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.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012


This past Saturday's Woolwich Observer has both an Editoral and a story about the new proposed Federal Omnibus Crime Bill. It very much seems as if this Conservative legislation is a solution in desperate need of a problem to resolve. Perhaps the multi billion dollar costs across the country will someday be recognized as worthwhile. Most likely not however. The story in the Observer , written by James Jackson, is titled "Federal crime bill not winning any friends in province, region". The Editorial is titled "Facts keep stacking up against Tory crime bill".

Firstly despite economic hard times crime rates continue to fall. Imagine if the war on marijuana were ever ended how much court time, jail time and resources could be freed up. This certainly begs the question as to what are the Tories actually trying to do here. In the Editorial the following comments are made: "Statistics, need and fiscal constraints don't figure into the picture.". Also: "Planning to spend $10-$13 billion on prisons is excessive. Doing so after running up a record deficit is folly."

Our prison populations will probably follow the U.S. pattern and rise dramatically with new minimum mandatory sentences, increasing maximum sentences and limiting the use of conditional sentences. At the same time money currently spent on sucessful programs to reduce crime will be deprived of funds. It is apparent that by not advising provinces, regions and citizens as to the real reason behind this massive unecessary expenditure of public funds; that our Federal government have a hidden agenda. Are they afraid that as the economy continues to break down that there will be an outpouring of criminal activity? Do they see prisons as an economic cure the same way wars have done so in the past? Is there an ideological component here that makes the Tories think that there will be massive civil unrest in the future? Is the next step an Orwellian increase in criminalization of citizens behaviour? This Omnibus crime bill is an ominous start to the Tory majority in Ottawa.

Sunday, January 29, 2012


The information for this posting comes from a two year old newspaper clipping from the Kitchener-Waterloo Record. Dated January 21, 2010 via The Canadian Press the title is "Former Waterloo police officer wins right to sue two judges". Now this is interesting. A Justice Joseph Henderson of Superior Court has ruled that the former Waterloo Region police officer can sue two current judges for malicious prosecution which allegedly occurred while they were both prosecuting attorneys. Kevin Hawkins was charged in 1988 with corruption charges alleging he was selling tips to an outlaw biker gang and conspiring to obstruct justice. Notice in particular that last charge. Well Mr. Hawkins was eventually acquitted after it came out that the O.P.P. investigating officer was sleeping with the prosecution's star witness against Mr. Hawkins. This possibly salacious information while known to the two prosecuters was not shared with the defence counsel, contrary to disclosure rules among others. Not surprisingly Mr. Hawkins law suit was launched in 1998 and only two years ago got the go ahead. The two defendants, Justice Brian Trafford and Justice William Wolski are joined by the attorney general for Ontario, the Waterloo Regional police board and the three police officers who handled the investigation.

I am aware that there have been other civil suits against the Waterloo Regional Police. Suits against sitting judges I would expect are rare and even rarer is for them to advance. Regarding our local Police I would expect that all Settlement offers would include confidentiality clauses. A skeptic would term these clauses as financial bribes, paid for by the taxpayers, specifically to keep these very same taxpayers in the dark. I wonder how much of our annual Police budget is paying for either settlements or insurance premiums for future settlements. This is the lack of transparency that allows bad police behaviour to continue without accountability.


An apology is a start. I may accept it, the public may accept it, but it will take much more for the families of the murder victims in British Columbia. Apologizing for the inadequate and systemic investigative failures of the R.C.M.P. is an important first step. As a friend has often said to me you can't solve a problem until you admit the problem exists. The Mounties have now publicly admitted that. What is now necessary is an overhaul of attitudes and behaviour at the top. No less will suffice. Yesterday's K-W Record has this story namely : "Mounties apologize for Pickton failures".

Thursday, January 26, 2012


Yesterday's Kitchener-Waterloo Record has the following story on page B4: "Drug case adjourned for officer facing charges". Back on January 13/12 I posted a story here in the Advocate regarding an Officer Jennifer Falsetto and her Police Act charges dealing with her use of marijuana. Yesterday's article is about Constables Andrew Robson and Jeremy Borda who were charged criminally in regards to drugs. Constable Borda was initially charged with trafficking marijuana but it was reduced to possession. "He was given a conditional discharge, fined $100 and ordered to perform 50 hours of community service." Constable Robson appears to be in the most trouble as he is charged with both possession and theft. The theft is alleged to be from drugs not being properly turned in after an investigation.

