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 30, 2015
The following story was published in the Waterloo Region Record today, December 30, 2015, titled "Court dismisses Lavigne appeals". My comments today are focused on the College of Teachers far more than on the individual teacher. Yes the teacher has been convicted of a criminal charge and sentenced to thirteen months imprisonment. That said perhaps I believe somewhat in a double standard in regards to this particular set of circumstances namely a female teacher sexually "exploiting" a seventeen year old male student. That said she seems to be the one who has been both punished via firing and sentenced to jail as well as by the destruction of her career and reputation. I seriously am doubtful that the alleged "victim" is any such thing.
Now to the College of Teachers. Currently the teacher's status is listed on their website as in "good standing". Holy crap are you kidding me? She's been fired, convicted and sentenced for a criminal offense against a student and the College lists her in "good standing". Furthermore the College lists a discipline committee hearing for July 7, 2015 but does not state if the hearing took place or any results from it. Also no spokespersons were available for comment yesterday apparently to this article. All in all I think this should advise parents especally as to who's side the College of Teachers is on now and has been on in the past.
Tuesday, December 29, 2015
The December 24/15 Waterloo Region Record carried the following story by Gavin MacFadyen, titled "Solitary confinement has no place in a just society". There have been several well known jailhouse suicides by convicts including the infamous death of Ashley Smith at Kitchener's Grand Valley Institution for Women several years ago. It probably isn't even exactly fair referring to Ashley Smith as a convict. She was nineteen years old and had been incarcerated for four years after throwing apples at a postman. Yes you heard that right.
Several coroner's inquests have demanded an end to the practice and in a civilized society that should have happened a long time ago. Apparently our new government and prime minister are in favour of eliminating the practice hence we can only hope it happens sooner than later. Far too often have we seen that authority without serious accountability leads to abuses of the powerless. It is long overdue that many Canadian institutions face greater not less scrutiny and accountability. Corrections Service Canada is high on that list. I would add hospitals and especially school boards as well followed by municipal governments. Some are a hotbed of truth abusers and manipulaters for their benefit not for the benefit of the public.
Monday, December 28, 2015
Thursday December 24, 2015 the Waterloo Region Record carried the following story titled "Mom says Guelph police "carded" her son". Bully for you Guelph police. The kid was fourteen years old albeit big for his age. Nevertheless he was minding his own business and sure as hell did not need some cop interrupting, harassing or simply bothering him which is exactly what happened. I guess over in Guelph they haven't heard the news. The Province of Ontario are doing their damndest to end the practice. It is discriminatory, intrusive , unecessary and oftentimes nothing more than bully cops throwing their weight around. Apparently when the mother phoned Guelph police to complain they just flat out lied to her. Really gives you a warm feeling knowing that your local police are looking out for who; somebody, nobody, themselves or they're just bored. Appreciation and respect for the police will only return AFTER all kinds of their bad behaviour is cleaned up. It doesn't matter that the large majority mind their manners and play by the rules; it is the exceptions who stand out and besmirch all the rest. Similar to the teachers' unions protecting and covering up for their bad members; it does backfire on all the rest. Root out the truly bad ones and then the public will get behind you again.
Wednesday, December 23, 2015
Today's Waterloo Region Record carrys this story titled "Time for Wynne to blow up children's aid mess". Somewhat to my surprise this article and its' premise that Ontario's Childrens' Aid system indeed is a mess, barely if at all scratches the surface of complaints in recent years regarding "baby snatching" and other issues. There have been public demonstrations and complaints that on occasion childrens' aid workers do more damage to families than good. Essentially none of these issues are addressed. In fact this article focuses on ancient computer systems and horrible communications between numerous parties involved in the system. Perhaps the antiquated computers and bureaucratic confusion may or may not be a part of the allegations against childrens' aid societys in Ontario. Whatever the cause it has apparently become obvious to all parties that reform is long overdue.
