This Blog will discuss politics, government, corruption, police, S.I.U., courts, education, min. of attorney general, min. of labour, v.o.i.c.e. and other current and past events of interest to concerned citizens. In the "About me" section to the right and down I have included the names of persons whom I have tremendous respect for. Their influence on me however has been primarily environmental (and personal) and this is therefore a disclaimer that all words posted on this Blog/Website are mine and I alone am responsible for them. I say this with the greatest respect and affection to my friends.
Friday, October 20, 2017
Today's Woolwich Observer has quite an Opinion piece by Steve Kannon. Essentially Steve is suggesting as per his title that "A drug crisis unlike others, but pharmaceutical cash means nothing will change". The drug crisis is opiods and it includes prescription drugs that are being abused. Pain killers such as oxycodone are front and centre with illegal synthetics such as fentanyl being a result of the initial over prescription of the legal drugs. Canada has the second highest per capita consumption of opioids in the world with the U.S. being number one. Charming isn't that?
The real kicker is Steve's claims that much of this abuse is driven by pharmaceutical marketing to doctors and health professionals. Then Steve goes further by suggesting that the pharmacuetical manufacturers and distributors have even been lobbying the U.S. government for legislation to weaken the Drug Enforcement Agency's enforcement efforts. They lobbied successfully according to Steve by donating "...more than a million dollars into their (Congress) election campaigns.". Doesn't that give you a warm feeling knowing how legal it is to buy political influence south of the border. I would suggest that while influence can still be bought here, north of the border, generally it's done in more subtle, less blatant ways.
Steve's final paragraph is "But there's money to be made, and the corporate gaenda tops all. The crisis, deaths and all, is our political economy in microcosm. Expect hand-wringing and nothing else.".
Thursday, October 19, 2017
A lawsuit was filed last June against the Waterloo Regional Police Service. Unsurprisingly both the Waterloo Regional Police Services Board and the Waterloo Regional Police Association have put forth documents to the courts suggesting that the courts have no jurisdiction in the case. If either of these groups had behaved properly and followed their mandates in the first place this problem would not have been allowed to grow and fester for so many decades. They claim that the issues arising in the lawsuit, namely sexual harassment and discrimination, are governed by the collective agreement. Justice Deena Baltman will hear jurisdictional matters as well as the issue of whether the suit should be certified as a class-action suit.
Unfortunately after the court date of last September 25 in a Brampton Courthouse, the next date is not until June 2018. The lawyer for the Plaintiffs expects that Justice Baltman will reserve her decision and release thereof until the fall. This is far too long especially for female officers whose sympathies and leanings will likely be scrutinized carefully in the interim by both their superiors and their fellow officers. The title of today's Waterloo Region Record article by Liz Monteiro is "Constables start group for female officers".
Monday, October 16, 2017
Grassy Narrows, Elmira and Sarnia's Chemical Valley are all examples of neglect and negligence by our Ontario Ministry of the Environment. That they can delay, ignore and pretend that all is well in these communities is beyond all reasonableness. Basically it's politics first and the environment last. Only if the two on a rare occasion become aligned in their interests will progress be made environmentally.
Sarnia's Chemical Valley and Elmira's mini Chemical Valley have been infamous for a very long time. In Sarnia there are usually newspaper exposes every decade or so in the Toronto papers. The same thing has happened again with an investigation by the Toronto Star, Global News and two journalism schools. Benzene has been being discharged into the atmosphere in and around Sarnia, three to ten times above the annual criteria for some time now. Benzene is carcinogenic and is a cause of leukemia or blood cancer.
A health study of the nearby communities has been called for and ignored by Liberal politicians for at least a decade. It is being called for again after the release of the latest data. Of course all the usual suspects, in other words opposition politicians from the Conservatives and NDP are jumping on board the Health Study train. Similarly if the Progressive Conservatives win the next provincial election you can say goodbye to a health study anytime in the upcoming decade. Nobody really wants to disturb the chemical industry gravy train in the area.
Friday, October 13, 2017
Well it certainly is in the workplace. I spent roughly fourty years in the Ontario workplace and it's much worse than a joke. I have to assume that most provincial Ministry of Labour's are just about as ineffective and pro employer biased as the Ontario one is. Just like our provincial Ministry of the Environment, the proof is in the pudding. Our air stinks, our water requires more and more treatment in order to be allegedly safe to drink and our Great lakes as well as rivers and streams running into them are all polluted. Fish are contaminated and fish advisories barely cover the worst contaminants in the fish.
For the Ministry of Labour just look at the never ending deaths and injuries on the job here in Ontario. We are a disgrace and until or unless workers decide to shut down offending companies it will only get worse. The Ministry of Labour barely give wrist slaps to repeat offenders. Corporate convictions and fines nicely insulate the guilty human beings who make choices favouring production and profits over human suffering.
Unionized plants likely have better safety records simply because the union are under some pressure from their members to protect them and their legal rights enshrined in various provincial labour laws. Of course these laws are meaningless unless they are vigourously enforced as well as observed by companies. Without vigourous enforcement however they are a joke. Good companies hardly need these laws and bad companies ignore them if they think they can get away with it. Generally they can.
Old time attitudes among those in charge are barely swayed by legislation and public attitudes for some. Those attitudes are why employees can not sue negligent employers for millions of dollars. Employers lobbied hard for Workmen's Compensation laws which removed the right to sue in favour of the government handing out compensation to employees injured on the job.
When individual decisions are covered by government insurance it becomes much cheaper to ignore costly health and safety laws in favour of short term financial gain.
Never in all my years working in the non-union environment did I see anything even remotely approaching democratic decision making in workplaces. It mattered not that employees generally speaking were the ones risking life and limb. It mattered not that employees were putting their future earning potential at risk on a regular basis by performing dangerous work. Work that was unnecessarily dangerous simply to save time and money for the employer.
Then think of workplaces that have psuedo military styles and attitudes. Yes police work is inherently dangerous but when the chain of command allows quasi criminal Police Act charges to be laid for disobedience then it becomes ridiculous. Worse yet is when full criminal charges can be laid essentially for internal disciplinary matters that have gotten out of control, courtesy of police management demanding blind, unthinking obedience to the old boys network. As per yesterday's posting Police management have long abused their authority and it is decades past time for honest and real change. Fair hearings by unbiased persons without conflicts of interest would be a pleasant change.
Thursday, October 12, 2017
How can this be? After this past summer of lawsuits, revelations of misconduct and misfeasance combined with court decisions hammering various police services how can the media not be still covering these issues? Certainly there must be some news as to what is going on? While the lawsuit filed against the Waterloo Regional Police Service was a barnburner so was the 93 page "Report Of Systemic Misfeasance In Ontario Policing and the Coordinated Supprression of Whistleblowers". That Report by Kelly Donovan was shocking even to those of us who have long ago lost whatever naivete we had left. I knew there were problems locally but her report certainly makes it clear that the problems are systemic throughout Ontario and Canada. Amazing isn't it in this time and place that human beings continue to set up public institutions to fail. Human beings unchecked, unaccountable and non-transparent can sucessfully pervert just about any institution whatsoever. Poor political appointees by unethical, corrupt politicians guarantee poor organizational ethics and conduct. When the culture becomes more about maintaining the appearance versus the reality of decency and honesty and furthermore promoting the status quo when change is needed; then a housecleaning is needed from the top down. Show me an honest and courageous politician willing to attempt this and I'll show you a politician not long for this world. The rot is at the very top namely provincial and federal politicians. How can any institution subservient to them and dependent upon them not be so?
Wednesday, October 11, 2017
How broken? Well minor marijuana offences for decades have been just dandy for prosecutors and courts to spend their time on. Not too petty at all. Also allegedly in the public interest. ReallY? Especially now that our federal government are getting around to decriminalizing marijuana use and possession. Meanwhile what about all those people will criminal records and or who did jail time over marijuana use or possession? Will they get their lives back? Will they automatically receive pardons? How about apologies for arresting, charging, criminalizing and jailing them? Afterall they paid their price to society for what isn't even deemed to be an offence today. God human beings and laws.
Meanwhile I jump through literally months of hoops and loops trying to wind my way through an incompetent, user unfriendly legal system in regards to the Municipal Election Act. Multiple Woolwich Councillors break the law every which way to Sunday, I collect the evidence, present it on a silver platter to the Crown Attorney and what is the result? Oh thank you but despite a conviction being likely we don't think it's in the public interest to prosecute. What! Then why is it the law of the goddamn province! If it's not in the public interest to prosecute then repeal the goddamn law you asshats. Oh and while you're at it be sure to advise all municipal politicians it's open season and they can lie even more than usual when they fill out their Election Financial Statements.
Tuesday, October 10, 2017
Environmental system, judicial system, political system, educational system, health care; you name it they are all broken. They do not serve the taxpayers who pay the freight. They serve the vested interests who spend their time working there. I am quite confident in regards to the five systems I have listed with the exception of the health care system. That system I simply do not have enough information about. The others I've either been directly involved with or I have done considerable research into them. The health care system upon second thought has given me some data to go on. That would be a new hip nearly four and a half years ago. They also advised me at the time that the second hip was also in need albeit not as badly as the first one. Hmm. Based upon my symptoms now it could be another four and half years before I get it done. Or longer. What if it is longer? What if in ten to fifteen years from now I still don't see the need to get my second hip done? Can I reasonably assume that the whole thing was a scam? That whatever my issues were they certainly weren't my hips? My symptoms thank you are beginning to dissipate. While not perfect, remedial walking seems to be relieving the pain I had in my knees and shins. I was told that the hip surgery would help that pain. It didn't do a goddamn thing. WTF!
