Sunday, December 30, 2007
I had to vomit on the sidewalk.
Michael Clague gained a reputation for civil liberties abuses while Director of Carnegie, a job he left less than two years ago. Low income people were routinely barred from the Center without due process. Ask anybody on the Downtown Eastside and they'll tell you that either they have been barred from Carnegie or know somebody who has.
A conversation today amongst a few Carnegie regulars revealed that they were not pleased to hear that the Governor General had selected Clague for the Order of Canada. "Does she not do back ground checks?", a woman asked. "It's a committee that decides," a man named Nick responded. "They're the bend over team," joked Louis M., a Montreal native who swore upon hearing the news about Clague said. A woman told him, "I swore too when I heard it; I swore twice." She never swears. These people know Clague much better than Michaelle Jean and her "Bend over team" will ever know him. They experienced his policies on a daily basis for years while he was Carnegie Director. Several of them were barred from Carnegie while he was administrator.
Nick, a middle aged man who immigrated from Eastern Europe 20 years ago, recalled Clague barring him for a month. He says he told Clague that people in the Centre had to be allowed to express conflicting opinions, to debate. "He called me a troublemaker", Nick says. Nick was barred for a month. Clague seemed to take the position, Nick says, that he was going to create an "upheaval" in the Centre. He points out that this is a time worn tactic: whenever Carnegie wants to get rid of a member, they portray them as a threat. "You can portray anybody as a threat", he says.
An "incident report" exists to confirm that Nick was in fact barred for a month. But you can bet that the version of events in that report differs from Nick's. And that's part of the problem. When people are barred, the administration's version of events is written up in an incident report and later typed into a computer data base to be forever used against the named individual by City staff.
"Do you think Clague deserves the Order of Canada?" Nick was asked. "No," he responded calmly.
If Jean had done any real background checking she would have discovered that one case of civil liberties abuse under Clague's administration has been fought for eight years. And is still being fought. In fact, a complainant on this particular case corresponded with the City of Vancouver about it as recently as last summer. [The City of Vancouver was Clague's boss when he was Carnegie Director.]
The case involved a woman who lodged a complaint when she arrived to use one of the three Vancouver Public Library computers in the Carnegie Senior's Lounge and was told she was barred from using the computers. No reason given. She went upstairs to use one of the VPL computers in the third floor computer room and was told she was barred from there too. When she asked a Carnegie Security guard, Phil, to give her a reason, he said he didn't know why she was barred, despite the fact that incident reports are supposed to be filed to justify a barring from City property. Phil arranged for Director Michael Clague to speak with her.
She sat with her friend, Louis M. for a couple of hours waiting for Clague. When Clague arrived with a security guard in tow, he peeped through the window of the room in which she was waiting, gazed at her up and down, and skittered away. Louis, at the time, described Clague's behaviour as "odd", according to a written account on record with Carnegie and the City of Vancouver. Minutes later, Phil arrived to tell the woman that Clague had left her a letter at the front reception desk.
In the letter dated Saturday, January 15, 2000, Clague wrote, "Either Sandy [MacKeigan, a supervisor] or I will be back to you on Tuesay." The woman wrote in a document summarizing the case, "I was expected to serve my sentence for at least three days without knowing what I was accused of."
The woman found it a noteworthy coincidence that she was barred after lodging complaints about the fact that when she would go into the Senior's Lounge to use a computer, she was asked by a coffee seller to go home with him to watch pornography, or advised to die her hair and lose 20 pounds to make herself more attractive to men. [A female Board member at Carnegie said that she too had been asked by the coffee seller to go home with him and watch pornography.]
The woman pressed for answers about this abuse of civil liberties. She accused the Clague administration, in writing, of keeping the population of the Center down through forced "attrition", barring so many people that a large number simply never returned. One man who has been going to Carnegie for 30 years, says that he and everyone of his friends has been barred, most of them never returned, some got more involved in street life and died of AIDS or drug overdoses.
Two months later, the woman got a letter dated March 3, 2000 from City Manager, Judy Rogers, stating that if she wanted access to computers, she would have to respect Carnegie's policy of having no food or drink at the computer. "I would encourage you to accept this policy...." The woman says she had not violated any such policy and even individuals who do are not barred; they are given a warning.
The fact that Clague has a double standard for how women are treated and how men are treated is clear from an incident that occurred when the above woman was in the Seniors' Lounge some time later. A man whose offers to buy her coffee, etc. were declined became enraged kicked a coffee table into her kneecaps -- she moved her knees just in time to avoid serious injury -- and called her an "old cow" in front of a room full of witnesses. The incident was reported to a security guard and Clague was made aware of the event. But the man was not barred. He was simply told not to do it again.
"Do you think Clague deserves the Order of Canada?" she was asked this evening as she sat at McDonald's chatting with friends. "Noooo!," she said.
If the Governor General had done any real background checking such as speaking to low income regulars at Carnegie, she might have learned that, in the above woman's file, there is a document describing an assault of another woman under the Clague administration. A fifty-something woman with a British accent, had wanted to go into an AIDS banquet in the Carnegie Theatre. The "doorman" was an elderly woman who has been in and out of hospital with mental health problems. She decided she didn't want to allow the British woman entry. But she offered to allow the woman accompanying her to enter. The British woman protested verbally and security was called. Security are routinely called on people at Carnegie who raise their voice in protest.
Two security men grabbed the British woman and dragged her by the arms and legs out of the building as she continued to loudly protest. Nothing was done about this assault.
Such scenes are not uncommon at Carnegie.
Although the incidents described above could create the impression that women were prime targets for Clague's barring practices, it was primarily men whose civil liberties were abused at Carnegie. That remains the case. Single men make up the bulk of the membership.
During Clague's administration, barring became a contentious issue and he was under pressure to address it. Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users threatened to take legal action as their members, when they were not out of their minds on drugs, were denied access to VANDU meetings held in the building. How can you hold a meeting if your members aren't allowed to come? Although many Carnegie members were not particularly sympathetic to a bunch of drug addicts, VANDU did bring to public attention a barring policy which was affecting non- addicts as well. They began to embarrass Clague.
A Committee was struck during Clague's tenure to grapple with the barring issue. The Committee put in many hours, Carnegie Board member Peter Fairchild recalled at a meeting this summer, as members demanded an explanation as to why a homeless man, Bill Simpson, had been barred. Despite the work of the Committee, the barring policy remained largely unchanged.
And now Clague is awarded the Order of Canada, an award given to people who have achieved the highest level of lifetime achievement.
Clague's failure to make serious changes to curb civil liberties abuses at Carnegie Center is viewed by several longterm members as having laid the groundwork for the current "police state" environment occurring under his successor, Ethel Whitty. "He was her teacher!", Bill Simpson emphasized this evening as a group of Carnegie regulars had coffee at a nearby McDonald's restaurant. Clague stayed at Carnegie for two months after Whitty arrived in order to train her. Even after he officially left, he remained connected to Whitty, being Carnegie's arts funding "bag man", sometimes returning to the Center to speak with her.
With Whitty as Director, homeless Bill Simpson was barred from the Carnegie Learning Center in January 2007. He was told that he was barred for blogging on the Downtown Eastside Enquirer. He wasn't even a blogger for the DTES Enquirer. Then, two weeks after being elected to the Board of Directors in June 2007, Simpson was barred from the entire Carnegie Center indefinitely. Whitty personally delivered him a letter informing him that the barring was due to the fact that he operated a website which "features links" to the Downtown Eastside Enquirer blog.
Simpson asked Whitty if he would be allowed to enter the building to attend Board meetings and she told him no. Poor people were being denied representation by the man they had voted for. But the Whitty adminstration is being exposed for the environment of civil liberties abuses that exists at Carnegie in a way that Clague never was. There is a reason for that.
Downtown Eastsiders have discovered blogging. And bloggers haven't let the issue of unfair barrings go. Now the mainstream media is onto the story. The Vancouver Sun published an article on the Bill Simpson case on Dec. 24/07. CBC radio's Morning Edition with Stephen Quinn has arranged to interview Simpson on Jan. 2/07 at 6:55 a.m.
Previously, Michael Clague deftly deflected media interest in this issue. When the Georgia Straight newspaper contacted him about the unfair barring of low income people from Carnegie, they reported his response being that this was a "dated" issue. "There was nothing dated about it", says one woman who was still fighting her case at the time. But what could the victims of unfair barrings do, other than write a letter to the editor and hope it got published. They didn't know about blogging at the time.
