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.
Monday, February 29, 2016
A seven year old child was slowly beaten to death over a period of months in Toronto. She was in the custody of a couple who received custody from the child's mother who was a drug addict. Last Saturday's Waterloo Region Record carried this story titled "Child services failed girl, 7". The child's school contacted child welfare authorities five times based upon noticeable injuries as well as prolonged absences. There was ample information at two agencies to have rescued Katelynn Sampson from her abusive guardians but it never happened.
The coroner's inquest into the child's death had many recommendations. The problem simply was that those responsible for her safety above and beyond her guardians did not act when it was desperately needed. Apparently there were other agencies besides Children's Aid who had knowledge and should have acted but failed to do so. All these agencies knew that both guardians had criminal convictions although the newspaper story does not say what they were for. A truly horrific case and a grotesque failure by our child welfare authorities.
Friday, February 26, 2016
Today's Waterloo Region Record carrys this Comment piece from Derek James From, a lawyer with the Canadian Constitution Foundation. The title above of this posting is part of his basic thesis. Overall he states that governments absolutely must not have a monopoly upon expression, artistic, political or otherwise. He advises that Alberta's Human Rights Commission for example should have offerred "...a fulsome defence of freedom of expression and the need for limitations on the government's authority to control artistic expression..." during a 2003 hearing regarding hate speech. They found in favour of a musical band on other weaker grounds rather than on the inherent rights of free speech.
Surprisingly Canada still has a blasphemy provision in the Criminal Code. While it has not been used for many years nevertheless it does give the government permission to jail Canadian citizens for two years for saying unsavoury things on religious topics. This again is unconscionable in a free society particularily including a secular one.
What Mr. From does not mention are Canada's archaic Libel laws. Yours truly went through nearly eight years of court dates, motions, trial and then including after the court decision by a biased and incompetent judge; the final out of court negotiations to reverse the idiot Judge's decision. It all ended up as a formal settlement and was filed with Superior Court in Kitchener, Ontario. My "sin" was in publicly advocating the removal of a teacher with a long history both in and out of the classroom of instability, mental health issues and conflicts with students resulting in their parents removing them from the classroom. My nine year old son was but one of the many adversely affected students. My free speech and human rights were attacked by vested and powerful interests and lobbys as well as by the personal wealth of one of the parties. Indeed Canada has no right to be haughty or arrogant on matters of free speech.
Thursday, February 25, 2016
Decades ago I was advised that there are good schools in Waterloo Region and that it was despite the school boards. Basically it was because if a school had some good teachers and a good principal then no matter how flawed the Board's policies and directives, the school would succeed in teaching children. Similarily I believe that there are some good results delivered from the public service despite the best efforts or lack thereof by our governments. Whether municipal, regional, provincial or federal; in certain areas Canadians are well served despite the idiots in power.
Today's Woolwich Observer has this Editorial by Steve Kannon titled "It's evident that governments care only for those who keep them in power". His editorial is a damning indictment of Canadian governments in general although he focuses on our provincial Liberal government. He points out that public sector unions are notorious for donating money to the Liberals albeit through third party groups. From the Ontario Fire Fighters' Association and most especially the Teachers' Unions the donations keep on flowing to the Liberals who then repay them through their exhorbitant wages. The third party groups allegedly include a front group called "Working Families" and another known as "Project Ontario".
The bottom line is that self-interest has become the primary motivation for decision making. Canadian citizens are the losers in all this.
Wednesday, February 24, 2016
Today's Waterloo Region Record carrys this story titled "Oberlander wins back citizenship". Twenty full years the Canadian government has been trying to revoke Helmut Oberlander's citizenship and deport him. They've won and they've lost multiple times in court and Mr. Oberlander at age 92 is still with us and still a Canadian citizen. For me it's always been about the math. That plus a recent article I recently read that described the horrors of the Adolf Eichman trial shortly after the war. The biggest horror wasn't the already known genocide and ethnic cleansing; it was the utter normalacy of Eichman and his contemporaries prior to and during the early part of the second World War. That was the real horror how someone with a normal upbringing could blindly follow rules, regulations and even orders resulting in mass murder.
