George Flowers, also known as Mr Flowas, has served his time and is now free and still in Canada. It is believed he is somewhere in the Greater Toronto Area, but I’m unable to confirm this.
Ladies, please be safe.
George Flowers, also known as Mr Flowas, has served his time and is now free and still in Canada. It is believed he is somewhere in the Greater Toronto Area, but I’m unable to confirm this.
Ladies, please be safe.
in April a woman was pushed onto the tracks at the Yonge/Bloor subway station in Toronto. She was able to get herself off the tracks before a train entered the station but suffered several injuries including a broken rib. The person who pushed her has been charged with attempted murder.
From a Vice News article of today’s date: “… (she) is also suing the TTC for $1 million because she says the agency didn’t do enough to prevent and respond to the incident.
Her statement of claim lists several alleged TTC failures, including the failure to implement adequate safety measures, respond to the emergency promptly, stop the subway train from driving onto the platform, and give emergency services access to the tracks to save her.”
Her claim is that it took about 30 minutes for the TTC (Toronto Transit Commission) to move the train to give emergency personnel room to rescue her.
I use the subway system frequently and am familiar with the Yonge/Bloor station. This is a two-level station, being a transfer point between the north/south Yonge line and the east/west Bloor line. From the fact the article states Yonge/Bloor as opposed to Bloor/Yonge, it appears this lady was on the Bloor or east/west line. That station has a central platform with trains arriving on either side depending upon direction of travel. The platform is quite wide for this is a very busy station. Along the edge of the platform – and this is true for all stations on the system – is a yellow strip about 12 inches or so wide with raised bumps on the surface, a “rumble strip” for pedestrians kind of thing. It is common for people to stand at the inner edge of this strip while waiting for the train. For the record, I usually stand well back, against a wall if I can.
‘“… adequate safety measures”’, which she claimed were lacking. I know that some subway systems, Tokyo comes to mind, have a wall along the edge of the platform with sliding doors in this wall. The idea is the train stops in a certain spot and activating the car doors also activates the doors in the wall. I’m obviously not privy to discussions within the TTC’s boardroom so can’t say whether they have examined such a possibility for Toronto, but I believe that at one time they did consider it and dismissed it because of the cost involved.
Another of her claims was “…stop the subway train from driving onto the platform,” I feel that last part is reaching. A subway train isn’t a Honda Civic. You just can’t stop it that quickly. The subway platforms are 500 feet long and the trains only slightly shorter than that. I have my doubts that a train, moving at speed is going to be able to stop within its own length.
It is the defence filed by the TTC that really has me worked up. Again from the Vice article:
‘In its statement of defence, the TTC maintains that the woman is herself responsible, at least in part, in addition to the assailant.
According to the TTC’s statement, the woman “failed to take reasonable steps and precautions for her own safety and protection.” The statement says “she chose to stand close to the edge of the platform,” “failed to pay due care and attention to her surroundings,” and “was travelling alone and unassisted on public transit when she knew or ought to have known that it was unsafe for her to do so.”
Her lawyer disputed the claims.
“There is video evidence she wasn’t standing that close to the tracks,” the lawyer said, adding, “How can you claim to be doing everything you can safety-wise and then in the same breath say she wasn’t taking proper precautions—and proper precautions would have been travelling with somebody?”’
In response to that last part, the lawyer also said ‘ “If she was a child that’d be a more viable argument but she’s not. She’s a grown woman,”.
So, according to the lawyer for the TTC this woman, who was in her twenties, should have had a minder. This makes no sense at all. Perhaps the 45 year old woman who pushed her should have had a minder. And what does that “she shouldn’t have been alone” statement mean for me? I don’t live in Toronto but make frequent trips to the city on transit and use that station often. I’m three times the age of this woman who was pushed. Does the TTC’s logic mean that I should also have a companion when travelling on the subway? Or should I avoid the subway all together?
