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Showing posts from 2016

What you didn't hear at the Craig McDougall inquest

Craig McDougall was not a nice guy.  He was a violent drunk with a penchant for attacking and hurting women. But the three police officers who confronted him at his father's home in the early morning of Aug. 2, 2008 didn't know that.   In the space of 90 seconds or less their interaction escalated to the point where the 26-year-old McDougall was shot three times at point blank range by one of the policemen. He died of his wounds less than an hour later. Our laws protect the worst in society and upstanding citizens equally. A mandatory inquest is to be called whenever someone dies either at the hands of police or while in police custody.  An inquest is not a public inquiry, but it is supposed to determine how and why a person died, if there should be any recommendations to prevent the circumstances that led to that death, and, in this case, whether there was any indication that systemic racism on the part of Winnipeg police played any part in the death, given that Mc

The Craig McDougall inquest is being deliberately botched. What are they hiding?

Is the inquest into the police shooting death of Craig McDougall being deliberately botched? By all the evidence, the answer is "Hell, yeah." And if that's the case, the obvious question is 'why?' The obvious answer is because they're hiding something. Something big . Hiding something important that they don't want the public to find out. A week and a half into the inquest, we know next to nothing about what happened that early morning Aug. 8, 2008, when a policeman pumped three bullets into McDougall within two minutes of arriving at 788 Simcoe Street.  He fired four shots but one missed and, wouldn't you know it, went who knows where?   Oh, and in those two minutes or less, someone shot two taser rounds at McDougall, one of which stuck in his stomach and should have left him quivering helplessly on the ground.  Or it did and we don't know. The inquest has called a bunch of witnesses, none of whom saw the shooting, and most of whom

Searching for Christine Wood. Will Winnipeg Police feel the heat?

The Winnipeg Police force has managed to stay under the radar of the national news organizations for over three weeks now, but once their luck runs out the results will be incendiary. How Winnipeg police conduct a missing persons investigation into the disappearance of Christine Wood will become the test case for the recently announced Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women Inquiry.  Winnipeg will be the stand-in for all police departments across Canada in similar investigations. And so far, the example is not good. Here's where we would normally give the background to the case. The known facts.  Except that the "known facts" in the disappearance of Christine Wood keep changing from week to week. And the police have been no help in keeping the public informed. In fact, they're partly responsible for the confusion. Nevertheless, here's what we know culled from various news accounts. * 21-year-old Christine Wood was in Winnipeg with her parents to accompany a

The Canadian Museum for Human Rights enters death spiral, fueled by debt

Can supporters of The Canadian Museum for Human Rights handle the truth?  * $80 million in debt with no hope of paying it off * begging the federal government to raise its $21.7 million annual allowance by at least 50 percent  to buy more time *  a report that seems to indicate the museum's fundraising arm can't collect $24 million, or almost one in four of the $151 million dollars the Friends of the CMHR boasts it has raised. Last week the CMHR announced what should have been good news ---it settled its tax bill with the City of Winnipeg.  The museum owed $2.7 million  for this year's property taxes, much much less than the $5-to-$8 million they expected their taxes to be. The federal government, which is ultimately on the hook for what's called "payments in lieu of taxes" for federal institutions like museums, paid the $2.7 million plus arrears of $6.7 million. It then put the total - $9.4M - on the CMHR's tab. The museum is already $70 million

Thanks for nothing, Devon "Mack Daddy" Clunis

Last week's release of the annual report on crime and disorder in the city put a lot of things in  a new perspective---starting with the surprise retirement of the police chief and ending with an abrasive member of the police board getting the hook. Back in March, Police Chief Devon Clunis made a stunning announcement---he was quitting.  Only 52, he was retiring after 29 years as a cop. He had been in the top job barely 3 l/2 years, though, which is why people were so surprised he was anxious to leave.    Anxious to leave. That's a polite way to say bolting for the exit.   Clunis made a big noise when he was hired as police chief.  He was literally going to change the culture of policing, he declared.  Fighting crime was so yesterday, he sneered. He was going to mobilize entire communities, heal social ills, and --- wait for it --- eliminate the root causes of crime. Well, he changed the mission statement, which is on Page One of the crime report

White doctors freak out pregnant aboriginals, says NDP MLA Nahanni Fontaine

A leopard can't change its spots and the NDP's Nahanni Fontaine can't change her bias against white people. We got another taste of her advocacy for aboriginal apartheid in Hansard's official account of debate in the Legislature last week. Fontaine, the NDP's parachute candidate in St. John's riding, was promoting the need for native midwives and doulas for pregnant "indigenous women" in  northern Manitoba ( what about the rest of the expectant mothers? - ed.) when she --- oh, so casually --- started talking about how traumatic it was for these women to be in the care of  ...  White medical professionals.  "And so, as the minister knows, you know, indigenous women have to come to the south to have their babies. Often, they come without any supports.  They are immersed in white space." For people unfamiliar with the latest racial nomenclature, she explained: "And so, you know, for women that are here alone, and  that are immers