Perhaps as a smaller comparison would could look at otherwise decent whitefolk in certain southern states who as late as the 1960s honestly believed that negroes weren't really human and thus hanging and worse wasn't a crime. Getting back to my comment in the first paragraph about doing the math; simply subtract the years since 1945 (end of the war) from Oberlanders's current age of 92. The war ended 71 years ago hence Oberlander was 21 years old at the END of the war. At the start (1939) he was 16 years old. While someone that age certainly knows right from wrong I simply can't believe that he was either giving orders or on his own initiative assisting in genocide. In fact that age (16 or 17) speaks more to a child soldier than an adult. No one that age should be within 1000 miles of a war front or be put in any position dealing with prisoners of war or incarcerated civilians.
His story while dramatically different than Omar Khadr's does have some similarities. The biggest one is the ongoing Conservative Party attack upon child soldiers and trying to hold them to account for the barbarity of war. Hopefully our new Liberal federal government will take a totally different approach to Mr. Oberlander as they appear to be doing with Mr. Khadr.
Tuesday, February 23, 2016
Yesterday's Waterloo Region Record carried the following story titled "Duffy trial ending...with a wimper" written by Geoff Stevens. Mr. Stevens suggests that the trial was never a conventional criminal prosecution but rather "It was a political prosecution, a show trial staged by Duffy's own Conservatives to disguise (a)...". Essentially Mr. Stevens is suggesting that Mike Duffy's own party through him under the bus in order to cover their own guilty butts. Somewhat balancing his disdain for the Conservative Party, Mr. Stevens also suggests that Mike Duffy was not the ideal Senator but rather "...the product of a shabby patronage system that rewards political loyalty, not public service.'.
Mr. Stevens strongly suggests that there is ample reasonable doubt in order for Mr. Duffy to be acquitted on the charges against him. Apparently the Senate's rules were loosely drafted and loosely applied. That makes it pretty difficult to be held responsible for allegedly violating them. Overall it does seem bizarre to have wasted everybody's time and money in prosecuting Mike Duffy according to Geoffrey Stevens. Very shortly we will see if the Judge agrees.
Monday, February 22, 2016
Apparently change from within the Mounties isn't going to happen. Both last Saturday and today's Waterloo Region Record have articles describing the toxic workplace that is our Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Aside from the moral and ethical considerations, how about the legal ones. This is an organization allegedly devoted to upholding the laws of the land. Apparently for them that doesn't include laws dealing with equitable treatment of women. The latest allegations are from CBC News reporting "allegations of unwanted sexual touching, bullying and rampant nudity in the workplace at the explosives training unit of the Canadian Police College in Ottawa".
"Rampant nudity in the wokplace..."??? Holy crap if I were involved in explosives training I tend to think that I'd be wearing more clothes not less. What the hell is going on here? Is this nudity perhaps in the barracks or living quarters attached to the workplace? Or is it literally as the article states "...in the workplace...?
Regardless the other allegations of bullying and unwanted sexual touching are just too close to what numerous women have been stating for years. The Mounties are an Old Boys Club who clearly from the top down do not want female collegues. They need to be dragged screaming into the 21st century and that means heads at the top must roll. Nothing less will make this organization a modern crime fighting, world class organization. Saturday's Record article is titled "Goodale outraged with Mounties".
Friday, February 19, 2016
Today's Waterloo Region Record carrys the following story titled "Ottawa won't appeal Khadr's ruling". The Court of Queen's bench in Alberta had determined that Canadian Omar Khadr could be released on bail while he's awaiting his appeal of his U.S. convictions and sentence. Omar had been imprisoned for nearly thirteen years including being held in Guantanamo. This was a result of a firefight which killed his collegues and severely wounded himself. U.S. forces had attacked the house that they were all in, in Afganistan. A U.S. militarty court convicted him of murder after allegedly throwing a grenade one at the age of fifteen and secondly after having received multiple serious wounds.
Canada's Conservative government treated him shamefully for years as they sucked up to the U.S. first, and only barely showed any interest in Omar who was and is a Canadian citize. The issue of child soldier among others has been raised in Omar's defence for years as he was only fifteen years old at the time. It is long past time that our federal government changed their position with Omar Khadr and credit goes to the new Liberal government for so doing.
Thursday, February 18, 2016
Today's Waterloo Region Record carrys the following article by Maggie MacDonald of Environmental Defence, titled "Time to reform pesticides management rules". Health Canada's Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) is at the centre of the problem. "Conditional registration" is a major policy which has exacerbated a very bad situation. It allows companies to 'register" pesticides for agriculural use on the condition that data on safety and environmental impacts be submitted later. This later can be years later or sometimes never. Similarily there have been unconscionable delays in cancelling registrations for pesticides that have been shown to have unacceptable risks.
