Canada Post’s CEO Deepak Chopra, Has Over Half a Million Reasons To Restore Door-to-Door Delivery

Update: see previous post – October 18, 2015 The NDP to Reverse Canada Post’s Elimination of Door-to-Door Delivery

Canada Post President/CEO Deepak Chopra on December 11, 2013 that Canada Post would eliminate door-to-door delivery and thousands of jobs. He was supported by his buddies in the Conservative government, Stephen Harper and Lisa Raitt. Fearing he would lose the election and the ongoing opportunity to tear down the post office, Harper extended Chopra's appointment for another five years, at a maximum of salary of $518,000 a year. Fearing the his newly elected boss may deny him the opportunity to earn almost $2.6 million, Chopra has reconsidered eliminating all the door-to-door delivery in Canada. After Trudeau was elected with an strong majority on Oct.19, Chopra says Canada Post decided to stop the phase-out of door-to-door mail in order to “sit down and discuss with the incoming federal government the policies that make sense.”
Canada Post President/CEO Deepak Chopra stated on December 11, 2013 that Canada Post would eliminate door-to-door delivery and thousands of jobs. He was supported by his buddies in the Conservative government, Stephen Harper and Lisa Raitt. Fearing he would lose the election and the ongoing opportunity to tear down the post office, Harper extended Chopra’s appointment for another five years, at a maximum of salary of $518,000 a year. Fearing the his newly elected boss may deny him the opportunity to earn almost $2.6 million, Chopra has reconsidered eliminating all the door-to-door delivery in Canada. After Trudeau was elected with an strong majority on Oct.19, Chopra says Canada Post decided to stop the phase-out of door-to-door mail in order to “sit down and discuss with the incoming federal government the policies that make sense.”

see source

Canada Post head Deepak Chopra says it would have been impossible to stop the phase-out of door-to-door mail immediately after the Liberals won the election.

The Peace Tower on Parliment Hill. In 2006 shortly after Stephen Harper was elected with the smallest minority government since Confederation. Shortly after he became PM on Feb.6, the clock in the Peace Tower stopped, the first time in 28 years. Following the Oct 19 defeat of Harper, it is said that the clock in the Peace Tower can be heard humming. Parliment has been under construction and renovations for years, awaiting a new government.
The Peace Tower on Parliment Hill. In 2006 shortly after Stephen Harper was elected with the smallest minority government since Confederation. Shortly after he became PM on Feb.6, the clock in the Peace Tower stopped, for the first time in 28 years. Following the Oct 19 defeat of Harper, it is said that the clock in the Peace Tower can be heard humming. Parliment has been under construction and renovations for years, awaiting a new government.

Canada Post couldn’t have paused its phase-out of home mail delivery earlier than it did without disrupting service, according to the corporation’s CEO.

Speaking for the first time since Canada Post announced Monday it was suspending the process of replacing door-to-door service with community mailboxes, CEO Deepak Chopra defended the agency’s decision to wait until a week after the federal election to institute the freeze.

The timing was significant because the Liberal victory on Oct. 19 signaled a change in postal policy was on the way. Canada Post began eliminating home delivery under the outgoing Conservative government, but Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau campaigned on a promise to “save” door-to-door service.

“This is a 10-month process in any community when we introduce (community mailboxes),” Chopra said Thursday at the opening of a new post office in Richmond Hill.

“A project of this magnitude cannot be measured in hours or one week or one day. It’s, as I mentioned, a long planning cycle with equipment and restructuring and employee impact. So we have to do it in a way that is respectful to making sure that the service remains. That’s job one.”

But Mike Palecek, the national president of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, rejected Chopra’s contention that stopping sooner would have been impossible.

“That’s a ridiculous assertion. It would have taken a phone call to tell people, ‘just keep delivering as normal.’ Instead they wanted to rush through the cuts,” Palecek said.

“It was a disingenuous move and Mr. Chopra is being disingenuous if he says that it would have been too complicated to maintain services.”

According to the union, Canada Post moved nearly 300,000 addresses, including many in Aurora, Ont., to community mailboxes on Monday, mere hours before it halted the program.

