Ontario’s Probation System is a Joke say Offenders

Part I

At the beginning of April, there were about 43,000 offenders under community supervision at the provincial level in Ontario, which includes people on probation, parole and conditional sentences. This far outstrips the 7,850 inmates in custody.

Probation is a court order that allows an offender to remain in the community, subject to certain conditions. These can include things like meeting regularly with a probation officer, attending rehabilitation programs, obeying a curfew, or not possessing any weapons.

But probation officers report that they aren’t out in the community, monitoring whether offenders are abiding by those conditions.

“There is an assumption by both the judiciary and the public that… when an offender is placed on a supervision order with conditions to be in their residence, to adhere to conditions such as not to possess internet, computer, not to have drugs, alcohol, that someone in some law enforcement capacity is actually checking on them,” said Scott McIntyre, a probation and parole representative for the Ontario Public Service Employees Union.

“That’s the problem, no one is checking,” said Sarah – a probation officer whose identity Global News agreed to conceal to protect her job.

She wants to go out to visit offenders, but a colleague discouraged her. “I was told we don’t do home visits, flat out.”

Source: Ontario’s probation system ‘a joke,’ say offenders | Globalnews.ca

CBC the 800-pound News Media Gorilla

A part of the ongoing public discussion over what can be done as traditional news media are weakened in their ability to do public interest journalism. The answer, according to CBC executives, is: Let’s have more CBC! But the solution to the disrupted news media scene in Canada is not for taxpayers to shell out more to a public provider of news, no matter how high-quality or how high-minded.

The CBC has rapidly become the 800-pound gorilla in news media in many communities across Canada, not just because of its own increased resources but also because of reduced revenues at private media outlets. The result is a distortion of the marketplace that undermines the ability of private firms to transition and to continue to report the very same news and information that CBC executives say it should be publicly funded to provide.

Over the past year, the Winnipeg Free Press has found itself in bidding wars with the local CBC station trying to hire away reporters and editors from the newspaper. The journalists were hired not to do innovative work that was not being done by private media, but rather to report on areas like city hall, the very beats that they covered for the newspaper.

These weren’t journalists shed by indiscriminate layoffs. They were the most valuable resources the paper had in its continued comprehensive coverage of Winnipeg, and the paper had spent considerable money over the years developing their knowledge and skills. In most cases, the CBC won, offering greater security backed by taxpayer funding.

Bob Cox is publisher of the Winnipeg Free Press, also responsible for the Brandon Sun and eight community newspapers in Manitoba. He is currently chair of News Media Canada, the association representing daily and community newspapers across the country.

Source: The 800-pound news media gorilla – Policy Options

(Note: The CBC, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, is funded in a large part by the government of Canada. Total funding when adding some advertising revenue and cable subscriptions is almost $1.6 billion per year. The government portion is $1.1 billion of the total.

At this point the funding gets very hazy. The CBC will broadcast a special program produced by someone in Canada. Costs related to the program are not included, except for royalties paid, in the overall CBC cost. In almost every case the extra programs receive their funding from several government fully funded sources. Government funded Canada Council for the Arts is one of the big players especially for those who know the application process. The recent Liberal government budget allocated $1.9 billion to it an various other arts funding.)

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Edmonton Police Bullying High School Students

What a shame knowing High School students are the target of Edmonton Police Services. They target the student who look different from those wearing name brand clothing. The police would not dare touch one of the students driving a new model vehicle. Police are trained to leave anyone alone as long as they have the look of a TV celebrity. Cookie cutter people are on the police must not touch list.

The police decide in late September and early October who they will bully all year. Perhaps there is a quota that needs filling to get a badge of courage. Great courage tossing a 16-year-old into the office in handcuffs, without a charge, for an entire day. Gather up a few more for the special operation to obtain access to cell phones without a reason.

What is on their phone is none of your damn business.

Edmonton police have been doing this in Edmonton High Schools for some time. Police with a deadly weapon snug to their side going after 16-17 year old students. When you continuously bully a young person they will eventually break. Are you proud knowing you destroyed an entire school year by having students expelled?

