Category Archives: Ontario Politics

PM Trudeau’s ‘Cousin’ Exposes #MeToo Scandal Involving Liberalist Data

Dear Justin,

I tried writing to you first, as the Rt. Hon. Prime Minister of Canada, but you ignored it. So I’m trying again now, as your cousin-in-law instead. I’m hopeful that addressing you personally will help us overcome the communication barrier that’s been erected to insulate you from some deeply troubling developments. I regret that professional attempts to resolve this were unsuccessful and I had to resort to a family intervention to get your attention. This is about a brewing child sex scandal and the kids are still in danger, ‘under a Trudeau roof‘. We need to speak about this frankly and immediately, before any more damage can be done.

I appreciate you wouldn’t recognize me in a crowd, because my part of the family happens to change about every four years. They’re a raucous bunch of enormously huge egos who can’t seem to get along for the good of anyone. Every four years like clockwork, there’s a slew of vicious divorces. You would think that after 150 years they could learn to communicate instead of tearing each other down. If nobody else warned about what you were joining, then I’m sorry to be the messenger.

But as things stand you are the patriarch of this family and I must bring these concerns directly to you. I grew up as a Crown Ward and I’m choosing to approach you in that capacity, as a sidebar from both our jobs that are politically interfering. This is a graphic and extremely difficult issue that requires we drop our defences, if anything is to be resolved. With you as the prime minister and me as a journalist, it’s created a standoff that imperils more complainants.

It’s not an internet myth and several criminal charges are laid, into the double-digits. Some of them were even against your flatmate, but that’s the part you did know. What I need to discuss is the growing number of child sex victims since he pleaded guilty, and the family looked away to cleanse its Liberal soul. Because everyone closed their eyes in an effort to shield you from that scandal, the abuses continued and kids are presently being harmed by additional members of our family. The thing about predation is that it’s an illness and it can’t be controlled by ignoring it. All that secrecy did was let the disease flourish within our own family.

You and I come from disparate places and the most valuable purpose I can serve is to share my insight, plus hard evidence. This seedy cadre of inlaws will be your demise if you don’t listen up and take corrective action now. Children are being exploited either in your name or on your watch, and you’re the only one who can stop this. The Trudeau stamp is on these crimes, through and through. It’s just that you’re blinded to how.

I know you believe that your part of the family is more civilized than mine and that sexual abuse can’t infect the silver spoon; but in this example the privileged members of our clan are preying on the most vulnerable, precisely because they have no resources to defend themselves. The abuse of power in your image is so great that it’s upsetting. Watching them use your money and power to scare, brutalize, and/or silence the kids is nearly paralyzing. This relates to stalking women in our family too.

This is going to be a long letter because I was cursed with the ability to tie things together. My vantage point is unique as a family member who remained constant through all the divorces, and as a witness to a particular set of criminal allegations that now involve you directly. Your branch of the family has gone to great lengths to silence these children, but I can’t let them succeed like they did with your roommate in Vancouver. If I let them silence me, more women and children will be violated.

Ultimately we’re going to discuss a serial problem with sexual predation in the Liberal Party of Canada and its provincial counterparts. We will also explore the ‘Look Away Disease’ that has infected all legislatures and parliament, that continues to fuel new allegations in nearly every news cycle. I will attempt to bridge the cases of Jared Nolan, Luke Strimbold, Christopher Ingvaldson, and Tina Fontaine, through my experience and holistic viewpoint. Although they appear to be disconnected examples, I can explain why they’re not and how they were all enabled by our family. That includes all political parties, law enforcement, and media, in their various roles in the family compact, and the way you have abused Canadians’ data to make them vulnerable to criminal exploitation.

I apologize for the lengthy preamble and please accept it as an indication of my trepidation. Exposing heinous crimes takes a tremendous amount of courage, especially when the establishment becomes complicit. I’m trying to inform you in a way that doesn’t weaponize our women and children, and turn this into little more than political ammunition against you. These issues are so much greater than partisan hit-points. They transcend race and class relations, as the foundation for all systemic #MeToo dysfunction.

I know Tina Fontaine isn’t considered part of the #MeToo catastrophe, but hopefully she will be when I’m finished connecting the dots. In fact, your entire relationship with First Nations should be viewed through the Look Away lens. I don’t mean to steal their voices and my information doesn’t replace their own stories, but hopefully my experience can penetrate the walls around your brain-trust. Hopefully it will give you a new avenue to analyze your behaviour and to become accountable for it. Hopefully I will enable my government family to do better, replacing the false promises on prenuptial bumper stickers that inevitably lead to collapse in the fourth year of this abuse and election cycle.

Addressing an issue that is all-encompassing requires perseverance. Please be patient as I weave these details to reveal the larger picture that’s been missing from the #MeToo and data privacy discussions.

 

Regarding Jared Nolan

 

I mention Jared Nolan first, because the political obstruction surrounding his case is current and ongoing. He is/was an LPC riding executive who was charged with multiple counts of child luring and child pornography in Ontario. He’s the reason I began writing you letters and why the party threatened to silence me as a witness. Here is documentation of that event:

 

(continued below…)

 

 

The investigation has gone sideways because of the evidence I reported and its liability implications to the Liberal Party of Canada. I’m a peripheral witness in that matter and after intervention by the LPC, the police obstructed my report and refused to receive the evidence.

My documentation relates to tampering with evidence in the Nolan case, to conceal his relationship with the Liberal apparatus. During the time of these heinous allegations made by children, he was also working directly with partisan youths in the riding. Another riding executive is the principal of a high school and Nolan may have had access to those children through the Liberal Party of Canada as well. He definitely had access to thousands of youths, with the ability to stalk them in real-time through the party’s Liberalist database.

The PMO and party brass were aware of this danger but continued to permit Nolan’s access to the database, even as he was under house arrest. You refused to notify the youth volunteers and parents in our riding, so they could speak with their children to ensure they weren’t sexually abused. The Liberal Party of Canada continues to withhold this information and it’s created a public safety emergency. No one will investigate if these child complainants were in contact with the party to fulfill their volunteer requirements, or if Nolan downloaded a copy of the Liberalist database with all women and children’s sensitive information. They will not ensure it hasn’t been distributed to a criminal child pornography network.

The LPC’s threats and interference have created so much harm that the Ontario Provincial Police are blocking all forms of communication to receive evidence in the Nolan case. They denied phone calls and a physical meeting. They ‘lost’ my original 2-hour statement. They ‘lost’ the original officer who took my report. When that wasn’t enough to deter me from reporting, the lead investigator aggressively intimidated me and directly obstructed the evidence.

Instead of describing all the details and re-issuing the evidence, please visit the following hyperlinks.

According to analytics, more than 125,000 people have seen my Twitter essay that describes these events. The 82-post entry further addresses the media’s complicity and political negligence by all parties. It provides access to a synopsis of allegations, as well as the actual evidence. Please begin here:

 

(continued below…)

 

 

Although a number of government officials were alerted from provincial and federal levels, they did not respond. No one from the Liberal Party of Canada responded. The only response I did receive is the Ontario Provincial Police blocking my communication from this last avenue. I now cannot report in person, by phone, or online.

 

(continued below…)

 

 

I’m concerned this presents a rare example of a section 7 Charter breach, that is directly endangering children. My security of person has been revoked by the police and both levels of government. All children in the affected community have also lost their security of person, when each of you refuses to receive a report that affects them and the public safety. Police services are being entirely denied in the Nolan matter.

As stated in the allegation synopsis, I became aware of another girl who may be in danger from the Nolan situation. But due to political interference and a conflict-of-interest between the LPC and police detachment, a report was declined and her safety was never investigated.

All evidence concerning these allegations can be obtained through the Twitter essay or statement synopsis links. It’s important you read that preliminary context before jumping into the documents, text messages, and phone records.

The Liberal Party of Canada was further captured on video, obstructing the riding and parents from knowing about these criminal charges against our vice president. The LPC official can be heard saying he was ‘directed by the party’ to prevent anyone from discussing Nolan and that he would ‘fall on his sword’ to enforce this censorship, even if it was against the rules and a detriment to public safety. Moreover, the party obstructed Vulnerable Sector background checks from being implemented, to prevent alleged predators from gaining access to the party’s powerful software that can surveil women and children. Instead they took an aggressive stance against me, to silence the witness.

 

(continued below…)

 

 

Additional information was withheld from my evidentiary statement, because I believed I needed to protect the legal sensitivity of these issues. I believed my Twitter essay, or allegation synopsis, or the evidence itself, would lead to police and/or government and/or party contact, where I could disclose financial evidence confidentially.

Because everyone in the family compact obstructed this communication, I can only forewarn that more trouble may be coming and you need to demand records from the Simcoe-Grey Federal Liberal Riding Association (SGFLRA). While Nolan has been under house arrest and forbidden from the internet, it appears he may have gotten involved with selling forged Canadian passports online.

Nolan’s history with counterfeit documents allegedly begins in 2010, when complaints were lodged against him and his SuperiorFakeDegrees.com operation (see page 1 and note his full legal name is Jared Connor Nolan).

When Nolan became involved with hospital work he may have departed from the forgery business, for a time (see page 2 and notice no entries about Nolan).

But in 2017 when Nolan was under house arrest for child luring and child porn, the complaints against him resumed. One woman went so far as to publish an address and partial bank account number (see page 3 and note these fake passports and financial crimes are an international issue, involving the US and UK).

The most recent complaints indicate Nolan’s bail conditions may have been breached and his alleged criminal associates may extend beyond Canada. The riding association possesses more evidence to support this concern that arrived from the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC), but the party is obstructing police from receiving it.

CIBC contacted the riding association to warn its account would be closed, if they didn’t remove Jared Nolan’s name from signing privileges immediately. He maintained these powers over party finances for much of his time under house arrest, further proving his executive access was never revoked by the LPC. Whether the party wished to remain associated with Nolan, it didn’t matter to the bank. They wouldn’t disclose their allegations, but they made it exceptionally clear they were prohibiting Nolan’s business through their establishment and anyone connected with him would see their accounts closed as well.

We now have a situation where a riding executive accused of child luring and child pornography may be connected to counterfeit passports and possibly human trafficking. But the police won’t pursue this evidence due to political interference and threats from Nolan’s colleague in the Liberal Party of Canada.

The only thing your part of the family wants to know is if I’m going to commence civil action; but it wasn’t me who was molested in this scenario and I can’t bankroll a Charter complaint against the police, the party, and two governments. The rest of your kin are just refusing to do their jobs and that includes the Attorneys General for Ontario and Canada. If you don’t intervene with an independent commission to investigate these conflicts now, you’ll end up being the one who wears it in the next divorce/election cycle.

At this point and frankly, you’re lucky I’m a staple inlaw who gets how all the moving parts work. You really need to stop ‘kicking me in the teeth’ for speaking up, because children are still in danger and it’s the Trudeau name presiding over it.

So you can stop imagining me as a militant femi-nazi, with some kind of flamethrower hidden in my lady parts, please listen to a 2-hour interview I recorded with a Canadian political podcast. The mainstream media might have blacked this out, but everyone else is still talking about Jared Nolan. I swear I’m not a mean or aggressive person and I’m not even loud. Just listen, before you form an opinion.

 

Regarding Luke Strimbold

 

As I tried to tell you and Katie, as well as the RCMP, the Luke Strimbold case from British Columbia is related to the Jared Nolan case in Ontario.

The Liberalist database is a national problem. I discuss it at length in the audio clip above, and it’s imperative the RCMP accepts this information. It’s also become imperative for the privacy commissioner to investigate and for you to take executive action.

This partisan software may be one of the most powerful surveillance operations in the country, even though it was intended for less intrusive political use. It works on mobile, updates in real-time, and contains especially sensitive personal data about women and children. It contains their contact information, work and school information, schedule of events, income, family relations, as well as everyone’s hopes and fears and character labels the party might have added, in their own opinion.

I accept this information was sought to be more effective with voters and more sensitive toward volunteers, but when you package that data together, it also creates a veritable victim profile. It would be the most effective way for a predator to track targets and one of the ironic applications within the Liberalist is called Quick Mark.

Can you please consider now how that translates to the criminally ill. As another Liberal riding executive, Luke Strimbold may have gained access to the same database as Jared Nolan. I’m told the software is shared between provincial and federal parties in Ontario. The RCMP will need to inquire if the same is true in BC, because technically speaking, that database can be used to identify gay teens in the click of a button. (A party tutorial for selecting ‘marks’ is included in the previous audio clip.)

 

Regarding Anna Gainey And The Liberalist

 

Surely you already knew that Anna Gainey was in a conflict-of-interest. Without campaigning for herself at the convention, she was elected as party president. Her husband, Tom Pitfield, is your childhood friend, and your families vacation together.

So you also knew that Tom manages the Liberalist database, and Anna promised to recuse herself from any issues between his business and the party. You knew there was a conflict-of-interest between the Liberalist operation and his think-tank, Canada2020. You knew there were incestuous overtones because several Liberal executives pulled double-duty for Anna and Tom. You even knew this involved a conflict between the Young Liberals of Canada and Tom’s data mining operation.

Then I informed you that Anna didn’t recuse herself from the dispute about police obstruction, the Liberalist, and the case of Jared Nolan. I warned the party her actions were leaving the LPC exposed to potential lawsuits, but you let that slide for your nearest and dearest. What can I say? I don’t even get a Christmas card and she gets to vacation with the Aga Khan. It just hurts that you’d do this to the rest of the family while you were all getting suntans:

 

(continued below…)

 

 

In related legal quagmires, you might not have realized the Liberalist is hosted in the United States and therefore it’s subject to the US Patriot Act. Technically speaking, President Trump can access this database to deny Canadians entry. The labels you append to constituent profiles (ie: environmental activist, marijuana activist, Idle No More activist, Black Lives Matter activist, union activist, LGBTQ2S, veteran, hostile, likely Conservative, likely NDP, likely Liberal, Indigenous, Islamic, Jewish, Christian, immigrant) can be obtained by just about anyone, including the US government. All you need to do is spend some time with the Liberalist manual (at bottom), or listen to my audio interview to get the picture. Only recently could we add concerns about Russian election interference.

Complicating this situation is the fact that the Liberalist is non-consensual. No one signs a waiver or receives terms of service when their information is uploaded to the database by party volunteers (like Jared Nolan or Luke Strimbold). Citizens have no idea what data you’re collecting when the party visits door-to-door or holds events. There is no ability for constituents or youth volunteers to challenge, correct, or suppress the data, because they don’t know this database exists. They don’t know their online petitions and surveys are compiled by the LPC to build a political-psyche profile. They also don’t know the party will give their profile to anyone who wants it, including criminals.

This is where we really fell out with one another. Given there is a real threat to children’s safety, I asked Anna to implement Vulnerable Sector background checks for those who access the data (see last document), but she denied it. That’s what led to the video I posted, where the party abused its power to block a motion for criminal clearance to operate the Liberalist database and mentor youth volunteers.

There is nothing in the world that could justify that obstruction. It was a no-brainer, to protect kids in a riding where the vice president is accused of making child pornography. You can love Tom and Anna all you please, but it doesn’t mean you have to condone what they did. The party actually intervened to preserve criminal access to women and children. There must be discipline. If you look away, I won’t forgive you.

Then there’s the matter of Elections Canada and its questionable relationship to the Liberalist database. While they’re keen to get with the times and join the digital revolution, they also have a murky privacy policy that’s decided on a case-by-case basis. That means there are no hard rules for privacy and what a party can do with everyone’s legal voter identification, voting history, and home address. No one is monitoring what happens with our information once it’s distributed, and Elections Canada hasn’t done a privacy risk assessment.

Essentially Elections Canada has allowed political parties to append psych profiles and real-time tracking to their legal voter registration files for every adult in the country. That data is then hardwired to robocalls that can be conducted by any volunteer with access to the Liberalist, even if they’re under house arrest for child pornography. That’s definitely a worst-case scenario, but these people are criminally charged and they’ve had access to these powerful tools.

This is a bitter pill to swallow and no one will take responsibility, or stop it from happening. The LPC created Liberalist and the Conservatives created CIMS, but no one established regulations to guide how the data could be manipulated. All anyone needs to do is join a local riding association to get their hands on it and they can do whatever they please.

Moreover, you will likely be in the same hot water as Cambridge Analytica. It was disheartening to see Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale spinning the information, as if Liberals have nothing to do with data mining or electoral privacy breaches. It was disingenuous in the utmost and he darn well knew it, as a user of the Liberalist software. He even knew the party’s data was breached to those charged with making child pornography, as a recipient of my evidentiary statement that was submitted last year.

You and Tom and Anna have sunk so low with this non-consensual surveillance of Canadians and Canadian children, that your behaviour is no different from Donald Trump anymore. I can only surmise that you’ve obstructed the criminal investigation into Jared Nolan because it would have uncovered these greater issues. The writing was always on the wall and the government’s attorney general may have brought disrepute to the justice system by quietly protecting this.

 

Regarding Christopher Ingvaldson

 

Chris is your ex-roommate from Vancouver that no one is allowed to talk about. His story is compelling to this pattern of sexual predators, but it’s also how you might have been infected with the Look Away Disease. I’m sorry we have to go there, but it’s necessary to wake you up and I say this from the bottom of my heart.

So your bestie from the west coast was a fellow teacher at private school. You shared what sounds like a rockin’ apartment and you were reported to be quite the ladies’ man. Althea Raj from the Huffington Post wrote a free e-book to promote your bid for leadership and she detailed these high times in BC. It seems you lived together, worked together, and partied together, with the accused.

But it appears Althea wasn’t aware of your roommate’s conviction for child pornography. When she was fawning about the popularity of your apartment, did she know that Chris pleaded guilty to exploiting children at your home and shared workplace? The details of his case were upsetting and included a breach of trust. It’s no wonder you didn’t want to talk about it, but you must. At least accept that you and I are experiencing the same feelings. You about Christopher Ingvaldson, and me about Jared Nolan.

In the world of Canadian politics someone always knows something and it likely didn’t help that Chris was pursuing a federal Liberal nomination. Had he not been caught by international law enforcement he might have gained access to the Liberalist database, just like Jared Nolan and Luke Strimbold.

They say one is an example, two is an anomaly, and three is a pattern.

In any event, your relationship with a pedophile put you on the defensive. According to blood-brother, Gerry Butts, your roommate was the impetus for Vic Toews’ famous C-51 assertion, that ‘you’re either with us or the child pornographers’. Your brother then used this media opportunity to threaten the other parties into silence about the indiscretion. This is a major symptom of the Look Away Disease, not to mention ethically disturbing from a journalism perspective. It’s even reminiscent of the silencing campaign that’s been unleashed to erase our memories of Jared Nolan.

These details are important because they actually relate to you and me and the loss of faith in Canadian media. What you probably didn’t know is that Althea played dirty to steal your story from me.

If you recall from my Twitter essay, I mentioned that I interviewed you in Midland, Ontario. What I didn’t bother to say is that our meeting went terribly. You weren’t allowing access to any reporters at the time and I used my connections with Rana Bokhari‘s brother and Maryanne Kampouris to talk you into letting your guard down. It was going to be the scoop of the year and I was so excited. They convinced you that I was trustworthy and determined to help the public get acquainted.

But Ezra Levant’s Sun News Network also attended the event. They were viciously harassing you and I had to be doubly vetted to ensure I wasn’t part of a set-up. When that was confirmed we retired to a protected area in the basement and I had you alone to pick your brain for a full hour. I asked question after question about various policies, and you responded with no comment every time. You were nervous and became agitated, insisting I was only supposed to speak with you about the local news.

There was little I could do to salvage the interview and the entire hour with you amounted to ‘no comment’. I felt terrible that Ezra’s hooligans really knocked you off your game and I believe one of them was accused of physically assaulting you. It’s not that you didn’t have my empathy and I tried making small talk to put you at ease before leaving. I had a first edition of your dad’s book, Two Innocents In Red China, and I had you autograph because I knew China would figure strongly in your political future.

But that didn’t quell your fears from an incredibly manic day and your kin were worried that I would represent you poorly. I believe it was Katie Telford who got in touch with the Huff Post, because that’s where I was slated to publish. I was sad that day that Ezra killed my opportunity, then pissed-right-off that Althea stabbed me in the back with it.

Ms. Raj informed your people that I wasn’t authorized to interview you on behalf of the Huffington Post – only she was. Althea was on staff and I was only a contributor. She had no authority over what I was allowed to publish though. I was accused of misrepresenting myself and I never did. It’s just that you were spooked and Althea let her envy become destructive.

So that’s how the Huffington Post became your publicist during the leadership campaign and how you got someone covering your story that didn’t know the first thing about you, to be cautious around Christopher Ingvaldson. Althea abused my trust and connections to get her foot through your door and the outcome was the difference between public relations and journalism. By the way, I wasn’t going to publish anything because it would have made me look bad for failing to get your answers. I chalked it up to a personal experience and bearing witness to the collapse of media ethics, all around.

 

Regarding Benjamin Levin

 

The example of Mr. Levin will serve as a bridge between us. You come from an affluent gated community, and I was raised by impoverished institutional confinement. We were both disconnected from the commonality that binds the middle together and had to find ways to relate for the purpose of acceptance.

Our shared cousin-in-law, Benjamin Levin, operated on both sides of the track. He was considered one of the world’s most esteemed educators and his longstanding career in the public service proved he could lead a double life through numerous government departments. He was the deputy minister of education for the Manitoba (NDP) and Ontario (Liberal) administrations.

He also preyed on the vulnerable, as a sadistic director of child sexual abuse and purveyor of child pornography. He sought to cause violent, incestuous harm to young girls and wipe the slate clean with his unimpeachable reputation.

His story is significant in a few ways, in that he wasn’t a partisan executive or political candidate, where anyone can apply and the backgrounds are random. He was integral to the establishment from inner ranks and he exploited the Look Away Disease within the aristocracy for decades. He ate from a silver spoon and was still driven to feed his hunger with the weakest women and children among us. Mr. Levin solidly proves that criminal illness isn’t confined by socio-economic class. This does happen in your circles and it often persists for longer, because the affluent introduced the Look Away Disease and they’re the most susceptible to it.

Another indicator of this phenomenon is the judge in Ben’s case. As a female justice from the same class, she actually wished the perpetrator good luck upon delivering the sentence. She also believed the daughters who denied being abused, even though their father bragged about raping them.

To me it says the justice system doesn’t understand sexual abuse and incest. Wishing the criminal ‘good luck’ is like hoping the affliction can be cured, without being honest about the problem and what compels the person to be a predator. The internet is often blamed for child pornography as an excuse for the silver spoons to understand. But people aren’t turned into predators because of what they saw online. It’s the other way around, as any victim of the crime could tell you. This material appears on the internet because the Look Away Disease permits it to flourish and it’s consumed by individuals are who were already ill.

Likewise, incest is a learned behaviour that nobody will admit. These victims (and victims-turned-predators) are the least likely to come forward because they’re desperately confused about loving the person who harmed them. It involves stealing someone’s innocence and the mentee will be confused about coming of age, how that happens, and what their role is supposed to be.

You’ve heard a lot of adult rape victims question what they might have done to cause the attack. We know that self-blame and victim-shaming are common responses to this domination and we work hard to correct those behaviours. Well, the dynamic between kids and parents makes that question difficult to resolve in the mind of a dependent child.

In part, this is why we must refer to the accused as criminally ill, because illness of the mind is the only way to describe that type of predation. It’s about more than power and control, that we understand to be the motivation for adult sex crimes and domestic violence. Preying on children, whether related or not, is complicated by romantic overtones that undulate between loving and discipline. This is why it’s so disgusting and why society looks away.

But when everyone averts their eyes it leaves the victim isolated with nowhere to turn for help. When they see society respond this way, they will question even harder if this is the way life really works. They’ll know the abuse is demoralizing, but the community’s consensus to ignore it will make them wonder if they’re defective. Through our actions and the Look Away Disease, we’re actually messaging to the children that they’re the ones not fitting in.

On the flip side, predators from the other side of the tracks are met with moral outrage, or no response at all. The family compact is loathe to waste its resources on the scourge beyond its gates. If you aren’t the establishment, or paying the establishment’s bills, whatever happens to your children was outside that social construct. It’s only when so-called low-lifes’ threaten kids from the aristocracy that everyone gets out the pitchforks and torches.

That too will harm the victims because it excessively vilifies the perpetrator. It’s excessively hard to say those words and yet I know them to be true, as well. It’s because the exploited child will have to absorb your anger and rejection. They’re the ones who remain in the community even after their predator goes to jail. They have to wear their predator’s illness as you will continue to look away from them, as if they are damaged goods.

I’m not a psychologist so I don’t know if the term already exists, but addressing child predators as criminally ill is the safest way we can support the victims. It allows them to see the predator as something different from their own identity. It helps them make peace with the confusion, knowing an illness is responsible for the violence perpetrated against them and that they couldn’t have done anything to deserve it. It says the community will not shun them because we know it’s not their fault. And in the case of family incest, it says they’re not broken for loving a parent who hurt them.

The ‘criminal’ part of criminal illness is equally important, because that tells child victims the abuse is wrong and they deserve to be protected from it. It’s one of few ways to empower children to come forward, because they don’t yet have the words to describe what they’re going through.

But at the end of the day all roads lead to the same place. Whether you seek to ignore or discipline with justice, you want this to happen quickly so everyone can go back to looking away. That brutalized little girl or boy will be left to navigate the rest of their life in isolation. It doesn’t matter if they came from a ghetto, a mansion, or a private school. They’ll wonder why you harboured their predator in silence. They’ll wonder why, if the crime was bad, that you only sentenced the attacker akin to a petty theft artist. They’ll wonder why destruction of their entire life was worth so little, and they won’t know where to look to begin the rebuilding process as a newly-minted social orphan.

Benjamin Levin is remarkable for occupying both hemispheres at the same time. He spanned through two political parties, two provinces, the global stage, and opposite socio-economic classes. As part of the Wynne transition team, it’s also possible he might have gained access to the Liberalist database.

 

Regarding Donald Phillip Jarvis

 

Here we go with the quid pro quo and why I have any right to speak about these matters. In my evidentiary statement about Jared Nolan, I indicated one day you might hear my own story. It’s not that I want to do this, but it’s the only thing I’ve got left to offer these kids some leadership. I’m confident in my identity and their immediate safety is worth it.

You’re probably feeling like I’ve beat the shit out of you in getting to this point, so I recognize that it is important to qualify where I’m coming from. I will bear my soul so you know my advocacy is not a ploy or a personal attack. You should also understand why I can’t Look Away from the Nolan case; because I am a witness, I’m made from this fabric, and potential victims are still in danger.

 

***Trigger warning***

 

My #MeToo story begins as young as I can remember.

My mom was adopted by an affluent family through the Children’s Aid Society. It was 1956 and the records stated that she was the product of an extra-marital affair with a prominent businessman. But before she hit adolescence, it became apparent that she suffered from extreme mental illness.

I was physically abused by my mom, born to her at the age of 18. I was whipped in the face with metal chains, hung by my ankles outside a third-storey window, kicked with boots, abandoned for stretches, and nearly every day a scalding teacup or teapot was smashed over my head. At 5-years-old she would make me stand on a chair to do the dishes and forcefully hold my arms in the pure hot water to toughen up my whiny-bitch-ass. I had to stay up all night to ensure she didn’t burn the apartment down in a drugged stupor, because she had a habit of burning all the blankets, pillows, and furniture. Every night of my young life, I was convinced it might be the last one.

Sometimes my mom would bring men home and sometimes she’d take off with them for days. One of the young men in our building would check in when she abandoned me, and I paid for his dinner-making services by letting him masturbate and ejaculate on me. I didn’t even know what sex was yet, or why he had different parts than me.

Life continued this way for some time. My grandparents loved me and I can tell you now, they struggled with the guilt of raising her into what she had become. When they learned I was being left alone they tried to make sure I had quarters for a payphone, to use in an emergency. They bought us much of what we needed, but they had no idea about what to do with my mom’s escalating mental illness. They would take me for extended visits as long as they were allowed, but my mom was also brutally intelligent. She knew how to manipulate the legal system and if she decided to keep me prisoner, I wouldn’t be visiting anyone. If she was in a violent mania, she would also resort to breaking everything in my grandparent’s house and threatening them with weapons. On the good days, she’d be willing to check herself into the hospital for a ‘nervous breakdown’.

Much of the time I wasn’t allowed to attend school. I missed half the grade in most elementary years. She would lock me in with barricades so I couldn’t run away and demanded it was my job to take care of her. I loved her and I still do (RIP), but I was petrified on a daily basis and her illness was so severe that it warranted institutionalization. She was a beautiful woman though, who screwed her way out of a lot of difficult predicaments. A few of those bedfellows were cops.

For a time she worked hard at getting better and she went to college for social work. I was also a smart child and in the bizarre 1980’s, she would take me to classes with her. Deep inside my mom was a beautiful heart that wanted desperately to learn how to fix herself. Hours after beating me she would often break down crying and apologize profusely. It wasn’t a show. I knew she hated herself for being ill.

I found it odd that I wasn’t allowed to attend my school, but I was allowed to attend college to help with hers. I would help my mom take notes when she’d relapse and I have no idea what she told the professor to make it kosher. In her dystopian way of making up for the abuse, she would tell me I was too smart to attend public school.

In these young years I became acquainted with the Look Away Disease. Her professor looked away, her classmates looked away, and so did every phys-ed teacher I ever had. I couldn’t participate in gym for most of elementary school because I was covered in bruises up my front and backside. My mom explained my absences from school and inability to participate, were due to debilitating headaches (I never had) as a child. The education system believed that I missed half years and couldn’t kick a soccer ball because I was sick. They were comfortable enough to look away, because I still sailed through as an A+ student.

So I discovered the disease in my classroom first and then I began to see it everywhere. We’d be stopped at an intersection for a red light and she’d beat me in the face because I complained about having to light her cigarettes. The jackasses in the vehicles beside us would actually look away. All the men she dated would look away. The cops would eventually stop sleeping with her when they discovered she was a nightmare and they would look away by actually going away. Everywhere we lived, our neighbours would look away. I went to 15 different schools by the time I was 15-years-old and entire school boards would look away. I began to hate all the people who would look away. Sometimes I would grieve their ignorance, but mostly I was angry with the cowardice.

My mom often dated strangers from newspaper ads and by the time I was 10-years-old, she met Donald Phillip Jarvis. He was twenty years older and we moved into his place in Hamilton. I’ve lived in nearly every city and mid-sized town in the Niagara Region growing up and this was another transplant.

Eighty-eight Tunbridge Crescent. I will never forget that place and it makes me sick to say it. But if I thought my life was frightening before, I was about to get a re-education. Unspeakable horrors happened there. I’ll do my best to recap this without too many details. I swear I’ve never seen a horror movie that came close to resembling my own life yet.

Donald (he went by Don but I can’t bring myself to call him that), was as criminally ill as it gets. He had a fake minister’s degree from the Universal Life Church in California and he was intent on brainwashing my mother. He got her pregnant right away and took away her psych meds. He wouldn’t let me see my grandparents and forbade any outside contact. He kept repeating like torture that he was her biological father and my mom was now pregnant with an incest baby. Her mental health went into the worst tailspin imaginable. (Just to be clear, this wasn’t true and he was psychologically abusing my mom with her worst fear because she was adopted.)

In the meantime he was grooming me to service his sexual needs when my mom was too out-of-her-mind to do it. He would take me to dingy motel taverns and feed me pickled herring with red wine. It was part of his disgusting mentorship to help me grow up and be a woman. By the way, the waitresses always looked away.

Donald also got me familiarized with the ginormous video camera (circa 1985 complete with tripod). At first I didn’t understand why it was always pointed at the bed and I wish I never had to learn that answer. Some nights the house was in chaos with blood flying from domestic knife fights, and some nights it was quiet when I appeased him.

Donald liked to masturbate on me and at least I was familiar with that, from the other guy at the apartment. But what he wanted most was fellatio and he would jam my head down on his penis until I was choking and the tears poured from my eyes. I would get in trouble for being useless if I didn’t do it right and sometimes food was withheld for days as punishment. I could never do that part right because the smell of his ejaculate always made me severely nauseous. Sometimes that meant choking me harder and sometimes he would let me off with a hand-job, but all of this was done on camera. Once he introduced something worse but I don’t want to talk about it.

There were a handful of occasions that we visited his friend, Terry. I didn’t like it there either. Terry was part of the child pornography scheme and once I had to pleasure him too. I was still 10-years-old at this point and I hadn’t begun menstruating.

Back at home my mom was melting down and I was trying to save her life. She tried to kill herself once a week at the very least. Christmas was the absolute worst though. It is permanently imprinted on my memory.

It was in the kitchen where my mom grabbed a butcher knife and raised it over her head, with the other arm extended and the intent to chop it off. I was right in front of her crying and pleading not to do it. My knees were shaking. My whole body was shaking. And I was hesitating with trying to grab the knife because she might cut off my arm in the scuffle.

I let her down and I chose myself over my mom for the very first time that day. It felt like slow-mo and replays in my mind with a frame-by-frame type of n-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o effect. The knife came down and went straight through her wrist. It sliced to the bone and her hand was dangling from her body. The blood splattered everywhere, even on me, and she dropped to the ground where it began pooling.

It’s the most violent act I’ve ever had to witness and I pray you never do. The moment I could recover my senses I ran for the telephone to call 911. I’m getting a lump in my throat just writing this and things were about to get worse. My mom was four months pregnant.

Donald ripped the phone out of the wall and ran for the one upstairs so I couldn’t use it either. He said the hospital would take the baby away if I called for help and I would never see my mom again if I turned her in. I didn’t want to be stuck with him alone for the rest of my miserable existence.

He made me help him carry Mom upstairs and lay her on the bed where we normally filmed the pornography. I was told to grab the sewing kit and various things like towels. He did exactly what you’re thinking and I had to soothe her through the makeshift surgery. That fucker, pardon my language, sewed my mom up with a needle and thread. The carpet was ruined from all the blood she lost and I didn’t know if she’d make it through the night. I nursed her as best I could and kept swabbing the wound.

Thankfully she made it and I stayed by her side through the rest of the entire pregnancy. I felt so guilty like this was my fault, because I didn’t grab the knife away. It was always my job to save her life and I did it a hundred times before. Why did I have to decide this time that I didn’t want to get hurt too?

Through the next months Donald regularly drugged my mom. Keeping her asleep until she had the baby was his way of keeping her alive. We spent a lot of time together and he worked extra hard in an effort to brainwash me too. He wanted me to believe that he was my biological grandfather and mom’s adoptive parents stole her away. In retrospect, I would have to say that I sunk into a depression.

We had a copy of the movie Splash and I re-watched it every day. I didn’t feel pretty like the mermaid, but I could sure relate to being held captive like an animal. I would hide with my movie and I would hide sometimes in the basement. But Donald was truly mean and he recorded abusing me over top of that flick. I found he did that to all the movies I watched, so when I put them in the VCR it was me staring back instead.

You should probably take a break here to preserve your emotions because the nightmare isn’t done yet. Grab a cup of tea and take a few breaths. At least that’s what I do.

My brother was born at the end of May and my mom basically had to run away from the hospital with him. They were trying to keep her for psych evaluation and she broke out in a hysterical fit. We hid for a while at Terry’s house and sometime in that period, my mom and Donald attended my grandparents to hold them up at gunpoint. They paid $25,000 to buy our safety. This was also the first time I heard about a gun.

This was the first time Grandma and Grandpa got the nerve to call the police as well. A restraining order was placed against my mom and Donald, but it didn’t matter because they departed out west with the money. They left me at Donald’s house with my baby brother and I was barely 11-years-old. I didn’t know they were abandoning us when it happened. They just never returned from an errand.

