Opening Statement

Monday 21 January 2013

January Teacher Protest Digest 2

Updated 10:30 am Saturday

I am using the same format as last week. Check out below the different sections of the digest as they expand, Latest News, Protest, Union Politics, Party Politics, OLP Race, In Other News, and some Canadiana. An acronym list is on my January 13th blog.  Any feedback on digest layout much appreciated. use Comment button below:

Much More added to each section below:

Canuck protesters undeterred by freezing cold weather. See Renfrew below!

Situation permitting I will try to post throughout the convention protest this weekend. If not, then after 4 sure!

Latest News: 

Latest News:

My understanding is the ETFO OLRB job action hearing will still need to recovene before a decision is made. The government and school boards had a pretty hard go at ETFO yesterday. The boards were arguing that since teachers regularly volunteer for extracurriculars, a precedent has been set. As a result for the members to be advised not to do so now as a "job action" means they are being illegally advised not to perform a "job duty". They argue It is also illegal under the labour act, since ETFO now has a contract in place under Bill 115. The stakes remain high! It would seem they now want extacurriculurs included as a part of our regular teacher job duties. Without doubt ETFO's lawyers will be knocking their heads together for the next session of the hearing.

Last year the British Columbia Federation of Teachers [BCTF] won an important legal victory on extracurriculars. It distinguished between voluntary and non voluntary duties. Although the teachers couldn't be told to do extracurriculars, they could be instructed to stay after school for meetings and so on.  It's a prickly pear few have wanted to take on in Ontario because of that. ETFO's latest OLRB case might hinge on the precedent set by the BCFT but it could also open up a can of warms, if not now in the future, as to other after school activities. We will wait with baited breath to see what happens next! See the original BCTF verdictBCTF Ruling

Toronto Buffoon Right  Mayor Ford beats Integrity Commission verdict on a technical point of law! Simply put, the case becomes legally redundant. BTAIM it's a sad day when integrity doesn't count in politics. He still faces a charge on a election campaign finance audit. Sadly, his polling has gone up in Toronto. 

When the mayor used his position in office to seek funding from  lobbyists it doesn't really matter what it as for. It shows he accepted support from lobbyists + is unaccountable for it. His excuse of his ignorance of the law is absurd. He is the mayor. Process? What process?!? Has justice been seen to be done? Bah  ..... a sad day indeed!

Rob Ford gets away with it again!

Not sure how this site works but the verdict on Toronto Mayor Ford's Integrity Commission case appeal should be posted here: Ford Verdict

OPSEU ratifies a 2 year contract. Once again the province announces it first. They crow about lowering entry grids + restructuring sick days, grandfathering termination payments + changing job security provisions. @$#%&@! See: OPSEU

OSSTF's Ken Coran is hopeful for change with a new OLP leader. CP24's reference to him as a union "boss" has become controversial. Of course, he is a union "leader". See the video of Ken's comments:  OSSTF

PC Hudak calls for an end to all day Kindergarten. This is clearly a class attack on working families who need this valuable, worthwhile educational service. For shame! See: No more JK?!?

A brief overview of Hudak's latest white paper on education. You know what he can go do with that paper eh? ;-) See: White wipe

Know thy enemy! You can find Tim's complete white paper on education here. Blech -I know, but see. Our friends, families +colleagues need to know what he is really up to. See: More Wipe!

Here's Tim's latest attack ad against attack ads; big bad unions + Working Families. Hmm. See: Tim: Bad unions! Bad! Bad!

Minister Broten replies to Hudak's education plans. Warns they could result in "unnecessary upheaval in the system". Very true, but ...... See: MOE Responds

Read Dalton's official farewell statement from the Office of the Premier. IMHO he did a lot of great work with our teachers and education system for most of his time in office. It's really too bad he's going out like this now. What a mess! See here: Farewell!

See Dalton's farewell video if you want to get sentimental. Me? No! See: Dalton video

Toronto Star's Bob Hepburn's 7 step recovery program for the OLP includes making peace with teachers. See: 2 much red koolaid?

