted him was on steroids". The prpblem for the Mounties seems to be twofold. firstly there was a running videotape of the assault and secondly the victim's wife has a copy of it. It is described as "brutal" and the results are a permanently brain damaged individual who can no longer take care of himself. Once again power and authority needs constant accountability and supervision.
Monday, October 6, 2014
Last Saturday's Waterloo Region Record carried this story "Widow's suit against Khadr nearing $134M?". Is this completely nuts and off the wall or what? Since when can the spouse of a soldier sue civilly for damages incurred in a war situation? Since when can another soldier wounded in Afganistan sue anybody for injuries he received? These are acts of war including these self same soldiers' killing other soldiers and most probably civilians collaterally. Are any of their allegedly legal maimings and murder victims able to sue them? clearly not.
Then we have the ludicrous sum of $134 million. Khadr was 15 years old when he allegedly, after being wounded multiple times, threw a grenade. The fact is that he was the only person still alive inside the building for which he has now spent twelve years and counting in jail for. Gee I wonder if his "savings" over the last twelve years would even pay the interest on $134 dollars much less $134 million. If an injured soldier or their spouse want to sue anyone then sue their government for putting them in harm's way. Or sue the government if you were drafted. If on the other hand you volunteered for a combat role and got injured then once again sue your government if they fail to provide you with the necessities of life. As far as suing a twelve year incarcerated fifteen year old I disrespectfully suggest everybody go fuch themselves.
Friday, October 3, 2014
I first met Todd approximately fourteen years ago. He and his wife held a luncheon at their home for Dalton McGuinty then Opposition Leader and members of APT Environment including myself. I was advised that Todd was involved with the provincial Liberals and that's all I knew. The next time I saw or heard of Todd probably was months prior to the October 2010 municipal election. He came over and we talked about the Elmira aquifers, CPAC and Chemtura. Todd advised me that he had already had talks with two experts in the field namely Ron Campbell and a David Marks hydrogeologist. At this time Todd cheerfully lied to me stating that he had those two in full agreement to join the new CPAC after he won the election. I too agreed to join.
Well Todd was telling the truth in regards to his wish to clean house at CPAC. He felt that two citizens on the committee had been co-opted as did I and others. These two had led CPAC astray including giving several concessions to Chemtura over the years regarding monitoring requirements and much more. That said, for some still unknown reason which may have simply been no more than distraction everything seemed to get delayed. This even included the two potential members Todd had lied to me about, not having submitted their Applications by January 2011. Council then advised the public that the deadline was being extended. This of course finally tipped off the old CPAC that despite all their Applications having been in for months, they weren't getting back on. As a result they all withdrew their Applications at that late date falsely claiming issues around Terms of Reference. Anything but them having to admit that they weren't wanted.
Todd's behaviour turned bizarre and stupid as did Councillor Herteis's. She was the nominal Chair of CPAC yet with Todd's O.K. absolutely refused to set a date for the first public or otherwise CPAC meeting. It was now six months after the October 2010 election. Finally a private meeting was convened and Councillor Herteis had the biggest chip possible on her shoulders. She left the meeting early, resigned as CPAC Chair and apparently threatened to resign as a Woolwich Councillor. I posted the next morning on the Elmira Advocate regarding my displeasure with the rude behaviour of Mayor Cowan as well as Councillor Herteis.
Todd had already been under pressure from the Ministry of the Environment (Bill Bardswick) and most probably Chemtura as well to keep me off of CPAC. This was his opportunity as well because Councillor Herteis also focused on me despite Dr. Dan Holt, Lynne Hare and Ron Campbell at the minimum pushing her to get the show on the road. Since that time Todd's lying has been up and down with notable occurrences at the GRCA in August 2013 and in a self published book from a former K-W Record reporter.
So in a nutshell do I think he's a thief? Did he intentionally double expense Woolwich Township etc.? I don't know although I do know he has been in desperate financial straights due to two ex-wives and four children. I also know that he is a compulsive liar perhaps even a patholgical liar. If I had the definition of a pathological liar in front of me I could comment on that more precisely. I'm still at a loss as to which if any of the above words in the title best describe his motives, if any.
