Opening Statement

Monday, 22 October 2012

This Week in Ontario Teacher Politics! [Oct 21-28]

I will continue posting my news links, with commentary, here this week. There are a few other blogs I'm working on too, to be posted in the near future. Have a good week at school teaching our young 'uns. They are the future!

Tip o' the week: Caution: Don't drink the red [Liberal] Kool-aid!

 October 28, 2012

Hey ho! I had an enjoyable weekend. My sister drove down from Sudbury to load up and take back my niece Katie's belongings. Katie got a job teaching in London England. She just signed an extended 2 year contract so she won't be back anytime soon. Now we have a place to stay, and its right downtown! She likes teaching there and flew over to Amsterdam for the weekend. Must be nice. We went out with my aunts, cousins and so on in Kitchener for dinner Saturday night. Lots of fun. Hope you had a good weekend too!

Some School Edition Updates:

I will get some photos from the Santiago de Cuba Toronto Friendship School to post once the internet lines are back up. The ones I've used so far to show the hurricane damage in the city are news photos, with the areas and places identified from my own frequent trips down there. My slide show on the top left continues to show what life was like in the city this August during my last trip to the school before the hurricane devastated the city.

OECTA York strike vote matched the results from Halton Elementary at 96.%

A strike vote is currently being held by OECTA Ottawa. Results will also be posted here.

Angus Reid poll since McGuinty resigned shows Cons heading for a majority. Here's the seat projections: Cons: 59/ NDP: 32/ Libs: 16/ Green: 5. Very bad news unless you are a Tory! See:

If an election were held today we'd be dealing with a Conservative Majority again like in the 90's!

Remnants of Hurricane Sandy headed towards Ottawa with heavy rains across Southern Ontario. Forecast of up to 100mm rain and 100km winds. Pack a raincoat boots and an umbrella if you are going out protesting between now and Wednesday. Track Sandy's course via:

OLP chooses the iconic Toronto Maple Leaf Gardens for the Jan 25-27 leadership convention. McGuinty won there in 1996. Trudeau in 1968. It has been converted into a Loblaws, with a food court and a rink. Not the same as when the Toronto Maple Leafs used to win the Stanley Cup there in the 1960's, but then neither are the Leafs. City TV news report at:

No Beatles at Maple Leaf Gardens July 25 but maybe Pupatello + Wynne? Who will announce this week? 

Speaking of the 60's, Paul McCartney turns 70, says Yoko didn't break up the Beatles. Whew. I know a lot of us haven't been able to enjoy a good nights sleep since then!:-) Why is this posted here? Dunno. Coz the Beatles played the Gardens twice in 1964 + 1966? Good luck? The OLP is going to need it! Anyway, for a Beatles slide show and the article see:

Sleep tight! McCartney turns 70 + Yoko didn't break up the Beatles. Whew!!!

October  26, 2012

Speculation departure of Bentley + Duncan could help Libs shake bad rap. Deb Matthews portrays herself as a party fixer. All is now well? Getting better all the time? The red Kool-aid takes effect! See:

Chris Bentley as fall guy? What went wrong? See:

McGuinty prorogation of legislature might not result in election defeat. Harper prorogation could've actually helped him win his majority. Hmmm. Read 4 yourself:

Hurricane Sandy Update: Santiago de Cuba? I talked to Prof. Guardiola from the Toronto Friendship School last night. The school was hit, and the barrio neighbourhood devastated. A lot of the homes and buildings are flimsy and very old with tile roofs. You can imagine what happened when even the huge palm trees where ripped right out of the ground! Pappy Guardiola is okay, as are Madelena and Cari. I have not been able to confirm with Prof Jose Luis or Aurelio how they and their families are though they also live near the school. The roof was ripped from the Casa de Estudiente [student's house]. A curfew is in effect as the army tries to dig out the city. The Bucannero Resort was completely destroyed, wiped right off the coastline, read "gone". The Melia Santiago City Hotel suffered extensive damage. Telephone service is of course down, but the cellphones still work. For more info scroll further down this blog.

