Thursday, October 4, 2007

Knock! Knock! The Oshawa SWAT Team Calling!

What kind of town are we living in?

First City Council denies citizens information they need to make intelligent decisions on a city referendum on the voting system to use and then a City SWAT team with police and locksmith in tow show up at UOIT/ Durham College private student residences to search student bedrooms for leasing documents. This was such an enormous news story among North American Universities that it was featured on an international website about university towns.

In the case of the plebiscite on the voting system we should use, City Council comes up with a trick question to skew voting results the way they want and then deny citizens information to catch them “cold” in the voting booth to vote on a difficult question that they are seeing for the first time without any prior knowledge, consideration, or debate about it.

This is contrary to everything that is basic about a democracy. In Canada, the Supreme Court states that citizens have the “right” to information before voting, as does Elections Ontario which is expending $6.8 billion in informing the public about the Provincial referendum on Election Reform.

And yet Mayor John Gray states emphatically, "city council had no responsibility to inform the public!" Amazing.

And now, at the behest of city council, civic officials with police and a locksmith in tow and armed with a search warrant enter private student housing often while the students were in class snooping for evidence of bylaw infractions …incredulous!

What will they think of next?

Doesn’t this remind you of some Nazi actions or those of other despots who slash and burn through their citizenry?

I wonder if the university students in Kingston, Toronto, London, Guelph, Hamilton, Peterborough, North Bay or the many others across Ontario and the rest of the country get their residences ransacked by civic administrations accompanied by police and locksmiths at the direction of politicians…simply to look for housing rental agreements.

We could understand such police raids if they were to pursuing criminals or criminal activity…but student housing documents? NEVER!

Will your house or my house be next? Can't we expect sanctuary in the privacy of our Oshawa homes?

Yet the Mayor says it’s okay! And this is the same guy who said city council had NO RESPONSIBILITY to communicate details of the plebiscite question to city voters.

We have to start questioning Mayor Gray’s judgment and his connection with the people. Is he a heartless mindless bureaucrat blinded to the rigid routine of administrative details without exercising any judgement?

Our Mayor cannot be a cheerleader for these un-Canadian actions.

Under the Mayor's leadership, our city fathers are undermining the reputation of our university and this city for potential non-resident students. This will jeopardize the quality of the institution for our own Oshawa born students.

These strong arm tactics may motivate UOIT/Durham College students to rise up and organize to take over city council which they will have the power to do under the general vote.

It’s hard to believe all of this is happening in Canada!

So I wonder what’s next for our city council gang under the leadership of Mayor John Gray.

Will they put out a call to hound you or me?

It seems nothing is beyond this Mayor and his gang of followers!

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