Canadian real estate is doomed with Cover-Up, Censorship and Clampdown on Free Speech

Today, we heard someone has been charged by Toronto Police for exposing City’s scandals (details to follow …).

We will save Civil Liberty for the next topic.

The first question we have in mind is how will this impact real estate in Canada?

If you are one of the deep-pockets, will you park your money in a place where corruption is rampant?

Guess the answer is pretty straight forward – NO.

We know rich people like those from China moved their wealth abroad is because they don’t trust their corrupt regime. Similarly for deep-pockets from elsewhere, particularly those from the third world do it for the same reason  – they don’t trust their own corrupted backyard. Where law is toilet-roll scripts, so to speak.

In another word, your guarantee is as good as your political connections. Once that is gone (and it will be gone in a matter of time), whatever you own will be subjected to whim-ridden rule of men ie. the new power-that-be.

Why? Because in Corruptland, “Rule of Law is only for fun, whim-ridden Rule of Men is the reality“.

The fact that if speech is policed, information of public interest is censored, matters affecting the public is covered up, it will simply mean corruption in Canada is as real as the sun will rise from east.

Dear Deep-Pockets,

Will you park your money in a highly corrupted place and still sleep soundly at night?

Unless they have a reason to do so eg. they’re a part of the corrupted family, they have nowhere else to park their money, it’s only a temporary measure, etc. Guess no sane mind will say yes.

In another word, we are digging our own graveyard by disregarding law, cover-up wrongdoings, and censoring information of public interest.

This is not the constitutional foundation of Canada … If there is no corrective measures, Canada will go to the dogs.

No wonder we got this message from the Conservatives (we used to think they must be kidding, that things like this can only happen in Voodooland, not in a developed nation),

“Dear Canadians,

They police speech. They are shutting down events. They attack professors and guest speakers.

All across North America, free speech is under attack.

And sadly, it is under attack at the one place it should be most celebrated: universities.

Far from bastions of free speech and new ideas, universities are now often where free speech goes to die, as events are regularly shut down by perpetually offended protesters.

This is wrong.

During my campaign I spoke about the need for Canadian universities to foster free-flowing dialogue and debate.

Once elected, I will withhold federal grants from universities that won’t respect a diversity of viewpoints.

We believe universities should be a place for education – a place where young adults can learn to think for themselves by being presented with alternative opinions and ideas.

We don’t believe it should be a place that allows healthy debate to be shut down because it’s a topic someone, somewhere might disagree with.

Free speech matters and should be allowed everywhere – including on university campuses!

Sincerely,

Andrew Scheer
Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada”

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This can’t be the kind impression our Liberals government wanted – that the Liberals are no longer “liberal” but some kind of “Totalitarian Monster”?.

If so, God save Canadians … the country has gone to dogs.

Related: –

Why London Inferno will happen in Toronto – Part 3

Is Toronto Fire ready and capable of handling a massive fire like the London Inferno?

Secret report reveals fire response problems

Toronto firefighters have no access to critical building information, a secret consultant’s report says.

Unlike most fire services, Toronto firefighters speeding to a call have no access to critical building information like the location of water, firefighting equipment or hazardous materials, a secret consultant’s report says.

Grenfell Tower On Fire

The Star, which exposed tardy response time to some blazes last year, obtained the $150,000 report under municipal freedom of information legislation. Key portions are blacked out – 53 of 157 pages and numerous other pages are censored… What kind of Free of Information is this?

Here’s what the Star has learned from uncensored areas of the report.

  • Toronto Fire is taking too long to answer calls, process the information and dispatch firefighters. Details on how slow they are have been blacked out in the report.
  • Unlike most fire services, Toronto firefighters enroute to a fire call have no access to critical building information like the location of water firefighting equipment or hazardous materials
  • The fire service has outdated equipment for dispatching firefighters, which slows response time.
  • Fire Service management lacks a “quality assurance system” to track problems within its own system.

The incident prompted local police to warn citizens to “be careful about what you post on social media so as not to victimize an innocent person.”

Toronto Fire Chief Bill Stewart originally told the Star of the existence of the consultant’s report, but then said the Toronto Fire Services Quality Assurance Review “may have privacy implications” and it could only be accessed by making a request to the city of Toronto. The Star did that, waited a month for a response, then paid $22 to the city for a 127 page report that was heavily censored.

The consultant’s review was completed in December 2009 but never made public.

The censored report is tantalizing where it should be transparent. For example, on page 10 the consultant describes his analysis of one year of fire response data from 2008. A large paragraph is removed.

