Monday, 1 January 2018

Toomas Karmo: DDO Conservation: Advisory to Police

Quality assessment:

On the 5-point scale current in Estonia, and surely in nearby nations, and familiar to observers of the academic arrangements of the late, unlamented, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (applying the easy and lax standards Kmo deploys in his grubby imaginary "Aleksandr Stepanovitsh Popovi nimeline sangarliku raadio instituut" (the "Alexandr Stepanovitch Popov Institute of Heroic Radio") and his  grubby imaginary "Nikolai Ivanovitsh Lobatshevski nimeline sotsalitsliku matemaatika instituut" (the "Nicolai Ivanovich Lobachevsky Institute of Socialist Mathematics") - where, on the lax and easy grading philosophy of the twin Institutes, 1/5 is "epic fail", 2/5 is "failure not so disastrous as to be epic", 3/5 is "mediocre pass", 4/5 is "good", and 5/5 is "excellent"): 4/5. Justification: Kmo had time to develop the necessary points to reasonable length.
Revision history:
All times in these blog "revision histories" are stated in UTC (Universal Coordinated Time/ Temps Universel Coordoné,  a precisification of the old GMT, or "Greenwich Mean Time"), in the ISO-prescribed YYYYMMDDThhmmZ timestamping format. UTC currently leads Toronto civil time by 5 hours and currently lags Tallinn civil time by 2 hours.

  • 20180103T1907Z/version 2.2.0: Km corrected an incorrect date reference in connection with his 2016 blogspot "Essay on Sorrow". - Kmo transmitted this content as e-mail at UTC=20180103T1916Z, to,,,, with cc to,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,  In 2018-01-03 phone conversations with the RCMP, Kmo did not succeed in obtaining an RCMP e-mail address. He therefore used the standard RCMP Web contact form, writing at UTC=20180103T1927Z the following: ((QUOTE))Dear Sirs:  I have to report supicious corporate activity in Richmond Hill, Ontario, involving a mortgage taken out by Corsica Development Inc., in the David Dunlap Observatory heritage-conservation matter. I learn from telephone consultations with the RCMP today that corporate fraud is strictly in the territory of OPP, whom I have already contacted. But here the case (if there is a case at all) is complex, involving multiple considerations not fully confined to fears of fraud, and perhaps ultimately falling within the joint competence of OPP and RCMP. Instead of sending the RCMP a long report from this "" interface, I would suggest the RCMP e-mail me or phone me. It will help to first have a look at my long report, in its entirety. For your convenience, and the convenience of officials and lawyers, and the like outside RCMP, I have uploaded the entire long report to my (posting of 2017-01-01 or 2017-01-02, headed "DDO Conservation: Advisory to Police". Once we are in e-mail or phone contact, we can consider what to do next. You may, for example, next wish me to visit some RCMP Detachment, perhaps in Newmarket. ((/QUOTE))
  • 20180103T1740Z/version 2.1.0: Kmo adjusted a few nuances, while also correcting some small number of typos. 
  • 20180103T0217Z/version 2.0.0: Kmo finished converting the point-form outline into coherent full-sentences prose. He reserved the right to make tiny, nonsubstantive, purely cosmetic tweaks over the coming two hours, as here-undocumented versions 2.0.1, 2.0.2, 2.0.3, before transmitting e-mailing his words to the various desks needing to see them. 
  • 20180102T1745Z/version 1.1.0: Kmo fine-tuned the point-form outline, adding material regarding the possible nature of a future reconciliation with lawyer Virginia MacLean. 
  • 20180102T0313Z/version 1.0.0: Kmo had time to upload a point-form outline of a letter he proposed to send to the three pertinent levels of police. He hoped to finish converting this outline into coherent full-sentences prose by UTC=20180102T2000Z, and to transmit the full-sentences prose to the three levels of police, with appropriate ccs to appropriate lawyers, appropriate officials, and appropriate other parties.