The number of Waterloo Region Police Officers who have been caught in either criminal or discreditable behaviour is very disconcerting. An optimist might point to the apparent openness and transparency as a good thing. Diane Wood the Record reporter who wrote this story has been covering court cases for many years and certainly is correct in believing that Waterloo Region residents both have a right and a need to know when their Police officers go astray.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


So you might think that Judges are the cream of the crop so to speak. The best and the brightest lawyers who rise to the top of their profession. Well huh maybe. I've been going through my files again and so I'm going to reproduce the following short newspaper article in its' entirety. You the reader be the judge.

Kitchener-Waterloo Record May 4, 2007:

"Study finds political contributions linked to judicial appointments


A University of Guelph study of judicial appointments appears to confirm what many critics have long argued-politics does have an influence.
A study of 978 judicial appointments between 1988 and 2003 found at least 30 per cent of judges appointed during the Brian Mulroney and Jean Chretien years made donations to the political party in power.
Political scientist Troy Riddell says that's quite high considering less than one per cent of Canadians donate to federal political parties.
Riddell says while people with political ties may make fine judges, it raises concerns that weaker candidates are receiving plum positions because of patronage.
Riddell says the federal government tried to change the process in response to accusations of partisan influence in 1988 by setting up screening committees to objectively evaluate the applications and make recommendations to the justice minister.
But it's a process he says "obviously hasn't happened to a satisfactory degree."

Canadian Press "

O.K. so I've got a couple of thoughts and questions. Firstly it's too bad this study (or another) hasn't simply looked at how many former lawyers who were appointed judges were members of the governing political party: with or without party donations. Secondly this study occurred after "reform" had been introduced in 1988. I wonder what the percentage was of appointed judges before 1988, who made political party donations.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


Some wits may have added to the above title "DEAF AND DUMB". Perhaps the truth lies somewhere inbetween. Justice is a mass production factory system. Look at the numbers of crimes, arrests, charges and convictions. There are thousands of cases per year for every single courthouse in Canada. Mass production factory systems make errors. When they are big enough they get recalled and or fixed.

I've been perusing some old newspaper files I've collected over the years. In the Kitchener-Waterloo Record on April 24, 2007 they carried an Associated Press story titled "Exonerated man is 200th U.S. case". This particular gentleman spent twenty-five years in jail for rape. Most of us would have difficulty either feeling sympathy for him or calling him a gentleman. The problem is that he was the 200th case " the United States in which a convicted person was exonerated based on DNA evidence." This was a result of the Innocence Project whose spokesperson is the well known "hurricane" Rubin Carter. Here in Canada we have the Association for the Defence of the Wrongly Convicted led by Mr. James Lockyer. This 200th case occurred nearly five years ago. How many more exonerations have there been since and just as importantly how many more wrongful convictions have there been since then?

What do the following names have in common: Marshall (no relative), Morin, Milgaard, Baltovich, Mullins, Driskell, Truscott, Dalton, Dumont ? These are the names I came up with from fifteen minutes of digging into old files. The name Sophonow comes to my mind and my own memory is telling me I've read of many more. These are the names of people wrongly convicted for murder here in Canada. If our system can prove these people "guilty beyond a reasonable doubt" ,in the most serious criminal cases, then how pathetic are the standards for lesser criminal cases such as assaults, robberies, break-ins and thefts? How many mothers, fathers and baby sitters have been convicted of negligence or manslaughter in Canada or Ontario because of "junk science"? I'm referring to SBS or Shaken Baby Syndrome which I posted here in the Advocate last week . How many other unaccountable pathologists are there out there besides finally disgraced Dr. Charles Smith? How many other "professionals" knew that Dr. Smith was a quack and didn't blow the whistle for fear of hurting their careers?

Here in Waterloo Region we are currently in the process of building a new larger, fancier Courthouse in downtown Kitchener. Does anyone really believe that our Justice system will be the better for it? I don't. Our current Justice System is too comfortable, too well off, too arrogant and far too unaccountable. Our Judges are part of a political patronage system which rewards politically active lawyers with Judicial appointments. Our lawyers have far too many financial incentives to keep civil cases before the courts far longer than necessary. Our Crowns and Prosecuters while less inclined than their U.S. cousins to run up high conviction percentages to get themselves reelected; nevertheless have pressures and incentives to get convictions and occasionally fail to share appropriate information and evidence with the Defence. The system is broken and it's not the broken that bricks and mortar can fix.

