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.
Friday, December 29, 2017
While as a general rule I would suggest that the likelihood of democracy in the workplace is somewhere between slim to nil. There are of course exceptions to every rule. A strong union will have contract language that not only covers working conditions, wages, benefits etc. but also stipulates a working environment that frowns upon favourtism, nepotism, harassment, intimidation and more importantly than all the others, abuse of authority. Abuse of authority is essentially what far too many Canadian businesses are all about. Sure senior managers and owners want money but once you've got that it's all about respect to the point of deference from your underlings. Brown nosing, ass kissing and deference on all matters, business related or otherwise, is not preferred; it is demanded.
Smart business owners of course prefer to attract and keep the best help possible whether or not the jobs they provide are particularly technical, complicated or demanding of high education. They simply know that the nastier and pettier they treat their employees the more likely the better ones will find something else and the dumber, lazier, less caring but more tolerant of abuse employees will stay. Here in Ontario at least we have lots of dumb employers.
Then we have the Ontario Ministry of Labour. I refer to them as the Larry of the Three Stooges. The Ministry of Transport are Curly and then the Ministry of Environment (MOE) are of course MOE. The MOE are mandated to participate in public consultation. This occurs mostly in cases of local contaminated industrial sites. It is of course a sham. In Cambridge we had a citizens' committee with Ciba-Geigy and Canadian General Tower (CGT). Northstar Aerospace may also have had a company led committee. Here in Elmira we have had a very good CAP (Citizens Advisory Panel) at Sulco (Canada Colours). That was however due to the excellent behaviour and ethics of the company involved. They seriously embraced the ethics of both public consultation and of *Responsible Care. The Varnicolour Chemical Liason Committee was good but that was exactly zero thanks to the Ontario MOE who did everything in their power to minimize, deflect and coverup the true seriousness of the Varnicolor situation.
As long as we have a mickey mouse, underfunded and overworked Min. of labour it will function no better than the MOE. All the rules, regulations and laws in the world are useless if the enforcing agency are incompetent or overwhelmed. Much of that, similar to the MOE, is done intentionally at the provincial cabinet level. Thus if you are a non-union employee in a company with little or no ethics etc. you will certainly never find anything even remotely approaching democracy in the workplace. Refer back to the first paragraph to see how they operate.
Thursday, December 28, 2017
Well this is one of those rare occasions where I disagree totally with Luisa D'Amato's Opinion column in the Waterloo Region Record. The title of her column in today's paper is "Bouquets and boos for 2017". Maybe the "disagree totally" is an overstatement. Essentially I'm a little bit shocked at her strong criticism of Justice Colin Westman. He apparently is retiring on January 28, 2018 and Luisa states that she is "counting the days". My shock and disappointment with Luisa is not due to Justice Westman's decision in a specific case which has upset her. In fact I too was quite taken aback by the provided facts and details in the case involving the treatment of three women by the owner of a restaurant in Ayr. I too felt that the Judge was too sympathetic with the perpetrator who did plead guilty to simple assault of three of his employees. While "flicking, pinching and poking" the women is indeed assault, thankfully it is at the extreme lower end of assaults. The owner did plead guilty however Justice Westman did no service to either women or employees in general with his sympathy and compassion expressed in court towards the accused and now convicted individual.
My disappointment is because of a lifetime of realistic and compassionate sympathy to accused who come before his court. I have read literally for decades Justice Westman's words, comments and sentences that he has given to either those charged or convicted for various "crimes". Some of those crimes literally were for stealing a loaf of bread to feed a hungry family. Some of them were as much society's crimes as they were the individual's. In other words while it's hard to understand his words and thoughts in the most recent case, overall Justice Westman in my opinion has been a beacon of light in a justice system that far too often treats minor offenders far too harshly. If Luisa really wants to criticize inept, incompetent and or biased judges I have a far more deserving candidate for her. In my opinion Justice Robert Reilly deserves far more censure and public outing than Justice Westman and possibly more than all the others. I am aware of three different examples of what I believe is his misconduct, bad judgement and or bias. If citizen victims in his court had more money they would appeal his asinine decisions and or formally complain about his words and conduct to the Ontario Judicial Council or whatever other body allegedly disciplines deserving judges.
Wednesday, December 27, 2017
In my opinion when either a police officer or a Crown prosecutor use this above term in the title what they really mean is that it's too much in the public interest. In other words it's all about somebody in the public eye who wields power and influence and hence might retaliate if they felt that either the police or the Crown's office were too readily holding them accountable to such trivialities as the law. Afterall many of our esteemed politicians seriously believe that both rules and laws are there simply to maintain order and discipline within the masses. They are absolutely not there to be ever wielded against sitting politicians. Clearly former mayor of Woolwich Township Todd Cowan thought that he was immune from a) getting caught b) being held accountable to the law if caught.
It really is stunning when we look at the difference in how both the police and the Crown handled former mayor Cowan versus sitting mayor Shantz and sitting councillors Bauman and Hahn. Talk about a hands off policy. They made me jump through hoops and loops from the start to the end, all of which I accomplished. Different Crowns advised me that they needed more evidence here on this particular matter before they could go ahead. I so provided. They still wimped out.
The local Crown twice stepped back and had out of town Crowns come in to handle the Ontario Election Act cases. He readily stated that this was to make it clear that he the local Crown was not being influenced by Regional politicians who certainly have authority over things like police budgets, maintenance and repair of courtrooms and buildings. I presume that judges and court staff are paid by either Waterloo Regional government or by the province. Regardless I suspect that all of these civil servants may have learned that so called judicial independence only extends so far. Certainly I would be shocked in serious criminal cases such as manslaughter, murder and serious assaults if there was any favourtism shown to local or regional politicians. Unfortunately I can't say the same in regards to favourtism in less serious criminal or civil matters.
Tuesday, December 26, 2017
The Waterloo Region Record carried the following story titled "Region owed $35 M in defaulted fines". What a disgusting, self-serving cash cow system of parasitic non-blood (money) withdrawal from the public. There are literally tens of thousands of opportunities to fine drivers whose behaviour has caused property and health damage to citizens going about their business. Oh no it's all about sucking money out of drivers who haven't caused an accident and are simply getting from point A to B expeditiously. That means not sitting behind assholes driving in the fast lane with cars piling up behind them. It means pulling out in front of slow moving vehicles approaching who are slowing down because they don't know where they are going and they may wish to put their turn signals on at the last second. It means knowing that the vast majority of drivers no longer signal their turns because they know that other than speeding and drinking while driving they will not get a ticket for blocking traffic, driving slowly and impeding everyone else at every opportunity.
Meanwhile the province and the Region are in cahoots. The Region actually collects these fines and uses them for general revenue. They count on so many fines per year as part of their budget process. Hence the regional police are under pressure "to serve and collect". It's no longer about public safety, if it ever was. It's about revenue generation and collection.
Thursday, December 21, 2017
The Waterloo Region Record carried the following story titled "Bail over for officer in Yatim shooting" in their December 1, 2017 newspaper. Clearly Officer Forcillo was used to being given some professional courtesies as he appears to have thought that applying to change his bail conditions was just as good as having actually gotten the court's permission to do so. As part of his bail he had been ordered to live with his now ex-wife. Thus in early November he applied to live with his new fiancee. Trouble is he moved in with his new fiancee almost immediately, prior to receiving permission. Bad move.
He was sent to jail awaiting a court appearance on his failure to comply with the courts conditions. If that goes as expected (ie. badly for him) he will most likely be transferred to prison to begin his six year sentence for the attempted murder of Sammy Yatim. Keep in mind this "attempted murder" conviction was the result of the second volley from Constable Forcillo's handgun. He'd already shot him three times and Mr. Yatim had collapsed to the floor of the streetcar he was in. Officer Forcillo then followed up with six more shots while he was prone hitting Sammy Yatim another five times. The court ruled that the first three hits were the cause of Mr. Yatim's death and the followup six shots were the "attempted murder". Pretty bizarre. Lest we forget that at that point another officer ran up and used a stun gun ion Mr. Yatim's corpse. Are we living in a third world country down there in Toronto folks?
Wednesday, December 20, 2017
A year ago a black teenager was severely attacked and beaten allegedly by two off-duty police officers. The assault took place in Whitby Ontario by two off-duty brothers and police officers. They have both since been charged with multiple offences in the incident. The teenager has lost the use of his eye from the beating. Meanwhile it turns out that their has been potential collusion between Durham and Toronto p[olice in an attempt to avoid charges being laid against the two brothers and police officers.
Apparently the father of the two officers is himself a senior officer with the Toronto Police and he is a part of the Professional Standards Unit. It is alleged that he attempted to protect his two sons from charges including lying about the extent of alleged injuries received by the one son. Also neither police force ever on their own reported the police derived injuries to the Special Investigations Unit as required. It was Julian Falconer, lawyer to the teenager who advised the SIU about the incident. Last July Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders denied that there had been any sort of a coverup. He also supported his two officers at that time. I wonder how he's feeling about his backing of his officers now, as this continues to unfold. The Waterloo Region Record carried the following article in today's paper titled "Father of Toronto cop charged in Dafonte Miller case removed from Professional Standards Unit".
