Sunday, January 29, 2006

More Public Works Scandal

I had to post this. It's seems like Public Works is involved in another scandal - see this article from today's Toronto Star that has contract fraud written all over it.

Seems to me the Public Works department needs to be reemed out. Where was Scott Brison's leadership in this?

Friday, January 27, 2006

Prescription: Suicide?

Prescription: Suicide? is a documentary directed by Robert Manciero

Generally, the film is about six families impacted by the deaths of their children from prescribed anti-depressants. Many of the parents and siblings share their grief in this gut wrenching film of how their children died - by committing suicide after the use of anti-depressants like Zoloft, Effexor and Remeron

I've posted this a number of months ago but this time I've had an opportunity to screen the film privately. I'm encouraging anyone who has an interest in protecting their children from mis-use of SSRI's or from mis-diagnosis due to irresponsible medicine - to find an organization within your community to help screen this documentary. It can be used for fundraising purposes for that organization.

I will be making arrangements to screen it here in Hamilton and some other cities in Ontario. Please contact me at if your interested in attending the screening or if you wish to set up one in your community in Ontario.

Any media that wishes to contact families for interviews or to learn more about screeing this documentary in your town or city, please contact the Executive Producer, David Statter in Los Angeles at

I'll be blogging very lightly for a couple of weeks so I can owrk on a s. 41 Human Rights submission. (If you want to know what that is there is a link to the left called human rights at work. It's a great publication and has a copy of the Ontario Human Rights Code).

Also, I am the proud 'grandmother' of a baby kitten. My cat Myrna had her first litter of one last night. Now I know what an expectant father feels like - I have more appreciation now for men and what they must feel when their partners or wives are in labour - even though Myrna is just a cat. She didn't want me to leave her side while I rubbed her belly (guys does that sound familiar?). I could feel the contractions and actually timed them....sheesh! what a sap I am for my cat

Take care and blog on while I'm gone!

Thursday, January 26, 2006

We're Not All Solemn Commentators

The Federal Ethics Commissioner Bernard Shapiro found Gurmant Grewal's actions in taping Ujjal Dosanjh and Tim Murphy “extremely inappropriate”.

Ujjal Dosanjh was cleared of breaking the Ethics Code as there was no evidence he offered a Cabinet position to Grewal or an Ambassadorship to Grewal's wife in order to switch over to the Liberal Party in time to vote in a no confidence vote.

According to today's Globe's report "Mr. Shapiro wrote that Mr. Dosanjh and Mr. Murphy should have stopped the "conversational dance" with Mr. Grewal -- who did not seek re-election in Monday's federal election -- when he repeatedly asked for a reward for switching sides.
However, Mr. Shapiro also said that while the practice of secretly taping fellow MPs isn't illegal, it isn't “consistent” with the code governing parliamentary conduct."

Many of us in the blogosphere had problems with those tapes - mostly what they revealed about the potential of the Liberals modum operendi. The Ethics Commissioner should have mentioned that if there is any dealing in offices that it's a criminal offense and those who may be in the position to offer them should be aware of the serious implications involved.

Harper spoke to the R.C.M.P about his knowledge of the tapes but should have spoken to Shapiro (it's not known that Harper felt confident that Shapiro was un-biased). The RCMP press release confirmed they spoke to individuals involved and "determined that no criminal investigation is warranted at this time."

Well that leaves it open for future investigations.

Blind faith isn't one of my redeeming qualities as I didn't exactly support Grewal in these posts here, and here.

Hamilton Lawyer Debarred for Land Flip Scheme

It that Hamilton was the home of a previous land flip scheme investigated by the Hamilton Spectator in 2001.

Lawyer, Edwin Wayne (Ted) Adler, 65 has been debarred from the Law Society of Upper Canada for a multi-million dollar mortgage fraud scheme.

According to The Spec’s report:

“The Law Society ruled that Adler participated "in a dishonest, fraudulent, criminal or illegal scheme to obtain mortgage financing based on inflated purchase prices" in 1998 and 1999.”


“Properties were bought by "straw man" buyers from legitimate and unsuspecting vendors at market value. The homes were then resold and flipped a number of times over a short period by interim buyers for prices that ballooned by 53 to 203 per cent.”


“The Spectator investigation revealed that one home on Robert Street was run through the fraud procedure twice.

It was bought for $49,000 and flipped to $99,000. The owners defaulted and the house was again purchased in a power of sale for $49,000 and flipped to $84,900.
The Spectator probe found that one sale handled by Adler was purchased by Dominic Musitano Jr. of the Musitano crime family for $67,000.

The home was then sold six months later for $138,000 to a man who was impersonating someone else. That person defaulted on the mortgage and then disappeared.”

Ok, can someone tell me how this differs from Valeri’s land flip deal?

Monday, January 23, 2006

Our Conservative Minority

Congratulations to Stephen Harper for winning a minority government - they did well. As I followed the Conservative's progress for almost a year, I felt that they were actually listening to us, perhaps even by reading my blog. I'm looking forward to having Ministers represented from out west - I'd like to see their difference in leadership.

I'm really pleased as well for the NDP in picking up more seats - their representation will be needed in Parliament including a strong increase of women respresentatives. This is a major complaint I have against the Conservative Party - one they need to make an effort to change.

My wish for the new government is to pass accountability legislation as soon as possible, including whistleblower legislation - this will get support from the NDP and the Bloc.

I'd like to see a special prosecutor set up as soon as possible too, which I don't think will bring in too many objections from the same parties. As a Canadian who voted for accountability, I'd like to see prosecutions started right away at least to give the appearance of justice to us.

Then make changes to the parliamentary system, senate, judicial appointments - which may be a little more squeaky.

I was concerned that Martin wasn't going to concede - that info made me sick to my stomach - but I hear him now concede to Stephan Harper.

It's time now to elect another leader to the Liberal Party - one I hope that is more articulate and easier to listen to than Martin and doesn't pull rabbits out of his hat like removing the not-with-standing-clause.

Martin does deserve credit for being strong enough to open up the Gomery Inquiry and subjecting his party to public scrutiny and rath. Mr. Chretien would never have done it. Canadians and Canada would not move forward with healthy change if Martin followed Chretien's style.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

'Twas the Night before Voting

"Twas the night before voting and all through the land
not a Liberal was stirring more seats in their hand

The moon shone above while the news it was placed
into their boxes for the latest polls on the race

And what to my wondering eyes should appear?
A Conservative majority, is it plain? Is it clear?

On Harper
On Martin
On Layton, Duceppe

Don’t stop knocking on doors – your not done yet!

The mailboxes they filled with pamphlets and cards
Bright colours and faces- they pushed on, they pushed hard

The ads on the T.V. relentlessly aired
With drums and trumpets – the Liberals were scared

The fervor and fury of prime slots they came
to bombard us with images in 1 second frames

A crescendo of music I thought I could hear
getting louder and louder – the politicians were here!

They gathered in halls and in bakery shops
and answered the questions on whose policy was tops

Some answered with stutters.
Some didn’t answer at all.
Some answer with humour.
Some answered the call.

As midnight struck they exclaimed, driving away:
Please cast your ballot it’s voting day!

copyright January 22 2006 Habamus Rodentum

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Customer Service in the City of Steel

This is a dramatization based on actual events - the time delay is real. The names have been changed to protect the innocent.

