Thursday, September 29, 2011

Minister Deb Matthews: Amputation of health care services

Mayorgate brought a report on the health rally that was organized at Queen's Park. On no-ad-lib.blogspot clear questions have been asked of Minister for Health Deb Matthews and of Premier Dalton McGuinty. Here in St. Catharines 35 innocent victims of the C. difficile outbreak. Months without any action by the provincial government. Hospitals in the Niagara area have had emergency rooms closed. All over Ontario information came together at the Ontario Coalition Health Rally of closures and cuts to services. Yet Premier Dalton McGuinty and Health Minister Deb Matthews exalted the Excellent Care For All Act 2010. Here in St. Catharines Minster Jim Bradley brags of the millions provided to the Niagara Health System and the building of a new hospital. Explain your millions of dollars and where they went to the families of those who died as victims of a health system in shambles Minister James Bradley. Tell an emergency patient being rushed from Fort Erie when every minute counts down between life or death to a new hospital in St. Catharines, how it is more cost effective for him to have had his emergency room closed in Fort Erie Minister Jim Bradley. People came together from all over the province to bring one loud and clear voice. Mayorgate brought a full report on the Ontario Coalition Health Rally,no-ad-lib.blogspot brought out the uncomfortable questions. Now it is up to you to make the decisions.

Neither Mayorgate nor no-ad-lib can support or endorse in any way any political party. Ontario Liberal Government of Dalton McGuinty has been put under doubt and questioned, the response has been a loud silence. Ministry for Correctional Services and Community Safety Minister Jim Bradley, Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Rick Bartolucci, Ministry of the Environment Minister John Wilkinson, Ministry of Government Services Minister Harinder Takhar and Ministry of Health Minister Deb Matthews have all been given an opportunity to answer the questions raised on no-ad-lib blogspot. All have ignored the questions. We have no protection after we vote any of them in, the Integrity Commissioner has proven that. It is only your decision and your vote that has the power to make changes. Make it an informed decision not one based on newspaper wrap arounds or roadside signs. Whoever you decide to be your chosen one we are stuck with them for four years. At times a frightening thought.

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Minister Rick Bartolucci: Democratic devaluation

Minister Rick Bartolucci swapped chairs with Minister Jim Bradley. As Minister for Correctional Services Minister Bartolucci was responsible for the secret powers given police to abuse our civil rights in the horrors of the G20 Summit. As Minister for Municipal Affairs he ignored his responsibility to enforce the Municipal Elections Act even when clear evidence was provided of illegal contributions and an Audit Committee hearing that proved to be a farce. On no-ad-lib.blogspot all the facts are provided. Minister Bartolucci even made an attempt to excuse himself through facebook with the author, but ran when the questions became too difficult to respond to.

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Minister Jim Bradley: Protecting a political pal or enforcing the law?

The way we govern our democratic process exemplifies our society. Whether it is the value of each vote cast freely without interference or undue manipulation, without voluntary censorship of information. Or the equality of our laws, enforced without bias or political pressure. Mayorgate has stood against inequality and selective justice. We elect our MPP's and our government, in return we demand equal and fair representation regardless of political expedience. Minister Jim Bradley had the responsibility as the Minister for Municipal Affairs to enforce the Municipal Act. Instead a pal breached his oath of office and the Municipal Act. Minister James Bradley not only ignored his duties and protected his pal he in arrogance provided a financial contribution to his pal's re-election campaign. All of this has been documented on no-ad-lib.blogspot even an attempt to bring this to the attention of the Integrity Commissioner for the Legislature, his response alarming. As Minister for Correctional Services and Community Safety Minister James Bradley ignored his responsibility to enforce the Police Services Act when clear evidence was provided of NRPS police officers intentionally falsifying official police records. The actions of each of the candidates asking for our trust cannot be ignored.

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Minister John Wilkinson's environmental equation: $ vs. the future

It is decision time for us in Ontario and our decision on October 6th will haunt us for the next four years. In making this choice we can not forget that the future rests in our hands today, what we do to our environment, how we really protect it will tip the balance for sustainability for generations to come. Environment Minister John Wilkinson has avoided all public questions on issues of great importance. The Ontario Liberal Government has ignored its own legislation designed to protect our lakes, land and air. All of this is in favour of the dollar and excused with considerations of economy. Question after question, fact after fact has been raised on no-ad-lib.blogspot. None of us can afford to ignore our environment nor our responsibility.

