Crumbling Integrity

Constant bitching about issues facing police is commonplace, a well practised pastime among the veterans of the blue. People will point out that this blog makes its living in this realm of grumbling discontent. Even for the new 21st century cops, bitching and complaining is a rite of passage and there seems to be no shortage of topics to entertain both groups. Resourcing, shifting, promotions and transfers, all seemingly preoccupying the officers now taking up two tables at Starbucks. The old guys and gals in Tim Hortons, like to talk about pensions, Veterans Affairs, and the cost of living index. The belly aching is never-ending and usually never solved.

Something does seem to be different now though. The transition to the new age does not seem to be going as smoothly or as expected. Morale seems deflated, the concern more serious. Is there a fundamental shift in the role of police or just the same old longing for the “good old days”?

An astute RCMP friend of mine of the younger generation, who is well read on the issues of the day, recently opined that we are in fact watching the “crumbling” of an organization. He may have been over-stating the situation a little, but there does appear to be increasing evidence of a significant deterioration; an acute erosion of the “job”, both in how it is done, and how it is perceived. It seems partly due to the fact that society is bending to new norms, and those new norms are incongruent, often out of sync with the historical understanding of the job. At its root may be that police organizations have now completely and willingly blurred the line between the governmental executive branch and the independence of the judicial and policing arms of government.

There have been a couple of recent stories which seemed to serve as an illustration of this fundamental change.

First, was the Senate committee hearings on the imposition of the Emergency Measures Act and the various witnesses and their attempts at defending those measures.

Secondly was the slip up by none other than the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, Richard Wagner, who inadvertently displayed his political affinity and loyalty to the “progressive” government of Justin Trudeau. This has led to a complaint and investigation by the Canadian Judicial Counsel on the remarks of Mr. Wagner– to determine whether he had had taken the “liberty to express progressive consensus at the expense of judicial neutrality”.

However, let’s first deal with the Senate hearings, which at times bordered on farce as government officials tried to justify and explain the imposition of the Act in the fight against those dastardly convoy protestors. Otherwise known as the insurrection that never was. Highlights included the fact that Marco Mendocino, the Minister of Public Safety, said that the police “requested” the imposition of the Emergencies Act, the clear inference being that the police were out of options and needed the government to come to their rescue. It has now been established that he deliberately misled the public, the police never asked for it.

As the committee progressed it became obvious to all that the success of the Freedom Convoy was largely due to the failures of senior law enforcement, and the Provincial, Municipal, and Federal governments. They, to put it gently, failed to anticipate and enforce the laws that were always available to them. Commissioner Lucki in her cringe worthy testimony could not, and would not admit to any enforcement failures. Nevertheless, she was forced to confirm under oath that they did not ask for the Emergencies Act. Pushed further in her testimony, she found herself in the position of trying to defend her political masters. She was clearly uncomfortable in criticizing the government, and spent most of her time saying that the Act was in the end beneficial, regardless of how it came about. She did prove herself a diffident public servant to Mr. Trudeau and the Liberals.

It was this failure in enforcing the laws of the day, and then failing to admit to those “sequence of failures that Howard Anglin, writing in the National Post concluded– led to the serious consequences of the police and government combining to use “extraordinary police powers and otherwise unlawful tools of government coercion” to upend which was for the most part a legal protest.

It was in essence “a breakdown in the rule of law”, and this gets to the apparent fundamental shift that is occurring in policing.

The police are the most visible in terms of the upholding the rule of law in this country. When they “fail to enforce the law, or choose not to enforce the law, or enforce the law unevenly, the rule of law is compromised, and the perception of the public and the need for the law to be seen as being fair and consistent is irreparably harmed.” The RCMP for many years now has clearly fully embedded itself with the progressive wing of the Liberal party; its policies and operations designed and implemented to appease the current political narrative and to be sensitive to the political base of the Liberal party.

Mr. Anglin cites several examples where the police reacted and acted on the direction of the governing party. How else he asks could one explain the lack of enforcement for the blockades in 2020 of the Coastal gas pipeline, the broad daylight vandalism of statutes whether it be the Queen, Sir John A, or Edgerton Ryerson? How did the downtown Eastside of Vancouver become the current hive of violence and destruction under the watchful eye of the Vancouver City Police, other than through the lack of enforcement of bylaws, drugs, and public mischief. They too have been caught up in substituting a social democratic approach for a clear enforcement need.

