About theburgwatch

the first to create a record of amherstburg town council's performance

Urge Premier Ford To Take Action Re COVID-19

The three Independent Reviewers of the AODA demand immediate government action on the serious hardships facing people with disabilities in yesterday’s landmark guest column in the Toronto Star.

From the AODA Alliance: Please email Premier Doug Ford today. Write him at premier@ontario.ca Urge him to immediately act on the recommendations in this guest column. Tell him that Ontario desperately needs his government to announce and implement an effective plan to meet the needs of people with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

I did.

I also urged him to not honour the forthcoming request from the Town of Amherstburg that the Province of Ontario extend the website compliance deadline to January 1, 2022 along with a request for funding; council was cc’d.

A more detailed background can be found at aoda.ca.

Town of Amherstburg Requests Website Compliance Deadline Extension

In a Report to Council by Kevin Fox for the September 13, 2020 council meeting, Administration recommends that Council request that the Province of Ontario extend the compliance deadline from January 1, 2021 to at least January 1, 2022 due to the impacts of the pandemic (COVID-19) emergency and the impacts it has had both on the finances and resources of municipalities such as the Town of Amherstburg.

And town council voted in favour.

SHAMEFUL.

COVID-19 has only existed for the past several months compared to provincial legislation that was enacted in 2005: the AODA (Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act). Provincial Standards included deadlines for compliance but, suddenly, in September 2020, the town needs more time? 15 months more time?

More to follow.

Questioning Accessibility

This opinion was written in response to a River Town Times article, Grand Opening of River Bookshop.

The article mentioned building owner Richard Peddie’s observation that “Right now, within 150 yards of where we are standing, there are 11 other retail entrances that could become accessible if they too used StopGap ramps.”

Entrances would not necessarily become accessible just by utilizing a StopGap ramp which, as the name implies, is a temporary measure. In fact, in order to participate in the ramp project, the StopGap organization requires business owners to agree to and sign a waiver acknowledging, in part, “I know that this ramp is not intended to be a permanent ramp to my storefront and that the ramp should only be used when needed. When in use, the ramp should be level and flush against the step with no gaps present. When the ramp is not in use, it should be stored in a safe location. I understand that the use or storage of the ramp could cause injury to persons or property.”

A small window sign is supposed to advertise the availability of the ramp so customers can request it if required. In my opinion, this access method does not meet the core principles of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act 2005 of dignity, independence, integration and equal opportunity.

Accessibility requires more than a ramp. A commitment to accessibility would include the removal of attitudinal barriers, the installation of automated doors, signage for people who are blind or have low vision, training on the human rights code including the accommodation of people with disabilities, and a public statement.

The bookshop’s website has some accessibility issues and provides no accessibility statement and no phone number or email or alternate methods of communication for potential customers. And, if the upper level will hold events, will it be accessible?

After a decade-long conflict with the town and my human rights complaint to ensure accessibility at the library, my observation is that there is greater emphasis on heritage preservation than barrier removal.

Linda Saxon

Face Masks Made Mandatory

CTV News reports Amherstburg makes masks mandatory for all indoor public spaces.

Canada’s chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam said May 20 that non-medical masks should be worn when physical distancing cannot be achieved. On June 10, the Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health unit became the first in the province to make masks mandatory.

Other Ontario municipalities enacted by-laws;  Toronto’s fine:

“Upon conviction of an offence under this By-law, a person or operator shall be liable to a fine in accordance with section 429 of the Municipal Act, 2001, as follows:

    • A minimum of $500 and a maximum fine of $100,000.00
    • In the case of a continuing offence, for each day or part of a day that the offence continues, a minimum of $500 and a maximum fine of $10,000.00, and the total of all daily fines for the offence is not limited to $100,000.00.
    • In the case of a multiple offence, for each offence included in the multiple offence, a minimum fine of $500, and a maximum fine of $10,000.00, and the total of all fines for each included offence is not limited to $100,000.00.”

Enforcement is necessary, like seat belt wearing; despite education campaigns, there will always be those who refuse to comply even if it is in their, or their community’s, best interest.

Copyright Policy

I felt compelled to add a Copyright Policy to the Policies Page after a photo of one of my post’s information was shared without my permission, without stating my blog as the source or linking to it and without editing the post as requested. In my opinion, it’s a moral responsibility if not a legal one.

theburgwatch owns the copyright to all content, including text and photos on this blog. please respect my right to my own material and the right to decide how it will and will not be used.

Accordingly, please do not use or copy any of my material without my permission or claim it as your own.

thank you for respecting my intellectual property.

(c) 2020 theburgwatch.

Windsor Police Releases Further Police Proposal Record As Ordered

Windsor Police released further records as ordered by Information and Privacy Commissioner Ontario Order MO-3927, regarding an Appeal of Windsor Police’s decision to withhold access to parts of its policing proposal to Amherstburg.

Mayor DiCarlo advised the Windsor response would be made public and a request followed in June 2018.

