Wednesday, July 28, 2010


This is our money, our democratic institutions -- and we have a right to more transparency than we're getting.

Attention Journalism students and vigilant citizens:

The similarities/differences are visible here, between the style of an Ontario provincial Liberal premier and British Columbia's provincial "Liberal" premier, when dealing with cops raiding government territory.

Note how this eastern news story begins ... and note especially how it ends.

In the beginning, this news is about the ecology, holidays, etc ... the tone is jocular, as in: Howdy, folks ... here's a bit of newz for you, but really ... there ain't nuthin' to see here, although ... chuckle ...  we think the premier of Ontario had "a little "splaining" to do when he met with reporters on Tuesday. "Oh, really?" we ask ourselves. And what could possibly be more important than blackflies and "feel-good photo-op(s) at the Y" we marvel ...:

For vigilant citizens who wonder w.t.f. was actually going on with Ontario Provincial Police raiding three (3) or five (5) Ministries (depending on who you've been reading), it's best to begin reading this  story about what Ontario premier McGuinty knew, and when he knew it, at Paragraph #23 (yes, Paragraph #twenty-three), where the premier is saying:

"Sometimes governments are a little bit messy and a little bit sloppy" [hyuck, hyuck]. After which we get precisely 9 (that's right, NINE short paragraphs addressing the issue of whether or not Organized Crime has entered into the daily workings of the Ontario government. Oh. Wait. Sorry. Organized Crime wasn't mentioned at all ...

By contrast, a clear statement was made about Organized Crime at an official RCMP press conference in British Columbia on Dec. 29, 2003 -- the day after B.C. experienced a major police raid on the Legislature premises. The news media which bears responsibility for keeping the public well informed, lost no time in shrugging off (hyuck, hyuck) such a ridiculous thought.

Now, almost 7 years later, we know better. And we know that any cop, any journalist, any politician who fails to ask that important question -- was Organized Crime involved? -- is working against the public interest, not for us.

So here's that article which I saw in The Globe and Mail online: 

McGuinty takes heat for eco fees, G20 
QMI Age - July 27, 2010

TRENTON, Ont. - The first day back at work can be busy for anyone.

When you're the Premier of Ontario, it can be frenetic.

Dalton McGuinty must have forgotten to set the emergency brake on his usually well-controlled government juggernaut -- and the kids back at the office rolled it over the cliff while he was swatting blackflies in the backwoods ... hyuck, hyuck ... {Snip} ...

"Sometimes governments are a little bit messy and a little bit sloppy," McGuinty said.

"It may be that a few things that we put out the door recently didn't go out the door in the best possible way, but I can assure you that we will continue to learn from that."

I'm not sure they will.

Judging by their response to OPP raids on three ministries -- transportation, economic development and trade and community and social services -- they haven't learned a thing.

Cops raided Macdonald Block offices July 15.

It's taken until now to have official confirmation of which ministries are involved.

We have no details -- except that no one has been charged.

"There is no assurance that anybody will be charged," McGuinty said.

We, as taxpayers, have a right to know what is being probed.

This is our money, our democratic institutions -- and we have a right to more transparency than we're getting.



"Journalism matters - no matter the medium"

By Elizabeth James, North Shore News July 28, 2010


"What is clear is that, with the exception of a handful of excellent online publications and commentators, a perusal of local blog-sites -- and that's what most of them are -- suggests that, good, bad or indifferent, they are commentaries built around information gleaned directly from articles published in the MSM.

In other words, most of these "alternative" editorial exchanges of opinion could not exist were it not for the work already performed by many of the professionals employed by traditional media organizations.

Be that as it may, what will that readership exodus mean for the MSM?"

Did you know that it isn't a "slam dunk....." now where did I write that....on CN Rail discontinuing rail lines...

Here's something from CN Rail's own website:

"Section 146.2 of the Canada Transportation Act provides that a railway company shall prepare and keep up to date a list of its sidings and spurs that it plans to dismantle and that are located in a metropolitan area or within the territory served by any urban transit authority. The railway company must publish the list on its internet site and whenever it makes a change to the list it must notify the Minister of Transport, the Canadian Transportation Agency, the Provincial Minister for Transportation, urban transit authorities and municipal and district governments in which the siding or spur is located."



List of proposed sidings and spurs to be dismantled (Oct 21 2008)(PDF 36.37KB)

There are two, one in Saskatchewan, the other is in British Columbia ..... "Lulu Island Spur"


I'm still not clear on this thing about who OWNS the rail lines. Premier Gordon Campbell said British Columbians would retain the ownership of the tracks but I've seen some drawings, in and around Squamish, that BC Railway Co. has been removed and replaced with CN Rail.

And, I have in my possession, after requesting from the City of North Vancouver the "Before and After" results of BC Rail PILT (Payments In Lieu of Taxes) and that of CN Rail's Acquisition up to the year of 2008.

Maybe its just the way the City has to record the information in their database, one shoe fits all, taxpayers, commercial, industrial, and residential in the City, are listed off as being the "Owner" of the said property and Lo and Behold CN Rail is listed as being the Owner of the property where it used to be listed as BC Rail.

Mr. Campbell, have you sold the rail lines or haven't you?
Hmmmm in this mornings Vancouver Province, page A6, the newspaper seems to have gone where Google Street View was forced to bend one knee on the issue of privacy rights in Canada.

In Street View, in Canada, our right to privacy is enshrined in law, but the Vancouver Province seems to believe they are above the law because I recognized my convertible, its license plate is clearer than the written word, and it was my wife at the wheel.

Just one question, folks, who's the guy sitting in the passenger seat?

The hard copy is much clearer than than the online version.
Hi Mary et al,
I have just spent the last four days traveling across Northern Ontario to Ottawa. I spoke with various people along the way - shop owners, hospitality industry employees and employers, cab drivers and an assorted sampling of people one meets while out and about. Not a single person knew anything about these OPP probes into their ministries. Further, in my very non-methodical, hit and miss searching, I have heard/seen nothing about it on the radio or on the TV while here. If it is news, it is not a hot news item. Now, I'm off to Quebec City enroute to NS.

Damn the lazy, bespoke media anyway!!!

And what a coup for the Bad Guys who may soon be crowing about public apathy and how "nobody cares" ...

We're lucky to be bloggers, guided by the OLDEN-times rules of the media, to inform the public as best we can. Sheesh ... remember Bob Whatshisname from the Calgary EyeOpener who boasted that he "printed all the news that's fit to print" ... and wasn't that about 100 years ago? and in Calgary, yet.

Thanks and thanks again for gathering your survey results and sending them to us.

Makes me wonder and worry some more, though, about Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty's early boast about getting along so well with his New Best Friend, "Gord" Campbell.

Maybe Quebec City will have more to say to you, SiG, about the OPP probes into key ministries of Ontario.

Safe journey!
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