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.
Saturday, December 31, 2016
The Woolwich Observer has an excellent Editorial done by Steve Kannon titled "Be it resolved: it's the politicians who need to do better". I am only going to quote the last paragraph although the entire Editorial is thought provoking. "In that light, the politicians are the ones who really need the resolutions, actually changing the way they govern. Leaving behind the deceit and actually doing what's right instead of trying to convince us that down is up, the harm they do is advantageous and that changes to benefit the few are good public policy. Now that would be a Christmas miracle.".
Tuesday, December 27, 2016
The December 7/16 Waterloo Region Record carries this story titled "Former coach hopes to bring harmony to school board". I think that's an absolute hoot. What decades ago I figured was a Mom and apple pie institution is no such thing. It is a monolithic, self-serving monstrosity which give lip service to educating children while taking good care of all the other players. Just look at the salaries for "administrators", staff, teachers and their unions.
Mr. Scott MacMillan is a first term trustee and similar to Sandy Shantz was appointed Chair in his first term. I guess that in a position that is all about appearances and where educational experience and expertise really aren't required; that is not a problem. Too many of these trustess are all about personal advancement, often to municipal, provincial and federal politics after they've gotten their name out there for the public to recognize. What a truly pathetic situation. Look around. It's right here in Woolwich, Kitchener-waterloo and Cambridge.
Saturday, December 24, 2016
On Saturday December 17/16 the Waterloo Region Record carried the following article titled "What happens to the working class when millionaires and billionaires are in charge". This article advises us of the cabinet appointments being made by Donald Trunp, president-elect of the United states. Frankly it makes a mockery of his entire election platform namely "make America great again". It is one thing to have a mixture of experiences, assets and interests in a government cabinet. In trump's case however it is a mixture of those with hundreds of millions of dollars and those with thousands of millions (ie. billionaires).
It isn't just blatant self-interest here. Studies have shown that people's opinions are based upon their socio-economic position and class. Things like welfare, minimum wages, guaranteed incomes really don't have much chance. In a nytshell Trump's claims that he is going to reverse the fortunes of the middle class or those who are really struggling seems highly unlikely. That is very sad for those who in desperation voted for "the Donald" to lead them back to prosperity.
Saturday, December 17, 2016
Keep in mind that these clowns running Canada's Armed Forces are too stupid to even follow the laws of the land. If memory serves it was Pierre E. Trudeau who presided over Canada decriminalizing homosexuality yet these bozos continue harassing and discriminating based upon sexual orientation for decades afterwards. The Waterloo Region Record carried the following story on December 9/16 titled "Lesbian leads suit against Forces".
I would be a little interested to know if the discrimination and harassment was greater when the Conservatives were in power, or not. regardless it is shameful, gutless, bullying behaviour.
Wednesday, December 14, 2016
This is neither the first nor the last time that police will decide against giving citizens a heads up when there is a local crime spree underway. Afterall they apparently would rather sacrifice a citizen or two rather than inform large numbers of citizens that there are certain crimes that they have great difficulty in catching the culprits much less in preemptively preventing the crime. In this case it was a string of home invasions, auto thefts and robberies some involving violence.
Just after midnight on November 27 a fifteen year old was making the short walk over to his grandparents house in his Hamilton neighbourhood. A car pulled up beside him and he was beaten with a baseball bat by two men. The teen's father has stated that if they knew about this rash of crimes and violence in their neighbourhood they would have driven their son that night.
It appears as if police departments have full discretion whether or not to warn citizens about specific criminal behaviour in their areas. There have even been instances of a balcony rapist stalking a neighbourhood and local women not being warned about keeping their balconies locked even in hot weather.
The Waterloo Region Record carried this story last Saturday titled "Police failed to warn public about crime spree".
Monday, December 12, 2016
Nineteen bullets fired at close range at one, unarmed individual whos' primary offence appeared to be he was defending his mother against multiple officers who were "wrestling " with her. Her immediate offence was "brandishing a saucepan". I swear to God that's the story in last Saturday's Waterloo Region Record. The son is dead albeit police missed with eight of their shots only hitting him with eleven bullets. The title of the Record story is "Woman struck by stray bullet sues Peel chief, others".
Meanwhile the eight missed shots hit walls and doorjambs of an apartment complex except for one which punctured a window and struck a young woman in the back. She has had surgery but in a recently filed civil suit, among many other allegations, states that she is currently walking with a cane, a year and a half after the shooting. Regardless of that civil suit the fact remains that police officers fired nineteen bullets in a residential area and missed with eight of them. Then of course is the somewhat awkward situation as to why they had to shoot a 22 year old man eleven times. Presuming they weren't firing BBs and more likely 9mm or .40 calibre bullets; there is no way eleven bullets isn't a mile beyond overkill. Oh and did I mention there was no mention in the article about the man being armed, even with a saucepan. WTF, why are we as citizens tolerating this crap?
Tuesday, December 6, 2016
The new Ombudsman, Paul Dube, states that he has received more than 500 segraegation related complaints in the past three years. He also wants to end indefinite solitary confinement. Currently Correctional Services Minister David Orazetti has indicated that he wishes to reduce the 30 day cap on segregation to fifteen consecutive days. However he has no plans to reduce "administrative" segregation allegedly for safety reasons from its' current indefinite status. Last Saturday's Waterloo Region Record carried the following story titled "Ombudsman to look into use of solitary confinement".
Monday, December 5, 2016
Boy I've got to say that the Crown have sure tainted this case. Four times Robert Badgerow was tried for the same murder. Twice he was convicted, twice he was not. Apparently unlike baseball, the tie does not go to the runner. Aside from the precedent of trying one individual four times for the same alleged crime there are other problems. Apparently he was tried briefly on a charge of assaulting and stabbing a young woman with a screwdriver but she survived. Not only did she survive but she identified Robert Badgerow as her attacker. The judge threw out the case apparently over concerns that Mr. Badgerow could not get a fair trial. WTF?????
This wee problem did not inhibit the Crown from continuing to chase him regarding the Diana Werendowicz murder. I do not understand why with a surviving witness the Crown chose to go after the obviously difficult murder case rather than the attempted murder case. I do not understand how the Crown can continue honing their approach or perhaps the jury until they get the one they like and need. I do know that in the U.S. double jeopardy much less quadruple jeopardy simply is not allowed. The Crown get but one kick at the can and it better be their best one.
Last Friday's Waterloo Region Record carries this story titled "Badgerow guilty of first-degree murder".
Thursday, December 1, 2016
Well according to yesterday's Waterloo Region Record there will be an opportunity this evening from 6-8 pm. in the Aud's (Kitchener Auditorium) Subscriber Lounge for citizens to learn about and presumably also comment on the three different police oversight groups in Ontario. They are the Office of the Independent Police Review Director, the Ontario Civilian Police Commission and finally the Special Investigations Unit. Regular readers of this Blog will know of the many local instances of problems with the Waterloo Regional Police and some other forces. The Record's article is titled "Police Oversight Review comes to Kitchener". Keep in mind recently there was a fatal shooting of Beau Baker on Brybeck Cres. in Kitchener. There have been other fatal police shootings here in the past although I believe they were a little less controversial than the shooting of Mr. Baker. Of course there are a litany of other unresolved problems which I expect will remain exactly that way because our "authorities" have no interest in the alternatives. Normally I like to get involved in local issues for which I have an opinion but it is impossible to be involved in every issue, every time.
Tuesday, November 29, 2016
Twenty years ago I found a number of Waterloo Region District School Board Trustees to be weak, ineffective and incompetent. At the very same time I found a number of others to be concerned, honest and caring. However for senior management/administration overall I found them to be lying, corrupt self-serving toads. Names come back to me from long ago. Cec, Howard, Jim . I shudder with disgust as those names cross my mind. In hindsight it's hard to remember specific lies, although specific contemptible actions involving their lawyer "Surfer Boy" are flooding back. The basic memory is a pack of yellow, lying bullies hiding behind power and money. The money they freely used to harass parents via the legal system. The bullying included connections with senior Regional Police in order to arrest and harass parents standing up for their children. Just an overall pack of filth at the Board back then.
Nowadays who knows how bad they are? I do know it's difficult not to chuckle when I keep hearing that WRDSB trustees are acting like children. Even back in the early 2000s I recall the WRDSB being assailed over the Ron Archer scandal. Same characters, same behaviour. Defend the teacher no matter how ignorant, stupid or illegal their behaviour because afterall the Board needs to get along with the teachers' unions. Parents can always be charged or harassed via sympathetic and idiotic legal means bought and paid for by the very same parents taxes .
Well Luisa D'Amato has raked the WRDSB trustees over the coals yet again. Really hard to feel any sympathy for them. The title of her Opinion article is "High school drama-but from adults".
Thursday, November 24, 2016
Well first off this makes me think of the imbalance in power and authority. I have to ask is the next progression in this line of thinking a Code of Conduct for battered wives? Afterall abusive husbands have rights to don't they? From their position of most likely superior physical power why shouldn't they impose their will, appropriate or otherwise, upon those with less power and physical authority? You get the point.
