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The Liquor Control Board of Ontario, taxpayer subsidized and government monopolized was Ontario’s answer to prohibition. One of the world’s largest sellers of alcoholic beverages the LCBO proudly boasts it’s one of the only crown corporations to turn a profit! How exactly could it not? Known for their high prices and poor hours, the LCBO is a laughing stock to Western Canadians where privatization and countless small beer vendors are the norm. While Canada is subject to the Excise Act which contributes to the cost of beverages the vast majority of hidden liquor tax customers pay is provincial. With brands selling in Ontario for up to 60% more than in New York State. Using a legally sanctioned price fixing mechanism to guarantee profits and discourage price competition the LCBO enforces minimum selling prices on all their products.

The LCBO returns around $1.2 billion to the Ontario government which is a pathetically poor amount considering the large market share it retains. Due to the inevitable red tape and bureaucracy ripe in the public sector, this is not a surprise. In an effort to discourage any complaints of government-granted monopolistic hematophagy the province grants two small private companies to “compete”. Yet the Beer Store keeps the same LCBO hours and policies, while the Wine Rack by a fluke of the Liquor Licence Act of Ontario is allowed to sell only Ontario wines from a small coalition of independent vineyards.

Private liquor stores and/or motor hotel vendors are legal in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. They are legal in most jurisdictions on the face of the planet. Yet according to the Ontario government if private beverage resellers open up, and people are allowed to buy some drinks a single tick after 5:00 pm on a Sunday all hell will brake lose. Kids will be knocking back a mickey on the street, while drunk drivers run over elderly ladies and bare knuckle boxing brawls brake out in every park. Heck, Al Capone himself will rise from the grave and start bootlegging tax-free bathtub gin. The entire province will go blind with alcohol poisoning!

In order to avoid this disaster up until the early 1960’s the LCBO licensed drinkers the same way that driving is licensed. People who wanted to drink had to fill in several application forms and were issued individually numbered liquor permits that kept a record of the individual’s purchase history, just to buy some suds. Even past 1975 the LCBO conducted its own massive spying operations on customers employing an army of under cover investigators that clandestinely visited customer’s homes, workplaces, banks, neighbours and even churches to decide if an adult was worthy enough sip a sherry. Not only was this a blatant violation of privacy, but also a huge waste of taxpayer dollars to embarrass the public into temperance. Hundreds of thousands of individuals were blacklisted and banned from every retailer in the province, in some cases just because their investigation showed a customer bounced the rent cheque at their bank.

The main benefit of selling the LCBO would be sixteen billion dollars that would be the immediate windfall from the sale. And even with this one-time profit, the province could actually earn more money by dismantling the high-margin retail stores while keeping the lucrative wholesale business. The Alberta government actually showed more profit by privatizing their stores while acting as the middle man between the importers/manufactures and the stores.

With the ticking time bomb that is Ontario’s debt the government can not afford to keep the LCBO. All newborn babies born in this province owes over $20,000 in legislative debt the second they are born. Every single hour of every single day Ontario can add another $1.3 million dollars to our total debt from the interest. “A lot of Ontario’s problem stems from government entitlements and government wages which make up 50% of the money spent at Queen’s Park” according to the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. “That’s what got Greece and what got Detroit as well.”

Here comes the Ontario Public Service Employees Union, as always offering moronic excuses of why privatization is such a filthy word that should only be spoken of in disgust. Last summer they threatened to make this a dry province unless their demands were met. Collecting the dues of 6,700 LCBO employees the union decried their contact, wanting more wages, more hours, more benefits and a signing bonus. No one makes $50,000 a year putting a bottle in a flimsy paper bag full time, except at your local LCBO. While the very few full time employees at the LCBO struck it rich, the part time contract workers who make up the rank and file had nothing to cheer about. The union clamed victory, taxing the backs of  “casual employees” on every paycheque. Working poor who got little out of the deal, yet hey at least they no longer have to wear ties to work. Well la-di-frickin-da! In the real world, companies make a profit to keep afloat while struggling to stay alive. Private sector employees can not afford to strike. They’re happy just to be employed.

The LCBO has phased out its plastic shopping bags, as part of its efforts to become a greener organization. Now handle-less LCBO paper bags make it next to impossible to carry heavy purchases, and melt in the rain. Countless oceans of the angels share made its way into the gutter thanks to this stupid move. In an effort to pretend to be green the LCBO does not want any plastic bags in landfills, ignoring the fact people use them to store garbage that would otherwise fly in the wind – and most cities accept them with recycling anyway. Thus forcing spontaneous purchases by pedestrians to buy a one dollar bag each time they shop at the LCBO.