3:30 p.m.
Kentucky Fried Chicken how can I help you?
Me: What are your specials?
KFC: We have 10 pieces of chicken, large fries and gravy and two salads for $19.99
Me: You got anything smaller? It’s only me.
KFC we have 7 pieces of chicken, a large fry and gravy for $12.48
Me: You got anything cheaper?
KFC we have 2 piece meals, 3 piece meals, 5 piece meals
Me: I’ll go for the 7 piece
Me: Can I get a salad instead of the fries with the 7 piece?
Me: What kind of salads do you have?
KFC we have potatoe, macaroni, coleslaw, Greek, Caesar and mandarin spice
Me How much for an extra small Caesar salad?
KFC: $1.99
Me: Can I get a salad instead of the fries for the same price?
KFC Yes. It’s actually cheaper if you buy the pieces separately
Me: Ok I’ll take a large potatoe salad and a small Caesar
Me: You should have a list of different meal deals
KFC: (insert Napoleon Dynamite exasperation here)
KFC: Actually we do, all kinds
Me: I’ll just take the 7 pieces and the salads
KFC: Ok that’s $18.37 including $3.50 for delivery. That’ll take 45 minutes or less
Me: Ok

5:15 p.m.
KFC: Kentucky Fried Chicken can I help you?
Me: Hi, I put an order in around 3:30 p.m. is everything ok with that?
KFC: The driver was there and you weren’t
Me: The driver must have come early because I was in the laundry room
KFC: You should have been home when we got there
Me: Ok
KFC: You still want the order?
Me: Of course

6:00 p.m.KFC: Kentucky Fried Chicken can I help you?
Me: Yeah it’s been 45 minutes and the driver isn’t here yet
KFC: He just left
Me: Do you know how long he’ll be?
Me: OK

6:02 p.m.
Knock at the door
Me: Hi, you were here earlier
KFC: Yeah – I buzzed but you didn’t answer, I knocked and you didn’t answer and there were people standing around downstairs and they wouldn’t let me in
Me: ***holes
KFC: yeah
Me: Do you have any loonies?

6:04 p.m.
Me yelling out the window:
Hey driver you forgot half my order could I have half my money back?
Me: Why not?
KFC: You have to call the store

6:06 p.m.KFC: Kentucky Fried Chicken can I help you?
Me: Yeah the driver forgot half my order
KFC: What didn’t you get?
Me: The large potatoe salad and small Caesar
KFC: hang on (yelling in back)
KFC: What didn’t he bring you?
Me: I just told you what he didn’t bring
KFC: Well tell me again
Me: The large potatoe salad and small Caesar
KFC: I packed that the driver should have it
Me: Look – he didn’t have it, he took my money and wouldn’t give me back the amount to cover the salads
KFC: He’ll bring it to you when he gets back
Me: How long will that be?
KFC: I don’t know
Me: expletive **customer service

8:00 p.m.
Hamilton Police Service
Me: Yes, I’d like to report a theft by Kentucky Fried Chicken staff
HPS: That’s not theft ma’am
Me: The guy took my money and refused to give part of it back, I didn’t get my food – it’s 4 hours after I ordered and no one has deliv…
HPS: It’s a civil matter ma’am
Me: I’m supposed to pay for a lawyer to sue Kentucky Fried Chicken after they took my mon…
HPS: taking your money without delivering the goods isn’t theft ma’am
Me: What is then?
HPS: Call a lawyer ma’am
Me: Wah..Wait a minute…how come some kids get charged for stealing a $2 chocolate bar from Wal-Mart but I can’t…
HPS: It’s not our responsibility ma’am, call a lawyer * click *

8:15 p.m.* Buzzer *
Me: Yea
KFC: KFC (in a sing song voice)
Me: Ok
(Knock at the door)
Me: Hi you’re not the same driver – did they fire him?
KFC: No I’m just filling in
Me: I guess I don’t have to worry about my salad getting cold
KFC: (laughs)
Me: You want some chicken? I lost my appetite.
KFC: (laughs)

Appeal from the Blogosphere

I'm making a request of anyone blogging and in any form of news media to read Dana Robbins article in the Hamilton Spectator.

It seems, once again, that The Spec is subject to the subtle erosion of that clause in the Charter that you read on HR above.

This will effect ALL news media organizations in Canada.

What is at issue is that a Spec journalist has been subpoenaed to hand over his notes to the Hamilton Police Service as part of their criminal investigation against a known Hamilton crime family member.

The Spec's rationale is that the HPS should count on their own investigating powers and not that of the media - as it blurs the line between state and freedom of the press.

I agree 100% with The Spec's arguement that the HPS should rely on their own investigative skills and not that of a newspaper's.

Why this appears to be important to me is because police investigations are now under scrutiny. Are the officers doing all they can to obtain the evidence they need - by asking the right questions - talking to their own sources - without the need to obtain it from journalists.

I myself have encountered alleged 'bogus' investigations made by HPS but that was regarding a complaint made about the HPS itself, which is now in the hands of the Ontario Civilian Commission on Police Services.

The HPS are also in testy waters because the get information from a crisis call line called C.O.A.S.T and run by St. Joseph's hospital EPT manager Terry McGurk.

Forwarding personal health information by C.O.A.S.T could be violating the Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA) because of the uncontrolled personal health information that C.O.A.S.T personnel may be giving to the Hamilton Police Service.

I have already found that a C.O.A.S.T staff member was documenting my POLITICAL OPINION when I had called to inquire about where to get my records.

Even after making a request through PHIPA legislation to St. Joe's - I was never given a copy of C.O.A.S.T records that were documented in my name and what that information may be. This is now subject of a deemed refusal in a PHIPA complaint.

There is NO WAY IN HELL that my political opinion is going to be used as fodder in a hospital's clinical record and one at St. Joe's to boot!

Friday, January 20, 2006

Election Rap Up

The election process is now winding down - only about 72 hours left. I wanted to say something about the evolution of becoming a political person.

As a child growing up in Windsor Ontario I recall politics was the incessant nightly news featuring nothing else, it seemed, but Viet Nam. Sitting with my father and actually enjoying the company – not having the concept of boredom - I asked him when it was going to end? His response seemed sincerely disappointed, almost sad – that he didn’t know.

Other times I would sit on my father’s lap while he was reading his newspaper and I practicing my reading skills – stopping to ask dad for help when I got stuck.

On one such occasion I asked him what that word in the headline said.
“It says Trudeau”, said dad.
“Oh that rhymes with Pluto”, rationalizing with my 5 year old mind.
My father responded with a hearty laugh “Yeah he’s way out there like Pluto!”

I recall what seemed to me a big event, so organized, serious. That event was going to help my dad make silk screen orange and black signs for the NDP candidate in our neighbour’s garage. I recall thinking the colour was horrid but the excitement of elections was planted.

As a teenager, it was normal to become bored of politics and the nightly news was an exasperation, the only time my father had the monopoly of the one coloured television.

But politics could not and would not be totally wiped out of the consciousness of distracted teenagers.

If it wasn’t a frog someone had scooped from biology class to throw across a crowded cafeteria that came from behind my friend landing on her sandwich thus instigating a food fight – it was us talking about Quebec separating or nuclear annihilation.

We were scared of those two things.

And it was quite normal for us teenagers to dislike Americans. Especially growing up in Windsor since we had to “put up with” so many of them coming over from Michigan and not knowing a thing about Canada.

