The MississaugaWatch Sniff Test

This question is the MISSISSAUGAWATCH Sniff Test for all Ontario municipal Mayors and Councillors:

Do you support asking the Ontario government to extend the investigative authority of the Ontario Ombudsman to include municipalities?

If the answer is not an UNQUALIFIED "Yes!", ask "Why not?" and proceed with extreme caution.


MIRROR: Complete Mississauga Judicial Inquiry Transcripts

“Security isn’t a dirty word, Blackadder” Oh yeah? “Security IS a doubleplus ungood dirty word, Blackadder” (and the McMurtry/Curling “Roots of Youth Violence” -word-surfing for “security”)

December 30th, 2008  

Hey Missy Dudes and Dudettes,

Dialogue from “Blackadder Goes Forth” General Hospital (1989):

Captain Blackadder: Can anyone tell me what’s going on?

Captain Darling: Security, Blackadder.

Captain Blackadder: Security?

General Melchett: Security isn’t a dirty word, Blackadder. Crevice is a dirty word, but security isn’t.

Actually, take it from my numerous Freedom of Information results, that when referring to Ontario “in-house” municipal security operations, “security” is indeed a dirty word —a doubleplus ungood dirty word, Blackadder.

And it’s a very bad joke.

MISSISSAUGAWATCH YouTube: “Security IS a doubleplus ungood dirty word, Blackadder”

(Click here to go to the clip on YouTube)

And the word “Security” is the focus of today’s romp through the McMurtry/Curling Report on the Roots of Youth Violence

Just repeating the intro that I wrote in my three previous Blogs…

I’ve been an observer of Mississauga municipal governance of over two years, researching various aspects of its conduct and operations through direct observation (thoroughly documented with audio and videotape) as well as through Freedom of Information.

It’s been well over a month since The Province released the McMurtry/Curling Review of the Report on the Roots of Youth Violence I’ve written six Blog entries on that report.  Click on any one of these links:

In my last Blog I provided a searchable summary —a Readers Digest/Coles Notes version of all instances of the word “municipal”, “municipality” and “municipalities” in the 468 page McMurtry/Curling primary document, Volume 1 FINDINGS, ANALYSIS AND CONCLUSIONS.

In today’s Blog, I took the 468 page document and did a word search for “security”.

Why search for “security”? Because MISSISSAUGAWATCH believes that Ontario municipal security operations (esp: “in-house”) and their lack of ethical infrastructure and authentic accountability, are themselves a Root of Youth Violence.

If McMurty/Curling use “securityto mean “: the quality or state of being secure: as a: freedom from danger : safety b: freedom from fear or anxiety”, it will be underlined as security. If, however, they are making specific references to security operations —guards, cameras, then “security” will be in RED as security.

Here we go…

5. Family Issues as Roots of the Immediate Risk Factors

We know intuitively that strong families are a strong foundation for youth. Within a strong family, youth can learn how to establish and maintain healthy relationships and understand what constitutes appropriate and inappropriate behaviour. A strong family provides youth with necessities, such as food, shelter, health care and education. The nurturing environment of a strong family also gives youth the security and emotional support they need.    p. 62

Violence and Substance Abuse in the Family

Living in a family in which verbal, physical or substance abuse is commonplace is frightening and devastating. Youth in this situation lack the support and sense of security that should be present in the home. They can experience mental and physical health problems, suffer violence at the hands of family members, or be subject to all three.    p. 66

Absent Families

Some young people grow up without any family at all. Some live in foster care or group homes throughout their youth and others are homeless and live on the street. Youth in foster care who are transferred from home to home never know what it is like to belong to a family. The lack of a sense of belonging or a feeling of security can cause them to feel alienated and to have no sense of hope or opportunity. Youth who live on the street are often the victims of violence, and the harsh reality of street living can lead to these and other immediate risk factors for violence.   p. 66