In September 2006, the Government of Ontario announced another stupid green scam for the LCBO. The government program, which was forced on all alcohol containers in the province by charging customers a bottle deposit tax of ten to twenty cents a can or bottle and can only be refunded at Beer Store outlets. This program has been highly criticized by members of the public and employees of The Beer Store. Beer Stores were seeing upwards of 50,000 LCBO containers per week while the unprofitable nature of the program forced wage cuts and staff reductions across Ontario’s private beer distributor. In true to the LCBO’s stupidity this forced tax actually COSTS the province $15 million per year. Don’t have the transportation to take your empties back? You may like to know your friendly local binner is breaking the Residential Collection By-Law 844 by scavenging your blue bin.

God, after writing all this I need a drink…

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“I don’t need that talk up here. Why don’t you just leave? You call yourself a lady? Give me a break!” – Doug Ford

Comrade Janet must take a leave of absence to get help. She is clearly out of control and is making Council a circus. They can’t get any work done with behaviour like this causing distractions. She’s made Toronto an international embarrassment. Where does she live? Let’s stalk her on her driveway and take pictures of her kids on Halloween.

Ward 31 residents are appalled and disgusted by Councillor Janet Davis’ deplorable and infantile language. It’s appalling how as a city councillor she attacks and provokes the mayor for defending himself by quoting a fake quote lefty media was bawling everywhere while a few months later telling the mayor’s brother, and her fellow councillor to S-T-F-U at a budget meeting.

To quote Davis herself “I’ve never heard such disgraceful language in statements made by an elected officer — ever!” This is beyond taking a leave of absence, councillor Janet Davis needs to resign. Her swearing can not be ignored, even if she had not been so vocal to immediately attack the Ford brothers. The updated Canadian Oxford Dictionary will soon have an image of Janet Davis to help readers better understand the word “Hypocrisy”.

Councillor Davis f’ed up immediately after Dog Ford convinced the committee to reject her motion to spend over $400,000 on an after school recreation program. Ford argued against the motion as a clear “waste of taxpayers’ money.” Councillor Ford was appalled at Councillor Davis’ “totally inappropriate” language. “I got told to basically shut my f@#king mouth, I’ve never used that language down here to another councillor!”

Janet Davis continued to demand a raise in city taxes for any and all reasons, arguing it’s what her constituents want. Not according to Budget Chief Mike Del Grande who edumacated Councillor Davis that people HAVE the opportunity to pay more taxes then required through a voluntary donation section on their property tax form. “Go count the coffers. Where are all these people that said they are willing to pay more? I’m sorry but I don’t buy that argument that people are willing to pay more, it just doesn’t exist.”

For the sake of our children, city hall is in bad need of their own unionized overpaid day care attendant to hold these lefty bullies at bay. Prone to hissy fits, dirty mouths and loud crying maybe Councillor Davis just needed a diaper change. Her clearly obvious Fordophobia and distasteful hatred for anyone at a budget meeting who demands no more taxes causes the filth to pour from her mouth. Fiscal accountability is the major trigger for Councillor Davis’ profanity syndrome. She needs some permanent time off to seek professional help so Councillor Davis can understand grown up rules and how to act in polite society. That or the good old fashioned sting of a nun’s yardstick.

This letter just sent to the editor of Your Ward News sums it all up:

Councillor Davis Try Saying: I think I could do with more training. Instead Of: I don’t have a fucking clue.

Councillor Davis Try Saying: I’m an aggressive go-getter. Instead Of: I’m a fucking power-crazy bitch.

Councillor Davis Try Saying: Perhaps I can work late. Instead Of: And when the fuck do you expect me to do this?

Councillor Davis Try Saying: I’m certain that isn’t feasible. Instead Of: Fuck off arsehole.

Councillor Davis Try Saying: Really? Instead Of: Well fuck me backwards with a telegraph pole.

Councillor Davis Try Saying: Perhaps you should check with… Instead Of: Tell someone who gives a fuck.

Councillor Davis Try Saying: I wasn’t involved in the project. Instead Of: Not my fucking problem.

Councillor Davis Try Saying: That’s interesting. Instead Of: What the fuck?

Councillor Davis Try Saying: I’m not sure this can be implemented within the given timescale. Instead Of: No fucking chance.

Councillor Davis Try Saying: It will be tight, but I’ll try to schedule it in. Instead Of: Why the fuck didn’t you tell me that yesterday?

Councillor Davis Try Saying: I’m not familiar with the issues. Instead Of: I’ve got my head up my fucking arse.

Councillor Davis Try Saying: Excuse me, Mr. Ford? Instead Of: Oi, fuck face.

By: Sherri Lange, CEO NA-PAW (North American Platform Against Wind Power)

Wind turbines now proliferate rural Ontario, with more projects announced nearly weekly as December 2013 closed. “Merry Christmas, Ontario.” The speed with which a rural transformation has occurred has left communities reaching deep into pockets for legal fees, creative measures to self-protect, and engaging in, even helping to refocus a shifting political landscape. Not easy, given the block of City voters with little knowledge of the rural demise.

