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By J.J.

The telephone rings. The nice policeman on other end of the line informs you that “SOMEONE’S BREAKING IN TO YOUR CAR! YOU’D BETTER COME DOWN AND CHECK IT OUT”! You throw on your winter boots and jacket. You unlock the dead-bolt and as the door opens, four 350-pound paramilitary goons come crashing in to your apartment. One of the goons grabs you by the throat and slams you to the floor, breaking several ribs as he lands full-weight on your chest. An M-16 rifle is pressed against your head. It’s a police raid and they have come for your perfectly LEGAL guns.

Just another day in the life of Johnny Sombrero, founder and leader of the Black Diamond Riders Motorcycle Club. But we’ll return to the scene of the crime later. The legend of Johnny Sombrero spans sixty-plus years since the formation of the Black Diamond Riders in 1950. Many ‘long-time’ Canadians will remember the stories from their youth about Johnny and his hard-driving, fast-living cadre of bikers. Their antics shocked the stoic Toronto of the 1950’s. The sound of thundering motorcycles and their often rowdy behavior challenged the sensibilities of a city whose stores were closed on Sundays. In the 50’s, the city was more akin to a little piece of Scotland than the major North American city that it is to-day. Toronto the Good is where the legend of Johnny Sombrero was born.

Now…back to the 2010 raid. When we last left Johnny he was on his apartment floor after Officer Friendly had broken a few of his ribs. Probably not a good thing after recently having triple by-pass heart surgery. You’d think that the nightmare would be coming to an end, but the state-sponsored terrorism was just beginning. After the 350-pound storm-trooper pushed down on Johnny’s throat to push him self up, he pulls Johnny to his feet. With the victim now standing, his arms are almost ripped out of their sockets as they are forced behind his back. The seventy-six year old leader of the pack is then violently lifted and then dropped by his arms in that position not once, not twice, but thrice. More injuries ensue as the torturers continue to have a good old time. The ‘flash-eliminator’ on the end of a sub-machine gun remains practically glued to his head. As the men-in-black search the apartment, the reportedly idiotic looking women-in-black were relegated to packing the apex B.D.R.s PERFECTLY LEGAL GUNS into boxes. After a thorough frisking, a disappointed searcher yells out, “He doesn’t have a gun on him!” Let’s take another break from this horror show.

Johnny’s father, originally from Carlyle in England, bought his son his first gun when he was seven years old. Although this may sound unusual to-day, it certainly wasn’t unusual then. Keep in mind; this is when the T.T.C. fare was three cents. Of course, dad wasn’t too pleased when young Johnny blasted a hole in the furnace, but boys will be boys. In grades seven and eight at King George Public School everyone carried a knife. Even his teacher, Mr. Bissell kept a blade close at hand. It wasn’t even unusual to carry a gun on to the street car back in the day. But let’s pick up from where we left off, describing the raid of Thursday, January 21st, 2010. Did we mention that it took four squads comprised of ninety commandos to take down a single Canadian citizen? Almost one commando per gun. Now hand-cuffed with his hands behind his back and through the rungs in the back-rest of the chair, Johnny now had a g8 rifle closer than an inch from his brain. According to Johnny, the g8 rifle is a cheap Canadian knock-off of the M-16 a1 colt which is the Real McCoy. Nevertheless, it is still capable of firing seventeen rounds a second.

He suggested that keeping the firearm pointed at his head while he is already secured is unsafe and unnecessary. In the last several decades society has been witness to more and more cowardly over-kill by law enforcement in general. One participant present during our interview felt that they are no longer cops once they are issued automatic weapons. They become a paramilitary unit and are psychologically obligated to kill and maim. After ordering ten pizzas to make it a real rockin’ party, they couldn’t even offer Johnny some food. They KNEW he had diabetes, but it’s their unique idea of fun. They were also planning a future party to shoot his Thompson sub-machine guns and liberate some of his ammo. That party was also a real ‘happenin’.

Anyway, Johnny realized that something was out-of-sync when a Crown Attorney, who was some kind of primate in a suit, entered the apartment. This is so contrary to protocol that it’s fascinating. It’d just not done. After being held at gun-point for five hours, he was charged with eighteen counts of careless firearm storage for leaving the bolts inside his machine-guns. This was despite the fact that the weapons were safely stored in lockers. All Johnny’s weapons were confiscated. Can you guess what the eventual outcome of this case was?