After a few days of no one coming home and not knowing what to do with this baby, I called my grandparents because I decided it was an emergency. I had no more formula and there was no food for me. They came and got us right away.

It must have been a year since I’d seen them and they just endured a home invasion. Grandma had my mother located through the Alberta police and offered to pay for a trip back. My mom refused to return and said she didn’t want us anymore, so we floated through the summer tentatively.

When September arrived everyone hoped she would be better and my grandparents demanded that I attend school. They told Mom if she didn’t come back we would have to go into foster care. They were too old to be able to raise children and I had to take the baby to school for the first couple weeks of class. It was a tiny town where Grandpa built the schoolhouse and the principal didn’t want to call Children’s Aid on a prominent family in the community. I was warned they would have no choice if I continued to bring my brother to class. The teachers tried to show me how to care for him and do delicate things like wipe his ears. I always felt stupid when they needed to correct me because it was my job to keep him alive.

Please take note that in that example there was complicity in looking away. We all did it together, totally motivated by fear and shame.

The threat of Children’s Aid was enough to get Mom home, but she also returned with Donald. They arrived at my grandparents and Mom smashed every dish in the cupboards. She was going to smash the Royal Doultons if they didn’t hand us over and Donald said he had the gun with him. A taxi was waiting to take the four of us (Donald, Mom, me and my brother) and my grandparents called the police as we were whisked away.

I didn’t know where we were going and I was scared as hell. I had to keep the baby from crying so no one would get more agitated and eventually we arrived at the Husky Truck Stop between St. Catharines and Niagara Falls. We lived in one of the decrepit rooms with cockroaches and prostitutes for the next few months. It was possibly the worst part of my existence.

My mom and Donald were more mentally unstable than ever before. And I was now menstruating, so the type of abuse expanded. My mom would be passed out from drugs on the bed beside me, with him on top piercing through me with ice-cold frenzied eyes. The baby was screaming in a carrier on the floor. I’d lock myself in the bathroom for as long as I could, but there wasn’t even running water in the tub to clean myself up afterward. These rooms weren’t meant for renting and Donald earned our keep by helping in the greasy spoon restaurant.

We didn’t have much food and mostly survived on cans of tuna. You could never make me eat it again. There was one day a prostitute taught me how to look for better leftovers in the restaurant garbage and I was so grateful to her. It was the first bit of kindness I’d received in a while and she managed to lift my spirits. I’m sincerely not disparaging working women when I speak about them. They are my sisters-in-law and they tried to save my life when no one else would. They were the first people I met who didn’t look away.

I would have to return to that hellhole of a room again and it had plenty more experiences. I will only describe two more of these events to assist with your awakening. The first is my introduction to the gun. I finally saw it and it was a silver handgun that was viciously jammed in me sexually. You do not know a fear like that and nobody ever should.

My mom was also beating me off and on, because she was so out-of-it that she thought I was trying to steal her husband. It’s like an animal that will eat its young. Some mental illnesses can be so depraved that they steal the soul of the person you love. They gave her many different diagnoses, but all anyone tried to do was put her to sleep. All the while a teething, hungry baby was wailing in the foreground. I think I might have been grieving for all of us.

To explain the amount of fear being wielded, I never hit my mom back. All I could do was cower and I was so on-edge that I’d flinch whenever someone raised their hand. I wasn’t as bad as Reek from Game of Thrones, but it wasn’t far off. It took a number of years for me to recover from that reflex.

My last story at the Husky Truck Stop is the one that would set another series of events in motion. I had to go to the hospital for an injury to my vagina. It required medical attention and couldn’t be ignored. I was examined, treated, medicated, and released, but I believe a doctor from L’Hotel Dieu Hospital must have called the Children’s Aid. I thank them, if they did.

A social worker showed up at the truck stop and asked to check on our welfare. My mom and Donald blocked the door and wouldn’t let her in. She settled for being able to peek at us through the door, as I stood holding the baby several feet away. It ended with an order that they had to find permanent housing for us within a short time, or CAS would apprehend.

I got a thorough beating for that because it was my fault the Children’s Aid came. But they went to a welfare office and got some money for rent. We then moved to a farmhouse on Hwy. 55 in Virgil. And things didn’t get any better there.

Donald met up with his friend Terry from Hamilton, to get a new video camera. The only peace I had to myself was the 5am news with the fellas from Buffalo and Rochester (RIP Irv Weinstein). That’s when I became a newshound, because it saved my sanity to examine problems larger than my own, protected by a sliver on the clock when no one could put their hands on me.

When I say that I wasn’t allowed out, what I mean is every knife in the house was jammed around the door frame for extra barricades. That way if either of them fell asleep, it would take me too long to rip them all out and cause me to make a bunch of noise. Kind of like a boobie trap that should impress upon you visually, to ensure I wouldn’t run away.

The violence got so bad at this place that Donald beat my mother up and she called for police assistance. He kidnapped me and ran out the door, to be AWOL if an officer came. He was dragging me while running through the farm fields and eventually we stopped at someone’s house. It didn’t look like they were home and they had a thick row of hedges under their bay window. Donald took me into those bushes and made me give him a hand-job, because he was titillated by the violence and drama. It always felt terrible being abused, but this time made me feel especially weird. Lately it seemed like he was escalating.

And sure enough he was, because after we went home, he handcuffed my mom to a pole in the basement. He threatened her with the gun. And I had to play the role of his wife while my mom was incapacitated. That included tending to my baby brother, who was really cranky from drug withdrawal because sometimes they dosed his bottles to make him sleep. They rotted all his new teeth.

Videos were made in Virgil too. I have to live the rest of my life not knowing if that material is still out there. I didn’t want to replace my mother’s job because my role was bad enough. I would sneak to the basement to feed her and bring cigarettes. But she hated my guts when she was held captive because she blamed me for not setting her free. (I fear for kids who are exploited today. I’m almost lucky that I only have to worry about VHS tapes, when now there is the world wide web.)

One day in captivity, my mom requested a pen and paper. I always had to wait for Donald to fall asleep to bring her anything. I’m pretty sure he would have left her there to die. So I did my loyal duty and retrieved the supplies, as my mom scratched a rambling SOS about torture, a gun, and being held prisoner. She ordered me to run down the highway to the school and give it to the principal.

I didn’t know if I could do that, even though I knew it needed to be done. If Donald caught me, I would be locked up just like her and there would be no one able to feed the baby. Donald never touched the baby. He would have been happy to throw him in the river. I swear to god that kid wouldn’t be alive if I didn’t sell my soul to the devil.

Whatever my experiences might have been before, it was this day that I came to know courage. I couldn’t let Mom down, not again, like I did the time she nearly cut her hand off. They say bravery isn’t the absence of fear, but rather the triumph over it, and off I went down the shoulder of the highway, unable to breathe with my feet still moving anyway.

That run down the highway was another slow-mo scene, like I was trying to get away through quicksand. I was scared his hand would grab me from behind and I kept looking over my shoulder on the journey. It was a few miles that normally required a bus and a lot of opportunity for Donald to catch me.

When I got to the school that I hardly attended, I ran straight into the office and nearly threw Mom’s letter at the secretary. I pleaded with them to please help. They got a paper bag to calm me down from hyperventilating and I sat in a chair waiting, as everyone stared at me like an alien.

I know my mom’s letter requested police assistance but I never saw an officer once. Instead the school called the Children’s Aid Society and a social worker arrived swiftly to apprehend me. I babbled on and on about my mom and baby brother. They couldn’t take just me away and my brother could die if no one checked on him.

I was still just 11-years-old and I don’t know what happened to everyone else. I only know that I was placed in foster care and my brother wasn’t removed from the home. My mom was ordered to ensure Donald didn’t attend the property and once she proved that was done (I assume by restraining order), I would be allowed to return. To the best of my understanding, Donald was never criminally charged for forcibly confining my mother, or the gun. This would have been 1986, when police minimized domestic violence even more than they do today.

 

Regarding Foster Care

 

The Donald narrative continues throughout my story in foster care. I spent 3 months in the emergency placement and I was returned to my mother’s care. In that time with foster parents no one ever asked if I was abused. I hid in my bedroom for the entire stay. I basically didn’t talk for those three months and nobody tried to engage me. I was confused why the agency would return me, without knowing my mom beat the bloody hell out of me. In this way the child welfare system also looked away.

I was supposed to be going home to a house with no Donald, but sure enough that monster was there and my mom lied to the authorities. It’s not that I hold my mom responsible and without a doubt he was still threatening us. But the point I’m making is the police looked away and we had to do a midnight move to harbour the person who was torturing us.

Off we went to a townhouse in St. Catharines in the middle of the night. I stayed with them for a couple months, but my mom’s mental health was still deteriorating and Donald didn’t change his ways either. I couldn’t take it anymore and I felt like I would die if I stayed there.

One day my mom was beating me with shoes, a lamp, and anything else she could find. She cut up any nice clothes my grandparents gave me and made me watch because I didn’t deserve gifts. It was when she wouldn’t stop beating me in the head that I was afraid she would knock me unconscious. In a split second that felt like an hour, I contemplated leaving my little brother. The guilt was paralyzing because I honestly believed that if I abandoned him he could die.

But the metal base of the lamp was bashing me so hard that I knew if I didn’t live, I couldn’t save him either. In my second act of bravery that felt more like treason, I bolted for the patio doors to run away. I went straight to a neighbour’s house and asked them to call the Children’s Aid. Although my first stint in foster care didn’t do anything to resolve the situation, at least I got to know what it was like to be unharmed for a while. That’s what I always thought life should be like and I ran toward it with the intention of pulling my baby brother to safety too.

That was one of the hardest things I ever did because for all intents and purposes, I was my brother’s figurative parent. I would go through years of psychological counseling in my teens to deal with the guilt of abandoning him. I believed if I talked to social workers to explain the abuse, they would have to apprehend him as well. But due to complications between social education, misogyny, prejudice, access to justice, and conflicting enforcement, that isn’t how everything went down.

A social worker came to retrieve me from the neighbour and I was placed in another foster home. My mom refused to relinquish my clothes and personal belongings, so I arrived with only the shirt on my back and no shoes. I was legally categorized as signing myself into care and the agency grabbed me a $5 pair of Keds. The senior citizen foster lady loaned me some of her clothes for the time being. If I wanted my brother apprehended, I would have to file a complaint to open an investigation that was independent of my circumstances.

So my mom was investigated but my brother wasn’t removed. He didn’t have bruises when they attended and the agency vowed that she broke up with Donald. Mom then denied me any visits with my brother while I was in foster care, in retribution. I was devastated and had to learn that CAS required physical evidence to apprehend a baby. My report and our family’s clashes with the law would not be enough to stand up in court. They needed bruises.

Despite looking away from my brother, it became clear that I would need to become a Crown Ward and my stay in foster care wouldn’t be temporary. I’m skipping a lot of details for the sake of brevity, but many events happened in this time frame. Eventually I was allowed to visit at home, but one of those times my mom kept me prisoner. There was another episode with knives, a cracked skull, and police intervention. Another time I was locked on a balcony in the winter and I had to scream for help. My mom also had a habit of threatening the foster parents with violence. She refused to attend court-ordered counseling too.

The procedure began for you to adopt me into the government family. I was assessed by doctors and psychologists and moved around various foster homes, because there was a bed shortage epidemic and they only had emergency placements. That problem persists still today, for kids to find a forever home. I could write a whole book about what it’s like to live as a stranger in somebody else’s home. Some of the homes don’t even like kids and they do it for free domestic labour. Some of them don’t let you eat dinner at the same table with their family. I’ve heard there are good homes and I’m happy for the kids who find them, but I wasn’t one of the lucky ones. Not many people will accept teenagers for permanent placements.

This precarious situation with foster homes led to a stint with couch-surfing. At 13-years-old I spent a bit of time on the streets and I spent the odd night in a stairwell. This would be the next stage of losing my innocence, if I had any left by now.

You see, couch-surfing isn’t just a set of words that appear in reports about poverty. It has unspoken street rules and a rate of billing, especially for females. On the street, the female body is a currency. And if the couch belongs to a male, you have to pay with sex to be allowed to stay. If the food is provided by a male, the cost is sex to partake. Nothing in life is free, even in the ghetto. They just have alternate forms of free trade.

In the meantime I received my psychological assessment from CAS. The interesting thing about being a foster kid, is it launches you into immediate adulthood. Your autonomy is granted and that’s a great thing, but it also has no protective filters for children. You become the owner of all your data. You become the primary entity for consent. You become the ultimate director of your own plan of care. You get a lawyer to consult with alone, and devise your own legal strategy. Basically you become responsible for yourself, while living at a stranger’s house and earning your keep. You also get to analyze legal and psych reports without any real guidance.

I never told the psychologist about the sexual abuse. I didn’t have those words yet and everyone kept insisting that Donald was out of the picture. They only sought information about my mom for the court case to revoke her custody. Interestingly, my psych evaluation still had strong sexual overtones and I had to absorb the blow from this truth hammer all alone.

The assessment was done when I was still 12-years-old, soon after I went into care. By the time we were going to court to finalize my Crown Wardship, I was 13-years-old and all the paperwork was given to me as a party to the application. It said my EQ (emotional intelligence) was equivalent to a 30-year-old. In the dysfunctional family unit, I’m the ‘fixer’. I was my mother’s emotional crutch and we had an inappropriate relationship with no boundaries. I was at risk of self harm. It also said that in my teens I would have multiple sex partners. I was staring at papers that predicted I’d be a slut, shortly before I was due to talk with the judge. I guess it hurt so much because I wondered if they made me sick and I didn’t know how to fix it. Part of being autonomous means learning the system and how to help yourself, even if you’re a kid.

On the day of the hearing, I would know bravery a third time. My mom took me to the bathroom alone, right before we were called, to threaten that she’d kill herself if I went through with it. She said my brother would be alone and crawling over her rotting body if I did this to both of them. It was a significant threat, because the last time I visited her house she also tried to kill herself and I had to fight to get the pills and razor blades from her hands. I also had to keep my brother from swallowing what she spilled.

We entered the courtroom and my social worker sat with me. My knees were shaking like Mexican jumping beans and the thoughts were racing through my mind. I was accused of being a future slut. I was accused of being a future murderer (cause of Mom’s death). I was accused of abandoning my brother, who I loved more than anyone.

The lawyers spoke and it was my turn to stand up. The judge asked if this is what I want, and I said yes.

I couldn’t look at my mom after I did this. We both cried and I was petrified she might jump off the roof of the building. Not in an internet joking kind of way, but for real. The courthouse has Plexiglas barriers because many distraught parents have tried it before. The last time I chose my safety over hers, my mom cut off her hand. She was never able to use it again, even after proper surgeries. I just knew in that moment that I needed to leave to save my own life and maybe I was beginning to develop cynicism.

I was absolutely determined to keep my brother safe, even though the law is callous and no one was listening. At that point in our societal development it was considered impossible to prove emotional abuse in court and its detrimental effect on toddlers. Until I could prove my mom was beating him like she did to me, there were no grounds to move on. I also couldn’t prove she was drugging him sometimes, because a child’s word isn’t good enough to subpoena blood tests.

I stayed in touch with my mom for the sake of my brother. I endured her killing my pets, wishing I was dead, hitting me on visits, stealing what little I had, ruining all my special days, and getting me kicked out of foster homes for threatening to maim my keepers. I kept persevering until I could get the necessary evidence.

As that part of my life was developing I was moved into a group home. It was the only place with an open bed and they bent the rules to put me there. I was 13-years-old and you’re supposed to be at least 15-years-old, to live in a facility that was meant to prepare girls for independent living upon exiting care. I roomed with Indigenous girls, recovering teen prostitutes, the odd drug addict, and a few more like me, but older.

There was one day the house was locked because my home visit was cut short and the foster parents were away when I needed to return early. I waited on the doorstep for hours with no luck, until I saw a few of the other girls passing by. They said we couldn’t get in until later that night and they offered to take me with them.

We landed at a motel party with a room full of men in their twenties. The girls knew them and this is where they were getting a drug hookup. They wanted to stay and party, and they tried to get me to do cocaine. I was afraid and declined, but I relented to drinking beer so I wasn’t such a stick-in-the-mud. I had never consumed alcohol before and everyone thought it was funny to get a 13-year-old drunk for the first time.

The girls were making out with some of the guys and everyone chanted when the others took my clothes off. I was placed in the jacuzzi with Darryl and even though I was afraid, I said I didn’t want to do this. He berated me and called me a ‘little bitch’. Then he grabbed me by the back of the head and jammed my face down on his penis. Water from the jacuzzi was going up my nose and I started choking because I couldn’t breathe. He didn’t care though. He just kept pushing.

Then there was a pounding on the door and our foster mom arrived with the police. They busted in and she grabbed me out of the hottub. She dressed me in the bathroom and I was immediately taken to do a rape kit. That examination was demoralizing and they wouldn’t believe that I didn’t have sexual intercourse. They even checked my anus to see if anything happened. I didn’t have a support person with me and I went through that alone.

I had to testify in court and Darryl was convicted for sexual assault on a minor. I would be kicked out of the foster home if I didn’t press charges and it was thoroughly embarrassing for a 13-year-old to describe sexual violation to a courtroom of strangers, with the accused staring right at me. The other girls were mad at me for being underage, like that was the problem. But Darryl was their friend and I was some little girl who wasn’t supposed to be there.

My double identity would also come to haunt me in this rough-and-tumble group home. Part of me was from the deranged ghetto just like them, but part of me came from an affluent adoptive family too.

I was placed in a program for gifted students that didn’t interact with the general population. I mentored under a member of parliament during an election campaign, and I interned with a lawyer through a different government program to advance my studies. I was going to school to be a lawyer, and I was luckier than some of the kids to have any family to visit.

Sometimes I was invited to Toronto for special occasions. My Great Aunt was the merchandise buyer for Hudson’s Bay. Her husband was a senior executive at Levi’s Canada. Another uncle had a huge stake in Petro Canada. Another was part owner of the Royal York Hotel and Clifton Hill. A different aunt lived on a luxury yacht in the Toronto harbour. My grandma was one of those ‘old stock Canadians’ with ‘old money’ that’s always surrounded you.

I’ve had to receive lessons in etiquette before attending a Christmas party on Bridle Path. I had no idea what that meant when I was young, but mom’s adoptive family was fascinated with my intelligence and they liked to show me off like a humanitarian token. When I was in their favour they would gift me expensive jewelry and as soon as I got back to foster care, it’d be stolen. The nice clothes were stolen. The rings were stolen. The fancy wool blankets were stolen. The strand of pearls to make me presentable was stolen. The porcelain dolls were stolen.

The disparity in my identity was nearly surreal and made it difficult to go from one extreme to the other. Once my treasures from the out-of-touch philanthropic community were stolen at knife point by another foster kid. That Indigenous girl hated my white-privilege guts, and really, who could blame her? Her parents locked her in a closet and tried to burn the house down. No matter my suffering, I still had more than she did.

With much love to another struggling sister-in-law, the knife point issue was too intense and I asked to be moved to another home. I didn’t become a Crown Ward and leave my brother to repeat the same lifestyle in protective care. I was already scarred by rape and butchering. But I was informed there was nothing available and I would have to move out on my own. The problem is you need to be sixteen and I had a handful of months to go.

It’s important that I explain I don’t hate the Children’s Aid. I could write another book regarding the conflicts in legislation, political agendas, and lack of government understanding, that have contributed to make child welfare dysfunctional. I had the best social worker on earth and this agency saved my life. I had access to amazing educational opportunities and this is the place that helped me find my voice. But I only got to see my worker for one hour every month (12 hours per year), and the only reason good enough to place a child in care is if it’s absolutely required to save a life. When you place a bunch of abused kids together, it creates an institutional effect that is hardly different from prison. And goodness knows the foster parents aren’t trained to deal with it.

So, I went to live with my boyfriend’s sister at the age of fifteen. It was a stop-gap approved by CAS until I was old enough for independent living. There’s a reason my story is dragging on and I need you to trust there’s a relevant point to it.

At 16-years-old I moved into my first apartment, on $350 per month. The Children’s Aid paid even less than welfare for kids who didn’t live in foster homes. It wasn’t enough to buy any groceries after the rent was covered, and although I had my own place, it still resembled couch-surfing. I was made dependent on the community to support me and this is a huge but deliberate flaw in the government’s austerity funding model.

I slept with one fellow who was ten years older than me, to get protection from the local junkies. I could only afford to live in the cheapest part of Port Colborne, in the tavern district where the rowdiness happens. They would hide in my basement hallway to shoot up and the one guy was eventually charged with murder. A young, abused girl gives off the scent of prey and it was my lifelong mission to find safety. At this point in my development, I became fairly disassociated from my body as just the vessel that had to carry me in it.

I had to sleep with another guy for dinners. Another with a car who could drive me to appointments out of town. Another was in trade for telephone service. Another to find a place in this new social hierarchy. In a nutshell, I was making the psych evaluation true and I hated myself for not being able to prove them wrong. But it was either that or starve, and there was nowhere to go for help. I went on a waiting list for subsidized housing but I was looking at a 2-year backlog. I asked CAS for a counselor to help me transition, and that was a yearlong waiting list as well.

In the meantime my mom went into another tailspin and I began smoking to cope with my existence. At 16-years-old I was drinking in the bars. There was no one to watch over me. But I still had to watch over my little brother and that’s when I got the physical evidence. She started beating him like she did to me and the kid had a bruised face from being kicked with cowboy boots. She face-stomped him… and CAS finally apprehended.

My brother was placed at an institution to assist with all his learning disabilities and trauma. The drugs he ingested in utero and as a baby had a significant impact on his development. They put him on a lot of medication (no comment). I on the other hand had earned a scholarship and I was determined to build a better life for us with it.

At 17-years-old and still with CAS, I cohabitated with a steady boyfriend to pool our resources. He was a few years older and an NRA type. He was a licensed gun collector and we had many of them in our apartment. A rocket launcher, 50 caliber Desert Eagle, 44 Smith and Wesson, 357 Magnum, Luger 9mm, a few more handguns, and nearly every size of rifle going. This wasn’t exactly okay by the rules, but CAS had a policy of don’t-ask-don’t-tell, for kids to survive the lack of funding and foster homes. And I, as a silly young girl, thought this made me safer than living with junkies in my hallway and trading sex for dinner.

On February 3, 1993, I was accidentally shot with the 357 Magnum. The bullet went through my left shoulder at point-blank range and I happen to be a southpaw. The gun was being passed from one person to another and it had a hair-trigger. No one was charged, but I was in the intensive care unit.

When I got out of the hospital the people who were present as I got shot took me out drinking to celebrate my recovery. On February 26, 1993, I didn’t make it home. I was in a car accident due to a drunk driver (who also didn’t have insurance) and I had to be airlifted to a trauma hospital on life support. They lost me a few times. I wasn’t supposed to make it and they were planning for my funeral.

But I fought my way back from a coma a month later, with six blood transfusions, completely shattered arms, a broken neck, skull fractures, hematomas, neurological damage from the waist up, and my back destroyed. One of Mom’s former husbands got me a lawyer (she married 7 times) because CAS didn’t represent my legal interests and the accident left me permanently disabled. I had to spend my eighteenth year learning how to use my arms again and giving depositions. I became an adult by dying temporarily twice in the same month, under the care of protective services. There wasn’t even a foster home to care for me as an invalid and nurses came to my apartment each day to help me recover alone.

It took five years of physical therapy to get functional enough to return to school. I lost my scholarship and couldn’t handle the workload for law anymore, so I was re-adjusted to journalism. I interned with the Mayor of Welland as a public relations specialist and I became a foster parent to my brother, because he kept running away from everywhere. I became a mom, and ceased contact with my own mother to protect my baby. One way or another, I had to break the cycle.

This fall from grace was too much for my mom’s adoptive family and to summarize a complex chapter, we’ll say they un-adopted us. It was a super-deluxe case of the Look Away Disease and after my grandparents passed away, we didn’t have anyone. Ultimately we were raised by a village.

I’ve chosen to tell you my story because it’s the human face of child pornography, that usually gets tucked into a sanitized soundbite for fragile ears. You see it as an unfortunate event that passes after a newscast, but the repercussions are society-wide and last a lifetime for more than the victim. It’s not merely a line in an article like the Jared Nolan story and you need to take that situation seriously.

I speak because the children aren’t allowed to, and you never hear about the damage from their perspective. All you can do is imagine what it must be like and no one spends time daydreaming about the effects of child pornography. While publication bans are necessary to protect exploited kids, they have the unintended consequence of advancing the Look Away Disease. When you look away, you perpetuate more abuse and you need to understand the consequence of your actions for these children.

 

Regarding Prosecutorial Discretion

 

The recent Colten Boushie case opened your eyes to an issue with peremptory challenges in jury selection, but I need to draw your attention to another problem that may be even greater, regarding prosecutorial discretion. Both these factors are impacting our access to justice.

At 19-years-old in 1994, I attended the Niagara Regional Police detachment in St. Catharines. There came a day when I was finally brave enough to find my words. They say foster kids have a 50/50 chance of repeating the abuse, or becoming the opposite to break the cycle. They don’t know what causes victims to go one way or the other and I was doing everything possible to turn a new page. I didn’t like wearing the abuse as my identity and I needed to create my own future without any of the predators in it. Plus I was starting to feel responsible to keep other children safe. If Donald Phillip Jarvis was allowed to roam free, I knew he couldn’t control himself.

The Niagara officers were nice enough, as I gave a preliminary report about his sexual abuse. They were prepared to lay charges and have me detail a sworn statement, but the meeting was adjourned so they could consult with the crown attorney because I didn’t know where the perpetrator was located anymore.

When we reconvened I was educated about prosecutorial discretion. They were very sorry but the crown attorney’s office didn’t feel it was in the public interest to pursue this. I was provided with faxes from Alberta media and the justice department, to detail that he was already sentenced.

A couple of years before I came forward, it seems his biological daughters from his other family made similar allegations. Donald operated between Alberta and Ontario claiming victims wherever he went, and by the time he got to me it appears his deviant behaviour had escalated. None of their claims addressed child pornography. But they were depraved examples that warranted a sentencing precedent.

Donald received 16 years in prison for what he did to them. It was the longest sentence ever given to a child predator at the time. This is why the crown attorney denied my case, because he didn’t believe the government could justify spending thousands of dollars to transport the accused between provinces to stand trial again. They believed any sentencing for crimes against me would be less than the time he already had and therefore there was no purpose. The police consoled me by saying that I would get my justice through karma, because Donald would likely get beaten by inmates, or die in prison as a senior citizen.

A few years later I became acquainted with the internet and that’s where I learned he was number fifty-five in a book about Canada’s sickest criminals. When I began writing this letter to you, I didn’t anticipate it would lead to another Look Away allegation.

It used to be that you could find information about Donald Phillip Jarvis’ history as a child predator, but Googling his name today proves the internet has been cleansed to erase the public’s memory of his violence. I went to search for this link to support my explanation, but no text appears with his name anymore and this is all that’s left mentioning the book.

Thankfully I’m a reporter and I archive everything I read, so I still have a copy of his information before it was ‘politely’ suppressed from the internet. Please see what Google didn’t want the world to know, because it could make people uncomfortable that predators actually exist. This is what that same search result used to look like before the Look Away Disease intervened.

What’s really brutal is the biological daughters ensured there would be no publication ban, in their effort to protect other girls and women. Someone in the patriarchy felt they knew better and I’m about to show you why they couldn’t be more mistaken. (Please note that all his victims are adamant about making their stories public because we feel he’s such a danger to others. That in itself is rare, to give you some perspective about the severity of his abuse.)

Also missing from searches is the record of Donald’s appeal. Three Alberta judges felt he was a menace and didn’t deserve representation. They ruled it was an abuse of government funds to let him keep denying his guilt. This decision used to appear when searching Donald’s name but it doesn’t anymore.

I’m curious and concerned this suppression occurred during the Notley NDP government. This can be confirmed by my date of archiving, compared to the fact that it’s missing from searches now. If anyone becomes Donald’s neighbour or he offers to babysit, they can’t discover his threat to children.

This may have even occurred due to a political scandal, because it turns out that everyone was wrong since the day I reported to police. Donald Phillip Jarvis was released from prison after completing his sentence. The Alberta government had him shipped to British Columbia to reintegrate through a halfway program in a different province. Residents in BC were then terrorized, because he couldn’t be rehabilitated and no one warned them about the danger they were living with. A community association questioned the government, why was BC accepting criminals from Alberta?

I also learned that Donald had more convictions than we ever knew. Before he set a precedent for sentencing pedophiles, he was convicted for a violent rape in Ontario and served 5 years. Immediately upon release from the 16-year stint in Alberta, he re-offended while on parole. Despite this, he wasn’t thrown back in jail and it doesn’t make any sense.

We were never made aware of his Ontario crimes when my mom was held at gunpoint, and he was never labeled a ‘dangerous offender’ for those three convictions altogether. He was never labeled a dangerous offender because the crown attorney didn’t see the need to press charges on my behalf, in the government’s prosecutorial discretion. Basically your part of the family is playing Moneyball to decide if you’ll protect my kin. It’s like we’re a wager at your poker table based on political odds, far less than human beings.

This is exactly the type of problem you’re causing by harbouring Jared Nolan and threatening everyone to shut up about your roommate, Christopher Ingvaldson. This is why I can’t give up and let you turn your back on us. It’s why I need you to discover humanity in your own experience with criminal illness. It has nothing to do with partisanship, fame, or vengeance. This is a public safety nightmare that you must amend immediately. Our ‘feminist prime minister’ is presiding over a country where police are refusing to take reports, the Crown is refusing to press charges, the media is erasing proof, and the child pornography industry has its hands on everyone’s sensitive records from the Liberalist. With real-time tracking, no less.

If you think I’m attacking you for political gain, then consider I’m reporting my own industry for being complicit. This is harming my professional reputation and I just became the most disgusting woman in Canada for disclosing what was done to me. No one will ever look at me the same and they’ll probably say hurtful things to defend you. I may not be able to work in the Canadian media anymore, just to get you to listen. How do you think that feels?

 

Regarding Our Data

 

In case you needed any more proof that the Look Away Disease is dangerous, I must finish the example of Donald Phillip Jarvis.

Because the Crown has discretionary powers, provinces have discretionary powers, political parties have discretionary powers, police assumed discretionary powers, and the media exercises discretionary powers, they’ve all created a conflict that is putting children’s lives in danger. Right now and because of everyone’s actions, my little brother’s life is in actual danger. Even I might still be in danger. Certainly the children in Abbotsford, BC are in actual and exigent danger.

When Donald Phillip Jarvis got out of prison, he stalked my little brother. They now live 20 minutes apart and my brother is spending time with him. I have a very young nephew and my brother is married to a young woman. He’s not equipped to understand everything because he’s psychologically younger than his age, due to the drug damage in his childhood. He also doesn’t have support and doesn’t want to believe that he’s the offspring of a violent pedophile.

We always tried to protect him from that realization and love for my brother had to be greater than my fear of Donald Phillip Jarvis. This is why it’s important to adopt the term, criminally ill, now that you have some context. My brother is still grappling with that shame and it’s making him vulnerable to abuse, even though he shouldn’t have to carry this weight and he’s ill-prepared to know how. Since Google erased most info about his father, Donald was able to brainwash him that none of it was true. It’s like we have to live this nightmare all over again, but now he’s targeting my brother in place of our mom.

My brother defended him as innocent and returned with evidence to support that claim. After a visit with Donald he sent me a copy of some paperwork from CAS that his father possessed, thinking it was proof of his good name (my brother only has basic reading skills that make him functionally illiterate).

It turns out that while Donald was incarcerated, the Hamilton Children’s Aid Society supplied him with our records. He was getting regular updates about us in prison, during the period that I was my brother’s foster parent. He wasn’t entitled to this information and had no legal claim as a parent. There is no reason in the world that he should have received information about me.

Even when an inmate does have parental rights, the Children’s Aid has a policy to address these cases. No information about children in care can be provided to an inmate, unless a committee is struck to evaluate the claim, the person is physically interviewed, and the panel can decide that safety is not an issue. This did not happen in my brother’s case. The Children’s Aid sent Donald everything he asked for, without vetting him or the situation.

The Hamilton CAS that controlled my brother’s file isn’t connected to the St. Catharines CAS that had possession of mine. Each Children’s Aid Society is a separate non-profit organization. The only thing that binds them together is the government family. Therefore my brother’s file lacked the information that Donald Phillip Jarvis had an extensively violent history. Hamilton didn’t know that he raped me in St. Catharines and there were no court records to search, because the crown attorney declined to press charges. (Note that riding associations and political parties present the same disjointed risk. A criminal can bounce from one EDA to another, to stay under the radar and continue their exploitation of children.)

 

(continued below…)

 

 

My security of person has been destroyed in the most cruel and unusual way. My brother stopped talking and I can’t confirm his safety since he began visiting with his father. Donald hunted my brother down upon being released from prison and there was no way to protect ourselves when the establishment exercised its discretions. He should have already been designated a dangerous offender if anyone did their jobs, instead of looking away.

With respect, you’re doing the same thing right now in the cases of Jared Nolan and Luke Strimbold. Our records were breached to a pedophile by the Children’s Aid Society, and you’re breaching all the records in the Liberalist to others accused of child pornography. Where these examples differ, is that CAS broke its own policy and the Liberal Party of Canada refuses to implement one. I believe the same is true of the Conservatives and CIMS.

Now I have to decide if I need justice more than peace. So far I can only decide that everyone needs safety and that some things are bigger than partisanship.

I was working on a book titled, The Government Is My Parents, to raise the money I would need to commence legal action regarding Jarvis. But right now I’m willing to trade that in, to tell my story in this way and inspire all-party co-operation for legislation to amend this quicker. Vulnerable Sector background checks must also be mandatory to work with children and children’s data. Partisan databases must be formally regulated to achieve privacy, security, and informed consent. Any arguments against this are morally reprehensible.

And if you think this story is chaotic, please remember it was our government family that engineered it.

 

Regarding Canadian News Media

 

A serious part of the Look Away Disease manifests in the news media.

The case of Jared Nolan identified questionable ethics at CTV News and the Globe and Mail, as mentioned in my Twitter essay. The case of Christopher Ingvaldson exposed the Huffington Post’s willingness to participate in a #MeToo silencing exercise. The Patrick Brown story revealed a muzzled complainant and a dissenting witness. My story presents an issue with Google suppressing records. Even as far back as the Jian Ghomeshi case, the Toronto Star’s reporting was dishonest in a way that harmed the complainants. All the systemic problems of sexual violence can be observed in the behaviour of our media. And that media informs the opinion of our entire population.

I’m not trying to single anyone out exactly, because I know I can dig and find examples in every source. My point is that we must do better and it starts by calling out the culture. Our citizens are being endangered by these agendas and oversights. With respect to male colleagues, they just can’t mansplain sexual assault on behalf of females. The issue is too complex to take liberties or silence what they don’t understand, and girls are getting hurt because of this. If you’ve never been through it, you can’t recognize the consequence of missteps.

I’m not insulting men and I respect them as equals. I’m in a loving relationship and it’s healthy. My trauma was a lifetime ago and I chose to learn from it, to become the woman I am today and advocate for others who haven’t found their voice yet. I don’t even resent women who’ve been spared the experience. Anyone who can’t relate to what I’m saying should rejoice, but please don’t look away and harm more children.

