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Letters to Hazel McCallion: The McCallion Letters, “Request for a Meeting with the Mayor” Factum #1

October 4th, 2013  

City of Mississauga Corporate Security LETTERS TO HAZEL MCCALLION logo


Dear Madam Mayor,

I’m sitting on the floor outside the Security Office as Crime Awareness Day 2013 is happening all around me. I can think of no more fitting way to finally deliver on my February 2010 promise to meet with you to discuss my concerns relating to the City’s governance in general, and your Corporate Security “force” in particular.

Please remember that I requested permission to document our meeting on video and you responded with “anything you want”. I also understand that at best, I might be able to get an hour of your time. I propose that we meet on Monday, October 6, 2014 –just over a year from now. I chose this date for three reasons.

First I’ve attended enough court sessions to know that to make the most efficient use of time, lawyers exchange factums. I propose to do that as well –provide you a series of factums over the course of a year, to be included in Council and Governance Committee minutes. These factums will be Freedom of Information documents, and audio/video evidence (ie: Staff
interviews, meetings, speeches etc).

The Oxford dictionary defines “factum” as:


noun (pluralfactums /-təmz/ or facta /-tə/) Law chiefly Canadiana
statement of the facts of a case.

I’m sure you’ll agree that if I state something supported with Freedom of Information, audio, or video evidence, then the factum will indeed be “facts of a case”. Your Staff can review each and respond where they see I might be in error. Or not.

Second, I propose meeting a year from now because by the time of our meeting I will be 65 and officially a senior.

My third and final reason for waiting a year is that I know that nothing I say or do will actually have any effect on anything, other than setting the record straight and finally answering your question.

What question?

You asked it during the October 16, 2008 Peel Police Homicide Information Session at Peel Regional Council. Frustrated by the spike in homicides that year, you’d asked Chief Metcalfe and Peel Regional Council, “We’re spending a lot of money on programs. What is missing?”

You asked “What is missing?” five years ago. I submit that the answer to your “What is missing?” goes a long way to explain what is missing in the McMurtry/Curling Review of the Roots of Youth Violence report.

The City’s 2013 Crime Awareness day is a rainy, gray affair and I’ve taken enough time sitting on the floor of the Great Hall.

So please slot a time for me for Monday, October 6, 2014 (or later). I look forward to a productive hour of your time.

You have my very best wishes,


City of Mississauga Corporate Security boss Jamie Hillis' November 27. 2007 email secured through Freedom of Information


[Exhibit 1  Freedom of Information confirms ban of 9-10 year old girl Nov 14, 2008. Next page.]

City of Mississauga Corporate Security, Special Occurrence Report, 9/10 year old girl BANNED and punishment more harsh than many adults



[Exhibit 2   Email to Freedom of Information coordinator Barbara McEwan asking who at City of Mississauga Corporate Security told her the City’s banning database had only two fields. [BOLDED for emphasis. Grayed when less relevant]

From: MISSISSAUGA WATCH <mississauga_watch@yahoo.com>
To: Barbara McEwan <Barbara.McEwan@mississauga.ca>
Cc: Ken Owen <Ken.Owen@mississauga.ca>; mississauga_watch@yahoo.com
Sent: Wednesday, November 5, 2008 8:19 AM
Subject: Question regarding my February 2007 FOI request

Hi Ms. McEwan,I’ve just finished an email to Ken Owen clarifying what I would like for an update on the list of bans, trespasses and arrests (BTA’s) that I first requested as in FOI back in February 2007. Back then you may recall I told you that I was concerned about MissCorpSec’s banning practices and wanted to analyze their BTA records especially as it related to facility, ethnicity and age.If you were in Council back in December 2006 (yes, that long ago) it was the first time I tried to give a deputation on MissCorpSec practices.McCallion and Bench intmidated me so much that I chickened out and aborted.It’s been that long that I’ve been emailing The Corporation, trying to get McCallion et al to analyze the bans/trepasses/arrests of MissCorpSec especially as it pertained to “at-risk youth”. The Mayor’s subsequent December 2006 email-refusal to investigate and assurance that the city “treated all citizens fairly” led me to Freedom of Information.I came to you and FOI for MissCorpSec banning records.I know that in our talks about what I wanted in that first ban/trespass/arrest printout, I told you that I was worred about how MissCorpSec dealt with Youth and especially visible minority youth.I also informed you that I wished to analyze any trends based on facilities, age and even ethnicity of those banned, arrested etc. I requested records for a decade.You may recall that when you told me that MissCorpSec only began keeping computer records since January 2006. I hope that you can recall that you also said, that the only data MissCorpSec kept were  “two fields”.I’ve posted that FOI list to the Net long ago and allow me to aim you at just as an example. Please take a look.


As you can see Freedom of Information provided me with just two fields. “Date of Issue” and “Cause of Ban”.

You may recall that I was incredulous. I asked you how Mayor McCallion could assure me in email that Mississauga treated citizens fairly if MissCorpSec only kept those two fields and that therefore it was impossible to analyze and back up such an assurance.

You may recall the massive effort I expended to secure the original “tags” in order to snare more details like facility name, age etc even if it were just the arrests. You know that I even headed out to Burnamthorpe Court House for those tags. I even emailed McCallion again asking for an estimate of how much it would cost to find the “shadows” (the people banned, trespass, arrested) and tags.

Yet Brampton Corporate Security gave me the info (date, ban/tresp/arrest, cause, facility, age, ethnicity –even security guard name) right away (first time asking) –including a vast list of other security-related queries for $420. A true bargain (especially a Time bargain).

My prupose for writing. Question.

Who at MissCorpSec back in early 2007 (when I made that first printout request) told you that MissCorpSec only kep records of those two fields and that that would all I would ever be able to get?




[Exhibit 3    Email to Director Ken Owen asking in her December 2006 email, what data/stats did Madam Mayor use to make the assertion, “In any event, please be advised that the City treats all its residents fairly regardless of language or ethnicity.”  

Mr. Owen’s original email included for context.]

From: MISSISSAUGA WATCH <mississauga_watch@yahoo.com>
To: Ken Owen <Ken.Owen@mississauga.ca>
Cc: mississauga_watch@yahoo.com
Sent: Thursday, February 12, 2009 4:02 PM
Subject: Re: MISSCORPSEC FREEDOM OF INFORMATION (personal info) arrived today



Me again. I’ve just did a quick check and have a new question.

You say that “the incident in question did not show up because it was related to a ban from all facilities while the search criteria that were driven by the FOI request was specific to Burnhamthorpe.”

To be clear, the incident in question was an “all community centres” ban originating from  Burnhamthorpe Archery Group.

I’ve just checked the Malton CC MissCorp/sec database printouts. They’re from the same FOI batch as the Burnhamthorpe one –stats from for all major community centres up to September 20, 2008.

So I’d assume that there’d be a  Burnhamthorpe-specific search, a McKechnie-specific search, a Malton-specific search, a RiverGrove one etc etc.

I’ve confirmed that so far three “all community centres” and “all facilities” bans show up DO for the Malton-specific FOI search..

So why not Burnhamthorpe?

So who at MissCorpSec confirmed your suspicions that the reason the Youth didn’t show was because the printout was for a facility-specific search. Because that’s simply wrong.

Or, I ask that he explain why “all community centres” “all City facilities” bans do show up in the Malton-specific searches arriving in the same batch as the Burnhamthorpe one.

The question that I have sir is this. Way back in December 2006 I alerted Hazel McCallion about concerns that I had re: treatment of at-risk youth and visible minorities at the nds of MissCorpSec.

Here’s what she wrote back.

“In any event, please be advised that the City treats all its residents fairly regardless of language or ethnicity.”

What data/stats did Madam Mayor use to make that assertion? Serious question.


Ken Owen <Ken.Owen@mississauga.ca>
To: MISSISSAUGA WATCH <mississauga_watch@yahoo.com>
Cc: Peter Meyler <peter.meyler@mississauga.ca>
Sent: Thursday, February 12, 2009 9:35:35 AM
Subject: RE: MISSCORPSEC FREEDOM OF INFORMATION (personal info) arrived today


I’ve confirmed my suspicion that the incident in question did not show up because it was related to a ban from all facilities while the search criteria that were driven by the FOI request was specific to Burnhamthorpe.  The list provided to you with the decision letter is complete relative to the requested search criteria.

Ken Owen
Director, Facilities and Property Management
Corporate Services Department
City of Mississauga

905 615 3200 ext. 4206




“Rick Mercer’s rants damaging anti-graffiti cause: Mississauga councillor” (National Post). “Councillor Katie Mahoney damaging brain cells.” (MISSISSAUGAWATCH)

January 12th, 2012  

Here I was planning on working through the Mississauga Council Code of Conduct and vowing that nothing would distract me from that goal. And what happens?

Yet another stupidity abominated out of Mississauga Council!

(Cut-and-paste, from the National Post)

Rick Mercer’s rants damaging anti-graffiti cause: Mississauga councillor



  Jan 12, 2012 – 12:32 AM ET

Mississauga is grappling with a rise in graffiti on city property, and one councillor blames an unlikely culprit: CBC comedian Rick Mercer.

Councillor Katie Mahoney says Mr. Mercer’s famous rants along Toronto’s graffiti alley, an area specially designated for that use, has damaged the anti-graffiti cause.

“Rick Mercer needs to know that he’s not doing anybody any good with his rants down the graffiti-tagged alley,” Ms. Mahoney fumed during a city council meeting Wednesday, suggesting the Mercer rants may have unintentionally encouraged the spread of graffiti throughout Canada.

“…suggesting the Mercer rants may have unintentionally encouraged the spread of graffiti throughout Canada.” Ahhh yes… Councillor Katie Mahoney —truly a master at avoiding the Science of Governance. And why not? Bullshit Baffles Brains.

The rest of Megan O’Toole’s article on Mississauga Council’s debate on graffiti is just a painful eyeful. Click here to read to read it if you must.

The Mississauga News also reported on Council’s graffiti debate with the article, “Residents want security cameras: Councillor”.


During a lengthy discussion today at General Committee about a staff report on vandalism and graffiti in municipal parks, Iannicca said residents and merchants have told him they’d welcome surveillance cameras.

He doesn’t necessarily agree, though, noting the Dundas/Hurontario Sts. area in Cooksville has one of the lowest occurrence rates of graffiti in Mississauga likely due to the number of people frequenting the area.

“I don’t think you can go 10 seconds … without (seeing someone) and people don’t normally commit crimes in the public realm,” said Iannicca. “Maybe there’s a lesson in all that.”

Psst. The fact is, the Dundas/Hurontario Sts. area in Cooksville actually has one of the highest occurrence rates of graffiti in Mississauga! That’s why I made it one of my study sites.

Back to the Mississauga News. (Cut-and-paste)

“The issue of surveillance cameras in the public realm is something I’ve always thought of as rather odious,” said Iannicca. “There’s just something about the state, that’s us, having cameras in the public realm.

Actually,there’s nothing wrong with security cameras —they’re an irreplaceable tool for law enforcement. What’s odious is having unaccountable quasi-fascist lying c**ts like City of Mississauga Corporate Security operating those security cameras and then fabricating Corporate Reports to Council. And that’s not allegation, that’s fact.

Back to the Mississauga News:

“And, yet, you have to hear what your constituents are telling you and many are saying, ‘Nando, wouldn’t Hwy. 5 and 10 be the logical place to put them?'” he continued. “I’m not telling you I agree or disagree with it, but it’s certainly a discussion worth having.”

Psst! There’s been a Pelco PTZ video surveillance camera right at the intersection of 5 and 10 since at least October 2008.

Actually, I’d love to see the City of Mississauga install a dozen Pelco PTZs at 5 and 10. Two dozen! Knock themselves out! Five dozen! It’d be FUN to document how the cams won’t deter graffiti!

Have to laugh at yet more calls for more video surveillance cameras!

Reminder of an August 25, 2009 article, Mississauga News, “Vandals damage golf course”. The article begins:

Peel Regional Police are on the hunt for the vandals who broke into Mississauga’s BraeBen Golf Course last night and trashed the place.

Officers from the 11 Division Criminal Investigation Bureau received a call from golf course staff just after 6:30 a.m. today reporting the crime.

Notice the City of Mississauga reported the vandalism at “6:30 a.m”? Psst! Vandals and taggers do their work at NIGHT!

Next. I followed up on the BraeBen Golf Course vandalism. I videotaped no fewer than three outside Pelco PTZs (Pan Tilt Zoom) on the BraeBen Golf Course and managed to confirm that there were five cams inside the clubhouse!

Far as I know the City never did catch the BraeBen Golf Course vandals who, to quote the Mississauga News, “trashed the place”.

Just for the record, here’s video of the BraeBen Golf Course surveillance cameras back in 2009 violating the Guidelines for the Use of Video Surveillance Cameras in Public Places that City of Mississauga Corporate Security Manager, Jamie Hillis lied about complying with.

Hazel McCallion letter reveals MAJOR Root of Youth Violence –Our lying municipalities (9:29 min)

(Click here to go directly to the clip on YouTube)

As for how installing more video surveillance cameras will deter vandalism and graffiti?…

Here’s video I posted to YouTube back in May 16, 2010 showing six different video surveillance cameras FAILING to deter graffiti. Including by the way, the sophisticated video surveillance camera installed high atop a utility pole at the corner of Cooksville’s 5 and 10.

VIDEO SURVEILLANCE FAIL! (GRAFFITI defeats 6 VIDEO SURVEILLANCE cams in Mississauga, Ontario)  (1:37 min)

(Click here to go directly to the clip on YouTube)

And video uploaded April 23, 2010 to condemn Mississauga Councillor Pat Saito’s proclamation about the “absolutely phenomenal” progress of her Peel Youth Violence Prevention Network.

GRAFFITI MISSISSAUGA: WARNING! HIGHLY OFFENSIVE MATERIAL (but not as offensive as the politicians) (3:55 min)

(Click here to go directly to the clip on YouTube)

And who can forget the June 30, 2009 Mississauga News article, “Youth Plan ready for implementation” that reported:

The mayor also pointed out that only an estimated two per cent of young people frequently get into trouble.

“We should concentrate on the 98 per cent that are good youth,” she said.

Keep stockin’ up on those video surveillance cameras for the 2 per cent you don’t give a shit about, Hazel!



Last. This hour and a half video is the best documentary I’ve ever seen on graffiti. “Bomb It” is at times tough to watch.

The Hate is Shocking. Feral. But I’m convinced that it is a glimpse into the Future.

Bomb It The Movie FULL (1.30 hours)

(Click here to go directly to “BOMB IT” on YouTube)




UPDATE: January 13, 2012. The Mississauga Graffiti Debate in the news

MetroNews Canada   Councillor can’t tag this on Mercer

Rick Mercer is seen in a screen grab delivering one of his famous TV
rants filmed in a graffiti-tagged laneway.
Published: January 13, 2012 5:55 a.m.
Last modified: January 12, 2012 10:19 p.m.

