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, June 30, 2016
Today's Waterloo Region Record carrys this story titled "Police need training in de-escalation, ombudsman says". The majority of police training focuses on exerting authority and establishing control over hostile individuals. Hmm. O.K. if they are armed or actually assaulting someone then I can see that approach. If however they are merely angry or agitated what a wonderful way to escalate the problem.
There "have been hundreds of recommendations from coroner's juries for years for better police training to deal with dangerous interactions, and the government needs to "review the human costs of their legacy of inaction to finally make this issue a priority"...". So said Paul Dube, Ontario Ombudsman.
It seems to me that there is a certain amount of taking responsibility away from individual officers who unecessarily kill either unstable or agitated citizens. Certainly telling officers to feel free to shoot suspects simply because they are carrying, but not using a weapon and or simply because they refuse to comply with verbal commands from officers has muddied the waters. Sammy Yatin ignored Officer Forcillo's orders but was not threatening any bystanders or citizens. In fact he was on a streetcar by himself simply walking back and forth when the officer opened fire and shot him numerous times including after he had collapsed.
Maybe better training might have convinced Officer Forcillo to behave in a more human fashion. Or maybe not.
Wednesday, June 29, 2016
Today's Waterloo Region Record carrys this Opinion article titled "Parents of children with autism will not be pushed around again", written by Luisa D'Amato. While the basic story is as the title indicates in regards to the Province of Ontario government coming to their senses and continuing support and aid to children with autism past the age of five, I am somewhat more interested in a single sentence in the story on another topic. Prior to that however I do have a comment regarding autism. Similar to the epidemic of children with allergies over the last several decades, autism has been attributed by some as a human side effect of various chemicals that have become ubiquitous in the environment. Obviously I am referring to industrial contaminants that our various levels of government have expressed concern over and then done mot much more about them. It seems more than just a tad hypocritical for governments to turn a blind eye to pollution, both minor and severe, and as well attempt to turn a blind eye to their responsibility to the victims of same.
The single sentence in Luisa D'Amato's Opinion article that caught my eye is the following: "A plan to change the rules of election financing, which had been rife with conflicts of interest, was another.". Wow' Is Luisa referring to Bill 201 which is currently at the Committee Stage and in fact hearings are scheduled for the third week of July in Kitchener-Waterloo? Whether she's referring to the Municipal Election or even the Provincial one, her comment is astounding. Indeed here in Woolwich Township the entire process is inherently corrupted as it is riddled with multiple conflicts of interest. Whether the province have really any interest in correcting those failings I find unlikely. Nevertheless we will both follow the process and participate in it where we can.
Tuesday, June 28, 2016
Today's Waterloo Region Record carrys this Letter to the Editor titled "Ontario must do more to boost number of male teachers". Well gender parity is indeed a large part of theis Letter nevertheless what caught my eye was the claim that the hiring of teachers is rife with nepotism. Well, well, well. Is it difficult to believe that with the disgrace of education in this province that that would not also include cheating in hiring. Oops nepotism is such a nicer sounding word. I've long known that lawyers and doctors children have a greater chance of becoming lawyers and doctors than others and indeed I've noticed a few teachers who's children al;so become teachers. Possibly in my naivite I thought that was simply the result of teachers kids seeing the great money, holidays and benefits so they knew early on where they wanted to work.
According to the author of this Letter to the Editor, Dennis D'Alessandro, it's much more blatant than that. "For many decades I have observed that the sons and daughters of directors, board members, superintendents, principal, vice-principals, consultants, trustees and department heads have a decided advantage if they choose to become a teacher." Wow! That's not exactly a subtle comment. Well if the School Board and entire Education System were honest and above board in all other matters I would be skeptical. As they aren't I find this Letter unfortunately to be credible.
Monday, June 27, 2016
The June 24, 2016 Waterloo Region Record carryied another article on the Freddy Gray murder in Baltimore, Maryland. Oops it's not a murder according to police and a judge so far. One of the titles for this article was "Another officer acquitted in Freddie Gray case". In this case it was the police driver of the van who was acquitted of multiple charges including murder by a judge alone.
Freddie Gray was a 25 year old black man in good health when he was arrested , handcuffed and his feet shackled before being put into the back of a police van. Proper seating and a seat belt were mysteriously not provided to Mr. Gray who was then given a 45 minute "ride" in the back of the van. Apparently this kind of "ride" was not unique as there have been past complaints of intentional attempts to injure arrested and improperly restrained citizens. In Mr. Gray's case he died of a broken neck sustained in police custody. To date three trials of officers followed by three acquittals. And police and political authorities don't understand why they are held in such utter contempt.
