Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Councillor Language Proves Bias


Just saw this at 10:00am April 27th on Twitter:
goldsbie Jonathan Goldsbie Parker just used the phrase "another way to skin the cat." I'm guessing that's not one he picked up in the Legislature. 11 hours ago Favorite Retweet Reply

This must have been at Public Works and Infrastructure Committee (2010-2014) meeting April 26, 2011 - 9:30 AM - Meeting 3 whose members are: Mark Grimes, Mike Layton, Denzil Minnan-Wong (Chair), John Parker, Gord Perks, David Shiner

This is something that the Licensing and Standards Committee (2010-2014) whose members are:
Glenn De Baeremaeker, Chin Lee, Gloria Lindsay Luby, Frances Nunziata. Cesar Palacio (Chair), Anthony Perruzza and have the responsibility for Toronto Animal Services ought to take note of and censure Mr. John Parker for his careless comments.

I call upon the Toronto City Integrity Commissioner, Janet Leiper, to investigate Mr. Parker's intemperate language and public statements made at the above mentioned meeting.
In a time when animal abuse is seen as an important issue, such public statements made by a public official are unacceptable and not only reflect poorly on Toronto City Council, but are inflammatory and seem on the surface to condone illegal and criminal behaviour.

I have filed a complaint with the city's Integrity Commissioner, for all the good it will probably do. sigh.

Friday, April 22, 2011

"PEOPLE LIKE YOU..." says the TTC


No, its not a compliment that I received today, it ended in an arrest by Toronto Police, courtesy of a situation precipitated by a judgemental and 'higher than thou' TTC driver on the 506 College eastbound bus, a few houses down the street where I live, College and Lansdowne.

It happened at about 3:45pm today (Good Friday) and I am posting this at 6:21pm, after I ran my errands after being released from uncomfortable police custody in the back of one of their cramped cruises, while in over-tight handcuffs. They purposely have the from seats pushed back as far as it will go and I still have ligature marks on my wrists.

... But this is not about the police, who just did their jobs as a cog in the system.

This is about the Toronto Transit Commission and how customers are considered second class freight by (some) arrogant drivers.  Since this record will no doubt be used in my upcoming court case, and because I believe in truth, here are the details:

1. I walked to the corner and waited at the northwest corner for the College streetcar. There were already about 20+ people there.

2. After what felt like a 15-20 minute wait (wish I had timed it), and watching bus after bus just bypass and go down Dundas (which I thought was closed), the 506 bus and the soon to be offending driver pulls up.

3. The young female driver (a rookie?) commences to have a long conversation with another young lady who boarded  after me and seemed to be a friend,  while about 10 people, many of them elderly, wait to board.

4. I was seated about halfway down the bus and went to the front, feeling concerned that people were waiting, and simply asked the driver "What's the holdup?"

5. She replies "Just be patient sir." I replied "We've been patient enough" . Yes I was feeling irritated at the wait, but did not express it other than to say "Let's just get moving" and turned to walk away.

6. Driver says "If you don't like it, get out and take a taxi". Now, understand that I am on disability, low income and the last time I took a taxi was when I had to go to the hospital after a fall and tore a hamstring. I resent being reminded of my poverty, and her statement was inflammatory.

7. It may have been at this time that I said was was only the worst thing that I could have said: "Oh, go to hell"... or it may have been later, since the driver continued to escalate and bait me.

9. The driver then said 'Get off my bus" and stopped just in front of the Tim Horton's I always frequent. I replied "No, I've got a valid fare" and held up my monthy April TTC pass again.

10. Driver then says "Its' PEOPLE LIKE YOU who are the problem..." Now I admit, this bothered me as I would most anyone I think, as it is a put down that is a classist statement intended to diminish the value of another human being.

11. I inform the driver I would be filing a complaint, and the driver says "Go ahead, I won't lose my job over a complaint". To me, this is obnviously a reference to the fact that the TTC has a strong union and no complaints would ever be taken seriously or have conseuences.

12. The 'won't lose my job' complaint to me was yet another further escalation, said loudly and with a smirk on her face, again intended to 'put me in my place' so to speak.