Why don’t you get your head out of the student’s asses and clean up the scum hanging out in the parks? There might be too many of them even though you’re the person with the gun. That gun must make you feel tough enough to take down a student in school. Not tough enough to take down the thousands of gang rats hanging around downtown Edmonton.

Great Police Work

You didn’t like the photo on a student’s cell phone and had the student expelled. Another had enough pot, in the locker, for a joint. Expelled from school for the entire month of April only weeks before final exams. Great Job! You ought to get a reward from the ego maniac mayor of Edmonton. The mayor is dumb while the police actions are dumber.

Students over 16 no longer have any rights according to Edmonton police. High School students can be strip searched, harassed into giving the police a cell phone password, put in handcuffs for hours, tossed in a room alone for hours, have their locker examined without them being there (police put what they want in the locker without a witness), no parent, no warrant or lawyer because you do not have a crime.

In other words the police make up a crime and make a criminal out of High School students. They would never touch the gangs in Edmonton selling hard-core drugs. It is so easy to target and bully a High School student trying to finish grade 12.

Fill up the court rooms with High School students and leave the drug gangs alone is your idea of justice. They sell any drug you can name in front of Edmonton City Hall.

Here we have lots of examples of younger people doing something, other than filling up park benches, having the rug pulled out from under them by bully cops. If it were my choice I would fire any police officer who acts as slippery slime to High School students.

The sad part is that you, the police, know what you are doing is unlawful and wrong.

Tips for Filing Tax Returns in Canada

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Just when you thought you were off the hook it is time to send in your Tax Returns to the Federal Government. Yes you have paid taxes on everything from a light bulb to a USB drive all year so why more?

Someone has to pay for the 1.7 million Canadian bureaucrats, their health care, their days off and their pensions. Can you remember the last time you called the Canadian government and talked to someone in Canada’s two official languages French and English? You will have a better chance by calling from 7 a.m. ET to 3 p.m Pacific Time. I am not suggesting you call ET although you would have more fun trying. ET is Eastern Time plus 30 minutes in Newfoundland.

Electronic Filing via Internet

It is the fastest method to get it over with quickly. Faster when you have an online account with Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). Someone told me a few days ago there are more than 3 billion people using the Internet. Yet 20% of the highly Canadian techno savvy population know how to set up an account with CRA. Your account gives you a way to get all of your T slips or reassess an Income Tax Return. Plus look over information regarding CPP, OAS and other benefits. Factually speaking they are not benefits since the money comes from your contributions to various plans such as an RRSP. Hyperlinks above will take you to the CRA website where you can set up your account.

Deadline to Remember

Canada Revenue Agency set April 30, 2017 as deadline for filing your 2016 tax return. Your employer has until the end of February to hand over T slips. If you worked more than one job then call the employer(s) for the T-4 slip(s). There are several billion dollars of unclaimed amounts being held by CRA due to people not filing an Income Tax Return. Last year I completed a return for a 30-year-old who had not filed in 6 years. He was delightfully silly when the money owed to him arrived. If you had deductions and most do have them file your Return. It is your money.

Ways to File and Income Tax Return

Electronic filing with CRA approved software is the best method ever. Here is a list of the software approved to date. Some are free for low-income earners below $30,000.00 for a single person and $45,000.00 for a couple. My non-sponsored recommendation for those who have a simple return is UFile 2016. It should be called Income Tax for Dummies because it is so easy to use. (Place name here … Address here…)

Many other software programs are listed and some require more computer skill. Often times you can also get a discount via the CRA website from the software developer.

Paper Filing

Paper tax returns can be found around the Post Office or Federal government locations such as Service Canada and CRA of course. You require pencils, pencil sharper, paper and lots of patience. The paper manual included with the kit will give your brain a good workout. Last time I had to use paper returns was for a lovely lady who failed to do any tax returns during the previous ten years.