Friday, June 24, 2016
What the hell, yet another local police officer facing criminal charges. This is so far beyond ridiculous and beginning to seem neverending. I'd almost like to see what the statistics actually are for police officers, say in Ontario, who are sworn to uphold the law, actually being charged and convicted of breaking it. I have a suspicion that the charges per capita by employment (police officer) are higher than average whereas the convictions might actually be lower than average. I mean lets be real here. We all want to know that police officers as a group have significantly less tendency to be law breakers than the general population which by the way is very low.
This article titled "Officer charged with sex assault while at college" was published in the Waterloo Region Record on June 16, 2016 and was written by Liz Monteiro. The officer involved will be appearing in a St. Thomas court next month facing a sexual assault charge.
Many years ago I read a book titled either "Clowns with guns" or "Clowns in uniform". It was I believe a slightly fictionalized account of Toronto Police officers from the 1960s and 70s. The biggest thing I came away from that book was the unaccountability of police officers allowing them to behave in an outrageous fashion while off duty. The book characterized excessive drinking, womanizing and even drug use. All supposedly by those sworn to uphold the law and protect citizens from others who's behaviour was a danger to the public peace.
You know hindsight being twenty-twenty I wonder if the harsh discipline handed out including dismissal for several officers a few years back who misbehaved badly with their Blackberry Messaging Service really wasn't way out of line. Yes while rudeness and disrespect for clients, citizens and those in difficulty should not be tolerated by police officers; dismissal however for a first, immature offence seemed at the time excessive. In hindsight it seems even more excessive.
Thursday, June 23, 2016
I may very well be in shock. In fact Cindy Watson in her Letter To The Editor today addresses that. She states that she has not drunk the kool-aid nor made a deal or been bribed. She knows how shocking her curent evaluation of the culture at Waterloo Region District School Board (WRDSB) is to those of us who have paid attention over the years if not the decades. Ms. Watson has not only been my favourite current trustee for a very long time but is amongst a small, select group of trustees that I would deem as moral, ethical and honest. Interestingly two or three more were also Cambridge trustees.
According to Ms. Watson this curent board has accomplished much in the last two years. She states that the culture is changing and for the better. Finally twice she states that the majority of trustees are working hard with staff and being cooperative as well as also working hard to create a respectful culture that encourages diversity of opinion.
Ms. Watson suggests that it is not only the trustees who are improving but also the senior administration. Hallelujah to that! Senior Board Staff were the problem twenty years ago and I'd love to know when certain names retired and got the hell out of their little fiefdoms. It makes me believe that it's not the institutions, it's the amoral individuals who pervert them for their own self-interest.
I am happy for Cindy Watson to finally be soaring with eagles rather than working with turkeys. I am curious however as to the negative comments from certain trustees that have been quoted lately in the Record. Are those trustees the old guard? Are they the minority versus the majority that Ms. Watson is talking about? While undiplomatic, names would have been helpful. Also I'm still concerned about the recent survey filled out by seven of the nine trustees expressing serious concerns with the Board's ability to work together. Somebody is still gilding the lily a little bit here.
Wednesday, June 22, 2016
Actually there were two items in today's Waterloo Region Record concerning our two School Boards here in Waterloo Region. Stephen Woodworth, former M.P., wrote via a Letter To The Editor an impassioned plea on behalf of Trustees suggesting that they are still desperately needed to encourage democracy versus authoritarian governments as well as to encourage education rather than political indoctrination. I haven't yet figured if he's a little over the top, on to something, or simply an admirer of the failed status quo.
Luisa D'Amato's article is titled "They're ineffective and petty. Do we really need school board trustees?". Obviosly she's much less impressed with them than Mr. Woodsworth. Louisa refers to recent disrespectful behaviour by the Catholic School Board towards elected trustees. She references not only recent issues of trustees infighting at the public board (WRDSB) but also an incident on Monday of this week. One of the Trustees asked the question as to which Staff was Trustee Andrea Mitchell referring to when she publicly said that some top Board staff were fleeing to other Boards to get away from Trustee acrimony. At that point two other Trustees got up and walked out. At that point the meeting was adjourned due to low attendance (quorum?).
Silly me twenty-five or six years I naively assumed that there were no political, social or other concerns regarding educating our children. I thought that everything was black and white and that everybody would be on the same page. Afterall education is a Mom and apple pie sort of issue isn't it? Who could possibly be agaginst it? Well personal experience dealing with shcool boards, teacher's unions and assorted riff raff disguised as professional bureaucrats, lawyers and educaters has opened my eyes.