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Premier McGuinty unanswered questions

Mayorgate came forward to raise issues that involved the community simply because the mainstream media imposed voluntary censorship. We have the right to be given the truth and full facts. With the provincial election only days away Mayorgate brings to your attention questions and facts that should not be ignored. Through no-ad-lib.blogspot serious questions have been raised to Premier Dalton McGuinty. These will never be heard from mainstream media or through their sanitized reports.

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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

We The People Of Ontario Have No Protection

I make this statement clear and loud. We have no protection when we identify any improper acts by those we elect. Office of the Integrity Commissioner of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario says so in writing with the official emblem on top of the letter plus the French translation to the right of the official emblem in case you need it repeated.

We elect them but have no protection against them! That is the power of democracy in Ontario! As we consider issues of importance in the looming provincial election we must remember this. Place your X against your chosen one and then shut up for the next four years. Don't dare think you have any voice afterward. The Office of the Integrity Commissioner is only there for elected individuals to raise questions of integrity and conduct against each other. I can see him being the busiest individual in government. Somehow I don't think he needs any staff at all. Who in their right mind would believe that our elected would point out issues such as this against each other? Come now the wheel does turn and what happens when the shoe and foot are exchanged (sorry couldn't help that one).

For instance here in St. Catharines' home base riding for Minister Jim Bradley (the issues raised before the Integrity Commissioner relate to Minister Jim Bradley, read Double Dipping - Part Two (Part Deux) and Minister Jim Bradley Protecting A Political Pal), has a PC candidate Sandie Bellows. A story in the Sun newspaper by Christine Blizzard states that Sandie Bellows is a close personal friend of Minister Jim Bradley. Without hesitation Sandie Bellows survived hell at the hands of an animal. My personal views on such offenders goes way beyond bracelets. Sandie Bellows without question is an individual with strength beyond many and deserves every ounce of respect. But we are now in the minefield of politics. As much as I respect Bellows and her strength under no circumstances would I believe she would look at the facts raised against her family friend Minister Jim Bradley objectively. Jim Bradley is quoted by Christine Blizzard with these words, “I said we will start the campaign as very good friends and we will end the campaign as very good friends.” So much for the Integrity Commissioner and who he really works for.

The Office of the Integrity Commissioner did not clear the minister nor put his name in their response. The Office of the Integrity Commissioner took 14 days to review all the evidence provided them. The Office of the Integrity Commissioner did not advise as to who would be the right person to handle such an issue. The Office of the Integrity Commissioner only said they are not there for the public, the people of Ontario. So who is? Who listens to the people of Ontario?

My original letter to the Integrity Commissioner is posted to show who the minister is that is in question. The Integrity Commissioner left his name out intentionally only naming the name of the ministry. This leads to incorrect conclusions, it appears an intentional misconception presented by the Integrity Commissioner. I am setting the facts straight, this does not relate to any minister of the McGuinty government other then Minister Jim Bradley in his time as Minister for Municipal Affairs and Housing in 2010. The information brought forward to the Integrity Commissioner does not relate to the current Minister for Municipal Affairs Rick Bartolucci. The Integrity Commissioner intentionally left out Minister Jim Bradley's name, why?

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Friday, September 16, 2011

Ontario Health Coalition Rally

On September 13th 2011 I witnessed the power and impact of a collective voice of Canadians standing together for a common cause – to protect our public health for the benefit of all. Niagara was represented by two bus loads, wearing yellow shirts, carrying the memories of those we lost to the horrors of C. difficile. Fort Erie, Niagara Falls, Welland and St. Catharines found ordinary people who took the time from their daily routines to band together and become one voice. On the bus to Toronto we had seniors, those in between and even a young couple with a child. Sadly once again St. Catharines did not find any of our elected representatives who were willing to take the time and join together with the people who suffered.

I heard people recount stories of victims of the C. difficile outbreak, how a simple surgery resulted in death. Most alarming was information that patients had been diagnosed with C. difficile and isolated as early as February 2011. One key point was common to all, our lost trust in the NHS and our government. Yet there was optimism that change could come, that with the appointment of the provincial supervisor truth may be made public. Only time will bear witness if this is a false hope. For we were ready to join with Canadians from all over Ontario in a combined voice and combined purpose.

Upon arrival to Queens Park we were greeted by a sea of waving flags representing many different interest groups. Unions such as the CAW and CUPE together with banners from the Council of Canadians and the Ontario Nurses Association, the Seniors Alliance and more. This was not a day for politics, it was to tell all candidates that we must protect our public health care system for all Ontarians.  

