April Fools, Dunce

April Fools, Dunce

By N Oji Mzilikazi

Originally published in the Montreal Community Contact Volume 23, Number 08 April 18, 2013

Centuries of Roman Catholic Church domination and absolutism left such indelible footprints on every aspect of Western civilisation, they’re oft invisible, an unconscious influence, but inescapable.

Civilization years were numbered from the birth of Jesus. Thus B.C. (Before Christ) covers the period before Jesus birth, and A.D. (Anno Domino) which has become obsolete, the years after. 2013 thus speaks to the number of years since Jesus’ birth.

The awarding of a cup as the trophy to the victor(s) of a sporting event is of religious ideology; the cup represents the Holy Grail, the cup Jesus drank from at the Last Supper. It’s not by chance the Bishop is one of the pieces in the game of Chess.

Bishops represent the Pope; the Pope represents Jesus, and thus bequeathed with “God-given” spiritual jurisdiction over the world. The Pope crowned emperors and kings. His doing so, his approval, birthed the Divine Rights of Kings.

Kings ensured canon law was upheld in the land. Kings sent forth soldiers often with the cross or other Christian symbols embroidered or molded into armour, to subdue and convert heathens – steal wealth, expropriate land and property, wage wars of expansion and colonialism under the aegis of the church.

The Pope was the true font of secular power. Therefore it was imperative for kings, emperors –leaders, to have a “spiritual”/political advisor, thus the bishop. Chess reflects that political arrangement.

The inability to challenge the unfettered power of the church led to endless evils — in the name of God, and tyranny.

Quebec is the perfect example of the response to the tyranny of the Catholic Church in controlling, regulating society.

Whereas the majority of curse words English speaking persons are familiar went have a sexual root, the curse words of French Quebeccers are rooted in the holy things of the church: “Colis” is the Chalice, “Este” the Host, “Tabanac” reference the Tabanacle, “Sacrament” the sacrament, and “Christ” Christ.

Those religious-rooted curse words are so ordinary; its users might have no knowledge of their origins, the unconscious influence of the church in their lives.

A dunce is a hard headed person, someone who does not easily comprehend and/or learn. Dunce has also come to mean, equated with stupid. The roots, origin of the term is in religion, religious differences.

John Duns Scotus was a 13th Century scholastic theologian whose followers, the Dunses, refused to accept the new theology of the Reformation, and were deemed hard headed, stupid people.

Neither education nor position precludes someone from being, in West Indian parlance, “duncey-head” – stupid.

Doing the same things the same way produce the same results, can never produce a different outcome. Yet we have individuals, business persons, and organisations that persistently run their lives, businesses, and operations on weak, ineffective, moribund templates, and still hold out hope for success.  That is being a dunce.

Yes, self-preservation is hard-wired into humans.  But when aspiration to leadership is only to “eat ah food,” and leadership is only about “eating ah food” at the expense of the people one claim to serve; whose needs and cause one promised to advance, it qualifies one as a dunce.

Political/Community leadership must have a clear understanding of the situation, mentality, and beliefs of their constituents, their people, as well as have very clear ideas for their betterment, empowerment.

Ideas must be profoundly dialectical for only well-defined strategies work.

Well-intentioned is not good enough. As goes the adage, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” And, I must add, “and corpses of the dunce and those who empower dunces.”

Colonialism hard-wired self-hate, self-sabotage, procrastination, issues with authority both real and perceived, under-achievement, the inability to celebrate the success of others, the bad-talking of others, and the spirit of discouragement, thus positioning its children to articulate from the dunce template, and have only the dunce as friends.

Don’t be that guy/gal. Check yourself! Choose as friends people that are progressive, industrious, supportive, and are about betterment.

Though humankind has yet to figure out how the pyramids were built, science and technology have people today believing they are better, wiser, more intelligent, more enlightened, and even more sophisticated than the people of bygone eras.

