A few days late, but still worth it:
Earlier in August, I watched an interesting case be argued (though very briefly) in Ontario Court.
I even started writing it up – though, thanks to a fever, I did not yet finish (it is far too complex for me to try to accurately report when I am still a bit feverish – please, forgive me the delay, it is in the name of accuracy). However, what I have written so far about it is here:
In Part 1 of this series, I explained a little of the background of the ongoing Presto scandal, which has already cost Ontario taxpayers half-a-billion dollars – and how a concerned taxpayer (hereafter referred to as CT) had searched for who was behind this…and discovered the documents had been signed by none other than Kathleen Wynne, then Ontario Minister of Transportation and now the Premier of Ontario.
In Part 2 of this series, I explained a bit of how the Canadian/Ontario justice system function: in order to safeguard from a government that will either fail to bring charges against certain individuals or will not uphold certain laws, each and every citizen has the power to, as a private person, lay criminal charges. However, this safety-valve (a citizen-empowering protection against a corrupt government) is immediately eviscerated by permitting the government of the day, called ‘The Crown’ and represented by the office of the Attorney General of Ontario, who both employs all the crown prosecutors and is appointed by/serves at the pleasure of the Premier of Ontario, can take over any private prosecution and stay the charges for ever….and the example of Gary McHale in Caledonia was explained. (This very legal precedent was cited heavily by The Crown representative in this court hearing.)
In Part 3 of this series, I explained a bit about the concept of ‘summary dismissal’ – using the example of Baglow vs. Free Dominion and John Does as an example.
In Part 4 of this series, I sketched the atmosphere that morning and wondered at the difficulties our wonderful civil servant had in telling everyone – the plaintiff included – where the hearing is to be held.
Well, even before I can write up the last bit, the next chapter is being written. The plaintiff, a concerned taxpayer (CT), is going sent me the following little invite:
Invite: 161 Elgin Street, Ottawa Court House, Sept 4: 9.00am, Court Room 7
On August 18, the Judge ruled that Applicant may bring proceeding against the Ontario Government, and the Crown must delegate authority to intervene to the Federal Director for Public Prosecutions. A concerned taxpayer brought the motion and it will be heard on Sept 4 at 9am. The issue is the threats by former MTO Minister Kathlynne Wynne to force TTC and OC Transpo to breach the Federal AIT (Agreement on Internal Trade) and Federal Gas Tax which has cost taxpayers up to $0.5 billion enrichment for private interests at taxpayers expense.
If you’re in the area and can spare the time, I hope to see you there!!!
Please, indulge me for a while…I promise I’ll get to the point, eventually.
What is worse, even though I took some time before writing this up to wait for a single news outlet to report this for the travesty that it is, not one of them has.
Each and every one of the mainstream media outlets has interviewed only the people who are doing the forcing – and what is worse, they feel it is righteous of them to do this. Every single one of the reports on this ‘story’ have been deeply empathetic to the bullies and not the victim in this case.
An eternity ago, when I was in high school, we studies a short story called ‘The Devil and Daniel Webster’. If you are unfamiliar with it, here is the story in a nutshell: a farmer has bad luck and eventually agrees to sell his soul to the Devil in exchange of 7 years of good luck. The Devil fulfills his end of the contract, even letting the farmer have an extension. Still unwilling to pay the price he had agreed to in the contract, the farmer hires the famous orator Daniel Webster to argue for him in front of a jury. Instead of judging the contract on the basis of facts, Webster manipulates the jury’s emotions to judge on the basis of ‘people=good, Devil=evil’…and gets the farmer off.
When we discussed the story afterwards in the classroom, every single student – excepting me, of course – was happy with the way the story ended, hailing is as a ‘victory of good over evil’. I was not sure what I was more horrified at: that the story permitted the victory of ‘wrong over right’ or that so many of my classmates had been manipulated of their perception of ‘Devil=evil and therefore must be defeated by any means necessary’ and could not perceive that in this situation. the ‘evil’ Devil was actually in the right.
By the way – my hubby had attended a different high school, but he, too studied this short story and he also was the only one in his class to argue ‘right vs wrong’ rather than ‘good vs evil’….