Tuesday, June 21, 2016
It's been a great week for parents and children in that both our local school boards here in Waterloo Region have taken a beating in the media. While I'm confident saying that the Waterloo Region District School Board need and should have received their beating on a weekly basis, I'm less sure in regards to the separate Catholic Board. That said this is in no way to imply that former Janek Jagiellowicz criticisms are inaccurate. Boy does he lay into the Catholic Board in his letter to the editor in yesterday's Waterloo Region Record. The title of his letter is "Education Act needs to be changed".
Mr. J refers to the Boards's "doublespeak and outright misrepresentation" and further states that the "school boards are self-serving, broken at the core and do not fundamentally care about the parents or the children.". Wow I give him credit as a former trustee for coming forward ands only wish other trustees would do the same. Somewhat along the lines of Cindy Watson at the WRDSB. Mr. J's bottom line seems to be that the Education Act has to be changed to allow non-teachers to run school boards. He refers to these former teachers on the board as "ex-teachers who have a cushy job without accountability.".
Monday, June 20, 2016
Yesterday I received two comments here on the Waterloo Region Advocate. They were posted on the June 23, 2012 posting I did titled "Cream (Sour) Rises To The Top". I attempted to transfer the two comments in their entirety unsucessfully here to today's posting. That said I encourage readers to go through my Archives on the right side of the page. They are a little awkward in that you need to first of all click on 2012 and up will come December (31?) 2012. I then tried to find June 2012 unsucessfully so what I did then was to scroll to the bottom of the page on the screen until you get to Newer Posts and Older Posts. Click on Older Posts and then do it again ie. scroll down. Keep doing this until you come to June 23, 2012. There are currently 13 comments for that posting and one of the two from yesterday is the last one and the other is part way down the 13 comments/replys.
I believe that at least one of yesterday's comments are from another one of Ron Archer's child victims. Surprisingly Archer was only prosecuted for the crimes against Michael Schmidt. During his trial there was testimony regarding many other students being abused or mistreated. This somewhat flies in the face of Gord Stuckless of Maple Leaf Gardens infamy who has been prosecuted at least two or three times on various child molesting charges with various complainants. It kind of makes me wonder how Ron Archer got away with but one conviction after what we were told was a long career as a teacher/pedophile.
While both Comments are shocking and refer to a long history of victims I will quote several sentences from one of those comments. Keep in mind these Comments are anonymous but my opinion is that they are the real deal. Here goes : "That a teacher known to be a sexual predator was given time and space to commit his crimes is unconscionable. That he was allowed to carry on this behaviour harming so many children for so many years is unforgiveable.".
And Finally from the same Comment: "All these years later I am furious with Archer and the many teachers and administration who knew what he was doing to boys he was entrusted to care for.".
After this public trial why was the Waterloo Region District School Board not investigated via a public inquiry or otherwise? Why were the guilty parties who enabled this abuse to continue for so long not charged and or disciplined? We all know that the Catholic Church has been held accountable for their crimes in covering up child abuse by their employees (priests). Why not our public school board?
Friday, June 17, 2016
Sorry folks but I'm currently in heaven. I've had first hand knowledge of the WRDSB's "dysfunction" for twenty years. Ever since my wife and I bumped heads with the professional toadies, liars and self-serving hypocrites running the WRDSB I have been appalled with their arrogance, self-entitlement, lack of accountability and basic hostility towards parents and total indifference to their mandate of educating children. Sorry if I'm being a tad too subtle and diplomatic for the fellow travellors including teachers unions, teachers (some), spouses (some) and other social hangers on in the schools and school councils.
Contrary to many people's opinions "I TOLD YOU SO" is very gratifying. I expect that over the coming years there will be more I Told You So's. In the last two days the Todd Cowan expense scandal has been one of them. Afterall that lying little shit did what he does best (lies) in convincing the new Woolwich Council (2010-2014) to remove me from CPAC in May 2011. Undoubtedly he had support from CAO Brenneman and Chemtura Canada via their lobbying to remove me.
The WRDSB "resolve" legitimate parent complaints via threats and intimidation. When that fails they use tax money received from citizens and residents to sick their attack dog lawyers on parents. How perverse and disgusting is that? Try taking those ....buckets to court. That's where they are in their glory as they have millions of dollars in or available to their legal warchests for protracted legal battles.
