Dropped by the Dawg House yesterday, and am pleased to report that the Good Doctor is doing very well. Healing nicely, mobile, in good spirits, and catching up on his Netflix while his recovery continues. He was deeply moved by all the kind thoughts, words, prayers and good wishes, and asked me to convey his gratitude to you all.
Readers may or may not remember my account in 2013 of a dentist in Camrose, Alberta, Dr. Simona Tibu, who was beaten to a pulp by a brave local cop, Sgt. Oscar Rob Behiels, after he stopped her on the highway for speeding.
She might well have been guilty of “contempt of cop.” She’s not overly fond of them. In any case, male punishment for uppity women was swiftly administered.
She was charged, of course, with assault on police—that’s just routine. And she was convicted, too, by a judge named Gordon Yake. The media, as usual, played along. They had originally refused to name the cop, and even blanked out his face in a photograph. Now they reported that her “bizarre behaviour” was the issue.
The thuggish cop in the photo above wasted no time after the conviction, suing her for defamation.
That case remains before the courts. But, in the meantime, Dr. Tibu has seen a measure of justice. It turns out that Behiels had no legal grounds to arrest her. Convictions on the bogus charges against her were overturned on appeal in December, 2015.
The judge was unsparing. Behiels made 10-12 demands for ID in 44 seconds: Tibu was given no time to respond before she was set upon. As for Judge Yake, she was as clear as can be: he had “misapprehended the facts” and “ignored evidence.” One suspects a bit of male bonding between the judge and the officer who beat up a woman who might have been lippy with him.
The Crown appealed, but was turned down flat this month. Violence against women was not, as things turned out, rewarded by the justice system in Alberta. With clearance of the faked-up charges, Tibu may now have adequate defence against the rogue cop’s defamation action. But matters should not end there. I, for one, hope that she now sues the cop and his department for everything but police badges to cover their modesty. This story cries aloud for a satisfactory ending.
UPDATE: She filed suit a week ago. H/t to reader trapdinawrpool for being more thorough than I was.
The pundits have spoken.
“The manifesto crystallizes an eternal conflict in left-leaning parties between the right of workers to work and the right of highly educated urban literati to express their opinion about how everybody else should live.” ~Paul Wells
“…a utopian and bombastic rant.” ~Lysiane Gagnon
And here is Rachel Notley, the flukey winner of an Alberta provincial election, struggling to ensure that the pitchforks-and-torches crowd don’t show up at the Leg again:
“These ideas will never form any part of policy. They are naive. They are ill-informed. They are tone deaf.”
At this low point in the NDP’s trajectory—centrist “Third Way” politics in the dust-bin of history, but a possibly irreversible ebbing away of anything like vision or alternative politics from the ranks of the party—some still dare to dream. This has caused, of course, the usual backlash.
The wiseacres in the Parliamentary Press Gallery, offering their fifty shades of grey, are at their dismissive best. Unable, apparently, to grapple with actual ideas, they posture instead, as they inevitably do when new ideas manage to enter the national debate. One might forgive, however, the terrified Premier Notley, fighting off the nightmarish certainty that she is a one-term wonder: who would want to be in her position?
In any case, the NDP passed a resolution at the Edmonton Convention about the Manifesto. It wasn’t an endorsement. It simply called upon riding associations to discuss the ideas expressed in the Manifesto over the next two years. Debate. Argue the pros and cons. But even an invitation to hold a conversation is too much for certain politicos and the tapioca-dispensers of the PPG, although the shape of our future depends upon how we resolve the key public policy issues raised in the document.
I propose that we have some of that conversation right here. I’ll hold off for a bit, although, to declare interest, I’m a signatory.
This, then, is the Leap Manifesto. Discuss.
From a United Nations news release in 2011, citing a statement by Juan Méndez, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment:
Indefinite and prolonged solitary confinement in excess of 15 days should…be subject to an absolute prohibition, [Méndez] added, citing scientific studies that have established that some lasting mental damage is caused after a few days of social isolation.
“Considering the severe mental pain or suffering solitary confinement may cause, it can amount to torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment when used as a punishment, during pre-trial detention, indefinitely or for a prolonged period, for persons with mental disabilities or juveniles,” he warned.