The TTC’s actions here of blaming the victim for her misfortune reminded me of something that happened years ago when I worked for an automotive importer. At one point the Montreal parts depot sent a shipment of parts to a dealer located, I believe somewhere on the Gaspe Peninsula, by common carrier. Also on this truck was a shipment of tobacco products. The truck was hijacked mainly for the smokes and the auto parts were a nice bonus. Naturally we filed claim against the carrier for the loss of our goods. This time their lawyer didn’t blame us for the hijacking, or blame the company responsible for the tobacco. Oh no. Their lawyer claimed the hijacking was “an act of God”. The letter had been written in French. Once it was translated and returned to me (I’ve forgotten most of the French I learned in school) I showed it to my boss and said to him “I don’t know if we should consult a lawyer or a priest”.
I know lawyers have to defend their clients in cases like these, but there are times their defence arguments give the term “grasping at straws” a whole other meaning.
Here’s the link to the Vice article:
For the past three weeks I’ve seen news footage of the protests in Ottawa and elsewhere in Canada. These protests originally began against the federal government’s vaccination mandates for truckers who cross the border, but seem to have been hijacked by other causes.
Yesterday the Ottawa Police, aided by members from other forces across Canada, began disbanding the protest in front of Parliament Hill. The late news reported over 100 arrests and over 20 vehicles towed. In the news footage, some people can be seen and heard shouting “freedom!” as the police are leading them away.
My question is this: Whose freedom are you talking about here?
Nobody is denying you the choice not to get innoculated against COVID or wear a mask. That is a personal decision. But making that choice does not free you from consequences resulting from that. Other people have the freedom to deny you entry to their establishments. Governments have the freedom to deny you entry to the country if you fail to meet their health and safety requirements. Companies may have policies in place that state “you must be vaccinated to work here”.
Or is it your contention that your freedom is more important than the freedom of others? Do you mean you want to be free of any and all consequences of your actions?
Doesn’t work like that. Just because you’ve done something many people consider stupid doesn’t mean others have to abide by your decision. That especially applies when your actions can or may directly affect others. One of the common comparisons I’ve seen used is the combination of alcohol and operation of a motor vehicle. We all know (or should by now) that driving under the influence can result in a collision that would affect the lives of others. Under your definition of “freedom”, does that mean you should be able to drive drunk anytime you want and if anybody objects, well, too bad for them it’s my decision? Or is that different? And if so, explain to me why and how that is different?
As I wrote, you are free to decide not to get vaccinated. But others are also free not to associate with you.
DATE: Dec 31
TITLE: Get the damn shot
You say you don’t want the COVID shots because you don’t know what’s in them.
Look at it this way: when you were young your parents had you vaccinated against various things such as measles and smallpox. Neither you nor they knew what was in them. I remember lining up in school to get a Salk polio vaccine. I doubt strongly whether my parents of teachers knew what was in that needle. They just knew it would cure polio. If you were in the military there were various odd things jabbed into your arms and you had no idea exactly what the hell was being injected into you. Therefore your “I don’t know what’s in the COVID shot” doesn’t hold water. You’ve had mystery substances put into you since you were a child and you’re still here.
Let’s look at what you’ve heard is in the serum: microchips. Each vial contains about five adult shots so the chances of you getting the shot with the chip are one in five. In order to ensue that every dose would contain a chip there would need to be enough chips in the vial to be visible to the naked eye. And since every vial I’ve seen, either in person or on the news, is clear I doubt there are microchips in the serum. I also doubt you’re important enough to be tracked.
If you’re throwing up these smokescreens then you are afraid to admit you’re scared of needles or you’ve been misled by scaremongers.
This pandemic is real and COVID 19 is killing people. Get the damn shot.
Thanks to my son for the comments on the microchips.
Today is June 29. On this date I usually change my profile picture on Facebook to a Canadian flag, or a photo of a maple leaf and leave it up until July 5 because that brackets both Canada Day, July 1 and Independence Day in the US, July 4. But not this year.
I’m still a proud Canadian, but this doesn’t seem like the year to celebrate this country. Here are three numbers to help explain why: 215 – 104 – 751. If you’re among my followers and readers from other countries you might not grasp the meaning of these numbers, but if you’re Canadian, I’m quite certain you understand at least the first and last of these.
For those who for various reasons – COVID 19 takes up much of most newscasts – aren’t aware, those three sets of numbers represent the numbers of unmarked graves recently located by various means, including ground penetrating radar, at the sites of now defunct residential schools.
