The Occupy movement: from farce to tragedy and back

A suspected overdose at an Occupy site in Vancouver is just one of many signs the movement needs to end

From farce to tragedy and back

Darryl Dyck/CP

In Saskatoon last week, as temperatures sank below zero, residents of the local Occupy encampment began taking stock. The tiny tent community had dwindled from the 30 who’d set up camp on Oct. 15, part of a wave of occupations mounted in solidarity with lower Manhattan’s Occupy Wall Street, to about a dozen. Many who remained were less activists than they were homeless people. The activists chose to pull up stakes. “I’m not too sure whereabouts I’m going,” a homeless man named Spike said. “I just don’t know.”

So it was across Canada: from Vancouver to Halifax, workaday realities had crept in and soured utopia. At some Occupy sites, such as in London, Ont., the movement had fractured into splinter groups, multiplying the number of encampments. Elsewhere, as in Ottawa, where one group of protesters discovered a blanket soaked in bodily fluids draped over their tent and left, core supporters abandoned the movement over philosophical differences. In most cases, protesters have had to come to terms with an influx of people for whom addiction and mental health issues loom larger than concerns about wealth distribution. In every case, occupiers have tested the resolve of municipalities striving to balance their rights to free speech with long-standing bylaws, safety concerns, and the rights of neighbours to order and good government.

On Saturday, Vancouver’s drug problem infiltrated one of dozens of tents erected outside the Vancouver Art Gallery, where 23-year-old Ashlie Gough of Victoria died, likely of an overdose. She is one of just two Occupy fatalities in North America so far (18-year-old Louis Cameron Rodriguez, a homeless man who called himself “The Poet,” died of causes unknown in Oklahoma City). Mayor Gregor Robertson, in the midst of an election, used the death as the final stroke and ordered the tent city closed (an official later said the city would seek to force the matter with a court injunction). At the same time, Victoria, where authorities had already cut water and electricity to the site, officially ordered protesters out: “The city appreciates you vacating the lawn around the sequoia tree,” read the notice.

In Kamloops, protesters were heartened by the return of a porta-potty the city had removed, but which council subsequently voted to reinstall. “When you’ve gotta go, sometimes you’ve gotta go,” one protester pointed out. Right-leaning blogger Cory Morgan initiated a counter-protest in Calgary, where Mayor Naheed Nenshi had been reluctant to intervene, citing the protesters’ Charter rights. Morgan drove a pickup truck onto a plaza near where two dozen occupiers were camped, and posted deliberately inane placards (one, “Bring back Arrested Development,” referred to a well-loved TV sitcom). Bylaw officers promptly asked him to move, and when he failed to do so handed him a $200 ticket for driving in a park, then towed the truck. Morgan was clearly delighted. “The Charter applies to some and not to others,” he said. “Law-abiding, tax-paying citizens like myself have the law brought in within half an hour of parking here.” Nenshi later oversaw the development of an action plan that would see the occupiers removed.

Three yurts, worth $20,000 and provided largely thanks to union support, sprung up in Toronto’s St. James Park, where organizers aimed for a no-drugs-and-alcohol policy, to varying success. Police arrested a man for threatening people with a guitar and a can of beer, and local restaurateurs complained of lost business. In Ottawa, video surfaced of protesters debating the expulsion of a sexual predator. “He touched my buttocks and my penis area,” says one man holding the “talking stick” as he addresses other protesters. “I have training in reasonable use of force,” says another, wearing a cowboy hat, who claims he helped banish the man. “I feel totally, legally, financially justified in the actions that were taken, and if anyone has anything to say about it I can refer you to my lawyer.”


The Occupy movement: from farce to tragedy and back

  1. I for one want to thank the Occupy Protesters.

    Thank you all for showing us what the world would be like if you ran it.

    • As opposed to Rupert Murdoch?

      • Until I’m stoned and living in a tent city…yes.