What exactly is “occurring” is blacked out. On the next page, nearly half the words are covered.

Pages 98-102 – “Recommendations” – are blacked out.

One area that escaped the censor deals with the lack of information Toronto fire crews have when they head out on a call.

“Instant access to building information is a feature of many contemporary systems and the lack of this in Toronto is a concern,” the report states. The report describes the importance of dispatchers and fire fire crews having electronic access to location of the “standpipe” (pipe outside a building that acts as a hydrant); location of hazardous materials; backup firefighting equipment; gas shut off points; location of the firefighter’s elevator; and building plans.

The City of Toronto, in censoring the report, applied several exemptions. While the people of Toronto cannot read specific problems with their own fire service, the report quotes openly from other reports – one by a consultant and the other by a state agency – on tardy dispatch systems in Vermont and Washington, D.C.

This may be an archived story, it shows there is NO FREEDOM OF INFORMATION after all.

The star in the old days used to practice classy journalism like this article. Today? We rather reserve our comment … See their news to judge for yourself.

Here is another archived story of interest …

Toronto Inferno

The Great Fire Of Toronto In 1904

A little over 100 years ago on a bitterly cold and windy spring night, a fire swept through the downtown destroying a huge swath of the city’s commercial heart.

On the 19th of April, 1904, a large section of downtown Toronto burned for nine hours.

Street map of downtown Toronto showing the buildings that were affected by the fire of 1904.

Map showing the area of Toronto affected by the fire of 1904. Bay Street from the Esplanade to Miranda Street (just south of King Street) was the hardest hit. At the time, this was called the Wholesale District of the city.

Aftermath, Bay street, April 1904.

Image result for The Great Fire of Toronto 1904

Historical photo of Bay street after the 1904 fire in Toronto. There are people on the street. The street is all mud. There are many burned out buildings on both sides of the streets. Brick facing of two to four storey buildings is all that remains.

As a result of the fire, 5000 people were left without a job. In 1904, the population of Toronto was about 200,000 so the loss of employment on this scale had a profound impact on the city.

The original imaged are kept at the City of Toronto Archives, located on Spadina Road., just north of Dupont Street.

More images of the London Inferno

Grenfell Tower Engulfed By Fire

Yet another Toronto Fire story …

Why Ontario’s paramedics don’t want firefighters performing emergency care

The Ontario firefighters association wants the province to allow firefighters to perform some of the duties of paramedics. 

While that sounds perfectly logical to some, many municipalities and paramedics are hopping mad. They call the proposal a brazen attempt to protect incredibly costly firefighter salaries at a time of dwindling fires.

“It doesn’t seem like a good use of taxpayer dollars.” says Corey Nageleisen, member of the CUPE Ambulance Committee of Ontario.

Nageleisen warns that given the long shifts firefighters work—24 hours, in contrast to the 12-hour shift Nageleisen had worked the day before speaking with TVO.org – public safety could actually be put at risk by overly-tired firefighters attempting to administer medical care.

“When crime goes up we pay more for police. When fire risk goes up we spend more on fire service. EMS calls are going up, so we pay more for firefighters? It doesn’t make sense.”

Paramedics argue they are better trained to handle medical emergencies than other first responders, and that it is much more cost effective to send a two-person ambulance than a four-person fire truck to help someone in distress.

Historically, paramedics have not received the same level of funding as fire and police services. For Nageleisen, that makes any proposal to let firefighters do the work of paramedics tantamount to an insult.

At this year’s annual meeting of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario, outgoing president Gary McNamara warned that police and fire service payrolls are already straining municipal budgets, and adding paramedic services to the fire payroll would make matters worse.

“Police and firefighters are the most highly-paid employees we have, and they should be. But we can’t pay them increases at the expense of other services that keep our communities safe and healthy,” McNamara said.

Of particular concern is that, if the province allows the hypothetical use of firefighters as paramedics, municipalities could be forced into it by the binding arbitration that governs police and fire labour negotiations.

Read more at TVO.org

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Related: –

Why London Inferno will happen in Toronto – Part 2

When it comes to fire prevention, media in Canada basically take comments by local experts at face value ie. because we have Building Code in place, catastophe similar to Grenfell Tower a.k.a the London Inferno has no chance to take place.

TRUE or FALSE?