Rick Mercer is firing back at a Mississauga city councillor who says the comedian’s famous rants along Toronto’s Graffiti Alley have hampered the suburb’s anti-graffiti efforts.

“My rants are shot in an artist-friendly laneway. These are fabulous, vibrant, constantly-changing works of art,” Mercer wrote in an email to the Star. “I would wager many of those artists will be remembered long after the good councillor, who’s (sic) name escapes me.”

At a Mississauga city council meeting Wednesday, Councillor Katie Mahoney suggested the graffiti backdrop of Mercer’s “Rant,” a popular segment on his long-running CBC Television program, Rick Mercer Report, glorifies vandalism.

“Rick Mercer needs to know that he’s not doing anybody any good with his rants down the graffiti-tagged alley,” she said. “That’s not helping the cause across the country.”

In an interview with the Star on Thursday, Mahoney said she stands by her original remarks, but emphasized that they were “certainly no knock against Rick Mercer at all.”

“My concern is that this showing of Graffiti Alley … doesn’t help in our efforts to combat illegal graffiti,” she said.


Graffiti Alley

  • Mahoney added that she wasn’t aware until after she made her comments that Graffiti Alley, located near Queen St. W. and Spadina Ave., is exempt from any graffiti bylaw and sanctioned as an area of “municipal significance” by Toronto city hall.
  • For his part, Mercer said he doesn’t condone vandalism or tagging.
 Note. Mercer saying, “My rants are shot in an artist-friendly laneway” means the art is not graffiti, but rather graffiti-style permission walls.

Dedicated to Malton –MISSISSAUGAWATCH.CA (non) mayoral address (Lincoln Alexander Secondary School)

October 9th, 2010  

Lots to do so I’m going to make this fast.

What follows is my experience trying to get my mayoral (non) campaign speech across to the audience still hanging tough inside the cafeteria at Lincoln Alexander Secondary School on October 7, 2010 when my turn finally came.

As a strategy I waited until Mayor Hazel McCallion gave her talk—which everyone assumed was the last of the evening. Nope.

I’d been waiting a very long time to talk to the good folks in Malton and especially Lincoln Alexander. And it was Show Time.

I won’t be providing a transcript of the video (they cut the microphone on me because they didn’t know that I was a mayoral candidate and—well, you’ll have to watch). So instead, along with the video, I’ll just cut-and-paste my script.

Dedicated to Malton –MISSISSAUGAWATCH.CA (non) mayoral address (Lincoln Alexander Secondary School)  7:34 min

(Click here to go directly to the clip on YouTube)


Hi. I’m unique among the people here because I am *not* running, I’m simply registered. I registered as part of my research into municipal governance and the City of Mississauga in particular. Since January 2007 I’ve spent over $2,000 on Freedom of Information to investigate Mississauga.

The McMurtry/Curling Report on The Roots of Youth Violence states:

“Community Centres and programs run by mainstream social service providers that have facilities are not “youth-friendly” or accessible to youth, particularly Black youth.

“Not youth-friendly”—that’s what I see too.

I have a moral obligation to tell you something.

In 2008 I attended four Mississauga Youth Plan meetings, one of which was held across the street at Malton Community Centre on March 3, 2008. I witnessed a City of Mississauga security guard deny a half dozen black youths entrance into that meeting. A couple of the kids peered through the window to friends inside and gestured that the guard wasn’t letting them in! I’ve got a photograph to prove that.

At this meeting, youth were asked to write up a wish list. Of the four Youth meetings I attended throughout the city, Malton kids were the only ones to write “DON’T KICK US OUT” as a wish.

However, you won’t see “DON’T KICK US OUT” recorded in the City’s official version of the Mississauga Youth Plan!

Here are the City’s Security records for Malton Community Centre January 1, 2006 until September 26, 2008. During that time, City security guards issued 200 bans and arrests!

By contrast, the combined stats for Cawthra, Meadowvale, Clarkson and River Grove show only 22 bans representing more than twice the foot traffic of Malton Community Centre. And no arrests.

People might respond with, “Well, you know, this is Malton –isn’t 200 what you expect?”

So I investigated the City’s bans for the nearby Westwood Mall Transit Terminal during the same period. NO bans—or arrests. Zero.

I don’t know about you but I am pretty sure more people go through that transit terminal in a day than Malton Community Centre.

From what I can figure, of the 200 Malton Community Centre bans/arrests, 48% of them are youth and minors.

Contrary to its own guidelines, the City does not inform parents when a child is banned.  Over the entire City there are hundreds of parents and guardians with no clue of the City’s bans to their kids.

That’s deadly because if a kid returns to property before a ban’s expiry, he is ARRESTED. Freedom of Information retrieved this direct quote from the Director of Corporate Security about the Arrest policy: “…no exceptions. Let them tell it to the judge”.

And that’s still not the worst part.

It’s what Staff and security guards write about you or your kid into their computer system that you have to worry about. The vast majority of people written into City Security’s “occurrence narratives” simply cannot imagine what’s written about them!

And that computer database with stuff written about your kid rides in the front seat console of every one of the City’s Security RESPONSE UNITS.

And how would you like to be the parent of this kid?

Or this one?

If your kid goes to Malton Community Centre I urge you to file Freedom of Information on any records that the City of Mississauga might have on your youngster.

If nothing comes up, great.

If it does? Do not try to fix things up by dealing directly with City Security. They are highly-accomplished liars and I have proof of this. Besides, you can’t remove what these security guards wrote about your kid. But you CAN enter into the records your youngster’s side of the story.

And you can file a complaint—even if it was something that happened back in 2006.

Go to www.mississaugawatch.ca. I will help!

Thanks for listening.



Pic from City of Mississauga Youth Plan meeting held at Malton Community Centre on March 3, 2008. Mississauga Corporate Security guard prevents (black) youth from entering the building.

Mississauga graffiti wall removed –and graffiti artists/taggers adapt new strategy

June 22nd, 2010  

It’s funny how things work out…

I can’t even count the number of Peel Youth Violence Prevention Working Group and Steering Committee meetings I’ve sat in on since their inaugural March 2007. Then there was observing four (bogus) Mississauga Youth Plan meetings. And sitting in on Peel Regional Council meetings when the Peel Youth Charter or youth issues were on the agenda. And myyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy but the adults talked. And talked. And talked.

But the very youth that the politicians and bureaucraPs were entrusted to help just never showed. Indeed, in the case of the City of Mississauga, steps were taken to ensure that “bad youth” had better think twice if they wanted their say. You know, the two percent youth that Hazel McCallion does not consider “good youth”.  The “two percent” youth that our public institutions loathe.

As readers know I began studying Brampton/Mississauga graffiti back in April 2009. Since then I’ve compiled hundreds of photographs and many hours of videotape. I will never post the majority of the material because I know the images can be used as evidence against a graffer or tagger should he ever get caught.

Researching graffiti absolutely catapulted my understanding of the “bad youth” that our public institutions prefer didn’t exist.

Oh, but what a researcher can learn from graffiti and tags! You get this new way of seeing —and you’re richer for it.

I find myself touring Mississauga examining walls and fences and surfaces, thinking, “Now there’s prime real estate for a tag. I wonder why there isn’t one…” Best of all this study of graffiti has taught me to see the City as no middle class muddler can hope to. With such clarity! Graffiti is Real!

I’ve learned a lot about graffiti through the simple act of documenting it. But the true insights into the world of the graffer/tagger come through direct email via YouTube. What I feel blessed about is that graffers took a chance to contact me. To tip me off to graffiti locations.  To explain the symbols, the language. But mostly to teach me the psychology of their sub-culture  —the adrenalin rush of a successful night out with their  graffiti crew.

Which brings us to…

Last week one of our graffiti study sites was obliterated. Some grafs at this location had “08” for dates suggesting they had been up for almost two years. Why the Big Erase now? I suspect it’s got to do with MUNICIPAL ELECTION TIME.  Either way —gone.

As of today we’re starting a new tradition. Whenever one of our graffiti study sites goes down, MISSISSAUGAWATCH will document its demise for the record. We’ll also “resurrect” BEFORE pics/video of what the graffiti and tags had looked like. That way these youth graffiti-voices aren’t completely lost.

So. Here’s the video. Followed by transcript.

YouTube Video, “MISSISSAUGA GRAFFITI REMOVED: Comparative (Before Erase. May 27, 2009. After Erase. June 19, 2010)” 3:11 min

(Click here to go directly to the clip on YouTube)


MISSISSAUGAWATCH (at our study site after graffiti was removed June 19, 2010):

It is June the 19th, 2010  and this is the —what’s left of the graffiti wall here at the past the .

I had documented the graffiti here. It’s been erased. Gone. As has a lot of the material at the front. And what’s interesting is, this week —say Monday/Tuesday, Councillor Nando Iannicca sent out a Councillor’s Report that had a rather prominent little column on graffiti.

And, gosh, it wasn’t two days after that I noticed the graffiti that had been here for a long, long time had been erased.


Photos and video clips of  what the graffiti looked like back on May 27, 2009.


Click here for a larger (1024 x 395) version.


Click here for a larger (768 x 1024) version.


Click here for a larger (768 x 1024) version.

And two Before and Afters.

MISSISSAUGA GRAFFITI REMOVED location undisclosed (comparison) "HACR" (Before April 13 2010. After June 19 2010.)

Click here for a larger (1024 x 618) version.

And of course…

"MISSISSAUGA GRAFFITI REMOVED location undisclosed (comparison) Before May 27 2009. Then April 14 2010. And after removal June 19 2010.
Click here for a larger (640 x 960) version.

Funny. The May 2009 footage represents the first record I have of MIOH/MYOH and I only discovered that during the preparation of this video! Note too the few additions between May 2009 and April 2010. That means both HACR and MYOH got nailed at this site!

I can tell you this. Removal in no way discouraged them. On the same day I discovered this graffiti site removed, I noticed HACR and MYOH in several new locations. It’s very very clear that they learned a lesson though —and adapted accordingly!

GRAFFITI MISSISSAUGA "After a graffiti wall was removed in June 2010, Mississauga graffiti artists, HACR and MYOH quickly adapt and implement a new strategy"


The Mississauga Muse


April 2nd, 2010  

This time Part 2  —the transcript of this video report —uploaded to YouTube just prior to the Hate Crime/graffiti data released by the Peel Police Services Board at their Friday, March 26, 2010 meeting.


Rather than repeat the introduction, please click here if you’re interested in viewing/reading Part 1 MISSISSAUGA/BRAMPTON GRAFFITI RESEARCH (preliminary) REPORT conclusion: Studying graffiti/tags is an important window into youth culture first.

Otherwise, we begin Brampton/Mississauga graffiti Part 2 video and transcript.


NOTE: When I uploaded Part 2 to YouTube on March 25th, I referred to it as a DRAFT and said that I’d replace it at a later date with a more-worked version. I’ve since changed my mind. Viewing this a week later, I realize that it’s important to show “works in progress” –even as rough, rushed and off-the-cuff as this one was.

uploaded March 25, 2010

Click here to go directly to the clip on YouTube



MISSISSAUGAWATCH (parked directly in front of the City of Mississauga Big Yellow evil empire, March 25, 2010):

Just to speak a little bit further on the lack of overlap between what the July and August 2009 Peel Regional Police graffiti photographs showed and mine —that was a surprise. I had actually figured that I would recognize more tags than I did.


The other thing is, in my own driving and looking around, the tags that I documented, while they might still be there —they’re the original tags that I documented a year ago. And I often don’t see new ones by the same individual.

And I’m not quite sure how to interpret that.


Peel Police has [sic] suggested that catching graffiti [sic] is very difficult to do —and catching people in the act. That’s not a surprise.

So the question is, do the kids just naturally grow out of it in the sense that they’ve tagged maybe for a few months and then just grown out of that, or whether they’ve been caught, whether they’ve been talked out of it by buddies —I don’t know. But it doesn’t seem to be something that for a lot of them they don’t do for any length of time.


For graffiti people who might be out there watching this and offended, I have to admit that I haven’t been at the Mississauga Graffiti Wall. I’m aware that it exists. I just have difficulty getting access to it. But it appears to run —I’ve checked Google Maps and it runs along Streetsville. And I have seen the graffiti there and there’s a lot of beautiful stuff there. I’m talking about the artwork because it is Art —it’s just unauthorized Art and therefore it’s a crime, but—

It may be a crime, but it’s still Art.

In the case of somebody spraying “FTP” on a post, don’t convince me that’s art —that’s just tagging.


One thing just looking at the occurrence reports and the quality of the occurrence reports, who’s ever writing them, the descriptions are excellent. The best occurrence reports also explain what the graffiti represents. And I’m satisfied myself, that I’m beginning to recognize gang-related graffiti versus just a bunch of boys [sic] who are out on a lark.


However at the same time just because somebody’s putting up gang graffiti doesn’t make them gang members either. It just means that they know the gang symbols —as do I.


There was the underpass, clearly permission wall underpass and it had been sprayed with —I know one of the words was “White Power”. I can’t remember if there was the word “N*****” in there. I seem to remember that to be the case, which again would it clearly make it a Hate Crime.

But what was interesting is, I remember, oh, about a year ago, maybe more, Councillor Katie Mahoney saying, oh, we put up these permission walls and when we do, other graffiti artists respect this art and won’t draw over it.

Wronnnnnnnnnnnng! They draw over it.

And the best example to show that taggers will draw over other graffiti artists is just to go to the [points to Mississauga City Hall] skateboard plaza in there.


Some of the permission walls constantly attract taggers. There’s only one that doesn’t and it was done by a respected, well-known graffiti artist. And it seems to be that, yes, that stuff is not touched because people recognize it as a true graffiti artist.

The other stuff? Pfffft.


I have to say that at this time last year, I don’t think there was as much graffiti around as there is now. I think it’s on the increase. However, at the same time I also know that I’m a much much better at spotting it.

So, and Peel Police also suggest that maybe there isn’t as much —that the increase that they see might not be so much an increase in graffiti, as an increase in reporting.


There’s a lot of question marks, here. You see I’m kind of struggling with what the graffiti says.

But there’s absolutely no doubt that if you are not —I’m talking about now people who want to understand youth and trends of youth. I’m not talking about the kind of youth that feel comfortable walking into building.


The youth that I’m interested in and the most at-risk aren’t going to be writing as much. They’re more likely going to be expressing themselves on YouTube.

Again. It’s just a hypothesis right now.

And I think in the case of video, YouTube is richer for the [sic] kind of research because sometimes you see incidental things. In the case of one video, I was, I won’t say what the subject was but somebody was


driving down Highway 10. And you could see out the window, as they were videotaping out the car, there was a Mississauga Transit bus. And also a City of Mississauga Transit Enforcement vehicle. I don’t know if it was the 301 or 302 car but there are these little snippets that you get and then you can email the videographer and say, hey, can you tell me something about that incident.

Or, hey, I noticed some interesting graffiti you’ve got in your video. Can you tell me the location.

