"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

Friday 26 February 2016


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "RESIDENTS DON'T MAKE DECISIONS": 

It is tricky. They believe they have a " right " to another green space despite all the plans showing it not necessary. The pressure is on because Highlands impacts on so many more individuals who also feel entitled. You might think we were imitating that lot of nut bars in Oregon who claimed a nature reserve for their cattle. Thank heavens we can fight it out without the long guns. I think they should compromise and accept a small amount of development . They don't have the bodies needed to influence the next election.  
Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 26 February 2016 at 03:58


If full cost was fully understood, the comment might not be quite so sanguine.

Millions of dollars of public and private resources are spent in the planning process. 

The Province writes legislation and planning policies that trump whatever is done at the local level. Separate ministries have authority to ensure official plans conform to provincial intent and without harm to the environment. 

The Region has authority over the municipality. Local  plans  must conform to the Regional plan 
which must conform to provincial legislation and policies.  

South Lake Simcoe Conservation Authority has environmental control over the northern half of the 
region. Lake Ontario Conservation Authority has control of the southern half. 

Trees must be protected from injury.

Massive public palaces are constructed to accommodate armies of provincial,regional and municipal bureaucrats who toil away at the planning process on an ever -shrinking number of hours per day and days per year.,

Much time and activity comes to nothing at all at the end. 

Millions of trees are cut down to provide paper to copy with thousands  of KWs hours of energy consumed 

Hundreds of thousands of cars  add to the carbon footprint carrying  them to and fro .Asphalt is spread over thousands of acres and now many-layered buildings are constructed  to provide more space to store cars than to house people. 

Empty urban spaces ,including golf courses, with sewer and water lines running past, street lighting, fire protection, police patrolling, empty buses trundling, street cleaning, snow plowing, parking control, urban forest management, parks and schools , all carry a hefty financial  burden while land sits idle and unproductive. 

Armies of expensive  administrative personnel sit high on the hog at a variety of levels of government and  government agencies are required  to advise and consent on every dot in every  development proposal 

Developers retain experts, lawyers, planning consultants,,engineers, to prepare plans that conform to the multitude of regulations and government requirements. 

The process takes years .

Millions are spent. Public and private.

Much of it with no result .  But the end product,family housing, shopping amenities , exercise clubs,dance studios, indoor tennis,golf and soccer facilities ,bear the cost of the process plus various taxes like land transfer tax ,harmonized sales tax, collected again at every transactional stage, building permits, development charges, workmen's compensation, unemployment insurance, vacations, life insurance, health and  retirement benefits......to name but a few. 

The last step is presenting the plans to the public to run the gauntlet of public approval and the comments of neighbours. 

Decisions are expected but  repeatedly deferred . 

Concerns must be addressed. 

More meetings held , more reports. Repetition is repeated and so the clock turns and the cost rises.,

At any time during the process ,developers are "asked"  to buy tables for eight or ten at fund-raising dinners , costing thousands of dollars . Or foursomes and banquet tables  and prizes at silent auctions at dozens of Mayor's annual golf tournaments so that the Mayor's can look like Monarchs , not butterflies, and give generously to  charitably deserving groups. Like food banks for the hungry ,like Senior's and children. 

Municipal and various professional annual conferences survive on high association fees, on gold, platinum and silver sponsorships , purchased by developers, law firms, banks and whatever other business make a living from development. 

Finally, a municipal decision must be made. The law requires it . Within a time limit.

Or not. 

Like in development of Aurora Highlands Golf Course. Possibly,after months,  an appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board. 

Pre-hearing conferences .
More delay. 
More legal costs.
Repeat meetings, reports and armies of experts. 

The Board must be mindful of provincial law and growth policies, environmental restrictions,policies  and procedures, regional official plans and recommendations , appellants' objections , municipal decisions ....or none. 

The board does not have to worry about losing favour in the next election. 

But if some municipal Councillors have their way, that too may come to pass .

Thursday 25 February 2016


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "WHAT'S IN AN ANTHEM ?": 

The Mavrinac stake-holders were back before Council. They really. really, really do not want any more development there although they have never had any idea of what they do want beside space of their own. I find it amusing that there is now talk about it being used by all of Aurora. Once the mantra was that there was already too much traffic in their area so any plans would be have to be very narrow. Not inclusive at all. 

Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 25 February 2016 at 18:28

Mavrinac residents did not hide their intentions. They wanted no further development. 

On the pretext the town needed to respect subdivision agreements even if the land wasn't needed,
the town hired lawyers to coerce the sale and the town bought the land. 