I think that I will comment further regarding the other systems in later posts. I've been doing that for the last five years plus and we'll just call today a foray into Ontario's health care system.
Saturday, October 7, 2017
Well that certainly is a relief. After all they would never lie to us now would they? Think about it, this includes the Waterloo Region District School Board. They've never lied to parents before about anything, now have they? An abusive teacher, it's all the parents fault. An abusive teacher, well that teacher has never had a complaint before. An abusive teacher well we'll transfer them to a new school. At the new school the teacher is introduced as having a spectacular teaching record and career at the previous eight schools they've taught at in the past twenty years.
Poor education results, it must be the parents again. They don't speak English at home or they don't help their kids with their homework. Weak or poor teachers, oh no we only employ the best and brightest at this school all with unblemished records.
So now that unsafe levels of lead in drinking water were found in 16 local schools and two local daycares including the worst result in Ontario, why wouldn't be trust our educational authorities? We study history in order to avoid repeating the bad things all over again. I'm sure that it's coincidence that my children and future grandchildren will never rely on the promises of at least one of our local school boards. The article in the Waterloo Region Record is titled ""Your kids are safe", schools say after failed lead tests".
Wednesday, October 4, 2017
Today's Waterloo Region Record carries the following story titled "Adviser recommends overhauling Ontario's jails". Howard Sapers is a well known and respected expert on correctional services, jails and inmates. His report advises that 2/3 of people incarcerated in Ontario are on remand. This means that they have been charged with an offence but not convicted. Therefore 2/3 of our prisoners have not had their day in court and therefore are presumed innocent. It seems ridiculous that they are held in facilities with inmates with long term criminal records and sentences.
Ontario it turns out is one of the only provinces in Canada which does not have a law curbing strip searches in jail. In fact government policy in Ontario is to have strip searches on a bi-weekly basis for all inmates and daily strip searches for inmates in segregation. To say that is punitive, bizarre and unneccessary when compared to all other jurisdictions in Canada is an understatement.
Corrections Minister Marie-France Lalonde has indicated that the Ontario government will act upon Mr. Saper's report and will introduce new corrections legislation this fall. How many decades behind the times is that?
Friday, September 29, 2017
Back on September 15/17 I posted here about the status of two Delegations I had presented to Woolwich Council regarding explosive levels of methane gas in the sub-surface of the Bolender Park Landfill in Elmira, Ontario . The two Delegations were August 1 and August 22/17. I had been advised that on September 19 there would be a "Review" of my second Delegation (Aug. 22/17) presented to Woolwich Council. GHD the new owners of Conestoga Rovers (CRA), who wrote the original ten reports, indeed presented their ten page report to Council. It was a crock. They basically had nothing but deflections, irrelevancies and stickhandling in an attempt to undermine my comments and criticism of the ten CRA landfill reports written between 1983 and 2016.
Think about this carefully. I believe that Woolwich Council indicated that they had spent $6,000 of taxpayers money on a "Review" of my critique of ten CRA reports, by the new owners of CRA. Exactly how likely is that they would either criticize their new colleagues from CRA or criticize their clients (Woolwich Township) for their negligence in not following a couple of very serious recommendations that they made. You guessed it, they did not. They simply huffed and puffed and blew a lot of smoke.
Since then I've had a third and a fourth Delegation and the third listed several published scientific reports in regards to landfill gas methodologies and procedures, all of which CRA appeared unfamiliar with. The fourth was a critique of GHD's "Review" and I focused on their false statements that the gas collection system had been running from 1984 until 2015. This I debunked via direct quotes from CRA reports in 1998 and 2007. Council for whatever reason are in full coverup and denial mode. Let's see if we can discover the reasons why.
Thursday, September 28, 2017
It'a all music to my ears. It tells me that the Waterloo Region District School Board still haven't got their act together. This article was in the K-W Record way back at the start of this month, namely September 2, 2017. It was written by Jeff Outhit and is titled "Secret report exposes trustee feuding". Well I suggest it exposes a lot more than that. Trustee Cindy Watson, from Cambridge and one of the good ones decided to send a little message. She had been kangaroo courted by her fellow trustees back in 2012. her "crime" was in failing to automatically defend a staff member who had been criticized by a parent. Oh boo hoo our overpaid and under accountable teachers need and expect to be defended by their union, their colleagues, trustees and anyone else just because a parent criticizes them? While trustees can't assume anything off the bat they are not there just to be cheerleaders for Board staff. They are there to look at the facts and if criticism is unwarranted to say so and if clearly warranted to try and do something about the problem. Any ridiculous Code of Conduct demanding Trustees automatically back staff needs to be turfed along with each and every idiot who backed that self-serving drivel disguised as a Code of Conduct.
Wednesday, September 27, 2017
Mass lying and deception by American federal politicians of U.S. citizens. That is a huge part of the takeaway I've gotten while following this lengthy series on Channel 61 (PBS). Another aspect is the propaganda. The propaganda was that the war was all about U.S. values of freedom and democracy versus those dirty, left-wing, anti-democratic, anti-freedom Communist expansionists. Wow! hard to disagree with that if it had been true. The reality is that expansionists is just another word for colonial powers and which countries do you think historically have been the biggest and baddest colonial powers? let's see, how about Britain, France, Spain and you've got it the United States of America. U.S. interventionism has included forays into Cuba, Chile, Grenada, Panama, Nicaurogua, Canada (1812-14), Mexico, Iraq, Vietnam, Afghanistan ... ahh hell you get the picture.
The French vacated Vietnam under duress from Ho Chi Minh and supporters. At first the U.S. and Ho Chi Minh appeared to be of like mind. The Vietnamese had overthrown both the Japanese and the French and all they wanted was to rule thier own country. Democratic elections had been scheduled after a temporary split only of the north from the south. Despite the corruption of the Diem regieme in South Vietnam, the U.S. backed them and went along with cancelling the elections because it was apparent that Ho Chi Minh would win any fair election in Vietnam due to his stature and history of fighting both the Japanese and the French. The U.S. once again backed the wrong horse in so many different ways.
Back in the U.S. it became all about ego and face saving for U.S. presidents and politicians. Yes the "kill ratio" may have been ten to one in favour of the U.S. over the Viet Cong in South Vietnam and the North Vietnamese regular army. That said the north were fighting to preserve and unite their country while the south were fighting for a corrupt, self -serving regieme. Both groups however were cruel and brutal both against their internal opponents and against their own citizens.
It was a mess that never needed nor was improved by the U.S. propping up the South Vietnam government. Rough estimates had 50,000 U.S. soldiers killed, 100,000 South Vietnamese army killed and possibly 200,000-400,000 North Vietnamese and Viet Cong killed. Then there was the "collateral" damage. The civilians on both sides of the border bore the brunt of bombing, strafing and being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Last evening's (Wed. Sept. 27/17) 8th part of the series stated that in total 2,000,000 Vietnamese died, presumably north and south, civilians and fighters.
Throughout it all U.S. politicians never stopped lying to their own citizens. How exactly that preserved American ideals of peace, justice, freedom and democracy is beyond me.
Tuesday, September 26, 2017
OTHER THAN FOR LEGITIMATE NATIONAL SECURITY REASONS SHOULD POLITICIANS BE PROSCRIBED BY LAW FROM LYING?
For me the answer to the question is obvious. While we might think that lying politicians get found out it's amazing how seldom it actually occurs. There are probably strategies and workshops if not books on how to get away with lying, from little things to billion dollar lies. The only reason our politicians at all levels do it is because they are confident they won't be found out and if they are then simply more lies can be told to put a different spin on things. Finally if there is no getting away from it then a heartfelt or heart wrenching public mea culpa usually puts things to rest. After that it's back to business but just don't repeat the same lies that you did get caught on.
Our municipal Council here in Elmira, Ontario and probably most others have no compunctions against the most brazen lies. The more they tell and get away with, the bolder they get. Even if they get called on them they seem willing to keep pushing the envelope. Part of it is the attitude that truth or falsehood isn't the issue. The issue is whether the majority of citizens believe the liars (the politicians) or whether they believe the whistleblowers. Hence even if 10 to 20 percent of the people believe the whistleblower, most politicians believe they've scored another victory.
Logic and commonsense aren't enough to bring down a lying politician. Neither are facts. For that matter neither is a smoking gun unless some other authority examines the smoking gun and pronounces the guilt of the lying politicians. The other alternative is if the facts do not require scientific or other professional corroboration. The reason is that the bad guys can and do employ their own hired guns. Then you end up with one expert saying this and another saying that.
These above comments are specifically in relation to Woolwich Council's stance on methane problems at the Bolender Park Landfill here in Elmira, Ontario. They are lying and deceiving the general public as well as the residents in close proximity to the landfill. They believe that holding a united front is the best defence against the truth. Often it works that way. We will see.