Tuesday, December 19, 2017
How many prisoners have died in Canadian jails? How many have died in Ontario jails? How many young people have died in custody in this province? Meanwhile right here in Waterloo Region we are not exempt. The December 6, 2017 Waterloo Region Record published a brief story about the suicide death of 30 year old Terry Baker. She just like Ashley Smith died in a segregation unit at Kitchener's Grand Valley Institution for Women.
Ms. Baker died six months to the day before it became public knowledge in the Record. Why? The Ministry of Community safety and Correctional services recently announced that an inquest will be held into her death. Is this why they released the news of her death to the Record? In other words if this provincial Ministry had decided not to hold an inquest would the public have been informed at all that she had died?
Unlike Ashley Smith, Ms. Baker had a serious conviction on her record. Ashley Smith kept getting internal charges and extensions put on her release date. What a system. Similar to Ashley Smith, Ms Baker had a history of mental problems. Is this our society's solution to mental illness? Lock them up, throw them in isolation and then bury them? It's starting to look that way.
Monday, December 18, 2017
The Saturday December 9, 2017 Waterloo Region Record carries the following story titled "Teachers' sick days put school boards on the spot". Turns out the self-entitlement, pufffery and overall disrespect for the tax paying public continues on for those teachers with a bad attitude and a strong union to back them up. Don't get me wrong I have even less use for their employer especially if it's the Waterloo Region District School Board. Back in the 90s when my children were young they amply demonstrated to me their contemptible, self-serving me-first attitudes.
A provincial audit recently raised the alarm that teachers' are taking off more days than ever at alarming rates. Oh what a surprise! Seems they could no longer bank their unused sick days and then get a full payout when they retired for days they had not used. Of course both the boards and the teachers unions, as usual, are speaking from the same script. It's all about teachers mental health don't you know. After all their excessive wages have also included generous benefits including retirement plans and paid sick days; namely eleven per year at full salary and another 120 days at 90 per cent. That is more than a sweet deal but not good enough for some of those spoiled brats.
Hence if they can't bank their unused sick days they are going to use them anyways, sick or not. Maybe the offenders were brought up in teacher's homes. Maybe their used to a totally different level of stress, tension and power/authority exercised over them than the rest of us. The majority of us are non-union and sure as hell not all by choice. We basically get nothing, including even a decent fair hearing when someone has a complaint about us at work. It's a pathetic joke yet teachers are protected by their unions to the point where short of a criminal conviction for sexually assaulting children; they will never be fired. Just not good enough for some of them it seems.
Thursday, December 14, 2017
The Waterloo Region Record carried a story yesterday titled "Abuse was rampant at Ontario training schools, suit alleges". These training schools were for truants, runaways, those convicted of minor crimes and or had inadequate adult supervision. They were designed for children between the ages of 8 and 16. These children became Crown wards and were cut off from all family support. Even without the alleged abuse that went on it can be seen as to how problematic this whole idea of removing children from their parents was. A class-action lawsuit has been filed against the province seeking $600 million on behalf of children and youths sent to these facilities in Oakville, Cambridge, Lindsay, Bowmanville, Simcoe, Port Bolster, Hagersville, Cobourg and Guelph. Physical, mental and sexual abuse are part of the allegations in the lawsuit.
If nothing else has become very clear it is that government institutions just like private ones that are not transparent and accountable will end up abusing their authority. It seems to be the human condition that most of us can not responsibly or decently handle authority over our fellow human beings. Examples abound throughout history and none of this should be any kind of remote surprise any longer.
Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Today's Waterloo Region Record carries the following article titled "Lawlor shouldn't have got pardons". The columnist's first sentence is a dandy namely "We pay a fortune for the justice system.". Her third sentence starts with "But what we're actually paying for is a giant bureaucracy...". Right there Luisa D'Amato has hit the nail on the head. Or as a friend of mine is fond of saying "justice" should be written as "just us".
Derrick Lawlor murdered a Newfoundland man in 1983, was jailed and later pardoned. In 1997 he drove to Ottawa with the purpose of murdering and maiming his brother. He was convicted, served time and eventually received another pardon. Anyone see a pattern here yet?He has told police officers of other plans he has had to murder men. Then lo and behold he murdered yet another man in Victoria Park in Kitchener. What are the odds he'll eventually get yet another pardon? Anybody think that our pardon system along with our judicial system is completely messed up?
Monday, December 4, 2017
I'm hardly surprised nor are most realists. Too many, too fast might be the clarion call of both racists and also those who better understand slow integration within Canadian society. Yes we are a mosaic and yes overall it has helped Canada but the blind, politically correct forcing of the now long past WASP majority to accept this reality could have and should have been better thought out by our federal politicians. The proof is in the pudding and that Toronto the largest city in Canada still has a police force who target coloured immigrants is the proof in the pudding. I don't believe they could have gotten away with it as long as they have if there wasn't a citizen undercurrent of unhappiness with high immigration which subtly permitted this illegal behaviour by our police force.
The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) are responding to decades of complaints. They are pointedly not investigating to see if these past complaints are well founded. That ship has sailed. They are investigating to determine how and where racial profiling exiasts in law enforcement. The OHRC are asking both the Toronto police and the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) to assist them by turning over a range of data on these matters. To date the SIU has cooperated whereas allegedly the Toronto police have not. Supposedly the city of Toronto's police services board is also going to be assisting the OHRC. I find that very peculiar. Afterall have the police services board done anything helpful on this matter over the last thirty years? The title of the December 1, 2017 article in the Waterloo Region Record is "Toronto police the focus of inquiry".
Wednesday, November 29, 2017
Yesterday's Waterloo Region Record advised us that the Federal government has earmarked more than $100 million to compensate members of the military and other federal departments whose careers were either damaged or ended due to their sexual orientation. What really hit me is that this money is part of a Settlement of a class action lawsuit against our federal government. In other words neither Trudeau nor the Liberals and God forbid the Conservatives before them were willing to come to a Settlement until their lying asses were dragged in front of the courts. The title of the story is "$100 million for gay purge victims".
So lets get this into perspective. It was Pierre Elliot Trudeau who passed the decriminalization of homosexual acts in 1969. That's nearly fifty years ago. Despite that the idiot federal government were purging gays from the federal payroll in the 70s, 70s and 90s. What kind of stupid is required to harass, intimidate and discriminate against a group of people whose behaviour is not illegal? Apparently the answer to that question is the federal government and federal bureaucrats. Whether it's literal genocide or career genocide nobody can do it better than our governments.
Yes kudos to Justin Trudeau for apologizing but shame on his predecessors.
Monday, November 27, 2017
Today's Waterloo Region Record carries their Editorial titled "When senators honour themselves". The Record appear to be outraged with a number of senators who have essentially nominated themselves for medals. Seriously. Senator David Wells is mentioned along with Mike Duffy and Pamela Wallin. Many senators fortunately did not take the medals being handed out although many did. The medals are referred to as the Senate of Canada Sesquicentennial Medals. Nice eh?
The Record states that "There's something grating,something unseemly, something offensive about seeing people bestow upon themselves an award.". Really? You don't think some of our local, environmental awards have been essentially self-bestowed? Afterall when you sell out, you don't think that you can sometimes set your own price? Wouldn't a medal or award with your name on it be nice? Just because the award was your price for short circuiting due process and public consultation that would hardly embarrass either senators or people of this ilk.
Monday, November 20, 2017
The Saturday, November 4, 2017 the Waterloo Region Record reported on a serious farm accident. The title of the story was "Man hurt in Flamborough farm accident". The farm worker's injuries were described as "life-altering". That is extremely unfortunate as the man had been trapped by the legs in an agricultural machine. Until he was finally released after two hours, amputation had been considered as a last resort. I have not heard of any followup articles in the Record regarding this case.
The victim was in his 40s which is not the usual age category for major injuries on the job. Unfortunately far too often it is inexperienced young workers in their early 20s who suffer catastrophic or worse injuries on the job in Ontario. This is not solely because they are inexperienced workers. It can also be that they are inexperienced in telling supervisers or employers that no they will not risk life and limb in order to save a few minutes time. Far too often in this province speed and a lack of care are conflated with productivity. If that is what occurred in this case and the article was not clear about that; then this man's life-altering injuries have done absolutely no one any good whatsoever.
Friday, November 17, 2017
The Waterloo Region Record published their own Editorial titled "Ontario policing overhaul worthy of support". Boy I hope they are right. For far too long our police forces have been a power unto themselves. While bleeding taxpayers dry they have been an unaccountable and scandal prone organization. This Blog relates many of those scandals over the last many years.
The Record suggests that police chiefs will have the power to no longer pay salaries to suspended officers charged with serious wrongdoing. Is this criminal wrongdoing or just back to the Police Services Act and all kinds of bias and favourtism involved? In other words can the Chiefs reward the good old boys and throw others they personally don't like to the wolves without pay? That needs to be clarified.
The OPIRD and the OCPC are being amalgamated which makes sense as they both handle oversight of our police forces. The record emphasizes however that this will only work if there is transparency and they are forthcoming and accountable. It is a challenge.
Finally the Record suggests correctly that our civilian Police Boards to date have been nothing more than a police support organization. Our local Board here in Waterloo Region has had too many old politicians out to pasture who never have and never will rock the boat. Our Board has in reality overseen nothing more than the status quo.