Personally, I believe that that people are increasingly becoming dumber, stupid, dunces and fools.

April, as everyone knows, is the month of fools. After all, April 1st is All Fools Day, and boy! Have I seen fools this month.

From time immemorial, time was either calculated, measured by the phases of the moon or the changing of the seasons. Nonetheless, the spring or vernal equinox making day and night of equal length always occurred on March 21. Consequently, earlier civilizations marked either March or April as the first month of the year. Rome went with March.

The vernal equinox was such a marker of time that in the Horoscope chart/astrological readings, Zodiacal signs always starts with Aries, the period from March 21 to April 20.

Around 47 B.C., Julius Caesar revamped the Roman calendar and changed the order of the months.  January, named after the Janus, replaced March, and became the first month of the new Calendar. The end result was the root names of some of the months out of sync with their meanings.

Many English words have their roots in Latin. For example, the Latin word “octo” means eight (8). An octopus is an octopus because it has eight legs. October was thus the eight month of the calendar.

The Julian calendar repositioned September (from septum meaning 7), October (from octo meaning 8), and November (from novem meaning 9) to being months 9, 10, and 11. The Julian calendar was used until 1581.

In 1582, Pope Gregory XIII reformed the calendar, dropping days and the like, and it is what we currently use.

In light of those Calendar changes, it’s easy to see why those who held on the April 1st as New Year’s Day would be dubbed April Fools. But April Fools do exist.

Mayor Michael Applebaum alleged he was threatened with an ultimatum by Yves Francoeur, the head of the Montreal Police Brotherhood. Either he change his mind in regards to reverting to the old police time schedule or face personal attacks.

Coincidentally, it seems as if every week there is a new revelation that impugns Applebaum’s credibility and integrity; the latest going back to 2003/2004 duplex flip and building permit that he claimed were honest mistakes.

Notice Applebaums’s defense. “The laws were very clear – I did not have to declare this property because I was not the owner at the time of the declaration.” Even so Mr. Mayor…even so…

The heat saw the mayor arrogantly tell Montrealers “to watch a little less television and take a big breath of fresh air.” Though April fools would readily believe it was about the (light) weight of revelations coming out of the Charbonneau corruption inquiry.

Bernard Trépanier, “Mr. 3 per cent” hasn’t given up anything, has an answer for everything, and former mayor Gerald Tremblay and his right-hand man Frank Zampino haven’t testified as yet. I want to watch television to see how deep the corruption went, find out if anyone else/who else on the executive aided, abetted.

It is interesting to note that quite a few witnesses at the Charbonneau Commission paints Gerald Tremblay as innocent of wrongdoing, unaware. Though zebras cannot change their stripes, but people can change, thank God, I’m not April fooled or a dunce.

In May 1991, when former mayor Gerald Tremblay was Quebec Industry Minister, he was forced to admit that the Quebec cabinet had approved a $2.9 million loan to Raymond Malenfant and had agreed to keep it secret until April 1992.

Revelations of the legal but an unusual procedure came on the heels of leaked information that Premier Robert Bourassa had chosen the Charlevoix riding — which benefitted Malenfant, for its pilot casino project. Plus, it also emerged that Malenfant was seeking a $42 million mortgage on his properties from the Caisse de depot et de placement, Quebec’s huge pension and investment fund.

While Tremblay didn’t do anything wrong. It is my belief that people in power and/or positions, who play on the edges, walk the line, use “technical” points and semantics as escape hatches have to be watched, cannot be blindly trusted. For who knows when they’re going to cross the line.

On October 1, 2005, the Montreal Gazette ran an article about corruption at City Hall, claiming contracts in the millions were awarded to companies in exchange for political donations. The same thing the Charbonneau Commission is investigating, and to which witnesses have confirmed. Tremblay defended the contracts, and denied his party ever did such an untoward thing.