Monday, December 21, 2015
Well it's been quite a year for politicians and near politicians when it comes to charges laid against them. Todd Cowan (Woolwich Twp.), Brasseau, Wallin and Duffy and now two highly placed aides to former Premier Dalton McGuinty. The two aides have both been charged with breach of trust and mischief in regards to allegedly deleting important e-mails about the closure of two gas plants in Oakville and Mississsauga. These two gas plants were shut down after construction was already started resulting in the government having to satisfy contractors' financial losses. The Progressive Conservatives referred to the actions as Liberals "seat saver programs" as they occurred immediately before the 2011 election. The Waterloo Region Record carried this story last week and it was titled "OPP charge two ex-McGuinty aides". It was an incredibly bad self-serving, partisan move by the Liberal government and cost the taxpayers a fortune. The biggest shame was that they weren't hoofed out of government in either the 2011 or 2015 provincial elections.
Friday, December 18, 2015
Everyone knows Toronto Hospital for Sick Children. Many of us have had relatives or friends' children as patients. Well yesterday a long awaited report told us exactly what some mothers of children removed from their custody have been telling us for years. A contoversial program which uses hair analysis to determine if the mother has been using drugs or alcohol has at long last been discredited. This program was run by the Toronto Hospital for sick Children. The name of the program was the Motherisk Drug Testing Laboratory and was used both by criminal courts as well as Children's Aid Societies. What may never be known is the number of children removed by CAS from mothers based upon flawed hair testing evidence. Unbelieveable that we now rely so much on science, even bad science to make our decisions for us or even possibly to simply back up bad decisions in the first place.
Thursday, December 17, 2015
The question is, is anyone listening? Are these pompous, arrogant and self-serving educrats receiving the contempt and disrespect they've been begging for, for decades? Or on the other hand is it possible that those that I knew back in the 90s have all retired leaving a mess for the next generation of management to clean up? Somehow I'd be shocked if there had been any real, substantive change putting students first, rather than teachers' unions and the School Boards themselves.
Today's Waterloo Region Record carrys this story by Luisa D'Amato titled "Our students' mediocre test scores should be top priority for trustees". Clearly she doesn't believe that that currently is the case. The history of underachievement locally really is shameful with but a few schools and exceptions. Long ago I learned that school achievement can be improved but it's necessarily due to a combination of an excellent Principal AND excellent teachers. Even then this sucess sometimes is despite the eforts of the local school boards.
Luisa advises us of a particular teacher and his adherence to phonics. The Society for Quality Education (SQE) has a weekly newsletter which has long indicated the major changes needed in order to improve students learning. Phonics for English and memorization of the math basics combined with repitition are but a start. Seems this is all just too much for our local boards.
Wednesday, December 16, 2015
It's taken me decades to figure that out. Yes we all know that environmental protection is primarily courtesy of our provincial government and our truly awful Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC). That said it is the local citizens, residents and electors who suffer the consequences of environmental degradation and emissions. Hence they expect at a bare minimum truth from their local representatives as well as lobbying on their behalf.
Here in Woolwich Township neither has happened with a very short exception from 2010-2014. Not before and certainly not since. We have also had Chemtura Canada (formerly Uniroyal Chemical) lie, deceive and manipulate while all the time confidently having the MOECC cover their backs for them. What a corrupt system! During the last quarter century plus our local councillors have all talked a good game while almost constantly shielding Chemtura from any serious scrutiny or criticism. This has included the Township taking over the citizens public advisory committee formed in 1991 as an independent body. It hasn't been remotely independent essentially from the getgo as the Township (& Region) promoted certain citizen reps while undermining others. This has even included blatant removals of this citizen after discovering various coverups including the sham of off-site remediation as well as the DNAPL (dense non-aqueous phase liquids) scam.
Literally for decades our local politicians have enabled Chemtura (Uniroyal) avoid their moral and legal responsibilities to clean up their toxic mess here in Elmira. If there is a hell that's where they are all going.
Monday, December 14, 2015
Sometimes when police officers misbehave you can see that ethical weakness or simple human greed are behind their bad behaviour. This case is definitely different. Last Saturday's Waterloo Region Record carried this story titled "Local officer avoids conviction for fraud, obstructing police".
