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, March 31, 2015
Nevertheless it surely has an odour. Maybe the key is how the rules are written. Former Cabinet Ministers cannot take employment from a company with whom they've had "significant" dealings during the year before they left office. Now that is pretty darn loose. Today's Waterloo Region Record carrys this story titled "Appointment of Baird to Barrick job raises questions".
Both Maud Barlow of the Council of Canadians and Charlie Angus, the NDP ethics critic are not amused by this situation. They view this scenario of former senior Cabinet Ministers ending up in high paid corporate jobs as being ethical concerning. Mr. Angus refers to it as a revolving door between key industries and the cabinet. John Baird has been hired by Barrick Gold Corp. as an adviser plus he has been appointed to the Board of Directors of Canadian Pacific for a cool $235,000 annually. Nice work if you can get it.
Thursday, March 26, 2015
Well todays Editorial by the Record staff is one of the worst I've ever read. The title in the Waterloo Region Record is "Tell the scofflaws to pay up". My response is go fuch yourself. Besides "scofflaws", words such as reckless, threatening, unsafe, dangerous and defiant are used in this Editorial. Really? Undoubtedly in any large group of people you will find the odd deviant. However if the record had been paying attention recently, including reading their own columnists, they would know that studies have shown that very few accidents are caused solely by driving above the speed limit. Drunken driving and most interestingly distracted driving are the main culprits. In other words the majority of persons causing accidents on our roads aren't speeding. Unfortunately they also aren't paying attention. The vast majority of speeding tickets are all about revenue generation with a side order of red herring involved.
Tuesday, March 24, 2015
Omar Khadr is now 28 years old. He was a fifteen year old, seriously wounded teenager when he allegedly threw a grenade at U.S. forces who had killed the people around him and wounded him in multiple places. He's been in custody ever since including years in Guantaunamo. Currently he's incarcerated in Alberta. Apparently outside of the rest of the world, Canada and the U.S. don't recognize diminished guilt regarding child soldiers. If he ever was a soldier. Secondly apparently death in war is only murder if you're not on the winning side. It's way past time to see if Omar Khadr can reintegrate into Canadian society. It was hardly his choice that his father took him into a war zone as a teenager. Today's Waterloo Region Record story is titled "Omar Khadr hoping to get bail".
Monday, March 23, 2015
This is a strange case. Last Thursday's Waterloo Region Record carrys this story titled "Ex-judge says he helped his wife commit suicide". So now after being convicted and losing two appeals he 's advising us that he lied to the police in the first place. He didn't murder his wife he merely assisted her with her suicide. For some, possibly including a jury, that would be enough right there to convict him on whatever the charge was. For others not nearly so cut and dried. His wife was disabled and wanted to die.
Perhaps the biggest problem is the ridiculous maximum sentence for helping a person commit suicide. That fourteen year sentence above and beyond her family's anger if he admitted to helping her. could persuade an otherwise intelligent person to be less than truthful with the police. Perhaps the silly judge thought that juries usually get it right and therefore he simply had to go through the process before being declared innocent. Quite a surprise no doubt. Juries of common lay folk may well take a little enjoyment in bringing down the mighty. Most especially if they are lawyers, politicians or judges.
Saturday, March 21, 2015
This time it is in relation to the Police Board. This is allegedly a civilian oversight committee which also allegedly is accountable to the public and transparent in its' dealings with the waterloo regional Police Service. The seven person Board consists of three regional politicians, one community member selected by regional council and three appointees from the province. To say that the Board is stacked with like minded reps is an understatement.
The Chair, Tom Galloway, promised that Board members names and contact information would be made available to the public over a year and a half ago. It has yet to happen thus preventing the general public from either asking questions or offerring advice and information. Taxpayers last year funded the part time Board members to the tune of $92,000. You would think that should get some transparency and accountability but apparently not.
The Waterloo Region Record carried the story two days ago titled "Police board transparency pledge unfulfilled".
