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.
Thursday, January 28, 2016
As long as governments can sweep problems under the carpet or sucessfully minimize the threat to health health, they will do that before offending powerful interests. Here in Elmira, Ontario we are just now getting the Ministry of the Environment, a provincial ministry, involved in doing something about the discharges of DDT and Dioxins onto Chemtura, Canada's eastern neighbour's property.
Both the M.O.E. and Chemtura (Uniroyal Chemical) had full knowledge of these problems thirty years ago, yet chose not to take action. Various reports by consultants for the company as well as by the M.O.E. themselves made it clear back then that both surface and groundwater were flowing onto the neighbour's farm. There was visible crop damage done which is hardly a surprise when you realize that herbicides were part of the mix of toxic liquid wastes being discharged.
We have been finding disturbing levels of DDT in the Canagagigue Creek, downstream of both Chemtura as well as their eastern neighbour for the last three years of testing. These results are in contrast with improved biomonitoring results on the Chemtura site indicating that creekbank cleanup and stabilization have been sucessful in greatly reducing uptake by clams and leeches in the creek.
It is long past time for much greater action rather than the neverending investigations, work plans and assorted other time wasting efforts.
Wednesday, January 27, 2016
Colour me skeptical. This group called Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index believe that Canada is the 8th least corrupt country and the United States the 16th least corrupt. Denmark is the least corrupt, perception wise, in the world for the second year in a row. Now many countries, third world or otherwise, democracies or otherwise, are indeed well down the list. Russia, Hungary, Poland, Turkey fare poorly on the list as "politicians and their cronies are increasingly hijacking state institutions to shore up power.".
I've got bad news folks. This is exactly what happens here in Canada and elsewhere. Politicians don't publicly advertise what their agendas are and what they are doing. They slowly subvert institutions from within. Friends and allys are appointed to key positions to be called upon when necessary to repay their appointments. I see it here provincially, federally and municipally. You don't absolutely require brown paper bags full of money to be corrupt. Even if you do we had a past Prime Minister caught in that position with a $300,000 donation from a German businessman. Did you see any politicians get charged or go to jail on that one? Of course not, this is Canada.
Tuesday, January 26, 2016
Today's Waterloo Region Record carrys this story titled "Toronto Officer Guilty of Attempted Murder". Well I expect there are at least a few sighs of relief that the public, blatant lifetaking of Sammy Yatin has been recognized. That said there does seem to be some sort of comprimise going on in this case. Sammy was shot three times by Constable Forcillo, collapsed and then shot at six more times. A total of eight of nine bullets fired struck Sammy Yatin, killing him. Then just for good measure as well as for show I would expect, another officer tasered the downed and dying or dead Sammy yatin. What a disgusting disgrace of police work.
Constable Forcillo's defence was that he was behaving according to his police training. Dear God but I hope the man is a liar because if that actually is how the police force trains their recruits then we as citizens in an allegedly democratic country are in big trouble. That is how I would expect police officers to be trained in a dictatorship but not here. Also of interest is the suggestion that Constable Forcillo is not guilty of murder because allegedly the first three shots were O.K. for him to fire and they are the ones that supposedly took Sammy's life. The next six shots got the officer convicted of attempted murder only as Sammy was already allegedly dead. Besides that somewhat bizarre logic is how exactly do they know which bullets of the eight fired did the lethal damage? Were there some shots more lethal than others? Are the bullets numbered for easy identification so pathologists know whether bullet one, two or eight did the deed? That of course is ridiculous as I suspect many will find this conviction to be.
Monday, January 25, 2016
Recently Breslau residents were witness to two former Woolwich Councillors stepping up for their community. Both Bonnie Bryant and Grace Sudden stepped up and spoke out on behalf of their community regarding the proposed sale of parkland to the Catholic School Board. Both former Councillors felt that the best interests of the community lay in not selling their beloved and well used parkland.
