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.
Saturday, April 30, 2016
Today's Waterloo Region Record carrys the following article titled "Ontario launches police oversight review". While the article focus on one fatal incident involving a hammer wielding man (Andrew Loku), the need for a review of the three police oversight agencies is based upon multiple deaths of civilians, some resulting in criminal charges and some not. The three agencies are the SIU (Special Investigations Unit), the OIPRD (Office of the Independent Police Review Director) and OCPC (Ontario Civilian Police Commission).
The nearest death geographically would be the shooting of a young man on Brybeck Cres. in Kitchener. While apparently not threatening anyone while holding a small knife he was nevertheless shot and killed by a Waterloo Regional Police officer. Obviously police are dealing with criminals as well as with people with mental health issues. Then there are young men with simply too much alcohol in their systems. The final straw with these three situations may also be some police with a little too much attitude who feel that merely disobeying their orders are shooting matters. They are not!
Friday, April 29, 2016
So Mike Duffy didn't take a bribe from Nigel Wright of the Prime Minister's Office (PMO). Always seemed odd that Duff was charged for receiving that $90,000 whereas Mr. Wright was not charged for giving it. Bizarre! A little prosecutorial or political bias perhaps? Today's Waterloo Region Record carrys this article by Michael Taube titled "Duffy verdict doesn't clear Senate stench".
Indeed it doesn't. Mr. Duffy didn't break the law but he and his cohorts certainly mangled , stickhandled and contorted Senate expense rules beyond belief. Clearly when the PMO are advising Senators as to which rules they can blithly ignore, it becomes obvious that the rules are and were primarily for show. Mr. Taube indicates that some Senators acted like pigs at the trough. He also correctly points out that this may have been a fatal wound to the Senate. Don't get me wrong I hardly believe that unelected Senators "steal" taxpayers money any more gratuitously than elected politicians do. Nor do I believe that expense rules for elected politicians are any more serious or enforced than the Senate's are/were.
Politics are all about power and entitlement. It really dosen't much matter at what level that is so.
Thursday, April 28, 2016
Everybody wants to believe in them. Some sort of very public investigation in which everything is explored and put out on the table for public consumption. There have been inquiies into disasters (Westray), deaths in custody ((Ashley Smith), violation of aboriginal rights (& death) ie. Dudley George and the Ipperwash Inquiry. My understanding is that those three I've mentioned were the real deal. Names were stated and fingers pointed at the guilty parties. In the Ashley Smith Inquiry most of the fingers were pointed at Corrections Service Canada. And on and on. So what's the catch? Do charges ever stem from the conclusions reached?
I'm a skeptic based upon decades of watching corruption, Canadian style. I've never found an institution or a set of rules or laws that cannot be overcome by human beings with ethical challenges. Money always seems to rule and to win with but notable exceptions merely underscoring the vast odds against honesty and truth beating money.
Codes of Conduct, Mission Statements, Corporate Goals and all the rest are merely windowdressing and puffery. Some say three leaf clovers are rarer than honest politicians. I disagree. I believe that three leaf clovers are far more common than honest politicians. We came close to a Public Inquiry in Elmira over Ministry of Environment corruption twenty-five years ago. The evidence now is even more overwhelming. Would it be an honest process if it happened later than never? Would it have been honest twenty-five years ago. I doubt it but I live in hope.
Wednesday, April 27, 2016
Yesterday's Waterloo Region Record carried this story titled "Cambridge council defers vote on code of conduct". Firstly many councils already have them. Unfortunately for many of those councils they are merely window dressing. Secondly the push right now to get all the Councils within the Region of Waterloo to have somewhat similar Codes of Conduct is due to the simultaneous push to have their very own regional Ombudsman. This too is simply to give citizens either the appearance that city hall cares about how they are treated or more likely simply to better insulate themselves against complaints to the Ontario Ombudsman who has achieved a reputation for doing good investigations.