Thursday, November 16, 2017
Former (I hope so) officer James Forcillo was convicted last year of attempting to murder 18 year old Sammy Yatim in a downtown Toronto streetcar. He was sentenced to six years in jail which is one year more than the mandatory minimum. Essentially he is appealing everything in sight from his initial conviction, to the sentence to the instructions the Judge gave the jury etc.. You get the picture. Apparently in Mr. Forcillo's world it's open hunting season on the mentally ill or those with serious emotional/behavioural problems. Mr. Yatim was walking back and forth on the empty streetcar carrying a small knife, talking to himself. Mr. Forcillo was outside the open door of the streetcar and after numerous turnarounds inside the streetcar, the first time Sammy Yatim stepped a foot or two into view, the former police officer opened fire. Three bullets hit Mr. Yatim and then when he had collapsed on the floor of the streetcar Mr. Forcillo shot at him six more times hitting him an additional five times after he was already down and possibly dying. Then another hero Toronto cop Tasered the down and dying young man.
Mr. Forcillo is throwing himself on the mercy of the courts. They've already given him a huge pass with only a six year sentence. I wish they had shown him exactly as much mercy as he showed to Sammy Yatim. Today's waterloo regional record carries this story titled "Forcillo charged for breaching conditions".
Tuesday, November 14, 2017
My first question is why didn't the Crown throw out the charges? Were they pushing to expand the boundaries and maybe get a precedent allowing them easier convictions in the future? This seems especially gratuitous when one realizes how recently another drunk driving case was tossed by a Judge based upon our police violating a citizen's rights.
Roadside breathalyzers can only be applied 15 to 20 minutes after a driver's last drink of alcohol. The reason is they are designed to determine approximately a driver's blood alcohol level. Within 15 to 20 minutes of the last drink there is still residual mouth alcohol which can artificially increase the blood alcohol reading . In this most recent case the police officer knowing the time frame nevertheless ordered the roadside test to be taken prematurely. The Judge later stated that based on the knowingly inaccurate test the citizen was unlawfully arrested and unlawfully compelled to provide two breathe samples at the police station.
The other drunk driving case that got tossed was last month in Kitchener. In that case the driver was refused information that his father had arranged a lawyer for him. The police officer also did not know if his breathalyzer had been recently calibrated as required by law. hence again the Judge ruled that the citizenwas unlawfully arrested and unlawfully detained.
As if the Waterloo Regional Police don't have enough problems you'd think they would be more careful about routine drunk driving arrests. Apparently rules as in LAWS are to be stickhandled around for some of them. Or is it simple incompetence? Is the training inadequate or is it the original hiring in the first place? If it ain't broke, don't fix it. The corollary however is: If it is broken then fix it and fix it now! I guess when you are primarily unaccountable and non-transparent you can play these legal games and win most of the time. Every now and then however you get caught. Way past time to fix what ails our local police force. The story in the waterloo region record is titled "Breathalyzer tests tossed by judges".
Saturday, November 11, 2017
Supt. David Fenton is not solely responsible for the largest single incident of a breech of citizens' civil rights in Canadian history. There were many less senior police officers under his command who carried out his dirty work for him. Whether it was "kettling" innocent civilians in large crowds and forcing them to stand out in the rain for a period of hours or whether it was falsely and illegally arresting hundreds more and confining them in metal cages without food, water or bathrooms; the man is an asshole. Apparently a completely stupid asshole which has to make you wonder: are senior Toronto police officers promoted to the position of Superintendant because precisely they are stupid assholes who follow orders; even ones that a first year police officer should know are illegal?
Then of course there are the officers even higher up the ladder than Supt. Fenton. Was Supt. Fenton performing his illegal acts in a vacuum? Were the deputy chiefs, other Superintendants and Chief thousands of miles away? Was this a dead of night, police skullduggery and corruption type of offence done surepticiously? No it was done in broad daylight in downtown Toronto for God's sake. This was the G20 conference held in June 2010. My son-in-law was living and working in downtown Toronto at the time. Fortunately he decided that it was a very good time to spend the weekend with us up in Elmira away from what turned out to be a demonstration not so much of mass civil disobedience as a case of mass police obedience to illegal and unlawful orders. Believe it folks despite all the rhetoric since, we are that close to a police state. No one has gone to jail. No one has been fired. The highest up the police food chain has had his vacations days reduced and he's been fined the loss of 30 days pay. Whoopee sh.. ! He was also determined to be guilty of professional misconduct. Good God send him to jail for at least a few weeks. See how much he enjoys confinement courtesy of the state. if you're going to hand it out illegally then you'd better be prepared to enjoy some of your own medicine. The asshole is still a Toronto cop. These are the kinds of people in charge. Ones higher up avoided all formal penalties. Hopefully their friends, neighbours and families have learned a valuable lesson here. Titles and awards do not make for good human beings much less intelligent ones. The article in today's K-W Record is titled "Misconduct finding against senior G20 cop upheld".
Thursday, November 9, 2017
The October 20, 2017 Waterloo Region Record carried the following article titled "Outspoken Mountie assigned to admin duties". It seems that our misogynistic federal police force are at least consistent in their behaviour. It turns out that they were convicted last September for failing to provide their members with adequate weapons and training in regards to the 2014 Moncton shooting that left three RCMP officers dead. As I recall they did not have access to either carbines or rifles while being attacked by a single individual who had most likely a semi automatic rifle at his disposal. Under those conditions unless the perpetrator is frankly suicidal or totally incompetent, handguns are a totally inadequate defence to a long gun.
The New Brunswick RCMP corporal involved had criticized the force after the decision assigning blame and responsibility to the RCMP for not fulfilling their responsibilities to their members. He also grew a goatee in support of the yellow stripe campaign seeking to raise awareness about RCMP working conditions. All of this has drawn the ire of petty bureaucrats more concerned with authority and obedience versus more urgent and pressing safety issues. The corporal has been assigned to administrative desk duties in civilian attire. He is convinced that these are strictly and solely punitive actions based upon his words and growing a goatee while others with beards and goatees are not confronted. If so then indeed this is but one more example of the pervasive rot within the RCMP top brass filtering down to the petty, butt kissing toadies beneath them. It's called leading by example and when the example is bad guess what the results are?
Wednesday, November 8, 2017
As usual the new legislation mandating greater police accountability in Ontario will require a time period before we really know if it is going to do the job intended. Far too much legislation in this province is especially for show. Built in loopholes allow both the powerful and the wealthy to stickhandle around regulations. This is especially so regarding the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Labour. To date our police accountability protocols have also been subject to far too much favouritism and cronyism. Removing police discipline from individual forces and putting it into the hands of the former Office of the Independent Police Review Director (OIPRD) is a start. The OPIRD will now be called the Ontario Policing Complaints Tribunal. The former Special Investigations Unit (SIU) will be given an expanded mandate. The Ontario Civilian Police Commission (OCPC) will be renamed the Ontario Policing Discipline Tribunal (OPDT).
The fact that Chief Brian Larkin is in favour of the alleged changes is of concern. Generally our police accountability has degenerated into exactly what senior management want it to be which is simply a personal increase in their power and authority with little or no accountability thus allowing for personal biases and personal settlement of grudges. This does not remotely benefit the public or the provision of police services. Time will tell. The fact that it is coming from professional politicians is as always worrisome. The article in the Waterloo Region Record on November 3, 2017 was titled "New law for greater oversight of police".
Thursday, October 26, 2017
Yesterday's Waterloo Region Record carried the following story titled "Liberals acquitted in bribery case". Upon reading the story it appears somewhat credible until I started thinking back. Had I ever in my life seen corruption in a courtroom? Well in fact I have. That started me thinking. The corruption I had seen was in regards to a school board and their employee relations. At the time I realized that the form of corruption was maybe up for discussion. In other words could it possibly have been simply gross bias and gross incompetence versus the fix is in, someone owns the judge type of corruption? Depending upon your interpretation of corruption both of these behaviours likely fall under the umbrella of corruption.
Then a friend called and he was livid. Now his knowledge and understanding of politics is far greater than the average. He just out and out called a spade a spade. He suggested that indeed the fix was in. Whether it had to do with who appointed the judge in the first place, for example Dalton McGuinty, or whomever, he was adamant that justice was not served. He reminded me of some very strong evidence that surprisingly was not mentioned in the Record article. That evidence was the tape recording of an alleged bribe offered to the one candidate not to proceed with his nomination to become the candidate for the Liberal Party in that riding.
The proof of course is in the pudding. If that tape recording is as clear as apparently the spurned candidate and possibly the prosecution believe then maybe we could have an appeal filed. Appeals are quite standard when either a jury or judge alone hears a case and the losing party (usually) believes that there has been some breech of rights or process. Whether an appeal is even possible in the case of a directed verdict I simply don't know. I expect that the Crown introduced the tape recording and had the persons on it identified by the potential candidate who claimed to have been bribed. Surely the Judge would have wanted to hear the defendants either confirm or deny that it was indeed them on the tape. Throwing the whole case out without any rebuttal from the defence is incredible. Was the Crown's case really that weak or is there more to this? I expect that we will hear more.