(I’m sure we Windsorites came up with “Talking to Americans” before Rick Mercer did. I can think of so much BS we used to feed them – that they would ask – how come we didn’t hear it on the news? Our response was “are you kidding? Would you hear anything a Canadian did on the American news?” Of course if we really swam across the Detroit river as many times as we said we did we would have been picked up by a Detroit cop – like my uncle did back in the ‘40’s)

So when polls are done today on the attitudes of Canadian teens regarding Americans I don’t put much concern into it because it seems pretty normal for a Canadian teenager to feel minor irritation at the Yanks. Like acne, they grow out of it.

Before I turned 18 my father would always encourage all of us kids to vote. Of course it was expected we would vote for the NDP. I always fancied my mother wasn’t an NDP’er and I confirmed it discreetly. In her typical subtle French Canadian humour my mother whispered to me that she would vote for Trudeau.

When I did turn 18 it was a right of passage to vote and I haven’t missed an opportunity to vote since.

For some, there is always some reason for being involved in politics. For others, it’s a traumatic event that that ignites the passion.

My awareness of politics started in 1995 with the Harris regime’s win and giving up custody of my son when I couldn’t petition for divorce or support because “there was no money in the Legal Aid coffers”.

It started burning stronger in 1997 when I went to court without a lawyer against my will, which started my interest to know more about the laws that govern us and are supposed to protect us.

Then finally in 2002 – after having my own fight with depression – I learned about the cruel and unusual treatment of Kimberly Rogers at the hands of cruel and unusual government policy – that provoked her into committing suicide while she was 8 months pregnant. Her illness – manic-depression - was ignored in a fraud sentencing that put her psychology in a precarious balancing act.

Since then – having taught myself about our provincial and federal statutes by reading, reading and reading the books in our law libraries – I have realized how much we are taken advantage of legally by the people who are supposed to use those laws to protect us.

Politics is what makes or breaks our laws. It is also what enforces them.

I can’t emphasize how important it is to understand the laws that are written with the intent to make our democracy work – so the rules of fundamental justice isn’t replaced with anarchy by administrative saboteurs.

I have followed this election since the Gomery Commission commenced. This is the first time in my life that I have followed something so thoroughly and have found an outlet to so much anger that one feels when they are victims of crime – that is – public corruption.

What is underscored to me throughout this whole process is how much fun it’s been.

What I found important were the bloggers who've had a comforting sense of humour that has dissipated the worst aspect of our personalities – that in any other non-democratic country – would have caused riots and chaos.

If the polls are correct and the Conservative Party wins the election – we will witness (I hope) historical change in the way our politics function.

And it would have been done with bloggers being the “voice of the people” when those voices have been previously absorbed into the abyss of a country that is just too big to run itself effectively.

Being involved in this process has reinforced my Canadian identity. The blogosphere became the conduit to shrink the vast expanses of Canada that has helped me to learn about my fellow Canadians in real time.

What an event it has been!

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Valeri's Big Deal VI

The Hamilton Spectator took Habamus Rodentum’s lead and inquired at the City of Hamilton’s Building department and a planner with the Niagara Escarpment Commission to find out a little more detail on Valeri’s property. (I guess a previous marriage to a planner kinda helped with some transferable skills in knowing what and who to ask - even though I didn't get the right planning dept!)

As the Spec found out, Valeri told the Ethics Commission that he had planned to build a house across both lots but the plans that were submitted to the NEC showed no indication of Valeri doing so.

Instead he classified the property as recreational veiling that it was a possible investment tool.

Valeri told the Spec “he bought the property next door because he intended to build a new home that would straddle both lots. After talking to his builder, he said he decided to sell the property when he learned it wouldn’t be needed to accommodate his new house.”

As the Spec reports “records show he knew well before the purchase that the didn’t need the land”
“The application included site plan drawings showing where the house would be located on the lot, as well as a sketch of the proposed home. A spokesperson for the City of Hamilton’s building department said there is no record of any attempt by Valeri to amend his building permit application before or after it was issued to take into account the purchase of the adjoining property.”
“A planner with the NEC also said there were no amendments to Valeri’s building application. The property on Ridge Road falls within the Niagara Escarpment Commission’s control. Both the City of Hamilton and the NEC said there was nothing about Valeri’s application that prevented him from building the proposed home on his existing lot or that would have forced him to acquire more property.”
“Nothing was ever brought to his attention that this wasn’t going to work,” said Martin Kilian, a planner with the NEC. It was a straightforward, met-all-criteria application all the way through”.
“In fact, Valeri was informed before he bought his neighbour’s property that his building application for the existing lot had been approved by the NEC.”

See full report here

What makes this all the more interesting is the engineer whose son bought Valeri’s property and the other Liberals he donated to, including $10,000 to the Paul Martin Leadership Trust. He also has extensive business contacts in China and sat as a board member for a scientific board that advised cabinet – all according the Spec’s report.

I had a feeling that the Port Authority had something to do with this because at the back of my mind I kept it in my thoughts that Mr. Valeri was a former Minister of Transportation. Transport Canada is oversees that Hamilton’s Port is in compliance with international ISPS regulations.

This blog post noted that they weren’t and an investigation was commenced by Transport Canada. (I'm adding this post just because it mentions real estate transactions at the end of it.)

That day they were transporting goods from China

See today’s on-line Spec for the rest of the details under the heading "Ng’s not going public, especially during election”.

Is that some sort of a cover-up?

Gee, does that mean the Spec is going to offer me a job?

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Valeri's Big Deal V

Screw-update: corrected some gramatical errors below - that's what happens when you try to blog and listen to the Ipperwash Inquiry testimony at the same time.

In the January 17 CTV web cast with Mike Duffy - Mr. Kenney gives his rationale as to why Mr. Valeri should be investigated by the RCMP. It appears to be clear to Mr Kenney (and to some of us as well) that the adjacent property bought by Mr. Valeri was used as an investment tool and not as a recreational property that was identified to the Ethics Commission.

Mr. Valeri’s spokesperson sent Mr. Duffy an email as Valeri has refused to attend a sitting with CTV and be grilled on his responsibilities as a person in public office as has he done with reporters at the Hamilton Spectator.

The spokesperson states that Mr. Valeri was in “compliance with the Ethics Commissioner”. Was it the ethics Commissioner that he was in compliance with or with the Ethics Code?

If it’s the Commissioner Mr. Valeri is in compliance with then perhaps Mr. Valeri is following what he was told by asking the Commissioner questions based on what Mr. Valeri told him – not what the Code states.

The Hamilton Spectator gave a list of questions for Mr. Valeri to answer and so far, Mr. Valeri’s people have not responded to them. They did, however, get a response, which is more or less the same as was given to Mike Duffy.

One of them stated that legal action was going to be taken because: “This defamatory smear appeared anonymously on a website with the calculated intention that it would be picked up and amplified by the media and thereby hoping to negatively affect the campaign.”

Well…um…yes. Isn’t that what politics is all about Mr. Valeri? Isn’t it a public office holder’s responsibility to be accountable to the public when it appears that breaches of ethics have occurred?

Defamation is when a person is wrongly accused of doing something they didn’t. If Mr. Valeri was in breach of legislation – federal legislation – which means he is then accountable under s. 126 of Part IV of the Criminal Code of Canada. See Enabling Statute Bill C-4

Is it not up to Mr. Valeri to set straight publicly that he is above board due to the perceptions of conflict of interest?

Yet he refuses to respond to public pressure and the media who, supposedly, are the watchdogs of our democracy.

The Ham Spec sent a reporter to St. Joseph’s Healthcare yesterday where Valeri was scheduled to attend a $2 million donation to the hospital – but just before the announcement he contacted the Hospital saying he wouldn’t attend.

