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, January 28, 2015
Nine Woolwich Township residents in only four years have Chemtura and the Ontario Ministry of the Environment on the ropes. The nine residents are Dan Holt, Sebastian Seibel-Achenbach, Vivienne Delaney, Ron Campbell, Graham Chevreau, Richard Clausi, Henry Regier, myself (Al Marshall) and probably least Councillor Mark Bauman. Poor old Mark is ranked least because he is the most unpredictable. He has done excellent things in public Council meetings for CPAC (financial grants) as well as horrible things such as ignoring their express wishes and denying me CPAC membership at Council. He also appears to be the intelligence behind Woolwich Mayor Sandy Shantz's incredibly stupid attempt to scapegoat CPAC for Chemtura and the Ontario Ministry of the Environment's tantrums and snits.
Chemtura and the Ontario M.O.E. are the guilty parties. They gave each other Indemnitys decades ago in order to avoid appropriate blame, financial damages and public humiliation here in Elmira, Ontario. Both have cheerfully passed the costs of their actions onto the environment and onto taxpayers. Both have lied repeatedly and shamefully for decades.
The Chemtura Public Advisory Committee (CPAC) and their sub-committee SWAT (Soil, Water, Air & Technical) consisting of the above named nine persons have them in a corner. Incredible revelations have them running for their Mommys. These revelations taken together paint a picture of an out of control corporate polluter and their corrupt regulator. These revelations including a professional consultant's report on the east side of their property could and should result in a public inquiry into the Ontario m.O.E..
Instead the new Woolwich Mayor is running interference for Chemtura and the M.O.E.. She is promising them an easier time at public CPAC meetings by changing the rules exactly as Chemtura have requested. She is threatening CPAC by suggesting she is willing to reopen CPAC Applications that were closed before Christmas expressly under the direction of Woolwich Township. Currently there are eight Applications including five CPAC members, myself and possibly two unknowns. Our suspicion is that the two "unknowns" are longtime Chemtura sympathizers and strongly supported by chemtura. On their own they could influence but not control this CPAC as they did the last one.
The appearance is very clear. Mark Bauman and Mayor Shantz are trying to hamstring CPAC & SWAT precisely when we have Chemtura and the M.O.E. where we want them. The Mayor and Mark of course will not admit to running interference for Chemtura. They have a story about us needing the other two parties present. They claim that CPAC have alienated them. Bullshit built on top of bullshit and lies built upon lies.
Tuesday, January 27, 2015
So how many Canadian citizens under peer pressure have never done wrong? How many Canadian teens have never sucummbed to peer pressure whether on a minor matter or more significant? Helmut Oberlander is now 90 years old and has lived in Canada since the early 1950's. Has his life here been a demonstration of his basic humanity or not? As a sixteen to seventeen year old in Europe during the second world war was he the master of his own life? Did he harbour anti-semitic views at that time? Did he actively and freely participate as a teenager in murdering other human beings? Was he any more guilty than literally millions of other Germans who failed to denounce the Nazis and their genocide? Should we continue to punish those who by no choice were in the wrong place at the wrong time? Would either you or I risk our lives by publicly denouncing the barbaric and murderous Nazi regieme then? Or would you and I simply keep our heads down and hope to survive the war? Steven Harper, Prime Minister of Canada, you disgust me. Leave the vengeance to the surviving victims and God. Judge Oberlander, if you must, on his whole life. Do not judge him on guilt by association when he was a child. He was no death camp commander cheerfully and willingly murdering thousands for the greater glory of the Fatherland. And you know that full well yet you continue to pursue him. Shame on you, not him. Today's Waterloo Region Record article.
Monday, January 26, 2015
Twenty-five years ago the Ontario Ministry of the Environment shut down the Elmira, Ontario wells due to NDMA allegedly solely from Uniroyal Chemical. Twenty-five years of sellouts, lies, deceptions and blatant protection of the polluters' interests rather than the public's. It continues to this day. The Chemtura Public Advisory Committee (CPAC) currently have both the polluter (Chemtura) and the M.O.E. on the ropes. In response they have gone running to their tried and true friends, Woolwich Council.
This time is a little different. CPAC are no longer controlled by former Woolwich Councillor Pat Mclean and her buddy. CPAC while still a committee of council have integrity and courage. They will not be bullshitted and bafflegabbed into silence by anyone. Especially not at this time when they have a gamechanging Report (MTE- Peter Gray) in their hands which has been supported by the past Woolwich Council and to date which Chemtura and their consultants Conestoga Rovers have failed to shake.