        • You can say that with a straight face? It’s a pretty f’ed up world when one would do the will of a low-life like Murdoch. I guess that what the of money does to one’s soul.

          • “Do the will of…Murdoch.” What on earth are you babbling about?

            The “Occupy” people couldn’t organize a piss up in a brewery…and yet they would like to dictate how the world is run. How f’ed up is that?

    • ‘Mayor Moonbeam’ sure must regret not being pro-active with Occupy Vancouver.  Hate to see another needless death.  They are marching around today demanding housing – I would tally the final tab (currently over $500,000 and climbing) and tell them the amount comes out of the social housing budget for next year!!
      Gotta watch the video someone put together – it has been pulled from youtube but still on the server at this site – too funny, but also sad how far-lefties think.

  2. I can’t say I ever understood the necessity of Occupying overnight spaces in Canada.  Or, come to think of it, a constant daytime vigil at the Occupy site in whatever town.  To me, the point is that income inequality is hurting us all (and I’d even include the 1% in that, although its long-term hurt is probably overshadowed by its short-term gain) and that many of the 99% know it.  A rotating hour or two three days a week by several dozen different activists would get that message out, I think.  But then, I’m not versed in the ways of protesting.

    • I have to agree. I think Bank Transfer Day and the Move your Money campaign have been much more effective than the Occupy movement, although I suppose you could argue the goals are somewhat different. Still, hits ’em where it hurts.

  3. If Occupier Types ran the world it would be rampant with drugs, filth and brain dead leaders. Hang in there Occupiers you’re demonstrating to the world just how ridiculous you really are.

    • Proof?

  4. How can it be that a country as rich as ours has kids paying for their student loans 10years after they graduate (and that’s if they actually get a good job) while Wall Street bankers meanwhile receive billions of dollars in bailouts (enough to pay for education many times over for everyone) and million dollar bonuses in spite of their causing a catestrophy that was both reckless and legal? Something is clearly wrong here. It is also wrong when Warren Buffet has a margin tax rate lower than his own secretary. We could go on…

    We miss the point when we answer and ask questions that this article talks about. The truth is we need someone to ask why do we need a change? And that’s an article I hope Macleans can ask its readership as to steer our thoughts to something productive and not towards the worst parts of this occupy movement. Yes there are bad eggs and problems, and the size of this movement is not as big as it needs to be. But remember what Gore said recently that the anti-nuclear movement was widely unpopular and in a short period of time the majority of people felt different. The early people there had a high % of potheads too I suspect, but that doesn’t invalidate the questions or cocerns that we need to consider and weigh-in on. We do live in a demacracy and by steerting our questions as this article does we don’t ask the right questions. Shape up Macleans! You can do it! :D

    • Allen, 

      A country as rich as ours… we are rich but we make choices, perhaps some young people, when choosing a career, made a poor choice, they studied to be an artist or a whatever, but they never really found that groove and they focused on what they wanted rather than paying down debts, life happened. It’s incredible that there ARE so many people well educated coming out of schools. I for one have had a fairly successful life, career-wise and I had no debts from student loans. Why? because I didn’t attend post-secondary school. 

      Canadians need to accept, parents need to accept, that not all children are going to be doctors, engineers, and lawyers (thank God, way too many lawyers {jk}). there needs to be a percentage of the population that need to be happy becoming “waste management technicians” and “office beautification agents” and that they can be proud of their job. The core values of doing your job well are lost in the rhetoric of “don’t disappoint your parents by working at McDonald’s.” Children need to learn to work, at anything and be happy to serve, be part of a team, and to have the the self-respect to move-on when they are ready, not in anger, but as a progression. Kids have it too easy, my own included.

      We need to teach our kids that it is unwise to live beyond their means, this needs to be taught early, not in high-school when the bulk of them don’t believe they can be taught. The K-5 should integrate the message that they have a responsibility in life to themselves, to the people they care about, to save money as insurance against troubles, to buy things AFTER saving for them, and that Credit is not to be used for a whim, but as part of a long-term strategy.

