Evil exists in power. In a time when the wealthy know how to easily exploit the system, in other words - us- for personal gain Capitalisms sifts through the wreckage to see what can be learned.
I grew up in a regular working-class family in southern Ontario. My father was a farm manager and my mom an ECG Technician at our local hospital. We did not have a lot of money, but we made do. I finished high school and worked in a series of different industries through my twenties and thirties; from farm hand, to construction labourer, to factory worker to grocery clerk. Now I'm a independent film producer. Throughout that time, I learned how the system is designed. Local neighbourhood crime, like theft or assault, is handled harshly as it should be. It is painful and traumatizing for its victims. Above a certain socio-economic tier however, I slowly realized that the rules were different. Why is it that a person who robs a bank and steals a few thousand dollars can easily end up in jail for a decade or two while someone who robs millions from dozens of regular working class people can be let off with a fine and go home to a comfortable condo after a few stressful days in court? This series, more than anything, is about exploring that disparity; the rules for the 1% and the rules for the rest of us; the Capitalisms that divide us.
Season One: Fortress
In book three of Sextus Julius Frontinus’ “Stratagems” when Domitius Calvinus was besieging the fortress of Lueria he marched his troops around the walls day after day to deceive its defenders into thinking this was only a reoccurring drill or troop exercises. Then one day he called the attack and overcome Lueria’s stunned defenses. The good people who have been fighting this fight against Fortress Real Developments Inc., have been marching for a good long while now. This season of Capitalisms is all about breaking down those walls.
Season One will profile some of the people fighting to get justice and change a system which allowed losses on a colossal scale to take place in Ontario between 2011 to 2018. We will show the human damage created by “regulatory gaps” (as highlighted by the Ontario Auditor General and later an Ontario government panel) in FSCO (Financial Services Commission of Ontario), the OSC (Ontario Securities Commission) and the Law Society of Ontario. These gaps allowed over 14,000 Canadian investors to lose $920 million dollars to inflated, hyper complex and slickly marketed syndicated mortgage investments. Many of these investors lost their entire lifesavings. These victims claim they were defrauded through obfuscation and deception and point the finger at FSCO, for allowing it to happen, and a cabal of allegedly crooked mortgage brokers, lawyers, and business people. Victims reveal their pain while insiders and whistleblowers discuss how they saw the writing on the wall early but were hamstrung by threats and legal intimidation. When Toronto Lawyer David Franklin got involved in 2017 the RCMP were finally persuaded to look at a mountain of evidence. Weeks later they raided six locations in Toronto including the headquarters of Fortress Real Development Inc. (FSCO had the same evidence for years but did nothing). New, now public record evidence recovered from the raids shows layers of complexity and fraud. To this day no one has been charged and none of the people who have lost everything have been compensated.
We know based on our research that many victims have not even told their family members of their losses. Of the 14,000 estimated victims of these Fortress deals there is only one support group active with only 600 members. Of those 600 members, only a few would agree to be part of this series. Our goal is to let the public know there is no shame in being defrauded as regulators were asleep at the wheel, hamstrung by loopholes in legislation or law or simply outwitted by highly sophisticated processes meant to make prosecutions all but impossible. If we can build enough public awareness and sympathy for the people who have been hurt, we may be able to get politicians to listen, get laws changed and people compensated. Over 30 members of parliament have already met with various lawyers and victims regarding this colossal loss of working-class capital in Ontario but not one has yet introduced legislation to address it. In short, we want to help create public outrage so that these victims can get justice and maybe even get their fucking their money back.
Thank you for your consideration and any help you can provide. Learn more about me at www.bizbio.com or www.bluefoodfilms.com
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