The other issue is the new Woolwich Council. While there are some old, experienced hands who probably would continue to sell out the public interest there are others who will not. They do not automatically equate either Chemtura's interests or the M.O.E.'s with those of the public. This is good news.
Friday, January 23, 2015
Today's Waterloo Region Record carrys this story "Waterloo Mayor to put an end to closed-door budget meetings". Now that was a quick turn around! Apparently after the provincial Ombudsman Andre Marin took to Twitter condemning the city's practices; the City have reconsidered. Marin referred to the City's behaviour as "it's such a transparent, amateurish attempt at just flaunting the law". He also spelled out what many have said about the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) investigating municipalities through their LAS. Marin stated "Waterloo picked AMO's LAS to "investigate" violation. So council's safe".
On the one hand the Ombudsman is exercising his influence without even being formally asked to investigate. That is good news. The bad news is that a city bureaucracy or Council who would pull this crap so early in the game needs to be watched carefully. They've been pulled up short this time but clearly there is a problem with people being so willing to flout the law in order to avoid legally mandated public input.
Thursday, January 22, 2015
Wow you'd think the newest politicians could at least pretend to be open and accountable for the first few months in office at least. Apparently not in the City of Waterloo. Today's Editorial in the Waterloo Region Record is titled "End these secret budget meetings". It's not just that they are private and secret it's the astounding chutzpah being demonstrated by Councillors and Staff. They are violating at a minimum the spirit of the Municiapl Act if not the letter. they are stickhandling around rules simply for their own convenience. Kudos to new Councillor Bob Mavin who has filed a Freedom of Information request with the city in order to get his legitimate budget questions asked. Truly unbelieveable that either Staff or the Mayor think that they can bulldoze not only the public but also duly elected councillors. This does not portend well for the next four years in waterloo. You'd almost think that they had forgotten so soon how a past Mayor and Council got scammed and bamboozled regarding the Rim Park fiasco. Keep it transparent and accountable please.
Wednesday, January 21, 2015
Here in Woolwich Township we've just received confirmation of Chemtura Canada meeting privately with our new Mayor for a little "chat". As we have known for the last 3-4 months Chemtura are very unhappy campers. Afterall they've long played ball with their regulator the Ontario Ministry of the Environment. Hence everything else is just a smokescreen and public relations. Being able to say that they meet with the public in a monthly open forum gives the impression that they are open and transparent. What a joke.
It must have been a shock to their delicate feelings to learn that the public advisory committee sees right through them. High priced consultants spewing forth nonsense on an ongoing basis worked with the last CPAC headed by Pat McLean and Susan Bryant. It would not surprise me if our new Mayor has already sold the farm in its'entirety. That she would give any credence whatsoever to Chemtura and the M.O.E.'s neverending drivel and lies is disappointing. Regardless she will go through a "process" designed to pretend a certain objectivity. This is similar to the "process" I went through back in 2008 with Woolwich Council regarding my getting booted from CPAC. It was a done deal what with Mayor Strauss, Murray Martin and Sandy Shantz but they needed to pretend to themselves at least that they were being objective and reasonable. Not even close.
CPAC have treated Chemtura and the M.O.E. with far more respect and courtesy than they deserve. I too have held my tongue on numerous occasions when I felt like just blasting them for their stupidity, stubborness and blatant lying. Apparently for ignorant or biased local polticians it's all about offending the most powerful the least. To hell with the public interest just don't offend "big shots". Maybe they've threatened to leave town and blame it on the Mayor. Personally I expect that they will leave during this Mayor's term and her treatment of them is irrelevant. It will be a head office corporate decision. Everyrthing else is smoke and mirrors.
Tuesday, January 20, 2015
I've long known that developers and industries and businesses dealing with municipal councils work through the Staff first. Then only after discussions have reached either an impasse or more often agreement; then items go to the Councils for approval. I didn't realize however that these same developers, consultants and lawyers often end up meeting with and lobbying entire Councils behind closed doors. What a scam. No wonder the public get the impression that some items coming to Council are a long done deal. All kinds of assumptions and conclusions seem to be in the Councillors minds that have not been presented publicly. Last Thursday's Waterloo Region Record gives us the following story "Developers, lawyers allowed into secret council meetings".
Monday, January 19, 2015
This morning I received my "Weekly Round-Up from SQE's Blog. SQE stands for Society for Quality Education and they've been around for a very long time. In my moment of educational need they were there for me. Today's Round-Up is titled "When school boards fail" and comes from a recent Toronto Star article ( Fri. Jan.29/15 ). Apparently school boards around the world have disgraced themselves and been taken over or abolished. SQE have long advocated for the abolition of school boards and it appears as if the rest of the world are catching on to that idea.