The area was amply served with parks yet they used parks reserve funds for the purchase. . 

Now the consultant advises no more parks are needed,the land should be sold  and funds returned to the reserve.

Revenue forfeited from development is many,many times more than that spent on legal fees and the land purchase. 

If funds knowingly forfeited, were instead stolen from town coffers, that would clearly be a criminal 

Yet funds that didn't need to be spent were. Revenue that should have been earned was knowingly forfeit. 

Fully serviced land sits idle. 

Funds were inappropriately taken from a reserve fund for the purchase.

Mavrinac residents didn't make the decision.  

Council did. 

But  not without an argument. 


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "WHO WE ARE AS CANADIANS...THE P.M. SAYS": 

I think it is great that newcomers are able to join in singing the anthem as it is now. There is no need to change it unless one wants to see Canadian athletes on the podium unable to contribute a few lyrics.

Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 25 February 2016 at 09:2


We have social media and can chat amiably about all kinds of things:  like the words of an anthem.

We can talk about why we have anthems  and what is their purpose?

In the States once ,we had to  scramble up from the sand in bathing suits and stand to attention 
for the National anthem . Armed police officers stood behind us to complete the macabre  scene. The water was too dirty and oily for swimming. 

Nazis were big on anthems and salutes and marching in jackboots and instilling in children great pride in the superiority of  race. 

I read once where Hitler  took a leaf out of the Catholic method of teaching  faith to children.

So what's in an anthem? If a person lived in a wilderness area without government services, and loved it....would they love it more, if it was Canadian, American, Mexican or Chilean. 

I suppose so if one needed to feel secure.....had rights.... and laws to protect them.

I think most people feel the need to belong. 

A heart-stirring anthem, familiar since childhood,might provide that feeling of security. 

An anthem is likely intended to instill  something else as well. 


Nothing ambiguous there. It means patriotism is required and whatever else may be needed
to protect and defend. 

The anthem was written when sons were expected to do what was required. And they  did.

In hundreds of thousands. Memorials  in towns and villages everywhere bear their names.

There may be women's names among them. They would be few. Nurses mostly. 

In WW 2 women were conscripted but the choice of service in the forces was personal. They were not armed. They did not go to theatres of war. They didn't fly planes ,drop bombs ,and get shot down in flames. 

They didn't "man" submarines , torpedo ships and depth-charged into oblivion. 

If  modern women demand  their place in modern warfare, firing off heat -seeking missiles indiscriminately killing other women, children and old people, I suppose, in the battle for equality,they  should have that responsibility.  

But evidence of post traumatic stress among returning warriors, incurable depression and mass  suicides  numbering more than front-line casualties,offers a different perspective on the story of glory and heroism. 

If conscription came to a vote in any future conflict, I believe I might withhold my support.  

I don't believe the words of the anthem should be changed either. 

Young fathers in uniform being greeted by infants and small children on a return from a tour of duty in some foreign land  is hard enough to watch. 

Young mothers required to go off to war, leaving  their offspring to someone else's care is 
entirely unnatural in my judgement. 

For either parent to do so voluntarily is beyond my comprehension. 

Now....let's see what can be made out of that. . 

Tuesday 23 February 2016


I Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "THE SYSTEM IS FAR FROM PERFECT": 

It used to be fairly common to have a line of police in the family. Like lawyers, priests or bankers. I do not know if it is the case anymore. 
Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 22 February 2016 at 15:26


With the exception of priests and I know nothing of  bankers but adding doctors, mediaeval guilds are alive and well.  

Doctors can't make a living in private practice without hospital privileges. Hospital boards have medical advisory committees which determine who gets hospital privileges . So far as I could tell, while on the board, recommendations were  based on adequate work to go around. 

Occasionally a  political  practitioner from the Medical Association would address the Board about how to deal with pesky government. They were the rednecks.

Medical school placements were jealously guarded for  scion of doctors. But only parents politically active in the medical association (Guild)

On the Social Assistance Review Board , a member was using every political contact she 
had to get her daughter accepted into medical school. The word came back that not even the Premier  
could break down the walls . The medical association had everything wrapped up tight as a drum. 

Seems it's not totally like that any more. The government requires medical schools to reflect diversity of the community . Visible minorities have an advantage never previously enjoyed  by anyone outside the fraternity.

There are other changes . I learned recently medical education no longer takes twelve to fifteen years. Apparently a student can graduate as young as twenty-three years of age. Walk-in clinics offer employment by the government.  It's not the same as private practice. 

A person can still choose a family doctor, But  an appointment can take weeks. 