Mike Palecek was elected President of the CUPW-STTP union in May, 2015 in the union's 50th year. Shortly after being elected, the Union paid for a 32' RV in which Palecek and his family took to the road in the "Save Canada Post caravan tour" for a 96-day campaign which started July 15 in the east coast and travelling to the west coast. The idea behind the long drive was to prevent Harper from being elected and to save door-to-door delivery.
Mike Palecek was elected President of the CUPW-STTP union in May, 2015 in the union’s 50th year. Shortly after being elected, the Union paid for a 32′ RV in which Palecek and his family took to the road in the “Save Canada Post caravan tour” for a 96-day campaign which started July 15 in the east coast and travelled to the west coast. The idea behind the long drive was to prevent Harper from being elected and to save door-to-door delivery. Both objectives were achieved.

What will happen to the community mailbox initiative now is not known. Although during the election the Liberals criticized the Conservative party for the elimination of home delivery, it’s not clear whether the incoming government would actually restore door-to-door service to those who have lost it.

In its campaign platform, the party promised to “save home mail delivery” and perform a review of Canada Post “to make sure that it provides high-quality service at a reasonable price to Canadians, no matter where they live.” But beyond that the document offered few specifics.

Asked for clarification, party spokesperson Cameron Ahmad wrote in an email: “We are committed to implementing our platform and the details outlined within it, including those focusing on Canada Post.

“Our immediate priority remains a smooth transition and forming government, and announcing a new cabinet to Canadians on Nov. 4.”

The postal service announced in December 2013 that it would end home delivery, a measure that the corporation estimated would save $500 million annually when fully implemented. The change came as Canadians’ reliance on letter mail is plummeting and correspondence moves online — Canada Post said it delivered 1.4 billion fewer pieces of mail in 2014 than it did in 2006.

When the conversion to community mailboxes began, only 32 per cent of households, mostly in urban centres, got mail delivered to their door. The other two-thirds used community or rural mailboxes, postal boxes, or boxes in the lobbies of their apartment buildings.

Although Chopra has backed ending home delivery as a policy that will save money and help modernize the post office, on Thursday he said Canada Post decided to suspend the community mailbox program until it could reach some agreement with the Liberal government about “policies that make sense.”

Chopra, who in August received a five-year extension of his contract that will take him to 2021, wouldn’t say whether he would defend the phase-out in talks with his new political masters. He said the corporation is looking to “come up with the next steps so that we are in alignment with (the government).”

Walid Hejazi, professor of international competitiveness at the Rotman School of Management, said that if home delivery is going to stay, the government will have to find a way to rationalize rescuing an expensive, increasingly unpopular service that is enjoyed by only a minority of the population.

“You have to be absolutely clear that there’s inequities,” he said, “that the people that get door-to-door are being subsidized by people that do not.”

James Forcillo Jury hears Sammy Yatim’s last words

Update: see previous post – October 13, 2015 Toronto Police Constable James Forcillo on Trial in Second Degree/Attempted Murder of Sammy Yatim

James Forcillo jury hears Sammy Yatim's last words - before he was shot at nine (9) times by Officer Forcillo and then subsequently tasered by another officer.
James Forcillo jury hears Sammy Yatim’s last words, while he was standing in an empty streetcar – before he was shot at nine (9) times by Officer Forcillo and then subsequently tasered by another officer.

see source

Opening statements begin in Toronto trial of police constable charged in 2013 fatal shooting of teen

James Forcillo and Sammy Yatim, armed with a knife, were too close together during a confrontation on a streetcar for the Toronto police officer to do anything but shoot the 18-year-old in self-defence, lawyer Peter Brauti told a jury today.

Forcillo’s lawyer said his client, charged with second-degree murder and attempted murder, will testify so that the jury will come to understand the shooting of Yatim, who was struck by eight bullets in July 2013, was justified and in self-defence.

On Tuesday, the jury first heard from prosecutor Milan Rupic who said Forcillo should never have opened fire on Yatim, adding it wasn’t “necessary or reasonable.”

While Brauti said there is no dispute his client shot Yatim, the circumstances put Forcillo and a crowd gathered outside the streetcar at risk and action was required.