We’ll get to that now, because most courtroom activity is boring and we don’t have all day. The Crown Attorney that had improperly entered the apartment on the day of the raid had to excuse himself from the case. It was handed off to a female Crown. The rather pleasant judge was also female. The lone Defense witness, who is a gun expert of some note, testified that Mr. Sombrero met or EXCEEDED the requirement of safe storage laws. The Crown’s witnesses should have been home lying in bed, because their lying in court didn’t help the Crown.

When the Crown saw the case evaporating before her eyes, she made a feeble and awkward attempt to call him a Nazi. When the ‘race-card’ didn’t score, she threw the ‘crazy-card’ on the table. No points scored there either. It was game over. In the end, Judge Carol Brewer’s decision was simple:

“BOTH OF THE LOCKERS IN WHICH THE PROHIBITED FIREARMS WERE STORED WERE MADE OF STEEL. EACH CABINET WAS SECURELY LOCKED. THE CROWN HAS NOT PROVEN BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT THAT THERE WAS NON-COMPLIANCE WITH THE REGULATION”.

Justice Brewer then dismissed the case. The Crown Attorney slammed her pile of documents down on the prosecution table and huffed, “I’ll never take over a case from another Crown Attorney again.” After the positive decision, Johnny Sombrero rightfully had a lot to say.

“YOU’RE DAMN RIGHT I’M PISSED-OFF! THEY’VE HAD MY PROPERTY FOR SEVENTEEN MONTHS AND THIS IS THE TWENTY-FIRST TIME I’VE BEEN TO COURT! MY DAD GAVE ME MY FIRST GUN WHEN I WAS SEVEN-YEARS-OLD, A .22, AND THE POLICE HAVE IT RIGHT NOW”.

Some have suggested that envy by the police helped motivate some of the unnecessary violence against Johnny. He’s a legend. They are nameless drones. There are but a few Canadians that have achieved legendary status. Johnny Sombrero is certainly one of them. A colorful person stands out in a country where grey is the dominant color of the landscape. An article like this one barely scratches the surface, but is only a small sample of the life and times of Johnny Sombrero. The man, the myth, the legend.