215, Kamloops B C at a school run by the Roman Catholic Church.
104, southwestern Manitoba. None of the news articles I can locate mention which church ran this school. This didn’t seem to receive the same amount of national coverage as the other two.
751, southeastern Saskatchewan at a school run by the Roman Catholic Church.
Following is an abridged definition and history of the residential school system from The Canadian Encyclopaedia:
Residential schools were government-sponsored religious schools that were established to assimilate Indigenous children into Euro-Canadian culture. Although the first residential facilities were established in New France, the term usually refers to schools established after 1880. Residential schools were created by Christian churches and the Canadian government as an attempt to both educate and convert Indigenous youth and to assimilate them into Canadian society. However, the schools disrupted lives and communities, causing long-term problems among Indigenous peoples.
… residential schools became part of government and church policy from the 1830s on, with the creation of Anglican, Methodist, and Roman Catholic institutions in Upper Canada (Ontario). The oldest continually operating residential school in Canada was the Mohawk Institute in what is now Brantford, Ontario. This began as a day school for Six Nations boys, but in 1831 it started to accept boarding students.
Survivors of these schools speak of harsh conditions: forbidden to speak their native languages upon threat of punishment; the boys forcibly having their hair cut, and physical and sexual abuse. A survivor from the Kamloops school, in an interview, said that if a child suddenly vanished overnight, it was assumed they had simply run away, and the schools would encourage that assumption. The overall aim of these schools, in the words of one survivor interviewed, was “to take the Indian out of the child”.
The Roman Catholic order than ran the Kamloops school has announced they will provide whatever documentation they still have to aid in the identification of these 215 poor unfortunate children. I’ve not read or heard of any such offers regarding the Manitoba and Saskatchewan sites. Both the Ontario and federal government have announced they will make funds available to help in the search for unmarked graves and identification of the remains.
I realize that now, in 2021,society’s attitudes have changed greatly since these schools were introduced, but I can think of nothing at any time in history, not just the history of Canada but the history of the world, to justify such treatment of children.
I can’t say if the news of these discoveries in Canada had any bearing on it, but Deb Haaland, the American Secretary of the Interior this past week announced an investigation into the American version of residential schools. I’d like to be optimistic, but I fear that investigation will reveal similar events in the US.
As a result of these sad and tragic announcements, many cities and towns are cancelling their planned Canada Day celebrations. They too find it hard to celebrate this nation’s birthday.
We as a nation have failed these children and I personally don’t think we have anything to celebrate this year. Maybe next year.
Following is an excerpt from The St Catharines Standard of March 13, 2020:
Upcoming criminal and civil jury trials in Niagara and across Ontario have been suspended as a precaution to keep the public and staff safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice announced.
In a statement issued late Thursday, Chief Justice Geoffrey Morawetz said anyone who has received a summons for jury duty for an upcoming trial does not need to attend court.
“The safety of all who use and rely upon the court is essential,” the statement reads. “Equally important is continued access to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice should COVID-19 disrupt court operations.”
Officials said small claims court cases have also been temporarily halted.
So it appears George Flowers will be staying in jail while the Province of Ontario finds a way to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.
If or when there is a change in this status, I’ll write more.
There can be a very fine line between free speech and hate speech but there are times when it can be difficult for the audience to determine whether the speaker crosses that line. In some cases, the listener’s perception is shaped by their personal views on the topic being discussed.
Last week a woman named Megan Murphy spoke at a public library in Toronto, and then later in the week, spoke at a venue in Vancouver. Both events were met with protests by the LGBT community regarding the content of her speeches. From what I could find on the website for her magazine, it appears she is very anti-trans, if not anti-LGBT in general.
Full disclosure here: I’m a transwoman. According to Ms Murphy, I am therefore not a woman by any definition. From articles I’ve read, she persists upon misgendering transmen and transwomen. But what really upsets me about her attitudes and pronouncements is that she has stated that when Ottawa passed Bill C-16, which, in essence, made trans people equal, in all ways, to the rest of the population, it diluted the rights of ciswomen. I could find nothing on her site to support her claim.