Thursday, October 2, 2014
Today's Waterloo Region Record carrys this commentary by Peter Shawn Taylor titled "Politicians to the electorate: Shut up and vote". Mr. Taylor gives a number of examples of politicians at various levels who have sucessfully stalled and delayed debate on serious issues until after the inconvenience of an election has passed. This goes for Regional government (LRT), federal government and specifically upcoming Trustee elections. The issue of changing the rules around citizen Delegations to the Board has been around for almost three years yet once again it won't be finalized until after the election at the end of this month. Some of these proposed new rules are frankly stupid, draconian and clearly to prevent public embarassment to the Board. For those reasons alone they should be an election issue for Trustees but so far haven't been. Once again Cindy Watson (Cambridge) is one of the few trustees with an honest and intelligent head on her shoulders.
Wednesday, October 1, 2014
Today's Waterloo Region Record carrys the following headline on their Editorial page "Not as smart as we thought". As the Record states "Our publicly funded school boards, it turns out, do a wonderful job of turning poor students into average students". Furthermore "Test resulys combined for the Catholic and public boards clearly show that the region's elementary schoolchildren lag far behind the provincial average for testing in reading, writing and mathematics. Even worse the gap between the local kids and their provincial peers is growing.".
As per a good friend of mine "...nothing will improve until this community admits a problem." I can just hear the pablum and puffery at the Waterloo Region District School Board namely "This isn't a problem it's an opportunity.". Back in 1997 I ran for school trustee granted only partially because I was appalled at the quality of a number of teachers in the elementary system. I remember being appalled at a note written by a public school teacher. It was barely at a Grade 8 level of English yet this teacher was teaching exactly that subject to younger grades. Well I didn't get in and the electorate instead got a lovely lady who just wanted to get along with everybody. I repeat a wonderful person but not what was needed at the school board.
Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Today's Waterloo Region Record carrys an Opinion piece by Luisa D'Amato titled "Why is it that Anstett gets off so lightly and Lavigne is pilloried?". Well for obvious reasons including you are comparing apples to oranges here. If Luisa was comparing a male teacher's conviction and sentencing while in a position of trust for having sex with a young girl versus the female teacher's identical conviction and sentencing (sex with a young male) then I could see valid comparisons. The case Luisa is looking at is in regards to a male hockey player assaulting a former girlfriend. The obvious difference is that 1) he didn't have sex with a person half his age and 2) he confined her in his car and then tackled her when she tried to escape.
Now if Luisa would like to discuss the case solely on its' merits then clearly as Luisa says our "justice system has its internal logic.". That is simply a diplomatic way of saying our justice system is an ass. And she'd be right about that. The only victim in the teacher's case is the teacher herself. Sure she showed horrible judgement but really public humiliation, jail and a permanent loss of her career. That is going way too far. The 17 year old male is as big an ass as the justice system. He played the teacher from the getgo and set everything up. Clearly this teacher isn't the smartest tool in the cupboard as she let a teenage boy have his way with her and essentially do it it front of his whole school. I wonder if he's such a jerk that he's still bragging about his "conquest" after she's without a livelihood and in jail.
Monday, September 29, 2014
I've known for some time that public consultation surrounding contaminated sites, landfills and other environmental concerns is mainly window dressing. It benefits both the polluter and the Ministry of the Environment to be seen as "consulting" affected, local citizens. There is a world of difference however between talking and honestly listening. Normally the polluter and M.O.E. meet privately, talk on the telephone and get all their ducks in a row prior to any public consultation. It makes deception and manipulation so much easier when the parties are on the same page with the same excuses and lies beforehand.
Four years ago Mayor Todd Cowan of Woolwich Township was under severe pressure from both Chemtura and the M.O.E. among others not to reappoint me to the Chemtura Public Advisory Committee. He did so but at the earliest opportunity when I reacted to his arrogance, disrespect and rudeness to me and CPAC, he then turfed me. Since that time George Karlos of the M.O.E. has tried very hard to get me turfed off of SWAT, a sub-committee of CPAC. Quite frankly I with increasing assistance from CPAC have been crushing both Chemtura's and the M.O.E.'s credibility at public CPAC meetings. Bill Bardswick former M.O.E. Director of the West Central District showed up for a couple of CPAC meetings in the last five or more years. His behaviour via talking and complaining while others had the floor was juvenile and disrespectful of all present. No sooner did he retire then he allowed himself to be a proxy for George Karlos by complaining loudly about me and the current CPAC in a book released last Friday titled "No Guardians At The Gate".
The Ontario M.O.E. have no business involving themselves either privately or publicly in the selection of private citizens to environmental committees. While stacking of public consultation committees with friends and fellow travellors is reprehensible it's even worse when the M.O.E. attempts to conspire to remove sincere and well informed volunteers from these committees. Could this manipulative, contrary to the public interest behaviour be defined as a form of corruption?