ETFO + OSSTF protests continue undeterred by the freezing cold Ottawa valley weather in Renfrew. Hooray! What true Canucks! A credit to us all! See: Brrrrr!

From the UK protest band the Austerity All Stars comes this inspirational marching song, with a dance break too! If you are offended by the word "buggars" than close your eyes + cover your ears when you play this .... Ummm ....  :-) Well the British are more bawdry than us + it is a whole lot of fun. Thanks to Metro 7's LM for the video linkSee: Buggar the Buggars

A rather belated but without doubt very insightful law blog on why ETFO lost it's last OLRB case. See: ETFO OLRB

Have we really seen the last of Bill 115?!? Legal blogger James Bowden argues that repealing Bill 115 when QP is not in session is unconstitutional. Ooops? See: Bill 115 RIP?

Approximately 30% of the Canadian labour force is unionized but only about 11% are in the states. The difference is explained here. It also shows why we need to stand strong to protect the legal provisions we have. See: CDA vs USA

Why we fight! See the difference between Canadian + US union percentages above!

OLP Kennedy + Takhar engaged in secret talks in lead up to convention. Somehow the results would seem unlikely to me but stranger things have happened. See: Kennedy + Takhar?!

Why OLP Pupatello could still lose her 1st place lead in the convention racePupatello's Plight?

More links added by headings below ...

J25 +26 OLP Protest Info moved to next blog.

URGENT:The OFL is sponsoring bus pick ups across Ontario at the locations on this link. It also gives directions for getting to Allan Gardens. Check this out + let others know so they can go! So far 129+ buses have been filled. Call quick! See: CUPE Busing

When your children/ grandchildren ask what you did what will you say?

Early Birds? J25 Friday 6:30 pm + J26 Saturday J25 9:00 am:  Join the "Respect 4 Democracy Rally" See below:

Parents rally in Hamilton in support of teachers prior to J25-26 rally's. See: Parents

See next blog 4 more details. Regularly updated news links on everything else have been added below ...

Bill 115 News

ETFO being challenged at OLRB over extracurriculars. Guess who sits across from them at the hearing. Past OSSTF President Earl Manners. See: How could you Earl?

Globe + Mail article looks in greater depth at the Trillium + Upper Canada boards OLRB complaint. It could have some pretty deep implications if successful. Is ETFO really counselling it's members not to participate in extracurriculars? See: ETFO OLRB

It's official! Bill 115 was repealed today. Now about those contracts + the MOU ... See: Bill 115 Repealed

Laurel Broten: "How do you play Let's Give Peace a Chance?"

ETFO's Respect for Democracy protest still on for outside Maple Leaf Gardens on Jan. 25: J25 still on!

OFL J26 Rally still on for Jan.26th too. Christina Blizzard engages in some Liberal + teacher union bashing speculating on who would be the best OPL leader to run against Hudak and Horwath. See: JP26 on!

I wrote:" I'm not too sure the OLP hasn't pulled the rug out from under the protest rallies. Bill 115 is gone. By Sunday we should have a new premier .... ?" MV from the CPC-ML sent me this link. You can scroll up and down for some excellent articles about protest mobilization and all sorts of other b.s being propogated about the convention + the repeal of Bill 115. This is for folk who like their protests straight up + from a sharp left perspective. See: CPC-ML Political Forum

Little known fact: It was after Lenin that the Russian Revolution went bad. Outside of North America "May Day" is still often a day of labour solidarity. Lenin is a true revolutionary. Stalin? Nope.