Although the barring of members without due process is a major issue that the Governor General should have reviewed before awarding the Order of Canada, it is not the only issue. Bloggers have been reporting that low income people are too often locked out of services such as the computer room and Learning Center, which the taxpayer richly funds Carnegie to keep open. This problem, which bloggers have called "The Great Taxpayer Rip-Off" did not start under Ethel Whitty. It was an ongoing problem under Michael Clague's administration. Key services at Carnegie were routinely locked during welfare cheque week on the Downtown Eastside. "They seem to have a stereotype that everybody on welfare will be drinking and drugging until their welfare cheque is spent," says one woman. When the computer room is open on Welfare Wednesday, it's going full tilt, often with a waiting list.
Michael Clague and Ethel Whitty and other povertarians claim, especially when they have the ear of funders, to give a voice to the poor. Well, the poor now have one. They got it from Google Blogger. Get used to it.
Thursday, December 27, 2007
Looking for the blog that Vancouver Sun columnist, Miro Cernetig, mentioned in his Dec. 24th Vancouver Sun column on the barring of William "Bill" Simpson from Carnegie Center? This is it.
Cernetig wrote about the Downtown Eastside Enquirer, although he avoided actually mentioning it’s name. We knew that Cernetig had interviewed Simpson and was writing a column about his barring from Carnegie after being accused of being linked to the DTES Enquirer blog. Simpson told us.
City of Vancouver Bars Elected Blogger From Board Meetings
City on "weak, weak ground" in Barring Elected Blogger
Santa was there too with gifts for kids, nice gifts, not chintzy ones. One kid got a blue Sesame Street character doll which played a red guitar.
The volunteer servers were in the Christmas spirit, exuding warmth and friendliness that didn't seem at all faked. One server would ask every single person in the food line up, “Do you like brown or white meat?” and she would give you exactly what you wanted.
There was gravy too. And cranberry sauce, the kind which has some of the round berries still intact. The breaded dressing was tasty. It was a more traditional dressing than last year when it was compressed into a loaf from which everybody was cut a slice – although that tasted ok too. The dinner also included mixed corn, carrots, and a bun. For dessert there was a selection of pies, including pumpkin pie, my favorite.
The servers constantly circulated, asking if you would like more pie. One guy at my table worked through a few pieces of pumpkin pie and one which I think was apple. He wondered if the server thought he was packing it away to take home – he did take one piece of pumpkin pie home – because he noticed that eventually, “When she saw me, she would turn the other way.” That’s the same guy who joked, “Hey Santa, cut your hair you fuckin’ hippie.” Santa didn’t laugh.
And there was coffee, tea, juice, and pop. The BC Fed was a little more street smart this year. They gave out only open cans of pop and juice boxes. They discovered last year that the underclass was prone to sticking a few extra cans of pop or boxes of juice in their pockets to take home.
There is one way the BC Fed out does most of the other Christmas dinners attended by the underclass: they don’t mind if you go back for seconds.
Jim Sinclair, President of the BC Fed, was at the Christmas Eve dinner, as he is every year. He doesn't just make an appearance; he stays for hours dishing up food, chatting up pork choppers, always wearing a red and white hat like the one Santa wears. But it is getting more difficult for Sinclair to pass himself off as jolly and benign. Because the secretaries won't shut up. The problem started when secretaries at CUPE Local 116 – CUPE staffed that office with non-union secretaries -- began speaking up about unfair labour practices. One secretary wrote to Jim Sinclair about the double and triple workloads and office rage she had been expected to absorb from the union brass. She later discovered that the letter had been turned over to the Vancouver Police, which doesn't even have jurisdiction at CUPE 116, and she was investigated for “WORKPLACE HARASSMENT”.
When the secretary reminded Sinclair and CUPE boss, Barry O’Neill, that a woman speaking up about working conditions is not engaging in workplace harassment, something happened that was as mysterious as Santa sliding down your chimney to surprise you with a gift. The “workplace harassment” offense for which she had been investigated and cleared months earlier, suddenly got retroactively changed to “HARASSMENT/OBSCENE COMMUNICATION". What is harassing or obscene about speaking up about working conditions, she would like to know. But that was not a question to ask Sinclair on Christmas Eve, when he was spreading goodwill.
There was lots of goodwill in the donated clothing room at the BC Fed Christmas Eve dinner. One woman at the dinner got a crisp, white, fitted shirt. And she got some brown jeans, a tad faded. "I've worn them both twice already," she has since told me. A man, a former False Creek squatter who now works off and on doing car repairs, told me the other night that he had been at the Maritime Hall dinner and got a beige golf shirt as well as a t-shirt with a Fire Department logo on it. In addition to clothing, the servers let him take home an extra dinner for his roommate.
A guy who came really late was given some potatoes and vegetables. The turkey had run out, so they gave him a whole apple pie to take home to make up for it.
There was a live band playing upbeat Christmas music. The musicians were enthusiastic. But the music was too loud; it was well beyond the level allowed by WorkSafe BC. Bill Simpson, a homeless guy from the Downtown Eastside, came over to our table to say hi, and had to lean over and position his mouth just inches from a person's ear to be heard.
Simpson was chatting about an article in the Christmas Eve edition of the Vancouver Sun. He had been quoted in the article as saying that workers in the Downtown Eastside poverty industry [most of whom are BC Fed members] are "co-dependent" on the poor they serve. In other words, they need the poor to stay poor as the poverty industry is a goldmine of high salaries and union dues.
Everybody walking into the Martime Hall on Christmas Eve was met by two friendly hostesses who said "Merry Christmas", and handed them a ticket which they could exchange on the way out for two small grocery bags filled with carrots, onions, and potatoes.
You can go to the BC Fed Christmas Eve turkey dinner, whether you are poor or not. You can count on nobody being too concerned about who you are. At Christmas everything changes.
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
The woman had gone upstairs to the Carnegie Learning Center and was showing people her new watch. She set it down for a moment -- it was still in the box -- when she got up to show her friend a news article. Presto! The watch vanished.
A man quickly gave her the watch he had just gotten from Santa at the dinner. He said he doesn’t wear a wristwatch and had been keeping an eye out for somebody to give his to.
Even though the woman left with a watch, friends say she was shaken after being the victim of such a brazen theft.
There is a problem with theft at the Carnegie Learning Center. Recently, teacher Betsy Alkenbrach had her wallet stolen from her office. A few months earlier a technician from Vancouver Community Net was very shaken after having his laptop stolen. And Learning Center students still recall the time a few years ago when a new computer printer was purchased and had yet to be bolted down when somebody walked out the door with it.
But no thief could take the turkey filling the stomachs of everyone leaving Carnegie's annual Boxing Day dinner. Four people reported that the dinner was tasty. They were pleased that it was a traditional turkey dinner, unlike in recent years when the Boxing Day dinner has been ham or roast beef. Although the dinner was free, to get a ticket you had to have a Carnegie membership card.
In addition to turkey, each plate served had on it a mix of light and dark meat, gravy, mashed potatoes, breaded dressing with raisons and celery in it, and mixed corn, peas, carrots, and little cubes of turnip. For dessert, there was cake with raisons, apricot, and nuts in it. Also coffee and apple juice.
There were two regular musicians from Carnegie playing Christmas background music on guitars at the dinner. But it wasn't actually in the background. The impression I got from people was that the music was nice but a little too loud. Music and television being played at ear damaging levels is an ongoing problem at Carnegie.
Carnegie Director Ethel Whitty joined other staff to serve plates of food at the Boxing Day dinner. There were three sittings in the Carnegie theatre of about 80-100 people each.
But at the last sitting, the 6 p.m. sitting, some people with advance tickets got turned away. Carnegie had run out of food.
Monday, December 24, 2007
Sam Sullivan, Vancouver's "do nothing" Mayor, and Vancouver City Council have just approved a huge Christmas gift to 600 City managers. These managers, many of whom already make between $100,000-$200,000, will receive an almost 25 per cent wage increase over the next five years.
But they have done nothing for Bill Simpson.
Low income people who frequent the Carnegie Center had hoped that by Christmas, the barring of William "Bill" Simpson from the City-operated Carnegie Center at Main and Hastings would have been lifted. In January 2007, the homeless man was barred from the Learning Center on the third floor of Carnegie Community Center. He was told that he was barred for daring to blog on the Downtown Eastside Enquirer.