In 2013 the blockade of CN Rail by Indigenous led protestors, was ignored by the police. Anglin points to Judge Brown of the Ontario Courts who asked why the Ontario Provincial Police were coming to court for an injunction, when they already had the powers of arrest to stem the blockades. It got even worse in Judge Brown’s court because the police later still failed to enforce the injunction. The police who were still being hoisted on the petard of the woke led Judge Brown had to chastise the police that “discretion in how to enforce the injunction is not extended to not enforce the injunction at all”.

We have since seen the torching of churches, the wanton eco-terrorist destruction of a pipeline site, and the broad daylight destruction of historical statues; all examples of laws not being enforced. Choices to enforce clearly now being dictated by the political arms of municipal, Provincial and Federal governments. The current managers and executives in the policing world have been promoted, and have recognized that the way to climb the ladder is to become one with the liberal philosophy which is clearly the flavour of the day. They recognized that one must obey the woke prescription, suborn any principles of truth, and ignore the reality brought to your attention by the rank and file.

Anglin, who is a research professor at Oxford, defines the rule of law as ” a society that is governed by predictable rules, duly enacted by accountable officials, publicly disseminated, and consistently enforced”. The rule of law, in particular the enforcement of those laws, are critical to a functioning democracy. The police have in effect now been compromised at the expense of political expediency.

The second example are the statements made recently to the Le Devoir newspaper on April 9th, by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Richard Wagner. When speaking about the “Freedom Convoy” and the imposition of the Emergencies Act said that the: “forced blows against the State, Justice, and democratic institutions, like the one by protestors, should be denounced with force by all figures of power in the country”. He describes the convoy as the “the beginning of anarchy where some people have decided to take other citizens hostage”.

Apparently this learned judge was unaware that there is a canon in the practise of judges summed up in the Ethical Principals for Judges which says that: “statements evidencing pre-judgement may destroy impartiality”. In other words, judicial comment on political matters is totally inappropriate.

It could not be more relevant in light of the Committee hearings. There are currently four legal challenges to the Emergency Act imposition, some of which may wind their way to the Supreme Court of Canada, where Mr. Wagner would sit in judgement. His self-admitted bias is obvious. A group of lawyers have filed a complaint with the Canadian Judicial council. Bruce Pardy, a Professor of Law at Queens University says that Wagner has taken “liberty to express progressive consensus at the expense of judicial neutrality”.

Some say we should not be surprised. After all he is an appointee of Mr. Justin Trudeau. He was preceded by the very liberal and also very woke Beverly McLachlin.

Mr. Wagner has a bit of history when it comes to being and wanting to be “progressive”. In an article in 2018 with the Toronto Star he said that “his court was the most progressive in the world” and must lead in promoting “progressive moral values”. Professor Wanjiru Njoya in writing about the Wagner statement has “narrowed reasonable to progressive ideals alone” that only “progressive perspectives are reasonable”.

It would also be arguable that the Supreme Courts decisions leave little doubt in which way the Supreme Court seems to lean to the progressive agenda. In the news recently was the R vs. Bissonette decision where Wagner, writing for the majority said that the conviction of Bissonette, in the killing of six in a mosque in 2017, and sentencing him to consecutive life sentences was an act of “cruel and unusual punishment”. He said that the sentence “presupposes that the offender can not be rehabilitated” and was “degrading in nature and incompatible to human dignity”. It was he wrote contrary to Section 12 of the Charter of Rights.

In R vs Sullivan this same court struck down Section 33.1 of the Criminal Code which said that “automatism” is not a defence to assault or bodily harm cases. In two separate cases two individuals who had voluntarily taken levels of drugs which rendered them in a state of automatism were now wanting to use it as a defence. Sullivan one of the defendants had attacked his mother with a knife, Chan the other defendant had stabbed and killed his father while high on magic mushrooms. The court ruled that this section was unconstitutional as it violates Section 7 and 11 (d) and that they should have been allowed to use this defence.

In a case of the Beaver Creek Cree Nation who is suing for damages to their hunting and fishing rights, the Court echoed the political mantra of the day. In this case the Band, who had already spent over $3 million in their case, felt that they should receive “advance costs” which is where the legal fees are paid in advance by the government, when it is “a matter of public interest”. A rare and unusual request to be sure, and one that is rarely granted. The Supreme Court overruled the Alberta Court of Appeal and said that the government should pay up front, saying the “pressing needs must be understood in the spirit of reconciliation and from the perspective of a First Nation, because it would have its own spending priorities”. The government was ordered to pay $300,000 to the Band to assist them in the suit against this same government.