In Ottawa, a 22 year old man, Mutiur Rehman, was imprisoned in 2013 and held in solitary at the Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre for eighteen months.
He was driven mad.
No longer fit to stand trial, he is presently being held indefinitely in a secure unit of the Royal Ottawa Hospital.
The Ontario Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services under Minister Yasir Naqvi is supposedly “reviewing” its segregation policy. It is refusing to comment further.
And no word from Naqvi.
The product, however, has taken a quality nosedive. This account shows how sewer-pipe low the current replacements have been willing to go. The original Chronicle Herald story—written anonymously—combined hysterical racism with child abuse, as the paper went after elementary schoolchildren for allegedly choking classmates with chains and shouting “Muslims will rule the world.” The reported kid perps were identified as Syrian refugees. This story really had it all, without a single verifiable source to back up any of its claims.
Needless to say, the piece attracted the attention of scabrous bigots like Arnie Lemaire (who runs the “Blazing Cat Fur” blog), and was retailed by Ezra Levant’s “Rebel” effort and Robert Spencer’s “Jihad Watch.” But—whoops!—the story began to get walked back, piece by piece—and now has disappeared entirely, replaced by an apology.
We can soon expect dark insinuations from the Usual Suspects about the caving of the Chronicle Herald to sinister “pressures.” More likely, of course, the owners putting out this rag didn’t want to get caught in possible lies, based upon hearsay and bogus sources. And perhaps some of the players—let’s be fair—re-thought going to town on young children, whose physical safety at school may now well be threatened whether they did anything or not.
But it is safe to say that none of this would have happened had strikebreakers not been used in the first place. The message from management was clear: profit, not ethics, was the newspaper’s primary concern. Why should we be surprised, then, when the sub-standard writers they hired off the street took their cue from that?
In 2014, an Ottawa woman with a 10-month-old baby took a cab to pick up a flight at the Ottawa Airport. On the way, one of Ottawa’s finest, if not the brightest, Constable Jerome Belanger, pulled over the cab, forced the mother out of the car (leaving her baby on the seat), made her kneel on the ground at gunpoint, handcuffed her, and tossed her into the back of his cruiser.
After 18 minutes, he let her go. The suspect he had been looking for, who had allegedly stabbed his common-law spouse, was 1) a man, and 2) of a different race. In Officer Plodspeak, Constable Belanger “established that she was not a suspect in the stabbing.”
The woman made a complaint to the Ottawa Police last April. No doubt due diligence had to be applied to the case, so it took a year for the matter to come before an internal disciplinary inquiry.
But justice was done. The 14-year veteran, who couldn’t tell a man from a woman with a baby, and was racially colour-blind (which in other circumstances would be a positive) was given a penalty.
Ten days loss of pay.
His supervisor said in his ruling: “Police officers must know and understand that there will be consequences when they fall short of expectations.”
The NDP Convention is taking place in Edmonton next week. But the people have already spoken: under Tom Mulcair’s leadership, Today’s NDP™ sits at 11.7% in the polls.
Scant months ago, the party was poised to form government.
An internal party report has just found that the party is “out of sync” with Canadians. Gosh, you think?
Balanced budgets. Caution. Shhh, we don’t want to scare the voters. Socialism? Just be quiet. Pro-Palestinian human rights? Get out of here, we don’t want you. $15 billion Saudi military vehicles deal? Nothing to be done, a contract is a contract.
Well, you didn’t scare us, Tom. You bored us. You offered no vision that defines the party, that sets it apart from the sunny ways crowd. You pulled an Andrea Horwath, running to the right of the Liberals. You played safe when boldness was in order.
Now, to repeat, the NDP is down to 11.7% support amongst the electorate. How low can you go? Following you into the sea are a small handful of union leaders, hitching their wagons, not to a star, but to an anchor. No word from the Canadian Labour Congress as yet. Perhaps silence is politically wise. Certainly it’s a cautious approach from an organization that co-founded the NDP in 1961.
Blind loyalty. More caution. Just what the party needs about now.
Doubtless you’ll go down fighting. But fighting for what?
UPDATE: Well, this is a pleasant surprise. Bravo, CLC.