[CAUTION: A bug in the blogger server-side software has in some past months shown a propensity to insert inappropriate whitespace at some points in some of my posted essays. If a screen seems to end in empty space, keep scrolling down. The end of the posting is not reached until the usual blogger "Posted by Toomas (Tom) Karmo at" appears. - The blogger software has also shown a propensity, at any rate when coupled with my erstwhile, out-of-date, Web-authoring uploading browser, to generate HTML that gets formatted in different ways on different downloading browsers. Some downloading browsers have sometimes perhaps not correctly read in the entirety of the "Cascading Style Sheets" (CSS) which on all ordinary Web servers control the browser placement of margins, sidebars, and the like. If you suspect CSS problems in your particular browser, be patient: it is probable that while some content has been shoved into some odd place (for instance, down to the bottom of your browser, where it ought to appear in the right-hand margin), all the server content has been pushed down into your browser in some place or other. - Finally, there may be blogger vagaries, outside my control, in font sizing or interlinear spacing or right-margin justification. - Anyone inclined to help with trouble-shooting, or to offer other kinds of technical advice, is welcome to write me via]

1. Background to My Specific Problem

Mindful of the citizen's responsibility to report suspicious things, I write to the three pertinent levels of policing (to YRP, to OPP, and to RCMP) regarding Ontario's  David Dunlap Observatory and Park (DDO&P) heritage-conservation file. I regret being a little late in doing this, deferring to the New Year what I had hoped to complete just before Christmas.

Of the roughly 76.5-hectare historic DDO&P Richmond Hill greenspace, 32 hectares is now slated for subdivision development by a commercial entity, "Corsica Development Inc.", within the general fold of "DG Group" (a corporation linked to the DeGasperis family, and known until 2015 April as "Metrus"). 

When I write "slated for development", I have in mind the fact that the envisaged subdivision is running behind its announced schedule. We were told many months ago that the project would be "coming in the spring of 2017". Then the advertising changed, announcing instead an autumn arrival. Upon checking the main promotional Web site,, at UTC=20180102T2100Z, I still find the wording "Opening Fall 2017". A quick inspection from Bayview Avenue, just south of Hillsview Drive and just north of Fern Avenue, reveals graded, possibly paved, streets, and street lamps, but no houses. In my last night-time inspection from Bayview, some days before Christmas, I did not see any of those street lamps emitting light. The fact that lacks an appropriate update might in some investigative minds trigger the suspicion that all is not now going smoothly. (To avoid a libel suit, I not only remark herewith that this is my own private suspicion, but that I am happy to have my views corrected - optimally either (1) by an e-mail communication from the developer or (2) by a blogspot comment from the developer, at my, under the 2018 January posting headed "DDO Conservation: Advisory to Police".) 

Over the past months, I have recorded my various observations and fears regarding DDO&P at the just-mentioned blog. 

As can be seen from an examination of my various relevant blogspot entries, I have since 2007 done what I could in a vain effort to keep Corsica Development Inc. out of DDO&P - or, failing that, then at any rate to keep Corsica's malign lights more than just a couple of hundred metres away from the telescopes. With the telescopes vulnerable to light pollution,  and with the biggest of the three current telescopes the largest on Canadian soil, we face here probably the largest national cultural-heritage crisis of the past decade. 

The police will be able to see from my various blogspot postings that I have lost the bulk of my life savings, expending around 500,000 CAD or 550,000 CAD, without in all this effort managing to save so much as a single tree. 

The police will also be able to see from my various blogspot postings, and from their supplementary reading outside blogspot, in my and, that I have suffered an attempted law suit, settled out of court, by a pro-subdivision municipal politician, Ms (now Ward Councillor) Karen Cilevitz. This particular legal matter has been responsible for roughly one-tenth of my overall financial loss. 