One problem: he wasn't the blogger.
In June 2007, two weeks after Simpson was elected by low income people to the Carnegie Board of Directors, he was barred again -- this time from the entire Carnegie Center. Carnegie Director Ethel Whitty and Assistant Director Dan Tetrault -- both richly paid by the City of Vancouver -- delivered him a letter in person barring him indefinitely. Simpson asked Whitty if he could at least enter the building to attend Board meetings and she said no. The letter Simpson received was on City of Vancouver letterhead and was signed by the even more richly paid City General Manager, Jacquie Forbes-Roberts. Forbes-Roberts accused Simpson of operating a website which "features links" to the Downtown Eastside Enquirer.
Wait a minute. When a man is elected in Canada, City managers can't say, We don't like you and you can't come into the building for Board meetings. That denies representation to voters. That's not Canada. That's China. If Santa manoeuvering his clumsy sleigh can figure out where Canada ends and China begins, why can't Mayor Sullivan and his City managers.
As Mayor Sullivan and his henchwomen, Forbes-Roberts and Whitty, wind up a year of blog burning, and of preventing Simpson from setting foot in the well heated Carnegie Center over Christmas, all Downtown Eastside residents can do is go to sleep on Christmas eve with images dancing in our heads of Sullivan facing the electorate next year. Maybe we'll get the last laugh. Ho, Ho, Ho.
City of Vancouver Bars Elected Blogger From Board Meetings
City on "weak, weak ground" in Barring Elected Blogger
Sunday, December 23, 2007
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Turkey is what Downtown Eastsiders are left with since the povertarians stopped the trickle of film industry wealth that reached the poor. A few years ago, for example, there was a Claude Van Damme film on the Downtown Eastside and the film company gave people whose lives were severely disrupted $100 each. That doesn’t happen any more.
Povertarians at the Downtown Eastside Residents Association and some of the housing co-ops made deals with the film companies, supposedly “on behalf” of people whose lives are disrupted. A guy who has lived for years at a housing co-op on Powell St. explains that the film industry has at times given his co-op $1,500, selling out residents whose lives are disrupted by filming, particularly residents who have apartments at street level. They get nothing now. Except a headache from sleep cut short and noise, lights, and constant exhaust fumes from idling trucks. In exchange for the donation from the film industry, the Co-op appoints a "film liaison" to handle complaints from residents. Any resident living in a small suite, putting up with filming just meters from their bed and fumes coming through their only window, is no longer individually factored into the production costs of a film. To the film companies, they seem to be nothing more than, to use an expression made popular on Coast to Coast radio, "useless eaters".
A few years back, the film industry was printing the newsletter for the cash-strapped Downtown Eastside Resident’s Association. Not surprisingly when residents came out to a town hall meeting to air grievances about the film industry, DERA’s then Executive Director, Terry Hanley, opened the meeting by asking them at the beginning of the meeting to “be nice” to film industry representatives. It was at this meeting that one resident recalls first learning that turkey was what the film industry would be 'giving back' to the community; compensation to individual residents seemed to be off the table.
DERA also arranged for the film industry to hire Downtown Eastside residents, which translated into their friends and political allies, not to mention Hanley’s brother and common law husband. Such deals became a substitute for the film companies giving a few bucks compensation to residents sucking tail pipes or being kept up late by the film crews. I could go on for pages about this. But what it has all boiled down to now is:
Let them eat turkey.
So I went for turkey. My friend and I stood in the line up today – it had stopped raining by this time but the ground was thick with mud -- for about 10 minutes. The dressing was tasty, lots of mushrooms in it. It’s the best stove-top dressing I’ve ever tasted. With the turkey (I was pleased to get some dark meat), there was gravy and a heap of cranberries, mixed corn and carrots, and mashed potatoes. The meal, served in styrofoam, was steaming hot.
The guys handling the turkey and other hot food inside the catering trucks – there were several catering trucks -- were working their asses off. I noticed it. Another guy noticed it too. “See how fast those guys are moving,” he said.
There were also two clothing tents, one for women and one for men. The line-ups to the tents were long. It was about a 40 minute wait. Some of the people – correction: many of the people – in the line-up were rough. They were occasionally yelling at one another while grabbing clothes inside both the men's and the women's tents.
The clothes were decent. One long time Downtown Eastside resident pointed out that the drug users will sell them for crack or something. Staff gave everyone a black garbage bag to fill with clothes. That was your limit. A women who came out of the women's clothing tent with a full bag told me that there was one man in there -- all the rest were women -- and he was the 'enforcer', telling women, "OK, you're bag is full. You have to go now." He was mostly targeting the women who were getting unruly, she said. She is not a drug user and got a few sweaters, and dressy cardigans which she intends to wear if she finds a job next year. She also got lots of second hand socks. "I really need socks," she said.
A middle-age man got the first pair of dress pants, grey, that he’s had in years. And he got a pair of black wing-tip shoes.
As people stood in the line-up for food or clothing, volunteer staff walked back and forth handing out raw carrot and celery sticks, pretzels, Nestle’s lemonade coolers, Coke Zero, oranges and bananas, even tailor-made cigarettes. They also gave out brand new winter hats and gloves, and plastic baggies containing, shampoo, toothpaste, and soap. One woman, the same one who needed the socks, was happy to get some shampoo. She also got a black hat with stripes that had a “Dollar Giant” tag still on it.
The staff and volunteers working at the event were all fresh-faced, middle-class. They were pleasant and patient, even when people in the line ups occasionally lost their tempers and started yelling at one another.
There was a live band too. Not a band hamstrung by political correctness either. They were daring to sing songs containing the words “Christmas” and “Jesus”. Like the song that goes, "Go tell it on the mountain, that Jesus Christ is born." I would bet that most of the people in the workers and underclass people in the line ups were raised Christian. Most were white or native, with the occasional Chinese person.
The Turkey tactic has worked. Most Downtown Eastside residents no longer ask for compensation for having lives disrupted by the film industry. They seem resigned to the fact that the povertarians who run their lives, have shut down any semblance of a free wheeling market in the film industry. They line up for turkey in the drizzle and the mud. Don't get me wrong; there are still some old cases being fought. Like the one of a woman who felt that the filming of "It's a Girl Thing" starring Kate Capshaw -- with a guy who looked like Steven Spielberg, helping to direct the actresses -- turned into an abuse thing. And there's the case of the woman made ill by a generator during the making of a Honda commercial on the 100 block Powell St. Let’s just say she sees Muriel Honey at the Vancouver Film Office not as Santa, more as Freddie Kruger.
The fact that Downtown Eastside residents are supposed to be satisfied with turkey as payment in kind for film disruptions is not subtle. In one of the above complaints, a woman was told in writing by an industry spokesperson that the industry hosts a turkey dinner every year to give back to the community. She resents the assumption by the film industry that junkies and low lifes are her "community" and she does not believe that lining up with such an unpredictable crowd at the park in the rainy season should be a substitute for compensation. When residents of Kerrisdale were irritated by fake snow dropped on their houses, a female resident complained about it to an news television crew but added, "Of course, we got compensation." Kerrisdale residents were not told to line-up for turkey.
A guy dressed up like Santa was standing near the band at the turkey dinner today. But Downtown Eastsiders know the truth; there is no Santa in the film industry. He's been hijacked in his sleigh.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Today a Vancouver woman requested that the new Vancouver Police Chief, Jim Chu, ensure that a criminal investigation she requested into United Way in 2003 is carried out. She had asked that United Way be investigated for fraud/public mischief.
The original request for an investigation was made after then United Way director, Ron Dumouchelle, lodged a police complaint against the woman in an attempt to prevent the dissemination of a Report on United Way to donors. The woman makes a compelling case that evidence in the police report was consistently fabricated or misrepresented and that it culminated in an effort to subject her to "political psychiatry" under fraudulent pretenses. She points out that United Way was not the sole offender here. Constables J.P. St. Amant and Lee Patterson, after being briefed by Dumouchelle and anonymous witnesses at United Way, played a major role in libelling her in the report. "It was a joint effort," she says. "It looks from the report like they were feeding off one another."