Why do I bring ‘The Devil and Daniel Webster’ up in this context?
Because in today’s world, it is difficult to imagine someone more ‘devil-like’ than a land developer…except, perhaps, someone in the ethical oil/gas industry.
In the Ottawa permutation of the story, a land developer had purchased land with the aim of building homes on it and, well, selling them. But, the City of Ottawa had decided that on the property this land developer had legally purchased, there ‘might’ have been some old and/or significant trees….and if the city’s agents deemed that this was so, the developer would be forced to ‘turn the land over to the city for one dollar’.
In other words, the City of Ottawa was both the prosecutor and the judge – and, should they issue the arrest warrant, the executioner.
It was the City of Ottawa who raise the issue and it was the City of Ottawa who would judge if they have the ‘right’ to demand the land be ‘turned over’ to them for one dollar…
Am I the only one who thinks this is not just plain wrong, but truly evil?
Yet, every news source I heard or read is empathetic to the city, not the ‘evil’ land developer….
How does this happen?!?!?
The following video explores just how damaging it can be for ‘regulators’ to ‘regulate’ things they have no personal stake in – like the pain and suffering of another human being.
Pain is a uniquely individual experience – no two people experience the same injury or ‘pain’ in exactly the same way. The way our society deals with individuals who are in the process of experiencing pain is insulting and actively counter-productive.
OK – I may be off on a rant again – if you’d like, skip to the video.
But pain is something I know quite a bit about, having been on the receiving end of more and more intense pain than most of the people I know. And medical personnel have uniquely failed to comprehend any of it…
For example: when you tell medical personnel (mp) that you are experiencing pain, they will typically ask you: “On a scale from 1 to 10 (or, 1-5 – or something similar), how bad is the pain?”
Excuse me, but a person who had never experienced more than a hangnail or a papercut will not be using the same scale as someone who had suffered sufficient level of pain so as to loose consciousness from the pain alone. So, that question is irrelevant at best, downright harmful in reality.
Yet that is the starting point for our medical ‘science’….
While I am ranting – I have two children. As such, I have been through labour twice. The first time, I had an epidural; the second time there was a danger of an emergency C-section, so I got what is called a ‘saddle-block‘. ( Both are a form of pain relief – one through delivering an analgesic to the spine, so that everything below is numbed, the other blocks the neural transmissions of pain below the solar plexus so that an emergency surgery can be performed without being felt – or so it had been explained to me. Different methods, different medications – one is a continuous dose, the other is one-time-lasts-for-few-hours type thing.)
In both cases, I was able to tell the mp exactly what stage I was in, and was not believed because, according to them, I had no way to feel things through the procedure,. Both times I was right – of course, or I would not be writing about it here. Especially the second delivery was surprising to the mps: I had only just entered labour when the baby went into distress and I got wheeled into the operating room where they were already scrubbing for the emergency C-section. Well, as the panic took over my body, it went into ‘hyper mode’ and even before they secured the gurney, I was ready to deliver. They did not believe me. I insisted they check. The baby came….and it was faster than had they done the C-section!
They stood around shaking their heads, wondering how I could possibly have felt it? But, I did….. (Mind you, the process was so fast, I dislocated a hip in the process, but that is a small price to pay for preventing oxygen deprivation to my baby!)
Why am I ranting on about this?
Simply to demonstrate that pain is not perceived the same way by different people. Even things as well known and understood such as local anaesthesia will be perceived by some people differently than most.
Even the same ‘thing’ – like childbirth – can differ: not just from woman to woman, but from delivery to delivery. My sister-in-law has 4 children – and says that the pain she experienced during her 4th delivery was much stronger and very, very different from the pain she experienced with her first 3 children. So, even if mps ask about a pain scale where 0 is no pain and 5 is childbirth pain – guess what, there is no common top to the scale!
So, if even well understood meds like local anaesthesia are not accurately known by our medical people, how about a new and quickly evolving field, such as chronic pain management?!?!?
And what happens when regulators try to get their proverbial two cents in?
What happens when politics tries to inject itself into the cutting edge of medical research?
Here is one such story:
Happy Martin Luther King day!