The Crown told the jury that Forcillo and his partner were the first to arrive at the streetcar after reports of a disturbance. Rupic said the two officers walked to the front of the streetcar with their weapons drawn, but Forcillo’s partner holstered her gun before other officers arrived and “she used a calm voice and asked Yatim a question.”

Forcillo demanded that Yatim “drop the knife,” but the 18-year-old mocked the officers and called them “pussies,” said Rupic.

Sammy-Yatim-Toronto-police-shooting

Toronto teenager Sammy Yatim was shot after causing a disturbance aboard a Toronto streetcar in 2013. (Facebook/Canadian Press)

Forcillo told Yatim if he took a step forward he would be shot.

Hit in the heart

The jury heard from the Crown that Forcillo’s first three shots hit Yatim in the heart, severed his spine and fractured his right arm. He fell onto his back with the knife still clutched in his hand.

The Crown said “Yatim did not lunge forward … and he was fatally wounded by one of the first three bullets.”

Yatim never got up from the floor of the streetcar after the first round of shots, but “that was not the end of the shooting,” Rupic said.

Five seconds later, Forcillo fired another half dozen times, including shots aimed at Yatim’s abdomen, legs and penis, Rupic told the court.

Of the nine shots fired, eight hit Yatim. The interaction took less than a minute.

An officer who arrived after the second round of shots used a conducted energy weapon on Yatim and kicked the knife out of the teen’s hand.

Rupic said Yatim was handcuffed and given medical attention but he was dead.

Brauti told jury members they’ll hear Forcillo never wanted to use lethal force and that the teen ignored repeated requests to drop his weapon.

During the confrontation, the officer had a baton, pepper spray and a handgun on him and “asked his partner to call for an officer with a Taser.”

Toronto Police Constable James Forcillo arrives at court for first day of opening statements in his trial. (CBC News)
Toronto Police Constable James Forcillo arrives at court for first day of opening statements in his trial. (CBC News)

Others officers were already on the way. Rupic said a dispatcher told them, “it was a hot shot at Dundas and Grace. A person with a knife, a male on streetcar,” but there were “no injuries to anyone at this time.”Brauti said a “hot shot” told officers they were answering “a call of extreme danger.”

On the streetcar, Forcillo was “from 20 to 30 feet” away from Yatim. The defence will call an expert witness to testify that at half that distance there’s a life-threatening risk if someone is armed with a knife.

He explained Forcillo repeatedly said “drop the knife,” so a suspect “clearly knows and understands what you want them to do,” and to let other officers and bystanders know the situation was dangerous and the suspect was armed.

Brauti said Forcillo will testify that to him it “looked like the calm before the storm.”

The Superior Court of Justice at the Court House located at 361 University Avenue.
The Superior Court of Justice at the Court House located at 361 University Avenue.

Yatim’s last word was ‘No,’ defence says

When asked to drop the knife one final time, Yatim’s last word, according to the defence, was “No,” and then he moved forward.

“It was not a sprint, not a charge,” but Brauti said Yatim moved with what the police officer perceived as intent, “almost like a tough guy, bring it on approach.”

Brauti said Yatim disregarded the repeated pleas, and displayed “fearlessness” and “anger” that forced Forcillo into a decision because “waiting one more second” would have been unsafe for the officers and for the crowd gathered outside the streetcar.

Regarding the number of shots, Brauti said his client believed Yatim was still moving and had not surrendered. Even when on the ground, Forcillo believed the victim was on the attack.

There will be significant video evidence shown during the trial, including one from inside the streetcar. Brauti acknowledged that video differs from Forcillo’s memory. “He will give you some explanations as to why his perception of how far Mr. Yatim got up is different from the video.”

Among about a dozen witnesses, the Crown will call the TTC driver who was alone on a streetcar with Yatim before police got there. He is expected to testify that moments before he was shot, Yatim asked to call his father, according to the Crown.

Yatim’s odd behaviour started at a transit stop near Yonge and Dundas streets where he told a TTC cleaner he needed a phone, wanted help and asked the cleaner to call police. Before the cleaner could act, Rupic said, Yatim boarded the streetcar heading west.

A family of four female family members also got on the streetcar and Yatim exposed himself to them, Rupic told the court. “He unzipped his pants, exposed his penis and took out a four-inch switchblade,” he said.

