Kathleen Wynne has the cart before the horse with her environmental programs. What a shock, a politician who doesn’t know forward from backwards. She’s at the midpoint in her four year majority mandate and apparently has learned nothing about how the average Ontarian struggles. Little wonder she is the second least popular premier in the country.
I remember when she was first elected as the Liberal leader. There was some hope that even though she had been part of McGuinty’s cabinet she would throw open the windows and let some fresh air blow through the place. She appeared to be less inclined towards corporate interests and more inclined towards social justice with balance.Read More
Well, the officer responsible for the death of Sammy Yatim, has been charged with second-degree murder. James Forcillo has been granted bail and also suspended with pay. I call that one small step towards justice simply because it is one thing to charge a police officer and quite another to convict. A charge of second-degree murder implies an intent to kill while not having preplanned the death which is first-degree murder.
The burden of proof of intent is on the crown. To me, it’s pretty hard for there not to be intent when a victim suffers multiple bullet wounds, potentially six of them after he went down. The officer is likely going to claim he believed himself or others to be in imminent peril but he may have a difficult time convincing the court of that considering the amount of video evidence available. I guess we’ll have to wait for the trial which I certainly hope proceeds with some promptness.
Mike McCormack, the head of the Toronto Police union has stated that Forcillo is definitely a casualty in this case. No, he’s not. He made his choices, as we all do, in the heat of the moment or not. As a police officer there is a duty for him to serve and protect the people and sometimes that calls for a lot calmer response than what is indicated he engaged in during those fatal moments.Read More
Just after midnight last Friday evening in Toronto’s westend a streetcar came to a halt, the passengers quickly exited followed soon after by the operator. Left on board was a seemingly distraught young man who in roughly 10 minutes time would be shot and killed by a Toronto Police Service officer. A service that is supposed to serve and protect the people of Toronto.
Normally, I’m willing to wait until an investigation has taken place and more details can come out in these situations. After doing a lot of reading and watching the videos which are available of what took place, I don’t really think the outcome of this should be anything to change the fact that a young man died a senseless death at the hands of an officer who is supposed to serve and protect.Read More
Saturday the Ontario Liberals elected their new leader to replace Dalton McGuinty who resigned as Premier and leader of the party in October. It was a day of some firsts, the most important was that for the first time in our provincial history, it was two women as front runners in the race. It would also see the first openly gay premier in Canadian history as Wynne became the winner.
Kathleen Wynne and Sandra Pupatello went into the convention closely contending for first place. I’ll confess, I didn’t know a lot about either woman having not paid a lot of attention to the race for Liberal leader. I had to some extent tuned out to most of the campaign as I had other things in my life to take up my attention. However, Saturday, I took a much harder look at the situation knowing that the person who emerged at the end of the day would be premier of this province. I took some time to do some reading on the background of the two women.
I liked aspects of both of them. I think they are both strong women who have grown to become the women they are today. They are both leaders, both willing to take on a fight and carry it through, both able to engage with others. I can relate to the scrappy nature of Pupatello, it’s my first instinct in many ways. I’ve learned as much as my instinct is often to hell with the outcome, man the barricades and game on…. most times a less combative way of getting results is a lot more productive. Save the big stick for an end game, not the first round.
It is in that understanding that I found myself drawn to see Wynne as the more likely winner. Her activist background shows she can scrap with the best of them but she first tries the less combative approaches before resorting to the big stick. Right now, Ontario needs a lot less combative approach. One thing that still remains to be seen is if she will have the courage to look into the issues that have cast dark shadows on the conduct of the Liberal government and cast light on the dirt that most Ontarians are tired of seeing.
I don’t have a lot of sympathy for the teachers cries of foul in having contracts imposed. Keep in mind, this is not all teachers and educational support workers, many had settled their contracts in a pragmatic manner knowing that Ontario has a deficit to wrestle to the ground and that they have enjoyed as much as 25% increases in their income over the last several years. Something few Ontarians were able to enjoy. However, having said that, I’m not convinced it was necessary to be as combative as the government appeared to be in how they got the needed contracts in place.
As far as Wynne being gay goes, I never asked about what McGuinty or any other political leader does in the privacy of the boudoir, so why exactly should I care what she does? I’ve already heard comments in my circle of friends and acquaintances condemning her as our Premier because she is gay. Sadly it says more about the person making the comment, than about Wynne. If that is all they can come up with to convince me she wont make a good Premier, it’s pretty slim.
There are much bigger fish to fry in this province.Read More
Teachers are public servants. As public servants their wages are part of what contributes to the costs of running this province. Those costs need to be brought into line in order to deal with the deficit. That means the province wanted a pay freeze and perks like having banked sick days paid out on retirement stopped.
While several unions have seen the writing on the wall and accepted the changes, others held out. The provincial legislature brought forth Bill 115 which would give the government the authority to impose a contract where a collective agreement could not be reached with the respective unions. This happened in September and by January, the Ministry of Education imposed a contract on the holdout unions.
The unions knew this was coming, they reacted by withdrawing extracurricular activities for the kids. So, the kids were to once again pay the price for teachers being unhappy with their employer. This isn’t new, I’m in my 50s and it was happening when I was in school. They also staged a one day protest in December when they were still without a contract, that was legitimate and legal.
They are claiming that it isn’t about the money, it’s about Bill 115. They claim that Bill 115 is unconstitutional and as such should be struck down and the contracts made invalid. They may be right. That would be a decision that would need to come from the courts where civilized people normally take grievances like this.
The union’s planned walkout tomorrow when a contract is in place is illegal. Some are arguing that since it is not a collective agreement then there is not a contract. Well until the courts support the union’s argument that the bill is unconstitutional, it is the law and the contract has been legally put into place.
Note, I’m referring to the teacher’s unions here. I am not making blanket statements about the teachers of this province. Yes, they do belong to those unions and theoretically are the driving force behind the decisions made to boycott extracurricular activities and to stage the walkouts. The fact is that only a portion of the teachers are involved in these decisions and often they are the teachers most pro-union, those who are not in agreement being all too often shouted down.
There are teachers who just want to teach their kids, to work with them on those extra activities that can make such a difference in their student’s lives. Yes, they are not particularly happy about what the government is doing, they also aren’t very happy with what the union is doing. They don’t want it taken out on the kids. I applaud those teachers and would surely love to hear them speak up. The problem is that those who have indicated they are not in agreement and just want to get on with working with their students are being given a very clear message, toe the line or face consequences.
The teachers are parents and taxpayers. They know that in the last several years they have enjoyed increases in their income while the parents of many of their students have lost good paying jobs and were unable to replace them. The lack of being able to find equivalent income also means the government receives less tax revenue while needs continue to grow. Something has to give.
The teachers are not alone among public servants facing pay freezes. Their unions need to deal with the issue like adults and take the government to court to get a ruling instead of trying to bully the government and the people of this province (which includes the teachers they are supposed to represent) into giving in to their demands from the street. In other words, grow up and set an example to the children you teach.Read More