This Blog will discuss politics, government, corruption, police, S.I.U., courts, education, min. of attorney general, min. of labour, v.o.i.c.e. and other current and past events of interest to concerned citizens. In the "About me" section to the right and down I have included the names of persons whom I have tremendous respect for. Their influence on me however has been primarily environmental (and personal) and this is therefore a disclaimer that all words posted on this Blog/Website are mine and I alone am responsible for them. I say this with the greatest respect and affection to my friends.
Friday, November 27, 2015
Today's Waterloo Region Record carrys the following story titled " Cowan expensed nachos, beer for his girlfriend trial hears". Despite the headline the more important issues relate to the testimony of M.P.P. Michael Harris and County of Brant Mayor Ron Eddy. Todd Cowan had indicated on three different bills that he had breakfast with them and presumably discussed Township business. Not so said both Mayor Eddy and M.P.P. Harris. They simply had not had breakfast at all with Todd Cowan. So one could kindly say that Todd decided to do two things: have the taxpayers pay for his girlfriend's meal and possibly name drop by claiming he had a business breakfast. Either way it is a serious shot to his credibility. As his defence is primarily one of inadvertence and honest mistake, lying about who you have breakfast with does not help that defence. Some would readily interpret that as a smoking gun indicating that Todd has a very relaxed attitude towards gilding the lily. The trial will resume in February.
Thursday, November 26, 2015
Today's Waterloo Region Record carrys this story titled : "Cowan expensed meal for girlfriend, fraud trial hears". Well now that is quite an earthshattering revelation...NOT. While it is we are advised clearly against the expense rules of either the Township or the Region of Waterloo, pardon me if I yawn a bit. Man they may convict Todd of Fraud and Breech of Trust, but that's incredibly petty. Perhaps the biggest charge against him should be the charge of stupidity.
Today's court date is to have testimony from M.P.P. Michael Harris in regards to a dinner he's alleged to have had with Mayor Cowan. Now as petty as it may be if just maybe that expensed meal with Mr. Harris didn't take place, then Todd only continues to dig his hole deeper. One large misappropriation (theft?) might actually be an error but if the Crown keep whittling away at Todd with numerous expense contraventions, albeit small, then it's like death from a thousand cuts.
I frankly am surprised at the manpower and expenses by all parties in this process considering the small size of the offense ie. $3,200. Maybe Todd screwed up big time yet I still wonder at the concerted attack by the Region, the Township and the Crown. Am I missing something here?
Wednesday, November 25, 2015
Today's Waterloo Region Record carrys this story titled "Company fined $70,000 in suffocation death of worker". An employee entered a grain bin just before noon in order to clear a blockage in an auger. The understanding was that the auger would be turned back on ten minutes later. By whom was not stated. At 4 pm. the company's president asked if anyone had seen the employee. An hour later the auger was stopped and another employee entered the grain bin where he found the plastic pipe that the first employee was using to clear the jam. Another hour later and emergency services were called. The dead employee's body was not found until 1 am. and his foot was caught in the auger. I find this whole situation as written to be astounding. It is difficult to understand how it took so long just to figure out that the emploee hadn't come out of the grain bin.
Tuesday, November 24, 2015
Hoo boy, I admit that I'm biased on this one. To know Todd is to recognize a first class liar. That said just like even paranoids have enemies; even liars can tell the truth sometimes. It's alleged he intentionally "stole" $3,200 by double expensing Woolwich Township and the Region of Waterloo for the same expenses. Right off the back that requires both incredible chutzpah if done intentionally plus incredible confidence in the stupidity and lack of accounting controls by both levels of government. Obviously one of those parties was being asked to pay expenses that weren't theirs to pay. The alternative to all this and the defence being used is that bookeeping isn't Todd's forte. Interesting admission for a former Mayor.
Also interesting is that a week from tomorrow our current mayor, Sandy Shantz, is due in court primarily for contraventions of the Municipal Elections Act. Whether a couple of her charges will be going towards criminal court I do not know. Most of her charges relate to obvious and admitted failures to properly include all her expenses and all her contributions (donations). That said there are a couple of tougher charges dealing with possibly knowingly submitting untrue, sworn Statements. We shall see how the Crown handles those in eight days.
Todd's trial continues tomorrow and probably Friday as well. His case hinges upon intent. Is he just stupid or is he an intentional petty thief? Despite my contempt for him I never really thought of him as being stupid. Todd's level of stupidity however, whichever way the Court rules is quite astounding.