Community Volunteer Income Tax Program

It was initially started in Quebec and Ontario to find out if there was a need for a volunteer program. They were swamped and CVTIP became a national way for Canadians on low incomes to have their taxes prepared and filed with CRA. The low-income markers are slightly different from one volunteer group to another. The CRA guideline is $35,000.00 per individual and $45,000.00 per couple. CVITP does not include those with T-5 financial resources over the amounts stated nor self-employed persons.

The volunteers across Canada assisted people on low incomes by preparing and filed close to 750,000 Income Tax Returns in 2016. We expect a sharp increase this year. Look over this link to find a volunteer group in your town or city. Bring your T slips and make an appointment where it is applicable. Every person involved goes through a clearance process with CRA and police clearance. A copy of the return is printed for you and none of the volunteers or local groups keep your returns on file. If you require a special need or assistance with language ask before you arrive.

A Few Additional Notes

Anyone collecting a pension, a disability allowance or additional funding need to file an income tax return. If you do not file a return your pension or any funding will be cut off in July. This includes GST rebates from July 2017 onward until the return if filed.

Seniors will only receive the CPP amount when the return is not filed by the April deadline. Let us pretend you are receiving $1600.00 a month pension plus the other allowances. Those allowances are the part of the pension you will not receive after July. Your July pension will be reduced to $400.00 +/- a month. I do volunteer after doing taxes for a few decades and it is heart breaking to see an 80-year-old in tears. For those reading this please do whatever is possible to ensure the elders in your family get their returns done on time. Provincial benefits as low as they are will also stop.

The current Federal government has introduced some of what they call poverty reduction into tax system. As I see it through the tax returns it is more than likely going to toss a few 100 thousand people out of their homes. This poverty reduction tax plan has a gaping hole in it someone forgot to research.

Most housing subsidy programs in Canada ask for the amount on Line 150 or Line 236 of your income tax form when applying. Line 150 is your total income and includes any current subsidies and Line 236 is the adjusted amount. These two lines are usually the same amount of dollars. The Federal government is going to increase the amounts on Line 150 and thus Line 236. It will put low-income earners in a higher artificial income bracket and disallow them Local or Provincial Housing assistance.

They claim there will be a decrease in poverty. It will be followed up by a massive increase in homelessness. It is more akin to a double negative balance found in most oligarchies.

Fraudulent Emails and Phone Calls

Best to put a hyperlink to the last scams being used in Canada. A few minutes of your time will make you aware of scams via phone, text messages, email, online and telemarketing.

 

Being Thankful in Canada

We can be thankful for the elected Parliamentary style government in the nation’s capital Ottawa. A parliamentary style government is the most common one used world wide.

Thankfully we do not have to put up with a circus even close to what is happening in the United States. (please bring back your Constitution and get rid of the Patriot Act)

Our Prime Minister is hand picked by fulling paid up members from a Party. Whichever party wins a majority the leader becomes the Prime Minister. The flaw in the system is having a government in office with less than 40% of the votes. We could rectify it by allowing proportional representation although I am doubtful it will happen. Canada also has a few elected members of Parliament who remain Independent. Most of it comprises of Liberals, New Democrats, Conservatives, Green Party and Bloc Québécois.

I see the unelected Senate in Canada as a deporable group of political party appointees having one thing in common. They paid into a political party and are handed a highly paid position with an elaborate pension. Many need to be flown into the country from their homes in Bermuda, or elsewhere, simply to cast a vote in the Senate.

India is a shining example of a nation who ridded itself of a Senate along with connections to the monarchy. (The United States did a beautiful job of sending the monarchy for a long walk off a short cliff). Every member of the two Houses in India are elected as it should be in any country calling itself democratic.

Canada’s government for reasons unknown to Canadians, continues to give its loyalty and Oath of Allegiance, to the Queen of England. Any person working for the Federal and Provincial governments must give thier oath to the same foreigner. Elected Provincial governments  must also bow to monarchy when they give their Oath of Allegiance. The evidence is on Canadian currency and behind the judge in a court of law.