Saturday, September 23, 2017
Oh the power! The control and the ability to bend literally millions of people to your will. That's what politics is all about. Please spare me the shit about "serving" the public. Spare me the shit about doing what's best for the public interest. Politicians are simply egotistical, pathological liars in general. I love the saying that it's not fair to brand all politicians as shits just because 95% of them are exactly that.
Today's Waterloo Region Record carries the following Opinion from Luisa D'Amato: "All-day kindergarten is just more expensive snake oil from Queen's Park". That's pretty a strong opinion considering the costs involved as well as how strongly we cherish our children. Any government action regarding children must always be carefully scrutinized including through the prism that governments are inherently self-serving.
Luisa makes a very strong case based upon the standardized literacy and math examinations given to Grade 3 and Grade 6 students across Ontario. While all day kindergarten started in 2010 in parts of the province, it turns out that those students receiving it have done no better than the ones who did not. Apparently the positive learning effects are short lived and do not last past Grade 2. In other words the $1.5 Billion dollars per year for full day kindergarten has been a complete waste of money.
It was all about branding the Liberals once again as the education government. It was all about cheap day care sooner albeit more expensively for parents. It was all about getting elected again and again regardless of the merit of their programs. Good God.
Friday, September 15, 2017
Woolwich Township: such a sad history of individuals working for their own interests versus those of the public. The only difference between a democracy and a totalitarian regieme is that politicians in democracies at least have to pretend that they are working in the public interest.
Nearly seven weeks ago I brought my first of three Delegations to Woolwich Council. The first was August 1, the second August 22/17. To date I have not received any formal feedback about my concerns with methane gas intruding into homes or businesses nearby. As is my practice I had done some research prior to my first Delegation. I obtained indirectly ten consultant's reports hired by Woolwich Township concerning methane monitoring and collection in the Bolender Park Landfill. I have since delivered three significantly different written and oral Delegations to Council. My comments and criticisms are clear, specific and documented.
I was advised by Sandy Shantz (alleged mayor) by e-mail that the consultants Conestoga Rovers (GHD) in conjunction with Woolwich Staff have produced a review of my August 22/17 Delegation. It was completed two weeks ago and has been denied to me so far. Sandy advises me that a staff report will be made to Council this Tuesday and allegedly I will receive it today.
Soooo let me get this straight. I have written and spoken about multiple clear and blatant failures of Conestoga Rovers "investigation" and monitoring of the Bolender Park Landfill and what I will be receiving is a Woolwich staff report of a review done by the possibly incompetent consultant and his client (Township) who appear to have no idea what they are doing. Wow! That really is way beyond disappointing. Is that naivety, incompetence or semi-professional political scheming and gamesmanship? If it is the latter, does that qualify as a form of corruption? You the reader decide.
Thursday, September 14, 2017
On August 25/17 the Waterloo Region Record published the following article titled "U.S. seeking enforcement of judgement against Khadr". Fortunately for Mr. Khadr both the Supreme Court of Canada as well as the Canadian government have publicly stated that Khadr's detention and prosecution in the U.S. offended our most basic values and principles. The military commission which prosecuted him has long been reviled by those knowledgeable in jurisprudence. Similarly his detention as a child soldier for years in inhumane conditions at Guantaunamo Bay (Cuba) prior to his trial also cast disrepute upon the entire legal process. It is to be hoped that the families of two American servicemen wake up, shake their heads and realize that assaults on enemy compounds by Americans during wartime can and does result in injuries and fatalities. It is called war not peace. Enemy combatants, whether Khadr was or wasn't, do not get charged for fighting back while under attack. The entire legal process was ridiculous and simply one more case of the victor writing history after the fact.
Wednesday, September 13, 2017
GENERAL ELECTRIC EXPOSES THOUSANDS TO TOXIC CHEMICALS THEN ABANDONS PETERBOROUGH FOR SUNNIER ENVIRONMENTAL AND COST CLIMATE
G.E. has been in Peterborough for 125 years. At one time in the 1960s they had 6,500 employees working at the plant. Now they are advising their 358 employees that other than the engineering department they are closing shop and sending production to Mexico. All hail free trade. Free trade means never having to say your sorry for killing off your employees with work place hazards and toxins.
A lengthy report conducted by researchers hired by the union found more than 3,000 chemicals had been used between 1945 and 2000. Employees both retired and still working have long complained of serious health issues including multiple cancers. Many of their diseases have been linked to toxic chemical exposure. The Canadian Press carried this story regarding the plant closing on August 25, 2017.
Monday, September 11, 2017
Today's Waterloo Region Record has an absolutely excellent Editorial by the Record. It is titled "Don't gut provincial tests". It puts the failures in our educational system squarely where they should be. Yes the province are in charge of education but they have passed that responsibility down to local school boards throughout the province. They have made a mess of things while taking very good care of all the players in the system except of course the students. Teachers, their unions ,bureaucrats and administrators have done really well by the school system. Unfortunately all that love and attention somehow hasn't trickled down to the most vulnerable and those for whom the system was supposed to have been built. Keep in mind that while the Liberals may own the last fourteen years the problems have been much longer in the making than that.
Now both the governing Liberals and the school boards think they've discovered the problem. It's those damn, pesky tests administered to Grade 3, 6 and 9 students that are the problem. Students en masse are not achieving provincial standards. Math is worse than English although that's not saying much. Among other problems are that math teachers apparently aren't very good in mathematics themselves. Seems as if teaching was a safe location for them. Personally I've seen a couple of pathetic public school English teachers. It's not that they were particularly bad teachers, it's that they were particularly bad in English skills. What a way to run a railroad folks. As I said it took a lot of stupidity and a minimum of common sense to get into this mess. Way to go Waterloo Region District School Board and all the rest of like minded boards across this province.
Saturday, September 9, 2017
What I don't understand is how anybody is surprised by the results of math and english testing in our public schools. Literally for decades governments have kept hands off while teachers, trustees and school boards did their utmost to improve the lot of trustees, taechers and school boards. Do you see any mention of student learning in those previous two sentences. Teachers unions especially at the elementary level, combined with Board bureaucracy have worked hard to keep themselves unaccountable and non-tramsparent. it has worked beautifully - for them that is. Never has so much tax money gone into such mediocre results while keeping parents sucessfully at bay and governments generally looking the other way.
On August 31, 2017 the Waterloo Region Record published the following story titled "Math test scores "disappointing". Mary Reid of the University of Toronto stated that math proficiency tests must be made mandatory for elementary school teachers. This is because these teachers struggle with basic math skills which obviously affects their teaching and thus their students' learning. Oh surprise, surprise! Don't be surprised if the union insisting on layoffs by seniority instead of by either competence or abilities in particular subjects such as math is also a strong factor. Exactly how many teachers kept their jobs teaching math which they themselves furiously dropped as fast as they could when they got to high school? Remember education isn't about common sense. It's about privelege, power, status and authority that most could not get in other fields. Our provincial governments have done little over the decades to improve things.
Friday, September 8, 2017
The August 31, 2017 Waterloo Region Record carried the following Opinion piece by Peter Shawn Taylor titled "Water-softener plan money down the drain?". Well I don't always agree with his opinions I do find that his comments regarding governments' motivations and oftentimes bizarre directions to be educational. Mr. Taylor uses as examples things like the plethora of unnecessary roundabouts, Byzantine outdoor watering restrictions, punitive garbage rules and finally the massive debt and dislocation of the LRT (light rail transit).
There is a new water softening technology called TAC or template assisted crystallization. Mr. Taylor suggests that while there are definite positives to this technology as it would greatly reduce the use of salt and hence help our waterways and groundwater there are also major negatives. He finds that the Region's attempts to persuade or force consumers down a route that they are either not happy with or prepared to follow is one more waste of time and money. He basically suggests that government subsidized directions artificially increase the uses government favours but only until the subsidies end. then consumers will make their own choices and just like electric cars are far more likely to go back to using salt to soften their water. Hence this whole plan is likely to be simply "money down a watery drain.".
Saturday, September 2, 2017
Luisa D'Amato's Opinion column in today's Waterloo Region Record is titled "Trustees have one last chance to get it right". Luisa has been writing about our local school boards for as long as I can remember. She has been professional but blunt and indeed scathing at times. It appears as if little has changed since my run in with the Waterloo Region District School Board and their majority of lapdogs pretending to be trustees.
I found senior administrative staff at the Board back in the late 90s to be disgusting. They were nothing if not blindly loyal to the teachers and their unions. They were not interested in either the truth or in trying to solve serious problems with bad apple teachers in their employ. Obviously the Ron Archer case was an extreme one but one which shines a spotlight on the internal protectionism and non accountability of teachers, much less the school board itself.
Luisa refers to the Code of conduct as thoroughly undemocratic. She also refers to trustees sitting in judgement of their fellow trustees as a "kangaroo court". She is right on both counts but what is the real reason behind their animosity? At the moment trustees can't hold any staff or teachers accountable when they are liable to censure under the idiotic Code of Conduct just for listening to criticism of staff and then not immediately challenging that criticism. That is nuts. Similarly trustees are not allowed to keep Board staff and administrators on the straight and narrow because trustees are prohibited from criticizing anything they do even when student achievement is in the toilet.
The problem in my opinion isn't trustee infighting. Thank God they are fighting because otherwise the majority of trustees who go along with these asinine Codes of Conduct and asinine rules forcing trustees to always speak glowingly about Board staff and administrators would have absolute free rein to continue the WRDSB's long history of self congratulation, back patting, puffery and putting teachers' unions and staff miles ahead of students' and parents' interests.