Wednesday, October 25, 2017
Last Friday's Waterloo Region Record carried this article titled "Minister Flynn says labour reforms have broad support". Firstly part time workers, after Bill 148 is passed, must be paid at the same rate as full time staff including benefits. Colleges and universities have long been relying on contract or session workers who are paid significantly less and without benefits as full time employees with similar skills and experience. Universities have about 50% of their teaching staff as part time whereas colleges are made up of 70 to 85 percent part time staff. This has been a bonus for these institutions while essentially exploiting part time employees by paying them less than the full timers.
Other changes will include the right for part timers to refuse shifts when less than four days notice is given. The minimum wage will rise to $14 per hour this January and to $15 per hour by the following January. Lastly three hours pay will be given to employees on call whether or not they are called in to work and if their shift is cancelled with less than two days notice they will also receive three hours pay. It almost sounds as if Ontario and the Liberals want to bring the province into the 21st century. While Canada and the U.S. are essentially regressive labour wise, Europe have long recognized the inherent fairness of progressive labour laws. My working experience in this province leads me to believe that the Progressive Conservative Party are the mouthpiece for entitled, ignorant and regressive employers. Indeed they are the only party in the Ontario legislature who voted against Bill 148.
Tuesday, October 24, 2017
Even decades ago when women were legitimately complaining that they were getting paid less than men and or being pigeon holed into different jobs than men thus enabling the employers to claim that the men's jobs were more difficult or responsible etc. it was all a crock. A red herring. Back then the argument was how do you objectively determine which job is of equal value to another? Again a crock. I say this because then and now there are jobs that are identical ie. the same duties and responsibilities yet they pay vastly differently even by the same employer. The "difference" if you will is solely determined by the employer. They call one job full time permanent and the other part time or casual. Even if the duties are identical and the hours similar. It's was and is simply a way of getting cheaper labour by employers.
Two examples come to mind. Both were unionized! Shameful! Brinks guards and drivers did exactly the same job whether part time or full time. You carried the same guns, the same bags of cash and drove the same armoured trucks. The full time unionized guards in those days were receiving $20-25 per hour and the part timers $9 per hour. I never did see what the route to full time actually was.
Brewers Retail were just as bad. They had identical work within Brewer's Retail stores selling beer by the case to the public. Full timers again made more than double the part timers working right beside them doing the exact same work. The route to the full time, union protected jobs was through the A and the B lists. If a part timer somehow offended either a union guy or a store manager he would never be promoted onto the A or B list. Note the key word is offended. It could be a joke, a look, a failure to jump high enough when requested/ordered; it could literally be anything. And you never knew until after a few years when the updated A and B lists came out and you still weren't on them. Of course your manager still wanted your services and why not when you worked just as relaibly and hard as the full timers (or harder) but for half the money. What a deal for the company.
City of Waterloo summer public works department employees were the same thing. Only there you soon learned what it took to get hired on full time with a union protected job. Organized sports in high school were key. If you played baseball or hockey then you were one of the good old boys and you were on your way. Otherwise forget it, you were going nowhere. What a system.
Yesterday's Waterloo Region Record carried a story titled "Precarious work at Ontario colleges". It's all about the current strike at the community colleges. A big issue is the issue of Sessional or Contract faculty at Ontario's Colleges and Universities. Once again it's a blatant case of underpaying hired help to do the exact same jobs as your full time employees. These are often highly educated individuals, including Doctorates at the University level, who for some reason have been hired on a part time or Contract basis to teach courses. To date these workers are part of the huge exceptions permitted under Ontario legislation allowing employers to discriminate on whatever basis they choose. It is reprehensible and grossly unfair. And it continues on. Perhaps the colleges exploitation will diminish after the next contract is signed. Perhaps not. Shame on the decision makers at both the College and University level who were and are responsible for this blatant discrimination.
Friday, October 20, 2017
Today's Woolwich Observer has quite an Opinion piece by Steve Kannon. Essentially Steve is suggesting as per his title that "A drug crisis unlike others, but pharmaceutical cash means nothing will change". The drug crisis is opiods and it includes prescription drugs that are being abused. Pain killers such as oxycodone are front and centre with illegal synthetics such as fentanyl being a result of the initial over prescription of the legal drugs. Canada has the second highest per capita consumption of opioids in the world with the U.S. being number one. Charming isn't that?
The real kicker is Steve's claims that much of this abuse is driven by pharmaceutical marketing to doctors and health professionals. Then Steve goes further by suggesting that the pharmacuetical manufacturers and distributors have even been lobbying the U.S. government for legislation to weaken the Drug Enforcement Agency's enforcement efforts. They lobbied successfully according to Steve by donating "...more than a million dollars into their (Congress) election campaigns.". Doesn't that give you a warm feeling knowing how legal it is to buy political influence south of the border. I would suggest that while influence can still be bought here, north of the border, generally it's done in more subtle, less blatant ways.
Steve's final paragraph is "But there's money to be made, and the corporate gaenda tops all. The crisis, deaths and all, is our political economy in microcosm. Expect hand-wringing and nothing else.".
Thursday, October 19, 2017
A lawsuit was filed last June against the Waterloo Regional Police Service. Unsurprisingly both the Waterloo Regional Police Services Board and the Waterloo Regional Police Association have put forth documents to the courts suggesting that the courts have no jurisdiction in the case. If either of these groups had behaved properly and followed their mandates in the first place this problem would not have been allowed to grow and fester for so many decades. They claim that the issues arising in the lawsuit, namely sexual harassment and discrimination, are governed by the collective agreement. Justice Deena Baltman will hear jurisdictional matters as well as the issue of whether the suit should be certified as a class-action suit.
Unfortunately after the court date of last September 25 in a Brampton Courthouse, the next date is not until June 2018. The lawyer for the Plaintiffs expects that Justice Baltman will reserve her decision and release thereof until the fall. This is far too long especially for female officers whose sympathies and leanings will likely be scrutinized carefully in the interim by both their superiors and their fellow officers. The title of today's Waterloo Region Record article by Liz Monteiro is "Constables start group for female officers".
Monday, October 16, 2017
Grassy Narrows, Elmira and Sarnia's Chemical Valley are all examples of neglect and negligence by our Ontario Ministry of the Environment. That they can delay, ignore and pretend that all is well in these communities is beyond all reasonableness. Basically it's politics first and the environment last. Only if the two on a rare occasion become aligned in their interests will progress be made environmentally.
Sarnia's Chemical Valley and Elmira's mini Chemical Valley have been infamous for a very long time. In Sarnia there are usually newspaper exposes every decade or so in the Toronto papers. The same thing has happened again with an investigation by the Toronto Star, Global News and two journalism schools. Benzene has been being discharged into the atmosphere in and around Sarnia, three to ten times above the annual criteria for some time now. Benzene is carcinogenic and is a cause of leukemia or blood cancer.
A health study of the nearby communities has been called for and ignored by Liberal politicians for at least a decade. It is being called for again after the release of the latest data. Of course all the usual suspects, in other words opposition politicians from the Conservatives and NDP are jumping on board the Health Study train. Similarly if the Progressive Conservatives win the next provincial election you can say goodbye to a health study anytime in the upcoming decade. Nobody really wants to disturb the chemical industry gravy train in the area.
Friday, October 13, 2017
Well it certainly is in the workplace. I spent roughly fourty years in the Ontario workplace and it's much worse than a joke. I have to assume that most provincial Ministry of Labour's are just about as ineffective and pro employer biased as the Ontario one is. Just like our provincial Ministry of the Environment, the proof is in the pudding. Our air stinks, our water requires more and more treatment in order to be allegedly safe to drink and our Great lakes as well as rivers and streams running into them are all polluted. Fish are contaminated and fish advisories barely cover the worst contaminants in the fish.
For the Ministry of Labour just look at the never ending deaths and injuries on the job here in Ontario. We are a disgrace and until or unless workers decide to shut down offending companies it will only get worse. The Ministry of Labour barely give wrist slaps to repeat offenders. Corporate convictions and fines nicely insulate the guilty human beings who make choices favouring production and profits over human suffering.
Unionized plants likely have better safety records simply because the union are under some pressure from their members to protect them and their legal rights enshrined in various provincial labour laws. Of course these laws are meaningless unless they are vigourously enforced as well as observed by companies. Without vigourous enforcement however they are a joke. Good companies hardly need these laws and bad companies ignore them if they think they can get away with it. Generally they can.
Old time attitudes among those in charge are barely swayed by legislation and public attitudes for some. Those attitudes are why employees can not sue negligent employers for millions of dollars. Employers lobbied hard for Workmen's Compensation laws which removed the right to sue in favour of the government handing out compensation to employees injured on the job.
When individual decisions are covered by government insurance it becomes much cheaper to ignore costly health and safety laws in favour of short term financial gain.
Never in all my years working in the non-union environment did I see anything even remotely approaching democratic decision making in workplaces. It mattered not that employees generally speaking were the ones risking life and limb. It mattered not that employees were putting their future earning potential at risk on a regular basis by performing dangerous work. Work that was unnecessarily dangerous simply to save time and money for the employer.
