"Cowardice asks the question...is it safe? Expediency asks the question...is it politic? Vanity asks the question...is it popular? But conscience asks the question...is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it because it is right." ~Dr. Martin Luther King

Saturday, 20 February 2016


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "MODERN MYTH IS BARREN": 

Politicians are afraid of the Police unions because they probably have the most to fear.

Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 20 February 2016 at 09:51


Easy to say, if you don't know the  system. 

Since  the newly-departed  Deputy Chief's name was in the news ,we learned three complaints had been filed against him. The Police Association  have authority to request a public inquiry .

We had opportunity to watch how that worked against the York Regional Police Chief I referred to yesterday.

Representatives from three police agencies formed the investigating team; R.CM.P, O.P.P. and Y.R.P.

The search for wrong-doing went on for years. To justify the time and money spent, they have to come up with something. The Aurora Banner published every nefarious suggestion by unidentified complainants .

One after another they fizzled to nothing. But the effect was corrosive. Harm was accomplished.

A previously, early-retired  chief was brought back,at public expense from Florida to tell tales. He cheerfully obliged. 

On his retirement, he informed  the board he would not attend a tacky retirement dinner in his honour. 
He knew of a Chief who was presented with an R.V. on retirement. 

He got neither the dinner nor the R.V.

During the period of investigation, China was changing their system of government and teams of officials came to Canada to understand  municipalities organization. 

Canada's Police were invited , at China's expense, to visit and share expertise in policing.  A  Chinese- speaking officer went along on the trip with the regional team.

An allegation was made against him of nefarious activities on the trip. The Banner sucked it up and spat it out as news. Nothing came of it but the Officer departed the force soon after.  

The region was  becoming more diverse every day. The Asian community had taken over Markham without a single shot being fired. Much like the Italian community did earlier in Woodbridge. 

A Chinese -speaking officer was a valuable resource to the department. Also a target of resentment and envy. 

We all watched former Toronto Chief Bill Blair blatant harassment of the  last Mayor.

He told the media the Mayor was being investigated. He put a helicopter in the air to tail the Mayor and his friend and videoed him putting a plastic bag of empties  into a park receptacle and taking a leak behind a tree.

The video was made available to the media. But not the price of procuring it. Nobody asked. Not even the Ford Brothers. 

Helicopters cost thousands to hoist aloft. Public resources were used to SPY on the city's Mayor and kept media involved in regular wild goose chases. 

Rob Ford , Conservative, handily beat out George Smitherman,Liberal ,in the previous Mayoralty.

The Mayor's friend was  eventually charged with criminal offences. A trial was held and the charges were dismissed. 

Somewhere in there, a Crown Attorney is responsible to determine if sufficient evidence exists to prosecute a charge. Crown Attorneys are  employed by the province. Liberals in power.

Blair was not terminated for his conduct which was a breach of the Police Act which prohibits the police from involvement in politics. 

His contract was not renewed.

He retired unscathed.

He was not pleased. 

The media dutifully reported that as well 

But he went on to bigger and better things. He was sought as a Liberal candidate in the federal election and won the seat in Trudeau,The Younger's new Parliament.

Trudeau ,the Elder hated the media's prurient interest in his personal life and made no secret of his rage. 
Whereupon reporters who created the Trudeau glamour myth promptly proceeded to unmake it. 

At one time, the  Ontario Police Commission had authority over all police services. Like Ontario Water Resources Commission had responsibility to ensure  people of Ontario had clean water to 
drink, the Police Commission had even more significant responsibility to ensure considerable power of the police would be kept in check.

Then Regions were created. Town and village forces amalgamated and became armies . Police Associations represented thousands, garnered millions in association dues and became more far more powerful than politicians. 

Follow the money.

Indications of that power are reported every day in Toronto and national media. It's not subtle. 

Mealy-mouthed  Saunders was chosen to succeed Bumbling  Blair as an example. 

Big Mike McCormack's reaction to the recent jury verdict of "attempted murder" is another.

Marching side by side,the two big fellas,McCormack and the defense lawyer vowed to have the verdict stayed.

Police morale is  the motivation always trotted out 

The Police Act includes a Code of Discipline for police. It governs every aspect of the job right down to proper dress . 

An officer has an obligation to report any infraction observed.  They are required to report on each other. It may not be used as intended but it is meant to be used  and can be used against an officer who might displease another or the police association.

Like a Code of Conduct for Councillors, judgement is not required .  Conduct is strictly governed by a code. 

No doubt the reason no test of judgement is part of the police selection process. 

