Monday, January 22, 2018


Abusing authority is as old as humanity. Also is usurping authority. Instead of using the proper authority invested in a person or group for either the benefit of the majority or the benefit of the business, additional authority is claimed or assumed to accomplish these or other goals. Usurping authority of course means that the individual is claiming authority that they really do not have. They may be taking someone else's authority expanding upon their already known and understood authority. Usually this usurpation involves deception, manipulation or lying. Sometimes depending upon the circumstances it can also involve breaking the law. Of course abusing authority sometimes also involves law breaking. It could be the Human Rights Act of Ontario, provincial labour laws, health and safety laws etc..

What is the motivation for either abusing or usurping authority? Generally it is a nefarious motive. Perhaps during an emergency one could think of circumstances whereby abusing or usurping authority might be for the purpose of helping society. Possibly the October FLQ crisis (1972?) in Quebec occasioned a usurpation of authority via Pierre Trudeau invoking the War Measures Act. Note I say possibly. The vast majority of abuse of and usurpation of authority is all about greed, cowardice, aggrandizement, personal power and authority. it's about putting others down to make yourself feel bigger and better. It is little men desperately needing an ego boost by demonstrating what they can get away with.

Recent price fixing by Weston's is an abuse of authority. It's also illegal. Senators taking advantage of loose expense rules is also an abuse of authority. It turned out however not to be illegal albeit it was close. Woolwich Township's shenanigans including illegally holding closed Council meetings was an abuse of authority. Also their game playing both by individual councillors as well as by the Clerk was an abuse of authority. Permitting contrary to law, elected by acclamation, councillors to avoid submitting election Financial Statements was an abuse of authority. I personally believe that Woolwich Township also indulge in usurpation of authority. If it's not nailed down as regional, provincial or federal jurisdiction and it suits them, they simply go ahead and claim it as under their authority.

Then we have our Waterloo Regional Police Service (WRPS). Anonymous phone calls occasioning middle of the night rousting of families out of their beds and homes is an abuse of authority. Individual officers demanding identification ("carding") from pedestrians minding their own business is an abuse of authority. "Driving while black" pullovers by police are abuses of authority. Coordinated suppression of complainants asking that their human rights be respected within the work force are an abuse of authority. Filing either Police Service Act or inappropriate criminal charges against their employees are both abuses of authority and illegal. Harassment and discrimination based upon race or gender within the workplace is also illegal in the province of Ontario. These are supposed to be the guardians of citizens rights yet they apparently routinely are the violators of citizens' rights.

Non-union workplaces in Ontario run the gamut from hellholes to heaven on earth for employees. Astoundingly (at least for me) so do some unionized workplaces. I would like to believe that the majority of unionized workplaces make for better workplaces but I know that that isn't always the case. If you read Kelly Donovan's book about Ontario policing or the class action lawsuit and accompanying Affidavits laid against the WRPS, you will be hard pressed to have confidence in unions. At least for all their faults the various teachers' unions represent ALL their members to the best of my knowledge.

Abuse of authority is all about personal aggrandizement by little people at the expense of those around them with less influence and power. It is the behaviour of cowards.

1 comment:

  1. There are rules in place to deal with this type of situations. However, they seem to have been ignored. Hence, discipline and job lose looks to be heading to our Regional Police Headquarters. The union should also be penalized accordingly. A bad day for the badge. Now; can we trust the legal system to do what is right?