Ya know, when questioned, Mr. Valeri’s officials say that “he was in compliance”.

Fair enough – but allowing proper examination and answering questions to alleviate any misconceptions of facts if the person knows for sure they haven’t done anything wrong seems to be the best way of handling the situation – not running away and hiding.

It’s funny the Spec mentioned St. Joe’s with respect to Valeri.

When St. Joe's was questioned by an individual who advocates on behalf of mental health care recipients whether or not they were in compliance with the Personal Health Information Protection Act – they stated they “don’t do anything illegal”.

Why would their own Ethics Director state that what one of their researchers was doing was "illegal" when they didn't comply with the PHIPA with respect to disclosing their patient's name without consent for research?

Why would their own Ethics Director state that McMaster was worse when it came to violating research ethics laws than St. Joe's was?

And why is it that they are being investigated by the Privacy Commission for illegally collecting and disclosing personal health information with out consent?

The penalty for that is $25,000 just for the first count. There are a number of psychiatrists and nurses who were involved – approximately six not including the Executive Director and Privacy Officer Marie Lynch. That means $25,000 for each count.

I have also been informed by the Ontario Health Insurance Plan that the will be investigating one of this hospital’s researchers for health care fraud.

This isn’t to mention all the other health care legislation this hospital has violated such as the Health Care Consent Act, the Medicine Act, the Regulated Health Professions Act and the Mental Health Act, the Health Promotion and Protection Act, perhaps the Public Hospitals Act, the Ontario Human Rights Code and the Charter of Rights.

Seems that there is an “epidemic” in Hamilton’s “elite” in respecting their legislative responsibilities. But I guess they don’t have to. They are above the law and are accountable to no one.

And forget about launching a complaint with the College of Physicians and Surgeon's - their "investigators" are more interested in obstructing justice by withholding evidence or falsifying evidence (remember the Supreme Court decision in this post?).

And forget the Ministry of Health - they are well aware of obstruction of justice from the CPSO - but refuse to do anything about it. So does that make them complicit in it?

So it only seems fitting that Mr. Valeri should have been present at St. Joe’s for this event. As they say, birds of a feather...

Hidden in Kryptos

Ok all you Code Breaking bloggers out there – here’s a fun one for you to ponder.

The C.I.A has a sculpture called Kryptos encoded with letters begging to be deciphered.

If you look at the letters provided you’ll see a pattern at first glance – or maybe not.

So I guess spies like art.
And then again art can like spies

This poem is dedicated to a special person who helped keep me grounded when the ground seemed elusive.

The poem is called 'Michel'

Your contrasted State, inherent
The loadstones of my magnetic sleep & fixed thoughts,
Drawing to you the fragmented abstract filings of my emotions
Whenceover, abraded by coves,
The aggregate of an extreme theory

copyright January 18 2006

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Valeri's Big Deal IV

Update - see *Note below re: by-law

HR noted on this post that Valeri had an outstanding mortgage for a “recreational property”.

As reported in the Hamilton Spectator yesterday and today, Valeri told the Ethics Commissioner that he intended to purchase the lot next door to his family home to build a new one, which was to expand across both lots.

The only problem with that explanation is that Valeri purchased the property on April 29 2005 and the by-law that would allow Valeri to span across the two lots, # 05-238* called the Consolidated Lot Regulations was not passed by Hamilton City Council until August 10, 2005.

(*Note: This by-law is an ammendment to various by-laws that were pre-amalgamation municipalities, including Stoney Creek. It is not known at the time of this writing if the Stoney Creek by-law allowed consolidation of lots)

It’s not unusual for a homeowner to build another house on their lot, but those blueprints would have to be submitted to the building department to look over.

The building department officials would have explained, had they been apprised of the desire to build a house on the same lot while living in the old one, that Valeri could build on the same lot providing that a signed agreement was entered into with the City.

That written agreement would state the old one has to be torn down once the new one is finished and a Security deposit has to be given to the City in order to confirm the land/home owners intentions.

So now, there is an opportunity for the Hamilton Spectator to request through an access to information request to see a copy of that agreement with the City of Hamilton including a copy of the security deposit.

So the ‘plot’ thickens…

Monday, January 16, 2006


In this game of Astro-Tag go to this website and fill out the login information.

You'll have to fill in the year and date of your birth as well as the time you were born - fill that out to the best of your knowledge.

In the 'free horoscope' link pick personal portrait.

From that pick only ONE paragraph of your horoscope - one you like the best, (or least) and add it to your blog.

Pick one other person to Tag! I'm tagging JT at Crittermusings Have Fun and here's my paragraph choice:

Venus was found in the ninth house at the time of birth. Your mind appears as very adaptable, gentle, peace-loving and tactful. This position indicates that the secret for your ability to reach a state of harmony and emotional balance may come through the use of your higher mental powers. You have been born with an exquisitely refined, artistic mind which has a very subtle appreciation of all that has to do with culture. Your disposition is kind, congenial, gentle and sympathetic and you have a natural ability to assist other individuals.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Casualties in Khandahar

I'm reposting this post to honour our recent loss of a Canadian Foreign Affairs diplomat - Glyn Berry, 59 and three Canadian soldiers suffering life threatening injuries.

Consumer Alert from AHRP

FDA Plan Would Aid Drug Makers in Liability Suits
Agency's Approved Labels Would Pre-empt State Law; Plaintiffs' Lawyers Object

January 14, 2006; Page A1

The Food and Drug Administration is preparing to declare that federally approved medication labels pre-empt state law, a move that could strengthen pharmaceutical makers' defenses against lawsuits claiming injury by the companies' products.

The policy could help companies argue they weren't required to warn consumers about a potential risk when the FDA had determined that the safety issue didn't warrant inclusion on a medicine's label. The new policy, which would address state liability statutes, has been written into a broad new drug-labeling rule that is likely to be issued shortly, according to people with knowledge of the matter, though the rule has been repeatedly delayed.

Product-liability suits have become a huge problem for drug makers. In one of the more high-profile cases lately, Merck & Co. faces dozens of lawsuits across the country over its withdrawn painkiller Vioxx. Merck pulled that hugely popular drug from the market in 2004 following a study that linked the drug to an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes in patients taking it for 18 months or longer. Merck and other companies have often struggled to explain the scientific nuances of their drug-safety defenses to juries. As yet, it isn't clear whether the new FDA policy would affect the Merck cases.

Kent Jarrell, a spokesperson for Merck, said, "We really can't get into discussing language of a proposed rule that we have not seen." A spokesman for drug maker Pfizer Inc. declined to comment.

Plaintiffs' lawyers, however, oppose the policy. "If the proposed changes were to be enacted, drug-product safety in the U.S. would suffer a major setback at a time when the conduct of pharmaceutical companies and the FDA have been called into question," said Thomas R. Kline, a plaintiffs' attorney with Kline & Specter and a key player in Vioxx litigation.

The controversial policy has been written into the preamble of an important FDA rule that is supposed to reform how drugs are labeled, according to people with knowledge of the matter. It could still be toned down or even removed before the rule becomes public, though it has already survived years of internal debate. The FDA has asserted similar arguments in briefs filed in legal cases, but the federal rule would be broader and likely have more impact on individual judges' decisions. Courts may still choose to reject the reasoning, however.