And you know, at first they don’t want to tell you. But then when they start looking at your stuff and they realize that yeah, you’re really interested in researching and what they have to say, they do share it.


When they really know that you’re not reporting the location, you get, I get emails —really terrific insights into graffiti and the tagging culture. And it is a culture.  It’s a —yes, it’s a sub-culture.

But when you think about these people [points to Mississauga City Hall], these people look down on —not just look down on, they look at taggers and graffiti artists and the “bad youth” with the most, with the most contempt.

And [points to Mississauga City Hall], these people view themselves as “decent folk” where the tagger is essentially an animal.


What was really interesting was to be going through and reading each of the [Peel Police] documents and I matched the photographs up with the occurrence reports and then I flipped the page and I saw big black spray paint on yellow brick and I knew immediately that it was [points to Mississauga City Hall] City Hall.

And as I looked at the other pictures, sure enough, somebody, and I don’t know the date, about late July, “bombed” City Hall!

And it looked like they started at the skate plaza, went around the front, did the pillars —I don’t know what those watchtowers are at both ends—


But I want to make it clear I will never report a location of graffiti and tagging. Because when you’re researching if you report, what happens then, it becomes erased. And because of that, you have changed something in what you’re researching.

And one of the things I’m researching is how long some of these graffitis [sic] —graffiti meaning paintings or drawings, or tags, stay up!

If it’s on public property, Public Works, I will tell you this, Public Works gets rid of stuff really fast. A lot of the stuff on private property stays up a lot longer.


Peel Regional Police and Peel Council say how much they try to work with the community. I had been at the Lincoln Alexander School lock-down, had an opportunity to talk to Malton residents and they spoke very highly of Peel Regional Police. Every last one, including a Honda Civic, you know, with the dark tinted glass coming in with three youth in it.

And you’re kind of thinking, oh oh, [laughs] this is going to be a drive-by shooting. No, they rolled down the window and they asked what was going on and those guys in there with the hats this way [turns cap sideways] they supported Peel Regional Police too.


What I’m trying to do is anything that I remember I want to record right now because I’m really interested in how much of it, of my observations, matches Peel Regional Police. And wouldn’t it be interesting if it’s different? Because it really shouldn’t be. If —there might be different stuff that Peel Police record, but the ratio of the Hate Crimes and “FTP”s [F*** the Police] and this kind of thing, the ratio should be the same as my photographs.

Should be. Well, we’ll see.





GRAFFITI MISSISSAUGA, "S BLOCK" "S-BLOCK" (undisclosed location) photographed March 30, 2010



MISSISSAUGA/BRAMPTON GRAFFITI RESEARCH (preliminary) REPORT conclusion: Studying graffiti/tags is an important window into youth culture

April 2nd, 2010  

—As promised —the transcript of this video —uploaded to YouTube just prior to the Hate Crime/graffiti data released by the Peel Police Services Board at their Friday, March 26, 2010 meeting.

Advisory: I research graffiti/tags and do not report any locations no matter how offensive (even racist) it is. After all, if I am documenting such observations as how long something stays up, I can’t be the one reporting it! Having begun my research into graffiti on April 19, 2009, I can now confidently say that studying graffiti/tags is an important window into youth culture. Graffiti and especially the tags, give marginalized/alienated youth a voice they simply don’t have anywhere else.

These youth never showed at Mississauga Youth Plan meetings. Never showed for Peel Youth Violence Prevention meetings.

These youth NEVER show. Because they KNOW.

Like I do.

Want to prep you for the graffiti stuff with a quote from Peel Regional Chair Emil Kolb, February 28, 2008.

“I had a young gentleman in to see me yesterday that was here to convince me that we need to get away from the word, ‘multi-culture’ and we need to get to the word of ‘integration’. If we don’t get to the word of integration —how these communities are going to integrate, that, maybe not in our time here soon, but maybe in his children’s time, they’ll be a big issue in this Region.”

To me, that’s the most important thing Chair Kolb ever said in the four years that I’ve been researching municipal governance.


OK, enough background.


uploaded March 25, 2010

Click here to go directly to the clip on YouTube



MISSISSAUGAWATCH (parked directly in front of the City of Mississauga Big Yellow evil empire, March 25, 2010):

March 25th, 2010 and all I care about is that I get this report up on YouTube today and before tomorrow’s Peel Police Services Board meeting.

I read in the Toronto Sun that Peel Regional Police were going to be tabling their annual Hate Crime statistics.


And there was mention that quite a bit of the material that would be presented was in the form of graffiti.

So I’m absolutely intrigued and I want to record my own findings and study so far on graffiti and I thought what better place to do it than right here in front of Big Yellow evil empire City of Mississauga city hall. Because, see right there? Freedom of Information, direct observation, videotape, observing the Mississauga Youth Plan, Peel Youth Violence Prevention —all manner of emails and documents going back and forth, that, right there is a MAJOR Root of Youth Violence.

So I thought no better place than right here with that in the background.


OK, first of all the Mississsauga Youth Plan. I had been observing it including four meetings, ostensibly called “youth input” meetings.

Let’s put it this way. The youth that really needed a voice, not only weren’t represented, they wouldn’t have even been welcome there!


So I realize that the youth who were most at-risk, the ones who got in trouble with police and that I would see at Brampton Court House  —they’re not going to these meetings.

And I thought, well, how do I even go about finding them? And I managed to do that through YouTube. And it became very clear that if you want to know what youth are thinking (laughs) you don’t invite them to the Mississauga library!

The youth that I’m primarily interested in, the target group, the most at-risk, have already pushed these people aside and recognized them for what they are. Frauds.


But how do you gain access to them? To be able to see what it is that they’re thinking and what it is they’re saying because, for the most part, they’re not interested in talking to people like me. I’m 60 years old for example. They just— and a lot of them don’t even trust you or think that you’re legitimately interested in them. And, by the way, I don’t blame them.

And they certainly have a hatred —an absolute hatred, for institutions. And may I also say that I don’t blame them for that either.


So in March 2009, I watched a lot of true youth voice videos on YouTube. And it became obvious that graffiti was a big thing in those kids’ lives. So by April I was already deciding that I was going to start documenting graffiti here in Peel Region.


The other thing I want to say is even though I’m a resident of Mississauga, I think Peel Region. And in fact, the fact that I’m wearing this hat today is symbolic of that. I’m a Peeler. I think in terms —I love the City of Brampton. I love Brampton kids. Those are the kids I taught for most of my career. So there’s this strong feeling of community within me and pride for Peel.

So it wasn’t just a case of me documenting City of Mississauga graffiti, I also wanted to know what was happening in Brampton. And I began my first photographic foray on April 19, 2009.


And I did not report any of the graffiti. While I put these samples up on my Flickr site, I did my best to try to hide the locations. And I can say that even now, that some of these graffiti and tags are still up.


There are some really-truly graffiti artists. And I mean like ART. It’s zero question, it’s ART.


The other thing is, in July and August I also expanded my graffiti research to the Hawaiian Island of Maui. And also expanded my research to include skateboarding culture and to compare —and I also researched skateboarding, to compare the urban-style skateboarding that we have here in Brampton slash Mississauga versus the west coast style of skateboarding that you’d see in California and definitely on Maui.

Very very interesting and I also speculated that there would be a difference in the graffiti between the urban here Mississauga one and west coast, Hawaiian Island kind of graffiti as well.


The other thing that I did, is in July and August, what with me researching Hawaiian or Maui-based graffiti, it meant that there was a two-month window that I didn’t have graffiti here in July and August. So what I did just recently, is I filed Freedom of Information with Peel Police requesting their graffiti information for the months of July and August.

And I can’t thank Peel Regional Police enough for two reasons. For one thing the amount of material that they gave back both in terms of print-outs, colour print-outs and also one DVD cost —was roughly $44.00. And they waived the fee. I’m grateful.

But the other thing is, by reading their —Peel Regional Police’s occurrence reports and the quality of their observations and the insights there, that did two things. I learned a lot from what Peel Regional Police is looking for in terms of its own graffiti research. And to realize that they are applying Science to the study of graffiti. As am I, by the way.


One thing that I found with the graffiti here, is I agree too that a lot of the graffiti is —of the Hate ones, and there isn’t as much as you might think. Which in some ways is good.

But yeah, you see the swastikas. You see the White Power. You see N***** and niggaz.

However, I’ve also documented graffiti which shows sort of the Chinese —the target Chinese community, with the Chinese hat and the moustache, with “Chinaman” down there. Or drawings of the turban. And then —I mean really offensive stuff!

The other thing I was looking for was the relationship that these youth who do graffiti have with Police. Because I felt the relationship between youth and Police would be reflected in the graffiti.

And I admit that there’s some “F*** the Police” and “FTP” which is short for “F*** the Police”. And Peel Regional Police, in their July and August 2009 data also showed some evidence of that.

But what was neat was, it’s still quite rare.

And when you go, for example, to the City of Hamilton, which is one of my alternate study sites —comparative sites, “F*** the Police” is one of the most common pieces of graffiti. As is “FTP”. And I’m talking about every pole. Along every area— even in the parks.

And I’m talking about Beasley Park where “F*** the Police” is about this high in big black letters and has been there since I started back in April.


So there’s a really huge difference in the relationship, I believe —at least that’s what I think it suggests between the youth in the City of Hamilton and the Police, as opposed to what we see here in Peel and the relationship with Police.

Sure there’s the odd tag but it isn’t nearly as prevalent and as obvious as City of Hamilton.

And so one of the questions you ask is well, what’s the message there?


The other thing that is interesting is, when I looked at the photographs that Peel Regional Police had for July and August, there was very little overlap between what they documented and what I did.

And the other thing really interesting is, Peel Regional Police —their July/August stuff, a lot of it was parks. And a surprising amount was City of Mississauga sites and parks. And City of Mississauga Corporate Security being the ones filing the reports on graffiti.


That’s not a surprise because I avoid City of Mississauga property because (whispers) I know about these security guards.


So I always have a— I have to have a [sic] audio recorder to even feel remotely-safe on City property. So I try to avoid that and my analysis is more along the roadways and just driving along the roads and pulling aside when I see something.





August 7th, 2009  

This Blog is dedicated to the 9/10 year old girl who was banned for 30 days from three major City of Mississauga facilities at once (Mississauga Civic Centre, Mississauga Central Library and Mississauga’s Living Arts Centre). The ban, by City of Mississauga Corporate Security guards, was for “Disturbance”. It was issued on November 14, 2008, the same day that Roy McMurtry and Dr. Alvin Curling released their  Review of the Roots of Youth Violence report. Meanwhile, documents reveal that not much earlier that year (May 9, 2008) two 15/16 year old girls were banned for 30 days from just one facility, the Mississauga Civic Centre, for “Drugs”.  Parents/Guardians were not advised in either case —the only consistency found in these bans.

MISSISSAUGAWATCH is currently researching Brampton, Mississauga and Peel municipal governance through Freedom of Information (FOI) on many fronts.  Every query, every FOI filed —indeed every tangent we take, relates to Youth and ultimately what we believe to be a Major Root of Youth Violence, municipalities themselves.

Today we post a transcript of the October 25, 2007 endorsement of the Peel Youth Charter by Peel Regional Council.

The Peel Youth Charter was presented with much ceremony and even former Ontario Premier William G. Davis was there to smile for the Photo Op.

Below is video of Larry Zacher’s presentation of the Peel Youth Charter followed by the transcript: vital, historical, Youth Violence related-material that must be posted now.

Please know that when I was videotaping this, I was not aware that Charter-presenter, Larry Zacher, Executive Director of Safe City Brampton is spouse of City of Brampton Councillor, Gael Miles, who is also Chair of the Peel Youth Violence Prevention Network. Apparently neither of them thought this was worth mentioning.

To  begin, Google Video uploaded January 5, 2008.

PEEL YOUTH CHARTER endorsed by PEEL REGIONAL COUNCIL (Oct 25 2007) – 08:09 min

Please click here to go directly to the clip on Google Video

TRANSCRIPT of Google Video, “PEEL YOUTH CHARTER endorsed by PEEL REGIONAL COUNCIL (Oct 25 2007)” (Please advise of any errors in the transcript, thanks)

Larry Zacher, Executive Director, Safe City Brampton:

“Good morning, Chairman Kolb and Members of Council.

I have mixed emotions here this morning. I’m very proud to be presenting the Peel Youth Charter but also very intimidated to be following the Honourable William Davis. (laughter)

It’s a hard act to follow before but now that’s he’s bringing children up to his presentations (more laughter) what do you think, Valerie? (more laughter)

I would like to introduce Judge Valerie-Arnold, the Trustee from Brampton in Dufferin-Peel –oh! In the Peel District! -and also a member of the Peel Youth Violence Prevention Committee.

Thank you for having us here today.

First, I would like to congratulate the Honourable William Davis and the Success by Six Committee for the work that they’ve done when creating the Children’s Charter.

The absolute best thing we can do to Youth is provide seamless care for our children, from the day they’re born right though til they become responsible adults.

So it’s very timely that they are here with the Children’s Charter and we’re here with the Peel Youth Charter.

Council supported the development of this document by establishing the Peel Youth Violence Prevention Committee. I guess it was about January 06 and in the following spring we held a Youth Forum because we wanted to get input from the Community.

We had over a hundred and forty agencies represented as well as quite a few young people themselves, came, and we had a full day –it was one of those days where [sic] you’re pretty drained at the end of it, and looking at what are the issues facing Youth, where do we need to go and how can we tackle this as a Community (inaudible).

The outcome of that was the Peel Youth Violence Prevention Strategy, which was published in September of last year –very comprehensive document, a very innovative document, that is probably one of the first that comprehensive an approach anywhere in North America.

I know that for a fact we recently had the World Health Organization in Brampton designating us as an international safe community and one of the programs and one of the issues that they were very very impressed with was the Peel Youth Violence Prevention Strategy and seeing that it was very cutting edge and a very important program for our region.

Out of this Strategy, we’re currently, since it was published in September, we’ve established four working groups that are working comprised of people from all walks of life and all communities and all neighbourhoods in the Region of Peel.

Those working groups are focusing on Youth activities and Youth support and just as importantly, Family support, Community development –these all good ideas take money and resources to put into place, and Educational policies. And they have been working for the last year and a half and will continue to work and develop approaches and programs and strategies as we go forward.

The second very important outcome to come out of the Youth forum and out of the Strategy is the Peel Youth Charter. With that mounted, it’s a big document, I think that some of you have seen it, many of you have seen it and it sets out really how to accomplish two things.

The first is that it’s a statement from all of us that we value Youth and the skills and the energy and everything they bring to our community

And the second part is a –it’s a commitment from all of us to provide a safe and supportive environment for our young people and to do our utmost best to provide Safety initiatives for them and to ensure that they have the opportunities for education, future employment opportunities, that they have a good quality of life in our region and that they have access to the resources and activities they need to develop into happy, healthy, responsible adults.