Read Related Posts:

UPDATE: Town of Amherstburg Ordered to Conduct Further Records Search

On August 10, 2020, the compliance date for Information and Privacy Commission ORDER MO-3934-I, the Town of Amherstburg requested an extension until September 30 to complete further searches and provide affidavits and representations about the additional searches in satisfaction of Order Provisions 1- 3.

As posted in Town of Amherstburg Ordered to Conduct Further Records Search). the first three Order provisions are:

  1. I order the town to conduct a further electronic search in response to the appellant’s request using the email addresses of the EA and any other staff in the CAO’s office.
  2. I order the town to conduct a further search of its electronic and paper record holdings for records that may flow from the May 8, 2017 email referred to in paragraph 24 of this order.
  3. I order the town to provide me with an affidavit sworn by the individual(s) who conduct(s) the further searches by August 10, 2020 describing its search efforts. The affidavit(s) should include the following information:
    1. the names and positions of the individuals who conducted the searches;
    2. information about the types of files searched, the nature and location of the search(es) and the steps taken in conducting the search(es);
    3. the results of the search(es); and,
    4. if the search described in order provision 2 does not yield any further results, an explanation.

The Adjudicator understood from the town’s letter that the Town of Amherstburg has commenced the additional searches, which have yielded a large volume of records that require review; and that there have been some delays in completing the additional searches due to demands on staff time because of emergency declarations for COVID-19 and flooding.

In response, the Adjudicator amended the compliance date in Order Provision 3 to be September 30, 2020.

Any further requests for extension must be made before September 15 and the appellant will be given an opportunity to make representations. Requests for additional time for compliance with Order Provisions 1-3 beyond September 30 that are received after September 15 will not be granted, unless extraordinary circumstances are present.

The Adjudicator clarified that the order was issued by the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario, which is an Office of the Legislative Assembly and independent from the provincial government.

Town of Amherstburg Ordered to Conduct Further Records Search

The Information and Privacy Commissioner Ontario issued ORDER MO-3934-I regarding the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act request to the town for correspondence regarding the police costing from the town’s CAO (and his staff) to the OPP.

ORDER:

  1. I order the town to conduct a further electronic search in response to the appellant’s request using the email addresses of the EA and any other staff in the CAO’s office.
  2. I order the town to conduct a further search of its electronic and paper record holdings for records that may flow from the May 8, 2017 email referred to in paragraph 24 of this order.
  3. I order the town to provide me with an affidavit sworn by the individual(s) who conduct(s) the further searches by August 10, 2020 describing its search efforts. The affidavit(s) should include the following information:
    1. the names and positions of the individuals who conducted the searches;
    2. information about the types of files searched, the nature and location of the search(es) and the steps taken in conducting the search(es);
    3. the results of the search(es); and,
    4. if the search described in order provision 2 does not yield any further results, an explanation.
  4. The information should be provided by way of representations with the affidavit that may be shared with the appellant unless there is an overriding confidentiality concern.
  5. If the town locates additional responsive records as a result of its further search, I order it to issue an access decision to the appellant in accordance with the requirements of this Act , treating the date of this order as the date of the request.
  6. I reserve the right to require the town to provide me with a copy of the information it discloses to the appellant in accordance with this order.
  7. I remain seized of this appeal to deal with: any outstanding issues arising from order provisions 1 to 3; and, if the parties are unable to resolve them, any additional time that may be required by the town to comply with the order due to the current COVID-19 situation.

Windsor Police Service Board Ordered To Disclose Additional Police Proposal Records

The Information and Privacy Commissioner Ontario issued Order MO-3927 regarding an Appeal of Windsor Police’s decision to withhold access to parts of its policing proposal to Amherstburg.

Read Want The Windsor Policing Proposal? Pay For It for a detailed background that began in June 2018. Mayor DiCarlo advised the Windsor response would be made public.

Windsor Police relied on several reasons for its decision, including discretionary exemptions: sections 11(f) (economic and other interests), 6(1)(b) (closed meeting), 8(1)(c) (reveal investigative techniques and procedures), (e) (endanger life or safety), (g) (intelligence information), (i) (security) and (l) (facilitate commission of an unlawful act).

ORDER:

  1. I do not uphold WPSB’s decision that section 52(3) applies to pages 23, 24, 28, 29 and 32 of the record and order it to issue an access decision with respect to the these pages. For the purposes of the procedural
    requirements of the access decision, the date of this order is to be treated as the date of the access request.
  2. I uphold the WPSB’s decision to deny access to the information on pages 45 and part of 47 (the code information only) on the basis of section 8(1) (l) of the Act .
  3. I order the WPSB to disclose the following pages of the record: 33, part of 47 (the non-code information), 48, 49, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 61, 62, 64, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 96, 97, 98, 99, 100, 122, 130 and 131 by providing the appellant with a copy of these pages by July 7, 2020.
  4. In order to verify compliance with order provisions 1 and 3, I reserve the right to require the police to provide me with a copy of the access decision and the records sent to the appellant.
  5. The timelines in order provisions 1 and 3 may be extended if the police are unable to comply in light of the current COVID-19 situation. I remain seized of the appeal to address any such requests.