Then think of workplaces that have psuedo military styles and attitudes. Yes police work is inherently dangerous but when the chain of command allows quasi criminal Police Act charges to be laid for disobedience then it becomes ridiculous. Worse yet is when full criminal charges can be laid essentially for internal disciplinary matters that have gotten out of control, courtesy of police management demanding blind, unthinking obedience to the old boys network. As per yesterday's posting Police management have long abused their authority and it is decades past time for honest and real change. Fair hearings by unbiased persons without conflicts of interest would be a pleasant change.
Thursday, October 12, 2017
How can this be? After this past summer of lawsuits, revelations of misconduct and misfeasance combined with court decisions hammering various police services how can the media not be still covering these issues? Certainly there must be some news as to what is going on? While the lawsuit filed against the Waterloo Regional Police Service was a barnburner so was the 93 page "Report Of Systemic Misfeasance In Ontario Policing and the Coordinated Supprression of Whistleblowers". That Report by Kelly Donovan was shocking even to those of us who have long ago lost whatever naivete we had left. I knew there were problems locally but her report certainly makes it clear that the problems are systemic throughout Ontario and Canada. Amazing isn't it in this time and place that human beings continue to set up public institutions to fail. Human beings unchecked, unaccountable and non-transparent can sucessfully pervert just about any institution whatsoever. Poor political appointees by unethical, corrupt politicians guarantee poor organizational ethics and conduct. When the culture becomes more about maintaining the appearance versus the reality of decency and honesty and furthermore promoting the status quo when change is needed; then a housecleaning is needed from the top down. Show me an honest and courageous politician willing to attempt this and I'll show you a politician not long for this world. The rot is at the very top namely provincial and federal politicians. How can any institution subservient to them and dependent upon them not be so?
Wednesday, October 11, 2017
How broken? Well minor marijuana offences for decades have been just dandy for prosecutors and courts to spend their time on. Not too petty at all. Also allegedly in the public interest. ReallY? Especially now that our federal government are getting around to decriminalizing marijuana use and possession. Meanwhile what about all those people will criminal records and or who did jail time over marijuana use or possession? Will they get their lives back? Will they automatically receive pardons? How about apologies for arresting, charging, criminalizing and jailing them? Afterall they paid their price to society for what isn't even deemed to be an offence today. God human beings and laws.
Meanwhile I jump through literally months of hoops and loops trying to wind my way through an incompetent, user unfriendly legal system in regards to the Municipal Election Act. Multiple Woolwich Councillors break the law every which way to Sunday, I collect the evidence, present it on a silver platter to the Crown Attorney and what is the result? Oh thank you but despite a conviction being likely we don't think it's in the public interest to prosecute. What! Then why is it the law of the goddamn province! If it's not in the public interest to prosecute then repeal the goddamn law you asshats. Oh and while you're at it be sure to advise all municipal politicians it's open season and they can lie even more than usual when they fill out their Election Financial Statements.
Tuesday, October 10, 2017
Environmental system, judicial system, political system, educational system, health care; you name it they are all broken. They do not serve the taxpayers who pay the freight. They serve the vested interests who spend their time working there. I am quite confident in regards to the five systems I have listed with the exception of the health care system. That system I simply do not have enough information about. The others I've either been directly involved with or I have done considerable research into them. The health care system upon second thought has given me some data to go on. That would be a new hip nearly four and a half years ago. They also advised me at the time that the second hip was also in need albeit not as badly as the first one. Hmm. Based upon my symptoms now it could be another four and half years before I get it done. Or longer. What if it is longer? What if in ten to fifteen years from now I still don't see the need to get my second hip done? Can I reasonably assume that the whole thing was a scam? That whatever my issues were they certainly weren't my hips? My symptoms thank you are beginning to dissipate. While not perfect, remedial walking seems to be relieving the pain I had in my knees and shins. I was told that the hip surgery would help that pain. It didn't do a goddamn thing. WTF!
I think that I will comment further regarding the other systems in later posts. I've been doing that for the last five years plus and we'll just call today a foray into Ontario's health care system.
Saturday, October 7, 2017
Well that certainly is a relief. After all they would never lie to us now would they? Think about it, this includes the Waterloo Region District School Board. They've never lied to parents before about anything, now have they? An abusive teacher, it's all the parents fault. An abusive teacher, well that teacher has never had a complaint before. An abusive teacher well we'll transfer them to a new school. At the new school the teacher is introduced as having a spectacular teaching record and career at the previous eight schools they've taught at in the past twenty years.
Poor education results, it must be the parents again. They don't speak English at home or they don't help their kids with their homework. Weak or poor teachers, oh no we only employ the best and brightest at this school all with unblemished records.
So now that unsafe levels of lead in drinking water were found in 16 local schools and two local daycares including the worst result in Ontario, why wouldn't be trust our educational authorities? We study history in order to avoid repeating the bad things all over again. I'm sure that it's coincidence that my children and future grandchildren will never rely on the promises of at least one of our local school boards. The article in the Waterloo Region Record is titled ""Your kids are safe", schools say after failed lead tests".
Wednesday, October 4, 2017
Today's Waterloo Region Record carries the following story titled "Adviser recommends overhauling Ontario's jails". Howard Sapers is a well known and respected expert on correctional services, jails and inmates. His report advises that 2/3 of people incarcerated in Ontario are on remand. This means that they have been charged with an offence but not convicted. Therefore 2/3 of our prisoners have not had their day in court and therefore are presumed innocent. It seems ridiculous that they are held in facilities with inmates with long term criminal records and sentences.
Ontario it turns out is one of the only provinces in Canada which does not have a law curbing strip searches in jail. In fact government policy in Ontario is to have strip searches on a bi-weekly basis for all inmates and daily strip searches for inmates in segregation. To say that is punitive, bizarre and unneccessary when compared to all other jurisdictions in Canada is an understatement.
Corrections Minister Marie-France Lalonde has indicated that the Ontario government will act upon Mr. Saper's report and will introduce new corrections legislation this fall. How many decades behind the times is that?
Friday, September 29, 2017
Back on September 15/17 I posted here about the status of two Delegations I had presented to Woolwich Council regarding explosive levels of methane gas in the sub-surface of the Bolender Park Landfill in Elmira, Ontario . The two Delegations were August 1 and August 22/17. I had been advised that on September 19 there would be a "Review" of my second Delegation (Aug. 22/17) presented to Woolwich Council. GHD the new owners of Conestoga Rovers (CRA), who wrote the original ten reports, indeed presented their ten page report to Council. It was a crock. They basically had nothing but deflections, irrelevancies and stickhandling in an attempt to undermine my comments and criticism of the ten CRA landfill reports written between 1983 and 2016.
Think about this carefully. I believe that Woolwich Council indicated that they had spent $6,000 of taxpayers money on a "Review" of my critique of ten CRA reports, by the new owners of CRA. Exactly how likely is that they would either criticize their new colleagues from CRA or criticize their clients (Woolwich Township) for their negligence in not following a couple of very serious recommendations that they made. You guessed it, they did not. They simply huffed and puffed and blew a lot of smoke.
Since then I've had a third and a fourth Delegation and the third listed several published scientific reports in regards to landfill gas methodologies and procedures, all of which CRA appeared unfamiliar with. The fourth was a critique of GHD's "Review" and I focused on their false statements that the gas collection system had been running from 1984 until 2015. This I debunked via direct quotes from CRA reports in 1998 and 2007. Council for whatever reason are in full coverup and denial mode. Let's see if we can discover the reasons why.
Thursday, September 28, 2017
It'a all music to my ears. It tells me that the Waterloo Region District School Board still haven't got their act together. This article was in the K-W Record way back at the start of this month, namely September 2, 2017. It was written by Jeff Outhit and is titled "Secret report exposes trustee feuding". Well I suggest it exposes a lot more than that. Trustee Cindy Watson, from Cambridge and one of the good ones decided to send a little message. She had been kangaroo courted by her fellow trustees back in 2012. her "crime" was in failing to automatically defend a staff member who had been criticized by a parent. Oh boo hoo our overpaid and under accountable teachers need and expect to be defended by their union, their colleagues, trustees and anyone else just because a parent criticizes them? While trustees can't assume anything off the bat they are not there just to be cheerleaders for Board staff. They are there to look at the facts and if criticism is unwarranted to say so and if clearly warranted to try and do something about the problem. Any ridiculous Code of Conduct demanding Trustees automatically back staff needs to be turfed along with each and every idiot who backed that self-serving drivel disguised as a Code of Conduct.
Wednesday, September 27, 2017
Mass lying and deception by American federal politicians of U.S. citizens. That is a huge part of the takeaway I've gotten while following this lengthy series on Channel 61 (PBS). Another aspect is the propaganda. The propaganda was that the war was all about U.S. values of freedom and democracy versus those dirty, left-wing, anti-democratic, anti-freedom Communist expansionists. Wow! hard to disagree with that if it had been true. The reality is that expansionists is just another word for colonial powers and which countries do you think historically have been the biggest and baddest colonial powers? let's see, how about Britain, France, Spain and you've got it the United States of America. U.S. interventionism has included forays into Cuba, Chile, Grenada, Panama, Nicaurogua, Canada (1812-14), Mexico, Iraq, Vietnam, Afghanistan ... ahh hell you get the picture.