The Montreal Gazette, October 2, 2005, front page story was “Lawyers Top City Donors.” Readers were informed that “four firms that have benefitted most from city’s outsourcing of legal work employ attorneys who have contributed the largest amounts of money to Tremblay’s party since 2001.”

And Brutus was an honourable man.

An American poll asking voters about conspiracy theories revealed its findings earlier this month. One in four Americans think Obama is the anti-Christ heralding the end times. The breakdown: 20 per cent of Republicans, 13 per cent of Independents, and 6 per cent of Democrats.

Talk about the blinding and fried-brain effects of racism that turn its adherents into fools and dunces.

Given that Jesus was a Jew, who according to the Bible, came to fulfill Jewish scriptures and Jewish prophecy, but was rejected by them. It stands to reason that the anti-Christ could very well be Jewish, or an Ishmaelite, the half-brother of the Jews — and not a Black man.

Reading Police, Police Unions The Riot Act Part 2

Reading Police, Police Unions The Riot Act Part 2

Coddled for too long

By N Oji Mzilikazi

Originally published in the Montreal Community Contact Volume 23, Number 07 April 4, 2013

For all the complaints from chiefs of police, police unions, and police services across Canada about the weakness in our justice system, its lack of meaningful consequences, demands for minimum and stiffer sentences, and tougher parole eligibility policies, you’ll never hear them bytch about the sadism and backwardness of their officers, the pervasive culture of racism and bias that permeate their ranks, and the culture of impunity they enjoy.

The heads of police can deliver to the House Of Commons a breakdown of the organized criminal syndicates and street gangs in their respective province, as well as detailed crime statistics, but they will be hard-pressed to present statistics of: complaints by the public against their officers for police brutality and abuse of powers, officers misconduct and wrongdoings, officers charged, their punishment or lack thereof, the use of deadly force by the police against citizens who were no threat, or questionable circumstances under which deadly force was used.

You would never hear police chiefs tell the House Of Commons that corruption exists in law enforcement agencies, there is a huge increase in the amount of police officers committing crimes, and police unions have so much power, they cannot initiate change – bring a new culture to bear. And that the respect and moral authority of the police is diminished when there is no consequence for its agents who break the law, and that must change.

Police arrogance, together with repetitive failure to prosecute the criminals and wrongdoers in their midst – officers who violate their oath of office, as well as execute just punishment, tarnishes the reputation of the service. Have citizenry disheartened, and with no confidence, faith and trust in the police. The consequence is criminals embolden and the growth of criminal activity.

Rather than acknowledge their part in the process, police chiefs have the temerity to blame a non-snitching culture, fear, and intimidation for witnesses refusing to come forward, and the lack of cooperation from the public.

Police routinely lie, fabricate evidence, obstruct justice, commit perjury, take the law into their own hands, and get away with a slap on the wrist from either their own Ethics Commission or the courts.

For all the decrying of non-stitching by the police, police are its chief upholders. The “Blue wall of silence” protects bad cops, and makes rooting out abusive and illegal practices, wrongdoing, and criminal acts by officers sworn to uphold the law just about impossible.

In pursuant of solidarity in the face of wrongdoing, officers will create a culture of fear and intimidate other officers. Cops who investigate other cops are routinely shunned, also verbally abused, called a number of choice names, including “rat.”

Buoyed by the power given to them by the state, all-powerful police unions, and the lack of consequence over breeches of the values, ethics, and standards of the profession, police officers really do not care how negatively their behaviours impact.

Anyone thinking such a blanket statement is a disservice to good cops everywhere needs to ponder: Why it is the good cops never speak out, expose police wrongdoing, even anonymously? Silence enables. Silence equals consent.

The protection of guilty officers is so entrenched in police services, that in Ontario, the chief of police decided how a complaint was to proceed. He/she could refuse to deal with the complaint if in his/her opinion it is frivolous, made in bad faith, or it passes the six-month time limit to file a complaint after an incident.