OSSTF announces job actions to begin Nov.7. Teachers will be directed to withhold a wide variety of services + activities including ALPs, performing on call supervisions, assisting with EQAO testing, + providing coverage for absent administrators. It will be up to the individual units whether the members submit attendance, collect textbooks,  and upload marks or comments to Trillium.  See OSSTFs Bargaining Update for a complete list:

The Education Minister now changes her tune. She will consider using Bill 115 options to intervene in these strike actions:

Minister Broten: "Well I drank lots of the the red Kool-aid and it seemed fine to me!!!"

OSSTF President Coran apparantly more positive about Wednesday talks with the Minister than she is:

Minister Broten unsuccessfully attempted to get ETFO President Hammond to rescind his advice to members on progress reports during their meeting this week:

Chris Bentley bites the Liberal bullet. Drinks the red cool-aid. Whatever....Won't run 4 leadership or MPP again. What else could he do? Dalton gave him the energy portfolio + he took it. See:

Chris Bentley: "I warn you! Come any closer + I'll shoot myself in the foot!"

Here's Bentley's letter to his constituents announcing he won't seek re-election. See:

Toronto Star article also lists Brad DuGuid and Harinder Takhar now stepping up for possible leadership bid. They must be sippin' the red Kool-aid 4 sure! See:

Ontario Transport Minister Bob Chiarelli endorses Pupatello and blasts Hudak of flip flops and lack of any plan. See:

ETT photo album of last Fridays Lib Cabinet Minister office protests across Toronto. See:

Here I am at the Toronto Friendship School in Santiago de Cuba last summer. Perhaps Prof. Guardiola will know if everybody is ok since Hurricane Sandy hit!

Santiago de Cuba devastated by Hurricane Sandy! Takes full frontal hit! You may be aware of my work as director of the Cuban Schools Project in Santiago. I will try to get hold of the teachers to see if they and the students are okay. Also the Toronto Friendship School we built and funded with educational development and solidarity grants from OTF annd OECTA. When hurricanes strike, the city evacuates into these huge cave shelters carved by the big, bad evil Communistas into the Sierra Maestra Mountains overlooking the city, so that civilian casualties are usually very light. However the city itself was apparently knocked into pieces. Not good under a crippling US embargo! See:

For more background info on Santiago de Cuba also see my blog:

For more info on the Cuban School Project please see:

For a report on last summers trip to visit the Cuban schools see:

There area also photos on the right lower side column of my blog.

A close up of the barrio near the school. Imagine the devastation the direct hit by Hurricane Sandy would have had!

Farewell to Lincoln Alexander! Video footage, a report on today's funeral in Hamilton, a detailed obituary, photo gallery and collection of leader tributes is included:

ETFO President Sam Hammond explains that paper progress reports are only one way teachers today update parents on how their kids are doing at school:'%20Minimums%20Hurt%20Students,%20October%2024,%202012.aspx

Learn more about how the Rand Formula for union membership really works. Don't fall for the Conservative lies! See Dooreys Workplace Law Blog at:

October 25, 2012

OECTA Halton joins OSSTF +ETFO counterparts for Monday Bill 115 protest outside Oakville MPP Kevin Flynn's office!!! ETFO President Sam Hammond greets OECTA protesters from podium. Upcoming blog will provide further details on OECTA Halton's strike vote [96% for!].  OECTA's "Bad Boy" Brock, President of Halton Elementary unit speaks out to media on Bill 115, OECTA MOU + MOU process! See:

Richard Brock has been the popular OECTA Halton Elementary unit President for 25 years! He takes umbrage with MOU + Bill 115 again at Monday's Oakville Rally! "Bad Boy" Brock: OECTA's most "Wanted" man?