Shortly after requesting the criminal investigation in 2003, the woman received a telephone call from Sergeant Warrent Lemecke informing her that the criminal investigation was being postponed until a complaint she had lodged with the Police Complaints Commission in the case was processed. The VPD did not, Lemecke claimed, want to perform "parallel investigations". "It was an excuse," she says. "The Vancouver Police collect donations for United Way and the last thing they want to do is investigate them."
The fraud and political psychiatry to which the woman was subjected, she alleges, has done irreparable harm to her wellbeing and reputation. In seeking an investigation, she has the support of the ad hoc group, Canadians Opposing Political Psychiatry [COPP]. COPP is encouraging individuals targeted for "political psychiatry" to insist that a criminal investigation be carried out.
In recognition of International Human Rights Day last week, Chris Kelly, Superintendent of the Vancouver School Board, was asked to resign as a member of the Board of Directors of the United Way of the Lower Mainland.
The Dec. 11 request was made by a woman -- known in previous posts as the whistleblower --who alleges she became a target of political psychiatry by the Vancouver School Board in Nov. 2002, after announcing her intent to campaign in the then upcoming election about VSB "duplicity" in handling bullying complaints.
This is the second time the whistleblower has asked Kelly to resign from the United Way Board. She first made the request on November 6, 2007. Kelly didn't acknowledge receipt of the request even though she asked him to do so.
The whistleblower has the support of Canadians Opposing Political Psychiatry in requesting Kelly's resignation from United Way. It is the position of COPP that it is hypocritical for Kelly to be using United Way to promote himself as an individual committed to the larger social good, while he has done nothing in response to evidence that “political psychiatry” is being practiced by the Vancouver School Board to undermine political opposition. Political psychiatry practiced by the VSB, according to COPP, is similar to that practiced in China and the former Soviet Union.
Kelly was not an actual instigator of the alleged political psychiatry which has led to the request for his resignation. The political psychiatry was instigated in Nov. 2002, while the VSB was searching for a new Superintendent. When Kelly was hired as Superintendent, he inherited the political psychiatry scandal, a case which one VSB administrator referred to in a memo as "an ongoing problem."
Failure by Kelly to address evidence of political psychiatry practiced at the VSB resulted in COPP, "as a last resort", organizing an international boycott of high school diplomas issued by the Vancouver School Board. "Kelly had ample opportunity to avert that boycott," says the whistleblower. "He knew about it for years before it ended up on the internet." The future of every student in the school system is being affected by that boycott, but she says she has never seen Kelly show the slightest concern about it.
United Way promotes Kelly on their website as a visionary. In fact, he kicked off the United Way Campaign in September with a speech promoted on their official website as “a powerful vision."
Even the alleged fraud and misogyny to which the whistleblower was subjected after the VSB arranged for her to become the target of political psychiatry seemed to be within the comfort zone of Kelly. He has done nothing about the administrator who arranged for the whistleblower to become the target of political psychiatry after Sergeant Garry Lester, the VSB School Liaison, told him that there was "nothing untoward" about her conduct.
Kelly has done nothing about the fact that any sign of competence or intellectual ability in the female whistleblower was identified as social deviance by the psych nurse briefed by the VSB at the beginning of the political psychiatry exercise. Her letter announcing that she would be campaigning in an upcoming election was identified as "BIZARRE" behaviour. The fact that she had taken the time in the letter to substantiate claims by several people that their bullying complaints against a physically and verbally abusive teacher had been mishandled was considered suspect -- "It's "a little long, don't you think?", the psych nurse asked, peering at her through squinted eyes. [The psych nurse admitted that he had not read the letter but was relying on a briefing by the VSB.] Papers and books scattered around the whistleblower's computer in her work environment appeared to be the basis for the label "cluttered" in the report. The fact that she had submitted routine Freedom of Information requests was considered a key sign of mental illness -- in fact, "freedom of information requests" was the SOLE entry in the section of the psych report requiring that the official reason for the visit be identified.
Even vigorous physical exercise by the whistleblower was considered a sign of social deviance. When the psych nurse recruited by the VSB intercepted the whistleblower after her exercise class when she was still wearing her gym clothes, the fact that she was sweating appeared to be used against her. She was identified as having "strong body odor".
In campaign advertisements, United Way claims that, "Everyone's potential can be realized." The contradiction between this claim by United Way and practices at the Vancouver School Board which appear to be within the comfort zone of Kelly was cited as a reason why he should resign as a United Way Board member.
Attitudes of the VSB can best be summed up by comparing the resources they invested in attempting to discredit the whistleblower as a mental case, while avoiding investigation of a clearly disturbed male VSB administrator. This male administrator was working as a Principal at a VSB school in Nov. 2002 and appeared, the whistleblower says, to become "fixated" on her. "I had never been to his school," says the whistleblower, "I had never spoken to him; I had never heard of him; I had never expressed an interest in going to his school. But he had it in for me." But this Principal was determined to subject the whistleblowing woman to political psychiatry. He showed VPD-School Liaison, Sgt. Garry Lester, a copy of the whistleblower's letter announcing her intent to campaign in the upcoming tightly contested election. This was his basis for wanting her targeted for a psychiatric assessment at her home, assessment for potential apprehension to a mental hospital. Lester read the letter and told him that there was "nothing untoward" about the whistleblower's letter. But the administrator pressed Lester to essentially perform an illicit favor and approve the visit. "This is fraud," says the whistleblower, who in turn pushed for a criminal investigation.
This Principal then turned up at the whistleblower's home. He seemed to be "under the influence of alcohol or something" and pressed her to drop her complaints. He stood on the sidewalk speaking to her over her intercom, at one point telling her that if she had to deal with the "little c*nts and their mothers" that he had to deal with on a daily basis, she wouldn't last. Her livingroom window is close to ground level, just a few meters from the building's intercom system, which resulted in the Principal's loud, belligerent comments being heard by a man sitting in her apartment. The incident was reported in writing to the VSB and they were given the name of the witness and how he could be reached before he left town. The VSB did not contact either the whistleblower or the witness. Kelly, in the years since, has continued to allow this administrator to be in charge of children. "[This Principal] tried to do serious harm to the reputation and wellbeing of a woman he had never met and Kelly acts like it's business as usual for this guy."
"I believe. . . . that everyone deserves respect". That's one of the lines in this year's United Way campaign advertisement.
Not only was the whistleblower disrespected but she felt terrorized enough by VSB political psychiatry tactics that she did not campaign in the Nov. 2002 election. But she feels that the terror campaign initiated by the VSB has never ended. Kelly has done nothing to get the life long record that anybody targeted for political psychiatry -- even when cleared -- has adjacent to their name on the police computer system. Second, she says, Kelly has "left me dangling", never knowing to whom the VSB will next release the defamatory political psychiatry file they have on her. She discovered through Freedom of Information that her file had repeatedly been released by VSB staff to individuals external to the VSB Head Office. Kelly failed to respond to her written request dated Nov. 7, 2007 that, due to the "extreme level of libel" associated with the political psychiatry, he stop allowing her name to be released in regard to this case. He had to work within privacy legislation, she reminded him. The whistleblower has reason to be concerned about security as the "political psychiatry" record she was left with as a result of VSB actions has surfaced on two occasions to interfere with her life. "I feel stalked," says the whistleblower, "and Kelly doesn't seem to care how I'm treated."
"I believe. . . that every person has value." That's a line from a United Way Campaign advertisement.
This is a bad time for Kelly's link to political psychiatry to be exposed. United Way was exposed just two months ago for having a more direct link to political psychiatry. A Dec. 2002 case surfaced in which United Way had attempted to stop the dissemination of a Report on United Way by arranging for police to begin visiting a woman thought to be making it available to donors. The resulting police report has since been demonstrated to be rife with fabricated and misrepresented evidence. As United Way worked with police on the case, a VPD Car 87 assessment of the woman was arranged under allegedly fraudulent pretenses. Car 87 assesses a targeted individual for apprehension to a mental hospital.
It's hard to miss allegations on the internet that the married with children Democratic presidential hopeful, John Edwards, had an affair with Rielle Hunter. Hunter worked with Edwards producing videos for his campaign. And now she's very pregnant.
The National Enquirer has been pounding away at this story. You can bet that they believe their source is reliable and have had them polygraphed. They know who they're dealing with: Edwards is the son of a mill worker who got rich working as a litigator. The National Enquirer may have lost their nerve at one point, as the story was dropped from their website. But it was not long before they had slapped it right back up again.