Today's Waterloo Region Record carrys their own Editorial titled "School trustees need a time out". Yesterday's Record carried the following article by Jeff Outhit titled "It's completely divided, dysfunctional". Strange but with the recent supposed boycott of Loiusa D'Amato's article regarding Teachers' Unions and School Boards; the Record appear not to have been intimidated. They and Jeff Outhit have appropriately hammerred the WRDSB. It's a shame they didn't hammer those ..... twenty years ago and saved my wife and I a seven year legal battle in which no apologies and no money was paid to a teacher despite a 1999 initial decision by the dishonourable and biased Robert Reilly to pay her money.
In their Editorial the Record's last sentence could have and should have been spoken twenty years ago namely : "The time might be coming when the ministry (Education) has to send someone in with a broom to clean things up.". The "dysfunction" currently on display is but the tip of the iceberg.
Thursday, June 16, 2016
The original title of the front page story in today's Waterloo Region Record was "No doubt he intentionally misled". Hmm does mislead in this sense mean he's a liar? Boy that's such a shocker...Not! At least not for those who dealt with him during his time as Mayor of Woolwich Township. I dealt with him before and during his time as Mayor. He lied mostly to self-agrandize but also on other occasions for Lord knows what purposes. I do know one suggestion I received was that he wanted to tell people what they wanted to hear. Therefore depending on the audience he would say two entirely different things on the exact same subject. A bit of a nutbar.
I have a reason to see him publicly marked as a liar. One he lied about me to Woolwich Council in 2011 in order to get me off of CPAC. Secondly he lied again about me in Bob Burtt's flawed book dealing with Uniroyal Chemical and the Ontario Ministry of the Environment. Thirdly he lied to my face a third time after I confronted him about his lying in his interview with Bob Burtt. Todd claimed that he was misquoted by Bob. And on and on. The only reason I don't continue with his lies is because he has a couple of friends in Elmira who are good people. I'm sure as hell not one of his friends and his public exposure as being truth challenged makes it even easier for me to dismiss a few other liars in Bob's book.
Wednesday, June 15, 2016
The question of course is whether a union will smarten them up or just make the senior management more unaccountable and more self-serving. It has long been my opinion that only companies who deserve unions end up getting them. The bad behaviour of school boards towards their teachers for decades ended up with one of the most powerful and self-serving unions out there namely the multitude of teachers' unions. The Mounties are in the same boat. They are even too stupid to enforce decent behaviour within their own employees and the result is now a rash of lawsuits against them from their own employees. The article in today's Waterloo Region Record is titled "Concerns from rank-and-file Mounties fuel changes to bill.".
Tuesday, June 14, 2016
Maybe bad habits die hard and the WRDSB still have their heads so far up their butts that they don't even want to know how to improve math teaching in our public schools. They are so full of themselves and every stupid decision they've ever made in regards to helping Board bureaucrats, teachers and their unions; is it even possible for them to shift direction or gears when change is desperately needed? For that matter I'd be interested to know if the successes that were written about in today's Waterloo Region Record at St. Aloysius School will be built upon by the separate school Board.
Today's article in the Record is titled "St. Aloysisus finds its way back to math success". The formula includes cooperation between the provincial testing agency, the school board and the teachers themselves. The usual excuses regarding immigrants, social economic factors and Englisg as a first language were alll rolled out at St. Aloysis. Despite those factors the students are now thriving both in mathematics and improvements are also being seen in reading and writing. This is a success story and it needs to be studied and emulated throughout Waterloo Region.
Monday, June 13, 2016
The Ontario Lottery & Gaming Corporation has been lying to us all along. It turns out that they will take anybody's money for as long as it lasts. They have advertised that they step in to discourage gambling by problem gamblers. Well not so much it seems. A recent Waterloo Region Record article titled "Ontario casinos could be liable after Hamilton law clerk lost millions" puts things in a different light. This law clwerk stole estate money from her employer lawyer and used it to feed her gambling addiction. Apparently she lost over $3 million in 14 months of clients money and now the clients are suing among others OLG.
The Ontario Court of Appeal has opened the door for the lawsuits to proceed after a lower court had indicated that they could not. It seems that the Court of Appeal are not convinced that these suits are dead in the water afterall. It also appears as if the OLGs claims to protect problem gamblers from themselves are more public relations than reality.
Sunday, June 12, 2016
I find myself somewhat torn in regards to this newspaper article from yesterday's Waterloo Region Record titled "Public school vice-principal charged with sexual assault". In the infamous Ron Archer case the school board had been receiving complaints from parents and children literally for many years. The Board responded with their "pass the trash" policy of simply transferring problem teachers, in this case a criminal teacher, from school to school. Finally when one of Ron Archer's victims turned 18 he went to the police and the whole scandal unravelled. The scandal in my opinion was the behaviour of the school board, principals and teachers' union all in enabling the criminal behaviour of Mr. Archer. Keep in mind these children were all of twelve and thirteen years old that he was victimizing.