One example given is the failure to act promptly regarding neonicotonoids and their negative effects upon bees. While Ontario has taken action the federal government has not. Recently Canada's Environment Commissioner has issued a report which makes it clear that a major overhaul of the PMRA is required. Tinkering and bandaids will not restore credibility to either the PMRA or to Health Canada.
Wednesday, February 17, 2016
Approximately ten months ago Dr. Henry Regier of Elmira, Ontario wrote a document titled "What's dysfunctional about the Process to Correct Environmental Pollution in Woolwich Township". Dr. Regier compares the process between what's happened here locally in Elmira surrounding the former Uniroyal Chemical contaminated site versus the 43 Areas of Concern around the Great lakes. The International Joint Commission (IJC) was involved following the passage of the 1972 Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement (GLWQA). This agreement between Canada and the United States was necessary to restore 43 horrific examples of pollution affecting the Great lakes and associated harbours, bays, rivers and cities.
Here in Elmira bureaucrats of the Ontario Ministry of the Environment have both given the company , now Chemtura Canada, free rein. The company and their consultants have set the Agenda, forged ahead without community acceptance or agreement and essentially muzzled criticism and serious , well expressed concerns for the last twenty-six years. Both local municipal and regional governments have been of limited assistance and at times have clearly felt their assistance should be towards the company not the residents. Dr. Regier describes in detail some of the tactics of both municipal councillors as well as M.O.E. personnel not to mention Chemtura and their bought and paid for consultants.
As Dr. Regier describes this dysfunctional process he also points out the inevitable reaction to it by certain local activists. These reactions include public shaming of guilty parties and colourful language and descriptions of some of the ridiculous actions and words of those guilty parties.
Tuesday, February 16, 2016
No one has ever told me or I expect any member of the public as to what opportunities there are to file private charges against lawbreaking companies or individuals. Currently there are ten charges under the Municipal Elections Act (MEA) filed against mayor Shantz in Woolwich Township. Are private charges simply permissable if an individual piece of legislation says so or are there a group or class of laws that are open to this type of enforcement? Questions like this should be common knowledge but are not.
Currently I and mayor Shantz have been waiting for months to see if a Crown Prosecuter will pick up theses charges and proceed with them or not. While I have had some small communications with the original prosecuter, I don't even know the name of the out of town prosecuter recently appointed. Above and beyond the contraventions of the MEA, is the disturbing fact that I believe that mayor Shantz did not comply with the conditions put upon her for reinstatement to her office by Justice David Broad, last July. If that is correct then I believe that she is operating illegally as the mayor of Woolwich Township. Again if that is so, that is astonishing that no authority to date has stepped forward and either said yes or no. I am beginning to get the very bad understanding that our legal system is simply a playground for the wealthy; no one else need apply for justice.
Friday, February 12, 2016
I don't get it. We were advised by screaming headlines and shocked media commentators that Canada had their own version of Bill Cosby. Gramted that would be the to date unconvicted Bill Cosby but you get the idea. The Canadian version was allegedly one Jian Ghomeshi, CBC superstar. The lurid details were allegedly that he was into rough sex with multiple willing or less than willing partners. Early on I thought I heard that there going to be six to ten femalee complainants prepared to go to court to get justice and to stop this terrible person.
Well now I'm confused. the trial is over and the Judge is working on his decision. All total of three complainants have some credibility problems to varying degrees. Normally I understand that Prosecuters, in a case involving multiple complainants, would select the ones most credible, articulate, brave and confident. If that's the case then what the hell happened? I'm not saying that Mr. Ghomeshi is innocent. I really don't know. What I do know is that all three of the witnesses/complainants have not done future legitmate complainants/victims any favours. I'm told that I'm not supposed to determine a witness's credibility by her behaviour after the alleged incident. Well I'm sorry but that's difficult to do when the alleged behaviour is towards the one and same person charged with sexually assaulting them. I truly don't get it. Did the Crown screw up in their choice of witnesses? Were there other women who came forward but were unwilling to testify in court? In my opinion our judicial system has some explaining to do now, and after the verdict, whatever it might be.
Thursday, February 11, 2016
Today's Woolwich Observer carrys the following opinion by Steve Kannon titled "Bureaucracies have way of leading to undemocratic, if not evil outcomes". This is essentially a very dark view of both the world and our governance structures. I'm not saying that I disagree simply that it does not gve much hope for right being done even in democracies.