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Before deciding whether or not her party should bring down the current government by voting against the new budget, Andrea Horwath decided that she would once again meet with Kathleen Wynne to discuss some changes, so the two of them sat down to tea. The foremost thing on Horwath’s mind was, of course, a 15% reduction in auto insurance rates and an accountability office. By the second cup of tea and a few crumpets served by Hudak, she had both. OR DID SHE? The 15% insurance reduction turned out to be only for certain people. So who are these certain people? I truly believe that they will be the ones that allow the insurance companies to install a “monitoring box” in their cars; THE BOX. The insurance companies have been pushing the idea for years but have never been able to make it mandatory. So, what exactly is THE BOX? What does it do? Why do I believe that within two years your 15% reduction will disappear? Why do I predict that you will likely be paying up to 50% MORE for your auto insurance? I’m glad you asked. The insurance companies claim that THE BOX will be strictly for research information. It will be hooked to your on-board computer and will record the driving habits of the car owner. What it REALLY does is this: It will record your braking habits including how often you use the brakes, how hard you brake and how often you change your brakes. How fast you drive. Where you drive. How far you drive every time you use the car. How fast you take off from a stopping position. How often you car is serviced. Before I go on and describe to you the way each of these things is going to increase your insurance from 30% to 50% or maybe even more, there is something you should know. Of course the insurance companies are the real bloodsuckers here, but the government is their vampire in the shadows. With an internet search you will find a company named Kantex Insurance Quotes. Their site gives you several insurance company names and what those companies charge you for insurance. The rates differ greatly between the cheapest company and the most expensive company. There is a reason for this, and that reason will be the subject of another article. One of the questions that will decide your insurance rate is, “WILL YOU ALLOW THE INSURANCE COMPANY TO INSTALL A MONITORING DEVICE IN YOUR CAR FOR A CHEAPER RATE (15%)?” The only importance to that question up until now was the number of people that answered “YES!!!” This provided the insurance companies with a survey that they can take to the government and, like Richard Dawson, can yell, “SURVEY SAYS…The majority of Ontarians want THE BOX installed in their cars. If you allow us to do this then we can reduce the auto insurance for those people by 15% with no problem.” So the government now has all the spools of wool they need to pull the wool over your eyes. So…back to THE BOX, which is really a super-computer of sorts. It can be attached to any vehicle that is computer-equipped. It not only reads what your vehicle is doing, it can ALTER some of the information. Allow me to elaborate on the previously mentioned 6 points:1. Not everyone uses their brakes in the same way. Some people are a little harder on their brakes than other people. One person’s brakes could be changed every year, while drivers like my self can go two years or more. Whatever way you use your brakes DOES NOT mean that you are driving dangerously or carelessly. It’s just the way you drive. THE BOX however, may interpret your braking as someone who tends to tailgate. Guess which way your rates will go? 2. As anyone in Southern Ontario will tell you, the best way to get killed is to drive 100kph on the 400, the 401, or any number of major highways. The fact is, as long as you are doing 110kph or 120kph the police see that as a normal driving speed. However, THE BOX sees it differently. You are a constant speeder and a dangerous driver. Get in line behind the ‘hard-brakers’ and you had better have your cheque book ready. 3. There are a lot of people who use their cars mostly in their own areas. Trips to the mall and to the doctor or to an assortment of other appointments. This requires a lot of slow driving and a lot of stopping. This also means getting in to parking lots and driving on streets that have low speed limits and speed bumps. THE BOX can translate this into high-risk downtown driving. Get in line behind the innocent victims of the insurance companies that we met in examples 1 and 2. 4. One of the questions that an insurance company will ask you is how far you drive your car every year. The line they have drawn is 17,000 kilometers per year to qualify as a recreational-use vehicle. For some reason, the government has allowed the insurance companies to gain access to D.O.T. records any time they want so they can check your yearly mileage. Remember…you have to put your mileage on your license plate renewal form. But with THE BOX they no longer have to do that. It tells them that information. If you drive 23,000 or maybe even 25,000 kilometers you probably won’t hear from your insurer. There is a reason for that. It’s all tabulated in KILOMETERS, NOT MILES. It just ain’t that far, folks! Anything OVER that and they will charge you as they charge someone who drives their car to work. That’s a much higher rate. THE BOX helps them out here by ALTERING the readings. If you are going away on weekends you are generally going to hit some slow heavy traffic. Just the same as you will when you are driving to different events around town. THE BOX will analyze your mileage and speeds. If you exceed the insurance company’s benchmark for mileage, THE BOX will average out your speed and distance travelled to show that they are warranted in raising your rates. By then we’ll have a conga-line of insurance company victims and it will just get longer and longer. 5. Point number five is extremely suspicious and can have absolutely terrible ramifications. There are a number of ways an insurance company can use this information against you. A car with a standard transmission takes off from a standing start differently than a car with an automatic transmission when entering traffic on a highway. Even though everything you do is within the law THE BOX can tell a different story. It stores all of your rapid accelerations and quick starts for a period of one year and then averages out the number of times that you had quick starts and rapid accelerations. It gives the insurance company a scale of how much they will raise your rates. It begins at, “We don’t like the way you drive” and then goes to, “We think you are drag-racing!” Now the victims are starting to pile-up. This dance isn’t fun any more. 6. How often you service your car doesn’t really sound like a big deal to anyone at first hearing, but to the insurance companies it is a MAJOR thing. THE BOX can read the general maintenance (oil changes etc.) and regular warranty service. The insurance company will use that information to mark you as a person that doesn’t take care of your vehicle and your rates will then be raised to the high-risk category. By no means is that the end of it. THE BOX is capable of many things such as hacking into your G.P.S. if your car is equipped with one. If you shop frequently in a plaza that has a bar located in it…well, you can guess the rest. The newer your car is the more information its computer will have to offer up. It’s no secret that all three political parties in Ontario have been MORE than friendly to insurance companies. If you think for a second that any of the three will do you any favors… Good luck to ya! The fact is, no matter what your political persuasion YOU ARE ONLY IMPORTANT ON VOTING DAY!!! After that, you are nothing. All that is left are three parties that are extremely corporate-friendly. And the only thing left to say to them is…HUDAK, HORWATH AND WYNNE ,…YOU HAVE FAILED THE PEOPLE OF THIS PROVINCE!!! Stay tuned for further installments of Your Ward News’ investigation into the dirty underworld of auto insurance in Ontario… … …