Globe + Mail article divides possible leadership candidates into two groups: centre right + centre left. See:

Chris Bentely is still pondering a leadership bid! Listen dude, win or lose/ right or wrong, you are dead in the water come provincial election time. I don't get it. He's got scandal + cover up written all over him. The NDP + PC's would have a field day. Am I missing something here? See:

The latest provincial election polls are in! Sounds like a real nail biter. Then again a lot can still happen between now and a spring election. Both polls project a 3 way race, if the election were held today.
Angus Reid show the following seat projections: Lib: 34/ NDP: 30/ PC: 43 at:

Innovative Research projects: Lib: 32/ NDP: 33/ PC: 42 at:

Now the real truth why McGuinty isn't running federally! Do you think he can dance gangnam style? One hopes he never tries! :-) See:

Federally speaking: Can McGuinty dance gangnam style? Duncan? Provincially: Bentley? Wynne? Pupatello? Broten? Matthews? Hosick? Murray? DuGuid? Takhar? Then how will folks know which Liberal to vote for and do you really care? Enquiring minds need to know!

McGuinty wants leadership candidates to resign cabinet asap. Hurry! Hurry! Hop! Hop! See:

OECTA Government Relations finds it hard to get "outraged" about prorogation. Cheryl! Vic! Love ya, but puleeeeze, don't do it!!! Cheryl Fullerton tweets: "Have spent lots of time at Queen's Park over past 10 yrs. Never as dysfunctional as this session Hard 2 B outraged over prorogation" 

Here's a Toronto Star profile of Sandra Pupatello. She is high octane and has been lying low earning kazoodles on Bay St. for the past year or so:

High powered Liberal backroom team ready to boost Pupatello against centre left leadership possibility Kathleen Wynne.See:

Renewal? Transformation? The OLP's leadership voting procedures are old boy/ old school all the way. See:

Ontario Student Trustees Association to hold press conference Friday to announce a province wide student organized boycott. For details see:

ETFO members speak out in Youtube clips. Here's a collection of them. See:

Windsor Essex teacher protesters' tell the media "We're not going to take it!" Twisted Sister style. Ha ha! See:

Twisted Sisters + Brothers? Windsor Essex teachers announce "We're not going to take it!"

October 24, 2012

Remembering Lincoln Alexander. Here's an interesting account of his viewing of Queen's Park. He lies in state in hometown Hamilton now for the rest of the week. See:

Lt. Gov. Lincoln Alexander now lies in state at Hamilton City Hall until his funeral on Friday.

Here's the video of McGuinty's interview on TVO's Agenda with Steve Paikin. It include his famous "everybody out of the pool line" comment about prorogation. See:

Globe and Mail says Dalton's "everybody out of the pool" argument doesn't "hold water". It was pretty bizarre, but maybe he doesn't care anymore? Or then again maybe he is totally cut off from reality? See:

Here's a video of MGuinty's Press interview today where he claims he had to prorogue because of the phony contempt charges, opposition trickery, and too many ringing bells. Yup, that's what he said! See:

Feelin' delusional??? Warning: Don't drink the red kool-aid!!!

This video clip and news report on Dwight Duncan's resignation also suggests he might possibly run federally. See:

Sid Ryan flips Dunc' the bird. So much for the Liberal pipe dreams abut reaching a labour wage freeze consensus without the legislature in session? Scott Stinson claims that Duncan's a lame duck now too, just like McGuinty. See:

Here's Sid's letter today to McGuinty where he breaks off talks with the government:

Here's a Global News profile of Sandra Pupatello:

Kool-aid Queen? Pupatello learns Dwight's out: " Weeee! Now I can fly! Weeeeee! I can fly! I can fly!" 

Dwight Duncan declines leadership bid. Says he won't run as MPP again either. Throws his support behind Sandra Pupatello. Links to follow. Press conference photo at:

The Toronto Star reports on Duncan. Like Premier McGuinty he's still pining for a provincial wage freeze, and will be around to work towards that goal. Interesting side story included. Apparently Gerrard Kennedy will throw his support behind Kathleen Wynne, then run against Toronto Mayor Rob Ford in 2014. Now that could be interesting! Both are populists, but Kennedy has charisma....oh yeah, and a brain too! Quite frankly Kennedy burnt too many OLP bridges when he jumped to go federal, so running for OLP leader would seem like a long shot. Not much if any cabinet support. See:

Late night Toronto Star update claims Dwight Duncan will announce today he will not run in the Liberal leadership race. He can now continue in the Finance portfolio. This opens the door for fellow Windsor local Sandra Pupatello to enter the race. There's an aside about Duncan's quick announcement on the pension agreements made yesterday. CUPE says it was done in "haste" before their membership gets to vote. Reminds me of Laurel Broten's early announcement on the OECTA MOU before it was ratified. See:

Dunc: "Now I can make really big bucks on Bay St!!!" Either that or he's full of gas + we aren't talking about the plant stuff here either.............

Globe + Mail reports Duncan didn't feel he had the right "jelly" [!?] Well, there's one Liberal right winger out of the way! See:

Canada Press reports Dunc' will make his announcement this morning. Includes comments from a seemingly chipper Pupatello, who says she supports prorogation:

CTV article doesn't add much but again emphasizes he walked lock step with Dalton during the resignation prorogation announcement. Remember, he even helped facilitate the groundwork for the latest "Liberal crisis in motion" with his peppy economic statement on Oct 15th! See:

Dunc: "Well, first the economy went this way, then it went that way, then it went both this way + that way and..... and.... then................" (PS: Sip the red Kool-aid + you can fill in the blanks yourself! ;-)

The Huffington Post Canada; surprises and more surprises:

Wendy Hirschegger rallies the troops in the OSSTF Fall Education Forum. She also directs you to articles of interest about the site. I remember Wendy and Joe well from the ENO Cyber Lounge back during the Harris Years. Plus methinks we did some pubs + of course protests, perhaps the North Bay Day Rally with Mattawa Ma. Wendy points out that Bill 115 is worse than anything the Tories ever threw us against back then. Sad but true! Anyway, Wendy if you are reading this, "Solidarity Forever!", and say hi to Joe 4 me! Read:

ETFO salutes ECE CCW Appreciation Day. They help take care of our youngest learners. See:,%20Child%20Care%20Workers%20Passionate%20Leaders%

PC's launch 2 new 30 second radio clips slamming the Libs. "Government on Auto Pilot" includes a comedy skit you will probably keep hearing over and over again.On "Tim Hudak's Plan" he sounds like a boy scout trying to sell snake oil to me. You can hear the ads at this link but please don't send Tim any money ok? ;-) Go to:

Instead of red Kool-aid some PC Snake Oil anyone? Stay tuned to your radio for Hudak's latest ads!

October 23, 2012

Dalton McGuinty will be interviewed on tonight's Steve Paikin's TVO Agenda at 8pm! Paikin's not shy of asking tough questions. Should be fun!

ETFO News reports Hammond met with Broten at 4pm today, OSSTF's Coran meets her at 11am Wednesday. News links to follow.

Finance Minister Duncan announces he has reached an agreement for a 5 year pension contribution freeze from both employers and employees in 3 public service unions. Then points the gun at our heads noting "We have the option of legislating [a deal] with the teachers and my hope is they will reconsider." Ooops! Did OECTA provincial hear that??? See the article and also read John Cafferky's pension negotiation concerns in his guest blog. See the article at:
See John Cafferky's OECTA pension negotiation concerns in his"None Dare Call It Betrayal" blog:

Duncan has had a busy day! He explains why he supports prorogation, and that he hasn't decided whether he will commit to a leadership run yet. His math numbers for the number of days the legislature has sat is interesting, but still, a lot of important bills died a sudden death as collateral damage. See:

Here's a Facebook page of teacher protest photos from across Toronto last Friday. See:

CBC reports McGuinty has ruled out a federal leadership run. See:

McGuinty [obviously very high on the red Kool-aid]:"What me worry?!?"