Then there is the blatant hypocrisy of the whole idea. Those most likely to abuse their authority and behave disrespectfully and rudely to other people are those with the power and authority in the first place. This perfectly describes our Woolwich Council and some of the truly ignorant behaviours they have demonstrated since late 2014. Cambridge Council sure seem to be attempting to blame the citizen victims with this latest step. Or is this simply a face saving device for Cambridge Councillors & Mayor who have been taking a public shellacking over the multiplex sports facility including their banning of their own Councillors at the private sportsplex committee meetings? All in all it appears to me that Cambridge Council are far more in need of a Code of Conduct as well as impartial and unbiased enforrcement of it. This article is in today's K-W Record.
Monday, November 21, 2016
Today's Waterloo Region Record carries the following article titled "Trial delays spark review of charges". We are advised that the backlog is so immense that a first degree murder case has been thrown out due to the Crown's inability to bring the case to trial within four years of laying the charge. The Supreme Court of Canada passed the "Jordan" decision last July which stipulated that 18 months delay is reasonable for provincial cases and 30 months for cases before the superior court. The Ontario Crown Attorneys Association estimates that there are about 6,000 criminal cases that that could see charges withdrawn or stayed. They are laying the blame squarely on the Ontario government for their failure to increase the numbers of judges and prosecutors as well as having more court space.
This of course makes me wonder if this is the real reason that Election Act charges were dropped against Mayor Sandy Shantz in Woolwich Township. While the out of town prosecutor claimed that the charges weren't in the public interest was he perhaps suggesting that it wasn't in the public interest to let murder or rape cases be thrown out in order to appropriately prosecute other lesser charges? That would be understandable although I would prefer some transparency on the matter. Don't give guilty politicians the opportunity to lie more by claiming afterwards that see they really didn't do anything wrong when in fact they bloody well did.
Friday, November 18, 2016
Today's Waterloo Region Record carries an Opinion piece by Luisa D"Amato titled "Infighting over the multiplex is not doing Cambridge any favours". Generally I agree with Luisa's take on the situation rather than on the Record's Editorial today in favour of the ruling by Cambridge Council excluding fellow Councillor Jan Ligget from attending closed meetings of the Multiplex Committee. This latest issue is but a corollary of the manner in which Mayor Craig and several fellow councillors like to do business. That would be in secret, out of sight and with no messy input or criticism from citizen stakeholders.
Citizens rightly believe that this new rule by Mayor Craig and his cronies on Cambridge Council is all about excluding Councillor Ligget from these meetings so as to prevent her from being further informed and possibly better prepared to counter arguments at Council in favour of a multiplex sports facility being built in the wrong location. Jan Ligget has clearly and often shown her belief that Council must rule on behalf of as many members of the electorate as possible, not just the few. She helped lead the initial attack against the allegedly done deal of the complex being built at Conestoga College. It appears as if the Cambridge Council clique still have their noses out of joint about that. This is simple and nasty payback and does not help Cambridge citizens. Shame on the majority of Cambridge Council.
Monday, November 14, 2016
So this morning we received yet another adjournment of the Scott Hahn Election Act charges. To date the Crown have not yet advised the Court (provincial) as to whether they the Crown will proceed on these private charges. The same runaround occurred with the Mayor Sandy Shantz case with literally months and months of adjournment prior to the out of town Crown finally stating that they were dropping the charges. I was advised this morning that any charges dealing with politicians must be given to an out of town Crown in order to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest. Fair enough but why waste everybody's time with two court appearances only to advise the judge that it's going to an out of town Crown if this is essentially automatic in the first place? Then why wait another six weeks and that Crown has not taken steps to interview the person who laid the private charges? It all seems on the face of it as an exercise in delay.
Friday, November 11, 2016
At least in a democracy we've always been able to pretend that our leaders are somehow superior. Smarter, more experienced, more visionary etc.. At worst they have simply been better looking. We now owe a vote of thanks to Donald Trump in the United States. He has proven his own prediction back in 1998 that he could get elected President by Republican voters because they are so stupid. He stated that he could tell them anything and they would believe him.
Certainly both Canadians and Americans and probably every other country in the world have had god awful human beings as leaders. That is the joy of democracy whereby the majority of ill informed, unknowledgable persons are able to inflict their poor choices upon the rest of us. President-elect Trump has driven this fact home. I don't even need to list the blatantly stupid nonsense he has blathered publicly over the last year and a half. His rants have been sexist and racist. His public insults have been beyond anything ever seen even in the rough and tumble of American politics. His lies have been well documented and exposed all before the election. He lost all three debates with his opponent Hillary Clinton yet he still won the election. What a disgrace and embarassment to democracies everywhere.
Perhaps Trumps disrespect and contempt for any and all who disagree with him will ignite a revolution. A revolution of not prodding people into voting. A revolution such that voter ID legislation does not limit voters but perhaps a basic IQ or at least minimal demonstration that a voter knows something, anything about who he is voting for. Perhaps the revolution will change the system of party affiliations such that one can actually get elected without being a member of either U.S. party whether Democrats or Republicans. This change can come about voluntarily and democratically now or it can come about after the American people have torn down their own system of governance. The status quo is not acceptable.
Wednesday, November 9, 2016
A rose by any other name smells as sweet. Similarily shit by any other name smells just as bad. Today's Waterloo Region Record carrys the following story titled "The cruelty and indignity that indicts us all" written by Martin Regg Cohn. Mr. Cohn is commenting on the four years in solitary confinement suffered by Adam Capay. As Mr. Cohn indicates no judge ever sentenced Mr. Capay to solitary confinement. That is all on the shoulders of the Warden in charge of the jail in Thunder Bay.
Both federal and provincial legislation indicates maximum number of DAYS that a prisoner is to be in solitary. Weeks, months and years are inhumane if not barbaric. That has not stopped Ontario and other Canadian jurisdictions from doing just that. Words and expressions such as "Administrative" segregation do not make solitary confinement any better. They are simply excuses and red herrings. If society are going to sentence people to incarceration then they bloody well have to have humane facilities and methods to do so. Anything less "bespeaks a cruelty and indignity that indicts us all.".
Tuesday, November 8, 2016
O.K. something is off in regards to these stories in the Waterloo Region Record. Firstly Cindy Watson has always been the good guy in my eyes. She's been the constant conscience of the Board of Trustees for many years. Mike Ramsay seems to have done many good things although a very long time ago he did get into serious trouble over using a Board credit card while he was down south on holidays. Therefore I really can't get a handle on the latest incident in which Cindy Watson has accused Mike Ramsay of violating the Waterloo Region District School Board's code of conduct. This code of conduct in my opinion is a crock with its' insistence that Trustees can only say nice things about fellow members plus WRDSB staff and administration. The title of the story is "Trustee turmoil deepens at Waterloo School board". Overall any bad press dealing with the WRDSB is music to my ears after how the filthy scum treated me and my family twenty years ago. Hard to shed a tear for them.
Monday, November 7, 2016
The Waterloo Public Interest Research Group has been around since 1973 at the University of Waterloo. They have tackled hundreds of public interest issues over the decades but have recently lost their student funding in a vote participated in by only 1/4 of the eligible student voters. Dr. Kelly Anthony has commented on this situation in an article in the October 29/16 Waterloo Region Record titled "Lost opportunity for UW advocacy group.
Essentially he? feels that there was a campaign of misinformation and misunderstanding to remove this automatic $4.75 fee paid for by students. He/she is hopeful that the remaining 3/4 of the students will reconsider as this WPIRG (Waterloo Public Interest Research Group) has done much good over the decades on issues involving homelessness, human rights, gay rights, climate change and other environmental matters.
Friday, November 4, 2016
On Wednesday November 2/16 the Waterloo Region Record published the following story titled "LGBTQ suits: Ottawa "purged" workers". Boy it really makes government stand out doesn't it? This was in Canada which has an inaccurate world wide reputation for being decent, humanitarian and non aggressive to it's citizens. I can only imagine how bad other governments around the world are if Canada is seen as one of the best.
Apparently discrimination is O.K. as long as the majority are in favour of it. Racial discrimination thrived for centuries in the U.S.. Sexual orientation discrimination thrived and still does in various places around the world. Gender discrimination, religious and even body type discrimination continues. Body type as in fat shaming. How about personality discrimination? Activists face this all the time. You have to develop a thick skin when dealing with professional, corporate and government liars. Then unavoidably you become hardened and more quick to attack perceived criticisms and insults. You are less likely to believe in honest mistakes and more likely to pounce on perceived lies. Perhaps for those who have rarely been lied to in their lives trust is much easier. Those however who have dealt with professional liars for decades are much quicker to see and expect lies. Those who have been betrayed and back stabbed by "friends" are less likely to assume the best in people especially those they have not known for a very long time. Then the very same people who have lied to and deceived you are the first to complain that you've become hardened or less tolerant of other's failures. If you haven't become hardened you would have run for cover a very long time ago.
Apparently even after homosexuality was no longer a crime in Canada both the Canadian military and government were firing employees for their orientation. Talk about "leading" from the back of the bus. Talk about petty bureaucrats and their political masters circumventing the law. In fact nothing has changed. They till circumvent laws they don't like even as their behaviour harms Canadian citizens.
Wednesday, November 2, 2016
Some experts believe that segregation is a form of torture. Certainly isolation and deprivation of normal or even abnormal human conversation and interaction is at the least a form of psychological torture. We all hopefully remember the local case in Kitchener of 18 year old Ashley Smith who choked herself to death while guards watched and under orders, did nothing. It was beyond disgraceful that here in Canada criminal charges were not laid and prosecuted against those in charge who permitted that totally unnecessary loss of life and yes torture of a young girl with indefinite isolation and segregation.