Then there’s the issue of your popularity and the Liberal machine. You’ve sought to romance the media at home and abroad. It’s a significant part of your image and you’ve been greatly successful at wooing them. But that also gives you a greater responsibility to support a free press, even when it hurts. A healthy democracy requires a Fourth Estate to help the government family stay in check. When you use the media to threaten people into silence about child predators, it sets an example that your supporters follow and repeat.

You’re looking so great because your clan hired most of the moderate voices in political journalism, but that left us with greater extremes dominating the airwaves to report about things like sexual violence. We have the option to see nothing at all or burn people at the stake, but little in a realistic, factual middle. The reporters who now craft your public relations were taken out of circulation to debate and inform the public opinion. That’s not a good thing, if you think about it.

If you want a litmus test to check the effect, consider several of your supporters blocked me after I made the report about Jared Nolan. So did the police. They actively and forcefully refused to hear about him. How does that make you feel and is it the effect you intended to have? You need to recognize that everyone is ‘protecting the king’ and you’re the only one who can change their priorities.

 

Regarding The Labour Left

 

You’ve attempted to make inroads with labour unions and this is one of the places you can signal priorities. The left prides itself in being a feminist champion, but it suffers from the Look Away Disease too.

Many of the reporters who are inexperienced at telling sexual violence stories are unionized, but they’re not getting professional training to help them do it responsibly. The same is true for professors of journalism.

The public school teachers who are looking away from serious abuses are unionized, as are the ones who overreact to the slightest provocation. This group is one of the greatest conduits between children and protective services, but they’re not professionally trained regarding what’s appropriate.

Telecom workers are unionized, but they have no protocol to deal with client requests related to records and violence. Children in exigent danger can’t even warrant expedited files.

Police are strongly unionized, but they use that protection as a Look Away shield instead of advancing professional development to better protect women and children. They even rely on that job support to block reporting and requests for service, in a backwards interpretation of privilege that amounts to insubordination.

Social workers are unionized, as the first responders who interact with child victims of violence and sexual violence. But due to decades of cuts and political agendas, these agencies are so underfunded that much of the staff isn’t licensed in social work anymore. Many agencies only require a high school diploma to protect and guide the lives of our most damaged children, because that’s all the government family will let them afford. Inexperienced and unqualified child workers can only harm these complex situations in the long run, as my brother’s example identifies. Good social workers can change a life for the better and you all have a fiduciary duty to provide that to your ‘adopted’ kids. Their unions also haven’t done much to provide workers with support for burnout, due to the extreme stress.

NDP staffers are unionized, but even they don’t know how to approach sexual exploitation in the workplace. They purport to train everyone else without knowing their own way, and looking away whenever it suits them (example, Adam Giambrone).

I know the PMO isn’t part of a union, but your office represents leadership for the entire country and it has no protocol for sexual violence either. I applaud Katie Telford for her commitment to feminism, yet I hope my letter will assist her naive viewpoint. The culture she plans to overcome can’t be changed with a hashtag or a few tweaks. It requires tremendous honesty, like I’m attempting to demonstrate.

I don’t know how many more ways to say that no one is immune to this. They only think they are, because they look away.

 

Regarding The Alt-Right

 

If you don’t take serious action the alt-right narrative will prevail and gain momentum. A biased media feeds that cause and so does tolerance for child pornography. You need to show everyone that you mean business. You also owe it to Canadian women to come through. You chose feminism as your cause and if extreme elements can discredit you, it will set us back even further. Please don’t allow us to be used as pawns. That’s exactly what we were trying to stop and there’s nothing sexy about it.

 

Regarding Tina Fontaine

 

I mention Tina with great compassion and I’m sorry to her family. I heard she was in foster care. I heard she had to stay in a motel because there were no available beds. I gather she was couch-surfing and the accused admitted to having sex with her in that dependent situation. I recognized it as a familiar story, as would countless teenage foster kids.

I think part of the problem is the Look Away Disease and even if the jury was culturally appropriate, it still might arrive at the wrong conclusion. There was great significance to the alleged sexual exchange, in the way I described street currency. It was reportedly his motive for killing her, because Tina was underage. If society could appreciate the extent of her vulnerability in that scenario, we’d be further ahead than tweaking juries.

Tina’s story is a #MeToo experience in the extreme and I regret her suffering wasn’t really seen that way. The poor girl was sexually exploited to death. I don’t know why the establishment believes that couch-surfing foster kids are being charitably cared for. These stories will repeat identically until you stop looking away. All the girls stuck in motels are vulnerable to the same threat and the Children’s Aid should know better. How many of us need to be maimed and killed before we can have this conversation?

 

Regarding Canadian Politics

 

The fight against women has persisted in the backrooms of parliament for decades. Some MP’s are even unwitting about supporting it. If you want to clean up the hill, begin with the conflicts in this lobby. It’s been one of your biggest challenges with part of the Liberal base and it’s been allowed to cross boundaries to avoid aggravating the family. But the Look Away Disease facilitated the repeal of Canadian human rights when this lobby was left unattended. I’m not saying they don’t have the right to free speech, but it must be separated from political exploitation. When outside forces have power over parliament offices, it doesn’t inspire confidence that you will bring change.

 

Regarding Rick Dykstra

 

No one asked what caused the complainant to drop the police investigation. It was the most important question the Look Away Disease prevented everyone from asking. We still don’t know if this woman was threatened into silence.

Rick also used his government office to shill for the lobby I mentioned. You can watch the video (at September 2010 entry) to observe this conflict-of-interest. It was the campaign to kill protection from hate speech and it was eventually successful, in part, by spoofing the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (and no opposition parties ever complained). This project was meant to prevent women from having abortions, even if they were raped. Rick handed this lobby the right to scare vulnerable girls into submission through violent speech attacks.

Ezra Levant was part of this, in another marriage between politics and media. There were signs that Rick may have disrespected women, if everyone didn’t look away.

 

Regarding Doug Ford

 

Letting the Look Away Disease persist is support of the Doug Ford campaign. He wishes to repeal sex education, so boys don’t know about consent and girls don’t know their rights. It’s a plank from the same lobby that had control of Rick Dykstra’s office and I can tell you from experience, that I didn’t know what to do when a room full of men was taking my clothes off, because nobody ever told me. I was just a frightened kid who would have benefited from that knowledge. Sexually abused girls must especially learn about consent, because they’ve been raised to believe they get no say in being violated.

If you put all these things together between the various parties, we’ll have girls forced onto the street, no respect for consent, real-time tracking of their activities, personal information distributed to criminals, police refusing to take reports, and girls forced into having the baby, even if they were raped. Is that really a world you want to live in?

It’s noteworthy that Doug doesn’t acknowledge his own sister on his Wikipedia page. Kathy Ford has a harrowing history with domestic violence that nearly saw her killed. I’m familiar with the other stabbing victim in her story and locals report she wasn’t able to get police support until it was too late.

Please let us not repeat the same mistakes. It takes a cohort of social collapses for things like this to happen and no party is immune to it, so long as we all look away.

 

Regarding Kathleen Wynne

 

Kathleen is the matriarch of our smaller Ontario clan. She has high disapproval ratings for all the corruption that’s plagued the House of Wynne. She’s a good example to demonstrate that you own what your family does, even if it wasn’t by your hand.

Of interest, she’s the only politician who made a genuine connection with the public regarding sexual violence. This clip should have been highlighted, but everyone chose to look away:

 

(continued below…)

 

 

She’s your biggest provincial ally and you lean on her for support. But she also shares the Liberalist database and it’s causing her to look away now too. She refuses to acknowledge the consent and Jared Nolan issues, as if you can hit pause on sexual exploitation and pretend it’s not really happening. Are you really going to saddle her with child pornography in the party, when she’s going into an election? Because who needs enemies when you’ve got friends like that. The disparity is already harming her credibility. If #ItsNeverOkay (except if a Liberal does it), how is anyone supposed to trust the party’s volunteers and door knockers?

Her provincial advocate for children and youth declined to investigate because this exploitation involves a political party. Her attorney general declined to respond, the same as your attorney general declined to respond. Aside of the politics, how is any woman or child safe under this obstructive management? We can’t report to police. We can’t report to the party. We can’t report to ministers. And we can’t report to either of you. Would you be willing to explain that to a bunch of foster kids? Did you guys think these feminist hashtag campaigns were only meant to be decorative? Or are you using #ItsNeverOkay to solicit more data and potential victims for the Liberalist?

The only way around this hypocrisy is looking at it head-on and fixing it. Instead you made a summer jobs program that was meant to respect women, and she invented yet-another-hashtag with a bag of cash to go with it. It’s as if you believe that either of these endeavours could replace your fiduciary duty regarding privacy, security, and consent with political databases.

 

Regarding Victims Of Child Pornography

 

I’ve tried to explain many issues in the Look Away Disease context, but they also need to be summarized from a practical perspective, to help you truly understand what the government family has done. The combined actions of our leadership are what become the public consensus and this lack of comprehension is the engine that drives abuse. You believe you are separate from the problem and that you’re trying to manage a group of deplorables, but ultimately it was Main Street that did this to us and you all need to look in the mirror.

As a young victim of child pornography, the Crown decided not to press charges because they didn’t believe it made economic sense.

As a child of the state, provincial guardians gave protected records to my perpetrator that would allow him to continue stalking me for the rest of my life.

As an adult witness to unrelated child pornography allegations, the police refused to take my report and accept the evidence. They went as far as revoking my access to police services in an effort to deflect any reports of this ilk.

There were 30 years between these events and your attitudes still haven’t changed. You’re still victim-blaming and trying to destroy my reputation for coming forward, to cover up your many professional failures and political hypocrisies. You want everyone to believe that I’m psychologically unstable for trying to hold you accountable and there’s something wrong with me for daring to speak up. You treat me as different from you, repeatedly signaling that I don’t fit in with the status quo.

The awesome part is that I did assimilate and integrate with the so-called normal people, but I came to learn that your illness is what perpetuates the abuse. You condone violence against children by looking away, or institutionalizing the child if you were forced against your will to have to deal with it. While institutionalized, you then treat the children like stray animals that should be grateful just to be fed. We’re never permitted to wash the scarlet letter off our bodies, because you want it there to protect the aristocracy from us.

The reason you find me especially offensive is because of what I did with the mark you gave me. I took my scarlet letter and time on the shaming podium to shame you back instead. I even made a career out of owning that podium, to narrate for the vulnerable and hold the government accountable for its actions. You said this made me rogue and insubordinate to the family compact, as if I was too stupid to understand all the wonderful ways you’ve #Helped.

Please don’t get me wrong because I’m ecstatic to be alive and I credit you with at least that much. Children in the Jared Nolan, Luke Strimbold, Christopher Ingvaldson, and Benjamin Levin cases are presumably alive as well. But they might not stay that way due to complications from the Look Away Disease, silencing campaigns, isolation, and the shame you force them to wear.

I can’t name another person who has publicly admitted to being a victim of child pornography. It’s the one place that even angels fear to tread and it’s not like I wanted the infamy of being the first to bring this to your attention. But I knew enough kids in foster care who suffered this exploitation and they’re all dead from suicide or drug overdose. Many even blamed them for being on the drugs, and wished ‘good riddance’ to the marked children instead of lighting a path so they could find their way out.

I don’t know what made me different but I couldn’t remain silent. My whole life I’ve known that you behave this way and I couldn’t allow you to make me complicit. I wasn’t willing to trade my integrity for the sake of your acceptance, and I couldn’t participate in your efforts to harbour child sex predators. If that’s what it takes to be normal, then I don’t want any part of it.

And speaking of normalization, your illness extended to the courts. They actually have a badness rating system for sentencing child pornography. If it was only a handful of pictures exploiting a few children, the sentence can be light. The next stage is children-on-children and that could warrant an extra couple months. The next plateau is adults-on-children and that might fetch a year or more. The worst is violent child pornography, where the victim is also beaten during the sexual violation.

Canadian judges are often trying to give the benefit of the doubt, if it didn’t reach the code red level. You should take a look at Benjamin Levin’s lawyer minimizing the abuse; because the percentage of child pornography files on his computer was less than other types. That lawyer is a darling of the political left and the judge was willing to play along. This poor guy was a victim of his fantasies that men just can’t control. The exploited children were never addressed as human beings with compromised futures, but I am an unwilling kiddie porn star and I can promise that you’ve all missed the point. I even know that your ignorance kills and that’s what is forcing me to speak up. This is not a victim-less crime and your attempts to paint it that way are disgusting.

Despite all my counseling and the confidence I built to direct my own life, you’re re-victimizing me today and causing me to become a poster-child for the most heinous crimes in our society. It will probably take another decade for that grime to fade from my image, and in that time this information will make me a target for society’s vitriol. It is only because I’m strong enough after 40+ years on this planet, that I would dare to stick my neck out for the next generation of child victims.

 

In Closing

 

Leadership doesn’t mean a good public relations campaign. It happens in the darkest hours when you have to make difficult choices. Although Ann Cavoukian is looking away from the Liberalist, you’re on the wrong side of her guidance about data privacy. If you don’t do something to protect the records in your possession from criminal exploitation, you may be exposed to lawsuits. That is a very basic reality and not a threat. I’m only sad that I had to bear my soul to get you to listen. My reputation is now another casualty in the wake of these abuses.

If you want to set things right, please implement Vulnerable Sector background checks for users of the Liberalist database immediately.

Please pursue all-party support for legislation to make Vulnerable Sector background checks mandatory for anyone working with children or children’s data.

Please pursue all-party support for legislation to regulate partisan databases, to make them compliant with privacy, security, and consent.

Please contact the RCMP to advise them if Luke Strimbold had access to the Liberalist, and co-operate with the investigation to protect potential victims.

Please contact the OPP to demand the police investigate my information about the Jared Nolan case, and co-operate with the investigation to protect potential victims.

Please advise the public to speak with their children, if they might have volunteered or participated with a riding association that is mired by child sexual allegations related to any executives.

Please initiate an independent investigation to determine what’s happened with personal data in the Liberalist, and the many ways that access may have been abused. Please encourage the Conservative Party of Canada to do the same regarding CIMS, as well as the NDP and Green Party of Canada in relation to their partisan records.

Please help with the case of Donald Phillip Jarvis. I don’t know where to begin and he’s a dangerous offender who is loose in the Abbotsford, BC community. The prosecutorial discretion to excuse him for crimes against me is unacceptable. What I don’t want is vigilante retribution. I want my government family to recognize my worth as a human being, and for other children to be protected within the law. You can’t make me go through that torture and sacrifice, just to let him stalk my brother anyway.

It’s also necessary that you remove Anna Gainey from the Liberal Party of Canada executive. She abused her power in a conflict-of-interest, to endanger kids in Simcoe-Grey directly. I can accept that people make mistakes when they don’t understand, but she was aware and chose her husband’s business interests over the public safety and sexually exploited children. Any party leadership needs to be a champion of consent. How are you going to teach young men about healthy sexual consent, if you keep a non-consensual database about the girls they’re pursuing?

I will close by sharing the most powerful lesson that was ever taught to me, in the hope it can lead to a cure for the Look Away Disease:

There are only two base emotions that give rise to all others. They are fear and love, at each end of the spectrum.

Anger, frustration, silencing, and violence are fear reactions; whereas compassion, courage, and acceptance are born of love. I had to confront issues in my life that were more challenging than the ones you face right now and I chose to navigate by love. I couldn’t break the cycle if I didn’t, and now it’s your turn.

All the best,

@MsAmyMacPherson

 

Patrick Brown’s Neighbour Spawns New #MeToo Complaint At CTV And Liberals

I make no comment about the guilt or innocence of Patrick Brown. Instead I’m addressing the issue of political bias in Canadian media that his controversy has recently highlighted. Included is a new #MeToo allegation involving the Liberal Party of Canada and CTV News, from the adjacent riding.

Mr. Brown occupies the Simcoe-North landscape and these allegations arise from Simcoe-Grey. Although they’re extremely different in nature, what they do share is a deep concern with the way CTV is impacting various #MeToo complaints in the political arena. Through personal experience as a reporter, I believe this relates to management at CTV News and not necessarily the journalists.

Exactly one year ago, I approached the outlet to amend and expand its story about an alleged child sex predator who’s been criminally charged. They covered the matter of Jared Nolan, abusing his access to patient data at the Alliston hospital to lure children and distribute child pornography. The case is so serious that a special police task force was established to investigate further. I believe Nolan’s charges are still winding through the courts and the last news available noted new child complainants coming forward.

The problem is that I knew Mr. Nolan personally, as a political colleague. I had information that was incredibly relevant to his case, as well as the Liberal Party of Canada. We worked together on the riding’s board of directors when he was criminally charged and I was aware he had access to thousands more children through the party and its Liberalist database. He had the highest level of access to every child volunteer and member of the Young Liberals across the entire country. He also led groups of youth volunteers during the last federal election (details here).

That alone was good enough reason to investigate Nolan’s use of child data within the LPC, to see if any young volunteers were part of the sexual complaints that were being investigated criminally. But more disconcerting were the circumstances between the Alliston hospital (Stevenson Memorial) and the Simcoe-Grey Federal Liberal Riding Association (SGFLRA).

Mr. Nolan had no experience in healthcare before taking a senior position at the hospital, that reported to the board of directors. He wasn’t known to the local riding association before taking an executive position with the SGFLRA either. Nolan began both these positions at the same time, after dropping off the political radar for at least a decade. He was once a senior staffer in Ottawa, with no explanation why he went from a high-profile job in a minister’s office, to complete obscurity and menial employment for a period of ten years.

Nolan only had two connections that anyone could cite. He was close with our LPC candidate, who sat on the hospital board of directions. He was close with the candidate’s campaign director who also sat on the hospital board of directors. Otherwise Nolan had no connection to this region and he was not known to anyone else. He basically appeared from nowhere and became a big-wig overnight, at the side of these two gentlemen. All of a sudden the Liberal riding association and the Alliston hospital were being run by the same three people.

Neither of the other two men were charged and my comments do not impugn them. But the investigation remains ongoing and they both oversaw Nolan’s work at the hospital, in addition to the SGFLRA. The patient data that Nolan is alleged to abuse as a hunting ground for child sex victims was additionally managed by one of these very colleagues, according to their LinkedIn profiles.

My first concern was that police didn’t question anyone in the Liberal riding association. They weren’t aware that connection existed, or that Nolan had access to more sensitive information about a much greater number of children through the party. The Liberalist is an extensive database that can track them in real-time. In some cases it knows if the kids are dating, what their schedules look like, what their home situation is like, and if they have emotional vulnerabilities. Hospital patient data doesn’t contain sensitive details like this and if Nolan is found guilty, his access to the Liberalist poses a tremendous threat (details here).

The hospital set out to conduct an internal investigation, in parallel with the police. But I believe they were also unaware of these professional-political connections, because no one can name the executives on any riding association board, aside from the advertised candidate. I have evidence that indicated the three men never disclosed their political conflict-of-interest to the hospital as well. It complicated matters that the riding exec who oversaw patient data at the hospital departed for a different region of health care facilities upon the charges being laid against Nolan. It’s not clear if that relationship was ever investigated, even from the hospital’s perspective. (I reiterate this person was never accused of wrongdoing, but he was the most knowledgeable witness in the Nolan case that no one was questioning.)

Moreover, unsettling photos and deeper connection between that campaign exec and Nolan began appearing on social media. This is despite the fact that Nolan was banned from using the internet as a condition of his bail and house arrest. It was unclear if these posts constituted an accusation against the Liberal colleague, a threat to the Liberal colleague’s daughter, or if it was a cry for help. Whatever it was, it definitely violated the terms of bail.

In the meantime a forensic warrant was executed and at that very moment, someone tampered with the evidence. All of Jared Nolan’s connections to the Liberal Party of Canada were altered or outright deleted. I have proof of that as well. It caused so much concern that I contacted Anna Gainey as an LPC official, to have the party intervene for the sake of protecting due process. It surely wouldn’t help if another individual was charged for obstructing a forensic warrant and the LPC sincerely needed to protect the children in our riding.

It was astonishing, but there was proof of receiving my letters and the LPC refused to respond. Instead they supported the campaign exec who oversaw patient data, in threatening me with defamation to obstruct my police report. The party actively covered-up its relationship with Jared Nolan and declined to intervene to prohibit this evidence from being destroyed. It declined to let anyone know an election campaign official was criminally charged with heinous sex crimes against children, that are alleged to happen over the course of that campaign. It prevented the parents of children who volunteered with Nolan during that time from knowing, so they could ask if their own kids were okay (details here).

A year ago there was no #MeToo movement to help get this message out. I sought to strike a middle ground between victim rights and Charter rights by asking the party to establish Vulnerable Sector background checks for anyone seeking to work with our riding executive. That would have prevented anyone criminally charged or under investigation from working with sensitive children’s data in the Liberalist and in our community. It’s non-judgmental, from either perspective, and it’s already a norm in the volunteer industry.

But the LPC refused to do this too. They refused to protect youths in the Liberal Party of Canada, as well as youths in our riding where an executive was already charged with multiple complaints of child luring and child pornography. The party’s reaction to cover this up made them behave so badly that they didn’t even remove Jared Nolan as the Simcoe-Grey Federal Liberal Riding Association’s Executive Vice President. While incarcerated awaiting bail and under house arrest, Nolan maintained access to the Liberalist database for another two months, before he willingly stepped down. It was during that time disturbing photos of children connecting him to the other campaign executive began appearing on social media.

I was so concerned, unsure if another child was in danger, that I contacted the police, the news, and the Liberal Party of Canada, again.

In no uncertain terms I warned Anna Gainey and the LPC about its fiduciary duty, legal liability, and to stop intimidating me from reporting what I know to the authorities. I attempted to exercise the party’s constitution for emergency intervention by LPC brass, but that was met with LPC officials shutting down the procedure and revoking the party’s constitution entirely. They did that on camera in front of CTV News and ordered the reporter to stop recording. They threatened to remove CTV for trespassing if they filmed me saying anything about Jared Nolan. I was banned from saying his name or anything about him. This happened at the riding’s Annual General Meeting and no one was allowed to discuss or inform parents that our vice president was arrested for child sex crimes (details here).

After this happened, the CTV reporter was reassigned and not allowed to pursue this story. He wished to proceed and continued working with me to obtain more information, however. Another executive came forward as a witness to help convince the producers. Still, CTV wouldn’t tell the world that their story about a child sex predator was also about a Liberal executive. They blatantly censored Jared Nolan’s position with the riding and that he was working with youths during the election campaign at the time of these allegations. The only news CTV producers would allow to be reported is that Nolan worked at the Alliston hospital.

The next development defies common sense or any shred of human dignity. Because it’s such a bizarre decision, it will oddly strengthen Patrick Brown’s allegations against the broadcaster. I don’t mean to conflate the two issues, the two parties, or the adjacent ridings, but a pattern is emerging at CTV News that is equally harmful to the complainants and the accused(s). In my humble opinion, there’s a lapse in ethical direction and this management style is quite predatory.

I know in my example the CTV reporter didn’t wish to censor Jared Nolan’s status with the Liberals. He was trying to overturn the executive producer’s decision by supplying more evidence. In the case of ex-Conservative leader, Patrick Brown, it appears CTV management censored a third complainant because of her ties to the Liberal party as well. According to CANADALAND, the director of communications at CTV News said,

In fact, we can confirm there was at least one other woman who came forward who made allegations of a sexual nature against Patrick Brown. We did not pursue her story due to her public support of the provincial Liberal party.”

It’s not likely that journalist Glen McGregor killed a third of his own exclusive about Patrick Brown. The management at CTV News needs to explain who keeps censoring Liberal sex allegations, whether it’s from an alleged perpetrator or a victim’s perspective. They say they don’t want to make the #MeToo movement a partisan political brawl, but they have no problem concealing the information when a Liberal is criminally charged, or when a Liberal is making the accusation. In contrast, anything seems like fair game if it’s about a Conservative politician, by another Conservative.

This situation is so unfortunate that I gave CTV News an earful last year. When the reporter in my example pushed to complete the story, he was told to cultivate children from our riding to interview as prospective victims. This is the only way CTV would release the information about Jared Nolan’s status with the Liberals. It didn’t matter that he was already under house arrest for prosecution as a child predator. Management required that a small flock of kids be located to canvass for new allegations, before they would alert the public about the danger that was already thoroughly established. They wished to create their own ‘exclusive’ by blindsiding local children and prodding them for salacious tips.

If you find this hard to believe, then please see all the evidence. I still have the text messages, emails, screencaps, video, and record of phone calls to prove everything I’ve said.

At that point I refused to work with CTV News due to its lacking ethics. I was so stunned by the outrageous plot to interfere with potentially vulnerable children that we didn’t get to argue about the network’s refusal to reference Nolan’s Liberal affiliation whatsoever. I lambasted CTV, this is how the innocent get incarcerated and the guilty go free.

I regret that my account will likely be used to discredit the complainants against Patrick Brown. That is not my agenda and I have no personal knowledge of that situation to comment on either side. But it behooves me to speak up when I know children are still in danger, a cover-up is still in progress, and the behaviour of CTV management is destroying everyone’s access to justice. CTV executives need to learn that they’re not the judge, jury, executioner, or a Crown representative to offer selective pardons. When both sides of the #MeToo movement are complaining there’s a political problem at CTV News, can we not agree there must be some issue? The accused are citing political interference. The victims are citing political interference. And witnesses are citing political interference.

In Simcoe-Grey, the political interference is so great that it crossed over between the news and police. There are conflict-of-interest issues affecting the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) and the Simcoe-Grey Federal Liberal Riding Association. The candidate who oversaw Jared Nolan’s work at the hospital, as well as the election campaign, also sat on the OPP’s board of directors. The Liberal candidate publicly stated that he exercises influence over this particular police agency (details here).

Coincidentally, the OPP now refuses to accept evidence of Nolan’s access to children through the Liberal Party of Canada. They’ve charged him with luring children from the hospital and subsequent child pornography, but the lead investigator is refusing to investigate possible victims from the Liberalist and youth volunteering program.

In fact, the police took a 2-hour statement from me prior to LPC brass getting involved. After evidence was deleted and the party censored its business with Nolan, the OPP changed its tune and aggressively refused to take official statements anymore. They refused to provide a report number from the one I already submitted. They became unable to locate the officer who took my initial report. They declined to inform the crown attorney about this new evidence and scoffed at investigating Nolan’s relationship with children in the Liberal Party of Canada. This man is being painted as the most dangerous predator to children anywhere outside the Liberal party, but not within it. They believe Nolan was safe to manage sensitive children’s data within the Liberalist and spend intimate time with young volunteers for the past few years. He was not however safe to work with children’s data at the hospital, or be near young patients during the identical time period in the same neighbourhood (details here).

An open letter to the prime minister, justice minister, chiefs of police, crown attorney, all political parties, and the provincial youth advocate, was further ignored. The provincial advocate was the only entity to respond and he was sorry the agency couldn’t get involved. They didn’t feel they had a mandate to support children if sexual allegations involved a political party.

For an added bonus, the Globe and Mail responded from the Twilight Zone. Not only did they decline to report about Jared Nolan’s criminal charges and his executive position with the Liberals, but they also broke from journalism ethics by deleting a relevant speech from the prime minister that was inflammatory to the situation. The public editor responded to my complaint by saying she couldn’t accept the complaint at all. She accused me of trying to hack her computer because I didn’t type in the Globe and Mail’s preferred font. I couldn’t make this up if I tried and that email exchange is documented in the open letter as well. The Globe and Mail claims it can’t investigate ethical breaches from evidence outside the Globe and Mail publication. Their computers can’t access the internet, apparently (details here).

This experience was particularly devastating because the Globe and Mail reporter and public editor are females. The Liberal party official is female. The provincial advocate’s investigator is female. The Conservative member of parliament for our riding is also female and this group of women actively silenced the #MeToo movement before it had a name in the case of Jared Nolan. They hung female children out to dry for their own political advantage, as CTV News was seeking to exploit them from a male-dominated perspective. The sickness was so overwhelming and there was nowhere left to go, until the controversy with Patrick Brown provided an opportunity to try again. The irony isn’t lost on me and I hope it’s not lost on you. No matter anyone’s guilt or innocence or the veracity of complaints, this is indicative of political interference to retard sexual allegations within the Canadian political arena from everyone’s point of view.

Even the NDP’s white knight, in charge of ethical oversight, wouldn’t lift a finger to protect Liberal children in Simcoe County. It won’t help them to grandstand now, because they declined to care as the Official Opposition holding the government party to account. The Conservatives won’t benefit by crowing about an alleged child predator in the Liberal party either, because Kellie Leitch declined to speak for these kids despite being their MP, when she was too busy running for party leadership. (That too is documented.)

These events caused me to have to see the disgusting underbelly of our politics and media. It’s the reason I backed away from both, because I couldn’t be one of these willfully silent people. I was born with a voice and I’m tired of being gagged when my job is to be the messenger. It’s also impossible to overcome the censorship in Canadian media when it comes to reporting about politics and the government. Everyone has an agenda. It may change from month to month, but rest assured that our news is based on the whims of executive editors and producers, who don’t know the first thing about due process or the safety of women and children.

Another gem I’ve had to digest is that our police won’t act on political sex issues unless the political news decides it can be reported and potential victims consent to being publicly exploited. In this experience regarding Jared Nolan, it seems the LPC determines what CTV can report, then CTV decides if it will cajole the police to investigate.

Maybe if we confront this circle-jerk we can begin to sort it out. Goodness knows the #MeToo movement depends on our collective honesty and anything short of this is political lip service. If we continue at this rate, Gen Y will never vote, download a news app, or fund a police budget. At least the children in Simcoe-Grey and Simcoe-North won’t, because they have no reason to trust any of us. Here, they can’t safely tell their stories on either side of the equation, without someone seeking to exploit or silence them. I remain worried that because all parties are rife with sex allegations that they’ll continue silencing the children in Simcoe-Grey, if it doesn’t benefit their political agendas. The response to this statement will help me decide if the #MeToo movement is real in Canada, or just a tool to weaponize our women and children.

Full disclosure: For the record, I resigned from the Liberal riding association at the onset of these events. I never worked in media at the same time I engaged with local politics, and I’m not employed by any mainstream media currently. My only agenda is protecting these kids (full details here, including the letter of resignation).

Yours truly,

@MsAmyMacPherson

Jesse Brown Withholds Ghomeshi Evidence, Fails To Disclose CBC Conflict

In a stunning twist to the Jian Ghomeshi scandal, new details emerge from the reporter who broke this story that cast doubt on the professional integrity of his investigation. On or about December 11, 2014 and after charges were laid against Ghomeshi, Jesse Brown provided a friendly interview to Ed The Sock that raises considerable issues (clip appears below).

 

Ed The Sock is a provocative puppet personality and a former fixture at CityTV. The character was played by Steven Kerzner who no longer stars on MuchMusic, but he maintains an obscure podcast to keep in touch with nostalgic fans. Kerzner previously ran for the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario before supporting the NDP, as well.

 

With fewer than 1,200 listeners, Brown admitted numerous details he withheld from the Ghomeshi exposé, that was eventually published in conjunction with the Toronto Star. A hearty dose of laughter accompanies this discussion about Brown’s “recriminations”, that may precipitate a need to examine his involvement.

 

Personal & Professional Conflicts at CBC

 

Jesse Brown begins by confessing he is a personal friend to Kathryn Borel, the former CBC producer who alleges Ghomeshi threatened to “hate f–k” her during a business meeting at Q. It is unknown whether Brown failed to disclose his personal conflicts, or if the Toronto Star agreed to withhold the information in light of Ms. Borel’s intention to remain anonymous at the onset. Neither Brown nor the Toronto Star would respond to questions about this matter.

 

 

Not only were Brown and Borel friends, but they were also coworkers. Jesse Brown failed to disclose his relationship with CBC as a radio host, in competition with Ghomeshi, at the very time Borel confided in him about the alleged harassment. The three were CBC colleagues and Brown now admits he was the employee who didn’t come forward to report the abuse. He goes on to suggest that all men need to have this conversation, about why they remain silent as he did and what is required of men to protect women in modern times.

 

From Brown’s perspective and due to the shrinking pool of available jobs in journalism, he felt that reporting Ghomeshi would result in losing his position for rocking the boat and forcing CBC to confront its workplace issues. No events were mentioned to cause this apprehension, but Brown freely admits his own ambition was a factor in staying quiet, as the only person who also confesses to knowing about Borel’s predicament. Every insult and allegation leveled against Q staff and CBC producers was ultimately directed inward.

 

CBC Complaint & The Missing Witness

 

The other part of Brown’s explanation for remaining silent raises issues for the internal investigation. CBC hired an outside lawyer to determine what went wrong, because Borel claims to have submitted a complaint that was ignored by the union and broadcaster.

 

However, the Canadian Media Guild denied receiving a complaint that included sexual harassment allegations and CBC is under fire for failing to discover corresponding records that identify her claim. In the audio clip, Jesse Brown mentions that Borel never made a complaint and he was sworn to secrecy because she didn’t wish to come forward. He says it wasn’t his place to betray Borel’s wishes and he supported his friend by instructing her to keep notes, at least.

 

Brown adds there was a witness to the former producer’s allegation; but none was mentioned in the Toronto Star report, witnesses were excluded from the Ghomeshi narrative and Brown is continuing to withhold that name. Without it, neither the CBC nor the police and Ghomeshi’s lawyers can investigate.

 

Kathryn Borel also approached foreign press at The Guardian to finish telling her story, instead of sharing with the immediately concerned Canadian media. In her editorial, Borel adds new sexual assault allegations that accuse Ghomeshi of massaging her upper body and thrusting his private area into her backside (clothed). She claims there was a witness to this event in support of Brown’s recent interview, but doesn’t disclose that name either.

 

The Toronto Star and Jesse Brown declined to comment about their knowledge of Borel’s newly published allegations. It’s unknown if Borel withheld this information in her anonymous account, or if the investigating reporters withheld these details since the beginning. The more fulsome description that was published in another country isn’t aided by Brown’s confession that he “amended details” about all the women’s stories, due to his self perceived “license” to direct, craft and alter their reports.

 

This is also the first time a friendship between Kathryn Borel and Jesse Brown was disclosed, by the complainant and not the journalist. Furthermore, Brown admits he was the one to solicit Borel’s allegation for the news. He explains sharing her story with the other women and offering to seek his friend’s support to bolster their claims.

 

Based on Jesse Brown’s confession, there appears to be a conflict of interest to protect his old job while selectively blaming former colleagues and censoring the bulk of details that include his direct involvement. Ethics forbid this behaviour and the failure to disclose, but Brown admits he is new to investigative journalism and believes that online reporting is allowed to play by ‘different rules’ than the mainstream is required to uphold. These rules are understood by journalists as libel law and issues that concern truth in reporting, vetting and verification.

 

Were The Women Using Jesse?

 

In this interview with Ed The Sock, Jesse Brown elaborates on the other female complainants. He describes the initial email from the first woman and says it led to consecutive interviews with the others. Brown nor the Toronto Star would comment if the first complainant coordinated the others, or if these women approached Brown independently.

 

But he did accuse the females of “using him”. When Ed The Sock realized the inappropriate nature of this comment, he guided Brown to describe the event as washing each other’s hands, as opposed to being used. Brown responds by agreeing and admits his professional position was compromised, that he crossed into “sticky territory” as a supportive and friendly therapist. There were questions if the women were “pissed off”, that Brown used their friendship to obtain a story – one they didn’t wish to be told. He describes a process of having to remind the complainants about his status as a reporter, when they shared details about their relationships with Ghomeshi.

