Thursday, January 14, 2010

Another Torch Arrest and Prorogue Complaints

Second Arrest in Torch Flap

It seems the conspiracy went deeper than we knew. Last week, a second person was arrested in relation to the Olympic torch tripping incident on December 28th in downtown Guelph. Kelly Pflug-Back, a 20-year-old Guelph resident, was charged with assault by Guelph Police and will appear in court on February 8th along with the previously charged 19-year-old Kitchener protestor who was arrested on the scene at the torch relay. This new arrest was made as part of an ongoing investigation into the incident where a clash between protestors and torch security resulted in 28-year-old Milton resident Courtney Hansen being tripped and falling while carrying the torch.

In an interesting twist, Pflug-Back says that she was a victim, telling the Guelph Mercury that she was punched in the face by an RCMP officer and treated later that day at Guelph General Hospital. “It was pretty much the only violence that I saw perpetrated in the incident,” she said, adding that in her opinion, the incident was completely unprovoked, and that she filed her own complaint with Guelph Police Service. Additionally, Pflug-Back doesn’t know whom she’s allegedly assaulted. “All it says is that I have been charged with assault,” she said. “I wasn’t given a name as to whom I have been charged with assaulting.” Guelph Police Chief Rob Davis said that names are only given when staying away from the victim is a condition of release. “They’ll find out (the alleged victim) through the court process,” Davis said. “It has to go before the court and it has to be sworn to.” To be continued…

Decisions Soon in Two OMB Cases

The Ontario Municipal Board should be releasing their decision regarding two controversial Guelph cases sometime later this month according to an article in the Mercury. One case involves the disputed gravel pit off Downey Street in the south end of the city, a contentious battle that’s been raging between area residents and Capital Paving Inc for nearly four years. “The board said it would endeavour to have (a decision) out as soon as possible in the new year, so it should be fairly soon,” said Peter Pickfield, lawyer for Capital. The other case is the development of the Lafarge lands in the west end. Armel, the last opponent standing against developing the land under an arbitrated plan, took the matter to the OMB last August in a hearing that wrapped by October. Steven Zakem, lawyer for Armel noted that the OMB normally tries to issue decisions within 60 days. Pickfield, who represented the city in this case, agrees saying, “I think we should have a decision any time now.”

Valeriote calls proroguing a “coward” move

Seemingly echoing the sentiments of much of the country, Guelph MP Frank Valeriote said that Prime Minister Stephen Harper showed cowardice by calling up Governor-General MichaĆ«lle Jean and asking for a surprise suspension of parliament until after the conclusion of the Olympic Games in Vancouver. “Frankly he’s showing himself to be a coward running from accountability,” Valeriote said to the Mercury. “He’s decided he does not want to be accountable to the people. […] There is absolutely no sense in what he’s done.” There are many that agree, including the nearly 100,000 strong (at press time) Facebook group “Canadians Against Proroguing Parliament.” The reasons for this prorogue stem from the banal (letting the country enjoy the Olympics without Parliamentary pissing contests) to the sinister (scuttling the inquiry into the treatment of Afghan detainees). Valeriote meanwhile laments all the lost work coming from this move. “That’s a whole year’s work down the drain that we will never get back,” Valeriote said. “Millions and millions of dollars gone forever, and that’s only the agriculture committee. I really hope at some point the people of Canada come to understand the depth of his disregard… and his desire to put himself above everyone else. ”

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