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.
Thursday, March 31, 2016
Last Saturday's Waterloo Region Record carried this story titled "Sun shone brightly on local six-figure earners". Our chief medical officer of health is paid $304,111 per year. Do you think that if she can be removed by regional council that she would ever offer up an opinion different than what they tell her? Our chief of police with the Waterloo Regional Police earned $266,000 per year. Similar question to him as to the chief medical officer of health. Oh and there are 550 employees of the regional police in the Sunshine Club (ie. incomes > $100,000/year).
The City of Kitchener has about 300 employees on the sunshine list whereas Cambridge has only 190 and Waterloo a trifling 88 employees.
I have a question. How many of these have totally unique skill sets that can't be found elsewhere? How many of them are paid these monies from our taxes just to make sure they mind their p's and q's and don't ever rock the boat? Don't ever, ever offer up a public opinion contrary to the mayor's or council's? My opinion is that fewer right on the $100,000 mark and most if not all above the $200,000 salary level.
Wednesday, March 30, 2016
Today's Waterloo Region Record carrys this Opinion piece by staffer Luisa D'Amato titled "Woolwich council should be listening to its citizens, not censoring the.". I was present during this confrontation initiated, exacerbated and manufactured by five Wolwich Councillors. Dr. Dan Holt was more than a match for all five. Yes he did receive some assistance from Councillor Patrick Merlihan who was appalled by the behaviour of his colleagues on council. Council have a bee in their bonnet both in regards to myself and in regards to the other seven citizen volunteers and members of the Citizens Public Advisory Committee (CPAC).
This Council have been caught repeatedly breaking rules and laws (Municipal Act) and apparently they aren't done yet. They tried to shut me down last February 2 at Council and they tried to shut down Dr. Holt last Tuesday (March 22) evening. Their excuses and rationale are less than pathetic. The truth is they are hell bent on protecting Chemtuura Canada and the Ontario Ministry of Environment from appropriate and honest criticism by informed citizens. Meanwhile the Dioxins, DDT and more are still in the sediments and floodplain soils of Canagagigue Creek all the way down to the Grand River, five miles away.
Tuesday, March 29, 2016
Last Saturday's Waterloo Region Record carrys a story titled "Verdun compares himself to journalist who was jailed". I'd gotten so used to the bad press Bob Verdun has received from the Record that at first blush I actually thought this one wasn't too bad. In hindsight it is. Way too much superfluous, derogatory comment is included about Mr. Verdun's being denied an appeal by the country's top court. Many readers don't know that the Record got their asses kicked by Verdun in Elmira and area when he started the Elmira Independent which soon blew the Signet (Record) off the map locally.
Secondly Canada's Libel laws are no prize. For a wealthy bigshot to sucessfully sue a former journalist for Libel isn't that much of a surprise. The onus is totally on the person being sued to prove his innocence of the civil charges not for the state or a private party who initiated the suit to prove their case. Hence Libel law is one of the few areas of law with a reverse onus included in the charges. Essentially it appears as if the Judge and court presume you're guilty until you prove otherwise and proving anything as subjective as Libel law is difficult especially with certain judges. It's also like proving a negative in that how do you prove you didn't do something?
Monday, March 28, 2016
At one time in my lifetime I could joke that having police officers with a Grade 10 education kind of indicated their lack of academic skills. It's more difficult nowadays as newer officers have required much higher academic standards than ever before. That of course means a high school diploma and community college as well. Last Saturday's Waterloo Region Record carried a disturbing front page article written by Jeff Outhit titled "Critics see systemic racism in police stops". The figures are presented for all to see. Yes they do indicate some racial profiling. Truth be told not as much as I would have expected. In fact as a white person I am quite ticked as to how many of us white folks got stopped and intimidated into giving police our names. This entire "carding" procedure is nonsense and must be stopped entirely whether black or white, green or yellow.