The gathering of concerned Ontarians from across the province together with our yellow shirt brigade from Niagara at Queen's Park.

The first speaker was Natalie Mehra director of the Ontario Health Coalition. As Natalie Mehra spoke the true enormity of the situation we face in Ontario became clear. We are at a crisis point in our health care system in Ontario, nothing proves that more than what we faced in Niagara through the C. difficile outbreak. Ontario Nurses Association President Linda Haslam-Stroud provided a grave warning, she said that we “face enormous risk.... the future of public health care is at risk.” 

Both speakers spoke of the realities that we face here in Ontario. The combined sentiment was clear regardless of which political party was to win the coming election, health care in Ontario had to be the major issue to deal with. Following Natalie Mehra of the Ontario Health Coalition and ONA representatives was Niagara Falls Councillor Wayne Gates. Mr. Gates made public the enormity of what we face in Niagara. Ludicrous cost cutting measures that result in higher expenditures elsewhere on the balance sheet with no accounting for risk to the public. Wayne Gates brought out our sentiments towards the NHS management clearly, you should all resign! Yet the most heart breaking voice was that of Steven McMullen, the son of a woman from St. Catharines who suffered so much at the hands of a health system put in place to protect her and all of us in Niagara. Click here to listen to Steven McMullen McMullen's voice at times cracking with emotion as he read his words describing the horrors his mother faced. Listening to what Mrs. McMullen endured would shock the most hardened soul. A full public inquiry must be conducted into the NHS and its handling of the C. difficile outbreak. Since our provincial government has appointed a supervisor to run the NHS this now provides the Ombudsman of Ontario jurisdiction to conduct an inquiry. Every effort must be made to achieve this goal. A total of 39 innocent victims passed away in the Niagara area, with the greatest number here in St. Catharines. The NHS brings in a public relations professional to save its image. This professional has only one loyalty and that is to his client not the people of Niagara, not the people of St. Catharines.

Natalie Mehra Director of the Ontario Health Coalition

Linda Haslam-Stroud President of the Ontario Nurses Association 

Wayne Gates Niagara Falls Councillor & President CAW Local 199

Mr. Steven McMullen

Each speaker brought the same sentiment, health care has to be the number one priority for us all. People came from all over the province to send that message to our politicians. This was an opportunity for the three major parties to express their intentions and especially to listen to the people. Karleen Nation, a Candidate for York West to her credit came on behalf of the PC Party and braved the heckles. The NDP representative was called three times by Natalie Mehra but did not come forward to the podium. Premier McGuinty simply didn't bother. We were told they were on the election trail in Ontario. True Premier McGuinty was on the election trail but he was in Toronto. I guess he was too busy to make an appearance and listen to the people of Ontario.

Queen's Park represented by security guards and the long arm of the law.  I wonder if that cannon was left over from the G20 Summit.

We are faced with an election in a few short weeks. It is an opportunity to send a message to those who wish to govern. Our politicians will try and juggle many issues to appease an audience. They will speak of the economy and jobs, they will make promises on health care. We have to keep them to those promises. Minister Jim Bradley has pointed to how the Liberals have increased funding for the Niagara Health System. Then why the restructuring and massive cuts to beds, front line staff and closures of essential services? Putting those who are most vulnerable at great risk. Niagara is a frightening example of dollar value decisions over quality care gone dramatically wrong. WE HAVE HAD 39 DEATHS! Thirty nine innocent victims who went into hospital needing medical assistance and never went home to their families. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!! Yet with all the cuts and closures the management of the NHS still walks away with massive salaries. WHY? How have they earned any portion of it? I guess the PR fella will tell us how tough their job is and how they are needed. My response is simple, ask the families of those who died and how much they are worth. Ask Steven McMullen how much they are worth.

The march down University Ave. past hospitals and hospital staff.

At 53 this was the first time I had been at a rally or a march. I came here for my children, for all our children and for myself. What I witnessed has left me filled with pride, that as Canadians all too often we sit in silent acceptance not on September 13th. On this day we raised our voices together as one and forgot individual ideologies for one purpose.

We stopped the traffic on busy University Ave. but could not get the attention of our political leaders.

We can make a change. We have to!

At first I thought that Premier McGuinty or Health Minister Deb Matthews arrived to explain what Excellent Care For All Act 2010 really meant, you know better late than never.  But alas I was wrong.  So we headed home. 

