This Blog will discuss politics, government, corruption, police, S.I.U., courts, education, min. of attorney general, min. of labour, v.o.i.c.e. and other current and past events of interest to concerned citizens. In the "About me" section to the right and down I have included the names of persons whom I have tremendous respect for. Their influence on me however has been primarily environmental (and personal) and this is therefore a disclaimer that all words posted on this Blog/Website are mine and I alone am responsible for them. I say this with the greatest respect and affection to my friends.
Monday, January 30, 2017
Today's Waterloo Region Record carries the following story titled "Waterloo officer wants to "humanize the badge". Staff Sgt. Donna Mancuso is the regional forces very first inclusion and equity officer. The position was created by Chief Brian Larkin and is supported by police management. Based on the description of the position provided I expect that it is at least a couple of decades overdue. Ms. Mancuso will be reaching out to ethnic and religious minority groups in Waterloo Region as well as to cultural groups. She will also be working with Human Resources so that eventually police ranks will beter reflect the community they serve. Finally she will be educating police and other staff on fostering relationships within the community. All of these are worthy goals. The question in my mind is whether she will be getting no more than lip service from senior management or whether they will embrace the necessary and overdue changes and provide her with the resources and support needed to move this forward.
Friday, January 27, 2017
Well so far so good. To date I've received one confirmation of my Application to be a member of the Police Services Board from the Regional Clerk and very recently a second one from a staff person to the Board. This I view as being professional, courteous and appropriate. Back on January 9/17 I posted here about having read a Record article describing this position being open due to the resignation of Jim Wideman. Over the years my impression of this Board and its' activities has not been very good. That said I will admit that it doesn't seem to get much coverage from the local media with the exception of the Sue Foxton alleged incident with a Regional Police Officer. My impression has long been that this Board, other than discussing the annual Police budget, really aren't all that involved. I would be interested in exploring exactly what the province has mandated in legislation is the purpose, mandate, authority and legitimate areas of concern that this Board may get involved in.
Thursday, January 26, 2017
Today's Waterloo Region Record has an article by Liz Monteiro titled "Cellblock option for homeless should be scrapped: activist". Activist Julian Ichim has hit the nail on the head with his comments regarding temporarily housing the homeless in jail cells. The devil is in the details and those details include the door being locked, strip searches and 30 minute checkups all night long. What I see this being is the thin edge of the wedge whereby "voluntary" stays for the homeless and destitute soon turn into the Canadian version of debtors' prison. You know once the courts decriminalize marijuana use our police, courts and lawyers will suddenly have an abundance of time, space and resources. That will never do as the built in beneficiaries of the entire judicial system need to stay busy in order to keep the public money flowing. What an opportunity here for the system to avoid shrinkage and public funds flowing to less worthy (in their opinion) Ministries.
Wednesday, January 25, 2017
Last Thursday's Waterloo Region Record carried the following story titled "SIU investigating after driver flees multi-vehicle crash". Normally the Special Investigations Unit is only brought in in cases of injury, death or sexual assault involving police officers. In this case it was due to serious injuries received in a six vehicle crash on Belmont Ave. that occurred while Waterloo Regional Police were chasing a speeding SUV. Multiple people were taken to local hospitals due to the severity of the crash. A pedestrian was also seriously injured in the pileup. The driver of the speeding SUV fled on foot and has not been seen since. Police are requesting assistance from the public and witnesses to the crash and fleeing driver.
Tuesday, January 24, 2017
Today's Waterloo Region Record carries this story titled "Ontario liable for jailhouse attack on gang member". Once again simple common sense fails to prevail. Unless of course guards or supervisors were looking for a little "fun" or excitement. Toronto's Don jail was the scene in November 2008 when guards put a low level member of a Toronto gang into the same unit as a the leader of a rival gang. The fully to be expected, based on the reputation of the gang leader, occurred and the new prisoner received a beating causing him to spend months in hospital, more than a year in rehabilitation and left him with permanent brain damage. It only took a little over eight years for the province of Ontario to be found civilly liable in this case. Negligence plain and simple yet the province fought all the way until recently losing in the Ontario Court of Appeal. Shame on the province and the provincial correctional service.