We hear the politicians talk about transperancy and openness  every time they are front of a camera. In the truest sense of the word transperancy Canadians would know exactly what the government is doing. It would also mean the various governments would let the people know where every dollar is being spent. Cities would no longer spend federal and provincial funds on projects meant to satisfy their egos. Any association or company recieving funds from the Federal and Provincial governments would be accountable.

What’s the point of saying you are accountable when clear cut accounting is not available for Canadians to see? It’s all too easy for politicians to hide behind the Oath given to the Queen of England.

Scattered geniously into the mix is a myriad of appointees, paid up political hacks, sitting on 1000s of committees.

When Canada elects a true reformer the task will be to eliminate the governor general, lieutenant governors, senate and bring the Oath of Alligence up to date.

New Oath of Allegiance

I, do swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Canada, the Constitution and Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

For those who break and/or breech the Charter daily feel free to leave Canada permanently.

Dennis Cambly

Next article is based on his photo.

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Council of Canadians announces Economic Boycott of Nestlé

Nestlé pays less than $15 per day for our drinking water. Then they resell it as bottled water.

Dear Indira Samarasekera Re: the UofA Honorary Doctorate for Nestle Group Chairman Peter Brabeck-Letmathe

120301-edmontonuofanestleprotest-03Sign the pledge to not buy bottled water or Nestle products.

In the middle of a severe drought in southern Ontario, bottled water giant Nestlé continues to extract over four million litres of groundwater every day from an aquifer near Guelph. Nestlé pays less than $15 per day for this precious resource and then ships it out of the community in hundreds of millions of single use plastic bottles for sale all over North America – at an astronomical mark up.

The aquifer that supplies the main Nestlé production well has dropped about 1.5 metres from 2011 to 2015 while Nestlé’s water taking increased 33 % over the same period.

And Nestlé just bought up another well in nearby Middlebrook – despite the local municipality’s attempt to purchase it to safeguard their municipal water supply. Nestlé has been privatizing groundwater all over the world, stirring up opposition from communities trying to…

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False choice between Economy and Environment

In its bid to balance what’s urgently needed with what’s politically expedient, British Columbia’s new climate policy is a perfect symbol of society frozen in inaction

Certainly, this is the moment of impending catastrophe. In just the last few weeks, one scientist predicted that next year or the year after, the Arctic will be free of ice.

Rolling Stone magazine warned we’ve reached “the point of no return,” that sea levels could rise 10 times faster than predicted, and suggested “historians may look to 2015 as the year when shit really started hitting the fan;” the small village of Newtok, Alaska, voted to relocate as rising waters erode the town’s land; global coffee production is estimated to be halved by rising temperatures; and a New York Times map of projected temperatures across the U.S. showed 37c/100F days soaking the continent by 2100, like some deadly red dye.

Tossed into this whirlpool of bad news is the B.C. Liberals’ much-anticipated climate change policy, (downloadable documents available) providing a perfect example of a society frozen in inaction.

Released last week, it’s a document written for gentler a time, or a time when we had time on our side. Tom-Pierre Frappé-Sénécleuze, a senior advisor at the Pembina Institute, described it as disappointing, but another equally apt word would be useless. Premier Christy Clark is seeking to balance something desperately needed, the curbing of greenhouse gas emissions, with something politically expedient. Protection of gas prices at the pump as well as jobs and the economy.

The carbon tax will remain frozen, instead of increasing by $10 per tonne a year, as the province’s Climate Leadership Team recommended. B.C. is already off track in meeting 2020 emissions targets set in 2007.

The new plan aims to keep a promise to reduce emissions by 80 per cent from the 2007 level by 2050, suggesting accountability is really only important a few decades from now.

(Rosemary Westwood is a columnist with Metro News. She’s worked as an editor, writer and broadcaster for Canadian and international media. She’s a former writer for Maclean’s magazine and has contributed to the Edmonton Journal, Toronto Star and the Globe and Mail. As a broadcaster, she’s produced and reported news for the CBC and the BBC world news programs.)