      You see, it’s not the fault of the “1%” it our fault for not teaching the right values and expectations to our youth. Even the poorest family can survive if they are happy to live with very little. I truly wish I’d learned that in school, long before they considered high-math significant. 

      Reading, Writing, and the Economics of Life.

      • Sentences like this…’ Even the poorest family can survive if they are happy to live with very little’ …make me shudder.

        Yes, Scrooge probably told Bob Cratchit that on a daily basis.

        People should indeed be good little ants and know their place, so they don’t upset the anthill….riiiiight.

        “It is clearly time to revist the “everybody should go to college” expectation. or the “not everyone should have an education” meme”….we are currently so fond of.

        • Unfortunately, quite a few of those poor have no idea what home economics is about.Not all of them, but you can see it.

          • WTFdoes home ec have to do with anything?

          • You don`t know what TF? Just the level of how hungry the child goes to school in the morning and what it eats. Apparently something you probably never had to deal with.May be, you should talk to your grandparents, for as long you did not live through the war in an occupied country, or you had that proverbial silver spoon.

          • @f77f34c82f8f268c7125bb481604d5d1:disqus 

            I believe being hungry in a rich country is one of the things Occupy is about.

          • OriginalEmily1

            Not exactly – anybody can happen to be sometimes out of
            luck and there is at least some safety net. But – most importantly – what the people do with resources they have and how wisely they use them.
            Occupy movement does not solve anything, just gives some platform to anarchists and similar folk. Those really in need are usually not there.
            Sharing the wealth is nice philosophy – in ideal society that does not exist.

          • @f77f34c82f8f268c7125bb481604d5d1:disqus 

            Occupy is about system change, not any of the things you imagine it to be.

            It’s made up of people from all walks of life, from businessmen to the homeless and from employed to unemployed.

            You are fighting strawmen here.

          • Look at the OWS crowds – over-represented in their numbers are people in unionized professions who are at least reasonably well-paid, or recent (or prospective) college graduates who are incensed that they aren’t getting fast-tracked to the creative class jobs they hungered for. 
            If Occupy was truly about system change, then one would think it would be embraced by the folks that truly are screwed by the system – the same people being pushed out of the job market altogether as new graduates “slum it”. 

            Look, inequality is a real problem. Financial regulation is a real problem. A bad job market is a real problem. Sluggish growth is a real problem too. But OWS has not emerged as a successful political vehicle with which to address those problems (look at the decline in polls on the favourability of OWS as a measure of their lack of success). Like any failing enterprise, supporters of OWS ideals need to find a better way to advocate for their goals.

          • @baea1fd4fd72a44331fee0e145350f60:disqus 

            The Occupy movement has everyone in it….from all walks of life.

            Occupy is the biggest most important social movement in 50 years….and generally speaking most people support them.

            I don’t know why anyone wouldn’t.

    • Which country are you talking about….Warren Buffett is an American?

      • Hi, I’m talking about the more wealthy countries because we all share the same problems as the 99%. In order to stay “competitive” Canada keeps moving towards the same goals that the international system proposes and implements (G7 etc) that benefits a particular group most and not the vast majority. Aren’t we trying to stay competitve with our American friends? What does the media tell us we need to do? Taxes have come down disproportionately for the rich here, too.

        Of all the points, this is the one that you choose to focus on? Do you think next year the 1% should make more money than they did this year? Did they earn that privilege? What do you think? We’ve got a lot of unemployment, don’t we? Kids in debt?

  5. “Elsewhere, as in Ottawa, where one group of protesters discovered a blanket soaked in bodily fluids draped over their tent and left, core supporters abandoned the movement over philosophical differences.”

    The logic of this sentence escapes me.  How did we get from “bodily fluids” to “philosophical differences”?  Was it Descartes (“I drink therefore I am”) or Socrates?  And even Socrates (the wisest of the lot) got it backwards.  The unlived life is not worth examining. 