Sunday, January 22, 2012


I've seen T-shirts with the above logo on them. It refers to our municipal police forces and it's a disgrace. Not the T-shirts, the police forces. Similar to political jokes, it wouldn't be funny if there wasn't some truth to it. Yesterday's Kitchener-Waterloo Record carrys the following story: ""Discreditable" police conduct in G20 arrest". Five officers arrested and beat a man by the name of Adam nobody at the provincial legislature in June 2010. They did it because they are bullies and because they could. "The report by the Office of the Independent Police review Director names Babak Andalib-Goortani, Michael Adams, Geoffrey Fardell, David Donaldson and Oliver Simpson." Incredibly Michael Adams was already under investigation in the death of an eighteen year old man who died from "positional asphyxia" seven weeks earlier. Positional asphyxia relates to a person usually handcuffed , restrained and held immobile often face down on the ground. The non politically correct term for positional asphyxia might even include the word murder. How the hell do trained police officers "restrain" a human being to the point of asphyxiation? Five police officers beat up Adam Nobody to the point he needed reconstructive nose surgery and he had a broken cheekbone.

For the record the Special Investigations Unit (S.I.U.) as usual after investigating were unable to determine the names of any of the five police officers involved in the Nobody case. In their defence they have repeatedly and publicly stated that routinely they are denied cooperation and evidence by senior police management during their investigations. Keep in mind there was videotape of the Mr. Nobody arrest and beating.

I don't know which is more disgraceful and reprehensible: the behaviour of the individual officers involved or the coverup by senior levels of police. This behaviour reflects on and shames the entire members of a police force but it shouldn't. Perpetraters should be criminally charged and removed from duty if found guilty. Serious discipline not pretend discipline and coverups should be the order of the day. Any politicians or persons in authority at any and all levels should be removed if found promoting or condoning coverups of police misconduct. I and every citizen of this country have a right to receive professional, honest and transparent behaviour from our Police Officers and their supervisers and management. What we have is an undisciplined street gang sanctioned by our own authorities. It reeks at all levels.

Friday, January 20, 2012


There have been two stories in the K-W Record the last few days discussing police corruption in Toronto and Montreal. On January 17, 2012 the Record had the following story "Police corruption trial told officers beat drug dealers". On January 19/12 (yesterday) the Record published this story " Ex-officer with alleged Mob links kills himself: reports". The January 17 story is about an ongoing trial in Toronto involving five former Toronto drug squad officers. They are accused of "...violent shakedowns," beating up drug dealers, stealing their money and then lying to cover their tracks...". This case has been a $14 million investigation into members of the Toronto drug squad. Initial charges were laid in 2004 and it is just now getting to trial. You know we all watch television shows showing us dirty and corrupt cops and we want to believe that it doesn't exist. This ongoing case isn't the first and most likely not the last. Truth is stranger than fiction and many human beings in positions of authority tend to behave very badly.

The second story dated January 19 concerns a retired Montreal Police Officer who worked in the intelligence unit of the Montreal force. La Presse newspaper named him as an alleged mole the same day that his body was found in a hotel room. Suicide is suspected. This was also one day after the Montreal Police Chief publicly pledged to get to the bottom of allegations that there was a mole in his department allegedly selling informants names to the Mob. The Police Chief indicated that the retired officer did have access to the names of confidential informants. I guess my only surprise is that there are not more allegations across Canada of more minor Police misconduct. Human beings are weak and power without accountability and transparency corrupts. Apparently it is standard operating practice for Municipalities not to properly supervise and oversee their regional and municipal police forces. The shame in this is not just those who are immediately victimized but those good police officers who are stigmatized by the dirty ones.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


I have both personal experience as well as documented evidence that suggests that Police Forces are a power unto themselves with nothing but token oversight and accountability. Above and beyond the personal and documented evidence there is also anecdotal. Movies and documentaries have been made about real life situations including Serpico, Rodney King and others. I have a close relative who spent thirty years as a Toronto cop as well as another who thought he would like to be. After graduation and seeing Waterloo Region's finest up close, he changed his mind. I went to school with a couple of kids who became Regional cops. To be blunt they were not the best and the brightest they were the dumbest and biggest.

Yesterday's Kitchener-Waterloo Record has this story: "Pickton case like Bernardo's". There is currently a public inquiry underway in British Columbia into the failure of police there to apprehend notorious mass murderer Robert Pickton. As with earlier postings here in the Waterloo Region Advocate, one of the issues surrounds who the victims were and an apparent bias against certain members of our society. When it comes to the powerless and disenfranchised, drug addicted prostitutes are front and centre. It has been suggested that if middle class housewives or professional women (other than those in the sex trade) were the victims, our Police and Justice System would have moved much more quickly. The reason for the Public inquiry is obvious damage control as whenever the sins , incompetence or weaknesses in the Judicial System become too glaring it becomes necessary to give the appearance to the public that something will be changed and improved. It rarely is but the object is to give the appearance; reality is a far second.

