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.
Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Yesterday's Waterloo Region Record carrys this story "Honouring workers killed on the job". It was the National Day of Mourning and the ceremony held at Waterloo City hall was more sombre than usual. Two local residents have died recently on the job, namely Nick Lalonde and Chris Crawford. The minister speaking to the crowd was Oscar Cole-Arnal and he wasn't pulling any punches referring to the dead as having been "...murdered at the workplace...". Further he referred to the two to three hundred deaths in Ontario last year from accidents or occupational diseases as being the result of corporate greed. He would like to see workplace killing be designated as a crime with offenders sent to jail. "Kill a worker, go to jail". Catherine Fife (NDP) and Liz Witmer (P.C.) were present and also spoke.
I'm 64 years old and I worked in factories and construction for decades. Never did I see an Ontario Ministry of Labour inspector on site during working hours. I worked for non union companies who didn't give a crap about health and safety issues and they had the accidents to prove it. As long as workers are receiving serious on the job injuries and dying; then you know the balance of power is solely on the side of the corporate owners. All the rest is talk and puffery especially by politicians who have never gotten their precious little pinkies dirty on the job.
Tuesday, April 29, 2014
There have been numerous newspaper articles in the last few days including Saturday's Waterloo Region Record titled "Tories bend on fair elections Act". These changes were desperately needed and serve as both a warning and an inspiration within democracies. A majority government in Canada can and does pass whatever undemocratic, malicious legislation they please. Just because citizens screw up royally and give them a majority government doesn't guarantee these parties will behave intelligently, fairly or democratically. Our current government have run roughshod over the Opposition parties and the public for too long. That is the warning. Here is the inspiration. Even in a majority government situation Canadians can effect positive change. The Conservatives under Steven Harper weren't planning on budging an inch on this disgusting lagislation. They wouldn't have despite serious House of Commons opposition either. The Council of Canadians and other groups have been attacking this Bill for months. They suceeded in getting the media riled up and the electorate as well. The Conservatives are stupid yes. but they aren't yet deaf, dumb and blind. Ramming undemocratic legislation through the House which among other things would seriously undermine older Canadians from voting via being vouched for was too much. The inspiration is thusly: Majority governments can and do screw with the public but do so at your peril. The public sat up and took notice and will remember what you tried to get away with at the next election.
Monday, April 28, 2014
As if the local school board don't exercise enough inappropriate power and authority they've now done what they do best. By raising the spectre of the bogeyman they have been authorized to totally lock down all their public schools in Waterloo Region. Rest assurred if it suits their purposes they'll suddenly discover that high school kids are doing drugs and they too must be protected from maurading gangs of marijuana pushers promoting "Reefer Madness". This week's Elmira Independent carrys this story "Public schools to start locking doors this fall".
I will say this much. The Waterloo Catholic District School Board are at least upfront with their own reasons and experiences around this issue. Firstly there were no specific incidents and concerns when they instituted this policy change. Secondly "...one of the biggest threats to student safety isn't the unknown intruder some parents may be afraid of. One of the big issues we face unfortunately is parents who aren't supposed to have access to their children...". Really? And how convenient that is when all the schools have to do is stop their thinking right after the word "parents". I had full access to my children and it was simply an internal Board/school decision to discriminate against me because I raised an issue about an abusive teacher. The teachers union/school and Board closed ranks and pretended that this parent was the problem. This is exactly how these unaccountable, filty rich with taxpayers money bureaucrats bully and intimidate parents with legitimate educational grievances. If I thought your locked doors policy would be used smartly and appropriately I could support it. My educated guess is that this is but one more policy to protect teachers, staff and bureaucrats from accountability to parents. Oh I forgot. School Boards are no more accountable to parents than they are to students or anyone else. Sweet deal if you can swing it.