The Charter has been signed by community leaders throughout the Region and includes the Mayors –Chairman Kolb has already signed it, the Police Chiefs, the Heads of the School Boards, the Community agencies.

We’ve also very strategically left a blank line in there because as we go forward, we want every business, every community agency, every organization that can contribute to Youth to sign on there and become a partner in this.

And by signing it, it’s not just saying, “Hey this is a great thing to hang on the wall”, it is a commitment to do what we can in those key areas –whether it’s Education, Jobs, Safety, any of those areas to support our young people.

So this week our committee has been visiting community leaders, media, going everywhere, presenting the Charter. I’m proud to say also this week the Charters are about to be going up in every school in the Region of Peel.

They’re going up in libraries, recreation centers and wherever other public [sic] –public buildings.

One of the things we’re asking today, Chairman Kolb, is that the Region endorse these Charters going out in Regional buildings, police stations and again where people will see them and wherever we have an organization that can contribute to this Charter.

At this time I would like to ask Chairman Kolb, and he mentioned that there are a number of Regional Councillors who sit on the Peel Violence [sic] Prevention Committee… Councillor Gael Miles, Councillor Katie Mahoney and Councillor Pat Saito and –sorry?

Councillor Gael Miles or Sue McFadden (unsure which) : That’s ok.

Larry Zacher, Executive Director, Safe City Brampton:

So if you can join us at the front, we’ll present —as well, Trustee Tony da Silva, from the Duffeirn-Peel Catholic District Board is here.

(Everyone goes to the front. Mississauga News, Ron Lenyk takes photo. Video ends.)

FACT:  Freedom of Information has confirmed that (at least at the City of Mississauga), the Peel Youth Charter is merely, “Hey this is a great thing to hang on the wall”.

OPINION: As a result, all Peel Youth Charters should be removed from City of Mississauga facilities and properties, ASAP.

To review the Peel Youth Charter, [underlined emphasis mine]

PEEL YOUTH CHARTER (signed March 29, 2007)

We believe that young people are valuable members of the Region of Peel. Young people bring a unique, diverse set of ideas, perspectives and skills, and make a valuable and significant contribution to our community. They deserve the same respect, dignity and human rights as all members of the community.

We believe all Peel youth have the right to:

These rights will apply without discrimination or prejudice to all youth in Peel.

By signing this charter we are committed to use our best efforts to ensure the safety, health, education and future employment of Peel’s youth.

Signed by: (left to right on the original Charter)

Susan Fennell (Mayor-Brampton), Marolyn Morrison (Mayor-Caledon), Hazel McCallion (Mayor-Mississauga) Emil Kolb (Chair Region of Peel), Janet McDougald (Chair Peel District School Board), Bruno Iannicca (Chair, Dufferin-Peel Catholic School Board), Andy Karski (Inspector Caledon OPP), Mike Metcalf, (Chief, Peel Regional Police), Jim Bird (Vice-President Brampton Safe City Association), Katie Mahoney (Mississauga Crime Prevention Association), Shelley White, (CEO, United Way)


The Mississauga Muse


William G. Davis at the endorsement of the Peel Youth Charter (Peel Regional Council) October 25, 2007

Hazel McCallion saves Sheridan Library: “…please, spread the news that this library is NOT closing!”

April 17th, 2009  

Hey Missy Dudes and Dudettes,

Apologies for not having a fresh Blog since April 14th but there’s just been so much to document/research that there’s simply been no time to report on what’s happening.

To give you an idea of what MISSISSAUGAWATCH has been up to in the data collection department since Monday’s Blog here’s a list.

Data collection, researching through Freedom of Information and bearing witness to what needs to be witnessed are far more important than regular Blogging.

You’d think that would go without saying. But no.

The Internet is thoroughly polluted with Blogs spouting opinion —the situation made worse by comments to opinion-focussed Blogs spouting opinion from readers spouting their opinions.   Far too many Blogs assault readers with hundreds of words before actual supporting documents/data are presented.

The very worst Blogs are 100% opinion.

I can tell you this —consider it a reader alert. As of this week, one more Blog (already toxic with unsubstantiated opinion) has joined our virtual world.

As for MISSISSAUGAWATCH.CA,  all I can say is Freedom of Information research continues…

Next. Today’s Blog.


I’ve been observing Mississauga Council since June 2006 and I can’t tell you the number of times Budget deliberations have threatened the Sheridan Library. Cut hours. Cut hours. Cut hours.

Cut hours so much that here’s what Sheridan Library service looks like today (from the mississauga.ca website). Hint: When you scan the hours, think of when kids are in school and parents at work.

NEW! Hours – Winter 2009

Mon 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Tues 3 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Wed 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Thurs 3 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Fri 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Sat 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

There’s a worrisome trend at the City of Mississauga that I’ve already mentioned in previous Blogs. Two years worth of Freedom of Information documents reveal that City of Mississauga Staff aren’t strong on social issues.

Cut-and-pasting from a previous Blog that dealt with cuts to hours of library service, Councilor Saito said it best.

PAT SAITO: They are probably the four libraries that are in the area of most need.”

“I guess when I look at the, the hours, or sorry, the libraries that are suggested to be closed for the saving on the Friday evenings and the Sundays.. You know (small chuckle) they’re the four libraries —four of them, Meadowvale, Burnhamthorpe, Malton and South Common. They are probably the four libraries that are in the area of most need.” —Mississauga Councillor Pat Saito (October 15, 2008 Budget Meeting)

Now speaking of areas with most need, we have Sheridan Library. And I have to say I found the presentation by the Mississauga consultant fascinating. For one thing, she used 2004 data. For those who need the Obvious spelled out for them 2004 was five years ago!

The other odd item was the difference of opinion about the needs of the community in the immediate area. The City of Mississauga consultant downplayed the need —that there were other parts of Mississauga more “at-risk”. Then the E.S.L. (English as a Second Language) teacher for the nearby Oakridge Public School, who attended to support his kids, provided data showing that the Peel District School Board identified his school —Oakridge, as Number One in terms of  need.

Two studies. Two very different findings. Something is very wrong here.

I suppose that this is as good a place as any to tell readers that in my former life, I taught at Oakridge Public School back in the mid 70’s. Many youngsters were needy back then!

A lot of people attended this meeting to defend the Sheridan Library. But I have to congratulate that Oakridge E.S.L. teacher because he served up data. Facts.

As a result of the information he provided, he’s made it possible for me to file Freedom of Information on various aspects of the Sheridan Library. (I won’t reveal more because I know the minions of evil empire move their lips to this Blog.)


Here’s the bottomline.

Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion  has the following message.

“Please, spread the news that this library is NOT closing. “

And I’m only too happy to.


And not only that but just from examining the Mayor’s face during her speech and afterwards, it’s a pretty good guess that she’s going to see that this needy community’s largely new immigrants (and the Oakridge kids) get a library reflective of those needs.

Ward Councillor Katie Mahoney has defended Sheridan Library every single time it was threatened. Afterwards, I even stood in line to speak with her and thank her for the resolute defence she played on behalf of these people. Mahoney squawked every single time. And her last Council squawk made it clear to Mississauga Staff not to bring up the topic of closing again.

Still, a Councillor has surprising little power.

What has guaranteed a brighter future for Sheridan Library is McCallion herself.  I’m convinced that the Mississauga Mayor did not know the embarrassing conditions at Sheridan Library. Frankly I had my eyes opened too Wednesday evening as well.

The cramped conditions and aging books sure turned the mississauga.ca News Release,  “Service Options Review for the Sheridan Community” into an Orwellian joke.

Down at the very bottom of the City’s News Release. it states:

Mississauga is Canada’s sixth largest city with a population of more than 700,000. With well-established infrastructure and state of the art facilities, the City is considered to be an employer of choice, delivering quality municipal programs and services to its citizens. Mississauga is a dynamic, diverse, and progressive municipality, known for its economic strength and for being Canada’s safest city.

“state of the art facilities”?! STICK IT YOU SPINMEISTERS IN COMMUNICATIONS!

Well, I certainly feel better now…

So here is video of Mayor McCallion’s wonderful address to the Sheridan Library Community Wednesday evening.  And the transcript of the video. All for the record.


(Click here to go directly to the clip on YouTube)

TRANSCRIPT  Mayor Hazel McCallion Sheridan Library April 15, 2009 public meeting:

Thank you very much and I came to listen. And there are some excellent suggestions put forward.

And I want you to know that your Councillor has protected this library.

And I want you to know that myself and the Councillor and even Councillor Mullin, is concerned about reducing the library hours.

Because I really believe the library, in many years, is the community centre as much as it is, especially for the students.

And you know, today, in order for Canada to be competitive, it is so important that our children get every opportunity to learn more because that’s the only way will remain competitive.

[Apologies, battery change]

The services, by the way, Paul, [Ed: Commissioner of Community Services, Paul Mitcham] that we provide in this library obviously is not adequate. I hate to hear that there’s not enough computers. Today, the children, when they’re doing their research, the computer is such a key to it.

So I heard two things tonight –how the library is stocked. Is it that same as others libraries in the area? I don’t mean all libraries. We DO have the Central Library. And we DO have a district library. And we have a [inaudible] library and therefore they should be all equal, whether the neighbourhood is here or in Streetsville or Erin Mills or wherever it is.

So we heard tonight, there is a need. As I say, your Councillor has protected the library. There was a movement to close it and she stood up and made sure it wasn’t closed.

Now we’re here tonight and Councillor Mullin has joined us.

The library, you know, years ago, when there weren’t community centres and there weren’t arenas and there weren’t all those things, there were libraries. Think about that. There were libraries because that was the key to a community.

And so the library is an extremely important facility in the community.

In regard, I agree with Councillor Mahoney as well, that the library should be located in the right location and that is important as well –to be able to be available to as many people as possible.

Not all –we can’t have a library on every corner –we can’t have a library right next to your house, I wish we could, but we can’t. So we have to choose a good location. And I think your Councillor is well aware of where the library should be.

We will attempt –I will try to negotiate with the owner of this plaza as well. And I would think that the economic downturn and the fact that plazas are not doing as well –and this one, I understand is not doing as well as others and I think that there’s a pretty good negotiating opportunity.

Secondly, we will look at land within this area that Councillor has clearly defined to see if there is. It’s tough to purchase land these days, you know. You can’t force people to sell it to you but we will make every effort.

I know that Paul, our Commissioner here tonight, will bring me up to date on the negotiations that are taking place with the owner of this plaza and I will get involved.

So tonight you gave us some ideas –I think they’re great– I want you to know that we are here to serve you and to serve this community as we try– [McCallion cut off by applause]

So thank you for coming and please, spread the news that this library is NOT closing!



The Mississauga Muse

HAZEL MCCALLION: READ "TRANSCRIPT Mayor Hazel McCallion Sheridan Library April 15, 2009 public meeting: ...and please, spread the news that this library is NOT closing"

Addtional resources.

I was unaware that the young man sitting in the chair to my right was Peter, the person who left an announcement about the Sheridan Library meeting in “About the Mississaugas Muse”.  I Googled him and found his excellent summary of the Sheridan Library meeting.

Peter Browne describes himself as a “Peter Browne student. nerd. politics activist” and I encourage you to read his “Sheridan Branch Library Meeting” summary. Clearly Peter is a Blogger committed to informing his readers. He’s actually posted an audiotape of the  meeting as an mp3!  Audio and video cut through the He Saids and She Saids of differing opinions of what actually happened.

Also please visit Peter’s Flickr site for his photographs of the information slides presented at that meeting.

Last. Here is the Mississauga News article, “Neighbourhood needs its library, residents say”.

McMurtry/Curling, Volume 1 FINDINGS, ANALYSIS AND CONCLUSIONS -word-surfing for “municipal”, “municipality” and “municipalities”

December 29th, 2008  

Hey Missy Dudes and Dudettes,

Just repeating the intro that I wrote in my two 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.

The Mississauga Muse videotapes Mississauga Council

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 five 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 “accountable” and “accountability” 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 “munici”.

“munici” would help me find all instances of the words “municipal”, “municipality” and “municipalities”. Why? Because MISSISSAUGAWATCH believes that Ontario municipalities and their lack of ethical infrastructure are themselves a major Root of Youth Violence.

There can be no better example of municipal failure to legitimately address Youth Violence than this comment from Mississauga Councillor Pat Saito as she trumpets the “amazing” success of the Peel Youth Charter and the Peel Youth Violence Prevention Strategy.  Apparentlly, 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:

“Thank you, Mr. Chair.  As Gael said, I think we’re all amazed –those of us on the Committee, at the success and how quickly we’ve been successful over the past two years…”

–Mississauga Councillor Pat Saito  PEEL REGIONAL COUNCIL (October 25, 2007)

Watch Councillor Saito in action and it’ll help you understand why the McMurtry/Curling “Roots of Youth Violence” report (and at-risk Youth) are doomed.  It’ll also go a long way in understanding why I’ve taken McMurtry/Curling’s “Roots of Youth Violence” and word-searched for “accountab-” and now, “municipal-“

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

To reiterate, I have knifed through the McMurtry/Curling Volume 1 FINDINGS, ANALYSIS AND CONCLUSIONS word-searching for “municipal”, “municipality” and “municipalities” and also included the sentence before and after to provide context. (We did not search for “local” as in “local government” and acknowledge this work as incomplete.)

Like the previous Blog, this “municipal”, “municipality” and “municipalities” entry is also a work in progress, and will over time include links to other Youth-related reports, articles, images and even YouTube videos.

So we begin:

MISSISSAUGAWATCH Highlights: The report of the Review of the Roots of Youth Violence

(Word Search “munici“) Volume 1 FINDINGS, ANALYSIS AND CONCLUSIONS


WORD SEARCH: “municipal” “municipality” and “municipalities” in RED.

Violence involving youth is a challenge for many Ontario municipalities and rural areas.  To help ensure a provincewide lens on available youth programs and services, we asked ministries most impacted by violence involving youth for an inventory of relevant programs and services they deliver or fund.    p. 13

We obtained exceptionally valuable information on areas of particular interest, including addressing social exclusion, crime prevention and poverty reduction through place-based policy and service delivery strategies; the structural governance initiatives necessary for success in these areas; data collection, particularly in the area of race; targeting and monitoring mechanisms; community engagement; and the United Kingdom’s wide-ranging anti-racism strategy. Our work with the City of Toronto and the United Way led to their representatives asking to join us on this visit, and we were very pleased to have the perspectives of a major funder and a municipal government at our meetings.    p. 14

In the case of the first two items, the Province must move quickly to put in place the necessary governance structures. In the case of the other recommendations, and subject to discussions with municipal governments and community groups, we believe that substantial progress could be achieved within six months.

