Fiscal responsibility by government and public services prevents tax hikes or austerity

Sept 16 2017 – Kevin Yaworski – WiseUpWinnipeg
This is related to the City of Winnipeg and Province of Manitoba but much of this is related to similar fiscal responsibility that is needed elsewhere in Canada but especially so in Winnipeg.

Here is several interesting articles in the Winnipeg Sun recently if you have not seen them that are related to fiscal responsibility which is at the root of many of the issues our group and the public are focused on. I don’t know if it is the pressure from financial difficulties of Postmedia and reducing readership but they seem to be getting it right (unbiased) more often than not which was not the case in the past. Of course it depends on the journalist but many of these are unnamed.
I encourage reading the full articles when you have time and here is a summary and some commentary.

Tory’s in Manitoba about-face on taxes a betrayal
PC’s proposed Health Care tax instead of reigning in out of control bureaucracy and related wasteful spending.
More commentary here:
Restricted labour bids costing taxpayers
The PC Majority Provincial government needs to stop restricting labour bids to union only and the related promises to help allow the Province and Public to benefit from proper competition and higher quality of work.  Having to repair roads, bridges and other important infrastructure much earlier than expected at public expense from poor quality project management and quality of work is unsustainable.  Blaming the damage from our frost and our climate is bs as 2-3 hrs south of us in GF and  Fargo you will find much of their infrastructure build to a higher standard and lasting much longer with lifetime costs much lower.  It is time for the Governments, Politicians and Public to look past just the next election.

http://www.winnipegsun.com/2017/09/14/restricted-labour-bids-costing-taxpayers

City of Winnipeg has spending not revenue problem
Current Bowman lead City Council continuing the trend from at least Katz to mislead the public for the benefit of the few and at the expense of the many.
The un authored article says the City is not permitted to run a deficit by legislation so how has it racked up $1 Billion in net debt and gotten credit downgrades with Bowman and his Finance Chair having to go to NYC on the public dime to grovel (or influence?) to prevent more?
At least pressure from the PC Majority Provincial government for the City to be more fiscally responsible has lead to some changes including with WPS to reign in out of control spending
More info:
Learn more info about WiseUpWinnipeg and the many areas we are Advocating for on top of fiscal responsibility including how to contest unfair and unlawful traffic or parking tickets or MPIC decisions and much more.
New WiseUpWinnipeg Website
After the previous was hacked (info to suspect intentionally due to exposing of corruption with ACS / Xerox and related).
WiseUpWinnipeg Facebook Group
View to learn more and requets to join to be part of the discussions and ask questions.
Pinned post with link to previous pinned post with much info not transferred to new website yet.
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Equifax credit reporting agency hacked – check if you affected

Image: photos.com credit score

Sept 8 2017 – Kevin Yaworski

Over 200k US credit files with Equifax accessed by hackers. An undisclosed number of Canadians affected.

Here is some info and links to learn more, check if your credit report has been hacked, freeze it if needed and enroll in free or paid credit monitoring.

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-investor/personal-finance/household-finances/what-to-do-if-you-fear-your-credit-report-has-been-hacked/article36214718/

https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/

https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/potential-impact/

General info

There is three main credit reporting agencies in Canada and the US. Equifax is the largest and Transunion is one of the another two.

Your lender decides which one they report your credit status to. They are each required to provide you a free copy of your report if you request it. They will send by post or you can pay to access “securely” electronically but in this case Equifax is offering this service for free for at least US customers as a result of the breaches to help restore confidence.

Like any confidential information make sure you take precautions when storing it. Consider locked cabinet, pswd protected computer and files, drive encyption etc… Follow other security recommendation with routers, wifi, devices etc…

For more info see my blog post about protecting your computers and devices …

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Police Chief calls for increased speed limit – this shouldn’t be surprising

This story involes Edmonton but shows some of what is lacking in Winnipeg and its police chief plus what can be done about it.