Quotes such as the following give the flavour of Steve's position: "At the provincial and federal levels, the public good is never a consideration.'. Or "For the most part, there is a certain inevitability that things will change in the direction of those with the most influence and money.". Referring to the Nazis and other tyrannies Steve says "Today's bureaucracies are similar in nature if not in degree to those groups.". Wow!
Back to the Nazis Steve quotes Hannah Arendt as saying "the trouble with Eichmann was precisely that so many were like him, and that the many were neither perverted nor sadistic, they were, and still are, terrifyingly normal.". Without referring to Woolwich council I certainly see them in Steve's next quote: "Rather the real threat comes from politicians and bureaucrats who craft rules to avoid responsibility and to justify their decisions, no matter how poor, wasteful or harmful...".
The last quotes are close to my heart namely "our corrupt courts are part of a mirage of justice. The role of these government agencies and courts, and of the legislature, is to sanction abuse rather than halt it.". Finally referring to the water scandal in Flint, Michigan, Steve says "In a functioning judicial system, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder and Flint's former emergency manager, Darnell Earley, along with all the regulatory officials who lied as a city was being sickened, would be in jail facing trial.".
Steve has pulled no punches. It is a depressing outlook upon the state of our governance and it has become the norm rather than the exception.
Wednesday, February 10, 2016
Yesterday's Waterloo Region Record carried this column by Tim Harper titled "Put heckling MPs in the spotlight". Apparently the rules for television cameras are so biased as to make identification of hecklers and other disruptive politicians essentially impossible. Even when the Speaker admonishes a guilty party who is intentionally disrupting whoever has the floor at the moment, the Television cameras are not allowed to pan to the offender. They stay solely upon the speaker. hence with rules like this there is essentially no accountability for the rudest of politicians to yell, heckle and disrupt as much as they want. Also if the cameras were allowed to pan the Commons the public would see the empty seats, backbenchers on their iPads and cellphones plus the various rude hand gestures as well. What a bunch of misbehaving children we have in our federal House of Commons.
Tuesday, February 9, 2016
Yesterday's Waterloo Region Record carried this following commentary by Branka Marijan titled "Why are our police becoming like soldiers?". The Toronto Police Service has ordered 51 military style rifles known as C8s. They are manufactured by Colt here in Kitchener, Ontario. The question of course seems to be that our police have never been undergunned with any local badguys so why are they further arming when the public pressure is on them to de-escalate not go the other way. Mr. Marijan warns of creeping militarization ans advises that it is occurring across Canada. This includes armoured vehicles and even in Vancouver a Military Liason Unit which interacts both with the Canadian forces and even the United Styaes National Guard. All of this seems problematic when the public see police issues of lack of communication and inability to deal with paersons in crisis without killing them.
Monday, February 8, 2016
I was going to start by saying "My God, here we go again!". However it turns out that this latest problem isn't quite as brand new afterall. Back on Januray 19/16 I had posted here about neverending wrongdoing with our Waterloo Regional Police. Well it turns out last Saturday's Waterloo Region Record article was simply the details of a very sparse Record writeup last January 19. Saturday's story is titled "Waterloo officer facing criminal charges is suing police". It seems that this officer, Constable Jeremy Snyder, was acquitted of a rape charge that had allegedly occurred in August 2012. Then last month Regional Police further charged him with assault, mischief and making threats. Similarily last month Constable Snyder filed a civil suit against the Waterloo Regional Police alleging that their initial investigation into the rape allegations against him, were negligent. What the heck is going on here? I do not know whether the fresh criminal charges or the civil suit was filed first or whether it is relevant. In does sort of seem like both sides are jockeying and trying to get leverage on the other one. Whatever the case may be, someone, somewhere has to be keeping track of the legal trials and tribulations of the Waterloo Regional Police, whether civil or criminal. Why are we having what feels like neverending scandals, charges and aberrant behaviour by Waterloo's finest?
Friday, February 5, 2016
Today's Waterloo Region Record advises us that the local Teachers' Union have decided to call for a boycott of the local newspaper. That is an incredibly hostile and bullying manoevre especially when one recognizes the value in local newspapers at a very time for them. On-line news combined with all kinds of personal devices to access it has put hard copy newspapers in a very difficult position financially. The latest newspaper to shut down would be the Guelph Mercuy and let's not forget the Elmira Independent having gone that route last summer. The title of the article in today's Record is "Teachers' union calls for boycott of The Record".