Bill 115: Here's what happened:

Province to repeal Bill 115 effective Jan 23! OK what's up? Here's the breaking story from Canada Press: Bill 115 lifted

Here's the official new release, with a quote from the minister. Seems it's budget mission accomplished and now it's time to promote goodwill and stability in the schools. See: Official Statement

Globe + Mail report is short + to the point: the Liberals are trying to get rid of the teacher "lightening rod" before the leadership convention: Lightening rod

Toronto Star article includes comments from boards on Bill 115 related costs. Also Paris Meilleur, spokesperson for the MOEToronto Star

CBC report reviews the specifics of the new contracts put in place under Bill 115CBC

Kim Zarzour from the reports herself instead of just posting the canned Canada Press article like everyone else: Zarzour

Newstalk 1010 reports: 1010

The Brampton Post reports the MOE expects extracurriculars will be resumed: Extracurriculars?

The OFL J26 Protest is still on!

Hear PC Hudak explain how he will stop unions from banning extracurriculars + give principals special scheduling privileges for those who comply. Then there is his "White Paper" on education due Thursday. We went through this with the Mike Harris' "Common Sense Revolution" + it came to nought. But this time know Tim will act quick + deceritify the unions so there won't be any "problems". See video: No more Mr. Tim Nice Guy Hudak?!

Now Tim wants to eliminate superintendents  and leave issues like class sizes + teaching methods up to the principles and teachers. He again insists our education system is flat lining or on the decline. The principal stays at your school 5 years. See: Woe to us

Andy Radia from Canada Politics suggest it won't be a case of forgive and forget for ETFOETFO?

ETFO Thames President Phillip Mack says the new repeal date means nothing. Hear him at: Nada

Here is the ETFO press releaseETFO

Chatham Daily News reports mixed reviews on Bill 115 repeal Wednesday. The MOU is still in place. Maybe better now because the unions can begin to negotiate next their contract in September without it hanging over the teachers heads. Much anticipation on how teacher government relationship will progress under a new OLP leader. See: Chatham Chats

So much for OECTA's gun to the head argument and the mad rush to get the local contracts ratified by midnight Dec 31? Suddenly the Minister is not referring to OECTA anymore it's ETFO and OSSTF.  I'm looking forward to seeing how this is all rationalized now up at the Provincial OECTA offices! If there's going to be any celebrating tonight it should be between ETFO and OSSTF. Or is there anything substantial for us as teachers to celebrate in bumping up the date? The MOU is still in place.

Obviously it's been scheduled ahead of next weekend's OLP leadership convention rather than after. So what happens with the Bill 115 protest plans? 

An interesting news video from the last date given to repealling Bill 115 at the end of January. What are the ramifications? Ramifications

Stay Tuned! I will keep posting links as they come in so we can try to make more sense out of everything that's happening!

BTW here's Memo 155 on diagnostic testing: Memo 155 . Here's ETFO's analysis: Memo 155

Prof. Michael Fullan, special adviser to Premier McGuinty releases new education paper emphasizing the 6 " c's". I'm not sure many would recogonize his name but the controversial Fullan was behind a lot of the education reforms made by the McGuinty government, many of which turned out well here but don't mention his name to teachers in the UK. See: 6 'C's

Provincial Party Politics

Dunc': Well I dunno ... Maybe the deficits only this high ...?

Well. Well. Well. Duncan's deficit projection $3 billion less than expected. Are you surprised? See: The Dunc man

There are claims 1.5 billion was saved through our contracts + $1.5 from business taxes. I haven't seen a link to the report yet so we can examine the numbers.

National Post's Scott Stinson covers the Dunc's last financial report as minister before he steps down. The above numbers were pretty close to the party claims 1.1% + 1.1%. See: Dunc's statement

In the past I always worked with our teacher PAC [Political Advisory Committee] on a riding by riding strategic voting plan. For me, PAC is an educational advocacy group. So then, who is best for our students, our teachers, + our schools? It's always either Liberal or NDP. Federally speaking, I came of age during Trudeaumania with his vision of a Just Society so I wish Justin well, foolishly or not. However, since my main focus is on education, I'm more concerned about Ontario rather than Federal politics. Bottom line? Harper's got to go! I dread the thought of a Harper, Hudak, Ford axis poking through like a sword to the heart of my home + native province! Shudder!