In the current case recently described in the Waterloo Region Record, Adam Capay was charged with the murder of a fellow inmate four years ago. He has since been in segregation. The title of the article is "Four years in segregation wrong, says premier". Mr. Capay's segregation has included being held in a plexiglas cell with the lights on 24 hours per day. I wonder here in Ontario if we did that to an animal in the zoo if there wouldn't be an uproar and a scandal. It seems that our provincial counterparts are just as bad as our federal Correctional Services Canada.
Tuesday, November 1, 2016
Last week in the Waterloo Region Record one of their Editorials was titled "Fund this vital watchdog". The vital watchdog is Innocence Canada formerly known as The Association in Defence of the Wrongly Convicted. Various well known cases of wrongful conviction include David Milgaard, Guy Paul Morin and Steven Truscott. Since 1993 this organization has freed 21 individuals serving time in prison for crimes they did not commit. The total of 26 exonerations in Canadian history have resulted in 190 years behind bars for these wrongly convicted citizens.
This non-profit organization can no longer fund themselves. They have done excellent work on behalf of justice in this country. Despite that or I hate to even think it, perhaps because of it, they have recently been denied funding by the federal department of justice. Yes this group have shone a light upon various serious weaknesses in our justice system. That combined with their clearing Canadian citizens of wrongful murder convictions should be the determining factor. Embarrassment or political posturing should not be part of this decision.
Friday, October 28, 2016
The Provincial Ombudsman's Office under Paul Marin made an excellent reputation for themselves over many years. Mr. Marin's contract was not renewed earlier this year and he was replaced by Paul Dube. I would suggest the jury are still out regarding his performance and that of the Ombudsman's office since his promotion to top spot. Meanwhile Mr. Dube has made a submission to Ontario's police oversight review which has a mandate to recommend ways to enhance police transparency and accountability. That seems just a tad too progressive for Ontario. After all a lack of police transparency and accountability has been the norm forever here in Ontario.
Mr. Dube would like his office to have oversight over the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) as they currently do, as well as over the Office of the Independent Police Review Director (OIPRD) and the Ontario Civilian Police Commission (OCPC) both of which they do not. My only experience with the OIPRD is in regards to police conduct regarding my attempting to provide them with evidence regarding a local politician here in Woolwich Township. They basically couldn't be bothered and the OIPRD when contacted essentially had their "decision" on my desk within hours not even days or weeks. I was not impressed.
Yes real police oversight is needed in Ontario. Whether Mr. Dube and the Ombudsman's office are the right ones to do it I don't know.
Thursday, October 27, 2016
Hoo boy I'm not buying for one second what I read in the Waterloo Region Record's article today. The story is titled "OMB upholds municipal ban on private water well in Cambridge". Allegedly a Condominium Board had drilled a well on their property to supply water for landscaping purposes on their property. Well the City and the Region both objected and it went to the Ontario Municipal Board who ruled against the Condo Board. They rather correctly couldn't understand why they should pay for expensive, treated to drinking water standards, water when all they wanted was to water grass, trees and shrubs etc.. Not so fast said the two levels of governmnet.
First off the Condo is located on George St. abutting the Grand River. Secondly the regional government claims that the Condo Board's well could "disrupt" contamination already there in the ground. Disrupting contamination is sheer nonsense and gibberish. The claim that it could send soil contamination deeper into the municipal drinking water aquifer is however a little different. I suppose that some contaminated soil might possibly get introduced through the well's borehole into a deeper aquifer although precautions are supposed to be taken to isolate one aquifer from another and avoid breaching somewhat less permeable layers between them.
Keep in mind that a new well isn't likely to contaminate anything. Possibly if the well driller takes short cuts there could be a chance of cross contamination from a shallower aquifer into a deeper one. Remote but possible. It seems to me what is probably going on here is that the Region and City have knowledge of significant pre-existing soil contamination that they don't wish to share with the public. That would be a more likely explanation for what is going on. This could be a non-issue if local governments cleaned up contamination as they find it or if they had stopped major industrial, urban polluters decades ago.
Wednesday, October 26, 2016
I have recently been commenting on the Elmira Advocate regarding how the Ontario Ministry of Environment are (mis) directing the investigation of the Canagagigue Creek in Elmira, Ontario. The test results for sediments as well as floodplain soils in and around the creek taken in 2012, 2013 and 2014 have been incredibly damaging to Chemtura/M.O.E. credibility. DDT and Dioxins/Furans have been above Canadian Sediment and Agricultural Soil guidelines and various Effect levels repeatedly. Hence the M.O.E. want to change the channel and do a Human Health Risk Assessment.
The big out for the M.O.E. is that they can interview downstream farmers and residents and claim that despite the toxins present in and around the creek, allegedly there is very little exposure routes for human beings. In one sense this could be correct in that there have already been enough human beings damaged by the creek over the last sixty to seventy years that longtime locals probably have learned to avoid the creek at all costs and to especially keep their children out of it. How this plays out with the Martin swimming pond, downstream of the Stroh Drain and directly connected to the pond I do not know. It is inconceivable to me that there have not been human health effects via this route but whether they can be documented or more likely ignored by a risk assessment expert is anyone's guess. When the most likely explanation for going this route in the first place is to minimize cleanup costs it really is difficult to believe that it will be an honest process.
While the focus of the 2012-2014 investigation was Dioxins/Furans and DDT, the reality is that there is so much more going untested. This includes PCBs, Persistent Organic Pollutants and PAHs (Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons). Each one of these is toxic to both human beings and to aquatic life in and around the creek.
Tuesday, October 25, 2016
Well now it looks as if criticism of trade deals are coming to light. After all just because governments are negotiating these deals certainly doesn't mean they are in the public interest. Far from it. CETA or the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement is supposed to increase trade between Canada and the European Union. Like most deals however the devil is in the details. A small region in Belgium is currently holding up the deal by refusing to ratify it. The region is known as Wallonia and one of their concerns has to do with investor-state dispute settlement mechanisms. Basically this provision allows companies (investors) to sue governments for things like rigorous environmental standards or even employment standards legislation.
The title of the article in today's Waterloo Region Record is "Toronto lawyer challenges EU deal". The lawyer is very well known Rocco Galati as he has successfully brought governments to court on other matters over the years. Besides the suing of governments by investor companies another issue for Mr. Galati is the Canadian government's habit of signing and ratifying trade deals prior to approval from either Parliament or the provinces. Mr. Galati states that other governments such as the U.S. and European countries do not behave in that fashion. All in all it's good to see further public exposure of the bad side of these deals. Kudos to Mr. Galati and to the Walloons.
Monday, October 24, 2016
You really have to wonder at the idiots in charge at the RCMP. Did none of them have the common sense that God gives a toad or a frog to try and avoid trouble? Did no one figure out that disgusting, harassing behaviour and worse towards female recruits wasn't going to eventually backfire and besmirch the entire RCMP? The answer apparently is no. It was easier and quicker for years to minimize complaints and pretend that it was "just boys being boys". Nothing to worry about.
Today's Waterloo Region Record carrys the following Editorial by them titled "RCMP still has work to do". Funny how I'm not remotely surprised by any of this. Having worked for the public works department of the City of Waterloo a couple of decades plus ago I saw egotistical and at the same time fragile male egos rejecting women in their workplace. Afterall these dinosaurs felt that they were rough and tough construction workers and it affronted them that women could either handle equipment as well as them or heaven forbid actually do physical labour every bit as well. Imagine police forces & the RCMP having to accept that you don't have to be six feet tall and 200 pounds plus either to shoot guns or to think your way through most difficulties. Way too much for the old boys network to handle.
Friday, October 21, 2016
Too many times our only remaining newspaper here in Elmira, Ontario have told me that there is no public interest in Chemtura matters especially pollution related. Really? That seems odd when the much larger newspaper many miles south of here has the following front page headline today namely "Chemtura starts off-site chemical probe". Similarily I have reason to believe that the local television station in Kitchener are planning to do a story as well. No interest my butkus.
This Waterloo Region Record story is all about delay and reluctance of the authorities to do their jobs. It is all about polluting companies and their so called regulators agreeing to ignore inconvenient truths. Rather than tackle these corporations head on they would rather stickhandle, negotiate and overall avoid serious confrontation. That may work with reasonable people but it does not work with essentially unaccountable multibillion dollar corporations whose only concerns are their shareholders.
This off-site investigation has been two years in the works so far. The intentional delays past and present are inconscionable. When will Chemtura or their newest owners simply say enough and abandon this site. When it happens you can thank the local politicians and the provincial ones for enabling the company and its`consultants to avoid proper cleanup for so very long.
Wednesday, October 19, 2016
Today's Waterloo Region Record carries the following Opinion piece by Luisa D'Amato titled "Trustee code of conduct denies free speech, wouldn't survive Charter challenge". Luisa clarifys several items including the Code of Conduct itself. She calls it a weak, authoritarian document which is exactly what it is. It is simply designed by what passes for brains at the WRDSB as a way to inhibit both criticism and truth itself. It is what self-serving groups of people do who know full well they aren't making decisions in the best interests of those they are governing or setting rules for.