In the CBC article below Edmonton police chief Rod Knecht calls for increased speed limit on road with “speed limit wrong” after many complaints about the City run photo radar program agressively targeting the lower limit. He based this decision on modern vehicle standards, well built road etc… (i.e safety and engineering standards).

Does this have anything to do with Chief Knecht coming from the RCMP in 2011 rather than hiring within EPS?

Similar common sense has been heard from Ottawa’s police chief who was not afraid to stand up to pressure from the mayor and city council in Ottawa to hire or divert more officers to traffic duty when they were needed to prevent and solve serious crimes.

We have not heard anything about the many artifically lowered and agressively targeted limits in Winnipeg from WPS Chief Danny Smyth since he was promoted from within this year after serving over 30 years with WPS.

WPS under his leadership did respond to the fact serious crime rate in Winnipeg being steadily high for years while the rest of Canada dropping but with lets wait and check stats next year.

When WPS Chief Clunis resigned last year it was suggested to the Winnipeg Policeboard that they seek and recommend to City Council a new Chief from outside WPS due to years of poor performance overall especially after the 64 page detailed report in 2014 found WPS the most overstaffed and inefficient service in Canada.

This and many concerns about out of control OT and other spending, inadequate investigation of police officers accused of serious crimes and a culture of harassing officers (bullying, denying promotions etc…) for speaking out about wrong doing.

There is many honest hardworking officers that are wanting to do more to help improve the trust, respect and confidence they get from the public but they are fearful of the consequences of speaking out.

Even Robert Taman resigned from the MB Police Commission (Civilian oversight) as a protest after an active WPS officer appointed to the commission). This and much more ignored and the 30 year WPS vetran Smyth hired.

Many serious issues with WPS raised during recent public consultations during Accreditation review and the report is due sometime after Nov. The public need to put pressure on WPS and City Council if they do not make this report public. The accessors forwarded on the concerns and suggested WPS review them. They included the contact info for those that agreed to this but none of them have been contacted that we are aware of.

Things can change and lets not wait for it to get worse. An overhaul of Montreal Police including change in leadership, policies including some targting a change in culture has started. This after corruption in Police and government exposed when officers caught spying on journalists who were doing the uncovering.

If you agree that WPS needs a major overhaul and new leardership to improve performance, efficiency and confidence contact the Winnipeg Police Board, Mayor Bowman, Justice Minister Stefanson, your Councillor and MLA. They have a responsibility to respond and have influence in this or related decisions.

http://www.cbc.ca/beta/news/canada/edmonton/police-chief-supports-increased-speed-limit-on-henday-1.4106544

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Has Canada been subsidizing a corrupt corporation for years?

Aug 27 2017

Are the latest wiretaps of Bombardier executives another sign of a culture of corruption and not an unrelated issue from the bailouts this Corporation has gotten in Canada as Prime Minister Trudeau is claiming?

Trudeau maybe choosing to ignore this evidence and previous allegations to prevent embaresement of his government or to try and cover up for similar behavior in Canada. If he wanted to be transparent he would ask the auditor general and if needed the authorities to investigate Bombardier funding and open up the books at least to independent auditors if not the public. Time will hopefully tell.

Quebec and other Canadian taxpayers have bailed out Bombardier repeatedly over many years with loans and tax breaks involving billions of dollars. Most of the details of these hidden behind privacy legislation with claims it will affect competative advantage.

The current Quebec and Trudeau lead federal governments have continued this trend.

Many where calling this corporate welfare and the latest news especially if more of these allegations proven only makes matters worse.

Canadians that care about where their tax dollars are “invested” or borrowed or their countries reputation in the international community should consider contacting their MP, Ministers of Justice / Attorney General, Trade and Foriegn Affairs and their PM to voice these concerns and ask what they plan to do. Putting pressure and working collectivily is one way to get them to listen and act appropriately.

Here is the latest news about this from the Globe and Mail.

Wiretaps of executives reveal details in Bombardier bribery, collusion case

Archive below if needed.