Deputy chief Jennifer Evans of Ontario's Peel Regional police reviewed the Pickton file for this Public Inquiry. She concluded that "...investigations by both the Vancouver police and the RCMP were plagued by poor communication and a lack of leadership". Furthermore she said "...for the most part, investigators on the ground were talking with each other, but their superiors were not." Also she added "...some of those superiors appeared to be unaware of the most basic details of the missing women case. Even when officers were talking, they often failed to act with the urgency the case demanded...".

All of this leads me to the following thoughts and questions. How are detectives trained for their positions? What is the criteria for promoting officers to leadership and supervisory roles? Are personal loyalties a greater consideration for promotion than competence and intelligence? Is the pool of "talent" at Police departments, available for promotion, weak to start with? Who actually picks Police Chiefs? Please tell me it isn't local municipal politicians and their appointed civilian Police Boards. If it indeed is then what criteria would any politician use above and beyond being loyal, a team player and a firm believer in the status quo? Here in these preceeding questions is the reasl nub of the problem. Don't hold your breath thinking this or any other Inquiry will address these systemic problems.

Monday, January 16, 2012


Guess who's the biggest bully in the schoolyard? You may or may not be surprised to learn that it's the School Board themselves. Specifically that would be the Waterloo Region District School Board. This opinion of mine is shared by parents who have come up against the system , some very honest and courageous teachers within the system and finally I would suggest by Record reporter Luisa D'Amato in her Opinion piece in Saturday's Kitchener-Waterloo Record titled "Tory M.P.P.'s challenge public school board over child care". Let me quote her directly and you the reader decide if I'm overstating the case: "I covered education for many years at this paper. Sitting at school board meetings, I was routinely infuriated by what I saw as the board's culture of hostility to dissent, and it's intransigence."

"...the board's culture of hostility to dissent...". Wow that's pretty strong language and it's accurate. This I know from personal experience dealing with them when my children were young and in their clutches. You can't imagine my relief when both my children were out of high school and they and their parents no longer had to deal with the cowardly bullies who run our education system. My wife and I spent seven years in and out of Court, as a direct result of the School Board's refusal to deal honestly and properly with issues that they bore responsibilty for. Although our case was thank god significantly less horrific than the Ron Archer case, that case is one that this School Board should all wear to their graves. Indeed if there was one iota of justice in the local education system, there would have been a housecleaning at the Waterloo Region District School Board over their grotesque and I believe criminal failure to stop that pedophile in his tracks. Instead the Board enabled his criminal activities with a well known policy of transferring teachers which became known as "passing the trash". As far as bullying goes, it is our Judicial system which enables the school Board to bully parents. At that time the Waterloo Region District School Board had an annual budget of $350 million, just slightly higher than mine (HA!). They used their financial superiority to beat up on dissenting parents via the ridiculously costly judicial system. Whether civil suits, provincial offences such as Trespass or whatever their gutless little minds could dream up, nothing was too petty or malicious for them. The last thing however they would do is honestly discuss, debate , comprimise or even acknowledge when they had a problem much less admit a mistake. "...the board's culture of hostility to dissent and their intransigence.". Thankyou for this and other writings over the years Luisa D'Amato.


The hypocrisy ! Our legal system if not founded upon marijuana certainly has been maintained by it. How many billions of taxpayers dollars have been funnelled towards the Judicial System in their neverending, never sucessful battle against hemp? The devil's weed has indirectly financed Judges, lawyers, prosecuters, police and so many more for decades. If the Liberals were to eventually legalize marijuana what could take it's place? How can you justify a ravenous, always voracious Judicial System after you remove it's foundation? Sure you can always jail bankrobbers, stickup artists and shoplifters but seriously there just aren't enough of them. Maybe we can go back to prohibition. Ban alcohol. It's been done before and it worked (sort of).