First, let’s take a look at what the media say,

London’s fire symptomatic of larger safety issues globally, experts warn

“One of the reasons is the technology that is now being used in building materials and building fabrics has outstripped the codes and standards in practice… CTV News

London fire: Cladding blamed for inferno’s rapid spread restricted in Canada

All exterior cladding materials for buildings higher than four storeys must be tested for fire resistance and comply with strict standards… Globalnews.ca

 

Lessons of the Grenfell blaze: How can Canada’s thousands of aging towers be kept safe?

“This requires a careful review of building codes, of approved materials,” said Graeme Stewart of ERA Architects, a specialist in the renewal of modern apartment towers… The Globe and Mail

 

Canadian building code designed to guard against fires like London blaze

Shoddy cladding may be the culprit behind London’s Grenfell Tower fire, which left 79 dead or missing. While the U.K. doesn’t mandate fire-retardant material, Canadian regulations prevent the issue—at least in theory… CanadianManufacturing.com

Conclusion so far,

As you can see, the standard answer is “Building Code”, “Building Standard”, or “Building Materials” – repeatedly quoted throughout all the reports.

Is it true that “Building Code” or “Building Materials” alone can guarantee similar fire will not happen?

Probably true to certain extend … (Please bear in mind that “Building code” usually means the “bare minimum standard”, a slight defect here means there will be no more “protection”).

However, the codes are not much of an issue. The real issue is …

What if the “Building Code” is not followed?

Here is classic case where neither “Building Code” nor “Fire Code” is followed: –

No compliance at all?

YES, Totally NOT Compliant with the Fire/Building Codes. In fact, also violates City bylaw and safety related law of all jurisdictions.

Surprised?

Anyway, we will also touch on how such third world phenomenon may scare away foreign money in our next exposé.

Meanwhile, CBC asked …

Do you know the fire code?

How do you expect ordinary folk to know Fire Code or Building Code, when the responsible Fire Prevention personnel also not that well-versed with the Building Code/Fire Code … as in this case: –

Here is a fairer reporting,

‘Major fail:’ Cladding blamed in Grenfell Tower fire wouldn’t pass Canadian safety tests

But in Canada, strict rules on the use of cladding make it unlikely, though not impossible, that a similar tragedy could occur here, industry experts say… CBC.ca

 

At least it is reported as “though not impossible“.

More about Grenfell Tower a.k.a the tragic London Inferno: –

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Related: –

City of Toronto – Transportation Contracts Scandal

City of Toronto Makes Headline Today 

Corruption Scandal

  • Police called in to investigate suspected bid-rigging in city’s paving contracts
  • 4 City of Toronto managers no longer employed amid police bid rigging investigation
  • Toronto auditor general Beverly Romeo-Beehler says it appears contractors are bid-rigging to drive the cost up.
  • City of Toronto Auditor General Beverly Romeo-Beehler’s latest report warns of possible problems with the city’s paving contracts.

Audit uncovers possible ‘bid-rigging’ in city paving contracts

City staff contact police after Auditor General report highlighting signs of inflated pricing

City staff have called in the police after Toronto’s auditor general uncovered suspected examples of outside contractors bid-rigging on city paving jobs to drive the price up.

Auditor General Beverly Romeo-Beehler undertook her audit of paving contracts — awarded between January 2010 to June 2015 — to ensure the city’s tendering process was fair and competitive and after a previous audit raised concerns.

During the time period, the city awarded 55 road resurfacing contracts worth $168 million. The majority of that work is performed by private contractors who get it through the city’s competitive bidding process.

“Given the significant amount spent on construction contracts, they can be a prime target for corruption and collusion,” says a summary document released Tuesday alongside the auditor’s 51-page report.

One such example cited in the report shows “the inflated price from contractor A on the work for crack repair in eight different contracts. The grossly inflated prices from contractor A were as high as three times more than the second-lowest bidder’s prices.” Combined with inaccurate estimates by city staff, contractor A was able to gain an extra $2.5 million from city contracts, the report says.

“The results became more concerning given that contractor A was also a dominant player who won most of the tenders in certain districts.”

The report suggested that top bidders could be colluding with lower bidders to boost the price and then a low-bidder would be hired as a subcontractor.

City staff need to be vigilant monitoring and detecting unusual bid patterns, yet the audit identified numerous “red flags” of potential bid rigging by certain contractors in paving contracts, the report says.

“Our audit identified significant control deficiencies and a lack of routine analysis of bid submissions and bidding patterns,” says the report called Detection of Warning Signs for Potential Bid Rigging Should be Strengthened.

“There were many telltale signs of bid rigging and inflated pricing and even more concerning was the fact that most district contracts were consistently dominated by a small group of contractors over the past five years.”