What city dwellers may not yet appreciate, but increasing are coming to know, is that the heartland of Ontario, the vibrant foodland and historic muscle of the province, Northern communities with impressive tourism and natural beauty,  have been mercilessly shredded of democratic rights, rights to have a say about massive industrial energy facilities, and split from basic rights to protect home, property, community, and property values.   In a few short years, the Green Energy and Economy Act  has all but “snuffed” democratic principles and laws,  and meaningful public participation. Seventy-five Municipalities have declared themselves “unwilling participants” to wind turbine projects.  To little heed. More and more anti wind groups form as communities are faced with menacing turbine projects that will deface their landscapes and impact their lives indefinitely. There is break neck enlightenment about the impacts of turbines as projects creep from municipality to municipality, region by region, town by town.  Sometimes it is a $10 million project for Bhuddist meditation (Cavan) that conjures up possible relief, a legal challenge.  Sometimes it is an Important Bird Area. Most often  it is human health impacts.  But the roll out of projects into pristine and sensitive, often iconic landscapes, historic and multi generational farms,  is relentless. And the promise to “converse” with communities about siting of turbine factories leaves bitter taste when we think of the rural realities.

Ontario now knows of 46 families that cannot live in their homes, but how many more are living elsewhere, at cottages, in trailers, some in parking lots at Walmarts nearby, not having self-reported their eviction? How many bought out with gag orders? Hundreds reporting ill health to an MOE (Ministry of the Environment) that has acknolwedged for years now that they do not know how to mitigate the complaints; and they have done nothing to shut down offending turbines. How many economic losses of reduced farm viabilitiy?  How much dead or damaged, greatly reduced numbers of livestock? How many property values lost, some entirely?  If you wanted to imagine a rural Ontario in a more chaotic and angry mood, it would not be possible.

Add to this angst neighbors who have sold out, bought the contract, sometimes 8 or 10 thousand per year per turbine, sometimes muc more. Hosting turbines is big business. Nothing, in our view, could be more divisive.

Like bees to honey

A snapshot of the current world of industrial wind provides us with some insight.  There are a few developers getting rich, very rich. Lucrative tax incentives, subsidies, loan guarantees, preferred access to the grid, even payments to NOT produce, all in the interests of the developer, not the public good.  Internationally, it is becoming known, well known, that the engorgement by wind companies is gutting economies, causing  net job losses as the costs of power guts manufacturing, that the green hysteria has led us to an environmental vandalism of the highest order, from which we will not recover for generations.  (In June of 2013, for one example, Mendick and Malnick reported from the UK that in one year alone, wind turbine developers received 1.2 BILLION pounds in subsidies.)

An expensive nightmare

In February of 2013, nearly one year ago, Member of the Australian Parliament, Alby Shultz, commented on the “unfortunate reality.” 

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« The renewable energy target was designed to assist with climate change by reducing Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions. The unfortunate reality of this is that it has become what I have described as ‘the biggest government sponsored fraud in the history of our country’. »

 These words were echoed in the UK, when the Environment Secretary, Owen Paterson, espoused that wind turbine factories are causing “huge unhappiness,” and they are a ‘complete scam.’  The list of countries scrambling to disengage from this “huge unhappiness” and economic vandalism continues to accelerate.  Germany continues to build 24 more coal fired plants and acknowledges the energy poverty, reduced industrial competitiveness, and complete failure of its green energy policies.  Partially violent protests took place recently in energy chaotic Bulgaria, as people set energy bills on fire to protest the increasingly unsustainable high cost of power.  Those rising costs were immensely tied with the subsidies given to wind and solar developers.

What then is the real truth about the turbine misrepresentations causing disharmony and poverty, and the story of apparently scandalous, government assisted, ill-gotten gains?