Saturday, March 26, 2016
I found the Prosecutor's 20-30 minute speech to be self-serving and bizarre in Provincial Offences Court last Wednesday morning. As much as possible he went out of his way to say nice things about mayor Shantz. Things like she demonstrated good faith. Things like she remedied and corrected her errors when she was made aware of them. In my opinion both of those statements by Mr. Fraser Kelly of London, Ontario are inaccurate. Why did the Crown Prosecutor feel it necessary to buttress the credibility or honesty of the accused?
Mr. Kelly seemed to have little compunction against criticizing my actions. Some of the criticism was subtle. Things like Mr. Marshall again did not appeal the Compliance Audit Committee's (MECAC) decision to the Ontario Court of Justice (OCJ). Mr. Kelly knew exactly why I did not appeal those decisions to the OCJ because he asked me why in my two hour and five minute interview with him 45 hours before Wednesday's Court appearance. He failed in presenting a balanced, truthful scenario.
Fraser Kelly emphasized that several of the charges were "improper". How were they improper? Did Mr. Kelly give the impression to the court that these "improper" charges were due to a failure on my part? I came away from court feeling that way. Was there something obvious in the Municipal Elections Act that somewhere said that only evenly numbered Sections of the Act are chargeable offences and odd numbered Sections are merely filler? Is there a magic phrase in certain Sections such as "May" or "May not" that determine if a candidate can be charged for failing to comply with that Section but it's O.K. to not comply with other Sections? Finally why was I not given the courtesy of a copy of the Crown Prosecutor's decision?
These alleged "improper" charges are not remotely due to any failure on my part. I went to the courts in actual and real "good faith". I relied upon Superior Court in Kitchener to advise me as to what I had to do to properly lay an "Information" which didn't become charges until after a Justice of the Peace went over the "Information" slowly and carefully and in detail. Yes it took two different J.P.s to finally succeed at this. Was that my fault? Was it my fault that I had to attend Superior court six Fridays in a row to finally get these charges laid? Was it my fault that the process is stilted, awkward and agonizingly slow? I don't think so.
Two Justice's of the Peace over six weeks. Two Prosecutors (Andres & Kelly) over six months and approx. six court appearances. Two private meetings one on December 23/15 with Mr. Andres and one on March 21 with Mr. Kelly. And then on March 23/16 Fraser Kelly springs on me in open court that four or five of my ten charges are "improper"? When did either of these prosecutors actually figure that out? I mean each and every charge was a one sentence simple and brief statement. For example charge one "Sandra Shantz failed to record as Contributions all goods and services given to her municipal election campaign contrary to Section 66.(1) of the Municipal Elections Act (1996)ie. MEA on March 27, 2015." Similarily charge two was just as straightforward namely "Sandra Shantz failed to record as Expenses all goods and services used in her municipal election campaign contrary to Section 67.(1) of the Municipal Elections Act (1996) ie MEA".
If and I say IF there are flaws in these charges what are they? I've doublechecked the Section numbers. Did I make a spelling error? Maybe a grammatical error? The date (March 27/15) preceeded all the charges but I added it anyways for some of them. Was this a failure?
And now the final kicker. Could my alleged "improper" charges have been amended or corrected at any point in time? Could they have been corrected three months ago? Two days before court? How about now? The silence from the court is both deafening and sickening. Is this just one more example of the courts doing in an unrepresented litigant (URL)? I am left with the impression that the courts have just played a big joke on me. They exploited some minor flaw that was their responsibility in the first place, not mine, in order to withdraw all the charges.
What exactly is the definition of "withdraw" charges? Is this the same as "stayed" the charges? Again for incredibly more time and money I could hire a lawyer to answer some of these questions. Silly me I thought I was already paying through the nose via taxes to have the courts work for me. Clearly not and clearly the courts have just behaved in a manner to have brought themselves into disrepute. A lot of disrepute.
Thursday, March 24, 2016
This is reproduced from another Blog and is in regards to the mayor of Woolwich Township having all Municipal Election Act(MEA) charges withdrawn yesterday.