It is not important whether you agree with the actual decisions or not, what is important is that the political sentiment of this current government in power has now been imposed on the police in their policies and operations, as well as to the highest court in the land.

The independence of both arms of government is questionable if not compromised. Their impartiality in the application of the laws of the land has been severely damaged. If one believes that a democracy has at its core the bindings of law, one could easily argue that our very democracy may be being damaged. One has to believe that all are treated equally under the law.

Contrary to the idea of fairness and an un-biased police force, the RCMP has been busy with the apparent priority of re-writing its “core values”, saying “society has changed, the policing landscape has changed”

“Professionalism” has now been replaced with “excellence” and that they now recognize their historical role “especially when it comes to Indigenous people”. Now the RCMP will “value and promote reconciliation, diversity and inclusion…”

It leaves little doubt as to who is now guiding the RCMP. This ball of tightly wrapped righteousness is rolling down the societal hill, carried by its own momentum, and it is unclear as to who would ever dare to step in its way.

These are disconsolate times, good reason to be bitchy.

Photo courtesy of Government of Prince Edward Island via Flickr Commons – Some Rights Reserved

It’s Time to get to the Children

Like most of the general public last May 2021, when there was an announcement by the Tk’emlups te Seccwepmc band that they had “discovered”, through the use of ground radar, 215 “unmarked graves”, I was taken aback, and a little confused. How is this possible, how could they have gone un-detected for so long?

In a few short days, the discovery and the original news reports began morphing and transitioning, building to a crescendo of evermore outlandish and suspicious headlines. The “unmarked graves” quickly turned into “mass graves”. The allegations captured news eyes from around the world and the international headlines began to follow suit. One of the first, the prestigious New York Times, the liberal media conscious of the United States, reported on the “mass graves” that had been found on the Kamloops Residential school grounds.

The use of the terminology “mass” graves is a tricky one. In most peoples minds and in the current lexicon, it infers criminal activity, the nefarious and clandestine disposal of bodies. It conjures up, in this case, the horrific image of children meeting a brutal and homicidal end. As the months have now turned into a year most of that which was an implied– all those reports that had stirred the loud voices –turns out to be inaccurate and much less than the reports had suggested.

Terry Glavin writing for the National Post, in a recent and well researched article dated May 26th of this year, wrote about the extent and breadth of the misperception. He puts the responsibility for the exaggeration and the inflammatory headlines squarely at the feet of the National press. It was the press he argues that turned the headlines even contrary to the original press releases that had been issued by the various bands at the time. As an example, the Kamloops Band initially spoke of bodies “buried on site”, and it was the press, both television and print, who began to twist the wording to one that was more suitable for them and the headline writing editors. As Glavin points out time has now shown that there was “no mass murder”, “no evidence of mass murder” and “no evidence of concealment”. In fact for those children that died there, they were not returned to their original home for the rather mundane reason of it being a “cost-saving measure”; not to hide what had gone on.

The repercussions and the political and social media churn after the reported “discovery” moved into high gear, and the Liberals who clearly govern by headline could not wait to be seen as pre-eminent keepers of our social and political conscious. They wanted to play to their constituency. Canada Day was cancelled and the flags were put to half-mast for over five months. Apologies were demanded and received, tears flew out of the eyes of every politician standing in front of a bank of microphones. None dared to question even the slimmest of facts. Investigative journalism was non-existent.

The secondary results of the outrage, the burning of churches, the toppling of statues, and the bellicose demands for “reconciliation” reached a fevered pitch. Every news report had to include the tears of the Indigenous elders, stories of torture and abuse, and had to decry “colonization”. It was the accepted script. As the words and terminology ramped up, the term “genocide” began to gain acceptance in liberal circles. It turned out to be a step too far, and it was then that some push back began. Including the residential schools with the likes of Auschwitz was beyond the pale, even for the fringe. Somewhat un-deterred “genocide” changed into the more acceptable “cultural genocide”.

What was really discovered of course, was “undocumented deaths”.

This is not to deny that the endemic deaths of children, especially in the late 19th century were at unfathomable levels, some estimates reaching 20% of the children who had attended the schools. They were in fact dying of malnutrition, tuberculosis, and influenza. The conditions were deplorable at the schools run by the Churches but the deaths were “not a surprise”. In fact 100 years ago, the Department of Indian affairs head resigned because of the number of deaths from tuberculosis, in his mind had reached unsupportable levels.