As per the government website, an Ontarionian who witnessed police abuse or police brutality cannot make a complaint against an officer if he or she was not affected by the officer’s actions.

In other words: A resident of Ontario cannot act the part of the Good Samaritan and report an officer seen abusing or brutalizing a fellow citizen. But if an Ontario police officer should call upon a citizen to aid in the arrest of a suspect, and he or she refuses, they could be charged.

Yuh think it sexy? Law enforcement remains the only profession where officers are covered left, right, back and center.

In 2009, Bill 103 brought changes to Ontario’s Police Services Act, and the police complaint system. Policies, procedures and rules were that complaints lodged at a police station must make it to the Office of the Independent Police Review Director (OIPRD) in three business days.

In March 2010, Toronto’s Share newspaper reported that in five months, the (OIPRD) received nearly 760 complaints against the province’s police officers.

In April 2001, Anne McLellan, the Federal Minister of Justice proposed Criminal Code amendments to allow the police the right to perform illegal acts in the fight against gangs/crime. On January 7, 2002, Bill C-24 “An Act to Amend the Criminal Code (Organized Crime and Law Enforcement)” came into force.

Sections 25.1-25.4 The Law Enforcement Justification Provisions allows designated law enforcement officers (and those acting under their direction like informers, who could also be criminals), to break the law while investigating an offence under federal law, enforcing a federal law, or investigating criminal activity, without fear of criminal liability for any crimes they might commit in the process.

The police and its agents are thus assured of immunity in going after the bad guys.

Just as you cannot trust a pedophile around children, the mountain of evidence is that you cannot trust the police to police themselves. So in the face of such power, who is there to guard the guards? Moreover, would police breaking the law to enforce the law stop at gangs?

For all the talk of gangs, the police are a true gang. They come at a person or on a scene in numbers.

On October 16th 2002, 19 police cars with two officers each were dispatched to Concordia University to arrest Yves Engler, for handing out pamphlets protesting the upcoming Free Trade Agreement of the Americas.

And when it comes to protests, without name tags so sadistic officers can get their hurt on, and not be identified.

Since unchecked power has resulted in police officers being arrogant, dismissive of the public they serve, what is to stop police from being agents of Big Business/global capitalism, and use their access to information to intimidate, coerce, suppress and silence objectors – obstacles to increasing control and power welded by corporations?

The police have already criminalised dissent. In March 2011, they invoked article 500.1 of Quebec’s Highway Safety Code to squash the annual anti-police brutality protest.

Just last month we saw the effectiveness of Bylaw P-6, passed last May. P-6 bans masks during demonstrations and requires protest organizers to provide a route to police.

Giving the police a protest route nullifies the very concept of inconvenience civil disobedience intends.

Protests routes weren’t given. Marches were declared illegal, as well as protests were nipped in the bud. Hundreds were arrested, and tickets each in the hundreds of dollars levied, making “illegal” protests a financial boon to the City of Montreal.

The overwhelming majority of people who participate in social protest aren’t criminals, violent, or anarchists as spin doctors would like people believe, but conscientious objectors.

Protest is intrinsic to democracy, but not in the eyes of the police and political pawns of corporations and the wealthy.

The 2001 Commission for Public Complaints against the RCMP concluded that the RCMP “failed to meet an acceptable standard of competence, professionalism and proficiency” in response to protests at the 1997 Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) summit in British Columbia.

At the April 2001 Summit of the Americas in Quebec City, police used 5,148 canisters of tear gas and 903 rubber and plastic bullets on protestors.

In November 2005, the United Nations Human Rights Committee expressed concern over mass arrests by Montreal’s police. The report stated that since 1999, more people have been arrested at political demonstrations in Montreal than any other Canadian city.

In June 2010, over 1000 persons were arrested at the G20 summit in Toronto. After which, the Ontario government said, “Police were never granted special powers to detain and arrest people who came within five metres of the G20 security perimeter.”

When confronted about lying in having such powers, Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair nonchalantly said, “I was trying to keep the criminals out.