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Monday, September 12, 2011

Selective Justice = Blind Justice

As a democratic society we are governed by a set of laws, it is what generally sets us aside from anarchy and chaos. Freedoms and rights are guaranteed by statutes such as our Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. We freely and without pressures of any kind elect our representatives to govern and serve the greater good of the community as a whole. The words of a man who rose to greatness through his fight for equality and justice stood both as an inspiration and a warning. Marin Luther King Jr. said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” So it is what we do in St. Catharines that reflects on all of Ontario, reflects on all of Canada. Our world is rapidly changing. Communication with the growth of the internet is simply at the speed of a blink, travel between our lands swift and efficient. No longer are we individual ships on an ocean but a flotilla brought together by tides of change touching and impacting each other without end.

Here in St. Catharines our municipal elections of 2010 had been marred with serious questions, first raised on this blog as yet not fully answered. More were raised on June 23rd 2011, this time in relation to campaign funds and further breaches of the Municipal Elections Act. These questions were raised by Eleanor Lancaster in official form with her submitting a Request for Audits of Election Campaign Finances to the City of St. Catharines Clerk Dan Carnegie on June 23rd 2011. Much had passed in the few short months since Eleanor Lancaster submitted her request. Also much has been said publicly in relation to the whole issue of campaign funds. This blog brought forward two separate updates clearly setting the issue at hand and even presenting documentation avoided by our stalwart of news media The Standard.

The Niagara Regional Audit Committee hearings brought forward excuses as to why illegal campaign funds were accepted. Some blamed the wording of the law as to be less than clear. Our City Clerk was blamed for providing incorrect information. Chairperson Pinder's decision shocked many. Law and its very reason for existence was swept away. Eleanor Lancaster launched an appeal through the court system. It appeared once again that it was up to the citizen to once again defend and enforce the law not our elected government. Indeed we are turning into a drive-thru society be it lawyers, cash, gas, or law. Our government only providers of the rule books behind bullet proof windows.

Now begin the greatest questions. Laws set out rather clearly in the Municipal Act are in place for a reason, those that govern legal and illegal contributions are vital. To answer once again a venerable figure of the St. Catharines and Niagara Region's political landscape, no it is not a pay scale for a politician's soul. So when Eleanor Lancaster brought forward her very public search light on selected candidates questions arose. She named six candidates and wrongly filed her request for audit against two. We have heard her reasoning on this. Eleanor Lancaster curiously brought her request for audit against two Regional Councillors to the City Clerk of St. Catharines. Before going on further it should be made clear that Eleanor Lancaster made this very public and has made public statements on several occasions on these issues. In addition Eleanor Lancaster herself spent much of her life as a public figure. In 1977 she was the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario candidate coming in second to Jim Bradley. She served as a Regional Councillor, vice-chair of the Ontario Environmental Assessment Board and chair of the Niagara Region's Health Services committee. Eleanor Lancaster has experience and a long association to politics. For this reason questions arise as to why she chose 'selective justice.'

To be fair to Eleanor Lancaster she has said publicly that she only looked at closely contested seats. She made an error in filing her audit request against two Regional Councillors to the City Clerk. It would seem that illegal campaign funds are illegal campaign funds regardless of whether there is a fight for the hot seat. One candidate with some of the worst breaches of the Municipal Elections Act on campaign funds was then intentionally left out. Mayor Brian McMullan although left out by Eleanor Lancaster from official scrutiny still faced the questions. Mayor Brian McMullan never answered them. He simply conferred with his campaign auditors. If Eleanor Lancaster did not have the experience and past associations one would possibly question less.

The Municipal Elections Act also provides serious penalties against the contributors. Who is to investigate them? It was up to a citizen to make a request for an audit and appeal an insane decision by the Committee. Who scrutinizes the contributors? It seems our Minister for Municipal Affairs Rick Bartolucci would rather pull the three monkeys act on this. Premier McGuinty sits on the bench with him, after all no one died here so why should he do anything. The government drive-thru only has the guide book on this not a 'how to' instructions manual. Questions still hang in the foul air as to why Mr. Dan Raseta, Mr. Len Pennachetti (once dubbed the unofficial mayor of Jordan by The Star reporter Susan Pigg), Mr. Nitsopolous, Mr. Rankin and others had the need to provide the illegal contributions. After all it was not only Adam who had suffered the wrath of God, but the temptress as well. Heck otherwise we'd be very lonely down here and maybe then heterosexuality would be considered as the odd game.