13. At this point, I am angry enough to decide then and there to stand up for my rights as a human being, entitled to some respect just like anyone else. I strongly point out that I did not swear or become abusive or threatening to the driver in any way. In fact, there was a man between me and the driver who was chatting with her during this, and a relatively full busload of passengers.

14. Now, we have one bus stopped and not moving. The driver calls TTC control to report 'an abusive passenger who won't get off the bus' and proceeds to describe me as old, balding, etc. I spoke loud enough such that the TTC controller would know who I was, giving clearly my name, address and telephone number. My thought was there was no point in delaying the bus, I was on it and they knew who I was. Besides there are in bus cameras taking down the entire exchange.

15. TTC control soon comes over the bus speakers and announces the bus out of service and told all passengers to exit.

16. At about this point I decide to document things myself using my cell phone camera to take photos and video of the bus, identifying number, etc.

17. The police have not arrived, another bus pulls up and I get off to get on it. Driver 1 (young female) says, "no dont let him on" but I already am. Driver 2 (a guy with a small beard) comes back and says his bus is now out of service.

18. I get off bus 2 and get back on bus 1. Now 2 buses are out of service. This is ridiculous.

19. Police have still not arrived (I am standing up for what I believe is an impotant issue, having to do with human rights * more on this at end of this post), so

20 I call 311 to ensure that at least there is a record of what is happening and ask to lodge a complaint against the TTC. The 311 operator doesn't know what to do, so I ask him to take my name and telephone number and to advise my local city councillor Ana Bailao. The reason for this is that I have had concerns about TTC issues of safety and customer service for some time, having posted about it on my weblog and in emails to TTC Chair Karen Stintz as well as discussions with Ana. I intend to file a complaint.

21.  Police arrive and I gladly exit the bus to explain what happened, to an initially sympathetic officer - while the other officer (Hollingshead) talks to the TTC driver. I ask if I am being arrested and he says no.

22. By now there are crowds watching 2 idling buses and police questioning me and the driver, with traffic slowed and gawking at the roadside show.

23. I have to admit by this point I am disgusted with the whole over the top situation, but I am not one to back down when I feel I am being treated unfairly (by the TTC, I stress, police are still just doing their job).

24. Since the statements appear to have been taken, I try to board the bus and officer Hollingshead blocks my entry. If I am not under arrest and I have a valid fare, why not I ask. Things are fuzzy here as I think I tried to board, angry that I was being refused, in my thought, all access to TTC buses. And here I did do a stupid thing, puting my foot up to board (my stubborness did me in). I am absolutely sure I did not touch or push the officer, but in a frenzied whirl I am speedily manhandled, twisted around and handcuffed.

25. Now I am frisked over the trunk of the police car, relieved of all my belongings and consigned to the cramped back seat of the cruiser. I see out the window buses idling, 2 police cars (including the one I was in) and a TTC supervisor car. While I wait for about an hour, with the blood ciculation in my hands cut off, I think over the events. I hear on the police radio that the incident for my call is Delta 137173. I also hear a police call for an assault situation at 1011 Lansdowne and calls for a traffic car at College and Ossington.

26. I am shamed that the incident involving me was responded to in such an over the top fashion and that police resources were being taken up bt this.  I am however certain of the rightness of my concerns in how the TTC often treats the 'lower classes'.  I am glad to at least know that now there will be a full report of the incident so I can actually follow up and not be just ignored, as often happens to those with no power or status.

27. After what seemed an eternity, the car pulls round in front of the bus and I am told to get out of the car. I am released from the cuffs and given back my belongings. I ask why I wasn't being taken to the station and told I was being given a ticket. $50 fine for trespass. I will fight it.

28. I think at this point another bus pulls up (#3) and I go to get on it (after all I was not under arrest and had valid fare). The driver refuses me access and the supervisor comes up and say no as well. What gives? Am I being refused access to the entire TTC system?

29. The kindly police officer (good cop, bad cop teams?) comes to tell me that I cannot board. After some confusion I realize its because I 'had words' with him, ie. an interchange so the police have to document this while another bus is out of service: Driver 3: "You can't get on" Me: "Why" Driver 3: "Because I said so"... that was pretty much the entirety of the conversation.