 

To achieve the females’ consent, Brown admits he amended details and yet there were still “certain places they didn’t want him to go”. He admits altering more than their names and “all sorts of stuff” was withheld. This suppression occurred in concert with censorship that Brown demanded, because to him this wasn’t about a sex scandal. In his license and authority to reconstruct the narrative, he admits fighting with the Toronto Star to bury and exclude information that would shift from his focus on violence and CBC as a sick institution.

 

Regarding acts of sexual violence, Jesse Brown reports the women questioning their memories and if they could trust their recollections. According to the interview, he describes having to “push and pull” the complainants to obtain their information and admits “media proofing” them prior to the Toronto Star‘s publication.

 

Strombo Equated With Ghomeshi, Levant On A Pedestal

 

Expanding on Brown’s view about the real problem surrounding Jian Ghomeshi, he blames the CBC for creating stars when they’ve done nothing to earn that prestige. To him, this wasn’t about the criminal charges and rather the success of talent that he doesn’t deem worthy. Brown goes on to discuss his greater performance and believes he lost his position at CBC because they’re not looking for skilled staff of his caliber.

 

For some time Brown rants about the employment of George Stroumboulopoulus and claims the same case can be made against him as Ghomeshi. It’s not that Brown is alleging sexual misconduct, but this drives the point home that his concerns about Ghomeshi didn’t focus on the women or the alleged assaults. To him, this was strictly about the future of CBC, his own access to employment and ratings.

 

It’s Ed The Sock who feels compelled to defend George Strombo and he appears surprised by Brown’s attack. The clash occurs again when Brown slurs “they could never wash the CityTV off” and then accuses CBC of poaching unmerited celebrity from competitors like MuchMusic and bands like the one Ghomeshi starred in.

 

To provide context, Jesse Brown lavishes Ezra Levant with admiration for his exceptional talent at pushing everyone’s buttons. Two weeks before this commentary, Levant lost an $80,000 lawsuit that was filed against him for defamation. The judge cited his “reckless disregard for the truth”, but this had no effect on Brown’s perception of successful news personalities, versus the substandard celebrity he attributes to the CBC and the vast majority of Canadian entertainment.

 

Politics & Jeffrey Dvorkin

 

In another interview with J-Source that slightly pre-dates the Ghomeshi story, Brown describes himself as a bitter and disgruntled, ex-employee of the CBC. He says Canadaland was losing money and the show’s more generous sponsorship had come to an end. At the midpoint of a Ghomeshi investigation, Brown told The Walrus he was struggling so badly that filmmakers and comedy writers were being added to cover the gap in entertainment. He felt the podcast had become poisonous to his connections and career.

 

These commentaries span a few months and mere weeks before the Ghomeshi story broke, he lamented about a need for stable funding to continue. Brown attributes some optimism to daily encouragement he received from other journalists, specifically naming Jeffrey Dvorkin.

 

Dvorkin hails from Calgary, Alberta and now serves as the Director of Journalism at the University of Toronto. Before that, he held positions in Canada at CBC Radio and on the stateside at NPR. In 2010, he accepted an assignment from the U.S. Department of State, to lecture Niger and Guinea on the role of press in elections. This was followed by a similar mission to teach Turkish reporters about their powers in 2011, despite the widespread incarceration of journalists and a government-media scandal that ensued.

 

Dvorkin is also a major force behind the push to remove CBC from television airwaves, converting solely to internet production and the often debated Canadian Netflix. He was making this case at the same time Jesse Brown began the Ghomeshi investigation.

 

Before any news about the sexual allegations surfaced, Dvorkin appeared on Canadaland to encourage support for the dismantling and reconstruction of CBC. During this interview with Jesse Brown, Dvorkin scoffs at senior CBC staff for suggesting that Justin Trudeau’s Liberals would restore funding to cure their ills. He closes by citing cuts from Liberal governments as the reason he left CBC for greener pastures in the United States.

 

This viewpoint appears to influence Jesse Brown’s position, as heard in the audio clip with Ed The Sock. At length, he parrots the same talking points and goes on to assert the CRTC should plan for obsolescence too. This rant is peppered with much criticism for Canadian talent and programming, with a dig at ACTRA forming part of the exchange.

 

It should be noted that Lucy DeCoutere, one of the Ghomeshi complainants, is also one of these Canadian actors that Brown carelessly disparages with gusto, in addition to his description of feeling used.

 

Friends & Eyes Wide Shut

 

Less known is Brown’s entry into the lucrative tech business, as the co-creator of Bitstrips. This app was once popular on social media and allows users to express their lives in cartoon caricature versions of themselves. It’s still popular in the school system and the company received a $3 million investment, but articles about Bitstrips fail to mention Brown and he’s the only source to assert this relationship. He declined to answer questions from FreeThePressCanada about this issue.

 

In his other pursuits, Brown’s investigation of Ghomeshi benefited from an allegation that arose from Professor Jeremy Copeland. The Toronto Star published that Copeland shunned his students from pursuing internships at Q due to inappropriate behaviour, but Western University denied this was possible and so did the student newspaper. Other journalism programs then came forward to deny issues or complaints about Ghomeshi at their facilities. The matter was never questioned or readdressed by the press.

 

Cautiously and coincidentally, Jeremy Copeland worked with the U.S. government to fill a similar role as Jeffrey Dvorkin. The former was the American spokesperson for out-of-country voting in Iraq and he trained Iraqi journalists how to cover their election after the war that responded to 9/11 attacks. The same as Turkey, this country descended into chaos and lost the battle for message control. Both are now mired by ISIS and political-media issues, along with the greatest threat to the survival of journalists.

 

Jesse Brown describes this cast of personalities as the media version of Eyes Wide Shut in his discussion with Ed The Sock. He claims the community is Toronto-centric and he singles out neighbourhoods from Beaches and the Annex, as those who know and contribute to the decline by playing along. Brown believes they’re all friends or married to one another and he admits being part of this dysfunctional but influential posse, that determines the narrative for Canadian views.

 

Brown describes the group as inbred and David Akin reminds everyone that Sun TV was pursuing a ‘hotbed’ of sexual harassment suspicions at CBC since the year before. He used the Ghomeshi scandal to suggest that CBC mislead parliament when it responded to accusations in the last round. In that example, the broadcaster was accused of processing 1,454 sexual harassment complaints in Toronto and Ottawa alone (proven untrue, see link for details). Regardless, Ezra Levant from Sun TV appeared on Canadaland a few days ago.

 

Cash Flow Returns, But Politics Remain

 

In Jesse Brown’s history with the CBC, he once faced a dispute about the right to republish work from The Contrarian on his own website. The broadcaster has a policy to archive online materials after a period of 2 years, thereby causing the content to become inaccessible. As Brown attempted to save his creative input from the compression pile, he received a takedown notice from CBC management and today these shows are nowhere to be found on the internet. When the same issue arose regarding Jian Ghomeshi and the public’s sensitivity toward archiving programs from Q, Brown was at the forefront pushing for this content to be relegated in the same manner.

 

After the Ghomeshi story broke, the Globe and Mail reported Brown’s income had risen to more than $9,000 per month. The Columbia Journalism Review went one step further and tracked these increases on a monthly basis since October – the same month Brown’s crowdfunding campaign went live and the Ghomeshi allegations were published.

 

One month after that major headline, Ed The Sock was a guest on Jesse Brown’s Canadaland in a role reversal. During this interview, Steven Kerzner (aka Ed), is asked about sexual misconduct allegations involving Moses Znaimer at CityTV. Odd behaviour is discussed, but Kerzner declines to contribute to any rumour mills.

 

When Brown visits Kerzner less than two weeks later, they discuss Jesse’s pitch to all the major publishers for an earlier version of his media criticism program. Brown reports he was prepared to be ‘more responsible and sober’ and ‘not a satirical’. These blanket denials to provide him with a venue resulted in the establishment of Canadaland, described in the audio clip as kicking people in the shins, in lieu.

 

When the income generated by Brown’s podcast hit the $10,000 per month benchmark, he intended to hire staff. Brown declined to answer questions about his income, but Sean D. B. Craig was employed to break the Amanda Lang story on behalf of Canadaland more recently. Craig is unknown as a journalist and no bio can be found online. Originally he promoted himself as a CBC producer on social media, but later apologized for the humorous misrepresentation, due to the commotion and confusion it caused. Brown then introduced his new hire as a “pinko comrade”. The term pinko is commonly directed toward supporters of the NDP, both fondly and as a slur.

 

SeanCraigCBCx

 

 

The Response

 

Jesse Brown, CBC, the Toronto Star and lawyers for Jian Ghomeshi were contacted.

 

The CBC was approached with this audio clip and a proposal to run the story. Director of Government Relations, Shaun Poulter, was exceptionally helpful to facilitate contact with others at the broadcaster. The Head of Media Relations, Chuck Thompson, also took a concerned interest to facilitate discussion. The latter agreed this information should be forwarded to the external investigator, but a decision to print the story would need to come from the news department directly.

 

Thompson involved the senior producer of CBC News, Ian Kalushner. After three days of debating the story without hearing the file, he declined any proposition to provide coverage. Mr. Thompson was then re-approached and encouraged to review the clip before another publication was canvassed, in lieu of the broadcaster’s response.

 

At this time Thompson attended the news department to discuss the clip with Kalushner. A compromise was reached and the reporter regularly assigned to the Ghomeshi file was asked to evaluate the evidence, as the most knowledgeable person about these developments on staff. CBC News expressed hesitation to publish freelance work, despite the fact that FreeThePressCanada had a history of reporting politics for the broadcaster in years past.

 

After another five day lapse, CBC journalist Ioanna Roumeliotis accepted the file for review. Both she and producer Ian Kalushner responded,

 

You would be accurate to describe my assessment of the audio clip as material that is not newsworthy.”

 

Chuck Thompson responded,

 

… I don’t make editorial decisions for CBC News and I know you have been in touch with them. It’s their call as to whether or not they want to go further with what you have discussed.”

 

Jesse Brown was notified about the impending article and presented with 42 questions for comment. He declined to provide answers and politely rebutted,

 

The story of my investigation of Jian Ghomeshi is an important one that I will tell the public in detail.

 

It will take a lot of work and care. Here’s what I need to be mindful of:

 

Protecting my sources’ identities. Presenting a full account may expose them, so I need to go over everything very carefully, consulting with them where possible to remove identifying details.

 

Legal concerns. The professional and personal behaviour of many people will be discussed, so this story needs to get lawyered.

 

Accuracy. This is a complicated story, key aspects of which unfolded rapidly. I need to go over hundreds of notes and emails and dozens of public documents. Since I see no immediate urgency in reporting this story as soon as possible (I’m not finished with the investigation of Jian itself yet!) I’m going to take my time and tell it as precisely and as well as possible.

 

Finally, I am in the news business, so of course my intention is to save all this stuff for my own report.”

 

The Toronto Star was provided with a similar opportunity to comment and 25 related questions. Multiple attempts were made to contact investigative journalist, Kevin Donovan, and the newspaper’s editor, Michael Cooke. Both were informed they are the only source that refuses to respond, beyond Mr. Donovan’s messages to inquire about the nature of these questions on social media.

 

That silence was broken by an unrelated Toronto Star columnist, Jack Lakey, who proceeded to insult and intimidate FreeThePressCanada for approaching his colleagues to send the email inquiry.

 

Henein Hutchinson LLP accepted the audio clip quite recently. The law firm representing Jian Ghomeshi hasn’t received a reasonable amount of time to examine and comment. If a statement is forthcoming, this article will be edited to include that response.

 

The Clip: Jesse Brown & Ed The Sock

 

Please be advised this audio contains profanity and racial, religious jokes that some may find offensive. Originally published by Ed The Sock’s Soundcloud account, December 11, 2014. This is re-posted for news reporting and fair comment purposes (original source).

 

Also, this investigation isn’t meant to detract from the seriousness of allegations against Jian Ghomeshi, a police investigation, or the equitable court process. It is not meant to discourage victims from seeking justice, through professional, compassionate and capable members of law enforcement. This investigation only reflects the techniques of a journalist and ethical reporting. No inference or suggestion about the female complainants or Jian Ghomeshi is made by FreeThePressCanada.

 

Government Passes Anti-Constitutional Surveillance Law During Ottawa Shooting

A terrible tragedy befell the nation’s capital yesterday, when a shooter opened fire at government sites in Ottawa. A full investigation must begin to assemble the details, as the flames of hysteria are fanned in the public consciousness. The words “terror” and “terrorism” have been tossed around so casually, that nowadays any hardened criminal would classify as a terrorist according to the Harper Government and mainstream news sources. For that matter, political activists who take issue with the government’s policies at home and abroad are referenced in the same manner.

 

On the opposite end of the spectrum, social media is rife with suspicion that this horrendous event may represent a false flag operation, to assist the government’s dismantling of civil liberty and human rights in the name of war, profit, political posturing and public control.

 

That’s not to say this wasn’t an act of terrorism. Maybe it was, but surely it’s too early to reach a conclusion when the names of suspects hadn’t been released to hypothesize a motive. Or had they?

 

At 10:13am EDT, The Globe and Mail‘s Josh Wingrove reported that tactical officers were pointing guns at every parliamentary journalist on site.  (Via Twitter)

 

GlobeOttawaShooting

 

At 12:11pm EDT, The CBC’s Kady O’Malley reported her group was ordered to leave a local rooftop by police, as they continued to search for a culprit and attempted to secure the area.

 

CBCOttawaShooting

 

By 1:14pm EDT, Ms. O’Malley reported a continuing lockdown that blanketed Ottawa. She was unclear if the event was over, as no further information was available.

 

CBCOttawaShooting2

 

While Canadian news personalities were at police gunpoint, American outlets like CBS News and the Associated Press had a full story to sell, complete with the dead shooter’s name.

 

Before the scene was secure at 10:54am EDT, a joint release was published to identify the culprit. It stated,

 

The gunmen has been identified by U.S. officials to CBS News as Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, a Canadian national born in 1982.”

 

Ottawa011xx

 

By 4:58pm EDT, the story was edited to remove the shooter’s name, or any mention of the U.S. government’s knowledge.

 

Ottawa012x

 

Ottawa002x

 

The only problem is that no one could update the Google database quick enough with these changes, so the original information still appeared with search results.

 

OttawaShooting006

 

This story was altered again in the evening, when the Canadian government allowed the name of a shooter to be released and American media added law enforcement to their list of official sources.  They also added a middle name, Abdul, to emphasize the suspect’s Islamic ties with an accusation of terrorism.

 

CBS.9.26pm

 

As members of parliament begin to piece this tragedy together, they’re advised to inquire how American intelligence knew the name of a ‘possible terrorist’ as the mayhem was still unfolding. How did Americans know when Canadians didn’t, and how was the information so widespread that foreign media and Google had access to distribute, but domestic reporters on the scene did not.

 

Canadian parliamentary bureau chiefs didn’t posses the same information as their U.S. counterparts and they faced the barrel of police guns as a narrative was provided on their behalf by another country. If this is dubbed an act of terrorism that American sources had knowledge to pre-report, then why weren’t steps taken to prevent the violence?

 

Many have questioned how a gunman could enter parliament with a rifle unnoticed, despite the massive security and busy lineups. Some are calling for greater state police control and warmed to relinquishing their Charter rights, in an effort to fight the new war on domestic terrorism. Something has to justify police militarization since the War on Drugs has been transformed into a lucrative product of capitalism.

 

All Canadians who pay attention to the news are acutely aware of a creeping police state and the loss of privacy rights in the tradeoff. In fact, one Liberal MP, Joyce Murray, proposed Bill C-622 to gain oversight of CSIS and CSEC, so law enforcement can’t overstep its bounds to the degree that’s been revealed through Snowden leaks.

 

This shooting event also occurs at a time when the Mayor of Ottawa is seeking re-election, with a history of accommodating CSEC as a business partner.

 

The journalist who brought these Snowden leaks to light is in town to promote his new book about the overreaching powers of a surveillance state. Glenn Greenwald will be speaking just a few blocks from Parliament Hill, in the same neighbourhood that’s under lockdown. It’s purely coincidental that he wrote a scathing piece about the Canadian government and co-dependent media’s abuse of the word “terrorism” a day earlier.

 

Meanwhile, the NDP noticed a different terrorism anomaly regarding the violence in Quebec on the day before as well. The Prime Minister’s Office was accused of planting a foreboding comment in Question Period, that preempted police reports of a “possible terror attack against soldiers”.

 

Public Safety Minster Steve Blaney reported the Monday event was “clearly linked to terrorist ideology”, but the Toronto Star reported multiple witnesses saw the suspect with his hands in the air, when at least one police officer opened fire. They also say a knife was “lodged into the ground near where the incident occurred”.

 

Well, that’s what the original story by Allan Woods, Bruce Campion-Smith, Joanna Smith, Tonda MacCharles and Les Whittington stated. A syndicated copy had to be located at the Cambridge Times, because a newer, edited version at the Toronto Star appeared dramatically altered by Tuesday.

 

TorStar004x

 

Forsaking journalism ethics, the Toronto Star surprised industry watchers by editing this story without providing a notice to reflect the consequential changes. Now the article claims the suspect was an Islamic radical, who emerged from the vehicle with a knife in his hands. There is no mention of any witnesses who saw his hands in the air and the knife was no longer lodged in the ground. All information from witnesses was removed without explanation, or apology for reporting incorrectly at the onset, if indeed the witnesses were mistaken. The French press at TVA still values the eye witness accounts, but no English speaking media reflects these reports from the scene.

 

This TorStar article was more than edited and qualifies as being replaced entirely, having lost its tone, facts and spirit from the original published version. It was radically changed to support the government’s narrative and censored independent sources that previously appeared, replacing them with quotes from the Harper administration that focus on the suspect’s motive for Islamic terrorism.

 

TorStar012x

 

If it wasn’t for smaller newspapers syndicating the Toronto Star‘s original content, there would be no proof of the first comprehensive version. Professional journalists don’t normally condone editors changing the spirit of their work without a caveat, especially when five reporters collaborated to produce the same entry. The history created by print newspapers also couldn’t be erased with the click of a button, before the press migrated to internet-based reporting that appears to lack mechanisms of accountability.

 

These two examples oppose each other due to the disparity between facts and there is no footnote to reflect this glaring incongruency. The Toronto Star has been a leader in journalism ethics and wouldn’t alter published pieces to discredit their own reporting without a reason being provided. That is, until they and a bevy of established journalists who remained silent, had a taste of the politics of fear.

 

Any reasonable person should be afraid when gunshots are flying from hostile individuals, but will fear be allowed to dictate a terrorism narrative in place of the facts? The Opposition’s privacy and ethics critic, MP Charlie Angus, also describes gunshots around 10am EDT, while American media had solved the event by 10:54am EDT and members of parliament were being detained without access to the same information.

 

If the U.S government could assess a terrorist attack on Canadian soil before the Canadian government was aware, then why was it not prevented? On the same token, if the Canadian government was in the middle of mayhem, then how did Americans obtain information that wasn’t available to affected bureaucrats, from their own intelligence and law enforcement agencies? What powers does America have over Canada that Canada doesn’t have itself? If a shooting on government property can be solved before it’s even finished, then why wasn’t CSIS, CSEC, DHS and the NSA capable of early intervention? After all, the Wednesday shooter was already placed on the government’s watch-list.

 

The timing is incredible and may very well be motivated by the war against ISIS/ISIL. Canada shed its peacekeeping status for more aggressive combat that generates profits for the Canada Pension Plan, with the potential to invite ideological backlash. This is not disputed. An unbiased investigation is required, but the public should be patient for confirmed, judicial facts; bearing in mind political motives, various narratives and the race to sell fear.

 

On the very day terrorism was alleged in Quebec, the Harper Government passed Bill C-13 without much notice from the peanut gallery. Until Monday, Bill C-13 was one of the most controversial pieces of legislation that was presented under the guise of cyber-bullying, but even the mother of Amanda Todd spoke against the exploitation of her daughter’s death as a tool to create a warrantless surveillance state in this vein.

 

Due to terrorism accusations made by the Harper Government that took up most of the day, no mainstream news reported the bill’s passage later in the same day. CBC was the only major outlet to mention the bill on Monday, but they neglected to note the House of Commons vote or passage of this legislation at any point in the story. They presented the information as incremental progress while failing to report its successful, parliamentary completion.

 

This too presents a problem with ethical journalism, but CBC has seen its fair share of challenges since the Harper Government appointed ten Conservative donors to the board of directors, with influence over the public broadcaster’s direction.

 

Regardless, the only mention of Bill C-13 passing arises from a Saanich News editorial. The smaller publication urges everyone to be vigilant as this legislation completes the last step of approval (ascent) with senate, that is dominated by a Conservative majority.

 

Surprisingly, the senate passed a first reading of Bill C-13 the very next day. It accomplished that hurdle expediently on Tuesday, but this wasn’t reported by any source whatsoever. Senators then scheduled a second reading in two days’ time, on Thursday, October 23, 2014. The only lapse in this process was the Wednesday parliamentary shooting.

 

By today Bill C-13 may see the quickest passage through any bureaucracy in the democratic world, without the public or media noticing and while legislators are reeling from the ominous smell of gun smoke. Neither the parliamentary reporters who stared down the barrel of a police gun on Tuesday, nor the members of parliament who were barricaded, would be rested very well.

 

Plus there’s an RCMP press conference about the Wednesday shooting that will surely distract attention from the new law. In the days ahead, it’s likely they’ll tout Bill C-13 as a way to catch terrorists, also under the guise of cyberbulling and even though being watch-listed with preexisting surveillance powers didn’t prevent Michael Zehaf-Bibeau from taking action.

 

This brings us to what’s at stake. The taboo that nobody wants to evaluate. The decision senators will have to make while recovering from a psychologically traumatic breach of personal security.

 

We’re talking about public data surveillance, or what closely resembles stalking.

 

There are plenty of ambiguous words used to describe big data monitoring, but few understand what it means or how deeply it’s abused behind the sealed doors at CSEC. Warrantless internet surveillance has the potential to track a target’s GPS movements with updating by the minute. It can penetrate the entire chain of communication between an individual and their contacts, including strangers who make reference to the target by any degree of separation across the world wide web. The technology has predictive behaviour capabilities. Every citizen caught in this widespread dragnet is psychologically assessed through language semantics and assigned a persuasion, to determine if any of them presents a public relations issue, or if the original target has too much influence to garner support for their business, political and/or social beliefs.

 

Five Eyes governments have established media surveillance programs specifically. They surveil news topics and journalists, to monitor the reporter’s effect on public perception. When anyone posts a news link on any form of social media, all comments are collected and ranked for government and law enforcement dissemination. Canada spent $20 million and hired 3,300 staff to spy on journalists and political opponents since 2012. The European Commission and United States does the same, in this vacuum of nonexistent legislation to protect the public’s privacy in the modern age. Instead of updating constitutional rights to reflect modern technology, they’ve crafted legislation like Bill C-13 that revokes those rights entirely.

 

This goes beyond the confines of metadata and only the Privacy Commissioner of Ontario has taken up the cause, likely to the chagrin of political parties that have begun to use similar technology against their opponents during elections. Whatever good this intrusive spying could accomplish is outweighed by the bad. Michael Sona only possessed a list of phone numbers and intentions, let alone mapping of the entire public’s thoughts and updates on the location of political foes by the minute.

 

If anyone physically tailed a political candidate, volunteer or supporter every minute of the day and night, or attempted to record every one of their exchanges, it would be considered criminal harassment. If that person also tailed every contact who spoke about their target and psychologically assessed them to create charts, it would surpass Hollywood’s fascination with the complex plotting of serial offenders.

 

But this isn’t fiction and warrantless internet surveillance can be used to harm a civilian, based on their political beliefs. In the United States it’s already used to surveil judges, adding a difficult challenge to the essence and appearance of democracy. The dialogue is strictly controlled to conceal these uses and they’re couched in the terrorist argument, to discourage the public from searching deeper.

 

Residents have been told if they don’t break the law, there is nothing to fear. This subverts any purpose of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and replaces that document with a Trust Me clause from the government. It replaces the core legal relationship between citizens and law enforcement, with unrestrained power and no oversight to justify its use. It imperils evidentiary laws that are designed to protect the innocent.

 

Beyond the dry language of legislation, this is how the words of Bill C-13 can be utilized by an aggressive government and the Five Eyes intelligence community. Suggested reading provides the history and development of technology and related policies in Canada, the United States and Europe. It was becoming law in Canada when the airwaves were filled with terrorism accusations and the government expected no one would notice. It also relates to media surveillance that could explain a few altered stories, deleted posts and political misunderstanding.

 

Edit, November 22, 2014:  Liberal Senator Céline Hervieux-Payette published a diary of events during the Ottawa shooting, while barricaded in an office with numerous colleagues.  Her honest and forthright account also challenges the Harper government and American explanations.  The timed entries conflict with media reports, as documented above.  She further includes mention of a second shooter.

The Granddaddy of Government Scandals #cdnpoli #onpoli

Note from the author: Originally this report was set to explore the federal government’s hand in the anti abortion lobby. Surprisingly it grew to include an anti gay lobby, anti aboriginal lobby, anti prostitution lobby, anti human rights lobby, anti green energy lobby, anti tax lobby, among other issues.

 

These developments are so widespread, they had to be expressed in a timeline to alleviate confusion and allow the reader to reach their own conclusions. Numerous hyperlinks lead to the documents cited and supporting multimedia appears throughout.

 

While each of these topics deserves a dedicated headline, it is the collaborative nature and coordinated efforts of a particular network that is gaining the support of government. The issue that needs to be addressed is the sum of these parts that would normally be lost in a 24 hour news cycle if examined individually. With that said, the report patiently continues.

 

The 2014 March for Life began Thursday on Parliament Hill, marked by a handful of FEMEN activists being carted away by police. A topless convoy crashed the rally in support of women’s rights, but apparently their message was too avant-garde for the masses. It’s a story of disparity when anti-abortionists are permitted to flood the streets with photos of mutilated foetuses and the female body it comes from is censored by law enforcement, but this situation depicts the polarized views that dominate Canadian discourse.

 

Credit: Tony Caldwell, QMI Agency

Credit: Tony Caldwell, QMI Agency

 

Credit: Tony Caldwell, QMI Agency

Credit: Tony Caldwell, QMI Agency

 

Justin Trudeau came out the day before, to warn anti-abortionists they needn’t apply for candidacy in the federal Liberal party. Aside of political platforms and moral persuasion, this decision was in keeping with a Supreme Court precedent that determined a woman’s right to choose under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

 

On the surface these sentiments appear to be shared by Prime Minister Harper, as he worked to quell anti-choice motions from Conservative backbenchers in his own party. The government claims to respect the legal status quo, but an investigation has led to serious revelations that challenge that outward appearance.

 

Several documents retrieved from Conservative MP’s and supporting sources will illuminate a contentious matter on the Hill. For years the media has been chasing rumours about the existence of a Parliamentary Pro-Life Caucus (PPLC) and historically it’s been denied as an unofficial gathering of MP’s with similar preferences.

 

Everyone appreciates there is a heated difference of opinions as they relate to these human rights, but there is greater concern if this caucus is operating as an official branch of the Harper government, in defiance of the Charter and Supreme Court position. Consistent denials from members of parliament who engage with the anti-abortion group have helped to keep the issue at bay, but their words are incongruent with caucus literature and the many real actions they’ve taken.

 

In addition to the Parliamentary Pro-Life Caucus having an office on Parliament Hill, it became apparent they’re working with a private lobby that has used this access to infiltrate ministries and the PMO. The lobby itself describes the operation as “infiltrating the government” and success has been so great that they’ve replicated the process for provincial legislatures in parallel campaigns.

 

Some of their goals include abolishing social welfare programs for every walk of life. They include Native assimilation, censoring television and media, widespread privatization, controlling women, facilitating hate speech and rescinding human rights. A common response is disbelief that it could be anything more than ideas, but the following challenges that inclination toward apathy by outlining this government-supported lobby’s significant progress.

 

A Timeline

 

1989, October – The Campaign Life Coalition mentions sub organizations such as Tories for Life and Liberals for Life, referring to Canadian political parties. The movement is planning to infiltrate the Liberal leadership convention, to facilitate anti-abortion legislation by selecting representatives who are friendly to it.

 

1998, September – The Parliamentary Pro-Life Caucus is re-established, according to the movement’s newspaper. The first co-chairs are MP Jason Kenney (Calgary Southeast, CPC, now Employment Minister), MP Tom Wappel (Scarborough West, LPC, departed government in 2008 to become legal counsel for Campaign Life Coalition) and MP Elsie Wayne (Saint John, CPC, retired in 2004 but continued to chair the Conservative election campaign in Atlantic Canada).

 

In the announcement, Campaign Life Coalition is described as the “political arm” of the movement and they vow to complete their work in the background “from now on”. Their services will include assisting MP’s draft private member bills to achieve anti-abortion legislation. Under Prime Minister Chrétien (Liberal majority government), they plan to lobby for less stringent treatment of private member bills and the first March for Life rally attracts “almost 50 MP’s and senators” to planning meetings on the Hill.

 

It should be noted that Jason Kenney made history by trying to suppress pro-choice activists in the university setting, pre-dating this caucus by more than a decade. The Walrus attributes his religiously motivated government aspirations to that defining experience with the American movement.

 

1999, May – The first anti-abortion March for Life is a two day rally on Parliament Hill. It’s hosted by the Parliamentary Pro-Life Caucus (PPLC) and a press conference is held by co-chairs MP Jason Kenney (Calgary Southeast, CPC, now Employment Minister), MP Tom Wappel (Scarborough West, LPC, retired 2008, Campaign Life Coalition counsel) and MP Elsie Wayne (Saint John, CPC, retired 2004).

 

At this time Kenney made accusations against the Calgary Foothills hospital, that nurses claimed mothers were being induced prematurely and the babies were left to die. The hospital sought a court injunction to stop these reports and Kenney responded by compelling a police investigation.

 

When the hospital wasn’t found to commit infanticide as Kenney alleged, the technical arguments about abortion were re-asserted. This time the future minister of employment suggested the police failed to properly investigate and he may compel the Attorney General to engage in a province-wide probe. At issue is whether the foetus is technically alive in the surgery removal process.

 

After this press conference the Parliamentary Pro-Life Caucus held a luncheon for anti-abortion MP’s and activists to network. In attendance were the co-chairs as well as MP Garry Breitkreuz (Yorkton-Melville, CPC), MP Dan McTeague (Pickering-Scarborough East, LPC, retired 2011), MP Ken Epp (Edmonton-Sherwood Park, CPC, retired 2008), MP Maurice Vellacott (Saskatoon-Wanuskewin, CPC), MP Norman Doyle (St. John’s East, CPC, became senator in 2012), MP Mark Muise (West Nova, CPC, retired 2000), MP Reed Elley (Nanaimo-Cowichan, CPC, retired 2004), MP Janko Peric (Cambridge, LPC, retired 2004), MP Eric Lowther (Calgary Centre, CPC, retired 2000), MP John Nunziata (York South-Weston, LCP turned Independent, retired 2000), MP Pat O’Brien (London-Fanshawe, LPC turned Independent, retired 2005), MP John O’Reilly (Haliburton, Kawartha Lakes-Brock, LPC, retired 2004), two unnamed senators and additional members of parliament.

 

2001 – Social and Cultural Archives prepares the fonds for Campaign Life Coalition, itemizing all lobbying correspondence with schools, hospitals, community organizations and members of government. It covers the years 1967 to 1993 and notes communication with MP Rob Nicholson (Niagara Falls, CPC) since 1986, before he became the Justice Minister and current Defence Minister of Canada.

 

2001, May – The Parliamentary Pro-Life Caucus holds a press conference in conjunction with the March for Life rally. They share their praise of co-organizer and lobbyist, Campaign Life Coalition. The group spoke briefly about the PPLC’s work and noted MP Garry Breitkreuz‘s (Yorkton-Melville, CPC) motion to redefine the meaning of a human being to include unborn children. The rest of the PPLC’s projects had to be kept private.

 

In attendance were MP Maurice Vellacott (Saskatoon-Wanuskewin, CPC), MP Elsie Wayne (Saint John, CPC, retired 2004), MP Paul Steckle (Huron-Bruce, LPC, retired 2008), MP Reed Elley (Nanaimo-Cowichan, CPC, retired 2004) and MP Dan McTeague (Pickering-Scarborough East, LPC, retired 2011).

 

2001, May – The Parliamentary Pro-Life Caucus elects new co-chairs. MP Elsie Wayne (Saint John, CPC, retired 2004) remains the same; while MP Paul Steckle (Huron-Bruce, LPC, retired 2008) replaces MP Tom Wappel (Scarborough West, LPC, retired 2008) and MP Maurice Vellacott (Saskatoon-Wanuskewin, CPC) replaces MP Jason Kenney (Calgary Southeast, CPC, now Employment Minister).

 

Vellacott introduces a “conscience bill” that would allow health care workers to opt out of job duties related to abortions. Wayne is working on a bill to de-fund abortion and MP Jim Pankiw (Saskatoon-Humboldt, retired 2004) is re-introducing a similar de-funding bill from years ago.

 

Pankiw was also embroiled in controversy due to a public letter condemning the University of Saskatchewan for policies related to First Nations enrollment. He compared supporters of affirmative action to a modern day (reverse) Klu Klux Klan and he would later be convicted of drunk driving in 2014.

 

2001, December – In the Canadian Alliance leadership race between Stockwell Day and Stephen Harper (pre CPC), the future prime minister lodges a complaint against his challenger for the unethical procurement of memberships. Day was reprimanded for allowing the Campaign Life Coalition to sign up party members directly through their website and feed them into the political campaign without oversight from officials. This lent to distrust and Harper emerged the victor.

 

2003, MayMP Maurice Vellacott (Saskatoon-Wanuskewin, CPC) commemorates the sixth annual March for Life in parliament. Anti-abortion activists complained about a media blackout hindering their event, but together they celebrated an increase of 1,000 participants, for a total of 3,500.

 

2003, DecemberPrime Minister Paul Martin succeeds Jean Chrétien as he steps down and the Liberals appoint a new leader from within. It remains a majority government.

 

2003, OctoberMP Maurice Vellacott (Saskatoon-Wanuskewin, CPC), MP Paul Steckle (Huron-Bruce, LPC, retired 2008) and MP Elsie Wayne (Saint John, CPC, retired 2004) issue a Parliamentary Pro-Life Caucus press release, on letterhead that identifies the Justice Building and House of Commons as the official mailing address. The letter denounces Bill C-13 and claims a majority of Canadians do not support embryonic stem cell research. They state that human babies must be killed for this scientific experiment and follow with similar accusations in the parliamentary press gallery, but it doesn’t appear the media covered this appearance. (A copy was obtained from Vellacott’s archives and has disappeared from the original source since the date of discovery.)

 

 

2004, OctoberPrime Minister Paul Martin wins election, to a Liberal minority government.

 

2004, OctoberMP Maurice Vellacott (Saskatoon-Wanuskewin, CPC) and MP Paul Steckle (Huron-Bruce, LPC, retired 2008) issue a Parliamentary Pro-Life Caucus press release, on letterhead that identifies the Justice Building and House of Commons as the official mailing address. They advocate for the anti-abortion conference occurring in Winnipeg and the Silent No More campaign that focuses on women who later regretted having an abortion. (A copy was obtained from Vellacott’s archives and has disappeared from the original source since the date of discovery.)

 

 

2004, DecemberMP Maurice Vellacott (Saskatoon-Wanuskewin, CPC) issues a press release on House of Commons letterhead, that compels federal Justice Minister Irwin Cotler (LPC) to intervene in the Saskatchewan NDP government. He cites a Supreme Court decision that allows marriage commissioners to deny gay unions, based on religious conscience. He goes on to say the highest court determined that gay marriage is not a human right and asks the federal government to ensure the provincial counterpart can’t force anyone to perform the ceremony. (A copy was obtained from Vellacott’s archives and has disappeared from the original source since the date of discovery. A backup file can be found here.)