  6. It’s easy to throw stones when you don’t live in a house of student debt & low wage…

  7. The contrast with the Tea Party protests, in which so far as I know no one got hurt, no one was arrested, and even the litter was cleaned up afterward, is a nice illustration of the opposition between these two competing worldviews.  Personal responsibility vs. nanny state, in a nutshell.

    • In a wealthy world… where 18,000 children die of starvation every day….you’re concerned about litter and neatness?

      Perhaps you need to rethink your priorities in life.

      • If you are content to live in a world where those willing to sit on their duffs and let others foot the bill, then abandon the mess for some else to clean up, so be it. I don’t understand how you link parasitic behavior on the part of these bums with ranking anything relative to looking after starving children.  But I guess we all view the world from the perch we happen to be occupying at any given point in time.

        • LOL well I’m neither an occupier nor a leftie, so you’re wasting your well-rehearsed indignation on me.

          I don’t know what ‘mess’ you’re referring to….but I’d say any system that lets thousands of children starve to death doesn’t qualify as civilization

          Parasitic I understand…Libertarians are born parasites.

          • You contradict yourself every time you post.  Clearly you have no understanding of what a libertarian is, that being small government and personal responsibility and freedom, NOT leeching off government.  I think you meant Liberals are born parasites, it’s closer to the truth. Do some research. I do not need or want the government’s interference or money.  Lower my taxes and let me take care of my own business.

            Where do you get these non-existent numbers of children starving to death every day? I cry BS on that.

          • No m’dear I don’t.

            Libertarians tell us they’d have made a bazillion dollars by now if it wasn’t for taxes, which is just another lame excuse on their part for not making it.

            And Libertarians want to ‘take care of their own business’ by using public schools, and roads, and medical care…..they like the goodies, they just don’t want to help pay for them. Parasites and leechs all.

            ‘Personal freedom and liberty’….unless of course you have a uterus in which case it’s apparently the govt’s business what happens there. Bedrooms are govt business too.

            The only thing you want to protect is your wallet….other people’s wallets are fair game.

            18,000 children a day


          • Obviously it fails to occur to you if I’m working, I’m also paying taxes for you precious “public schools, and roads, and medical care”.  What I hate is rampant government overspending, and the ever increasing drain on my wallet to subsidize three levels of bloated public sector bureaucracy.

            Quebec has the highest taxes in the country, is subsidized most heavily through “equalization”, engages in reckless deficit financing, and how is that working for their crumbling infrastructure?

            Yes I do want to protect my legitimate earnings, other people are responsible for their own. Once again, as you consistently miss the central point I’m trying to make, “What I earn is my own, some taxes for a few Gov’t programs, OK, I want nothing from any one else, just to keep what I earn.”

          • Well then maybe you should complain to Harper about ‘rampant govt overspending’ and get him to knock it off on useless fighterplanes and prisons?

            ‘Taxes are the price of civilization’  Oliver Wendall Holmes. A Republican.

    • “Personal responsibility vs. nanny state, in a nutshell.”

      Corporate sponsorship helps too.

  8. I sense a theme in Roger’s/Maclean’s coverage.

    • Yes, loud and clear innit?

      Same thing their parents said to them, methinks.

    • Allow me to summarize that theme: “Harrumph.”

      I’m looking at you, Colby.

      Honestly, this must be the third piece of its kind here: a laundry list of nitpicky complaints, concluding that the protesters should be ignored or stopped. There’s no argument supporting that conclusion, and no attempt is made to address the reasons for the protest.

      Weak, weak, weak.

      • The point is, they have no right to become squatters.  This is squatting disguised as protest.  On some issues they have a point, but the fat cats are still laughing all the way to the bank.  If the Occ’s want to make a difference, they can go get a job and donate money to a cause, do some volunteer work, or otherwise get off their collective arses and do something useful and proactive in the community for a change.