30. NOW... bus number 4 pulls up and I am invited to board by the police.

31. As I go towards the bus, the bearded TTC Supervisor feels compelled to come to me and say "You know, it's PEOPLE LIKE YOU that cause all the problems...." He goes on to say, "My job is to protect my people from PEOPLE LIKE YOU"
...I thank him for giving me a title and sweet soundbite for the whole incident and its deeper meaning:

.... Someday People Like You.... can quickly become PEOPLE LIKE ME ....

I am looking foward to my day in court.

* There is background to this that bears consideration.  I travel on the Queen Streetcar, the Dufferin and Ossington buses. I too often see abusive TTC drivers who give those that are 'down and out' a really hard time. They are challenged much more often to again produce valid transfers just because of the way they look.  A few times, I've heard drivers say really nasty demeaning things like 'you're a waste of time' or 'what? all you can give me is pennies? or 'I don't want YOU on my bus (before they even board or speak'.  I do say that it is only some drivers, in my estimate maybe 10% at most and usually not the drivers on the regular runs (probably overtime work from another more classy route).

Still, the customer deserves some respect, don't you think?


* Update: 8:50pm Friday - I checked the TTC website for the bylaws, since I was charged as "Failed to leave premises when directed Trespass to Property Ac 2 (1) (b). "
TTC bylaws make no direct mention of this, other than possibly:
3.24 No person, unless otherwise authorized, shall loiter in or on TTC property.

... Is this what I am being found guilty of ?
3.25 No person shall cause a disturbance or act contrary to the public peace on TTC property, including but not limited to:
a) urinating, expectorating or defecating, except in facilities specifically intended for such actions;
b) using profane, insulting or obscene language or gestures; ...Is the word 'hell' profane?
c) behaving in an indecent or offensive manner;
d) shining any type of light at an operator of a TTC vehicle or any other passenger;
e) fighting; or
f) behaving in a manner which would interfere with the ordinary enjoyment of persons using the transit system. ... A wonderful 'anything else we can think of' catchphrase?
The Trespass to Property Act says:  R.S.O. 1990, CHAPTER T.21

Trespass an offence

2. (1) Every person who is not acting under a right or authority conferred by law and who,
(a) without the express permission of the occupier, the proof of which rests on the defendant,
(i) enters on premises when entry is prohibited under this Act, or
(ii) engages in an activity on premises when the activity is prohibited under this Act; or
(b) does not leave the premises immediately after he or she is directed to do so by the occupier of the premises or a person authorized by the occupier,
is guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine of not more than $2,000. R.S.O. 1990, c. T.21, s. 2 (1).

* Update: 9:46pm I sent in a signed, faxed complaint to TTC customer service. I am told by their site I can expect followup in 7 business days (May 3rd). Stay tuned.  This was the exact complaint just sent:

Comments: Driver held up the much delayed bus with a conversation with a friend/passenger while elderly people waited to board. I asked What the holdup was, She said, Be patient, I said we've been patient enough and turned to sit down. Driver escalated several times, saying: 1. If you dont like it, get out and take a taxi; 2. It's PEOPLE LIKE YOU who are the problem; 3. I'm not going to lose my job over a complaint (laughs) - after I said I would file a complaint. Resulted in about 3+ buses being delayed, Police called, me being arrested. I shall fight this complaint in court and will be talking to the media. Note that my chief complaint is with the TTC cultural attitude of 'my people, you people'. Since I have to put this in writing it is only fair that you respond in kind. I would be happy to speak with your new customer service guru to resolve this.
Date and Time of Event (yyyy-mm-dd): 2011-04-22 03:45 PM

Employee Badge Number: unknown

Employee Description: Young, female driver
Gender: Female
Vehicle No.: 1626

Run No.: 506 Ossington
Licence Plate: I have a photo
Route name and/or Number: 506 bus eastbound
Vehicle direction of travel: East
Location of Occurrence: College and Lansdowne
Reference Number #52481
Note: I have also emailed TTC Chair and Councillor Stintz and cc'd my local Councillor Ana Bailao.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Disturbing News About Political Campaigns

Do Any of These News Stories Make You Mad Enough to Vote?

