THE DEMOCRATIC REPORTER
Pages of Special Interest;
Other Table of Contents;
|Mark Feyz <email@example.com> |
Some of his interesting & insightful letters and he is responsible for their content;
November 10, 2000
October 27, 2000
February 14, 2000
August 21, 1999
March 12, 1999
March 10, 1999
October 13, 1998
October 3, 1998
By: Mark Feyz November 10, 2000
Burdening the law abiding and letting the outlaws loose
Whether the City by-laws are nonexistent, or, they exist and are hardly enforced by the City, the result is no control by law. But, no control by law means lawlessness, and based on the number of unenforced by-laws such as the Mississauga Fence By-law, we may conclude that we are living in lawlessness.
Those elected to the helms of our present municipal governments must realize that in anarchy and lawlessness their contributions are short-lived unless they start with the enforcement of all local by-laws. We are all expected to make self-sacrifices in obeying the law for the greater good that law yields when observed by all. By not enforcing the law, our government is rewarding outlaws with their short-term gains from breaking the law. At the same time, those who obey the law and make self-sacrifices do not realize the greater good since many are allowed to break the law.
Is Mississauga a heaven for lawbreakers? How high does it go in the government? To answer these questions one may have to first ask what are the characteristics of a government whose leaders are in contempt of law?
1 - Tough laws that exist to burden the law abiding people with the constant reminder that they are expected to know the law and obey it even though most lawyers know only a fraction of the laws on the book. The outlaws, including any rogue leadership and their government employee, do not obey the law; therefore, they are not burdened by the presence of their own tough laws. Their excuse for the status quo is often the inadequate funding for the need of a larger law enforcement. But, one give away clue is that the problem has been with the system even when the government has been flush with money.
2 - Individual freedom and democracy is frequently an early victim of a rogue government. At the law making stage, it can be simply achieved by using vague, undefined, and subjective words and phrases that allow a rogue government to interpret the law to its liking. For example, " the City has a 'zero-tolerance' position for using mechanisms such as posters, signage and brochures, advertisements, community displays, media releases, and the Internet that is considered by the City as 'aggressive approaches' or 'attempts to intimidate' the City officials" is a statement that if it appears in a city policy or by-law its presence is indicative of a rogue government, preoccupied with governance at any price!
3 - Paranoia and insecurity is often concealed behind a wall of brass.
4 - Past history of run-in with the law is not uncommon in the rank and file and even in the leadership of a rogue government.
5 - Tight cover-up of information on the internal day-to-day running of
6 - Occasional entanglement of the inner circle members with the law. There is an idiom that birds of a feather flock together. When used to know a leader, it means the company that a leader of government keeps may be indicative of the leader. If so, you may want to keep an eye on the friends of a suspected rogue leader, such as a deputy or a former acting leader, and note when some of the members of the same feather get entangled with the laws of other jurisdictions. Clearly, they have a smaller influence over other legal jurisdictions than in their own territory where even the local media may cooperate with them.
7 - Clinging to power at any price. One reason is that as long as the leader is in the office a lid can be placed on secret cover-ups and illegalities that have been committed by the government. Thus, it is a matter of self-preservation for a rogue leader not to retire at any cost. Some rogue leaders purge all government records regularly, but, this has proven to be an ineffective and scandalous tactic. To avoid becoming a hostage of a rogue leader, many countries have safeguarded their freedom and democracy by placing a limit of two or three terms of office on their elected leaders.
8 - Generous treatment of government employees at expense of the public particularly at tough economic times or when a government employee has had a run-in with the law. People in community usually talk about specific cases where a government employee may have diverted government resources and facilities for his private use at home or when a government employee has vandalized his neighbour's property and got away with it. This formula of building a government at expense of the public goes back to many years. The latest Soviet Union just did that under a false banner of communism. History shows the public always prevails.
9 - A small fraction of population elects the leaders at election times.
10 - Hidden racial, ethnic, and other biases that reflect in the lack of a
Just how many of the above characteristics existed in the Slobodan Milosevic government? Idi Amin government?… Now, how many of them are absent in Mississauga? It may be the time to think.