The National Enquirer photographed Hunter coming out of the office of her ob/gyn wearing a black sweater with a white heart on the front -- sorry Reille, Edwards' heart is with the woman he recently told the media he's loved for "30 years plus". His wife may have gotten fat and gotten cancer but he still sees her as his one and only, which made me respect him ...while I still believed him.
The Edwards camp has claimed -- it took them awhile to get around to it -- that the father of Hunter's unborn child is Andrew Young, a close aid to Edwards. Hunter also claimed in a written statement that Young was the father. But the National Enquirer claims that Hunter told a source that Andrew Young, his wife and young children, had come over to her home for dinner. The National Enquirer, being as sharp as the Downtown Eastside Enquirer, asked the question: Does a guy bring his wife and kids over to the home of the mistress he's knocked up?
Andrew Young is not a man who can be entirely relied upon for the truth, even when it comes to his own name. When the naughty National Enquirer showed up at his home, he denied he was Andrew Young. He responded to questions by yelling that they didn't even know who they were talking to. When his wife suddenly called him "Andrew", he shot her a dirty look.
Even Reille Hunter is a shaky source when it comes to her own name. She has previously been known as Lisa Druck. But when she answered her door when the National Enquirer came knocking, she told them she was neither.
Neither Hunter or Young have accepted the National Enquirer's offer to take a polygraph. One of the first things they ask on those tests is your name.
The mainstream media is finding this story impossible to ignore. On the CBS evening news recently, Katie Couric began poking around. Edwards responded, "I think that, as you point out, there have been American presidents that at least according to the … stories we’ve all heard, that were not faithful, that were in fact good presidents. So I don't think it controls the issue."
There is no shortage of people who agree with Edwards. A friend of mine in Canada's left wing New Democratic Party says he believes it matters not a whit whether a politician has affairs behind his wife's back. A conservative friend believes it generally doesn't matter, but adds that when a politician's wife and mother of his small children has cancer, it does matter.
I believe affairs matter, especially if a politician is playing the family values card. They speak to character. They tell us that this politician is a person who says one thing and does another.
If Edwards did have an affair, his name would be added to a long list that includes many more names than Bill Clinton. I recall Hillary Clinton being grilled about Bill's affairs during an election campaign and diverting attention to his rival, George Bush: Do you think George Bush has never had an affair? And I remember Gary Hart getting caught frolicking with Donna soon-to-be-a-Guess-jeans model, on his yacht. Hart was actually a model of classiness compared to married Senator Larry Craig from Idaho who recently stuck his hand under the wall of an airport bathroom stall, attempting to grab some sex on the go. His wife stood beside him when he later resigned.
Just as Elizabeth Edwards stands beside John on the campaign trail as the accusations of infidelity fly. Not the sort of stress a woman should be under when her breast cancer has returned and spread to her ribs.
When reporters on the campaign trail asked Edwards about the National Enquirer article, he said, "The story is false. It's completely untrue, ridiculous."
If there proves to be any truth to the story of an affair and pregnancy behind the back of Edwards' cancer-stricken wife, voters may be tempted to dismiss him: See you later, litigator.
Sunday, December 16, 2007
A press conference about the murder of Aqsa Parvez given extensive coverage by the CBC and CTV "features Sheik Alaa El-Sayyed, imam and head of Mississauga’s Islamic Society of North America — that’s the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) that has been declared [by U.S. prosecutors] an unindicted co-conspirator in terrorist financing, a small point left out of every single account of this event."
That quote is from Morgaan Sinclair's article, "Why Is This Girl Dead??? Aqsa Parvez and Islamic Double Speak" on Blogger News Network. Sheik El-Sayyed said at the press conference that the murder of Aqsa Parvez has nothing to do with Islam.
[Dag, who used to contribute to Jihaad Watch, says Sinclair is correct about the ISNA being an unindicted co-conspirator.]
Thursday, December 13, 2007
“She got threatened by her father and her brother,” said Dominiquia Holmes-Thompson, who had known Aqsa since the two entered high school. “He said that if she leaves, he would kill her.”
Comments from friends to the media also revealed that when Asqa would spot her brother on the street, she would scramble to put on her hibjab, saying,"He'll kill me."
But it is unlikely that the charge will be raised to first degree murder because the standard of proof "beyond a reasonable doubt" is so high. The fact that Asqa had gone home to get her belongings when she was killed by her father on Monday morning, could be used by the defense to raise doubt in a jury's mind about how seriously the advance threats to kill her should be taken.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
When 16 yr. old Mississauga high school student, Asqa Parvez, stood up to her fundamentalist Islamic father, Muhammed Parvez, over his insistence that she wear a hijab and succumb to other religious restraints, she risked being killed. And according to her friends, she knew it. She knew Islam.
Aqsa’s friend, Dominiquia Holmes-Thompson, 16, recalled Aqsa saying that it was possible that something could “happen” to her. Asqa was afraid of her father, according to friends, who say he strictly controlled her and would not allow her to go out. She was seen at school with bruises. She began staying at the home of a high school friend, defying her father. “He said that if she leaves, he would kill her”, Holmes-Thompson says.
Asqa was willing to stay in a shelter. But she returned home one last time, reportedly after her brother saw her at a bus stop and offered to take her home to get a change of clothing. It is not uncommon for a brother in a Muslim family in Pakistan — where Asqa was born — to lure a girl to a place where the family can make her the target of an “honor killing”, an angle now being investigated by police. It was after Asqa returned home that her father called 911 and said, “I killed my daughter.”
When Asqa -- Al Asqa is the name of a Muslim Holy site -- stood up to her fundamentalist Islamic father, she was doing a favor for women everywhere at risk from Islam. Like those who fought Sharia law in Ontario, did all women a favor. And like a few female teachers in Ontario did all women a favor a few years back when they said they did not want girls to wear the hijab in their classrooms because it was a sign of the subjugation of women.
And now Asqa’s dead, which underscores just why Islam has to be stood up to, instead of being coddled by the great Canadian multi-culti bear hug.
Guess who else had an Islamic father who believed women should be subordinate? Marc Lepine, aka Gamil Gharbi, who massacred 14 women at L'ecole Polytechnique in Montreal. (See "Wet P*ssy Benches" Commemorate Murdered Women on this blog.)
Sunday, December 9, 2007
Police came and he was handcuffed and arrested.
Nine women gave statements to police. At 2:30 a.m., some of them were still at the police station giving statements.
Booking photo of Keifer Sutherland taken Dec. 5, 2007 and released by the Glendale Police Department.
Keifer Sutherland started his 48 day jail sentence for his third drunk driving conviction on Dec. 5th. Sutherland is known as the character, Jack Bauer, in the television series '24'. But Canadians know who he really is.
Keifer Sutherland is the grandson of Tommy Douglas, father of Canada's universal medicare system.
Keifer Sutherland was born to Shirley Douglas, the only biological child of Tommy Douglas. An actor herself, Shirley Douglas gave birth to Keifer and his twin sister, Rachel, when she was married to actor Donald Sutherland.
Keifer Sutherland is not the only star in the family. Tommy Douglas was voted "The Greatest Canadian" of all time in a televised contest hosted by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in 2004. And he had been dead for decades.
Douglas was known as a modest man. He wasn't above giving a speech standing in the back of a farmer's manure spreader, although he did joke that he was standing on the platform of the opposition. And he always took the position that if it wasn't for the hard-working grassroots people promoting him, he wouldn't be in the position he was in. Some of that was his Saskatchewan upbringing: in Saskatchewan, you never act like you're better than anybody else.
You can see that lack of snobbery in Keifer Sutherland. Autograph collector Michael Wehrmann told the New York Post newspaper that until his arrest, Sutherland had not snubbed people seeking autographs: "He was one of the best. He would always stand and sign for a half hour...."
It was when Sutherland's grandfather became leader of North America's first socialist government, the New Democratic Party government in Saskatchewan, that he pushed for a universal medicare program. As a child, Douglas had injured his leg and it would have been amputated if a doctor, who saw the condition as one his students could learn from, had agreed to give him free treatment. But that experience solidified Douglas' belief that health care was a right, not something that should be dependent on the generosity of others.
Douglas pushed for a Canada wide medicare program when he left provincial politics and became leader of the federal New Democratic Party, a party which claims to be committed to improving the lives of the working class. That was the class that famed Canadian writer Alice Munroe grew up in, and she says it wasn't all bad. Now in her 70's, Munroe says there was a freedom in growing up in the working class, not a lot of pressure about what you did with your life, as long as you stayed out of jail.
