CBC got it wrong on Rob Ford

Police Chief Bill Blair has released the following statement:

Statement from Chief William Blair

Friday, October 28, 2011 – 4:53 PM

“While it is not my practice to comment on 9-1-1 calls made to TPS emergency operators, serious allegations have been made about what was said during a series of three calls involving the mayor, and whether there was any abuse of the 9-1-1 service.

“I’m concerned that this may have created confusion with the public about whether to call 9-1-1 or not. I cannot allow that to happen. Public safety is too important. Let me be clear. Anyone who has concerns for their safety, or the safety of their family, should call 9-1-1 without hesitation.

“I also feel it is necessary to set the record straight about the conversations. There have been no complaints by any members of the TPS about the 9-1-1 conversations.

“The content of those conversations has been misrepresented by what are claimed to be “several anonymous sources,” presumably from within the TPS, in which case I have to set the record straight. I have listened to the three emergency calls. The mayor did not use the word “bitches,” attributed to him by those “several anonymous sources.” The mayor did not describe himself as the original account claimed.

“Emergency calls involve people who are under stress, trying to communicate with emergency operators. Those operators work under great pressure, trying to get vital information from people, who are extremely anxious, so the proper police resources can be deployed. Our emergency operators are extremely well trained, equipped to deal with the most difficult situations. What is most important, above all else, is that public safety is protected.”

William Blair

Chief of Police

Earlier: Toronto Mayor Rob Ford Called 911 Dispatchers “Bitches” After TV Encounter (Report):

“You … bitches! Don’t you f–king know? I’m Rob Ford, the f—king, the mayor of this city!” the politician told emergency phone operators, the CBC alleged Thursday.

Announcing Election Maps

This has been a long time in the making. You may recall that back in 2009, I put together this short video where I gave an overview of mapping/translating/projecting NRCan .shp files in Google Earth. I took the 2008 poll boundaries and the 2008 general election results and mashed them up so that every poll division from that election could be visualized in Google Earth.

What about the results from the 2011 General Election? Could those be mapped too? Yes.

When I first put the video out lots of people were interested in the project and asked if they could play around with the maps themselves. I’ve been up to a few other things since then and lost track of the project, but recently I’ve been busy on this again and I’ve put together a maps section on this website where you can explore election results in Google Maps. Not only this, you can download the files to zoom around on your desktop version of Google Earth.

Not only this, but I’ve gone ahead and mapped the 2006, 2004, 2000 and 1997 election poll divisions and results in addition to those from 2011 and 2008.

So, for those counting: that’s 6 general elections, 308 ridings per election (301 seats in each of 2000 and 1997), about 200 average poll divisions per riding and a handful of candidates running in each riding. That’s amounts to approximately 1.6 million polls! The data, all-in-all, takes up about 12 GB on my server’s MySQL database.

Go on and take a tour of the new Maps feature (if you don’t have the Earth plugin you can easily switch to Maps, Satellite or Hybrid). Many of the maps are too large to render on a simple browser iteration of Google Maps so you’ll have to download the maps to Google Earth to get a full appreciation (links are provided).

If you like what you see, give it a shout-out on twitter. I’d be happy if more people had access these files.

Here’s a sample of some of the visuals from the maps:

2011 Labrador

2011 Central Nova

2004 Esquimalt Juan-de-Fuca

1997 Vancouver Centre

Long gun registry this week

I’ve heard from some who know that the Conservative government is planning on tabling legislation this week to put an end to the long-gun registry.

It’ll be a government bill introduced by the Minister of Public Safety Vic Toews and it is on track for Thursday of this week according what I’ve heard.

Candice Hoeppner — the Conservative MP who introduced private members legislation last session — will no doubt be taking a significant role selling the government’s legislation to the media and the broader Canadian public.

Now that the Conservatives have a majority, the legislation is expected to sail through Parliament.

The legislation comes on the heels of another long time Conservative promise this week to end the Canadian Wheat Board monopoly.

UPDATE: Intent to introduce legislation was just announced today (10/19). Nicholson will introduce, according to Postmedia.

UPDATE PART II: Was right about Toews all along! Toews introduced the bill (10/25).