By: Mark Feyz October 27, 2000
A Paradigm of Elections 2000 The Canadian Democracy under siege
In the elections 2000 we should be more concerned about how our democracy is functioning. Are the results indicative of informed choices made by most of the public, or, are they the product of steering the public toward a ruling candidate as in modern dictatorships?
For example, let us examine the election of mayor in the largest municipality of Canada, the city of Mississauga. The incumbent, Hazel McCallion, has been successfully reelected over the past two decades. She appears confident that she will be reelected again. At first glance, it all looks fair and square. Because about 13% of people may go out to the election polls and reelect the mayor again. These voters may feel good because they have done their civic duty of voting. But, are they the only few who feel good about the choice they have made? The issue here is about the accessibility of three publicly mentioned contenders running for mayoralty position in Mississauga. The irony is that no matter how many contenders are running in the present circumstance of Mississauga the electors still may not have informed choices. And, no matter how the mayor has performed she is still the likely candidate to be reelected as the mayor.
To understand the situation, one may start by trying to call the contenders and ask some questions. If you are not aware that you could call the Election Coordinator at the City Hall and follow her directions to the City site for election 2000 you may have been at loss in your search to reach the contenders. At least two of the three contenders have Web Sites and emails that can assist the voters with some information. Neither the City site for election 2000 nor the local media has made any reference to the Internet means. In fact, in its election coverage of "Three to take On Hazel" on October 18, 2000 even the phone numbers of the contenders were not mentioned in the Mississauga News, the newspaper where most people of this city find their election information.
If contenders continue to appear as inaccessible as they do many electors will remain uninformed about them. Electors cannot make informed choices at Mississauga's election 2000. Many people will not go to the election polls because they think that they do not have a choice to vote on. The old mayor may have known this. Despite some public criticism of her dictatorial and inconsistent performance she has gone on a trip abroad instead of campaigning for election 2000. Some people may ask why do the local media fail to encourage the public toward informed choices?
At the same time, the incumbent at least in Mississauga is not even in Mississauga. She is actually gone abroad on a trip to nicer places where most of us would wish to be at this time of the year. When she is elected she is forced into the position of mayoralty. A forced mayor at age 79 may think dictatorship is the order of the day. She may in turn find it reasonable to force issues onto the people of Mississauga and ignore the democratic framework. Is this all by design to lead us away from democracy and into a gradual dictatorship? If so, who is the designer and who are the collaborators and corroborators of this dangerous paradigm?
By: Mark Feyz February 14, 2000
Hydro Mississauga's Dilemma to be or not to be independent
Although the public was denied the opportunity to hear all the reasons why Hydro Mississauga is better off becoming independent from the City on the Mayor's Hour of January 13, 2000, the emerging facts before the mayor hung up were: that at least in Meadowvale, people have witnessed that an employee of the City can inappropriately use his employment connections to acquire the use of Hydro Mississauga's heavy equipment and manpower for his private landscaping in his backyard. And, the City officials had indicated that the individual City employee had done nothing wrong! After receiving repeated requests for an explanation, the City has failed to provide one, and has immersed itself in a deep silence!
Hydro Mississauga is owned by all Mississaugans. Diversion of its facilities for the benefit of some, can and will impact costs for the rest of us. Any privatization process that cuts off the City's Infrastructure of Abuse from Hydro Mississauga is a cost-curtailing measure to public. Mississaugans can and may withhold payments of their taxes by depositing them in a lawyer's trust account until such time the City becomes accountable to people of Mississauga. Are the findings in Meadowvale unique or widespread throughout Mississauga? Why does the City find nothing wrong while Hydro Mississauga's investigation has indicated otherwise?
I watched the Mayor's Hour to hear facts, and the least I expected was to be censored! Just how widespread is the diversion of our public resources for the private use of a few?
By: Mark Feyz August 21, 1999
Mississauga's Noise Polution From airport to Meadowvale
The non-payment of 44 million dollars of development charges by Pearson Airport to the City of Mississauga for which the taxpayers have to foot the bill is not the only pain inflicted by the GTAA on its neigbours. Simultaneously, we were lead to believe by our present Councillor, Pat Saito, at her first municipal election campaign that we can solve our noise pollution problem by electing her instead of the incumbent. Since we elected Pat Saito to the City of Mississauga the noise pollution is getting worse! And, it has not helped that Pat Saito is on the Noise Management Committee of The Greater Toronto Airports Authority.
To their credit, the people of Meadowvale tried to stop the noise pollution through the democratic system of election. But, to their dismay, they have now ended up with other people of Mississauga in subsidizing the continuance of noise pollution! Is this the intent of any democracy? Or, is it a political masochism?
When people do not keep their political leaders and government in check then they are responsible for their government's actions. At least, this was the famous outcome of the Nuremberg Trial of our century. Germans were blamed for their government's atrocities and those involved in carrying orders were not able to excuse themselves from the decisions of their authorities. For the first time it was no longer acceptable to say we had no control on what our government and leaders did and we simply followed their directions.
By: Mark Feyz March 12, 1999
Big pay hikes for the mayor and her crew
Greed seems like the most dominant reason for the recent pay hikes by Mayor McCallion and her crew. The alleged reasons (The Mississauga News, March 12, 1999) for supporting salary hikes to more than $80,000.00 for each councillor and more than $115,000.00 for the Mayor are nothing more than rhetorical statements:
1. "The raise helps offset the removal by Queen's Park of a one-third tax-free allowance they previously enjoyed ". This statement does not support pay hikes, in fact, it is a reason to support the contrary. The provincial government's decision to cut the allowances indicates that at least from one official perspective, the allowances have failed to be considered legitimate. This is all the more reason not to reconsider the allowances through pay hikes. Furthermore, the Mayor has had the option of taking her concern up with Queen's Park. Instead, she chooses to reach into the pockets of Mississaugans who have had nothing to do with her fringe benefit reduction. If Mayor McCallion and her crew really believe that they are entitled to their provincial allowance why do they not take civil action to recover their loss? After all, they tell everyone else who is the victim of their mismanagement to go to a civil court.
2. "The Mayor and the rest of City council deserve a pay increase". Do they? On what basis? Perhaps on the basis of unfulfilled election promises, or, on the basis of abandoning the people of Mississauga in their struggle to survive amidst an increasing noise pollution due to the illegal expansion of GTA, or, on the basis of turning Mississauga into a lawless community by not enforcing the by-laws, or, on the basis of engaging in frivolous activity of making by-laws that are not going to be enforced, or, on the basis of not even having an employee policy or codes of conduct for City of Mississauga Employees, or, ...
3. "When compared to other Mayors across Canada, Hazel McCallion was not near the top of the heap (well, at least not until this week)". Well folks-- when was the last time that you got away with a $15,000.00 raise? Was it when you told your employer that so and so in another company is paid more than you are? I have never seen anyone in the private sector getting a raise with this kind of argument. How can we afford giving such raises to others while not getting raises like this ourselves? If you have a pocket that let's you spend more than you put into it please let me know!
4. "The Mississauga politicians are supposed to receive an annual pay increase based on 10 cent per capita rise in population ". Since when does a breach of public trust entitle politicians to pay hikes? In some areas of Mississauga there is a growing public dissatisfaction with overpopulation. We continue replacing the few remaining trees that we have with more and more concrete. We then bring in more people to expand our population without proportionally expanding the infrastructure needed for more people. Our existing hospital services certainly do not support any increase in population. The overcrowding factor has already been contributing to personal injuries and accidents resulted from cramping pedestrians, cyclists, skaters, dog-walkers, and joggers in some of our parks during the outdoor seasons. Finding a parking spot at some Mississauga shopping centers is often a task and a half. Clearly, poor planning and unrestrained construction leads to chaotic population growth. Now we learn that politicians' pay raises are indexed to the population increase! As an offshoot of this formula, we will be motivating our politicians with even more incentives to overpopulate Mississauga. To many people in overpopulated areas of Mississauga who expect a solution to their problem, the indexing is an outright breach of public trust.
The Mayor says "I'll be glad to answer any criticism", but, whenever I have tried to pursue an issue with her she has hidden behind her bureaucracy. Well-- what can be said more than what we all know?
Noise Pollution in Perspective past, present, and status quo.
The GTAA's public meeting of March 3, 1999 was a well attended public gathering that brought together the concerned citizens from most parts of Mississauga, Brampton and Etobicoke.