 

2005, FebruaryMP Maurice Vellacott (Saskatoon-Wanuskewin, CPC) issues a press release on House of Commons letterhead, accusing the Martin Liberal government of “discriminating” against Canadian parents for trying to establish a national daycare program. He states that 75 percent of families would rather have stay-at-home parents or relative babysitters, instead of government intervention that allows them to work. (A copy was obtained from Vellacott’s archives and has disappeared from the original source since the date of discovery. A backup file can be found here.)

 

2005, FebruaryMP Maurice Vellacott (Saskatoon-Wanuskewin, CPC) issues a press release on House of Commons letterhead, in cross-party support of MP Paul Szabo‘s (Mississauga South, LPC, retired 2011) Bill C-206. Szabo is a fellow member of the Parliamentary Pro-Life Caucus and this legislation is intended to regulate alcohol labelling with health and maternal warnings, similar to cigarettes today.

 

Vellacott explains that alcoholic beverages are consumed by 30-40 percent of pregnant women and this is the “leading cause of mental retardation in Canada”. According to this government presser, he says that 50 percent of inmates suffer from Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and alcohol related birth defects. Then, he attributes 50 percent of hospital emergencies, 65 percent of child abuse and 60 percent of homicides to alcohol abuse. These claims are not supported by cited studies and it’s unknown where these statistics originated. (A copy was obtained from Vellacott’s archives that has since disappeared and a backup file can be found here.)

 

2005, AprilMP Maurice Vellacott (Saskatoon-Wanuskewin, CPC) issues a press release on House of Commons letterhead, arguing against Bill C-38, The Civil Marriage Act, to recognize same sex unions. He warned this will result in ruinous lawsuits against his constituents and cause them to lose employment due to religious conscience. This legislation passed two months later by a vote of 158 to 133. (A copy was obtained from Vellacott’s archives that has since disappeared and a backup file can be found here.)

 

2005, MayMP Maurice Vellacott (Saskatoon-Wanuskewin, CPC) and MP Paul Steckle (Huron-Bruce, LPC, retired 2008) issue a Parliamentary Pro-Life Caucus press release, on letterhead that identifies the Justice Building and House of Commons as the official mailing address for the PPLC. The topic is titled Violence No More and it calls on physicians to justify the reason for each patient’s abortion, to ensure the medical community isn’t supporting domestic violence by keeping it secret from the government.

 

A study coinciding with this year’s March for Life determined that repeated sexual abuse was responsible for many of these decisions and the caucus felt government should be alerted to support victims of molestation to deliver their babies instead of aborting.

 

Another conference was scheduled in the parliamentary press gallery, but again no record of media coverage could be located. (A copy of this letter was obtained from Vellacott’s archives and has disappeared from the original source since the date of discovery.)

 

 

The annual March for Life is a product of the Campaign Life Coalition. This non-profit is also a registered lobbyist (see here and here and here) and lobbying constitutes a vast majority of the group’s work and purpose.

 

003.xLobbySenatorPlett

 

2006, January – The Harper Conservatives are first elected to a minority government.

 

2006, MarchMP Maurice Vellacott (Saskatoon-Wanuskewin, CPC) issues a press release on House of Commons letterhead, accusing the Canadian Cancer Society of lying to the public on CBC. He cites a scientific report that proves birth control causes cancer and so do abortions. That report arises from an American agency that is staffed by known anti-abortion activists and was discredited as biased by the global cancer community, as well as the World Health Organization.

 

He goes on to educate about female breasts in pregnancy, but this MP is not a doctor and rather holds a Master of Divinity (to church minister). This government press release closes with another suggestion against the Canadian Cancer Society, that it may be failing to adopt this (discredited) study due to a monetary relationship with Big Pharma, that would rather see cancer prevail for profit and mutual benefit. (A copy can still be found in Vellacott’s archives, in addition to here.)

 

2006, MayMP Maurice Vellacott (Saskatoon-Wanuskewin, CPC) and MP Paul Steckle (Huron-Bruce, LPC, retired 2008) issue a Parliamentary Pro-Life Caucus press release, on letterhead that identifies the Justice Building and House of Commons as the official mailing address. The information claims that breast cancer is caused by abortion. (A copy can still be found in Vellacott’s archives.)

 

 

2006, May – Sun Media National Bureau Chief, David Akin, reports members of parliament who attended this year’s March for Life on his personal blog. Supporting evidence cited in this piece has been removed from internet, but he describes “many Conservative MP’s” including Jason Kenney (Calgary Southeast, CPC, as parliamentary secretary to the Prime Minister). Kenney was joined on stage by fellow Parliamentary Pro-Life Caucus speakers, MP Paul Steckle (Huron-Bruce, LPC, retired 2008), MP Paul Szabo (Mississauga South, LPC, retired 2011) and MP Tom Wappel (Scarborough West, LPC, retired 2008).

 

2007, May – A secret Conservative party handbook is leaked to reporter Don Martin at the National Post. It’s a 200 page document that includes instructions on how to bring government business to a halt, as well as how to select Conservative friendly witnesses to give committee input.

 

2007, MayMP Maurice Vellacott (Saskatoon-Wanuskewin, CPC) and MP Paul Steckle (Huron-Bruce, LPC, retired 2008) issue a Parliamentary Pro-Life Caucus press release, on letterhead that identifies the Justice Building and House of Commons as the official mailing address. In recognition of International Women’s Day, the caucus condemns sex-selective abortions and alleges a Canadian epidemic in six pages of footnotes, that compare this country to China.

 

The literature also confirms the PPLC will hold a conference in the parliamentary press gallery (Centre Block), to kick off the annual March for Life. (A copy can still be found in Vellacott’s archives.)

 

 

2007, May – The annual March for Life occurs in Ottawa, to Parliament Hill. The group’s anti-abortion banners are endorsed by the Government of Canada logo. This cannot be done without permission and it’s unknown if the Parliamentary Pro-Life Caucus approved this request or provided funding. It’s not possible to track their business or disbursements because the caucus operates in secret.

 

004.x2007picMarch4LifeCanadaLogo

 

2007, May – Due to complaint from the public and a former MP, the Treasury Board Secretariat investigates the Campaign Life Coalition lobby, for use of the Canadian government logo (aka word mark) on anti-abortion signs. The original story by Macleans magazine has since been removed from internet.

 

Kady O’Malley’s story from the following year remains hosted and it confirms the 2007 debacle. She reports the government sent a cease and desist order, but March for Life organizers say they used the logo for five years without ruffling any feathers. Ultimately they agree to remove the symbol and blame the incident on volunteers.

 

2007, May – At the same March for Life event in Ottawa, a number of officials attend as the Parliamentary Pro-Life Caucus. They include MP Dean Del Mastro (Peterborough, CPC, Independent since 2013 due to Elections Canada charges), MP Maurice Vellacott (Saskatoon-Wanuskewin, CPC), MP Bev Shipley (Lambton-Kent-Middlesex, CPC)MP Jeff Watson(Essex, CPC), MP Cheryl Gallant (Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke, CPC), MP Dave Anderson (Cypress Hills-Grasslands, CPC), MP Mark Warawa (Langley, CPC), MP James Lunney (Nanaimo-Alberni, CPC), MP Kevin Sorenson (Crowfoot, CPC), MP Myron Thompson (Wild Rose, CPC, retired 2008), MP Harold Albrecht (Kitchener-Conestoga, CPC), MP Paul Szabo (Mississauga South, LPC, retired 2011) and MP Paul Steckle (Huron-Bruce, LPC, retired 2008).

 

While some of these legislators decline to speak, Steckle addresses his private member Bill C-338, to criminalize abortion after 20 weeks gestation. The footage pans to Dr. Morgentaler’s medical office, where he and staff faced firebombs and attempted murder for their willingness to provide abortions in the past.

 

 

2007, MayMP Dean Del Mastro (Peterborough, CPC, now Independent) was Prime Minister Harper’s parliamentary secretary when he gave this speech at the March for Life, on behalf of the Parliamentary Pro-Life Caucus.

 

 

2007, August – The Abortion Rights Coalition produces a list of anti-choice members of parliament.

 

2007, OctoberMP Ken Epp (Edmonton-Sherwood Park, CPC) introduces private member Bill C-484. It’s titled the Unborn Victims of Crime Act and would eventually be defeated.

 

2008, MayMP Maurice Vellacott (Saskatoon-Wanuskewin, CPC) and MP Paul Steckle (Huron-Bruce, LPC, retired 2008) issue a Parliamentary Pro-Life Caucus press release, on letterhead that identifies the Justice Building and House of Commons as the official mailing address. The information explains the niece of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is a priest and anti-abortion activist (representative of Silent No More).

 

This year she will attend the March for Life in Ottawa with caucus MP’s and address the parliamentary press gallery to kick off events. Again there is no record of media coverage, despite the government hosting such a high profile figure who is also a Republican employed by a Conservative think-tank. (A copy can still be found in Vellacott’s archives.)

 

 

2008, May – Although the Treasury Board Secretariat claimed to issue a cease and desist order, the Canadian government logo re-appeared on anti-abortion signs. This time they explained it was due to the printer’s oversight and the government was considering if it would take action in response to complaints.

 

Credit: Kady O'Malley

Credit: Kady O’Malley

 

2008, May – Ezra Levant posts a blog that unabashedly slams the Human Rights Commission. The piece accuses investigators of obtaining “illegal warrants” and downright “hacking” the targets of complaint instead of following proper legal procedure.

 

It reveals an email from then Justice Minister Rob Nicholson (Niagara Falls, CPC, became Defence Minister in 2013) in support of a motion from MP Rick Dyskstra (St. Catharines, CPC), to have the commission reviewed. MP Jason Kenney (Calgary Southeast, CPC, now Minister of Employment) is also feted for “stickhandling” the matter and resolving that it be heard by the government’s justice committee.

 

006. xEzraBlogSnippet

 

2008, October – The Harper Conservatives are re-elected to a second minority government, with a slight increase improving upon the first.

 

2008, DecemberMP Rod Bruinooge (Winnipeg South, CPC) is newly elected to co-chair the Parliamentary Pro-Life Caucus, replacing MP Paul Steckle (Huron-Bruce, LPC, retired 2008). Both chairs are now Conservative MP’s.

 

2009, March – An event is organized on Parliament Hill for MP’s and senators by ARPA Canada (Association for Reformed Political Action). The organization is a registered lobbyist and the evening was co-sponsored by MP Maurice Vellacott (Saskatoon-Wanuskewin, CPC) and MP John McKay (Scarborough-Guildwood, LPC).

 

Legislators were greeted by an expert in the Old Testament (Old Testament aka “eye for an eye”, New Testament aka “turn the other cheek”), Dr. Cornelis Van Dam. His speech was titled God and Government: A Biblical Perspective on the Role of the State (full audio available here and text available here).

 

The ARPA lobby reports that fifteen MP’s from Conservative, Liberal and NDP parties attended, as well as one senator and staff for MP’s that weren’t available. Trinity Western University’s Laurentian Leadership Centre (TWU) was also present and according to another priest, the event was held in an NDP committee room in the West Block.

 

007x2009NDPgodandgovt

 

After a lecture defining God’s ultimate sovereignty over government, the church and lobby representatives say they were encouraged by MP’s to have ‘their people’ search for jobs within legislative offices.

 

008x2009ask4jobs

 

2009, MayMP Rod Bruinooge (Winnipeg South, CPC) issues a press release on letterhead that identifies the West Block in the House of Commons as the new Parliamentary Pro-Life Caucus mailing address. This media advisory argues for freedom of speech on behalf of anti-abortionists and informs the PPLC will appear in the government’s press gallery the following day to elaborate.

 

A common complaint from these activists is they cannot protest within the “bubble zone” surrounding medical clinics to harass abortion patients as they come and go. Some have faced repeated criminal charges for purposely breaking this rule. (A copy can still be found in Vellacott’s archives.)

 

 

2009, May – Corresponding with the item above, MP’s in the Parliamentary Pro-Life Caucus were joined by students in the parliamentary press gallery. This time they were filmed as an act of government led by PPLC Chair, MP Rod Bruinooge (Winnipeg South, CPC), but all major media outlets failed to cover the event.

 

This clip is telling from both perspectives, in that the caucus succeeded in making the anti-abortion plight become government business and the press continues a near-blackout, so their actions aren’t seen by the public. To schedule time in the government press gallery it must be booked with the bureau chiefs who cover it, so every major outlet was aware but simply declined to attend. Of the reporters who did show, no hard questions were asked; but the caucus did reveal there may be members from the NDP and other parties on the Hill.

 

A 2007 article about the PPLC was written by Kady O’Malley and published by Macleans magazine. It was titled Lust for Life, but has since disappeared from the internet. (A backup copy can be found here.) This is the only known video of the caucus’ government pressers and it does a good job of speaking for itself in lieu.

 

 

2009, May – Signs at this year’s March for Life don’t bear the Canadian government logo. The word “National” replaced “Canada”, but the lobby continued to use the identical font with flag placement, mimicking the trademark instead of replicating.

 

009x2012signNOlogo

 

2009, DecemberThe Hill Times publishes a story about the Tory Anti-Abortion Caucus Committee. MP Maurice Vellacott (Saskatoon-Wanuskewin, CPC) writes a letter to correct (page 8). He informs it’s the Parliamentary Pro-Life Caucus and it’s a “multi-party caucus of parliamentarians”, “open to MP’s of the House and the Senate”. He identifies MP Rod Bruinooge (Winnipeg South, CPC) as the new caucus chair and mentions a former Liberal, but will not divulge the roster of names because it’s a member’s choice to go public or continue in secret.

 

2010, MarchCampaign Life Coalition is accused of associating with groups that employ violence to achieve the anti-abortion agenda, by the Canadian Bishop’s Conference. In a 10 page report, the Catholic Organization for Development and Peace alleges the lobby is a “militant anti-abortion group” that has targeted some of their priests with “slanderous attack campaigns”, for the appearance of supporting a woman’s right to choose. These bishops say the lobby “continuously misrepresents facts and distorts reality to serve their purpose,” but the lobby proudly defends these actions. It has not admitted the use of violence however.

 

2010, AprilMP Rod Bruinooge (Winnipeg South, CPC) proposes Bill C-510. It’s An Act to Prevent Coercion of Pregnant Women to Abort.

 

2010, May – At the annual March for Life rally, MP Dean Del Mastro (Peterborough, former CPC, now Independent) addresses the crowd with the Parliamentary Pro-Life Caucus.

 

 

2010, May – At the annual March for Life rally, MP Kelly Block (Saskatoon-Rosetown-Biggar, CPC) addresses the crowd with the Parliamentary Pro-Life Caucus.

 

 

2010, May – At the annual March for Life rally, MP Jeff Watson (Essex, CPC) addresses the crowd with the Parliamentary Pro-Life Caucus.

 

 

2010, May – At the annual March for Life rally, MP Harold Albrecht (Kitchener-Conestoga, CPC) addresses the crowd with the Parliamentary Pro-Life Caucus.

 

 

2010, May – At the annual March for Life rally, MP Royal Galipeau (Ottawa-Orleans, CPC, former Deputy Speaker) addresses the crowd with the Parliamentary Pro-Life Caucus.

 

 

2010, May – At the annual March for Life rally, MP Gurbax Singh Malhi (Bramalea-Gore-Malton, LPC) addresses the crowd with the Parliamentary Pro-Life Caucus.

 

 

2010, May – At the annual March for Life rally, MP Mark Warawa (Langley, CPC) addresses the crowd with the Parliamentary Pro-Life Caucus.

 

 

2010, May – At the annual March for Life rally, MP Brad Trost(Saskatoon-Humboldt, CPC) addresses the crowd with the Parliamentary Pro-Life Caucus. He celebrates their success in convincing government to cancel foreign aid to the poorest countries that provide abortions. Even the ones with an epidemic of molested child brides, just as the lobbies requested.

 

 

2010, September – ARPA Canada develops an “EasyMail” service. ARPA is a sister registered lobbyist to Campaign Life Coalition and they will tackle larger legislative projects together in the future.

 

010xEZmail3

 

EasyMail is created so lobby supporters can assist the group with email campaigns to MP’s and senators. They publish policy reports to advise the government and have fellow activists forward copies to elected officials “in a matter of seconds”, without needing to add personal comments.

 

In total, ARPA provides 78 different form letters with their own policy attachments to affect federal laws and provincial matters in Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta and British Columbia. Some of these topics include kindergarten, sex education, gender identity, human rights, green energy, anti-bullying, WSIB, abortion funding, prostitution, euthanasia, Aboriginal rights, income splitting, pensions, public service and physical discipline. (This is only a sample and some topics will be discussed in detail as the investigation progresses.)

 

011xEZmail (2)

 

2010, SeptemberMP Rick Dykstra (St. Catharines, CPC) films a video campaign on behalf of lobbyist ARPA Canada. Together they push a second motion for a parliamentary committee to assess the Human Rights Commission for alleged abuse of Section 13. One infamous Conservative dubbed this tribunal the “thought crime” police when it comes to hate speech. Others in the anti-abortion movement feel the interpretation of human rights stifles their ability to express displeasure at women entering medical clinics and against gay sexuality.

 

 

Of interest, the executive director and head lobbyist at ARPA is Mark Penninga. He interned with MP Maurice Vellacott (Saskatoon-Wanuskewin, CPC) as the latter was chairing the Parliamentary Pro-Life Caucus. In a book by Marci McDonald, the author notes that Penninga graduated from Trinity Western University’s Laurentian Leadership Centre. This is the same TWU that participated in private parliament events hosted by the lobbyist. They’re also at the centre of a current controversy, for trying to create a religious law school that can deny admission to gay students.

 

Another student, Jared Kuehl, went straight to work in Prime Minister Harper‘s office in the issues management division (leaving in 2013 to become head of government relations for Shell). Thirty more Trinity Western graduates would staff the Harper government, whether working for other MP’s or through permanent positions in policy departments.

 

2010, November – ARPA Canada takes their anti human rights project across the country. Mimicking the true government tribunal, they promote a website titled HumanRightsCommissions.ca, with the goal of abolishing them altogether.

 

The website publishes quotes from MP Brad Trost (Saskatoon-Humboldt, CPC), MP Rob Anders (Calgary West, CPC), MP Kevin Sorenson (Crowfoot, CPC), MP James Rajotte (Edmonton Southwest, CPC) and Prime Minister Stephen Harper (Calgary Southwest, CPC) that appear to support the endeavour.

 

012xARPAhumanrightscommissions

 

The ARPA advertisement provided by MP Rick Dykstra (St. Catharines, CPC) is featured on the site’s multimedia page, in addition to clips from Ezra Levant and Rex Murphy. The launch of this project is also covered by the Campaign Life Coalition news site, Sun Media and AM980 (audio). All promote the material as a “grassroots” movement called Stand Up For Freedom Canada without mentioning the ARPA lobby whatsoever.

 

The public relations campaign to abolish human rights tribunals is touted in defence of Macleans magazine, Ezra Levant and those accused of hate speech against gays. Going by this grassroots pseudonym, ARPA explains the commission has been overtaken and manipulated by “leftist” activists to “target Conservative citizens” and organizations. They encourage the public to pressure politicians for swifter action through the EasyMail service, as an investigation was initiated by parliament and they needed to convince the government there was strong public will behind this ARPA concern.

 

The lobbyist managed to get the plight covered by fourteen large newspapers and they thank followers for assisting with letters to the editor that get them additional free coverage.

 

2010, December – ARPA Canada produces a video to incite political pressure for the second reading of Bill C-510 in parliament. The organization is clearly a registered lobbyist,

 

013xARPAlobby

 

with a Christian anti-abortion mandate, but the director asserts they’re a non-profit entity when it presents a problem for Tories in the Ontario election (federal and provincial campaigns intertwining). At least one funeral home accepts memorial donations in the name of ARPA as a charity as well.

 

014xARPAmission2

 

This ARPA campaign is then hosted by the national president of Campaign Life Coalition – a sister registered lobby. Both supported MP Rod Bruinooge (Winnipeg South, CPC) as Chair of the Parliamentary Pro-Life Caucus, but the legislation they promoted was defeated by a vote of 178 to 97.

 

 

2011, March – Escalating from last year, a Quebec Catholic priest sues the Campaign Life Coalition news service. Media describes the battle as pitting “two extremes of Canadian Catholicism against each other”. Father Raymond Gravel was also an MP for the Bloc Quebecois in the riding of Repentigny and he was open about his younger years as a sex trade worker in Montreal’s Gay Village. It’s believed this history and open-mindedness attracted numerous articles against him.

 

One campaign by the anti-abortion lobby resulted from Gravel’s lack of support for a PPLC member’s bill. MP Ken Epp (Edmonton-Sherwood Park, CPC) proposed C-484 to make it a separate crime when a baby is harmed in the womb, in addition to the mother who is already protected by law. When the modern priest stood opposed, the Campaign Life Coalition began publishing his contact details, as well as associates and superiors within the Church.

 

As a result of this relentless publicity, Gravel reports he was warned by the Vatican that he would be de-frocked if he bothered to seek re-election. At the same time the anti-abortion lobby proudly took credit and praised supporters for ousting a member of parliament. (All claims remain alleged as the case is unsettled and Gravel retired from politics.)

 

2011, AprilPrime Minister Harper announces he will create a religious freedom office if re-elected.

 

2011, May – The Harper Conservatives are re-elected, this time to a majority government.

 

2011, May – Campaign Life Coalition distributes a wire announcement. They advise media of their presentation in the government press gallery to kick off the March for Life (Centre Block), but the lobby is speaking on behalf of the Parliamentary Pro-Life Caucus and MP’s who are eligible to schedule the government’s press events.

 

2011, May – At least four MP’s speak on behalf of the Parliamentary Pro-Life Caucus, at the annual March for Life rally that occurs under their sponsorship.

 

 

2011, July – Lobbyist ARPA Canada partners with the Holland Shopping Centre in British Columbia, to offer $500 in prizes for letters to the editor in mainstream media. They note their success with a similar drive in Alberta regarding the repeal of human rights and hope to inspire additional editorials in response to the new campaign. In this way they won’t appear to come from the lobby and are made to look independent.

 

2011, August – Lobbyist ARPA Canada consults on the federal budget. The report is accepted by the House of Commons standing committee and recommendations include de-fuding and disbanding the Canadian Human Rights Commission and Tribunal.

 

ARPA calls for a 90 percent reduction to arts funding for a few noteworthy reasons. The lobbyist sees no point in the National Film Board and they take special offense to Telefilm for objectionable content. In this government report they complain of “lewd and crude” material, like a “poo testament” with an image of Jesus ascending to Heaven as a piece of feces. The album was titled “Holy Sh*t” but they failed to see the humour in it. In fact, they say every Canadian is mortified and therefore art should not be encouraged by the government.

 

They also complain of a movie titled “Year of the Carnivore” and suggest the main character engaged in sexual activity in a room full of children. ARPA points out that child pornography is a criminal offense imply the actor should be charged, but a review from the Globe and Mail didn’t get anyone’s libidos or fists pumping.

 

The last concern noted is producing a balanced budget by reducing the role of government. ARPA believes citizens relinquish their personal responsibilities when they look for handouts like childcare and forms of social support. They believe business and charities can handle these needs more efficiently and ask the government to defer. They also promote income splitting as a fairer way to treat families that want to keep one parent at home.

 

2011, SeptemberMP Brian Storseth (Westlock-St. Paul, CPC) proposes private member Bill C-304, An Act to Amend the Canadian Human Rights Act; to repeal Section 13 entirely and any mandate over hate speech. As noted by Slaw legal magazine, there was little if any debate from opposition parties. The assessment goes on to describe the consequence of allowing racism and bullying to flourish online. Although the bill was promoted as a vehicle for freedom of speech, there are countless examples of white supremacists, anti-abortionists and anti-gay activists celebrating the move. MP Brian Storseth (Westlock-St. Paul, CPC) was also green-lighted by the Campaign Life Coalition as being onside with the lobby’s agenda.

 

015xCLChumanrightsbill

 

2011, September – Lobbyist ARPA Canada publishes a policy report on prostitution, calling for the federal government to enact legislation that criminalizes johns, “rather than risk the Supreme Court creating another legal vacuum” due to the case that’s being argued from Ontario.

 

Ultimately they wish to see prostitution eradicated, but they’re willing to classify the female service provider as a victim of violence if the male is still incarcerated for a crime. ARPA bases this position on the writings of Dr. Melissa Farley, who was arrested 13 times in 9 different states as a prolific, American, anti-prostitution activist. She also led a “Rampage” campaign to destroy copies of Penthouse and Hustler in book stores.

 

ARPA asks followers for help to lobby the government in another EasyMail campaign, but this time they’ve created three different form letters so MP’s don’t receive “ten that look identical”. Another branch of ARPA operates in Tasmania and they lobbied that justice department for similar intervention, accusing the government of becoming a pimp if they sought to decriminalize.

 

2011, October – Campaign Life Coalition distributes a press release through the wire service. It announces a protest at the Ontario legislature to de-fund abortions; the first of its kind in the province. In this literature the lobby claims that 60 percent of Ontarians “oppose the status quo of paying for all abortions” and this is based on an Abacus poll of 1,015 people, from an online panel in which Roman Catholics and Conservative voters account for the majority of respondents (Ontario has a Liberal government). Abacus is also the house pollster for Sun News and Sun Media.

 

After examining the data it might be said that claims were misleading, in that 60 percent didn’t wish to de-fund all abortions and the responses supported health coverage in emergency procedures, even when a panelist appeared to be opposed. Only 10 percent opposed abortion completely. Furthermore, Bloomberg Businessweek has written about the accuracy of online polling and there is still an issue of reliability due to sampling pools of biased “enthusiasts”.

 

2011, October – Registered lobbyist ARPA Canada is invited by Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird (Ottawa West-Nepean, CPC) to consult on the establishment of a religious freedom office. In their response, ARPA describes itself as a representative of the Reformed Church community. The Reformed Church is commonly referred to as Calvinism, that believes all humans are depraved but some are elected as righteous, regardless of their actions and good deeds. It also believes in theocracy (a God based government) and the faith accomplished this feat in Geneva, Switzerland, circa 1500’s.

 

ARPA’s recommendations include:

 

  • Ignore “political correctness” when it comes to monitoring and assistance. They state that Christians constitute 75 percent of the world’s persecuted and therefore 75 percent of resources should be dedicated that faith.
  • Assist “emerging democracies” with implementation of religious freedom.
  • Continuous monitoring of countries where Canada has contributed military support “of any magnitude or length”. This includes Libya and Afghanistan.
  • Escalate sanctions, withhold foreign aid and pursue military intervention “should the circumstances warrant”. (It’s unknown how adhering to this philosophy would impact the situation between Israel and Palestine.)

 

2012, JanuaryMP Maurice Vellacott (Saskatoon-Wanuskewin, CPC) issues a press release on House of Commons letterhead, berating CTV for an investigative report on pregnancy crisis centres. He makes allegations against the broadcaster that cite ethical impropriety, because they didn’t report similarly undercover from medical clinics that provide legal abortions to find wrongdoing.

 

He continues to intimidate the interviewed sources with comments about their charity designation, officially as a member of parliament. He states it is his duty, but one might question if Vellacott penned the complaint independently, in light of three pages of footnotes that suggest additional legal intimidation and the lobby’s prior statements that indicate they would assist. (A copy can still be found in Vellacott’s archives, in addition to here.)

 

2012, February – ARPA Canada publishes a report that determines environmentalism is a religion and proceeds to explain the doctrine. The lobby labels David Suzuki its “High Priest” and lambasts the CBC for stories about climate change “as if it is an objective science beyond repute” and not a religious doctrine that’s really used to program children in the school system.

 

ARPA contrasts this environmental religion with true Christianity and determines that God made man the stewards of His earth, therefore we must trust man’s judgement because to question human actions would be equivalent to questioning God. This assertion is supported by an EasyMail campaign that promotes a Fraser Institute report against green energy and calls for a moratorium against wind and solar production in Ontario.

 

2012, FebruaryMP Stephen Woodworth (Kitchener Centre, CPC) introduces Motion 312, to determine the definition of a human being and when life begins in the womb. It causes much controversy and is criticized as a backdoor to re-open the abortion debate.

 

2012, FebruaryMP Stephen Woodworth (Kitchener Centre, CPC) appears in a multimedia ad for lobbyist ARPA Canada and together they produce material to advance Motion 312. This is the second ARPA video that is hosted by the national president of the Campaign Life Coalition lobby, Jim Hughes.

 

 

2012, March – Campaign Life Coalition shares a press release with the wire service. They create a website to assist MP Stephen Woodworth (Kitchener Centre, CPC) with advancing Motion 312.

 

2012, MayMP Maurice Vellacott (Saskatoon-Wanuskewin, CPC) issues a press release on House of Commons letterhead, pressuring the federal government to include abortions under the popular anti-bullying campaign. He cites an Oregon doctor who claims the foetus is able to feel the pain of being attacked. (A copy can still be found in Vellacott’s archives, in addition to here.)

 

2012, May – The annual March for Life rally occurs on Parliament Hill. At least five MP’s spoke on this video, as well as students from Catholic schools who were covered for the trip by their boards of education. A pro-life mass coincides with the march and the Church says, “they need to challenge the false idea that abortion is a private, personal decision.”

 

The director of Campaign Life Coalition who worked with the Parliamentary Pro-Life Caucus to advance Bill C-510 and Motion 312 also appears on the clip. He explains his group is there to see that MP’s who stand in the way of the anti-abortion movement are “removed from office in the next election”.

 

 

A second video arising from this event captures at least twelve MP’s addressing the crowd on behalf of the Parliamentary Pro-Life Caucus. A new addition to the public face of this group is MP James Lunney (Nanaimo-Alberni, CPC).

 

 

2012, June – Campaign Life Coalition begins community presentations against Ontario Bill 13, the Toronto District School Board and Hamilton Wentworth District School Board, for adopting gay-straight alliances and “homosexualizing school curriculum”. Bill 13 was anti-bullying legislation and it passed despite the lobby’s objections.

 

A second video from the same event berates a handful of gay, Liberal and NDP members of provincial parliament.

 

2012, August – The ARPA lobby congratulates supporters for creating a stir in parliament. A petition campaign to support Motion 312 was devised (regarding the definition of a human being) and the group bombarded MP’s with numerous, separate petitions to be read in the House. Many only contained 25 signatures, but MP’s from every party stood to read them into Hansard.

 

Participating doesn’t indicate support, but the majority of MP’s didn’t present them. Others rose multiple times to address every paper individually and this includes shadow cabinet members from opposition parties. In all, these MP’s might have represented petitions more times than signatures appeared on each document.

 

2012, SeptemberMP Stephen Woodworth’s (Kitchener Centre, CPC) Motion 312 is defeated. However, there is much ado in the media resulting from Conservative cabinet ministers who voted in favour. They include MP Jason Kenney (Calgary Southeast), MP Peter Van Loan (York-Simcoe), MP Julian Fantino (Vaughan), MP Gerry Ritz (Battlefords-Lloydminster), MP Gail Shea (Egmont), MP Ed Fast (Abbotsford), MP Peter Penashue (Labrador, defeated 2013), MP Diane Ablonczy (Calgary-Nose Hill), MP Alice Wong (Richmond) and MP Rona Ambrose (Edmonton-Spruce Grove).

 

Ambrose took the most heat for siding with anti-abortionists as Minister for the Status of Women. But these Conservatives were joined by a few Liberals who include MP John McKay (Scarborough-Guildwood), MP Lawrence McAulay (Cardigan), MP Kevin Lamoureaux (Winnipeg North) and MP Jim Karygiannis (Scarborough-Agincourt). Visit here to see the 91 MP’s who supported the Parliamentary Pro-Life Caucus position.

 

2012, OctoberMP Maurice Vellacott (Saskatoon-Wanuskewin, CPC) nominates two anti-abortion activists for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal. One of them was in jail for violating laws that are supposed to protect women who are entering abortion/medical clinics. Regardless, both are selected by the Harper government to receive the award for this “civil disobedience” that was deemed criminal.

 

2012, October – WeNeedALaw (initiative of ARPA Canada) publishes a paper on the Overton Window. It’s promoted as a theory to shift public thinking from the impossible to the inevitable.

 

Joseph Overton was an American Tea Party Libertarian from Michigan. He established the Mackinaw think-tank that pushes for charter schools, right-to-work legislation, low tax – no government, extreme right-wing policies. This is accomplished by use of the Overton Window, that in practical summary may resemble this:

 

Begin by asking for the unfathomable. It gains attention and infects the public dialogue. With a long term vision, gradually pull back from the extreme by increments and make the proposals a little more bearable. With each proposal, it keeps the dialogue going and entrenches the language in popular society. It then becomes an issue for politicians as the consistent language in media and their communities. Now the unthinkable gains some amount of consideration. By repeating this process it can shift public perception and bring them to the negotiating table.

 

016xOvertonWindowDiagram

 

An example from your children might also resemble this:

 

Mom says no snacks before dinner and Joe says, “But I want a whole cake!” Mom responds with a scowl so Joe compromises, “Well how about just one piece?” Mom still denies, but she tilts her head to the side and Joe can see he gained at least one iota of sympathy. Eventually the child asks for a “tiny cookie” and swears he’ll starve to death without something to put in his belly. Mom raises her eyebrow and agrees in frustration, because at least it’s only a small treat. But Joe has learned how to shift his mother’s window of what’s considered reasonable and now he can push for a treat before dinner every night. Once he gets the cookie, he can also push for larger snacks in the future.

 

This ARPA paper describes the strategic purpose of tabling consecutive private member bills, in an effort to shift perception about abortion and what the public considers normal (within the “window” of being acceptable). This piece also documents the group’s achievements, in shifting government attitudes and controlling the mainstream media.

 

2012, October – Lobbyist ARPA Canada is heard by the BC Finance Committee, in advance of the 2013 budget. They encourage the government to withdraw from early learning education programs. They request mandatory repayment of debt and phasing out the BC Human Rights Tribunal. They also implore legislators to de-fund abortion, so patients who can afford private surgical costs are the only ones who would have access to this medical care.

 

2012, October – Three Ontario Progressive Conservatives sponsor a Campaign Life Coalition press conference, to de-fund abortions through the public health care system. MPP Randy Hillier (Lanark-Frontenac-Lennox & Addington), MPP John O’Toole (Durham) and MPP Rick Nicholls (Chatham-Kent-Essex) didn’t attend the event despite hosting it. Liberal Education Minister Laurel Broten (Etobicoke-Lakeshore, OLP, retired 2013) was described by Sun Media as “self righteous” for accusing the Tories of trying to re-open the abortion debate.

 

2012, October – The president of Campaign Life Coalition writes an editorial about the need to stack parliament and senate with anti-abortion supporters, if they’re to pass legislation the lobby group is seeking. He mentions the Harper government’s opportunity to appoint activist judges to the Supreme Court of Canada, in an effort to help the process along judicially. He closes by noting an interesting tidbit about the group’s history.

 

Campaign Life Coalition takes credit for establishing the Parliamentary Pro-Life Caucus back in 1986, when it was often chaired by Senator Stanley Haidasz (Liberal, deceased 2009).

 

2012, October – ARPA congratulates supporters for helping to ensure the Alberta Education Act would not be subject to compliance with the Alberta Human Rights Act. The lobbyist claims parental freedom is at stake and encourages additional support for the overall human rights campaign, to abolish these laws and tribunals completely.