Saturday, January 21, 2017
Literally day after day now we are hearing of police misconduct, whether alleged to date or proven. Yesterday was criminal charges laid against a Waterloo Region police officer. Today we are advised of a civil suit filed against the Guelph Police Service and several of it's members. The facts as stated in today's Waterloo Region Record are particularily egregious. Not only was their no bad behaviour on the part of the citizen/victim but in fact he has a genetic condition known as Trisomy 8 and he works part time at Torchlight and ARC Indiustries. Furthermore after allegedly assaulting the victim, police officers charged him with several criminal offences. These charges had such extreme merit that the police didn't even send them as required, along to the Crown Attorney. Unbelieveable! The victim was only advised two days prior to his September 9/16 court date that he did not need to attend. The title of the Record's article is "Guelph Police face $5M lawsuit over arrest".
The victim's lawyer has publicly stated that the initial charges against his client were "fabricated". As this is now a public matter why has the Crown's office in Guelph, much less the police themselves, not filed charges against the police officers involved? Charges could include assault as well as obstruction of justice in that it appears that they laid charges against the victim simply to intimidate him into silence.
A civil suit doesn't cut it. In fact it is precisely how police services avoid accountability and transparency. They will stall and delay, literally for years and then settle out of court with a confidentiality clause. Guess who will pay damages and costs? It sure as hell won't be a single police officer or administrator in charge of dealing with these matters. You guessed it, you and I Joe Taxpayer will pay the whole shot. What a crappy deterrent to future police misconduct when they literally can buy their way out of trouble using other people's money.
By the way the Record's on-line article this morning has been seriously shortened (censored?) in the hard copy version I picked up at my local retailer. The "censored" parts include identification of the police officers involved. Somebody maybe put a little pressure on the Waterloo Region Record folks?
Friday, January 20, 2017
Well this no longer is even bizarre. It's now tottering on the absurd. I've been reporting here over the last five years plus, various issues, incidents, charges and more regarding primarily, although not solely, the Waterloo Regional Police. Today's Waterloo Regional Record carries this story titled "Waterloo Region police officer faces assault charges". This unnamed, to date. officer has been with the Waterloo Regional Police for seventeen years. Not exactly a rookie. The charges against him include assault, sexual assault and assault with a weapon. Dear Lord of all people under stress can we not even expect an experienced police officer to hold it together? Apparently not when we look at the long litany of nasty, stupid and criminal behaviour that our local police have indulged in over the last while. Is this a function of poor screening and hiring practices in the first place? Is this indicative of an organization that does not promote good much less legal behaviour? Is there a systemic problem with our local police or are other forces just as bad?
Thursday, January 19, 2017
Very strange. This is twice now that I am aware of that the Region of Waterloo have been charged and convicted of an offence by a provincial Ministry. The first was several years ago and had to do with untreated water being put into the distribution system in Cambridge. These charges were by the Ontario Ministry of Environment. This time it is the Ontario Ministry of Labour who laid charges against the Region for failing to advise workers and supervisers regarding the presence of asbestos in the William St. pumphouse in Waterloo. Interesting that both occasions were in an area that presumably the Ministry of Environment have business with and access to. While there is no argument as to the potential seriousness of contact with asbestos nevertheless I'm left wondering if possibly the Ontario M.O.E. have a beef with the Region of Waterloo. While I've long had complaints with the Region's lack of forthrightness with the public regarding drinking water issues caused by industry nevertheless in my mind there is no comparison between the two when it comes to honesty and integrity. The region are miles ahead of the M.O.E.. The title of the article in the Waterloo Region Record is ``Region fined after workers exposed to asbestos``.
Wednesday, January 18, 2017
Dishonest, corrupt, lying bureaucrats and politicians. How else do you explain decades of government reports listing the grotesque hazards at the G.E. plant in Peterborough, Ontario with little or nothing being done? Now decades later when the workers are suffering from various cancers and other diseases directly related to their working conditions, the very same provincial government Ministries are putting up roadblocks and denying them Workmans' Compensation. What a totally disgusting and perverted system. Workers are denied the right to sue their employers for negligence and worse yet the WSIB (Workplace Safety & Insurance Board) then denies their claims after they've become sick.