Huffington Post Canada weighs in. McGuinty may drop out of politics altogether. The writer considers what lies ahead for the successful federal leadership candidate. A few more possible names are dropped in light of the likely Trudeau coronation. See:

More speculation on McGuinty's education legacy. Here's Gerrard Kennedy's point of view;

Toronto Star projects possible May 23 provincial election. Wynne gets ready to make her big announcement. Y'know, both her + Kennedy have suggested prorogation is not nice but neither has actually called for it's repeal, as far as I know. See:

National Post's Scott Stinson comments on Tim Hudak's "customer service complaints" on prorogation. NDP first off the top with request for a repeal. Scott suggests prorogation might actually work for the Liberals while petitions just collect names. See:

NDP Education critic Peter Tabun is busy. Here he is at a QPs press conference. See:

The Windsor Star gives OSSTF + ETFO Monday city wide protest mixed reviews. Criticism seems based upon uninformed passer by "Grandpa Seguin's" cantankerous opinions [?!?]. Sounds like Toronto Sun calibre "journalism", and I use the term lightly. More protests planned for Wednesday. See:

A close up photo of the David Suzuki elementary school protest in Windsor. Keep up the great protest work! Also find it on:

Here's a big OSSTF D20 protest in Halton. Is that OECTA's Bad Boy Brock I see to the far left?!? Ooh! What if Kevin finds out??? Just kidding! You can also see it on Twitter:

Teacher pedagogy commentary mentions every late great plan to save the education system from over the past 100 years or so. Boy, do I ever tire of this! Why don't the "education guru's" just leave us alone and let us teach? Because they would be out of a job, that's why. Anyway, here's an economic dean. Will the madness never end??? I rant. See:

I know, Obama sometimes seems like he should be the Prime Minister of Canada. He certainly is popular here, and I wish him well. Still, read about his US education policies -and he's the good guy! Boat people offer to our US teacher colleagues still stands.;-) See:

Polls show Obama won third TV debate last night.

Today's secret word is "insubordination." It became a hot button issue at the recent OECTA Collective Bargaining Workshop. The problems at provincial are at least two or more levels deeper than most of us suspect, as is the jockeying going on in the background between the unit presidents. Who are the real power brokers? It will be a VERY interesting Spring AGM this year. Many possible upsets, and maybe not really any at all. Too cryptic? Yup y'bet!

October 22, 2012

A lot of the leaves have all ready fallen off the trees, as I found out on my Sunday walk down in the Humber Ravine. For those of you who live outside Toronto this is probably no surprise, but it was news to me. I can't say I am too pleased about it. Nope! I just don't like it. What next? Snow.............................? I miss Cuba all ready!


Our news week begins with more details + speculation on the Jan 25th OLP Leadership Convention. See the Toronto Star piece:

Here's the Liberal news report on the leadership race:

Here's what the Canadian Press has to say:

Young Liberal William Norman toots Charles Sousa's leadership horn in his "Liberal Scarf" blog. Pretty pendantic. He must be involved in the draft Sousa campaign. Here's his plug for Sousa. See:

The Agenda's Steve Paikin provides an excellent overview of all the possible leadership candidates. Much, much more thoughtful and well considered than most!!! He divides them into 2 camps: Insiders and Outsiders. Either agree or disagree with his comments and conclusions, here's a great primer:

Toronto Sun contrasts the Liberals proposed "respectful leadership race" with the bitter, acrimonious PC one to replace Harris in 2001. I recall being at the protest outside the Metro Convention Centre. The police moved in a pincer attack and let the batons fly to disperse the crowd of teachers and students, [mostly university students] who showed up in droves and wouldn't leave from the barricades across the street from the Centre.Then we were barred from entering the nearby Elephant + Castle [Boycott! Boycott!] with our union flags to wet our whistles after a long, hard day of protesting. We left when we were told the flags had to remain outside, even though they were all neatly folded and we were done for the day. Folks had got beaten with the billy clubs and the rally dispersed. Let's hope we don't end up back in those Tory days again....I ramble. See the Sun story at:

In my ongoing series on "Know They Enemy; the Toronto Sun". Check out these archive photos from a past article on Tim Hudak and Kathleen Wynne. There's a big photo of him looking poised + alert and a tiny one of her laughing, with her eyes closed, on a bad hair day. A common propaganda put down used by anyone without any sense of decency. The Sun takes it to such extremes it becomes ludicrous, if not downright scary. Even more scary? A lot of folks are influenced by such seemingly stupid optical trickery! See:

Toronto Sun lets Mort Solberg kick right wing dirt into the departing premier's face claiming his only big idea over the past 9 years was windmill power, and that he is responsible for Ontario's economic woes during the world economic crisis, in his supposed "straight talk" column. Like Dalton or hate him, this is absolute drivel but the scariest thing is a lot of uninformed folk will lap it up. See:

MOE says it will stand firm. No repeal of Bill 115. Wage freeze and sick day deal are a done deal. December 31st deadline will be enforced. See:

Repeal Bill 115? Sick days? Wage freeze? "Fat chance!" says Education Minister Laurel Broten. Hmmm. Doesn't look good. Nope. So what is this week's MOE teacher union leader meeting all about?

Over 75 local ETFO units seek conciliation as contract talks go nowhere. Be ready for some very interesting + challenging days ahead! See:

ETFO elementary + OSSTF secondary teachers to hold protests outside all their schools for an hour after classes today in Windsor Essex. Nice one! Better than signing an MOU. Sigh. Alas. See:

Windsor Star reports on tonight's after school protest:

Truth be told, with no drop down list "comments" being added to the elementary progress reports, Robbie the Robot is out of work! How will he pay for his next oil change now eh? Betcha didn't think of that! Ha. See why the human touch is not only preferable but actually in keeping with the MOE's policy:

A parent is relieved Robbie is gone for a spell! No more Nobel Prize verbage, just straight forward understandable teaching discussions. See:

We honour our greats! After two days of visitations at Queen's Park in Toronto, Lincoln Alexander's casket will be moved to his hometown of Hamilton for visitations during the rest of this week. The funeral will follow on Friday a week after he died. Hmmm. Love Linc but these drawn out funeral thingies with embalmed bodies and caskets always totally creep me out. But I see it's a closed casket with our national flag draped over it in respect. See:

Oh nooooooooooooo! He's back!!! It'''s Harris! Eh?!? He's just visiting Linc!?! Whew.

Lt. Gov. David Onley provides a very tasteful, informative and by no means macabre biography and photo gallery tribute with an on line condolence book you can sign at his "Remembering Lincoln Alexander" page. Best I have seen yet. Visit:

The Right to Work policy, to remove the Rand formula, in the name of free enterprise and the American Dream, is all but in name a plank in Tim Hudak's anti-union economic platform. Good to start reading up on this now if you aren't very familiar with it yet. It is a very scary, and dubious theory. Check out this the CCPA [Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives] article for starters or a good and even humorous review:

Accuweather's winter forecast for Canada is in. A snowy Canadian winter is very picturesque but one hopes you like skiing and don't think you can get away with a light jacket this year! See:|canada|dl3|sec1_lnk2%26pLid%3D222769

Down we go into the Humber Ravine across Weston Rd from our condo building in the background. I like to sit here weather permitting. On Sunday I saw a huge wild deer watching me from the woods. 

More below. More to come........................

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A careful analytical study!

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Please scratch my back.

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I can't find my underwear!.
Have you seen them!

Weee! I can fly!

Weee! I can fly!
Look! I can crawl thru walls!

I have a headache!

I have a headache!
And a broken nose.

I have a square hole in my bum!

I have a square hole in my bum!

Here try this, it's very good!

Here try this, it's very good!
No. You have a bird face.

I have an ugly baby!

I have an ugly baby!
No I'm not!

Let's save all our money + buy pants!

Let's save all our money + buy pants!
OK but I need a new hand too!

Oh no! I got something in my eye!

Oh no! I got something in my eye!

You don't look well.

You don't look well.
No. My head hurts +I have a sore chest.

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The Temple of Kukulkan!

Gotta love it!

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Truly amazing!

Under Reconstruction!

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Temples + Snakes!

Temples + Snakes!

The Snake!

The Snake!
It runs the length of the ball field!