        • They have the right to peaceful protest….which is exactly what they’re doing.

          ‘Fat cats laughing’ is something you should be concerned about.

          People have been donating and volunteering for years, and it doesn’t make any difference.

          And most of the people in the movement are already employed

        • I’m not an occupy protester, but I understand their gripes.  There are people in the Bond Rating industry that should be behind bars for falsely rating various CDSes as AAA securities.  There are traders who encouraged (read: bribed) those bond raters to give false AAA ratings who should also be in jail.  Those crooks should not have received trillions of dollars of TARP funds for their malfeasance.

    • No kidding.  But we’re not supposed to notice.

      • I think the argument is “If you dirty hippies decamp, shower and get jobs, the outright fraud that led to this depression will magically stop, the trickle-down theory of Reagonomics will magically start working the way it was advertised, and middle-class wealth will magically stop flowing to the 1%.”  It doesn’t matter if the Occupy Protesters have the specific answers to the problems, it only matters that they are visible and that they make certain levels of society uncomfortable.

        Kinda the same as the pre-Kent State media arguments against protesters in the Vietnam era:  “If you dirty hippies stop protesting, the war will magically end and we’ll stop killing civilians.  Please go away, you make us think about the problems!  Shiny Thing!”

  9. Actually, you’re a bit off about Saskatoon. Our camp has relocated to another park, where we are less likely to run into some of the problems which occurred in Friendship Park. As with Toronto, we have a no drugs and no alcohol policy. Had it from the beginning.

    There is lots of misinformation about the Occupy movement. I don’t think anyone is surprised it is coming from Maclean’s. 

    For one thing, most of the people in Occupy Saskatoon are working or are attending University. In Saskatoon, it is possible to have a job, and still not have enough money to pay rent in the hyper-inflated housing market. Tenting in a community is safer than sleeping under a bridge alone. Tenting also keeps the issue of homelessness on peoples’ minds — something which many in Saskatoon would like to ignore. The motto may be “Saskatoon Shines,” but it certainly doesn’t shine for everyone. 

    There are some people in Occupy Saskatoon who do not work. I’m one of them. I’m retired, and drawing my Old Age Security and Canada Pension Plan benefits, in which I’ve been investing for 45 years. 

    The Occupy movement is not going to go away. Nor should it. It is rapidly becoming the voice of “everyman,” in some 2,000 places round the world. No one could organize that sort of response to an idea. The reaction has been spontaneous. And it will continue, even if forced underground by the “authorities.” As Mahtma Gandhi put it, “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

    • We should be thanking people like yourself, sir, who are willing to stand up for their rights, OUR rights through the bad weather, awful criticism and lack of support from all sides of our ignorant and misinformed society. Thank you for standing up for us, because we’re too lazy to do it. We’d rather sit in our cushy office chairs and read an article written by someone who’s probably never even visited a single Occupy park and talked to the people there, cared enough to ask what is it that they’re fighting so hard for, on everyone’s behalf. No, instead we read these easily-accessible criticisms that dominate the popular media and judge, instead of making a decision for ourselves by visiting these people, becoming more versed in the issues of EVERYONE’s daily existence, our right to FARE wages, career options and EMPLOYMENT after spending 40,000 attending institutions that promise employment upon graduation but never really deliver on anything, but their bills.
      Since when is attaining a post secondary education become a privilege? Do I hear a Rob Ford rhetoric echoing throughout? Isn’t he enough proof that we all need fair access to education?

      A big THANKS! to all the Occupiers.

  10. Seems to me a lot of today’s establishment people are developing Marie Antoinette Syndrome.


  11. The tandem lament, greedy corporations (ya know, the ones that provide the privtae sector jobs (mostly) and onerous student debt piled on from endless years of liberal arts studies… here’s an idea; don’t take on more student debt, or turn school into a career in the first place.  Get a job.  (Yes, maybe it’s a crappy first job; at age 21 I sold peanuts in the stands at the Blue Jay opening ball game)  But get a job.  Then, take courses at night and weekends, like so many others do.  Work your ass off, make your boss some money and add value to his business and watch your own fortues rize.  That’s what happens in the real world.