UPDATE: Windsor Police Service Information and Privacy Co-ordinator requested a 30 day extension from July 6, 2020.

Police Costing Comparison Amherstburg And Orangeville Part 4 Mayor’s Statement

Part 4 of this series was delayed pending the outcome of my January 17 request to Mayor DiCarlo. A simple question resulted in a complicated process without an answer; more on that below and in a future post.

Orangeville Mayor Brown issued a formal Statement on Orangeville Council’s OPP decision the day after and it is posted on the town of Orangeville’s site.

January 17 to DiCarlo, one of the questions submitted regarding the Windsor Police takeover was: would you please provide me with any official statement you issued as mayor regarding the vote in favour of the windsor police takeover.

January 20, Mayor DiCarlo’s response was: Unfortunately I do not keep personal records of the information you are requesting as the Town is responsible for such.  Please forward your requests to the CAO’s office.

January 20 to DiCarlo: just to clarify, i’m not requesting personal records and i do not believe the town is responsible for an official statement you may have issued as mayor. my question is simply did you issue one in relation to the windsor police takeover?

January 20 from DiCarlo: I understood what you were requesting. Any official statements I made would have been forwarded by/through the Town, not me personally.  I don’t keep copies of those.  If they were made to the media, they would be available in the media.  I do not keep a record of all of my media interviews. I cannot provide records of information I do not keep.  However, the parties I referred to do keep those records, thus my referral to the CAO’s office.

January 20 to Miceli: since the mayor has referred me to contact you, i’m requesting any official statement the mayor issued regarding the vote in favour of the windsor police takeover.

January 27 to Miceli: followup

February 12 to council: request that council consider creating a protocol to answer inquiries from taxpayers and media; mentioned a couple of examples of exchanges with town employees, including Miceli not answering January 20 and 27 emails.

February 12: DiCarlo forwarded request to council to CAO Miceli with an FYI notation.

February 18 from Miceli, in part: I will request that all information you seek be made through MFIPPA process and the Clerk will determine the appropriate dissemination of information. This is the proper way to handle your requests.

February 18 to Miceli: not all requests require a formal FOI request when dealing with an open government; since I believe one is unnecessary in this instance, my requests stand. the mayor claimed you have the records so you will have to decide whether or not to honour my requests. 

Police Costing Comparison Amherstburg And Orangeville Part 3 Council Motions Requesting OPP Costing

Any municipality wishing to request a contract proposal for the provision of policing services by the OPP must submit a council resolution requesting a proposal for the cost of OPP policing to the Ministry.

Orangeville
First request:
January 2014 Council Resolution to request costing proposal from OPP.
April 2017 OPP Costing Analysis presentation to Council.

Second request:
December 2018 Council Resolution to request a costing proposal from OPP.
January 2019 Town’s request approved and an initial meeting with OPP was held.

Amherstburg
December 2014 Resolution to obtain an OPP Costing.
January 2017 Resolution, in part, to work with the OPP on the OPP costing.
No initial meeting with OPP was held.
Fall 2017 cancelled.

Police Costing Comparison Amherstburg And Orangeville Part 2 Police Complement

  • Orangeville Police Complement            OPP Proposed Complement
  • Chief                                1                         Superintendent            0.58
  • Deputy                             1
  • Staff Sergeant                  2                         Staff Sergeant              1
  • Sergeant                          6                         Sergeant                      6
  • Constables                    31.8                       Constables                35
  • Overtime Equivalent         1.1                       Overtime Equivalent  1.1
  • Total Complement       42.9                      Total Complement 44.6
  • Amherstburg Police Complement          Windsor Police Proposed
  • Chief 1                                                        Shall be 30 full time including
  • Deputy 1                                                     the Officer in Charge.
  • Staff Sergeant 0
  • Sergeant 6
  • Constables 23
  • Special Constable 1
  • Total Complement 32                               Total Complement 30

Police Costing Comparison Amherstburg And Orangeville Overview

theburgwatch compared the main framework of police costings in Orangeville and Amherstburg.

Disclaimer: this Amherstburg Orangeville Comparison Police Costing is provided for informational purposes only. theburgwatch.com makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, currentness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

Mayor DiCarlo’s Response RE Windsor Police 1 Year Anniversary Comment

As mentioned in the post, Windsor Police Takeover One Year Latertheburgwatch requested DiCarlo to expand, specifically, on what the ‘quite a bit of service’ is and submitted the following to him:

according to an am800 article re the one year anniversary of the windsor police takeover, you mentioned, “From what I can tell, on the surface, we’re actually getting more for our money which was really the key that we were looking into this for. Initially, it was really just saving money, but it looks like we’ve added quite a bit of service for cost savings.” for the burgwatch, would you expand, specifically, on what the ‘quite a bit of service’ is.”

A.  “I spoke to all of the news outlets about this issue, so I’ll have to try and recall the context.  That I remember for that particular article, the context of the statement was in relation to feedback received from residents regarding the increased presence of police officers across the town.”