Today's K-W Record has the following story: "Liberals want to make pot legal". As Bob Rae, interim leader of the Liberals stated, " Let's face up to it, Canada- the war on drugs has been a complete bust". More significantly for me Rae stated Canada should avoid " sending another generation of young people into prison". As expected the Conservatives in Ottawa took offense and said that the Liberals were "soft on crime". This is more evidence that the Conservatives proposed expansion of the prison system has less to do with real crime and criminals and more to do with ideology and jacking up the "crime" statistics. I think that we can count on two things now. One the Conservatives will be spending more taxpayers money touting the evils of marijuana and two the entire Court, Judicial System and Police will be voting Conservative from here on. It's all about preserving privelege, income and entitlement on the backs of ordinary Canadians: even if you have to make criminals of them. Not to worry though, I'm sure the Conservatives will again expand the Pardon system to remove the stigma of being a criminal. Afterall they don't want to offend their American friends by restricting Canadian tourists from crossing the border and spending money stateside.

Sunday, January 15, 2012


Apologies here in that I borrowed the above title from last night's "the fifth estate". It was on Channel #26 at 8 pm. and it absolutely blew my mind. I make very little pretense that I have a lot of respect for the law but last night stunned me. The fifth estate interviewed medical experts who essentially said that the science around SBS (shaken baby syndrome) has been voodoo science. They have done physical simulations with toddlers and infants (ie. weighted mannikins) with electrical sensors attached and basically it is nearly impossible for an adult human being to lift, hold and shake an infant long enough to produce the brain damage that has been found in dead infants and children. Their conclusion is that yes indeed children and toddlers do die of brain injuries but that the cause absolutely is not due to so called shaken baby syndrome. It appears that for decades now when doctors or pathologists couldn't determine an absolute cause of death, the fallback position was SBS.

The ramifications are absolutely stunning as is the application of the law. It seems that the majority of times when the legal system jumps in and lays charges, that the accused are young, poor and uneducated. It's even better if the "evidence" points to the father having recently been alone with the child. If young, poor, uneducated and male isn't available then the legal system will suffice with young, poor, uneducated and female. James Lockyer of the Association For The Wrongly Convicted has become involved with a number of cases. This gentleman and his group have made a name for themselves in regards to numerous wrongful murder convictions in Canada. In one of the more egregious cases involving medical and legal malfeasance a young girl was supposed to have been sodomized and strangled. The "perpetrater", her Uncle spent over a decade in jail not only for a crime he didn't commit but in fact for a crime that did not exist. Further forensic examination years later determined that the original pathologist had a long history of making mountains out of molehills. The girl had actually died of natural causes and was neither sodomized nor murdered.

Somewhere along the line the idea of "guilty beyond a reasonable doubt" has become twisted and distorted into guilty because you're the likeliest candidate we could come up with on short notice and it dosen't make the justice system look good having unsolved crimes. This sort of culture finds it very easy to throw blame on the fat, ugly, poor, disadvantaged, scarred, uneducated, short, black people among us. Our legal system discriminates, always has and as a result have brought themselves into disrepute. SHAME ON AN ENTIRE LEGAL SYSTEM .

Friday, January 13, 2012


Maybe in the whole scheme and history of police misconduct, this is small potatoes. Or maybe not. It certainly gives rise to legitimate concerns regarding police enforcement of laws, as well as concerns as to the culture within police departments. These concerns are not new. Several books have been written in the past by well known authors describing allegedly fictitious police departments. These books while fiction have had no difficulty in describing alcohol and drug abuse along with other morally questionable behaviour.

Today's K-W Record carrys a story titled "Officer guilty of Police Act charges in drug scandal". If it were only one or two Officers it could be written off as a couple of bad eggs. Unfortunately although only one Officer pled guilty this time to buying and using marijuana, she testified that a fellow Officer supplied drugs on occasion and she bought and used them in the company of fellow Officers in social settings. This article goes on to state "Last year, four other Waterloo Regional Police officers pleaded guilty to discreditable conduct charges under the police act for failing to report drug useage by officers and citizens during poker parties held at officers' homes".

The hypocrisy in these same officers charging citzens with drug offences is unbelievable. Questions need to be answered. Are our drug laws ridiculous? If police officers (plural) behave as if they are, then how are the rest of us to behave? Is there a systemic problem within the Waterloo Regional Police service? Exactly how accountable are our police officers and to whom exactly?

Thursday, January 12, 2012


Today's Kitchener-Waterloo Record carrys the following story " Supervisor fined $22,500 in deaths of migrant workers on Grey County farm". Sixteen months ago two workers were overcome by fumes while attempting to repair a pump at Filsinger's organic foods and orchards near Ayton, south of Hanover Ontario. The original charges under the Occupational Health and safety act included the owners and a supervisor. The charges were dropped against the owners and the supervisor pled guilty to a single charge. This did not go down well with an advocacy group called Justica for Migrant Workers. They stated "This decision implies that employers have carte blanche to engage in health and safety violations, and that the legal mechanisms meant to protect workers in fact shield employers from any form of accountability for deaths of their employees.".

