Tuesday, June 21, 2011

McGuinty's secretive Liberal 'closed government'

Len Greenberg reported in "Secrecy causing problems for Ontario government: ombudsman" (Ottawa Citizen, Jun.21, 2011):

"A spate of cover-ups in Ontario jails is raising red flags for the provincial ombudsman.
Andre Marin says his office has received a number of complaints surrounding use-of-force incidents by guards where there is no corresponding report or where pages are missing from reports.
“This is not limited to one or two institutions,” Marin said at a news conference Tuesday during which he presented his annual report. “It appears to be something that’s happening out there. And it’s giving me a tremendous amount of concern.”
Marin says jailhouse complaints to his office in the past have typically been about issues like “wilted lettuce” and “expired bread.” This past year a number of serious complaints were filed that pointed to a “troubling” pattern, Marin said.
They include several episodes where guards did not file reports after using force on inmates. Those incidents were then covered up. At one jail, a log book page matching the date of the assault had disappeared. At another, the written report conflicted with video evidence. In a third case, investigators were told an exculpatory health report did not exist when they asked to view it.
“We’re very close to launching a special investigation concerning this area,” Marin said. “Use of force used to be documented, it used to be investigated. And unfortunately we’ve found some serious lapses in the system.”
The Family Responsibility Office, the agency responsible for monitoring court-ordered child and spousal support payments, was the most contentious government arm in 2010-11, according to the report. It received 716 complaints in total. The Ontario disability support program, Workplace Safety and Insurance Board, Hydro One and driver licensing followed in number of complaints.
Marin also used the occasion of his annual report to call on the government to allow his office into Children’s Aid Societies, which consume $1.4 billion in public funds and deal with society’s most vulnerable people and yet are subject to no public oversight.
“We’re the only province in Canada that doesn’t do that,” he said. “Something is wrong here.”
Marin also chided the government for its secrecy instead of embracing proactive disclosure.
“Today the expectation is that information from the government should be available in real time, without asking. Public services should be open to the public, by definition and by default,” he said.
He said the thread that runs through his cases – which include investigations into secretive property tax assessments, insider wins at the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation and, most recently, a secretive G20 law that led to “massive violation of civil rights” – is “closed government”.
CHCH reported on Jun.21, 2011 in "Marin: province more secretive under McGuinty":      

"We have more communication tools and technology than ever before - yet we know less and less about what our government is doing.
That's what Ontario Ombdusman Andre Marin believes.
As Scot Urquhart tells us, Marin says a culture of secrecy has been growing inside the provincial government for the last six years almost as long as Dalton McGuinty's Liberals have been in power - and Marin wants government to become more open and transparent.

It may sound like the Ombudsman is simply making a very public grab, for more power for his office.
But as Marin himself pointed out, at the moment Ontario is the only province in Canada that lacks independent ombudsman oversight of so many of its crucial public services."
How many years - if ever - will it take before the St.Catharines Standard bothers to ask Ontario's most secretive MPP, Good Ole St.Catharines Liberal Jim Bradley, about Ombudsman Marin's comments?! (...or how about asking Liberal MPP Kim Craitor, then - why isn't Kimmy being raked over the coals about the C. diff outbreak? Doesn't the Standard have his number?!)
The ombudsman has uncovered a 'spate of  cover-ups in Ontario jails' - yet, isn't this the purview of... um... oh yeah: JIM BRADLEY ?!!?  Why isn't the St.Catharines Standard asking their Corrections minister buddy Bradley about any of this?!?
The disgusting Bradley hasn't even said anything about the killer C. difficile outbreak which has been gripping the health-monopoly in Bradley's own city for the last three weeks - while the Standard happily made sure - damn sure -  that Jim Bradley wasn't mentioned in any of their stories regarding this c. diff outbreak!! [Why: it's as if Ole Jimbo's got nuttin' ta do wid any o' dis stuff!!!! Vote for Jim!!]
Yes, "something is wrong"  - seriously wrong - with Jim Bradley's secretive Liberal scumbag government, yet, the St.Catharines Standard dutifully continues its own 'troubling pattern' of laundering Jim Bradley's Liberal underwear...

No comments: