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, March 9, 2018


I've only had this Blog going for about six years but I've lost count of the number of local officers charged with offences. It is becoming ridiculous. Some of the charges are internal Police Act charges which are bizarre in their own right as per Kelly Donovan's book titled " Systemic Misfeasance in Ontario Policing and the Coordinated Suppression of Whistleblowers". Other charges are criminal charges and it seems that a favourite may very well be sexual offences against women. Seems more than a tad incongruous.

The Waterloo Region Record published yesterday the following story titled "Officer facing sex assault charge". The charge relates to an incident at an Octoberfest festhall last fall. Constable Eric Schnarr has been charged with sexual assault by the provinces Special Investigations Unit (SIU). The incident allegedly took place last October 14/17 at the Concordia Club on Ottawa St. in Kitchener. There was a separate incident the previous month involving another Waterloo Regional Police officer which also resulted in a charge of sexual assault.

I'm slowly becoming numb with the allegations of wrong doing by our local police force. Whatever the outcome of these charges and allegations I hope that the media will as promptly as possible bring them to the public's attention.

Thursday, March 8, 2018


The headline I'm referring to is from the Waterloo Region Record two days ago. It's title was "Ontario has "most improved" justice system. The sub-title was "Canada has a whole saw drop in crime rates, fewer police officers required per capita and rising support for legal aid". The problem is that the second annual justice system report card from the Macdonald-Laurier Institute is by no means that optimistic.

Yes Ontario has risen from seventh place in Canada to fourth place however the sub-title is even more deceptive in that the newspaper article about this report by Gordon Omand of the Hamilton Spectator states that the good news is "...overshadowed by an increase in costs, lengthier court delays and the persistent over-representation of Indigenous people in prison...".

There are also concerns and gaps regarding public confidence in both the justice system across Canada as well as a lack of public confidence in various police forces. generally speaking Manitoba comes off as particularly bad in a number of criteria.

Reforms are necessary according to the Macdonald-Laurier Institute " make our criminal justice system more efficient, fairer and better serve the needs of victims".

Tuesday, March 6, 2018


Well firstly the good news. I'm not talking today about the Waterloo Regional Police. Today's posting is about the Thunder Bay police and is in regards to the following article in today's Waterloo Region Record titled "Police probe of Indigenous man's death ruled shoddy". Apparently a so called "investigation" took place after an indigenous man was found floating in a nearby river. The "investigation" lacked in several ways including no video, no photographs and no measurements of the scene. Other failures included police not contacting the person last known to be in contact with the victim. Police also didn't know that the victim's debit card was used after his death. Hmm that would be a clur for me that something could be amiss.

Quoting the chief (Robin McGinnis) of the Rainy River First Nation "The degree of incompetence and indifference to the lives of First Nations is mind-boggling". The provincial Office of the Independent Police Review Director (OPIRD) have stated "the deficiencies in the investigation an allegation of neglect of duty".

It seems that police procedures and standards are somewhat elastic depending upon who died, the circumstances thereof and who may have done it. Clearly more oversight is needed of the investigations being done by police forces in Ontario. This is somewhat in line with the allegations of Kelly Donovan in regards to internal investigations done by our very own Waterloo Regional Police Service.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018


P.T. Barnum has nothing over Woolwich Council when it comes to putting on a show. This will be a spectacular demonstration of chutzpah, misdirection and smoke and mirrors. We will hear from ten, mostly sincere, Woolwich citizens who are all throwing their hats in the ring to sit on Council from now until October when they have the option of facing the electorate. I would suggest that Council in their infinite arrogance have dug themselves a tiger trap. How embarrassing will it be if their hand picked appointee tonite gets soundly rejected by the voters in October; especially if it's in favour of one of tonite's unsuccessful candidates?

Dare I hint of my belief that Julie-Anne Herteis is their hand picked appointee from the beginning? Dare I suggest that this Council would so arrogantly waste the time and energy of nine other citizens just to mask their own gamesmanship? Dare I suggest that I believe that most members of this council are so shallow and unethical that they would put on a circus in order to mask their manipulations to give a council seat to their preselected candidate now and a foot up on the competition in the fall?

Of course if I'm correct then council will feel the need to assist their previously hand picked candidate in the fall election. Look for endorsements at the minimum. Look for their appearances at her media events and or other public events. Hell would it be illegal for them to donate to her campaign fund? If it is they need not worry because as we've already seen there are no legal penalties even when they are caught red handed breaking the Municipal Elections Act.

Come out one and all at 6 pm. this evening. You will meet and hear from ten citizens and get to learn something about them and their hopes and aspirations. Do not blame them for the circus unnecessarily put on by Woolwich Council.

Monday, February 26, 2018


So what is the difference between winning an election versus winning a lottery? Essentially the odds are just so much better to win an election than a lottery. Sometimes the odds are as good as fifty/fifty and other times you might have three opponents still giving you odds of one in four of winning the election. The other item of course is money. The big reason there aren't more people at the municipal levels running is because of money. It literally costs thousands of dollars to run for office and very few of us dealing with mortgages and children (when we were younger) can afford it. Therefore politics generally is a sport for the better off financially. At the provincial and federal level it is all about party affiliations. You need to be endorsed by a major established party and that usually is a result of a history of political activism either within the party itself or as a school trustee or on a municipal council. Occasionally very high profile candidates will be parachuted into ridings that are very important to the party.