"...political parties are exempt from Canada’s privacy rules, said David Fraser, a privacy lawyer with Halifax-based McInnes Cooper. “They can collect, use and disclose your personal information without your consent and they can use it for whatever purpose they want.” Email to MP Lands Woman in Campaign Database

"In its findings, the poll says “Canadians’ primary reaction to the English debates was annoyance. “There was none of the engagement, excitement, happiness or even interest that we have observed with more stellar political performances (also tested with this polling tool).” TV Debates Annoyed Canadians

"the Conservative Party is facing an allegation of election tampering after trying to have 700 votes cast by students earlier this week at the University of Guelph declared null and void...The Liberals say officials with Guelph Conservative candidate Marty Burke illegally filmed voters and then tried to snatch away the ballot box, a great big election no-no." Elections Canada Rejects Tory Bid to Quash Student Votes

“I was told the RCMP had done a screening and that perhaps my name was affiliated with something on Facebook or the Internet,” MacDonald told the Star. “Something that made me unfit to enter. They wouldn’t say what it was...MacDonald says she has never been affiliated with any political party. Nor has she participated in any anti-government or anti-Conservative rallies. " Another Student Barred from Conservative Party Rally ... "The Royal Canadian Mounted Police admitted Wednesday that the phalanx of officers assigned as the Prime Minister’s bodyguards overstepped their bounds to enforce Harper’s closed-to-the-public re-election bid. Their transgressions include blocking and ejecting those whose only crime is to seek out the Tory chief’s election message without advance notice or sufficient party glee." RCMP Implicated in Harper's Closed to Public Campaign

...And this posting from the Junction Triangle website :
"(Mario) Silva at Digin

I attended the DigIn meeting on Tuesday April 12. I won’t recount the whole evening here but I do think it’s important to make some observations about the behaviour of the current incumbent, Liberal MP Mario Silva. I feel it is necessary to single him out for a couple of reasons. One, he is our representative in Ottawa who currently makes $170,000 per year and I can find little evidence in the riding of how he’s earning it. Two, I was very disappointed by his behaviour and I feel he oozed the arrogance and entitlement of past Liberal governments, not to mention the current Conservative one.

Mr. Silva arrived about 20 minutes late and he used his own introduction to take a few shots at the NDP party and their candidate Andrew Cash. The first questioner from the audience asked Mr. Silva if he could please put his Blackberry away (he was reading and writing text messages while in the front of the room) and give the audience and the other candidates his full attention. Silva’s response was unapologetic. He put the device away but said he was capable of multitasking and that he was listening to what was going on. So much for respect.

My question was why, if he supports the electrification of the rail corridor that runs through the riding, was he not at the Human Train rally organized by the Clean Train Coalition. He talked for a while about meetings and so on but he didn’t answer the question. When pressed to answer, the best he could do was admit he didn’t know why he wasn’t at the rally. In a phone conversation with him last year Mr. Silva told me he didn’t know about the rally! There were only about a thousand people there who came together around the single most important issue in this riding. Gerard Kennedy was there, as was Peggy Nash, Cheri DiNovo and many other political players. What does this say of Mr. Silva’s concern for his own riding of Davenport?

When asked about his attendance and voting record in the House of Commons (67 absences I believe) Mr. Silva did not really account for the lapse but instead declared he had a very good record as it fell within the top 20% of MP’s voting records. He then went on to attack another riding’s NDP member (and by association Mr. Cash) whose record was worse than his own. As this progressed Mr. Silva got more agitated and started yelling at Mr. Cash and the woman who asked the question. It was a poor display of overblown indignation and underneath it all he revealed a “how dare you question me” attitude. This is pretty bold coming from a politician who, time and again, is pretty much invisible in the riding until an election is called. Perhaps he is too busy getting his Phd from a University in Ireland. My understanding is his thesis is about failed states. I guess he would know. How unfortunate for Davenport. But how fortunate that we have the chance to make a change."

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Tim Trow, Toronto Humane Issues Heating Up

Followup to this post HERE ...

Messy Times for Toronto Humane Society  (thanks to Tim Trow)
Listening to CFRB 1010 am radio Jim Richards talk show today about 1:45pm

Tim Trow spoke and was asked some pointed questions, most of which he deflected or denied:
(tried to be exact in wording, but went something like this)

Host: What's this about? Are you wanting back in as President or are you just clearing your name?