Even within our courtrooms, youth are not free from mistreatment. Graduate students in criminology acting as court observers in Toronto on unrelated matters have conveyed to us their deep dismay at seeing judicial officers, court staff and security officers upbraid youth in a demeaning way for their appearance, dress or conduct. After observing these matters on a daily basis for more than a year, they concluded that this was done in a racially discriminatory way, and that youth — and their parents — from minority groups took the brunt of this behaviour.    p. 79

Introduction

In this chapter, we outline what is known about the state of violence involving youth in Ontario, how violence is affecting youth, neighbourhoods and the province as a whole, and where we believe it is heading. For the reasons we set out in this discussion, we believe that Ontario is at a crossroads. One of the two main roads leading from that crossroads will, with strong leadership and sustained commitment, lead us towards an ever-safer society with increasing security and opportunity for all. The other will lead to an entrenched cycle of violence, which could plague this province and limit its potential for years to come.    p. 83

Focusing on school is harder for students, and teaching is harder. Living in an environment without security drains people’s mental energy. Trying to meet the needs of students with a high teacher-to-student ratio is already a difficult task, and with the added challenges created by poverty, a lot of students fall through the cracks.    p. 98

To our way of thinking, there is a very important public-private partnership opportunity here. The public sector — including all orders of government — is well placed to take on the task of assisting youth with job-readiness. Beyond education and training, this means providing the kind of coaching that many parents provide: how to prepare for an interview, how to dress and act at work and how to deal with early frustrations and pressures. In some circumstances, governments might even pre-screen candidates to reduce the interview burden on employers and to identify ways in which candidates could improve their presentations. And perhaps governments could help address concerns businesses have about even a minor criminal record by helping a youth demonstrate that they have left their past behind or perhaps, in some cases, providing a bond or some other security for an employer.    p. 264-265

♦ Community members need space to come together to build cohesion, identify local needs and strategies to address them, operate their own programs, or just to gather for social purposes. Youth share these needs, and in particular need neutral and safe places in which to gather, play, create and develop a sense of security and identity within their community.    p. 299

We think that the preferred way to make a school available as a hub is to fund a facilities management body to lease and operate school premises in non-teaching hours, with a mandate and additional funding to work with the local community to identify program priorities for the space. The managing body would provide on-site supervision of the premises and would be responsible for maintenance in the non-school hours. All operating, insurance and security costs for those hours would, in disadvantaged neighbourhoods, be a provincial responsibility.    p. 309

As outlined in Pillar 3, we base this on our belief that the Province has the ultimate accountability for addressing the roots of violence involving youth, and the responsibility to create a safe province with meaningful opportunity for all. We also believe that it has the powers needed to do so. Acting alone, if necessary, the Province can advance income security, equity, health, education, a more responsive justice system, strong communities and, indeed, most of what is required for sustained progress on all of the issues we have identified in this report as central to addressing the roots of violence involving youth.    p. 344-345

Laidlaw Foundation (2005). Youth Leaving Care: How Do They Fare? Briefing report prepared for the Modernizing Income Security for Working Age Adults Project. www.laidlawfdn.org/files/Youth_Leaving_Care_report.pdf. p. 391

Wortley, S. (2008). Access to Justice: Newcomer and Minority Perceptions of and Experiences with the Canadian Justice System. Paper presented at 1st Metropolis Conference on Justice, Policing and Security, Ottawa: February 25–26, 2008    p. 397

———,  Economic Analysis Committee (1996). Money Well Spent: Investing in Preventing Crime. Ottawa: Government of Canada

In this report, the Economic Analysis Committee of the National Crime Prevention Council sought to demonstrate that crime prevention through social development isa cost-effective way of promoting personal and community security.    p. 421

Ontario Human Rights Commission (2003). Paying the Price: The Human Cost of Racial Profiling. Inquiry Report. Toronto: Government of Ontario the Ontario Human Rights Commission conducted a study of racial profiling in Ontario and recommended that all organizations and institutions entrusted withresponsibility for public safety, security and protection monitor for and prevent racial profiling. The report also addressed anti-racism training for police and the recruitment of minorities by police services. The commission recommended that the police develop educational materials, particularly aimed at youth, to explain citizens’ rights. It called for multicultural and anti-racism policies for school boards and for school curriculums to include anti-discrimination and diversity training.    p. 422-423

The results here were so pathetic, I decided to word search through “Volume 3 COMMUNITY PERSPECTIVES REPORT” as well. And that’s when I finally found it —my personal Youth Violence Holy Grail.