The French vacated Vietnam under duress from Ho Chi Minh and supporters. At first the U.S. and Ho Chi Minh appeared to be of like mind. The Vietnamese had overthrown both the Japanese and the French and all they wanted was to rule thier own country. Democratic elections had been scheduled after a temporary split only of the north from the south. Despite the corruption of the Diem regieme in South Vietnam, the U.S. backed them and went along with cancelling the elections because it was apparent that Ho Chi Minh would win any fair election in Vietnam due to his stature and history of fighting both the Japanese and the French. The U.S. once again backed the wrong horse in so many different ways.
Back in the U.S. it became all about ego and face saving for U.S. presidents and politicians. Yes the "kill ratio" may have been ten to one in favour of the U.S. over the Viet Cong in South Vietnam and the North Vietnamese regular army. That said the north were fighting to preserve and unite their country while the south were fighting for a corrupt, self -serving regieme. Both groups however were cruel and brutal both against their internal opponents and against their own citizens.
It was a mess that never needed nor was improved by the U.S. propping up the South Vietnam government. Rough estimates had 50,000 U.S. soldiers killed, 100,000 South Vietnamese army killed and possibly 200,000-400,000 North Vietnamese and Viet Cong killed. Then there was the "collateral" damage. The civilians on both sides of the border bore the brunt of bombing, strafing and being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Last evening's (Wed. Sept. 27/17) 8th part of the series stated that in total 2,000,000 Vietnamese died, presumably north and south, civilians and fighters.
Throughout it all U.S. politicians never stopped lying to their own citizens. How exactly that preserved American ideals of peace, justice, freedom and democracy is beyond me.
Tuesday, September 26, 2017
OTHER THAN FOR LEGITIMATE NATIONAL SECURITY REASONS SHOULD POLITICIANS BE PROSCRIBED BY LAW FROM LYING?
For me the answer to the question is obvious. While we might think that lying politicians get found out it's amazing how seldom it actually occurs. There are probably strategies and workshops if not books on how to get away with lying, from little things to billion dollar lies. The only reason our politicians at all levels do it is because they are confident they won't be found out and if they are then simply more lies can be told to put a different spin on things. Finally if there is no getting away from it then a heartfelt or heart wrenching public mea culpa usually puts things to rest. After that it's back to business but just don't repeat the same lies that you did get caught on.
Our municipal Council here in Elmira, Ontario and probably most others have no compunctions against the most brazen lies. The more they tell and get away with, the bolder they get. Even if they get called on them they seem willing to keep pushing the envelope. Part of it is the attitude that truth or falsehood isn't the issue. The issue is whether the majority of citizens believe the liars (the politicians) or whether they believe the whistleblowers. Hence even if 10 to 20 percent of the people believe the whistleblower, most politicians believe they've scored another victory.
Logic and commonsense aren't enough to bring down a lying politician. Neither are facts. For that matter neither is a smoking gun unless some other authority examines the smoking gun and pronounces the guilt of the lying politicians. The other alternative is if the facts do not require scientific or other professional corroboration. The reason is that the bad guys can and do employ their own hired guns. Then you end up with one expert saying this and another saying that.
These above comments are specifically in relation to Woolwich Council's stance on methane problems at the Bolender Park Landfill here in Elmira, Ontario. They are lying and deceiving the general public as well as the residents in close proximity to the landfill. They believe that holding a united front is the best defence against the truth. Often it works that way. We will see.
Saturday, September 23, 2017
Oh the power! The control and the ability to bend literally millions of people to your will. That's what politics is all about. Please spare me the shit about "serving" the public. Spare me the shit about doing what's best for the public interest. Politicians are simply egotistical, pathological liars in general. I love the saying that it's not fair to brand all politicians as shits just because 95% of them are exactly that.
Today's Waterloo Region Record carries the following Opinion from Luisa D'Amato: "All-day kindergarten is just more expensive snake oil from Queen's Park". That's pretty a strong opinion considering the costs involved as well as how strongly we cherish our children. Any government action regarding children must always be carefully scrutinized including through the prism that governments are inherently self-serving.
Luisa makes a very strong case based upon the standardized literacy and math examinations given to Grade 3 and Grade 6 students across Ontario. While all day kindergarten started in 2010 in parts of the province, it turns out that those students receiving it have done no better than the ones who did not. Apparently the positive learning effects are short lived and do not last past Grade 2. In other words the $1.5 Billion dollars per year for full day kindergarten has been a complete waste of money.
It was all about branding the Liberals once again as the education government. It was all about cheap day care sooner albeit more expensively for parents. It was all about getting elected again and again regardless of the merit of their programs. Good God.
Friday, September 15, 2017
Woolwich Township: such a sad history of individuals working for their own interests versus those of the public. The only difference between a democracy and a totalitarian regieme is that politicians in democracies at least have to pretend that they are working in the public interest.
Nearly seven weeks ago I brought my first of three Delegations to Woolwich Council. The first was August 1, the second August 22/17. To date I have not received any formal feedback about my concerns with methane gas intruding into homes or businesses nearby. As is my practice I had done some research prior to my first Delegation. I obtained indirectly ten consultant's reports hired by Woolwich Township concerning methane monitoring and collection in the Bolender Park Landfill. I have since delivered three significantly different written and oral Delegations to Council. My comments and criticisms are clear, specific and documented.
I was advised by Sandy Shantz (alleged mayor) by e-mail that the consultants Conestoga Rovers (GHD) in conjunction with Woolwich Staff have produced a review of my August 22/17 Delegation. It was completed two weeks ago and has been denied to me so far. Sandy advises me that a staff report will be made to Council this Tuesday and allegedly I will receive it today.
Soooo let me get this straight. I have written and spoken about multiple clear and blatant failures of Conestoga Rovers "investigation" and monitoring of the Bolender Park Landfill and what I will be receiving is a Woolwich staff report of a review done by the possibly incompetent consultant and his client (Township) who appear to have no idea what they are doing. Wow! That really is way beyond disappointing. Is that naivety, incompetence or semi-professional political scheming and gamesmanship? If it is the latter, does that qualify as a form of corruption? You the reader decide.
Thursday, September 14, 2017
On August 25/17 the Waterloo Region Record published the following article titled "U.S. seeking enforcement of judgement against Khadr". Fortunately for Mr. Khadr both the Supreme Court of Canada as well as the Canadian government have publicly stated that Khadr's detention and prosecution in the U.S. offended our most basic values and principles. The military commission which prosecuted him has long been reviled by those knowledgeable in jurisprudence. Similarly his detention as a child soldier for years in inhumane conditions at Guantaunamo Bay (Cuba) prior to his trial also cast disrepute upon the entire legal process. It is to be hoped that the families of two American servicemen wake up, shake their heads and realize that assaults on enemy compounds by Americans during wartime can and does result in injuries and fatalities. It is called war not peace. Enemy combatants, whether Khadr was or wasn't, do not get charged for fighting back while under attack. The entire legal process was ridiculous and simply one more case of the victor writing history after the fact.
Wednesday, September 13, 2017
GENERAL ELECTRIC EXPOSES THOUSANDS TO TOXIC CHEMICALS THEN ABANDONS PETERBOROUGH FOR SUNNIER ENVIRONMENTAL AND COST CLIMATE
G.E. has been in Peterborough for 125 years. At one time in the 1960s they had 6,500 employees working at the plant. Now they are advising their 358 employees that other than the engineering department they are closing shop and sending production to Mexico. All hail free trade. Free trade means never having to say your sorry for killing off your employees with work place hazards and toxins.
A lengthy report conducted by researchers hired by the union found more than 3,000 chemicals had been used between 1945 and 2000. Employees both retired and still working have long complained of serious health issues including multiple cancers. Many of their diseases have been linked to toxic chemical exposure. The Canadian Press carried this story regarding the plant closing on August 25, 2017.
Monday, September 11, 2017
Today's Waterloo Region Record has an absolutely excellent Editorial by the Record. It is titled "Don't gut provincial tests". It puts the failures in our educational system squarely where they should be. Yes the province are in charge of education but they have passed that responsibility down to local school boards throughout the province. They have made a mess of things while taking very good care of all the players in the system except of course the students. Teachers, their unions ,bureaucrats and administrators have done really well by the school system. Unfortunately all that love and attention somehow hasn't trickled down to the most vulnerable and those for whom the system was supposed to have been built. Keep in mind that while the Liberals may own the last fourteen years the problems have been much longer in the making than that.
Now both the governing Liberals and the school boards think they've discovered the problem. It's those damn, pesky tests administered to Grade 3, 6 and 9 students that are the problem. Students en masse are not achieving provincial standards. Math is worse than English although that's not saying much. Among other problems are that math teachers apparently aren't very good in mathematics themselves. Seems as if teaching was a safe location for them. Personally I've seen a couple of pathetic public school English teachers. It's not that they were particularly bad teachers, it's that they were particularly bad in English skills. What a way to run a railroad folks. As I said it took a lot of stupidity and a minimum of common sense to get into this mess. Way to go Waterloo Region District School Board and all the rest of like minded boards across this province.
Saturday, September 9, 2017
What I don't understand is how anybody is surprised by the results of math and english testing in our public schools. Literally for decades governments have kept hands off while teachers, trustees and school boards did their utmost to improve the lot of trustees, taechers and school boards. Do you see any mention of student learning in those previous two sentences. Teachers unions especially at the elementary level, combined with Board bureaucracy have worked hard to keep themselves unaccountable and non-tramsparent. it has worked beautifully - for them that is. Never has so much tax money gone into such mediocre results while keeping parents sucessfully at bay and governments generally looking the other way.