Since January of this year the Ontario Ombudsman can now investigate the MUSH sector which includes Municipalities, universities, schools and hospitals. This is long overdue. Until last January all he was allowed to do with municipalities was to investigate improper closed door meetings ie. in camera. It has been my experience locally that Woolwich politicians are long on demanding good "behaviour" by citizens while totally disregarding the same rules for themselves. Hence I currently have a few complaints into the provincial (Ontario) Ombudsman regarding Woolwich Township.
Tuesday, April 26, 2016
Why you ask does it take six years for a class-action suit to get the go ahead against the Toronto Police Service for their reprehensible and unconstitutional behaviour against Canadain citizens? In June 2010 more than 1,000 people were arrested and "kettled" ie. confined at downtown Toronto intersections for several hours by the police. Many were then held in "inhumane conditions" at a makeshift detention centre. All this was so that the police could fish for particular individuals who had misbehaved at the G20 Conference. "Only in Canada you say".
This article was on-line courtesy of Yahoo News on April 6, 2016. I wonder exactly how long it would have taken to get individual citizens to court if they en masse had attacked the police in order to regain their lawful freedom? I wonder how our asinine courts, police and politicans would have responded to police injuries or heaven forbid fatalities as a direct result of their own illegal, unconstitutional and immoral behavior?
Let there be no doubt that this episode will go down in history perhaps as one of the worst and certainly most blatant civil rights abuses in a long Canadian history of abuses.
Monday, April 25, 2016
The Canadian federal government expropriated native land in 1942 for use by the Canadian Forces. It was not returned after the war. In 1995 during an occupation of the site by First Nation members, one of them, Dudley George, was shot and killed by the Ontario Provincial Police. George was unarmed. In 2007 the Ipeerwash Inquiry Commissioner Sidney Linton, called for the disputed land to be returned to the Stony Point First Nation immediately along with compensation. That occurred nine further years later and at last is back with its' rightful owners. Seventy-one years after the end of the Second World War is disgraceful and the shame lies with sucessive Canadian governments over the decades. The story is in the April 15, 2016 Waterloo Region Record and is titled "Feds, Ontario First Nation formally settle over Ipperwash".
Saturday, April 23, 2016
Our former Ontario Ombudsman, Andre Marin, did one hell of a job. Of course when your job is to expose bureaucratic and governmnet waste, lies and dodgy performance you can make a few enemies. Mr. Marin served with honour for two five year terms and it is too soon to see how the office is doing in his absence. that said I currently have complaints before them regarding Woolwich Township Staff and Council.
There was a small article in last Saturday's Waterloo Region Record titled "Former Ontario Ombudsman sues for wrongful dismissal". Apparently Mr. Marin was misled into believing that he would be reappointed by the Wynne Liberal government last fall. It did not happen and he believes that "...Wynne and the Liberals "orchestrated" his removal from public office because he was so critical of them.".
Same thing has happened up here in Woolwich Township (Elmira) where the mayor and council removed a citizens volunteer group from overseeing the Chemtura Canada cleanup because they did to good of a job and embarassed both the Ministry of Environment and Chemtura (formerly Uniroyal Chemical).
Friday, April 22, 2016
The Supreme Court of Canada have struck down two federal laws that Steven Harper and the Tories passed when in power. The one deals with minimum sentences for certain drug crimes and the other ends limits on credit for pre-trial detention. Both of these regressive laws the Conservatives tried to sell as being necessary to keep undesirables in jail longer. Among other issues speaking against minimum drug sentences are the instances where a person shares a small amount of marijuana with friends. The second instance basically penalizes to a much greater exyent the accused who is unable to get bail early on. Thus two ientical circumstances resulting in convictions could have widely varying jail time if the accused who didn't get bail is also not given credit for pre-trial detention. The article is laste week's (April 16/16) Waterloo region record and is titled "Top court quashes laws from Harper crime agenda".