Saturday, April 26, 2014
This weeks' Woolwich Observer has a new take on the beleagured and well deservedly so TFW (temporary foreign worker) program. Tell me are other countries as stupid as Canada? It turns out that the federal Conservative government is long on puffery and short on substance on a number of economic fronts. Recently we were advised that Canada was not number one in job creation amongst the G7 but more likely number five. Hunh! Maybe the Conservatives in Ottawa are also sufferring from the same educational malaise mathematically that our children are. In other words our adult politicians can't count any better than our public school students. In regards to the TFW it was originally designed to bring in migrant farm workers to help out for short periods of time in the harvesting of crops in the fall. Then allegedly it was expanded to fill empty spots for highly trained people whose skills allegedly were in short supply in Canada. Now it's being used at both ends of the skills spectrum as well as in the middle. All of this begs the question. Are most Canadian workers handicapped in some way? Physically or mentally? Do Canadian workers suffer from three thumbs, one leg or only one arm? Are Canadians inherently lazy or stupid? That is basically in a nutshell what we are supposed to believe. Are Canadian workers somehow untrainable? Is there no public school system in this country? Do Canadians' brains peak at sixteen and after that it's all downhill? If you think about it carefully the whole idea of this program is quite insulting and noxious. What it is, is simply Candaian employers with no concern for Canadian citizens and residents, looking for cheaper more malleable labour. Don't fool yourself the malleability is huge. It means no unions , no backtalk and no questions around worker safety. What a joke workers' rights to say no to dangerous conditions are when a) the workers can't speak English 2) the worker who says no can be replaced the next day with a TFW .
All of this is a Conservative ideologists dream. Some owners, management and entrepreneurs can only drool at the prospects of never having to say sorry again. If a TFW breaks his arm on the job, deport him asap. Hell you probably don't even have to report it as a work related injury. If the owner wants to buy his wife a new car then just trim the workers' overtime pay for a few weeks. Are they going to complain and get their visa pulled? Hardly. What a find. I've never accused some of these Conservative feds of being overly smart but have they ever figured what they are doing to their own domestic market for their products? The TFW are saving and sending their money home. They sure as hell are trying very hard not to spend it here. Keep this crap up and who's going to be buying here? The unemployed due to your greed?
Steve Kannon in his Editor's Notes column titled "Foreign worker program "abuses" just part of plan to suppress wages" has that as his take on the matter. In other words he doesn't believe that these are individual company and employer abuses of a labour plan with some merits. Far from it he believes these "abuses" were expected and wanted by the federal Conservatives in order to drive down wages and unions. If everybody are terrifed at losing their jobs they will keep their heads down and as some bosses so desperately require, suck up to them. Is this the society and system we want for our children to work in?
Friday, April 25, 2014
The solution seems obvious to me. Between idiot judges, prosecuters, police and occasionally citizens on juries, citizens continue to be convicted of crimes they did not commit. How can this be, under a system of so called "guilty beyond a reasonable doubt"? The reasons are complex and include laziness, bias, stupidity, personal agrandizement and finally malice. The solution is fairly straightforward. Each and every judge, cop and prosecuter who declared an innocent person guilty, then gets to take his or her place in jail. Think about it. Wouldn't that be an incredible incentive to get things right the first time? Yes indeed there would be some bad apples who were guilty walk free but that is what the system is supposed to do. Only convict the guilty even if due to a lack of evidence the occasional guilty party is exonerated. Last Monday's Waterloo Region Record shares this story "Hurricane" loses battle with cancer". This is of course one famous Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, posterboy for racially biased prosecutions everywhere.
The list just keeps on growing of citizens wrongfully convicted of murder. Funny thing is if our judicial system can't do it right with serious crimes, what makes you think they do any better with assault, rape, theft and on and on? Here in Canada we have Truscott, Morin, Marshall, Milgaard, and Baltovich who have become household names. Why aren't the truly guilty parties in the judicial system also household names? Our criminal justice system does not deserve our respect. It has become nothing more than a production line whose primary purpose has become the building of careers whether for lawyers and judges or for police. There will be no reform from within. Those within the judicial system are happy with the status quo. There's lots of money, power and status and we the citizens who pay for this mess are nothing but cogs in the machine.
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Monday's Waterloo Region Record carrys this story "Many nursing home residents on powerful mix of drugs: report states". I found this story shocking. Apparently staff shortages in nursing homes are compensated by drugging vulnerable seniors with antipsychotics and sedatives. These drugs are inappropriately used to calm and restrain wandering, agitated residents. There are sideffects however including greatly increased risks of early death. Falls can also occur with these so called "off-label" uses. As I have been aware of for some time there is not adequate oversight and accountability in nursing homes. Once again for profit businesses seem to have little difficulty in finding shortcuts, with or without government supervision, which lead to innocent people sufferring. One judges a society by their treatment of their most vulnerable. Canada has little to be proud of on that score.
Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Well I'm not exactly sure what to think here. In one sense it looks good on the local police. On the other hand too many people who haven't experienced first hand police misconduct will dismiss this group/mission out of hand because of their inflammatory name. While obviously my first hand past dealings were with street level police officers I always knew that it was higher ups in the service who were intent on harassing me. In fact what I knew to be true was that senior police management were operating hand in hand with senior school board management. Nothing else would explain my being arrested and charged with trespassing approximately twelve times in a row when I attended my son's school whether to pick him up or for school plays, picnics etc.. Keep in mind this was neither a domestic situation nor was there any violence or threats involved. Senior school officials simply lied like the cowardly dogs they were and senior police management knowing the only real issue was a single abusive teacher with a history, nevertheless backed the school board contrary to the Education Act which gives parents the right to participate in their child's education.
Individual officers were simply following orders when they would arrest me. Eventually the last ten or eleven charges got dropped when the Waterloo Regional Police Service got put in their place by the Crown. The Crown prosecution knew what shit looked and smelled like and they'd had enough after the first and only trial for Trespass. The School board looked like the petty, lying crap that they were and a technical Trespass victory didn't remove the School Board's stench of corruption. Immediately upon the Police backing down and the gutless wonders at the School Board did the same thing. Cowards and liars the lot of them. This was corruption at the senior management level for both parties.
I was informed of this new group namely ihatewrps via a comment on my January 29, 2012 posting here titled "More (old) Waterloo Regional Police Corruption". Their website is www.facebook.com/ihatewrps . They have videos of alleged police harassment on youtube and an e-mail address of Ihatewrps@gmail.com . It's too bad it's come to this but our regional police have not been properly accountable for decades and senior management with political support from the Region of Waterloo have done little or nothing to address the problems.
Monday, April 21, 2014
This is the kind of shit that our public and high schools will never teach. In fact this is precisely why certain segments in our society including cops and teachers are paid so well, directly at the public's expense. It is to make sure that these elements are bought and paid for co-opted boosters of a system which does well by them. Meanwhile as our good industrial and office jobs move to cheaper labour terrains; even entry level jobs are being undermined by corporate greed and never say enough when it comes to profits at someone else's expense. On-line Matthew Coutts of Canada News/Daily Brew advises us of the latest labour atrocities. Photos are courtesy of the CBC. The federal Temporary Foreign Workers program (TFW) was conceived in abuse and has fulfilled its' promise to greedy Canadian employers, mostly of the corporate kind. From Tim Horton's, McDonald's, a B.C coal mine, Royal Bank and even a pizza producer all have abused a program ripe for just that. This is how f...ing federal Conservatives shore up their base constituency. They appeal to their lowest common denominator, namely greed. All these workers are willing to work for lower wages and conditions than Canadians will. The program allegedly was for industries sufferring labour and skills shortages. What a joke. Skills shortages in McDonald's or Tim Horton's? Sure. Even if there were skills shortages what the hell is the matter with Canadian employers? The Canadian workforce are skilled, educated and motivated. Pay the going rate you lousy f...s and while you're at it train employees! These kids, their parents and grandparents built this ungrateful country. My father and two uncles put their lives on the line during World War Two. And for what? So that my kids, while well educated, have to compete with eight dollar an hour foreigners for jobs in this country. Steve Harper and Jason Kenny; please fuck right off!
This country is and has been sufferring from an artificial lack of jobs. Free trade started it and now these lying politicians don't even want to leave either skilled or unskilled jobs available to Canadian citizens. Throw the lying Conservative filth out of office for your sake and your childrens' sakes.