More on this story

Bombardier officials arrested in Sweden on bribery suspicion involving rail-equipment deal

Documents suggest possibility of more legal trouble for Bombardier

World Bank probing Bombardier railway deal

Related:

Bombardier’s Kremlin connection: the building of Prince Vladimir – The Globe and Mail

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Charges pending in at least the Winnipeg Police HQ and Caspian Construction Corruption Scandals – is there more

Aug 26 2017 – WiseUpWinnipeg – Kevin Yaworski

Finally some more news of this investigation progressing towards charges. It is worth while for the RCMP Corporate Crimes unit to do a thorough job to strengthen the Crown’s case.

Read the full story linked below and here an exert plus some important commentary main stream media are afraid to try and tackle.  I also included a link to more info as well as what may happen next and what you can do to help make sure justice is served to help restore public trust.

The Mounties would not reveal who could be facing charges, but search warrants and production orders obtained by CBC News have named contractor Armik Babakhanians of Caspian Construction, office manager Pam Anderson, ex-City of Winnipeg CAO Phil Sheegl, consultants Peter Chang and Patrick Dubuc.

All were suspected in various criminal offences ranging from fraud to breach of trust in court documents filed throughout the investigation.

Strange how Katz and Shindico not named this time but were previously. There is links to previous articles where they were.

There is also information to indicate investigations are also needed regarding serious allegations of fraud or breach of trust involving former WPS officer and now ACS employee Jon (John) Butcher, ACS / Lockheed Martin / Xerox = / Conduent Photo Enforcement, present or former public officials including former Mayer Sam Katz, CAO Phil Sheegl, BBB, IGF Field Construction and repairs, old stadium site redevelopment plan (loss of promised property taxes …), firehall land swaps,  Shindico, Parker and Hydro Land deals involving BRT Phase 1 and 2, Gem, Waverly underpass, other developers and at least review other P3 contracts.

Only once these dealt with properly will many of the doubts the public has about proper justice be removed and much of the public’s trust and confidence restored.

The RCMP Corp Crimes unit has said is under staffed and funded so these are on hold or not started (yet?).  Contact your MP and the Federal Justice Minister to ask my this important unit is forced to operate like this when the Liberals said they wanted to help restore public confidence during the last election, after the Senate scandal and other scandals.

Criminal charges will be sought’ in Winnipeg police HQ, Canada Post mail plant probe, say RCMP

130 witnesses interviewed, 15 search warrants and production orders executed in 2 1/2-year investigation

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/1.4258806

I also found this related post involving at least the firehall land swaps but do your research on the author and sources to decide how much weight to give this but some of it already confirmed by by CBC via documents the RCMP released from the investigation seizures and affidavits. These allegations not proven in Court yet.

http://blackrod.blogspot.ca/2014/07/sheegl-and-shindico-five-years-of.html?m=1

Read on to learn what you can do to help make sure charges are laid if appropriate and justice is served. Including what is needed after RCMP / Crown lay charges.

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Province of MB may have heavier hand in city of Winnipeg budget

City of Winnipeg Mayor Bowman and City Council didn’t get spending under control and now the Province of Manitoba is trying to guide then by requesting outcomes.

Sounds fair to many. There is not an endless supply of taxpayer money plus huge deficits and net debt won’t go away by themselves. Credit downgrades have already happened at the City and Prov.

Province may have heavier hand in city budget.

Joyanne Pursaga – Winnipeg SUN

Thursday, August 24, 2017, 7:11 PM

http://winnipegsun.com/2017/08/24/province-may-have-heavier-hand-in-city-budget

Archived below if needed

Commentary

There was an annual deficit before but Bowman led Council allowed it to grow mostly unchecked even after credit downgrades and net debt rising to nearly $1 Billion. This is all in City budget reports and records of council meetings available online. It was also covered extensively in the media.

They voted to increase debt ceiling, waiting to long to expropriate land so developer friendly land acquisutions take place and other influence, corruption or incompetence that should result in more criminal investigations, termination without severence or resignations.