Friday, December 7, 2007
Yesterday was the 18th anniversary of the murder of 14 women at L’ecole Polytechnique in Montreal by Marc Lepine. Last night there were lit candles and fresh flowers on each bench in a large circle of 14 pink granite benches in front of Pacific Station in Vancouver. The benches are a monument to murdered women in Canada, prompted by the Montreal massacre.
Downtown Eastside residents have been known to refer to this monument as the “Wet P*ssy Benches”.
That’s because each stone bench has the shape of a vulva carved into the top of it. What do you get when you carve that shape into a stone bench in rainy Vancouver? A puddle.
Benches that you discover you can't actually sit on are not the only misleading aspect of this monument though. This monument is part of a Canada wide censoring of the real story: the fact that the killing of these 14 women was at least partially a product of the misogyny of Islam.
Media avoid mentioning during events commemorating the Montreal massacre, that Mark Lapine’s name was Gamil Gharbi, until he changed it at the age of 14. That’s a Muslim name. His father was an Algerian-born follower of Islam, whose Canadian-born wife discovered, as she told a divorce court, that he "had a total disdain for women and believed they were intended only to serve men." It’s not an accident that he had that attitude. That’s what Mohammed taught, the prophet who spoke for Allah.
And it may not be an accident that his son Marc Lepine was yelling “alla akber or something…” as he gunned women down, a female witness told a radio station on the day of the massacre. That was reported by writer Mark Steyn, whose source was a good friend in Montreal. But that radio interview was never to be heard again. Censored.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Somalia-born devout Muslim who became a feminist and has written about Islam’s misogyny, says that Islam, unlike other religions, is determined to push the world back into the 7th Century. Islam responded by issuing a death order. She now needs 24 hr. guards. That’s the way Islam deals with feminists. It’s hardly surprising that Marc Lepine yelling, “feminists!” as he gunned down women at L’ecole Polytechnique.
In front of the circle of benches is a pink granite arch that reads, "Marker for Change". Come on. Things aren't going to change until people can talk about the contribution of Islam's misogyny to the massacre of the Montreal women without being afraid of the politically correct types -- some of whom were no doubt involved in the planning of the monument -- dismissing them as racist. Until we can commemorate the murdered women by being honest about what victimized them, monuments like the one in front of Pacific Station are just useless wet p*ssy benches in the rain.
Michael Read, Secretary, did not want the Board to remove Chancy as it would increase his stress level. Read announced that if the Board did this, he would have to resign too. And he did.
The Carnegie Board is having trouble keeping seats filled. Two weeks after a homeless man, William Simpson, was elected to the Board last June, Carnegie Executive Director Ethel Whitty delivered him a letter from the City barring him indefinitely. He was accused of operating a website which "features links" to a blog which criticizes Carnegie staff. Simpson stands on the sidewalk out front during Board meetings. The incident lead to international news coverage of Vancouver's "blog burning" City staff.
Board member Sophie Friegang wanted a review of the barring of her fellow Board member, Simpson, saying a "terrible mistake" had been made. No luck though. So she resigned too. She submitted a letter stating something to the effect that she couldn't work with a people who did not respect human rights.
Sunday, December 2, 2007
The French guy was heard yelling near the cash register while buying soup. He then walked into the larger cafeteria area which was crowded with people sitting at tables eating their dinner. it was roughly 6:30 p.m.
Security guards, all CUPE members, were already in the cafeteria. It is possible that Anthony had called them when the argument started. Carnegie staff are quick to call security when an argument erupts.
The French guy threw his ceramic bowl of soup at Phil, a veteran security guard. There was soup on the floor, spread across the length of the room. Phil and a new security guard grabbed the guy. Phil called John, a security guard who was in an adjacent dining area, to come and help.
The three guards held the French guy down. One was holding his legs, one his arms, one his shoulders. A witness said, "It was like everybody was remembering the tasering [death] at the airport and they made sure to give this guy space to breath."
Security called Vancouver Police who arrived in less than 5 minutes and put handcuffs on the guy.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
United Way of the Lower Mainland has been linked to “political psychiatry” comparable to that practiced in China and the former Soviet Union, according to the ad hoc group Canadians Opposing Political Psychiatry [COPP].
Accusations of political psychiatry began after a police complaint was lodged by Ron Dumouchelle, CEO of United Way of the Lower Mainland, in Dec. 2002 against a Vancouver woman. Dumouchelle wanted police to press the woman -- we'll call her the whistleblower -- to stop making a Report on United Way available to major donors. Dumouchelle would eventually admit to police that he knew this was "not a criminal matter" and that he had recruited them because the civil court process would be too slow for him. His police complaint, though, resulted in Constables Lee Patterson and J.P. St. Amant writing a police report rife with fabricated and misrepresented evidence on Dec. 18, the day they met with Dumouchelle and anonymous witnesses at United Way Campaign headquarters. (See earlier post, "Fraudulent Evidence Found in United Way Police Complaint".)
The whistleblower fought back.
She faxed St. Amant a memo announcing her intention to seek a fraud/public mischief investigation. She sent a copy of the memo to Dumouchelle. Inspector John de Haas of the Vancouver Police had told her she was entitled to request a public mischief investigation. St. Amant labeled the faxed memo, "the Public Mischief letter". It is the actions of Dumouchelle and St. Amant, though, in response to the "public mischief letter" that have led to accusations of political psychiatry.
A problem for United Way and the VPD: the whistleblower knew her rights
In addition to the whistleblower's assertion in the "public mischief letter" that she intended to seek an investigation into fraud and public mischief, she made reference to her earlier assertion that she would be exercising her right not to speak to police. That assertion had occurred via a voice mail she left for St. Amant on Dec. 20 in response to police hounding her by showing up at her door, talking to her neighbor, and leaving voice mail messages for her. St. Amant received the voice mail, told Dumouchelle about it and made notes on it in his Dec. 21 report: “[Whistleblower] called BC Civil Liberties and was instructed not to talk to police.” St. Amant appeared to initially recognize that right, noting in his report that he had left the whistleblower a response voice mail: “PC 2010 stated that [whistleblower] is free not to talk to police ….” But even after the whistleblower's refusal to talk to police, St. Amant remained under pressure from Dumouchelle to stop the circulation of the Report on UW which Dumouchelle felt could reduce campaign donations.
Dumouchelle may have been nervous about the whistleblower's intent to seek a criminal public mischief investigation as he wasted no time in trying to reach St. Amant after learning of it. The two had a telephone conversation about the "Public Mischief letter" on Boxing Day, according to St. Amant’s report dated Dec. 26th. “These guys had barely digested their Christmas dinner,” exclaims the whistleblower, “when they were on the phone talking about me.”
“PC 2010 returned call from Dumouchelle whom advised PC 2010 that he received a copy of the Public Mischief letter as well.”
Car 87 visit arranged under fraudulent pretenses
Just minutes after his Boxing Day conversation with Dumouchelle, St. Amant was on the phone arranging a visit to the whistleblower’s home by police “Car 87”. Car 87 is a marked police car staffed by a constable and a psychiatric nurse. They are granted the extraordinary power to disregard an individual’s civil liberties and enter their home to assess them for “apprehension” to a mental hospital. “How convenient,” says the whistleblower. “I’d invoked my right not to speak to police and Car 87 was a way they could circumvent that right." But there was one problem: this case did not come anywhere close to meeting the criteria for a Car 87 visit.
Car 87 visits are restricted by legislation to individuals at “imminent” risk of physically harming or killing themselves or others. This fact was confirmed by Jan Fisher, Director of Client Relations at the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority, in a telephone call about a similar case a month earlier, a call which was taped by an advocate and passed on to Canadians Opposing Political Psychiatry. Fisher added that Car 87 is for “extreme emergencies” in which “the public” is at risk of physical harm. This confirmation by Fisher supports the whistleblower's claim that Car 87 was ordered under "fraudulent pretenses".