  • Wind turbines simply do not produce sufficient or meaningful power. With about 240,000 turbines worldwide, we only capture less than one half of one percent of our needs. Net Zero. Because reliable back up is required at all times, there is also a growth industry in coal and gas.
  • Wind turbines are manufactured from oil and gas, transported using oil and gas, and require up to 1000 gallons of oil and lubricants in the moving parts. They contain highly toxic rare earth elements from China in the magnets. The carbon fiber blades, some 100 meters in rotor diameter, cannot be recycled. Turbines do not last 20-25 years, but begin to experience mechanical failures and wear and tear within 5 years, and generally last a mere 10-15 years.  Hardly long term thinking.
  • Energy sprawl from transmission lines, turbine factories themselves as well as substations, create dead zones for wildlife, and cause unnatural distortions in food sourcing.  Massive numbers of birds and bats are killed, and the developers get to do their own mortality studies. It is now known that 90-95% of mortality is NOT reported.
  • Some species will become extinct from wind turbine proliferation. There are permits given to developers to “harm, harass, main and kill as well as disturb habitat” of endangered species.  Developers have been breaking our most sacred and well intentioned laws, and are even being given get out of jail free cards, with increasing regularity.  Only recently has a developer been fined for killing birds: “The plea agreement calls for a mix of “fines, restitution and community service” in the deaths of 14 eagles and 149 other birds, including hawks, blackbirds, wrens and sparrows, between 2009 and 2013, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a statement on November 22, (2013).” (Since that fine, the USFWS (Fish and Wildlife Services) has issued a new ordinance that developers may apply for permits of up to 30 years.)
  • Around the world, people are similarly reporting ill health, some to the extent of having to abandon homes, farms, often relocating to a new location, only to confront another wind project.
  • The subsidies are so entirely lucrative that developers have elaborate ways of responding to criticisms of lost homes, job losses, and “bombed out” damaged environments. The result has been a systemic scrubbing of rural values, landscapes, and economies, and darn the collateral damages.   Many properties no longer hold the same resale values: much land has been devalued, compacted from industrial action. Some properties are now worthless. There are disturbing records of losses to flocks and herds, pets, and bleeding, deformed or still born, livestock.  Some families have left the province. These thefts, losses, will not be recovered in many instances for generations, or possibly ever.
  • Job losses in Ontario continue to mount as the cost of power escalates.  Spain has lost 2.2 jobs for every so called “green job.” The UK has lost four, and Italy 5.4. The recent Samsung agreement announced by Energy Minister Chiarelli at the Empire Club at the Sheraton,  will by some estimates, cost Ontario 600 MILLION per year for the next 20 years. By any estimation this vandalism of jobs in Ontario is set to become terminal ruination.

Out of the “chaotic standstill”

It is time to restore rural Ontario and make restitution for those whose lives have been shattered.  (Ontario is part of an international movement of more than 2000 groups, millions of people, armed with the truth.  The European Platform (EPAW) has more than 650 member groups: the North American Platform Against Wind Power (NA-PAW) has more than 350.)

What remains submerged are the numbers of families who have left without a record of departure, leaving behind shattered dreams of “growing good things” in Ontario.  Uncounted masses of displaced and dead wildlife.  Uncounted tourist dollars, and lower tax values, all part of the purse, and no counting the ultimate spiritual purse we share as guardians of the land. But the accounting will become apparent.  Restitution must also begin to be part of the “conversation.”

There can be no more fruitful place to begin to restore economic confidence, than by  asking Municipalities to aggressively demand the repeal of the Green Energy and Economy Act, and an immediate end to the Feed in Tariff for wind and solar.  (All subsidies for wind and solar must end, not just for large scale projects.)

“It’s very simple. They don’t work and never can. Here’s why: 1) no energy density; 2) not dispatchable; 3) not reliable; 4) can’t store electricity. And they are ruining the environment and making people very, very sick. It’s a mania driven by a torrent of tax subsidies. The developers are all opportunists who don’t give a damn. It’s a scourge.”

 — Eric Bibler, Maine

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By J.J.

 Pray that our next Ward 32 councillor will not commit sins against Beachers to the degree of our present councillor Mary Margaret-Mahon. Now that the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) has rejected the so-called “building guidelines”, there is still one true believer of McMahon’s “Beach Bible”. Can you guess who that is? You guessed it….McMahon herself.

 Your Ward News clearly characterized the ‘fire hall clock sightline’ issue to be a ‘red-herring’. It’s more like the biblical ‘red-heifer’ that signals a more dramatic realization. We now realize that Beachers have been cunningly scammed. It turns out that Councillor M.M.M.’s “building guidelines” weren’t exactly commandments written in stone. They weren’t even suggestions. They were lies from the beginning.

 Named the “Visioning Study”, Beach residents were duped in to attending revival-like meetings. Phonier than a Peter Popov healing extravaganza, Beachers were asked to share their ideas that we now know would never see the light of day. When Your Ward News publisher Leroy St. Germaine was interviewed about this recent revelation he said, “NO MORE MR. NICE GUY! OUTRAGED BEACHERS ARE CONTACTING MY OFFICE IN DROVES. WHAT’S OUR NEXT MOVE? AN EXORCISM (?) ONE CALLER ASKED.”

 The confused congregation are losing their religion. Who can blame them? They were deceived in to believing Councillor M.M.M.’s ‘dumber than cold porridge’ routine. Dumb like a snake. Another sect taking part in this political and spiritual vampirism is the G.B.N.A. (Greater Beach Neighbourhood Association) and its high priest Jan Hykamp. Close family members in the real estate industry indicates a serious conflict of interest.