The 3 Stooges of the Ontario Apocalypse?!?

The Right to Work for Less movement started in the states, and now Tim Hudak wants to enact it here if elected. That could mean by this time next year our teachers unions could be decertified, and our teacher movement in total disarray. Canadian law would differ in some respects with the so called Right to Work, but to better understand what it's all about check this out: Right to What?

Toronto Star editorial states that Hudak's punitive plans for welfare recipients reflects a "profound ignorance" of the depth of poverty in Ontario and the supports that are needed. See: Welfare reform?

Oh no! Tim considers it time for a "realistic definition of a teachers job". Apparently he's consulted with principals, parents and "front line teachers" and not those union NDP and OLP stooges, so to speak. Seems we will keep our nose in our books + do as we are told. Yes Premier Hudak. Of course Premier Hudak. Not! Grrrrr. See: Tim's evil plan 4 teachers

Hear ye! Hear ye! Hear Tim speak about teacher job descriptions: Tim speaks

Tim thinks principals + teachers need to be in charge of things. As if ....

PS: A job description?!? Could somebody please show Tim our job description. It's in the Education Act. What?!? Listen Tim! it's spelled E-D-U-C-A ..... ;-)

Winnipeger's to the rescue: Why does merit pay make no sense? See: Another dumb Tim-bit

Huffington Post article provides a great response too. See: Merit Pay?!

Whither too our education workers?!? Tim? Takhar? See: Ed workers

If it ain't broke why fix it?!? Ontario schools get top ratings, so why is Tim so concerned?!? Could it be it has nothing to do with our schools??? Does he just want to mess them up again to try to drive students into a class based private school system? Charter Schools? Didn't we go through this all ready during the Harris years? See: Ontario school system

Simcoe North PC MPP Dunlop makes a big hoopla of signing a "grassroots" business "Stop the Trades Tax" petition. No College of Trades governing the trade workers certification and qualifications. Nope! Those nice bosses are just so worried about the poor workers fees. Too expensive! A waste of money! They can help. Hmmm. What b.s.! They didn't say that when they set up the Ontario College of Teachers for us during the Harris years. See: Mr. Tax Saver is in town!

NDP to propose limits on prorogation. OLP candidates mixed on idea. Doesn't seem to be a big priorityProrogation?

Will Andrea be able to catch the wave in 2013? How many seats? Read the Little Report.

The Globe + Mail's Adam Radwanski reviews the ups and downs of Dalton's stint as Premier. See: Dalton

Here is the National Post's Scott Stinson's assessment: McGuinty?

Union Politics

Union election strategy for 2013: The Doug Little Report provides a good current analysis of the OLP + NDP's relative strengths and weaknesses to hold off a PC government under Tim Hudak's PC "rednecks". Here are the ridings where he thinks the NDP will make gains:Thunder Bay Superior North, Thunder Bay Atikokan, Sudbury, Sault Ste Marie, Ottawa Centre, Oshawa, Windsor West, Windsor Tecumseh, Scarborough Rouge River, Scarborough Southwest, York South West, plus one or 2 other seats. For more read: Union Election Strategy 2013

Are we coming full circle back to 1995?

ETFO: Northern Ontario teachers and boards are royally p.o.'ed by MOE peripheral dependency relationship. How can someone sitting in an office in Toronto imposing contracts understand their needs? See: Northern Ont.

ETFO respect for democracy protest still on for outside Maple Leaf Gardens on Jan. 25: J25 still on!

OFL J26 Rally still on for Jan.26th too. Christina Blizzard engages in some union bashing guessing who would be the best OPL leader to run against Hudak and Horwath. See: JP26 on!