They and the Police Board lead by Bowman appointed chairs gave into pressure from WPA and WPS after out of control OT (pensionable) and other unneccesary spending. WPS not permitted to strike but City Council didn’t require the arbitrators during negotiations to take into consideration what was sustainable.

They allowed continued double digit % increases for two years and only slightly smaller increases after. On top of this they allowed bailouts after to cover Millions in pension deficits, armoured vehicle, advanced rifles and other budget overruns. Generous pay raises for themselves while others frozen or limited to less than inflation.

Taxes going to rise

They can’t when they amoung the highest in Canada and same with most fees, fines and levies.

With at least one credit downgrade at the City and at least two at the Province plus the $1 Billion and $23 Billion nebt debt they are at risk of more unless acting. Failure to act will increase the already enormous interest payments even more. We would become the Detroit of Canada. It would be political suicide to raise taxes more or not reduce spending.

They are not cutting enough of the fat which has been one of the biggest issue so far. Many see this as lot leading by example.

Its going to get way worse as many city workers are leaving in droves due to poor management legacy left by Katz. Little to no succession planning in many areas, lack of knowledge transfer, critical thinking is discouraged, HR bullies, poor planning – its going to cost taxpayers in many ways. Many that have no choice and stay (think CUPE worker bees) have low morale and don’t care anymore. WAPSO (think managment) have increased their numbers and have double digit increases with big cash sick payouts.

Katz’s father in-law – a used car salesman is still employed by the city making over $75k as a “remarketing coordinator”.

Need to check City Annual Compensation Disclosure Reports to confirm. Assuming these complete and accurate. Does not include all forms of pay or breakdown of OT, severence etc. Even though last years Bowman hand picked EPC with Deputy Mayor Janice Lukes and Police Board Chair Scott Gillingham boasted in media that they voted to change this to provide the breakdown but delayed a vote by Council and then dropped?

They also do not list WPS officer names even senior decision makers not working front lines (not at risk of retaliation).

Bowman lead City Council (elected in 2014) has allowed WPS budget to continue to grow to almost 1/3 of the entire City budget at $288M while ignoring a 64 page detailed report and media coverage from 2014 that found WPS the most overstaffed and inefficient service in Canada.

The verified data showed 300 more officers than the City needed or could afford. Not using more of these on serious crime and recently cutting two serious crime units that partnered with RCMP officers and resourses but keep same or more on traffic duty ($afety revenue). They allowed diverting of officers from community support and other important units to revenue duty.

They allowed partnering with MPIC to pay some WPS officers with MPIC funds that should have been refunded to Manitobans after overcharging. Then officers directed to enforce with marked cars (visible warning) at locations with known and dangerous engineering deficiencies for ticket and demerit drives.

FIPPA exposed this and that MPIC were surprised when drivers safer than expected and tickets less than expected. So WPS decided it was fair and safe to ignore signed agreement and use unmarked and marked cars to park unlawfully on crosswalks, meridians, bus stops, after intersections etc…

FIPPA also exposed senior WPS John Burchill (resigned or retired than returned as consultant?) saying to MPIC the funds being used to counter City trying to reduce budget and hopefully the “data” show how effective this pilot “enhanced enforcement” is so we get more funding like this.

WPS with direction or no resistance from the City requested officers volunteer for OT (pensionable) for traffic duty when there is Transport Canada stats saying accidents well below average, a net loss after officer pay; pension contributions; much higher than normal rate of contesting and more OT for court duty on days off.

Add in higher court costs to the Prov (taxpayers) than expected from much higher than canadian average volume of alleged simple traffic matters per capita, more of the costly Justices, JJP’s, Crown and their admin staff; many cases stayed or reduced due to bad tickets, docket overfilled, accused well prepared, delays and more.

This all shows where their priority really is.

Fore more info see the regular pinned post (link in current pinned post) and http://www.wiseupwinnipeg.com

More comments:

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