Now it appears as if in a more subtle fashion, Grace Sudden may have also stepped up in her role as a member of the Municipal Election Compliance Audit Committee (MECAC). This committee has certainly been taken to task by yours truly over their mishandling and egregiously biased decisions regarding two current Woolwich Councillors. Councillor Hahn was found to be in contravention of approximately seven different Municipal Election Act rules by the forensic audit done by Froese & partners. Despite this MECAC chose to not send him to the courts for possible prosecution. Considering the severity of the violations and the questionable, after the fact, paper trail of receipts and invoices, that decision was unsupportable.
Similarily MECAC abandoned all pretense of independence and nuetrality with their mockery of their role to order a Compliance (forensic) Audit if any contraventions of the Municipal Elections Act even reasonably appear to have occurred. In fact mayor Shantz admitted at the first MECAC public meeting last July 2/15 that she had violated the rules by failing to file an audit, accepting an overdonation from a corporation and of miscalculating her total Contributions (donations) by nearly three thousand dollars. Despite these and other later proven and admitted contraventions MECAC twice refused to do their duty and order a forensic audit of the mayor's Financial Statements.
I have claimed both bias and conflicts of interest with a number of MECAC members. Indeed one member to his credit voluntarily chose not to attend the last MECAC meeting (October 26/15) after being called out by two citizens for his alleged conflict of interest. Now it appears that Grace Sudden actually has added more evidence to my claim that MECAC were biased to the point that they were essentially operating as an arm of Woolwich Council which by definition includes mayor Shantz. I mean really it now appears, thanks to Grace, that MECAC are in fact no more than a typical, totally under the control of Council, committee of Council.
All of us who have been members of committees of Council like to think that we are independent. We absolutely are not. As long as we follow what Council wants and supports, everything is good. Simply look at how this Council treated, maligned and abused the Chemtura Public Advisory Committee last year. The old Council supported CPAC, the incoming one did not. The new Council knew they had no legitimate grounds for dismissing them, so they made up the grounds and got away with it because afterall they do totally control their own allegedly independent committees.
The amateurishly written and sadly inaccurate MECAC Minutes of October 26/15 are posted on Woolwich Township's website.
Page 5 at the bottom and page 6 at the top, tell the tale. Grace Sudden had seconded the Motion dismissing my Application starting with "Whereas the Municipal Election Compliance Audit Committee (MECAC) of the Township of Woolwich...". Grace Sudden then asked for clarification that MECAC represented all the area municipalities not just Woolwich. Chairman Carl Zehr responded that while "..the Committee was jointly created by all the municipalities in the Region of Waterloo, however individual cases were handled by the affected municipality. The wording in the first sentence was correct.". Therefore thanks to Grace and Carl we have clarification that MECAC are no more than a bunch of political appointees under the direct authority and control of the local municipality. They are not independent and they are no more honest or ethical than the municipality in charge of them.
Friday, January 22, 2016
Well as I suggested yesterday it appears as if indeed Michael Ball's lawyer is attempting to impugn the testimony of the prosecution's star witness. Today's Waterloo Region Record carrys this story titled "Howlett died of overdose: defence". The defence are trying to imply that Erin Howlett not only died of an overdose but that it was from drugs supplied by the prosecution's same star witness, one Mr. Warwick. Furthermore the defence have laid out a scenario that certainly would give Mr. Warwick a motive for so pointing the finger at Michael Ball. Mr. Warwick was under considerable pressure from the Waterloo Regional Police to rat on Mr. Ball. In fact apparently the police had first advised Mr. Warwick as to how they believed that Mr. Ball had allegedly killed Erin Howlett. Mr Warwick, then under pressure, advised that Mr. Ball had confessed to him the same methodology that police had described to Mr. Warwick in the first place.