Trow: Neither, just an effort to talk to members about the concerning things going on there, like closing the wildlife centre...

Host: But didn't that happen before the new board and changes, as a result of OSPCA investigations?

Trow: No, I don't know why they stripped it  (really?)

Host: I know criminal charges were dropped against you, but it was more a technicality charter violatiuon thing and pretty much you didn't have your day in court...

Trow: Yes in part, but also the crown prosecutor said that investigations prior to '09 had not sufficient evidence to prosecute..

Host: There were a number of allegations when you were there that the place was not well run...

Trow: The place was very well run. We were very, very full all the time and now there is just a trickle of animals...

Host: They said you're not a fun guy to work with...

Trow: I had the highest plurality ever in my last election....
(It wasn't brought up that Trow misused the proxy system and sly, questionable campaign correspondence and confusing forms to secure 769 proxies at a meeting where only a relative handful of the 1800 or so members actually showed up to vote)

Host: What about fundraising? I understand that Toronto Humane has had a tough time of it lately...

Trow: When I was there we did not have that problem, we took in $11 million...

Host: But the other side would say that's because you sullied the THS reputation?

Trow: No, I know how to fundraise. You get donations by doing things. They see lots of animals helped... now very few animals are being helped...

Host:: There were also accusations that animals suffered under your watch...

Trow: No, not true. Thats a terrible thing to say about someone who gives all their time to help animals...

Host: But there were charges you directed what to do with animals...

Trow: No. I didn't decide who lived or died, that decision was made by the chief veterinarian (Sheridan)... yes, we'd speak about animals sometimes, he'd ask if there was funding for costly procedures, but he made all the decisions. I never interfered.

Trow: Last year the city pound took in 2,000 additional cats because nothing was going through Toronto Humane. They euthanized more than 40% of them. At least we tried to help...

- end of interview -

Note: Marcie Laking, the new Vice President of Toronto Humane Society was to have spoken, but she had a bad land line at the beginning, then for unknown reasons (damn!) she was never heard from as the segment ended and they went to the news.

SADLY - Jim Richards speculated that perhaps she just hung up because she didn't like the way the interview was going....

I called the show and tried to comment on air but no dice.....

The High Cost of Running for Council

Thank you Mr. Joe Fiorito !
The High Cost of Running for Council
By Joe Fiorito, City Columnist  THE TORONTO STAR - Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Ken Wood sat in the Tim’s at Lansdowne and College with a binder, a sheaf of papers, a cup of coffee and a plate of humble pie on the table in front of him.

Ken ran for city council in Ward 18 and he never stood a chance. That’s not the point — that’s never the point — but now he’s in a jam because his backers are out of pocket, and they’re miffed.

First things first.

His bona fides? “I remember going to a free trade protest in Quebec City and getting tear-gassed. And I was at the convention that elected Trudeau.”

He was beaten by police at a rally in Toronto in 2001, after which he sued and was awarded a tidy settlement. Oh, and he chained himself to a tree during the construction mess on Lansdowne Ave. a couple of years ago; he saved the tree.

Not bad bona fides.

Why did he run? “I’d had some issues in the neighbourhood, and my councillor wasn’t much help.” So Ken, who is on disability, decided to enter the race. It cost him a hundred bucks.

“It gave me a platform to talk about poverty, housing — issues that don’t get addressed.” The ward skews poor. “Maybe poverty isn’t being talked about because poor people aren’t running . . . I figured I could reinforce the messages.” Which is what he did, at four or five public debates.

How did it feel to debate? “It was a bit scary. I wondered whether I should polish a speech. In the end I decided that I know my issues, so I just responded from the heart.”

How did his heart poll? “I got 101 votes; less than one guy who didn’t even campaign — a guy who had no flyers, didn’t come to the debates, and no one could reach him.”

Ken’s votes are not the point, the process is the point. On election day, he was his own scrutineer; later that evening, he attended a party held by the Green candidate and talked politics all night.

What did he learn about running? “That it’s not as difficult as most people might think.”