 

2012, NovemberMP Maurice Vellacott (Saskatoon-Wanuskewin, CPC) issues a press release on House of Commons letterhead, promoting an email from a communications rep with the Toronto Right to Life Association. His office is used as a media centre on behalf of the anti-abortion movement and together they condemn MP Bob Rae (Toronto Centre, LPC, retired 2013, former leader of the Liberal party) for defending the Supreme Court and his concern that awarding criminals with the Diamond Jubilee Medal may incite more unlawfulness. (A copy can still be found in Vellacott’s archives, in addition to here.)

 

2012 NovemberMacleans publishes an article about the death of an infant that was heard by the Supreme Court. This frames a discussion about renewed action from members of the Parliamentary Pro-Life Caucus and adapting the lobby’s language to be more acceptable to the public.

 

MP Brad Trost (Saskatoon-Humboldt, CPC) follows by vowing there will be repeated attempts at anti-abortion legislation that “might be every six months”, until they accomplish the caucus mandate. ARPA is also interviewed to make the human rights argument, but a hardline on Muslim immigration is also noted. Finally, MP John McKay (Scarborough-Guildwood, LPC) contributes his sympathy and opines the anti-abortion issue is “a vote mover” that gets people to the polls.

 

2012, DecemberMP Maurice Vellacott (Saskatoon-Wanuskewin, CPC) issues a press release on House of Commons letterhead, praising an anti-abortion blogger for releasing heath statistics the lobby interpreted to support a homicide allegation in relation to abortions. These conclusions are cited as a reason to compel the RCMP and the matter is re-ignited under the title of “infanticide”, nearly identical to the move by MP Jason Kenney (Calgary Southeast, CPC, now Employment Minister) in 1999. (A copy can still be found in Vellacott’s archives, in addition to here.)

 

2012, December – Campaign Life Coalition attempts to interfere in the federal Liberal leadership race. The lobbyist pressures a Catholic high school in Sudbury, Ontario to cancel an appearance and communication with MP Justin Trudeau (Papineau, LPC), because he doesn’t represent anti-gay and anti-abortion ideals. The say, “The Board may be inviting spiritual harm to children,” by allowing Trudeau near youngsters in a widespread press release. If the Board doesn’t back down, the school will face embarrassing demonstrations.

 

2012, December – ARPA Canada publishes a report on their 2012 lobbying successes. It’s described as manipulation of the Overton Window to shift the public psychology and some of these advancements include favourable attention from Macleans magazine. After their consultation regarding Native affairs (explained in detail at 2013 Sidebar), ARPA found the government listened and began to legislate private property on reserves. They convinced the CBC to cancel racy content after a campaign of complaints. They obtained private group meetings with multiple MP’s and the Ontario Human Rights Commission asked for ARPA to present a legal opinion.

 

In the same communiqué, ARPA receives thanks from MP Brian Storseth (Westlock-St. Paul, CPC), for helping to pass Bill C-304. Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act was officially repealed and would no longer apply to hate speech.

 

In a second entry ARPA explains how MP Rob Merrifield (Yellowhead, CPC) approached them to co-sponsor events between these politicians and the lobby. Storseth also contributed to an ARPA video that is ultimately used to solicit donations.

 

2013, JanuaryMP Maurice Vellacott (Saskatoon-Wanuskewin, CPC), MP Leon Benoit (Vegreville, CPC) and MP Wladyslaw Lizon (Mississauga East-Streetsville, CPC) write the RCMP commissioner on House of Commons letterhead, requesting a homicide investigation for each abortion where the foetus might have exited a female’s body (after 19 weeks) without being technically dead first. (A copy can still be found in Benoit’s archives, in addition to here.)

 

2013, FebruaryMP Maurice Vellacott (Saskatoon-Wanuskewin, CPC) issues a press release on House of Commons letterhead, chastising the Canadian Press and CBC for reporting the story above. He clarifies his position and re-asserts the call for homicide investigations, if the foetus is more than 19 weeks and not yet technically dead in the removal process. (A copy can still be found in Vellacott’s archives, in addition to here.)

 

2013, February – Campaign Life Coalition publishes a press release celebrating the “demotion” of Ontario Education Minister Laurel Broten (Etobicoke-Lakeshore, OLP, retired 2013). They claim it was a response to her sex-ed classes being forced on Catholic school boards, but in reality the minister was switched to a different portfolio under the new premier. The lobby goes on to warn the next Minister of EducationLiz Sandals (Guelph, OLP), not to meddle with religious curriculum and a similar rebuke of outgoing Premier Dalton McGuinty (Ottawa South, OLP, retired 2013) was expressed in a scathing press release.

 

017xCampaignLifeBroten

 

2013, February – The Office of Religious Freedom is established by the Harper government. It will promote religion as a “Canadian foreign policy priority”.

 

2013, February – The Whatcott decision is rendered by the Supreme Court of Canada and it upholds key parts of the Saskatchewan Human Rights Code, as it applies to hate speech. Whatcott is a religious anti-gay activist who distributed disturbing flyers with strong language that resulted in complaint.

 

Although ARPA applied for intervener status, it wasn’t granted. Instead legal counsel for the lobby contributed video analysis of the decision. In it they suggest the presiding Supreme Court Justices should be criminally charged for case exhibits they included in the reasons. ARPA goes on to justify hate speech as a fundamental need for Christians to critique others’ sexual lifestyles and warns they will need to lobby provincial governments for new laws to protect these rights.

 

 

2013, March – Campaign Life Coalition begins a crusade against Bill C-279, An Act to Amend the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code (Gender Identity). This legislation to prevent discrimination and violence against those with alternative gender identities is still before the senate, awaiting Royal Assent.

 

As such, the lobby is focusing on senators in an effort to have the bill denied and they’re targeting Prime Minister Harper (Calgary Southwest, CPC) with a letter writing campaign, encouraging him to use his authority over the Tory caucus.

 

018xLobbyPM

 

2013, MarchMP Maurice Vellacott (Saskatoon-Wanuskewin, CPC) issues a press release on House of Commons letterhead, regarding his Motion 408 to condemn sex-selective abortions. He bases the reason on a CBC investigation, after attempting to discredit the broadcaster a month before. (A copy can still be found in Vellacott’s archives, in addition to here.)

 

2013, MarchMP Maurice Vellacott (Saskatoon-Wanuskewin, CPC) issues a press release on House of Commons letterhead, on behalf of a private research group from Chile that determined abortion is violence against women. While the report cites Chile as having a low maternal death rate they attribute to the government’s anti-abortion stance, it fails to mention that Canada has less than half the deaths per 100,000 women. Regardless, it’s promoted to media as a member of parliament. (A copy can still be found in Vellacott’s archives, in addition to here.)

 

2013, March – ARPA Canada attends the Manning Institute Networking Conference as an exhibitor, promoting itself with right-wing political celebrities such as Preston Manning, Tea Party founder, Ron Paul, and Conservative party legal counsel, Guy Giorno (PM Harper’s former chief of staff).

 

019xARPAmanningBooth

 

2013, March – Campaign Life Coalition releases a newsletter that details a new endeavour to host De-fund Abortion rallies at the Ontario legislature. In March they attended with words of support from MPP Joe Dickson (Ajax-Pickering, OLP), as he accepted their petitions to cancel this health care funding. Similar encouragement was sent by a federal counterpart, MP Garry Breitkreuz (Yorkton-Melville, CPC) from Saskatchewan.

 

2013, April – Mark Penninga (former Vellacott intern, TWU grad, turned exec director of ARPA) publishes an update on the lobby’s use of the Overton Window. He cites MP Mark Warawa‘s (Langley, CPC) motions M-312 and M-408 and how they garnered massive media attention with public sympathy when the MP was muzzled.

 

From the NDP to Margaret Wente, this lobby claims to have won their support, if not in a backhanded way. As a result of this fiasco the Liberals filed a motion that would allow backbenchers to speak freely and Penninga describes this as playing into their hands. MP Brad Trost (Saskatoon-Humboldt, CPC) then thanks the PMO in Question Period, for drawing greater attention to their cause. Global News reports that he’s speaking from an informal pro-life caucus.

 

020xOvertonWindow001

 

2013, April – ARPA submits a policy paper to the federal government in support of corporal punishment for children. It’s in response to Senator Céline Hervieux-Payette‘s (Liberal) Bill S-204, An Act to Amend the Criminal Code (protection of children).

 

This time the lobby claims that hitting kids is beneficial, akin to the benefits of martial arts. They claim all science proving a negative effect is wrong and they assert contrary reports to debunk. However, new “science” cited by the lobby arises from anti-abortion activists and their letters to the editor. As in previous examples, when letters submitted by fellow lobbyists are published by a newspaper, they become cited as fact in subsequent policy papers and ARPA declines to mention this conflict.

 

The report also accuses the government of playing God by assuming any rules over children. They state that parents are accountable to God directly and this does not require “Orwellian” oversight from bureaucrats. The lobby then encourages followers to use their EasyMail system, to overwhelm MP’s and senators with a copy of the same report.

 

2013, April – The Canadian Catholic News applauds Speaker of the House, Andrew Sheer (Regina-Qu’Appelle, CPC) for his ruling on MP Mark Warawa‘s (Langley, CPC) complaint that parliamentary privilege was abused when the whip quashed his statement about an anti-abortion motion. It opened the door to getting anti-choice opinions debated on the floor and Sheer was previously noted as being supportive of the PPLC cause.

 

2013, May – At the annual March for Life rally on Parliament Hill, MP Rob Anders (Calgary West, CPC) tells the crowd they must get involved in politics and stack nomination meetings to select anti-abortion candidates. Although the Canadian Press produced this story, very few outlets carried it. There was little coverage this year except for the lobbyist news service that estimates there were 25,000 in attendance and a CBC piece explaining how they’ve re-framed the movement as a human rights issue that discriminates against the foetus by giving women a choice.

 

At a prayer meeting before the march, a Baptist church compared abortion to the Holocaust and quoted Martin Luther King Jr. in support of their plight (but the quote is blatantly taken out of context). They also note the movement had been struggling for a decade, but it gathered momentum in the past six years (coinciding with repeat bills from PPLC members in the Harper government). The main commentary in this Campaign Life article is also provided by legal counsel for the sister lobby, ARPA.

 

In related news, the PMO refused to comment or commemorate the death of Dr. Henry Morgentaler. That space was filled by MP Maurice Vellacott (Saskatoon-Wanuskewin, CPC) who asserted that victims of sexual assault are abused when their tormentors drag them to abortion clinics. He says many of these victims are children and their “immeasurable” suffering is attributed to Dr. Morgentaler (not the sexual abuser).

 

Only MP Bob Rae (Toronto Centre) rose for the Liberals and MP Niki Ashton (Churchill) for the NDP, to honour the doctor’s courageous work in women’s and patient rights.

 

2013, MayMP Stephen Woodworth (Kitchener Centre, CPC) receives a lifetime achievement award from the Campaign Life Coalition lobbyist. It’s titled the Joseph P. Borowski Award, in recognition of that cabinet minister leaving the Manitoba NDP to stay true to anti-abortion causes. Only eight Conservative and Liberal MP’s have received this honour.

 

2013, JuneMP Brian Storseth’s (Westlock-St. Paul, CPC) private member Bill C-304, An Act to Amend the Canadian Human Rights Act, receives Royal Assent and becomes law. Sections that prevented hate speech have now been repealed. ARPA and Campaign Life Coalition also noted contact with MP’s and senators during this period, in the government lobby record.

 

2013, JuneMP Rod Bruinooge (Winnipeg South, CPC) celebrates the first National Aboriginal Prayer Breakfast in the House of Commons (as unspoken Chair of the Parliamentary Pro-Life Caucus).

 

 

Aboriginal Sidebar

 

Deeper investigation of this event produced unsettling material that requires explanation as a group, as opposed to chronologically.

 

Indigenous cultures have traditional, spiritual beliefs that do not resemble the trinity of Christianity or narrative of the Bible. This isn’t meant to disparage Native peoples who subscribe to organized religion, as many of them do and it’s an individual’s right to choose without judgement from any person.

 

It’s when one group speaks for the other that issues may arise and this very scenario clouds the parliamentary prayer breakfast. Thousands of Aboriginal children were taken from their homes by government and the Church and the history of residential school abuse didn’t stop until the early 1990’s. Therefore a great number of Canada’s First Peoples still have distrust for both the government and religion.

 

With that said, in June 2012, ARPA Canada submitted a report to parliament that lobbied for changes to the Indian Act. It was titled “Respectfully Submitted – Aboriginal Affairs”, similar to all the lobbying reports before it. Because they’re all generically titled “Respectfully Submitted”, it makes it extremely difficult to locate these documents through a general search on the internet.

 

ARPA supporters would have received an alert at the time, urging them to visit this page and EasyMail extra copies of the report to their members of parliament. This is how the lobby group gets coordinated action from anti-abortion activists and why they thank supporters for defeating bills or helping them oust elected officials. But this time a Christian appeal would be applied to Indigenous interests.

 

021xEZmail

 

This particular report can only be summarized as a comprehensive call for Native assimilation. Based on Bible scripture from Romans 13, the group believes that First Nations can’t heal until they accept God and pay taxes.

 

022xAboriginalAffairsGod

 

In the same Aboriginal file containing government submissions, ARPA publishes a ditty from their “resident poet”. It’s titled “Call to Discriminate – A Moral Responsibility!” and it explains how Psalm 1 instructs Bible followers to discriminate against those who mock the Christian God. It says those on the “right” will be helped by God to “thwart the wicked’s might” and the enemy that refuses to believe will be “blown away” like “useless chaff”. This lobby rep also believes that no one has the right to retire from working, according to the book of Genesis.

 

ARPA goes on to argue that Natives must become indebted through mortgage and sell their lands to enjoy prosperity like everyone else. They approve of the infamous 1969 white paper but due to the contentious Charter, the lobbyist realizes they can’t nix land claims and therefore the best option is converting them into municipalities.

 

The report says Native peoples must forget about the past and forgive their oppressors to move forward. It chastises the Supreme Court for conveying the idea that Aboriginal ancestry entitles anyone to victimhood. They claim “every Canadian can point to their past to get the same label”.

 

ARPA blames the First Nations struggle on collective “spiritual brokenness” and believes “the ultimate goal of poverty alleviation is not to see our standards of wealth and prosperity applied to others, but to see people restored to what God created them to be”. The document closes with reference to an Aboriginal organization named Gathering Nations, who they applaud as getting that message.

 

 

The lobbyist was pleased to update that MP Rob Clarke (Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River, CPC and First Nations RCMP) responded to ARPA’s recommendations with Bill C-428, Indian Act Amendment and Replacement Act.

 

Gathering Nations International led to a number of surprising pages in support of ARPA. It begins with Kenny Blacksmith who was a Deputy Chief to the Cree Nation of Mistissini, near James Bay in Quebec. A missionary went to live on the reserve in the 1960’s and Kenny with his wife were converted to Christianity by 1991.

 

In 1997 the family left the reserve for Ottawa inspired by a prophetic vision and they converted the Bible into Cree, so they could teach the un-ministered to find salvation and adopt the settlers’ way. Ever since relocating to Ottawa, Mr. Blacksmith became politically involved and these activities are related to both lobbyists and the Parliamentary Pro-Life Caucus.

 

In June 2006 Blacksmith created The Covenant of the First Peoples of Canada and a conference was held in the capital with other religious leaders. The Cree pastor is consistently addressed as an ordained minster, but at no point is a school named and there is no record of training or seminary college. No denomination is ever stated to inquire with a regulating body.

 

Twenty-four signatories and twelve witnesses endorsed the document on National Aboriginal Day in Ottawa. It’s unknown who they are and there is no record beyond a photo of the signatures. Despite being a First Nations contract, the content was solely about God and supporting the people of Israel.

 

023xNativeCovenant

 

When this document was signed, Blacksmith claims the group was free from carrying an Aboriginal grudge and they rejoiced in the church plus the government, enough to sing the national anthem twice (something most Indigenous peoples will not do). This was also done without approval from the Assembly of First Nations or any Chiefs who can be found on record.

 

In 2009 Blacksmith returned to the reserve to run for the Grand Chief position. In an interview with the Cree Nation news he boasts, “I know Jean Charest and many of the ministers and the government leaders on a personal level – not just in Quebec but also in Canada, in the federal government”. He didn’t win the honour and Chief of the Mistissini Cree is Richard Shecapio, but Blacksmith is called the chief by himself and everyone in parliament.

 

By June 2010, Blacksmith organized a National Forgiven Summit at the Ottawa Civic Centre. Religious leaders and Christian Aboriginals met with MP’s and senators, to engage in an elaborate ceremony that ran parallel to the first Truth and Reconciliation event.

 

MP Rod Bruinooge (Winnipeg South, CPC) was pleased with the gesture, as was Senator Nick Sibbeston (Liberal, former premier of NWT). The latter reported to senate that Aboriginals forgave the prime minister and showered him with gifts, as a Charter of Forgiveness and Freedom was presented to the government on behalf of Native peoples.

 

AFN Chief Shawn Atleo took a more hesitant approach, asking the group to be “very careful” while reminding a Grand Chief had already complained they weren’t ready for this. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission hadn’t finished its work and Atleo countered the prime minister’s apology with examples of program closures.

 

But AFN did not intervene in Blacksmith’s event and the three day conference included special segments. There was the forgiveness summit itself, where The Charter of Forgiveness and Freedom was unveiled. This is another document concocted by Blacksmith to release the government for Native abuse. No text can be located on the internet and again there’s only a photo of signatures.

 

024xNativeForgivenessCharter

 

It was presented to Aboriginal Affairs Minister Chuck Strahl (Chilliwack-Fraser Canyon, CPC, retired), who attended. Of note, Strahl left this cabinet position to become the top watchdog over CSIS, but he had to step down when the press revealed he was performing double duty as a lobbyist for the Enbridge pipeline. The Northern Gateway project has been met with opposition from First Nations and CSIS was additionally convicted in the media for spying on Indigenous peoples and sharing the intelligence with major oil companies. Strahl is also a graduate of Trinity Western University (TWU) in the company of fellow parliamentarians and he was appointed to mentor at the Pierre Elliot Trudeau Foundation.

 

025xStrahlCharter

 

After the forgiveness summit, organizer Kenny Blacksmith had the opportunity to meet personally with Prime Minister Stephen Harper (Calgary Southwest, CPC). Another copy of The Charter of Forgiveness and Freedom was presented to absolve the government and then it was off to the Pastors and Leaders Gathering.

 

The second event was held by Blacksmith and a co-host from the 700 Club – an evangelical ministry that prays and raises funds on Christian television. It’s unclear what transpired at this gathering, but leaders and teachers were invited in addition to “prophets and apostles”.

 

On the following day there was a National Aboriginal Parliamentary Prayer Breakfast that was co-hosted by “Members of Parliament and with the Senate of Canada”. Aboriginal Affairs Minister Chuck Strahl (Chilliwack-Fraser Canyon, CPC, retired) was a keynote speaker along with Blacksmith and the theme of this meeting was “Beyond Forgiveness”. First Nations peoples who wished to participate and forgive the government were charged $55 admission to accept their sorries.

 

This prayer breakfast in 2010 occurred at the Fairmont Chateau Laurier, at 1 Rideau Street in Ottawa. This is the same address ARPA uses in suite #700, that otherwise rents as a virtual office. ARPA uses this virtual address on the lobby registry, as well their work with the Supreme Court of Canada. Technically speaking it has no legal, physical address, unless the alternate PO Box number is considered and a business registration that lists Alberta is no longer valid.

 

Adding to the confusion about ARPA’s address is a claim to have an office on Parliament Hill. According to web data company Zoom Info (relied upon by Google and Dow Jones), this lobby’s base can be found in Room 574, Confederation Building at the House of Commons. The phone number provided belongs to MP Dave Van Kesteren (Chatham-Kent-Essex, CPC) and the fax belongs to the PMO. The only way for Zoom Info to present this data is by crawling the internet for places it was listed, and/or if the company entered a business listing itself. This parliamentary location was further confirmed by seven different sources from 2011 to the end of 2013.

 

026xARPAparliamentAddy

 

ARPA’s director, Mark Penninga, is listed with the same government address, in addition to a home base in West Virginia.

 

027xARPAparliamentx3

 

ARPA’s legal counsel is listed with the same government address and in cached pages, Andre Schutten is described as ARPA’s “parliament contact”.

 

028xARPAlegalParliament

 

On the federal registry, ARPA lists Mark Penninga, Andre Schutten and Mike Schouten as paid lobbyists (see lobbyist details tab).

 

029xARPAlobbyists

 

2013, June – Coming back to the chronological date, pastor Kenny Blacksmith obtained a position on the board of directors for Canadian Race Relations. Here he was listed as an Aboriginal management consultant; providing services in rights, education, negotiations and Christian leadership training.

 

That leadership brought Blacksmith to open the Canada Celebrates Israel conference, where parliamentarians met with the “Jewish, Christian, Zionist” community to discuss the country’s commitment to a Jewish state. He beat the Native drum, sang Indigenous chants and offered Christian prayer, as others in the group complained of apartheid allegations becoming the new anti-Semitism.

 

For context, Blacksmith devised the new Indigenous Charter and Covenant to honour Israel as the number one priority. He teaches that First Nations must respect the political state and Israeli people to find Indigenous salvation, even though traditional beliefs do not embrace the biblical trinity (and neither does Orthodox Judaism that relies solely on the Torah).

 

2013, June – The first National Aboriginal Prayer Breakfast is officially recognized. Despite earlier events that were similar, this one is a matter of public record and will continue to be promoted as a yearly event. It’s co-hosted by Kenny Blacksmith on behalf of First Nations (without their consent), along with MP James Lunney (Nanaimo-Alberni, CPC) and Senator Don Meredith (Conservative). The Ontario Minister for Seniors, MPP Mario Sergio (York West, OLP) represented the provincial government and speakers included the co-host of 700 Club.

 

Meredith is the same official who recently came under fire as one of the senate’s top spenders, also boasting degrees from non-accredited institutions. One of those degrees is an honourary Doctor of Divinity he received from the Christian television program, 100 Huntley Street. Huntley was established by the same creator of the American 700 Club mentioned prior. Since that exposé Meredith stopped calling himself a doctor, to shield Prime Minister Harper (Calgary Southwest, CPC) from criticism regarding his appointment.

 

Credit: Huffington Post

Credit: Huffington Post

 

At the prayer breakfast, newly retired Minister of Aboriginal Affairs Chuck Strahl gives the keynote address. Both he and Kenny Blacksmith discuss the duty of First Nations to forgive the government under God. Blacksmith says the work of missionaries 500 years ago was not in vain and the black book (Bible) would yet teach his people. This was reinforced by Strahl’s belief that a Christian God would help with the power of forgiveness because he couldn’t write legislation that would force Native peoples to become the government’s friend. Both men spoke as if they forgot it was Christians who placed Aboriginal children in electric chairs and sexually abused them, en masse.

 

The Catholic Register ran a feature article but took their site offline as this investigation was being written. Luckily a backup copy was saved before this happened, because the piece displayed a poignant photo that is likely to inflame First Nations. During this event Strahl stood at the podium wearing a Native headdress while making his assertion that forgiveness was owed to the government, in order for Aboriginals to heal. Behind Strahl is an Israeli flag, a Canadian flag and an American flag, but nothing to represent Indigenous cultures.

 

031xChuck001

 

2013, November – Kenny Blacksmith attends a religious event on Parliament Hill with Mennonites. He’s described as the Chief of Cree Nation in Mistissini, but he doesn’t hold this position and hasn’t lived on the reserve for sixteen years. He prays with the group encouraging “shalom”; a Hebrew word signifying peace and the underlying principle of the Torah and Judaism. It’s expressly important to the Jewish religion, but it’s not traditionally spoken or known by First Nations.

 

As a result of this prayer the Mennonites were overcome with guilt for past racism and indifference toward Aboriginals. The event organizer apologized to Blacksmith on behalf of this religion and Blacksmith accepted on behalf of all Natives.

 

2014, February – The Saskatchewan Pro-Life Association announces their official partnership with the ARPA Canada lobby. In the extensive newsletter, Bill Whatcott of the earlier Supreme Court case (to allow hate speech against gays) is noted as a regional representative. A number of paid ads appear from law firms, in addition to MP Ed Komarnicki (Souris-Moose Mountain, CPC), MP Brad Trost (Saskatoon-Humboldt, CPC), MP Maurice Vellacott (Saskatoon-Wanuskewin, CPC) and MLA Greg Ottenbreit (Yorkton, Saskatchewan Party).

 

2014, March – Campaign Life Coalition begins a project against doctor assisted suicide and bills addressing compassionate patient rights in parliament. MP Steven Fletcher (Charleswood-St. James-Assiniboia, CPC) was paralyzed from the neck down, but he became a target of the pro-life movement when he proposed legalizing euthanasia (bills haven’t been tabled yet).

 

MP Maurice Vellacott (Saskatoon-Wanuskewin, CPC) came out against him and Transportation Minister Lisa Raitt (Halton, CPC) cited her Catholic faith as a barrier to supporting. Sister lobbyist ARPA Canada has also taken up the cause, while congratulating its supporters for quashing previous euthanasia bills. They warn their masses to remain vigilant, in case a call to action is needed to defeat the next attempt.

 

2014, MarchMLA Shayne Saskiw (Lac La Biche-St. Paul-Two Hills, Wildrose, Justice Critic) proposed motion M-502 in the Alberta legislature. It called on government to repeal sections of the Alberta Human Rights Act with respect to hate speech, similar to what was accomplished at the federal level. This initial attempt had support from the provincial Conservative justice minister, however it was defeated.

 

2014, March – Legal counsel for ARPA Canada, Andre Schutten, makes a submission to the Law Society of Upper Canada compelling certification of a Trinity Western University (TWU) Christian law school. At issue is the intention to deny gay students admission, that ARPA believes is a justified requirement.

 

A second piece is distributed to the ARPA community, filled with unrelenting criticism of respected lawyers Clayton Ruby, Gerald Chan “and others like them”, for speaking against proposed, discriminatory enrollment provisions.

 

2014, MarchThe Loyola case is accepted to the Supreme Court of Canada. It’s about a private Jesuit boys’ high school in Quebec that was required to teach Ethics and Religious Culture curriculum, as mandated by the Ministry of Education. This course also requires a secular approach that conflicts with the private school’s Christian purpose.

 

Legal counsel for ARPA Canada, Andre Schutten, is also acting as legal counsel for the Association of Christian Educators and Schools Canada, that achieved intervener status. This case is being promoted on the ARPA website as one of their own, but ARPA isn’t named anywhere in the Supreme Court file. Mr. Schutten then supports this project with an article in the Ottawa Citizen, that states ARPA is an intervener. It’s unclear if this statement means the educators’ group is another entity within the lobbyist organization.

 

2014, March – Lobbyist ARPA Canada releases a new policy paper titled “The Supremacy of God”. It’s sent to every senator and member of parliament, followed by a campaign to have supporters discuss these concepts involving the EasyMail program.

 

The paper begins with explanation of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms preamble. “Whereas Canada is founded upon principles that recognize the supremacy of God and the rule of law,” they reason that a Christian God is the basis for all laws. ARPA asks legislators to consider the powers bestowed upon them were given through the Bible and forsaking that would bring an end to the rule of law. It would bring an end to slavery and racism protections, because these laws were proposed by religious leaders. It would end human rights and the Criminal Code of Canada. It would also disrespect Magna Carta and the basis of constitutional law.

 

ARPA finds that Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin errs when she says the law is supreme, because laws can change and it’s the power of God that remains constant to reign supreme. They say Christianity is responsible for civilized society and attributing an MP’s power to religion is hardly as radical as it sounds. They also find the premise of law is built on the Ten Commandments and therefore secular courts and governments are hiding behind a veneer to conceal their true purpose.

 

Tucked in the middle is how this ideology applies to make anti-bullying legislation inappropriate. ARPA continues to explain how “feminist” MP Niki Ashton (Churchill, NDP) is really no less religious than Prime Minister Stephen Harper (Calgary Southwest, CPC). They use this opportunity to push support for their Loyola Supreme Court case as well.

 

2014, May – The focus of this year’s March for Life includes gendercide and criminalizing abortion, with “gendercide” taking root in the public vocabulary due to the PPLC and lobbyist efforts. Two new campaigns are launched to compliment that progress. The first is meant to ban “abortion drug RU-486” from becoming available in the Canadian market. The second is meant to establish Silent No Moreas a Canadian staple (imported from the US, the same as Campaign Life Coalition), to bring the anti-abortion plight mainstream and nudge the Overton Window a little further.

 

A list of MP’s and senators in attendance is published by the Campaign Life Coalition. In 2014 they doubled their numbers and the roster includes 23 names, but this wasn’t covered by mainstream media. These elected officials are presumably part of the growing Parliamentary Pro-Life Caucus, as the PPLC hosts this lobbying event, according to historical press releases.

 

032x2014CLCmpsandsenators

 

2014, May – ARPA publishes God & Government 2014: A Huge Success. The write-up celebrates their “infiltration” of parliament and claims 70 ARPA lobbyists met with 50 MP’s and senators in the week leading up to the March for Life event. Three days of activity included a reception that ARPA hosted for members of parliament, a speech to ARPA from Employment Minister Jason Kenney (Calgary-Southeast, CPC) and a mutual prayer service.

 

ARPA had access to Conservative, Liberal, NDP and Green officials, to discuss their lobbying concerns about prostitution, palliative care, abortion and sports betting. They were invited to attend government committee meetings beyond the standard Question Period and pictures weren’t taken to protect the identity of the MP’s hosting them.

 

xARPAandMPs

 

In the same article ARPA mentions spearheading a political tour through Alberta on behalf of MP Stephen Woodworth (Kitchener Centre, CPC) of Ontario. It’s unclear how a registered lobbyist can run a campaign for an active member of parliament and this appears to resemble Prime Minister Harper‘s complaint against Stockwell Day during that bitter leadership cycle.

 

034xARPAwoodworthTour

 

They close by offering thanks to a “generous company, which does not wish to be singled out for its financial sponsorship of this venture”. Whether it’s related or not, the Knights of Columbus have long been known to foot the bill for ARPA’s sister lobby, Campaign Life Coalition. That doesn’t signify a correlation to these particular events, but they were part of the annual March for Life and Knights have traditionally subsidized the endeavour. The lobby has also enjoyed joint publication in Knights of Columbus newsletters. The jet-set MP from Ontario, Stephen Woodworth (Kitchener Centre, CPC), is also a longtime member.

 

2014, May – The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Toronto, Cardinal Thomas Collins, publicly scolds Liberal leader MP Justin Trudeau (Papineau, LPC), for the party’s new policy that disallows anti-abortion candidates. Six days earlier the cardinal hosted an anti-abortion mass in conjunction with Campaign Life Coalition events. This left Trudeau to defend his pro-choice convictions as a matter of human rights against excessive pressure from the Catholic Church.

 

2014, MayMP John McKay (Scarborough-Guildwood, LPC) reacts to the Liberal leader’s news above, in the Catholic Register (site abruptly taken offline but with patience a cached copy may still load from archives – a backup can also be found here). During the interview McKay laments about the party position, but says they needed to react to an influx of anti-abortion activists who pursued nomination without any Liberal, political history. He believes the issue needs to be handled “ambiguously” in the political arena, without fundamentalism inflaming the dialogue on either side. McKay remains an anti-abortion proponent and closes by questioning the Liberals’ lack of position on “ethnic politics” as well.

 

2014, MayMP Niki Ashton (Churchill, NDP) proposes a motion for the government to affirm a woman’s right to abortion as a fundamental question of equality and human rights. She also moves to reverse a policy that rescinded foreign aid to countries that perform abortions. The media sees this as a bid to gain political points against Trudeau that has the potential to backfire, especially as the NDP didn’t make this a priority for years since the policy was enacted.

 

ARPA rejoiced immediately as an opportunity to re-open the debate. Within a few days they put together an EasyMail campaign, supported by a new telephone campaign that comes with a script and computer auto dialing to reach every member of parliament. The lobby is using this break to show vocal support for the anti-abortion cause and their ranks were ready for this gift to mobilize, whereas pro-choice activists weren’t prepared with their own campaign to refute. Ashton may very well stand for women’s rights, but using them as a political weapon against the Liberals who are in the middle of addressing the issue may only weaken the plight of females.

 

038xPhoneScriptARPA

 

Both ARPA and Campaign Life Coalition have an inventory of reliable soldiers (including MP’s) who are professionally ready (audio) to commandeer the discussion with little more than a moment’s notice. The NDP also fails to address its history of privately hosting these same lobbyists in parliament. The courts and a majority of Canadians support a woman’s right to choose, but these reactionary and self serving tactics make it look they don’t because females were never invited to speak for themselves. It’s either a lobby that stands against human rights or a party that’s trying to inflict partisan damage that’s doing all the talking.

 

After examining the evidence, the fable of a Parliamentary Pro-Life Caucus is hardly built on fiction. There seems to be a concerted effort to keep the project private, but the result of this work has altered significant pieces of Canadian and provincial legislation. It extends well beyond the topic of abortion and has grown to become an unparalleled, right-wing operative. Shielded by a religious front, it has also escaped legal scrutiny.

 

Moreover documents that display PPLC information on House of Commons letterhead were obtained under unusual circumstances. An initial check of MP Maurice Vellacott‘s (Saskatoon-Wanuskewin, CPC) government press releases came up empty, until a cache was stumbled upon from 2003. It appears every one of these items was tucked into that file and removed from site menus at a later date, except for the memory indexed by Google that remained accessible through web archives. This did not involve leaks or any sort of malicious hacking and anyone could have found the same if researching hard enough.

 

Aside of confirming the existence of an official Parliamentary Pro-Life Caucus, this investigation reveals a multi-pronged effort for MP’s to reverse Canadian law as coordinated by lobbyists. Members of Parliament produce ads for lobbyists on the government’s dime, from their elected offices. The Justice Block has become a communications headquarters and when The Office of Religious Freedom was created, it came with help from ARPA to make religion the new priority of foreign policy. When 70 lobbyists were given special, extended and private access to MP’s and senators, at the very least it represented an unaccountable playing field. The incessant bragging about media manipulation is an indictment of the fourth estate as well.

 

ARPA Canada and Campaign Life Coalition are registered as non-profits and they’re directly linked in partner projects with MP’s from the Parliamentary Pro-Life Caucus. Both openly boast of their lobbying offices on Parliament Hill, but addresses are impossible to confirm due to secrecy. The vast majority of their work is however lobbying and this doesn’t mesh with regulations that govern the activities non-profits.

 

Campaign Life Coalition also encourages followers to stack political nomination meetings, to ensure a social conservative candidate emerges.

 

035xCLClobbyoffice

 

They take further credit for pioneering anti-abortion lobbying at the United Nations. Campaign Life Coalition became one of the first approved lobbies of this ilk and it remains one of few to achieve this status.

 

036xUNlobby

 

This is complimented by a UN contingent of youth delegates that is speaking for Canada and the world.

 

037xCLCunYouthLobby

 

Sections of the Canadian Human Rights Act were repealed to allow for hate speech. Some Native reserves have become municipalities. The criminalization of abortion has appeared in Hansard in one way or another, every year of the Harper administration. A Supreme Court decision that found abortion was protected by a female’s Charter rights hasn’t done anything to quell these bills, or the media frenzy when Justin Trudeau unequivocally stands up for it. In this way the lobby may be right, that the Overton Window has been skillfully shifted.

