July 28th 2004
The nice part about being a criminal in Canada is that you are dealt with far more leniently than your victims ever were or will be.
It is strange that the police go to all the trouble of apprehending the miscreants in the vast majority of cases only to see some judge or jury pass on a slap on the wrist to the offender effectively sending a message out to the rest of the underworld that they do not have to worry about the consequences of their actions.
I say this as a result of the pathetic sentences passed in at least two cases recently.
The first was a rather horrendous case involving two youths who were chained up in the basement of their foster parents home and forced to drink urine and eat faeces, they were so afraid of these animals supposedly acting as guardians to them.
Beatings and deprivation for something like 10 years was the life these two boys lived. Finally someone was alerted to this matter and they were rescued. Only to see the people responsible for these atrocities described as “doing their best under the circumstance” and “not being able to use proper judgement” and then being given a seven month sentence to be served at home because the judge didn't think that they were really able to comprehend the enormity of their actions and besides the woman had a bad back and it would be made worse in jail!!
Didn't stop her from locking up the boys in the basement I notice.
Nor for that matter did it seem to stop her acting in a reasonable manner to her own child who it was noted did not need to suffer the same fate as his cousins living under the same roof.
I would ask where the Children's Aid Society was during all those years but they of course are looking for people who smack their children or, the latest farce on their part, taking away aboriginal children from white foster parents to give to other white foster parents and trying to pretend that it is a cultural imperative. More of that later however.
So treating children is OK so long as you really didn't mean to do so.
Especially if you can find some reason, or other person, to pin your blame on. Society and parents apparently being the excuse of choice lately.
On the other hand the obvious feeling that children are a nuisance and should be treated like chattels is probably why there was such a mind boggling sentence in the other case that sprang to prominence as well.
A dentist arrested with the biggest collection of Child porn ever found in Canada was given an eighteen-month conditional sentence at his trial.
No jail time.
9 months house arrest and filters on his computer. To start with. Oh what terrible sentence that will be. How inhumane to think that a person who amassed a collection in the millions will be forced to stay at home.
Yes you did read that right.
Of pictures and videos of child pornography! BUT
“Dr. Griesdorf was examined by one of the foremost experts in this field ... and that doctor said he is of low risk and of no danger to society, basically."
Oh Yes. Of course. Never mind that one of the charges involved obtaining the sexual services of a person under 18. That one of the Policemen described the collection as some of the most depraved he had seen.
No of course not. Our Judges in their absolute wisdom know much better than any of us how the criminal brain works and we should not question any of their decisions. Low down scum that we are. Imagine actually wanting justice in cases like this?
Oh and I should mention that any comparisons to Michael Briere, who was the rapist/murderer of Holly Jones, is wrong on any of our parts.
Actually I wonder why it is that the Canadian public puts up with this continued assault on their sensibilities.
Then I remember that the main topic of contention during the recent election was abortion and gay rights. I also remember that the sheep in Ontario put a bunch of crooks back into Government in Ottawa and perhaps I am not that surprised.
Anyway the only good bit of news to come out of the courts recently was the utterly stupid case of the two half Squamish native children who were allowed to stay with there white foster parents at last.
Some time ago a Squamish Band female, who was a drug addict, died and her two daughters were adopted by two white families here in Ontario. The father was apparently white and a crack head as well, although I am not too sure if he is dead as well.
Both girls had severe psychological problems and with love, care and attention had moved away from their horrendous past and were growing up as normal healthy little girls.
Which is when, in time honoured Canadian tradition, the Children's Aid Society got involved. It seems that at first they were happy to let the two girls stay with their foster families. That all changed for some reason. I am not sure why and I don't think the families did either. What transpired though was that the CAS in conjunction with the Squamish Band decided to uproot these girls and take them from Ontario to British Columbia where the Band are and then put them in the care of a woman there.
Now here is the total absurdity of the whole situation.
This woman was in her 50's and white! She didn't even live on the reservation and it appears her only ties were as a result of having a Squamish boyfriend.
So take away two girls from a family where they have siblings and friends, the only families they know, fly them thousands of miles across a country to an old white woman and then tell everyone this is because it a cultural imperative! If that isn't the most hypocritical piece of absurd stupidity I don't know what is.
In the end the woman in BC moved to some other place with, I think, a new boyfriend, and the judge said enough of this stupidity. Not that that stopped the CAS who are still whining about it.
But at least the little girls will know the happiness of a continued loving family life.
Which is more than can be said for many of the victims of the current criminal element laughing at the police and the man in the street
What a crazy screwed up system of justice there is in this country sometimes.
July 19th 2004
It is Canada Day today. July 1st
Time for a bit of a celebration. This being my first Canada Day as a full citizen and all that.
Aside from everything else that is taking place I noticed a definite upswing in the amount of goods bearing the Canadian Flag and even in the use of the flag itself.
Clothes, food, beverages and reams and reams of newspaper adverts have suddenly begun to use the red, white and red of the flag to promote an interesting awareness of Canadian patriotism.