Thursday, April 17, 2014
Today's Waterloo Region Record carrys this opinion piece by Carol Goar "Canadians want a fair shot at jobs in their own country". That seems outrageous to me. Why should Canadians have a leg up on Mexicans, caribbean workers, chinese, central american workers or any others in the entire world for that matter? Aren't we all wedded to globalization? The idea that money (and labour) are perfectly mobile in this world? Well O.K. so Canadian workers and citizens live here generally year round. Also they pay taxes year round and they also have the right to vote. In fact unless I'm wrong, at least in theory, our politicians (including Conservatives) report to the people. Hell taken to the extreme they are even accountable to Canadian citizens. Now this is getting sticky. Some people from small business owners to multinational corporations want more profits. One way to accomplish this is on the expense side of the ledger. If you can save money bringing in people from third world countries at lower wages and benefits then why can't you layoff Canadian workers? Well first off laid off workers pay less income and sales taxes. Plus if they realize what's going on they'll kick the f...ing bast.... out of office who sold their jobs down the river so somebody else can pocket their "excess" wages. These "excess" wages might mean that the Canadian family get to buy and drive a car. It might mean horror of horrors that these families can help out their children to better their educations at University. Or as Henry Ford figured out, his employees could actually buy the products of their own manufacture.
Carol Goar dispels numerous myths and falsehoods. There are no labour shortages in Canada. If you have a crappy job to fill then raise your wages and working conditions. There will be lots of Canadian applicants. Canadians allegedly have a poor work ethic. Pure horseshit. Canadians go to sea to fish, they go down into mines, they work outdoors summer and winter and they die on the job far too often just to be able to feed themselves and their families. Fuck you very much right wing Conservative assholes. Yes foreign workers will cheerfully accept low pay, dangerous conditions, lousy living accomodations and oh so importantly, mouthy, bullying bosses. Canadians not so much. We're just bad I guess.
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Hot off the presses the Ontario Municipal Board has found against a proponent's proposal for a gravel pit on his property. The gravel pit was named the Hunder Pit and the proposed location was between Winterbourne and Conestogo in Woolwich Township. From the getgo I thought the location was particularily bad based upon its' location to very long established residential subdivisions as well as to the Grand River. In the Decision OMB vice-chair Susan Schiller stated that the proponent had failed to show on three out of four remaining issues that his pit would not cause unacceptable impacts. Visual impacts were dismissed by the Board however Noise, transportation and agricultural rehabilatation were accepted as being unacceptable impacts despite mitigation efforts.
Call me skeptical. I attended the hearing in full and while both the Township and the Conestogo-Winterbourne Residents Association mounted a very strong case; things I felt did not look good. From what was presented including the Aggregate Resources Act, the Provincial Policy Statement (PPS) and the Official Plan (OP); it sure seemed to me that the laws, rules and processes were highly biased in favour of gravel extraction just about anywhere, anytime. Indeed I believe that is exactly the history of appeals to the OMB regarding gravel pits. It is also my belief that the proponent (Hunder) did his due diligence, spent money on lawyers, consultants, reports and plans as required. If this Decision holds it certainly signals a sea change at the OMB. There have been many other pits around the province with what many people felt were unacceptable impacts yet they went through the Board sucessfully. This Board is an Appointment of the provincial government. There isn't by any chance an election coming is there???
Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Hoo boy the teacher got convicted of sexual exploitation. Well I've always said our laws and judicial system are asses. Read all the details on this case and it was the teacher not the student who got taken advantage of. Assuming that the Judge got it right and she had sex with a 17 year old boy; he was the one in control from the start. While she may have thought she was setting up a private assignation, he was busy bragging and showing off to his peers. She's just messed up her career and done her family life no favours; he's now the big man on the high school campus. He's also a first class jerk who hopefully won't find any willing females for sex for at least another decade. I mean really, talk about kissing and telling. Regarding the teacher I can only say this. She's proven what so many deny and that is that some teachers are smart and lots are dumb and they all are overpaid. She clearly hasn't got a clue in regards to judging character. If she was intent on extramarital sex dear God could she have picked a worse candidate and jerk? I think not. Today's Waterloo Region Record carrys this on the front page "Teacher found guilty of sex with teen student". Regarding criminal behaviour I think this law needs to be reexamined. The seventeen year old boy is a happy camper. She on the other hand may have to be fired not for alleged criminal behaviour as much as for stupidity and lack of judgement.
Monday, April 14, 2014
Last Saturday's Waterloo Region Record carrys this story "Supreme Court softens Tories time-served law". Our federal government seem to think that they and not the Supreme Court take precedence in law making. Governments come and go whereas principles of law and sentencing should survive various ideological biases. The Conservatives Truth in Sentencing Act had come under fire before as it has again. This ruling is but one more rebuke of the federal Conservatives' so called law and order agenda. It seems clear that their law and order agenda is merely window dressing for partisan political motives and does little to address crime in this country.