And yet, municipal and provincial planning and design processes are not traditionally inclusive of youth, and especially not of youth who are racialized minorities.    p. 51

Carter, G. (1979). Report to the Civic Authorities of Metropolitan Toronto and Its Citizens. Toronto: Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto.    p. 108

Pitman, W. (1977). Now Is Not Too Late. Toronto: Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto.    p. 110

Prosecution recommended that the Nova Scotia Police Commission, municipal police departments and police commission boards develop innovative outreach programs and liaison roles to provide visible minorities with more positive police interaction (Royal Commission on the Donald Marshall, Jr. Prosecution, 1989a).    p. 117

The Race Relations and Policing Task Force and many other reports recommended creating a community and police advisory group on racism training to reflect the community perceptions of policing (e.g., Rolf, 1991). Stephen Lewis (Lewis, S., 1992) and Clare Lewis (Lewis, C., 1992) both recommended establishing a community-based monitoring and audit board to work with police forces and municipalities, in conjunction with the Race Relations and Policing Branch of the Ministry of the Solicitor General, to conduct a systematic audit of police race relations policies.    p. 119

The typical approach of provincial and federal governments remains to identify a provincial or national priority, develop a program and a service delivery model, and then either provide the service or contract out its provision in accordance with standards set by the government. While there is some experience with regional approaches, and some evidence of support for the place-based initiatives of municipal governments, the paradigm remains centrally driven universality.    p. 142

This involves looking in each neighbourhood to determine what is working already, and to find and support local sources of strength. Those sources may be municipalities, individuals, organizations, programs or institutions. What is important is that the operating orientation not be to simply focus on naming problems, but rather on finding, supporting and building on strengths.    p. 145

To advance the strategy overall, the government also created Local Strategic Partnerships with the local authorities (municipalities), community agencies and residents. These partnerships (discussed in more detail in Chapter 9) connected local funding priorities with national polices by identifying urban neighbourhoods in need of assistance, helping them form a plan and arranging necessary service agreements with other organizations.    p. 149

Before we outline Prof. Ellis’s approach in more detail, we should first indicate how we would see it being used to identify priority neighbourhoods. We would regard the rankings determined by the index as the basis to start a conversation with each affected municipality to determine areas requiring priority attention. We believe that the factors and approach used by Prof. Ellis will usefully identify areas for careful consideration, but that the Province must work with the affected municipalities to ensure that local, on-the-ground knowledge is taken into account to verify that the identified areas are indeed the most disadvantaged ones locally.    p. 155

We note, for example, that Toronto has been able to develop a more comprehensive approach to identifying priority neighbourhoods, using more indicators and looking at the local availability of services. These and any similar initiatives elsewhere should be respected by the Province, and the lessons learned from them should also be included in conversations with other municipalities. In particular, every consideration should be given to adopting Toronto’s approach of using a local mapping exercise to assess the practical availability of core public services in determining that an area warrants priority attention.    p. 155

Similarly, municipalities should have the lead in determining the boundaries of any such areas. The units of analysis proposed by Prof. Ellis are small, which permits them to be either used individually or combined into approximations of actual neighbourhoods.    p. 155

The immediate value, though, remains that the index will provide the Province and its municipal partners with an objective way to identify the areas of the province that should be considered as priority areas for a place-based approach.    p. 157

The Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services oversees policing in Ontario. However, costs concerning youth-related programs, including those of the Ontario Provincial Police and municipal police, are not aggregated at the provincial level. We do know, however, that according to the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, the total cost of policing in Ontario in 2006 was $3.4 billion.    p. 207

The OPP helped develop content for CyberCops in Ontario and, in partnership with the Ontario Physical and Health Education Association, delivered training to teachers on its use. The Ontario government provided financial support for development of CyberCops and distribution across the province to schools, OPP detachments and municipal police services.    p. 210

Healthy Babies, Healthy Children

Babies and mothers are screened to detect problems that could limit a child’s abilities later in life, allowing early interventions. The program is delivered through public health units, and the cost is shared with municipalities. Other early years initiatives include programs involving preschool speech and language, infant hearing, blindness/low vision early intervention and infant development.    p. 212

In addition to public investments in public housing, steps must be taken to improve the living conditions in private rental accommodation. We did not receive much information on the best ways to do this, but can say that the provincial interest in addressing the roots of violence involving youth may well require increased public interventions in the form of low-cost loans or other ways to ensure the necessary investments are made. Federal programs for this remain in place, but they fall short of the mark. The Province should seriously consider cooperating with municipal governments to close the gap as part of its strategy to address the roots of violence involving youth. We cannot wait to resolve theoretical turf wars among governments while the quality of the actual turf on which people live is generating violence.    p. 237

Second, the ministry needs to find ways to prevent a period of incarceration becoming a “gang-entry” program. We were advised that many youth, while in custody, develop relationships with gang members that lead to gang affiliation. They then take that association with them when they return home. In some instances where youth are incarcerated with youth from other cities, this transition jumps municipal lines and brings a new and more dangerous gang culture to areas that did not have that problem before. The ministry needs to be sensitive to this issue and should implement a strategy to prevent it from occurring.    p. 288

Our belief that the Province should fund the social infrastructure we propose for disadvantaged communities does not absolve the other orders of government of their responsibilities for services. There is an obvious need for the federal government to recognize the impact of its own cutbacks and to begin to invest seriously in the health of disadvantaged communities. The Province should continue to be vocal in this regard and to press for enhanced federal funding. The Province should also take every opportunity to nurture and build on the workmunicipal governments are doing in these neighbourhoods.    p. 301

Ontario has made some moves in the direction of using schools as delivery points for services. More than 300 Ontario Early Years Centres are located in schools. So too are many of the province’s Best Start hubs, which integrate public health, education, children’s aid, programs for children from 0 to 6, and municipal and other services. Parenting and Family Literacy Centres are also located in schools.    p. 308

The leasing body would have two key characteristics: facilities management expertise, and knowledge of community and other programming. Municipalities might want to use or establish agencies to do this, or organizations like the Y might well be interested. No doubt there are other service organizations with the skills and interest that should have this opportunity.    p. 309

In summary, we see the Province’s role in this area being to support these efforts by making clear in tangible ways that they are valued, by providing structural and financial supports, by being active participants in resident engagement work already underway in municipalities and by demonstrating a continuing commitment to work in partnership as these efforts build community capacity. We emphasize the word “support” because, if communities are to be strong for the long haul and the tough issues, it is the individuals within them who must have the will, and invest the substantial time and commitment required, to function in more cohesive ways.    p. 313

We speak largely about a provincial obligation in this regard because of the need for a provincewide approach to community building and because of the clear provincial interest in the outcomes to be obtained. Nonetheless, it is clear to us that this community development work needs to be done in close collaboration with the municipalities, which have an essential and central role at the local level. This is especially true in places like Thunder Bay and Toronto and others where this kind of foundational work is already.    p. 313

A Role for Colleges and Universities

Outside the governmental sphere and in addition to the valuable related work that many funding bodies and municipalities are undertaking, there is another very important but largely untapped public resource, which can be brought to bear on this issue. We refer in this regard to the resources and talents within our colleges and universities, many of which are located near the most disadvantaged neighbourhoods, and all of which we know to be interested in building and supporting their local communities.    p. 314

There are many opportunities to help community groups or agencies conduct evaluations, service mapping and needs assessments, reviews of relevant best practices and other small-scale research projects. And, on a larger scale, the community and the post-secondary sector can also work together, often with the local municipality, which knows well the longer-term research needs, to identify and carry out research agendas and projects to support long-term social investments. One leading example of this is the collective role a number of postsecondary institutions in British Columbia played with their communities in developing the evidentiary case for the early childhood learning initiative discussed in Pillars 1 and 2.    p. 315

Second, the provincial government must work with the other orders of government to create both the structures and the relationships that permit the coordination of the relevant activities across governments. We appreciate that this may be a challenge with the federal government, but there are no external impediments to the Province’s building a new governance relationship with the municipalities on these issues. As that is done, we believe that success will encourage the federal government to accept its significant and serious responsibilities in this area.    p. 327

Third, the Province must begin to work with municipalities, and if possible the federal government, to bring communities into the governance framework in meaningful ways.    p. 327

Towards New Relationships With Governments and Communities

In this section, we move to a discussion of the other two governance elements we consider essential to advance progress on the roots agenda. The first is the creation of both the structures and the relationships that permit the coordination of the relevant activities of the three orders of government, with an initial emphasis on work with the municipalities. The second is working with municipal governments to bring communities into the governance framework in meaningful ways as a core part of building new governance relationships.    p. 344

In our view, notwithstanding the many advantages of collaboration, the Province must move vigorously to accomplish everything it can do on its own if collaboration cannot reasonably be obtained. In doing so, the Province should of course always value and seek cooperation with other governments, and even in its absence act in a way that respects the existing leadership and knowledge that reside there, especially at the municipal level. It should also always act in a way that builds community partnerships wherever possible and that leaves space for and encourages other governments to come to the table.    p. 345

A Municipal Focus

We accordingly believe that, while the Province should pursue federal cooperation in the course of its ongoing business, the priority for seeking intergovernmental collaboration within the proposed governance framework should be with the municipalities. For reasons we will go on to discuss, we also believe that the major focus and locus for building that collaboration should be in the disadvantaged neighbourhoods discussed in Chapter 7.    p. 345

We will accordingly focus most of our analysis on building collaborative structures with municipalities in the disadvantaged neighbourhoods.    p. 345

Building Collaboration With Municipalities and Communities in Disadvantaged Neighbourhoods

i) Rationale and Approach

Collaboration with the regional governments and municipalities is paramount. This is due to the highly local nature of what has to be done, the knowledge municipalities have about their communities and what works on the ground, and the leadership many have already demonstrated on issues related to the roots of violence involving youth. The challenge is how to create and sustain that collaboration on matters central to addressing the roots agenda. Getting caught up in, or undercutting, the work to restructure the provincial-municipal relationship more broadly, or embarking on yet another complex and time-consuming process of structural negotiations with the large number of highly diverse municipal governments in Ontario must be avoided.    p. 346

In the result, our advice is to combine the second and third aspects of our governance model by focusing on working with municipalities in and for the identified priority neighbourhoods. In this approach, the neighbourhood becomes the place where the provincial-municipal relationship on roots issues is built, not the place it is rolled out after having been negotiated somewhere else. In this approach, residents and local service providers are inside the governance model at the outset and integral to how it is built and operated. This approach will make sure that results flow early, with any structural agreements to anchor the local work made as needed, being tailored to local reality and forged from practical experience. Agreements, where required, would follow experience rather than preceding it.    p. 346

This approach builds on the discussion in Chapter 7 and earlier in this chapter about the importance and value of focusing program and policy initiatives in the most disadvantaged neighborhoods in the province. Chapter 7 also outlined a methodology to identify those neighbourhoods in conjunction with the municipalities. Among the many benefits of this approach are that it allows the Province (and other partners as well) to increase the return on investments by putting resources where they are most needed and by drawing on local knowledge and strengths. To these, we would add that it creates a natural forum for collaboration.    p. 346

The City of Toronto, using a more comprehensive approach than is possible provincewide at the moment, has already identified and undertaken important groundbreaking work in 13 such neighbourhoods. These should be the foundation of the Province’s place-based work there, as should any The City of Toronto, using a more comprehensive approach than is possible provincewide at the moment, has already identified and undertaken important groundbreaking work in 13 such neighbourhoods. These should be the foundation of the Province’s place-based work there, as should any other defined, disadvantaged neighbourhoods in which other municipalities are already focusing work to address the roots of violence involving youth.    p. 346-347

Within all of these neighbourhoods, the Province should, as a governance initiative, work closely with the municipality to engage with residents and service providers in ways that build community strengths and a provincial-municipal-community culture of collaboration. This work must, of course, be done with great care to understand what is in place and working already in priority neighbourhoods.    p. 347

ii) Our Proposal

Based on the above premises, the core of our proposal is that the Province and municipal governments should come together with local agencies and community members in a partnership in each identified neighbourhood. They would do this by forming a Neighbourhood Strategic Partnership (NSP), modelled in part on Britain’s Local Strategic Partnerships (LSPs), and in part on the City of Toronto’s neighbourhood action teams and partnerships.    p. 347

As that funding can constitute in the range of 50 per cent of local authority budgets, the role and influence of the LSPs cannot be underestimated. By contrast, we do not see our Neighbourhood Strategic Partnerships as being involved across the whole of a municipality, nor as becoming involved in the whole provincial-municipal relationship. Our focus is on the roots of violence involving youth, and our interest in LSPs is focused on the vital governance role they can play on that issue, specifically in disadvantaged neighbourhoods.    p. 348

We believe that partnerships broadly similar to the local strategic partnerships should be established in each priority neighbourhood in Ontario. They should be anchored in representation from the provincial and municipal governments, and should also draw together the service providers in each neighbourhood and a number of community representatives. The federal government should be encouraged to take a seat at these tables and to play a significant role at them.    p. 350

For the Province, the internal alignment measures we propose, along with the public commitment to meeting the outcome targets provincewide, should already be achieving this, but those alignment measures would be strongly supported by the pressure for alignment being driven up from these partnerships. Similarly, the municipality, having endorsed this process and been at the partnership table, would also have a strong incentive to align its efforts and resources to help meet the targets.    p. 351

Similarly, we believe that the municipal focus on the roots issues at the NSP tables will drive alignment on the roots agenda at the municipal level, as the Toronto experience has already demonstrated, and lead to a desire to collaborate with the other orders of government.    p. 352

These inherent alignment pressures should mean that new structural mechanisms are unnecessary to bring governments together on the roots agenda. As well, as we have noted above in related contexts, the complexity of negotiating broad agreements encompassing numerous municipalities on the many issues relevant to the roots agenda would in all likelihood materially impede real progress on the many core issues.    p. 353

We believe that if the Province and the municipalities, and ideally the federal government as well, start their collaboration on the roots agenda at the neighbourhood level they will address the most pressing needs and also begin to develop better working relationships on the ground. It seems to us that on the basis of those relationships, and experience in these communities, they will know better whether a broader structure is necessary, and will be better placed to achieve it if it is. We also think the structure, if needed, will be a better one if brokered through experience in working together as a body involving service providers and community members.    p. 353

It seems to us that the Province and the municipalities could usefully consider making available a fund to facilitate this. That fund could support crisis counselling for youth and families who may have been traumatized by the enforcement exercise. The fund could also permit an immediate boost to key programs and activities in a community where police action has taken place. The boost to community programs and services would serve two purposes. First, the community would see immediate positive consequences following the police action, and might be more inclined to cooperate with the police as a result. And second, the increased activity in the community and on the streets could help the community take back its parks and streets before a new gang starts up to fill the vacuum created by the enforcement action.    p. 357

8.  To identify the neighbourhoods for the place-based approach, the Province should employ the Index of Relative Disadvantage we have proposed to determine on a provincewide basis the areas where disadvantage is most concentrated. Once the index results are available, the Province, through a lead ministry for community building, should immediately open discussions with the affected municipalities to identify local factors, such as the availability of services, for inclusion in the determination of the most disadvantaged neighbourhoods and to define the boundaries of such neighbourhoods.    p. 374