 And yet another Judas in our midst is local “activist” Brian Graff whose grass-roots movement is really a phony astro-turf operation created to deceive his fellow Beachers. And all for just thirty pieces of silver. And what’s with this Beach “Village” and Beach “Hill” nonsense that keeps mysteriously appearing in local publications and on suspiciously-placed hanging signs? An added effort to change and confuse the character of the Beach so that there’s no distinct character left to preserve?

 The enemy is INSIDE the gates and Your Ward News has been the only media outlet to consistently spread this gospel truth! We really dislike the idea of burning books. But if we were forced to pick one book to burn it would be Ward 32 Councillor M.M.M.’s “Beach Bible”. Lead us not into temptation. Amen, Beach brothers and sisters.

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By J.J.

During the disastrous ice storm that left many in the dark, our mayor proved to be ‘king of the road’. The temporary ‘acting’ mayor, Norm Kelly, proved to be an old broken-down Chevy parked down Interstate 95 in Florida. A reunion of a few relatives took precedence over many thousands of freezing, starving and desperate Torontonians. Of course the rest of city hall’s councillor’s acted like jealous ‘junkers’, envious of our real life action-figure mayor. From Adam Vaughan to Denzil Minnan-Wong to Ward 32’s own Mary Margaret-McMahon, these real life bobbleheads spend your tax dollars with all the thoughtful consideration of drunk drivers.

Election Day falls on October 27th 2014 and the field of participants is getting crowded. The many competitors that will register will surely be stealing fuel from each others’ campaign. Few will gain much mileage, if any at all. As the front-running Ford easily out-laps the crowd, you can bet that all his opponents in the media and on council will use every trick in the book to make him crash and burn. But is any oil slick enough to make this fierce competitor hit the wall?

Your Ward News has seen Team Ford face horrendous obstacles in the recent past and has always negotiated its way around every deadly curve in the road. It is difficult to predict all the controversies and pile-ups that lay ahead, but we are certain that this will be the most exciting race in Toronto’s history

Your Ward News will be at the finish line to witness the most important prediction that we see in our crystal ball. The image we see is crystal clear, and that is….the checkered flag for Team Ford!

RE-ELECT MAYOR ROB FORD!!!

Written by: Ella Stopapoulios

We here at Your Ward News are asking the community to help out by calling and sending us information about their councillor, Ms. Mary Fragedakis.  We have received many reliable tips and decided to ask the  the public for their help in putting together the jigsaw puzzle that is Mary.

Sources who knew Mary from the past say she never had her own business and that this was an election fabrication.  We’d like to talk to Mary’s past clients, and previous employers to hear ourselves just what Mary did for 40 years before she became a councillor.  We’d also like to see her tax returns because we really think this story has a lot of merit.

We are very disappointed in the information that comes to us about Mary’s background and associations in the East York.  Some point out her relationship with the current president of beleaguered Greek Community of Toronto, a non-profit that has recently been under fire from its members for selling assets such as their historic cathedral, to pay down debts from a capital campaign that went sour. We have heard that board members in that association have been accused of conflicts of interest, such as placing bids on the properties surrounding a historic cathedral.  We were told that this same group of directors caused a scuffle to thwart parish members of the cathedral’s attempt to forestall the sale of those properties.

We are very concerned with Mary’s alliance with this organization and, specifically, with Mr. Antonis Artemakis, who is rumored to have financed (as well as managed) her campaign in 2010.  It’s not our business if Mary has a romantic relationship with Mr. Antonakis, we told many sources that this wasn’t our concern, but we are concerned about potential election conflicts of interest in the upcoming municipal campaign.

We’re still asking, is all this true? Well, we’d like to invite councillor

Fragedakis to have a candid interview and to provide a neutral, third-party to examine her past.  We also ask the public to help us by providing details they think are helpful in understanding Mary’s background because we feel that there is some basis in the varied complaints surrounding her bizarre background.  Mary, please send us copies of your transcripts, professional references, Canadian tax returns and please have former employers get in touch with us.  We simply want to assure the residents in your ward that you do indeed have the qualifications claimed over the years.  If these complaints are hogwash, we want to know!

We are collecting information from every source we can, please stay tuned for developments.  Mary, please call us directly, we want to hear from you.

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 Under City of Toronto Municipal Code, Chapter 59 (Emergency Management) a state of emergency is a governmental declaration that the City Council can delegate it’s authority under the City of Toronto Act, 2006 and under any other legislation, exclusively for use to the Mayor alone. As such the Mayor’s authority is supreme thus suspending the democratic functions of municipal government for a period of up to 30 days. The city can declare a state of emergency during a time of natural or man-made disaster, during a periods of civil unrest, or acts of terrorism.

 Last November council chambers illegally revolked Rob Ford’s authority during emergency situations, making Ford little more then a figurehead. All powers during a state of emergency is in the hands of Norm Kelly appointed Deputy Mayor only a few months prior. “Let the people decide — not the media, not the politicians, not the councillors. This is about democracy” Rob Ford mentioned.