Wednesday, August 30, 2017
Anybody still doubt that the war on marijuana is all about greasing the wheels of our judicial system? In other words keeping police, judges and lawyers employed and well paid? Think about it. Remove all marijuana offences whether using, possessing, selling or growing from the criminal code and boy will that ever free up the courts, and all the staff involved on our taxpayers dime to pursue other "anti-social' activities.
Jeffrey Shaver of Cambridge has pointed out the absurdity of our judicial system from top to bottom. Why did the Waterloo Regional Police bother to charge him for marijuana possession when he had a legal medical marijuana card on his person when arrested? After he protested in front of the police station while smoking marijuana he was charged again and then the charges dropped. His marijuana has since been returned from his second arrest but not from his first. That is why he was outside the Kitchener courthouse yesterday morning again smoking marijuana apparently without incident. Come on courts, police and prosecuters give your heads a shake. The clear and obvious near future is total decriminalization of marijuana plus this guy has a medical license to possess and use it. he has totally made you look like a..holes. Drop the remaining charge and return his property to him which you stole in the first place. The law truly can be an ass. See the article in today's Waterloo Region Record.
Yesterday's Waterloo Region Record carried an article titled "Solitary confinement violates charter right to life: lawyer". Both the B.C. Civil Liberties Association and the John Howard Society of canada are delivering closing arguments to the British Columbia Supreme Court in a lawsuit against the Attorney General of Canada over the use of indefinite segregation in prisons. Quoting statistics the lawyers are advising the court of the numbers of prisoners who have committed suicide while in segregation across Canada. This also includes here at the Kitchener Prison for Women where Ashley Smith at the age of nineteen killed herself by strangulation while guards watched her. Various international groups and other countries have long banned indefinite segregation and or put severe limits on the time that inmates can be put in solitary confinement.
Monday, August 28, 2017
Well it's probably pretty obvious that something is way out of whack with either this particular officer or with the Waterloo Region Police service or with both. Four times in the last eight months. Hmm let me think. I was charged eleven times in a row by the idiots in blue although only arrested twice I believe. When the smoke cleared I had one petty Trespass conviction, ten of the charges dropped and the Crown advised the Waterloo Regional Police in writing that they would no longer prosecute me on any trespass charges that the Regional Police laid on me. Kind of gives you an idea of the pettiness and stupidity the upper echelons of the WRPS are capable of, doesn't it?
Speaking of ingenuous don't you love the decency of the WRPS in not identifying the officer charged for the fourth time "To avoid identifying the victim". He's already been identified three times. Gosh whomever could it be?
It looks as if breaching court orders and terms of release seems to be the big problem. These factors figure prominently in proposed reforms of our court system and especially our bail system. Sometimes it appears as if the bail terms are essentially devised to be onerous and in order to make it next to impossible for the accused to comply with them. Bingo he gets rearrested. Is that the kind of crap that is going on here?
Waterloo Regional Police and Police Board, it is way past time to get your shit together. You are making laughing stocks of yourselves and very successfully bringing the administration of justice into disrepute. Last Saturday's Record carries the story titled "Police officer arrested four times in eight months".
Saturday, August 26, 2017
Lily livered, wimpy bureaucrats working at public institutions do not have the right to ban or prohibit other people simply because those white collared, wusses are "afraid". This has long been the local School Board's game in spades. It especially works if the parent they don't care for is male. "Ooh we have an angry, agitated male saying mean things to us." It is their typical kind of crap.
Today's Waterloo Region Record has an interesting article titled "Court says ban from town hall property is unconstitutional". An upset Town of Fort Erie had a local and fairly loud male protester who was outside the town hall with a megaphone. Police were called and he was arrested and then banned from town property. An idiot Superior Court Justice upheld the ban last February and so the protester appealed to the Ontario Court of appeal and won. That Justice made it clear that the evidence of town employees who claimed to be afraid of the man was flimsy at best. The Justice also stated that "Violence is not the mere absence of civility". So here's the lesson WRDSB and local municipalities : Even lying about a citizen being "agitated" or "angry" isn't adequate reason to issue them trespass notices. In a nutshell WRDSB - go fuc. yourselves.
Thursday, August 24, 2017
I admit it's not easy. When an individual or group have been caught red handed in behaviour that screams either dishonesty or corruption, it's difficult to look at them in the same light ever again. Whether the issue was the manufactured crisis around the Chemtura Public Advisory Committee, the park in Breslau, the gravel pit in Winterbourne, Election Financing cheating and coverups, you name it; trying to observe the latest issue and Woolwich Council's reaction to it objectively and with an open mind requires a serious effort.
The latest problem has been around for a long time. It has been kept below the radar and out of sight for a very long time. Woolwich Township have literally decades if not fractions of centuries experience in so doing. Uniroyal Chemical came to Elmira, Ontario in 1942. They had federal government contracts in hand to manufacture explosive stabilizers. Our town Council whether Elmira alone or as Woolwich Township incorporating Breslau, St. Jacobs, Elmira, West Montrose, Conestogo, Maryhill etc. managed to keep the imminent and obvious destruction of our drinking water aquifers on the back burner for almost half a century. That's world class politics and coverup my friends. The environmental stink and groundwater destruction behind the Breslube plant in Breslau was also kept very low key. The shut down of nearby municipal wells was attributed to the world's toughest bacteria in the Grand River rather than to industrial solvents and oils from Breslube. At one time they had P.C.B. contaminated oils floating on the water table behind their property. Again hardly made a ripple publicly.
The latest issue is methane production from the Bolender Park Landfill in and around two businesses and several homes. Rather than provide inexpensive methane warning devices to these homes and businesses, Council would rather negotiate privately with one of the businesses in order to put a new methane collection system on his property. All this at the same time as they are publicly lying and saying that there are no concerns. It's possible that they are telling the truth if they personally have no concerns for those at risk.
To date neither Council nor Staff have advised why they feel that everything is just dandy. I've seen the methane concentrations in the Conestoga Rovers Reports and they are above the 20% LEL (Lower Explosion Limit). To me they are rolling the dice and hoping for the best. Of course when their number comes up and there is an explosion they can do exactly the same thing they did when the wells became poisoned, namely obfuscate, deflect and distract.
Tuesday, August 22, 2017
According to them at least they always know best. According to them they are fountains of knowledge, common sense, logic and clear thinking. They would also like us to believe that their first priority are the students with decency, respect, decorum, morals and ethics thrown in for good measure. Unfortunately absolutely none of this is true.
Our school boards are grossly politicized bastions of partisan politics. They are all about power, authority, prestige, political ladder climbing and money. Their sense of self-entitlement from the bureaucrats, trustees, administrators, consultants, union leaders and some teachers is second to none. They use and abuse their power and influence to protect their empires and will crush any legitimate opposition that is not as strong and unprincipled as they are.
Today's Waterloo Region Record expands upon their most recent inherent lack of common sense and logic. The title is "Police looking into teen's drowning". Yes the police are involved with the absurdity and negligence involved in the drowning of a fifteen year old boy on a school trip last month. No foul play was not the cause. Criminal negligence or gross stupidity however have not been ruled out.
The Toronto District School Board have apologized to the dead teen's family. This School Board's dysfunction is nothing new whether political infighting or Trustees alleging financial/electioneering wrongdoing by their colleagues. The Board had passed rules demanding that all students on the school trip to Algonquin Park must be able to pass a swimming test prior to the trip. The drowned teen had failed the test. Now we find that a grand total of fifteen of the thirty-two students had failed the swimming test. They all went anyways and one of them is dead.
All hail the Toronto District School Board.
Saturday, August 19, 2017
Do not misunderstand me. I am not referring to the fine men and women in uniform whose attitude day in and day out is to serve and protect. I am referring to the administration and control of Ontario police forces by their Chiefs and senior administration officers. They have totally lost control when criminal actions by bad apples within their services are treated differently than criminal actions by members of the public.
Lawyer Julian Falconer, representing the teen victim and his family, stated "This represented in my opinion, a deliberate and intentional effort on the part of police authorities to conceal a crime by one of their own.". It appears that the black teen was walking with two friends in their own neighbourhood last December when confronted by an off-duty police officer and his brother. The teen was attacked and allegedly beaten with a metal pipe. His injuries are severe including loss of an eye and multiple broken bones.
The Special Investigations Unit wasn't notified which is supposed to be mandatory when there are serious injuries and or allegations of sexual assault by a police officer. Durham Police investigated and didn't even interview witnesses to the assault.
Now our very own Waterloo Regional Police are involved as they have been asked to investigate the assault on the black teenager.
A coalition of community and advocacy groups has stated that "The end result is a lack of confidence in the very public institutions that were created to keep us safe.'. Ontario's Attorney General stated that change is necessary to improve public trust in law enforcement. A thorough house cleaning is long overdue at the top if they are unwilling to rid their forces of occasional bad apples. It is beyond hypocritical if well liked and or connected officers keep their jobs after committing criminal offences while other less popular officers are drummed out of police forces using internal Police Act charges. This kind of internal discrimination and favouritism harms both the police force and the public and can no longer be tolerated.