Saturday, November 21, 2015
It must truly be depressing working for our Ontario Ministry of the Environment. The big picture is truly disturbing. Literally every city and every community in Canada with either a present or past manufacturing base has some level of contamination in air, groundwater and surface water. Even briefly ignoring industrial contamination think about human sewage alone in cities like Toronto, Hamilton, Vancouver and Montreal. Montreal in fact has just received permission to dump hundreds of thousands of litres of untreated sewage into the St. Lawrence River.
I've been reading a two decades old report on the status of contaminated sites in Ontario and it is appalling. Even at that it is dishonest in that sites that I have studied and researched are understated and minimized. the contamination that is. The so called remediation is of course overstated.
The other disturbing fact is the utter failure of our media to keep us informed regarding neighbouring pollution here in Ontario. Some of the P.C.B. and Dioxin contaminated sites in Ontario I had never heard of and I'm constantly looking and listening for those news stories. While Uniroyal Chemical and Varnicolor Chemical were well covered locally (Kitchener-Waterloo) and indeed nationally back in the early 90s; they are now virtually ignored. Here in Elmira we can't even get our one remaining newspaper to cover public meetings of the so called public advisory committees, past or present.
Friday, November 20, 2015
Why does it take over two years to bring an accused to trial in this country/province? Really everything was up front, in public with numerous witnesses both in person and via television.
Officer James Forcillo shot Sammy Yatin nine times while he stood on an empty Toronto streetcar with a small knife in his hands. Mr. Yatin was then tasered by another officer. all of this was captured on camera. Today's Waterloo Region Record article is titled "Defence rips credibility of expert at officer's trial". From the quotes in the article it would have been a more accurate title if it said "Defence attempts tp rip...".
The expert involved is an expert in use of force options. His credibility or not does not change what millions of canadians saw on television and on-line two years ago. Whatever the training Officer Forcillo received, whatever the standard or norm is for use of force by police; what happened on a Toronto street two years ago is beyond the pale. The carnage inflicted by police upon the mentally ill throughout Ontario (and elsewhere) must not be allowed to continue.
Thursday, November 19, 2015
Today's Waterloo Region Record carrys this story titled "Man,21, sues Toronto Police for nasty beating". Earlier this month Toronto Police were caught on video beating a 21 year old man on his way to work. The two offciers confronted him as he exited his car at his place of emplyment. The man was punched and kicked eleven times, arrested and then later released the same day. Apparently the police had received a call about a man with a knife and simply guessed wrong when they attacked the 21 year old. He has an intellectual disability and might not have interacted "normally" with the police. Apparently in Toronto it doesn't take much to set some of them off. The man and his family have filed a $5 million lawsuit against the police.
Wednesday, November 18, 2015
A former aide to former Prime Minister Harper was acquitted in an Ottawa Court on charges of influence peddling. The story in today's Waterloo Region Record is titled "Former Harper aide did not influence decisions, court finds".
This not guilty decision is despite "...the judge in the case said that Bruce Carson did try to convince government officials to buy water treatment systems being sold by a firm that employed his former escort girlfriend." Further to this ""It is abundantly clear that Mr. Carson was attempting to influence government officials" the court ruled.".
All of this occurred of course while Mr. Carson was employed as a senior adviser to the former Prime Minister from 2006 until 2008. The final quote in the article that got my attention was "Mr. Carson also admitted that he used his influence in this fashion in order to obtain a benefit for his then girlfriend".
Isn't both justice and the law just grand?
Tuesday, November 17, 2015
Today's Waterloo Region Record carrys this article titled "Vancouver settles lawsuit for wrongful conviction". Ivan Henry served "...spent 27 years behind bars before being acquitted of 10 counts of sexual assault". He has sued the City of Vancouver (police dep't), the province of British Columbia and the federal government.
The two most gratuitously grotesque aspects of the case as stataed in today's Record were the police lineup in which a photo showed Mr. Henry being held in a police chokehold.. just a tad prejudicial... to a handwritten letter delivered to an investigating officer's home in which a complainant expressed her admiration for the officer including advising that she didn't want to let him down or disappoint him. One could certainly interpret this as she didn't want her testimony to disapoint him.