Any idiot can win a lottery and believe me any idiot can and has won municipal elections as well as others. Here in Woolwich Township we abound with examples of ill educated representatives, stale thinking and behaviours that were tolerated in the 60s and 70s but certainly aren't anymore. This is due to the huge advantage that incumbents are given. Unfortunately voters seldom do their due diligence prior to depositing their vote. Here especially in Elmira it's all about family name. If you are a Martin, Bauman, Strauss, Hahn, Sittler, Shantz, Gingrich then you are half elected before the first vote drops. Mennonite and or German last names carry the day. Secondly the luck factor is greatly increased if you are a new candidate and their is some kind of scandal or crisis immediately before the election. Incumbents rely on their "record" which the vast majority know nothing about. If as in 2010 we have a major discharge from Chemtura (Uniroyal) immediately before the election then the voters remember the headlines and throw out the old council. If all is quiet then usually the incumbents win yet again.

Todd Cowan was elected as mayor with virtually zero elected experience but both his timing was right (2010-see above) plus he campaigned door to door and people remembered him for that at the polling stations. In hindsight Todd was absolutely not elected due to any attributes or talents. The same goes for others both on that council and other councils. Voting records, gaffes and even laziness are seldom causes for electoral defeat. It's all about smiling, obfuscating and superficial glad handing and socializing. Former Woolwich mayor Bill Strauss was never accused of being smooth or polished but he sure had a way with people and at public events. he gave a good impression.

This folks is why the best anyone can say about democracy is that it's better than any of the alternatives. Ouch. Talk about damned with faint praise.

Saturday, February 24, 2018


So we are advised that the very difficult changes within the WRPS have been underway for a long time. Isn't that just dandy. That must be of some comfort to female police officers who feel that their careers have been stifled and damaged by the culture that they've had to tolerate over the last few decades. Today's Waterloo Region Record carries the following story by Lisa Rutledge titled " Waterloo Regional Police to hire consultants to drive cultural change".

I'm the first to admit that there has been a huge cultural change in Canada within my lifetime. I was born just after the Second World War and boy there was animosity towards immigrants from the European and Asian countries that we and the Allies had fought against for almost six years (1939-1945). It changed but I know my father had difficulties with my friends of Germanic background even into the nineteen sixties.

What I find very difficult to understand is the workplace culture that discriminates against women. Here in Canada, boys and girls went to school together throughout our entire education from public school to high school and through university. In public school the majority of our teachers were female and any boys who were bullies or rude to the girls in the class quite promptly and appropriately got put in their place. In high school there were more male teachers although the ratio may have been 3:2 . Again discrimination or rudeness based upon gender simply didn't happen because if it did the offenders would be given one warning and then promptly sent home.

So what the hell happened in our workplaces? Yes I saw gender discrimination in wages and promotions in private industry. The vast majority of managers were male as were the bosses. As significant as that was what I did not see was overt rudeness and or gender based crude "jokes" or other obvious female putdowns. Subtle (somewhat) dumb blonde jokes maybe. The odd risque joke between two genders who were of equal status maybe. There was no touching, butt grabbing or skirt lifting as has been alleged (repeatedly) at the WRPS. That would have been grounds for immediate dismissal with no defence available whatsoever.

Guess what Waterloo Regional Police? In non-union private industry there was no democracy in the workplace. When the bosses said jump you asked how high. But despite this there were social conventions that were not explicitly contravened and those conventions were followed. If you seriously believed that women were less able to do certain jobs then that was your thinking. It did not give you license to treat them poorly or disrespectfully. From the top down through the ranks gender based blatant disrespect simply was not tolerated.

It appears that these beliefs and behaviours have never existed at the WRPS or many other police services. Traditional male dominated jobs such as construction, police , firemen, mining, military all likely share the same negative attitudes and sterotypes. It requires the so called leaders and managers to bring their institutions into the 21st century. The times changed dramatically during the Second World War when women were desperately needed in factories as the younger males all went overseas. Women filled these roles magnificently in all our times of need. That war ended nearly 3/4 of a century ago and our local police service and many others still haven't gotten with the program. Perhaps our current police leadership all need to step aside. Clearly they have been unwilling and or unable to keep up with normal, common sense behaviour in the workplace.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018


And no they aren't appealing a ruling approving solitary confinement; they are appealing a ruling by the B.C. Supreme Court which struck down indefinite solitary confinement as being cruel, inhumane and can lead to severe psychological trauma. In other words its' use is counter productive as it can make either bad or mentally ill persons much worse. The story is on the front page of today's Waterloo Region Record and is titled "Federal government to fight solitary confinement ruling". The B.C. Civil Liberties Assoc'n as well as the John Howard society had gone to the courts to try and have solitary confinement ruled unconstitutional. Prior to this an Ontario court had ruled that administrative solitary confinement longer than five days was unconstitutional however otherwise it did not violate constitutional rights. The B.C. Civil Liberties Assoc'n have stated that currently prisoners continue to spend weeks, months and even years in small cells without human contact.