His problem? “When I registered, I attended the city’s orientation session. They talked about donor contributions, how people would get 75 per cent of their donations back.”

Ken cheerfully raised $745 from four donors: his sister, a friend, a neighbour, and a guy he knows who is a fellow cat rescue volunteer.

“I couldn’t afford signs. I ran flyers off at home, or at the copy shop. I spent the money on ink and paper, and on my cellphone — a pay-as-you-go plan.”

He spent precisely what he raised, but when he went to file his expenses in time for the March 24 deadline, he was reminded that he had to submit an audited statement if his contributors were to get their rebates.

The rules, according to city by-laws: “Candidates are required to hire an auditor if they are:

• participating in the contribution rebate programme (mayor and councillors only)

• accepting contributions or incurring expenses over $10,000.” (end italics)

Ken said, “I read that as not a worry because I wasn’t over $10,000.” An innocent, but costly, mistake. “I was told there’s no appeal.”

He has filed provisionally, and has until September; but an audited statement would cost him $500 and he isn’t sure if he can raise the money.

He’d be grateful if council would consider changing the audit rule from “will require” to “may require,” which is how the province does it.

Why should council make the change? Because we don’t need barriers to democracy in Toronto.

Joe Fiorito appears Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Email:
Update: Some followup from the article release... (Still feels strange to be heard)

Tweet: 416647905 @KenWood_ward18 good article, i usually rag on Fiorito, but i appreciate ur plight,i'm willing to donate some $ if needed #topoli #tocouncil

Tweet: 416647905 @TOMayorFord If you can do something to fix this, please do. Thank you. #ward18 #topoli #TOCouncil

Tweet: rbmorra @KenWood_ward18 Why don't you get @Ward18AnaBailao working on this very worthy issue! #ward18
(Note: I spoke with her and she is looking into it. Also I hope Joe Mihevc and Josh Matlow will help)

A comment in the Star: A nice guy. Ken Wood sounds honest and sincere and what’s more he really seems to care about the issues - in other words a nice guy. Unfortunately and in the traditional sense nice guys come where? LAST!! Good luck Mr. Wood - don’t give up the fight - remember, the current administration at City Hall is not philosophically in tune with the issue’s you care about - the poor and the disadvantaged!! adrian
UPDATE (April 18): Since the Star article, I have had 2 other people contact me that are in the same boat. No doubt there are othere (47 people did not file in time for the March 24th deadline - speculating whether it was because of this discouragement)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Bad Guy Tim Trow Toronto Humane Society Just Won't Quit

How On Earth Did I Become Tim Trow's Friend?

Remember? Back on May 29, 2009 when the big scandals at the (old) Toronto Humane Society broke, in a news story by Globe and Mail's Kate Hammer, investigative reporter, entitled: KILLING THEM WITH KINDNESS. It was followed by more and more terrible revelations about mismanagement and animal mistreatment and neglect. Police raids occurred, people were arrested and the OSPCA spent months doing investigations and restoring the shelter to an acceptable state.

I attended this rally in the rain on June 20, 2009 along with many other upset animal lovers:
After this rally, I was threatened with a lawsuit by Tim and THS for saying they did not spay/neuter adopted out animals (it was true, so nothing came of it)

Then, in November 2009: Five people named in the search warrants are being arrested and charged with criminal offences based on the contents in the search warrants, which were executed.:

• Tim Trow, THS President, will be charged with Conspiracy to Commit an Indictable Offence (2 counts), Cruelty to Animals (2 counts), and Obstruction of a Peace Officer (3 counts).

• Gary McCracken, THS General Manager, will be charged with Conspiracy to Commit an Indictable Offence (2 counts), Cruelty to Animals, and Obstruction of a Peace Officer (3 counts).

• Dr. Steve Sheridan, THS Head Veterinarian, will be charged with Conspiracy to Commit an Indictable Offence and Cruelty to Animals.

• Andy Bechtel will be charged with Conspiracy to Commit an Indictable Offence (2 counts), Cruelty to Animals, and Obstruction of a Peace Officer (3 counts).

• Romeo Bernadino will be charged with Conspiracy to Commit and Indictable Offence (2 counts), Cruelty to Animals, and Obstruction of a Peace Officer (3 counts).

