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".