Read entire article at Source: The false choice between ‘economy’ and ‘enviroment’ | Metro News

Proportional Representation Leads to More Diverse, Cooperative Politics

Response to Bill Tieleman and other Electoral Reform naysayers

Canadian society is incredibly diverse. However, we currently use an antiquated electoral system that was designed in the 13th century for a country that had only two political parties. As such, Canada’s House of Commons is overwhelmingly dominated by a small number of political parties – usually just two. This lack of variety fails to represent the multitude of voices and opinions in Canadian society.

Tieleman slights the federal Green party, whose seat count remains low due to the current voting system. Does Tieleman think that smaller parties such as the Greens shouldn’t have a voice in our parliament? I can’t help but think of 1990s provincial politics, when the leader of the BC NDP, the party Tieleman once served as an advisor to, labeled environmentalists as the enemies of B.C. Or again in the 2000s when the BC NDP opposed the province’s incredibly progressive carbon tax.

Having a party like the Greens, even if just on the periphery, has ensured that the more regressive policies of the BC NDP have been challenged. The party had to adapt to such criticism, and become a more progressive political party for it. Sometimes even opposition parties need to be opposed.

Tieleman wants us to believe a greater diversity of voices will mean racism and intolerance in Canada’s parliament.

New Zealand, a country that uses proportional representation, shows that exactly the opposite can happen: Indigenous people have a louder voice in parliament, which encourages tolerance, cooperation and respect. The Māori party regularly wins seats (even outside of the seven electorates set aside for Māori candidates) and is part of New Zealand’s current coalition government. Of the eight political parties that contested New Zealand’s 2014 election, three of them had leaders of Māori heritage.

Coalition and minority governments can be extremely productive. Lester Pearson’s minority Liberal government was one of the most fruitful governments that Canada has ever had. Pushed to cooperate with the NDP, we saw the creation of public healthcare, Canada Pension Plan, Student Loans, a Canadian Flag, the 40-hour work week, two weeks of vacation time and a new minimum wage. So when detractors of proportional representation warn of parliamentary gridlock, be skeptical. The exact opposite can happen when parties work together.

When was the last time that a federal Canadian political party with seats had a non-Caucasian leader? Certainly not during my lifetime, if ever.

Read the entire Article: Proportional Representation Leads to More Diverse, Cooperative Politics | The Tyee

Global Currency Fairness and US Policies

Until the mid-twentieth century, the gold standard was the dominant monetary system, based on a fixed quantity of gold reserves stocked in national banks, which limited lending. At that time, the United States managed to become the owner of 70% of world’s gold reserves (excluding the USSR), therefore it pushed its weakened competitor, the UK, aside resulting to the creation of the Bretton Woods financial system in 1944. That’s how the US dollar became the predominant currency for international payments.

But a quarter century later this system had proven ineffective due to its inability to contain the economic growth of Germany and Japan, along with the reluctance of the US to adjust its economic policies to maintain the dollar-gold balance. At that time, the dollar experienced a dramatic decline but it was saved by the support of rich oil exporters, especially once Saudi Arabia began to exchange its black gold for US weapons and support in talks with Richard Nixon.

President Richard Nixon in 1971 unilaterally ordered the cancellation of the direct convertibility of the United States dollar to gold, and instead he established the Jamaican currency system in which oil has become the foundation of the US dollar system. Therefore, it’s no coincidence that from that moment on the control over oil trade has become the number one priority of Washington’s foreign policy. In the aftermath of the so-called Nixon Shock the number of US military engagements in the Middle East and other oil producing regions saw a sharp increase. Once this system was supported by OPEC members, the global demand for US petrodollars hit an all time high. Petrodollars became the basis for America domination over the global financial system which resulted in countries being forced to buy dollars in order to get oil on the international market.

Analysts believe that the share of the United States in today’s world gross domestic product shouldn’t exceed 22%. However, 80% of international payments are made with US dollars. The value of the US dollar is exceedingly high in comparison with other currencies. That’s why consumers in the United States receive imported goods at extremely low prices. It provides the United States with significant financial profit, while high demand for dollars in the world allows the US government to refinance its debt at very low interest rates.