Saturday, September 27, 2014
Today's Waterloo Region Record carrys this story "Former newspaper publisher loses appeal". Bob Verdun lost a contempt of court case because he e-mailed a letter to his fereal M.P. Stephen Woodworth who promptly sent it off to the Plaintiff in the Libel case. Both Mr. Verdun's lawyer and indeed most Canadians would ask when did Canadians lose the right to submit a request for help to their duly elected representaive especially on a matter of public interest. Apparently this concept is beyond the reach of some of our allegedly professional jurors. Secondly Bob Verdun lost the Libel suit although it to was on a matter of great societal importance. Also what I find strange is that Mr. Verdun accused the Plaintiff of defrauding the public and meanwhile the City of Waterloo in regards to the RIM Park project sued the company the plaintiff represented. Sued for money the City claimed they had been defrauded of. What gives here?
Our entire court system including civil law is a mess. It is too lengthy, too expensive and too mired in red tape and unecessary legalese. It is a playground for lawyers and wealthy Plaintiffs. It is also unjust and disgusting.
Friday, September 26, 2014
Apparently all parents aren't gutless wonders who freely put up with what sometimes passes for education in our public schools. Today's Woolwich Observer carrys a Letter to the Editor titled "Parents need answers about Floradale P.S.". Parent Eric Schwindt has been forced to pay for extra schooling from a private organization (Kumon) for his daughter. Similarily his next youngest child while attending Floradale P.S. also needed extra tutoring. Now that Mr. Schwindt has seen the latest results from provincial testing he understands that Floradale P.S. is the bottom of the pack here in Waterloo Region. It should also be noted that Waterloo Region is generally below the provincial averages a little whereas Floradale is consistently below. It is this consistent below par performance that should have all parents worried. I've got news for Mr. Schwindt. Not always but often the Board sends problem teachers out to the rural schools to get them out of the way. The Board pulled this crap at Winterbourne P.S. years ago and if you check out Linwood and the former Three Bridges School you just might see a pattern.
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Yesterday's Waterloo Region Record carrys this story "Suit targets violence at London jail". That jail is referred to by the local London courts as "hell". Assaults and murders are at ridiculous levels and the cause is plain and simple negligence and neglect by those in authority. the jail is grossly overcrowded with sometimes three sleeping in a cell designed for one. The guards are pulling their hair out and the inmates are constantly under physical threat. Once again our tax dollars heve been misdirected towards politicians pet projects and away from the necessities. These conditions are more 19th century hellholes than what a civilized society should be providing.
Saturday, September 20, 2014
Today's Waterloo Region Record carrys this story "A natural history of Canada Revenue tax audits". Our very own, here in Waterloo Region, K-W Field Naturalists has been targeted by Canada Revenue for an intimidating letter because they had the temerity to send a letter to then federal agriculture minister Gerry Ritz about the negative impact of neonicotonoid pesticides. Image that a club whose primary interest is the natural environment and everything that is in it, being threatened by Revenue Canada with a tax audit. You know it would tale an absolute Conservative control freak at the helm of the party to do such a thing. Does this describe anybody we all know and who currently goes by the initials PM ? Four postings ago I also mentioned a group of 400 academics who have accused the federal government of abusing their authority regarding a Canada Revenue audit of a left wing think tank.
Friday, September 19, 2014
Unsurprisingly to me our top educaters are failing the grade. According to an article in the Waterloo Region Record yesterday titled "Youngest students falling behind"; Region of Waterloo elementary school students are scoring below the Ontario average in reading, writing and math. This despite an annual budget for the WRDSB somewhere in the vicinity of $400 million. The reason I'm not surprised is that I've seen some of their senior personnel up close and personal. My opinion of them was that they care far less about students' achievemnt and far more about maintaining the status quo which includes perks, priveleges, status and money. And they are succeeding in exactly what their priorities are.
This staus quo includes a happy bunch of well paid front line teachers who are not likely to rock the boat internally and even less likely externally in the public eye. In other words keep your front lines smiling hence minimizing whistleblowers and leaks. One last interesting point from this article. "Separating results by school board, local Catholic students currently outperform public students across the board, yet still fall below the Ontario average in four of six areas.". Indeed our WRDSB are masters of puffery and self congratulation. Too bad they weren't better at teaching children the three R's.