Once again it is the ever aggressive public elementary teachers' union who are behind this action. Seems their controversial job actions last fall caused some public relations headaches and they especially didn't like the coverage by Louisa D'Amato of the Record. They claim that there has been "one sided reporting" by her over the past year. Interesting but I believe that I've been reading her columns for a couple of decades or more and she has long been on the education beat and called a spade a spade. Her reporting has not changed so I have to think that this is simply the teachers' unions bullys thinking that the Record are vulnerable at this time to their pressure. Once more shame on the public elementary teachers' union.
Thursday, February 4, 2016
Employers love to have it all their way. Workers can't sue them for injuries caused by negligent employers, foremen, supervisers or workplaces that are inherently unsafe. Allegedly the now WSIB (Workplace Safety & Insurance Board) have expedited things and removed the confrontational legal system from the mix. In reality they through the government and industrial lobby groups are constantly reducing premiums via reducing payments both in amount and duration. This can be accomplished through very simple administrative means. Last Saturday's Waterloo Region Record carrys this story titled "Worker benefits clawbacks "devastating"".
One of the more blatant methods used by the WSIB is to disregard the opinion of the doctors treating injured workers. Instead they rely on their own doctors looking at the paperweork submitted. Not even having their own doctors examine the injured workers seems outrageous. The Ontario Federation of Labour believes that for far too long employers have been getting off the hook for injuries sustained at their worksites.
Wednesday, February 3, 2016
Yesterday's Waterloo Region Record carrys this story titled "Hundreds of Ontario adoptions on hold". This is the disgusting and contemptible mess caused by Children's Aid Societies in combination with the Motherisk Drug Laboratory run by the Toronto Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. While only two to three hundred cases are up for review, in fact thousands of child protection and criminal cases have been affected by the flawed drug testing conducted at Sick Kids Hospital under the Motherisk program. The article actually states that the lab "frequently misinterpreted" the test results.
Good Lord families have been torn apart by CAS using these flawed lab results to incorrectly claim that mothers were using drugs while raising their children. Interestingly the newspaper article headlines and story seem more concerned with the prospective adoptive parents who are currently on hold. What about the parents of the children who were immorally and illegally, seized from them on false grounds? Think about them and what this has done to them as well as to their children. Once again irresponsible state intervention has caused tragedies on an indescribale scale. Heads should roll and accountability must rule. Furthermore while parents and children can never get the precious time back stolen by the state, some form of compensation is required along with written apologies. Seizing children from parents should be a last resort, not something made simple via improper or incompetent lab testing of hair samples.
Tuesday, February 2, 2016
Last Saturday's Waterloo Region Record carrys this story titled "Inquest jury offers 17 suggestions following work site fatality". Maybe right there is the whole problem. "suggestions" don't seem to be cutting it here. Waterloo Region alone has had far too many unecessary, premature deaths due to on the job safety shortcuts still being far too prevalent. I personally worked in the construction sector off and on for years and never so much as saw an inspector from the Ministry of labour. Safety culture, at least in non-union companies, I found to be non-existent. If you wanted to keep your job, you kept your mouth shut.
The fatal accident on October 13, 2013 claimed the life of Nick Lalonde, a 23 year old father of a very young child. Apparently there was "...no place for him to fasten a security rope and workers signalling the crane operator were not properly trained.". The Inquest Jury made specific "recommendations", "suggestions" and "encouragement" to the Ministry of Labour, Maison Canada and Central Construction Ltd.. Both comapnies were fined for contraventions of the Occupational Health and Safety Act of Ontario. Small solace that is for Nick Lalonde's family and friends.
Monday, February 1, 2016
You know it's almost as bad the stickhandling, manipulation and blatant lying that goes on after a public body has abused their trust and authority. In this case it's the Toronto police and their police services board. Today's Waterloo Region Record carrys the following story titled "Proposed G20 class action before court". These class action lawsuits are in regards to the illegal, immoral and undemocratic mass detentions in Toronto in 2010 perpetrated by the Toronto police and either or our provincial and federal governments. Shame on the pack of those filth.
Toronto police arrested more than 1,000 people during the G20 summit in June 2010. It is my understanding that of the 1,000 people detained a grand total of half a dozen may actually have been tried and convicted of offences. That said to date there have been two Toronto police officers charged and convicted of assault plus a superintendant still awaiting his day in court for having given the illegal orders to mass arrest citizens who either had zero involvement with the protest or were peacefully exercising their rights to protest.