Wednesday, March 18, 2015
The front page of Monday's local section of the Waterloo Region Record carrys this story titled "Region joins national Day of Action against Bill C-51". From all accounts the federal Conservative government have done it again. In an attempt to deflect attention from government scandals and the weak economy they are bringing in the bogeyman of "terrorism" yet again. While there were two individuals with issues who murdered two or three Canadian soldiers in two attacks; both individuals were exactly that. They were not part of any orgaized terrorist action on Canadian soil. As tragic as any loss of life is Canadians should not be fooled into overeacting with new and onerous legislation. New legislation will eventually be used and as history has taught us most likely not for the purpose it was intended. Politicians being politicians are liars first and manipulaters second. They are constantly on the lookout for manufactured crises that they can milk for their own political benefit.
Tuesday, March 17, 2015
We've had several years of ongoing scandals involving the RCMP. Whether killing of unarmed suspects via Taser or harassment of female Mounties there is a long and distasteful list of RCMP wrongdoing. Yesterday's Waterloo Region Record carrys this story titled "Senior OPP union official fired". Boy does this look awful. Kudos I suppose for the attempt to clean it up, whatever it exactly is. The paper suggstes there was defrauding of union members. Wow! You mean allegedly even our police forces have corrupt elements within them? And to think local politicians want to pretend that corruption isn't all around us.
Monday, March 16, 2015
And that is the rub! What murder case? Quoting from Saturday's Waterloo Region Record "A key to the case was the inabilty of a pathologist - due to decomposition and other damage to the body - to determine a cause of death or find evidence of definite injuries consistent with a violent attack.". Therefore there was absolutely no way to know if the dead woman had drowned by accident or committed suicide. Both she and the accused had been drinking that night and were alcoholics. Yes he had a horrible reputation including evidence of being violent with the dead woman. However criminal cases are not supposed to be about being on the balance of probablilites as civil cases are. They are supposed to be decided on gulity beyond a reasonable doubt. "Reasonable doubt" - The Crown couldn't even prove on any basis whatsoever that a crime had been committed. Murder - what murder? Therefore how is it possible to convict a person of a crime, beyond a reasonable doubt - when you can't even prove that a crime was committed in the first place? This is Kafkaesque and Orwellian. This is not what are Justice system is supposed to be.
Friday, March 13, 2015
As per today's Waterloo Region Record it appears that railcar derailments followed by ruptures of crude oil are occuring at a rate of four per month in Canada and the U.S.. The title of the article is "Rail car upgrades urged". What these most recent derailments have shown is that the latest rail car designs still are inadequate. There have been "...major fires, polluting waterways and forcing evacuations.". The propoese new federal regulations will give rail shippers until 2025 to upgrade tank cars to higher safety standards. Expect more disasters between now and then.
Wednesday, March 11, 2015
Last Saturday's Waterloo Region Record carrys this story titled "Ottawa to compensate thalidomide victims". There will be a $125,000 lump sum payment to the alleged still surviving 95 victims. I say alleged because quite frankly I expect there are more victims than that. Possibly the 95 recognized have severe disabilities or deformities however thalidomide affected some unborn children markedly differently than others. I wonder how many mothers who took thalidomide either had no obvious effects upon their children or even relatively minor effects. There is also supposed to be $168 million available for long term medical assistance. I suspect that as coping thalidomide survivors have aged they are finding their abilities to cope and compensate for disabilities strained. Thalidomide was a government-approved drug prescribed to pregnant women in the 1950's and 60's for relief of nausea symtoms.
Tuesday, March 10, 2015
It wouldn't even be cheap at half the cost. Literally. It's bad enough the salaries they are making for part time work but what is worse is the further taxpayers money they are sucking from us year in and year out. Yesterday's Waterloo Region Record carrys this story titled "Elected officials cost $1.1M". Above and beyond up front taxes are all the hidden taxes including as per yesterday's posting, inappropriate speeding tickets.