While reasonable doubt is the criteria, historically juries have seemed intent on assigning responsibility for a murder to someone. It's perhaps a physcological necessity to be able to have someone to blame for a tragedy rather than throw their hands in the air and say they don't know who did it. Canada and the U.S. are rife with examples of wrongful convictions for murder, even to the point of convicting people for murders that later are proven to be accidental deaths or even natural causes. In this particular case I don't know who or whether anybody did it. Hopefully the fog will clear with further testimony.
Thursday, January 21, 2016
O.K. I believe that the witness who just testified in Kitchener court that Michael Ball confessed to murdering Erin Howlett isn't exactly a jailhouse informant. In other words the confession didn't occur while the accused (Michael Ball) was in jail. The witness was just released on different charges (drug related) and then went and testified to the alleged confession. I had become very skeptical of this murder charge based upon the pathologist making it clear in his testimony that he could not determine if Erin Howlett had died of a drug overdose, drug reaction, murder or otherwise. To me once the Crown can't even prove there was a crime in the first place it appears bizarre to charge and try someone on merely an alleged crime.
This witness definitely thickens the plot. Oh my but about the only defence Michael Ball has now is to impugn the testimony of the witness alleging some improper motive or I suppose he (Michael Ball) could claim that he was simply posturing or strutting in front of his drug colleague. In other words Mr. Ball had already expressed his anger that his girlfriend had cheated on him and allegedly stolen some of his drugs. Therefore hypothetically if she died from a drug overdose/reaction could Mr. Ball have been so stupid as to brag that he made things right or that he wouldn't stand for being cheated on etc.? In other words perhaps a little too much macho, testosterone driven bravado for his own good? This is all hypothetical but I do now see why this charge went forward with this witness up the prosecuter's sleeve. Today's K-W Record carrys this story titled ""Michael Ball was the one that did it": murder trial witness".
Wednesday, January 20, 2016
Two recent issues have shocked me due to the blatant lying and coverups by either politicians or senior bureaucrats. The one is in regards to the recent report regarding surficial soil and groundwater testing along the eastern border of the Chemtura site in Elmira, Ontario. The other is in regards to the knowingly producing and posting false and inaccurate Minutes of a meeting by staff of Woolwich Township.
The Ontario Ministry of the Environment are involved with the first one and while progress is belatedly being made they and the company involved are still being grossly dishonest to the public. The second one regarding the inaccurate Minutes are in regards to the Compliance Audit Committee's pathetic October 26/15 hearing to determine whether or not to order a Compliance or Forensic Audit for mayor Shantz. For the second time they chose not to and their pathetic rationale was equally bad on both occasions. Their process and procedure were biased against the Applicant (yours truly) and the whole thing was nothing but a charade. The final straw was of course the pathetic Draft Minutes posted on the Township's website for a month despite receiving within two days my written specific complaints as to where the errors were. They did make some minor changes prior to sending them off for approval by MECAC themselves. My strong suspicion is that MECAC did not have a copy of the taperecorded meeting when they approved the Minutes. That said based upon their earlier biased behaviour I suspect that they would have knowingly approved the erroneous Minutes regardless as all the errors favoured mayor Shantz.
Tuesday, January 19, 2016
What on earth is going on? Over the last four years I've been regularily posting here about various escapades, infractions and even alleged crimes by Waterloo's finest. Today in the Waterloo Region Record we have a very small article titled "Off-duty officer charged with assault". The details including his name are sparse but he has been charged with assault, mischief and making threats. He is an eleven year veteran who obviously should know better. Apparently besides the criminal charges there is also an internal police investigation underway.
On the one hand it is good to know that police do not get a free pass in regrads to these or hopefully any other kinds of inappropriate behaviour. That said I repeat my initial question. What on earth is going on? Of all the members of our society one would think that police officers would be the least likely to make very bad decisions and choices whether on or off duty.
