critter cartoon

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Ottawa cop charged

Source: The Spec

OTTAWA — Ottawa police have charged one of their own with criminal harassment in connection with a series of incidents that happened over a four month period.

Police say the 43-year-old officer has been charged with three counts of criminal harassment for events that occurred between Nov. 1, 2009 and Feb. 5, 2010.

The name of the officer will not be released in order to protect the victim’s privacy.

According to Supt. Mike Flanagan, there was a personal relationship between the officer and the victim.

Police are still investigating to see whether charges will also be laid under the Police Services Act.

The officer has been suspended with strict conditions, and he will appear in court on Sunday.

Friday, February 5, 2010

OPP officer to be tried on fatal crash charges

OPP officer to be tried on fatal crash charges


A Thunder Bay-area provincial police officer will stand trial in connection with the death of an 18-year-old woman after a 2008 motor vehicle collision.

Sgt. Darryl Storey was committed to Superior Court on charges of criminal negligence causing death and dangerous driving causing death after a four-day preliminary hearing concluded Thursday.

His trial is to begin June 1. Storey is not in custody.

Storey‘s charges stem from a collision between an unmarked OPP cruiser and a sedan on the morning of Dec. 3, 2008, at the intersection of Highway 11/17 and Twin City Crossroads.

The collision resulted in the death of Jasmine Marie Veneruzzo.

Storey, a 25-year veteran of the OPP, was on duty at the time, and charges were laid following a probe by the province‘s Special Investigations Unit.

A preliminary inquiry is a hearing where a judge determines whether there is enough evidence to send a matter to trial.

On Monday, the hearing‘s first day, a publication ban on all evidence presented during the hearing was put in place.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

OPP make arrest in breach of trust investigation


ORILLIA, ON, Feb. 3 /CNW/ - The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP),
Professional Standards Bureau, has arrested and charged an OPP officer
following an investigation into the disclosure of confidential information.
As a result of receiving information, the OPP Professional Standards
Bureau launched a criminal investigation into the actions of an OPP officer.
The investigation found that the officer released confidential information to
an unauthorized person.
Constable Muharem KRDZALIC, age 28, a 2 year member of the OPP assigned
to the 407 Detachment of Highway Safety Division has been charged with Breach
of Trust, contrary to the Criminal Code.
The information released by the officer was not related to the operation
of Highway 407 or traffic enforcement on Highway 407.
Constable KRDZALIC has been suspended from duty and will appear in the
Ontario Court of Justice, Courtroom No.9, 491 Steeles Ave, Milton, Ontario on
March 17, 2010.

Crown drops charges against OPP's Fantino

A Crown attorney has withdrawn charges against OPP Commissioner Julian Fantino, who was alleged to have illegally influenced elected officials in Caledonia, the site of a long-running aboriginal occupation.

In a Cayuga, Ont., courtroom Wednesday morning, Milan Rupic said there were no reasonable grounds for conviction. He also said his office had the authority to take over the case, which hinged on private charges.

Justice of the Peace Dan MacDonald agreed, adding that pursuing the case would not be in the best interest of the public.

Gary McHale, the activist pushed to have Fantino charged after the provincial police head allegedly sent an email in 2007 telling the mayor and councillors in Caledonia not to attend McHale's rallies, opposes Wednesday's ruling.

He has filed a judicial review claiming the Crown attorney's office does not have jurisdiction to take over his case.

Fantino had repeatedly denied the allegations.

The 2 men who are putting a police chief on trial

Source: CBC.CABy any measure, Gary McHale and Mark Vandermaas are pains in the butt.

The two activists descended upon the Caledonia, Ont., standoff in 2006, claiming they were standing up for equal rights.

The pair felt the Ontario Provincial Police was not being fair to local residents in the dispute, favouring instead those of First Nations descent because of the OPP's sorry record in the similar Ipperwash confrontation in 1995.

