Dispatches from the Front

November 9th, 2014

The war goes well.  In the spring of 2012, when the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) launched their lawsuit against us, we didn’t expect to still be fighting into the next election year, and we surely didn’t expect that CSA would be such a weak opponent.  On the plus side, as wars go this one has been awfully one-sided.  We’re in the enviable position of having more ammunition available than occasion to fire it.

Of course, we can’t take all the credit for fighting a brilliant battle, the constant of our conflict has been the CSA’s blundering, bureaucratic approach.  Their cack-handed conduct has hugely helped us.

Right now, we are fighting several fronts concurrently while shifting contacts and resources in preparation for battles soon to start.  That’s pretty normal at RestoreCSA.  While we can’t comment too much on tactics for obvious reasons, here’s part of what we’ve been up to lately.

The Conservative Party of Canada

RestoreCSA readers may recall that about a year ago the Industry Minister, James Moore, issued his Determination in Parliament that CSA developed materials that are incorporated into provincial laws are merely “voluntary standards” whose character as independent from the law is unchanged by inclusion within the law.  Well, we noted at the time that this new position of the Federal Government meant that any entity that had successfully lobbied government for their preferred changes in law, just like the CSA did, remains the legal owner of their portions of that legislation.

We have been asking Mister Moore to clarify his curious positions.  Instead, the Minister has decided that on CSA issues the best course of action is inaction.  It seems that he and his staff have been genuinely surprised to learn that the CSA remains an agency of the Federal Government, resulting in lots of head scratching and “now what?” discussions.

To help them out, RestoreCSA recently wrote to Mister Moore’s party, the Conservative Party of Canada (CPC), to ask about all of the legislation since 2006 that includes or is directly based upon CPC party policy.  You see, under the Minister’s Ruling, the CPC either owns all of that legislation or the CPC members who actually drafted CPC policy own it.  Either way, by Mister Moore’s Ruling, the government and the citizens surely don’t own it.

Here’s part of what we said:

In this context we note that:  1) a significant percentage of CPC policies since 2006 have been enacted as law or as part of law or included as amendments within existing law, and;  2) all such legislation or portions thereof originating with CPC policy activity remains the intellectual property and copyright of its originators, and;  3) all such CPC policy is drafted, amended, and approved by CPC members.

We are therefore requesting that the CPC furnish copies of signed Copyright Assignments executed by all of the contributors to each CPC, Progressive Conservative Party, and Reform Party of Canada, policy which has been included within, or whose essential character has featured within, Federal legislation, in whole or in part, as enacted at any time from 1993 to the present.

Health Canada - Therapeutic Products Directorate

On September 26th, we wrote a friendly letter to the Medical Devices Bureau of the Therapeutic Products Directorate of Health Canada.  We noted that the CSA has been caught falsifying test results and selling blank certifications and that this conduct might be a liability when it comes to safety testing of medical devices.  We further noted that the CSA is testing medical equipment in the same facility, by the same people and under the same management, as their other dubious testing activities.

That’s worrying.  You see, the CSA is responsible for safety testing of a wide range of medial devices, from operating room equipment to medical devices for human implantation and their related preparatory and supporting equipment.

We therefore asked Health Canada three questions, as below:

1. What are the legal protocol and administrative procedure for instituting a mandatory recall and retesting of all CSA certified medical equipment in Canada? 

2. In the interval prior to the completion of recall and retesting, which government entity retains legal liability for medical incidents related to, or resulting from the use of or from proximity to, CSA certified medical equipment?

3. Which Government entity is responsible for alerting foreign governments and health authorities to the context of CSA’s questionable certification activities and to the potential for untested or uncertified medical equipment in use in their jurisdictions?

We think that these questions are reasonable but Health Canada disagrees.  On October 9th, Health Canada replied with a two page letter expounding on “mandatory compliance” issues, “conformity assessment systems,” and a selection of similar buzzwords.  Their response however, did not answer -or even acknowledge- any of our questions. 

We are presently escalating the inquiry and will keep you posted.

Martine Scheuermann, Reverend Esquire

We’ve received some interesting letters about Ms Scheuermann.  Officially, Ms Scheuermann is the CSA’s US Director of Human Resources.  She’s also been described as “a sick and twisted psychopath.”

Have you ever experienced an exit interview?  When one leaves a typical company, an HR rep will walk the employee through some paperwork, there will be a Full And Final Release signing of some sort, the return of company cards, keys, etc., and a final Q&A -that’s a typical exit interview.  Ms Scheuermann does it differently.

How so?  “Scheuermann’s favourite words after she terminates you [are] ‘did you get it down in writing?’ and she smiles right at your face.”  Its her way of saying “I know what I’ve done, and you know what I’ve done, but we both know that you can’t prove what I’ve done, so my job is safe and yours is terminated.”  What a lovely lady.

Like most management at CSA however, Ms Scheuermann preaches a different message than she practices.  And hers is a literal preaching, she gives sermons at Federated United Church.  Mind you, they’re not very interesting sermons.  For instance, thus spake the Reverend Scheuermann; “For those of you who attended last week, you know that Mark sang the theme song from Gilligan’s Island.”  A lovely hymn, that one.  She continues; “I did win a trivia contest many years ago which was based on ‘TV Show Theme Songs,’ and Gilligan’s Island was indeed one of them.  Only the instrumental was played, and I correctly identified that song, along with, if my memory serves me correctly, the themes from Get Smart, I Love Lucy, Gomer Pyle, The Brady Bunch, and the one that put me into the winners circle, McHale’s Navy.  But I digress.” 

We have reviewed her sermons but, as your correspondent has never delivered one himself, the RestoreCSA commentary on the quality thereof isn’t authoritative.  What can be safety stated is that Ms Scheuermann’s preaching isn’t noted for its theological depth. 