The article describing this situation was in the Waterloo Region Record last Thursday titled "Agency asked to probe two police forces after officer charged in teen's beating".
Friday, August 18, 2017
Whu should this remotely be a surprise to anyone? The City of Waterloo went through something similar in the mid 90s. Yours truly along with a couple of other employees went to the Ontario Human Rights Commission in regards to the City of Waterloo's harassment and discrimination against female public works employees. The Commission took forever however when they were finally ready to go I received a phone call from the CAO of the City of Waterloo. He wanted to settle including a written apology and some back wages. I accepted. The female employee had been settled with long before.
So here we have yet another male dominated and longterm historically male occupation only. However decades ago our governments decided that women were quite capable of doing lots of formerly male only occupations. Factory work for women didn't really start until the Second World War when there was a shortage of men for the factories. Doctors, fire women, construction workers and police officers became open to both genders. Just as there are lots of men who would make poor police officers or construction workers similarly there are many women who would do poorly however many others, if given even half a chance, can succeed in these occupations.
Of course it's all too much of a shock for the hurt feelings of many rank and file as well as of many senior police officers. They go through the motions and give lip service support only to their female colleagues. Basically they sneak around doing their best to undermine and harass them into quitting. It has worked in that many women throw uop their hands and say to hell with the pack of you. They are there to work and to have a career not be punching bags for the well entrenched old boys club.
And this is why we are where we are today. Waterloo Regional Police have been far too long spending way too much taxpayers time and money pursuing that which has gone the way of the dodo. Women are in the work force and our society is the better for it. The Waterloo region Record article about this is dated August 16, 2017 and the title of the article is "Hearing on police class-action suit in September".
Tuesday, August 15, 2017
The answer is absolutely yes. Despite the fact that there is still no law either federal or provincial stating that politicians are not forbidden to lie; there are still ample reasons to send them to jail. Let's see gross negligence is a very good reason. The Flint Michigan disaster whereby young children were drinking lead contaminated tap water comes to mind. Some of those children will have permanently lowered brain function due to the lead ingested while both local and state politicians looked for cheaper, less safe sources of water. Here in Elmira, Ontario the politicians who knew that Uniroyal's chemicals including NDMA were in the groundwater for years prior to its' "discovery" in 1989 should have spent considerable time behind bars. Similarly the upcoming methane crisis from the Bolender Landfill in Elmira hopefully to date has not caused death or injury although all the evidence is not yet in. There have been a number of fires and personal injuries including death under somewhat strange circumstances at a business located beside the former Landfill. Woolwich Township staff and politicians appear to have been negligent in their handling of reports received from their consultants over a thirty plus year time period. Even when their consultants have advised action it has never had any sense of urgency or timeliness involved.
Friday, August 11, 2017
Today's Waterloo Region Record carrys the following story titled "School boards can learn from "crisis"". It seems that the start of school year last September was even more eventful than usual across Toronto. The Ombudsman, Paul Dube, released a report yesterday on the mess in Toronto last September. It seems as if thousands of students were stranded and some even went missing when bus drivers en masse dropped young children off at the wrong stops. This included junior kindergarten students as well as those with special needs. Many parents were left with missing children for several hours.
According to the Ombudsman there were warning signs well ahead of the start of school indicating that new bus operators combined with new or different bus drivers had no idea where their routes were. It was a mess. The Ombudsman has suggested that this crisis could have been averted and hopes that other boards besides Toronto's two baords have taken note and gotten their acts together.
It certainly puts in context for me the dysfunction and incompetence of school boards who just love to blame parents for any educational flaws rather than looking at themselves. Low graduation rates and declining math scores on provincial tests may simply be the tip of the iceberg. Politics and politicians seem intent on buggering up just about anything they can get their hands on including partisan trustees and promoting the flavour of the month edubabble from bureaucrats and their educational consultants. These are not smart people at the top of school boards. They are manipulators and deceivers with too much status, money and power and too little real accountability or transparency.
Wednesday, August 9, 2017
In Drumheller, Alberta a local politician got into trouble over her strong and rude comments on Facebook about two of her colleagues on local Council. The police showed up, charged and arrested her and put her in jail. The charge was a criminal charge namely Defamatory Libel, punishable by up to two years in prison. Realizing that she was facing a criminal record and a prison sentence she agreed to conditions which were backed up by a provincial court order.
Now here's the kicker. Section 301 of the Criminal Code regarding Defamatory Libel had been repealed twenty years earlier in Alberta as being unconstitutional. It has also been repealed in Ontario, Saskatchewan, Newfoundland, Labrador and New Brunswick. Section 301 had never been taken to the Supreme Court of Canada for them to determine its' constitutionality which is why the many provinces and territory have done so.
All of this begs the question as to how the police and Crown in Alberta allegedly didn't know that the law was unconstitutional. The author of this story Derek James, offered this comment: "This means that the Crown will still occasionally bring charges under Section 301- although only ever to shield public officials like politicians and police from criticism, never average private citizens.". This story was in the Waterloo Region Record on June 9, 2017 titled "Defamation law used to silence political speech?".
Tuesday, August 8, 2017
Police brutality. It's never really stopped. Maybe it's no longer Standard Operating Procedure as it once was in some areas but nevertheless it continues at the very least on an individual basis by individual officers. The August 1, 2017 Waterloo Region Record published a story titled "Man assaulted by officer gets charge dropped". Judge Joseph Bovard stated in court that an assault by Officer Gill constituted a very serious breach of the suspect's rights and as a result the evidence against the suspect was thrown out. The Judge also commented negatively on the behaviour and conduct of the officer and his colleagues in court. The charge was related to drinking and driving and the police officer's illegal behaviour towards the suspect resulted in no evidence being available to the Crown. My question is besides the suspect walking is there any consequences for the officer? If not, including assault charges, then is it any wonder that this behaviour continues by some police offciers?
Saturday, August 5, 2017
James Lockyer, the lawyer for the biker improperly and illegally convicted on weapons charges, has stated that The Ontario Court of Appeal has sent both Waterloo Regional Police and other forces across Canada a "strong message". The message is that the courts will not tolerate either unconstitutional or illegal conduct by police forces. Waterloo Regional Police played fast and loose in searching private property without a warrant and then misled a judge into giving them a warrant for a second search. After that they back a third time and while they found weapons and other illegal goods all three searches were thrown out as evidence based upon the first illegal search and the followup lack of candor in obtaining a belated search warrant. This article titled "Freed biker's lawyer blast police" was published in yesterday's Waterloo Region Record.
Mr. Lockyer made it clear that the Constitution protects ALL Canadians from improper searches and seizure. Waterloo Region Crown Attorney Mark Poland stated that they are reviewing the matter in order to determine their next steps. An Application for Leave to Appeal could be sent to the Supreme Court of Canada although only 10% of those leaves to Appeal are successful. This is at least the third major black eye for our local police force this summer. At what point in time will an independent inquiry or investigation be called to look into our local forces internal problems and administration at the top levels?
Thursday, August 3, 2017
The Ontario Court of Appeal is not amused by the behaviour of a senior investigating officer and his team. The Court indicated that Waterloo regional Police engaged in "systemic" misconduct in regards to a case that sent a Kitchener man to jail for eleven years. The title of the article in today's Waterloo Region Record is "Regional police, Kitchener judge erred in case that sent a Hells Angel to jail, court rules".
All convictions against Frank Strauss were overturned and the Appeal Court has ordered a new trial. He had been convicted based upon evidence from a second search of his property with a search warrant. The very first search had been conducted with no legal grounds whatsoever and hence no search warrant.
One would think by now that our Regional Police would have learned not to take short cuts when dealing with our local biker gang. Way back in the 70s they pulled similar stunts and worse which ended up with officers being demoted and Sid Brown the Chief being fired, albeit somewhat prematurely. That legal case went on for years and it gave police, police board and politicians all a black eye for a very long time.
Monday, July 31, 2017
Will it take some form of provincial or federal Inquiry into systemic police misconduct across Canada or can the responsible authorities do the job themselves? It would seem that according to the allegations with included evidence provided by Kelly Donovan that it is unlikely that the local Crown Prosecutors are up to the job. Instances of favouritism and discrimination in the laying of criminal charges are alleged. These instances swing both ways with guilty parties given a pass as well as frivolous charges laid against officers simply to harass them. While these cases require close scrutiny by independent authorities, so too do the cases of Police Service Act charges being laid either for harassment or out of outright vindictiveness. All these allegations deserve independent and professional investigation from persons who are not dependent upon the good will of the various police forces..
Saturday, July 29, 2017
When are our authorities (ie. politicians) going to get the lead out and start making police agencies including the RCMP, provincial police and even CSIS transparent and accountable? In the July 15, 2017 Waterloo Region Record there was an article titled "Canada's spy agency faces harassment, discrimination lawsuit". It turns out that while CSIS depends on and relys on Muslim employees at the same time they distrust and discriminate against them. Five emplyees have filed suit against what they describe as an old boys club culture at CSIS.They allege that advancement is based upon personality, internal friendships and not on merit. The discrimination is against not only Muslims but allegedly against homosexuals as well. In the long run this kind of behaviour lessens and weakens police forces whether municipal, provincial or federal and the same thing goes for national intelligence agencies. If their own employees know something is rotten from within how likely are they and their colleagues to perform their duties at their best?