Their suspicions were returned in kind: Both the cops and the Six Nations people believed McHale and Vandermaas were agitators bent on encouraging unrest.

Some even went so far as to accuse the pair of being white supremacists who didn't like the province's handling of the native demands.

But anyone who believes in justice being open and transparent might just consider them heroes with what they've accomplished so far in Ontario courts.

Where the police have turned a blind eye, they have shone a spotlight and laid private charges, with astonishing success.

To date, they have won four cases in Superior Court and now — against serious odds — have succeeded in laying criminal charges against OPP Commissioner Julian Fantino, the province's top cop, for influencing or attempting to influence municipal officials.

For his part, the OPP chief has played down the charge, in fact he once called McHale "a goof" who he would gladly have arrested himself.

But Fantino is now scheduled to have his day in court — on the defendant's side of the table — and, if the trial goes ahead, it could well have important consequences for those in positions of authority.

Common law
McHale and Vandermaas, who have no legal backgrounds, are using orders of mandamus, an ancient legal writ that commands the legal system to perform its functions.

"In our system, prior to 1858, there was no such thing as a Crown attorney," said McHale, the more public face of the pair.

"But those common law rights are still there. We have a lot more power as citizens, but we don't prosecute our government officials when they screw up."

If the government or the police fail you, McHale says, you should take them to court.

"That's what we needed in the sponsorship scandal.

"Someone in the public should have laid charges against the politicians instead of spending a $100 million on the Gomery inquiry."

McHale, 47, claims he was minding his own business when he was drawn to the Caledonia fight in the summer of 2006.

A computer programmer who specializes in accounting software, he was known as an inveterate writer of letters to newspapers and as someone with an admittedly right-wing bent.

Read a history of the complaint against OPP Chief Julian Fantino and his response.

View commentator Rex Murphy's take on the dispute.
In 2001, he was charged with mischief and even spent a night behind bars for tying up Liberal MP Bryon Wilfert's fax machine with repeated requests that he answer his questions.

Holding people accountable is McHale's raison d'etre. He did not get involved in Caledonia until the repeated clashes over the disputed land escalated into violence and, in the view of many people there, the police failed to intervene.

In the summer of 2006, McHale began to chart all the incidents where no charges were laid, and put videos of some of them on his website.

He started a petition for the removal of OPP Commissioner Gwen Boniface (who would leave before summer's end). And he instructed local residents to make sure they received an incident number from police when they phoned in to report something wrong.

That was because he felt the police had been negligent in not only investigating but recording crimes.

At one point, giving a speech in Brantford in October 2006, McHale was videotaped by Mark Vandermaas, a former UN peacekeeper from London, Ont., who put the video on his website Voice of Canada and their collaboration began.

Raising a flag
"When they came to town, I saw them as true leaders," said Caldeonia resident Merlyn Kinrade, 75, a retired plumber. "They were true Canadians in every sense of the word.

The two men encouraged their followers to shun violence, and their main act of defiance was to raise the Canadian flag, which led to their initial confrontation with the police.

It irked Vandermaas that it was so outrageous to raise the flag on Canadian soil.

"Their reason for stopping us was to protect us from harm from an extreme element which might want to hurt us," said Vandermaas. "So they were arresting the potential victim.

Where's the logic in that?"

Shortly after Fantino, the tough-talking former head of the Toronto Police Service, was appointed OPP commissioner on Oct. 30, 2006, he openly criticized McHale and his supporters, calling them "goofs" and "troublemakers" bent on creating "civil war."

The following April, when a Caledonia town councillor, Craig Grice, said something positive about McHale, Fantino jumped down the throats of the Caledonia council.

He emailed them, saying the OPP "have worked tirelessly on the front lines and beyond to simply maintain order in an otherwise chaotic and very turbulent situation; made especially difficult every time McHale and his followers come to town."