It is my belief that each and every serious on the job injury and death should be front page news. Instead this article is a tiny one on page B8 of the Record. The number of major serious injuries and deaths in Waterloo Region is staggering and should be well publicized. Many employers, just like on the environmental front, can be shamed and embarassed into compliance with the laws of the land. Fines generally mean little or nothing. Publicity and public condemnation do mean something to them.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Democracy is filled with contradictions and disincentives to honesty and integrity. Individual citizens have the numbers and hence the votes. The money and power however are held by the few. Personal benefits and considerations are also part of the equation. How many politicians after losing an election receive a golden parachute from the monied few? How many get appointed by the government of the day to a well paid commission, board or other perk? The Senate comes to mind.

Local/Municipal politicians are especially vulnerable to manipulation by higher tiers of government. Imagine that you are a local, activist Mayor, elected by the citizens as a protest against the old way of doing business. You want to put people first, not money and corporations. You begin reforms locally by fighting never ending expansion of gravel pits. You attempt not to block but to relocate a proposed bio-fuel plant that would generate increased truck traffic in your small town as well as most probably generate odours. Your small town already has a huge history of pollution from local industry and neglect and incompetence from the provincial Ministry of the Environment.

You enter office with hope and optimism. Then reality sets in. You as Mayor are automatically sitting on the next higher tier, namely Regional Council. Both the carrot and the stick are evident. Regional roads need upgrades in your community. The local Sewage Treatment Plant needs expansion if you want to have capacity for new developments and subdivisions. These are Regional decisions. Do you want the support of your colleagues for your local projects? If so then there is some give and take. Your current Regional Chair was voted in by his colleagues on Regional Council decades ago precisely because he did not represent one of the major urban centres in your Region. If you play your cards right you could replace him down the road as retirement can't be too far off. If you play your cards right.

Then there is the province to deal with. You are generally on good terms with them. They however have an election upcoming. They absolutely don't need you raising a ruckus about their long comprimised, underfunded and generally hopeless Ministry of the Environment. You are asked to make concessions in regards to your vigour in pushing them, especially publicly. You are asked for the sake of harmony and future benefits to your community, in other areas, to soften and to quiet any criticism coming from, for example, citizen committees of Council. You are advised that it is always in the best long term interests of a Municipality to listen carefully to the very few strong "requests" from the province.

Perhaps during all this pressure, local industry also comes knocking on your door. Lobbying let's call it. They too are displeased with your apparent grassroots bias. They feel that rather than you trying to please those who elected you in the recent past, perhaps you should be looking to the future. For example donations to Mayoral campaigns are always a good thing aren't they? Perhaps if a large employer feels too pressured locally to conform to provincial environmental laws that the M.O.E. are willing to let slide, then this large employer might move up his plans to retreat to a more business friendly environment. How would that look on a new Council and its' Mayor?

The pressures are enormous and the reality is that you can not please everyone. This is where a politician learns to stickhandle. No one is asking you to publicly deny your past supporters or your beliefs. Just modify them a touch. Comprimise and delay are always a smart move when you are doing something controversial. Things aren't really black and white. So learn how to take baby steps without offending others. Life will be so much easier if you adjust your direction according to the pressure upon you. Congratulations you are learning the art of politics.
Posted by Al Marshall at 8:46 AM 0 comments

Monday, January 9, 2012


I have long held the belief that the three stooges of the Provincial Government are the Ministry of Labour (Larry), the Ministry of Transportation (Curly) and the Ministry of the Environment (M.O.E.). I readily admit that this opinion is based upon twenty years plus observations and interaction with the M.O.E., fourty years plus dealing on a much more intermittent basis with Larry and also fourty years plus of dealing at best indirectly with Curly (M.O.T.).