Wednesday, July 26, 2017
Last Tuesday the Waterloo Region Record carried the following story titled "Ex-officer criticizes police for "bullying". The sub-title in my opinion is a more accurate depiction of Kelly Donovan's 93 page Report. The sub-title was "Kelly Donovan says forces go after those who make internal complaints".
First of all Ms. Donovan's Report does not focus solely on the Waterloo Regional Police of which she was a member until she resigned this past June. She also makes it clear in her Report and via footnotes that her data comes from a number of already published and public sources. Part of her overall theme is that Waterloo Regional Police are not inherently any nastier, more corrupt or of lower ethics than any other forces. The problem is across the board both here in Ontario and across Canada. It is a culture unto itself and whether through inadequate legislation, typical human abuse of authority or public policy dealing with police accountability and transparency; the problem has grown out of control.
The public are paying for far too many internal witch hunts and discipline of police officers who have expressed usually through the chain of command, concerns that need to be addressed. Possibly some complaints might be indeed frivolous but many of those she details are from it. They need to be addressed honestly and forthrightly. Taxpayers should not be paying for so many Police Act charges dealing with mere dissent within the ranks. Taxpayers should not be paying for so many police officers on suspension, often for again either dissent or other trivial matters. Good police officers who are unpopular or who ask too many questions should not be hounded out of our police forces. That is a huge waste of time, talent and training.
Tuesday, July 25, 2017
Well after last month's class action lawsuit filed against the Waterloo Regional Police, followed by last week's revelations in a 93 page document produced by Kelly Donovan; is it possible for any other local police behaviour to be labelled as weird. Well apparently so. Today's Waterloo Region Record carries an article titled "OPP loses appeal in custody dispute involving Waterloo Region police officer".
Get a load of this: a local police officer is in a nasty custody type dispute with his ex-wife involving their ten year old daughter. He's alleged that she had assaulted their daughter and she's alleged that nine years ago he had assaulted her. Nearly two years ago the father thought that having a couple of his buddies (off-duty cops) along as observers at the access exchange site was a good idea. A local judge disagreed and ordered the OPP to take over as observers and keepers of the peace during these exchanges. The OPP promptly took the matter to the Ontario Court of Appeal. Seems they didn't like the judge's plan.
Well the OPP have just lost and must now assist in these access exchanges. Interesting. I wonder how many other parents, whether father or mother, would like a police escort to help keep things civil during handoffs of their children back and forth. Is there something in the water here in Waterloo Region? Is this even remotely normal behaviour between separated or divorced parents? Is there some systemic problems with the hierarchy of the Waterloo Regional Police that is contributing to the poor behaviour of their front line officers? Could it be simply bad hiring of particular police officers in the first place? Whatever it is the natives are getting restless. I would say that our local force is about one dandy crisis away from the province stepping in and doing a housecleaning.
Saturday, July 22, 2017
Families of people shot by police officers will now receive funding allowing them to hire lawyers for coroner's inquests. Karyn Greenwood-Graham who founded the group Affected Families Of Police Homicides stated that formerly it was an intentional imbalance of power making it difficult for families to be on an equal footing with other parties at inquests including police boards and police officers. The title of the article in the July 15/17 Waterloo Region Record is "Families of those shot by police can get funding".
This funding is one of the recommendations in the review of Ontario's police oversight bodies by Justice Michael Tulloch, made public last April. The inquest into the death of Michael MacIsaac, shot by officer Brian Taylor, is set to start in Toronto a few days ago. The vast majority of police related deaths in Ontario do not result in criminal charges. Critics point out that this is due to the fact that Crown Attorneys rely on charges being laid by police in which they then prosecute based upon investigations done by police.
Friday, July 21, 2017
Last Tuesday's Waterloo Region Record carries the following story titled "$254K award in wrongful arrest". It seems as if the Ottawa police force certainly have some bad apples in spades on their force. The weirdest part in an accompanying story is a quote from the woman's lawyer who was abused in this case in August 2008. He pointed out that despite the court award of $254,000 to his client the officers involved were not charged with any police act or criminal offences. As he said it certainly speaks volumes as to the internal investigation done by the Ottawa police. Shame on them.
Roxanne Carr had two bones broken in her wrist during and after a wrongful arrest for trespassing. She gad every right to be at the location where she was arrested and the police had neither the right to arrest her nor to assault her twice afterwards. Furthermore stripping and leaving her naked in a jail cell for two hours is plain and simple an intentional and vindictive attempt to humiliate her. Could it be that during the wrongful arrest and two assaults that she wasn't compliant enough or subservient enough to suit Constable Michael Adlard? Poor baby did she maybe tell his tiny ego off at some point during his illegal behaviour?
Bottom line why wasn't that officer and others involved charged criminally? Why are they still police officers? After the exposure of police forces use of Police Service Act charges to vindictively charge officers whose only behaviour is criticizing or alleging bad behaviour within the force; why were they not used in this case of gratuitous force and violence against a woman who was innocent of wrongdoing? Further shame on our police forces who behave in such a fashion.
Wednesday, July 19, 2017
Two days ago I posted here with a link to Kelly Donovan's 93 page report titled "Report Of Systemic Misfeasance In Ontario Policing And The Coordinated Suppression Of Whistleblowers``. Her report quite frankly is staggering and I`ve been keeping track locally for the last several years regarding all the time, trouble and expense involved at our local force eating up our tax dollars. Turns out the cesspool is much worse than I had imagined.
One of the key words in Ms. Donovan`s title is ``Systemic``. It is not just here in Waterloo Region and it`s not just here in Ontario. Calgary, Edmonton, Halifax and Montreal are also included in her report. Besides municipal police forces she has also included The Ontario Provincial Police and the RCMP. Certainly the RCMP no longer are good company to be in and anyone who still thinks otherwise certainly hasn`t been paying attention over the last decade plus.
I too have figured out that a huge part of the problem is our local Police Service Board. This is here at least a bunch of retired regional and municipal politicians put out to pasture. There are other equally unqualified individuals involved and Ms. Donovan has strongly suggested that training needs to be mandatory for anyone stepping into a Police Service Board position. Right now I believe that the qualifications are that you are a good old boy or girl who can be counted on to attend meetings, collect your pay and NOT ever rock the boat.
Yours truly applied this past spring for an opening on the P S Board and as expected didn`t even get an interview from Kenny and the boys and girls on Council. The older I get the more I understand the inherent complacency and incompetence of our local politicians. With corruption defined as `riddled with errors`; I have no problem believing that the majority of our regional (& some municipal) politicians are corrupt.
Monday, July 17, 2017
Saturday, July 15, 2017
Today's Waterloo Region Record carries the following story titled ``Families of those shot by police can get funding``. Inquests are often mandatory after police shootings in this province. Unfortunately in the past when the family of a police shooting victim were granted standing at the inquest, they either had to hire their own lawyer or go without one. This put them at a serious disadvantage to both police officers and others attending the inquest whose legal expenses and representation were paid for by the taxpayers.
While the issue for many is preventing and or greatly reducing the use of lethal force especially against citizens with mental health issues, families still need to be on a level playing field whether or not their family member was suffering from mental illness. Police shootings of civilians are far too frequent whether or not the citizens involved are knowingly involved in criminal behaviour. Essentially our police are not supposed to be judge, jury and executioner. Death sentences even in the United States are supposed to be reserved for the absolute worst criminal cases. Police need to be given both the tools and the training to ensure that lethal force is absolutely only used as a last resort to protect either police lives or other citizens`lives.
Wednesday, July 12, 2017
Today's Waterloo Region Record carries a wonderful cartoon showing a blindfolded Madame Justice, unfortunately shaped like a bottle of molasses and she is holding a calendar open at the month of January. I think you get it. Meanwhile in the Record five days ago we also have a small article titled "Speeding up the justice system". Ontario's Ontario General has advised The Canadian Press that the "Jordan" decision by the Supreme Court is a gamechanger. All courts in canada must speed up and certainly Ontario courts are hiring more judges, assisatnt Crown Attorneys and other staff. This is merely years or possibly even decades overdue. Expanded bail provisions and other improvements will also take place.
Monday, July 10, 2017
Today's Waterloo Region Record carries the following article by Thomas Walkom titled "Ottawa went too far in terror war". Canadian governments both liberal and Conservative treated a Canadian citizen shamefully. Allegedly during a battle with American SOLDIERS in Afghanistan, when he was fifteen years old, he threw a grenade after being wounded multiple times including permanent eye and shoulder injuries. He was not charged with an attack upon civilians but rather for retaliating against armed American soldiers attacking himself and his friends and relatives. In what universe do soldiers in uniform have the right to sue opposing combatants for either war crimes or injuries received whether mortal or otherwise?
Khadr was a child soldier under the influence of his father his entire young life. He paid an awful price for his poor choice of parent including the aforementioned nearly fatal wounds combined with ten years incarceration in a hellhole called Guantanamo. That was not an easy ten years. That attacking soldiers can either sue him or incarcerate him while a minor for a decade violates international law. Canadian authorities interrogating him after he was captured and suffering intentional sleep deprivation from his captors is repulsive. That they would then share whatever information they'd received with his captors is shameful and has besmirched Canadian government behaviour forever.