 Under provincial law only Mayor Ford can declare a state of emergency, indeed under municipal law only Mayor Ford can have powers during a state of emergency. Yet toss out the rule books, less then two months after Deputy Mayor Kelly was undemocratically bestowed all emergency powers Norm Kelly demanded Mayor Ford call the ice storm a major emergency so the military can be called in! This was a power grab, plain and simple to destroy any lingering illusion of democracy in Toronto. Those tanks rumbling down Queen Street? Norm Kelly says they are here to “help you”. Now really, where have we seen this before? The last time Mel Lastman tried that he was internationally made a laughing-stock.

 A state of emergency can also be used as a rationale for suspending rights and freedoms, even if those rights and freedoms are guaranteed. While Section 33 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms known as the notwithstanding clause allows the Legislative Assembly of Ontario to override the Charter, civil liberties were ingrained into common law. Non-derogable rights were never designed to be suspended, as they are the basic foundation of western law and civilization. However modern emergency laws and latter the Charter were written to override non-derogatory rights at the fist declare of a state of emergency.

 A total of 600,000 hydro customers were without electricity for a few days to a week. Many parts of Toronto suffered a blackout from the ice storm. The storm brought about freezing rain which during the hours of 2–3 am in the morning of December 22 caused major power outages in regions with above ground power lines mostly in Etobicoke, North York and Scarborough. On the following Monday, December 23, 2013 approximately 125,000 users had their power turned on with help from crews from as far away as Michigan, Manitoba and other provinces. By New Year’s Eve, less than 100 homes were without power.

 There was absolutely no reason to call a state of emergency, work crews made sure to get power back to the city as quickly as possible. No one died and in a few short days all services returned to normal. The only reason Deputy Mayor Kelly wanted to play an emergency scenario was to grab power. Now all he can do is blame Mayor Ford for standing in his way, berating Ford for handling the “crisis”. At least Rob Ford did not have to call in the Armed Forces knowing that City workers and contracted labour was more then enough man power.

 Then again, Rob Ford was a better man for the job. Even though Rob Ford’s own home in Etobicoke was without power Mayor Ford was able to handle the city wide power restoration and clean up services that he would not be allowed to do in an emergency. On the other hand Norm Kelly was enjoying the warm beaches and wonderful weather while taking a quick vacation in Florida. I really don’t know how Deputy Mayor Kelly expected to manage the situation on his BlackBerry cell phone.

 “Hope (your) vacation was good with family as I could not share time with mine. All our homes had no power. No heat, no hot water. Still dark” one resident wrote on Norm Kelly’s Twitter account.

 What Norm Kelly wants, only a few months after being assigned the position of Deputy Mayor is for Rob Ford to effectively remove himself as the democratically elected Mayor. Deputy Mayor Kelly wanted to use the opportunity, while in the United States no less to call on the Canadian Forces to back up his new position as Dictator of Tomainia. Upon arrival to the city I am sure Norm Kelly expected posters of his image as plebs called on him to solve all the city’s problems.

 The reason given by Deputy Mayor Kelly for enacting the Emergency Management Act was “largely because it will assist the staff at the Province to make resources available to us, crews, generators, facilities for warming centres.” Lets us stop him right there, the resources were already in place, several crews were contracted out from Manitoba Hydro anyways, there was not an extra generator in the city and warming centres were more then able to handle their tasks. All while Rob Ford, here in Toronto managed timey and effective metro-wide repairs. Norm Kelly used the excuse that funding and assistance from the Ontario Government was contingent on the emergency declaration, and he is dead wrong! The province offered assistance without a declaration. So the whole idea of a state of emergency was absolutely pointless to the ice storm repair efforts.

 As one internet user noted “The media needs to continuously blow things out of proportion. Was the ice storm bad, yes, was it a hardship for those that lost power, yes. Did the damage from the ice storm need a State of Emergency to be called, no. Remember, in the media, controversy sells.”

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When you hear the names “Halliburton” and “Blackwater,” do you break out in a cold sweat? Then you’re probably too high-strung to hear about the Serco Group. Based in the United Kingdom, Serco is the epitome of the worldwide transnational corporation. When the words “globalization” and “shadow government” appear in dictionaries, pictures of the Serco logo should appear next to the entries. What’s that? You say you haven’t heard of Serco? That’s okay. You’re not alone. The Guardian called Serco “probably the biggest company you’ve never heard of.”

