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, 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.