This is not the first case of Canadian authorities throwing their own citizens to the wolves but it is one of the most egregious. Mahar Arar and many others come to mind. Apparently Canadian governments like to preach that they are not racist and welcome everyone. Not quite so if the people involved are a different skin colour, religion or are enemies of the United States.
Friday, July 7, 2017
Today's Waterloo Region Record has an Opinion article by Luisa D'Amato that is very interesting. It is titled "If child soldier Khadr is to be seen as a victim, so should Oberlander". I'm not sure that I agree exactly with Luisa's thoughts on the matter. I believe that Oberlander certainly should be allowed to retain his Canadian citizenship and live the rest of his days here in Canada however I'm not so sure that it's for the same reasons or logic as Luisa.
Khadr is being compensated and apologized to because his rights as a Canadian citizen were grotesquely violated and abused by the Canadian government. While legally a child and Canadian citizen he was imprisoned , abused and interrogated by both the Americans and by Canadian authorities. Nothing can ever excuse Canada's complicity in that behaviour and violation of his rights as a Canadian citizen. For that alone Canada owes him compensation and an apology.
Helmiut Oberlander is an entirely different case with entirely different circumstances. If Canada decides to make people citizens of this country then they are first class citizens not second or third class with fewer rights and protections.
Wednesday, July 5, 2017
Whether by blood, inheritance, money or whatever every country has a ruling elite. It matters not a whit if the country is a monarchy, democracy or a dictatorship. Those in power have a group around them who represent real money and power. These elites primarily make their money by legalized schemes of thievery from the masses. Real estate, development, manufacturing, lotteries it's all about grossly overcharging for your "products" while externalizing your costs as much as possible. This includes free waste disposal whether into the air, the soil, groundwater or surface water. In fact to this day provincial Ministry's of the Environment are all about receptors ie. those harmed by polluters. If you are off the beaten track you can count on dilution of your waste products and nobody is likely going to sue on behalf of the local critters. Even if they do as long as you've been doing it long enough and saving your money our ju$tice system will reward their own. Our society and all societys are biased in favour of money. Everything else is window dressing.
The groundwater contaminant plume in Cambridge, Ontario (Bishop St. community) is of historic proportions. All levels of government have gotten together and convinced the media that it's no big deal. With so many cancer illnesses and deaths who's going to prove the human devastation in Cambridge? Certainly not the Regional Health Dep't. and certainly not the Ontario Ministry of Environment. The smaller they can make the crisis appear the less stupid they appear. If they'd been doing their job, Northstar and G.E./Rozell would have been stopped in their tracks. It didn't happen until massive human damage had been done.
Same thing in Grassy Narrows in northern Ontario and same thing in Elmira, Ontario with Uniroyal Chemical. Same thing with G.E. in Peterborough. And our governments continue to protect the guilty, oops the wealthy and influential. Nothing changes.
Friday, June 30, 2017
This of course goes double when the politicians involved are the ones who've either instigated the crisis through their bad decisions or who have known about the problem for years and just kept on sweeping it under the rug. This seems to be the case in Woolwich Township yet again. The North Woolwich Landfill has had contaminant plumes associated with it at least since the 1980s. These plumes unsurprisingly consist of both chlorinated and unchlorinated solvents. A few years ago they were beginning to pop up in drilled wells south of the landfill located on Seiling Drive in Woolwich Township. I don't know if the road is named after our esteemed regional Chairman but I certainly hope so.
Meanwhile it turns out here in town (Elmira) we have methane issues. They have sort of been studied to death although in my opinion not very professionally. Nor in my opinion has Woolwich township remotely acted in an appropriate fashion. This includes their overlooking two sets of nearby neighbours who absolutely need to be informed as to the potential problems. The studies have been overwhelmingly focused on but one of four possibly affected areas. Not only have the majority of neighbours been given short shrift in the studies but they most importantly don't seem to have even been informed that there is a problem nearby. A potentially serious environmental problem that fortunately rarely causes explosions but it can. This is Elmira and if it can go wrong we've got the right people on the ground to ensure that it does. The ongoing "water crisis" has been bad enough. We don't need a methane crisis but as it's here let's deal with it properly including communicating with affected neighbours.
Thursday, June 29, 2017
Last Tuesday's Waterloo Region Record carried the following story titled "Victims' families speak of pain, anger". The very last sentence stated "Shortly after Wettlaufer's sentencing hearing, the province announced it would hold a public inquiry into the murders to ensure a similar tragedy does not happen again.". Really? Why am I so skeptical? We are talking seniors with either physical or mental health problems or even both. We are talking very elderly people who are in a fragile state and whose deaths are not terribly surprising at the time. Let us not forget that neither multiple nursing homes nor our authorities caught up to Elizabeth Wettlaufer. She confessed to the crimes while she herself was in a mental hospital. That's how she got caught.
So the province really want to open the can of worms that is our nursing homes? Ask yourself how Ms. Wettlaufer was let go by nursing homes for medication "errors" and then rehired by other nursing homes. Are they so desperate for staff? Apparently the answer is yes. Is anybody looking at death statistics from all nursing homes? Doubtful. Are autopsy's routinely done for sudden deaths? Apparently not. Ms. Wettlaufer injected patients with insulin and they died suddenly. That insulin should have shown up in their bloodstream and it should have shown up as being missing from inventory. Why wasn't anybody checking inventories more carefully much less sudden unexplained deaths? I'm not holding my breathe that Ontario's most vulnerable will actually receive some benefit from these multiple tragic murders.
Wednesday, June 28, 2017
Decades ago $85 million would indeed have been a marvelous sum to clean up the English-Wabigoon river systems courtesy of mercury dumped into them by Reed Paper. Nowadays that sum will certainly be helpful but I wonder how far it will go. I also wonder if the whole $85 million will still be available after the next provincial election, whether or not the Liberals win. Why do I expect that the whole belated cleanup is mostly one more desperate attempt to get the Liberals re-elected?
Today's Waterloo Region Record advises us that Glen Murray our Environment Minister views the past fifty years as being a period of "gross neglect". he also suggests that the lack of cleanup was due to both racism and colonialism. he is right on both counts. Seems we extend citizenship in this country to both newcomers and those that were here before us, albeit it is second class citizenship. Canada is second to none when it comes to hypocrisy. Yes well done that this provincial government at least appears to give a damn about Ontario and Canadian citizens victimized by corporate negligence combined with governmental negligence.
Monday, June 26, 2017
Today's Waterloo Region Record carries the following Letter To The Editor written by Barrie Lillie of Kids"n" Dad Shared Support. He is commenting on a recent article in the Record about Justice Grant Campbell apologizing to the parents of a child seized by the state. Mr. Lillie indicates that the indictment of one particular lawyer is actually an indictment of the judicial system. Both lawyers and judges have remained silent through decades of abuse, incompetence and negligence by various parties in the courts. As Mr. Lillie states how can ethical lawyers "maintain a deafening silence even in the most egregious of cases" ? This silence from those working in our court system enables destructive outcomes for families. Mr. Lillie's final comment is "It remains unclear if the best interests of the family is at the forefront of the legal community". I would suggest that it is not.
Friday, June 23, 2017
Today's Waterloo Region Record carries this story titled "Officer facing assault charges arrested". Now these charges were laid last January however the Waterloo Regional Police officer was arrested by London police in February for breaching court orders. Similarly these latest charges are due to an alleged breach of court orders stemming from the initial charges in January. All this is very interesting as various public interest groups over the years have indicated that often times court orders and conditions are onerous, ridiculous and essentially penalizing the charged person prior to any conviction. No details were given in today's Record article so it's difficult to know if these breaches were technical breaches of stupid terms and conditions or if they were something substantive. perhaps it's not just the police who are self-destructing but also the entire so called judicial system itself.
Wednesday, June 21, 2017
Well they collect taxes and they spend them. Road repairs, streetlights, snow removal, sewers etc. are all part of their purview. Here in Elmira, Ontario they have responsibility for water distribution and share responsibility for water quality within their distribution system. The Regional government are responsible for initial water quality after treatment and into the various distribution systems around Waterloo Region. Municipal governments are involved with sampling within their systems for bacterial contamination (ie. coliforms & E.Coli). That said Woolwich Township were just as asleep at the switch as was regional government and even more so the Ontario Ministry of Environment. It is my belief and understanding that many citizens died prematurely from cancer and other diseases from long contaminated drinking water prior to the "discovery" of NDMA in the water in 1989.
Methane generation and movement through the subsurface is a long known phenomenon of municipal landfills. Methane just like Volatile Organic Chemicals (VOCs) can intrude into homes through basements via a process known as vapour intrusion. In Cambridge, Ontario hundreds of individuals were exposed to Trichloroethylene (TCE), chromium and Trichloroethane (TCA) in the Bishop St. community of Preston. Here in Elmira we may have a similar problem. Technical reports by so called experts cautioned Woolwich Township to consider an indoor air monitoring program beside an old closed landfill. To date there has been no confirmation that any such program ever occurred.
While the issue with VOCs is toxic poisoning, the issue with methane is explosions. They are rare but they do happen. There is if you will a sweet spot whereby if the methane is above the LEL (lower explosive limit) and below the UEL (upper explosive limit), in the presence of a spark or open flame they can go boom. This open flame needs to be no more than a pilot light for a gas furnace or gas water heater.
Further investigation is underway.