Here we go:

It has compiled information and produced resource materials to improve police-youth relations, make schools safer, improve safety in local neighbourhoods and increase security at bus terminals.    p. 40

“insecurity” as part of an Appendix:

Feelings of depression, alienation, insecurity p. 53

Focusing on school is harder for students, and teaching is harder. Living in an environment without security drains people’s mental energy.   p. 77

As part of the Appendix Participant List:

Toronto Community Housing, Head of Security p.101

Although it has become common knowledge that those who are pushed out or who drop out of high school are vulnerable to economic and social insecurity, and that this can often lead them into situations of violence, there has been a shortage of critical assessment of all the institutions implicated in this situation.    p.118

“there has been a shortage of critical assessment of all the institutions implicated in this situation.” Well, well, well, FINALLY!

Cut-and-pasting the entire paragraph on p. 118:

In the super-industrialized service economy of Canada, it is well known that access to the job market is highly regulated by the mainstream educational system. The core issues in education relating to the violence that youth face are access to education, discrimination within the educational system, a Eurocentric and colonial curriculum, and limited alternative educational strategies and programs. Most of the young people implicated in youth violence have had encounters with or are still within the Canadian educational system. The policies, curricula and attitudes that shape their experiences have a lot to do with why many youth are either unsuccessful or no longer within this system. Although it has become common knowledge that those who are pushed out or who drop out of high school are vulnerable to economic and social insecurity, and that this can often lead them into situations of violence, there has been a shortage of critical assessment of all the institutions implicated in this situation.

and then the following paragraph on p. 119:

For example, in 2004 The Learning Partnership, a national organization that conducts research and develops policy alternatives for the Canadian education system, came out with a report entitled The Quality of Public Education in Canada: Students At Risk. This report used data from the Child Poverty Rate, the Dropout Rate, and the Vulnerability Index to assess what they saw as the key factors that put students “at risk” of being unsuccessful. They listed the four key factors as poverty, a child’s natural development, parental influence, and the neighbourhood (Levin & Peacock, 2004). Here we see an example of the common unwillingness to challenge the educational system head on in order to hold it responsible for the ways in which it creates the environment of insecurity invoked by its own discourse on “risk.”

And now McMurtry and Curling are finally addressing the issue of municipalities and public spaces. While this doesn’t have the word, “security” in it, to my delight, this quote from Andrea Zammit, the current co-coordinator of GYC and former Program Director of the For Youth Initiative, is a powerful validation for my series of future (2009) Freedom of Information filings with the City of Mississauga  [emphasis mine].

Having worked in many of Toronto’s underserved/ low-income neighbourhoods for the past six years with young people, access to public space has been one of the biggest challenges. Many times young people live in small apartments sharing accommodations with a lot of family members. These young people need space to hang out with friends, quiet space to do their homework, a safe place that is free from police harassment/brutality, to express themselves in the arts and to access social-recreational programming. Community Centres and programs run by mainstream social service providers that have facilities are not “youth-friendly” or accessible to youth, particularly Black youth. p. 137

Mississauga Corporate Security guard prevents black youth from entering during Malton Mississauga Youth Plan Meeting

And then I found it!