Friday, April 11, 2014
You have to love the timing. Today's Woolwich Observer has an Opinion piece (Editor's Notes) by Steve Kannon titled "Myth of the skills gap gets in the way of dealing with real employment issues". Steve quotes Princeton economist Paul Krugman namely "Moreover by blaming workers for their own plight, the skills myth shifts attention away from the spectacle of soaring profits and bonuses even as employment and wages stagnate. Of course, that may be another reason corporate executives like the myth so much.". "First government needs to recognize that in much of Canada there is a job shortage, and an employer training shortage. Programs and policies should be re-oriented around that reality," according to Canadian Labour Congress economist Angella MacEwen. Or as Steve says "The actual gap is between reality and the government/employer version thereof." Or as I say shame on the liars who blame the victims of governmental incompetence and stupidity.
Thursday, April 10, 2014
Today's Waterloo Region Record carrys this opinion piece by Gwyn Morgan "Skills shortage is Canada's biggest challenge". At first blush even the title is a pile of pus. Unemployment is Canada's biggest challenge. However after reading the article in its' entirety I am confident in saying that this guy is desperately trying to justify why our right wing federal government as well as most provincial governments have driven our economy into the ground. From free trade with third world countries and exporting decent jobs around the globe to line the pockets of the already wealthy, they have a lot to answer for. hence this crap about a lack of skills. We've got more university graduates in all fields than we've ever had before. that most decidely includes maths and sciences. Perhaps he is correct in regards to engineering programs turning down qualified applicants. caertainly medicine and law indeed do that. But math and all the sciences absolutely do not. Yes a high school grad with mediocre math or science grades may well not get his first University choice but he will get accepted. I've got two children with science degrees and one had her choice of Universities based on high school grades and the other did not based on grades. Nevertheless they both have an Honours Bachelor of Science degree and more today. Now it's all about getting appropriate jobs and neither one has been overwhelmed with job offers. Shame on Gwyn Morgan and others of his ilk blaming the victims of the canadian economy. Uneducated and ignorant politicians are the ultimate cause of unemployment in this country, not an alleged lack of skills.
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
Today's Waterloo Region Record has this story "Guelph lawyer named as Kitchener judge". We are advised that she was appointed by the provincial Ministry of the Attorney General. She was called to the bar in 1992 and has been an assistant Crown Attorney since 1993. Wow! So what makes her stand out for promotion? Why for example is an assistant Crown attorney more qualified than say a Crown Attorney? Is working for the Crown (prosecution) a better learning experience than working as a Defence lawyer? The fact that she's had the same job for over twenty years in some circles would be looked down on. Is it different in the judicial field? Has she written any outstanding legal reports or briefs in her career? Is she a recognized expert in any particular areas of law? Why exactly her versus thousands of others? Is she for example politically active? Is she a member of her local provincial (Liberal) riding association? Is she related to any famous jurors or does her family donate to any political parties? Some of these questions may indicate either skepticism or innuendo but so be it. We as citizens have a right to know who are being appointed as judges in Ontario. And more importantly exactly why they are being appointed. What if anything is expected of them by those who do the appointing.
Tuesday, April 8, 2014
What kind of enlightened society pretends that our last days, weeks, months and in some cases even years are pain free, care free joys to behold and experience? How about a young society, a naive society or a society in denial. Yes some of us will enjoy life up to and including our last day only to die peacefully in our sleep. Others will die in pain, misery and hopelessness. Today's Waterloo Region Record carrys this story "Prepare for legal assisted suicide: MDs".
In 2012 the B.C. Supreme Court made a ruling that a ban on assisted suicide was unconstitutional. Good for them. A Dr. James Downar co-authored a report in the Canadain Medical Association Journal suggesting that doctors move on from debating the for and against arguments. he feels that they should be planning how medically assisted suicide will look and operate. Things like consent and safeguards should be debated sooner rather than the last minute after assisted suicide becomes legal which he feels is eventually imminent.
Somewhat on the other side of the fence is Dr. Louis Hugo Francescutti who would rather see thought and energy go into improving palliative care, including pain management. He believes that Canada lacks a national pain strategy. He may be right because when a senior's abilty to enjoy their last days are better in one Canadian jurisdiction than another; then something has gone off the rails. All seniors across Canada should have equal access to relief, support and when they choose an end to it. A 79 year old with terminal cancer should not have to prove anything in order to bring his or her life to an end. A 49 year old also with terminal cancer or a worse disease of which there are many also should not have to prove anything albeit that their disease is terminal and or their enjoyment of remaining life can not improve.