The rise + fall of people who hate us: union - pinko arch enemy Sun News Network [our Fox News North] suffers a $17 million loss in 2012 with higher forecasts for the next 3 years. Have you ever watched it? [ie: Typical "unbiased" union interview: "So how do you sleep at night being a commie pinko union bully who always picks on the nice people in our business + banking community + is going to go to hell when you die where you will be skinned + slowly fried + basted over a hot spit if we don't get you first??? ... etc." ] Seems lots of folks don't, thank God! IMHO Canada is centre - centre left on the political spectrum if you look at the large combined number of Liberal + NDP voters. Anyways read and laugh at them ... hahahahahah ... Neo Con Nasties

Sun News turns to thePro Life movement for support. It's too bad. I know a lot of good people who share this view on the sanctity of life. Unfortunately they can often get used + fooled by unscrupulous politicos and the like, in this case I would think for more airtime to express their view. Look out for the Sun News! Flee! Flee! See: Pro Life

Warning! if somebody sends you a Sun News link, don't open it! It could be a real Sun News link! ;-) ;-) ;-)

The Globe + Mail continues to hammer away at the union leaders bully slant on extracurriculars. There may be principals and disgruntled teachers who claim it's happening. However, what most critics fail to realize is that there are many more members are angry because they consider the unions too weak in their stand against the MOU and Bill 115. OSSTF had a grassroots member revolt when the union executive approved their version of the OECTA MOU. Also OECTA members are very divided over the arbitrary decision of the provincial executive to ratify the MOU for it's teachers

When there is a case of teacher bullying, then that's wrong. Extracurriculars are voluntary and it should now always be left up to you as to whether you want to do them or not as an individual member. But to say we have a problem with our unions bullying the teachers is to misunderstand the much greater internal dynamic within the teacher union movement.For many teachers the unions are not being tough enough in standing up to the government. That's the real elephant in the room which is not being acknowledged.

IMHO that is what is making many more teachers angry than the handful of members who are angry because their union supposedly won't let them personally decide whether to supervise a club or sport. You can do so if you so choose.  All the affiliates have been very clear about that. It is in the rules.

Of course many of your colleagues will feel very differently about doing extracurriculars themselves so don't expect everyone to cheer for you or offer their help. No, they may not personally choose to invite you out for pretzels and beer either. You can't demand that they like you and what you are doing. However they do need to honour your right to make that decision. By the same token your school rep and/ or local unit office must support you in your personal decision if you are somehow otherwise being actually bullied. This angle never seems to get mentioned in the news. I wonder why? .... Please Comment. See: Extracurrculars?

"Huh? Why go to school if there's no extracurriculars?!?"

Fellow OECTA TSU teacher Michael D'Addario has come up with a great Twitter news digest on a wide range of topics that's worth checking out if you are not really into exploring the Twitter universe yourself, or you would just like a quick link to a good news story. Bravo Mike! Now if we could only get our own unit to embrace the new media while respecting freedom of expression and diversity of opinion, efforts like the School Edition blog and Tweeted Times could be appreciated for their true value and timely use. It never ceases to amaze me when it's finally decided a teacher news item or document should be emailed to all members after it's was ready been posted on my blog sometimes even 2 or 3 weeks before! Duh! See: Tweeted Times

New transparent hiring practices at Peel Public board threaten to end nepotistic smoozefest, focusing on merit rather than who you know. This was one of the good clauses in the OECTA MOU. See: No more smoozefest for jobs?

Thank God 4 Catholic Schools? I know that like myself many of my fellow OECTA dissidents are going to shudder over the arguments here 4 why students should switch over to our schools during the current crisis. However, I always try to provide a wide variety of points of view. Those concerns aside, the article also explains many of the other good things our Catholic schools have going for them. The author suggests even atheist parents might want to consider sending their children. I don't think most Catholic schools are closed to non denominational students. Certainly not in the TCDSB secondary schools where I teach. BTAIM pilfering public school students is just down right wrong. See: Catholic Atheists?

OLP Race

Conventional wisdom on leadership conventions? Usually many of the widely held beliefs about what will happen with the front runners + dark horses is not correct, according to this very detailed McLean's report. I'd say this is a must read! See: Conventions?

Overheard: Pupatello: "I'm going to kick your butt Kathleen!" Wynne: "No. I'm going to kick yours toots!"