On August 31, 2017 the Waterloo Region Record published the following story titled "Math test scores "disappointing". Mary Reid of the University of Toronto stated that math proficiency tests must be made mandatory for elementary school teachers. This is because these teachers struggle with basic math skills which obviously affects their teaching and thus their students' learning. Oh surprise, surprise! Don't be surprised if the union insisting on layoffs by seniority instead of by either competence or abilities in particular subjects such as math is also a strong factor. Exactly how many teachers kept their jobs teaching math which they themselves furiously dropped as fast as they could when they got to high school? Remember education isn't about common sense. It's about privelege, power, status and authority that most could not get in other fields. Our provincial governments have done little over the decades to improve things.
Friday, September 8, 2017
The August 31, 2017 Waterloo Region Record carried the following Opinion piece by Peter Shawn Taylor titled "Water-softener plan money down the drain?". Well I don't always agree with his opinions I do find that his comments regarding governments' motivations and oftentimes bizarre directions to be educational. Mr. Taylor uses as examples things like the plethora of unnecessary roundabouts, Byzantine outdoor watering restrictions, punitive garbage rules and finally the massive debt and dislocation of the LRT (light rail transit).
There is a new water softening technology called TAC or template assisted crystallization. Mr. Taylor suggests that while there are definite positives to this technology as it would greatly reduce the use of salt and hence help our waterways and groundwater there are also major negatives. He finds that the Region's attempts to persuade or force consumers down a route that they are either not happy with or prepared to follow is one more waste of time and money. He basically suggests that government subsidized directions artificially increase the uses government favours but only until the subsidies end. then consumers will make their own choices and just like electric cars are far more likely to go back to using salt to soften their water. Hence this whole plan is likely to be simply "money down a watery drain.".
Saturday, September 2, 2017
Luisa D'Amato's Opinion column in today's Waterloo Region Record is titled "Trustees have one last chance to get it right". Luisa has been writing about our local school boards for as long as I can remember. She has been professional but blunt and indeed scathing at times. It appears as if little has changed since my run in with the Waterloo Region District School Board and their majority of lapdogs pretending to be trustees.
I found senior administrative staff at the Board back in the late 90s to be disgusting. They were nothing if not blindly loyal to the teachers and their unions. They were not interested in either the truth or in trying to solve serious problems with bad apple teachers in their employ. Obviously the Ron Archer case was an extreme one but one which shines a spotlight on the internal protectionism and non accountability of teachers, much less the school board itself.
Luisa refers to the Code of conduct as thoroughly undemocratic. She also refers to trustees sitting in judgement of their fellow trustees as a "kangaroo court". She is right on both counts but what is the real reason behind their animosity? At the moment trustees can't hold any staff or teachers accountable when they are liable to censure under the idiotic Code of Conduct just for listening to criticism of staff and then not immediately challenging that criticism. That is nuts. Similarly trustees are not allowed to keep Board staff and administrators on the straight and narrow because trustees are prohibited from criticizing anything they do even when student achievement is in the toilet.
The problem in my opinion isn't trustee infighting. Thank God they are fighting because otherwise the majority of trustees who go along with these asinine Codes of Conduct and asinine rules forcing trustees to always speak glowingly about Board staff and administrators would have absolute free rein to continue the WRDSB's long history of self congratulation, back patting, puffery and putting teachers' unions and staff miles ahead of students' and parents' interests.
Wednesday, August 30, 2017
Anybody still doubt that the war on marijuana is all about greasing the wheels of our judicial system? In other words keeping police, judges and lawyers employed and well paid? Think about it. Remove all marijuana offences whether using, possessing, selling or growing from the criminal code and boy will that ever free up the courts, and all the staff involved on our taxpayers dime to pursue other "anti-social' activities.
Jeffrey Shaver of Cambridge has pointed out the absurdity of our judicial system from top to bottom. Why did the Waterloo Regional Police bother to charge him for marijuana possession when he had a legal medical marijuana card on his person when arrested? After he protested in front of the police station while smoking marijuana he was charged again and then the charges dropped. His marijuana has since been returned from his second arrest but not from his first. That is why he was outside the Kitchener courthouse yesterday morning again smoking marijuana apparently without incident. Come on courts, police and prosecuters give your heads a shake. The clear and obvious near future is total decriminalization of marijuana plus this guy has a medical license to possess and use it. he has totally made you look like a..holes. Drop the remaining charge and return his property to him which you stole in the first place. The law truly can be an ass. See the article in today's Waterloo Region Record.
Yesterday's Waterloo Region Record carried an article titled "Solitary confinement violates charter right to life: lawyer". Both the B.C. Civil Liberties Association and the John Howard Society of canada are delivering closing arguments to the British Columbia Supreme Court in a lawsuit against the Attorney General of Canada over the use of indefinite segregation in prisons. Quoting statistics the lawyers are advising the court of the numbers of prisoners who have committed suicide while in segregation across Canada. This also includes here at the Kitchener Prison for Women where Ashley Smith at the age of nineteen killed herself by strangulation while guards watched her. Various international groups and other countries have long banned indefinite segregation and or put severe limits on the time that inmates can be put in solitary confinement.
Monday, August 28, 2017
Well it's probably pretty obvious that something is way out of whack with either this particular officer or with the Waterloo Region Police service or with both. Four times in the last eight months. Hmm let me think. I was charged eleven times in a row by the idiots in blue although only arrested twice I believe. When the smoke cleared I had one petty Trespass conviction, ten of the charges dropped and the Crown advised the Waterloo Regional Police in writing that they would no longer prosecute me on any trespass charges that the Regional Police laid on me. Kind of gives you an idea of the pettiness and stupidity the upper echelons of the WRPS are capable of, doesn't it?
Speaking of ingenuous don't you love the decency of the WRPS in not identifying the officer charged for the fourth time "To avoid identifying the victim". He's already been identified three times. Gosh whomever could it be?
It looks as if breaching court orders and terms of release seems to be the big problem. These factors figure prominently in proposed reforms of our court system and especially our bail system. Sometimes it appears as if the bail terms are essentially devised to be onerous and in order to make it next to impossible for the accused to comply with them. Bingo he gets rearrested. Is that the kind of crap that is going on here?
Waterloo Regional Police and Police Board, it is way past time to get your shit together. You are making laughing stocks of yourselves and very successfully bringing the administration of justice into disrepute. Last Saturday's Record carries the story titled "Police officer arrested four times in eight months".
Saturday, August 26, 2017
Lily livered, wimpy bureaucrats working at public institutions do not have the right to ban or prohibit other people simply because those white collared, wusses are "afraid". This has long been the local School Board's game in spades. It especially works if the parent they don't care for is male. "Ooh we have an angry, agitated male saying mean things to us." It is their typical kind of crap.
Today's Waterloo Region Record has an interesting article titled "Court says ban from town hall property is unconstitutional". An upset Town of Fort Erie had a local and fairly loud male protester who was outside the town hall with a megaphone. Police were called and he was arrested and then banned from town property. An idiot Superior Court Justice upheld the ban last February and so the protester appealed to the Ontario Court of appeal and won. That Justice made it clear that the evidence of town employees who claimed to be afraid of the man was flimsy at best. The Justice also stated that "Violence is not the mere absence of civility". So here's the lesson WRDSB and local municipalities : Even lying about a citizen being "agitated" or "angry" isn't adequate reason to issue them trespass notices. In a nutshell WRDSB - go fuc. yourselves.
Thursday, August 24, 2017
I admit it's not easy. When an individual or group have been caught red handed in behaviour that screams either dishonesty or corruption, it's difficult to look at them in the same light ever again. Whether the issue was the manufactured crisis around the Chemtura Public Advisory Committee, the park in Breslau, the gravel pit in Winterbourne, Election Financing cheating and coverups, you name it; trying to observe the latest issue and Woolwich Council's reaction to it objectively and with an open mind requires a serious effort.
The latest problem has been around for a long time. It has been kept below the radar and out of sight for a very long time. Woolwich Township have literally decades if not fractions of centuries experience in so doing. Uniroyal Chemical came to Elmira, Ontario in 1942. They had federal government contracts in hand to manufacture explosive stabilizers. Our town Council whether Elmira alone or as Woolwich Township incorporating Breslau, St. Jacobs, Elmira, West Montrose, Conestogo, Maryhill etc. managed to keep the imminent and obvious destruction of our drinking water aquifers on the back burner for almost half a century. That's world class politics and coverup my friends. The environmental stink and groundwater destruction behind the Breslube plant in Breslau was also kept very low key. The shut down of nearby municipal wells was attributed to the world's toughest bacteria in the Grand River rather than to industrial solvents and oils from Breslube. At one time they had P.C.B. contaminated oils floating on the water table behind their property. Again hardly made a ripple publicly.
The latest issue is methane production from the Bolender Park Landfill in and around two businesses and several homes. Rather than provide inexpensive methane warning devices to these homes and businesses, Council would rather negotiate privately with one of the businesses in order to put a new methane collection system on his property. All this at the same time as they are publicly lying and saying that there are no concerns. It's possible that they are telling the truth if they personally have no concerns for those at risk.