Wednesday, April 20, 2016
Liberals and Conservatives. Conservatives and Liberals. Bad and worse depending on which way you believe. That they are cut from unfortunately very similar cloth is apparent in the proposed $15 billion sale of military vehicles to Saudia Arabia. The Conservatives made the deal and despite domestic opposition the Liberals want to consumate it. Afterall it helps Canada's balance of payments, exports GNP etc..
This article in last Saturday's Waterloo Region Record states that "Saudi Arabia's record clearly shows that it cannot satisfy human-rights safeguards that require that "no reasonable risk" exists that Canadian made military goods will be used against civilians. Thus export permits should not have been issued."
Finally the author of the story states "The credibility of Canada's voice on human rights has taken a big hit.". So it has. It's called selling one's soul for money and power. What's the difference again between Liberals and Conservatives?
Monday, April 18, 2016
A right unexercised is soon lost. Hence tomorrow night I'm back as a Delegate to Woolwich Council. My topic is Chemtura contamination. Council initially stated that technical Delegations were not allowed and then they said anything whatsoever to do with Chemtura Canada was not allowed. Then they (the mayor) blatantly lied and claimed that they'd never banned Chemtura Delegations in the first place.
Tomorrow evening I will be hitting all the hot button items . This will include Chemtura, technical Delegations and both ground and surface water contamination. Let's see if those Chemtura toadies have learned their lesson or not. Instead of writing the definitive book on Elmira and Uniroyal/Chemtura perhaps I should write a book titled the care, feeding and training of recalcitrant municipal councils.
Saturday, April 16, 2016
No longer is the question when will innocent citizens stop being arrested, convicted and jailed for serious crimes they did not commit. The question is whether the judicial system either in the U.S. or Canada can ever be restored to some semblance of honesty and competence. Today's Waterloo Region Record tells us of yet another innocent man convicted and sitting in jail until recently released. The title of the story is "Man wrongly convicted for 1957 murder to be released".
The crime (murder) took place in 1957 and 55 years later a 72 year old U.S. citizen by the name of Jack McCullough was convicted of the crime. The new state attorney for Illimois "filed a scathing report with the court last month that appeared to pick the case apart, point by point.". Additional telephone evidence was found as well as documents from the U.S. Air force recruitment office which is where the elderly man had claimed to be at the time of the kidnapping and murder.
Will there ever be a public inquiry or any other broad scale investigation as to why our judicial systems have such little difficulty in convicting innoewcent people ?
Friday, April 15, 2016
Yesterday's Waterloo Region Record carried this story titled "G20 protesters want senior officer fired". "Fenton was militrant and uncomprimising. He affected martial law.". "A single police officer suspended the Constitution and turned the downtown core into a police state.". These are some of the words describing Supt. David (Mark) Fenton's behaviour in June 2010 in downtown Toronto.
The fix is already in, in that he is only up on Police Act charges versus criminal charges for his behaviour. He illegally and unconstitutionally "kettled" and arrested 1,000 protesters and bystanders during peaceful demonstrations against the G20 Conference. The Police Act could se him fired, demoted, suspended and or fined. All of those disciplines are inadequate for his arrogance, stupidity, lack of remorse and bullying behaviour. This is a man who's actions according to one complainant's lawyer were " a blatant abuse of power". Shame on him and everyone of his superiors in the Toronto Police Department who condoned or enabled his behaviour.
Wednesday, April 13, 2016
This is so far beyond ridiculous and back it's no longer funny. The Toronto officer is one Supt. David Mark Fenton. He's the a..hole who ordered the "kettling" and subsequent charging of 1100 innocent protesters and by-standers in Toronto in June 2010. Firstly he was "comvicted" under the Police Services Act instead of criminally, hence he's looking at slaps on the wrist most likely although firing is possible. My suggestion is that at a bare minimum he spend one hour in jail for each and every Canadian citizen that were detained and locked up contrary to the Canadian Constitution. Then fire his a... The second officer who has been charged criminally however is a local officer with the Waterloo Regional Police. Good Lord when does it end? His charges are theft, possession of stolen property and "mischief in relation to data" whatever the hell that is.
