samedi 10 avril 2010

A right understanding of matters

Here is a copy/paste of an article published in the Common Ground of September 2009. I just find it in a box of papers I was filing. Pretty interesting... but... not quite easy to do when you are stuck in the labirynthic government's craziness. It is a follow up of the precedent entry.

CG : Archive : September 2009
A right understanding of matters

WRITING ON THE WALL by Henry E. McCandless
Canadian citizens accepted thousands of preventable deaths and
wrecked lives from contaminated blood in the 1980s, and later the
needless deaths of 26 Nova Scotia coal miners in a disgraceful mine.
We tolerate wrongful imprisonments across the country and police
forces inadequately managed, motivated and trained for
interventions. We accept the corporation-driven medical treatment
fixation rather than install rules for prevention. We don’t require the
standards of care for seniors they are entitled to see met, and we
don’t require facilities to uphold seniors’ dignity. We accept
government ideology transferring public money to corporations and
we don’t uphold the precautionary principle for the environment and
our natural resources. We accept quiet decline in the competence of
Canadian officials and don’t question their training and motivation. We
tolerate Canadian legislators steadfastly sidestepping the application
of public accountability even though it is a society imperative. We
allow them in their ritual processes to refuse to grasp the basics of
management control for what they oversee, something essential to
running their jurisdictions competently. The list goes on and on – and
for all countries.
In 1796 George Washington made an important observation: “I am
sure the mass of Citizens in these United States mean well, and I
firmly believe they will always act well, whenever they can obtain a
right understanding of matters...” It is not clear whether the majority
of Canadian citizens seek a right understanding of matters, or simply
hope that someone else will fix things, while complaining about them
after the fact.
Yet by holding to account fairly and relentlessly, citizens can control
what goes on.
Holding to account means extracting the information from authorities
that citizens need to gain a right understanding of issues they should
deal with. Given the information, and not just data, citizens can more
sensibly act to commend, alter or halt what authorities intend. Thus
the essence of public accountability is the obligation of authorities to
explain publicly, fully and fairly before the fact what they intend and
why, the performance standards they intend for themselves and those
they oversee, and later what resulted from what they did and how
they applied the learning available from it. We have failed to install
this basic obligation.
Most people think accountability is responsibility, the obligation to act
(a related but different obligation). The fraudulently-titled federal
Accountability Act is a prime example. Or they see it only as
explanation after the fact, from financial statements, court cases and
inquiries. But financial statements are only a part of public
accountability and after-the-fact attention doesn’t prevent harm,
injustice or irreversible environmental damage. We don’t get full and
fair public explanation of the intentions of the directing minds of
authorities such as governments and the agencies they control
because the requirement, if seen headed into law, is apt to turn
authorities’ knuckles white. (Think of the classic BBC’s “Yes Minister”.)
The lobbying against it would be over funded.
Citizens should not trust an authority that does not explain publicly,
fully and fairly what it intends, and why. As a former Provincial
Auditor of Ontario put it, “If you know it, you can report it.”
Authorities certainly know their underlying agendas.
When the Board of the Vancouver Island Health Authority acted to
close the Cowichan Lodge facility in Duncan and turn over its
operations to the private sector with no credible intention explanation
before the fact, the spokesperson for 80,000 Cowichan-area citizens
told the Directors at a public meeting, “You have lost the public’s
trust.” This ought to have been devastating to the Board members
sitting there, facing her. Given the Board’s purposeful ignorance of its
public accountability, it likely wasn’t.
So why does holding to account work? If elected or appointed officials
must explain their intentions, reasons and performance standards
within their authority, knowledgeable organizations can publicly shred
identified intentions reasonably seen to lead to harm. As well,
independent audit can attest to the fairness and completeness of
what the authority says. Fear of consequent loss of credibility with the
public will exert a self-regulating influence on what the authority
“Checks and balances,” monitoring and performance audit after the
fact don’t create this self-regulating influence. Review boards for
professionals review processes but don’t examine and report whether
performance such as professional medical diagnoses and treatments
met the standards of diligence that citizens are entitled to see met.
Citizens can act in two ways. They can require their legislators to
install in the law the requirement for full and fair public accounting by
all authorities affecting the public in important ways. That allows
auditors general to audit compliance with the legislation.
As well, citizens can form citizen accountability groups to hold
authorities publicly to account for their responsibilities in the issues of
concern to the groups. They can set out publicly, for the relevant
authorities, what they see as the nature of the public explanations the
authority should be giving for its intentions, reasons, performance
standards and results. Alongside external auditors, the groups can
then publicly assess the fairness and completeness of the authority’s
public explanations.
If we don’t do this, we carry on with activist citizens putting in terribly
long hours, largely after work, to try to overturn intentions and
actions seen as unfair -- with the intentions not being given public
challenge before the fact, and with officials who plan and carry out
the intentions getting salaries and pensions for it.
As to the type of public reporting needed, George Washington’s
observation fits with the 1989 Massey Lectures of Dr. Ursula Franklin,
who said: “Whenever someone talks to you about the benefits and
costs of a particular project, don’t ask what benefits? ask whose
benefits and whose costs?”
Thus we can develop a useful form of public accountability
explanation we can call an Equity Statement (EqS). The statement
sets out, for proponents of an intention that would affect the public in
important ways: who would gain what benefits from what is proposed, and why
they should, in both the short and longer term;
who would bear what costs and risks, and why they should, in
both the short and longer term; and
assuming the proposal were to go ahead, who would be
required to meet what standard of performance and public
explanation of how responsibilities are being carried out.
The proponents for an intention -- and those opposed -- can each
draft an equity statement for public challenge of an intention. This
can range from property developers and residents to governing and
opposition parties in a legislature. The elected representatives making
the decisions would account to their constituents if they disregard
what a valid composite equity statement logically points to as the
Whether a local municipal property development application, an
intended “private-public sector partnership” or other executive
government policy or regulation intention, a validated equity
statement would give citizens information they should have to do
their oversight duty. To be effective as a self-regulating influence on
governments’ intentions, equity statement reporting would have to be
assessed by auditors general for its fairness and completeness and by
knowledgeable public interest groups.
As a society imperative, public accountability is non-partisan and isn’t
political policy. In serving the accountability relationship between
government and the legislature it is therefore open to auditors
general to recommend to their legislators that equity statements by
the executive government be made the law. But it is up to citizens to
require their elected representatives to install it.
Henry E. McCandless is General Convenor of the Citizens’ Circle For
Accountability ( and the author of A
Citizen’s Guide to Public Accountability: Changing the Relationship
Between Citizens and Authorities (Trafford 2002). From 1978 to 1996
he was a Principal in the Office of the Auditor General of Canada.