Fantino then vowed to hold Haldimand County and McHale responsible for any injuries suffered by an OPP officer, and said he would recommend pulling police out of the county in 2008 when their contract comes up for renewal.

"When I appeared before you several months back, I came away believing we had a mutual understanding about the detrimental effect that McHale and his followers were having in Caledonia," Fantino wrote the council.

"We never expected that [Grice] would fall prey to McHale's propaganda and it is now up to you as a council to deal with the fallout."

A direct attack
Vandermaas felt the email revealed the commissioner "as a bully. We considered it a direct attack on democracy."

The commissioner's insistence on painting him and McHale as outsiders coming to town, says Vandermaas, was no different than what Martin Luther King Jr. faced when he led his protests for equal rights from a Birmingham jail.

Vandermaas also feels that the centuries of injustice felt by Canada's Aboriginal Peoples cannot be remedied by treating them differently under the law.

"The way to solve racism is not to create unequal treatments of people based on their skin colour. I want the OPP to be colour-blind and blind to that person's race," he says. "Justice must be blind."

With others, the pair created a new website, CANACE-Canadian Advocates for Charter Equality, to further articulate their cause.

What happened next, though, would change McHale and Vandermaas from webmasters into a new career as amateur lawyers.

Charges stayed
Over the next two years the two men — with help from fellow CANACE founder Jeff Parkinson — launched 20 legal actions. Some were directed at two key native protesters, whom McHale blames for having shut down most of the development in Haldimand County.

The OPP then laid their own charges against the two native men after McHale's were certified by the court. But the Crown stayed those charges.

McHale also had native leader Clyde Powless charged with assaulting a police officer, obstructing police, being a member of a riot and assault causing bodily harm, but the Crown stayed those charges, too.

Undaunted, McHale is asking for judicial reviews of the stays by a divisional court, where three Superior Court judges will have to determine whether the Crown is abusing its authority.

"You have not lived until you see a guy like Gary in running shoes, take on three of the best lawyers taxpayers can buy and succeed five times," says Vandermaas. "The government is no longer accusing us of abusing the courts."

Common nuisance
McHale has also attempted to lay charges against police officers and government officials for common nuisance (for not carrying out their duties). As well, he laid mischief charges against police officers who allegedly helped natives construct a barricade.

"The two fundamental battles we're fighting for are the rights of a citizen to lay a charge if they have the evidence," said McHale. "And establishing that government officials and police officers are equal under the Criminal Code."

However, McHale is also being sued by OPP officers for $7.2 million for defaming them on his website.

As well, in December 2007, the OPP charged him with counselling mischief, not committed for his role in organizing a protest against the ongoing standoff in a farmer's field near Caledonia.

It was an obscure charge used by police who were bent on having him banned from Caledonia.

Ironically, it is that charge that has led to McHale's legal victories.

"I couldn't travel to Caledonia any more, so it freed up a lot of time to focus on court," said McHale. "The charges gave me the right to disclosure.

"The Crown said I was asking for way too much, but I'm now at volume 24 and most of the good stuff came after the government said I had enough disclosure."

Demand your rights
Abandoning their regular jobs, and living on whatever could be fundraised at the local Tim Hortons, McHale and Vandermaas started finding out more about their legal rights.

The key, McHale says, is "to get documents, use police service complaints, videotape everything, track as many government documents as you can and, at least in this case, monitor what government lawyers are saying in other courtrooms.

"They don't keep their stories straight," said McHale. "Transcripts from one courtroom are being used against them in another. That crucifies them all the time."

His four major victories in Superior Court are all related to private prosecutions and include the right of citizens to petition for a writ of mandamus (literally an order from a higher court to an inferior court or a public official); and to get mandamuses heard in open court, including Superior Court, so the media can report on all the relevant facts, excluding the names of the potentially accused.

In one of the decisions, the late Justice David Marshall, citing American Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, called private prosecutions a "bulwark of democracy."