19. The Province must recognize the value of sports and arts in supporting learning, development and creativity of youth. The Province should work with municipalities, school boards and community agencies to remove barriers that include income level, transportation and a lack of usable space. The Province should move to immediately embed accessible sports and arts programs in the priority neighbourhoods. (pages 257–260)    p. 378

30. Steps Towards Community Hubs: There is an overwhelming consensus in favour of building community hubs and, accordingly, no reason to delay action on that front. In neighbourhoods where it is clear that the Index of Relative Disadvantage will demonstrate a high level of disadvantage, or where similar methodologies have already done so, the Province should promptly initiate discussions with the municipal governments, to begin to plan for a hub if none exists and in particular to determine the availability of recreational and arts facilities. Where the latter facilities are lacking, the Province should work actively with the Ontario Realty Corporation and the municipality to lease alternative space for youth and youth services until a hub is developed. Another winter and spring should not go by in the most disadvantaged neighbourhoods with there being no safe place for youth to gather and play.    p. 381

♦ Hold focused discussions on the Index of Relative Disadvantage with a view to finalizing it in time for an initial data run in early 2009. This will identify areas for conversations with municipalities to select and define the most disadvantaged neighbourhoods for the priority actions we outline.    p. 382

In the case of the first two items, the Province must move quickly to put in place the necessary governance structures. In the case of the other recommendations, and subject to discussions with municipal governments and community groups, we believe that substantial progress could be achieved within six months.    p. 382

Short to Medium-term Initiatives

We believe the Province must also work to make steady progress on the following components of our strategy and appreciate that several will require more in depth consultations among ministries and with municipal governments, agencies and community groups.    p. 382

♦ Launch an assessment of recreational, cultural and other hub needs with municipalities in areas identified as likely to be determined as areas of high disadvantage when the Index of Relative Disadvantage is run.    p. 383

♦ Begin discussions with the community agency sector on ways to streamline and stabilize their funding, involving municipal governments and other funders as appropriate.    p. 383

♦ As disadvantaged neighbourhoods are formally identified, work with municipalities to define areas for joint effort and begin to establish Neighbourhood Strategic Partnerships, or work within existing equivalent structures.    p. 384

Carter, G. (1979). Report to the Civic Authorities of Metropolitan Toronto and its Citizens. Toronto: Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto    p. 386

Pitman, W. (1977). Now Is Not Too Late. Toronto: Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto    p. 394


♦ Formulate recommendations on:

◊ Immediate and longer-term actions and solutions involving all related parties, including government (provincial, federal, municipal), communities, private sector.    p. 400

Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, The Impact of Urban Design and Infrastructure on Youth Violence    p. 408

Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Youth Violence, the UK’s Neighbourhood Regeneration Strategy and Housing    p. 408

Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing    p. 409

Expanding access to specialized courts for youth was also recommended, as well as improved availability of drug treatment, a central source of information for families and better access to mental health treatment with extension of the mandatory treatment period. Three-year funding was recommended for agencies showing positive results. The task force also encouraged municipalities to develop safe communities strategies.    p. 411

Canadian Criminal Justice Association (1989). Safer Communities: A Social Strategy for Crime Prevention in Canada. Canadian Journal of Criminology, 31 (August), 4–23

In association with major national organizations concerned with policing, social development, children and youth, natives and municipalities, the Canadian Criminal Justice Association set out a strategy for crime prevention calling for all levels of government, police, citizens, voluntary organizations and private enterprise to take responsibility.    p. 412

Carter, G. (1979). Report to the Civic Authorities of Metropolitan Toronto and its Citizens. Toronto: Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto.

The Council of Metropolitan Toronto asked Gerald Emmett Cardinal Carter, Catholic Archbishop of Toronto, to act as a mediator or conciliator between the civic authorities, in particular the police and minority groups in the city.    p. 412

Four-Level Government/African Canadian Community Working Group (1992). Towards a New Beginning: The Report and Action Plan of the Four-Level Government/African Canadian Working Group. Toronto: African Canadian Community Working Group

Federal, Ontario, City of Toronto and Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto officials and members of Toronto’s Black community formed a working group to formulate proposals for specific strategies to address the concerns of the Black community with respect to justice, social services, education, youth and policing.    p. 414

Pitman, W. (1977). Now Is Not Too Late. Toronto: Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto

In 1977, in the wake of incidents of violence toward the South Asian community in Toronto, Chairman of Metro Council Paul Godfrey appointed Walter Pitman, then-president of Ryerson Polytechnical Institute, as a one-man “Task Force on Human Relations” to probe the issue of racism in the city. He found that a disturbing degree of racial tension existed in the city and that the city had not yet addressed the issue of racism directly.    p. 423

The Role of Government

What, in your opinion, is the role of government (federal, provincial or municipal) in reducing violence involving youth in your neighbourhood. Please indicate whether you strongly agree, somewhat agree, somewhat disagree, or strongly disagree with each of the following statements.    p. 449



The Mississauga Muse



MISSISSAUGAWATCH Highlights: Executive Summary of The report of the Review of the Roots of Youth Violence

December 26th, 2008  

Hey Missy Dudes and Dudettes,

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.

I can tell you with certainty that a city’s Strategic Plans are much like a citizen’s New Year’s Resolutions to lose weight. Both are dependent on the sincerity of their drafters, commitment to follow-through —and most important, regular assessment of progress towards goals set.

It’s the time of the year when I, The Mississauga Muse must evaluate my 2008 New Year’s Resolutions and set those for 2009. To that end, it’s vital that I set down The WHY —Why it all matters. In that way, when I assess the progress (or lack thereof) of our 2008 Resolutions, I do so through the lens of The WHY.

And so, to that end…

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 three Blog entries on that report.  Click on any one of these links:

I felt that it wasn’t enough for me to simply write about the Executive Summary of The report of the Review of the Roots of Youth Violence —I needed to create an online Roots of Youth Violence resource, if only for myself.

What follows is a searchable summary —a Readers Digest, Coles Notes version of the McMurtry/Curling Executive Summary of The report of the Review of the Roots of Youth Violence.

Just so readers know, what follows is a cut-and-paste of what I marked with yellow high-lighter while reading a hard copy of the Executive Summary of The report of the Review of the Roots of Youth Violence on an exercise bike at the YMCA.

As such this MISSISSAUGAWATCH McMurtry/Curling Executive Summary cut-and-paste is highly subjective —what I considered important, viewed through the lens of My Mississauga Experience, the Peel Police Services Board November 17, 1994 (Youth) Community Summit – Final Report, as well as The WHY -The Peel Youth Charter.

To reiterate, this McMurtry/Curling Executive Summary cut-and-paste is not complete. I have excerpted the points I consider most important, and offered them without commentary for now. I use an ellipsis (…) to indicate omissions. This is a work in progress, and will over time include links to other Youth-related reports, articles, images and even YouTube videos.

So we begin:

MISSISSAUGAWATCH Highlights: Executive Summary of The report of the Review of the Roots of Youth Violence

Executive Summary


However, we found no overall policy in place to guide this work and no structures to coordinate the efforts of those doing it. We found a focus on problems rather than on the roots of problems, and on interventions once the roots had taken hold rather than on actions to prevent that happening.

Overall, our analysis brought to light a number of underlying issues that call for attention in a structured and sustained way…

Roots Review •1

And that is what we call for, along with a governance structure to ensure that change happens in a coordinated and sustained way…

Before outlining our findings, we want to acknowledge the wise counsel and excellent advice we received from the two bodies our terms of reference identified as key partners: the City of Toronto and the United Way. In particular, Nancy Matthews, on behalf of the city, and Frances Lankin, on behalf of United Way Toronto, brought to our work a wealth of expertise and experience, and were instrumental in helping us appreciate the full scope of the issues before us, and the kinds of sustainable responses necessary to address those issues…

Ontario at a Crossroads

We acknowledge that Ontario has been making progress on certain of the issues we identify. Much of its work on early childhood learning is very much in the right direction, the full-day learning initiative for four- and five-year-olds has the potential to be powerfully transformative, the increased spending on education is impressive, and the appointment of a Poverty Reduction Committee at the Cabinet level is inspirational. And both before our work started and fairly frequently throughout it, the government made program announcements that are consistent with the directions we propose.

Roots Review •2

…because Ontario does not have a coordinated strategy for its youth. The very serious problems being encountered in neighbourhoods characterized by severe, concentrated and growing disadvantage are not being addressed because Ontario has not placed an adequate focus on these concentrations of disadvantage despite the very serious threat they pose to the province’s social fabric. Racism is becoming a more serious and entrenched problem than it was in the past because Ontario is not dealing with it.

…These trends are deeply troubling. They include the increasing concentration of violent crime among younger people, the increasing frequency with which guns and knives are being used in disputes that might previously have been settled with fists…

…violence, and a broader community inclined to write off these youth and these communities because they see them as the source of this problem rather than its victims.

…In these developments, we see powerful signs that core social bonds are being stretched beyond the breaking point. As those bonds break, violence is normalized, sensibilities are brutalized and communities are isolated. The sowing of the seeds for community retreat, the ceding of public space to violence and the silence that arises from the fear to speak out all increase the opportunities for violence.

Roots Review •3

…(Youth) becoming desensitized to violence, violence becoming an acceptable way of dealing with conflict, gangs proliferating, police presence increasing and leading to harassment, students having more difficulty focusing on school, teaching becoming more difficult, schools being unsafe, youth suffering from depression and social service agencies increasingly unable to keep up with the demand for services.

…What is particularly disturbing is that many of these communities are largely composed of members of racialized groups. We trace in Chapter 4 how racism and other barriers have concentrated poverty in these groups, and how the housing market has then driven them into concentrations of those who suffer from high levels of poverty.

When poverty is racialized, and then ghettoized and associated with violence, the potential for the stigmatization of specific groups is high. That stigmatization can, in turn, further reduce opportunities for those groups. If we allow these trends and impacts to grow in intensity and impact and fail to mobilize as a society to address the conditions that give rise to them, the prognosis for the neighbourhoods and for the future of this province could be grim.

…It is because this balance still exists, however precariously, that we consider Ontario to be at a crossroads.

Roots Review •4

Understanding the Roots

…as poverty were necessarily the roots of violence involving youth. If they were, we would be a far more violent society than we are now given the extent of these conditions and circumstances.

…We believe it is only if we find and address the conditions that give rise to that state of mind that we will be able to stop the growing number of youth who think that way.

It takes a certain desperation for a young person to walk our streets with a gun. The sense of nothing to lose and no way out that roils within such youth creates an ever-present danger. That danger arises from the impulsiveness of youth and the lack of foresight with which they often act. The unfortunate — and often tragic — reality is that it often takes very little provocation or incentive to trigger that latent violence once we have let the immediate risk factors develop. This most often puts other youth in danger’s way, but can do the same for any of us, because it creates a reality in which violence is unpredictable — unpredictable in location, unpredictable in cause and unpredictable in consequences…

What then are the immediate risk factors…

♦ Have a deep sense of alienation and low self-esteem

♦ Have little empathy for others and suffer from impulsivity

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♦ Believe that they are oppressed, held down, unfairly treated and neither belong to nor have a stake in the broader society

♦ Believe that they have no way to be heard through other channels

♦ Have no sense of hope.

…For us, it is the roots — the conditions in which the immediate risk factors can grow and flourish — that require the urgent attention of the Premier and his government because the costs of failing to identify and address them will be ongoing, tragic and high.

What Are the Roots?

While we discuss each root separately, many, if not all, of them frequently interconnect and intertwine in ways that create devastating cumulative impacts for far too many of our youth…

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Poverty does not directly cause violent crime. If it did, then given the extent and depth of the poverty among us, our levels of violence would be truly frightening. Most people living in poverty are working hard to hold down one or more uncertain, low-wage jobs, to improve their skills or education, to hold together families and communities against a bombardment of negative circumstances, or sometimes are doing all three. All Ontarians should admire their hard work and their strong commitment to a society that fails them in so many ways.

But poverty without hope, poverty with isolation, poverty with hunger and poor living conditions, poverty with racism and poverty with numerous daily reminders of social exclusion can lead to the immediate risk factors for violence…

…In our view, poverty can lead to a lack of self-esteem, the experience of oppression, a lack of hope or empathy or sense of belonging, impulsivity and other immediate risk factors through three different but linked pathways:

♦ The level of poverty: the depth of relative deprivation experienced by those in poverty

♦ The concentration of poverty in definable geographic areas, where negative impacts grow and reinforce each other…

♦ The circumstances of poverty, in which services and facilities that most of us take for granted are not locally available or are denied by reason of cost or accessibility, or both, to those who need them the most…

Roots Review •7


…We were taken aback by the extent to which racism is alive and well and wreaking its deeply harmful effects on Ontarians and on the very fabric of this province.

…Others, in particular Aboriginal people and African-Canadians, continue to also suffer from a seemingly more entrenched and often more virulent form of racism.

…And yet, there are fewer public structures in place in Ontario to address this reality than we had in the past.

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But while race is not something that can create the immediate risk factors for violence involving youth, racism is. Racism strikes at the core of self-identity, eats away the heart and casts a shadow on the soul. It is cruel and hurtful and alienating. It makes real all doubts about getting a fair chance in this society. It is a serious obstacle imposed for a reason the victim has no control over and can do nothing about.

The very real potential for this to create the immediate risk factors should not be hard to understand. How can it not erode your self-esteem to feel that, no matter what you do or what you achieve, you can be excluded or undervalued simply because of your race? How can it not be alienating to know that you can be or have often been stopped by the police or followed in a store or denied housing for that same reason? How could your willingness to study and work hard to get ahead not be eroded by a clear sense of having more limited prospects than others, and how could that not reduce your sense of hope?

And, as well, when you look to society’s major institutions for leadership in confronting these insidious realities and find almost no focus on this issue, how can all those feelings not be made more deeply hurtful and exclusionary?

…When, as is so often the case, racism is combined with poverty and other sources of serious disadvantage discussed in our report, its central role in the issue that concerns us is all too evident.

Community Design

The conditions of the communities where young people live not only greatly affect the quality of their lives and the opportunities available to them, but also how they perceive themselves, society and their role in it.

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…A major concern of those we met was the lack of anywhere for youth to go. We found neighbourhoods characterized by unwelcoming environments and a disturbing lack of places for youth to gather, play or create. This leaves youth with the greatest need for such facilities with no positive outlet for their energy and time, no space or facilities for creative self-expression and no place that fosters contact with coaches and other positive mentors. When these youth hang around, for lack of anything better to do, they are then often stereotyped and harassed for so doing, further driving their sense of alienation.

There is a similar lack of space for organizations seeking to work with youth, particularly organizations led by youth themselves. This further reduces the number of services and programs available to the youth who need them the most.

Issues in the Education System

…The safe schools provisions of the Education Act promoted a policy of “zero tolerance” for “bad” behaviour in schools. Some of that behaviour is indeed serious and requires a strong response. But, under those provisions, many youth have been suspended or expelled from school without a full consideration of their circumstances and without adequate supports to maintain their learning or occupy their time in positive ways. There is a wide consensus in the community that the safe schools provisions have had a disproportionate impact on racialized students, students with disabilities and youth whose parents are not adept or at ease in dealing with teachers and school administrators.