Brauti also said the family members were on their way to a Justin Bieber concert when Yatim, seated near them “pulled out his penis and was rubbing it with his hand,” while holding the switchblade. It was a 12-year-old girl sitting just a few feet away that noticed him first.

The lawyer said Yatim became enraged when the family members rose to exit and that’s when the teen lunged with the knife toward the throat of one of the women. “She will tell you that had she not jerked back as Mr. Yatim attempted to slash her, she would not be alive today,” he said.

The women screamed and made their way to the front of the streetcar. Rupic had earlier told the court that Yatim didn’t pursue them or other passengers.

He was left alone with the driver, who asked if Yatim wanted to call someone. Rupic said when the teen said he did the driver asked, “Who do you want to call.” Yatim responded, “My dad,” Rupic said.

Saskatchewan: Armless Driver Has Seatbelt Ticket Dropped, Wants Apology from Officer Who Wrote It

Update: see previous post – May 2, 2013 Saskatchewan: Armless Saskatoon Driver Receives Ticket for Not Wearing Seatbelt

see source                                                                                                     Steve Simonar is is the process of applying for a permanent seatbelt exemption and upon receving that exemption will no longer be required to wear a seatbelt and police will not be able to issue him a ticket for refusing to wear his seatbelt while in his or any other vehicle.  Saskatchewan passed laws in 2012 allowing for six (6) permanent seatbelt exemptions.

SASKATOON — A man with no arms isn’t giving up his fight against a Saskatoon police officer who gave him a ticket for not wearing a seatbelt.

Steve Simonar made headlines across the country earlier this year when he complained about getting his first seatbelt ticket. He can’t physically buckle up.

A Crown prosecutor recently withdrew the $175 fine in court after the province granted Simonar a medical exemption allowing him to drive without wearing a belt.

Simonar is pleased, but not backing down. He still wants an apology from the constable who gave him the ticket and he wants the force to reprimand the officer.

“The ticket never was the issue,” Simonar said Wednesday.

“It’s good that they had enough sense to throw it out but the bigger picture is still this officer’s attitude.”

wants the Saskatoon police officer whose behaviour he found offensive, to apologize
Steve Simonar wants the Saskatoon police officer whose behaviour he found offensive, to apologize.  The Officer referred to Mr. Simonar as “you people” and threatened to put Mr. Simonar’s seatbelt on and let him go if he pulled him over again for refusing to wear a seatbelt. (Picture of Simonar leaning on the front of his modified truck by Liam Richards / THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Simonar, an owner of a Saskatoon construction company, lost his arms in 1985 after he was electrocuted in a boating accident. He learned to drive with his feet and has had several vehicles modified so he can do so.

The 55-year-old uses his left foot to turn a small steering wheel near the floor and his right foot to work the gas and brake pedals. He also uses his feet to open the door and turn the key.

Simonar said police have pulled him over at least 20 times in the past and never gave him a seatbelt ticket before.

So he was surprised when he got his first ticket during a traffic blitz in April. Simonar said the officer was abrupt and told him if he couldn’t wear a seatbelt, he shouldn’t be driving.

A police spokeswoman later explained that Simonar didn’t have a medical exemption, so he needed to be given a ticket.

Simonar said he used to carry a doctor’s note and didn’t know the rules had changed requiring him to apply to Saskatchewan Government Insurance for a written exemption. He applied for one soon after he got the ticket.

He later sat down with the officer who gave him the ticket and a superior. But Simonar said they wouldn’t rip up the ticket and the officer was offensive.

Simonar alleges the officer said “you people” in referring to handicapped drivers.

“And he said if he stopped me again, he’d give me another ticket. But he would make sure he put my seatbelt on and then let me go.”

Simonar said strapping him in his truck would amount to unlawful confinement since it would be impossible for him to get out of his vehicle without help. “I’d have to flag somebody down somehow.

Police are no longer commenting on the ticket or the officer’s actions because Simonar has filed a formal complaint with the Saskatchewan Public Complaints Commission.

Simonar believes it will be awhile before his complaint is heard. In the meantime, he doesn’t expect to have other problems with police.