    Here’s what happens in the liberal world of academia;  Professors lobby governments to provide money to put students into debt for as long as they’re dumb enough to sign up for. If the free market —- not government grants and student loans —- influenced enrollment, half the professors would be out of work… so kids, consider the vested interests in this gig;  it ain’t corporations who are saddling you with debt.

    Oh I know… what about the poor and dienfranchised, and minorities?  Yeah, that old buss-saw keeps on running.. running your student debt up.  Reread paragraph one;  get a flipping job, take your studies part-time while you grow up and get some world experience, wean yourself off the liberal teat (you WILL once you get a real job and start paying onerous taxes to pay for all this stuff) and stop branding ALL corporations as greedy.  Open your dumb little brains a speck and understand that it’s corporations that provide the jobs, invent and manufacture your i-pads and video games, and put gas in your car and Big Macs in your yap.

    Try reading something new instead of choking on the Toronto Star, The Globe and mail, and try watchign something different than the CBC, Michael Moore and Bill Maher.

    • How long did it take you to memorize all those Randian bumperstickers?

      • Probably just about as long as it took you to memorize the far-left playbook; demonize capital, welfare for all, cradle to grave entitlements, and scream “racist,” “marginalized,” “homophobic,” “misogynistic,”  and every other “ism” there is –  loud and often!

        • Sorry..I’m not a leftie, and I can quote you pages of Ayn Rand.The idea though is to think about things, not just spout them

          • Here’s a good one from the aforementioned:

            It is not advisable, James, to venture unsolicited opinions. You should spare yourself the embarrassing discovery of their exact value to your listener.Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, 1957

          • Yes, that’s where he’s getting his philosophy from…..1957. Her last novel.

            However, yours and hers comes from Adam Smith and the Wealth of Nations….1776

          • “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.”

          • LOL a simple factual statement isn’t a ‘protest’.

    • Nice to know you have absolutely no clue what you’re talking about.
      Try actually looking at student loan amounts and rates charged, especially those for part-time studies, then compare that with rental and tuition prices.

      Once you’ve done that, look at what an unskilled 20yr old can hope to make working part time.

      Then, presuming you can handle the basic math required to see the disconnect there, come back and tell us again how to skip student debt.

      • Thanks for the chuckle. 
        I’ll take them one by one;


        1)  “looking at
        student loan amounts and rates charged” —- in the real world and not in the
        world of entitlements, sensible people look at their income, savings, what mom
        and dad can contribute (if anything), and perhaps grants, and then determine
        how much “loan” they can afford to take on, and at what terms.  If it’s too much, sensible people look at
        other options to saddling themselves with onerous debt.


        2)  “compare that with
        rental and tuition prices” —- see #1 above and add; rent with 3 or 4 others,
        rent a basement apartment, stay at home, don’t go to the campus pub 5 nights a
        week, don’t buy weed, don’t go out to restaurants and Starbucks every day, and
        learn to cook meals (like Hamburger Helper and Mac and Cheese like my
        generation).  And if you don’t have any income at all, or parental support, don’t go to school until you can afford it.  Instead, go out and get the best job you can and then study while you work.  In fact, there are many of those big bad corporations you hate so much that actually will pay for your tuition and salary/wages while you get that further education.


        3)  “look at what an
        unskilled 20yr old can hope to make working part time” —- this is the heart
        of your lament.  Sorry, in my generation,
        (and starting at age 14) at various times, I mixed school with work as follows; delivered
        3 paper routes starting at 6:00 a.m. and two afternoon routes; worked in greasy
        spoon restaurants; sold smoke detectors door to door, shined shoes on Yonge Street,
        washed store front windows in Parkdale, and spent weekends from dawn til dark
        either washing cars, mowing lawns, shoveling snow or working as a part-time
        moving company mover.  At age 21, I took a one year community college program at my own cost and worked 24 hours a week throughout, shared an appartment with a dude, rode a motorcycle and pinched every penny.  I didn’t borrow a dime!


