An advice to our leaders and bureaucrats:

Stop managing by the number game and begin managing by your stories

By Mario deSantis, March 1, 2000

and a social economic
system run
by the
Saskatchewan has become the land for the few and privileged(1) where politicians and bureaucrats
spin-doctor every evidence of mismanagement and corruption by their superior artistry of
manipulating statistical numbers(2). So we have a government and a social economic system run
by the number game rather than by encouraging the growth of healthy communities. One recent
number game affected the criticism that this province doesn't spend enough money on education
on a per-student basis. Our province turned around this criticism by saying that our spending as a
percentage of the gross domestic product is higher than other provinces(3).
of the
to health
Now, this number game is a futile economic exercise in the presence of governmental
mismanagement and corruption; for example, we are spending ever increasing funds in
health care and at the same time we have the highest percentage of the provincial budget allocated
to health, yet our health system is in crisis(4). This is evidence of clear corruption by our
governmental and bureaucratic leadership and this state of affairs has prompted Glen Beck,
professor of health economics at the University of Saskatchewan, to say "that something has to
change in health care(5)." The StarPhoenix was very perceptive in saying that this government is
short "on principles as on cash(6)" and I have summarized the integral breakdown of our social
fabric by saying "we have met the enemy and he is us(7)."
is not
a number
Anyhow, we must go on with our efforts to initiate social changes to support healthy communities
and get away from the obsolete provincial mentality of directing our economy by the number game.
The number game is good for the few and privileged, because for them life is just a game, however
life is not a number game for a large segment of our desperate children who are being deprived of
their future(8), and certainly it is not a number game for Native people who could have been dumped
at the outskirt of Saskatoon and left to eventually die by our police. Our justice system must not be
run as a number game, and we must not tolerate corruption in our police forces.
Therefore, I became disturbed when I read the article "One good cop earns community
respect(9)." This article praises Constable Bruce Ehalt for going out of his way to take a
complaint from a young man, Darrel Night, who said two officers dumped him outside city
limits into the freezing night.
However, this article misleads the reader when it reports Sgt. Bernie Eiswirth, president of the
Saskatchewan Federation of Police Officers, as saying that Ehalt's good behaviour "is more the
norm. It's what 99.9 per cent of police officers would do." Of course we have to praise the good
behaviour of Constable Ehalt, but to infer that 99.9 per cent of Saskatoon cops would do the same
is too much of a number, and I must say I don't like this number game at all. Saskatoon has some
400 policemen, and if we have to literally use Sgt. Eiswirth's number then there would be at most
one bad cop.
There are
very many
stories of
abuse by
But the stories of the Saskatoon Police department tell us something else. One story tell us that
two cops have been suspended for dumping Mr. Night at the outskirt of Saskatoon(10); fiction
stories by a Saskatoon police officer tell us that Saskatoon cops would routinely dump people at
the outskirt of Saskatoon(11); a story by a Saskatoon policewoman charges the police department
of racism(12); a story by the Saskatchewan Federation of Indian Nations (SFIN) tell us that they
have received hundreds of calls from people claiming that they had been either abused by the police
or dumped at the outskirts of Saskatoon(13); the story of the recent demonstration in Saskatoon
against police violence and the justice system(14) tell us that racism is present in the Saskatoon
Police force. There are very many stories of abuse by the Saskatoon police, and I want to remind
the reader of the fabrication of evidence and obstruction of justice in the Milgaard's story(15), in the
Martensville's nightmare(16), and in the Foster Parent case(17).
are a
of our
Our social institutions are a reflection of our societal values and prejudices, and therefore the
Saskatoon Police force reflects these values and prejudices. These prejudices include racism,
but they go beyond it when you consider the behaviour of our leaders in invoking the rule of law
to enforce unconstitutional laws(18), when our leaders down size people for the sake of saving
paper money(19), when our leaders visualize the setting of tuition fees as dependent on the
expected earning power of our young students(20), when our leaders curtail our freedoms(21),
when the justice system is perceived above the individual human rights(22)... when our leaders
manage our lives by the number game(23). Life is not a number game, it is the stories of our lives.
  General reference: Articles by Mario deSantis published by North Central Internet News


A World for the Few and Privileged in Saskatchewan, by Mario deSantis, February 18, 2000


Don't trust statistics, don't trust Honourable MacKinnon, trust yourself , by Mario deSantis, February 10, 2000


Education study didn't look at all numbers: province, CBC Saskatchewan Web Posted | Feb 25 2000 1:00 PM EST


A message for Health Minister Pat Atkinson: Wear Clean Underwear, by Mario deSantis, February 8, 2000


Hospital administrations under scrutiny CBC Saskatchewan Web Posted | Feb 24 2000 9:14 PM EST


Farm aid cynical, SP Opinions, by Steven Gibb, Les MacPherson, Sarath Peiris and Lawrence Thoner; The StarPhoenix, February 26, 2000, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan


Saskatchewan Health Care: Mississippi Burning of the Year 1964, by Mario deSantis, February 25, 2000


Report of the Provincial Auditor, 1999 Fall Report, Volume 2, Chapter 2-Education, page 123, Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan, Regina, Saskatchewan. The Provincial Auditor has stated that 40% of our children live in such poor conditions that they are at risk of doing poorly in school.


One good cop earns community respect, by Leslie Perreaux, The StarPhoenix, February 25, 2000, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan


Cop confronts racism charge: Suspended Saskatoon police officers identified, by Jason Warick, The StarPhoenix, February 18, 2000, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan


Saskatoon police say column was 'fiction', by Darren Bernhardt, The StarPhoenix, February 26, 2000, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan


Saskatoon police officer accuses fellow officers of racism CBC Saskatchewan. Constable Charlene Lavallee is Metis, and has been a special constable with the Saskatoon force for 6 years. She has stated "I think there's racism towards all the aboriginal officers, and it's kind of in the context of you got to fit in, or you won't be here. You've got to conform. And if youmake waves, we'll make it rough." She's launched a Human Rights complaint against Saskatoon's Board of Police Commissioners. Web Posted | Feb 22 2000 9:42 PM EST


Natives step forward to challenge authorities, by Kim McNairn, The StarPhoenix, February 18, 2000, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan


Vigil renews demands for inquiry into deaths: About 400 protesters march to downtown police station, by Shaun Humphries, The StarPhoenix, February 28, 2000, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan


Milgaard's $10 million compensation: covering up the personal assets of our policing Saskatchewan Government, by Mario deSantis, June 24, 1999


The Martensville Nightmare, CD-ROM, by Karen Smith, Holly Franking. This CD-ROM is the true story of an alleged satanic sex scandal that rocked the small Canadian town of Martensville, near Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.


The foster-child cases began 1987 when a deaf couple, unskilled, unschooled, communicating only with signs, were unable to manage their three children and came to the end of their rope. "It's irony, tragedy and catastrophe all rolled into one," says Saskatoon social activist Marjaleena Repo, who has closely followed several Saskatchewan child sex-abuse cases that have gone strangely awry. "There's no humanity, no justice."


Premier Romanow: Reinventing The Rule Of Law And Becoming Above The Law, by Mario deSantis, September 2, 1999


Downsizing and the City of Saskatoon, by Mario deSantis and reviewed by James F. deSantis; August 20, 1999


University of Saskatchewan: A Vision Built on Privileged Education and on the Synchrotron, by Mario deSantis, October 25, 1999


Intimidation: Management style at Saskatoon District Health, by Mario deSantis, January 27, 2000


Democracy and Human Rights in Saskatchewan, by Mario deSantis, February 23, 2000


A short commentary on the budget: A Number Game, by Mario deSantis, April 1, 1999