Michael Ramsay was advocating on behalf of students when he was interviewed by 570 News radio. He did not gild the lily and told it plain and unvarnished. That is exactly what senior staff, administrators and their minions on the Board do not want. Mr. Ramsay later referred to the process around the Trustees' table as a kangaroo court. Always has been, likely always will be.
Luisa D'Amato sums it up nicely at the end of her article. She states "There is something distinctly thin-skinned and undemocratic about this emphasis on positive spin over truthfulness in our local, publicly funded schools. We have so many real challenges in education in this part of the province. I'm not proud that, at this time, cheerleading is valued more than scrutiny.".
As plain spoken as Luisa is I actually accuse her of being a tad diplomatic in her last paragraphs above. She states "at this time". Ha! Cheerleading is exactly what the Board, Administration, Teachers and their unions have been insisting on for decades. Afterall it's all about them with students and parents not even rating in the top half dozen priorities. That is the truth that the self-serving bureaucrats and powers that be want to keep hidden forever.
Tuesday, October 18, 2016
Today's Waterloo Region Record advises us that indeed the Trustees went ahead and censured Trustee Mike Ramsay 1) for breaking an asinine rule and 2) for telling the truth. The story is titled "School trustee censured for comments". The asinine rule is the one of course which inhibits Trustees from speaking publicly unless it is of course flattering to the school board. Unbelieveable! That Board has been in need of a housecleaning for a very long time and it's rules like these that have kept them non transparent and unaccountable. Literally here's what the rule says:"When expressing opinions publicly, trustees shall conscientiously uphold the board's reputation.". Wow such crap. I guess Trustees are only allowed to express other people's opinions or perhaps the opinions of the twits who set up that rule in the first place. Mr. Ramsay was a little too candid during a radio interview last May. He told the truth and surprise, surprise the Board didn't like it. My opinion is that it's long past time that the Province stepped in and cleaned house or at least gave it a hell of a shakeup.
Monday, October 17, 2016
While I'm uncertain as to who the unreasonable, dogmatic buggers are on the Waterloo Region District School Board, nevertheless I'm loving this unmasking of the politics and culture at the WRDSB. Yours truly told the public exactly this seventeen to twenty years ago. I found the School Board, trustees and senior administrators to generally be first class assholes with fortunately a few exceptions. I have in the past mentioned here which were the good trustees back then and which specific senior administrators were nothing short of arrogant bureaucrats all concerned with appearances and willing to throw either students or parents under the bus to protect the image of the WRDSB. In fact the article in today's Waterloo Region Record makes it obvious that little has changed when you understand that trustees' first priority allegedly isn't helping students succeed; it is to enhance and promote public confidence in the abilities and integrity of the Board. Such utter bullshit Kathleen Woodcock! I ran for the Trustees position twenty years ago and it sure as hell wasn't in order to prop up the Board's mediocre abilities and integrity.
The article in today's Record is titled "School trustee could be censured". This crap at the WRDSB has been around for a long time and generally the ass kissers and bootlickers have been in charge. They view their positions as a test ground to prove that they will not rock the boat or disturb the status quo hence putting them in the mix for future nominations for higher elected office. The political system is inherently corrupt and it starts at the bottom with elected trustees. The more this corruption is exposed to the light of day the better. The more the WRDSB culture becomes publicly known the more citizens will understand why our education system has been going the wrong direction for a long time.
Friday, October 14, 2016
We spend hundreds of millions of dollars on the Ontario Ministry of the Environment every year. What do we get for it? Primarily puffery, bullshit and lies. Oh and in the case of large corporate polluters we get moral suasion because after all the Ontario M.O.E. appear to have neither the pockets nor the backbone necessary to insist upon compliance with the law. That law includes polluter pays when there are adverse environmental impacts.
These adverse environmental impacts are in the Canagagigue Creek between Elmira and the mouth of the creek into the Grand River. They probably go further downstream but to date we do not know. These effects are from a number of sources including mercury, DDT, Dioxins/Furans and P.C.B.s. They have been found in fish, creek sediments and even in the floodplain soils courtesy of the creek during spring floods and heavy storms.
DDT and Dioxin/Furans are categorically from Chemtura, formerly Uniroyal Chemical. P.C.B.s may be as well as we have found them in soils eight feet below ground this past summer on their property. Perhaps the mercury is a result of the upstream Woolwich Dam. If so that can indirectly be laid at the feet of Uniroyal as a big purpose of the Dam's construction was to provide water to flush the creek of Uniroyal's contaminants during summer low flow periods. These chemical compounds are bioaccumulative and are toxic to all forms of life including humans. There is no excuse for the M.O.E.s excuses not to remove them from the creek by ordering Chemtura to pitch in financially. Of course Chemtura will balk and yes Chemtura undoubtedly have bargaining chips based upon the M.O.E.'s past refusal to get tough with them. The M.O.E. may be embarrassed by their past velvet gloves approach but that is no reason to ignore their duty now.
Wednesday, October 12, 2016
In this case that is a good thing. They have gotten themselves a reputation for ignoring citizens and legitimate complaints. The latest nonsense has been in regards to attempting to ram through a sports multiplex without listening to the citizens who put them in office in the first place. Today's Waterloo Region Record carries the following Editorial titled "The high price of the right to know". It is an excellent discussion of the fact that citizens absolutely have the right to know even when it becomes costly or more costly for them to know ahead of time. Well done K-W Record!
Tuesday, October 11, 2016
The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) is still better known as Workman's Compensation ie. formerly WCB or Workman's Compensation Board. It has been the subject of complaints for decades regardless of the name change. Native Canadians have a long list of grievances including being pressured to get back to work too soon and or not having their injuries and diseases recognized as being from on the job effects. Worse yet are our migrant workers. They are brought into Canada not to do work that Canadians won't do as employers and politicians are fond of lying about but to do work that is dirty, heavy, long hours and poor living conditions all for low wages. If employers were to pay the going rate for labour they would find plenty of students and adults for summer harvests.
The article in last week's Waterloo Region Record is titled "Injured farm worker struggles to survive" and was written by Sara Mojtehedzadeh (Toronto Star). It describes a Jamaican migrant worker thrown from moving truck while on the job at a Niagara friut-picking operation. He sustained traumatic injuries and was deported back to Jamaica. The WSIB claims that they cut his benefits because he allegedly could find customer service work here in Canada. Firstly he has no way to get back to Canada and secondly he is illiterate and has a Grade 4 education. Clearly the WSIB have no interest in looking after him despite his being seriously injured on the job here in Canada. Perhaps migrant workers have the incorrect belief that Canada is a caring nation. The people may be but not so much the employers and our governments.
Friday, October 7, 2016
"The federal government has earmarked $100 million for payouts..." to women who were victimized and treated shabbily over a period of decades in the RCMP. Today's Waterloo Region Record carries this story titled "Teary RCMP boss apologizes, says harassment suit settled".
Further quotes from the story include "For many of our women this harassment has hurt them mentally and physically. It has destroyed relationships and marriages, and even whole families have suffered as a result. Their very lives have been affected.". These are the words of Bob Paulsen, RCMP chief. The news conference was held in Ottawa yesterday and included Public safety Minister Ralph Goodale as well as Labour Minister Mary Ann Mihychuk.
While this Settlement and apology was long overdue I have to wonder if it was primarily due to the new federal Liberal government owning up to their responsibilities. If it was then double the shame on the Conservative past governments and their party for allowing this to fester and keep it out of sight during their long tenure as the federal government of Canada.
Thursday, October 6, 2016
Figures can lie and liars can figure. Possibly it was Winston Churchill who first said that. Regardless this past week's Woolwich Observer newspaper carried an article titled "Road fatality statistics reinforce the rationale for Operation Impact". According to a five year report just released by the Ontario Provincial Police, 1,507 people died on Ontario roads between 2011 and 2015. They also maintain that four main behaviours were the cause. Allegedly alcohol and drugs were a factor in 321 deaths. Speeding allegedly was a factor in 336 deaths. Inattentive driving was a factor in 408 of the deaths and finally failure to wear a seat belt was a factor in 335 deaths.
Call me skeptical as these "behaviours" "were a factor" in 1,400 of the 1,507 deaths if each one was individually a factor. My suspicion is that alcohol and drugs were probably associated with both speeding and inattentive behaviour. Hell maybe all four combined to cause four or five hundred of the deaths. Weather had to be a factor in winter both with visibility and with ice and snow on the roads. Also combined with weather was probably simply inexperience and stupidity. It is astounding how many Canadian drivers still don't have a clue as to how to drive on snow and ice. Hint driving 20-30 km/hour less than everybody else is rarely the right answer. As far as inattentive driving I would like to know how that is accurately measured. A dead driver can have their blood alcohol level determined but an inattentive driver I think not. Do the O.P.P. simply ask the surviving drivers who all blame the dead one?
Remember liars can figure and figures can lie. Meanwhile I agree that inattention is a major cause but so is inherent stupidity. It can sometimes even trump inattention.
Wednesday, October 5, 2016
The last public RAC meeting was on September 15, 2016. I spotted the Draft Minutes yesterday on the Woolwich Township website. Yours truly for the second time was a Delegate to RAC on behalf of the Citizens Public Advisory Committee (CPAC). This citizens group are made up of both the former Chemtura Public Advisory Committee members as well as their sub-committee known as SWAT. Rich Clausi, myself and Dr. Henry Regier were all on SWAT. As long as Woolwich Council were in charge of CPAC I was being discriminated against in order to keep me off of CPAC. Chemtura and the Ontario Ministry of the Environment are apparently intimidated by the combination of technical knowledge, historical knowledge and the willingness to call a spade a spade. Well things have changed and now I'm actually giving Delegations on behalf of CPAC.