The conditions at the schools has in point of fact been exhaustively explored for decades: inquiries, public hearings, criminal cases, settlements and Federal investigations. The largest and now most pointed to was the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada; which ran for over seven years, from 2008-2015.

In that report, using the numbers that they produced, the following was revealed for the years 1890-1969:

3,021 are listed as being “undocumented deaths” and there is no record of 1391 of those children. 832 died in schools, 418 died at home, 427 in hospital, 90 in non-school situations, and 43 died in a sanatorium.

But, looking at the facts would have tapped down the rhetoric. Rarely does anything get in the way of this Liberal Federal government or in the Provincial political corridors when there is an opportunity to make political statements of empathy. They are all apologists to the core. It plays well. The unglued Indigenous Minister at the time, Carolyn Bennett expressed hope that the finding of the graves would be a “catalyst” like “George Floyd”. Again the inherent implication was that these children were killed.

Since that time, billions of dollars are being spent in one form or another for the “survivors” who suffered at the hands of those who ruled that “white supremacist, colonial settler state”. Two billion dollars in reparations to survivors, a $10,000 “common experience payment” to the 90,000 or so current survivors, an additional $3000 per year for every year they went, and over $200 million for funding “healing and education programs”. That was in 2006.

In 2019 there was a class action suit launched for those that attended day school, returning home everyday after school. That allowed for those survivors to be paid between $10,000 and $200,000 depending on the level of “abuse” claimed. Recently in a third suit settlement, “survivors” and “descendants of survivors” who died before May 30, 2005 can now also apply for compensation.

I will admit as being one who has always been confused how monies and the payment of monies to grandchildren for instance, somehow “reconciles” historical wrong doing but suffice to say that the price for any wrong doing seems to have at the very least been paid and paid in full.

Now, according to Chief Rosanne Casimir of Kamloops, commenting on the one year anniversary says that they have now entered into a new “phase”. The lead investigative group for this matter is now the Band itself, the Mounties there to give “support” only. Even with that said, a debate continues as to whether the bodies should be exhumed at all.

“The remains are there, what more proof do they want” exemplifies that thinking.

All this is of course a tacit admission that this is not as originally inferred a “crime scene”. Chief Casimir now describes it as an “exhumation to memorialization”. The focus is now to find “evidence of remains and link them to their home communities”. Ever so quietly they now seem resigned to the fact that the findings to date do not meet the criteria of anything bordering on a mass grave. The RCMP have already said that they have opened a file, but they are not actively investigating, clearly believing from the outset that this was not a crime scene. Garry Gotfriedson, a “survivor”, and head of the Committee, is even quoted as saying “all of us that attended the schools already knew that they (the bodies) were there”.

So the headlines that bounced around the world have now come full circle. The remains of these children have gone from being a symbol of a Church led criminal conspiracy to becoming a political lever, pawns in the game of “reconciliation”, pawns elicited to generate legal apologies. The deaths of children by some form of criminal behaviour is almost unthinkable but it is those thoughts and inferences which are now being used in various political arenas. Translating this narrative to various forms of reconciliation is the base of every political and economic Indigenous demand. It is unseemly. It should be criticized, not condoned.

Despite the recent announcements there is no current timeline on the exhumation of the bodies which is unlikely to yield little if any evidence of criminality or wrong-doing. Everyone knows that. They also know that the story will be reconstituted when that exhumation process begins (if ever) and that the results could actually water down the current political Liberal accepted narrative.

A thirteen person “committee” has been assigned by the Kamloops band to oversee the exhumation; the first stage being the “oral telling by elders who survived the school”. They will then use that information to begin collecting DNA from those survivors to try and identify the children remains.

“There is no manual for us to follow, so we are taking things slowly” said the Chair of the Committee Gottfriedson.

It is only after that stage will they begin to exhume and “only at that point will forensic archeologists and archivists begin their work.”

He estimated that the first stages “will take years” and the ever present caveat that the Federal government must fund the entire multi-year operation.

Is the process being prolonged and forecast into many of years to come intentional? Or is it due to a need to control the narrative? They are impolite questions to be sure. But the Indigenous need to be held to some form of accountability, both to the makeup and conduct of the investigation and its eventual outcome. Reporting on those findings and being questioned as to the process is also part of that expectation.

The grieving has to be subsumed and the political staging replaced by the real need to get to the children. At the very least you could give them back their dignity and their identity in their deaths.

Photo Courtesy of Flickr Commons by GotoVan – Some rights reserved

Clouseau versus Sherlock

Sherlock Holmes, Philip Marlowe, Hercule Poirot and Nancy Drew.