He was pulled over a month ago by an officer in Prince Albert, Sask., he said. He got a ticket for speeding but the officer didn’t ask to see his seatbelt exemption.

“There was no question about the seatbelt,” he said.

Simonar called Saskatoon police last week after his truck was stolen. He said officers were polite and professional in dealing with the theft.

“I’ve talked a lot to officers since and everybody’s great. It’s just this one guy.

“The whole complaint is not about the Saskatoon city police. It’s just this one officer. That’s it.”

Parking Meters: Toronto Hospitals Upgrade Meters to Accept New Lighter Toonies & Loonies

Update: see previous post – May 7, 2012 Couple Made Unsuccessful Attempts at Placing New Lighter Toonie/Loonies Into Hospital Parking Meter and Receive $49 Ticket For Their Effort, April 28, 2012 Hamilton Will Upgrade Their Parking Meters and Pay and Display Parking Machines, April 26, 2012 Toronto Parking Authority to Upgrade Parking Meters, Allowing Meters to Accept Loonies/Toonies – Increase in Rates to Follow

see source

Anke Wallert leans on a parking machine at North York General Hospital's Branson site, where she and husband Alexander Nairn got a parking ticket because the machine wouldn't accept their new loonies and toonies. Hospitals around the GTA are now upgrading their parking machines.Anke Wallert leans on a parking machine at North York General Hospital’s Branson site, where she and husband Alexander Nairn got a parking ticket because the machine wouldn’t accept their new loonies and toonies. Hospitals around the GTA are now upgrading their parking machines. Richard Lautens/Toronto Star

Toronto-area hospitals are upgrading their parking meters to accommodate new loonies and toonies.

“Some machines have already been fixed to accept the new coins,” said Marcelo Gomez-Wiuckstern, spokesperson for North York General Hospital.

The hospital is in talks with Precise Parklink, the contractor that manages its parking lot, to update all its meters, Gomez-Wiuckstern said. In the meantime, Parklink has put up signs notifying customers that the outdated meters are incompatible with the coins, he added.

Alexander Nairn, 87, whose wife, Anke Wallert, received a $49 ticket last week after parking meters at North York General’s Branson site rejected her new loonies and toonies, said the upgrades are “belated.”

“Why didn’t they do it when the coins came out, which is how long ago?”

The Royal Canadian Mint began issuing the revamped coins in April. They are manufactured with multi-ply plated steel technology and weigh less than their alloy predecessors.

After the Star published an article about the incident, Parklink cancelled Nairn’s ticket, he said.

Parklink has been working on updating its 7,000 to 8,000 meters for the past couple of weeks, according to Tony Vit, the company’s regional manager.

“We’ve already rolled that out,” he said.

Toronto East General Hospital is also looking to update its meters in light of the Star’s article, said spokesperson Angela Pappaianni. Unit Park, an external contractor, manages the hospital’s parking.

“What we’re talking to them about is to make sure the machines are compatible or work with the new toonies and loonies,” she said, adding that the hospital has not yet received complaints

Fight Your Tickets.ca Website – 3rd Anniversary!!!

Update: see previous post November 5, 2010 Fight Your Tickets.ca Website – 2nd Anniversary!!

Today is fightyourtickets.ca's third anniversary - November 5, 2011

This could not have happened without you!

fightyourtickets.ca is three (3) years old today. fightyourtickets.ca could not have continued without the ongoing support of visitors.

fightyourtickets.ca wants to acknowledge and thank everyone of you who have supported this website.

As the website evolved over time, many called for a book version of the site with additional chapters that are not found anywhere on the site.  fightyourtickets.ca rose to the challenge and published a book “Fight Your Tickets: A Comprehensive Guide to Traffic Tickets”.

This book was originally released as an eBook and then as a hardcopy book found in various bookstores.

The second edition of  “Fight Your Tickets: A Comprehensive Guide to Traffic Tickets” has now been released as an ebook and a hardcopy version.

fightyourtickets.ca wants to thank all of those people who supported by the site by making donations or purchased the book online or at various bookstores.  Approximately 5000 Absolute Unique Visitors visit fightyourtickets.ca every week.

Thank-you.