The M.O.E. continue to lie. They (ie. the Minutes) state that a member of the public (moi) noted that there are Guidelines for Dioxins/Furans in agricultural soil. That is a falsehood. I clearly held up and advised that there were Canadian Sediment Guidelines for Dioxins/Furans. When will the remaining honest citizens in Elmira/Woolwich simply publicly call out Chemtura and the M.O.E. as I have done? Continuing to dialogue with professional liars and pretending otherwise has got us exactly where we are today which is reinventing the wheel, wasting time and going in never ending circles.
All that said is it still encouraging to hear various citizens, honest or otherwise call out the M.O.E. for attempting another stupid Human Health Risk Assessment (HHRA)> The last one (2003) was a crock as will this one. Afterall when the liars are in charge of the process why would they do it honestly? If you are in charge and can't fudge numbers, samples and conclusions then you aren't really trying. This as always is all about money. Health and the environment are way, way down the list of priorities.
Tuesday, October 4, 2016
Well appropriately so in my opinion Nestle has been taking a lot of heat for their business of taking publicly owned water, almost for free, and selling it in environmentally damaging plastic bottles for a huge markup. Now the story did get even worse at least temporarily. Allegedly Nestle had outbid Centre Wellington Township for the small property and well.
Well it turns out that is not the case. Centre Wellington had the first offers for the well and property but turned them down until an unexpected $1.5 million showed up. Then they put in an offer however unfortunately Nestle already had their conditional offer in. They dropped their condition and bought the property without conditions.The details of this story are in Luisa D'Amato's Opinion column in the September 29/16 Waterloo Region record titled "Nestle story is not a David-and-Goliath tale.
Monday, October 3, 2016
800 to 1100 class-action members of the lawsuit have received $50 Million. The suit started ten years ago after Stephen Harper excluded Labrador and Newfoundland from a national apology and related compensation package. Bad move Stephen as in hindsight it looks petty and penny pinching.
The story in last week's Waterloo Region Record was titled "$50M residential school settlement approved after 10 years". The judge noted that the case became acrimonious and in one decision ruled that "Canada had abused the process.". The compensation is between $15,000 and $20,000 for those attending five years or more. Clearly these amounts are peanuts. Additional sums up to $200,000 are available for those victims of sexual or "significant" physical abuse. Again if this had occurred decades ago the monetary compensation might have helped the survivors. At this point in time many have died plus the compensation for healing is of less use now that it would have been shortly after they got away from the schools.
Thursday, September 29, 2016
The above title and punchline for the joke comes from Steve Kannon, Editor of the Woolwich Observer in this week's edition. The punchline of course is that the love-hate relationship is that we love to hate politicians. Further on he mentions that Canadians complaining about government trumps the weather as the great Canadian pastime. I could not agree more. Steve's comments are under his Editor's Notes column and are titled "Will changing our voting system be enough to restore faith in politics?"
Steve gives us information on alternative voting systems including a lottery system as well as various forms of proportional representation. His opinions and comments are as usual highly informative. He also believes that Canadians have disengaged from politics as they have lost faith in the process. Quoting Steve "...power and decisions are typically ceded to unaccountable bureaucrats, developers and union lobbyists - the public good often left out of the equation.". Strong stuff.
Steve reminds us that the whole point of democracy was to allow the people to lead and rule themselves versus monarchies , dictatorships and I'll add powerful cliques solely looking out for themselves. He adds that Canadian citizens must not allow democracy to slip away, its roots and purpose forgotten. Absolutely beautifull and dead on the money.
Wednesday, September 28, 2016
Hmm. Well it doesn't seem to take much more than public shaming to get the attention of the Waterloo Region District School Board. Afterall year after year of being publicly raked over the coals in the media should get some reaction from senior Board staff and bureaucrats. Even the continually diminished Trustees are getting in on the action. Jeff Outhit has reported in today's Waterloo Region Record discussions that recently took place amongst the Trustees. The title of the story is "Struggling students get trustee attention".
Education Director John Bryant has advised trustees of a new "achievement" plan. It includes assessing if teaching strategies are being consistently implemented in classrooms as well as how they are being implemented. Hmm this could be interesting especially if the WRDSB bed partners decide to turn on each other. A skeptic might almost think that staff and big wigs are throwing the blame onto their unionized teaching staff. That would be a pleasant change but the reality is that everybody owns a piece of the deterioration of our educational system over the last thirty years.
Tuesday, September 27, 2016
The story that I'm receiving is that Clinton quite clearly came across as more presidential, more polished and more professional. Big deal when you think about it. She beat an amateur, wanna be politician who tends to shoot from the lip. Yes Trump is a loudmouth and he's certainly not lacking in chutzpah but what the hell is he doing even on the same stage as her? She's spent decades if not longer preparing for this. She has been in the Cabinet as Secretary of State. She is a team player as long as it's carrying her along with the team. Now she wants to be captain of the team. This is despite watching her husband years ago go through the rigors and difficulties involved in being President.
I don't for one second believe it has anything to do with wanting to shape history or move it in a better direction for mankind. It is nothing but a sports metaphor. She is on Team USA and what is important is that either the media or the people (Americans) believe that she is working for them and for her team. Avoiding scandals, debacles and catastrophes is what it's all about. Keep the whole ship lumbering along with the most important donors, corporations and supporters at least satisfied that your not trying to undermine them or lessen their power and influence.
Every society, every country is involved in class warfare. It's universal. So many citizens must be uneducated and willing to do the low paid, low status jobs. Others must be willing to enter the Armed Forces. Others yet Academia, law and God help us even more politicians. Entrepreneurs must be willing to make great gobs of money off the labour of others and then willing to spend it politically to ensure and insulate their fortunes and others from decay. Whether the system is "democracy" or one Party rule or even one man rule, it's all about maintaining the status quo and the priveleges of the already wealthy. Others can join the club if they don't mind stepping on the necks of the masses but just don't upset the powerful and wealthy.
Clinton or Trump they are the same. Neither is remotely fit to serve the people. Both are fit to serve themselves, their donors, their supporters and the status quo.
Monday, September 26, 2016
Last week's Woolwich Observer carried an Opinion piece by Steve Kannon, Editor of the newspaper. The title was "Ag. industry mergers underscore the dangers of increasing corporatism". Bayer recently announced that it will be buying Monsanto for $66 billion. Just prior to that Potash Corp. and Agrium announced a $30 billion merger and ChemChina is buying Syngenta for $43 billion. Lastly Dupont and Dow will complete a $68 billion merger. Steve believes that none of these are in anybody's benefit except the shareholders. Consumers of these products will pay higher prices and receive less overall.
Steve also refers to corporations who've long owned the politicians responsible for oversight into corporate behaviour. Basically consumers are the huge losers in these mergers both with higher, monopolistic prices and with lower quality due to lessened competition. All in all society and the 99% are fast losing ground to the 1% and it is due to increasing power, wealth and political influence of ever larger corporations.
Friday, September 23, 2016
Wow, the more things change, the more they stay the same. The bulk of Trustees twenty years ago were hopeless and apparently with but a few exceptions things have hardly changed. I view it as all about the culture within the WRDSB including Staff, bureaucrats and administraters. Generally the attitude was and allegedly still is that we are all here for our own personal enhancement, egos, status and future political opportunities. Anybody messing with that by actually speaking out of turn and putting students first is to be marginalized and attacked.
Luisa's Opinion piece in today's Waterloo Region Record is titled "Trustees would rather gang up on a dissenter than focus on students". To my surprise Trustee Mike Ramsay appears to be the target of the Trustees ire. He gave a talk on a local radio show last spring and so on October 17/16 the rest of the Trustees will decide if he broke their Code of Conduct when he criticized some of them. His comments and interview were also published in the Record and there was a bit of a kerfluffle at the time. Luisa lists a couple of the self-serving and idiotic Sections in the Code of Conduct. Essentially it's more about giving a united face to whatever the stupidity of the day is rather than focusing on student achievement. Hence criticism is not tolerated with nasty sanctions being a possibility.
Thursday, September 22, 2016
Luisa D'Amato's column in today's Waterloo Region Record is titled "Throwing money at schools won't fix our math problems". Surely Luisa is wrong about that. Afterall we've had problems with our educational system for decades and we've kept right on throwing money at them much to the glee of administraters, teachers and their unions. How could such smart people (by their own admission) possibly be wrong? Surely Luisa you aren't subtly suggesting that they've always been looking out for number one, have you?
Luisa's Opinion piece is in response to today's front page story by her colleague Jeff Outhit titled "EQAO results show students lagging". Jeff's article indicates that our local Separate School Board (Catholic) is keeping up with Ontario averages in reading, writing and mathmatics. Our public Board however not so much. The Waterloo Regional District School Board just can't seem to get their wee heads around the problem.
According to Luisa the math curriculum is the problem. The educrats at our School Board like to use big words and pretend they are so much smarter than everyone else. Turns out they're more like the dumb kid in class bragging about sports and or his first car. In other words big on puffery and really slow on results. Basic math skills such as multiplication and division don't seem to be well entrenched with incoming first year students. Apparently the kids were never taught them satisfactorily in the elementary grades and those deficiencies just carried on right through high school into university.