Monday, January 18, 2016
First off you take thousands to million gallons of toxic liquid waste and you dump them on your own property. You then pretend that your business is on a deserted island without groundwater below, air above or neighbours for hundreds/thousands of miles. Then when this fairy tale of excuses blows up you hire the best (most aggressive) consultants that money can buy. Afterall you've saved hundreds of millions (billions?) of dollars by using the natural environment as your waste disposal system so you've got the money. Also these consultants will use psuedo science, junk science and just plain bullshit to continue to save you hundreds of millions of dollars. Afterall the Ontario Ministry of the Environment certainly aren't going to hold them to account. Of course there are no opposing environmental experts with the time, money or expertise to seriously stand up to the company's "client driven" consultants. Citizen activists are ignored, dismissed and criticized as fear mongers. Local politicians will also support their local polluting industries and minimize all health, safety and environmental damages done.
All of this has been occurring in Elmira, Ontario for more than thirty years. The sheer number of lies, misrepresentations and deceptions by the company (Uniroyal/Chemtura) and their partners in pollution are beyond count. The latest in this long line would be the just released East Side Surficial Soil and Groundwater Investigation report. Truth be told I am so used to the absolutely one direction only bias by CRA, that I actually have been surprised by some frank and honest comments by their latest incarnation known as GHD. That is refreshing although old habits (CRA) are hard to totally avoid. Regardless the next investigation will almost certainly suggest more cosmetic and millions of dollars cheaper remediation than the environment and long sufferring citizens of Woolwich township deserve.
Last Saturday's Waterloo Region Record carried this story titled "Cambridge car dealer ordered to pay manager $48K for wrongful dismissal". The wrongful dismissal certainly sounded that way as far as the abruptness and lack of written warnings etc.. That said, while the jury agreed it was a Wrongful Dismissal in that it was without Notice or pay in lieu; I must say that I did find the use of alcohol to be troubling during working hours. Regardless even if the dealership owner felt he had legitimate grounds to dismiss with cause; the law is clear that that cause must stand up in court. Apparently it did not and the manager who had been making an excellent salary clearly had enough money to hire a lawyer and go to court. That is where our civil court system can shine as IF you've got the money you can indeed afford to pursue justice. otherwise you are SOL.
Tuesday, January 12, 2016
The Waterloo Region Record carried a story last November 28/15 titled "No charges in police perjury allegation". Something is amiss if not downright bizarre in this case. First of all a judge stated in open court his opinion that police officer Nathan Boyle had been less than frank in his testimony. Then the judge followed up by stating that the officer's testimony "defied belief" and that the officer had "an ulterior motive".
The defendant who was acquitted later tried to file perjury charges against the officer in part based upon comments that the judge had made. The Justice of the Peace at that hearing has rejected perjury charges being laid against the officer. The former defendant had lawyer Davin Charney represent her at the hearing before the J.P.. The former defendant has also complained to the Office of the Independent Police Review Director (OIPRD). To date there is no information on that complaint.
Monday, January 11, 2016
Last Saturday's Waterloo Region Record carried this story by Luisa D'Amato titled "Catholic school dispute is a tough call". The residents in Breslau who regularily use the park for various recreational purposes are not impressed with either the School Board or Woolwich Council. Volunteers have fundraised for upgrades in the park as well as done cleanups, built rinks and more over the years. To have their park and community centre partially disassembled and sold out from under them is not what they feel their elected representatives are supposed to be doing. This situation wasn't helped much by the committee which was formed by Council to supposedly come to a concensus on the matter. In fact it showed that the community were divided and that only about a third of the residents were O.K. with selling part of their park. Tomorrow Woolwich Council are back in Breslau as they try to declare a well loved and much used parcel of land in the park as surplus.
Saturday, January 9, 2016
Clearly the Crown believes that it was. He referred to the officer who shot Yatin nine times as a "hothead and a bully". The shocking video of Sammy's death shows him being shot three times, slumping to the ground and then being shot six more times. Then for good measure a second cop stepped forward and tasered the dying youth. "To serve and protect" seems to have gotten lost somewhere.