        4)  “tell us again how to skip student debt.” —- You
        skip “onerous” student debt by making smart financial choices, and following
        the advice in my original post.  I got my
        university education starting in my 30’s while working and paying my own
        way.  Not everybody has parents rich
        enough to pay their way; too friggin’ bad, suck it up and take care of yourself.  Ooops, I forgot; the cradle to grave mentality
        has replaced the suck it up and get ahead model of yesteryear.  And that, my friend, is why you people are losers
        occupying parks. 

        • You have addressed, “one by one”, the questions posed by Thwim without answering any of them.  The education you proudly (rightly so) earned has left you with poor reading/comprehension skills
           (1) Tuition and interest rates may be unreasonably high as stated by Thwim.  You offer no counter argument or solution beyond, live poor and learn to budget.
          (2) Your advice here assumes students are beer swilling, drug addled layabouts who aren’t clever enough to have a corporation pay their tuition.  The times you and I grew up in were in many ways easier; jobs were available and with hard work one could just make ends meet.
          (3) Now you get smug and boastful describing what you did during that earlier time.  I worked from age sixteen and am now at retirement age, but listing the many jobs I held over the years does not answer the question posed.
          (4) More of the same. It’s now apparent you quite full of yourself and simply ignore the realities of a changed and changing world while still offering no answer.  Without a trace empathy it’s just more “look at me, look at me!”  Then as a final retort to show off your debating skill you resort to name calling.  I guess that’s your final answer, is it?   How unenlightening.

          Hope you get the same chuckle from me.

      • I believe the enter level salary for NCM ( only High school required) in the Canadian Forces is 25000 yr rising in the four year to 50000 a yr. http://www.forces.gc.ca

        • Are you offering that as a solution?

        • You assume they just take anyone and everyone who shows up?

          “Maj. Richard Langlois, spokesman for the Canadian Forces recruitment group, said a decreasing attrition rate led to a slower pace of recruitment. This year the attrition rate fell from 9% to 7.6%. It is expected to slide to about 6% next year.
          “We’re doing well – you could almost say we’re doing too well because our target for 2013 is 70,000,” Langlois told QMI Agency.
          There are about 69,000 regular forces now on the payroll.”


    • You lost me at “…watch your own fortues rize.”

      • So sorry… no spell checker with these posts and I’m not so anal that I’m going to bother reviewing every keyboard stroke.  However, you’re rationalizing and blaming “getting lost” on my spelling mistakes because you have no other logical retort to make.

  12. Sorry…board hiccup.

  13. Think about how much money we piss away because the police forces have to pay overtime and all the other costs involved in looking after what is essentially a bunch of homeless hippies abusing the constitution so they can squat in our cities parks, pathetic. Anyone who thinks the “occupy” movement is doing anything (which it isnt) in Canada, go read this article. http://www2.macleans.ca/2011/10/24/a-phony-class-war/

    • We pay the police 24/7 anyway….goodness knows this isn’t the only thing that requires a look-in now and then. Otherwise they could leave the Occupiers alone.

      They are not homeless hippies….we haven’t had hippies since the 60s…and if you have that many homeless people in your community, perhaps you should be doing something about all that poverty in a rich country

      Kindly don’t use Macleans citations for Macleans articles….self-referential isn’t acceptable

      • Emily, you surprise me.  It says on Wikipedia that we do still have hippies and neo-hippies….people who are non-conformists.

        • The world has always had non-conformists…that’s the only way we’ve made any progress…but that’s not the same as being a hippy.

          The hippy culture died out after the 60s and 70s.