The report includes a series of recommendations to ensure the city has “adequate measures” to deter and detect potential bid rigging in the future.

Bid rigging, also known as collusive bidding, provides an opportunity for the winner to artificially inflate prices of goods or services by eliminating real opportunity. Under the Competition Act, it is illegal for competitors to conspire. Fines can be as high as $25 million and guilty parties sent to prison for up to 14 years.

The report does not name the companies involved.

More news …

4 City of Toronto managers no longer employed amid police bid …

Four senior managers in the City of Toronto’s transportation services … its investigation into the allegations of bid rigging between the City of … Globalnews.ca

OPP investigates possible bid-rigging on Toronto city contracts

OPP investigates possible bid-rigging on Toronto city contracts … investigating possible bid-rigging by private firms for City of Toronto paving contracts, … according to Barbara Gray, the city’s general manager of transportation….CBC.ca

What a flashy justice porn news, right?

As a Joe Public, you may think the City is functioning, clean, efficient, things like corrution won’t stand a chance. And everyone should re-elect John Tory coming next election.

I am sorry to burst your bubble. The reality is not what you thought … The truth is corruption is very much alive in the City. Abuses especially by certain senior officials (the Chosen ones) is beyond your imagination, and there is no mechanism to check and balance.

Law legislated for Joe Public to abide, not the “Chosen ones”. These elite group of senior officials are  above the law. In fact, they are so confident, they deliberate break laws to do favours for their “friend”. Even you can proof they have breached the procedure and violated the law, nothing will ever happen, because no one will do anything about it, not the City Manager, Not the Mayor, certainly not the heroine in this case – Auditor General Beverly Romeo-Beehler.

The Auditor General will only go after junior staffs who stole money from the City coffers. The four so called “senior managers” are actually pretty low ranking in the City hierachy. The Auditor General won’t even bat an eyelid if the same is committed by the “chosen ones” involving ten time the amount … As long as the money is paid by external source. Still don’t get it? Here is one good example – “gifts” from real estate developers. There are several divisions uniquely blessed with privilege allowing then to practically do anything at their whim and fancy, and there will be no repercussion … They are above the law (unwritten).

As mentioned in our previous article – City Billing Scandal – Toronto billed 44,000 homowners extra $87 millions for property taxes whereby we touch on a scandalous series of the City of Toronto lead by Toronto Building, which will be unleased very soon, you will see the true color of the administration of our beloved City.

To say the least, the City is not function as it should be … Malpractice is rampant at senior level, and as such, corruption should be anticipated.

The scandalous series will detail the ugly truth of the City of Toronto all the way from the divisional level right up to the City Manager , who unfortunately does not manage the City per se. Well, not when the victim is you, the Joe Public.

To be continued.

City Billing Scandal – Toronto billed 44,000 homowners extra $87 millions for property taxes

Homeowners awoke to find they’d had double their normal property taxes withdrawn

CBC.ca

Some Torontonians awoke to a nasty surprise Wednesday morning — the city had taken an extra $87-million in property taxes from homeowners’ accounts.

More than 44,000 property owners were affected by the mistake, which double-billed those who signed up for the city’s twice-yearly and bi-monthly authorized payment plans.

The city learned what happened when residents began calling about their much emptier accounts, according to the head of revenue services.

Computer glitch bills thousands twice for Toronto property taxes 
Toronto taxpayers double-billed on property tax after pre-authorization snag 

Should you be surprised?

You shouldn’t. Continue reading “City Billing Scandal – Toronto billed 44,000 homowners extra $87 millions for property taxes”

Eliminating Toronto Land Transfer Tax – Scandalous Mayor Rob Ford Populist Publicity Stunt ?

With the City of Toronto’s Executive Committee expected to review a City staff report on options for phasing out the Toronto Land Transfer Tax in coming weeks, a new poll is showing strong public support for eliminating this tax.

New Poll Shows Continued Strong Public Support for Eliminating Toronto Land Transfer Tax

“The public continues to feel strongly that the Land Transfer Tax should be scrapped. Torontonians know that the land transfer tax is bad for our City, and they want City Council to follow through on commitments to phase it out,” said Ann Hannah, President of the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB).