• All of the above, as well as the THS Board of Directors, are also being charged with five counts of animal cruelty, a provincial offence under the Ontario SPCA Act

The charges stem from an investigation that was launched in early 2009 in response to allegations of animal cruelty. The OSPCA conducted the investigation with the help of private investigators from The Investigators Group under the authority of the Ontario SPCA Act, 2009. Under the Act, the OSPCA is responsible for enforcing animal cruelty statutes in Ontario. It is also responsible for overseeing animal welfare shelters such as local humane societies.
A completely new board was elected after the courts ordered it (Tim Trow was playing fast and loose with proxies, notices and correspondence to ensure he stayed in power as long as he did).

We thought Tim Trow was gone for good.

The old board resigned en masse in April, 2010. Toronto  Sun article reports: "Justice David Brown put the THS on notice, warning it’s the third time in less than 25 years that the courts have had to deal with complaints against the Toronto society. “I emphasize the need for continued vigilance and diligence by the THS, its board, staff and members, in reforming their animal care practices,” Brown said."

A new board was elected in May, 2010.

Then - on August 16, 2010 all charges were dropped! CBC news story - due to technicalities and irregularities in the search: "Ultimately, the Crown has concluded that the lawfulness and execution of these warrants were seriously flawed to such an extent that the Crown would be unable to successfully tender the evidence seized during these searches," the prosecutors wrote.

SO.... what does all this have to do with today?
Well, I got this friendly letter in the mail from my old pal Tim:

Perhaps hard to read, but it goes on...and on about how terrible the new board is (they are not) and seems to be advocating for support to return him to his previous dictator position. Here is a link to the content of the letter.

Now, how did he get my address? I was a member several years ago and only took out membership again last fall after the new board was elected. Isn't this abuse of personal information, since Tim is no longer in charge?  (I have an inquiry in to THS).

Oh how I wish Tim could simply be rejected for "poor character" like this story.

Update: Here is the link to his new website: "created to help the animals".
Yeah, right. More likely created as a revenge vehicle by this seriously screwed up guy.

Update:  From a Toronto Sun story March 18, 2011 ...
Continuing Toronto Humane Society dogfights have resulted in the latest CEO’s axing — not just from the job, but from the beleaguered agency.

Garth Jerome’s dismissal prompted two volunteer board members to quit in protest, the Toronto Sun has learned. Sources said Friday the new board appointed Jerome, a well-respected, well-liked veteran THS biologist, as an administrator last summer.“He did his best, but was not an experienced supervisor,” one source said, adding Jerome was required to dismiss several employees.

Instead of him getting another THS job, he was replaced by an interim CEO., Board treasurer Ian Wintrip and member Garnet Siddall then quit.A permanent CEO’s appointment is expected at the society’s annual meeting May 31.

Siddall said “the trigger” for her resigning was “the decision by the board to terminate Garth’s role.“I had been working closely with Garth on a project and felt that he was doing his level best to make the THS a better place,” she wrote in an e-mail, adding “he could have had a future there.”
Siddall and 10-month president Michael Downey cited confidentiality for not disclosing reasons for Jerome leaving.

In a February release announcing interim CEO Christopher Barry’s appointment, Downey said “over the last three years, we have gone through incredible change,” so the board decided the THS needed “a new management.”Jerome, who Downey said he met recently, “is doing very well” and is helping interim CEO Christopher Barry with undisclosed projects.He denied rumours of the 25,000-square foot River St. facility being for sale.Jerome was not expected at home until late.

Almost one-third the THS’s members resigned after an Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals raid in November 2009 in which then-THS president Tim Trow and chief veterinarian Steve Sheridan were arrested.Accused of animal cruelty, their charges were dropped last August.Other employees were barred, but some returned while the OSPCA ran the facility, where animal numbers were reduced.

Several staffers were dismissed after a new board’s election last May, led by OSPCA supporter Linda MacKinnon, who campaigned as part of the small Association for the Reform of The Toronto Humane Society.MacKinnon, who referred an interview request to Downey, was described by sources as combative and unpopular with many employees.

