Ottawa By-Law Officer Lack of Common Sense and Compassion.

I know Ottawa By-Law officers have a hard job, and that no one wants to pay a ticket, and that there will always be an excuse, but what I saw this morning was something else.

7:30 in the morning and I am walking in front of 55 Metcalfe towards my work.

White SUV, Very Pregnant (and beautiful) Woman waiting, while Husband takes a dolly from the trunk, loads it with three or four boxes with documents, sets the elastics around it, kiss the wife goodbye, and goes around the SUV, opens the door and when it’s climbing to the driver’s seat, By-Law Car comes from behind and cuts him, By-Law officer gets down, and gives him a ticket.

Seriously?

There was another car parked in front, for longer time, and (fools contempt) also gets a ticket.

The By-law officer could have perfectly give the ticket to the other car, and let the other one go away, but No, La loi c’est la loi.

But sometimes, following the letter of the law to the minute, is as dangerous as not applying the law at all.

A little common sense and compassion, please.

Justin Trudeau and the loss of innocence

Justin Trudeau’s home was broke into over the weekend.

While he was away campaigning in Winnipeg, his wife and children were asleep, as some one broke into their home, leaving a note, and kitchen knifes displayed in a rear entrance door. As creepy as it might seem, no one was harmed and nothing was taken. As far as media goes the note said “lock your doors”.

Although no one deserves this kind of stressful situation, much less a traveling dad while his young family is at home, the world now is a less rosy place at the Trudeau’s home.

I know, we live in Canada, Ottawa of all places, which is a safe place, and almost heavenly boring compared to many other places around the world, but unfortunately, the world is not padded in clouds, pink and with rainbows.

It is a very tricky scheme, the RCMP is responsible for the security of Parliamentarians outside of Parliament Hill, inside the buildings of Parliament Hill, it is the responsibility of either the House of Commons or the Senate security services.

The RCMP has dedicated security details for the Prime Minister and his family (18 million dollars a year) and the Governor General, that’s it. How far down the Canada Order of Precedence should RCMP protection be extended?

Should RCMP Protection be extended (along with their associated costs to tax payers) to the leaders of all the political parties represented in the House of Commons? Or all the MPs and Senators? The Speakers of the House and the Senate?

As far as it goes, Justin Trudeau, as prominent as he is, even as a potential Prime Minister, he is an ordinary citizen, that was elected as an MP.

But neither I would like a scenario like the one in my home country (Colombia) were any wealthy family will hire private security, and the more you have, the more important you are. But also the memories of the assassination of Swedish Prime Minister of Olof Palme, who was going to the movies with his wife in Stockholm without protection.

It’s a delicate balancing act. But while the government thinkers scratches their heads and the doers have some direction, it will take years.

For now Justin, please buy a monitored alarm and use it. You will get (or your landlord) a nice discount on your house insurance policy, it even has a nice function that will beep every time a door is opened, very useful when there are small kids around the house. Anything else would be irresponsible.

Answer to Brad Pye’s question: Why are more shootings in Ottawa South than in the Glebe?

After some twitter exchanges with Brad Pye, Candidate for Councillor for Ward #10 (Ottawa South), regarding recent shootings, and what can a Councillor do to curb the surge of violence, I initially answered that I see it as a city wide problem, that is outside of a coucillor / ward level, then he asked the question, why there are no shootings in the Glebe?

All is relative, but for Ottawa, to have three similar shootings in little more than an month, is not normal and it’s more than a coincidence, according to google there had been three similar shootings in June 22, July 2, and July 18,in all cases a man was shot twice in the legs, definitely a “signature move”. All victims are refusing to talk to police. List here from the Ottawa Sun.

If we call this shootings Gang related, it’s more probable related to small drug trafficking, and in drugs, there is supply and demand.  Unfortunately, Ottawa South is in the supply side, and the Glebe is in the Demand side.

Let’s face it, Canadians are not big league drug dealers, most are small operations, and even, some just cultivate some cannabis during the summer in a cottage as a suplementary income, even some time ago, I read the news that a “big time” Canadian drug dealer from BC, was killed in Mexico by real drug dealers.

What it seems like is that there could be a new supplier in town that wants to corner the market, under his supply and his prices, and it’s playing harder than ususual for the Ottawa league.

Now, what can we do about it, and I can extrapolate this answer with my observations from being a Colombian national, that had seen and lived the “war on drugs”.

There are two paths, both not easy.

One is to keep up the “war on drugs”, never ending, expensive on resources, and from my point of view the only ones that benefit are the weapons manufacturers and dealers who will keep their share and sell to both sides. and even if you capture or kill a drug dealer, the void will be quickly filled by another one. Most Colombians and the government thought that by killing Pablo Escobar, the drug trafficking would end and that the “war on drugs” will be won. Nothing farther from reality.

Other is to legalize “soft” drug (cannabis, hashish) following examples such at the Netherlands, a country with low crime rates. Soft drugs will be freely traded, allowing Police to concentrate on harder targets such as Opium, Cocaine and Meth. Unfortunately, this option, although inmensely popular, its a political sucide in this city.

Feel Good Story of the Day …

This is what happened to my wife today …

As always, the routine, wake up, get a shower, get the kids up for school, make breakfast, tell the kids to get dressed, to brush their hair, and finally, despite the snow, kids off to school.