These above biases are built into the Municipal Elections Act whether intentionally or not. Any law that puts the sole responsibility upon citizens and laypersons while assiduously avoiding giving them any practical assistance or means to fulfill their responsibilities is a sham. At every step of the way the system have done their absolute utmost to throw up roadblocks of time, money and frustration. From the wrong Forms handed out to me last September, followed by sending the case to the wrong court (Superior) and now finally telling me six months later that some of the ten charges I laid are "improper"; this process has been a bust and it's all on our judicial system. Customer service? Non-existent. Client respect? Zero. Oh and let's not forget the idiocy of having Justices of the Peace only available at Superior Court for this process ONE DAY OF THE WEEK namely Fridays. What a pathetic joke. Yet the Municipal Elections Act claims that citizens can go directly to the Courts to have the Act enforced . Pure, lying bullshit. I wanted to see if I had finally found a law holding politicians accountable for their inattention, stupidity, mistakes or downright dishonesty and disrespect for the law. If such a law exists it isn't the Municipal Elections Act.
Then we have the Crown. I have in writing from the out of town Crown the statement that he will not do any investigation whatsoever. Not even a phone call or request to the police for assistance. Everything and I mean everything constituting evidence must be spoonfed to the Crown. I and every other citizen have zero authority to collect evidence, interview witnesses or in any fashion whatsoever compel cooperation in this investigation. Oh and yes meanwhile the Crown yesterday stated in court that under the Elections Act I am not able to charge the accused with the offence of Obstruction (Section 93 MEA) for either her lawyer's dispicable attempt to keep me out of Superior Court last July or for her ten minute "ambush" of me with 30 pages of documents just prior to the July 2/15 hearing. According to the Crown yesterday this Obstruction charge doesn't apply to me. While I am the complainant I am a legal nonperson apparently.
All the Crown had to do was request an interview with the mayor's accountant. Nope he wouldn't even ask.
The Crown advised the court that eventually the mayor had included all her Contributions (donations) after multiple Financial Statements. He is of course guessing about that. They kept rising throughout the process. He was a little less clear about her expenses. Despite a minimum of four Financial Statements she did not include expenses such as her live band as pointed out here in my February 4/16 posting. Further evidence could have been obtained by a phone call or interview with the Elmira Curling Club but of course that was out of the question. Crown's are very busy people.
I mentioned four Financial Statements. Actually there is testimony to another one that was removed from the Township's website prior to the February 2/15 one going up. Of course neither the mayor nor the Township ever got around to mentioning this allegation to MECAC, Superior Court or anyone else. I advised the Crown as to the name of the person who gave me this tantalising information. Think of the implications which I also pointed out to the Crown. Would the Crown pick up the phone and make a call to confirm this statement to me. Nope! Would he get the Regional Police to make such a call? Nope! Is this a failure by the Crown or is the justice system totally and completely biased against sucessfully prosecuting violaters of the Municipal Elections Act? Or is it both? I'm not sure.
Yes Woolwich CAO Brenneman I do have an audio copy of the October 26/15 MECAC (Compliance Audit Committee) meeting. Yes I knew exactly what I was speaking of when I accused you and possibly assorted staff of failing to accurately record the facts of that meeting in your Minutes. I gave a copy of that recording to the Crown. Was the Crown keen on the clearly biased and leading comments or questions of the MECAC panel? No he wanted to know how, who and where I obtained the audio recording. At first blush I thought he just wanted to satisfy himself that it was legal and acceptable in court. Now I'm thinking it's as likely that he was looking for evidence against me. That is disturbing.
I sat down with the out of town Crown less than 48 hours before Wednesday's 9 am. Court appearance. Oddly while the Police weren't interested in helping me last summer with concerns and allegations I took to them including the Township's failure and delay in removing the mayor who had automatically forfeited her position (Section 80 MEA); nevertheless they were there for the two hour meeting last Monday. Also I believe it was a Regional Police Officer (Detective J. Murray) who arranged the appointment for last Monday. Oh and this same officer has had further recent dealings with the out of town Crown. What exactly is going on versus what I'm being told? Instead of investigating MEA contraventions am I being set up for something? Was Monday's meeting really to assist the Crown in further understanding of the MEA case or was I invited there under false pretenses? Would our Regional Police do such a thing? Is the Pope Catholic?