Serco currently provides examination services to the Province of Ontario for the Graduated Driver Licensing program and the Ontario Security Guard Testing Program. Serco holds a 10-year, $114 million contract with the Province of Ontario to operate the province’s DriveTest driver examination centres. These tests include vision, road, and knowledge tests for all persons seeking to become a licensed automobile driver in the province. Not to mention issuing the licenses and creating the databases

Serco also supplies electronic tagging devices for offenders and asylum seekers. In Britain, Serco runs several prisons, a Young Offenders Institution and a Secure Training Centre. It also operates two Immigration Removal Centres. Serco is also responsible for the contracted-out court escort services in the south-east area (formerly a role undertaken by HM Prison Service). In addition, Serco runs Hünfeld Prison in Hesse, Germany. In Australia Serco runs Acacia Prison in Western Australia and Borallon Correctional Facility in Queensland as well as the national contract for immigration detention centres, including Christmas Island and the Villawood detention centre in Sydney. In Auckland, New Zealand Serco runs the Mt Eden remand prison and in March 2012 was awarded the contract to build and operate a 960 bed prison at Wiri. The Serco Group operates all seven of Australia’s immigration detention centers.

Serco holds defence contracts worldwide including the UK Government’s first modern outsourced contract for the maintenance of the UK Ballistic Missile Early Warning System at RAF Fylingdales. Serco also manages the Atomic Weapons Establishment responsible for the design, manufacture and support of warheads for the United Kingdom’s nuclear weapons program. In fact, Serco is in charge of all the UK’s nuclear stockpile from development to decommissioning.

Serco’s holding don’t stop there; they control half of London’s traffic signals and red light cameras, all of Dublin’s, much of the healthcare in the UK, 58 air traffic control facilities and all the state schools in the English towns of Bradford, Walsall and Stoke-on-Trent. In July 2013 Serco was awarded a $1.25 billion contract to manage the Obamacare website. Not bad for a company established in 1929 as a small subsidiary of the Radio Corporation of America (RCA) that converted British cinemas from silent film to talkie operations.

The question is do you trust such a massive, powerful and secret organization with all your personal information? Well if you want to drive you have no choice!

In December of 2013 Your Ward News received concrete proof that the Ministry of Transportation was using facial recognition software to biometrically identify each and every single person who has ever applied for a driver’s license in Ontario. This was done without most driver’s knowledge or consent. Using computers to map the faces of all drivers proved to be just as effective as a fingerprint or DNA test. Guess which company helped to create Big Brother’s newest toy since the beginning? For  almost 15 years the Serco Group has been developing and improving facial recognition systems and developing gigantic databases of private information. Halton Regional Police last month were able to use the system to nab a wanted man on the lam for 13 years. The man successfully lived under a false identity for years, but it was when he applied for a driver’s license using his fake name a facial recognition scan came up with a different story.

Imagine a scenario where you’re walking down the street or attending a sports event or shopping at a mall, and your photo is taken by one of several CCTVs, identified, tagged and matched against the driver’s license database of facial templates, without your knowledge or consent. This is an affront to privacy that should not be tolerated.

You may wonder why you never herd of the Serco Group nor the fact they manage the entire driver licensing service on behalf of the province of Ontario. Other then a very friendly and biased 2006 interview Jane Martinson of the Guardian did with Serco’s chief Christopher Hyman (who resigned a few months ago after overcharging government customers) and what is presented in Serco’s own media releases, major media does not want you to know. Forget all the Bilderberg & Illuminati conspiracy theories, Serco is the real boogeyman and it is terrifying how massive their reach and secret their powers.

Astoundingly there was little negative objection to Serco’s contract to the Ministry of Transportation. In fact there was the only critical comment on the entire internet about the deal not published in a Serco or Ontario Government press release, and not used by unions to attack privatization as a whole.

A video entitled “Dirty Serco” regarding the Ontario drivers licensing facilities was uploaded by a user to YouTube. The video was yanked from YouTube and my further attempts to contact the poster via various means including emails, phone calls and chat proved unsuccessful. Your Ward News is currently the only outlet in  Ontario covering all the shady details of the Serco Group.

In September 2013, Serco was accused of extensive sexual abuse cover-ups of immigrants at Yarls Wood prison in Bedfordshire, England at the same time Ireland rejected a tender by Serco when the company was found to be involved in a series of multi-billion pound mortgage frauds in Britain.

A Serco employee revealed that the company had falsified 252 reports to the National Health Service regarding Serco health services in Cornwall after giving countless patients in their care infected blood and causing severe kidney damage.

Serco has a secretive history of authoritarian mismanagement with controlling interests in dozens of diverse sectors and these are the people the Ontario government decided to hand over your privacy too, all done without much of a whimper from the media?

Stand up and take notice!

CBC Liberals

The 1991 Broadcasting Act states that the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, as the national public broadcaster, be predominantly and distinctively Canadian, actively contribute to the flow and exchange of cultural expression, contribute to shared national consciousness and identity and reflect the multicultural and multiracial nature of Canada. To cover their mandate the CBC directly owns and controls 35 television channels and 90 radio stations, not to mention their own record label and major real estate in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver.