Asked what he has learned since his days writing letters to the editor, McHale said it is that Canadian legal rights exist but they are not easily granted to you-you must demand them.

"It's up to the individual to say: 'My rights are violated. I have to go to court.'"

Going to court has been costly-both McHale and Vandermaas are about $50,000 in debt-and it has been time-consuming.

"If you're going to fight a battle," says McHale, "resolve yourself that it is long term. There's no one protest, no one letter, no one politician to take your side. You're in for the long haul and for the ups and downs.

"One day they're patting you on the back, the next day they're cursing your name. You've got to keep going."

Read more:

Ont. top cop pushed for charges against protester


OPP Commissioner Julian Fantino encouraged his officers to lay charges against a protester — before there was any evidence the man had committed a crime — during a clash between natives and residents of Caledonia, Ont., in late 2007, according to emails made public this week in a court case.

"At some point McHale has to go," Fantino wrote Deputy Commissioner Chris Lewis, a half hour after a protest began on Dec. 1, 2007, referring to Gary McHale of Richmond Hill, Ont., who was leading a campaign to hold the OPP accountable for its policing decisions.

On Feb. 28, 2006, native protesters occupied disputed land in Caledonia, next to the Six Nations reserve. Ensuing clashes with Caledonia residents led to a standoff that has continued for almost four years.

When a native woman attacked McHale during the Dec. 1 protest, claiming that he had assaulted her, the police were almost giddy in their email exchanges that they finally had what they wanted.

"There is a hidden gem here," officer Rick Barnum wrote to OPP Supt. Bob Goodall. "It appears on the ground the sentiment is that McHale may have pushed a female FN [First Nations] lady who was close to him."

Another officer reported to Barnum: "Gary McHale viciously beaten by [native leader Clyde Powless]. He appears hurt."

McHale went to hospital but Fantino, who was kept abreast of every action at the scene, was mistakenly told that McHale had been arrested. Fantino wrote to Goodall: "I want every avenue explored by which we now can bring McHale into court seeking a court order to prevent him from continuing his agenda of inciting people to violence in Caledonia.

"We should be able to prove to court that McHale's forays into Caledonia have been planned and executed for purposes of breaching the peace which today also resulted in violence. We can't allow this vicious cycle to continue to the point where time and again we have to expend an inordinate number of police resources to keep people from killing themselves," Fantino wrote.

Although Fantino was told the Dec. 1 protest was organized by Caledonia resident Doug Fleming to challenge an illegal native smoke shop on disputed land, the OPP commissioner was preoccupied with McHale, claiming his visits to Caledonia led to $500,000 in extra policing costs.

Still banned from Caledonia
McHale submitted the emails, which he obtained through disclosure, to a court on Feb. 2 in an attempt to review his bail conditions on an obscure charge of counselling mischief, not committed. More than two years later, his bail conditions still prevent him from setting foot in Caledonia.

McHale has also filed a private prosecution to instigate a criminal charge against Fantino for trying to influence Haldimand County Council and its treatment of him.

Fantino is to appear in Ontario Superior Court Feb. 3 in Cayuga to answer to that charge.

"It's taken two years to get emails that clearly show the officers were told to arrest me, regardless of the evidence," said McHale, adding he was disturbed, but not surprised, to find the police focusing on him.

On Dec. 2, 2007, a day after the clash in Caledonia, Fantino wrote an email to his deputy commissioner to say he was slow to respond because he had to "cool off."

"What are we doing in Caledonia? … If it isn't us being told what to do by feeble Crowns, it is our own lack of fire. It seems to me we are reactive to the point that McHale is the orchestra leader while we are almost captive to his nonsense. Ahh, I can't believe this!!!!!" Fantino wrote.

Lewis sends this message to his officers: "I'm with the boss [Fantino] at dinner tonight and we're discussing McHale. He's enquiring (sic) about the timing of charges. Is there any way that charges could be laid sooner than later?"