Friday, January 16, 2015
Yesterday's Waterloo Region Record carrys this story "Top school wages not frozen, analysis shows". Oh I am so shocked (not!). Just because the provincial government which nominally is in charge of education imposed a wage freeze on executive educational salaries; that doesn't mean that local boards and superintendants think it applys to them. It turns out that increases have continued on despite the alleged 2011-2014 wage freeze. Meanwhile we are advised that the Catholic Board may have trouble hiring a new education director because they are limited to a $200,565 annual salary. Poor babies, poor ed director, however will you survive? The Chair of the Waterloo Catholic District School Board asks why a potential education director would come and work for them for only $200,565 per year. Gee maybe do you think the individual should have some interest in say education? Perhaps even a background in local education. Is Waterloo Region so inhospitable educationally that qualified persons will avoid this area? I don't think so. It's just a game to keep everlasting upward pressure on all the executives salaries. Me first, education way down the line attitude and it permeates both boards apparently.
Thursday, January 15, 2015
Today's Waterloo Region Record almost carrys this story "Police chief won't testify at G20 hearing". I say almost because when I tried to link to today's story all I could get was a similar story from a couple of days ago. The net result is that while there have been a couple of minor assault convictions of rank and file police we are stuck with nothing better than Police Act charges against Superintendant David Fenton, the senior officer in charge at the time. He is being charged with two "kettling" incidents which took place that weekend in June 2010. These mass arrests of innocent citizens took place going on five years ago and now we find he is claiming that his superiors had full knowledge of what he was doing.
Despite this neither Chief Bill Blair nor since retired Deputy Chief Tony Warr can be compelled to testify at Supt. Fenton's disciplinary hearing. This is ridiculous but fully in line with allowing mass illegal arrests and not criminally charging thiose responsible. Secondly taking up to five years for justice for those falsely arrested and imprisoned is a disgrace and a scandal in its' own right. Citizens this is no longer a democracy when your rights can be so trampeled without proper accountability before or afterwards.
Wednesday, January 14, 2015
On December 15/14 the Waterloo Region Record published their Editorial titled "Liberals shoot the messenger". The Record were astonished by the arrogance of our provincial Liberal government. The provincial Auditor General released a report detailing failures in the Liberals' management of our electricity system here in Ontario. It detailed excessive waste and spending as well as overcharging of consumers. What does the government do? They attack the provincial auditor suggesting that she has not grasped the "complex' topic.
As the Record wrote the auditor general is very well qualified unlike Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli who is a typically professional politician with little or no known or credentialed skills. There were many other instances of government waste and mismanagement including the gas plant scandals (seat savers).
How can we as citizens expect good government and government services at any level when the apple is rotten at the core. Provincial and federal partisan politics have moved far beyonf simply disgusting. They are criminally bad.
Tuesday, January 13, 2015
Thankyou Luisa D'Amato. You have made my day and every other citizen in Waterloo Region who's been screwed by the self-serving "Just Us" system . The headline for Luisa's Opinion column in today's Waterloo Region Record is "Our gorgeous new courthouse is home to a flawed justice system". "Flawed" is the world's biggest understatement. It is a pathetic disgrace whereby money buys you justice and truth and fairness take a very, very backseat to that money. I had a first cousin who was a police officer for thirty-five years and he was amazed. Charged individuals who seemed the likely culprits at the time; months later the police themselves were convinced they had the wrong person. Nevermind, the Crown prosecuter had a job to do and these folks got convicted anyways. Similarily what should have been open and shut guilty verdicts at court, a jury would acquit over the tiniest alibis.
Luisa is underwhelmed with the case of a tenant who was illegally evicted and now the Landlord and Tenant Bureau found his landlord at fault and awarded the tenant damages. The tenant however is on the hook to try and collect said money. It is disgraceful and believe me Luisa it is the tip of the iceberg. That said thankyou for the headline and our judicial system should hang their heads in shame but they themselves are shameless. The justice system truly is the "just us" system. It works remarkably well for the lawyers and judges at the taxpayers trough while remarkably often screwing those very same taxpayers. With money you can keep on appealing until you get your win. For the rest of us we are broke after the first round much less years later into the Kafkayesque odyssey.
Monday, January 12, 2015
Dirty politics occurs at all tiers of government. It's all about information and the control of it. It includes stacking committees with your political friends and allies and always undermining privately and in the shadows those who are a political threat to you. It is all about smiling and being friendly and slipping the knife in at the most opportune moment. Morals, ethics and honour are all for show. It is using other people to do your dirty work. It is inducing supporters or those with an axe to grind to be the ones to go on the record or to put dirt into print. It is about keeping your hands clean while those honest people who think you are for real get their hands dirty. It is about controlling Agendas, controlling access to information and abusing in camera rights at every opportunity.