The poll was conducted by Ipsos Reid, between May 10, 2013 and May 22, 2013, and found that,

  • Two-thirds (65%) of Torontonians support plans to eliminate the Toronto Land Transfer Tax;
  • Support for eliminating the land transfer tax with a gradual phase-out approach, as suggested by Mayor Ford, is strong (65%);
  • 90% of recent home buyers feel that they received little or no added value in municipal services for the Land Transfer Tax that they paid to the City;
  • 74% of home buyers in Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area say they are more likely to purchase a home outside of Toronto specifically because of the Toronto Land Transfer Tax;
  • 65% of home buyers who currently live in Toronto say they are more likely to leave Toronto, when they purchase their next home, specifically because of the Toronto Land Transfer Tax;

“The Land Transfer Tax has hurt Toronto for long enough. We have been speaking out against this tax for some time and we will keep doing so until City Council takes action. We’re proud of our efforts to stand up for the public and inform them on this issue, and we will keep doing so. The public expects action on this unfair tax before the next municipal election,” said Von Palmer, Chief Government and Public Affairs Officer for TREB.

A study published last fall, by the C.D. Howe Institute, found that the Toronto Land Transfer Tax is directly responsible for dampening home sales in Toronto by 16 percent. This equates to over 5,000 lost housing sales, including condominiums. A separate study, conducted by the Altus Group, determined that every resale housing transaction results in over $40,000 in spinoff spending on things like movers, renovations, furniture, and appliances.

“Home ownership is a worthy goal and City Council should not be making it more difficult to achieve. City Council can, and should, move forward with a responsible phase-out of the Land Transfer Tax,” added Palmer.

For this survey, a sample of 1,012 adults from Ipsos’ Canadian online panel was interviewed online, of which 606 live in Toronto proper and 406 live in the surrounding 905 region. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics to ensure that the sample’s composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. The precision of Ipsos online polls are measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within +/-3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what the results would have been had the entire population of adults in the GTA been polled, +/- 4.6 percentage points of all Torontonians, and +/- 5.5 percentage points of all those living in the surrounding areas of the GTA. With regard to prospective homebuyers in the GTA region, the poll is accurate to within +/- 9.3 percentage points of all prospective homebuyers in Toronto proper, and +/- 10.7 percentage points of all prospective homebuyers in the surrounding GTA.

Then we have Rob Ford, who is quite possibly the world’s most scandalous mayor ever, whose is infamous for hardcore drug abuse allegation as suggested by notorious headlines like “Toronto mayor’s aide ‘quizzed over murder of crack cocaine video owner’s death” …

Mayor Rob Ford asks real estate board to help get land transfer tax reduced

Ford wants a 10 per cent cut to start, but many on council say the city can’t afford to do without the lucrative tax.

Image Source

By:  City Hall Bureau

Mayor Rob Ford urged Toronto Real Estate Board members on Friday to help him persuade city councillors to start phasing out the “dreaded” municipal land transfer tax.

The tax, which costs buyers of the average home about $10,000, generated $344.5 million for civic coffers in 2012. That was $56.2 million more than projected, due to the higher number and value of homes sold in the city last year.

Ford’s appearance Friday drew a big media contingent wanting to ask about the crack-video scandal, but he entered the Sheraton Centre meeting room by a rear door and left via the kitchen, without speaking to reporters.

In his luncheon address to about 100 people, Ford said he was committed to reducing the tax by 10 per cent, or $34 million, as an initial move toward eliminating the tax altogether.

He had campaigned against the levy when running for mayor in 2010 but hasn’t achieved any reductions. He warned that some city councillors don’t want to give it up.

“I need your help to convince these councillors to start eliminating this land transfer tax. Unfortunately, they’re addicted to spending that land transfer tax, absolutely addicted to it. They want to keep it and they want to keep spending the millions of dollars it brings in.”

Last week at a budget committee meeting, Councillor Adam Vaughan recommended putting this year’s unexpected increase in the tax, or $56.2 million, into housing repairs at the Toronto Community Housing Corp.

“If we are to get at the (repair) backlog, we have to put more resources into public housing,” Vaughan told the committee.

However, committee members refused to put Vaughan’s request to a vote, and the chair, Councillor Frank Di Giorgio, advised Vaughan to make a pitch next month to the executive committee, which is chaired by Ford.

Ford told the realtors he has asked Di Giorgio to put together a tax phase-out plan.

The real estate board understands it’s unrealistic to expect the tax to be eliminated in one fell swoop, said spokesperson Von Palmer.

Palmer said the city has enough financial flexibility to adopt a 10 per cent cut and give up $34 million in revenue next year.

“I think now is a responsible time to start rolling that back,” he said. “It’s unfair. What additional services do you get over and beyond the next person for paying that tax? There’s none.”