Luisa D'Amato feels that our education officials need to admit that they were wrong and fix things. Good luck Luisa with any of the big shots at the WRDSB admitting any such thing. Or maybe the really bad ones I knew twenty years ago have retired and moved on. I wonder if they promoted their subordinates based on educational merit or on the same basis that they themselves were promoted ie. circle the wagons, don't rock the boat, remember your priorities namely teachers, unions, administraters, parents and students dead last.
Wednesday, September 21, 2016
Well I'm kind of stunned. I read the article in the Waterloo Region Record earlier this week titled "Man stands trial four times in same murder case". Basically I was appalled that any person in Canada could be convicted of first degree murder, then acquitted upon appeal, only to be charged two more times and the juries could not come to a unanimous verdict, hence a mistrial. That said trial number four is now in the works. This is all wrong I thought and what the hell is wrong with our judicial system. Then lo and behold I read an article from 2014 by a Hamilton Spectator reporter. My God but this same accused was also charged with a second assault as in an attempted murder charge only weeks after the initial murder of Diane Werendowicz.
Allegedly new evidence 35 years after the fact will be allowed at the fourth trial. A local Judge (Gerry Taylor) had stayed the Crown's charges back in 2012 saying that Badgerow had been through enough and the Crown had had ample opportunities to prosecute him. An appeal court said otherwise a couple of years back and here we go again. To date Mr. Badgerow has spent eleven years in jail for crimes to date that the legal system have been unable to make stick. Usually guilty or otherwise, ties go to the runner in baseball and court. In other words you are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Unfortunately sometimes this means that a guilty person walks free but is that not better than the plethora of later proven innocent people that our judicial systems have stuck behind bars for decades?
Tuesday, September 20, 2016
Long overdue according to critics and victims alike of Ontario's Children Aid societies (CAS). How in God's name did they ever become for profit institutions based upon a financial scheme regarding how many children currently "in care"? How did they become so unaccountable. Why were foster homes not better screened and better supervised?
The article in today's Waterloo Region Record is titled "Province maps out children's aid overhaul". Group homes, foster care and Children's Aid societies are all criticized. Overall the criticism seems muted in comparison to horror stories that have been told by parents who have had their children snatched. Nevertheless it is obvious that the goverment wants greater control over the 46 CASs in the province and that is a pretty strong signal that bad publicity such as the Toronto Star series has hit home. Group homes are also in for much more, long overdue, scrutiny. Too many have been calling the police apparently for even minor infractions of the rules, leading to too many youths being funnelled into the justice system unnecessarily.
Numerous CASs across the province have been accused of child snatching for profit. Too many CAS workers have been accused of being incompetent and unqualified. It is decades after the fact to just now start cleaning up this mess. Shame on Ontario.
Monday, September 19, 2016
So Tony Clement federal M.P. thinks that Canadain citizens without benefit of criminal conviction should be incarcerated based upon a maybe. If they simply have "extremist" ideas they should be thrown in prison just in case. O.K. Tony and what are you going to do with little problems like the Canadian Constitution, Bill of Rights, Charter of Rights and Freedoms etc.? Apparently Tony wants to assist our judicial system maintain their workload, wages and benefits by manufacturing even more work than marijuana has provided police, Crowns and judges. The Waterloo Region Record carried the following story on September 13/16 titled "Can't track, jail them: Clement". It isn't criminals nearly as much as our politicians and governments that are a threat to Canadians.
Saturday, September 17, 2016
Today's Waterloo Region Record carrys the following story titled "Snowden says he improved privacy". Indeed to a small degree he has. The total effect will be miniscule however unless others pick up the torch. The chances of that are slim to nill if future whistleblowers see how Edward Snowden was treated both by the guilty ie. government bureaucrats in the NSA as well as politicians who were part of the domestic spying on U.S. citizens as well as by the innocent victims of illegal domestic surveillance of American's phone records. The innocent victims are doing exactly squat. Snowden is in exile in Russia precisely because cowardly, lazy, uninvolved citizens who should be shouting his name to the rooftops in support are simply sitting on their hands while wearing self-imposed muzzles. This man stuck his neck out for you and your gratitude is such that you will do exactly nothing to see im back in the States as a free man. Shame on all of you.
In regards to Canadians they are basically just as apathetic. Whether trade deals favouring corporate power and pocketbooks or turning a blind eye to Bill C-51 dealing with our own increased surveillance and alleged domestic terrorism by our government; we have learned nothing. Canadians and Americans are far more likely to be victimized by their own governments and own corporations than they are by outside agitators/terrorists or even by local, home grown criminals. Sure that happens but nothing like the every day fleecing and screwing of citizens by both legal and illegal methods while our governments smile and accept corporate donations from those same companies.
Friday, September 16, 2016
And we thought the recent scam regarding giving away our groundwater to the bottled water industry was a sellout by government to private corporations. This is even worse and begs the question as to where the government was when this started and why is it the media now versus our governments telling us how we've all been lied to and deceived by corporations for their benefit to our direct detriment. The Waterloo Region Record today carrys this Editorial titled "Sweet and sordid: How the sugar industry gamed vital research". Today's Editorial follows up a recent story by Candice Choi out of New York titled "Sugar industry attempt to slant science revealed. The science that was slanted was no less than research being done by Harvard researchers while being paid by a sugar lobby. The lobby group were kind enough to send along thanks afterwards advising the reasrchers that indeed that was exactly the kind of results they were looking for and well done. Kind of reminds one of the cigarette manufacturers at their worst denying tobacco's health effects for so long.
Wednesday, September 14, 2016
Today's Waterloo Region Record carrys this story titled "Review of police oversight starts". Well this should be worth a laugh at least. Police oversight by civilains is less than a joke. At least here in Waterloo Region it is and by extension likely in other areas of Ontario as well. We have a civilain Police Board here who are nothing but a bunch of old boys and girls with long histories of being at the public trough. Oops I mean who are either current or retired politicians whether municipal or regional.
None of these politicians ever rocked the establishment boat. Why would they as it's worked for them. Hence when the duly appointed regional Police Chief tells they they don't need to know this or that for whatever reason then why would they buck him? Generally speaking who cares? Is it the well off in Westmount and Beechwood or is it the homeless, unemployed, invisble young and or disadvantaged in our society who come into contact with the police? And if they complain who the hell listens to them anyways?
Civilian oversight is a sham. Most police officers behave appropriately and for those who don't they just like teachers have union protection. Occasionally an officer will cross a politically incorrect line and get thrown to the wolves. The really bad ones such as was on display at the G20 in Toronto a few years back mostly have gotten away with their bad behaviour. Here senior police administraters know it's all about politics. Don't embarass the political elite and authorities and they'll let you do your thing. As long as only the marginalized and disenfranchised yell and holler then everybody is happy. Bad policies including excess co-operation with school boards resulting in witch hunts of occasional parents is tolerated even defended. Ignoring drunk drivers leaving hotels was tolerated for decades until the public overall stepped up and said enough. Distracted driving causing more mayhem and injury than even drunk driving was both ignored and tolerated by our authorities, both political and police, until only recently.
None of these issues should have taken half a century to fix. The public knew that something was wrong with police focusing solely on drunks and speeders and letting everything else go was a prescription for disaster. To this day speeders are jumped all over despite studies showing that speed alone does not kill. Inattention first, alcohol second and health deficits due to age and illness third are the causes of injuries and fatalities. Maybe because our politicainas are mostly older white males has something to do with police biases. Driving while black as an offence is alive and well here in Waterloo Region and certainly is in Toronto.
Get real citizens on Police Boards and give them some authority to change bad police policies and practices. Exclude the priveleged and certainly former and current politicians. If you flood any Board or Committee with professional liars then you get exactly what you intended which is a committee of the deaf, dumb and blind who will find no problems.
Monday, September 12, 2016
According to the April 11/16 Waterloo Region Record apparently 8% of the world's wealth has been squirreled away in secret offshore banking accounts. The title of the story is "Hiding wealth makes the world go 'round". I'm not clear if this is primarily hiding one's wealth frompublic scrutiny or whether it's about hiding it from the tax collector. Apparently 100 news organizations managed to work together to expose millions of financial records related to thousands of companies and 14,153 clients of a Panamanian law firm. The company Mossack Fonseca represented at least 12 current world leaders among the 143 politicians, families and pals who have been hiding their money in these havens. The article also shows us the hypocrisy of many of these world leaders who cheerfully are cutting back welfare payments and minimum wage laws all the while taking care of number one. The author seems to feel that there is good news here. Essentially greed will prevent world leaders from doing anything just too radical that would imperil their own wealth and best interests. So if not blood, apparently money is thicker than water.
Friday, September 9, 2016
Today's Waterloo Region Record carried this story titled "Anti-terror revamp delayed". This is in regards to the federal Liberals promise to make amendments to some of the more egregiously offensive portions of this Bill passed by Harper and the Conservatives prior to their unceremonial boot from office. Guess it turned out that Justin was just a tad more "ready" than Stevie Wonder thought possible. God did that look good on you Steve and the Conservatives. Your personal attack ads were disgusting and contemptible and I'm not even a Liberal.