Then of course there is the Crown's nitpicking. Add to this the Crown advising the Court yesterday that it was not in the public interest to prosecute mayor Shantz on the Municipal Election Act (MEA) charges. I would agree it's not in her interests to prosecute her. Why is it not in the public interest? What is the Crown's criteria for claiming it's not in the public interest? Who made those criteria if they even exist? Yesterday was a very sad day for the public, citizens and taxpayers . Unsurprisingly politicians everywhere are probably very happy with how it went. It was not justice. Nice try though.
Tuesday, March 22, 2016
The accused blew multiple times above the standard on a breathalizer test several hours after his truck hit and damaged the Burlington Skyway. That evidence was ruled inadmissable as the test was given after the three hour deadline. Also it turned out that the OPP had not advised the defendant of his reason for being detained as well as of his right to counsel. Last Friday's Waterloo Region Record carried this story titled "Second OPP bungle in Skyway case excused". Also today's paper states that the accused has been convicted of dangerous driving and acquitted of mischief endangering life.
All in all this gentleman is extremely fortunate considering his drinking, driving and then incredibly damaging accident to have only received the one conviction. Yours truly drove dump trucks for many years (decades) and was always cognizant of the state of the box on the truck. There are two levers involved and there was not any warning light or buzzer on any trucks I drove to tell me if the Power takeoff was engaged or if the handle was in the up position. That was on me to always know the status of the controls for the box.
Friday, March 18, 2016
The President of the Waterloo Region local of the ETFO, Greg Weiler, appears to be talking both through his hat and in a self serving manner. In today's Waterloo Region Record Opinion column of Luisa D'Amato, she quotes Mr. Weiler's opinions concerning standarized provincial testing. He is adamantly against it. His reasons however in my opinion are sheer nonsense. Luisa points out the positives for parents , children and educaters behind these tests and how they stimulate a focus on soild foundations of literacy and numeracy. Teachers' unions have certainly demonstrated great strides in their literacy, their puffery and their overall backpatting talents. I wish both the weaker teachers and their union were willing to put half that effort into improving student learning.
Thursday, March 17, 2016
Literally for decades I have suggested that the major cause of automobile accidents is neither drunk driving nor certainly not speeding on its' own. The term that I have long used is driving HUA which means Head Up Ass. A very large percentage of our drivers are driving by habit and instinct. They are far too self involved and self important to actually focus on one and only one task while behind the wheel. That involves 100% of one's attention to the ever more perilous task of navigating roads with more and more traffic on them.
Today's Woolwich Observer newspaper has an article titled "Distracted driving remains a leading cause of accidents". The Ontario Provincial Police have stated that for the last three years distracted driving has indeed been the leading cause of fatal car accidents in Ontario.
Distracted driving was first brought to the public's attention via the use of cellphones while driving but also includes self grooming, eating, tending to children and even for some, reading while driving.
Tuesday, March 15, 2016
Todd Cowan the former mayor of Woolwich Township has a respite until June 15/16 before he finds out his fate. Will it be guilty or not guilty in his recent fraud trial? Most of the betting seems to be on guilty but only time will tell. Meanwhile the current mayor of Woolwich has ten outstanding Municipal Election Act charges hanging over her head. The independent, out of town Prosecuter is keeping his cards close to his chest in regards as to whether or not he will be proceeding with prosecution. My understanding is that the two most important criteria are whether prosecution is in the public interest and whether or not the prosecution has a reasonable prospect of conviction. I can't really find much fault with those two criteria although I will add that may be because I feel that on that basis prosecution should proceed. .