Yesterday's Waterloo Region Record carries this story titled "Workers who get sick on job get more help". Bullshit all they are getting are soothing words and more delays. Quite frankly I expect that three Ministries (Environment, Labour & Health) are hoping that most of these sick and disabled workers die before they have to be compensated by the government. This is your government folks yet again siding with big business and screwing citizens and employees.
Tuesday, January 17, 2017
I thought that I could no longer be shocked by police behaviour in Canada or the United States. Yes I'm aware of extra judicial police killings in third world countries but yestyerday's article in the Waterloo region record was just way too much. The article is titled "Government report slams police in Chicago for years of brutality". This report states that the Chicago Police dep't has long had a reputation for brutality. The report also states that police have shot at citizens who did not pose a threat to anyone and have also used stun guns simply because persons would not follow their verbal commands.
The absolute worst however has to be the claim that a specific police officer, one Jon Burge and his subordinates used beatings, suffocation and electric shocks on innocent black men in order to get them to confess to crimes they had not committed.
The shame is not just on the Chicagp Police. Any politicians, bureaucrats or anyone else involved with the judicial system including judges should hang their heads in shame. This kind of outrageous behaviour going on for decades does not happen in a vacuum. People in authority knew and chose to look the other direction. Everyone involved even slightly and indirectly needs to be in jail for these abuses of American citizens by our duly authorized police force. My only question is with this illegal and disgusting behaviour by police why there haven't been far more police killings than there have been.
Friday, January 13, 2017
I downloaded off the internet a story from Tonopah, Arizona. Apparently an Arizona state trooper was unprovokedly attacked at the scene of an accident by an armed individual who shot him twice and then proceeded to beat him. A third party arrived on the scene, saw the attack on the trooper, asked the attacker to stop and when he refused the third party shot him dead. The police currently are saying that the armed intervention by the third man probably has saved the officer's life. With all those armed Americans I'm surprised at how few stories like this I've ever seen. Honest citizens with guns are not a problem in fact if they so choose they can sometimes be the solution as in this case. Often internet news makes the Waterloo Region Record a day later so we'll watch for it in tomorrow's paper.
Thursday, January 12, 2017
Well I sincerely hope that I've already posted about this particular case back down the road aways because if this is yet another different case involving misbehaviour by our local police then I'm really wondering what the hell is going on. Anyways this particular officer and his various criminal charges whether pending, whether dropped or whether sucessfully defended at trial are all related in yesterday's waterloo Region Record. The title of the story is "Veteran officer pleads guilty to discreditable conduct".
One thing that I find a tad weird is that our senior officers seem to be taking a rather lofty, flexible and downright progressive view regarding this officer and his tribulations. There are suggestions that he has learned from his past mistakes, they won't be repeated etc.. Hmm. Then we learn there is a still outstanding $2 Million civil lawsuit filed by the officer against the Waterloo Regional Police. I've seen other disciplinary cases where I felt that the officers behaviours were less blameworthy than in this case. Those cases however didn't have an outstanding $2 Million civil lawsuit involved. Is there a deal underway to which we aren't being advised? Or not?
Wednesday, January 11, 2017
Tell me that the Montreal police are not incompetent. Tell me that the failure to fully inform the public on this matter in today's Waterloo Region Record is the fault of the reporter and not of the police. First off why did it take an investigation by the dead man's son to unearth evidence of criminal behaviour? Is that not the job of the police afterall? The story in today's Record is titled "Man involved in swimmer's 1989 death charged in 2016 fatality".
Now getting back to the above headline of my posting. As soon as I saw the headline and picture in today's Record I remembered the name of the person convicted in the hit and run death of Victor Davis. Not bad after all this time. However part of the reason I remembered was the details at the time. Mr. Crossley, the killer, had had words with Victor Davis in a restaurant just prior to Mr. Crossley running him over. Very peculiar but it gets worse. Going strictly on memory I recall that prior to Mr. Davis's death, Mr. Crossley had been involved in another death; this time Mr. Crossley was at the wheel of a motorboat. Excuse me all to hell if I'm seeing a pattern here. I truly hope our authorities are also fully on top of everything involved with Mr. Crossley.
