Sunday, July 22, 2012


…and loses—

Hey, what did you think would be the outcome?!

USAF P-51 at "BIGGEST, BADDEST" (Hamilton Air Show, June 2012), instinctively swings around to protect the legendary bombers (B-29 Superfortress, Avro Lancaster, B-25 Mitchell and the B-17 Flying Fortress. WESTJET 737 instinctively stops advancing…

Monday, July 16, 2012

BIGGEST, BADDEST 2012…sees Chuckie Fly over HAMILTON…

…and although their won't be any NHL teams in Hamilton, anytime soon, at least the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum keeps the city entertained!

Monday, July 9, 2012

MY iPhone 4S Captures ANOTHER SUSPICIOUS Brampton Farmhouse Fire…

HERE WE GO…yet another abandoned Brampton farmhouse…already sold to developers…mysteriously catches fire…in the middle of the night! 

For a hundred years the house sits blaze-free and then only a couple of years after it gets snapped up by a home building company…whoop, whoop…"FIRE!!!!!!!"

I saw it in the distance at 1:30 am and called it in.   

When I arrived at 1:37am…the Brampton Fire Department was already there.

I mean this was quite the blaze.  The nearest fire engine pumper (you can see it right beside the house) had been dousing the home with a steady stream of water for what seemed like an eternity…didn't even slow those arson-engineered flames down!

It costs some coin to raze an old farm home property.

It costs $40 of gas to pre-soak a farm-home's interior and 5 cents for the matches.


Couldn't a land developer get a permit to do a controlled burn of these old properties?

Na.  Too risky in this case.  The city of B-Town would never approve it.  The proximity of other farmhouses and/or other residential, industrial properties poses too great a risk. You might end up with two blazes.
For instance, with this particular property located at approximately 10146 the Gore Road, Castlemore, there was a real concern amongst the firefighters about the residential property located just north of the blaze.  The sheer volume of smoke spewing thousands of live embers was certainly a sight to behold by me, AND not taken lightly, or as entertainment, by the Brampton Fire Department.  They stationed ready pumpers at the northern property, and one at the property just south of the 'fire'.  Several pumpers remained on "The Gore" to respond quickly to ANY changing conditions.

And conditions DID change.

I was engulfed in one such change and had to move (…and, I was more than 200 feet away!) as the smoke column flattened out, suddenly swung westward, and lowered so that I could look directly overhead and watch dancing embers sail by.  No wonder these firefighters are so concerned!  I moved moments later when I then felt the wall of intense heat that accompanied the fast-moving, jet-black billowing overhead.

One never has a proper camera…or a bag of marshmallows…at the oppertune moment.

Judging by the FD talkback on the pumper-truck PAs…the thick, black, billowing column of smoke laced with live embers that was over a half mile long…posed more of a concern to the northern property.

'Course, no one ever talks about the cost to scramble half the City of Brampton's Fire Department, the area police units, and the paramedic teams I saw perched, ready to respond further for what will be 10 hour stationing, or more, while the fire plays itself out.

Dire Straits sang a song that included the line, "Money for nothin' and chicks for free…"

What we have here in Brampton is our own lyrics that could be easily interjected into the legendary Dire Straits "Money For Nothing" song.

Here's one line from my adapted version,  "…Razed buildings and emergency support services for free…"

Razing or blazing…probably costs about the same, $20,000 - $30,000.

What's the difference then?

One the developer pays for…and one the City pays for.

And you wonder why your City of Brampton property taxes are double or triple what Torontonians pay for equivalently valued properties!

I can think of at least 10 unsolved Brampton area mystery fires…that…'just happened'. 

I'm not talking about any of the "Laidlaw Lane" fires that took down Laidlaw family farm barns.  We know who did that.  Farm-hand's son gone berserk. Case closed. Rather sadly I might add.

But what of these other fires.

Hey, anyone thought of calling Pam Douglas?

Thursday, July 5, 2012

::: AIR CANADA FLIGHT 621: Crash Site Development

WELL, THERE YOU have it. Roads.  Right into the northern perimeter of the accident site.  

However, things are much better this time.  The former crash arena has been culled and the topsoil entombed in the park and memorial area of the development.  The July 5th, 1970 crash that started in Toronto with the very hard landing of an Air Canada DC-8, and the loss of its' Number 4 engine…ended here, in Brampton, only three minutes later.  All 109 passengers and crew lost their lives 42 years ago, today.

Unlike, every other visit to the 621 field in the past…I have not been able to find a single Air Canada Flight 621 crash fragment.  No DC-8 pieces.  No passenger artifacts.

And certainly no bone fragments in situ, praise God!

The profile of the field has changed.  Entirely.  Not just roads but the elevation…all to make way for the eventual Flight 621 Memorial Park and cemetery.  And, the surrounding houses.

I took the old way in.  Everybody had a good laugh about that.

"Paul,  you could have taken the road in", says Diarmuid Horgan, of Candevcon Developments who is overseeing the field's transition process.

Old habits are hard to break.   For the longest time, the way I entered…was the only way into the crash site.

I am quite happy with the outstanding progress that has been made in the field to date. Much thanks to Diarmuid and the existing landowners. The full unveiling of the Flight 621 Memorial Park and Cemetery should be next year, around July 5, 2013 provided the City of Brampton clears all the development permits in a timely manner (hint, hint).

And only two weeks ago I was there for a very special event.  To help out, in a very small way, with the filming of a movie that will involve a segment about Flight 621!
I can't say a whole lot about the film to be released in January of 2013, except that it will be a docu-drama involving Lucie Raymond (who tragically lost her father in that horrific Air Canada crash), as well as other people who have to cope with personal loss.  The film is being directed by multiple-award winning French-Canadian director, Carole Laganière, of the National Film Board of Canada.

From the left: Barbara Winckler (crash eyewitness), Lucie Raymond (daughter of Martial Raymond), and director, Carole Laganière (NFB Canada). 

Carole Laganière

Born in Montreal, Carole Laganière studied film in Brussels (INSAS, 1983-87). She stayed on in Belgium to make her first short, Jour de congé, which won a number of prizes on the festival circuit. Back in Quebec, she directed Aline, which won the Bayard d'Or for the best feature film at the 1992 Festival de Namur.

Following several successful forays into docudrama (Histoires de musées, 1996-97, Des mots voyageurs, 1999), Laganière directed La fiancée de la vie (The Fiancée of Life), which won the Gold Award for Best Canadian Documentary at the 2002 Toronto Hot Docs Festival. She returned the next year with Un toit, un violon, la lune (The Moon and the Violin), which won the Gold Award again, this time in the short to mid-length category. She then directed Vues de l'Est (East End Kids), a documentary about children in Montreal's Hochelaga-Maisonneuve borough, followed by Country (2005), a documentary about the world of country and western festivals, co-produced at the NFB. May 2011 saw the release of her documentary L'Est pour toujours (East End Forever), a follow-up that examines the lives of the same children, now teenagers. Carole is named cinéaste en résidence at the NFB in Spring 2011.