Harry O’Neil

July 18, 2013

Longtime Beaches resident of 20 years, Harry O’Neil has passed away at the age of 55 after suffering a heart attack. Beachers will remember Harry for his beloved WaterGarden/Koi Pond, a much visited and photographed oasis in our city. As a former social worker who dealt with troubled youth, and as a detox/drug addiction counselor, Harry was a well respected member of East Toronto. Defiant to the end, Harry not only took on major condo developers but also played his role to Occupy Toronto. Organ Donor and Canadian Eye Bank Donor Harry O’Neil is survived by his Mother – Bernadette O’Neil (Grand Falls, NB), 3 Sisters; Lois O’Neil (Toronto), Brenda Morin (Moncton, NB), Shelley Smith (Delaware, USA), a brother Terry O’Neil (Edmonton, AB), 4 nieces and 3 nephews. His remains were cremated and flown home for burial alongside his Brother Daniel [1978] in Blue Bell Cemetery, NB. The Beaches Blues Fest and Danforth Music Festival, in it’s 20th year is adding to our mission statement the celebration of past community members. We are offering our services to Harry’s friends and family in the community to plan a Celebration of Life event in his honour. Location, musical performances, food and memorials are provided. Members of the general public are welcome. For more information on location, date and time call (416) 693-6325. His pond once filled with koi, goldfish and water lilies, no longer sits at it’s usual location at Queen – just west of Woodbine. Condo developers have saw fit to annex Harry’s home and our community to make way for profit. The gurgling fountain and water-features have been donated to the Beaches Fire Department, while the area with Harry’s purple and gold house is demolished.

Bullying for Dollars

July 18, 2013

Bullying has become serious enough to receive acres of media attention. In physical form, or as hurtful remarks, bullying has been applied directly to victims, or threatened. Repeated bullying has produced suicides. Victims just give up, on themselves and on life. For them, there seems to be no safe haven, of any kind, anywhere. Some of them seem to have been induced into thinking that their personal victimhood was their normal state, unendurable though it turned out to be. The bullies are not known to have expressed any remorse. Motivation for bullying is hard to describe and explain. Maybe it is some sociopathic craving, just of itself, for real or imagined power, over one or many other people. Alternately, the main motive is extortion. Bullies avoid or eliminate fair competition. They make sure to have enough power, protection and support to overcome any conceivable act or thought of resistance. “Uncle Joe” Stalin acted this way when he starved millions of Ukrainians to death, during days of purported peace. Read about it. Ukrainians were not in tune with intentions in Moscow. The vast majority of us Beachers are not in tune with marauding developers, who purpose to dominate The Beach, as Stalin did to Ukraine. Take it all. The bullying threat of conquest by condozing now is suspended as a perpetual raincloud over the peaceful parade of life in The Beach. It is reinforced by relentless applications for acceptances of condozing that may have been rejected several or many times. This threat will be much magnified if developers ever can induce the OMB to relent just once. Lobbyists for developers might, at this moment, be trying to obtain those unwarranted permissions, unwanted by Beachers. Is there any truth in the opinion that lobbyists may be corrupters? We can be guided by remembering that bullies flee from resistance. But, they often return, in hope that resistance shall have abated. Persistent and very strong resistance to condozing, and other miscreance must increase, because stronger invasive force is to be expected. Don’t give up!