Spreading dirt and filth about your competitors is an art form. Patience is required and the collection of "dirt" and the promotion of lieutenants and assistants and the strokimg of their egos is required. You must never lose your temper or control but you must be able to provoke others to do so when necessary. This folks is the fine art of politics in our democratic system. It is a system in which filth flourishes. Filths' goals rarely are revolutionary. They simply want to get ahead at everyone else's expense. For them the goals or mandate of the organization are simply words. They are using them for their own ego and benefit. They are but a mantra to hide behind and twist when helpful to themselves. Yes folks most human beings are not this bad or this intelligent to be sucessfully bad. This is a "profession" which attracts filth and bad people. This "profession" has been turned into trash by its' participants.
Friday, January 9, 2015
MUNICIPAL COUNCILS THINK THEY SHOULD DECIDE WHICH CITIZENS TO APPOINT TO REPRESENT THEIR MUNICIPALITIES
Four years ago our enlightened citizens of Woolwich (including me) voted Todd Cowan Mayor over two contenders. Two months ago these same citizens voted Sandy Shantz Mayor while relegating Todd to fourth place out of four candidates. The point is this: four years ago all incumbents were turfed except one and two months ago all incumbents were turfed except one. Julie-Ann Herteis at least was smart enough not to run for a second term and get thrown out with the rest. For the record Bonnie Bryant did an excellent job and I'm sorry to see her go.
Our voters whether municipal, provincial or federal generally don't have a clue on a collective basis. How the hell did they re-elect the provincial Liberals after the mess they've made financially and ethically with scandal after scandal? How the hell have the federal Tories finally got a majority government? Geez.
Our municipal government in Woolwich Township have historically been part of the problem rather than part of the solution regarding the restoration of Elmira's groundwater. They have consistently appointed hangers on and suck ups to their committee of council dealing with Uniroyal and then Chemtura. The best CPAC ever has just about ended and the gamesmanship is in full swing. A past councillor and her sidekick have been lobbying the winning Mayoralty candidate throughout the election and since. They want back on the Chemtura Public Advisory Committee (CPAC) in order to restore peace and harmony via their unique method of selling out to both the polluter (Chemtura) and their inherently corrupt regulator (MOECC).
Citizens committees representing the community should not be municipal council appointees. Especially committees dealing with serious pollution problems. What they generally want are people who are compliant and who won't raise a fuss, no matter what. This of course is just dandy with the polluter and their regulator and guarantees nothing positive will actually happen. A totally new system is desperately required because as is these so called independent public advisory committees become nothing more than an arms length extension of council telling councils exactly what they want to hear.
Thursday, January 8, 2015
O.K. I guess it's possible that one man could be both a comedian and a rapist. With the latest additional allegations there are thirty women who claim that Bill Cosby raped/sexually assaulted them. Is it possible that thirty different women would make such incredibly horrible and nasty allegations against the same man, falsely? For what possible gain? As I understand it the Statute of Limitations has long ago expired. Therefore no criminal charges and they can't even bring a civil claim. If true the man is an animal.
I am at a loss on this one and I expect there are millions more who feel the same. I have seen a couple of women behave badly and throw out false allegations and charges against a man. Criminal charges no. Thirty women no. I don't know the credibility of any of the thirty and yes I've been a fan of Bill Cosby since his days with Robert Culp on the TV show "I Spy".
All that said I would say that on the balance of probabilities I believe the thirty unknown (to me at least) women. This is not a charge that very many people tend to make even with some reasonable possibility of a sucessful prosecution and punishment. To make it with no expectation of either only adds to their credibility. I do wish that there were some hard evidence including notarized statements from the alleged victims. I wish Mr. Cosby would offer to take a polygraph even though I understand they are not admissable in court. Today's Waterloo Region Record carrys this story "Cosby gets standing ovation from large Kitchener audience".
Wednesday, January 7, 2015
Today's Waterloo Region Record carrys the following story "Tribunal members have ties to Tories". Jason Kenney is a professional liar working on behalf of the Conservative Party of Canada. He is also a Cabinet Minister which speaks volumes regarding moral qualifications necessary to rise to the top of the political heap. Perhaps the words morals and politics really never should be used in the same sentence.
The Minister claims that he avoided patronage while appointing 1/3 of the 96 members to the Social Security Tribunal. Currently there is an 11,000 case backlog of appeals to this Tribunal regarding employment insurance, old age security and Canada pension plan benefits. "Thousands of Canadians are waiting years for appeals due to the growing backlog of cases since the Tribunal's inception.". Cronyism or not; they clearly aren't getting the job done in a timely manner.