Water-boarding of canadian senior citizens

I hesitated long before posting this entry on my blog but finally, I took the decision to do it. Now, it is going way too far and people have to know. I decided to speak... for the sake of my dear friend, all the other seniors who are without a voice and on GIS... and for me also. I still have many years before my pension but I certainly don't want to live, alone, what my friend is passing through right now... so here it is!

How come our government is using all kind of moneys against our senior citizens, making them stressed, anxious, sick and powerless? When you contact ministers of the government for help you are rejected, they refuse to help you saying that their employees are doing their good job. Where is their accountability? How many hundred of thousands of dollars of your taxes are they spending in abusing our senior citizens as they try to search if they didn't gave them a couple of hundreds of dollars more during the year, accusing the seniors of criminal intent if they are living on the lowest level of revenue with their GIS?

What can we do, as canadian citizens, to know what is happening and to make them understand that they are our "servant" and that they have to stop treating us as their ignorant slaves and nullities.

Here is a story—shortened as it is a long saga—that is happening right now to a friend of mine as well as to many seniors in Canada. It can happen to you, to your parents, to your friends, to your neighbors if you or they are receiving GIS. Nobody is sheltered from them. Are we slowly becoming a police state like in the 1984 novel? It is frightening when you see what they are doing and how they are doing it. So cold and inhuman!

I have a friend who is 71 years old. A nice man who will give his last shirt... a heart big like the world. This man came and help me to get out of an apartment where I was sickened by sewer gases emanations and where my x-landlady was extremely violent and aggressive. She was "breaking and entry" in my apartment every times I was not there with her clients, neighbors, boy-friends, other renters, etc... to show them my belongings. She took photos of my belongings after having messing them up, wrote discriminative notes on them and was/and still distributing them around. She was/and still slanders me, lying brazenly about me. She is creating false evidences to present to Court and still defy the Court who had ordered her to pay me compensation on November 2008... I am still waiting to be paid and had to put a lien on her house. She sent me other papers last week to go to Court in Victoria at the end of this month as she created "new" false evidences to contest, for the third time, the Court Order. This is on and on like the pink rabbit for 19 months now.

She is afraid, I think, as I know a lot about her and her many boy friends and also, and this is the worst (I will talk about this in another entry) about her violent abuse to the dogs she is grooming (have a recording of one of these sessions).
So, this friend help me to get out of there and she just screamed at him—and I have recording of this—that she will ruin his life and put him on the street. So, she contacted the pension office and told them bold lies and saying he was abusing the system by having his pension at his age (???). Government jumped on his like famished Rottweiller on a juicy bone. They started an "investigation"... which can be OK BUT... they also cut completely his guarantied supplement without a reason and even though he gave them all the information they asked for, under oath. They refused to talk to him or to contact him besides sending him invasive questionnaires on his private life on personal stuff that is not of their business. These questionnaires were so invasive of his right and freedom that I wonder why they didn't asked him how many times he was going to pee per days.