Maybe the taste of nasty vicious little internecine warfare of the last elections needed to be forcibly removed from the collective mouths of the citizens.
So with all that in mind I thought it might prove interesting to look at the history of the Canadian Maple Leaf flag and how much acrimony there was in its birth.
Which incidentally was only officially raised for the first time in 1965. Something that causes surprise among many people who think that it has been around for ages.
Before that of course Canada had the Red Ensign, which was a red flag with the Union Jack in one corner and the Canadian coat of arms diagonally opposite.
Interestingly the Maple Leaf as a symbol for Canada has been around for far longer. The St. Jean Baptiste Society (a pretty virulent Quebecois political pressure group!) adapting it as its emblem in 1834 and the maple leaf itself being used as a decoration for the visit of the Prince of Wales in 1860.
So I suppose that even way back then Canadians realised the intrinsic value of the maple as a representative of the country.
In fact throughout the past hundred years the Maple Leaf has been synonymous with Canada.
In 1867 the song “The Maple Leaf Forever” was written by Alexander Muir and has been seen as the “real” anthem by many people ever since.
In 1904 the Canadian athletes at the Olympic Games had a maple leaf on their uniforms and during the First World War the maple leaf was incorporated into the badge of the Canadian Expeditionary force. During the Second World War once again the maple leaf was seen as a distinguishing mark and used extensively in badges and in other areas where identification was necessary.
It was only in 1921 that Canada received the right to have Red and White as their “Official” colours though and even then it was only granted to them by King George V as a proclamation. (Interestingly the colour of the Maple Leaf on the Canadian Coat of Arms is still green at this stage and will only be changed to red after this proclamation and even then only in 1957!)
Which seems to have spurred on a few people to look at a new flag as well.
The most notable being the then Prime Minister Mackenzie King who in 1925 appointed a Parliamentary Committee to investigate designs for the new flag.
In true Canadian Parliamentary Committee fashion they failed to come up with a report!!
So in 1946 Mackenzie King decided to try again. Not having learnt his lesson he again appoints a Parliamentary committee.
Who this time split along language lines. The English speaking MP's wanting the Union Jack included while the French MP's wanting it eliminated. The Quebec legislature decides to get involved and, rather wisely I think, pass a resolution demanding that ALL foreign symbols be excluded from any future flag.
Then in 1963 Lester Pearson is elected Prime Minister and, probably as a result of his experience many years earlier during the Suez Crisis, states that Canada will have a new flag within two years.
During the Suez Crisis Pearson was instrumental in negotiating a peace but at the time suffered some embarrassment when the Canadian troops were denied access as peacekeepers because the Canadian Flag had a Union Jack and this was identified to closely with Great Britain. (the other party involved in the crisis!)
This time Pearson decides to ask the Canadian public to submit designs rather than going the tried and sorely tested Parliamentary Committee route.
Actually since 1946 there had already been a whole lot of contests and competitions to find a new Canadian Flag so asking the public seemed a fairly natural way to approach the topic.
I understand that in 1964 they already had almost 4000 designs that had been submitted over the years. And that another 2000 were submitted to the new committee.
Lots of them had Union Jacks and Fleur De Lys as a motif and of course there were caribou, beavers and the North Star. The most popular emblem though was the Maple Leaf.
In 1964 George Stanley sent a proposal for a flag that consisted of a single maple leaf on a field of white with red bars to John Matheson. Matheson headed the committee to find the flag.
In June of 1964 the debate on the flag began in the House of Commons. And carried on for weeks! And weeks! Months actually.
In September 1964 a 15-member committee is set up under John Matheson and told they have six weeks to make a decision. Which considering the average Canadians inability to make a decision that quickly seems fairly harsh, however in October Matheson sneaks in Stanley's flag design and on the 22nd October it becomes the committees' choice by 14 votes to 0 in what was described as a “sudden death secret ballot” (No. Don't ask me!)
Then Parliament must ratify the new flag.
The Tories under Diefenbaker decide to halt the process and engage in filibuster tactics hoping that Pearson and the Government will drop the issue. Standard Canadian debating tactics in fact. Thirty-three days and 252 speeches later, oddly enough the Canadian Flag was actually saved by Quebec!
A Quebec Conservative broke the deadlock and allowed the house to vote on the design.
The new flag was accepted by 163 votes to 78.
It was flown officially for the first time on February 15th 1965
While Matheson and Stanley were officially credited with designing the Canadian flag as we know it, it appears that in actual fact the flag may have been copied from one that was flown at the Royal Military College in Kingston Ontario. Stanley's suggestion was based on the Commandant's flag there, which was made up of three vertical pales or bands, red, white and red, with the college crest (a mailed fist holding three maple leaves) in the white or centre pale. He merely substituted a single red maple leaf.
So that in an encapsulated nutshell is the story of how Canada got its present flag.