What we find amusing however, is the contradiction between Ms Scheuermann’s public statements and her corporate conduct.  And we’ve heard about her conduct from multiple sources.  She’s known in some CSA circles as “Granny Goodness,” a mocking reference to her ethical conduct, for “goodness” it clearly isn’t.  Said another source, “she is a protector of Moamar Mustafa,” and RestoreCSA knows all about him.  And another, “‘she would state [that] manufacturers like Moamar [because] he gives fast turn around for certifications’ meaning unsafe certifications.”  And if you complain about any of this, she “will not write it up, but basically blacklist you and eventually terminate you.”  Then, as noted, she’ll smile at you as she fires you, making sure that you know that she’s getting away with it.

We can see the tip of the iceberg but Ms Scheuermann knows how much is concealed beneath the waves.  In response to three months of RestoreCSA exposure of her HR practices, and knowing that one of her victims is a former military veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder, in August of this year Ms Scheuermann suddenly decided to volunteer for the Wounded Warrior Project, a charity for military veterans.  Coincidence?

As for the Federated United Church, at the time of this writing, it still associates with Ms Scheuermann, but then so does Staffing Solutions Enterprises, the recruiting firm Scheuermann uses to pad her palace.

RestoreCSA recently asked Staffing Solutions for their position on CSA activities.  We’re also wondering if they’ll continue featuring the Scheuermann endorsement video on their site.  There’s been no response yet, but we’re monitoring the situation.

New Threat Letters

The CSA is upset with us, though this is nothing new.  On November 7th, RestoreCSA received yet another threat letter from CSA’s legal counsel. 

On this occasion, they expressed frustration that we were doing background research on certain CSA management.  Specifically, they’d heard about our Scheuermann inquiries and they were awfully upset.  But our Scheuermann inquiries were awfully tame, and the group of inquiries that CSA knows about is our tip of the iceberg.  The CSA likely doesn’t know that we have some rather significant internal data to work with.  We even have payroll data for some of their more interesting people.  And its interesting, this data, it sort-of smashes their claims to meritocracy.  But, quoting the Rev. Scheuermann, “I digress.”

The bottom line; the CSA thinks it fair and reasonable to try to bankrupt family businesses and launch harassing litigation against the elderly, but they think it entirely unnacceptable that their own executives should have to endure any scrutiny or discomfort whatsoever.

In politics its axiomatic that opponents will ignore ineffective criticism but will attack to discredit any criticism that they feel makes them vulnerable.  We think that the CSA’s latest threatening letter confirms that we’re on the right track.  In this, we would like to take the opportunity to thank the CSA and its legal counsel for their kind and thoughtful voluntary confirmation of the accuracy of our targeting.

Cast of Characters

Among the many interesting CSA people that we’re currently researching, here are some of the more colourful characters.

Michael Martin - “Michael’s job is to monitor the profit and extra funding that the manufacturers are willing to give extra to push projects through without testing.”

Gianluca Arcari - This goodfella recently replaced a senior CSA executive, its a developing story.  We’re quite interested in the Goodfella’s activities.  Apparently he “was well aware of Moamar Mustafa’s illegal activities that were going on and he supports” them.  And we already know what the executives think of Gianluca, he’s featured in some of their personal notes.

George Gruss - He’s a senior CSA operations manager in the US.  We’re advised that Gruss has been an enabler for Mustafa and is involved in “marking up the books at CSA.”

Peter Schimmoeller - CSA Manager, Hazardous Locations.  We’re told that “Pete supports” the CSA’s unsafe certification program.  He’s also the CSA point of contact for the new testing laboratory that CSA’s building in Ohio.  Yes, you read that right.

John Kory - Described as “CSA’s one-man militia,” and it goes downhill from there.

George Mallinos - Sr. Manager, Process Improvement.  “George’s job is to get the certification out to the client by any means possible, with or without being safe.”  Or, as we’ve heard elsewhere, “the bottom line is revenue generation.”

Chuck Hokes - Strategic Account Manager and Project Engineer.  People have been blunt about Hokes, apparently he “falsified test data to issue safety certifications.”  That seems blunt to us.

Nancy Wilson - Team Lead, Gas Products.  Nancy “put stress on engineers to get jobs done” without bothering too much about accuracy, etc. “and informed clients that products were good before testing was completed.”  Its like college, knowing that you’ve passed your test before you’ve handed it in.

Brian Teeter - Project Engineer.  Hi Brian, we know what you did last summer.

Steve Teresi - Project Engineer.  Hi Steve, you should talk to Brian.  You know why.

Spencer Grieco - Retired VP of Standards.  Liabilities continue past employment, and given that Grieco’s been described as “a corrupt participant” in a variety of CSA activities, he’ll be Luecke to stay under the radar.

Court is Coming

We are approximately five months from trial.  In court, the CSA can’t be evasive or hide behind well chosen words, nor can they contradict themselves without consequence.  For our part, we can be open and blunt and direct.  We’re preparing for court of course, in part by researching CSA personnel and their past statements to various courts and to Parliament and to the public. 

While the trial is important to us, the real battle begins when the court case ends.  We can’t divulge details but we are quite confident about the trial.  Next summer, with the trial behind us and with precedents set, and regardless of the inevitable appeals, we will be in a much better position to prosecute the war that CSA started.  We are prepping for a significant escalation in that war, a much more personal and assertive position, and all of this in an election year in Canada.  It should be good.

Through it all, RestoreCSA will endeavour to keep you informed in what we can about the CSA, its people and its practices, and about these issues which affect us all.  Thank you for your continued support.