 

The Harper government participated from another perspective by impugning the Supreme Court with malicious, unprecedented accusations, regarding developments throughout its term. Supporting every one of these baseless criticisms is the ARPA lobby, with lawyers to take each of these items to the Supreme Court for a decision. As Marc Nadon didn’t make the bench, it appears the campaign to discredit Canada’s Chief Justice has been fired up, right when the highest court needs the public confidence most and ARPA is standing before it.

 

These successes are being measured by the lobby’s proverbial yard stick and now that everyone is aware, they’ll have to decide if they want to keep abetting it.

Special Report: Fracking Nuclear Waste, Say What? #cdnpoli #onpoli

Ontario residents have been kept in the dark, but Canada’s most populous province is about to become an unlikely and international battleground. After all, how many times does the Great White North threaten the drinking water of more than 40 million people, including their neighbours in America?

 

Legislators from south of the border have already taken issue with plans for a deep geologic repository. Less than a mile from the shores of Lake Huron, Bruce Power intends to store 200,000 cubic meters of nuclear waste within the natural rock formation. Senators and congressmen shared their dissent with the Canadian government, but the fed responded by sending police to the homes of eco protesters, in what some would call an act of intimidation.

 

013opg

(photo credit: Ontario Power Generation)

 

It will take at least 300 years for the nuclear waste to decay, to a point that radioactive catastrophes are not a threat to human populations. This Kincardine, Ontario location was also chosen for its low seismic activity, reducing the likelihood of water and soil contamination by earthquake.

 

This much we’ve always known, due to the federal environment assessment that required public consultation. The Harper government has since levied time restrictions to speed the process along, but this is one project that was too big and too perilous to keep from the radar at all.

 

Seemingly unrelated, the controversy over fracking and in-situ technologies to harvest oil has been raging around the world. Ohio experts claim it causes earthquakes. Texans say it releases benzene and hydrogen sulfide in the air, causing everything from cancer to nosebleeds and skin rashes. British scientists say it causes radioactive contamination. Researchers at Duke University say it makes water flammable in Pennsylvania and New York, where investigators cite enough contamination to blow up homes with families in them. In Canada, the Idle No More movement continuously defends First Nations from plans to frack their tribal territory and there’s still the argument of numerous toxic chemicals used in the extraction process.

 

014Gasland

(photo credit: HBO, GasLand)

 

The topic of hydraulic fracturing is so polarizing that countless provinces, states and cities have sought a moratorium. The mayor of New York City added his voice to the opposition, with strong reservations about the impact to water safety. By contrast and north of this shared water source, scientists from Canada were abruptly silenced by the federal government and environmental laws were gutted, so there is no mechanism or freedom to complain above the forty-ninth parallel any longer.

 

This much we also knew, but how could it possibly relate to a nuclear waste dump?

 

Critics warned that sweeping changes to de-monitor water, curtail public input and failure to assess smaller power projects would have a grave and lasting impact on the Canadian ecosystem. They denounced newly legislated secrecy and threw their hands in the air when the government conducted a good old-fashioned, scientific book burning. They went so far as to accuse the Harper administration of oppressing Canadians for the sake of Alberta oil profits, meant to benefit the Prime Minister’s friends at a cost to every other industry in the country. With few studies or consultations required anymore, the public wouldn’t be privy to projects that conflict with each other either.

 

It was a Nostradamus moment that wouldn’t take a thousand years to come true. It’s just that our first example arises in Ontario, further east than they predicted when pitted against bitumen, LNG or coastal pipelines as the likely candidates. When people think about oil, they don’t naturally imagine the Great Lakes region as an epicenter for this development.

 

No one can blame residents for being remiss, when information became inaccessible to the public and for that matter to Americans who are impacted by Canadian activity. Former Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty claimed there would be no fracking until the province studied evidence to determine if the practice was safe. The new premier has never commented and no elected officials have alluded to anything different.

 

With all this government subterfuge from provincial and federal levels, the only way to learn about energy projects is through private company investor reports and knowing which ones to research now.

 

Bruce Power, meet Dundee Energy Limited. The former is an Ontario nuclear giant and the latter has the largest stake in Ontario oil. The two may operate side by side, but you’d never know from asking any level of government including municipal managers. These companies also favour the same rock formation, but for very different reasons.

 

Nuclear proponents believe the shale is strong enough to store radioactive waste, while oil competitors have chosen the area due to rich deposits and the porous nature of the same rock, making it a perfect specimen for fracking. It’s hard to see how both could be correct, but everyone drinking water along the Great Lakes is in the crosshairs of this corporate aggression.

 

From Neil Young to Yoko Ono, concerned stars have raised alarm bells regarding each of these topics, but no one thought to consider the impact of running these operations together. Fracking beside nuclear waste is a new concept for sure. The consequence of either practice is still a new frontier and combining them won’t be studied in Canada, nor will anyone be informed to care.

 

This situation is complicated by a few key players. Nuclear behemoth Bruce Power is technically owned by TransCanada Corp, that is better known for the KeystoneXL oil pipeline and tribulations visiting the White House. It’s also owned by Cameco, recently accused of tax evasion related to uranium sales. This partnership is completed by the retirement funds of municipal employees and the Power Workers Union, otherwise known as an affiliate of the left-wing labour movement and CUPE. As these strange bedfellows negotiate long term destruction of the environment for short term gain, the public is none the wiser because every brand of elected official appears to have taken a vow of silence.

 

In the case of Dundee Energy, it’s a subsidiary of the Dundee Corporation and federal Labour Minister Kellie Leitch was implicated in an alleged conflict of interest with this very consortium. While sitting on a board of directors for Dundee (REIT), Leitch was also debating legislation that impacted her environmentally averse tenants. In addition to meeting the needs of numerous oil clients under the Dundee real estate umbrella, this MP’s company position included an asset-based relationship with the National Energy Board (pgs 20-26).

 

The National Energy Board is Canada’s environmental regulator and the body that oversees public consultation in a situation like the Bruce Power nuclear waste dump. It no longer needs to conduct environmental hearings related to Dundee’s oil pursuits, as a result of the Labour Minister and Conservative government’s plight to de-monitor water and “streamline” approvals.

 

It’s now come to light that Leitch’s business associate was buying considerable land for oil extraction, with an eye for the riding she continues to represent. Dundee Energy also purchased junior speculators with rights to harvest oil in Ontario, around the same time she was named a trustee to the sister company with shared executives.

 

For context, the Labour Minister’s family established the Fort McMurray oil sands town in Alberta, before her career was transferred to Ontario where the process may be repeating. This time brings us to Collingwood, Ontario and begins with thousands of acres around Blue Mountain that the oil industry took an interest in.

 

This location boasts a farming heartland and world class ski resort, with waterside tourism in the summer. It’s unlikely Intrawest realizes the surrounding property is on the fracking horizon. It doesn’t bode well for stable snow formations if earthquakes are indeed caused by fracking. Yacht owners may pull their boats from oil-slicked waters and tourism around the protected Niagara Escarpment Biosphere may soon resemble the tar sands on this deregulated trajectory. The groundwaters sustaining agriculture in the bins at your local grocery store may also become poisonous if the experience of early adopters is any indication.

 

To manage a complex and conflicting set of developments, here’s a recap to give clarity that illuminates who might have known what.

 

1857 – 1863: Canada’s first shale gas operation was founded in Collingwood, Ontario. It originally supplied the market in Toronto. This enterprise eventually failed due to competition from Lambton County and this local history would be forgotten, until the present day when it’s repeated.

 

April 2008: Bruce Power begins drilling boreholes to test Collingwood, Blue Mountain, Georgian Bay and Manitoulin shales, in preparation for the nuclear waste deep geologic repository. A layout of the project is included, depicting the proximity to Lake Huron and a railway passing directly above the proposed radioactive location.

 

September 2008: Mooncor begins aggressive acquisition of Ontario shale oil assets. They have access to 23,000 acres with the ability to develop Collingwood and Blue Mountain formations.

 

November 2008: The Ontario Petroleum Institute holds an annual conference. Sponsors include Talisman and Torque Energy, as well as Enbridge, Haliburton and the US Energy Development Corp. Exhibitors include the Government of Newfoundland and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. The latter presents “Shale Gas Opportunities in Ontario” during the session dedicated to fracking. The Ontario Power Generation also speaks about the Bruce Power waste site. That seminar is sandwiched between the effect of petrochemicals and how to fight back against eco protesters.

 

February 2009: A Calgary based oil and gas consultant is hired to conduct seismic testing for the Ontario Bruce Power nuclear site. Data is borrowed from a nearby Texaco well and Shell oil pipeline. Many gas wells are noted in the area and previous studies failed to indicate a seismic fault line. With newer technology however, faults were discovered around the nuclear site and this information will be submitted to the National Energy Board.

 

May 2009: The federal government finalizes a process of environmental review for the proposed Bruce Power nuclear waste site.

 

November 2009: The Ontario Petroleum Institute holds an annual conference. Sponsors include Torque Energy, Talisman Energy and Enbridge. Shale gas opportunities are promoted in Ontario and the Minister of Natural Resources is a keynote speaker this year. Numerous reps from the Ontario government provide seminars as well as a report for oil companies, enticing hundreds of new explorations. The Collingwood and Blue Mountain deposits are given special attention, closest to the nuclear waste site. Health Canada is also an exhibitor.

 

March 2010: Central Ontario oil was predominantly owned by Mooncor and Talisman Energy. The Dundee Corporation purchases “the largest accumulation of oil and natural gas assets in Ontario” for $131 million from Talisman, to overtake their interest in the area.

 

May 2010: Kellie Leitch becomes a trustee at a Dundee company that oversees real estate. These portfolios include a considerable roster of oil companies and the National Energy Board.

 

June 2010: Simcoe and Bruce Counties experience an uncharacteristic earthquake. The area surrounding a proposed nuclear waste dump and fracking locale, shakes enough to startle half the province awake.

 

October 2010: The Ontario Petroleum Institute holds an annual conference. Sponsor information was withheld this year, but exhibitors include the Canadian Consulate General and various members of the Ontario government. Keynote speakers include disgraced Congressman Chris Lee (R-NY) and seminars are provided by the Ministry of Natural Resources, in addition to the Ministry of Northern Development. Dundee Energy updated their progress in purchasing Ontario shale assets, as the government updated its list of shale assets for promotion. Additional seminars were offered regarding hydraulic fracturing and the difficulty moving enough sand, water and chemicals to supply the fracking industry.

 

April 2011: The Bruce Power nuclear site tests for the presence of gas. It’s found in the Collingwood, Blue Mountain and Georgian Bay formations, among others. Upon detailed analysis, the highest concentration of oil is noted in the Collingwood shale samples (closest to the nuclear repository), while the highest gas concentrations can be found in the Blue Mountain companion. This study and many more were submitted to the National Energy Board.

 

April 2011: Mooncor creates spinoff company DRGN Resources to handle its Ontario shale oil and gas assets. The long term strategy includes overtaking smaller companies to become a major player in the province.

 

May 2011: Kellie Leitch is elected Member of Parliament for Simcoe-Grey, after accusations of being parachuted from out of town. This riding consists of Collingwood, Blue Mountain and much of Georgian Bay. She still works with Dundee REIT and will not resign the executive position until the end of the next quarter, representing both the public and a corporation at the same time.

 

June 2011: Dundee Energy Limited establishes 100 percent ownership of its Ontario oil assets, further retained by the Dundee conglomerate as the parent company. New horizontal wells are planned for extraction.

 

June 2011: Several fish begin dying in Lake Simcoe. It’s part of the same glacial movement that created the Great Lakes system and it’s a 30 minute drive from the shores of Lake Huron. A magnificent amount of oil and gas tests are occurring at the same time (from government, the fracking and nuclear industries), but this is not considered a possible culprit because the public is unaware.

 

August 2011: Dundee Energy purchases Torque Energy – a former sponsor of the Ontario Petroleum Institute and a remaining holdout competitor. Torque Energy includes oil assets in Ontario and the acquisition helps to pad Dundee’s dominant market share.

 

September 2011: Mooncor retains a small amount of stock in Torque Energy, now owned by the Dundee corporation (pg. 12). At the end of this month, Member of Parliament Kellie Leitch resigns from her position with Dundee’s real estate branch as well.

 

October 2011: The Ontario Petroleum Institute holds an annual conference. Sponsors include Dundee Energy, Torque Energy (under Dundee ownership) and Mooncor (with stock interest in Dundee). Keynote speakers include the Mayor of London and First Nations elders. Seminars are provided by the federal government’s Indian Oil and Gas Canada agency, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and the Ontario Energy Board. Topics covered Aboriginal affairs and fracking, with a hydrofracturing demonstration to close the event.

 

October 2011: Six thousand dead birds and fish scatter the shores of Wasaga Beach. It’s the longest freshwater beach in the entire world and lines much of Georgian Bay, connecting to Collingwood at Lake Huron. Both shale formations were being tested for oil and gas reserves, but botulism is the suspected culprit with little explanation regarding changes to the lake’s chemistry. The area never saw a die-off like this before and experts were left to guess a reason.

 

November 2011: Mooncor engages the Dundee conglomerate for help to raise $5 million toward expansion.

 

November 2011: An executive lawyer for Bruce Power and the nuclear waste site is appointed to the Ontario Centre of Excellence, to guide the provincial economy. This centre is funded by the Ontario government and Bruce Power continues to be owned by the same curious partners.

 

May 2012: Thousands of dead fish appear on the shores of Lake Simcoe. The second time is worse than the first. The Ministry of Natural Resources waited a number of months before informing the public of a widespread infection and no detailed cause was ever given.

 

September 2012: The Ontario government promotes shale fuel extraction at a conference in the United States. Collingwood, Blue Mountain and Georgian Bay formations are the focus, with 31 percent oil saturation and 77 percent gas saturation to encourage deeper investment. One of the wells cited is adjacent to the Bruce Power nuclear waste site. (A similar situation between oil wells and nuclear generators occurs in the Pickering location on Lake Ontario.)

 

September 2012: Dundee Energy invests $13.7 million in Ontario assets. Another $3.4 million is spent to acquire maps with seismic data, needed to plan the next harvesting sites. Inland extraction has become a priority to increase production, that offsets lower gas prices affected by greater American penetration and the Canadian petro dollar. A rig is purchased to assist with new drilling, allowing expansion in the Toronto gas market. In the process, they reserve $3.3 million for the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, in anticipation of future environmental costs.

 

October 2012: The Ontario Petroleum Institute holds an annual conference. The sponsor list is excluded again, but the Ministry of Natural Resources, Conservative MPP Bob Bailey and a National Post editor were mentioned as speakers. Embattled Liberal Energy Minister Chris Bentley was invited to give the keynote address and topics narrowly focused on pipelines, fracking and promoting Ontario’s shale assets for exploration.

 

November 2012: The Ontario government releases a comprehensive report (490 pages) meant to attract investment, reform applicable laws and assist corporations in negotiating with First Nations. Shale gas and oil in the Collingwood, Blue Mountain, Georgian Bay, Nottawasaga and Manitoulin areas is given special attention (pgs. 222-240), with specific mention of fuels (pgs. 275-286). Each is promoted as having the best potential for fracking related extraction. At least 360 samples were tested from wells and new boreholes in the years preceding, as part of the larger “shale gas assessment project” the public was never informed about. Groundwater mapping for Simcoe County is thoroughly noted (pgs. 295-306) and includes data from Lake Huron to Georgian Bay, Lake Simcoe, the Nottawasaga River, Newmarket Till and Oak Ridges Moraine. It is further identified as one of the most significant glacial aquifers, responsible for drinking water obtained from the Great Lakes and every connecting path from Canada to Chicago, Illinois.

 

November 2012: At the same time Ontario promoted shale extraction, Premier Dalton McGuinty informed the media there was no reason to worry about fracking in the province. He offered this reassurance despite public objection to Dundee Energy and Mooncor buying land for the same purpose. This message was supported by the Ministry of Natural Resources when they confirmed one new shale well was drilled, but denied any knowledge of plans to continue. All political parties responded as if the premise of fracking was hypothetical, but each shared a connection to this series of concrete developments. The Liberal government spent millions to encourage fracking extraction and accepted millions from interested companies. Elected Conservatives spoke at fracking events and/or occupied an executive table with the most aggressive corporation. The NDP also enjoys considerable input from the labour movement, as business partners with an oil giant involved in testing the area.

 

December 2012: The federal government passes controversial legislation to de-monitor Canada’s water and reduce environmental assessments, in favour of oil lobbyist demands.

 

June 2013: Dundee Energy plans to invest $13.2 million in new Ontario wells and exploration to increase production. Another $2 million will be spent to map 314 kilometers of prospective shale opportunities. The corporation pays an extra $270,000 to the Ministry of Natural Resources in anticipation of future abandonment costs (pgs. 8, 28). This expansion is again reported to offset losses incurred by the American market and complication from the petro dollar (pgs. 10-13).

 

September 2013: Dundee’s rig is used in Lambton County, Ontario to fracture-stimulate a new well. Additional projects are planned for summer the next year.

 

October 2013: The Ontario Petroleum Institute holds an annual conference. This time it’s at the Windsor casino and sponsors are dwindling as companies are bought up, but Dundee Energy has attained the gold level. Seminars are provided by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Dundee itself, regarding radial jet drilling and its benefits to the fracking industry. This talk was followed by a presentation regarding the Blue Mountain shale formation and the majority of that day was dedicated to hydraulic fracturing topics. The smaller event was then closed by the Ontario Minister of Rural Affairs. It should be noted that a few days earlier, First Nations made international news with a government standoff against fracking. A Chief close to Bruce Power was also protesting the nuclear waste dump.

 

In other curious developments, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources defers to the oil industry as its spokesperson. Visiting the government internet page to learn about provincial resources not only misinforms about Ontario’s history (forgetting Collingwood as the first producer), but it also directs readers to the “Discovery Education Centre” as the government’s source for facts.

 

It just so happens the Discovery Education Centre is owned by Discovery Drilling Funds. They were purchased by LongBow Energy Corp and this business is steeped in the Alberta oil sands. Head office is located in Calgary, Alberta and one of the key executives is a former Koch Petroleum manager (of Koch Industries fame). It’s unclear why a private group of five western oil companies is now speaking for the Government of Ontario.

 

Regarding competition between fracking and nuclear waste, the town of Walkerton, Ontario is located at the midpoint between them. Driving half an hour west, residents will arrive at Bruce Power and driving half an hour east, they’ll arrive at the heavily promoted Collingwood oil deposits. If they dare to drive south, they’ll arrive at Sarnia’s petrochemical industry and advanced plans for fracking in Lambton County as well.

 

This tiny hamlet was foisted to world news when the water supply was contaminated and more than 2,300 residents became severely ill. Several died. Criminal charges were laid. The Conservative government of the day was blamed for legislation that privatized the testing of water safety. Now the same families may serve as a test, to see what happens when government policy allows fracking beside nuclear waste, fourteen years later in a repeat performance.

 

Everyone who obtains drinking water associated with the Great Lakes will also be affected, if any part of this experiment goes wrong. And despite Ontario denying plans to frack, taxpayers footed the bill to produce widespread tests for shale oil, in addition to yearly seminars designed to entice extraction.

 

These water tables come from one of the most important Precambrian aquifers. It supplies the local area and stretches deep into the United States. This underground water highway also supports Toronto and all the towns branching out along the way. The only thing that doesn’t appear to support 40 million North Americans, is politics north of the border and its friends in the energy industry. If all bureaucracies have skin in the game, who’s left to speak for the water?

 

Is Labour Minister In Conflict Of Interest?

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/amy-macpherson/mp-leitch_b_4124776.html

Will the Ethics Minister Investigate this MP’s Failure to Disclose Her Income?

Posted: 10/21/2013 1:30 pm

 

Surprising developments continue to challenge the Harper government and it doesn’t appear the recent cabinet shuffle was enough to contain the party’s troubles.  In July, the prime minister embarked on a public relations makeover to soften the blow from repeated allegations of criminal activity and impropriety against a growing number of Conservatives.

 

To quell chatter about Duffy and the senate spending scandal — followed by charges against Del Mastro, the Prime Minister appointed a fresh batch of faces to populate his inner circle. In this rejuvenation process, a faithful MP from Simcoe-Grey was promoted to Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women. It seemed a safe bet, as the member was not only a minority female but also a paediatric surgeon who proved her loyalty by supporting the export of asbestos. Surely her silence in the face of criticism from the health care industry could merit responsibility for two portfolios in a beleaguered government.

 

Doubly minted Minister Kellie Leitch keeps a low profile with the local public, but she’s been a staple in the Conservative party since the days of her youth. The doctor wasn’t familiar to residents of Simcoe-Grey until the 2011 federal election, because she normally hailed from Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto and the University of Western Ontario in London. Leitch’s life was centred many hours away and she survived this controversy with stellar endorsements from CPC stars like Jim Flaherty, Peter MacKay, Hugh Segal, Julian Fantino and Stephen Harper. The campaigning efforts of Pamela Wallin weren’t quite as glowing, since her visits have become a point of contention in the senate investigation (see April 26 and 29, expanded to include Jan. 17).

 

This prominent attention must have felt remarkable. In a rural region known for farming and rustic getaways, the area was transformed into a political Hollywood for the election. The only caveat is it required this much effort to help Leitch overcome the toxic atmosphere she was about to inherit. Her predecessor in Simcoe-Grey was also a Minister for the Status of Women, but Helena Guergis was in the process of being turfed as her replacement was parachuted by the Prime Minister. It was a timely campaign of false and tawdry allegations. Ms. Guergis saw her career destroyed to create a vacancy in the riding and much of the local executive quit to protest their loss of democracy.

 

Amid the many accusations against Kellie Leitch, it became apparent she would need to open up and endear herself to the locals. In a rare interview with the tiny Wasaga Beach newspaper, a limited number of constituents received a glimpse into the world of our prospective Labour Minister. This included a rare epiphany explaining just how far she traveled. In her own words, Kellie Leitch professes it wasn’t in her plans to become a doctor and she was keen to build on her father’s legacy as a founder of Fort McMurray.

 

The Alberta oil sands are more than a stone’s throw from the shores of central Ontario and according to Leitch, her family should be credited with bringing the oil rush to Canada because they’re the ones who built the infrastructure to make the harvest area inhabitable. This MP was proud of the environment she helped create, despite Neil Young’s comparison of Fort McMurray to Hiroshima. Of course the latter was banned from the former’s radio station, so perhaps Minister Leitch will never hear about the opposition.

 

This brings us to the ethical hurdles facing the Conservative party and whether Harper’s judgement would improve in time for the cabinet shuffle, meant to save the government’s reputation. These new ministers should be impervious to criticism, or rather investigation. Ideally they would lead the way by filing items properly and insulate the Canadian Parliament from any more questions of fraud or conflicts of interest. Or contempt. Or bribery. Or voter suppression. Or criminal charges. With such a turbulent track record, it only seems reasonable the Prime Minister would benefit from hindsight and wisdom in selecting his next executives.

 

It was previously reported that Minister Leitch was in good standing with the Ethics Commissioner and she did not declare any additional income in her report for the public registry. This is the information she provided to media in a congenial, receptive email. But that registry and the Canadian Securities Regulators at Sedar appear to have a different opinion.

 

The following is a public version of events, expressed in a timeline with commentary:

 

May 4, 2010 — Kellie Leitch causes a stir with Conservatives in Simcoe-Grey, when she attends private meetings as a star candidate who was parachuted from Toronto.

 

May 6, 2010 — Kellie Leitch becomes a paid trustee at Dundee REIT (see also May 10, 2010 – report of voting results). As part of a Declaration of Trust, she must agree to a non-competition clause with the company. She is not permitted to acquire an interest, even indirectly from commercial real estate, without first allowing Dundee the option of purchasing said investment (see page 37).

 

Dundee REIT is a subsidiary of Dundee Corporation and Ned Goodman is the owner, occupying a seat at the same table as MP Leitch. Mr. Goodman is better known as one of the richest people in Canada (see page 18). The REIT is better known for its main accounts, as landlord to the Government of Canada, Government of Ontario, Government of British Columbia, Government of Alberta, Government of Saskatchewan, Government of Quebec, Government of Northwest Territories, Enbridge Pipelines and SNC Lavalin. This is in addition to the Canada Revenue Agency, Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Cities of Edmonton and Calgary, Alberta Health Services, CAE and Ministry of the Attorney General (see page 20).

 

In media it’s not mentioned that Dundee REIT is behind the Toronto Pan Am village, but annual filings detail the company’s $15 million investment, with an expected profit of $50 million when the properties are finally sold (see page 12).

 

In the same report Mr. Goodman shares his executive insight with underlings like Minister Leitch. He says,

 

“Inflation is a certainty because without any other reasons, and there are many, it is a political and financial tool that allows for de-leveraging of debt and payment of deficits. In addition, politicians very seldom get elected by causing deflation. Almost everyone likes inflation. If you are a government and inflate prices, then you keep people struggling and working hard to keep pace with inflation. The poorer the people are, the more likely they can be kept under control. In addition, inflation for rich people is taxable and deflation is less so. No government ever has an incentive to deflate, but has incentive in fact to inflate. Voters prefer inflation to deflation.” (seepage 19)

 

He would have said this while also acting as the Chancellor of Brock University.

 

May 10, 2010 — The appointment of Dr. Leitch to Dundee REIT is confirmed by Sedar.com (see May 10, 2010, report of voting results).

 

May 2010 — Kellie Leitch is slated to receive 4,607 deferred REIT units for her services as a trustee in the first year (see April 18, 2011, management information circular – within report, view page 6). Her access to sensitive information about the company and advice from owners like Mr. Goodman is granted (view page 9). The compensation structure is outlined and as a trustee, Dr. Leitch will play a role in determining these amounts, including the amount of payment due to Mr. Goodman and approval of deferred units like she received (view pages 12-13). In addition to receiving property investments and a personal stake in government tenants, Leitch receives $21,000 in cash for meeting fees (see page 18). It’s important to understand this compensation was negotiated at the onset, but actual payment would be received into the next year. The deferred units go through a 5 year vesting period, with parts maturing at each anniversary. This would provide Dr. Leitch with steady income for a minimum of 5 years (view page 16).

 

May 2010 — Dundee REIT confirms it will invest $20 million to construct a building for the Government of Canada in Yellowknife, fully leased to the government for 10 years (see May 6, 2010, interim financial statements – within report, view page 21).

 

December 31, 2010 — Kellie Leitch is confirmed to receive $21,000 in cash, for her services at Dundee REIT (see page 18).

 

March 21, 2011 — Much of the Conservative riding executive quits in Simcoe-Grey, due to the ouster of Helena Guergis and the parachuting of Kellie Leitch.

 

March 31, 2011 — As Defence Minister, Peter MacKay visits the riding of Simcoe-Grey to campaign on behalf of Dr. Leitch. On the same day, Dundee REIT releases a business update to Sedar.com that includes important information about its trustees. Leitch is legally reported to live in the municipality of Toronto (see March 31, 2011 – annual information form – within report, view pages 30, 31). This supports the accusation that she was parachuted to another riding.

 

April 12, 2011 — Leitch’s business partner and Dundee Corporation owner, Ned Goodman,purchases considerable interest in resource extraction from the Ring of Fire – a point of deep contention for Northern Ontario Native communities.

 

April 19, 2011 — Peter Cosgrove donates $1,000 to the election campaign of Kellie Leitch (see entry 29). If this was a misspelling, a fellow trustee at Dundee REIT also goes by the name of Peter Cossgrove.

 

April 27, 2011 — Robert Goodall donates $500 to the election campaign of Kellie Leitch (see entry 51). He is a fellow trustee at Dundee REIT.

 

April 29, 2011 — Joanne Ferstman donates $250 to the election campaign of Kellie Leitch (see entry 48). She is a fellow trustee at Dundee REIT.

 

April 29, 2011 — Robert Tweedy donates $250 to the election campaign of Kellie Leitch (see entry 123). He is a fellow trustee at Dundee REIT.

 

May 2, 2011 – Don Charter donates $500 to the election campaign of Kellie Leitch (seeentry 19). He is a fellow trustee at Dundee REIT.

 

May 2, 2011 — Michael Knowlton donates $250 to the election campaign of Kellie Leitch (see entry 69). He was the president, COO, executive vice president and CFO at Dundee REIT. He made this contribution two weeks before retiring from the president’s position.

 

Most donations were recorded at the last minute. Forty per cent arrived on Election Day and this indicates Leitch was in contact with her business partners from Toronto, while the riding of Simcoe-Grey was busy voting. No trustees at Dundee REIT are residents of this riding, according to available financial records. In addition to these individuals, the majority of political donors hail from the Toronto area and their contributions were accepted on May 2, 2011.

 

The return submitted to Elections Canada includes donor names such as Lara Zink (136),Dori Segal (106), David R. Wingfield (133), Kevin Warn-Schindel (128), Linda Rorabeck(100), Lori Turik (122), Kim Shannon (107), Michael S. Ras (95), Partick Meneley (83),Frank Magliocco (77), Onorio Lucchese (75), Blair Levinsky (73), William E. Lardner (71),Landon French (49), Victor Dodig (40), Bradley Cutsey (34), William J. Corcoran (28) andRita Ciccolini. It is this calibre of GTA powerhouses that funded an election campaign in rural Ontario.

 

(To view a candidate’s return within the Elections Canada database, a fresh search must be performed. Once the information for Leitch, Kellie, in the riding of Simcoe–Grey is displayed, select Form 2A to browse donations. Screen captures of this information are also provided below. Please be advised there is nothing improper about the donations, but they did arise from out of town, predominantly on the day of election.)

 

May 2, 2011 — Kellie Leitch is elected Member of Parliament for Simcoe-Grey, defeating Helena Guergis as a new face for the Conservatives.

 

May 12, 2011 — Ten days after the election, MP Leitch accepts paid re-appointment to the Board of Trustees at Dundee REIT (see May 16, 2011 — report of voting results). This happened at a specially scheduled event, in the Toronto Board of Trade, East Ballroom. It would have been clear to everyone that Kellie Leitch was celebrating her election, when she accepted their overtures to oversee a business that relied heavily on the favour of federal government (see pages 1, 6).

 

May 16, 2011 — Kellie Leitch is recorded in the Canada Gazette as being elected to Parliament. According to the Conflict of Interest Code for Members of the House of Commons, she has 60 days from this moment to file her private interests with the Ethics Commissioner for inspection. Since Dr. Leitch was immediately appointed to parliamentary secretary, her ability to engage in private employment would not have been appropriate (seeitem 7). She would not have been able to engage in contracts with the government for which she received benefit, without the Commissioner’s permission and only if the arrangement wouldn’t affect her parliamentary obligations (see items 16, 17, 18). MP Leitch was also required to disclose any income greater than $1,000, including its source, for the 12 months preceding election (see item 21).

 

May 19, 2011 — Dundee REIT acquires the Realex portfolio (see page 84). It includes parts of the University of Waterloo.

 

May 25, 2011 — MP Leitch is appointed to parliamentary secretary by the Prime Minister.

 

July 16, 2011 — MP Leitch was due to submit her disclosure of private income and conflicts of interest to the Ethics Commissioner, in keeping with the 60 day mandate. She failed to do this within the required time and remained engaged with Dundee REIT as a parliamentary secretary.

 

August 15, 2011 — Dundee REIT acquires the Blackstone portfolio for $703 million (seepage 23). It was the largest portfolio ever purchased by a REIT in Canada and this transaction contained significant addresses in the heart of Toronto’s financial district (Bay Street).

 

2011 — Dundee REIT becomes landlord to the National Energy Board, numerous oil and resource companies, WSIB and Government Services for the Department of National Defence (see pages 20-26). Due to the nature of their tenants, Dundee’s liability for environmental protection and the cost of remediating contaminated sites is considered (seepage 27).

 

September 22, 2011 — Parliamentary Secretary Leitch resigns from her position at Dundee REIT. The company attributes this departure to her successful election nearly five months earlier. They note she attended four of five regularly scheduled meetings, meaning it’s probable that some of them occurred while she was a Member of Parliament — unless all the company’s business was conducted prior to May 2nd and the federal election. Leitch accepted remuneration for her service in 2011, in the form of $6,000 cash, 35,000 REIT units and 110,000 deferred REIT units, for a reported value of $151,600 (see April 11, 2012 –management information circular – within report, view page 20 – or see alternate source atpage 20, here).

 

September 26, 2011 — MP Leitch discloses her private interests to the Ethics Commissioner on the public registry. She reports a blind trust and income from the University of Toronto, University of Western and the Ministry of Health. She does not report the $21,000 plus $6,000 received in cash, for her previous twelve months at Dundee REIT, or the current term. She does not report her significant interest in the company’s contracts with government tenants or the oil and resource industries. In fact, there is no mention of Dundee REIT, even though this report is filed four days after resigning the private position and two months after the parliamentary due date.

 

September 29, 2011 — Three days later, MP Leitch makes a correction to her Ethics disclosure. This time she adds ownership of the Khristinn Kellie Leitch Medicine Professional Corporation, but still there is no mention of Dundee REIT.

 

2010 – 2011 — During the first year of Dr. Leitch’s tenure at Dundee REIT in 2010, the Government of Canada leased 333,187 square feet from the company (see page 21). Although she was elected to Parliament in May 2011, MP Leitch didn’t resign the position with Dundee until the end of September. During this period of dual representation, the Government of Canada became the company’s largest tenant, increasing their lease to 1,209,973 square feet in 2011 (see page 19). That’s an unprecedented increase in the company’s history of 263 percent, around the same time this parliamentary secretary was working for both entities. Since her departure from Dundee REIT, the federal government expanded their account to 1,658,129 square feet.

 

2012 — Dundee REIT releases an annual report that cites considerable political influence on their business ventures (see page 44).

 

As the current Minister of Labour, Kellie Leitch could impact the employment concerns of Dundee REIT. She will continue to receive income until her payment cycle completes in 2016, with incentive to meet their needs. There is no concern from government to abstain from voting in parliament, on matters that affect the company or any of the tenants. There is no mention of the environmental pressures to keep many of these clients profitable. The REIT units owned by the minister are more than security investments and there is nothing to indicate the Ethics Commissioner identifies these holdings as remuneration. Minister Leitch could choose between cash and securities, opting for the latter as a lion’s share of compensation. This relationship is further complicated by Dundee’s political interest in the outcome of government decisions from a number of different perspectives.

 

January 17, 2012 — Dundee completes their acquisition of the Whiterock portfolio, becoming a landlord to the Government of New Brunswick, Government of Nova Scotia, Quebec public health, Air Canada, provincial hydro organizations, the US Bank, TD Canada Trust, Royal Bank, Molson, PEI Liquor Control Commission, Nova Scotia Liquor Corp and the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority (see last pages, B-1 to B-4).

 

February 14, 2013 — MP Leitch makes the last update to her ethics disclosure file. This time she adds publicly traded securities and an extra blind trust to the assets column. It’s likely these securities arise from her payment at Dundee REIT; but still there is no cash declared, no mention of remuneration and no mention of the company or its interests.

 

July 15, 2013 — MP Leitch is appointed to Minister of Labour and Minister of the Status of Women.

 

Minister Leitch has been contacted for comment, but none has been forthcoming. The only question that remains is if the commissioner will evaluate these potential conflicts of interest, the primary address of MP Leitch on Election Day and the apparent failure to disclose earned income.

 

***February 13, 2014 UPDATE:  It is now known that MP Leitch donated to the Rob Ford election campaign.  In his financial documents, it lists her home address in the City of Toronto.  FreeThePressCanada will not disclose the exact location, but the election documents are a matter of public record, stored online.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Ontario Poverty Overview, The Finer Points

(Originally published by Open Government projects and universities in 2010, but mainstream media wasn’t interested in the topic to amend for newspaper format.)