On Sunday, I watched Treasury Board Chair Deb Mathews in a T.V. Interview. The health care budget was not being cut, she said, the government had found ways to provide better care for less. 

My reliable source tells me,the government is starving clinics of  resources. If it wasn't for the pharmacies that operate with walk-in clinics,most would have to close their doors. The information is volunteered.

Home care services have been subject to severe restrictions in time allocated to patients for years. 

Anecdotally, it appears doctors are leaving family practice and home care is replacing institutional care. According to bureaucracy, everything in the garden is rosy. 

It's not that long since Osgoode Hall provided only seventy-five places  each year and they were usually assigned to children of  lawyers. Not just any lawyers. They also were politically active in the Law Association. 

The media likes to present succeeding generations of a family involved in policing as a type of nobility. 

It's really the same-old ,same-old.  Keep the business within the family.

 In Ontario, not so long ago , the police family was the Orange Lodge. 

Now, it's the "face of diversity ". Visible minorities must be represented in the percentages they are in the community. 

A traveling committee ensures  conformity . Two men and a woman, members of visible minorities. 

I doubt another country takes care of visible minorities as well as  Canada does.

 To be white,Anglo-Saxon and born in Canada may even have become a liability in some circumstances.

Yesterday a visible-minority youth was featured in the media. He was sixteen or nineteen and has been diagnosed with a form of leukemia and was  granted a wish. 

His wish was to be Prime Minister for a day. 

He was photographed standing under a picture of the Honorable Pierre Elliot Trudeau and sat on a bench  wearing red ermine trimmed robes  of a Supreme Court Judge.

The feature concluded with the ecstatic youth wrapped in the arms of the  Prime Minister ,son  of the late and former Honorable Pierre Elliott Trudeau. 

The media obligingly recorded every moment of the happy occasion.

The rest of us were expected to bask in contentment , knowing from this contrived theatrical
performance, Canadians really are what the Prime Minister says we are.

In the last couple of weeks ,he  has twice felt  obliged to deny the obvious. A couple of events reflected unfavorably upon "Who we are as Canadians"

Docile,gullible,obedient,content to amble along like sheep to the slaughter.

Saturday 20 February 2016


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "POWER IS NOT AN APHRODISIAC":

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. 
Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at
2016 at 13:59


A statement apparently made by York Region Police Chief was posted on Facebook last week .
It related to a retired officer being charged with a crime involving sex and children. 

The Chief said...  York Region Police department will not tolerate such  conduct. 

It may have been a poor choice of words but much more likely a reflection of police mindset. 

The Chief is a nice man and means well. But his comment disturbs. 

As noted, legislators make the laws. 

The  police must file charges if evidence indicates the law has been broken. 

 It is the function of the crown attorney if there evidence is sufficient to prove the case.

Once I asked a lawyer.... when does the C A do that. He swung his chair around to look at the wall 
and answered ....... "That's a good question, Evelyn."

The officer charged is a retiree . The Chief also mentioned he was immediately terminated from his job in "fleet" as a result of being charged. 

I found that interesting. We  had just learned  four offspring of a former Police Chief McCormack are  employed in the Toronto Police department. Two have had charges of corruption filed against them. 

The media  regularly provides coverage of a new generation of a family graduating from the police academy at our expense. 

Like it's a family firm. 

In the political battle going on  south of us , the big media puzzle is why Donald Trump has generated such a following. Senator Bernie Sanders is like the  Pied Piper of Hamelin with all the young people prepared to follow wherever he leads . 

The media as usual put all their  scrutiny on the candidates and what they are doing to get elected and  pay no attention to the people who  make the decision. 

Sanders tells the young ones he will make everything free. They want to believe. They have not yet learned that nothing is free. 

Trump tells people he will bring their jobs back from Mexico and elsewhere.

He  will stop refugees coming into the country, taking jobs  and homes and receiving services they have not paid for. 

People without jobs who have lost their homes understand Trump's  message. They don't ask for anything to be free. They just  want to be able to work and paid enough to buy  what they need.
They want America to be great again. 

They may be poor...they are not without pride...and hope springs eternal. 

JohnTory thinks residents don't notice how well off police and firefighters are and how the budget keeps shrinking for other services. 

No matter how much they get, it's never enough. Better still if the whole family is employed  in the department. They can retire and get re-hired immediately in the fleet department. 


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. 

Friday 19 February 2016


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "BLIND MICE ...WATCH THEM RUN":

Oxymoron is seldom used as many got tired, and bored with it.

It was almost a game, or water cooler banter, throwing out ones latest find.

Jumbo shrimp and such became annoying.

Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 19 February 2016 at 06:52


i must admit the term or figure of speech was not so often used in political circles as to become a tedious game. 

Fancy-schmancey Oxymoron does not properly describe contradictions within police service.The contrasts are more, so much more , than a play on words. 

The police are not responsible for maintaining an orderly society . We do not owe them for that. 

Public support and respect of a law-abiding society  is essential for them to do the work they do.  
If we  lose that nothing stands in the way of mayhem. 

Ferguson and Baltimore are classic examples. 

An officer found guilty of a crime is more than a blow to morale and all the more reason to disassociate completely and immediately with the criminal element who might bring a department into disrepute. 

The dignity of conscientious officers is not upheld by aggressive and hostile reaction to criminal charges filed against an officer and a guilty verdict after a jury trial. 

Big Mike McCormack's reaction is entirely predictable. In his view a policeman's badge is a Badge  of Honour ,no matter the evidence to the contrary. 

A favourable verdict might mean an incompetent crown, a defence lawyer well-versed in trickery or a biased judge.... or a combination of the  three. 

No matter....an unfavorable verdict is never acceptable to the President of a Police Association. He has to get elected.

Trump-type blustery,bellicose, billionaire bullies are ever present. 

While police governing authorities keep bellies close to the floor and tails wrapped around genitals, 
the public never  hear legitimate concerns expounded or see any plans for change. 

The merest hint of  the need for such and he/she who dares is quickly removed. 

Politicians are afraid of the police union.

Individual officers are hardly better off. 

 It's not better in York Region . In the mid- nineties ,the most promising Chief ever appointed to the Regional force was dispatched with utmost cruelty and inhumanity and nary an official voice raised on his behalf. . 

We think we still live in a just society. 

It's  a modern myth . 

Thursday 18 February 2016


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "AS BAD AS IT SEEMS": 

I hope you are not missing the sideshow in that poor little town in Oregon, Evelyn. Those turkeys invaded the refuge claiming to remain until their demands were met. And forgot to bring essentials such as warm socks, coffee creamer, porto-potties and a just cause

Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 17 February 2016 at 19:53


No, I  have noticed. Twenty years ago ,when  O.J.Simpson was on trial, we learned about  Oregon or was it Colorado ,being an enclave for retired police. Militias had been formed and were training for when they would need to take charge of the nation. A police officer who gave false evidence in the trial was headed in that direction. 

Of more recent note, Ferguson and Baltimore and  loss of respect for law and order has made world headlines. 

Dis -satisfaction is real. The genie is out of the bottle. It was  long before Bernie Sanders and the bellicose billionaire arrived on the scene.  The puzzle  is,why people in safe,secure ,comfortable pews take so long to acknowledge the problem. 

Why is it, every time discreditable police conduct is identified, response is the same ; we
need better training. 

They've been saying that long enough for two generations of police to pass from recruitment  to retirement. York Region had a Police Chief  who invested in cadet -training for a truly professional police force. The Police Association got rid of him in a hurry. 

The problem has to do with selection, acknowledging the nature of the job and recognizing police culture.


In Canada, no Police Chief can feel secure in authority.  

So who represents the community's best interest?

The drama surfaced once again  in Toronto last week. Better than any fiction written, the situation was brilliantly exemplified.

A Deputy- Chief of a quarter-century experience,who rose through the ranks,despite systemic racism within the force, made a generalized reference to the need for improvement in policing  in North America . He made an obvious reference to how technology could replace manpower and ten million dollar savings  could be achieved. 

He is no longer with the force. The Chief had nothing to say about the loss of a valuable resource.i guess we know why he got the job. 

 The Mayor, uncharacteristicly, had no explanation.

Twenty-five years of investment in successful TRAINING  was tossed in slavish obeisance to the  political power of the police union.

On the other hand ....a constable who pumped seven bullets into the dead body of a mentally disturbed youth, had drawn his gun thirty-three times in a given period,had been flagged three times for discipline, is still on the payroll. 

Big Mike McCormack ,  Police Association President and the lawyer provided by the Association  to the convicted officer, exited the court publicly vowing to use every legal recourse to undermine the jury decision. 

The same Big Mike welcomed the decision of an exemplary senior officer to leave the force. 

Toronto Police Association has 8,700 members. 

In my judgement, their politics clearly dominate both municipal and provincial authority. 

Life goes on but at some point, maybe sooner rather than later, as in Ferguson,Baltimore  and Oregon, respect for law and order erodes and explodes in  frustration and violence.

We live in a civilized society because of  community respect for law and order. 

We break it at our peril.