In the current case the vice-principal is accused of sexual assault and sexual interference of a student between 2012 and 2014. Currently he is a vice-principal at Forest Heights Collegiate. Whether we can assume that his "victim" was therefore of high school age I do not know. What I do know is how badly the WRDSB mishandled the Archer case and others. They made all kinds of excuses and claimed they didn't know this or that and claimed they would handle things much more proactively and aggressively in the future. Whether one can assume that this case allegedly regarding an older student could be a case of consenual activity albeit with an adult in a position of authority, hence eliminating the defence of consent, I do not know. The Ron Archer case was extraordinarily nasty not only due to the ages of the students (multiple over many schools) but due to threats and even a weapon alleged and probably convicted for. Maybe this case is much less serious but still such that the Crown had to lay charges. Until further information is made available we simply do not know.
Saturday, June 11, 2016
Today's Waterloo Region Record carrys this story titled "Toronto police ask top court to stop G20 suits". Wow if this doesn't spell out to both the public and the media the inherent corruption and perversion of Police boards, then I don't know what will. Both a lower court and the Ontario Court of Appeal have stated that two class action lawsuits against Toronto Police are appropriate and should proceed. The lawsuits arise out of the mass arrests and detention of over 1,000 people in what "was later described as one of the worst violations of civil liberties in Canadian history.".
The Toronto (civilian) Police Board instead of accepting the lower courts decisions and allowing the suits to go to trial on their merits have appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada trying to derail the suits before any trial occurs. This is not what civilian "oversight" of the Police is supposed to be all about. If I had to guess I would expect that just like here in Waterloo Region, the Toronto (civilian) Police Board is filled with political appointees who are former politicians looking for easy money and profile on a generally do nothing Board. What a perversion of democracy yet again by our politicians.
Friday, June 3, 2016
Peter Shaun Taylor in yesterday's Waterloo Region Record has blasted Regional politicians over their LRT decisions. The article is titled "The four words you can't say on LRT". The four words of course are I told you so. The following quote is my favourite part of the article namely"Never one to pick a simple and efficient solution when there is a glamorous and unproven billion-dollar option on offer, regional council opted to become the smallest community in Canada to install urban style light rail. Municipal glory-seeking is the resaon we have light rail.".
I love it! This folks is all about the folks that we so stupidly elect to govern our affairs. Take a close look at all of them. Glory seekers and power brokers that's all it's about for most of them.
Thursday, June 2, 2016
Our provincial Liberal government "has imposed tighter rules on street checks and has ordered more training for police officers across the province.". One of the key new rules is that police must tell people that they do not have to reveal their name to police officers during a street check. That rule alone may take this issue off the hot plate.
Allegedly racial minorities were stopped more often than young, white males. Perhaps there is some age and gender discrimination involved as well. Waterloo Regional Police claim that from now on they will be advising citizens that they stop 1) the reason for the stop 2)advise the citizen of their right not to have to give their name etc. and thirdly police will provide the citizen with a receipt or documentation of the interaction.
The title of the article in today's Waterloo Region Record is "Street-checks policy approved".
Wednesday, June 1, 2016
The latest revelations that the former Varnicolor Chemical in Elmira indeed did contaminate the Elmira drinking water aquifers is bad news for our Ministry of Excuses and Corporate Collusion (MOECC). They signed a sweetheart deal with Uniroyal Chemical in 1991 in order to save face regarding their gross negligence culminating in the complete shutdown of the two Elmira wellfields. To date instead of Uniroyal being the sole contributer to the destruction of the Elmira Aquifers it now turns out that three companies have been proven to have contributed namely Uniroyal, Nutrite (Yara) and Varnicolor Chemical. It is even possible/likely that others are also responsible potentially including Borg Textiles, Elmira Shirt & Overall, Sanyo, Roxton Furniture and Great West Felt. Keep in mind that due to M.O.E. negligence and self interest, no confirmatory shallow soil or groundwater samples have been taken from these other potential sources. Last but not least we have all the contaminated service stations and one Esso Fuel Depot who introduced petroleim hydrocarbons into the ground and groundwater. Through sheer stupidity and greed Elmira's Aquifers were destroyed and our assorted Councils did little or nothing over the decades to prevent it with only a few notable individuals as exceptions.