Monday, April 7, 2014
Cherry picking both when, what and whom you are going to share information with is a hallmark of paranoid, insecure and dishonest governments. Whether it be seat saver programs by our provincial governing Liberals, inadequate Annual Drinking Water Reports under the Safe Drinking Water Act (2002), Ministry of Natural Resources non-consultation while adding concrete and asphalt recycling to the Provincial Policy Statement (PPS) or our provincial Ministry of the Environment making sweetheart deals with polluters like Uniroyal in October 1991; the non sharing of important information directly impacting the public is at an all time high.
Governments routinely reward some groups in our society usually at the expense of others. These acts are one of the reasons why they routinely hide what they are doing from public scrutiny. All public consultation is essentially pretend public consultation. Lobby groups and vested interests themselves would be appalled if their machinations and manoevering became public knowledge.
One recent example would be a letter sent by Jaimie Connolly, a M.O.E. hydrogeologist, to Jeff Merriman of Chemtura dated May 2, 2008. That's right, six years ago. WTF ! I received it last week from the Woolwich Township secretary assigned to the Chemtura Public Advisory Committee (CPAC). It was cc'd to Conestoga Rovers, consultants to Chemtura (Uniroyal) as well as to the Chair of CPAC six years ago, who would have been Pat McLean, former Woolwich Councillor and failed Mayoralty candidate. Pat has been well taken care of via her association with Chemtura and CPAC. Numerous expense paid trips around the continent while she allegedly was either on CPAC business (bullshit) or because of her being appointed as a member of the National Advisory Panel of the Chemical Industry Association of Canada (CIAC). Such a pile of pus. Pat is a complete ignoramus in regards to chemistry, hydrogeology, contaminants etc.. She makes no attempt to read reports and technically inform herself. What she is good at is political manipulation whether as a Councillor or as CPAC Chair. I believe that witholding this letter from myself six years ago is par for the course. This letter would have been and hopefully will be devastating to CRA, Chemtura and the M.O.E.; the three of whom I affectionately refer to as the partners in pollution. I also expect that just like the M.O.E.'s "sweetheart" deal in 1991 the partners in pollution were hopeful and confident that this damaging letter while sent to Pat would not see the light of day generally. Afterall why do you think she was put in that position in the first place and then stayed there after she lost her councillor's job in 2006 and then lost the mayoralty election in 2010?
Friday, April 4, 2014
Steve Kannon of the Woolwich Observer has written the following Editorial "Sunshine List a worthwhile measure of excess". He appropriately harpoons the ever increasing numbers of public servants making north of $100,000. In some instances we are talking far north, others just over. Steve is right that this list is galling. It's too many people taking way too much taxpayers money. Here in Woolwich we are looking at the CAO, Council and Information Services, Township Fire Chief, Directors of Engineering, Finance and god help us Recreation. Oh and also a Manager of Engineering and a public works superviser. Nice pay if you can get it. Meanwhile Wellesley Township has but one, namely their CAO. This renumeration Steve states exceeds that of 95% of the rest of us. You know I felt that firemen and police were overpaid which they are but this is ridiculous. This gap between the income of most citizens and those public servants on the sunshine List is particularily galling when you look at their job security and benefits. These paople are neither that smart or hardworking. The question is how dumb are we to put up with this forever?
Thursday, April 3, 2014
Is this what they refer to as pork barrelling in the United States? Todays Waterloo Region Record carrys two stories about public employees living high on the hog, courtesy of the taxpayers. The one story by Paige Desmond is titled "Politicians made $200,000 for roles on boards in 2013" and the other by Jeff Outhit is titled "Police, firefighter salaries spark debate". While in the second story certain politicians are quoted complaining about provincial arbitration decisions, I think there is more to it than that. Who do you think the police and firefighters negotiate with in the first place? You got it, with the same politicians who themselves are not unaware of the benefits of the public trough. From what moral highground can either police boards or municipal politicians preach restraint to police and firefighters? I will say this; most of the time the public at least get value for their money with police and most especially firefighters. What value do we really get from politicians? All they do is spend every last nickel we give them and then more.