One or two rotten apples could be attributed to bad people getting through the cracks. When bad behaviour whether criminal or not appears to be pervasive in a police force then it's way past time to be looking at the top. Who is hiring and what are the criteria? What kind of example is coming from the top? Is there an inappropriate and improper culture within our police force that has been fostered by either behaviour or policy right from the senior management level and down? Are we reaping the "benefits" of a toady Police Services Board for decades under the control of incompetent or worse politicians? Today's Waterloo region record carrys both these storys namely "Regional Police officer facing theft-related charges" and "Officer who ordered G20 arrests faces punishment".
Tuesday, April 12, 2016
Keith Allen Harward has sat in jail for the last 33 years for crimes he did not commit. The extent of the devastating "evidence" against him were bite marks on one of his victim's legs. You heard that right, bite marks. While fingerprints have a significant scientific basis neither facial characteristics nor bite marks do. There are those however that believe that skin colour is just dandy as in if you can't catch the right black man for a crime then any other will do nicely. Of course none of those heroes whether jurors, judges or police would ever publicly admit to that.
Mr. Harward was convicted of murdering a man in 1982 and then raping his wife. It turns out that The Innocence Project obtained DNA which exonerated Mr. Harward while implicating a now dead ship mate of his. Both men were sailors in the U.S. navy. This travesty of justice took place in Virginia and simply adds to the growing list of wrongful convictions in both Canada and the U.S.. I wonder how many executed inmates in Texas especially were not guilty of their crimes? I wonder who the winners are in all these wrongful convictions? I expect the winners are not only the guilty parties but also individuals within the "Just Us" system who achieved career advancement on the backs of the innocent wrongly convicted of crimes.
Monday, April 11, 2016
This case as presented in last Saturday's Waterloo Region Record does no favours for the perception that our courts sometimes play favourites. If there were extenuating circumstances they should have been clearly explained by the judge in this article titled "Police officer receives discharge". The circumstances as explained were wholly inadequate to have given the officer a discharge considering that both the judge and the officer involved admitted that he had committed a criminal offense. Two offenses actually. Firstly criminal harassment and secondly possessing an unregistered .357 magnum revolver.
Officer Brad Finucan of the Waterloo Region Police Service received a discharge on both charges by Justice Kathleen McGowan. I would love to see the statistics on how many private citizens charged with either of those criminal charges, much less both of them, walk out of court without a criminal conviction? If indeed a discharge is the norm for general citizens then I have no problem with the decision by the Justice. If on the other hand she was solely concerned about the officer's inability to enter the United States, keep his job or anything else relevant to his being a police officer; then I am appalled. Whatever court result is the norm for one citizen in similar circumstances it should have been the same result for this officer.
What is especially galling is how rapidly the Waterloo Regional Police discharged officers a couple of years back whose behaviour while nowhere near the criminal level nevertheless allegedly was "...not consistent with the values of the organization.". This is in regards to the officers who were part of a messenger service and shared rude comments etc. about two citizens who had called them for assistance. While discipline was certainly warranted, dismissal for the lesser offenders was not.
Saturday, April 9, 2016
Yesterday's Waterloo Region Record carried the following story titled "On, autism, Queen's Park shows its callous side". Hmm based upon the facts indicated by Record writer, Luisa D'Amato, that seems to be overly gentle on the Wynne Liberals. Apparently the Liberals sent out a Press Release congratulating themselves on having increased funding for autism treatment. The reality however is a litttle different. Before earmarking these funds they callously removed from the waiting treatment list thousands of children who had been waiting patiently in the queue. These children who are now five years of age and older desperately need these treatments and in fact it would have been in both the families interests and society's to have helped them as soon as possible. Regardless the opportunistic Liberals who have wasted billions of dollars over the decades decided to make a win out of removing these children from the treatment waiting list. Wow that really is callous and worse.