Then by chance, later in the morning, my wife calls an elderly friend of hers, and after chatting, she says she needs to go to the pharmacy, but with the snow, and not having a car, she cannot go out. My wife offers her to pick the prescription in the pharmacy and deliver it. And off she goes, and while she is driving down Albion Road, when my wife tries to turn the corner to the neighborhood of her friend, she looses control of the van, and ends up stuck in a very large snow bank by the sidewalk.

She gets out, no one is hurt, except pride, and the van is ok, just stuck in this gigantic snow bank. She calls me at work, and I start texting her possible tow truck companies. In the mean time, she recovers, gets out the shovel, and tries to get the snow from underneath the van. One person with a truck, stops by, but cannot pull the van out, he doesn’t have any towing lines. My wife calls me, to let me know that she is ok, and I remind her that we have towing lines in the trunk.

Later people start to stop by, make sure she is ok, and then two women stop their car besides, with a pair of shovels, and start to help her to free the van, and then another person stops with his truck and tow lines, and pulls the van out.

After the small adventure, she goes to her friend, stops by to tell her morning adventure, delivers the medicine, and goes back to her routine.

So, Thank You very much, to all the kind people of Ottawa, looking for each other after the snow fall, Thank You for helping my wife free the van from the snow bank, Thank You for stopping by and making sure she was ok, Thank you to the strangers that helped shovel and pulled out the van.

You all made us proud of being Canadian, and to have chosen Canada, and Ottawa as our home.

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Presto Woes Continue …

As this article today from the Ottawa Citizen,

In my particular case, the "best selling feature" of the card doesn’t work. I got migrated from EcoPass to a Pre-Loaded Monthly Presto Card in mid october. After October 18, I set up the card to autoload every month out of my credit card the value of the pass. Later, the first auto load debited two times ($98 x 2). I called customer care on Oct. 30, who gave me a ticket number and promised "to send a fax to the back desk". To no communiction, I called back on Nov. 15, they checked the case, and stated that the backcdesk is backlogged, but someone will take care. Basically, they have kept my money for a month, without any solution, neither crediting back one of the transactions, or extending my pass to Dec. 31. It’s simply not functional. I also concede, that the web site is confuding between, Reload, Auto-Reload, Auto Renew Managment
Simply horrible.

A Andrés no se puede ir en minifalda …

Esa fue la declaración de Andrés Jaramillo, dueño de “Andrés Carne de Res”; exitoso restaruante y bar al norte de Bogotá, luego de que ocurriera la noche anterior, una violación de una joven en el parqueadero, dentro de un vehículo.

La historia mas o menos en que el pasado Domingo, esta mujer de 19 años, aparentemente estudiante de la Universidad de Los Andes, llegó al restaurante, y despues de rumba y tragos, sale con dos hombres, ella aparentemente en estado de embriaguez, al parqueadero.

Posteriormente ella acusa a uno de ellos de violación en el interior de un vehículo

La declaración de Andres Jaramillo es desafortunada, y solo refleja la mentalidad machista típica de Colombia, hasta ahí no hay sorpresas, la mentalidad de que la violación es culpa de la chica por llevar una minifalda. Horror.

Pero haciendo de abogado del diablo, es noticia, porque la chica en cuestión es de Los Andes? O porque el hecho occurrió en el parqueadero de Andrés Carne de Res?

Hasta donde es la responsabilidad de un restaurante por algo que ocurre en un vehiculo en el parqueadero?

Estoy seguro que hay un gran letrero en el parqueadero que dice “El Establecimiento no se hace responsable de robo o daño a los vehiculos” … ahi ya quedaron curados en salud. Ellos no se hacen responsables de lo que ocurre en el parqueadero.

Si el restaurante no se hace responsable por un robo, un espejo o un carro, mucho menos por una violacíon.

Mi problema con este asunto es que no es noticia por la violación de la chica en si, es noticia porque ocurre en un local “de la gente bien” de Bogotá.

De acuerdo, la chica puede estar encuerada bailando sobre una mesa, eso no le da permiso a nadie de violarla. Pero cuantas violaciones ocurren en una ciudad como Bogotá, y solamente esta salta a los medios?

Ese es el verdadero problema, en Bogotá se equipara estrato con moralidad, nada mas lejos de la razón.

Tal vez me genera suspicacia el hecho de que si ocurre una violación en Bosa, Usme, etc, y demas zonas marginales de Bogotá, no es noticia, es normal, el consiente colectivo dicta que es de esperarse que eso ocurra en esas zonas de la ciudad, pero si ocurre en Chia, Andres Carne de Res, restaurante caro para estrato 6, donde la gente linda de Bogotá va a rumbear, todo el mundo se sorprende, y buscan la declaración de Andres Jaramillo y todo el rollo.

Tal vez estando fuera del pais, me he vuelto mas sensible al asunto, aqui se reporta cualquier violación en la ciudad, y cualquier homicidio; no solamente los que ocurren en ciertas zonas de la ciudad.

Pero claro, entiendo que vivo en otro planeta, donde en Ottawa hay solamente 10 homicidos al año, mientras que en Bogota, eso se hace en un fin de semana.

Pero al final, una violación no tiene estrato social.