          Some went in other directions…most became yuppies.

  14. I’m also in the 99%, and I urge my brethren to fight on… but that’s mostly because I figure you can’t apply for jobs from a frigid tent with no Internet connection. Then again, if the OWS folks were the ones beating me out for positions, then boy should I rewrite my resume.

    • Most of them have heaters and net connections.

  15. OWS (choose your city or country) is the biggest rejection of capitalism we’ve seen in our lifetime. It may have many parts to it, but farce is a small part to a meaningful movement and dialog that is exciting and scary for many to think about.

    So what is our scorecard? Is the system we’re living in getting better or worse for the vast majority? I believe the economy works for the people, and not the other way around. I think our system is going in the wrong direction. It is statistically proven that there is a growing income gap of rich and poor – this means as our collective activities create wealth (as it always did) the wealthy take an even larger share then they always did. This is of course a fact. As another fact, tax as a percentage of disposable income has also been reduced for the richest (e.g. those that make money from their existing money) and gotten worse relatively speaking for the rest. Is this good? How has this worked for the vast majority?

    To previous contemplations, I don’t think we should resign as parents and voters and accept that we should not aspire to have our kids become doctors or learn about, say, the latest technology? if they are not born into enough privilege… I wish to live in a society where kids can go to the best schools if they have the ability and not be told to accept less because e.g. they live in a single parent home or have immigrated. And for those that are in the middle, if they go, not to be trapped in debtors jail for the next decade. I have a problem that kids cannot declare bankruptcy here on student loans.. great for banks, who are all very profitable as we well know, but not smart for a country that needs to be more competitive on the world stage. As a citizen I see this scorecard as a problem we can fix. To emphasize, I believe the economy works for the people and not the other way around. That said, let’s fix it or confirm what is working and move on to something else.

    Incidentally, I really want to see people rewarded as well.. The question is should we change the rules for the 1% and raise more people and the hierarchy up a little? Can we have a more equitable and decent capitalism? We know it was more equitable 10years ago… that is a fact.. And even more equitable 10years before that. Were things so unfair in the 1980s? Is home ec going to change how wealth is distributed? Managing your share of what you get is a separate topic altogether… if someone at OWS was there because they’re fed up blowing their wealth on terrible choices like Gucci bags, I’d be surprised..


  16. Thank God for OWS ! They don’t deserve the slander they receive from the mainstream media and they don’t deserve the level of violence and incarceration they receive from police ! At least you scrubbed little yuppie conservatives can rest well in your homes tonight knowing you are so much better than ” those ” people ! Just remember , when America sneezes we catch a cold ! If you think the attack on the middle – class is an American problem that won’t eventually come to Canada then you are wrong !

  17. The main stream media have been at their most transparent during this event. Like this article attempting to mock a movement which has at it’s heart the most noble of goals. They want to improve the Canada we live in. They are fighting the same beast we fought in WWII. In those days it was called fascism/corporatism. These days it’s just known as corporatism, (the corporations having found out they don’t need dictators to help them as long as they hold most of the wealth they know they also hold most of the politicians. For this reason the economy is in tatters because nobody had the political will to stand up to the banking industry that robbed everyone blind in 2008. Your sad attempt at humor in the accompanying photo is quite offensive. Someone took the time to place the umbrella over her makeshift shrine. Your photographer chose to photograph it from the angle showing the phrase “who wants a cold one”. That was somebody’s daughter and your treatment of her death approaches the Robert Pickton level of sensitivity. Shame on you. For all that is decent in this world your magazine and your kind will fail and this push for democratic freedom will prevail.

  18. ” In most cases, protesters have had to come to terms with an influx of
    people for whom addiction and mental health issues loom larger than
    concerns about wealth distribution.”

    I find it interesting that the author apparently has zero concept of the link between addictions, mental health issues and wealth distribution.  What WAS the point of this article anyway?

  19. Some people have trouble connecting the dots.

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