The policy would mesh with the White House's focus on tort reform. Indeed, other federal agencies have made similar moves toward helping to shield businesses from certain forms of legal action. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration last August proposed a new rule on car-roof strength that would grant legal protection to car makers that adhere to the safety standard. The U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency issued a sweeping regulation in early 2004 that said federal banking laws take precedence over a number of state consumer-protection statutes when applied to national banks. The agency challenged an investigation of potentially discriminatory lending practices by New York Attorney General Elliot Spitzer, arguing that his probe impinged on federal enforcement turf.

Inclusion of the new FDA policy in the long-awaited drug-labeling rule has sparked disagreements between FDA career officials and Bush administration appointees, according to people with knowledge of the matter. Some FDA career staffers have argued internally that it isn't relevant to the rule's focus on drug-labeling reform, and may draw controversy to an important regulatory improvement that isn't itself politically divisive. In addition, career officials believe debate over the matter has helped delay the labeling change from taking effect.

The new rule is expected to specify circumstances under which the legal shield would apply, though it may not limit the protections solely to those situations, according to people with knowledge of the matter. The drug company must have provided all its data to the FDA, these people said.

The drug-labeling rule's language pertaining to the new policy is likely to contribute to the growing clash over the proper bounds of state and federal regulatory authority. Big companies have long fought patchworks of laws that differ from state to state, and federal efforts to assert authority in various regulatory areas have drawn testy responses from state officials.

In the case of the new FDA rule, states argue that they weren't adequately informed that it was coming. Yesterday, the National Conference of State Legislatures protested the move in a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt, calling it a "thinly-veiled attempt on the part of FDA to confer upon itself authority it does not have by statute" and an "abuse of agency process."

Past FDA briefs arguing that agency guidelines pre-empt state law haven't always been accepted by courts. Last July, a federal judge in Minnesota turned down a Pfizer request to bar a suit over the antidepressant Zoloft, writing that "federal labeling laws are minimum standards; they do not necessarily shield manufacturers from state law liability. ... state-law protections reinforce and enhance" federal efforts to protect the public.

Defenders of the FDA's pre-emption briefs have argued that they simply articulate a stance that is implicit in federal law. If state lawmakers and courts can second-guess the FDA, some drug-industry officials say, it could lead to a morass of conflicting rules and undermine the decisions of the government's most qualified experts. "You want the FDA to have the last word if you believe in the FDA's expertise," said Daniel Troy, the former FDA chief counsel who filed several of the briefs and who represents industry clients in private practice.

The new drug-labeling rule, a major regulation that has been in development for years, will update the format of the FDA-approved documents that provide the definitive account of each medicine's uses and risks. They can stretch for dozens of pages, and even doctors often find them difficult to navigate. The new layout is expected to clarify the most important information at the top of the label in a standardized "facts box" format. It is the centerpiece of a broader FDA initiative to make drug information more accessible.

--Heather Won Tesoriero and Barbara Martinez contributed to this article.

Write to Anna Wilde Mathews at

FAIR USE NOTICE: This may contain copyrighted (© ) material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. It is believed that this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. This material is distributed without profit.

Valeri’s Big Deal III

Well the PM is defending Valeri stating in yesterday’s Hamilton Spectator:

“Tony Valeria bought a house. Tony Valeri sold a house. Literally thousands of Canadians do that”.

For didactic purposes, let’s go over section 122 of the Criminal Code title ‘Breach of Trust by a Public Officer’. I’m posting the full section in Martin’s Criminal Code, 2002, as I know that not all public libraries have a copy.

122. Every official who, in connection with the duties of his office, commits fraud or a breach of trust is guilty of an indictable offense and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years, whether or not the fraud or breach of trust would be an offence if it were committed in relation to a private person. R.S., c. C-34, s. 111.

Thousands of Canadians are not public officials Mr. PM.

The term “official” is defined in s. 118. The term “office” is defined, in part, in s. 118; see notes of that term under that section. Breach of trust by a trustee is an offense under s. 336. The secret commission offence is found in s. 426.

This offense may be the basis for an application for an authorization to intercept private communications by reason of s. 183 and falls within the definition of “enterprise crime offense” in s. 426.3 for the purposes of Part XII.2.

The accused has an election as to mode of trial pursuant to s. 536(2). Release pending trial is determined by s. 515, although the accused is eligible for release by the officer in charge under s. 498.

Section 122 creates offences relating to fraud or breach of trust by a public officer. The offences are limited to activities in connection with the duties of the public office-holder. This section specifically imposes broader liability upon public officials than that which would apply to private persons who were involved in the same activities. This indictable offence is punishable by a maximum period of imprisonment of five years.

Breach of Trust – In R. v. Campbell, [1967] 3 C.C.C. 250, 50 C.R. 270 (Ont. C.A.), affd [1967] S.C.R. v, 2 C.R.N.S. 403, it was held that breach of trust under this section is not to be confused with any necessity of breach of trust in respect to trust property, as it merely relates to an abuse of public trust.

The use of the phrase “breach of trust” does not render this provision unconstitutionally vague. Breach of trust can be interpreted by courts in part as a function of social norms of tolerance and community standards: R. v. Lippe (1996), 111 C.C.C. (3d) 187, 2 C.R. (5th) 32, 142 D.L.R. (4th) 166 (Que. C.A.).

This offence requires proof that the accused is an official, that the impugned acts were committed in the general context of the execution of his duties and that the acts constituted a fraud or a breach of trust.

Where the allegation is that the acts constituted a breach of trust, while it is not necessary to prove corruption, it must be shown that the accused did an act or failed to do an act contrary to the duty imposed upon him by statute, regulation, his contract of employment or directive in connection with his office and that the act gave him some personal benefit either directly or indirectly.

The benefit could be payment of money or merely the hope of a promotion or a desire to please a superior.

The criminal law should not be used as a sanction to punish mere technical breaches of conduct or acts of administrative indiscipline or administrative fault.

What the law prohibits is some act done in furtherance of personal ends, the use of one’s office in a public service for the promotion of private ends or to obtain directly or indirectly some benefit: R. v. Perreault (1992), 75 C.C.C. (3d) 445, 48 Q.A.C. 303 (C.A.).

Breach of trust is a crime of general intent and accordingly, it is sufficient for the Crown to prove that a reasonable person would conclude there was a breach of trust: R. v. Flamand (1999), 141 C.C.C. (3d) 169, [1999] R.J.Q. 2543 (C.A.).

The accused, the town’s mayor, was properly convicted upon evidence that he mislead a constituent as to the value of the constituent’s land and endeavored to procure it for himself for personal profit.

The work of a public servant must be a real service in which no concealed pecuniary self-interest should bias the judgement of the officer and in which the substantial truth of every transaction should be made to appear: R. v. McKitka (1982), 66 C.C.C. (2d) 164, 35 B.C.L.R. 116 (C.A.), citing R. v. Arnoldi (1892), 23 O.R. 201 (H.C.J.).

“Official” / Also see not under s. 118 - Despite s. 123 an elected municipal official is an official holding office under this section: R. v. Sheets, [1971] S.C.R. 614, 1 C.C.C. (2d) 508, 15 C.R.N.S. 232 (9:0).

The Spec also quoted CTV’s Mike Duffy’s on air commentary that Valeri’s staff had provided an explanation that didn’t match information contained in public documents.

The Spec explained that one reporter who had learned about the land transaction from documents posted to Bourque Newswatch bog says she was told by Valeri spokesman Al Toulin that Valeri had owned the property for years.