We recognize that the recent amendments to the Education Act in relation to the safe schools provisions are a positive step. But we believe they fall short of what is required to

Roots Review •10

…Another concern is guidance counsellors who have not been trained to have an in-depth understanding of the complexity of the factors that affect the ethno-racial youth who seek their advice. For many, guidance advice often appears to be given from a perspective of low expectations based on the ethno-racial background of the youth.

Similarly, students, families, communities and advocates have long been struggling with the low expectations some teachers have for racialized students and, in particular…

The last issue is criminalization. Expulsions and suspensions put many youth on the streets for extended periods and lead to more interactions with the police, increasing the potential for criminalization. At the same time, zero-tolerance policies have led many schools to call in the police for activities that would have been addressed by the schools alone in earlier times. This has also led to the increased criminalization of many marginalized youth, with consequences we discuss below.

Roots Review •11

Family Issues

Most families provide secure and safe places for children to grow and learn. But many do not. Families can be divided, abusive, or struggling emotionally or financially. Some youth have no family. Without the support of a strong family, alienation, low self-esteem, a lack of hope or empathy, impulsivity and other immediate risk factors for involvement with violence can set in and take hold of a young person, especially if the youth is also experiencing other roots of the immediate risk factors, such as poverty, racism or mental illness. A severely troubled home life can have a damaging effect on a youth’s interest in school, ability to learn and interactions with peers and teachers.

…In the result, it is not the structure of the family, but rather the stresses bearing on the family relationships that can create immediate risk factors for violence involving youth.

…Where a father is present, what is important to the outcome is not that presence alone, but the degree of responsibility the father assumes for child-rearing and his participation in imparting positive values.

…Parents who are recent immigrants or refugees dealing with urgent settlement problems may not be able to turn their attention to difficulties their children are having in school, or they may be unable to help because they cannot communicate with the teachers or are reticent to engage with authority figures. Schools often lack the capacity to help them adjust or the creative outreach that would make them welcome, and settlement services to assist them are often far short of what is needed.

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…Youth who live on the street are often the victims of violence, and the harsh reality of street life can lead to these and other immediate risk factors for violence.

Children and youth in the child protection system often “cross over” to other systems, such as the criminal justice system. We were told that a disproportionate number of youth in the young offender system have been in the care of child welfare authorities in Ontario, and that there is a trajectory from the children’s services sector to the young offender system.


Across cultures, about one in five Ontario children and youth experience a mental health or behavioural disorder requiring intervention, but we were advised that 80 per cent of them do not receive mental health services or support. This lack of treatment allows the mental health condition to worsen and its effects on the youth (and their alienation, impulsiveness and self-esteem) to grow. It adds pressure and stress to the families of these youth and can lead to the youth disrupting the lives of classmates, friends and peers.

…The earlier the mental health intervention, the higher the chance of a successful outcome.

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Lack of a Youth Voice

The sense that many youth already have of being alienated from society is reinforced when they do not have opportunities to be heard in areas that directly and immediately affect their lives. This can lead to a negative concept of self, a greater distrust of authority, a sense of powerlessness and a sense of exclusion from the broader community.

And yet, our experience over the past year was that youth brought many fresh insights and inspired solutions to the issues we were grappling with. In many ways, youth and youth-led organizations are best-positioned to know what will work for other youth. The absence of their voices in many areas of immediate importance to them sends a message of limited opportunity as well as excluding the youth perspective from many decisions.

Lack of Economic Opportunity for Youth

There are many barriers for youth from disadvantaged communities who seek opportunities… lack of transportation to get to a job interview and as deeply complex as racism. The experiences of parents being denied the ability to use all of their skills and experiences can also play a devastating role.

…or learn all too early that their postal code alone will act as a bar to employment.

…When these and other factors are combined with the high value our society places on economic success and possessions, the consequences for self-esteem and any sense of hope, opportunity or belonging can be serious.

Issues in the Justice System

…that Ontario’s youth justice system does not have an overall strategy or coherent vision for youth justice in Ontario. Three ministries operate parts of it, with no ministry in charge, no overall policy direction, and no ministry with the mandate to look across the whole system to identify the best ways to allocate the roughly $850 million it spends each year.

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…We see this as leading to two ways in which the immediate risk factors for involvement in violence can be created.

The first is through over-criminalization… Criminalization can cause youth to see themselves as having no other future and can change for the worse the way they are seen by their peers, families, schools and communities. It can severely restrict both their opportunities and their own sense of those opportunities. It can lead directly to criminal associates. It can destroy hope and feed alienation.

…Where it is used unwisely, the youth justice system has the potential to create risks for future violence rather than reducing them.

…But some do not act professionally. It was made clear to us that when policing is done in an aggressive manner, when youth are singled out for attention because of their race and treated with a lack of civility, they can become alienated, lose self-esteem and feel that they have less hope or opportunity in this society. As well, the communities of which they are part can lose faith in the police and can cooperate less in the resolution of crime and the maintenance of public safety. When this happens, the approach to policing increases rather than addresses the roots of violence involving youth.

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Concentrations of Roots

One of the central features of the advice we are giving the Premier is the need to focus attention and resources on specific locations across Ontario where the roots of violence involving youth are finding particularly fertile ground. It is clear to us that many of the circumstances that can lead to the immediate risk factors for violence involving youth — the roots of such violence — grow and are nurtured in specific places…

Collaborative: The place-based approach both requires and facilitates
collaboration among governments and with communities in ways that get the greatest value from the initiatives and assets of each.

Roots Review •16

In Toronto’s case, the city aligned its own departments around 13 priority neighbourhoods and now organizes itself at the local level to understand and meet the needs of those specific neighbourhoods through neighbourhood action teams. These are being transformed into partnerships with residents and agencies to further advance this work. This has not only brought renewed attention to these areas and the issues they face, but as well has driven greater collaboration and coordination at city hall itself. Both examples demonstrate the power of this concept to not only improve neighbourhoods, but also align governments around that important objective…

…Statistics Canada, compiles them into an Index of Relative Disadvantage…

…We propose that once those data are available, the Province then work with municipal governments where the highest concentrations are found to refine the assessment of disadvantage in light of local information. This local information could include the services available or not available to ameliorate the disadvantage.

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Addressing the Roots

…four pillars is essential. These pillars will, collectively, provide a repaired social context, a youth policy framework, a neighbourhood capacity and empowerment focus and a new integrated governance system to align and sustain action to address the roots of violence involving youth.

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…What we are unequivocally calling for is a firm commitment to making Ontario’s social context work for everyone and a move away from piecemeal and sporadic initiatives.

…As Pillar 1 makes clear, we see a pressing and vital need to reduce poverty and address the circumstances that accompany it. It is unacceptable that being poor should also mean having substandard services in a wide array of areas, ranging from housing to recreational and arts facilities to transportation.

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…We believe that the collection of race-based statistics, as has been routinely done in England for some time, is an essential first step. We cannot ascertain where the problems are, how to address them, what the best solutions are and what is working if we have no data. We see such statistics being required throughout the justice system and in the domains of education, health, housing and employment.

We believe that the Province should require that all public sector bodies have action plans to address the systemic racism within their domains. In relation to policing, we also suggest short-term initiatives to try to address some of the flashpoints that continue to exist in the relationship between front-line police officers and many youth. These initiatives are the establishment of police-youth issues committees in the disadvantaged neighbourhoods and the provision of neighbourhood-based training on anti-racism for front-line officers. For the longer term, we note the need for a culture shift within policing and put forward the concepts that officers should be “assessed for competence” in matters of race and that the performance measures for local commanders should include community relations and support…

Roots Review •20

…Overall, we believe that Ontario, while moving in the right direction in recent years, is still overcharging youth and relying on incarceration to an excessive extent. We do not dispute the need for police interventions, nor for serious sanctions where serious conduct is involved. We are, however, very concerned that the justice system is invoked for many youth in ways that can increase rather than address the immediate risk factors for violence.

Roots Review •21

…It seems to us to be fundamentally wrong that an expensive and sometimes counterproductive formal justice system is universally available and can be invoked by any police officer at any time with a simple piece of paper, while the alternatives are funded only if and when discretionary funds are freed up, and are often difficult and complex for a police officer to access.

Our report notes that when the powers bestowed by the justice system are not used properly or wisely, the result can be alienation, a sense of injustice, a lack of hope and other immediate risk factors for violence involving youth. Based on past experience, we expect that what we say about the justice system and, in particular, the police, may well receive a significant amount of attention.

…We fully appreciate that the neighbourhood conditions we describe in chapters 4 and 5 create enormous challenges for those who police these communities, as well for as those who live in them. The same conditions that facilitate crime — rundown areas and buildings, limited through streets, poor sightlines, dead ends, dark stairwells and corridors, overcrowding — all create risks for police officers as well as potentially hardening their attitudes to those who are forced to live in these conditions. In light of these conditions, we applaud the countless ways individual officers go beyond the

Roots Review •22

call of duty to try to support youth and prevent crime, as well as carrying out their often-onerous enforcement obligations.

…This is especially so when policing or the justice system evinces racism or countenances excessive force or incivility or a lack of respect for basic rights and freedoms we all should enjoy. The police, in particular, have a great deal of discretionary power as well as widespread respect, and with that comes great responsibility to uphold high standards at all times.

Roots Review •23

Pillar 2: A Youth Policy Framework

…It is youth who must have key roles in the design and delivery of this strategy, as they will pay the heaviest price if it does not succeed.

Ontario does not have a coordinated policy for its youth and should be working towards one. We believe that the Province urgently needs a youth policy framework that is informed by research about the developmental and transitional stages through which youth pass and that focuses on desired outcomes for them.

The principles we propose include:

♦ Respecting youth by involving them in determining and addressing their needs

♦ Recognizing racial, gender and other differences among youth

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♦ Reflecting the realities of the developmental and transitional stages youth pass through as they grow

♦ Ensuring that programs and services are increasingly based on proven best practices; make appropriate connections among youth, their families, schools and communities; and are truly accessible.

…To be meaningful, outcome goals must be accompanied by a commitment to measured and relentless progress towards them (published indicators), along with clear timelines and specific accountabilities for meeting those indicators.

Pillar 3: A Neighbourhood Capacity and Empowerment Focus

This pillar will enhance or create local centres, often based around schools…but just as importantly, will form hubs…

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In addition to repairing the social context in which the roots grow, Ontario needs to address the lack of community cohesion and the fragmentation of programs and services that exist in many disadvantaged neighbourhoods. Areas of concentrated economic disadvantage all too easily nurture those roots and, if not addressed, will keep producing new generations of youth with the immediate risk factors for violence. The continuing violence and fear of violence that will result will have the obvious and tragic consequence of rendering those neighbourhoods ever more fragmented and isolated, and will perpetuate and deepen their disadvantaged condition, leading to yet more violence, and possibly an entrenched underclass…

…The first is by creating community hubs, wherever possible anchored in school facilities… We join with those who see schools as natural hubs. Schools are near most residents, have already been paid for by the public and go unused most of the time.

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Governments have increasingly relied upon agencies to deliver services, but have done so through short-term contracts, which fail to cover the full costs of service delivery. This creates enormous problems for agencies, including making it very difficult for them to recruit and retain experienced staff…

…We also propose establishing at a university or college a Centre for Excellence through Program Assessments to conduct outcomes-based assessments of major programs and serve as a best practices resource for government, community service providers, funders and agencies. This body could also serve as a resource to promote good evaluations of smaller-scale programs.


Roots Review •27

…First, and fundamentally, the provincial government must organize itself to drive forward and sustain an integrated long-range strategy across the many ministries that have important roles on this issue. Without an effective governance structure at the provincial level, our experience tells us that no meaningful progress can be made…

…requires coordination across a dozen ministries…

Roots Review •28

…It also requires working effectively with the other orders of government, building local relationships and supporting community development in ways that the provincial government has not done in recent years.

Without governance mechanisms that cut across the many silos that now exist in the provincial government and facilitate aligned engagement in communities, any edifice of piecemeal change will rapidly collapse.

New provincial mechanisms are also needed to send a signal of resolve and commitment. Without alignment at the provincial level to break through the silos to prioritize, drive, coordinate, fund, monitor and report on the many provincial initiatives needed to address the roots of violence involving youth, there will be little reason to hope for anything beyond some modest ameliorations of the status quo….

…To do its job, the committee needs to be supported by a dedicated staff secretariat. We believe this needs to be positioned within the Cabinet Office to give it the profile and influence that will be required to manage this complex task. We see the secretariat being responsible for providing policy advice to the committee, but also for working within the bureaucracy on a day-to-day basis to ensure that the directions set by the committee and approved by Cabinet are carried into action. We also see it having a key role in ensuring good public reporting against defined outcome goals…

Roots Review •29

Planning, Accountability, Advice and Recommendations

…That is why our proposed youth policy framework (Pillar 2) calls not only for a shared vision and agreed-upon principles, but also asks the Province to articulate its overall policies for youth using specific outcome goals. We are confident that Ontario’s public service could produce a good initial set of such goals within a year.

…Essentially, a floor target sets a minimum acceptable level of attainment. It is how we as a societyexpress our fundamental bottom lines.

Roots Review •30

An example of a floor target would be that no neighbourhood should have an obesity or diabetes rate more than a defined per cent above the provincial average, or that no school should have a graduation or literacy rate below a certain figure. Using floor targets avoids the reality that if an average is used, the target can be met by having the best-off improve their performance even if the worst-off make no progress at all or even fall further behind. Averages hide a myriad of policy and program sins, and they fundamentally fail to identify the neighbourhoods or individuals needing the most help…

…We see it as vital that the outcome measures and interim indicators be public and well-communicated, with the communications materials including contextual and analytical information on the accomplishments being made and any barriers being encountered.

Roots Review •31

Recommendations for the Premier


♦ Only an aligned and sustained commitment, led by the provincial government, will effectively address the roots we have identified.

…We take this approach because of the clear need for coordinated planning and close work with communities, agencies and other governments to determine the specifics of what needs to be done in each community across this highly diverse province to address the very serious issues we have surfaced.

Fundamentally, we strongly believe that, starting this fall, the Province must put at the heart of its overall agenda a sustained, aligned and structural response to the roots of violence involving youth…

A youth policy framework to guide and coordinate policies and programs for youth by reference to developmental stages and outcome goals.

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Integrated governance to drive and coordinate work across the Ontario government and to work effectively with the other orders of government and with the strengthened communities.

To build and maintain support for the needed action, we are also convinced that the Ontario government must implement an effective communications strategy to bring the main findings of our report to the attention of the public. It should focus on the serious risks of failing to act now to address the circumstances that are producing alienation, a lack of hope and belonging and the other conditions we have identified as being the immediate risk factors for serious, explosive and unpredictable violence involving youth.