On June 18 2013, Health Canada priority posted Henriette McIntyre’s Authorization to Possess and Permit to Produce Marijuana for medical use post-dated to June 28 2013. Her doctor had not said she should wait 10 days to start her medication and Health Canada’s Bureau of Controlled Substances Director Louis Proulx had no medical reasons for post-dating its delivery. On June 25 2013 at 3pm, after suffering an extra 7 days of stress waiting for her permit to take effect, Henriette McIntyre filed a short notice motion in Federal Court T-1118-13 for a personal constitutional exemption to use marijuana for medical purposes until the Applicant’s Health Canada exemption AP-HMM-09-M55571140-54-13-A which was mailed June 18 but whose issuance was post-dated to June 28 2013, takes effect… Louis Proulx issued her new permits that day dated June 25 2013 before the 5pm hearing but processed under the new June 19th Regulations invalidating her permits on March 31 2014, though she may keep her authorization valid until June 18 2014 by providing proof-of-purchase of the government’s $10/gm product where she could have continued to produce it herself for under $1/gm for the extra 3 months. Her authorization processed under the old regulations would have permitted. McIntyre’s application to be reprocessed under the former regime continues. On July 3 2013, at 11am, Henriette McIntyre will hold a press conference outside the Police Station in Gatineau Quebec before laying an information against Gatineau resident Louis Proulx and any employees of Health Canada’s Bureau of Controlled Substances who conspired to: “post-date for 10 days the delivery of her medical authorization to use marijuana.” At 1pm, Henriette McIntyre will hold a press conference outside the RCMP Headquarters in Ottawa to lay the same criminal complaint against any Health Canada’s personnel for the same criminal conspiracy against her health. In support of the charges will be cited the file of Mike Spottiswood whose Exemption was expiring on June 22. His Crown Attorney in London, Ontario admitted on June 19 2013 that the Health Canada’s database showed his renewal had taken 3 weeks to process by May 24 2013; but since it had been processed under the new not-yet-published June 19 regulations, his renewal had been delayed 4 weeks until the June 19 2013. Regulations could take effect and his renewsals delivered the day before they expired! Though he was processed under the June 19 2013 regulations that were not yet enacted, his completed exemption was mailed out on June 18 2013! The Health Canada database records of Ray Turmel, Peter Stock, Wayne Robinson, Mike Power, Wade Faganello and up to 7,000 others whose permits may have been delayed in the allowed 10-weeks-to-process leading up to June 19 2013. Regulations should show similar systemic delay and post-dating of medical permits to put them under the new regime. Two weeks later, Ray received a rejection letter with a check list showing everything had been “OK” but that the property owner’s Consent Form F was missing and had to be re-submitted yearly. Not only was this required Form F not mentioned on the renewal page, there was no mention of it on Form R! With his Authorization expiring on May 31 2013, Ray immediately mailed off the unmentioned Form F which was received on May 1, 2013, expecting quick processing by the Renewal Team for only one form that hadn’t changed from the last year. One week passed, two weeks passed, three weeks passed, in his fourth week with only days before expiry, he called Health Canada to verify the status of his renewal and was told it would take even more weeks to process that one 1-page. Though he pointed out S.65 mandated he destroy his stored marijuana and his plants until his renewal got to him, he was told to just “follow the rules” and then start all over again.   After being caught on the Form F glitch, without which her permits would have been authorized so other later amendments that caused her complications would have not have retarded her renewals as they did, Priscilla Lavell’s exemption expired on Mar 12 2013. When her amendment issues were resolved 5 weeks after expiry in mid-April, she was advised it would still take the standard 8-10 weeks to process her permits and follow the rules and destroy her supply of medication and plants until her renewal arrived and she could plant new seeds and wait another 5 months for her first crop. Same situation Ray faced. Needless to say, since she’s not sicker or dead after those 9 weeks of expired authorization dreading being raided that she suffered through, she must have broken the law since she’s not suffering waiting for her first crop in 3 more months. Health Canada narcs seem inured to the agonies suffered by patients when they stall renewal of their expired prescriptions even longer. No doubt their database has some telling notes about stalling her 10 more weeks after she’s already been expired 5!   After Health Canada were gone home for the weekend knowing with Ray Turmel’s permits expiring at midnight, a Special Sitting of Federal Court was granted by Mr. Justice Yvan Roy at 6:30pm Friday night May 31 2013 where the Senior General Counsel and Director General of Civil Litigation Alain Prefontaine explained how he’d contacted Deputy Minister Glenda Yeates who got Director of Medical Cannabis Dr. Stephane Lessard to explain he didn’t know what had happened. Authorizations are now processed in under a month and renewals far less! When Mr. Prefontaine pointed out Ray had corrected the “glitch” in a day and that everything could be fixed up on Monday morning, Justice Roy said: not good enough, and ordered Health Canada to attend court in the morning to explain why it took more than 6 weeks to process one page. “Has the department gone fishing? I’m quite annoyed at the position you’ve put me in. Get the Deputy Minister to expedite it or see me in the morning!”