In this case the officer wasn't attempting to get out of trouble or blame for an incident; in fact quite the opposite. His son had crashed his car in a single vehicle accident in the wee hours. The recently separated officer received a phone call from his wife telling him to "fix" it and "fix" it he did. His wife drove their son home and dropped him off at the accident scene. He phoned the police and took full responsibility for his son's accident.
Unfortunately this included defrauding the insurance company who paid both for the damage to his car as well to a damaged bus shelter. Months later the police were advised that they had been lied to. No mention of who did that but it hardly seems likely that it was some independent, third party witness. The inevitable happened and the officer was charged with fraud and obstruction.
The officer is still awaiting Police Act charges to be completed. His conditional discharge from the courts is a break for him. That said clearly he knew what he was doing was both wrong and criminal but we all can be blindsided by family from time to time. This is a tough one.
Friday, December 11, 2015
Today's Waterloo Region Record has carried the following story titled "Teen's death raises questions". The teen involved was a seventeen year old who died in an unlicensed Oshawa group home last April. An altercation with staff resulted in him being restrained on the floor and he died shortly after. This incident coincides with an investigation by the Toronto Star "...that has revealed an unaccountable and secretive child protection system...". The Star investigation also referenced the recent auditor general's report which "...outlined a litany of problems including improperly conducted investigations into child abuse and the government's failure to fully enforce standards." None of these revelations are really news. Children's Aid Society's may be coming under greater scrutiny at long last. Government failures to enforce their own laws, rules and regulations are also nothing new. A large part of this Record article deals with the use of restraints on children. While there may be occasions and individuals where staff must restrain them; apparently the procedures, practices and methods are not properly codeified, documented or even thoroughly understood.
Thursday, December 10, 2015
Disappointment, resignation, vindication, cheap exhultation and finally sympathy. Those are my feelings to date regarding the status of former mayor, Todd Cowan. Personally I hold him in the highest contempt as the liar he is and for the damage he did me personally with his pathological and petty lying including doing so in an already biased book about the Elmira water crisis. That said at what point is the punishment more severe than the offences? Whatever slight sympathy or even support remained for Todd has pretty well dried up with the newest revelations at his trial. Improperly expensing his girlfriend's breakfasts four times and on at least some of them substituting other politician's names in an apparent attempt to claim a "business" breakfast and have her meal paid for, has done him in.
My sympathy which did not extend to shaking his hand at trial a couple of weeks ago is based both upon his horribly public downfall as well as his horribly flawed personality. Yes according to the prosecution Todd has committed both fraud and breach of trust. We won't know until February 2016 whether or not the judge agrees. My expectation is that the judge will have no choice but to find Todd guilty. At that point he will be a publicly proven liar and thief.
Here's the rub. Todd was making very good money for four years ($100,000/yr) . He hadn't been making good money for years prior and he sure as hell is making buggarall currently. He has two wives and multiple children behind him as well with alimony and child support payments into the bargain. He was broke going into the mayor's chair. Does this justify petty theft? No, but it might at least partially explain it. Partially. Despite my personal contempt for him I will always give him credit for shaking up a badly flawed and co-opted CPAC (Chemtura Public Advisory Committee). He was the first and only mayor to understand the ridiculous and asinine situation whereby our local polluter was in charge of both the alleged cleanup and the citizens committee allegedly overseeing it.
Back to Todd's apparent petty theft. $3,300 of which he immediately paid back $2,700. Fair enough theft is theft. I guess I am a little surprised at the $25,000 for a forensic audit spent by Woolwich Township to look at the former mayor's expenses and yet their adamant opposition to spending half that amount to learn the truth about their current mayor's election expenses. It is a double standard and I believe reflects Councils bias against Todd Cowan and in favour of mayor Shantz. That said I acknowledge that these are two different cases. The current mayor has not stolen or absconded with taxpayers' money. In my opinion however lying and deception can sometimes be more important and dangerous to the public interest than petty theft.