Based on his correspondence, Fantino wanted to be informed as soon as possible so he could pass on the news to Deborah Newman, then Ontario's deputy minister of community safety and correctional services. He even wrote he would like to emulate an infamous Los Angeles police chief who made arrests "and go out and arrest the goof myself."

Police disappointed
As the week wore on, police became disappointed that they could not charge McHale with assault.

Supt. Ron Gentle weighed in on Dec. 3 in an email to the deputy commissioner: "The assault of McHale by Bullet [native protest leader Clyde Powless] was caught on all kinds of video as people turned the cameras on when the action happened. Unfortunately, the alleged assault committed by McHale, to this point, is not on video. The best we have is the victim claiming verbally to have been assaulted on at least one tape. We have witnesses on both sides that say he did and didn't commit an offence.

"We want to ensure, when we arrest and charge Bullet we do the same with McHale to eliminate any of the usual issues."

It was up to Goodall to pass on the bad news to Fantino: "McHale did not assault [Camille] Powless. She assaulted McHale and then committed public mischief by making a false report to police. Charges pending.

"McHale tried to set us up in that he anticipated that we would charge him with assault and then he would release a videotape showing him being assaulted by [Camille]."

Goodall told Fantino police could get McHale with an obscure charge for counselling mischief, not committed. Police also wanted charges against Clyde Powless for assaulting a police officer and assaulting McHale.

Powless was never charged with assaulting a police officer.

McHale told CBC News on Feb. 2 that Fantino was ordered by a court in October 2008 to turn over his emails, but it took him more than a year to do so.

"Why are they hiding this stuff when there's a court order?" asked McHale, who said he has about a dozen outstanding requests for disclosure. "It leads me to wonder: How much more material are they hiding from me?"

Fantino did not respond to requests for an interview.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Wrongly convicted also victims: Shanoff

Source: Toronto Sun
OK, so the system didn’t work very well.

We, not only charged you with an offence you didn’t commit but we also convicted you. It happens. So, you spent a few years in prison and were labelled a criminal.

We can’t give you the years back. We can’t put you back where you would have been had you not been wrongly convicted.

Oh, I see, you want financial compensation.

Well, according to Ontario Attorney General Chris Bentley we only do that in “rare, unusual cases.”

So even though it’s been recognized that Robert Baltovich and Anthony Hanemaayer had been wrongfully convicted they won’t receive any compensation. Providing them with compensation would be “inappropriate.”

What makes it inappropriate? Who knows?

Perhaps it’s inappropriate because Hanemaayer pleaded guilty to a sexual assault he didn’t commit. But surely that shouldn’t be held against him. He didn’t do this with any malicious intent. Rather than face the risk of a conviction and a lengthy sentence he chose to enter into a plea bargain and receive a much shorter sentence.

Doesn’t our criminal justice system encourage plea bargains, even by the innocent?

And what about Baltovich? He served almost nine years for murder, was granted a new trial and later acquitted in 2008.

Perhaps it’s inappropriate to give him compensation because he was never actually declared innocent. Instead, he was acquitted after the Crown decided not to enter any evidence at Baltovich’s new trial.

Unless you’ve been exonerated by a DNA test or the evidence clearly points to the guilt of another, it’s difficult to establish innocence.

Courts aren’t in the business of making declarations of innocence in Canada. The available verdicts are guilty and not guilty.

Perhaps we should let the civil courts decide the compensation issue. Sorry, that’s unlikely to lead to much justice because it’s nearly impossible to win a malicious prosecution case now that the Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that even in cases where there has been a clear miscarriage of justice a plaintiff must establish “affirmative evidence of malice or improper purpose.”

I doubt either Hanemaayer or Baltovich could establish malice or an improper purpose.

This could be unsettling for the many victims of disgraced pathologist Dr. Charles Smith. He’s the pathologist whose “expert” evidence led to several convictions that have already been reversed.

