06.09.2014 06:30 PM

In Tuesday’s Sun: disband the OPP

Despicable.

Disgusting, dispiriting, deflating: Ontario’s 2014 election campaign has been all of those things, and more.

It is coming to a blessed end in two days’ time. But this grinding, joyless farce has given voters no shortage of reasons to refuse to participate. A sampling:

· Liberal leader Kathleen Wynne said on the weekend that Ontario’s NDP – with whom she has happily partnered for more than a year – were “Rob Ford-like.” That’s a quote.

· New Democrat leader Andrea Horwath – who has been the Liberals’ willing supplicant for more than a year – now calls Wynne and the Grits “corrupt” every chance she gets.

· Progressive Conservative leader Tim Hudak, in his centerpiece economic “Million Jobs Plan,” says that “person years of employment” is the same thing as “jobs.” This means that he has over-estimated the number of jobs in his plan by a factor of eight. His plan should be called the “125,000 Jobs Plan.”

And so on, and so on. It has been, as noted, dispiriting. The party leaders have revealed nothing to inspire us. Turnout will be historically low, and they will have no one but themselves to blame.

There is more than enough blame to go around, however. The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) deserve plenty for subverting democracy, too.

For those who fortuitously do not live here, the OPP are (as the name implies) our provincial police force. They are Ontario’s largest, numbering in the thousands. They carry guns and – lately – they have involved themselves in politics. A lot.

In the case of the aforementioned Rob Ford, the OPP went to great lengths to discredit the years-long effort of the Toronto Police Force to investigate Ford’s penchant for associating with drug-dealers. Videotapes notwithstanding, the OPP declared there was “no new evidence” that could be used in a prosecution of Ford, and thereby let Mayor Crackhead off the hook.

Then, there was the case of deleted emails at Queen’s Park, which weren’t actually deleted – they all still exist, in Ontario government servers out in Guelph. The OPP was undeterred: one of their officers appeared before a provincial legislative committee, and falsely stated that the supposed deleter of the emails wouldn’t speak to them (he would), and that the emails were gone (they weren’t). He did this under oath.

Then, mid-campaign, the OPP’s union started running attack ads against Hudak’s PCs. The ads said that Hudak would cause “labour strife” and urged voters to vote for anybody but him.

The OPP officers were constitutionally entitled to broadcast the ads. But in a democracy, the people we give guns and great power – the police, the military – shouldn’t ever be seen during election campaigns, much less heard from.

The OPP’s management, observing the backlash against their union’s Third World-style boot-stomping of democracy, decided to compensate. It leaked details of the Queen’s Park emails investigation – a criminal investigation – to the media. They, like their union, had decided to try and affect the outcome of the election by subverting the Liberals.

Nobody knows who will be Ontario’s next Premier. But if it’s either Hudak or Wynne, nobody would blame either leader for disbanding the despicable OPP, which is officially of control and, inarguably, completely lawless.

Weep for Ontario, Canada. Things are bad, here.

.

24 Comments

  1. jeff316 says:

    “His plan should be called the “125,000 Jobs Plan.””

    Minus the 100 000 public service reductions, it should be the 25 000 job plan.

    Why no one in the debate went after this I have no idea.

    • Just askin' says:

      By that logic, wouldn’t the 100,000 public sector job cuts plan really be 12,500 job cuts plan?

      The faulty math works both ways.

      • Steve T says:

        Very good point. We have the same thing here in Manitoba, where the NDP blame the PCs (who have been out of office for more than a decade!!) for cutting thousands of jobs. Nevermind that most were through attrition, and many were part-time.

        So, I agree – it cuts both ways. Whatever math is used for job creation figures should also be used for job-loss figures.

      • doconnor says:

        No it doesn’t. The faulty part was the 500,000 jobs they said the Million Jobs plan would create. The 500,000 they said would be created without the jobs plan are real jobs and the 100,000 they said they would cut are real jobs.