Part of our fictional world list of some of the best “investigators”. All, amazingly adept at solving crime and the puzzles created by dastardly human behaviour. They were also very quick– often taking less than two hours or a few hundred pages to get to the bottom of it all. Of course, they were largely unburdened of actually presenting scrutable evidence and were also able to evade the vagaries of court rooms. Sadly, reality is much different. Or is it?

Like those fictional characters our new world reality has let loose upon us a burgeoning group of “investigators”. Strutting their investigational chops via the internet and the ever broadening world of social media. We are being inundated by a variety of individuals, from every walk of life, from every strata of society, all proclaiming themselves to be conducting revealing “investigations”. A cacophony of personalities with a view, a particular bent, a hunch, or just full of righteous indignation, wanting and willing to expose all of society’s evils. Able to reach quick decisions and thus clearing the way for simple formulations and black and white conclusions. We, the demanding public, have created the 21st century ‘investigator”, but is it our very own Frankenstein?

Television, podcasts, blogs, and the like are all granting themselves diplomas in a range of investigative abilities. No one is a poor investigator (which actually would be refreshing) everyone is a top notch, state of the art, card carrying 007. Overnight, they become self-proclaimed experts in forensics, interviewing, psychology, sociology and anthropology. Often they are polygraphic savants.

Their tools are their laptops and video viewers, able to see in video and photos the clues that have apparently long evaded all others.

They make broad assumptions such as: police can not see what we see; that their single witness can be relied upon for the singular truth; that the blood on the wall must be the blood of the victim; that clearly he/she is lying.

In this country, the big media; CTV, Global and the CBC have all fallen into the trap of filler versus content. They zealously portray many of their programs as being “investigative” journalism. Then, annually they take turns giving awards to each other.

Netflix, Amazon, Apple are all pushing programs claiming new or re-opened cases. Old murders, new murders, all slotted in and vying for views and likes, spliced in amongst their UFO “investigations”.

According to Wikipedia, an investigator “searches for clues, to gather evidence. They interview people, verify information, conduct surveillance, find missing persons, and gather vital facts for cases.” A rather shallow hurdle, allowing for a broad range of people with access to a microphone or a laptop to search for clues and evidence. All are now becoming involved, from the clearly mentally unstable to the geek in the basement watching his neighbours with his Ring camera.

The general public are equally at fault, falling into the irrational abyss– that if it is posted it must be true. It is truly rare that someone examines the information being provided with any sense of a critical eye. We look at an insurance company investigating an auto accident equally to that of the police investigating that same accident? A private investigator working for defence counsel proclaims findings in front of a herd of photographers is seen and measured through the same lens as the actual court record itself.

The internet investigators, the ones who are in some cases interfering with the actual gathering of evidence are often in a category to themselves. Digital photo or video captures often represent the height of their evidence and in most cases no attempts are made for corroboration.

Podcasts abound where the evidence is gathered on a slant, the perspective honed by a clear pre-set belief, often allowing a singular allegation as sufficient to condemn a person in the court of public opinion. The most recent glaring example in the U.S. is the Kyle Rittenhouse case in Kenosha Wisconsin, where even the President of the United States Joe Biden was quickly convinced by the media “investigation” that he suggested that Rittenhouse was a white Supremacist on two occasions. The fact that the victims were in fact white eluded the media and internet investigators. Since it was at a protest over Black Lives Matter– that it must have been black individuals who were the victims.

The CBC is one of this country’s greatest advocates of this investigative sleight of hand. A recent example is what prompted this particular blog.

The template seemingly being followed by the CBC goes like this:

1) Have a viewpoint and then set out to prove it.

2) Make sure it is portrayed as ‘ground breaking” (even if it isn’t)

3) Find people who are willing to support both your proposition and your findings. (Disregard all others)

4) The headlines should reflect some sort of conclusion. (whether the body of work supports it or not)

And finally,

e) Make it look like a massive amount of work.

There are plenty of examples, but this most recent example is a classic.

Titled, “Warning Signs Present in 1 of 3 Homicides of Intimate Partners, CBC investigation finds”

There are three identified “investigative” journalists in the masthead: Tara Carman, Kimberly Ivany, and Eva Uguen-Csenge. Tara is the “senior investigator” and is a “data journalist” which should give you a bit of clue of the nature of the evidence that is about to be revealed. Kimberly is an associate producer for the 5th Estate (another clue) and Eva is an “investigative video journalist” with a like for “data-driven” stories.