Tuesday, January 6, 2015
Every now and then an honest person gets their due. Catholic voters in their stupidity, through out Anthony Piscitelli last October and now they have four years to whine and complain about the Catholic School Board. Today's Record Editorial is titled "An education reformer endures". The Record point out the number of issues in which Mr. Piscetelli was a progressive voice in educational matters. Unfortunately when you work with a bunch of turkeys they tend to use terms such as dissenter and asker of uncomfortable questions. I too have been in this position a few short years ago. Quoting the record's Editorial "Even after leaving office, he continues to move the board's behaviour in a positive direction. That's the mark of a true reformer.".
My experience at reforming had to do with environmental reform in Elmira, Ontario. I had a few turkeys on the Chemtura Public Advisory Committee (CPAC). Their backdoor manipulations led to my ouster courtesy of an equally bad municipal council. Today we have had an excellent CPAC for four years and while an inexperienced Council they supported CPAC at crucial times. To date it looks as if our new Council (with more experience) may also be on the right track environmentally. Whether I am appropriately reinstated to CPAC, only time will tell. Mr. Piscetelli remember the saying that "No good deed goes unpunished.". And take comfort in today's K-W Record Editorial. You are obviously a man of honour with a sense of ethics far beyond that of your peers on the Catholic Board.
Monday, January 5, 2015
On Tuesday December 30/14 the Waterloo Region Record carried this story "Catholic trustees set new rules for conduct". Personally I found the story and the news disgusting and offensive. Apparently I wasn't the only one as the newsletter from the Society for Quality Education (SQE) offers a similar opinion. Whatever tiny amount of power or authority trustees have; they are their own worst enemies at undermining it. Trustees are to place loyalty to the Board ahead of loyalty to parents and children. Wow! Well at least it's more out in the open than it was. This has been the unstated norm for a very long time.
I'm a little surprised that it is the Catholic Board that has come up with this heavy duty crap. Maybe I'm just naive in that I've long known how far down the slippery slope of deceit and self interest the Waterloo Region District School Board have gone; but I still held out hope for the Catholic Board. Guess it was just wishful thinking. Corrupt provincial politics can hardly lead to honest and transparent local educational politics and never has. Parents watch your butts and don't take these scum on by yourselves no matter how stupid and corrupt their decision making is. The WRDSB are petty, stupid, vicious and always willing to hire lawyers and use our pathetic judicial system to intimidate parents. It takes a special kind of gutless wonder to misbehave and then hide behind the millions of dollars of taxpayers money combined with a perverted judicial system equally corrupted by money, power and influence.
Friday, January 2, 2015
I have been posting numerous articles on the Elmira Advocate Blog regarding Ontario's use and abuse of Agent Orange throughout the province from 1949 until 1979. The extent of the wanton disregard and apparent contempt for Ontario citizens has completely blown me away. I believe that all of one other province (British Columbia) used 2,4,5-T on their forests and possibly highway shoulders. New Brunswick was of course treated to U.S. experimentation with Agent Orange at Canadian Forces Base Gagetown prior to the U.S. military using it in Vietnam. The story was it was to reduce tree and leaf cover for the invading Viet Cong. The reality was that it was also used bigtime to destroy food crops and starve both the insurgents and the local rural South Vietnamese who may or may not have been supplying some of their food to the North Vietnamese Army.
To date I have read a number of rebuttals by Ontario Hydro of scientific studies describing Dioxin health effects. I have also seen rebuttals from chemical industry lobby groups. The first warning actually came about in 1952 when Monsanto advised the U.S. government that they had found Dioxins in their 2,4,5-T herbicide. There were further warnings in 1957 from manufacturer Boehringer and yet it appears that neither governments nor other herbicide manufacturers paid much attention. Profits seemed to be the order of the day. Lest we forget it was Rachel Carson in 1962 who published "Silent Spring". Her warnings were prophetic and yet they too were attacked by the chemical industry and their syncophants in government.
The U.S. government are finally assisting Vietnam to cleanup some of the former highly contaminated U.S. bases. The U.S. government have treated their own veterans shamefully again running interference for industry for decades. A $180 million settlement did occur in 1984 but it paid precious little to the thousands of U.S. servicemen and women who suferred ill health. The overall pain and sufferring in Vietnam, Canada, United States and other countries who have used Dioxin contaminated 2,4,5-T is overwhelming. The costs of health care are also disasterous. All it would have taken is a few governments with backbones to have shut production down in the early 60's as the evidence of the human carnage mounted.