What length of rope is long enough so the police wouldn’t have to lie or act illegally to “keep the criminals out?”

In the face of worldwide opposition to globalization, G8, and G20 summits, are we to assume the police – a Chief Blair – are so knowledgeable, they know these things are in society’s best interest, so dissent must be quelled by new laws and excessive force?

As presently stands, governance is by the will of the people, and for the people. Ruling political parties pride themselves in having the will of the electorate. Yet we have repeatedly seen them turn deaf and blind to the very people that put them in power, and engage the police to suppress protests, opposition, calls for accountability.

Policing is a business of knowing. The unfettered access to information, including what one might consider private, like a person’s medical history, and “dirt,” stack things heavily in police favour. Thus, it’s easy to see why politicians, government ministers, prosecutors, judges, defence lawyers, and jury pools fear the police, and act in ways that are nothing short of curry-favoring, buying police goodwill. No one wants to “bell” the police dog.

If one should examine sentences handed down to police officers in court records across Canada, the discount sentence of “two years less a day” will feature prominently.

In nothing but collusion, prosecutors, judges, and defence lawyers do their utmost to ensure police defendants walk away with conditional sentences, so they won’t have a “record.” And when a prison sentence is inevitable, the least amount of time.

Police lawyers frequently petition the court not to have the names of officers charged, their photos, addresses or anything else that might identify them published, for fear of reprisals to them and/or their family.

Though there is no evidence of retribution or harm after an officer name was ever published, the courts have been very supportive in issuing publication bans.

Aided and abetted by the justice system, politicians, and corporate-owned media, the police have nothing to fear. Police accountability is namely, police accountable to themselves.

With the legislative, legal, technological tools, and weaponry police have at their disposal, continued unfettered police power is bringing us closer, moving society steadily towards a police state.

Reading Police, Police Unions The Riot Act

Reading Police, Police Unions The Riot Act

Coddled for too long

By N Oji Mzilikazi

Originally published in the Montreal Community Contact Volume 23, Number 06 March 21, 2013

When I saw Yves Francoeur, head of the Montreal Police Brotherhood on television last week calling for the firing of city manager Guy Hébert, over a report that Hébert tried to get Montreal Police Chief Marc Parent fired, and for independence between police work and politics, I had to laugh – at the irony, his brazenness, the duplicity, the underlying politics, the idiocy.

And had flashbacks to Yves Prud’homme, a former head of the Montreal police brotherhood, who called for the removal of Police Chief Alain Saint-Germain. Also Mike McCormack, president of the Toronto Police Association (union), who called for the resignation of Sid Ryan, president of the Ontario Federation of Labour.

Election law forbids city employees from engaging in partisan work. In October 2009, Montreal Police Chief Yvan Delorme sent an email to 7,000 police department employees telling them that Mayor Gérald Tremblay “would not impose job cuts within the department if re-elected.”

A clear call for officers and their families and friends to vote for the now disgraced ex-mayor. Yet Francoeur has the audacity to talk about independence between police work and politics.

Furthermore, when the City said it couldn’t continue to carry 124 temporary cops on its payroll, Francoeur demanded that the Mayor “honour his campaign pledge to not cut the number of city officers.

Union pressure resulted in the creation of a special “service brigade” so that 90 of the temporary officers could stay on after their contracts expired. A “deal” in December 2009 saved the jobs of all 120 temporary workers.

Interestingly, an exposé revealed the Montreal police “department has more officers per capita than any other major city in the country but one of the lowest crime-solving rates.”

A city can cut or eliminate services of any kind to its citizens, and lay off employees in any department – except that of the police. To do so is to invoke the wrath of the police union.

For all of Francoeur’s coming to the defence of Chief Parent: In August 2008, Francoeur publicly criticised Police Chief Yvan Delorme for failing to support officers in the aftermath of the unjustified killing of Fredy Villanueva, and the shooting of Denis Meas and Jeffrey Sagor-Météllus by Constable Jean-Loup Lapointe.