        (1,000,000 – 500,000) / 8 – 100,000 = -37,500 net jobs would be created by the Conservative’s plans.

        • Just askin' says:

          Sorry, I don’t understand the math sentence in your final statement. Can you clarify?

          • (1,000,000 jobs plan – 500,000 jobs created without the plan) / 8 to correct math error – 100,000 jobs cut from government service = -37,500 totals jobs lost under Hudak plan. All values sourced from Conservative documents and announcements, so this is a very optimistic number.

  2. davie says:

    I was 17 in 1959, living in PMQ’s at RCAF Clinton. I have dealt with both your OPP and AG on that case since. They have been in politics a long time.

  3. Al says:

    How are OPP accountable? By a civilian board? Or just to the Public Safety Minister of Ontario?

    Is it a coincidence that the Toronto Police Services Board has been struggling with issues of accountability (budget plus rogue conduct) by Chief Blair and his own yahoo cop gang?

    And at the national level, the RCMP is almost ungovernable within itself. More rogue stories than all the other forces combined.

    Something does not smell right in many matters involving the police all all levels.

    • davidray says:

      with you on that one Al.

      don’t ask who
      don’t ask why
      have another slice of liarpie
      now get out and vote for the company store
      and try to pretend the cops ain’t rotten
      rotten to the core

  4. Duane says:

    Actually Warren, when you take out the 100,000 public service workers and multiple it by a factor of two for the spin off job losses, his plan will be in the negative. Andrea comparing herself to Jack Lawton I believe will turn off more than a few NDP supporters. Wynne, well her inner circle of campaign organizer have done a very poor job of making her standout or have a platform that really makes her standout. I believe the voter turn out will be about 42-44%. There was no issue that would really drive people to the polls. The lacklustre campaign will benefit the Conservatives, (they really need to drop the Progressive from the party name as they are no more Progressive than Fox News) as their voters are more motivated to get out an vote. The liberal voters need an issue to polarize them to vote and Wynne is just not that polarizing figure.

    It is still anyones game right now so the only excitement of this election will be election night and that could be a dud if the results come in fast. Warren, are you or your lovely lady doing any analysis on election night?

  5. davidray says:

    couple of young uns came to my door stumping for the NDP tonight

    as I looked at those unlined faces I kept thinking “don’t they realize how much power they have and how terrified the fuckups who run things are they might wake up and realize it.
    I guess we’re all waiting for our own Tahrir Square. To think we might give power to the same dolts for another five years in an age when everything changes every five minutes does not bode well.

  6. e.a.f. says:

    there is nothing wrong with a Union taking out attack ads on any political party during an election. It is called free speech. Cops and their Union have just as much right to say what they want, as any other Union. Lets not forget “think tanks which attack government workers whenever they feel like it along with right wing politicians and journalists.

    Come the next federal election, do you expect federal government workers’ Unions to not take a position? Not so much. You see government workers have the right to Unionize, speak out, and vote. Their Unions are no different than any other union. They are there to ensure their members get the best possible deal. Government Unions just have one extra “perk”. They vote for who will become their employer. If I were a cop in Ontario, I’d vote for anyone but Hudak also.

    The alleged “sins” of the OPP are not the “sins” of the Union. A Union’s obligation is to represent their members and fight on their behalf to ensure their rights are protected. If the police Union is doing that, it is part of having a free and democratic society for everyone. Trying to silence a police Union is no different than Harper trying to silence scientists, doctors, Veterans, etc.

    What courts have ruled upon is that government workers may not criticize their employer in public, I. e. the department they work for. It is fine with the courts if their Union does it for them. So Warren, please don’t try to turn back the hands of time.

    Whatever errors/gross errors the OPP has made, ought to be dealt with, as management deals with any unprofessional worker. Only that means, management needs to do their job. Management frequently is too lazy to get around to that. So if the OPP is incompetent, then they ought to fire the CEO, hire a new one, who can do the job and then go down the line, level by level.