Now, 12 months later, he is still without his GIS, live with nothing, have his bills cumulating and his credit card maxed up, can't feed himself properly and is now sick due to the high stress and anxiety.

I have now to take care of him as he can't stay alone with very high blood pressure, dizziness and great unbalance, vertigo-like.
But, government don't give a dam about this, isn't it? I learn, in the process, that my friend is not the only one in this situation. What is happening to our government?
Ms Finley and Ms Le Breton took millions out of our tax bucket to finance a huge campaign on Senior's abuse with millions of beautiful glossy brochures and emotional TV adds... but they are the first ones to abuse the seniors. What can a senior do to defend himself and have his voice heard when confronting such bullyism from his own government?

Mesdames Finley and LeBreton blatantly refused to help my friend. What can a poor old man/woman can do against such a machine? Seniors, at least many of them, have no voice. They have built what is here now, without them we would not be here and our government just treat them as if they were just a number followed by some tiny $ signs. Seniors are not human but just an old fart who is expected to leave this world as soon as possible so government will save money. How horrific! Did we really elected those inhuman people?

I just wonder how many of these seniors who were/are under these "investigations" died before their time of a heart attack from stress and anxiety? How many are now handicapped or paralyzed by a stroke triggered by high blood pressure caused by stress and anxiety? How many live in misery, feeding themselves only with crackers, Lipton soup and Kraft dinners because they can't afford—after a lifetime of hard work—to feed themselves properly while under these years' long "investigations where they barely have 700$ per month to live on, pay their rents, utilities, transportations, medications, food and else? How many suicide themselves because they didn't have the strength to fight for surviving and were hopeless?
No, there is no help out there. Oh! Yes! there is beautiful people that are trying to help... huge thank you to them... but they can't go very far as their power is just an illusion.

MP you said? Let me laugh! We contacted the MP of the area where he live and this guy refused to go further in the file and even told us that if he help my friend, the pension office might just erase my friend from their files as a "vengeance". Isn't it terrible?

My friend, at his age, have now his little credit card max up and is stress beyond beliefs to see his credit moffed and is waiting, impatiently, to be paid the retroactive to clear up his debts. But... will it happen? I don't know as he received a letter last week, 12 months after, that they now, it seems, want to get back to 2004 to see if they would not be able to recuperate moneys from him. He never fraud the government and was doing all his income taxes... what a way to treat honest citizens!

For them, your are guilty, whatever you say, and they just gnaw our elders to death!

Wake up, Canadian! Together we can do something!

dimanche 4 avril 2010

Our little corner of paradise

Near my place, there is a little wooden area, a little forest with a little lake. Nothing impressive but, very nice and peaceful... full of birds and deer and whatnot. Up to now, this little Garden of Eden escaped loggers, all mechanical devices and promoters... up to now! I just heard, through the branches, that there is a project to white cut all the trees, drain the lake and build a complex of houses. Why, for god sake? There is hundreds of kilometre of land around here, lands ready to build on without destroying the slightest tree so why going there? When human will learn to respect nature, dammit?

Notre petit boisé

Tout près de chez moi, il y a un petit boisé avec un minuscule lac. Un tout petit coin de paradis qui a survécu, jusqu'à maintenant, aux coupeurs d'arbres, aux pelles mécaniques et aux promoteurs immobiliers. Faut dire que tout autour, il y a beaucoup de place pour construire sans déranger et sans tuer des arbres en masse. Mais.... j'ai entendu dire, entre les branches, qu'il y aurait un projet pour complètement raser cette petite forêt, drainer et assécher le lac et construire un complexe immobilier. Bon ben.... il y a des centaines de kilomètres de terre inculte tout autour.. pourquoi ne pas construire là? Pourquoi vouloir à tout prix détruire le peu d'arbres qui restent dans la région? Quand donc l'humain và-t-il comprendre?

World in collision with mass extinction?

This is a very interesting article with 3 little videos that brings us back to reality. We are a lot who respect this way of life but.... maybe not enough or maybe... too isolated.

Cet article est très intéressant. 3 petits vidéos qui nous ramènent à la réalité du moment et à la charge que notre civilisation d'hyper consommation... cette civilisation née du dit "rêve américain" qui est, en réalité, le cauchemar de la mondialisation. Nous sommes beaucoup à être conscients età faire de gros efforts mais... nous sommes tellement isolés et encore si peu nombreux

World in collision with mass extinction?