Poverty is a growing epidemic in the province of Ontario, costing us billions of dollars across a wide range of government ministries.  Normally we hear critiques focused on philosophy, program names and groups of people; but while many debate the grander principles, I’d like to discuss the finer points.  No matter anyone’s focus on reducing poverty, there still remains great conflict in the way we deliver patchwork service and agendas.  It is through a collaboration of competing interests, motivations and tunnel vision that cycles of dependency are born and further nurtured by our oversight.  The following is an overview of these conflicts and their impacts on society.  We mustn’t downplay its importance, for this is the very foundation upon which all else is built.

Contributing Factors:

 

1.  Public assistance rates – Are calculated in accordance with the inflation level of 1995.  In 16 years the amounts allotted for rent, utilities and food have not been adjusted to address current reality.

2.  Ontario Works and ODSP lost frontline funding for children – When the Ontario Child Benefit was created, the Basic Needs portion of public assistance was literally clawed back to zero, for anyone under the age of eighteen.  Welfare no longer provides food, clothes, personal care or school supplies to children.  Under the new funding module, the government expects families to access this income via tax returns (OCB), in theory to make it more accessible (ex. working poor).

However, the “new” groups were only accounted for by taking directly from our most vulnerable.  At the end of the day, those on public assistance saw an average increase of $1 – $19 while working families gained closer to $350 per month.

3.  The recession – Placed a considerable amount of new clients into our social welfare system.  The middle class has been chipping away but the last few years have made a stunning impact on the gap between rich and poor.

http://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2010/12/06/GapKiller/

4.  Housing inflation – Has been uncontrollable since our move to a market fetching system.  This practice makes it near impossible for low income families to afford living anywhere at all.  The vast majority of those on public assistance only receive enough to pay the rent with their entire month’s income.  The same is true of many working minimum wage, part time, contract and seasonal positions.

5.  Near abandonment of subsidized housing – Has been the norm as counties see little incentive to invest in this protection of community.  This is an issue that’s been placed in local hands, where the greatest bias has the potential to exist, conflicts of interest and no motivation to act charitably.

6.  Total abandonment of the Poverty Reduction Strategy – Painstaking consultations were procured by government, remedies were put in place, promises were made, but very little has been enacted.  Here’s a copy of that mandate:

http://www.children.gov.on.ca/htdocs/English/breakingthecycle/index.aspx

7.  Uninspiring wage penalties via OW and ODSP – The public assistance system has been revised countless times, in the name of progress and yet always at a cost to its recipients.  The current method actually deters people from working and sets up an atmosphere of all or nothing.  It also divides families believe it or not.

Anyone on welfare who obtains employment pays deductions from their monthly allowance.  In the case of ODSP, a client will pay the same taxes, EI premiums, CPP contributions and union dues just like anyone else.  They are further penalized 50% from their gross earned wages by ODSP in the following month, so they’ve lost well over 75% of their take-home pay by the time government is done.

Ontario Works is worse yet.  The client pays all taxes like everyone else and then faces 100% deduction of gross pay, thereby leaving them with even less than if they hadn’t worked.  This happens for the first 4 months and if the client has managed to maintain the same position for consecutive months, they will finally be converted to the 50% deduction schedule.

If children in these low income families attempt employment (even part time at McDonald’s during high school) it will be considered family income.  They will face the same deductions as their parents and be forced to support the adults in their family.  Therefore we can assume they will never be able to save up for a class trip, extra curricular activity or proper clothing.

While it’s not entirely a provincial issue, recipients of CPP Disability are only allowed to make $4200 per year without being disqualified from benefits.  This speaks for a great amount of mentally ill, terminally ill and physically challenged persons.  If they manage to recover for a period of time and make an effort to seek employment, they may find themselves abandoned from support and forced into the regular welfare system.

In any event, all methods discourage participants from working, as they stand to receive less income for even trying.  And so the cycle is born.

8.  No access to social care – Exists in smaller communities.  These “towns” account for the majority of Ontario and struggle with lacking support systems.  Most do not have a domestic violence centre or transportation to one.  They don’t have soup kitchens, Out of the Cold programs, parenting courses, child counseling or a host of other interventionist measures.  They also don’t have community resource agencies connecting them with information and referral.  In cities with better access there are waiting lists and countless thousands turned away.

 

Complications and Mounting Costs:

 

1.  Cost of living is insurmountable – And has resulted in numerous consequences.  When incomes don’t nearly reflect basic expenses, we find our vulnerable population living on the very fringe of existence.  The onus of getting families by has been placed on the shoulders of charity and grassroots, who are not capable of being responsible for an entire province alone.

 

The Winter Warmth program runs out of funds in its first month every year for the last 3 years running (locally).  This means anyone who is facing heat disconnection will have to go without if they didn’t apply for help by the end of December.

The Barrie, ON food bank recently invested in a warehouse twice the size because it can’t keep up with local demand.  They’re serving 21,000 families per year and turning away an average of 800 per month.  Smaller communities have to export their poor to the nearest urban centre because they are isolated from support in the vast in-between.  In the meantime, small town food banks appeal to their municipalities for thousands more when their cupboards run bare:

http://anewsvideo.ca/play.php?vid=322

(Watch at 9:25 for newscast on food banks & 10:13 for confirmation of amount without service)

We know 100% of income is going to shelter in many cases and the only sustenance families receive comes from the food bank.  Except these supplies weren’t designed to last more than a week and records show around 1/3rd of visitors are children and 1/3rd are senior citizens.  Many people think food bank users are lazy or spend their money on drugs, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Here’s a copy of an especially thorough report titled The Cost of Poverty.  It was written by the Ontario Association of Food Banks at the end of 2008 and is the first study of its kind to tie the majority of elements together.  They’ve calculated poverty-induced, health related costs at $2.9 billion alone.  They find our methods of ignoring poverty come with a price tag of $13.1 billion annually, which trickles down to $2895 per Ontario household.

 

The report goes on to look at the characteristics of our system and determines 45.4% of single mothers struggled with poverty in 2001.  But the recession has since hit our economy and numbers have only skyrocketed.   Whereas minorities might have been able to secure available part time positions, today the competition is fierce.  At the time, 40% of Ontario’s disabled were skimping by at the lowest possible income quintile as well:

http://www.oafb.ca/assets/pdfs/CostofPoverty.pdf

2.  Ontario children no longer have access to emergency food, clothing or personal care– Since basic needs were removed from the public assistance structure, there is no ability to provide them with immediate support outside of foster care.  This is forcing countless families to remain in abusive situations.

Here is a prime example:  A husband and wife or common law couple has children together.  She’s a stay-at-home mom and he earns a good wage at $80K per year.  They don’t qualify for the Ontario Child Benefit together when claiming income tax.

The husband is abusive however and the mom enters a shelter with her children.  She technically has no income and applies to Ontario Works so they can find a home and begin rebuilding, until she can develop skills and secure employment.

Because the Ontario Child Benefit (OCB) and National Child Benefit Supplement (NCBS) are processed by Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), mom will have to file for separation from her husband and 6 months to a year must pass before the government accepts their new family structure.  Even so, it may take longer before a full year’s income tax will reflect what she’s entitled to, as CRA calculates from the year prior.  Countless months will pass before this newly single parent will be able to access “baby bonus” (to provide food for her children) and she may feel she is not able to afford leaving the situation.

In the meantime the only contingency is what’s called the Transitional Child Benefit (TCB), administered by public assistance.  A client must first prove they’re not entitled to baby bonus which can take months in itself.  Welfare can then loan $189 per month to make up for the shortfall.  If the family receives money from any source in the future (child support order, baby bonus, inheritance, insurance, EI, gifts), they will have to repay the amount “borrowed” in full however.

This was the most oppressive policy against children in recent memory.  Taking funds from the frontlines put them directly in harm’s way and more than 350,000 kids had to line up under a Salvation Army sign for dinner last year.  In rural communities they don’t even have that.

http://thecapitalworks.cusjc.ca/2010/11/16/food-bank-use-sets-13-year-high/

The Children’s Aid Society has also seen an influx of calls.  As mentioned, when a family can’t provide the necessities of life, the state has an obligation to step in.  Here is the Canadian Bar Association’s depiction of the overload.  It also illuminates a lack of access to Legal Aid.  Since that program was clawed back it added even more complication:

http://www.cba.org/CBA/National/junjul03/feature1.aspx

3.  Social Services require complete loss of all worth before stepping in – This has only taken the recession and made it worse.  Countless families are trying to cope with job loss and the death of our traditional manufacturing sector.  They’re running out of EI benefits now.  They’ve missed as many payments as possible before the bank gets cranky and we’re standing at the precipice of foreclosure due to unpaid property tax (normally spanning 3 years of non payment).

These are oftentimes educated people who were directly impacted by illness or a cutthroat economy.  A former Director from Queen’s University befell the same fate, demoted from an executive lifestyle to homelessness because of disability:

http://www.tvo.org/TVO/WebObjects/TVO.woa?videoid%3F756011455001

We expect them to sell their homes and live off the proceeds until there is truly nothing left.  They must be near a state of bankruptcy before public assistance will qualify anyone.  This policy destabilizes the population directly, at a time when it is trying desperately to rebuild and reinvent itself.  An Ontario mother and former Bell executive explains in her own words:

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/906127

4.  Homelessness is frighteningly on the rise – Families carry the highest rate of homelessness today.  There was a 51% increase in those housed at shelters and a 60% increase of children taken into foster care “as a direct result of housing deficiencies”.  If only I could surround those numbers in neon lights to grab your attention.The Registered Nurses Association of Ontario offers a more concise look at the characteristics of this situation:

http://www.rnao.org/Page.asp?PageID=122&ContentID=2085&SiteNodeID=398

In areas outside the city, we don’t have Out of the Cold programs or shelters, nor can any low income family technically afford market rent.  The only alternative is hospitalization to the tune of $2500+ per month:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/toronto/homeless-patients-cost-2500-more-per-hospital-stay-study-finds/article1933517/

5.  Affordable housing is not a priority for municipalities – A good example is Collingwood, ON who just disbanded their housing committee, or Toronto who suggests getting out of the business entirely.  Placing subsidized options in the hands of municipalities makes it hard to convince one neighbour to dish out the $2895 to support the fellow next door (amount of tax burden per household).  Despite any government subsidy, this is what the situation amounts to and why we’ve lost so many units.  From 1995 to 2003 the affordable market cut 127,680 offerings while 158,456 families joined the waiting list.  Since the recession we’ve only seen more needing assistance and a brazen unwillingness to respond:

http://www.thestar.com/news/torontocouncil/article/952130–new-tchc-director-has-criticized-management-and-said-the-city-can-t-afford-social-housing?bn=1

Please view the attitude Ontario’s most vocal mayor is sharing with his constituents (26 sec):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8YZQ4oQjxgc

Just today a new report was released by the reputable Wellesley Institute to confirm the federal government is quashing affordable housing of every type as well.  They’re cutting another 50,000 spaces in addition to dissolving the home repairs fund.  This means families who manage to find an abode will be forced to live in dilapidated conditions and the cuts will be unanimous by every level of government:

http://www.wellesleyinstitute.com/uncategorized/latest-federal-spending-estimates-confirm-sharp-cuts-to-national-housing-homelessness-investments/

6.  Forsaking the Ontario Poverty Reduction Strategy – Is destroying the base by which we can be measured.  When contemplating the economic recovery of Ontario, we must consider our reputation to business.  Our statistics dropped so dramatically that we were rebuked by UNICEF and the UN.  Canadian children are worse off for shelter, food and clothing than those in Portugal or the Czech Republic:

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/900891–rich-countries-let-poorest-children-fall-behind

In 2007 we ranked 15th and have since fallen to 17th place.  In more detailed categories like family relationships we sadly scored dead-last.  Hopefully these are warning signs the good people of Ontario will take to heart:

http://www.ctv.ca/CTVNews/Canada/20070214/child_wellbeing_070214/

7.  Our poverty help system is punitive in nature – Promoting patterns of absolute breakdown and continued dependency.  “Zero Dollar Linda’s” story went viral amongst health and social work groups and she’s a perfectly good example of this conundrum:

http://www.thestar.com/news/article/894037

Adding to the confusion is the method in which we collect deductions from public assistance.  When a recipient of OW or ODSP works in March they will report their earnings before the end of the month.  The penalty won’t be taken until April 30th however.  This delay only leaves a client vulnerable if they can’t maintain the status quo.  This happens frequently to seasonal, temp and disabled workers, where an entire month will have to lapse before their family could receive support.  It doesn’t matter if they paid bills or lived responsibly.  The qualifier is going 30 days without any income first.  And by the time benefits are reinstated, the family is already receiving disconnection notices.  This will result in being a month behind for the rest of the entire year.

We have threatened our most vulnerable population in the most intimate of ways.  They must live without food, shelter and without their children for trying to make the climb out of poverty.  Their health and stability will be affected and the cost of putting kids in state care is astronomically greater than providing the basics to their parents.

8.  Isolating communities from social support – Turns early intervention opportunities into full blown emergencies.  When a woman can’t seek counseling for domestic violence or information about getting out; this can result in terrible injuries, police, court involvement and tremendous cost to public agencies.  According to the OPP these charges have doubled since the recession.

When a wayward parent can’t access a Triple P parenting program (the gold standard in correcting discipline issues, promoted by every regional health unit), an issue that could have been resolved with education may grow into child abuse.

When they can’t access Legal Aid they end up in a holding cell for 6 months for stealing a loaf of bread.  And when they can’t access counseling for their troubled children, they too grow up through the court system instead.  Despite the social safety we’re so proud of, it’s not within reach for Ontario’s in-between places.  Our services have eroded so far that they’re only offered in larger cities.

Strategies to Make a Real Difference:

 

1.  Establish the $100 Healthy Food Benefit – As outlined at PutFoodInTheBudget.ca, this would directly infuse our most vulnerable households with an increase in groceries.  It must be calculated per person and would make sense to expand to children.  It should also come with protections so no corresponding clawbacks could defeat the purpose (ex. further deductions from the Basic Needsportion of public assistance cheques).

2.  A strong commitment to affordable housing – Is imperative to avert an epidemic in homelessness, especially that of families who constitute the heart of a stable society.

3.  Put children’s Basic Needs back in frontline funding – And enable families to deal with their own fundamental survival.  By canceling coverage through Ontario Works and ODSP offices, we knowingly oppress our own kids from eating for months at a time.  The Ontario Child Benefit did nothing to alleviate our most poor and put them in greater danger, just because of how the program is administered.  This is hardly different from Third World countries where residents obtain “rations” from federal government and aid agencies now.  It also goes a long way to explain the troubling spike in young food bank visitors.

The Ontario Child Benefit may provide relief at the end of a tax year, but it doesn’t help with the onset of an emergency.  In fact, 5% of eligible, low income families haven’t managed to access “baby bonus” at all.  This means imperative funds are diverted to government coffers to collect interest, while more and more children go without.  It’s also a good indicator that federal management of our provincial poverty initiatives is strikingly ineffective.

http://www.moneyville.ca/article/939401–roseman-benefits-go-begging-when-rules-unclear?bn=1

4.  Increase public assistance rates to reflect current inflation – 16 years of tax and rate increases have gone by without recognition.  Back in those days gas sold for 45 cents a liter and bread was 49 cents a loaf.  Today those amounts have tripled and they’re only going up.  Most families are afraid to even mention the word hydro.  It’s just not possible to afford basic staples in the present market with a pay schedule from 1995.  With respect, I feel this expectation is rather curious.

5.  Restructure the way deductions are taken from public assistance recipients – So the program will encourage families to make more frequent attempts at employment opportunities and allow them to contribute to their own support in a fair and just manner.  Remarkably, no one else in Canada pays a higher rate of combined “taxes”, penalties and deductions.  No other group of children is required to support their parents either.  By deducting 100% of children’s wages, we only teach them not to participate in the workforce.  And so the cycle continues.

6.  Provide reasonable access to childcare – And maintain full day kindergarten.  Canada has one of the lowest birthrates, producing only 1.5 children per household.  The biggest part of the problem is mom and dad can’t afford to raise a family.  The average cost of daycare is $200 – $300 per week, per child and that’s over half a family’s income in many cases.  So if childcare is $1000 per month, rent is $900, hydro $200 and groceries at $500; the couple would have to earn $5200 per month to surpass the Low Income Measure.  This doesn’t account for telephone, internet, tv, vehicle, bus pass, insurance, personal needs or clothes.  If they add a second child to their home they will have to boost their income to $7200 per month to live without risk of homelessness or hunger.  If one of them fell sick for 2 weeks it would be enough to put the family unit in danger.  By comparison, the most this family would receive from welfare is $1062 if times ever got tough.  (The LIM suggests spending 50% of income to cover basic needs is too uncertain.  To qualify for a mortgage banks stipulate these expenses can only account for 30%.)

 

Childcare is the Achilles Heel of every working family, but it poses the greatest barrier to those still looking for a job.  This is the future of Ontario and we need to invest in its care more wisely.

7.  Allow those on public assistance to apply for student loans – otherwise we have yet another cog in the cycle of dependency.  Any person has a greater chance of employability with education and again, this is the only group barred from equal access.  If they accept a student loan for books and course fees, they will become disqualified from Ontario Works and ODSP for food and shelter in return.  This particular discrepancy contributed to the death of a Sudbury, ON woman:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kimberly_Rogers

By denying education to the impoverished we are only teaching future generations the same, unengaged behaviour.  We also prevent a great number of disabled persons from a life of productivity, showing them barriers instead of a method to overcome them.  We take ready minds, able bodies and shut them down instead of providing the tools to flourish and earn returns for our province.  Then society points fingers and claims this group made a choice not to participate, when some of them have literally died trying.

8.  Implement a Guaranteed Annual Income strategy – For all adults, not just senior citizens.  This method has proven successful with the target group and a past pilot project in Dauphin, Manitoba produced the same results for families in poverty:

http://www.cihr-irsc.gc.ca/e/40308.html

Dr. Evelyn Forget conducted the study on behalf of government with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research from 1974 – 1979.  Despite its success however, politics and economy of the day brought a swift end to poverty reduction concerns.  This option has been debated for 30 years by members of every political party and Conservative Senator Hugh Segal is the Guaranteed Annual Income’s most current proponent:

http://www.hughsegal.ca/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=126%3Asocial-inclusion-and-poverty-reduction&catid=21%3A2010&Itemid=27&lang=en

While I understand there are drawbacks to implementing such an overhaul, the payback is worth its weight in gold and healthcare.  The latter raises particular concern when we consider changes to Ontario (and Canada) demographics on the horizon.  In the near future 1/3rd of our population will have to support the remaining 2/3rd of aged residents.  The older group will be subject to a higher rate of illness while the younger workforce won’t have access to pensions or benefits for their own growing families.

We have to expect some bumps in the road and making it impossible for the working class to recover from challenges will be at our own peril.  Food, utilities and shelter have become precious luxuries already.  Add the cost of carrying the majority of our population with the smaller, remaining tax base and compound that with 50% – 100% deductions from gross wages, along with no childcare and we have a recipe for disaster.  At the end of the day a Guaranteed Annual Income appears to be the most successful answer to circumvent countless oppressive policies, encourage productivity and maintain the health of families as they take on this daunting, historical task.

9.  Promote a provincial structure to provide community resource in rural areas – This will make great strides in coping with isolation.  With the least amount of dollars we can accomplish the most good, by making our social safety net accessible to a larger audience.

This would require a parent body to oversee grassroots providers in smaller populations, where they could tap into core programs essential to their communities.  They may include parenting courses, educational material in elder issues or other staples of community support.

Community resource acts as a satellite for information and referral.  It is often early intervention in a wide array of social challenges and saves a heavy burden on more expensive responses like 911, OPP, ER, CAS and the court system.  It’s a vessel to solutions and a catalyst of self sufficiency when residents are faced with difficult events.

I’ve mentioned how poverty and homelessness relate to health care, but our population is about to experience its greatest growing (shrinking) pains in history.  This will be a new phenomenon as baby boomers age out of the workforce and become more dependent on their much smaller group of offspring.  They will be adapting to changes such as ill health, lost pensions and widowhood.

In the case of the latter, perhaps a husband did the banking and drove all these years so his wife would be at a disadvantage without him.  Or a wife cooked and looked after her husband’s medication, but he lacks culinary skills and isn’t sure what the pink or blue pill was for.  They are now lost without their partners.

With access to community resource we can teach the woman pertinent life skills and arrange for volunteer drivers.  We could also teach the gentleman how to cook in a group with others who are facing the same challenges, so he remained independent and developed the support of friends.  We could further arrange plans through his local pharmacy to manage the medication safely.  In these 2 examples we’ve saved the cost of a nursing home, ER and putting stress on CCAC homecare before it was truly necessary.

To ensure this project is viable for rural communities the province would need to provide central management of core resources.  The cost of operating this way comes with savings in itself and any common programs or literature can be shared amongst regional areas.  This structure can accommodate the hiring of 1 course provider to float between grassroots offices, from month to month.  In January they can run a 6 week course in Collingwood and in the middle of February the same person can spend 6 weeks in Wasaga Beach etc.  In another area 1 employee could be responsible for Ancaster, Stoney Creek, Grimsby, Winona and West Lincoln.  It’s a cost effective means of reaching far more isolated people.  The alternative is providing transportation to “the city” and Social Services already complain that’s one of their most overwhelming budgets.

I’m not suggesting we provincially mandate all social groups, but providing a small office filled with information to populations of 10,000 (grouped or alone) seems like a good option to manage dwindling resources.  It’s a social emergency location where clients will be met by a guidance counselor of sorts.  If we don’t give people a place to speak and be counted, they will find it on the other end of 911.

I know there are many “solutions” to poverty, but the important part is that we take action on some of them.  Access to life sustaining employment is obviously the foremost concern in everyone’s minds.  But while our economy rebuilds and numerous families have found their way to the margins, we have a duty to ensure the whole process of recovery is cohesive and productive, as opposed to conflicting and punitive.  In reflection of these fears, TVO reported social services ranked in the top 3 issues according to the electorate.  It notably surpassed both healthcare and education:

http://www.yourvote2011.ca/?p=1222

And finally I’ll leave you with the 2010 report card on child and family poverty in Ontario:

http://www.campaign2000.ca/reportCards/provincial/Ontario/2010OntarioReportCardEnglish.pdf

The Occupy Movement, A Detailed Explanation

(This was previously published by CBC when I was an Occupy Toronto correspondent.  All Occupy related articles have since been migrated to the archives section.  A live link is no longer accessible and the original would need to be sought by request from the broadcaster.)

 

It’s a widespread, global phenomenon; the greatest revolution of our time – and yet no one can seem to put their finger on it.  The participants haven’t summarized the problem in three weeks’ time and the media isn’t sure where to begin.  So what’s this Occupy Movement all about?

 

On Saturday, October 15th, I will join with citizens from every nation in what is set to be a record breaking event, with the Toronto chapter.  Representatives for 99% of the world’s population are intent to be heard, uniting their voices as one.  This movement now spans every continent except Antarctica.  But is this for teachers, pilots, unionists, the unemployed, middle class, impoverished… or is it a bunch of communists as some corners have suggested?

 

The first question that begs answering is who are the 99% and how did they get that way.  They are you and me and everyone we’ve ever known.  Unless you’re part of the 1%, you’re part of the 99 and it’s just that simple.  The middle class has a tendency to view themselves separate from the woes of common man, but rest assured the consequences apply to them too – especially them, in fact.

 

Ultimately the occupation results from “trickle down economics”, to put a very complex set of circumstances in a single nutshell.  According to the Conference Board of Canada, the gap has been growing between rich and poor for more than two decades.  The disparity grew by the greatest proportion in Canada, where average incomes remain stagnant with levels of the 1970’s.  After factoring inflation and debt, our value from wages has actually decreased 10%.   The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives paints a stark contrast for the top 1%, who happened to increase their value 219 times greater than any of us.

 

The score is -10 versus +219.  This kind of disparity hasn’t been seen since the Great Depression and even then society’s wealthiest only controlled 8% of income growth, whereas they control an entire third today.  In response to that historic calamity, governments were forced to respond with public policy that addressed fair taxation and wages.  The goal was to redistribute prosperity even-handedly to prevent another collapse of the country.  Presently however, they control as much as 42.5% of our wealth and government has insisted on lowering their taxes, again to levels not seen since the Depression.  It’s apparent those lessons have been forgotten and astute historians are intent on getting the message out before lines under Salvation Army signs quadruple.

 

The theory to cut taxes for the 1% says this will result in trickle down benefits for the other 99.  It’s supposed to create jobs and cause the market to remunerate us properly based on natural forces.  It’s supported by both the IMF and OECD in the global view of financing.  Except all data shows the benefactors continue to pocket the overwhelming profits and fail to invest in our workforce.  They’reinvesting 40% less in their businesses than they were before the gift of major tax reductions.  That means our so-called stimulus is filtered straight to their bank accounts and they’re taking even more from profit margins.

 

This is like asking us to ignore an elephant in the room.  There have been 11,724 foreign takeovers of Canadian companies in the last 25 years and all our jobs are exported with them.  It was thought through even distribution of global competition that we could replace these countless industries.  But we’ve been forced to reckon with the inability to maintain a system of minimum wage, health or safety regulations and remain competitive with countries that don’t have them.  We’ve already cut costs at a detriment to safety and felt the repercussions through Walkerton and Maple Leaf.  The utilization of employment agencies and repeated attempts at union busting already serve to decrease our wages or any access we had to benefits.  All in the name of shining us up, so we look our best for the 1%.

 

In another bid to win their favour, our governments are deregulating everything from banking to trade, takeovers, wheat, power, food and pharmaceuticals.  Canada has been undergoing a personality makeover to morph into the US and it’s been a harsh battle to keep our social network balanced with the shift toward total capitalism.

 

The FIAT monetary system also bears mention.  At the same time a gap defining rich from poor was allowed to establish, so too was this currency adopted.  No longer was money gold-backed and instead it became traded on the stock market based on debt, wars, ability to repay, GDP, employment rates, investment and poverty.  Since debt is now factored into dollar value, governments have found themselves printing money without the ability to repay it and as a result cause hyperinflation.  The history of FIAT currency has ended in complete failure, without exception, since the beginning of money in 800 AD and bureaucracy only turns to this method of calculating wealth in times of trouble to artificially pad their value.

 

But the moment of truth has arrived and 99% can no longer afford to live within reason.  We’re not making enough to afford inflation, depreciation of wages, or repayment of a deficit to cushion the elite.  We can least afford the cuts to public services that are sacrificed to maintain this pretense of funny-money in our time of suffering.

 

Financial industry employment already outnumbers public sector jobs by 4% to 0.82% respectively.  By the year 2023 they are predicted to control the majority of employment across Canada, should present trends continue.  For every doctor, teacher, police officer, fire fighter, social worker, EI counselor, garbage collector and soldier –  there are four stock brokers, insurance agents and bankers to steer our agendas and speak for our needs.

 

This is how pressure becomes placed on our governments to accommodate deregulation that increases prices, again in an effort to pad the 1% at our expense.  They’re the folks who do the advising, they approve loans for governments in trouble and they fund a majority of major political parties.  Talk about a conflict of interest!  And yet the current Canadian federal government is making laws to end subsidy based on votes and force every party to embrace financing from the 1%.  They also do what they can to prevent unions representing public interests from participating.

 

When that wasn’t enough, the deregulated markets took up the art of speculating.  For those who don’t understand, speculation is the process of buying something (in large quantities) without the need or perhaps intention to sell it.  This artificially manufactures shortages and drives up prices for the 99%.  You’ve watched the result of this activity unfold at the gas pump increasingly throughout the years.  We’re paying the same price per barrel of oil today, as we were when it cost 79 cents at the gas station.  The price has only risen to $1.30/litre now, specifically because of speculation.

 

Since middle class incomes haven’t risen effectively for more than a quarter century and the cost of living has gone through the roof, we also lost our buying power – which is essential to keep a capitalist system functioning.  We were thoroughly supported by manufacturing to meet our own demands, but can only need so many TVs, cars or new clothing patterns and our ability to purchase them on a whim has diminished.

 

So enters the business of speculation and commodities.  We still must eat, drive and light up our homes.  Again through deregulation and privatization, we’ve seen hydro, insurance and interest only climb and once those avenues were saturated they started tinkering with our food.  The 1% is now gambling with our ability to eat, the same way they did with hedge funds and everything else that bubbled over.

 

Global markets are now speculating on corn, grains, sugar and water – the basis we need to make all else.  Like clockwork it’s already doubled our prices at the grocery store, the same as they did with oil.  The 1% has run out of things to increase their incomes beyond the 220% benchmark and they haven’t stopped at anything to maintain their status quo.

 

Further complicating matters is the logistical problem with 1% holding everyone’s wealth.  We’re told they’re “too big to fail” and have to cover their tab for unbridled, vicious grabs at even more of the economy.  They created the internet bubble, housing bubble, finance bubble, food bubble and oil bubble, but the system is set up so they continue to benefit no matter what they’ve done to the economy while you and I are forced to pay for it – WE, the 99%.

 

Last but not least this eats into our tax base, as they lobby governments for deeper cuts and fewer regulations still.  The bulk of our services like health care, child care, education, pensions, EI and housing are on the chopping block because we can’t afford to provide public services while covering the debts of the rich.  The 99%’s debts are forever owed to the 1% and the 1% shift their debts to the 99%.  It might be brilliant if it wasn’t so blatant.

 

The result of these high stakes experiments is the disappearance of a middle class.  It’s predicted for 2025 in Toronto and most cities around the world are similar.  I don’t think there’s any coincidence between financial markets dominating the workforce by 2023 and the collapse of families on its heels 2 years later.

 

I hope this explains why we’re the 99% and everyone needs to support this movement, no matter which path they take to get there.  Ultimately you’re not protesting the people who work on Bay Street, or the police for that matter (they’re the 99% too)!  The financial district was chosen as a symbol of capitalism gone awry, without the courage of governments to control them in the best interests of their people.  And make no mistake; while Canadian banking is more regulated than our counterparts, the entire act of trading, speculation, lending and borrowing is still done on the same global playing field, to the same rules and repercussions.  The attitude of governments is how to become a bigger player in that game, as opposed to moderating the Billionaires Gone Wild before we’re manipulated to ruin.

 

The Occupy movement is not asking for “a” program.  They’re not asking for “a” tax rebate.  What they’re asking for is fundamental change within our system and readdressing priorities like our forefathers had to do in times of disparity past.  This is no easy task on a global scale, but it’s precisely why we elect governments and it’s their job to enter an open discussion in favour of solutions.  The gig is up and 99% of us are ready to take our balls home – or stare through windows in every financial district until they have the courage to notice.

 

This isn’t a fringe group of radicals or anyone holding a grudge from the G20.  This is Grandma, Grandpa, Mom and Dad; Suzy, Bobby and Rufus too.  The most people ever documented in history will be joining together to begin a dialogue with their governments on Saturday.  We can’t afford what amounts to trickle down economics to support the 1% anymore.  Two thousand new entries were made on the critical housing list in Toronto just last month.  40% of our food bank users are now children.  A full third of many communities are already dining there.

 

When situations were radically unfair and unmanageable in the 1960s, our families united and led the way for reluctant governments then too.  Call them hippies, call them whatever you like.  But I call them honest and courageous, agents of positive change.  No one in history will argue they didn’t do something necessary that shaped our future for the better.  The time has come for us to show the same care to our children.

 

***Added February 13, 2014 for educational value.  Please see this fantastic animation that makes the economic situation crystal clear.

Was Rob Ford Talking Drugs On The Danforth?

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/amy-macpherson/mayor-rob-ford-danforth-disaster_b_3737576.html

 

Was Rob Ford Talking About Drugs on the Danforth?

Posted: 08/11/2013 9:18

 

This weekend marks a staple celebration in Toronto, and the mayor of Canada’s largest city was there. Rob Ford attended Taste of the Danforth; not as a proper ambassador, but rather as a patron intent to enjoy the festivities intoxicated.

 

YouTube users have been flooding the site with video evidence of their concerns, prolonging the mayor’s woes with media inquiries into his suspected struggles with substance abuse. The Toronto Star as well as the Globe and Mail have addressed the recent spectacle, but what seems to be overlooked is a poignant entry that may indicate a reference to cocaine.

 

As Ford poses for pictures with festival goers on the street, he comes across a fellow who he repeatedly refers to as “brother”. Amid the intoxicated slurs, the mayor appears to ask if someone in the group is looking for “blow” and confirms that he has some (although what he claims to possess is unproven).  See this clip at 0:17 (UPDATE: The Toronto Star enhanced this audio and found Rob Ford said “cologne” not “blow”)

 

(Video now removed from source, a copy can be found at the Toronto Star)

 

Blow is a nickname for cocaine, raising new suspicions about the infamous crack video first covered by Gawker. The fallout has claimed numerous members of the Ford political entourage, as they departed from City Hall and the world at large encouraged the mayor to seek help for drug addiction.

 

The newest “drug video” has been viewed nearly 18,000 times on some sites, as listeners attempt to discern a controversial quote attributed to Rob Ford,

 

“You want some blow? I’ll get you some blow. I have it, seriously!”

 

These words do appear to be uttered by Toronto’s mayor and whether Ford raised the issue of drugs with constituents or one of them inquired about his troubles, it should be noted that he didn’t condemn the conversation. Instead it was a jovial and carefree moment that substances can induce, when a user isn’t sober enough to realize the consequence of their words and actions.

 

Toronto is a world class city that deserves to be represented in kind and regardless of any smack talk about illicit drugs, there is still the issue of alcohol to contend with. Sarah Thomson previously accused the mayor of inappropriate behaviour while under the influence and despite his denials, the Danforth reinforces similar concerns.

 

Another resident posted video citing worries the mayor was drunk and had driven to the festival. In fairness to Ford he does say that he isn’t driving when pressed on the issue, but others reported him by the vehicle later in the evening.

 

 

Ford used his party time to seek the spotlight while posing for countless pictures. He knew all eyes were on him because he was smiling for the attention. He knows the cloud of suspicion that surrounds him is darkening the city’s reputation and causing dysfunction within city council. He didn’t use this opportunity to speak about responsible drinking or provide a good example, nor did he address the economic and cultural benefits that come from hosting events like Taste of the Danforth.

 

That was too much to ask from a man who is tasked with managing the concerns of millions and the only business Rob Ford wishes to discuss is where to find the next venue with mind-altering substances. In lieu of drumming up support for business and community, the mayor was concerned with partying. He promoted public intoxication over public safety and couldn’t see beyond enjoyment of self in what some would call a slurring stupor.

 

So the question begs to be asked, is this the face constituents want to represent their interests while attracting committed business to the metropolis? Is this how the mayor behaves when negotiating deals with corporate friends? Are these the actions of a leader or truly Conservatives ideals? Is Ford’s judgement sound or is it really shaded by addiction?

 

Let us not forget the mayor is a fishing buddy to our Prime Minister and a previous party to celebrate their pursuit of a Tory trifecta was attended by the most powerful CPC personalities.


 

They say we’re judged by the company we keep and to date the mayor is alleged to be friendly with convicted, stabbed and/or dead drug dealers.  Stephen Harper considers Ford to be part of his inner circle and our country’s leader was surrounded by Mike Duffy, Nigel Wright, Patrick Brazeau, and Mike Sona as well.  All individuals are innocent until proven guilty, but can we name another Prime Minister who was dogged by so many illicit allegations in his entourage, or intoxicated partners who repeatedly star in questionable videos?