Today's Kitchener-Waterloo Record has a Letter to the Editor by a Mr. Dan Tier of Kitchener. The title is "Provincial road conditions are terrible". Mr. Tier outlines what he feels are greatly reduced safety standards and maintenance particularily on highways in northern Ontario. My long standing contempt for the Ministry of Transport has to be based upon my fourty-five years of both personal and commercial driving in this province. Nevertheless this Letter to the Editor really hit the bottom line for me. Mr. Tier describes recent multiple deaths in car accidents at least partially due to road conditions. It is accidents, deaths and injuries on our roads for decades that turn my stomach. Throughout this four decades plus timeframe we've had massive enforcement against drunk driving for only the last couple of decades. We've always had massive enforcement against speeding but it's been perverse enforcement. Speed enforcement is generally active under perfect weather and road conditions outside of rush hours. As our cars and trucks have seen major technical improvements in tires, brakes, steering and suspension our maximum speed limits on highways have generally remained at eighty or ninety kilometres per hour. These maximums are way too low under good conditions. Yes on snow covered, busy or foggy roads they are too fast which is exactly why they are referred to as maximums.

I have long figured out what is obvious to all long time drivers who are students of driving. That would be at best 1/4 of us. Speed does not kill under ideal conditions with an alert driver. What kills is what I've long referred to as HUA. HUA means head up ass and is how the majority of drivers, whether male, female, young or old drive. HUA means staring ten feet in front of the hood of your moving vehicle. It means conversing intently with your passenger(s). It means planning your work day, free time, upcoming weekend etc. It means driving by habit and by rote. It means slowing down to stare at accidents that are off to the side of the road. It means focusing on anything and everything unrelated to your one and only primary task at hand, watching carefully everything in front, beside and behind you on the road that is either moving or potentially about to do so. For the last couple of years, at long last, the idiots at the M.O.T. have finally begun to realize that HUA kills far more than drunk driving and speeding combined at the same time. They now call it "distracted driving". Fine I'm not going to stand on terminology. Laws against cell phone use in cars are finally on the books yet no surprise still generally ignored. Far too many injuries and deaths still result in minimal charges, fines and imprisonment provided alcohol and speed are not factors. "Distracted driving" or HUA will not be reduced until the police quit chasing speeders under ideal conditions and start focusing on all the other bad driving that are the symptoms of not paying attention and the precursers to death and mayhem on the roads.

Friday, January 6, 2012


"New rules, fewer pardons" is the headline of the story in Wednesday's (Jan.4/12) K-W Record. This story raises a number of questions for me, the first being why didn't the writer tell us the real reason for these federal legislative changes to the parole system? This story written by Jim Bronskill claims that the legislation was changed last year by toughening the requirements and increasing the waiting times. These two changes I have no problem with. The third change is an increase in cost to the applicant from $150 to $631. This cost increase is too much and the claim by the government that citizens shouldn't have to subsidize applicants is spurious. Citizens are already "subsidizing" staff costs in all departments and programs through the tax system. As far as the reason for these changes, although long overdue, the reality is that it was a convicted, notorious pedophile (Graham James?) easily and quickly obtaining a pardon that brought this nonsense to light. Another question I have is the claim in this story that ten percent of Canadians have a criminal conviction. This would be over 3 million Canadians??? If this claim is accurate then something is seriously out of whack with our Criminal Justice System . Speeding tickets are provincial offenses not criminal ones. Simple trespass is also a provincial offense only. Perhaps marijuana possession adds dramatically to the total numbers of criminal convictions? All this being said I will admit that I personally escaped a criminal conviction here in Waterloo Region by the skin of my teeth. During a serious dispute with the Waterloo Region District School Board, they attempted unsucessfully to deny me access to my son's public school. At one point in order to avoid trouble I phoned the Police detachment in Elmira for permission to pick up my son after school, as his Mother was unavailable. This request was verbally permitted but when I showed up at the school the Regional Police were waiting, charged me with Trespass and arrested me. They held me in custody overnight and woke me up in the middle of the night to advise me that the charges had been upgraded to Obstruct Police. This utter and complete bullshit blew up in their faces when my lawyer (Wayne Rabley) presented my recording of the conversation to the Crown. Hence at that time I did become aware that Police have no compunction against laying frivolous or politically motivated criminal charges. Still 10% is an astounding and shameful number and I submit the shame belongs to the Justice System not to those convicted for standing up for their rights as human beings.

Thursday, January 5, 2012


Took me nearly two weeks but I finally figured out how to activate more broadly the Comments section at the end of each posting. The simplest way is to either use your name or use anonymous. These last two choices under "Select profile" in the Comments area weren't available to readers until I fixed things a few minutes ago. Sorry world !

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


O.K. this is a tough one. The Ontario Court of Appeal has stated that a life sentence handed out to a Cambridge man was out of proportion to the crime he committed. The crime committed was counselling to commit murder. On the face of it, without further evidence, a life sentence with nobody dieing does seem excessive. It's the details that are so chilling. He stalked his ex-wife for fifteen years, threatened her, assaulted her, vandalized her property and THEN he hired a hit man. Good Lord ! Now I understand why Judge Peter Hambly imposed the life sentence.