The pertinent facts on issues related to the current noise pollution of Greater Toronto Airport were once again brought to the focus for those who were new to the meeting as well as for those who came to find a solution to this problem:
1. Geographically, the life-disrupting aircraft noise is no longer limited to East Mississauga. I attended the meeting with a delegation from Meadowvale West; a community situated near HWY 401 and Winston Churchill Blvd. Others came from various parts of Brampton and Etobicoke.
2. Much to my pleasure, the meeting proceeded with a high degree of citizen restraint, given the history of public abuse and disruption of family environments of many of the participants. In fact, the anticipated concerns for violence by the GTAA which was apparent in their planning of police force on hand did not materialize. Thus, the citizens demonstrated their respect for the individual rights of the GTAA members and their collaborating city politicians who are yet to return the same courtesy by halting the objected noise infringement on public’s right to peace and good government in their neighbourhood.
3. Speakers from the public at large first reiterated the actual ill-effects of the loud aircraft noise on their community’s health and well-being followed by accounts of a professional environmental impact study, broken contractual obligations, and relevant historical perspectives, including their statements of position and questions for the panel that went largely unanswered.
The people have spoken, they want an immediate halt to disrupting aircraft noise throughout their neighbourhoods while searching for solutions. This is very little to ask in a democracy like ours that prides itself in the rule of people who are empowered to affect their lives as they deem necessary. The ball is now in the GTAA and mayor Hazel McCallion’s court to halt noise pollution and come up with new proposals.
By: Mark Feyz October 13, 1998
The Mississauga By-laws we have them and we don't have them, the mirage of by-laws
Every city has an array of by-laws that affect every business both directly and indirectly. In its recent debate on changing the method of enforcing the Mississauga’s parking by-laws, a point that applies to all unenforced by-laws was at least acknowledged by one councillor, Cliff Gyles “ if we can’t enforce something, we should remove it from the books”.
The City by-laws are supposed to be laws. Laws provide a mechanism of control for societies that pride themselves as being governed under the law. By not enforcing many of our local laws, The City of Mississauga has opted not to be governed by its own laws as if they never had them in the first place. In effect, a state of lawlessness has prevailed. On the other hand, by enforcing only some of the by-laws upon complaints from neighbours and verification of a safety need for their enforcement, the City’s By-law Enforcement officials have stepped beyond their enforcement jurisdiction and into the law-making stipulations. The By-law Enforcement officials were never elected by the public to
The City of Mississauga is a growing city. With growth comes a substantial amount of money and power. But, the money and power should not corrupt the mayor and councillors into arrogance to the point that they forget they are the elected servants of people, and as such they should not support lawlessness in a society where people have already chosen the rule of law.
By: Mark Feyz October 3, 1998
By-law Violations and the City Policy the two faces of Mississauga by-laws
In Mississauga, a city employee has chosen to break his employer’s laws and in the course of so doing he has damaged his neighbour’s property as well. His colleagues in the city bylaw department have refused to enforce the law!
The city, as the employer, has not turfed the employee that openly defies its laws where there has been a neighbour complaint and potential safety concerns. Mayor McCallion has failed to initiate the necessary measures to at least prevent further destructive acts of lawlessness in the future. As a result, there is no law and order at the city level.
It appears that many of the City of Mississauga employees are less accountable on a day-to-day basis to their employer than their counterparts in the private sector. Unlike the private sector, they are paid from the public purse and are to fulfill the public expectation.
In lieu of this lesser accountability and public expectation it is reasonable to opt for more codes of conduct such as those in the Public Service Act of Ontario. Instead, the City of Mississauga employees are regulated with just the province’s minimum standard called the Employment Standard. In the private sector, where daily accountability is high and public expectation is relatively low, most companies have gone an extra mile of supplementing the Employment Standard with their own Employment Policies that further regulate the employee’s possible misconduct.
Parallel to the above example of the city employee, if a private sector employee violates his employer’s rules (laws), and in the course of so doing inflicts property damage on a client or on a supplier, he becomes a prime candidate for just dismissal. The city bylaws are by definition laws, and are applicable to city employees whether they violate them in their course of duty or otherwise. The Mississaugans are the clients and the financiers if not sometimes the suppliers of the City as well. Then why the City of Mississauga appears to be in gross mismanagement? Mississauga’s lack of an Employment Policy with strong codes of ethic may provide some clue to the puzzle.
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