Friday, April 8, 2016
Yesterday's Waterloo Region Record carried this story titled "Board mum on street check findings". The sub-title is "No comments when told police stop black people at troubling rate". What a non-surprise that our allegedly independent, non partisan civilian Police Services Board had no questions and no comments. I mean let's be real here. These seven "civilians" are anything but. They are white, affluent and priveleged. They were appointed by Regional Council precisely because they've proven under fire that they won't rock the boat. That is they won't demand accountability, transparency or anything else that might possibly require guts, courage or independence. We've got lots of local citizens with those characteristics but rest assurred our local and regional politicians, bureaucrats and assorted hangers on want nothing to do with them. The equivalent is seen up here in Woolwich Township where the real environmental activists are shut out of two Township committees which however embraced former councillor Pat McLean. Pat has long made a virtue of her environmental ignorance. She doesn't know the difference between a DNAPL and a horse apple. She fits in like a glove.
Yesterday's Waterloo Region Record carrys an article titled "Traffic officer should know better than to routinely search cars, court rules". Duh do you think? What astounds me isn't that one police officer could so blatantly violate the law of the land but that an Ontario Court Judge (Catherine Kehoe) could be so ignorant and uninformed. This is a judge for pete's sake. That said I recall a friend's comment that Judges can not be dismissed for incompetence, only for misconduct. Wow!
The Ontario Court of Appeal made it obvious that Constable Sinclair should have known better. As should have the Ontario Court. Apparently not allegedly. What seems equally as likely is that they knew full it was illegal for a police officer to search a car that had been stopped solely for a traffic violation. This plain and simple is a police officer abusing his authority. Our politicians do it all the time while erstwhile denying they knew they were behaving illegally when caught in the act. Just look at the recent shenanigans in Woolwich Township, Ontario undertaken by the mayor and council.
Thursday, April 7, 2016
There is good reason that many citizens no longer trust "investigations" by our authorities. I personally have seen first hand how our authorities go through the motions, weigh evidence in a biased manner and conveniently ignore other strong evidence that substantiates citizens' claims.
Today's Waterloo Region Record indicates that the family of Beau Baker are suing the Waterloo Regional Police. Beau was shot dead by our local police force one year ago. Today's Record article is titled "Family of man shot by police sues for $6M". While a civil suit will undoubtedly bring forth more evidence and explanations for the family, there are fundamental flaw with civil suits. One they don't restore a life. Two if found liable the police involved will not pay a cent personally. This includes their legal costs as the taxpayers are on the hook for everything. Thirdly any settlement will likely contain a confidentiality clause. In other words it is legal to find the Regional Police liable for a wrongful death civilly but the decision doesn't have to be made public. That is disgraceful and will not change the behavior or lack of training when there are no direct consequences.
Wednesday, April 6, 2016
Clearly the inmates are running the asylum up here in Woolwich Township (Elmira & more). Councillors have blatantly lied to citizens in ordering them not to attend Council as Delegates. The lie put to myself as well as the Chairman of the Citizens Public Advisory Committee (CPAC), Dr. Dan Holt, was that they Council have banned any Delegations in regards to Chemtura Canada, groundwater contamination and or the Canagagigue Creek. Since their initial verbal lies and intimidation last February 2/16 they have stickhandled their way around that obviously undemocratic and improper position by using excuses such as Delegates should go to the appropriate committees first and then only after that to Council. Of course what they didn't say is that they appointed the two Committees and their processes to receive Delegations, if at all, are totally bogus.
Last night in Woolwich Council Chambers they all backed down. Input from the Woolwich Observer, Waterloo Region Record and 570 Newstalk Radio was just too much for them. They were seriously looking like they should be called Dogpatch and not Woolwich.
The majority of this Council are securely comfortable in bed with Chemtura Canada. Council as a whole, less one Councillor, are doing their utmost to remove honest, informed citizens who are far more knowledgable than they, from having any input into the issues. Public consultation has always been a sham but it is far worse than ever due to Council's inappropriate and improper support of Chemtura Canada's goals. Those goals include removal of all accurate criticism of their dispicable environmental behaviour and actions.