Will the attorney general turn down their requests for compensation? How do their cases differ from Hanemaayer’s or Baltovich’s? Didn’t Smith’s victims all receive fair trials?

Isn’t it time we set up an independent body to deal with miscarriages of justice?

Most provinces already provide some form of compensation for victims of crime. In Ontario, the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board can award up to $25,000 as a lump sum payment to provide compensation for pain and suffering.

While that’s a ridiculously low amount and hasn’t been adjusted since 1971(!) there’s no reason why we shouldn’t have an independent body dealing with the wrongly convicted. After all, aren’t they also victims of crime?

Having such a body would remove many malicious prosecution cases from the courts thereby saving money and scarce judicial resources.

More importantly it would allow victims of wrongful convictions to some element of justice without having to depend on the whims of a politician.

It isn’t sufficient to say we have remedied the wrongful convictions of Hanemaayer or Baltovich by removing their convictions. We now know they were wrongly convicted and imprisoned. They deserve to have a fair hearing to determine their entitlement to compensation and if compensation is warranted they deserve to have an amount fixed by an impartial body.

Isn’t that is what justice is all about?

Having been denied justice initially, don’t they deserve it now?

Monday, February 1, 2010

OPP officer charged after his cruiser hits another

file photo


Source: Toronto Star

Carmen Chai Staff Reporter

An Ontario Provincial Police officer is charged with tailgating after his police car rear-ended another cruiser while responding to a call.

Police say Const. Bradley Derrough, 28, who has been with the Elgin County detachment for two years, struck the back of the other cruiser Friday afternoon on Richmond Rd., just north of John Wise Line in Bayham Township, southeast of London.

Both police vehicles were damaged but no officers were injured.

Derrough was charged with following too closely under the Highway Traffic Act.

Court to decide legal remedy for secret jury vetting

Source: National Post
Shannon Kari, National Post Published: Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Ontario Court of Appeal will hear arguments on Monday in a case that could lead to several convictions being overturned in the province as a result of secret jury vetting by the Crown and police.

The appeal filed by Ibrahim Yumnu and two other men is the first opportunity for the court to decide on a legal remedy for the improper jury checks that occurred across Ontario for several years, until the practice was exposed last spring by the National Post.

There are at least a dozen other outstanding appeals where jury vetting took place, including the case of a young man convicted of killing a police officer, all awaiting the outcome of the Yumnu case.

Yumnu and two co-defendants were each convicted in 2005 by a jury in Barrie, Ont., of first-degree murder in the slaying of two people suspected of stealing money from a marijuana grow operation.

Local police services in the Barrie area searched confidential databases to uncover information about hundreds of potential jurors, which was passed on to the Crown. Unlike the United States, only limited information is made available about potential jurors in Canada. The Supreme Court has stressed that the process is aimed at selecting an impartial jury, not one favourable to the Crown or defence.

The secret jury checks in Barrie, which took place in more than 50 cases in just the past three years, have "tarnished the appearance of fairness," writes Yumnu's lawyer Greg Lafontaine in arguments filed with the court.

The inadvertent disclosure in Barrie last spring about the jury vetting "triggered a chain of events that has caused some members of the public to question the very legitimacy of Ontario's criminal justice system," Mr. Lafontaine suggests.

He notes that it resulted in a mistrial in a murder proceeding in Windsor when it came out there were secret jury checks in that case. As well, that sparked a review by the Ontario Privacy Commissioner who issued a report that revealed improper jury vetting had taken place in about one third of all Crown offices since 2006.

Premier Dalton McGuinty described the practice as "against the law" after it was first reported by the National Post. The province moved to amend the Juries Act to address privacy concerns and ensure that any checks for eligibility are performed at an independent jury centre that is separate from the Crown and police.

The Crown though, is downplaying the significance of the secret checks, in its written arguments in the Yumnu case. "The Crown was executing its responsibilities to ensure juror qualifications," states Michal Fairburn, a senior lawyer in the Ministry of the Attorney-General. "Jurors with criminal records are not simply an abstract concern," she adds.