Martin Luther King Jr. fought injustice anywhere, he gave up his life for that belief. We have had brave Canadians sent in uniform to sacrifice their lives to bring democracy to foreign lands. Now we wait for the head hunt for candidates Brian Dorsey, Mathew Harris, Mathew Siscoe and Len Stack to begin. Selective justice is blind justice, whether based on gender, race, religion or politics. It must be questioned loudly.

A Canadian who inspired students and people from all walks of life, one cut down by illness and taken from us said in some of his last words, “Canada is a great country one of the hopes of the world. We can be a better one – a country of greater equality, justice and opportunity.” Selective justice will never allow Mr. Jack Layton's dream to come true. Though we, all of us, as ordinary Canadians can.

The greatest questions are to be revealed shortly and the answers are not comfortable.

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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

NHS: Excellent Care for Who 2011

It has been only a short time since we have said our farewells to an inspiring Canadian Mr. Jack Layton yet here in Niagara we have had to mourn once again. In Niagara we have had 39 inspiring Canadians pass due to the horrific outbreak of C. Dificile, 39 times we have had to mourn our family, friends or neighbours. Each one special to his family and friends and each one an innocent victim. More new cases are appearing in the hospitals with even a greater fear of more to come.

The Niagara Health Coalition held information sessions in centres across the Niagara Region. Here in St. Catharines, hit hardest with the number of deaths at the St. Catharines General and now 3 new cases, we also had the greatest insult of indifference by those we elect to serve our community. Stories of survival were both frightening and heartbreaking yet only one City of St. Catharines Councillor attended, Mr. Len Stack and Mr. Andy Petrowski City of St. Catharines Regional Councillor. Mayor Brian McMullan sent his regrets as he claimed he was in London at the Municipalities Conference. Our Liberal MPP Jim Bradley could not attend as he was in Ottawa, his bosses riding. Other councillors had prior engagements. Councillor Jeff Burch who in late July brought a motion in Council to investigate serious complaints about the NHS, and who has made previous statements regarding our health care did not attend. I guess we know how much your words are worth Mr. Burch. I still remember Councillor Jennie Stevens during an election campaign spill the story of how a constituent called her at night because of a plumbing problem (strange how they could not call a plumber) and she raced over to fix it. Councillor Jennie Stevens did not attend. Our venerable political fixture who mused over the value of a politician's soul and breach of the Municipal Elections Act didn't find it necessary to make an appearance either. Maybe Mr. Tim Rigby had more philosophical questions to tackle that night.

You are all elected representatives of the people of St. Catharines. It is the people of St. Catharines who have suffered for no fault of their own. The very same people you run around and ask for votes during election campaigns and forget once that is over. You all showed contempt for your office and Oath. Worse still you showed indifference for the suffering of your St. Catharines and its people.

We have to find an end to this horror. We cannot afford to lose any more of our family members or friends. The McGuinty government finally appoints a supervisor after more than three dozen deaths and the provincial election nearing. The NHS hires a public relations expert to save its image and supposedly to understand why the NHS has lost the confidence of the people of Niagara. Do you really need to spend that money to understand the obvious? Yet the people of Niagara fear going into hospital for even routine tests.

Councillor Jeff Burch is quoted by Zettel of NTW on May 20th 2010 as saying: “I'm not sure the change that's happening is totally focused on providing better health care, I think a lot of that is focused on cutting costs.” Were these words simply convenient to get attention Councillor Burch? Your absence and silence surely raises questions. Cutting costs has been the focus of our provincial government even though Minister Jim Bradley brags that under the Liberal government baseline funding to the NHS has increased by $100 million. If that is the case why has the NHS failed? How did the NHS reach such a crisis? As a government, or manager, how did you ignore all the signs of pending disaster and simply keep providing dollars? Why did it take more than three dozen deaths for you as our Premier, as the provincial Minister of Health, to finally step in and take action? In the end only one question remains. Why did the people of Niagara have to pay such a horrendous price for their most basic need? Premier McGuinty with his Minister for Health Deb Matthews bragged about the Excellent Care For All Act 2010, as the most important piece of legislation since publicly funded health care. Ask us in Niagara Premier McGuinty if what we have here is truly Excellent Care For All or for that matter, for any?

The Niagara Health Coalition is taking part in a rally and parade in Toronto on September 13th. With one voice we must tell our politicians, those in office and those who wish to be, that this cannot continue.

Thank you both Mr. Len Stack and Mr. Andy Petrowski for the care you showed to the people of St. Catharines. 

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