Collective security can be much better balanced with rights and freedoms we enjoy as Canadians. CSIS God help us just like the Mounties should have fewer powers not more. Are we so stupid that we think non-transparent and unaccountable police powers and more will not lead to less security? Frankly I'm far more afraid of my own government than ones thousands of miles away.
Thursday, September 8, 2016
Today's Woolwich Observer carrys this Editorial by Steve Kannon titled "Things don't add up as math scores continue to slide". While English test results for public school students are holding steady, math scores continue to slide. It is how the so-called brains in our school boards have been teching math. Terms like "self-actualized", "inquiry based" and "self-discovery" are being shown to be nonsense. Other problems include math teachers with little appreciation for plus less knowledge of math in our public school classes. Steve Kannon indicates that there are many people invested in the current model. The system does not work and as Steve says "the facts speak for themselves, and no amount of fuzzy logic will change them.".
Wednesday, September 7, 2016
Here in Elmira we have scientific data proving that the sediments in Canagagigue Creek are contaminated with Dioxins, DDT, P.C.B.s and Mercury not only above federal guidelines but also to the point that tissue residues in fish in the creek are also above federal Tissue Residue Guidelines. Does any of this automatically trigger cleanup actions in the creek? Nope it merely triggers more studies followed by more studies after that.
We are probably going to end up with a Human Health Risk Assessment (HHRA) which will be irrelevant to the health of life in and around the creek. Wildlife including fish, frogs, turtles, mink, muskrats, fox, coyote, blue herons, hawks etc. will be ignored. Even the HHRA will be a crock just like the last one around 2003 which said that all was well on the Chemtura (Uniroyal) site for both humans (HHRA) and wildlife via an Ecological Risk Assessment (ERA) .
Now the Ontario Ministry of Environment believe they have more evidence of Chemtura/Uniroyal contamination downstream in the creek. Granted they've had that for twenty years but they had done some relatively minor cleanup on-site in 2006 that they hoped would cleanup the problem. It may have helped but not nearly enough. Shovels so to speak in the ground are needed. Further studies and mathematical as well as word games are not.
Tuesday, September 6, 2016
Gwynne Dyer has an interesting article in the September 3/16 Waterloo Region Record titled "We are but a layer in geological record". Apparently scientists have determined that the earth is now in a new geological epoch referred to as the Anthropocene. You guessed it this is the age of Man. Well. Sort of makes one feel important until we get into the details.
For geologists of course it's all about the rocks. Mankind have become the dominant factor in the planet's evolution. mostly for the worse unfortunately. We are causing global warming and melting the ice on the poles and raising the levels of the seas. All bad things. In the rocks is evidence of radioactive elements courtesy of mankind. Unburnt carbon, bits of plastic, concreteand aluminum are all imbedded in the muds that someday will be rocks.
All of this according to some scientists will result in a total breakdown of the Earth's natural systems for maintaining a stable environment. Mankind will need to become the planetary maintenance engineer. Another very bad thing as we've shown a greater aptitude for destruction of the earth than for protection and maintenance of it. Once again I'm feeling very bad for our future generations and what we are leaving them.
Monday, September 5, 2016
Steve Kannon in the Woolwich Observer this week has an excellent "Editors' Notes" article titled "They ain't what they used to be, but protest movements can serve a purpose". Bernie Saunders who ran a strong campaign against Hillary Clinton advises that trade agreements are not really about trade per se. They are about protecting corporate profits while assiduously ignoring "...the environment, human rights , health care or the needs of the people". The establishment claim that these deals such as the NAFTA and TPP bring properity. They do not. Just look at the prosperity that has not flowed to North American workers since the 1980s.
Steve compares today's labour Day weekend and lack of enthusiasm for labour rights compared to the Winnipeg General Strike of 1919. Tradespeople walked out and were joined by factory workers, retail employees and even government workers. Government officials and police were not sympathetic at the time. Since then many progressive labour and social welfare policies have been passed. This is a direct result of militancy of citizens. It may well be time to strike again.
Friday, September 2, 2016
Yesterday's Waterloo Region Record carrys this Opinion piece from Luisa D'Amato titled "Has all-day kindergarten been a waste of money?". Apparently after six years of full day kindergarten in Ontario at a direct cost 0f $1.5 billion per year we have exactly...nothing to show for it. Promised improvements in student education are nowhere to be found. In fact while rreading and writing are holding up well, mathematics was and is in the dumpster and still falling. Supposedly trotting our young children off to all-day kindergarten was going to reverse this. It hasn't done so.
Other jurisdictions have tried the same experiment and it has not delivered there either. Apparently the benefits are limited in kindergarten and tend to fade away completely by the middle of Grade One. The cost however to the Ontario taxpayer remains. Thank You politicians and educrats.
Thursday, September 1, 2016
This is what one might expect in a so called third world judicial system. For this to occur in Canada is beyond shameful and a disgrace to each and every person with any authority whatsoever in our judicial system. A mentally ill Jamaican man has been in prison for five years without being charged with any offence. Yesterday's Waterloo Region Record carrys the story titled "Indefinite immigration detention rapped as rare release hearing begins".
Canadian immigration authorities have neither charged the man with any offences nor have they had him deported to his native Jamaica. The man came to Canada when he was six or seven years old and has been here for the last thirty-three to thirty-four years. His mental illness includes depression and schizophrenia. Does anybody think that indefinite incarceration hasn't exacerbated his mental health challenges? Canada get off the pot and get this fellow out of jail yesterday.
Monday, August 29, 2016
Today's Waterloo Region Record carrys the following story titled : "Ontario's Naqvi wants to modernize justice system". Well there may be nothing wrong with a certain amount of modernization I would suggest that his opinion regarding making the system motre effective and user friendly is far more important than "modernization" and not necessarily the same thing at all.
Apparently the judicial system is stuck in a paper mode and simply not up to par with other government services when it comes to getting things done on-line. Personally while I believe in face to face applications, giving of assistance and direction; my experience is that the system does not respect any attempts by non-lawyers or non-professionals. Even phone conversations can be very helpful based upon the following considerations. Firstly are there enough operators available to answer phones promptly and secondly do they speak English versus legalese? Getting assistance from someone who is only capable of speaking in legal terms is unhelpful as is someone who is either ill informed or uninterested in actually helping you.
Our legal system is slow, cumbersome, ridiculously expensive, non transparent, self absorbed and user unfriendly to the extreme. It focuses on making judges and lawyers happy campers and seems to take offence with those who do not or cannot avail themselves of professional assistance.
Friday, August 26, 2016
Next Wednesday August 31/16 at 9 am. in the Provincial Courthouse, Courtroom 101 at 77 Queen St. Kitchener we will see how our judicial system (Crown) decide to handle this second set of charges against a municipal councillor. Similar to Sandy Shantz, in this case Councillor Scott Hahn, there is little doubt as to numerous violations of the MEA (Elections Act). These have been admitted to and as well there has been a second set of Financial Statements produced by Councillor Hahn. This second set somewhat similar to Sandy Shantz is dramatically different than the first set.
There are however some major differences. Sandy Shantz was both the mayor as well as a regional councillor. In other words a much bigger fish than Scott. Also Scott Hahn has had a $12,000 Forensic Audit done by Froese Forensic Partners and paid for by Woolwich Township. In Scott's case unlike Sandy's MECAC (Municipal Elections Compliance Audit Committee) fulfilled their duty and responsibility and properly ordered a Forensic Audit be done on Scott's election campaign financials.
Scott's Forensic Audit unearthed some disturbing information. One aspect that caught my attention was the Auditors' stating that they did not know if Scott Hahn believed or even ought to believe the story told by his parents and sister regarding their allegedly, improperly paying $1800 cash to Trimach Inc. as reimbursement for Scott's campaign signs. The proveable contraventions of the MEA are numerous and if the Crown decide to pursue this case it is conceivable that more significant charges could be laid. Time will tell.
Thursday, August 25, 2016
Today's Woolwich Observer has an article by Steve Kannon (Editor) titled "Protecting the resource itself is fine, but fight bottled water by not buying it". In his article we are advised that Nestle is one of the most hated multinationals on the planet. I did not know that. Steve also advises us that government (Ontario) policy is decidedly corporate friendly. That I did know. Steve further advses that the fees charged by the province at $3.71 per million litres are ridiculous and he is certainly correct.
Steve goes further and advises that in his opinion the Region of Waterloo's tap water "varies in taste, typically less-than-stellar". I agree with him although few in the Region would actually say so out loud and in public. Steve also suggests that the taste, smell and appearance of our tap water is due to miniscule amounts of chemicals in our water. I would suggest that while that is true it is also the chemicals used by the Region to "treat" our water. They, including chlorine, do not help the taste etc.. Steve's last point is that previous "safe" levels of contaminants have sometimes over time been shown not to be "safe" afterall. This is an excellent argument for lowering to zero many chemicals in our drinking water. If it can't be done then get a different, better raw water source.
Wednesday, August 24, 2016
Yesterday's Waterloo Region Record carried this story titled "Mom sues region, CAS over hair tests". It is unfortunate in our society that this is the only means of redress if such a thing even exists under the circumstances. The now discredited Motherisk Laboratory was responsible for children being involuntarily taken (stolen) from their parents allegedly because their mother was on drugs. It has since been determined that the protocols and processes used by Motherisk simply were "inadequate and unreliable".