As Adonis Huggins of Regent Park Focus explained, the centre was granted space in the new Regent Park redevelopment; however, it has been made clear to them that they will no longer get this space in kind, and TCHC and the City will have to recover the market rent for it. At Strategizing Minds, he commented that “[t]he question is why is the City abdicating their responsibility to build social infrastructure in stressed neighbourhoods and why does TCHC and the City feel that it can no longer be a partner in the provision of social capital in neighbourhoods that are owned by the TCHC/City? Part of their rationale is lack of investment from the Feds as they are too busy building SuperJails yet they (TCHC) have no problems investing in security cameras, which if diverted could be spent building a neighbourhood center in every public housing area in the city.”

And the following paragraph…

As one of the contributors at the Strategizing Minds forum expressed, we are “not arguing that a community centre is the answer.” All the issues outlined in this report warrant responses that translate into capital gains, but they also warrant responses committed to engaging youth at all stages of developing these gains. As the Strategizing Minds forum and all of the texts cited in this report demonstrate, young people are qualified and entitled to be consulted and included beyond token positions in decision-making processes. Youth violence is not an issue — it is a symptom.    p. 138

And then..

Criminalization

1) Repeal The Safe Streets Act

The Safe Streets Act is a social cleansing bill that aims to criminalize and attack the most poor and vulnerable people in our city. Particularly offensive is the way it targets poor and homeless youth, and its impact on their ability to obtain jobs and social services that would address some of the root issues that they face on the street.

With a ban on “aggressive panhandling,” and no definition of what constitutes “aggressive,” poor, homeless and marginalized youth are often targeted and harassed by police officers for occupying public space in the downtown core. We believe the Safe Streets Act actually makes the streets more dangerous for poor and homeless youth and can lead to significant abuses of power by police officers and security guards.    p 142

And just to complete this task word-searching for “security”:

Community development can only happen if people have the space to congregate, build their communities, and work with each other in collaborative and creative ways. The current context of instability in funding for youth-led initiatives, and being forced to move from space to space, creates insecurity, precariousness, and an inability to maintain long-term programs in particular communities. All of these issues would contribute to the alleviation of violence, poverty and lack of resources in our communities.    p. 149

Neighbourhood Watch programs made youth feel safer and made them feel more like going home. Some felt that police helped to make their neighbourhoods safer, and in Sudbury, one youth suggested that security in co-op housing areas helped to decrease violence in his neighbourhood.    p. 167

So finally…  I, The Mississauga Muse found what she was looking for —Theee McMurtry/Curling statement that fingers theee ROOT of Youth Violence, the BIG FAT BLOATED EVIL tap-ROOT of Youth Violence.

Although it has become common knowledge that those who are pushed out or who drop out of high school are vulnerable to economic and social insecurity, and that this can often lead them into situations of violence, there has been a shortage of critical assessment of all the institutions implicated in this situation. p.118

MISSISSAUGAWATCH's stickers under "AUTHENTIC ACCOUNTABILITY"

“there has been a shortage of critical assessment of all the institutions implicated in this situation.”

In Mississauga (all of Peel Region, actually), it’s piece-of-cake-easy for people to identify “all the institutions implicated in this situation.”

They’ll be displaying this plaque ON THEIR WALLS!

PEEL (bogus) YOUTH CHARTER

And just because it’s so ridiculous —so perfectly part of the Youth-Violence-DISEASE, here (again) is Mississauga Councillor Pat Saito gushing about the “amazing” success of the Peel Youth Violence Prevention Network. Their progress is so “amazing” that it prompted this former City of MIssissauga employee of Public Affairs, to fling out the word “phenomenal” four times.

Mississauga Councillor PAT SAITO on the Peel Youth Charter

(Click here to go directly to the clip on YouTube and Google Video)

END

Now try this and how it might affect Youth —especially the poor or racial minorities.