At the same time the Appeal Court had to look at the issue of sentences given to similar offenders for similar offences. The reality in Canada is that very few first dgree murderers actually spend the rest of their lives in prison. This multi convicted felon did not kill anyone. His sentence was reduced from life in prison to the maximum for counselling to commit murder, namely sixteen years. I still wonder at the details. He received 23 convictions for offenses involving his ex-wife and her boyfriend between 2002 and 2007. This front page story in today's K-W Record claims that he is a long time alcoholic with no diagnosed mental disorder. Fair enough if he has no DIAGNOSED disorder. That doesn't prove that he isn't completely off his rocker and I think his long term behaviour suggests that he is. Shouldn't this person be in a secure mental hospital such as in Penetanguishene? When he is finally released, at least with regular interviews by psychiatrists, there might be some reasonable expectation about his future behaviour.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


The following has been copied from a comment I made on an excellent website called the Cambridge Advocate. I am responding to a friend's posting today on the Cambridge advocate in which she recommends that Regional Council approve the most recent request for more funds from the Regional Police.

O.K. here goes. Bev: Hundreds of postings later and I finally found something I can disagree with you about. Firstly you’re right that police are a priority and should come way before LRT or any other fads of the day. BUT…..
In my humble opinion they are grossly unaccountable to you and I and Joe taxpayer on almost everything. Budgets & $$$$$ Two examples would be horses of all nonsensical things. When this was first being implemented I couldn’t believe the long term maintenance costs as well as the short term up front costs. These horses stank and yes they stank of horseshit, the political kind. Once again our beloved Regional Councillors want to be seen as innovaters and leaders. Secondly guns. yes guns. Literally for decades the City police (prior to regional gov’t) , Regional Police, U.S. State Police, and most of North American police did just fine with either Smith & Wesson or Colt 6 shot revolvers. To this day these model 10′s (S&W) and Colt Official Police are still in use and they are so durable, like the energizer bunny they just keep going. But they weren’t sexy enough. They weren’t badass enough. Revolvers only held six shots and some of the semi autos would hold 10 up to 16 or 17 bullets. Check the Regional Police statistics on use of firearms. Whether it’s putting down an injured deer or shooting an armed robber, one or two usually do the trick. If you need more than use the proper tool, such as a shotgun or rifle. Most importantly revolvers weren’t expensive enough. Remeber Bev nothing is too good , too expensive or too frivolous when it’s on the taxpayers dime. A new quality revolver nowadays could set you back around $500. In 1980 it was $229. A new Beretta or Glock semi auto starts around $1000 . That’s what the idiot police officer lost a couple of years ago outside Kitchener- Waterloo Collegiate on King St. in Kitchener. They’ve already charged one individual for the crime and lost in court. They are still looking for the gun. I repeat no accountability. Guess who’s on the civilian Police Board? Sure as heck not you or I or anyone unconnected politically will be on there. From what I’ve seen the Police Board are primarily lap dogs.

Monday, January 2, 2012


Saturday's Kitchener-Waterloo Record carrys the following story " Critics fear safety act changes will kill jobs". My first response to that title was better that title than one that said "Critics fear safety act changes will kill people". Is the system broken. Yes it is. Too many people, young, old ,male and female are dying or being horribly injured in this Province and in this Region. Perhaps these "critics" haven't lost someone they know; ... yet. Perhaps these "critics" might want to have embraced the current legislation more enthusiastically. My experience (construction & factory) is that there are a ton of labour, health & safety laws, all of which are ignored by small companies with impunity. Impunity that is until someone is hurt or dies. Most Ministry of Labour inspectors seem to focus on the big guys. How is it that I could work for years on end in small construction and never wear a hard hat? How could I work laying 350 degree fahrenheit asphalt with my shirt off? How does an employer for the sake of thirty seconds permit a loaded dump truck to raise it's box, full of hot asphalt without the safety chains on? How does that same employer who the previous year buried a young employee up to his waist in hot asphalt, then order another employee to go behind and under the back end of the truck with a wheelbarrow in order to fill up out of a small manual chute... with the safety chains still off and fifteen tons of asphalt overhead? Give me a break. Ontario workplaces maim and kill, year in and year out. More laws won't help but more enforcement would. Also more training would help. This training isn't just for the workers, it's also for the owners and supervisers. When the problem is fixed, then whine about more health & safety costs.