The Code is deemed sufficient to gaurantee a high standard of conduct.

What bullshit!!!   The theory is as antediluvian as creationism. 

Politicians are not the only ones with reason to fear. 

The Power is untrammeled and has been since regional governments were created. 

No-one is safe. 

Everybody panders to the police. 


Anonymous said...

I always wondered how the Crown Attorney determines what goes to trail and what doesn't. It's suppose to be about the evidence, but it clearly is not. The countless trails that are being thrown out or are failing in court are too numerous to count. The most recent is the Ghomeshi trail. Although a verdict has not been announced, what a total failure with the police and the crown with their performances. And we paid for that investigation, and we paid for the crown to go to trail. The money is probably staggering to total, and it's not over yet. They all have a long way to go when it comes to earning back trust, yet we continue to reward them with budget increases each and every year.

Anonymous said...

Possibly I am mistaken but the role of the police is to enforce the law.

The law is written by legislative bodies, the members of which are all elected by the people.

If a complaint is registered by a citizen or an organization a charge may be levelled under the law by the police.

The judiciary exists to determine whether or not there has been a breech. There are several levels of judiciary up to and including the Supreme Court.

The system is not perfect because every level involves human fallibility and injustice often occurs.

But that is no reason not to attempt to improve the system. Those at or near the top of each department have the greatest level of responsibility to do this. Position or title are of little importance if these are being abused the abusers should be replaced.

All of this requires great vigilance on the part of citizens, something that is greatly lacking.

Anonymous said...

And newcomers wonder why the Aurora Banner is shunned buy long term residents.
Their reporting over the years has been so bad and caused so many individual problems that it is going to take
years to regain a semblance of reliability. And a trade paper has neither the money or the will to do such a thing.

Anonymous said...

I am hoping we get a better job done on the Bosma case. That one needs some sort of closure [ hate that word ].

Anonymous said...

There is a timely and very interesting article by Jeff Gray in today's The Globe and Mail headed "How to transform the police force and its budget"

"When David Siknacki was first contacted by the mayor's office near the end of last year about sitting on a task force to tackle police reform and rein in the Toronto force's ballooning $1-billion budget he said no thanks. When Mayor John Tory called again last week, his answer was more or less the same."

He did not feel that Tory and Toronto Police Services Board chairman Andy Pringle were serious about their commitment to radical change at the police force. However, after subsequent conversations he decided to take the pair's assurances at "face value."

Chief Mark Saunders has joined Tory and Pringle in saying he is ready to reform policing in Toronto. There will be a "transformation task force" created including former auditor-general Jeff Griffiths, four other community leaders and six senior police officers. The task force is supposed to unveil its recommendations in June.

What is interesting is the number of responses by police that could be handled by civilians. Cash-strapped police forces around the world have been moving more lower-paid employees into support roles that used to be filled by sworn police officers but don't require the skills of a full-blown police officer.

According to KPMG, in San Francisco, 16 civilians were hired to focus on property crime freeing up uniformed officers to handle more serious offences. Police in Edmonton and Waterloo use "mixed civilian and sworn officers" for crime scene investigation. Denver police planned to hire 40 civilians to make cold calls and take phone reports. In Chicago, the city's inspector-general recommended "civilianizing" hundreds of jobs to save up to $16.6 million (U.S.).

One of the proposed changes is to remove the overlap in shifts that results in the city paying for 28 hours of police work every day instead of 24. This is a 16% waste.

It would be good to conclude that the recommendations of the task force will be significant and substantial in cost savings and that the police union won't be so utterly knob headed to fight them. If it does heads should role, starting at the top where a high degree of responsibility should rest.

Anonymous said...

There is going to be an investigation, a Commission, of the police force according to a Globe story.

Anonymous said...

"The region was becoming more diverse every day. The Asian community had taken over Markham without a single shot being fired. Much like the Italian community did earlier in Woodbridge."

Taken over ??? This seems to be a bit anti-Asian / anti-Italian to me. You did not say anything about how the Jewish community took over Thornhill. These groups never took anything over. Immigrants tend to stay with their own.

If you look at the map, you will see a north-bound progression of Jewish and Italians moving along Bathurst St or Keele and Islington from the bottom of Toronto.

Anonymous said...

9:16- Ok....How about the word "migrate"? Do you like that word better? Less "anti" for you?
Evelyn did not imply anything anti in her post.

NOT 09:16 said...

15:59, "taken over" certainly doesn't come across as welcoming - or even tolerant - particularly from another immigrant.