Clearly I feel that the public are interested in whether or not their politicians are violating the Municipal Elections Act and secondly whether these violations are primarily incompetence and distraction or whether they did so knowingly and consciously. If the latter I'm not certain whether or not the public want the nitty gritty details as to why they would do so. Wholesale blatant fraud in an attempt to gain a tremendous advantage at the polls by grossly and illegally outspending one's opponents is one thing however attempting more modest and subtle advantages perhaps is less relevant. In the mayor's case to date both declared expenses and undeclared ones do not appear to exceed her maximum allowable expense threshold.
The mayor's next court date is eight days away (Wednesday March 23/16) at 9 am. in Provincial Offences Court, 77 Queen St. Kitchener.
Monday, March 14, 2016
Clearly there is a culture problem within the RCMP. It is an "Old Boys" club and not likely to change says a 28 year veteran of the force, Mr. Rob Creaser. He is trying to organize a union named the "Mounted Police Professional association". It is indeed a sad time when the Mounties are under ongoing internal complaints of harassment and assault with apparently no end in sight. The Waterloo Region Record carried this story on February 22/16 titled "Association calls for overhaul of RCMP".
Basically the Mounties close ranks around their own and their own by their definition does not include women in the ranks. These allegations, complaints and legal issues have been going on for many years and have not been handled appropriately or adequately. This is to the shame of the senior administration of the RCMP.
Friday, March 11, 2016
For well over two decades I've been reading Luisa D'Amato's opinions and comments on our educational system. They exhibit common sense as well as knowledge and experience in understanding and deciphering our two Boards's edubabble and puffery. While Luisa is usually diplomatic nevertheless anybody other than teacher union repss who have been reading Luisa's writing long enough, has to know that at least one of the two Boards don't really care a whit about students. It's all about them, their power and authority, perks, benefits, income and preferably public persona. This includes their partners in education the teachers' unions. Hence recently one of our local teachers' unions talked about a boycott of the Waterloo Region Record because of one of Luisa's columns. Poor babies.
Today's Record carrys Luisa's latest comments on education titled "Plan to raise student achievemnet is weak". Well after reading Luisa's article she is correct. What the Board (WRDSB) are passing off as a plan is just more of the same pablum for the masses. It does nothing because they don't want to change and have no incentive to do so. They have lost all moral authority to fix things from within. I wonder which other provincial partry forming a government down the road will take the bull by the horns and houseclean the self-serving, egocentric school board system?
Thursday, March 10, 2016
Today's Woolwich Observer has two very interesting opinion/comment articles written by Steve Kannon. The first is titled "Immigration can easily undermine a failing economy". While this is politically incorrect it is nonetheless accurate. One of the best lines in it is as follows: "Indirectly, higher immigration tends to suppress everyone's wages, transferring some $3.5 in wealth to employers from employees each year.".
The second article is titled Trump the choice of a growing number of people crushed by the greedy elites". This article explains the Donald Trump phenomenon south of the border. While the Donald is a boor nevertheless he has struck a chord with both the middle class and the failing classes. They are fed up with the establishment whether it be the Democratic or republican establishment. The Donald is neither. Steve Kannon suggests that Trump could ride this wave of discontent right into the White House as a protest President. Wow!
Wednesday, March 9, 2016
I've been posting on my "Elmira Advocate" Blog the last week or so in regards to the Region of Waterloo's Annual (Drinking Water Reports). These Reports are a huge disappointment in that they can hide numerous water quality problems right up to the point that the Region shut them down or take them out of service. Extremely high Method Detection Limits (MDLs) which basically only advise readers that there aren't contaminants above a certain concentration are one example. When we are advised that Glyphosate (Roundup) is <25 ppb. (ie. less than 25 parts per billion) we are basically being kept in the dark. Is there 10 ppb of Glyphosate in our treated drinking water, perhaps zero or as high as 24 ppb.?
Other problems include ubiquitous compounds found throughout urban areas including Toluene, Ethylbenzene and Xylenes, all courtesy of old and leaking gasoline stations, that are simply not reported. Even NDMA it turns out is much more common than we were advised it was twenty-five plus years ago in Elmira yet it is rarely if ever tested for and reported.