In reviewing the older parts of my blogspot blog, the police should particularly note the posting of 2016-04-26, headed "Essay on Sorrow - Its Anatomy and Its Remedies". Within that posting, the police, if they are trying to establish the general, broad, contextual, picture, should note my reference to a recipient of this week's correspondence-with-police, lawyer Ms Virginia MacLean (Q.C., L.S.M.). Ms MacLean is, I stress, not directly connected with my present main topic. For present purposes, she figures only in background, context, and periphery. But I do think it proper to say at this early, context-establishing, stage, the following: should my present letter lead to a widely scoped police enquiry, then journalistic background on Ms MacLean can be had by the police analysts from This item is a 2012-09-11 community-newspaper article by Marney Beck, headed "Lawyers frustrated at Richmond Hill OMB hearing". As far as I can see from my own observations in the OMB hearing room, Ms Beck reported Ms MacLean's surprise 2012-09-10 legal manoeuvre, and its wider legal significance, accurately. 

Also within that "Essay on Sorrow" posting, the police analysts - if, I repeat, they find themselves trying to establish the general, broad, contextual, picture, in some widely scoped investigation - should note my reference to conceivable anomalies at the University of Toronto (the owner of DDO&P until 2008). I make the reference in a passage in which I choose as my key words the following: has claimed to have seen a relevant University document, asserting an ongoing University contractual or quasi-contractual stake in the envisaged sale of homes.

2. My Specific Problem

Having written up the background, I can now turn to my main present task, by writing up my specific problem. 

I am writing specifically about a mortgage, taken out by Corsica, which looks to my untrained eye odd, and continues to look odd as I make some enquiries. (I have consulted, among others, a couple of people close to the real-estate world, and in the last few days also (briefly, informally) an American private investigator - unfortunately for my casework, however, not (as it now appears to me) standing relevantly close to that particular world.) 

I made my worries as clear as I could in my blogspot essay of 2017-12-18 or 2017-12-19, headed "As Christmas of 2017 Approaches". 

In that same essay, I tried to deal as systematically as I could with my other, perhaps irrational, fears, which touch even on the FSB and SVR overseas - the fear of murder or injury by unfriendly parties (this is more, to be sure, a Canadian than an overseas, FSB-or-SVR, fear), and the fear of fresh Canadian litigation (perhaps this time round, not by Ward Councillor Karen Cilevitz at all: instead, I feel nervous about the prospect of legal attack by the developer, and (as I this week reflect) from the ostensibly 2012-conservationist lawyer Ms Virginia MacLean). 

To keep my present letter to the police reasonably short, (1) I respectfully recommend that the police read my 2017-12-18/2017-12-19 posting itself, and nevertheless (2) I here reproduce the core of my 2017-12-18/2017-12-19 argument. I reproduce it here as a precaution, in case the police lack the time for doing much work on the 2017-12-18/2017-12-19 posting. 

Here, then, is a verbatim reproduction of the core of what I had to say via blogspot on 2017-12-18 or 2017-12-19:

/.../ the Big Mortgage. Is all well here, or must we now be vigilant against the possibility of corporate crime? Since, as I will explain in a moment, I have my fumbling, purely amateur, reasons for suspicion, I document everything. Proceeding with due regard to my responsibilities as a citizen stumbling across things that might eventually prove police-significant, I use the servers now, and use e-mail later this week, to draw the documentation I herewith create to the attention of the three relevant levels of policing:
  • to the York Regional Police (their normal remit is municipal nuts-and-bolts, such as break-and-enter, or again domestic violence; so they are the first port of call in DDO&P matters);
  • to the Ontario Provincial Police (their normal remit includes cases concerning provincial roads; I do not know at what exact point the YRP remit ends and theirs begins);
  • to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), who I believe have a special interest in 'Ndràngheta.
Here, then, is my documentation:
  • What I am calling the Big Mortgage was taken out from the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC), as a loan for 135,000,000 CAD to Corsica Development Inc. The Debenture is to be viewed in the Land Registry as instrument  YR2601618. It was registered, in association with the Property Identification Number ("PIN") 03144-0876, on the Friday which was 2016-12-23 at "11:13" (this must mean "EST"), making the UTC instant of registration 20161223T1613Z). In "Schedule A" of this instrument is a reference to "Demand Debenture dated December 21, 2016".
  • There is, as far as I can understand from the paperwork, no schedule of repayment to CIBC. CIBC can for its part demand immediate repayment of the principal, I think in full, at any time. 
  • The interest rate on the loan may or may not make sense.  Having tried to consult with around four potentially knowledgeable individuals so far, I am left puzzled.  The rate is 21 percent - in other words far more than what one might encounter in what I gather to be ordinary small-business practice.  A real-estate expert, whom I shall call "Signora Abruzzo", and who has the advantage of having recently been one of Canada's more eminent realtors, offers me the non-lawyerly opinion that this rate is legal, although (says "Signora") a bit on the high side. "Signora" adds, in what seemed to me reasonable when we were exchanging our e-mails, that Corsica would be expected to pay high interest.  On this forensic detail "Signora's" argument was that Corsica as a corporation (whatever, I would add, the private affluence of its directors) holds no relevant assets beyond its 32 development-zoned hectares.
  • On the other side of the debate, however, stands another person, "Monsieur Flippingue", who has been near some real-estate operations without herself or himself doing the actual flipping. "Monsieur Flippingue" calls my attention to the odd timing. Why, s/he asks, is the loan taken out in December at all (let alone on the very last business days before Christmas), when the various construction trades seek payment for their labour and materials later - namely, when the weather is warming up? Why have a loan on the books so early, in a dormant season, when the said loan is so expensive?  Monsieur Flippingue additionally argues for me that an expensive CIBC loan does not make terribly good sense, when Corsica is anchored in a presumably dense network of family-friendly contacts. If, asks "Monsieur", money has to be put up, then why can it not be put up from somewhere within those two family empires, at some more advantageous rate?  (I do from the Web know the combined DeGasperis-and-Muzzo wealth to be on at least the order of 2,000,000,000 CAD or 3,000,000,000 CAD. This - to recall lexicographer Dr Samuel Johnson's remark in the context of a squalid brewery civil-law case - is "wealth beyond the wildest dreams of avarice".)
I must at this point allay the possible fury of the Corsica Development Inc. legal team, notably including Mr David Bronskill, and indeed offer Mr Bronskill the opportunity to deepen our municipal big-P Peace. In, as the police perhaps say, "an abundance of caution", I propose to alert him via e-mail later this week to this present blog posting. I am proposing to ask him to notify me by the evening of the Friday which is 2018-01-05 if I have strayed into some putative tort, for instance into some putative tort of defamation, whether against the DeGasperises, against the Muzzos, or against that DeGasperis-Muzzo creation which has in legal formality been (and I am conjecturing still is) Mr Bronskill's client, Corsica. I propose to take it that if I do not hear from Mr Bronskill by the evening of 2018-01-05, either in the style "Yes, danger of tort, because..." or in the style "No answer for you yet, since my group needs more time to consider...", then I am off the legal hook. It is most helpful to have such an assurance if you are, like me, too poor to be able to justify spending money retaining your own lawyer.

But more importantly, I propose to suggest to Mr Bronskill that he write me a pleasant, reasonably friendly, letter, helping to reduce present tensions, and so to build our occasionally elusive Peace. Here is a possible model. I offer it not as a model of saintly good temper, but as the kind of thing that would be humanly attainable, and therefore would be reasonable. The Peace project has to take people more or less as they are /.../ 

(In subsequent paragraphs, which I perhaps need not reproduce here, I offer Mr Bronskill, in his presumed continuing capacity as a spokesperson for Corsica, a couple of models, or templates, for a possible letter. My idea is that Mr Bronskill can clear the air by telling the police and me, and through my blogspot the general public, how the Big Mortgage came to be. Perhaps there is no corporate crime here at all, but simply something having to do with the harmless mechanics of taxation, or some such thing - even though the mortgage was oddly taken out just before 2016-12-25 (this to my subjective mind suggests an attempt to escape attention), rather than (as one might conceivably from a tax-law perspective expect) just before 2016-12-31.)

3. Concluding Remarks

I now respectfully suggest that each of the three levels of police make a note-to-file, regarding what I have just herewith communicated to them, in case my communication helps in any detective work that they hypothetically speaking may be undertaking, whether now or in the future. Mr Bronskill's hoped-for reply, which might clear up apprehensions, could usefully become a further note-to-file, and he should accordingly feel very free to copy the police on anything he sends me.