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6.  The Province should create a comprehensive youth policy framework for Ontario to provide overall direction for the myriad of programs affecting youth.

8.  To identify the neighbourhoods for the place-based approach, the Province should employ the Index of Relative Disadvantage we have proposed to determine on a provincewide basis the areas where disadvantage is most concentrated.

9.  Within the identified disadvantaged neighbourhoods, the Province should support and ensure the funding of the following structural initiatives:

♦ Full access to schools for community activities and services, by having a body with facilities management and program experience lease the premises in school off-hours and engage with the community to identify priorities for the use of the space.

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11. The Province should, by the summer of 2009, prepare and publish an integrated plan setting out how ministries, and combinations of them, will work at the provincial and at the local levels to address the roots we have identified.

12.  The Province should commit to measuring and publishing progress towards defined outcome goals as a central part of its approach to the roots agenda. To the greatest extent possible, the outcome goals should include minimum standards of achievement, a level below which no institution or community should fall (known elsewhere as “floor targets”). Progress towards those targets should be tracked by racial and other relevant differences.

Roots Review •35

…In our view, only an integrated and collaborative approach to the roots will succeed. That is why we propose a body at the centre of government with the mandate and resources to consider our advice, situate it within the context of the balance of the government’s agenda, determine priorities, make linkages among ministries and with other governments and manage a process of both building and being responsive to communities across the province…

…Among other initiatives we outline, it should also include ensuring that high-quality services, recreational and arts facilities, parks and schools are available to those who are the most disadvantaged, and that neighbourhoods are safe. Overall, where people live should not itself produce the immediate risk factors for their being involved in violence. (Volume 1, pages 229–238)

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…After-school programs should be available from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. to promote good nutrition and positive activity, and to help keep youth off the streets in what many consider to be prime time for crime…

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19. The Province must recognize the value of sports and arts in supporting learning, learning, development and creativity of youth. The Province should work with municipalities, school boards and community agencies to remove barriers that include income level, transportation and a lack of usable space. The Province should move to immediately embed accessible sports and arts programs in the priority neighbourhoods. (Volume 1, pages 257–260)

20. The Province must work actively with communities and agencies to assist every child and youth to have access to at least one adult who provides nurturing and support, and towards providing youth with a voice in matters that affect them. Among other initiatives to support youth engagement, the Province should put in place training, standards and supports for mentors across the province, and all sectors working with youth should adopt meaningful and sustained measures to include the youth voice in their governance structures. (Volume 1, pages 260–262)…

…23. The Province must bring coordination to the three ministries that operate parts of the youth justice system, ensure an overall policy focus and support a more balanced approach to resourcing by establishing a Youth Justice Advisory Board. The Province should also take steps to reduce the over-criminalization of Ontario youth compared with those in other large jurisdictions, and to reduce the ways in which the powers of the justice system can be misused to produce alienation, a lack of hope or opportunity and other immediate risk factors for violence. Overall, all parts of the justice system need to adopt a more strategic approach to youth. (Volume 1, pages 267–289)

Roots Review •38


Roots Review •39

…Recommendations for Priority Implementation

29. Anti-Racism: It is tragic — not ironic — that 30 years ago this November, Walter Pitman entitled his report on police minority relations: Now Is Not Too Late. Since that time, 30 separate groups of five-or six-year-old children have started Grade 1 and many have gone through their school years without seeing sustained progress on these issues. For many of them, now is too late — their lives marred, their futures circumscribed and their faith in this society quite justifiably shaken. And many of them are the parents of children in the system now, with little reason and sometimes no ability to instil hope in those children.

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To lay the foundation for the extensive action required to address this growing problem, the Province should proceed immediately to develop the methodology for the collection of race-based data in all key domains. As well, to ensure that action is underway before the summer of 2009 to address the pressing issues that arise in police-minority relations in a number of neighbourhoods, we believe the provincial funds that we propose for youth-police liaison committees and for front-line officer training programs should be put in place as quickly as possible.

Additionally, the Province should take immediate steps to put in place measures that will ensure that teachers and school administrators better reflect the neighbourhoods they serve.

30. Steps Towards Community Hubs: There is an overwhelming consensus in favour of building community hubs and, accordingly, no reason to delay action on that front. In neighbourhoods where it is clear that the Index of Relative Disadvantage will demonstrate a high level of disadvantage, or where similar methodologies have already done so, the Province should promptly initiate discussions with the municipal governments, to begin to plan for a hub if none exists and in particular to determine the availability of recreational and arts facilities. Where the latter facilities are lacking, the Province should work actively with the Ontario Realty Corporation and the municipality to lease alternative space for youth and youth services until a hub is developed. Another winter and spring should not go by in the most disadvantaged neighbourhoods with there being no safe place for youth to gather and play…

Roots Review •41

…In the case of the first two items, the Province must move quickly to put in place the necessary governance structures. In the case of the other recommendations, and subject to discussions with municipal governments and community groups, we believe that substantial progress could be achieved within six months.

Short to Medium-term Initiatives

♦ Oversee continuing efforts of ministries to develop action plans having regard to directions set by the Cabinet committee and the advice in this report and establish working groups with key communities, agencies and experts to advance this work.

♦ Establish the fund for youth-police community liaison committees and for the initial short-term anti-racism training programs.

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…♦ Begin discussions with the community agency sector on ways to streamline and stabilize their funding, involving municipal governments and other funders as appropriate…

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…The government’s plans will provide the details of how it proposes to approach that task. For our part, we strongly believe that whatever those plans may be, the government should continue to engage and involve the public in this endeavour through regular and highly accessible public reporting of progress based on published outcome goals and interim indicators in all key areas.


Although we now formally conclude our work on this report, we emphasize that our commitment to the issues it addresses did not start when the Premier asked us to undertake this review, and it will not end with the submission of this report. Whether in official capacities, if the Premier wishes, or as private citizens, we will continue to be active participants and willing partners in the work that must be done to ensure all youth in this very rich province lead safe, healthy lives in healthy families and healthy communities.

Roots Review •43


Roots Review •44


Just want to leave readers with the best quote I’ve ever read about Youth and a sad prediction.

“The truth is that we, as a society – all of us – simply don’t consider children very important. We talk a good game but we don’t think kids are as important as other things, like fixing the roads.”

– Jim Paul Nevins (Ontario Court Judge October 4, 2001 report)

Prediction: 2009…. Expect more talk talk talk talk talk talk…

Pastor Andrew King knows…


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

And here’s why the McMurty and Curling’s report and Peel-based Youth initiiatives will fail unless we get to the root causes of why governments fail, from none other than Mississauga Councillor Pat Saito (Peel Youth Violence Prevention Steering Committee)

“Thank you, Mr. Chair.  As Gael said, I think we’re all amazed –those of us on the Committee, at the success and how quickly we’ve been successful over the past two years…”

–Mississauga Councillor Pat Saito  PEEL REGIONAL COUNCIL (October 25, 2007)

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


The Mississauga Muse

Malton March 3, 2008 Youth Meeting: MISSCORPSEC guard stops Youth from entering


September 19th, 2008  

The Peel Police Services Board met this morning and one of the items on the agenda related to the upsurge in Youth Crimes and Violence (especially homicides). This video highlights Peel Police Deputy Chief Jennifer Evans as she provides preliminary data and insights to Board members. Also in the video, Susan Fennell, Mayor of The Corporation of the City of Brampton also offers comments regarding upcoming Youth-related “challenges”.


(Click here to go directly to the clip of Google Video)

As a baseline comparision, I’ve cut and pasted the  November 17, 1994 Peel Police Services Board Internal Correspondence document, “Re: Community Summit – Final Report” from my September 16th Blog entry, “Peel Regional Police Services Board Crime Prevention Community Summit 1994 Final Report (the way we were…)”

While this 1994 Peel Police Services Board report (below) didn’t have any pics, the nature of the Net being what it is, I’ve provided media enhancement as they relate to both the 2000 and 2008 Mississauga Strategic Plans, Community Engagement Visionning Charrettes and the Mississauga Youth Plan.

Once again, special thanks to Chair Kolb who knows the importance of looking back.


Internal Correspondence

To: Chair and Members                                                              From: Frederick Biro

Dept: Police Services Board                                                        Dept: Police Services Board   ==============================================================================

Date: November 17, 1994

File Class:

Re: Community Summit – Final Report

Backqround Information and Discussion:

The Community Summit sponsored by the Regional Municipality of Peel Police Services Board was held September 30/October lst. The 80 suggestions forwarded as a result of the workshop discussions were condensed into 12 recommendations. These were reviewed and approved by the Community Summit Steering Committee.

It was the advice of the Steering Committee that each recommendation be forwarded to the attention of specific lead agencies who would have responsibility for reviewing and implementing the recommendation if they believed it to be of benefit. This suggestion was incorporated into the Final Report.

The Community Summit – Final Report, and a “How-To’ Manual was prepared by Ms. Sonia Mistri, Community Summit Co-ordinator. The Final Report includes an Executive Summary which is attached to this memorandum.

Complete copies of both documents will be available at the Board meeting.


That the information be received;

further, that the Board, following review and consultation with the police service, respond to those recommendations that have applicability to the Peel Regional Police;

further, the Board determine what action, if any, it wishes to take to advance the goal of the Community Summit.

Frederick Biro

Executive Director

P.R.P. 40



The Regional Municipality of Peel prides itself on being a safe and secure environment for residents, workers and visitors. The Region of Peel has two active crime prevention associations, well supported by a dedicated police service. However, the responsibility and ownership for safety and security resides with all of Peel’s citizens and it is in this spirit that the Community Summit was conceived and developed.

The Community Summit brought together various partners from the community to share what was already being done to maintain the safety and security of the area, to determine what more could and should be done, and how it could be achieved. It was the inception of a multi-disciplinary and integrated effort within the Region of Peel to address the root causes of crime.

The Regional Municipality of Peel Police Services Board, as the link between police and community, was in a unique position to initiate and sponsor the Summit. At its meeting on April 22, 1994, the Board adopted a motion to sponsor the Community Summit with the objective of developing meaningful and practical strategies which would serve to maintain and enhance the safe and secure environment within the Regional Municipality of Peel.

The philosophy behind the Summit was based on the 1993 report from the federal government’s Standing Committee on Justice and the Solicitor General entitled `Crime Prevention in Canada: Toward a National Strategy.’ The crux of the report, and the mandate of the Summit, required the community to take responsibility for ensuring safety and security, and to do so by addressing the underlying social issues contributing to crime. Community agencies, organizations, police, government and citizens had to be partners in the prevention of criminal activity.

In June 1994, a Community Summit Steering Committee comprised of representatives from stakeholders and constituencies in the Region of Peel was assembled. It was formed to ensure full representation, and therefore ownership, throughout the planning and implementation of this initiative.


The Community Summit took place on September 30 and October 1, 1994. Over 130 delegates, representing a wide cross-section of the community members, service providers, stakeholders, and political representatives, participated. Delegates pledged their commitment to the Summit’s objectives by signing a Declaration of Intent which read:

We, the undersigned, publicly declare our commitment to the fostering of a safe and secure community through local partnerships and initiatives, through a sense of ownership of both problems and solutions, and through pride in what has been and will be achieved in the Region of Peel.



A total of twelve workshops focusing on issues specific to Peel Region were offered on Saturday. Workshop topics evolved through considerable research with stakeholders, service providers and community members as to which issues were most important and relevant to the Region of Peel.

The workshop topics were: Crime Prevention; Collaborative Action (taking control through partnership); Revitalizing Neighbourhoods; Youth and Crime; Building Relations Between Cultural Groups; Substance Abuse; Weapons Use; Family Safety and Security; Investing in our Future; Safety in the Home (domestic violence); and the Role of Senior Governments.

From these workshops, delegates generated a total of over eighty recommendations. These have been condensed into twelve specific proposals which are listed below. This report has been distributed to all stakeholders and bodies to whom the recommendations are addressed, as well as to all delegates and interested parties. A mailing list has been created to keep the community informed as to future happenings.

The Steering Committee will reconvene in one year to discuss the progress made on the implementation of each recommendation and to determine the next step or further course of action. In the interim, it was determined the Regional Task Force (Recommendation 3) would be the group best able to encourage, monitor and record progress made on the recommendations.


Recommendation 1: Crime Prevention

Delegates recommend that crime prevention initiatives be unique and tailored to local communities. It is recognized that the two existing Crime Prevention Associations are the best vehicle for program development and implementation. A process of accountability and evaluation should be built into programs to ensure achievement of goals and cost-effectiveness.

Mississauga Councillor PAT SAITO on the Peel Youth Charter (3 min)

(Click here to go directly to the clip of Google Video)

Recommendation 2: Security of Property

Delegates recommend that:


Recommendation 3: Regional Task Force

Delegates recommend that the Regional government initiate and set up a Strategic Task Force to create a Strategic Plan for safety and security issues in the Region. The Task Force would co-ordinafe specific projects at the Regional level. This would complement and overlay the work of the local Crime Prevention Associations. A multi-disciplinary sub-committee of the Task Force should develop a youth strategy targeted at youth most at risk. The Task Force would also review funding levels and sources, and lobby the senior levels of government on crime prevention issues.


Recommendation 4: Planning

Delegates recommend that:

MissCorpSec guard prevents kids from entering (faces brushed)_

(kids’ faces slightly “brushed” for anonymity)

Recommendation 5: National Crime Prevention Council

Delegates recommend that:

—     The Justice computer network;

—     National Crime Prevention Council newsletters;

—     the creation of a database of information and contacts;

—     the Council hosting practitioners’ conferences;

—     the Council providing for training materials;

Recommendation 6: Youth

Delegates recognize the importance of preventing youth from becoming involved in criminal activity. It is recommended that:



Recommendation 7: Programs In Schools

Delegates recommend that:

Recommendation 8: Skills Training

Delegates recommend that, for the purpose of raising individual self-esteem, recipients of social assistance be required to attend skills training sessions which focus on topics such as job skills, parenting skills and social skills.

Recommendation 9: Cultural Diversity

Delegates recommend that government funding at all levels be targeted towards:

MissCorpSec welcome wagon Malton Youth Meeting


Recommendation 10: Substance Abuse

Delegates recommend that:

Recommendation 11: Weapons Use

Delegates recommend that:

Recommendation 12: Media, Television & Film Industry

Delegates recommend:



And I might as well….


(Click here to go directly to the clip of Google Video)



The Mississauga Muse


“I hope that the people we hire are sensitive to the fact that we are dealing with the public and we should give them every understanding possible.” (Hazel McCallion on Mississauga Corporate Security, March 17, 2007 Audit Committee Meeting)

“Social issues should not concern you.” (One City of Mississauga Commissioner, One Director, and One Manager to The Mississauga Muse)

Peel Regional Council Inaugural on 061207

`The truth is that we, as a society – all of us – simply don’t consider children very important. We talk a good game but we don’t think kids are as important as other things, like fixing the roads.’ (Jim Paul Nevins (Ontario Court Judge October 4, 2001 report)