TVO Agenda's Steve Paikin assess the OLP candidates + their chances. Doesn't see much growth potential for Kennedy. Also find the link for his Saturday coverage here. See: Paikin

Martin Regg Cohn argues Pupatello would make a great opposition leader. Of coure that assumes the OLP comes in second place during the next election certainly  isn't a given. Will she even stick around if she looses this weekend? See: Opposition leader?

In his Friday column Cohn considers why the 4 male leadership candidates ended up becoming Queen Makers. He provides a pretty frank appraisal of each of their strengths + weakness, then urges Wynne + Pupatello not to engage in too much horse trading with these guys: Queen Makers?

Gerrard Kennedy: Maybe yes? Maybe no? Does not look good. Too bad.

Toronto Star's Haroon Siddiqui argues Puatello's lack of seat in the legislature + plan to keep it prorogued until she runs in a by-election is risky and unsettling. Everyone seems to think her Liberal victory in a by-election is assured in Duncan's riding,  but is it? The OLP was wrong, wrong, wrong on that this fall in Waterloo! See:  No seat

Pupatello claims she entered race because if she doesn't become Premier the Libs are doomed. Hmmm. Not too much humility here! See: OLP Saviour?

However she puts on the charm for TVO Agenda when asked about becoming Ontario's first female Premier. Watch this video clipMadame Premier?

Takhar Harinder's latest scandal: he owns a factory in Woodstock with dozens of workplace safety violations. Claims he didn't know he owned it. Luncheon speech only draws 140. Wynne campaign manager Tom Allison seen in the audience. I've worked for Tom before. Of course he's scouting out info, only makes sense. However with Takhar seemingly poised to tank, that's a lot of delegates up for grabs. But would they support Wynne? See: Takhar's Factory Scandal

Fair is fair. Here Takhar take on his criticsTakhar replies to criticism

Here too: More

Which OLP leader could best wipe the smirk off Tim's face? Kennedy? Pupatello? Wynne?

See. I always try to provide balance on my blog .... Eh? ... OK unless it's about a Tory! ;-)

Find me a good one + I'll give them a good review. Dare you ... OK I ramble ...

Adam Radwanski figures that despite OLP contenders claims they don't want an election right away, the legislature is a house of cards that's doomed to collapse very quick: House of Cards

25 in 5 Network for Poverty Reduction surveys OLP contenders. Note differences between Kennedy, Pupatello + Wynne. Hoskins 2nd most progressive to Kennedy. Takhar totally flunks. Sousa all but. See 4 yourself: Poverty Reduction Survey

Globe + Mail endorses Pupatello 4 communications + banking + business knowledge. Figures. See: Globe + Pupatello

Toronto Star editorial endorses Sandra Pupatello in the OLP leadership race. She represents a clean break from the past, unlike Wynne. Secondly Wynne might not be "electable" as a lesbian in Ontario 2013. That's what the Star says. For more read: Pupatello

Toronto Star's Martin Regg Hart argues Wynne has the best personal skills for premier. Plus she is a Tory dragonslayer, defeating PC Party leader John Tory in her Toronto home riding of Don Valley West in 2011. Yay or nay? See: Wynne can win?

Ottawa Citizen weighs in. What if they said you couldn't elect a black president in the US? Apply that to Ontario + a gay premier. See: Ottawa

The ETFO J25 Protest is still on 4 this weekend!

Did Pupatello show wanton disrespect for her fellow OLP contenders? See: Diss?

Ontario News Watch interviews Sandra Pupatello on what position in cabinet she would offer to her fellow OLP candidates in the race. Presumptuous? See: More Pupatello

A Kennedy team member writes about Kennedy. To his credit at least he doesn't sound like a toady. He talks about his first hand observation of Gerard's qualities from working with him in the campaign office. I will be partial here, I am leaning towards Kennedy, but then again I will be outside protesting against them all anyway: Kennedy

Political Bouiilon argues delegates should vote for the candidate with the right policies + can be a responsible manager. OK but what concrete policies do any of them really have?!? See: Policies?!?