I spoke with two women on this issue. One said that I now had the same rights as she, and it in no way weakened her legal protections. The other said the following: Giving trans women, or trans people in general, doesn’t take away my rights; in fact, it does the opposite, because by pushing for the rights of another group of people, I am pushing for the rights of ALL people.
There you have the views of two women, one an artist and one a chef. That I now enjoy the same legal protections – and by extension, the same responsibilities – as do they, makes no difference to their lives.
Members of the transgender community already face discrimination on a frequent, if not daily, basis. There is enough violence directed toward the LGBT community and we don’t need people like Megan Murphy stirring up more animosity toward us, which her views have the potential to incite.
I have always been a proponent of free speech. It is because of that right I’m able to write some of the things I do in these blogs. At the same time, I am aware that using that right can be a balancing act because, as I wrote above, the perception of the reader can determine whether or not my words are hateful, or just mean-spirited. In my opinion, if Ms Murphy wasn’t guilty of hate speech in her presentations in Toronto and Vancouver, she was certainly skating very, very close to that fine line between free speech and hate speech and needs to be taken to task for her words and actions.
In late November 2018, I was asked by my doctor if I could be available for media interviews in late January. St Michael’s Hospital in Toronto had conducted a study of 120 trans people and found that, on average, trans people were 60% less likely to get screened for any form of cancer. The interviews with CTV network and Canadian Press were held this past Monday, January 21 and were related to the release of this study. The study itself was released on Wednesday January 23.
in my remarks, I stated that in my view, there were two main reasons for such a low screening rate. The first of these is a lack of training on the part of the medical profession. As I’m sure my trans readers are aware, many doctors and nurses have little or no training in trans health issues. Here in Ontario it is possible to change the gender marker on identification documents without having had any surgery. So, given that documents show one gender, and the appearance of the patient matches that identifier, the caregiver may not consider screening for certain types of cancer. For instance, if faced with what the documentation and appearance indicates “male”, the caregiver may not know the person in front of them was born female and consider screening for cervical cancer.
Again, if a transwoman is present, the idea of screening for prostrate cancer may not be considered.
The second problem lies within the trans population itself. I know that we are under pressure, often self-imposed, to blend in, or “pass” as our correct gender. The one place that can be a detriment is in our health care. First, let me state I’m fortunate in that my caregiver at St Mike’s is well-versed in trans medicine. Others may not have that luxury. If, as happens, you changed doctors after you transitioned, unless you’ve had a full physical exam with this new doctor, they may not be aware you were not born as you now present. And they won’t know this unless you tell them. I know that advice is probably not want you want to hear, but we’re talking about something that may save your life so maybe – just this once – you could break down that barrier you’ve erected between now and the past.
This is something you really do need to worry about.
I’ve had trouble in the past posting links on WordPress, so if you want the links to both the televised interview and the print interview, just ask and I’ll provide them in a response to a comment.
I am really worried about the future of the United States of America. Let me explain my concerns. Since the spring of 2017, America appears to be on a downward spiral.
Thanks to the rhetoric of the apprentice president, the country seems to be more divided than at any other time in recent history. Emboldened by the vile words that emanated from the election campaign, and the apparent tacit approval of the Oval Office, the white supremacists and other nationalistic groups have attacked, verbally and physically, minorities; people of colour and people of other faiths. Has the apprentice done or said anything to alleviate this dissent and social unrest? No. In fact, when referring to the Charlottesville murder, he is quoted as saying there were probably “good people” on both sides. How the hell can someone who deliberately ran their vehicle into a group of peaceful demonstrators, killing one, be called a “good person?” Just about every day, there are reports of some white person calling the police because they see some black person doing something innocent. The comments issuing from the White House and some of the legislation and executive orders are doing nothing to ease the “us against them’ mentality that seems to have taken hold in the so-called “land of the free”. Or does that phrase have an asterisk after it now: *provided you’re a white American citizen?
Immigrants are being targeted. We’ve all seen or heard of the current situation where children of all ages are being separated from their parents if they try to cross the southern border outside a regular border-crossing point.