So these three individuals spent 16 months, put in over 30 Freedom of Information requests, then scoured the media entries and looked for fifty different “data points” concerning domestic homicides. They looked at the period of time between 2015 and 2020. The headline of the eventual story in its many forms is to be titled “Deadly Relationships”.

They claim and there is no reason to doubt them, that they have “examined” 400 cases.

Their pre-theory seems to have been that there are commonalities to all domestic homicides; and that they can be measured as predictors of the future of the crime.

Their conclusion was that “these crimes are preventable.” Pretty dubious theory, but using their measuring stick one can maybe say all crime is “preventable”.

Remembering the pre-mentioned template and the need to hype the findings they say– “the data points a never-before-seen mosaic of relationships that turn deadly. ” Never before seen is clearly a stretch of the truth, but the idea that they could predict and thus prevent this horrendous problem is really playing outside the sandbox. This is a crime that has been around as long as humankind and studied in many courses of psychology and sociology, but this investigative series is somehow new and revealing?

So what earth shattering “evidence” did they find in their quest? Well, lets start off with the mind-bending statistic that 3/4 of the victims were women, and, that 78% of the accused were men. Who could have guessed that?

Here are some other examples of their purported belief altering discoveries.

  • 1 in 5 cases had been involved in recent or pending separations
  • that in 15% of the cases there were patterns of coercive and controlling behaviours
  • 36 out of the 400 had had protective court orders in place
  • the most common charge was 2nd degree murder, followed by manslaughter
  • the most common weapon, the knife, the 2nd the gun (you were probably guessing blow dart)
  • 1 in 4 victims of homicide were Indigenous, clearly making them “over represented”. They represent 6% of the population and 18% of the homicides. By the way more Indigenous men were killed as well, then caucasian. Again “over-represented”.

Of course there would be no story without a villain.

So they point to some nefarious police behaviour. They accuse the police of “hiding these things” under ” a cloak of secrecy”. This is because the police did not reveal all the names on some of these investigations when served with a Freedom of Information request, the police arguing the privacy act. Not good enough according to these intrepid investigators.

Then came the interviews of all the victims of domestic violence who praised the CBC investigators for uncovering such a large stash of un-before seen findings. It would be all so laughable if it wasn’t such a serious subject.

So what should constitute an investigation? What are “investigator” qualifications? Is there a characteristic that is unique to being allowed to pronounce one as an investigator or your findings constituting an investigation?

It comes down to experience, one’s qualifications, and the level of inquiry.

In policing, it is the ability to sit in a room with someone having just killed their child and remain above the mental sewage and still able to try and show empathy. Or to sit with the rape victim through a rape forensic kit –knowing that this is the easy first step in a long investigation and court process. It’s the ability to enter a blood encased crime scene and interpret the meaning of the splatter, the placement of a fibre or a shell casing.

In some investigations, forensics, data knowledge and the ability to follow a paper trail is an asset, but in the end, there still has to be some knowledge and measurement of human behaviour. An ability to interact with people, to read and predict their reactions and their level of truthfulness. Not to judge, not to assume, to always be wary of preconceived notions. One needs to pick up and learn the patterns of human frailty.

We simply can not continue to downplay experience and the passage of time spent embracing a particular field of knowledge.

Of course, it takes years for this level of understanding to be able to refer to yourself as an investigator. By saying you are an investigator on LinkedIn or in a podcast does not make it so. Taking a Masterclass by an investigator will not make it so, just as a Masterclass by a novelist will not make you Ernest Hemingway.

We are a too impatient a society. We demand instant answers to complex situations. We don’t like grey, just black and white. We need to understand that it takes time. It is hard work. If it is not there then the contents and findings should be disregarded.

This is not to say that the media and some news organizations are not doing investigative journalism. ProPublica, the New Yorker, PBS Frontline, and the Washington Post are examples of investigative journalism, definitely left leaning but they are still maintaining standards of fact checking and corroboration. The Globe, the National Post, and the Financial Times have sporadic moments of in depth coverage, but they too are getting pulled into the fires of hyperbole.

For you in the CBC, and your latest foray into in-depth reporting, I am just asking that you call your “investigation” what it was– a “review” of data. No doubt it was time consuming and maybe even worthy in someone’s eyes, but it was not an “investigation”.

I think one should have to earn the moniker of “investigator”.

Photo courtesy of Flickr Commons by Olarte.Ollie – Some Rights Reserved