Huffington Post article considers the increasing number of influential women in politics: women in politics

The Doug Little report places Kennedy at the sweet spot to the centre left of the Ontario political. Wynne: Not. He reviews the whole spectrum and provides an example of a politico past or present who would typify that position. An excellent over view for Ontario politicos, and non Ontario readers too, who might be trying to figure out the who's and what's of Ontario's political leaders. But can Kennedy win the OLP race? Dunno. See: Sweet spot?

Federal Party Politics

Defining Liberalism: Being out of power would seem to have made the Federal Liberals focus more on the core values that differentiate the party. Trudeau speaks of the next generation of Liberals. See: Federal Debate

Justin Trudeau: Shave + a haircut 2 bits? Can he clean up his act + pull through?

What is a liberal? Thomas Walkom argues nobody knows anymore, federally or provincially. Perhaps just right of a Red Tory from years past? See: Blue Liberals?

Justin Trudeau has the most to lose in the debates. Here's an interesting article on leadership conventions in general, Liberal, NDP, and Conservative. The front runner becomes the one to beat. Also the Cons watch and plot their next round of negative advertising for the new leader. See: Leadership Races

Trudeau + Garneau challenge "first past the post" elections in Canada. Instead you'd rank the parties 1st, 2nd, 3rd and candidates are allocated accordingly. A good idea for Ontario too? It would take a great debate for as we know, the popularity vote and the number of seats under first past the post don't match. See: First Past?

Have the Federal NDP become the "New Liberals"? See: New NDP Liberals?

Steve: "We got Canada! We got Toronto! We need Ontario! Then it's up + away. I can conquer the world. Har! ... Har! ... Har! .....................

Aboriginies evoke King George 3's Royal Proclamation of 1763 requesting her Majesty the Queen intervene in their dispute with the Canadian federal government over lands taken and badly mismanaged. Hmm. OK. Well I for one really think it is horrific what's happened to our First Nations but tell me what's wrong here?!? Maybe Prince Harry can fly over here in a helicopter now that he's back from Afghanistan? I hope not! See 4 yourself: Attawapiskat

I don't usually dabble in Federal politics on my blog. If you are a federal politico junkie [No insult! I'm a provincial one!] here's a real good Huffington Post Canada Face Page. Get your fix here: Huffington

The verdict on Toronto Mayor Rob Ford's Integrity Commission appeal will be posted online this Friday at 9:30 am. He usually has a horseshoe up his butt but maybe not this time? If not sooner or later it will be something else. This municipal clown show is too absurd to be for real. See: Rob Ford?

In other news

Ozzie Osborne: corrupter of youth? Will Black Sabbath lead to Kermit's demise!?

Study shows Heavy Metal + Goth music leads to juvenile delinquency + not nice kids hanging around your house. The Beiber? Nope. Safe! However an ex Beach Boy fan once bought a Black Sabbath album + didn't become a teen from hell! This argument is at least as old as Elvis shaking his hips. However, truth be told Frank Sinatra was considered a bad boy. And Johnny Cash? OMG! Hope these researchers don't come over to my place to check out my collection!?! See: Teens from Hell?

So are teacher's who duct taped the students mouths shut to get them to keep quiet in class + the cafeteria onto something? Courts rule not a good idea. I should think that would rule out cattle prods too. See: Sound of Silence?

It's a weather roller coaster in Ontario this winter. Last week in Toronto the temperature hit +12 C. Today we are in a deep freeze alert with temperatures forecast to hit -18 C tonight. Even up north the winter has gone crazy. Just what the heck is going on anyway?!? Oh yeah -global warming. See for an update: Hot Cold

"Al-kolda" Canadian terrorists operating in Syria? Big diplomatic spat! See: Canuck terrorists?