One source said disgruntled members are trying to get Trow re-elected. New THS bylaws are expected to be announced March

Update: National Post article April 5th Ex-President of Humane Society Set for Return

Update: Toronto Start article April 5th Former Toronto Humane Society President Decries New Board

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Closing the Election Campaign

My Campaign Literature From the Election Campaign

Someone suggested I should have posted my campaign literature on the blog, as a kind of record of why I was running and what ideas/issues I had hoped to have an impact on.  Here they are:

My First Attempts, using the "Tree Guy" photo one of the newspapers published when I chained myself to a tree to save it from clear cutting during the Lansdowne narrowing fiasco in 2007 (you could say I fought city hall and - surprisingly - won!):
The business card I took to using.... >

Using the 'new me' photo, after a $67 hairtcut, hair colouring and shave... I agonized over this decision to 'look normal' like other candidates, when why I was running was to represent the marginalized poor.

Text of  the very first Pamphlet I Had Sent Out:   CONTENT !

I am running as a candidate for Toronto City Councillor for our ward because I believe we need someone who not only listens to our residents but also informs them of city actions that concern them and  consults  before  actions that affect us are taken.   Please support me.


* RESPECT FOR RESIDENTS: We need to consult more with people before actions are taken

* TAXES and BUDGETS: We need to become better, smarter and more open at planning as a city

* DEMOCRACY: We need more fairness in how we elect those who represent us. More choice. Term limits.

* BETTER QUALITY OF LIFE: We need to make our city more pleasant to live in. Better parks like Dufferin Grove that allow community involvement. More accessible, low cost and reliable public transit. Bike lanes that share the road intelligently with cars. Respect for pedestrians. Cleaner air, electric not diesel trains. Protect housing for families and tenants. Build safer, more secure communities. Better animal control and pet bylaws.

* POVERTY, HUNGER, HOMELESSNESS: We need to take more steps to reduce poverty, hunger and homelessness in our city. Too many of our neighbours are suffering. Many are working, but still poor. Food banks are being overwhelmed and are just a bandaid solution. There are still too many without a home.

VOTING day is Monday, October 25, 2010. In the last election (2006), only 35% of eligible voters actually cast a ballot while city-wide turnout was only 39%. Please VOTE ! Election signs are not permitted until October 4

Did You Know?

- One-third of the households in our ward have an income under $30,000.

- There are over 180 languages spoken in Toronto. In our ward, less than 40% of the people said English was their mother tongue. 25% of the ward speaks Portugese. Other languages include Spanish, Chinese, Italian, Vietnamese, French, Punjabi. We are, like the whole city, very diverse and come from different cultures
I ASK FOR YOUR SUPPORT: Donations may be sent to: Ken Wood,  3-355 Lansdowne Avenue, Toronto Ontario M6H 3Y2.  Maximum donation allowable is $750, but any amount is welcome. Receipts will be given and rebates up to 75% on donations over $25 will be refunded by the city within a year.  You may also contribute goods and services.   I also welcome volunteers to help with the campaign.  Thank you for your attention.  - KEN WOOD


It would actually be a good idea, it occurs to me, to have ALL candidates who are elected required by law to post their election campaign materials, complete with promises, so we can all hold the winners accountable !

As I posted in this blog just prior to voting day:

KEN WOOD - I'll leave it to others to describe or remember me in this election.

All I know is that when I first registered to run 20 minutes before we knew if Giambrone would run in the ward or for mayor, what I wanted was:

1. To See Adam Giambrone out of office (Thanks, Adam)

2. To have an impact on the issues and nature of the debate in the ward

3. To offer a real choice to voters of someone truly independent

4. To contribute to increasing voter response and turnout

5. To test myself to see if I could be more than what I was

On the Junction Triangle website , I was happy to get this praise:

"Most Surprising Platform:  Hands down this belongs to Ken Wood. His platform was the most detailed on municipal issues that relate to the average citizen. When Ken calms down and stops chaining himself to things he has some good ideas. I found that I agreed with almost all of his ideas to some extent and I encourage people to look again. If he stays focused on ideas then he has something to contribute via his blog. Special kudos for being basically the only candidate to state clearly that poverty is an issue and that not all ward residents have the relative luxury that I have. As well if we had a Hunter S. Thompson look a like award he would get it."  By Scott D.