Prior to the Car 87 visit being ordered, St. Amant, Patterson, and Dumouchelle had repeatedly confirmed, according to the police report, that the whistleblower posed “no physical risk”. Constable Patterson wrote in his Dec. 18 report, “No signs of direct threats or suggestion of violence to person/property.” After a conversation with Dumouchelle, St. Amant noted in his Dec. 18 report that Dumouchelle “agrees” that safety “is not perceived as an issue.” St. Amant reiterated this point in his Dec. 21st report after a follow up conversation with Dumouchelle: “No safety concerns….” In fact Constables Patterson and St. Amant, in their typewritten reports based largely on conversations with Dumouchelle, stated 15 times in the week prior to arranging the Car 87 visit that the whistleblower posed no safety risk.
One entry made by St. Amant on Dec. 21 is adequate though, according to the whistleblower, to substantiate her position that the Car 87 visit was ordered under fraudulent pretenses: “At this time there is no evidence to substantiate [whistleblower] being a physical threat.” That was five days before Car 87 was ordered. What could possibly have occurred over the next 5 days to justify ordering a Car 87 visit on Dec. 26th? Just one thing is on record as having occurred: Dumouchelle and St. Amant received a fax of the “Public Mischief letter” from which they first learned of the whistleblower’s intent to pursue a criminal investigation into the unfounded police complaint and accompanying falsified evidence.
Until the “Public Mischief letter” left Dumouchelle and St. Amant in a jam, St. Amant repeatedly noted in his report that he and Dumouchelle agreed that the proper “strategy” for dealing with the whistleblower would be a civil court injunction. In fact, five days before Car 87 was ordered, St. Amant reiterated in his report, after a conversation with Dumouchelle on Dec. 21, that a civil court injunction would be the “appropriate” approach to handling this case. Even at the moment Car 87 was being ordered on Dec. 26, Dumouchelle continued to view an injunction as the appropriate approach but was frustrated by the fact that one would not be delivered quickly enough, according to St. Amant's report. “If these guys thought I'd be receptive to an injunction," says the whistleblower, "they must have seen me as a sane person."
Whistleblower alleges that the Car 87 visit was politically motivated
The fact that the motivation for ordering the Car 87 visit was political is supported by the fact that the sole evidence turned over to Car 87 was the “Public Mischief letter” in which the whistleblower had stated her intent to seek a criminal investigation. “What better way to send me a message,” says the whistleblower.
Targeting her for a Car 87 visit, the whistleblower believes, was also an attempt to ensure that she would not be taken seriously when pursing a public mischief complaint. St. Amant wasted no time in ensuring she had a Car 87 record on the police computer system where any officer formally taking her public mischief complaint would see it. On Boxing Day, he wrote:
“PC 2010 forward recent letter from [whistleblower] to Car 87 and has requested a
memo be placed for Car 87 concern. PRIME report updated…PC 2010 request an assessment of [whistleblower] by Car 87.”
The term “PRIME” refers to the police computer system. St. Amant made this entry despite having confirmed that there was nothing in the whistleblowers medical history to indicate that she had ever been treated for psychiatric issues.
There is no doubt that a Car 87 visit can severely harm a targeted individual’s credibility. Even if cleared, a targeted individual is left with a “DISTURBED PERSON” notation adjacent to their name on the police PRIME computer system – for life. But here’s the catch: the targeted individual is never actually cleared. The best outcome the targeted political activist can achieve is that the Car 87 psychiatric nurse puts a check mark beside the section of the official form indicating that the individual is not a candidate for apprehension “at this time.” At this time. “COPP is right,” says the whistleblower. “This is the way dissidents in China are treated.”
Dumouchelle was waiting for an update after the Car 87 visit
The whistleblower was outraged to learn from the police report that Dumouchelle at United Way was waiting to be briefed after the Car 87 visit. She had read the following passage entered by St. Amant in his Dec. 26 police report as he was ordering the Car 87 visit:
“PC 2010 advised Dumouchelle that police are continuing to attempt to make
personal contact with [the whistleblower] and will advise when they have in order
to inform her of events and make an assessment as to her well being.” [italics added]
The whistleblower says, “My rights are being overridden and a United Way bureaucrat is waiting for an update.”
Dumouchelle was quoted as providing the reason for the Car 87 visit
It is going to be difficult for United Way to adopt a ‘blame the cops’ defense in response to accusations of an unfounded Car 87 visit that had the earmarks of political psychiatry. After once again noting that Dumouchelle had expressed concern that the civil court process could not meet his need to quickly silence the whistleblower, St. Amant finished the sentence by revealing that it was Dumouchelle who had provided the reason cited for getting Car 87 on the road: “Dumouchelle stated he…is concerned about her “cyclical” letter writing indicating possible mental illness.” Dumouchelle was directly quoted as using the term “cyclical”.
Odd. In an internal document dated just three days earlier, Dec. 23, Dumouchelle had detailed his concerns about the whistleblower. He made no mention of cyclical letter writing or cyclical anything.
The claim of “cyclical” letter writing was left completely unsupported in the police report. No evidence of cyclical letter writing was filed in the Police Property Office or given to Car 87 staff – despite the fact that this was the sole reason provided in the police report to justify the Car 87 visit. Only one document, the “Public Mischief letter” that the whistleblower had faxed to St. Amant and Dumouchelle, was turned over to Car 87 and filed with the Police Property Office.
The “Public Mischief” memo could hardly be considered evidence of cyclical behavior on the part of the whistleblower as this communication had been solicited by St. Amant. He had left his fax number at the whistleblower’s home and hounded her to make contact with him; he’d even asked her neighbors to have her contact him. She communicated in writing for her own protection, she says, because by this time she had read the falsified evidence in the police report, an issue she had raised in the “Public Mischief” memo.
The only thing cyclical in this case, says the whistleblower, was the “run around” you got at United Way if you lodged a complaint. That’s why the Report on UW was made available to donors with a request that they ensure the issues were addressed.
After quoting Dumouchelle’s term “cyclical” on Dec. 26 as the basis for the Car 87 visit, St. Amant then paraphrased the same claim of cyclical letter writing on the following page with the same date – but added a new twist: “The structure of letters and pattern may suggest Mental Health concerns….” Again, this claim was left entirely unsupported, no examples were given. So the DTES Enquirer combed the written material in the file in search of structural flaws. None were found. The Report on UW was well organized, with subheadings for each separate complaint that women and men coming into contact with the battered women’s organization had brought forward. All complaints were illustrated with examples. The form letter sent to corporate donors making the report available was succinct and well organized.
Illegal Release of Whistleblower's Medical Records
When a police officer orders a Car 87 visit, Health Authority personnel are required to review the targeted individual's medical records and tell the officer whether they are considered to pose a physical risk. That's all. Privacy legislation strictly prohibits the release of specific details of medical records. But privacy leglislation was ignored in this case.
Intimate details of the whistleblower's physical body were entered in St. Amant's report, copied verbatim from her confidential medical records. Any police officer involved in processing her complaint of fraud/public mishief against Dumouchelle and St. Amant could be expected to read this as well, the whistleblower points out. "I can count eight people in the police department alone who have had access to it," says the whistleblower.
"The whistleblower holds United Way partially responsible for the fact that interactions between Health Authority personnel and St. Amant resulted in confidential material being entered into the police report. It is unlikely that St. Amant would have even had contact with the Health Authority, she says, if Dumouchelle hadn't "played the mental illness card".
Above photo from TV series, "Car 54 -- Where are you?"
Car 87 -- Where are you?
Shortly after the Car 87 visit was ordered, a marked police cruiser parked in front of the whistleblower's home and created a spectacle for the neighbors. "It was just after Christmas," says the whistleblower, "I think it was Boxing Day." The lights on the police car flashed for at least 20 minutes. "The red and blue lights on the top were circling around and around, like there was some major emergency." Her buzzer rang relentlessly. She peeked out and saw an officer, "not too tall, Hawaiian-looking" straining his neck to look up at her window.
The lights in her home were off at the time. "They must have thought there was nobody home," she says. She didn't speak to them as she had already made it clear to St. Amant that she was invoking her right to remain silent.
Arranging a Car 87 visit to her home during the Christmas holiday period compounded the "mental cruelty" of this exercise, says the whistleblower. The holiday period is one in which people are likely to have friends and family visiting, thereby maximizing the possibility that she would be humiliated when Car 87 showed up to perform an assessment for apprehension.
Cease and Desist letter
When the whistleblower obtained a copy of the updated police report from the a VPD Freedom of Information officer shortly after Christmas, she learned that she had been targeted for a Car 87 assessment for having written the "Public Mischief letter".