Under these circumstances, those hedging against the dollar are considered a direct threat, to US economic hegemony and the high living standards of its citizens. Therefore political and business circles in Washington attempt by all means to resist this process.

This resistance manifested itself in the overthrow and the brutal murder of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, who decided to switch to Euros for oil payments, before introducing a gold dinar to replace the European currency.

Despite Washington’s desire to use whatever means to sustain its position within the international arena, US policies, are increasingly faced with opposition. A growing number of countries are trying to move from the US dollar along with its dependence on the United States, by pursuing a policy of de-dollarization. Three nations active in this domain are China, Russia and Iran. These countries are trying to achieve de-dollarization at a record pace, along with some European banks and energy companies that are operating within their borders.

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The Russian government held a meeting on de-dollarization in spring of 2014, where the Ministry of Finance, announced the plan to increase the share of ruble-denominated contracts and the consequent abandonment of dollar exchange.

Last May at the Shanghai summit, the Russian delegation manged to sign the so-called deal of the century which implies that over the next 30 years China will buy $ 400 billion worth of Russia’s natural gas while paying in Rubles and Yuan. In addition, in August 2014 a subsidiary company of Gazprom announced its readiness to accept payment for 80,000 tons of oil from Arctic deposits in Rubles that were to be shipped to Europe.

Payment for the supply of oil through the Eastern Siberia – Pacific Ocean pipeline can be transferred in the Yuan. Last August while visiting the Crimea, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin announced that the petrodollar system should become history while Russia is discussing the use of national currencies in mutual settlements with a number of countries.

These steps recently taken by Russia are the reason behind the West’s sanction policy. (Ukraine and Crimea are a cover story hiding the facts)

There is little to no hope, the United States will survive its own wave of chaos, as it continues to lash out across the world. (with allies such as Canada, headed by millionaire PM Justin Trudeau,  you will hear more about foreign affairs than domestic problems)

Read More at Source: The Global De-dollarization and the US Policies | New Eastern Outlook

Premier Rachel Notely Outstanding Work

What began as a small wildfire on May 2, 2016 became nature’s rage of fury. Premier Notely showed every Albertan how to handle an emergency. The probability of getting every person out of Fort McMurray to safety was a daunting task. One four lane highway southbound could have easily turned into a big tragedy. Up to 90,000 people needed to evacuate Fort McMurray as orderly as possible. They drove south with the wildfire roaring along the highway.

Premier Notely worked with her administration in conjunction with individuals, police, fire fighters and industry to ensure the safety of evacuating residents. 1000s of videos along with photos made their way to broadcasters and social networks. It appeared as though the Premier was giving updates every hour.

Her request was simple; “everyone needs to work together” and together cities large and small did it. People volunteered their time to set up temporary facilities and coordinate the incoming donations of food, clothing and places to sleep. The province of Alberta became a beehive of activity with everyone working together.

“The wildfires ravaging Canada’s oil hub in northern Alberta have rapidly spread to an area bigger than New York city, prompting the air lift of more than 8,000 evacuees as firefighters seek to salvage critical infrastructure.”

Global Edmonton reporter Fletcher Kent, was reporting on the Fort McMurray wildfire, at times having to run from his assignment. Fletcher shares his experience covering the story and the incredible generosity of those in Fort McMurray.

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As the wildfire continued to grow Premier Notely put in place funds to assist the people of Fort McMurray in every way possible. With the economy of Alberta already facing a downturn due to low oil and gas prices the “Tory old boys club” were busy making snarky comments. For most I commented back with “you  had 40 years now get out of the way”.

Premier Notely continued with the updates giving information of value to everyone dealing with the wildfire. She was doing exactly what a leader should do.

Fire fighters continue to do a street by street sweep ensuing all fires are extinguished. Today some equipment is heading north to do repair work in Fort McMurray. The RCMP are ensuring only registered company vehicles are allowed into the area. They are protecting the property belonging to the residents.

The line ups were long as the emergency funding was released to the Fort McMurray residents.

Rachel Notely we can safely say Albertans made a wise choice by voting to have you as our Premier.