“He said that this was part of a bigger piece of property Valeri had owned and lived on for as long as Toulin had been working for him – since the Liberals came into power, at least that long, but probably longer”

Let’s go over the definition of fraud shall we? (I like to use Webster's Fifth edition)

fraud Law. An intentional perversion of truth to induce another to part with some valuable thing belonging to him, or to surrender a legal right. – Syn. Deception, guile, subtlety, craft; wile, sham, fake.

fraudulence n. Quality or state of being fraudulent; deliberate deceit.

fraudulent [OR., fr. L. fraudulentus] 1. using fraud; deceitful. 2. Characterized by or founded on fraud; the nature of fraud. 3. Obtained or performed by artifice. – Syn. Deceiving, cheating, deceptive. See FALLACIOUS. – Ant. Honest, aboveboard, straightforward.

A real estate agent that wished to remain anonymous told the Spec that the $225,000 Valeri bought the property for is “ridiculously low” considering it’s on the Mountainbrow overlooking the escarpment and Hamilton Bay and “extremely valuable”.

The Spec also noted that their lawyers through a private deal handled the sale between Valeri and Ng.

Valeri has confirmed that his lawyer has instructed him to commence a defamation lawsuit against Bourque Newswatch.

I can’t imagine posting documents that would have been perfectly ok in other investigative media organs that becomes evidence of something shady is defamation.

Perhaps those political science professors that are quoted by the Spec should pick up and read a copy of Part IV of the Criminal Code of Canada – and see whether or not they understand the importance of a special kind of integrity that public officials must bear within our society.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Art Crawl II

On Friday I finally finished off a week of work for the remainder of a 300 page submission to the Ontario Commission on Police Services (remember that evidence the O.P.P refused to take or look at, which I posted here awhile back?)

After so much work, I was looking forward to relaxing by attending another gallery crawl in Hamilton's Jamesville last night.

While looking over the illuminated found object sculptures by Brian Kelly I kept over-hearing talk of an article about our beloved art crawls in the Globe & Mail.

Later at Artists Inc., while sipping on some Pelee Island cabernet (not bad, bitter aftertaste though) I was introduced to a journalist by the name of Mowat. We spoke some and I found out it was he who had written the article in the Globe.

I was dissappointed that I didn't hear about it before so I could have posted it here last week.

If you don't has a subscription to the Globe you'll only get to read part of it, but anyway, here's the article.

I would highly recommend getting one of Brian's excruciatingly electic pieces if your an art investor. The price range is from about $150 to $350. There was one you could literally call a table lamp and my personal fav had a sort of '70's style ring belt cascade at the base and a very large torche lamp at the top.

While your at You Me you can ask Bryce to see the Lumen Series - smaller illuminated boxes - made by yours truly. And of course, it wouldn't hurt to purchase one!

Valeri's Big Deal II

Here’s a little info about why the FBI takes public corruption so seriously.

Check out question number 2:

Q: What kinds of crimes are involved?
Dan: They run the gamut. Embezzlement. Voter fraud. Subsidy fraud. Illegal kickbacks. For example, a health inspector might threaten to report code violations unless a restaurant owner pays a bribe. Or a government official might award a contract in exchange for free work on his home or some other favor.

Now, isn’t Valeri having work done on his home for $205,500? hmmm… Check out the Spec’s latest report here.

See a story on flipping in the U.S. here.

Just to clear things up a little, on Monday I’ll give a call to the FBI’s Public Corruption office and clarify if what just happened in Canada would send red flags up in the United States. Perhaps their laws are a little different there than the are here. At least we know they are enforced over there.

It seems that Valeri is intent on intimidating a blogger – threatening to sue and all for scrutinizing what appears to be shady dealings. If he does, he’ll have every blogger in Canada and the United States and the rest of the world converging on his repression of freedom of opinion and the expression of it.

So perhaps he should ask himself how many others he should intimidate by threats of lawsuits? Valeri is a public official that should expect public scrutiny - especially if there is an appearance of a conflict that appears to be an elobarate way of getting financing to 1) either support an elaborate a political campaign donation by by-passing the Elections Canada Act or 2) an elaborate kickback in order to secure government contracts for the donator.

Valeris' property issues came up in a National Post article last fall, obviously that info was obtained by a freedom of information request. Ah or did Mr. Valeri forget we have FoI laws in Canada?

Perhaps he should sue the Privacy Commission for allowing these laws in the first place – in a democracy of all places. Sheesh! What will our lawmakers think of next?

Why shouldn’t his dealings be scrutinized? The guy he sold his property to has donated to the Liberal Party AND he got some pretty big contracts with Economic Development Canada.

What about that big FlipGate in Toronto at the end of the 80’s or early 90’s when a bunch of lawyers were flipping apartment buildings and ended up getting caught and thrown in jail?

Oh yeah…bty…I heard that Valeri had his guy give an affidavit to say “nothing happened”. Heh…isn’t the proof in the facts that are out there already?

Just so my readers know and can be aware of …

There was a Supreme Court Decision in 1995 regarding a kickback scheme between an ex-Crown Attorney giving money to a dirty cop for forwarding clients to him that were charged for drinking and driving.

Each client the cop would give the lawyer, the lawyer would give the cop $200. The lawyer approached a “good” cop about entertaining the deal but the cop did the right thing and went to his superiors.

Anyway…the evidence was obtained even though the lawyer had his “clients” sign an affidavit saying that “they did nothing wrong”. He was caught and charged.

If anyone wants to learn more about that SCC decision see Walter Kingsley Kirti Wijesinha v. Her Majesty the Queen, indexed as R. v. Wijesinha, File No. 24015, judgement on May 31, 1995 and the reasons delivered were on September 21, 1995.

What is also important in this case – but may not be relevant here – is that the term “course of justice” was concluded to include investigations.

The investigations the Crown was considering were of administrative tribunals and disciplinary bodies – such as the Law Society of Upper Canada or the College of Physicians and Surgeons, are only two examples.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Valeri's Big Deal

Poor poor Valeri, afraid a little public scrutiny by anonymous bloggers checking for Liberal accountability.

Seems that Bourque Newswatch website had posted a link to the Hamilton Spectator article which has Valeri blaming Bourque Newswatch website an anonymous blogger for posting the land deal info that was brought up in the Spec while the Spec quotes Valeri as blaming an anonymous blogger for posting land deals that links to...

Heh...maybe Valeri still believes there's troops. In our streets. In Canada. We're making this up. Choose your medium.

So the source is from the Hamilton Spectator having felt it was their duty to air Valeri's property dealings.

Doh!. It appears Valeri underpaid for a property taking advantage of an ill elderly man and doubles his money - and sold it for double to a Liberal supporter who secured some pretty big loans from Export Development Canada (EDC) but doesn't feel it should be in the news or the blogosphere.

What's next? Invoking the notwithstanding clause to suspend freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication?

Oops! I better watch what I say or maybe my phone lines will be cut.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

U.S. Senate Bans Pharma - Educational Grants

This post has grammatical and factual updates - January 15 2006

Well, American justice is at it again. The Senate Finance Committee is now going to crack down on educational grants from the pharmaceutical industry to University researchers. Read the article here from the New York Times.

Don't forget this investigative report by Hamilton Spectator journalists who found 97 researchers at McMaster's faculty of medicine receiving educational grants from big Pharma. See Big Pharma Showers Mac with Cash

When will our law makers follow suit in Canada? Probably not until someone high up in our Health Ministries get caught by the Ontario Securities Commission for making money from the stocks of drug companies that get university drug researchers to experiment on vulnerable Canadians that's when.

