Sept 26 2018 – Kevin Yaworski – Proud Canadian – Disenchanted Manitoban
Trust and Confidence in Police, the Judiciary, Governments and many other public bodies as well as mainstream media are at all time lows across many parts of Canada, the USA and some other democratic nations. This is especially so in Winnipeg and Manitoba.
This Globe and Mail article
and my comments below are just some of the indicators that many positive reforms required.
The article mentioned former Canadian Governor General David Johnston has written a book called Trust. In it he writes that democracy, justice and the rule of law depend on “a trust in each other as citizens, and a trust between citizens and the institutions that stand for and serve them.”
A few actions in Canada have improved matters but many have made matters worse depending on one’s opinion. Others have just divided Canada even more.
Premier Doug Ford led Conservatives using the notwithstanding clause in the charter to overrule a Court Justice decision and reduce the size of Toronto City Council from 47 to 25 seats as part of many changes to reign in unsustainable spending and inefficiencies in Ontario which was a major platform promise. The higher court granted leave to appeal and put the decision on hold so the legislation stands and Council is being reduced as part of upcoming election.
Several Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) decisions that upheld or reinforced fundamentals of our Democracy, Justices System, Free Speech and Free Press.
A few SCC and lower Court decisions that have been widely questioned involving several important public interests.
Maxime Bernier the Conservative MP
from Quebec has left the party to create the People’s Party of Canada
after irreconcilable differences with his former leader and party on several key areas. There is concerns this will surely split the Conservative vote next election and assure another liberal term.
Long term another party for Canada may bring us more center and balanced. There is examples in other democratic nations that more parties is better for public interests and less is worse.
In Winnipeg there is increasing serious crime rates, high or rapidly increasing rates of taxes, levies, fees, fines, hydro / water / sewer rates and public auto insurance which are among the highest in Canada while the public is getting among the least in return for almost all major public services. This is benefiting the few at the expense of many with increasing poverty, serious crime, reduced economic growth and less legitimate tax revenue.
In Manitoba and especially Winnipeg after continued incompetence of leadership, fiscal mismanagement and unethical if not unlawful influence there has been years of extremely high volumes per capita of alleged simple traffic and parking alleged offenses plus rates of contesting that has been taking over $100
million out of the economy each year and impacting low income individuals and families the most.
This volume, contesting rate, fine amounts and hidden costs are off the charts higher than anywhere in Canada. Most of these alleged offenses issued in locations with known or created and dangerous engineering deficiencies in proper signage, speed limits, intersection amber times and more.
In late 2016 deIays to go to trial for most simple traffic matters and many more serious matters went up to 24 months or more. I was in Manitoba’s Provincial Court as self represented for a charter challenge involving one of these simple traffic matters and unreasonable delays. I was successful after relying on information obtained through public advocacy with WiseUpWinnipeg and a few cases before me plus demonstrating a loss of public confidence in the system. Others followed and these combined to put pressure on the MB Government to act.
Unfortunately for the public the Brian Pallister led PC majority government followed the trend of the former Greg Selinger led NDP majority governments and enacted more legislation without due diligence, proper public consultation and debate. This and new policies also against public interests have taken away more rights and made others more difficult to use or the accused to even know about.
A similar case R. vs. Grant made it to MB’s Highest Court which is unusual for simple traffic matters like this but the accused abandoned the appeal after meeting with the Crown without their lawyer Markus Buchart present who was working on the case probono as a matter of public interest.
I heard Buchart was so disenchanted with failures in the system that he quit practicing law and is focusing on leading Manitoba Forward to bring meaningful reforms through political leadership and public advocacy.
The strong Premier and Mayor models and a culture of influence in place in Manitoba and Winnipeg lack governance, are resulting in MLA’s. Councillors and government that are more self and special interest serving and less focused on public interests. This has caused more loss of public trust, respect and confidence in the system. Similar is occurring elsewhere but is especially bad in Manitoba and Winnipeg.
There is other important public interest cases before the courts plus other steps being taken and needed to bring the much needed reforms to these public bodies and restore this trust.