The police union playbook is solidarity regardless.

Toronto police officer Jason Peacock assaulted ex-girlfriend Kathryn Wells, a well-known Toronto criminal defence lawyer, on Christmas Eve 2010, as well as damaged her condo to the tune of thousands of dollars.

The Toronto Police Association still funded his defence. Even though it was off-duty domestic charges, and not by their legal assistance rules/criteria: In relation to an act(s) in the attempted performance in good faith of his or her duties as an employee of the service.”

Police unions expect police chiefs to follow the playbook even though they aren’t union members.

Thus, when in February 1992, Police Chief Alain Saint-Germain described the July 1991 police operation that led to the unjustified killing of Marcellus François in a car, by a police sharpshooter as a failure, union chief Yves Prud’homme took umbrage.

An unarmed and innocent man was killed, but the police chief dare not be critical. Over 2,000 members of the Montréal Police Brotherhood engaged in a mass demonstration against Saint-Germain, and demanded his resignation

Prud’homme was quoted in the Toronto Star saying, Saint-Germain grew up in an office. Saint-Germain doesn’t have police blood flowing in his veins. We’re controlled by a civilian.” I guess the loyalty of “real” police is only to their tribe.

When Francoeur took reins of the police union in October 2005, he issued a press release stating that one of his main goals is to make changes to the police code of ethics. To stop what he considered, frivolous complaints from the public about police officers.

Since complaints stand in the way of an officer’s promotion, Francoeur didn’t want any of his members having such a burr in his/her saddle.

So public complaints about officers can be frivolous, eh? You better believe it!!! For only with proof on video or film are victims of police brutality ever believed. And even then, there are no guarantees anything good would come out of it.

In August 2004, Ottawa police officers Shane Henderson and Tricia Nesbitt brutalised Montréaler Danny Gauthier at a Tim Horton’s, then laid charges. Upon viewing the video, Ottawa’s crown attorney’s office withdrew the charges against Gauthier.

In November 2005, an internal investigation by the Ottawa Professional Standards Unit cleared Henderson and Nesbitt of wrongdoing.

September 2011, Robert Bugeag filmed three of Montreal’s finest on St. Laurent Blvd. at their worst. The response from Patrick Lalonde, head of the Service de soutien aux opérations policières, to the officers’ clear use of excessive force was “images can be misleading.”

Surveillance video of 19-year-old Alexis Vadeboncoeur lying face down in the snow, arms outstretched, and kicked and punched by four Trois-Rivières municipal police officers this past February was not misleading. Neither were the October 2012 images of Stefanie Trudeau aka Officer 728, and a “thug in uniform.”

Like Officer 728, the four police officers were suspended with pay.

In spite of many movies including the horror genre, and a great majority of video games riddled with blood, guts, gross gory scenes, gratuitous violence, and teenagers exposed to, and liking them, Commission Scolaire Marguerite-Bourgeoys immediately suspended, and within days fired a 29-year old LaSalle high school teacher for showing a Grade 10 class, the video of the death and dismemberment of Jun Lin by Luka Magnotta.

A livelihood was lost because of what was inarguably a poor decision – and by a teacher held in high regard.

When acts of brutality and criminal acts by police officers rarely get them kicked off the force, (The cases of Richard Barnabe and Jean-Pierre Lizotte still cry out for justice.), poor decisions by officers are nothing. And what is most obscene, when officers are suspended, it is usually with pay.

On May 31, 1995, Montreal Police Constable Michel Garneau fired a single .357-calibre bullet into the head of Martin Suazo who was accused of, and arrested for shoplifting. Suazo was on his knees waiting to be handcuffed when he was killed.

Garneau was never charged with a crime. In 2001, the police ethics committee suspended him for 45 days without pay.