New wells are regularily added to wellfields and others shut down without a whisper. No explanations are given when they should be. Wells can have sleeves or liners put inside them in order to bypass contaminated aquifers or zones within aquifers and the wellscreen put into a different aquifer or even the same but at a different depth.
Wells with low levels of solvents can be diluted by having other wells raw water pumped into their reservoir thus combining them. Wells can be taken out of service and used as Interceptor Wells which basically capture contaminated groundwater coming from a specific source. The contaminated groundwater can be then pumped to waste with or without treatment. Also wells with low levels of solvents should stated in their Annual Reports as to which company, gas station etc. is the source of the contamination. I suspect there would be a much greater incentive for corporations to do better cleanups if their name was plastered all over these Annual Reports literally in some cases for decades after minimal "cleanups" have occurred.
In West Montrose the Region of Waterloo have been trucking water in to their reservoir for years but not advising either residents or the public as to how much of their drinking water is imported versus the highly contaminated (bacteria) raw water being treated on-site.
We the public cannot advise governments of our periorities as long as we are receiving censored or filtered information especially on important matters such as drinking water.
Tuesday, March 8, 2016
Today's Waterloo Region Record advises us that there will be a retrial of the accused Michael Ball. The title of the story is "Crown will attempt murder trial again". I find this somewhat bizarre. Clearly there were two adamant positions on the jury when they stated that they could not come to a unanimous decision. Some jury members must have been in favour of conviction and others not. In my mind a retrial is simply the Crown getting a different jury to come to a different decision based upon the very same evidence. Personally on a balance of probabilities I might conclude the young man is guilty. The problem for the Crown is the criteria is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt and how can you not have reasonable doubt when there is no proof that Erin Howlett was murdered in the first place? Pathologists simply are unable to conclude whether she died of a drug overdose, strangulation or other causes. Obtaining a different jury simply with a different mindset regarding reasonable doubt does not seem like justice to me. Better several guilty persons go free than one innocent person is wrongly convicted. This is the presumption of innocence until proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
Monday, March 7, 2016
This isn't the first time that I've seen a jury convict on a murder charge despite the failure of anyone to prove there was a murder at all. To me that is the first and foremost step necessary to obtain a murder conviction. There has to be a murder and it must be 100%. The case in today's Waterloo Region Record involves a Toronto mother accused of smothering her disabled teenage daughter. The tragedy of her young death is only compounded by the mother's conviction when there simply was no proof that the daughter had been smothered as the Crown alleged. A pathologist indciated that the daughter's death could have been caused by smothering but that he couldn't prove it. Seizures, lumg infections and other medical causes could have resulted in the daughter's cardiac arrest, not just the alleged smothering. I find this apparent need to assign blame very strange in cases of sudden death when medical professionals are unable to come to an agreement on cause of death. The title of today's story in the Record is "Mother found guilty in death of disabled teen".
Friday, March 4, 2016
Yesterday's Waterloo Region Record carried this astonishing story plus photograph on their front page titled "Bullying policy put to the test". Allegedly a male custodian "displayed" a nude photograph on his cellphone of a young girl to an adult female custodian at a union meeting. Apparently there were no other witnesses and no corroboration including after a police investigation which included examining the man's phone and computer. He was suspended with pay by the School Board for four months while the police investigated. No charges were laid.
Allegedly again he retaliated by phoning in a death threat to the woman and by driving by her house and making a threatening gesture. Once again no corroborating witnesses or evidence was found. Somehow on a balance of probability basis a Justice of the Peace found him guilty of these threats and has ordered he be the subject of a peace bond. Again it seems to be all a case of he said, she said. If her testimony is 100% accurate and honest then this fellow is a very bad apple. On the other hand if his testimony is 100% accurate then this woman is one mean, malicious, bullying individual. Somwehere inbetween I wonder if his "displying" a nude picture was more a case of her peeking at it versus being intentional and furthermore if what she viewed as a "young girl" was an eighteen or nineteen year old who looked younger. Make no mistake it is highly inappropriate to be looking at nude photos of anyone either at work, a union meeting or where someone nearby can see them but it isn't illegal. Also he has totally denied having any kind of nude photos on his cellphone and there is no corroborating evidence that he did.