Monday, June 19, 2017
Today's Waterloo Region Record carrys this article titled "Judge orders Waterloo lawyer to pay $100,000". Justice Grant Campbell of Superior Court in Kitchener has written the following in regards to the court system as well as in regards to Ontario's child welfare system. Firstly he stated that Ontario's child welfare system is broken. He then added that the parents and child "...have been consumed and trampled by the Frankenstein process we have created and allowed to become unmanageable". Justice Campbell then apologized for the manner in which the parents had been treated, ignored, demeaned and disbelieved."
All of this was in regards to the now discredited Motherisk program which in hindsight erroneously tested mothers for drug use. It had several false positives resulting in Children's Aid removing children from their parents improperly and in effect illegally. Compounding these problems was the lawyer for the parents who was negligent in her duties and legal responsibilities towards the child and her parents.
Monday, June 5, 2017
First off I would suggest that the author of the article in today's Waterloo Region Record titled "EQAO testing provides little to no real value" has a huge obstacle to overcome. That obstacle is literally decades of educators, school boards , teachers unions etc. telling us in no uncertain terms as to how professional they are and that children are their first priority. As a parent who has gone through the education wars I know that those comments are puffery wrapped in heavy duty bullcrap. Yes some teachers are indeed professionals in every sense of the word. They stand out from their peers not by awards, higher pay, more job security or greater respect within the educational community. The greater respect within the parental community I would agree with. This is a part of the problem. All their on the job feedback is essentially positive, most especially that coming from their union.
If you listen to their unions, no teacher has ever misbehaved, goofed off or taken self-serving educational shortcuts. Teachers indeed never make mistakes and frankly that just becomes a little too thick. Teachers are human and they have problems and crises in their lives that they need to deal with. Some of these are going to impact their on the job efforts and results. It's the teachers whose on the job efforts and results are routinely poor that have given the rest a bad name.
This opinion by Ken Durkacz a retired educator, seems to be just so much of the same. He claims that EQAO test results don't tell us anything that classroom teachers don't already know. That may well be true but that's not the point. Accountability is necessary in every and all professions and or jobs. Maybe your fellow teachers know that your students are behind everyone else's. Unfortunately they are prevented by union rules and self-preservation not to pass the word around. Included not to pass it around to those in authority. That is what EQAO tests hopefully shine a spotlight on. That is those teachers who consistently are allowing their students to fall behind the norm.
Friday, June 2, 2017
Today's Waterloo Region Record front page story is titled "Police face gender-discrimination suit". It seems as if the boys in blue have neither couth nor accountability. It appears as if they've been cheerfully bullying individual female police officers either with the tacit O.K. of senior officers or with the confidence that those same senior officers have a long term case of see no evil, hear no evil when it comes to insisting upon appropriate, decent and legal behaviour within the ranks. This speaks to a top down, systemic attitude and behaviour problem with our Regional Police Form. That is to their shame but is absolutely no surprise to me.
Back in 1990 I worked for a season on a public works crew for the City of Waterloo. We had females working along side of us and the behaviour and attitudes mostly by the male employees in their 40s and 50s were just awful. Most of the younger males were better behaved although the peer pressure to either go along or at worst simply ignore the bad behaviour of the more senior guys was very strong.
What I finally figured out was that these older males were insecure. They had propped up their fragile egos by thinking that they were rough and tough physical specimens doing hard, outdoor construction work. It offended them that girls and women in their early and mid twenties were just as capable or more so than they were at doing all day long, manual, outdoor work.
Now imagine testosterone fueled, possibly steroid enhanced males carrying guns and other weapons and actually dealing with some pretty scary situations. Many of these scary situations might very well be situations that damage the psyche and minds of human beings more often than broken bones and other physical damages. Regardless any insecure, old fashioned or just plain stupid male police officers might resent females on the job with them. If their superiors have the same attitudes and are essentially insulated from both more progressive thinking as well as public accountability; well you can expect the results. Women individually are told that they are incapable and inferior and not wanted on the job. They are treated rudely and disrespectfully, usually individually. Do you think these brave, male officers pull this crap on women unless they either outnumber them or have no witnesses? It is simple out and out bullying. On the street these women could use physical force from pepper spray to batons to simple takedowns and handcuffing of suspects harassing them or others. Imagine if they ever did that at work, off duty. Again these male officers are out and out cowards as are their superiors who look the other way and pretend it's no big deal.
To date these are only allegations in the class action suit filed against our police service. Based upon my personal experience both at the city and in watching our unaccountable local police force; I fully believe them. Some of the stunts the police are alleged to have pulled are similar to those I witnessed at the City of Waterloo. That case went to the Human Rights Commission and while it took far too long it was finally resolved with apologies and back pay in some cases to complainants. Ironically it was a later embarrassed CAO at the City of Waterloo (re: Rim Park) who stepped up and insisted that the City do the right thing.
Wednesday, May 31, 2017
I mean really, what could possibly go wrong? Do we really trust either our politicians or our federaL or provincial ministries of the Environment? They are not remotely "independent". They work for our respective tiers of government. Our politicians would never lie to us now would they? Right!
Today's article in the Waterloo Region Record is titled "Lake Huron bunker is best: OPG". So who pays the paycheques for senior OPG executives? That's all I need to know to have grave doubts. Allegedly the bedrock near the lake is just dandy. I find it hard to believe that the geology farther from the lake isn't equally good. Yes it may take more time and money but if it lowers the risks to this huge fresh water source it's worth it. This repository is within 1.2 kilometres of Lake Huron. That is way too close. Look elsewhere now.
Tuesday, May 30, 2017
On May 16/17 the Waterloo Region Record carried an opinon/article by Martin Regg Cohn titled "Province plans to boost mimimum wage, sweeping labour reforms". Labour Minister Kevin Flynn is spearheading the legislation after a two year review. Both public hearings and private lobbying have shown the harsh divide between labour and the corporate sectoe. Organized labour want legislation allowing easier unionization of workers whereas business are against higher minimum wages and anything whatsoever boosting unionization. In my mind the Liberals are only willing to risk the corporate anger if they are convinced they can capture mass votes by helping out both part time employees as well as contract workers.
Essentially Ontario's economy has been debased with so many second class workers with low wages, minimal if any benefits, zero job security and little or no ability to know their upcoming work schedules until the last moment. It has been uncaring employers' dreams for just such a scenario for decades.
For me the best part of this article is the very last sentence which goes like this: "He (Flynn) notes that many business owners who demand flexibility to hire and fire part-timers while paying them less admit to personal frustration that their grown children live at home because they can't find steady work.".
Friday, May 26, 2017
I'm talking about Superior Court Justice Susanne Goodman. Apparently she is unable or unwilling to carry out her duties properly. The article in today's Waterloo Region Record is titled "Top court blasts judge's conduct, quashes verdict". The verdict was a not guilty one in the case of a man charged with beating and sexually assaulting a woman. Her injuries when police arrived included severe bruising, swelling, numerous cuts and bleeding to her face and head. The victim testified that she had lived with the man and he had been assaulting her over a period of months. He denied the accusations.
The judge acquitted him at the end of the trial and indicated that her written reasons would follow on a certain date. They did not. Over the next six months prosecutors repeatedly asked for them and were told that they would be produced on a certain date. Again they were not. The Appeal Court has overturned the not guilty verdict and ordered a new trial. They have also advised that this situation has occurred previously with this judge and a new trial ordered then as well.
So my first question is this. If the judge had produced as promised written reasons for her decision would that have been the end of it regardless? Regardless of legal considerations, common sense or a just plain appropriate verdict flowing from the evidence presented? So is the issue the lack of written reasons period or is it that she made a really horrible decision that cannot remotely be justified whatever her reasons might be? Finally is it possible that she intentionally sabotaged her not guilty verdict hoping to allow the prosecution a second kick at the can?
My second question is this. If she is incompetent for whatever reason why did it take her failing to produce promised written reasons twice before the Appeal Court are saying no more? Are judges able to produce injustice as long as they follow the proper process? Also while you can have the Crown step up and object to either an allegedly poor decision or process, what happens when the defendant can not afford to hire legal representation for an appeal of an allegedly poor decision? Especially the same thing in civil cases. Here in Waterloo Region we have some horrible judges that frankly aren't fit to judge a dog much less a human being. Where is their accountability?
Thursday, May 25, 2017
Well it couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of egocentric, self-important bubbleheads. Is it any wonder that our institutions are so totally unaccountable when those in charge (politicians) have spent their careers ensuring that they are non-transparent and unaccountable?
Here's a little list of recent published stories and opinions regarding our Mounties. Waterloo Region Record May 16, 2017 : "Bullying thrives at RCMP: report". May 17, 2017: "RCMP needs civilian managers " and finally today May 25/17: "RCMP sex harassment suit nears settlement".
All three of these tell us far too much concerning the poisoned work environment, disrespect towards women in general and overall stupidity and incompetence by the senior RCMP (male) management. Maybe it's no wonder that we have the likes of a Cambridge Councillor recently described as a man hater.
It's been my overall experience that there are an equal number or percentage of rotten to the core males as females and vice versa. Similarly there are deeply honest and ethical males and females. Believing or describing either gender as all good or all bad is a prescription for disaster. That said I'm going to show my real bias here. It's not fair that 95% of politicians give all the rest a bad name.