I would now be grateful for a terse written acknowledgement, via e-mail or papermail, from each of the three policing levels (YRP, OPP, and RCMP). Unless otherwise instructed, I will take such a terse acknowledgement as an indication that I need do nothing further at the given level of policing at this time, and in particular that I need not at this time spend money on printing my letter out at a cybercafé and conveying the resulting hard copy to the pertinent police office.

I am proposing to wait for a police acknowledgement until the morning of 2018-01-16 (TUE). If there is at that point no acknowledgement, I will take further appropriate civic action - perhaps (a) using Canada Post with registered mail against signature of recipient, but perhaps instead (b) calling in person at the relevant police reception desk(s), with my printout(s), and thereupon courteously requesting the appropriate receipt(s).

4. A Postscript Regarding Ms Virginia MacLean, Q.C., L.S.M., as a Person of Peripheral Police Relevance

This would be a helpful stage for Ms MacLean to act on my repeated requests to explain to me and the conservationist-cum-environmentalist public her pro-subdivision OMB "Summation Day" speech of 2012-09-10. When she does so, the context of hypothetical police Big-Mortgage casework might be altered somewhat, and so I will presumably be finding it correct to communicate her explanation to police and the conservationist-and-environmentalist public in my usual ways - to the public by blogging, and to the police through paired blogging and e-mail. Should her explanation prove adequately full (illness on 2012-09-10? confusion on 2012-09-10, as through a misunderstanding of her always stoutly conservationist client's intentions? fear, as a conceivable response to conceivable incoming blackmail, on 2012-09-10? something else, that I have so far failed to envisage, on 2012-10-09?), I can then stop grumbling and pay her outstanding, approximately 10,000 CAD, bill. I have the resources to make such a payment to her, even though it lies at the outer margins of what is financially safe for me, and even though I am not the party formally owing the money to her. (In formal terms, Ms MacLean's debtor is her distressed and puzzled 2012 conservationist client, the Richmond Hill Naturalists. - For possible police benefit, I add here that the Naturalists maintain a Web presence at

In difficult situations, it is necessary to search out the positive elements, in other words the feasible paths forward, with due diligence.

In the case of my 2014 would-be-litigant, Ms (later that same year, Ward Councillor) Karen Cilevitz, I have in the present Christmas season noted - this was in my blogspot posting of 2017-12-18 or 2017-12-19) that Karen is likely now to have learned appropriate lessons from her 2014 attempted legal action against me, and further that she is likely now to be receiving some degree of guidance and mentoring from one or more of at least four not-completely-unqualified members of Town Council.

It is not hard to find corresponding positive factors in the case of Ms MacLean.

Dominating Ms MacLean's particular case is one overwhelming fact: she is not an ordinary, hardscrabble, member of the Bar of Ontario (what we call in Estonian a nurgaadvokaat, or "lawyer-who-practices-in-a-corner"). Rather, she is a Medallist of the Law Society of Upper Canada and a past President of the Ontario Bar Association. Such a person cannot have risen to such a professional height through a career of intimidation, bluster, posturing, slant, and spin. I generally speaking reject the crude, vulgar aphorism "Scum rises." Instead, I reflect upon a quite abundant life experience, from my youth at Oxford onward, through Australia, Singapore, the United States, and Canada - with the Estonian diaspora and the more serious reaches of the Catholic world also significant themes, year upon year upon decade. This life experience has taught me that it is not the scum that rises (except, conceivably, in the commercial world, in which my experience is limited, and of which I therefore have a kind of dread). What it has taught me is that it is, by and large, the industrious, honest, public-spirited, good-humoured, and intelligent who get ahead. We therefore have much to hope for in the case of Ms MacLean.

Coupled with, as I rather confidently picture it, strong moral qualities must in her case be significant gifts of intellect. If I cannot quite, in my own intellectual limitations, see a way for her to bring healing and clarity to our conservationist situation, she perhaps (seeing further than I) can see a way.