YouTube: MISSISSAUGA COUNCIL ADMITS TO NO PUBLIC COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE

(Click here to go directly to YouTube)

MISSISSAUGA CITY/CORPORATE SECURITY Policy RUBBER-STAMPED

(Click here to go directly to YouTube)

Signed,

The (If you only knew what I know…) Mississauga Muse

ACCOUNTABILE ONTARIO MUNICIPALITIES: Major Root of Youth Violence


Comments

2 Responses to ““Security isn’t a dirty word, Blackadder” Oh yeah? “Security IS a doubleplus ungood dirty word, Blackadder” (and the McMurtry/Curling “Roots of Youth Violence” -word-surfing for “security”)”

  1. The Mississauga Muse on December 30th, 2008 12:37 pm

    Received via my MISSISSAUGAWATCH YouTube site. Just don’t know which security video he was responding to. I am leaving the commenter anonymous but have also invited him over here should he wish to contribute insights into the Ontario Municipal Security (esp: “in-house”) operations.

    [DELETE] has sent you a message on YouTube:

    saw your video on security

    Just some info thought you might want to read. It was time for these changes. I’m glad to see the government finally woke up and saw there was a HUGE problem.

    They have revised the PISGA act. Came into effect August 2007 This also includes corp security. So basically they will no longer be exempt from licensing requirements in order to work for anyone including Municipalities .If they don’t qualify they don’t get licensed in Ontario

    Here’s some info on some changes. There is much more to the revised act including any persons currently working security with a criminal history involving a # of charges which are listed at gov’s website will not be re-issued their license unless they are granted a pardon and their record is moved to a sealed file via the RCMP

    Those cars I saw in the video will have to have their markings changed because they also changed vehicles decals, uniforms and equipment allowed and NOT allowed.

    Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services

    New Law To Make Ontario Safer By Improving Private Security Industry

    First Significant Change To Security Industry In Ontario Since 1966

    TORONTO, Dec. 15 /CNW/ – The Ontario legislature today passed new
    legislation that will make Ontarians safer by strengthening professional
    requirements for private investigators and security practitioners, Community
    Safety and Correctional Services Minister Monte Kwinter said.

    “Security guards and others offering protection services to Ontarians
    should be properly licensed, trained and equipped,” Kwinter said. “We need to
    ensure that security personnel have the training they need to keep us safe as
    they play a larger role in safeguarding Ontarians.”

    The Private Security and Investigative Services Act makes licensing and
    training mandatory for all security personnel. It also makes in-house security
    staff, like those working for retailers, bars and the Corps of
    Commissionaires, subject to the act. They are currently exempt.

    “Changes to the Private Investigators and Security Guards Act were long
    overdue,” added Bill Joynt, president of the Council of Private Investigators,
    Ontario. “We support all changes designed to ensure a high level of
    professional service for the community at large and we welcome the opportunity
    to participate in ensuring those changes are workable and accepted by the
    industry.”

    “The Retail Council of Canada and its members support training and
    testing requirements for security personnel,” said Diane J. Brisebois,
    president and chief executive officer, Retail Council of Canada. “We will work
    with the government to develop regulations to ensure that they support the
    needs of the community as well as retailers, and work with all stakeholders to
    make Ontario’s communities safer.”

    The legislation was adopted after extensive consultation with industry
    associations, firms employing security personnel, municipalities and police
    services.

    An advisory group made up of industry representatives is working with the
    ministry to develop regulations under the new legislation.

    “We will continue to work with our partners to ensure that the new
    legislation and its regulations meet their needs and protect Ontarians,”
    Kwinter said. “These measures will increase the professionalism of the
    industry and reflect the growing role it plays in making Ontario safer and
    more prosperous.”

    Disponible en français

    http://www.mpss.jus.gov.on.ca

    Backgrounder
    ————————————————————-

    STRENGTHENING THE PROFESSIONALISM
    OF THE SECURITY INDUSTRY IN ONTARIO

    The Private Security and Investigative Services Act represents the first
    significant legislative change governing the security industry since 1966. The
    changes are designed to better protect Ontarians and better reflect the roles
    and growing numbers of security personnel in our communities.

    The proposed legislative changes address the main issues of:

    - Mandatory licensing
    – Licence portability
    – Training standards
    – Standards for uniforms, equipment and vehicles used by security personnel.