The defence claims self defence. Yes Mr. Yatin was holding a small knife but he had not left the empty streetcar. Emphasis on empty streetcar. There were no hostages. No one else's life was in danger. Mr. Yatin did not attack or charge Officer Forcillo. The prosecution gave their closing arguments earlier this week. It is in the hands of the jury. The video certainly limited any options of story telling or gilding the lily in this tragedy. Will justice be done? An awful lot hangs in the balance. The Waterloo Region Record carried this story yesterday titled "Crown calls Toronto cop who killed teen on streetcar "a hothead and a bully".
Thursday, January 7, 2016
Last winter and spring we had two Woolwich Township members sitting illegally on council. Two out of six were absolutely illegally occupying council chairs and a third who had blatantly violated the Municipal Elections Act (MEA) was sitting legally although in great jeopardy for his contraventions of the MEA.
Both Councilor Bauman and Mayor Shantz were finally turfed although it took threats from me regarding having gone to both the Regional Police and the O.P.P. before the Municipal Clerk finally issued a Notice of Default to Mayor Shantz. Every appearance was given that Woolwich Township were willing to brazen out having their mayor sitting illegally . Both Bauman and Shantz got reinstated by Superior Court although both of them gilded the lily fairly impressively in order to do so. In the mayor's case it may not stick however.
It turns out that she was reinstated conditionally. The conditions included filing "full and complete" Amended and Supplementary Financial Statements which she allegedly did last August 20/15. Well since just prior to Christmas I found further undeclared expenses by the Mayor. These took some research in order to get all the details which didn't occur until this last Monday. Those details were appropriately sent to the prosecuter who was in charge of the case at the time. Currently an out of town prosecuter has been contacted and he will be determining whether the Crown will pick up the MEA charges.
So long story short the question for me is whether or not mayor Shantz really is the mayor. Is she a "pretend" mayor? Is she simply mayor until the courts catch up to her? What exactly is her status based upon the current circumstances?
Wednesday, January 6, 2016
THINGS ARE GETTING INTERESTING AT THE JUDICIAL LEVEL REGARDING MAYOR SHANTZ"S ELECTION EXPENSE CHARGES
Late October, early November, early December and then finally January 6, 2016 are all the court dates and adjournements for the ten Municipal Election Act (MEA) charges laid against Mayor Sandy Shantz. After this morning's appearance we now have a new date of February 24, 2016. This last adjournement was requested and granted for the purpose of allowing an outside prosecuter (Crown) to examine the ten MEA charges laid against mayor Shantz of Woolwich Township. Our local Crown suggested that this sending of the charges to an outside Crown was not due to any conflicts (of interest) but rather to ensure that it was apparent to all parties that justice was being done.
Overall I agree that sending this case to an outside prosecuter makes sense exactly in the same way that the Waterloo Regional Police sent Todd Cowan's Fraud & Breech of Trust charges to the O.P.P.. Afterall Todd like Mayor Shantz, was also a Regional Councillor and held a vote on things like police budgets etc. While I'm less cognizant of the financial (if any) relationships between the local courts and Regional Council; it still seems like a very good idea to me to send this case to an outside prosecuter.
Monday, January 4, 2016
Last Saturday's waterloo region Record carrys this story titled "Carding rules blasted by activists and police". Basically activists including the candaian Civil Liberties Association want carding simply eliminated. Politicians want to regulate it and the police don't want any rules around it all. In other words they favour the status quo which is simply that they can stop any citizen at any point in time and demand to see identification. For me that's far too close to a police state and is not acceptable. The 'comprimise" that politicians are coming up with is that police can only demand ID in regards to a specific criminal activity or incident which they are currently investigating. Of course the possibilities of abuse are endless as they simply can continue disproportionately carding blacks and other ethnic minorities and then verbally advising it's in regards to an ongoing investigation when challenged.
I hadn't realized what a problem and personal abuse it has become, but then I'm a senior white anglo saxon protestant. Not really likely to be profiled and in fact I never have. For other Canadians it is a slap in the face and it will continue to be abused if it is allowed to persist.