The further killer is the extra money these parasites make by appointing each other to various Boards such as the GRCA, Police Services Board, Hydro Boards Etc.. These idiot professional politicians are no more qualified than literally thousands of other citizens who have serious longterm commitments in these various fields. In fact many of these politicians are hopelessly out of their depths. And we pay them and pay them when their goal is to not make waves and to keep everything calm and out of the public eye. What a way to run a country.
Monday, March 9, 2015
Oh be still my beating heart. There it is in print: "only four drivers were cited for speeding in 54 fatal crashes on regional roads in the last five years.". Read that you fucking cops, courts and insurance companies. This quote is in last Saturday's Waterloo Region Record in an article written by Jeff Outhit titled "Road Ahead".
Speeding tickets are and always have been the biggest scam, legalized theft and outright harassment of drivers there is. Speeding per se does not cause accidents. People primarily with their heads up their butts whether below the limit or at the limit cause accidents through inattention and stupidity, primarily the former. The best news to come out of the roundabout craze in the last decade is exactly that. People generally can't speed in the roundabouts because they are too small and tight but nevertheless their driving incompetence and lack of focus are on full display, literally every single day. Thankyou Region of Waterloo for pointing out the obvious namely 50% of drivers should not be on the roads and they are the 50% who only get tickets after they cause accidents.
Friday, March 6, 2015
The Waterloo Region Record carrys the following story today titled "Suicide or murder? David Thomas trial mulls both". Now this is just getting plain ridiculous. I've heard of murder convictions when there is no body. I've heard of "victims" showing up years later, alive. This has to rate right up there with them. We have a man of seriously low ethics who's been on trial for murder for weeks and neither the Crown nor any medical experts can actually say if the victim was indeed murdered. Apparently her body was found in or beside the Grand River months after she had disappeared. Lots of evidence that she had a seriously bad relationship with her boyfriend BUT nobody can actually prove the cause of death or even if it was foul play versus misadventure or suicide. This is ridiculous. So much once again for guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Clearly these jurors are trying this man based upon his admittedly bad character not upon proof that he killed his girlfriend. Maybe on the balance of probabilities he did the deed but the onus of proof is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. But for this to occur you must have a crime and no one has proven that. This is just plain nuts.
Thursday, March 5, 2015
Today's Waterloo Region Record carrys this story titled "Officer resigns after commission dismisses appeal". There are a number of things about this case that I find unclear. That should not be the situation when allegedly he is being fired in order to maintain the public's confidence in the force. That in itself is quite a claim as I have no doubt that there are literally many thousands of people in Waterloo Region including myself who at the very least have serious concerns about how our police are being run.
As I read the article the officer was fired, then he quit and finally he lost his appeal to the Ontario Civilian Police Commission (OCPC?). Does one in ten Waterloo Region residents have a clue as to who this body (OCPC) might be, their mandate, authority etc.? I thought so.
Apparently he brought a report on the drug investigation to his friend who had been arrested and was behind bars. For me that report is somewhat crucial to the following series of events. Was that report a document that was going to be released through the process of discovery to the accused anyways or did it have some sort of appropriate confidential information in it? Is there appropriate confidential information on an investigation in which an individual has been charged or does it all eventually have to be shared? This information should have been made clearer so that the public can judge for themselves whether this dismissal was indeed in the public interest or is it just posturing and politicking going on in the police bureaucracy?
Tuesday, March 3, 2015
Yesterday's Waterloo Region Record carrys this story titled "Anti-turbine farm families fight whopping legal bill from wind-farm companies". The legal costs of the court action run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Four farm families had challenged the constitutionality of Ontario's approval process before Divisional Court but lost. "Lawyer Julian Falconer, who represents the families, called the wind companies "blood-sucking, intimidating bullies.".The families are now appealing the order to pay costs. "By simply exercising their right to access to the courts, the appellant families now face the disheartening prospect of financial ruin," their submission states. As stated by the families lawyer when access to the courts becomes a crippling financial loss then access to justice is no more than a platitude. Hear Hear! Ontario "justice" is a joke.