There's already politcal backlash from Hamilton doctors on my personal fight for legal rights and for individuals with non-visible disabilies. I went to the Hamilton General hospital in August to get a drug script refilled - it was a life and death matter. Dr. Ali Hersi to me to go to another hospital at which I refused because he can't legally force me to go somewhere else against my consent and legally turn me away.

An emergency physician actually turning away a patient and refusing to treat! I ended up in ambulance having to go to another hospital to get treated. After this nefarious act, I had to go to Windsor to get medical treatment because I was refused THREE times - twice at St. Joseph's Hospital last year and once at Hamilton General.

Dr Hersi deliberately falsified the clinical records fabricating a diagnosis when I wasn't even there to be diagnosed. It was "allowed" by and his accomplice, Dr. Krysmanitch - head of Emergency medicine at Ham Gen. Some of the facts in the triage records were scratched out. When asking for a request to clarify the diagnosis (ie handwriting) and make factual changes to the record, I was outright refused.

Having spoken, again to the Privacy Commission, I was told I could make another complaint for a deemed refusal under the PHIPA legislation. The Privacy Commission is already prepared to mediate an investigation againt St. Joe's.

This isn't the first time my clinical records have been falsified by health care staff in Hamilton - to the point that it appears a diagnosis was fabricated in order to become a research guinea pig. Dr. Marilyn Korsecwa a researcher at St. Joe's passed on my name illegally - without my consent- to her researcher in Toronto.

Having recieved copies of the clinical records, it revealed that the appropriate testing didn't qualify the diagnosis. As well, facts were left out on previous diagnosis and others added that weren't founded. As it turned out, I didn't 'qualify' for the research because I wasn't 'screened' appropriately.

The FDA in the U.S. has recently charged a cardiologist for fraud for doing the exact same thing. See AHRP post here with links to the FDA's ban list.

Will we see the same done here in Canada? Pfffft.

On top of the Randy Modgridge story, the coroner's office has finished an investigation into 4 deaths at Chedoke Hospital for not providing adquate services to serverly disabled patients after a move to other facilities - run by CEO Murray Martin of Hamilton General, of Dr. Hersi fame.

Since there is absolutely no way in Ontario to get legal representation unless you have about three grand to start the process, I informed Mr. Martin that I would post his staff's names until I am sued - that is about the only way I can get this situation into a real court of law in front of a real justice.

You'd think it would be investigated by law enforcement but I guess Ontario doctor's are above the law, just like Ontario's lawyers and politicians are. ( I tried to contact Hamilton Police Service about the issue, but I was 1) fluffled off or 2) ignored. Now it's the subject of a complaint as well as a submission under s. 41 of the Ontario Human Rights Code)

I can't stress how unprofessional, unethical, and illegal some of the staff at Hamilton's hospitals behave.

It's gotten to the point that I am concerned about my personal safety if I have to go to a Hamilton hospital.

I met alot of people in my journies, including the mother of alleged terrorists, but they don't frighten me the way some of Hamilton's health care professionals do.

It's not like this anywhere else in Ontario - I have that as proof - so it makes it difficult to understand the mentality here and how they can get away with it. I find it incredulous but at least I have some supportive individuals and organizations to back me up.

The only thing I can compare Hamilton's health care to is that it's just a symptom of corruption - corruption that has infected those who we believe are the empitomy of everything "right and good".

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Quote of the Week

From the Globe & Mail play by play on last night's debate, commenting on Martin's platform of change:

"Brian Milner, 8:41 p.m. Did I mention that Hamas is running in the Palestinian election on a platform of change?"

Too funny.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

On Port Security

Last week I had a great opportunity to speak with John Rand, a Marine Security Officer with Transport Canada from the Regional Marine Security office in Toronto.

He filled me in with a lot of information I didn’t know about shipping so I asked his permission if I could use his name and the info he gave me to write this post.

I’d first like to start by stating that Transport Canada takes port security seriously and judging by their quick response to my one phone call, I’m confident they do.

So this is what I learned. In July of 2004 all ports in the world had to comply with the International Marine Organization’s (IMO) International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS code). More info can be obtained here

Canada responded with its Marine Transport Security Regulations in July of 2004

These regulations have to comply with the ISPS in setting security standards for each port facility in the country.

All ships have to report 96 hours in advance of entering Canadian waters, not just a Canadian port. That report has to include the IMO #, the ship’s registration, what they’re carrying and last 10 ports of call. It would also include ‘tomb stone’ information (marine lingo) such as names of the crew, where they came from etc.

That report goes to a dedicated Marine facility in Halifax where Transport Canada, the RCMP, Canadian Border Services Agency, the Coast Guard and Fisheries and Oceans receive the info.

The ship’s information is cross-checked with these agencies. CBSA checks the passports and ship documents, Transport Canada is responsible for inspecting the ships if there are any concerns regarding ship safety or environmental issues and the RCMP would inspect it if they have received some intelligence on criminal activity prior to their 96 hour report. All this is analyzed and the ships are put into priority codes. There are four categories of priority status.

If Canada has had problems with a ship or the company beforehand that may trigger a priority one status, in which the ship would be subject to inspection. Inspection can take place randomly after it passes through provincial jurisdiction – the ships don’t know if they will be randomly searched or not once they reach Quebec or Ontario for example.

So those ‘random’ inspections’ we hear about on the MSM aren’t as random as it suggests (something I am appreciative to learn).

I now understand the difference between a ‘salty ship’ and a Great Lakes freighter. The salty ship’s are those that are International Ocean going vessels and do not pick up goods at one port and deliver them to any port in the country.

Once salty ships empty their cargo, they would leave for another destination, say Thunder Bay and load up with grain from the prairies taken there by train or transport truck and then head outbound to sea again.

Only the Great Lakes freighters are allowed to pick up and deliver to inbound destinations between Canada and the U.S.

Each port facility had to submit a Master Port Security Plan that was reviewed and approved by Transport Canada. These security plans are not available to the public, as they are classified documents. And each port facility has to have a Port Facility Security Officer or a PFSO

All this being written, because the Marine Security Directorate takes it’s security measures seriously, they will be investigating the wrinkles in port security at Hamilton’s Pier 8 that are documented in this post.

As I was told, there should have been no security breach at all as the Hamilton Port Authority should have had a facility security officer to document when the crew was coming and going from this ship when a ship is in port.

It’s as simple as that. As for the other stuff mentioned in the post…that’s what our security people do behind the scenes.

I want to thank John Rand for kindly offering his time to acknowledge all my past and future questions. The Marine Security Directorate is more than happy to speak to any Canadian who wants to learn more about their ports.

Contact info can be accessed on Transport Canada’s Marine Security Site

Saturday, January 07, 2006


Inconsistent-Date: Thursday Jan 19
Incidental-Date: Wednesday Jan 18
Incommode-Date: Tuesday Jan 17
Innervate -Dates: Saturday Jan 14 and Sunday Jan 15
Innominate-Date: Friday 13, 2006

Alberta Freedom - always quick on the draw - provided this sleepy blogger the info that Judy Wasylycia-Leis has asked the U.S. Security Exchange Commission to look into the income trust scandal in that country.

(Judy you really are my heroine and should start to tailor yourself as NDP leader 'cause your not afraid to call out the big guns - the S.E.C)

I am now amusing in my mind's eye of Cap'n America coming to save us Canadians!