The economy is another area the apprentice president seems to be intent on destroying. Trade barriers in the form of tariffs while good in theory, don’t work in practice. When a country imposes punitive duties on imports, two things happen. First, imported goods become more expensive. If the goods are materials for the manufacture of products, the costs are passed along to the end user – you. If finished products are imported, the same thing happens – you end up paying more for that product. Why is this? Simple. Because the manufacturer or importer isn’t going to eat those additional costs since it will affect their profits, therefore the consumer pays more. The second thing trade barriers do is cause the countries affected by American import duties to retaliate by imposing their own extra duties on American products. The result? The other country will buy less from American suppliers because of the extra duties; and they’ll find a manufacturer in some other country that can provide goods of a comparable quality at a lower cost. According to a news report I saw tonight on one of the news channels, at the moment, Washington has imposed punitive extra duties on goods from countries, and had those countries impose similar duties on American goods, that account for two-thirds of American foreign trade. I have read in the last couple of days that BMW, which manufactures vehicles in the US, is going to move some production to China to avoid the tariffs the Chinese have imposed on the import of automobiles manufactured in the US. Even if you’re not an economics major, you know what effect those actions are going to have on the economy of the United States? If you said they will cost jobs, you pass the course.
Internationally, in addition to the imposition of trade barriers, the apprentice appears to have made it his personal mission to alienate nations that have long been staunch allies of the US. His habit of meddling or commenting on the internal affairs of other nations have done much to ensure that other countries don’t like America much right now. Just today, at the NATO meeting in Brussels, he tore a strip of Germany for their reliance on natural gas from Russia, going so far as to call Germany “a slave of Russia”. I’m certain that Angela Merkel loved hearing that from someone many in her country consider a buffoon. In the meantime, while driving allies away, he is making efforts to become friends with Vladimir Putin, the leader of a country long considered America’s sworn enemy.
The military is another area that seems to have attracted the attention of “the powers? that be”. Having failed to have any and all transgender members discharged, they have turned their attention to immigrants serving in the armed forces. Some are being discharged, often with no reason given, or a vague “national security” reason, with no specifics provided. Such action can only serve to weaken morale in the armed forces. Having worked for a company that at one time, was reducing staff, I know that such actions lead to a general feeling of “am I going to be here next week? Or am I the next on the chopping block?”
A country divided internally by strife; with a struggling economy and a weakened and demoralized military is a prime target for some power with a hatred of the US to consider an attack of some type. This may not be an actual physical occupation, it could take the form of an economic takeover of the United States instead. No fuss, no muss and the objective is still achieved.
I seriously hope I’m wrong, but from what I’ve seen, this appears to be very possible.
Yesterday there was a murder on the Toronto subway. According to both news reports and interviews with the investigating officer, a man deliberately pushed another individual in front of an oncoming subway train. Based upon video evidence provided by the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) and statements from witnesses, the police have charged this man with first degree murder, but the investigation is still active.
As is usual in cases such as this, the media has interviewed people who were either on the platform at the time, or were affected by the closure of the station. Naturally people were upset with having to use shuttle buses, or walk a block to the nearest open station, but their upset usually subsided when they learned the reason for the closure. One man however, had a different view. His comment was “it’s the TTC’s fault.”
Pardon me. Would you kindly explain how you figure it is the TTC’s fault that one person deliberately killing another on TTC property is the fault of the transit service? I readily admit that there are times I’m not a fan of the service provided, but generally I find the service to be efficient. And what was the TTC’s fault? Was it that they let a person onto the system who may have been angry at the world? Or that they had to close the Bloor/Yonge station for the police investigation, which caused you some inconvenience? Granted yesterday was hot (92F, feeling like 109F [33C and 43C]) but a one block walk to an open station wouldn’t have been too uncomfortable.
City Hall has conducted a study on the feasibility of installing barriers such as Tokyo uses to prevent passengers from falling/jumping/being pushed in front of trains. The cost of upgrading stations and installing these barriers is currently estimated at over a billion dollars. Would our man who blames the TTC be willing to see a fare increase to help offset this cost? I doubt it.
Blaming the TTC for the actions of one individual, not an employee of the system, for something beyond the control of the TTC is childish. The ease with which he made that statement makes me suspect he is one of those people who constantly blames others for any inconvenience he encounters. About time he learned the world isn’t out to get him.
My sympathies to out to the family and friends of the man who died.