I will let Matheson have the last word on what for me and many other Canadians stands as a strong symbol of my new country:
"It meets all the tests for a distinguished flag. It is a flag of dignity and grace, worthy of a great sovereign nation."
July 5th 2004
Well, Well, Well!
So you can fool some of the people all of the time!
And all of the pollsters most of the time!
Not that I have any sympathy for the pollsters at all. I am waiting with baited breath to see whether the Martin Government will renege on its promises and treat the electorate as badly as their Provincial cousins before I make my judgement on the electorate.
Interestingly the same bunch of unthinking sheep that voted in the Ontario Liberals kept the Martin regime in power in Ottawa.
This has to be one of the best examples of an election where fear, fraud and Provincialism were the major motivators when it came to the electorate's pattern of vote casting.
It was my first chance to cast a vote in my new country and so I have been following all the ruckus with more interest than I may normally have done. Even though I am really a political animal at heart.
The weeks leading up to the election itself were dominated by vicious lies and attack advertising that was breathtaking to say the least. Oddly enough the worst proponents of this were the Liberals who forgot that they despised the United States and used the most cynical manipulation of the truth ever seen North of the border. In true American electioneering style.
So much so that throughout the campaign I searched in vain to find the Liberal platform. Oh! I knew what they told me the Conservatives would do if they won.
Harper would suddenly sprout horns and overnight the country would have concentration camps where gays, women and immigrants would be incarcerated.
Perhaps the most cynical hypocrisy was the Liberals use of the Canadian Flag (slowly dissolving as the Conservatives took power) as a tool to denote that they, and only they, were “TRUE PATRIOTS” and representative of Canada.
Oddly enough they used every American nasty trick to try to prove that the Conservatives were Americans in disguise intent on making Canada into a 53rd State.
Even odder was their campaign, which basically went “vote for the devil you know”!!!
Now to me that means that they actually admitted their guilt in many of the issues that weren't being debated and were asking the electorate to vote them in still because at least the electorate knew they were thieves and liars but who knows what the Conservatives would do.
And yet…….the electorate in the GTA actually did just that!
I make that claim justifiably by the way. If it weren't for all the seats in the GTA going to the Liberal candidate then the Liberals would not be in the position of being a minority Government today.
As it is the results were interesting.
The Liberals got 135 seats. The Conservatives 99. The Bloc Quebecois 54. The NDP 19 and then there was one independent.
You need 155 seats to form a majority Government so the Liberals fell far short of that. Form a strong majority Government they now have to rely on the other parties to help them get business conducted.
The Conservatives aren't likely to agree to rubber stamp Liberal promises. They want their own share of the trough later on.
The Bloc are intent on dissolving Canada and becoming a country in their own right. So they aren't likely to agree to anything unless it includes sovereignty for Quebec.
That leaves the NDP and one independent.
The NDP would demand every last ounce of taxpayers blood in order to give every homeless person a bike and a free drug of choice so that may prove to be an expensive option and anyway that would still fall one vote short of a majority.
So we have a minority Government and one that is still reeling from the fall out of all the lies and corruption they have been caught out in. They promised billions to the gullible during the campaign, which is going to be interesting when it comes to actually delivering.
Mind you their provincial counterparts have given up all pretence at making good on their lies during the local election.
Actually I am still astonished that after the way they were sucked into voting for the Liberals in Ontario, who have reneged on 90% of their promises, the local sheep went ahead and cast their vote for their Federal counterparts.
Maybe I am not.
The GTA comprises masses of immigrants, most of whom would vote for the party that allowed them into Canada. In addition the local media played on the fear of the unknown and were a very adroit propaganda arm of the Liberal party.
Then there was the curious incident of my Sons vote!
I did mention sometime ago that my son was signed up at University as a voter. That he was sent a voters registration card. Despite not being a Canadian citizen.
Well I checked up on the day as well and there, bold as brass, was his name under mine and when I inquired I was told that he still had time to vote.
So I mentioned my concerns to the authorities.
Interestingly the political parties in this election decided the levels of authority. So the Manager overseeing the station was decided by the Liberals while the managers at each booth were decided by the Conservatives.
So when I mentioned my concerns, the booth manager made a notation next to his name that he couldn't vote etc. while the station manager was so unconcerned and blasé that it made me wonder just what the hidden agenda may have been.
As it is I think that most of the students voted for the Green Party anyway. My Sons choice incidentally. So I think that if there was some shenanigans taking place, and remember we are talking about the Liberals here, it probably backfired anyway.
The one aspect of voting in this country that I really find astonishing is how bland and boring the actual voting day process is.
No Candidates trying to shake your hand.
No party tents making last minute pleas for support.
No posters or stickers or hats or balloons.
No Koeksisters or Melktert for the faithful!!
So damn Canadian in fact.
So the next few years will be interesting. Historically a minority Government hasn't lasted that long.
About two years on average. Just long enough for the voters to discover that they have been lied to again.
We wait with baited breath for the first cracks to appear in a very fragile unity.