None of the 800 people investigated by police in the Yumnu trial were found to have a conviction for an indictable offence, which would have made them ineligible to serve as a juror, notes Mr. Lafontaine. "The ostensible target group (people with criminal records) of the Crown's police database checks was fictional. It makes little sense that Canadians who have been adjudged among the least civic minded in the population would be so anxious to perform the most onerous of civic obligations that they would fraudulently attempt to perform jury duty," he states.

Lawyers in the other jury vetting cases are scheduled to meet with a Court of Appeal judge later this month to decide when their arguments will be heard.

One of the appeals is the case of Troy Davey, convicted of first-degree murder in the 2004 death of Cobourg police officer Chris Garrett.

It was recently disclosed that the Crown asked fellow prosecutors and police to examine the jury lists to see if there was any "personal knowledge" they could pass on about individuals, which was kept from the defence. "There was not a level playing field," said Catriona Verner, who is representing Davey on his appeal. "It seems they were aware of the policy [not to conduct background checks] and were trying to circumvent it," she added.

National Post

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Dalton McGuinty's legacy could be a big bill: Snobelen

Source: Toronto Sun

There comes a time when premiers and prime ministers start to think about their legacy. Generally this is not good for your wallet.

For better or worse, political leaders get a lot of attention. Gallons of ink. Hours of TV time. Their names inevitably become synonymous with the issues of their day.

It’s those daily issues that drive the agenda of governments. Like a large corporation endlessly reacting to the daily fluctuations in stock prices, governments react to headlines.

H1N1. Global warming. Detainees. The urgent news of the day spurs governments to action. Looking back over the history of a government is like looking at the tracks of a car that has careened left and right trying to avoid pot holes. Sometimes it’s impossible to figure out where the driver intended to go.

Headlines and issues morph and change and eventually evaporate. H1N1 was the most important story of all time. For about a month. Global warming is headed for a U-turn at breakneck speed. Governments that don’t have a clear sense of direction often pass themselves as they reverse policy course.

All of which is the reason most prime ministers and premiers don’t leave much of a legacy. Their moment on the public stage is spent dogging issues they can’t control or influence. Inevitably their legacy is really just a score card of good or bad reactions to the events of the day.

Now and then a leader creates something that, for better or worse, endures and changes the province or the country. Think Bill Davis and Catholic education and community colleges. Brian Mulroney and free trade. Pierre Trudeau and the constitution. John A. Macdonald and the railroad. Enduring stuff.

Long after the political spin stops and the issues of the day are forgotten the influence of some leaders endures. It’s the stuff countries are made of.

Legacy shows up over time. Time has a way of stripping the important from the urgent and revealing what is durable.

Mike Harris was an unreasonable leader. Unreasonable leaders are able to resist the urge to bend to the headlines. His legacy will transcend the issues of his time. Doubling Ontario’s parkland. The common curriculum and province-wide student testing. The City of Toronto. Big, enduring stuff.

Premier Dalton McGuinty, on the other hand, prides himself on being reasonable. The boy-scout premier. And his record is a testament to the smooth political sailing that comes from tacking with the wind of current issues. Banning pit bulls and cellphones. Freezing sushi. Family day.

This is not the stuff of legacy and McGuinty knows it. Lately he has turned his attention, and your wallet, to building a legacy. You should be very, very afraid.

The “education premier” has recently cut the ribbon on full-day kindergarten. But it’s not the robust vision of child care offered by his own advisor, Charles Pascal.

McGuinty’s legacy will be a half-hearted extension of kindergarten and a nod to some of the daycare needs of some parents. The legacy part of this dismal policy will be the contribution to the massive debt you and I will have to pay for years.

But McGuinty’s search for a legacy is not limited to the “education premier” thing. He wants to be remembered as a green premier. That’s why he recently signed a deal worth billions with the Korean company, Samsung, and committed Ontarians to decades of exorbitant energy costs.