    If there is evidence a cop lied, under oath, then someone up the food chain, management, ought to deal with the issue. That most likely hasn’t happened, because as I’ve said, management is lazy. Denying any worker their democratic rights is going down a very slippery slope.

    • donna says:

      But if the anti-Hudak unions fail and there is a PC government of the people, should the unions pay the political price for their attack on the PCs? Should public service unions in Ontario be de-certified and not allowed any more?

      • e.a.f. says:

        No Donna, that has already been settled by the Supreme Court of Canada. All citizens have the right of free speech, assembly, etc. Part of that right to associate/assemble is the right to form unions. The courts have then ruled, unions have the right to negotiate for their members.

        Its like saying, the P.C. won so they get to disband the other parties along with any public/private organization which opposed them. Sort of like the federal Cons coming to power and disbanding Green Peace.

        In a democracy, everybody gets to do their thing, sort of. Like or not, its how we roll and it has worked quite well, as compared to other forms of government.

  7. reformatory says:

    I didn’t hear anybody complain when the RCMP got involved in the Martin Federal Liberal Election. Some acute observers say…. that swung the tide ever so gently towards a conservative minority!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Ahhh Politcs…… some say… far too important to leave it in the hands of the lamen public. Shameful but true!!!!!!!!

  8. Emil E says:

    And if Ontarians, in their democratic wisdom, vote to elect a majority Hudak PC government, what will be the position of the OPPA… resistance, disobedience, opposition, revolt?

    Can a PC government revoke or eliminate in some manner the OPP union? Can they legislate the OPPA out of existence, I wonder?

    • e.a.f. says:

      It can try to legislate the union out of exsistance, but the Supreme Court of Canada would rule against the Hudak and his herd. This type of case was heard in the Supreme Court of Canada over 15 yrs ago.

      The OPPA has the right to resist, oppose. The Union has the right to try anything which is legal. However, the police officers themselves, while on the job, are required by law to do their job. It kind of how democracy rolls.

  9. terence Quinn says:

    the fingerprints of julian Fantino would appear to still be all over that force.

  10. Kelly says:

    RCMP insert themselves in elections too. Other off-duty cops went after Layton, police engage in kettling of protesters, excessive use of force in airports, intimidation of protestors in their own homes, and they drop Aboriginal men outside the city limits in Winter in Saskatoon (and reportedly Winnipeg too). Combine this with a phony electoral process, a feckless opposition and a secretive socially inept 14 year old for a PM and you really have to wonder about our future. In my few it’s grim. We continue to slide down the UN HDI rankings (I think we’re 14 now — after being 1 or 2 for the first dozen years records were kept (the slide started under Martin). In fact your baby now has a better chance of surviving in Cuba and Albania — that’s how bad infant mortality is now (check the CIA fact book and the UN).

    • donna says:

      Nice try but your fearmongering is just that… fearmongering!

      If anybody wants to check Canada’s UN Human Development Index ranking for 2013, Canada is in the “very high human development” group of countries. The top country is Norway at .955 index and Canada is .911 and ranks 11th in this category of 47 countries. The HDI is an estimate and a slight correction can move a country up or down a few notches because the calculations are very sensitive to change.

      As for infant mortality, you must determine where Canada’s infant mortality is highest and how that skews the statistics. I suspect infant mortality is high on aboriginal reserves because of the lack of medical services out in the wilderness. Every government promises to increase health care on reserves but it just doesn’t happen… just like educational services. That is what depresses Canada’s social welfare standing. Let’s not hide the facts and then attack the governments for partisan politics.

      • e.a.f. says:

        we keep electing governments which implement policies which lead to the infant deaths, so on balance, I’d have to say the majority of Canadians are O.K. with First Nations babies dying at a higher rate than non First Nations babies.

  11. david ray says:

    we praise commanders or play hail to the chief
    as they rip off our consciences with practiced deceit
    and still we do nothing
    because we’ve been bought
    by fast food truth, hey thanks a lot.

    WAKE UP PEOPLE.

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