Tuesday, December 8, 2015
A civil rights probe of the Chicago Police Department has been announced after an officer was finally charged with murder, fourteen months after shooting an unarmed black teenager sixteen times. Coincidentally the charges came a few hours prior to the public release of police dashboard camerage footage showing the shooting. The City of Chicago had fought in the courts for months to keep the video from being released publicly but ultimately failed. Yesterday's Waterloo Region Record carried this story titled "Justice set to probe Chicago police". Also of interest is the release of hundreds of pages of police officers statements initially showing a a very different version of the encounter than the video gives.
To date the Police Chief has just resigned. Every bureaucrat and politician who assisted in the court action attempting to stop the release of the video should also resign forthwith. Perhaps U.S. gun crimes and massacres need to stop with the police first, as in setting an example. The Sammy Yatin case here in Toronto, Ontario was gross enough as the disturbed young man had a small knife but was not attacking anyone. Plus he was only shot nine times and then tasered afterwards. Exactly what kind of mental morons do these police forces keep hiring and why?
Monday, December 7, 2015
Last Friday's Waterloo Region Record carrys this story titled "Police detain 3rd-grader". Providence Rhode Island police plus local teachers apparently like to put their incompetence and lack of common sense on full display to the public. This reminds me of the old saying that the best defence against corruption is the inherent stupidity of the corrupt. Interesting thought that.
Apparently a couple of other 3rd-graders alleged that they overheard a young girl tell her friend that she was going to be playing with chemicals. From one ear to the next it went up the school's "chain of command" until the local police department was called. Yes at some point the girl's backpack was searched and absolutely nothing improper was found. This did not deter the local terrorist fighting police who clearly have way too much time on their hands. They put the young child into the back of a police cruiser and took her alone to the police department for questioning.
Quoting the family's lawyer after the fact, he stated "What we've stooped to in the name of public safety is arresting 3rd-graders. It's so un-American. It's so police state." He is absolutely correct. The family are currently suing the town of Tiverton R.I.. This of course reminds me of our local police force here in Waterloo Region. This incident almost makes them look intelligent. Recall a year or so ago when a 2nd or 3rd-grader drew a picture of a man holding a pistol? When questioned by her teachers she said it was her Daddy shooting the "bad guys". Well at least here the 3rd-grader wasn't taken into custody, instead her father was. See how much more intelligent our police are? At least compared to those in Tiverton Rhode Island at least.
Wednesday, December 2, 2015
While I and other parties continue to wait for a resolution, nevertheless progress is being made. The case was adjourned to January 6, 2016 while the Crown does his due diligence on several legal matters. Personally I would far rather he makes the right decision for the right reasons regarding whether or not he (Crown) picks up the charges or not. To date that decision has not been made as further inquiries are required.
The options include the Crown dropping all charges, some charges or none of them. It also includes the Crown staying charges which is even more severe. Between now and January 6/16 presumably the Crown will do further due diligence regarding the case and what contraventions there have or have not been. Meanwhile Woolwich Township are doing their best to wrap up this whole thing and pretend it's over. As the saying goes "It's not over till the fat lady sings".
Tuesday, December 1, 2015
How much individual power do any of us citizens have left? Zero would most closely describe it. I was advised back on October 28 by the Crown Prosecuter just prior to court that I would be consulted prior to the next court date which is tomorrow morning. Absolutely nothing so far! Going into court tomorrow I have exactly zero idea of what to expect. Will there be a trial? Will there be some sort of plea arrangement. Are charges being dropped, added, stayed or whatever? Will I be expected to step up and testify or even make some commitment to the judge about something?
The case regards ten Municipal Election Act (MEA) charges laid against Woolwich mayor Sandy Shantz by yours truly, months ago. I was given the royal run around with the wrong forms, wrong court and a ridiculous process at Intake Court?, held in the new Superior Court building. The MEA makes the process seem so straightforward and simple. It is no such thing through the incompetence and bureaucratic bungling that I encountered. There was one bright spot however which I have mentioned earlier. Otherwise a disgrace. Let's see what tomorrow brings. Will the MEA be enforced by the Crown and the Courts or will it be unceremoniously abandoned to its' own devices?