Exactly how many wrongful convictions across Canada is it going to take before somebody, somewhere admits to the elephant in the room. Our judicial systems are biased and broken. They routinely convict innocent people of criminal charges. When will it stop?
Friday, November 13, 2015
Last Wednesday's Waterloo Region Record carrys this story titled "Ex-soldier arrested over 1972 Northern Ireland massacre". Wow, it only took 43 years to arrest one soldier involved in the murder of fourteen unarmed protesters in Northern Ireland. Justice, hallowed be thy name! It's not even as if that soldier's name and presence were ever in doubt. It's not as if the soldiers involved weren't fully in uniform and unmasked at the time.
What is most interesting to me and hopefully obvious to everyone is that the original investigation into the deaths was a complete coverup by the government of the day. Is it any wonder that people understand that any government inquiries or investigations into serious events can be totally manipulated and subverted. This is not a conspiracy theory Woolwich Mayor Shantz. It is fact. When it comes to corruption, lying, double dealing and even murder; our governments around the world have no peers. Those who rely on lying to get their way and to diminish opposition can't help but carry that lying on with almost everything they touch.
Thursday, November 12, 2015
The October 28/15 Waterloo Region Record carried this in house Editorial titled "Sharing an ombud makes sense". Unfortunately it simply isn't so and I find it hard to believev that the Record doesn't already know that. The old expression refers to the fox guarding the hen house. That is precisely what this will be. Who exactly do you think will be hiring this municpal ombudsman? We need look no further than the joint MECAC (Municipal Elections Act Compliance Audit Committee) appointed by all the municiapal Clerks in the Region of Waterloo. They have proven themselves to be an absolute joke. They do not declare obvious conflicts of interest and they have made ridiculous decisions here in Woolwich Township while spouting the most asinine rationale for so doing. They have proven their ability to stickhandle around the Municipal Elections Act 1996. Why would I or any other informed citizen expect anything remotely better from another in house "investigative" body. Please!
Wednesday, November 11, 2015
In the past we've heard our military and our police forces referred to as ggod old boys clubs, neandrathals and generally right wing,racist and sexist pigs. Despite most forces having opened their doors decades ago to women and ethnic minorities, racism and sexism apparently still thrive. Today's Waterloo Region Record carrys the following story titled "Police officer tells of "humiliating" treatment". If so much as half of what is written in this article turns out to be true then Peel Police should hang their heads in shame. So much for the blue wall. So much for "brother" officers. Apparently if you're an immigrant of a visible ethnic minority certain fields and professions are only open to you at the lower positions. Upper management is for others better qualified, perhaps by birth location?
Tuesday, November 10, 2015
This particular Waterloo Region Record article is a couple of weeks old but in it Luisa D'Amato, who is usually pretty well balanced in regards to education issues in Ontario, has clearly had enough. The title is "Students, taxpayers sold out by government, teachers' unions". Luisa blasts both the Liberal government as well as the high school teachers unions over the $1 million that the Wynn government gave to the high school teachers' unions to help them with their bargaining costs. That's right a million bucks to offset their costs getting to and sitting at the negotiating table. The kicker of course was the government's insistence that receipts also weren't necessary thenk you. Now in hindsight that little bit of salt in the wound has been somewhat rectified. Note somewhat.
Monday, November 9, 2015
The title should make all of us ask how the hell a dead seven year old, by violence, ends up taking seven years to get before a coroner's inquest. Today's Waterloo Region Record carrys this story titled "Expert: Inquest will reveal failings of child protection". Does nobody believe that this was important enough to have ben done six or more years ago?
The step parents approved by child welfare authorities and the courts were sentenced in 2012 to life in prison with no chance for parole for fifteen years. The woman involved and given custody of the child had previous multiple convictions for violent crimes. Clearly our society failed this child and how many more in the intervening years?
Wednesday, November 4, 2015
According to Martin Regg Cohn in today's Waterloo Region Record , it is, sort of. His article is titled "Police carding reined in by Ontario politicians". There are a couple of exceptions including undercover police officers. What the hell is that about? That makes even less sense. If you don't have to show I.D. to uniformed cops then why in hell would you show diddlysquat to some joker in blue jeans and a T-shirt, claiming to be a cop. Really? Mr. Cohn nevertheless makes the claim that Ontario politicians have finally stood up and made it plain that our police forces are not a power unto themselves. Civilain oversight first, middle and last. It's about time.