The CBC was the only television network broadcasting in Canada until the creation of CTV in 1960, even then large parts of Canada did not receive CTV service until the late 1960s or early 1970s. The CBC also had the only national radio network. The CBC claims it’s cultural impact is significant. Yet that was just because many Canadians had no choice for their information and entertainment for generations except the state owned broadcaster.

Among its revenue sources the CBC receives $946 million in its annual funding from the federal government, as well as $60 million in “one-time” supplementary funding for programming. However, this supplementary funding has been repeated annually for a number of years. This combined total is just over a billion dollars annually and is a source of heated debate.

CBC’s funding differs from that of the public broadcasters of many European nations, which collect a licence fee, or those in the United States, such as PBS and NPR, which receive some public funding but rely to a large extent on voluntary contributions from individual viewers and listeners. An Abacus poll from August 2011 showed that approximately one out of two Canadians would like to see the CBC’s funding switched to the PBS/NPR model, while one out of three Canadians want Parliament to sell off or privatize the CBC. This independent survey flies in the face of the CBC’s own in house research claiming 92% of Canadians consider the CBC an essential service which they use to justify their continuously desperate need for more tax dollars.

The decline in CBC viewership can be attributed to popularity of private television networks’ rebroadcast of affordable American programming with substituted Canadian advertising. American programs attract much higher audiences then do most of the costly made-in-Canada boring programming that is a CBC specialty. The CBC desperately needs to attract viewers, so much so they did not consider it a waste of taxpayer money to take out full-page ads in several major newspapers claiming that 2.2 million Canadians watched their coverage of the 2006 election. Yet this was a lie, and an expensive one at that. CTV was number one, after proving there was a CBC audience of only 1.2 million.

Pollster Frank Graves adviser to the Liberal Party of Canada, and party donor is the CBC’s go to guy. Graves directs the public opinion research projects on behalf of the CBC and also appeared on a number of CBC television programs relating to politics. CBC President Hubert Lacroix commissioned a study to determine whether its news and programming was biased towards the Liberal Party, the methodology of CBC’s in house study was not reported and unsurprisingly found no political bias.

Then in March 2011, Macleans Magazine, the National Post, and the Toronto Sun ran articles surrounding the clear Liberal bias of CBC’s “Vote Compass”, an online tool where users were asked 30 questions to which they could answer “agree”, “strongly agree”, “disagree”, “strongly disagree”, or “neither agree nor disagree”. Queens University Professor Kathy Brock used the questionnaire several times, alternating between answering all of the questions as “agree”, “strongly agree”, “disagree”, “strongly disagree”, and “neither agree nor disagree”. On each result, the survey suggests to vote for the Liberal Party of Canada.

The CBC was successfully sued for libel over an episode of The Fifth Estate that featured two Ontario doctors. Dr. Martin Myers asked for an apology plus $25,000, while Dr. Frans Leenen asked for an apology plus $10,000 out of court, but the CBC decided to use tax dollars to hire several lawyers and fight.

Dr. Myers was awarded $200,000, plus interest and costs, while Dr. Leenen won $950,000, plus interest and costs that totalled over $2 million, a record for Canadian libel. The CBC has no libel insurance, so taxpayers flipped the bill. Both judges ruled that the journalists had twisted the facts and acted with malice, with one writing in his decision “In order to portray [these doctors] in the role of the ‘bad guy’ and in order to disparage their views, the CBC took an eminent research scientist, whom they knew to be a person of high integrity and reputation, and presented him as a devious, dishonest, bumbling fool in order to advance the story line. This was sensational journalism of the worst sort and should serve as an embarrassment to this so-called ‘flagship’ investigative program.”

In the world of instant News availability for Canadians from a variety of sources, including the internet why do we need a Government owned, taxpayer funded, Liberal biased expensive CBC? The CBC can be successfully privatized to an array of small independent broadcasters and radio stations who can better serve Canadians with programming they actually want without endlessly draining public funds. An analysis done by Google last year showed that more Canadian content has been uploaded to YouTube since it was launched in 2005 than has been created by CBC since the 1950s.

The billions of dollars earned from the privatization of the CBC could help pay down our debt and the $83,000,000 sucked from tax payers every single month could be redirected to our critical Health Care needs, perhaps even adding dental coverage for Canadians. The CBC’s biased approach to news and information content – a failure of Journalism 101 – continues to represent only the left wing despite taxing every Canadian and every cable and satellite user across Canada.

There really is no reason for the government to own a broadcaster in the 500-channel universe. If Stephen Harper wants to leave his mark on Canada, sell the CBC. Not to major corporate broadcasters who will endlessly blast the same pandering nonsense, but to independent small businesses. Leave it up to viewership and a free economy to decide what works and what fails, instead of endless dumping money into a proven failure. Take the government out of a line of business it has no right to be in, thought control and social engineering.