To date neither Council nor Staff have advised why they feel that everything is just dandy. I've seen the methane concentrations in the Conestoga Rovers Reports and they are above the 20% LEL (Lower Explosion Limit). To me they are rolling the dice and hoping for the best. Of course when their number comes up and there is an explosion they can do exactly the same thing they did when the wells became poisoned, namely obfuscate, deflect and distract.
Tuesday, August 22, 2017
According to them at least they always know best. According to them they are fountains of knowledge, common sense, logic and clear thinking. They would also like us to believe that their first priority are the students with decency, respect, decorum, morals and ethics thrown in for good measure. Unfortunately absolutely none of this is true.
Our school boards are grossly politicized bastions of partisan politics. They are all about power, authority, prestige, political ladder climbing and money. Their sense of self-entitlement from the bureaucrats, trustees, administrators, consultants, union leaders and some teachers is second to none. They use and abuse their power and influence to protect their empires and will crush any legitimate opposition that is not as strong and unprincipled as they are.
Today's Waterloo Region Record expands upon their most recent inherent lack of common sense and logic. The title is "Police looking into teen's drowning". Yes the police are involved with the absurdity and negligence involved in the drowning of a fifteen year old boy on a school trip last month. No foul play was not the cause. Criminal negligence or gross stupidity however have not been ruled out.
The Toronto District School Board have apologized to the dead teen's family. This School Board's dysfunction is nothing new whether political infighting or Trustees alleging financial/electioneering wrongdoing by their colleagues. The Board had passed rules demanding that all students on the school trip to Algonquin Park must be able to pass a swimming test prior to the trip. The drowned teen had failed the test. Now we find that a grand total of fifteen of the thirty-two students had failed the swimming test. They all went anyways and one of them is dead.
All hail the Toronto District School Board.
Saturday, August 19, 2017
Do not misunderstand me. I am not referring to the fine men and women in uniform whose attitude day in and day out is to serve and protect. I am referring to the administration and control of Ontario police forces by their Chiefs and senior administration officers. They have totally lost control when criminal actions by bad apples within their services are treated differently than criminal actions by members of the public.
Lawyer Julian Falconer, representing the teen victim and his family, stated "This represented in my opinion, a deliberate and intentional effort on the part of police authorities to conceal a crime by one of their own.". It appears that the black teen was walking with two friends in their own neighbourhood last December when confronted by an off-duty police officer and his brother. The teen was attacked and allegedly beaten with a metal pipe. His injuries are severe including loss of an eye and multiple broken bones.
The Special Investigations Unit wasn't notified which is supposed to be mandatory when there are serious injuries and or allegations of sexual assault by a police officer. Durham Police investigated and didn't even interview witnesses to the assault.
Now our very own Waterloo Regional Police are involved as they have been asked to investigate the assault on the black teenager.
A coalition of community and advocacy groups has stated that "The end result is a lack of confidence in the very public institutions that were created to keep us safe.'. Ontario's Attorney General stated that change is necessary to improve public trust in law enforcement. A thorough house cleaning is long overdue at the top if they are unwilling to rid their forces of occasional bad apples. It is beyond hypocritical if well liked and or connected officers keep their jobs after committing criminal offences while other less popular officers are drummed out of police forces using internal Police Act charges. This kind of internal discrimination and favouritism harms both the police force and the public and can no longer be tolerated.
The article describing this situation was in the Waterloo Region Record last Thursday titled "Agency asked to probe two police forces after officer charged in teen's beating".
Friday, August 18, 2017
Whu should this remotely be a surprise to anyone? The City of Waterloo went through something similar in the mid 90s. Yours truly along with a couple of other employees went to the Ontario Human Rights Commission in regards to the City of Waterloo's harassment and discrimination against female public works employees. The Commission took forever however when they were finally ready to go I received a phone call from the CAO of the City of Waterloo. He wanted to settle including a written apology and some back wages. I accepted. The female employee had been settled with long before.
So here we have yet another male dominated and longterm historically male occupation only. However decades ago our governments decided that women were quite capable of doing lots of formerly male only occupations. Factory work for women didn't really start until the Second World War when there was a shortage of men for the factories. Doctors, fire women, construction workers and police officers became open to both genders. Just as there are lots of men who would make poor police officers or construction workers similarly there are many women who would do poorly however many others, if given even half a chance, can succeed in these occupations.
Of course it's all too much of a shock for the hurt feelings of many rank and file as well as of many senior police officers. They go through the motions and give lip service support only to their female colleagues. Basically they sneak around doing their best to undermine and harass them into quitting. It has worked in that many women throw uop their hands and say to hell with the pack of you. They are there to work and to have a career not be punching bags for the well entrenched old boys club.
And this is why we are where we are today. Waterloo Regional Police have been far too long spending way too much taxpayers time and money pursuing that which has gone the way of the dodo. Women are in the work force and our society is the better for it. The Waterloo region Record article about this is dated August 16, 2017 and the title of the article is "Hearing on police class-action suit in September".
Tuesday, August 15, 2017
The answer is absolutely yes. Despite the fact that there is still no law either federal or provincial stating that politicians are not forbidden to lie; there are still ample reasons to send them to jail. Let's see gross negligence is a very good reason. The Flint Michigan disaster whereby young children were drinking lead contaminated tap water comes to mind. Some of those children will have permanently lowered brain function due to the lead ingested while both local and state politicians looked for cheaper, less safe sources of water. Here in Elmira, Ontario the politicians who knew that Uniroyal's chemicals including NDMA were in the groundwater for years prior to its' "discovery" in 1989 should have spent considerable time behind bars. Similarly the upcoming methane crisis from the Bolender Landfill in Elmira hopefully to date has not caused death or injury although all the evidence is not yet in. There have been a number of fires and personal injuries including death under somewhat strange circumstances at a business located beside the former Landfill. Woolwich Township staff and politicians appear to have been negligent in their handling of reports received from their consultants over a thirty plus year time period. Even when their consultants have advised action it has never had any sense of urgency or timeliness involved.
Friday, August 11, 2017
Today's Waterloo Region Record carrys the following story titled "School boards can learn from "crisis"". It seems that the start of school year last September was even more eventful than usual across Toronto. The Ombudsman, Paul Dube, released a report yesterday on the mess in Toronto last September. It seems as if thousands of students were stranded and some even went missing when bus drivers en masse dropped young children off at the wrong stops. This included junior kindergarten students as well as those with special needs. Many parents were left with missing children for several hours.
According to the Ombudsman there were warning signs well ahead of the start of school indicating that new bus operators combined with new or different bus drivers had no idea where their routes were. It was a mess. The Ombudsman has suggested that this crisis could have been averted and hopes that other boards besides Toronto's two baords have taken note and gotten their acts together.
It certainly puts in context for me the dysfunction and incompetence of school boards who just love to blame parents for any educational flaws rather than looking at themselves. Low graduation rates and declining math scores on provincial tests may simply be the tip of the iceberg. Politics and politicians seem intent on buggering up just about anything they can get their hands on including partisan trustees and promoting the flavour of the month edubabble from bureaucrats and their educational consultants. These are not smart people at the top of school boards. They are manipulators and deceivers with too much status, money and power and too little real accountability or transparency.
Wednesday, August 9, 2017
In Drumheller, Alberta a local politician got into trouble over her strong and rude comments on Facebook about two of her colleagues on local Council. The police showed up, charged and arrested her and put her in jail. The charge was a criminal charge namely Defamatory Libel, punishable by up to two years in prison. Realizing that she was facing a criminal record and a prison sentence she agreed to conditions which were backed up by a provincial court order.
Now here's the kicker. Section 301 of the Criminal Code regarding Defamatory Libel had been repealed twenty years earlier in Alberta as being unconstitutional. It has also been repealed in Ontario, Saskatchewan, Newfoundland, Labrador and New Brunswick. Section 301 had never been taken to the Supreme Court of Canada for them to determine its' constitutionality which is why the many provinces and territory have done so.
All of this begs the question as to how the police and Crown in Alberta allegedly didn't know that the law was unconstitutional. The author of this story Derek James, offered this comment: "This means that the Crown will still occasionally bring charges under Section 301- although only ever to shield public officials like politicians and police from criticism, never average private citizens.". This story was in the Waterloo Region Record on June 9, 2017 titled "Defamation law used to silence political speech?".
Tuesday, August 8, 2017
Police brutality. It's never really stopped. Maybe it's no longer Standard Operating Procedure as it once was in some areas but nevertheless it continues at the very least on an individual basis by individual officers. The August 1, 2017 Waterloo Region Record published a story titled "Man assaulted by officer gets charge dropped". Judge Joseph Bovard stated in court that an assault by Officer Gill constituted a very serious breach of the suspect's rights and as a result the evidence against the suspect was thrown out. The Judge also commented negatively on the behaviour and conduct of the officer and his colleagues in court. The charge was related to drinking and driving and the police officer's illegal behaviour towards the suspect resulted in no evidence being available to the Crown. My question is besides the suspect walking is there any consequences for the officer? If not, including assault charges, then is it any wonder that this behaviour continues by some police offciers?