Paige Desmond's story is really quite pathetic. Short of parenthood there isn't a job going with fewer requirements than politicians. Besides salaries with no day to day supervision or accountability they also get paid extra for various Boards they sit on. They collect more money with zero to negligible accountability including mandated hours of work or attendance. As far as qualifications give me a break. Some of these people aren't competent at anything other than getting elected. As we have sometimes seriously suggested with M.O.E. inspectors..."they couldn't find their own asses with both hands during a snow storm". Is this a little bit harsh. Yes it is but I do keep in mind that it isn't fair that 95% of politicians give all the rest a bad name.
Wednesday, April 2, 2014
They wouldn't lie to us would they? The Region of Waterloo wouldn't gild the lily in regards to how they are going to pay for the Light Rail Transit (LRT) I'm sure. Today's Waterloo Region Record carrys this story "Townships want transfer stations". The problem is both the local government and the citizens want and use these transfer stations but the Region no longer can afford them. Boy can I see where this is going. More and more service cuts so that the Regional politicians can get their legacy project, the LRT underway.
Tuesday, April 1, 2014
The last few weeks I've been poring over the provincially mandated Annual Drinking Water Reports produced by the Region of Waterloo. I have also this year decided to get into the so called Summary Reports. These reports are mandated by both the Safe Drinking Water Act (2002) and Ontario Regulation 170/03. What a pile of pus these reports all are. They are long, labourious, illogical and completely user unfriendly. If the intent was to further consolidate knowledge and power in the hands of the few while placating the many with false visions of empowerment and knowledge; then they have suceeded. I believe that these Annual (DW) Reports are supposed to inform water customers ie. all of us, as to what the quality of our water is. They do not.
Let's fill them with insider acronyms and short forms. That always makes Engineers and Bureaucrats happy. Lat's not explain what any of them mean. Let's pretend that all water quality problems are clearly explained and documented. They are not. Let's not tell consumers when raw water is so contaminated that that is why we've shut the wells down. Let's shut wells down for months and years at a time without explanation. Let's not be overcome with consistency. Just because water quality problems one year required reporting doesn't mean they should for ever more. Let's lobby the Ontario Ministry of the Environment for exceptions, exemptions and regulatory relief if we find the mandatory reporting onerous or even slightly embarassing. If we're caught between a rock and a hard place and desperately need a new or different water source then we should be allowed some wiggle room in regards to the truth. Afterall citizen/consumer confidence in the system is everything. Disasters like Walkerton and Elmira thankfully don't come every day. The important thing is to learn from them so as to avoid any further eroding of confidence. The Bishop st. disaster in Cambridge, courtesy of Northstar Aerospace, is just such an example. The public relations campaign during and after was spectacular. The media finally came under control and didn't pursue this government failure as they did the others.
Full advantage can and should be taken of any and all loopholes in the legislation. If industrial contamination can shut down a huge Aquifer like Elmira's with NDMA, then let's be sure not to publish any results we find for NDMA in our drinking wells. Gas stations are such a nuisance because almost all of them leak eventually. Therefore let's pick but one chemical, say Benzene for example, which has a low drinking water standard. Thus we should safely, hopefully we able to not publish all the other chemicals that are part of gasoline and diesel fuel because their concentrations and drinking standards are much higher. Speaking of drinking water standards there really isn't any need to include them in these reports. More numbers just confuse people. As more and more chemicals are discovered and used in industry we shouldn't have to update our testing. With luck any bad apples out there will discharge at least one of the chemicals on our list so we can discover them and talk about it. Most importantly never advise people of the health threats due to multiple contaminants simultaneously in their drinking water. Also make little or no attempt to actually stop pollution at the source. This could cost governments support and votes from well heeled lobbys. It's always better after cattle crap has killed a couple of seniors via cryptosporidium to call for voluntary farm action to keep cattle out of waterways while spending millions more tax dollars on end of the pipe treatment. Finally let science advance by leaps and bounds but any inconvenient research dealing with drinking water and public health must require decades more research and confirmation prior to reducing contaminant concentrations and costing industry money. The Precautionary Principle is only for socialist countries isn't it? People aren't like land in that we can make more of them if needed. So far that is.