All of which begs the question — how much more of our money will McGuinty spend searching for his legacy?

Premier Dalton McBraveheart: Goldstein

Source: Toronto Sun

The next time I run into Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty, I will address him as “Braveheart” and paint his face green.

Just like Mel Gibson in his movie of the same name, except Gibson used blue.

Because I don’t want to be accused of terrorism, I give the premier fair warning of my intention.

Further, I assure his bodyguards they will not need to shoot me, because, unlike PETA, I will first ask Premier Braveheart if he wants his face painted green, and, if he says “no” I won’t.

But I will insist on calling him “Braveheart” which, is not a crime in Ontario ... yet.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking: “Lorrie, other than being off your meds, why do you want to call McGuinty ‘Braveheart’ and paint his face green?”

I’ll tell you why. Because Braveheart is the name McGuinty clearly wants us to call him in the wake of his $7-billion deal with South Korean industrial giant Samsung Group, to manufacture and sell wind and solar power in Ontario.

How do we know? Because it’s a Liberal talking point. We know that because when McGuinty announced the deal Jan. 21, he said: “Building the green economy, green-energy jobs and putting in place the Green Energy Act is not for the faint of heart.”

Five days later in a Sun column, newbie Energy and Infrastructure Minister Brad Duguid, praised the boss for his ... uh ... brilliance, noting “this scale of change is not for the faint of heart.”

Trust me, when a premier and his line minister use exactly the same messaging, that’s a “talking point.”

McGuinty is telling us peasants what he’s doing is not for the faint of heart, hence, he’s not faint of heart, hence, he’s brave, hence he’s Braveheart. That’s Premier Braveheart, to you.

The problem is with Brave-heart’s bizarre concept of courage. All he’s doing is throwing our money (as electricity consumers) for the next 25 years (long after he’ll be a political trivia question) at a foreign business consortium, plus giving it prized reserved space on Ontario’s transmission grid, in order to sell us energy which isn’t viable without massive public subsidy and isn’t produced when the wind doesn’t blow and sun doesn’t shine.

All we know about this deal, negotiated in secret and announced as a fait accompli, is Samsung obviously thinks it’s going to make a heck of a lot more of our money than the $7 billion it’s investing, through (a) the heavily-subsidized rates we will be paying for 2,500 megawatts of wind and solar power (2,000 wind, 500 solar) at 13.5¢ per kw/hr for wind, 44.3¢ per kw/hr for solar (b) a $437-million performance bonus and (c) whatever it makes from selling wind turbines and solar modules in Ontario and elsewhere.

Braveheart claims this deal will create 1,440 permanent manufacturing jobs and 16,000 jobs in all — most temporary — for a mere $1.60 per year more on the average electricity bill, part of his plan to provide at least 50,000 new jobs through his Green Energy Act.

Is any of this remotely credible? Who knows? We don’t even know if these 50,000 “new” jobs are “net” new jobs — meaning beyond those that will be lost in the traditional energy sector.

We do know that in Spain, considered a world leader in renewable energy, a study by economics Prof. Grabriel Calzeda Alvarez of Madrid’s Juan Carlos University found it lost at least 2.2 jobs elsewhere in the economy for every green one created, that only one in 10 green jobs was permanent and the estimated cost to taxpayers for each one was 571,138 euros ($850,000 Canadian). For wind, over one million euros ($1.49 million Canadian.)

While the Spanish government and green energy activists have criticized Alvarez’s research, wouldn’t it have been nice to have had this debate before Braveheart announced his deal?

After all, we’re paying for it. Right, Braveheart?

No more taxes after HST...I promise!

They had No Choice!

They had No Choice!
They wore these or I took away thier toys for 7 days!

No kidding!

"Damn Street Racer"pays with Brusies

"Damn Street Racer"pays with Brusies