By-stander grabs a shark by tail + wrestles with it when the shark swam up to the shore of the toddlers section on a beach in Australia. Egads! You know I scuba and snorkel a lot. I've seen my fair share of sharks but they are usually far out at sea. It is very rare for them to swim this close to shore, as they much prefer cold water and eating other fish. There's a whole bunch of shark attack videos here if you like that sort of thing. Personally they give me the willies and make me nervous when I get back in the swim. I went out with a guide once on a program to overcome my fear of sharks. We swam to the bottom of a sea pen and pulled their tails. Most species of sharks, by the way, are not dangerous, but don't try this yourself. Anyway see: Shark attack!

Fun at sea! Sharks are usually far out + prefer to eat fish.

Yesterday [All our problems seem so far away ... ]

Pop Kulture Supremo: Nothing to do with anything in this digest just incredibly kool. Visit: Tres Kool!

Retro 1968: OK. This is sort of related: The Save Star Trek Protesters: Star Trek Protest


Veronica knows it! You should too! ;-) Not convinced!?! Then consider this:

OK. Then try this: Mike Myers is from Canada.

See Comments link below: 


Anonymous said...

Hi David,

I love your blog. I am an ETFO teacher and have shared your link with many friends.

I have a small recommendation regarding the layout of your blog (since you asked!):

Rather than having to scroll down past so many postings before coming to the comment section, it would be nice to see a link to 'comments' more frequently...especially after particularly contentious articles like the most recent one about Hudak and extracurriculars. People might be more inclined to post comments when assured that their comment on a particular issue will be directly posted below it. Just a thought. Your program may not allow for this change but I just thought I would make the suggestion. (I love to read and occasionally post comments, but sometimes it feels as though I have to scroll a long way down to get there.) No need to post this recommendation. :)

Kulture Kult Ink said...

Hi! That's a great idea, and I appreciate it. Regretfully the blogger system I use has the Comment button built in at the bottom of each post. I will look around and see if there is an app that allows what you are suggesting. I'm not too much of a teckie when it comes to programming and so on. But you never know, there always seems to be something new out there that you can just plug into your system. Many thanks!

Anonymous said...,%20See%20No%20Evil,%20Speak%20No%20Evil.pdf

Is this true? Are teachers not covered for after school ECs? What do you think? I read on a blog of a teacher who went eight months without pay because WSIB said he was injured outside of the legal school day. Now we don't have banks so if this is true what gives?

Kulture Kult Ink said...

There are lots of questions about liability with extracurricuars. There is probably a stack of documents about this somewhere at your school. Should something go wrong realize you are the first person everybody will be looking at; parents, police, and the school board.

The school board will also first and foremost be looking out for itself. Since you work for them they might also be liable. Don't be surprised if they try to sacrifice you to cover their own butt. Everybody will think it's your fault and once the courts + insurance companies get involved, well, you could end up in a whole lot of trouble.

In such cases you need to contact your local unit or provincal office immediately for legal representation. A rep should be present at any dicussions you have. You can say "I'd like to co-operate fully with you in this investigation. However, I will need to have my representative present beofre we can begin." You have that right.

Many teachers consider that too officious or hope they can just settle it themselves, so they don't do so. The stakes are very high
+ you might very well get screwed. You might think everybody likes you + will support you. All deals are off once there is a legal liability. Ignore at your own peril.

Extracurricuars are a real legal quagmire. I don't know how we could actually be forced to do them. For example, let's suppose I am not good or knowledgable about a sport but am told to coach or supervise the team outside of regular school hours. Somebody gets hurt. Who is liable? Don't expect the school/ board to come running to your rescue. This does not just apply to sports either. We know if there is a way for the students to get hurt or in trouble, well watch out. It can and does happen.

I have often tried to counsel our members about this. Few listen. Usually nothing really bad happens, but if it does? Your ass is on the line.

Please, call your union in asap.

In solidarity,


Kulture Kult Ink said...

Ooops! One more thing: I have heard of cases where the WSIB will try to decline an teacher injury claim which happens outside of school while supervising a sport. Ouch!

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