Tuesday, January 10, 2017
I just had to ask that question. Today's article in the Waterloo Region Record refers to an estimated 14,000 to 17,000 victims who will have an opportunity to comment on the proposed settlement in the sex-harassment class action suit. Later in the article it refers to hundreds of calls from women across Canada, many long retired, in regards to the announcement last May of a tentative agreement in the lawsuit.
There is bad behaviour, bullying behaviour and just plain stupid behaviour and the RCMP brass thought somehow that they could get away with it literally for decades and with thousands of victims? Who are these people? Seriously whose butts have they been kissing for how long in order to move up the chain of command? Seriously are only the seriously stupid in the RCMP promoted to positions where they can abuse their authority?
The Record article is titled "RCMP sex-harassment class action suit almost certified".
Monday, January 9, 2017
I've commented in the past regarding my holding this group in low esteem. From what I've seen over the years they are primarily a good old boys' club whose main purpose is not to rock the boat. Allegedly they oversee the Police Services's budget but do not get involved in operations. This seems somewhat strange to me. While second guessing day to day operations would certainly seem on the surface to be ridiculous, nevertheless I have to ask why they don't at least have input into the issues of the day. These issues would include things like a focus on speeding versus distracted driving, carding, profiling and even police response to middle of the night "anonymous" alleged emergencies phoned in via 911 or otherwise. Other civilian type input could include how police deal with the homeless, non-violent protests etc..
We are advised in the Waterloo Region Record's article titled "Region seeking citizen for police board vacancy" that this position is a coveted one. Interesting. My understanding had been that other than a per diem or per meeting honorarium this position barely pays travel expenses. Perhaps I've misunderstood. In the past I've looked at the names of members and essentially viewed this board as a retirement home for over the hill politicians. Jim Wideman would be a good example. Also former mayor Sue Foxton who recently got into a little spat with a senior police officer who complained that she called him a name. Yep that's right. That's how weighty and intellectual things get at this board. Possibly retirement home for retired (by choice or otherwise) politicians is a little strong. Rubber stamp might be a little more accurate.
Regardless I'm thinking of applying for this two year term. Of course merit is essentially irrelevant and more about who you know than what you know. Goes back to the good old boys club I mentioned earlier. It's far more important to the powers to be that they have someone they can work with (read deaf, blind & dumb preferably) than someone who takes the position seriously. Afterall after decades of keeping all police scandals and irregularities on the downlow the last several years seem to be almost constantly all about officers charged with either Police Act infractions or with criminal charges. This of course hurts morale, public relations and the ability to keep the cash cow flowing year in and year out.
Therefore while my chances to be appointed by Regional Council are slim to nil for a number of reasons including my taking a run at one of their sitting members recently (Sandy Shantz); who knows, maybe they need a token unconnected citizen, unpolluted by previous political office, to add credibility to this Regional Board. This should be fun.
Saturday, January 7, 2017
Today's Waterloo Region Record carries this story titled "Officer on active duty despite judge's finding". In fact it isn't just one judge's decision, it's now two judges. The first judge back in 2009 acquitted Garett Rollins of assasulting a police officer and the second judge has just recently found the Niagara Falls police officer involved liable for $28,500 in damages for his assault on Mr. Rollins as well as for malicious prosecution of him.
The chief of Niagara Regional Police said he has ordered a review of last week's civil judgement against Const. Matt Pouli and will not comment until it is completed. Meanwhile the officer continues on active duty and has since his now court proven illegal behaviour. Superior Court Justice Paul Sweeny issued a scathing decision against Const. Pouli and further added that " he disbelieved the version of events put forward by the officer and a colleague, who both tried to pin the blame on the victim.".
Clearly the good news is that two lying, bullying cops have been exposed. The bad news is that the cop involved has continued on in his career after such disgusting and illegal behaviour.
