Wednesday, May 16, 2018


We are now well into the Ontario provincial election. Has anyone so much as seen a single question directed towards a single politician of any party in regards to our community police forces? Why is the media not all over this with the three political leaders, two of whom are women? Are they afraid of some sort of backlash by male voters? Seriously?

Has there been any sort of backlash in regards to the "Me Too" movement that started in the U.S.? Have males in particular risen en masse to defend Harvey Weinstein or any other powerful men in Hollywood? I don't think so. The victims of this bullying and abuse of authority have brothers, fathers, uncles, husbands and boyfriends. This mistreatment of women in the entertainment industry has indeed caused a backlash and it is most appropriately a backlash against the male perpetrators.

This same mistreatment of women has occurred both here in Waterloo Region as well as throughout Ontario (& a lot further). Why are our political leaders and parties not all over this? Kelly Donovan as well as the ladies who have filed a lawsuit against the Waterloo Regional Police, their union and the Police Services Board deserve both credit and support. Those three bodies have either participated in the abuse of their authority regarding female officers or have shut their eyes and held their noses while it unfolded all around them.

Twenty-five years ago I observed first hand the behaviour towards female employees by males either in positions of authority or tacitly supported by the authority of foremen and supervisors at the City of Waterloo. To my shock and surprise the worst offenders were not the young men; it was the middle aged, long married and with children (including daughters) men who were most hostile towards females doing the same work as they were in the public works department. Their fragile male egos were threatened apparently.

Kelly Donovan's book is titled "Systemic Misfeasance in Ontario Policing and the Coordinated Suppression of Whistleblowers". This book even shocked myself who had seen first hand similar attitudes and behaviours. Frankly our police should know much better and how they can protect female (& male) citizens while mistreating their fellow female police officers is a testament to either stupidity, hypocrisy or the power of peer pressure supported by authority from on high.

This should be an election issue. Heads must roll at the top, both in the police administration and in the political arena. Regional councillors appoint a majority of the members of the Police Services Board. Regional councillors have looked the other way for far too long. Regional councillors of both genders should be making this an election issue in the upcoming October municipal elections. As this is a systemic problem in many police forces across Ontario and as the province appoints the rest of the members of the local Police Service Boards then it is a provincial problem that needs to be addressed now. Our media can and should step up and start publicly asking hard questions of Doug Ford, Kathleen Wynne, Andrea Horvath and Mike Schreiner.

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