    Mandatory licensing

    The Private Security and Investigative Services Act makes licensing and
    training mandatory for all security personnel. It also makes in-house security
    staff, like those working for retailers, bars and the Corps of
    Commissionaires, subject to the act. They are currently exempt.
    A licence classification system will also be established based on the
    level of training and experience.

    Licence portability

    The legislative changes will allow an individual to change jobs within
    the industry without having to reapply for a licence. There are approximately
    50,000 new licence applications or renewal applications that come to the
    ministry every year and only about 31,000 licence holders.
    The difference in the number of licensed personnel and the number of
    applications reflects the high turnover rate in the industry.

    Training standards

    Standardized competencies and examinations will be established for
    applicants and current licence holders. Current licence holders will have to
    complete a standardized test to renew their licence.

    A “made in Ontario” basic training standard will be developed and
    include:

    - Knowledge of relevant legislation (i.e., the new Private Security and
    Investigative Services Act, Trespass to Property Act)
    – Powers of arrest
    – Use of force
    – Communications and public relations skills
    – First aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation
    – On-the-job skills (report writing, note taking and diversity sensitivity)
    – The use of equipment (batons, handcuffs).

    Uniforms, equipment and vehicles

    The legislation and ensuing regulations will set standards for uniforms,
    insignia and equipment used by security personnel. They would also identify
    colours, markings and wording that may not appear on vehicles used by security
    personnel. These measures will help reduce possible confusion between such
    vehicles and cars used by police services in Ontario.

    Consulting the security industry

    The legislation was adopted after extensive consultation with industry
    associations, firms employing security personnel and police services.
    An advisory group made up of industry representatives is working with the
    ministry to develop regulations under the new legislation.

    Here’s a link for all changes 
    http://www.mcscs.jus.gov.on.ca/english/PISG/private_inv_sec.html

  2. The Mississauga Muse on December 30th, 2008 12:59 pm

    I don’t have the time to respond fully to this poster. I’m grateful that he was so generous with his time to hunt all this material down for me.

    The reality is that I’ve read all that stuff long ago —and filed Freedom of Information on Mississauga Corporate Security’s compliance with Bill 159, the Private Security and Investigative Services Act.

    Contrary to what these newspaper and government reports say, “in-house” municipal security guards are EXEMPT from Bill 159. Mississauga City Solicitor Mary Ellen Bench admitted it at the last Council meeting.

    The reality is, any Ontario municipality can neatly avoid the licensing, standards, Code of Conduct, and especially the independent Provincial complaints procedure introduced in Bill 159, the Private Security and Investigative Services Act, 2005 by hiring and keeping their security guards  “in-house”.

    It does NOT get more secretive and shadowy than that —unless, of course you’re researching security practices in some Third World despot-pothole.

    Mississauga Corporate Security is UNTOUCHABLE and UNREACHABLE. And so are the “in-house” guards in any other Ontario municipality that has chosen to avoid the Provincial licensing, standards, Code of Conduct, and especially the independent Provincial complaints procedure of the Bill 159, the Private Security and Investigative Services Act. They have inviolate protection from scrutiny and the public is screwed as a result.

    How else do you think Mississauga stayed Mississauga all these decades?…  Keep the Public in the dark.  And anyone who questions or complains too much, ban them or arrest them. Make it EXPENSIVE for them.

    THAT’S MISSISSAUGA. How many other Ontario municipal security operations enjoy this same blanket of inviolate protection? Now that, I don’t know.  (I can only afford so much in Freedom of Information search fees.)

    I blame the Province because it’s clear to me that they couldn’t give any LESS OF A SHIT about the Public —and especially those who are just naturally “Targets”.

    I’m One. Because I know what abusive knobs they are and if you think the Supervisor/Management is bad, you should experience the stink-eye of the actual guards!

    The Mississauga Muse: I AM A TARGET

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