These stolen children were then given to the Children's Aid Society who had them adopted. The children could not even have visits with their parents. Aboriginal Canadians had their children stolen (60's scoop & residential schools) and now we find that government once again acted as protectors and insulaters for criminal activity. Hiding behind the law for immoral, unethical and illegal behaviour does not make it legal despite the decisions of those assholes who purport to be acting in the public interest. Kudos to this woman and all others involved in the class action lawsuits. It is unfortunate that jail time is not on the agenda for the decision makers who so glibly hide behind junk science and government in order to have their way.
Monday, August 22, 2016
Today's Waterloo Region Record carrys a story and photo titled "Sixties Scoop aboriginals getting court day, but seven-year case drags on". The photo shows Indigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennet suggesting that she would rather see the case discussed at the table rather than in the courts. Well of course she would. The taxpayers pay for all the government's expenses and there is no downside for the government to talk, talk, talk. That's exactly what they do best when they don't want to do anything else. I find it difficult to believe that the government didn't have literally decades to settle this dispute solely caused by themselves with their taking of Indian children and putting them into foster homes of non aboriginals. Apparently even more important in the lawsuit is the allegation that the government did not consult with Indian bands nor did they maintain oversight of the children's welfare. As recently as last week five aboriginal leaders wrote Ptime Minister Trudeau asking him to admit to the "immense wrong" done to the aboriginal children. This lawsuit was only necesary because the government of Canada played God in the first place and then dragged their feet in any attempts to right these wrongs.
Friday, August 19, 2016
Today's Waterloo Region Record carrys this story titled "Mayor removes himself from task force". It seems that stacking the Task Force looking into alternative locations for the proposed multiplex rec centre wasn't quite enough for Mayor Craig. He also put himself belatedly onto the Task Force in contravention of the City's Procedural By-Laws. He was called out on that and has thus resigned all the while bemoaning the alleged "negativity" around the project. It would seem that once again we have an example of either "independent" citizen committees or task Forces under the municipal thumb really aren't remotely "independent". Been there, done that and seen that up here in Woolwich Township. Woolwich Council simply get rid of citizens who express positions that aren't in line with those of hopelessly pro industry and ill informed councillors.
Thursday, August 18, 2016
School Boards used to be part time. Trustees were volunteers. Teachers were paid minimum wages. Schools were wooden one story structures with wood burning fireplaces. And guess what students managed to learn to read and write and do basic mathematics. Some even excelled and a few lucky ones went on to university.
Today we are still having similar student outcomes although many more go to university if for no other reason to keep them out of the workforce for a few more years. In 2015 Waterloo Region public and Catholic School Borads spent $994 million dollars. This current year according to the June 17, 2016 Waterloo Region Record article titled "Local education spending climbs past $1 billion", our two local boards will spend a little over a billion dollars.
Politics, teachers unions, empire building, costs of schools, full time administrators, maintenance costs, inflation and everything else remotely possible has added to this burgeoning growth industry. Health and education costs are out of control. Taxpayers wages are sliding backwards while our expenses keep rising. Funny how some few people continue to do well at the expense of all the rest of us.
Wednesday, August 17, 2016
The evidence is mounting that firstly the entire scenario around the November 1989 "water crisis" in Elmira was staged. Secondly the evidence continues to mount that the alleged "cleanup" after the fact of the Elmira Aquifers has been a sham from the getgo. Thirdly the first reason for the need for some form of inquiry is that the authorities from municipal, regional and provincial had the knowledge decades prior to 1989 that the Elmira Aquifers were comprimised by Uniroyal chemicals in the drinking water.
What this means is that it appears that government officials had abundant knowledge that Uniroyal had polluted the Elmira Aquifers as early as the 1950s and 60s and yet allowed Elmira citizens to keep on drinking their tap water with no more treatment than basic chlorine for bacterial removal.
Between new wells, on-site source removal and pumping wells drilled in preparation for a pump and treat system, Uniroyal and the Ontario M.O.E. were all set to go by the late 1980s. All they needed was some sort of "provocation" to allow them to initiate a new water supply (via pipeline) and begin their on-site pump & treat system. The "discovery" of NDMA in the south wellfield was just the ticket.
This is far too serious not to be independently examined. Here in Elmira (Woolwich Township) we have a history of local politicians protecting major polluters and that doesn't just mean Uniroyal/Chemtura. If indeed as suspected the various levels of government had knowledge of the contamination in Elmira's drinking water either years or decades earlier then it must be exposed to prevent it from happening again here or anywhere else in Ontario.
Tuesday, August 16, 2016
Obviously there isn't a government at any level in Canada prepared to pass legislation that actually would make lying a criminal offence. Any such legislation would most likely result in municipal council members, federal M.P.s and provincial M.P.P.s quickly gaining criminal records. Maybe our governments could be persuaded to pass such legislation provided accompanying clauses made it clear that the politicians didn't lose their seats and were not prohibited from running in future elections. I can see the campaign advertising slogans now. "Our party has 24% fewer convicted criminals than the other guys".
My suggestion would be that either opposition parties could press charges, crown prosecuters or even citizens. Wouldn't this possibly revolutionize government as we know it today? Judges could have discretion regarding penalties. For example for a one off, routine self-serving lie perhaps a conditional discharge followed by community service. For a blatant whopper intended to deceive the general public a conviction plus 3 months in jail. The stiffest penalties would be reserved for both repeat offenders as well as those lies intended to deceive the public which are repeated repeatedly over a length of time.
I figure we'd have a revolving door with the Ontario Ministry of the Environment. While undoubtedly other Ministrys are equally as bad I suspect that the M.O.E. would have a difficult time attracting professional liars as they kept getting sent off to jail.
Monday, August 15, 2016
Guess which one trumps the other in the title above? You got it, when we're talking about government bureaucracies power is miles ahead of decency. The Editorial in today's Waterloo Region Record is titled "Another view: Tell public more about prison deaths". As the first sentence of the Editorial states: "When a person dies behind bars, the government has a clear moral duty to be sensitive and transparent with the loved ones left behind.".
They are however failing to fulfill that duty. Portions of reports mandated by law are being redacted as in blacked out in these reports that are then handed out to the families. One such report blacked out 44 pages of an 88 page report. This is grossly unacceptable.
Friday, August 12, 2016
Today's Editorial in the Waterloo Region Record is right on the money. It's title is "Police shot Beau Baker; tell us all". Beau Baker was in crisis and desperately needed help. He did not need help at the business end of a gun courtesy of those paid to protect all of us. Whether there is a better way of disarming and de-escalating situations like his despertaely need to be found and exercised.
The full Special Investigations reportas well as the police review have been kept from the public. This is unacceptable. Quoting the Record "Yet when a public servant- and a police officer is one - kills a citizen, the public should know that person's name. That's a basic level of transparency people have a right to expect.".
The death's of citizens in crisis by our police officers who are supposed to be there to protect us can not continue. Better ways are needed to preserve everyone's lives including those with mental illnesses, those assigned to protect us and even those who have committed crimes. Refusing to follow a police order should not be grounds for murder. Only in the most dire cases where an officer is trapped literally with his back to a wall or when under attack in close quarters should an officer respond with lethal force. Tasers or pepper spray may have to follow failed negotiations or de-escalation techniques but guns should not be the first recourse when dealing with distraught, upset individuals.
Thursday, August 11, 2016
I have for many years been referring to the "cleanup" of the Elmira Aquifers as a "sham". I have been essentially stating that the entire plan is simply a smokescreen of minimal cost to the company in order to avoid a real, permanent and effective cleanup. Although the final conclusion in not yet written it appears as if I was right albeit with provisos. The provisos are that indeed a significant quantity of chemicals have been removed from the off-site aquifers, the plumes are shrinking in size and the dissolved concentrations have been reduced. That said the plumes are still huge and the responsible parties have admitted that they won't make Ontario Drinking Water Standards by 2028.
Back in the spring of 2012 the Chemtura Public Advisory Committee (CPAC) passed a Resolution in accordance with a consultant's (Dr. Gail Krantburg) report that advised that pump & treat technology as currently underway could not possibly restore the Elmira drinking water aquifers to drinking water standards by 2028. This resolution was endorsed by Woolwich Council and passed on to the Ministry of Environment, regional government and all local parties.
Six months later Chemtura and Conestoga Rovers came up with a new plan. It entailed tripling the pumping rates off the Chemtura site and in the Elmira aquifers as well as using In Situ Chemical Oxidation in some off-site hot spots. This now was supposed to seal the deal and the 2028 commitment. Well four years later and before Chemtura are even ready to start the increased pumping, guess what? They and their new consultants (GHD) who bought out Conestoga Rovers, have determined that golly gosh they aren't going to be able to suceed by 2028. It turns out there are all kinds of technical problems limiting the amount they can pump both to their current wells and to their proposed new wells. Isn't that embarassing?
The bottom line is that Uniroyal/Chemtura with full support from the M.O.E. and almost every Woolwich Council since 1989 haven't remotely been on top of this cleanup. They have made errors and wrong assumptions galore while cheerfully ignoring, it turns out in hindsight, excellent advice from involved citizens for years. Meanwhile these same liars and idiots are still in charge while the M.O.E. continue to abandon their mandate and detroy their own reputation. Serves them right for being in bed with money, power and influence for so long.