Something is very wrong in this whole process. He was off work for four months albeit paid. He is the subject of a peace bond. If he has done nothing illegal much less inappropriate then he is the victim here as she has severely damaged his reputation. He denies any retaliation or threats. She claims to be scared to go to work, leave her home or even go shopping. The WRDSB are possibly simply covering their butts by hiring a security guard to walk her from her car to the school where she works. If and I emphasize if this fellow is really such a menace then she is in trouble wherever. The security guard is most likely unarmed and this woman is also not even remotely protected anywhere else. This to me is a case of where the police should be doing a serious background check on both individuals. One would think that as they are both in the employ of a school board and in close contact to children; that has already been done. If both have no criminal histories then maybe it's time to look at mental health issues. Somebody has gone way overboard here and deescalation all the way around is necessary. This most definitely includes ensuring that neither is working with or in proximity of the other ever again.
Thursday, March 3, 2016
Today's Waterloo Region Record carrys this story titled "Guelph officers won't face charges". We are advised that a nurse at Guelph General Hospital voluntarily gave a lethal weapon to a 36 year old male with medical problems. The "lethal" weapon was a pair of "bandage scissors". Really? Are bandage scissors what I think they are namely a very small scissors whose job literally is to trim a bandage to size? Apparently the two officers between them shot the man fatally, a total of six times. Wow. Were their lives seriously in danger? The Guelph Police Chief states that shooting was their last resort. O.K. what other resorts did they have? We're Batons, tasers or pepper spray employed or even considered? Have we come to the point that police are allowed to take a life to avoid less than fatal or even serious injury? How about a picture of this lethal weapon that the nurse voluntarily gave to the man. In other words it's high time that more information is given to the public in order that they can make an informed opinion and not be left guessing whether there's been a coverup or not. But for the private video regarding the Sammy Yatin death in Toronto, Officer Forcillo probably would have walked. More transparency is needed.
Wednesday, March 2, 2016
Todays Waterloo Region Record carrys this story titled "Casino capitolism made Flint crisis". The author Henry A. Giroux is a widely published social critic and a McMaster University professor. His basic thesis is that the intentional cost cutting of water services in Flint Michigan put the population in extreme danger knowingly. In order to balance budgets and or keep the good times rolling for those already in the top 5% financially it was deemed acceptable to put citizens health in harms way. "Flint makes clear that rather than considering children its most valuable resource, casino capitolism considers them surplus and throwaways in the unflagging pursuit of profits, power and the accumulation of capitol.". This of course relates to the lead poisoning which will have a much greater impact on children than on adults. This lead poisoning could have and should have been avoided but was not in order to save a nickel.
Tuesday, March 1, 2016
Today's Waterloo Region Record carrys this story titled "Mom exonerated in girl's death". Maria Shepherd had her manslaughter conviction quashed in a Toronto courthouse yesterday, twenty-five years after being convicted. Her three year old stepdaughter had died in 1991 in her care and based upon the evidence given in court by Dr. Smith, the Crown offerred her a major deal avoiding a lengthy prison sentence if she pled guilty. As she had other children to care for plus her own lawyer advised her to plead guilty, she did so.
Dr. Smith has since been stripped of his medical license and numerous other convictions have been sucessfully appealed based upon his now totally discredited work. He had such a leading reputation as a forensic expert and a pathologist that his evidence was essentially untouchable in court. It has since been found that his opinions were at best merely opinions which he embellished in order to secure convictions for the Crown.
The shame does not rest entirely with Dr. Smith. Forensic evidence has done much to secure convictions when no other evicence was available. Perhaps certain judicial authorities and or police found this magic bullet helpful to make up for weaknesses in their cases. In the long run besides destroying lives and actually convicting people of crimes that never took place; this blind reliance on a single "expert" has discredited our judicial system in the eyes of Canadian citizens.