Lt. Pablo Palacios, who was in charge, wrote two contradictory reports in regards to Suazo’s killing. Palacios was charged with obstruction of justice, which was eventually dropped.

Lest anyone want to give credence to Suazo’s shooting being accidental:

On November 11, 1987, Anthony Griffin, 19, was shot dead by Constable Allan Gosset in the parking lot of a police station.

According to court transcripts, Griffin was ordered to stop by Constable Gosset and threatened with being shot. “Anthony immediately stopped and turned to face the respondent Gosset, shifting his weight from foot to foot; he did not stand perfectly still…At that instant, a gunshot hit Anthony in the head.

Gosset blamed his killing of Griffin on the accidental firing of his gun. Expert testimony proved otherwise.

Tested, the hammer of Gosset’s .38-calibre Smith and Wesson Police Special was cocked “1,115 times to see if it might slip back into place by itself. The gun stayed cocked every time.”

Even so, to avoid any more “accidental” shootings, police .38 revolvers were replaced with the .357, which was more difficult to fire, and less “accident-prone.” So why was Garneau not charged in Suazo’s death?

Talk about police unions having the government, municipal authorities, and justice system by the balls.

For over a year, the City of Montreal ran a pilot project that compressed the workweek of police officers into three days – the same total hours, but longer shifts.

A pilot project carries the possibility that it wouldn’t be made concrete. But since three days on, and four days off is sweet – one can put in two “whatever” days and fly to Mexico for a week’s vacation, the police brotherhood was up in arms over its forthcoming cancellation.

Never mind the workweek for millions is five days, with two days off, the Brotherhood claimed “First tier police officers are risking their health and family lives working the same hours that people did in the 1970s.” Really?

Working too much and working long shifts consecutively stresses, weakens the body, affects the mind, nervous system, and lowers one’s immunity system. Also drive persons to seek relief or cope by taking legally prescribed drugs to torque their cerebellum, concentrate, optimize productivity, and to even abuse alcohol and/or “recreational” drugs.

Factor in that police officers carry a gun, routinely face the ugliness of the world that the majority of people never see, and have to be forever vigilant, cognizant of the threat of danger, even in what appears innocuous, and long shifts can erode vigilance, patience, and sense of judgement – make officers more aggressive and dangerous to themselves and the public.

Yves Francoeur described “returning to the old work hours would be the same as rolling the clock back to the 1970s.”

Returning to the “old hours” will give officers more time to unwind from the stress inherent in their profession, the ugliness they encounter, crimes scenes of unspeakable horrors, and trauma.

This February, officers and their families staged a protest outside Montreal police headquarters. Officers then ramped up their protest to the return to original scheduling by boycotting their new, dark blue shirts in favor of their old, light blue ones. Give me a break!

Mayor Michael Applebaum reported that he was threatened with an ultimatum by Francoeur. Change his mind in regards to cancelling the pilot scheduling or face personal attacks.

In April 2009, the Canadian Police Association blasted Prime Minister Stephen Harper for not keeping his 2006 election promise to put 2,500 new police officers on Canada’s streets.

Ironically, that same month, Statistics Canada reported that overall, crime in Canada is less severe than it was a decade ago. Shouldn’t the reality on the ground determine law enforcement needs as opposed to election promises?

In 2009, Toronto Police Services Board was instructed to cut spending by 5 per cent. They approved a 4.8 per cent increase. In nothing but fear-mongering, Councillor Adam Vaughan, a board member, declared that the only way the budget could be cut is if police officers are taken off the street. Now, who would want that?

The Toronto police budget is one of its city hall’s sacred cows. Thus, scare tactics are annually invoked. When the Police Services Board requested a budget freeze in August 2012, Councillor Adam Vaughan immediately jumped on the “It will force a layoff” mantra.

While crime continues its decline, the insatiable need for power has police forever asking for more laws, more bodies, and more resources to fight crime. But don’t anyone shine a light on them or step on their toes.

To be continued