Taking a lunge in the dark  - where she, I reiterate, is liable to possess a kind of night vision lacking to me - I offer the following lines of reflection:

Let us suppose that it was indeed Fear that drove Ms MacLean into her 2012-09-10 betrayal of the conservationist-cum-environmentalist case at the Ontario Municipal Board, in an unexpectedly brief speech unexpectedly conceding some subdivision development.

If it was Fear, the source of the fear is liable to continue existing even now, five years and almost four months after the momentous podium speech with its (legally fatal?) concessions. And yet the very fact that I am herewith myself writing openly, in a brutal frankness, and even at some mild personal risk, may blunt her Fear.

If I have managed to blunt it enough in this piece of writing, she will at some stage prove able to take some suitable person into her confidence. It will be emotionally and psychologically difficult for her to talk with me directly, much though I would welcome this. But she can summon the strength for visiting the appropriate level of police.

YRP, as a municipal police force, is not to be fully trusted in a matter as complex and delicate as DDO&P.

OPP, as a provincial authority, is also not to be fully trusted, since DDO&P has its provincial implications. - One recalls here what I was told regarding the person I code-named "Mr or Ms or Dr or Prof. or Sir or Dame I.Seem-Powerful", in my blogspot Essay-on-Sorrow from 2016-04-26: there is reason to fear an ongoing University of Toronto commercial involvement in DDO&P, the controversial 2008 sale to Corsica notwithstanding. Anything involving the highest reaches of the (immensely networked) University pretty inevitably involves also some high reaches of the provincial government. Not for nothing does the St George campus physically adjoin the Legislature lawns. Always a good question in forensics is: Who plays golf with whom; who sits down with whom to cocktails or dinner?

That leaves the RCMP.

Let Ms MacLean, then, herself, quietly and confidentially, show the RCMP my various abrasive, dangerous, almost-but-not-quite defamatory blogspot writings. (I say "not quite" because I can reach for the impregnable "Truth Defence" if hauled into civil court. Where the truth is told - even where it is abrasively told - there is no slander, no libel.) Let Ms MacLean, as may prove emotionally healing and even in her conceivable circumstances emotionally necessary, vent mightily at the Mounties, denouncing me within their walls with all the vitriol at her command. Let her future private complaints regarding me, say I today, become ever so vituperative, ever so fulsome - and then let the RCMP ask their own questions of her, gently. The truth will eventually come out, in that private RCMP interview.

Following such an interview, an eventual correct public resolution would be one in which the RCMP call her and me in together, for a quiet three-way follow-up conference. At the end of our follow-up three-way, I publish to the Web, very likely here on blogspot, what I have learned regarding her hitherto merely conjectural Fear. If the explanation seems to me and the RCMP clear, complete, and free of slant and spin, then in my capacity as Richmond Hill Naturalists principal donor, I proceed (I repeat) to pay the roughly 10,000 CAD which I believe the Naturalists still owe Ms MacLean.

The sources of her presumed Fear (as I am privately and subjectively, in an exercise of forensic speculation, picturing it) will for their part be furious. But what can they now do? Ms MacLean will be able to argue to them, perhaps through some such trusted intermediary as the RCMP, along the following lines: "Doctor Karmo, that jerk now leaving for Estonia, drove me to it, and I simply had to start taking advice from the Mounties." Her unpleasant discussants will for their part, even in their fury, recall a truth of Canadian life drilled into all in this rather happy country from school days onward (may Estonia, as a young democracy, grow to be as fortunate as that older democracy which is Canada!): Although you can fool around with this person and that person - although you can choose to render yourself ungovernable by school principals, church ministers, and the like - you don't fool around with the Mounties. 

As a supplement to my offered lines of reflection, I do have to add here, to allay conceivable misapprehensions, that I have never myself been in the bad books of the Mounties. I have been helped in significant ways by them twice, and in a further trivial way once. I therefore think of them as the Royal Canadian Mounted How-Are-You-This-Evening-Sir Police.

[This is the end of the current blog posting.]

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