I must have been pretty sleepy because I commented on AB's blog that a "scuttlebutt" was announced on a website called Stocksource but it is actually Stockhouse brought to you by some fancy investigative footwork by CTV's business news journalists. The story is here

Stockhouse also has a U.S. website which looks almost exactly like the Canadian site but with American news, obviously.

For those who are as confused about what income trusts are as I am, you can go to this site to get some basics on Canadian trusts.

What I learned is that there are different types of income trusts, some in the energy sector referred to as Royal trusts and those in real estate referred to as REITS.

The REITS caught my attention because the National Post had an article on September 20, '05 titled 'Paul Martin owes wife money' and list the various Liberals who have mortgages or loans outstanding.

Three Liberals caught my attention but two of them more.

Public Works Minister Scott Brison was listed as having jointly held mortgages with RBC Financial Group for rental income properties in Halifax.

Why this seems interesting is because of this Globe & Mail table of top income trusts in Canada, which lists Summit Real Estate Investment Trust in Halifax as a top income trust and some chartered banks were musing before Goodale's announcement about converting some of their business lines into trusts.

Not sure if RBC was one of them.

The most interesting of them all is Northern Development Minister Ethel Blondin-Andrew who has a loan and a co-signed loan with Peace Hills Trust Co.

Peace Hills is a Cree Native Trust whose registered administrator is the Indian Pension Plan Funding Program of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada.

Seems to me this appears as a conflict of interest having a federal Minister taking out a loan that is administered by the federal government. It would also appear that she has privy information about what development is on the table for energy research - in which Royal trust companies would be keen to be aware of.

Lastly, there is Tony Valeri, Liberal House Leader - who has a joint mortgage and a mortgage on a recreational property. This is most likely a cottage but his name caught my attention because his was brought up in the list of "who knew" in the income trust affair.

Innominate-Date: Valeri sold property to Liberal supporter who got big loans from Economic Development Canada - "Export Development Canada provides Canadian exporters with financing, insurance and bonding services as well as foreign market expertise."

Friday, January 06, 2006

Egad! I've been Tagged!

I’ve been tagged for my weirdest weirdnesses, only there is more than five, so I’ll post the less obvious ones.

1) I dress funny on purpose when I go to the movies with my teenager

2) I buy squeaky plastic lizards at the dollar store, spray paint them white and glue small hats on them

3) I’m hooked on phonics

4) I like power tools

5) I don’t know any other blogger to tag that hasn’t been tagged already with the tag game

Monday, January 02, 2006

Psychiatry's Sick Compulsion

The following post was forwarded from AHRP - the Alliance for Human Research Protection. The following article is very indicative of psychiatry in Ontario, in particular, Hamilton where the main hospital - St. Joseph's Health Care - the centre of psychiatric care in the city - turns the defence of one's basic human rights and morality into a pathological illness, not natural human behaviour to adverse circumstances.

Irwin Savodnik compares Western psychiatry to psychiatry in the former Soviet Union. One could also suggest that turning differing political viewpoints into a diagnosable illness is tantamount to a lifetime of psychological torment by the failure to treat or falsifying clinical records - keeping the individual oppressed and drugged - or worse - inciting their own demise.

From the Los Angeles Times

Psychiatry's sick compulsion: turning weaknesses into diseases

By Irwin Savodnik
Irwin Savodnik is a psychiatrist and philosopher who teaches at UCLA.

January 1, 2006

IT'S JAN. 1. Past time to get your inoculation against seasonal affective disorder, or SAD — at least according to the American Psychiatric Assn. As Americans rush to return Christmas junk, bumping into each other in Macy's and Best Buy, the psychiatric association ponders its latest iteration of feeling bad for the holidays. And what is the association selling? Mental illness. With its panoply of major depression, dysthymic disorder, bipolar disorder and generalized anxiety disorder, the association is waving its Calvinist flag to remind everyone that amid all the celebration, all the festivities, all the exuberance, many people will "come down with" or "contract" or "develop" some variation of depressive illness.

The association specializes in turning ordinary human frailty into disease. In the last year, ads have been appearing in psychiatric journals about possible treatments for shyness, a "syndrome" not yet officially recognized as a disease. You can bet it will be in the next edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DSM-IV, published by the association. As it turns out, the association has been inventing mental illnesses for the last 50 years or so. The original diagnostic manual appeared in 1952 and contained 107 diagnoses and 132 pages, by my count. The second edition burst forth in 1968 with 180 diagnoses and 119 pages. In 1980, the association produced a 494-page tome with 226 conditions. Then, in 1994, the manual exploded to 886 pages and 365 conditions, representing a 340% increase in the number of diseases over 42 years.

Nowhere in the rest of medicine has such a proliferation of categories occurred. The reason for this difference between psychiatry and other medical specialties has more to do with ideology than with science. A brief peek at both areas makes this point clear. All medicine rests on the premise that disease is a manifestation of diseased tissue. Hepatitis comes down to an inflamed liver, while lung tissue infiltrated with pneumococcus causes pneumonia. Every medical student learns this principle. Where, though, is the diseased tissue in psychopathological conditions?

Unlike the rest of medicine, psychiatry diagnoses behavior that society doesn't like. Yesterday it was homosexuality. Tomorrow it will be homophobia. Someone who declares himself the messiah, who insists that fluorescent lights talk to him or declares that she's the Virgin Mary, is an example of such behavior. Such people are deemed — labeled, really — sick by psychiatrists, and often they are taken off to hospitals against their will. The "diagnosis" of such "pathological behavior" is based on social, political or aesthetic values.

This is confusing. Behavior cannot be pathological (or healthy, for that matter). It can simply comport with, or not comport with, our nonmedical expectations of how people should behave. Analogously, brains that produce weird or obnoxious behaviors are not diseased. They are brains that produce atypical behaviors (which could include such eccentricities as dyed hair or multiple piercings or tattoos that nobody in their right mind could find attractive).

Lest one think that such a view is the rant of a Scientologist, it is no such thing. Scientology offers polemic to lull the faithful into belief. Doctors and philosophers offer argument to provoke debate.

It's a natural step from using social and political standards to create a psychiatric diagnosis to using them to influence public policy. Historically, that influence has appeared most dramatically in the insanity defense. Remember Dan White, the man who murdered San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk in 1978? Or John Hinckley, who shot President Reagan in 1981? Or Mark David Chapman, who killed John Lennon? White, whose psychiatrist came up with the "Twinkie defense" — the high sugar content of White's favorite junk food may have fueled his murderous impulses — was convicted and paroled after serving five years, only to commit suicide a year later.

The erosion of personal responsibility is, arguably, the most pernicious effect of the expansive role psychiatry has come to play in American life. It has successfully replaced huge chunks of individual accountability with diagnoses, clinical histories and what turn out to be pseudoscientific explanations for deviant behavior.

Pathology has replaced morality. Treatment has supplanted punishment. Imprisonment is now hospitalization. From the moral self-castigation we find in the writings of John Adams, we have been drawn to Woody Allen-style neuroses. Were the psychiatric association to scrutinize itself more deeply and reconsider its expansionist diagnostic programs, it would, hopefully, make a positive contribution to our culture by not turning the good and bad into the healthy and the sick.

The last thing the United States needs is more self-indulgent, pseudo-insightful, overly self-conscious babble about people who can't help themselves. Better, as Voltaire would put it, to cultivate our gardens and be accountable for who and what we are.


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Sunday, January 01, 2006

Happy New Year!
May 2006 bring integrity and honesty back to Canada's politicos
and a healthy change that recognizes justice isn't just a theory