And she saw no sign that there was going to be an end to this "harassment". On Dec. 29, St. Amant re-iterated his Boxing Day entry in his report, "Letter referred to Car 87 for continued follow up as per request." On the same page, St. Amant noted that he had forwarded the file to the Harassment Unit "for further investigation" -- despite his earlier claim that this was "not a criminal matter." In his next entry on the page, St. Amant noted that the whistleblower was expected to continue to make the Report on UW available to donors "in early 2003" -- leading to accusations by the whistleblower that this new investigation was politically motivated. It is noteworthy that at the top of this page of the report, St. Amant did not follow protocol of entering an "OFFENCE" to be formally investigated. "Because he knew there was none", says the whistleblower.
The whistleblower had had enough.
A Cease & Desist letter was sent to Acting Sergeant Hatchman who was supervising St. Amant and Patterson. At that point, the whistleblower says, the "harassment" stopped.
There is plenty of unfinished business in this case. It has been five years now and United Way has done nothing to make amends to the whistleblower for their role in the alleged political psychiatry. "They could start by helping me get the Car 87 record expunged," she says. "As long as political psychiatry is on my record, it's going to be on their record", she says. "They better get used to it."
And donors better get used to it too. Because the whistleblower is not letting them off the hook. In her view, donors that were listed as witnesses on the first page of the police report -- President of the Toronto Dominion Bank, Canada Safeway, Revenue Canada, Canadian Red Cross, Canada Post, Westminster Savings -- must take responsibility for lending their names to an "unfounded" United Way police complaint that spiralled out of control.
Some of the running shoes the Sally Ann gave away on Thursday looked new, some looked very slightly worn. There were running shoes for both men and women, and black leather shoes with thick rubber soles for men as well. There were free socks for everybody too.
But the shoe give away seemed to be an excuse for the Sally Ann to get your foot in the door -- so that medical personnel could get a look at your feet.
They had nurses inside and, according to the poster, a doctor. When people arrived, they were immediately asked if they wanted a foot bath. One woman said they cut the cankors off her feet. Another woman said they told her that he feet indicated that she might have diabetes.
If you didn't want a foot bath, they didn't pressure you; they let you go ahead into the free shoe section.
The poster was misleading in that it announced that people could come between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. to get the free shoes. Truth is, they didn't have enough shoes to last anywhere near that long. At 10:20, they were telling people that there would be none left by 1 p.m. One woman went in at about 10:40 and said she got the last pair of size 9 women's runners.
It wasn't too hectic inside the shoe give away room which generally functions as a shelter, because they only allowed five people in the door at a time. Everybody else had to wait in a line up on the sidewalk.
A few of the women trying on running shoes looked like they were a little high. A couple of the men were talking about criminal charges they or their pals were up on. One joked with the receptionist, "Do you charge by the meter or the foot?" She laughed, and he laughed even louder at his own joke.
I didn't see anybody leaving with major brand name running shoes on their feet, just the cheaper brands.
An older woman digging through boxes of shoes kept telling people not to dig for their own shoes, that she would do it for them. She seemed stressed.
Speaking of charity:
United Way Implicated in "Political Psychiatry" Comparable to China
Welcome to the job fair.
So the woman with me asked the door man in an orange t-shirt, light brown curly hair, and glasses with somewhat dated rims, if the computer room was open, "like a regular day." He sniped, "Well, I think it's pretty obvious that it's not a regular day." The computer room the woman was asking about is tucked in a corner at Pathways, very popular with local people, but people were obviously not going to be allowed to use it today.
I told the woman that I had found the guy rude. "He was rude", she said. She then pointed out -- and it's not the first time I've heard this -- that if you talk back, if you stand up for yourself in Downtown Eastside facilities that cater to the poor, you get labeled a troublemaker and it can cause you problems when you come back.
Welcome to the poverty industry.
Saturday, November 24, 2007
When the man first walked into the Learning Center, a volunteer monitor, Rick, spotted him and asked if he could help him. The man responded that he was just looking around. That is not unusual as people are free to walk in and out of the Learning Center, which attempts to create an open, minimal barriers, environment to make residents of the Downtown Eastside underclass feel comfortable. Rick saw the man stepping into Alkenbrack's office and then coming out, but he thought she was in there.
After discovering her wallet stolen, Betsy got on the phone to cancel her credit card numbers.
Generally, Alkenbrack and the other teacher in the Learning Center, Lucy Alderson, keep the office door locked. "Every time Lucy came out of that office, I would see her with her keys in her hand locking up," says one past Learning Center student. "I didn't see Betsy around as much; I don't think she works there every day."
The wallet got stolen just before welfare Wednesday, a time when many Downtown Eastside residents are flat broke.
This is not the first theft in the Learning Center. About six or eight months ago, a young man working for Vancouver Community Net was temporarily posted at the Carnegie Learning Center which has three VCN computers, along with three Vancouver Public Library computers. He had a nice laptop. But he wasn't street smart at all. He would leave his laptop on the table and walk across the classroom and sit helping somebody at a computer -- with his backed turned. Suddenly it was gone. The young man was traumatized. He never returned.
A couple of years ago, a new computer printer was delivered and before staff had a chance to bolt it down, some body walked out the door with it.
On the positive side, the taxpayer is not being ripped off at the Carnegie Learning Center as often as they used to be. Learning Center staff who had been criticized for too often locking the doors of the Learning Center, using the excuse that a volunteer didn't show up, have been earning better marks recently. They kept the Center open every day welfare week, generally one of the worst weeks for closures.
Read more school news on the DTES Enquirer:
International Boycott of Vancouver High School Diplomas Concealed by School Board
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Sindia apparently told the Volunteer Co-ordinator, Colleen Gorrie, and then others got involved and John got barred.
Board member Rachel Davis, a.k.a. Rosetta, who is also a member of the Music Program, started asking questions -- just as she had asked questions when Bill Simpson was barred for allegedly blogging. John was reinstated.
One question raised here is: Why the double standard? When a female worker at Carnegie was accused of serial sexual relationships with vulnerable clients, she was never genuinely investigated. Witnesses weren't contacted. In fact, Director Ethel Whitty acted as though the people who spoke up were the problem.
Another question: Since Sindi and Colleen lock the doors of the computer room on a semi-regular basis, claiming that they couldn't manage to get a volunteer, couldn't their labour time have been put to better use?
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
A Carnegie staff person has also given a handout on Shigella to members who are sick or know someone who is. It is mentioned on the handout that Shigella is highly contagious. It is so contagious in fact that it is recommended that people avoid sharing the same toilet with a person with diarreahea from Shigella.
But Carnegie is failing where it counts. Last evening, they didn't even have clean trays in the cafeteria. If a person needed a tray to carry their dinner and dessert and drink to their table, they had to use a tray that somebody else had eaten off of. When people put their food on a tray and walk to a table in the Carnegie cafeteria, they often leave it on the tray as they eat, as it is common for the tables to have remnants of other people's food on them.
One individual who was diagnosed with Shigella last month, after eating regularly at Carnegie Center -- although this person cannot be certain they got it at Carnegie -- was shocked to learn that people are being expected to use other people's dirty food trays. "I was really sick for two weeks but it's been five weeks now and I'm still not totally over it," this person says. "They need to clean that cafeteria up." Carnegie just got an expensive new dishwasher, another concerned member pointed out.
At least one staff person does make an effort to keep the cafeteria tables clean. Members report seeing Jacquie wiping down tables, but many of her fellow CUPE members seem reluctant to do this job, claiming that it should be done by "volunteers".
A Carnegie member reported seeing a food server wearing rubber gloves, and operating the cash register as well, pick up a piece of food and put it in her mouth with her fingers. Then a customer ordered a piece of banana bread and she picked it up with the same hand that had just been in her mouth. Generally, cake at Carnegie is wrapped in cellophane but on this occasion the member says, the server "reached into a bag to get it." The member knows this food server -- who "volunteers" and is paid in food vouchers -- and says she is a drug abuser.
Public Health officials are tracking Shigella in the Vancouver. Time for them to swoop down on the Carnegie Center cafeteria and enforce stricter health standards.
The problem of the Carnegie cafeteria being unclean is an ongoing one under the administration of Director Ethel Whitty. The Downtown Eastside Enquirer has mentioned this and other inadequate provision of services previously, and drew the ire of Whitty who at one point was involved in a "witch hunt" at Carnegie to find tattle-tale bloggers.