Thursday, January 5, 2017
Today's Woolwich Observer carries the following Editorial by Steve Kannon, the Observer's Editor, titled "Fear unfounded, but will be used to curtail freedom". While the chances of any Canadian here at home being a victim of a terror attack are extraordinarily small, nevertheless they are not zero. Far more likely any given Canadian will fall courtesy of a car accident, heart disease or cancer.
Steve believes that certain vested interests will use these exaggerated fears of terrorism, home grown or otherwise, to curtail Canadian civil liberties and freedoms. As he states " Misperceptions are one thing, but the fear they generate has some really scary consequences, namely the abuse of privacy and civil liberties by all-too-eager authorities.". While there are indeed obvious political and social causes of various forms of terrorism around the world we must not in North America over react to terrorism and the fear it breeds. Again Steve Kannon suggests "there are vested interests with financial and other incentives to call for beefed up security, military spending and even more restrictions to our civil rights and liberties.".
Steve is specifically talking about domestic spying and intrusions on our privacy allegedly in the name of national security. It will be about collecting data and information irrelevant to criminal activities but more about public control. Steve suggests that this information, that is none of our government's business, would result in misuse. In fact Steve states "Misuse would be rampant". Past examples of fear mongering in the U.S. obviously would include the McCarthy era hysteria around individuals with "Communist" leanings.
Wednesday, January 4, 2017
This article was written by Gwynne Dyer and published in the Waterloo Region Record on November 5, 2016. The title is "The jobs are going, and they aren't coming back". Overall it is a very depressing article advising us that yes various free trade agreements have done major economic harm to North Americans but that they are by no means the only cause. Job losses have been and will continue to be huge courtesy of technology and automation. I can recall as far back as the 1970s people worrying about job losses due to industrial robots and automation. Well the technology and automation have simply increased exponentially. Think of driverless cars. They are very close to being economically feasible and will literally put millions of truck drivers, cab drivers and delivery drivers out of work worldwide.
Gwynne Dyer compares the coming evolution to the Industrial Revolution in the 1880s through till the 1940s. It was an angry and turbulent time but society came out of it eventually better off. Mr. Dyer thinks that this coming evolution could and should be handled much better than the last one. I hope he's right including his thoughts that we can as a society provide a form of guaranteed minimum income and that if done that will make the transition much easier for everyone.
Tuesday, January 3, 2017
The Ontario Municipal Board has long been a target of criticism in Ontario. Generally developers whether of homes & subdivisions or of gravel pits have been fans however. Normally a municipal council will ask for amendments to site plans etc. and if the developer feels they are too onerous or expensive they will appeal to the OMB. Similarily if a Council does not approve a gravel pit close to residential properties and or adds conditions, then gravel pit proponents have no problem going to the OMB who historically rarely turn down gravel pit applications. There have been changes to the OMB in the last few years however a more ambitious reset is underway.
The Waterloo Region Record carried a story on November 18/16, written by Martin Regg Cohn, titled "The OMB needs to be reined in", outlining all the reasons this reset is long overdue. Mr. Cohn has suggested that the OMB historically have coddled developers and that certainly is my impression as well.
Monday, January 2, 2017
Last Saturday's Globe & Mail carried the following story titled "Rising prison violence spurs lawsuits against Ottawa", written by Michael Tutton. Numerous lawsuits have been launched alleging federal and provincial facilities fail to meet basic constitutional and common law duties to keep prisoners safe from violence. The examples of assaults and beatings resulting in brain damage and other permanent injury are horrific. Federal inmate assaults upon each other hit 581 cases last year in Canada. One incident at the Elgin-Middlesex detention centre involved a guard advising a new inmate that other inmates were awaiting him to administer a beating. Clearly those in authority appear to be looking the other way in a number of these cases. Settled lawsuits unfortunately often come with non-disclosure clauses and the institution's culpability is swept under the carpet. After the fact medical aid, often longterm, can result from these in prison assaults. This medical aid is but one more cost borne by taxpayers due to negligence at our provincial and federal facilities.