Opening Statement

Thursday 7 February 2013

February Teachers Protest Digest 1

Updated Saturday 11:30 am. For acronym list see my Jan.13th blog. 

I am changing the date to move this blog up for those readers trying to find it among the flurry of others this week. It covers Feb 3 -10th ...

Greetings all! Here we go, at the secondary level. It' second semester! I know it always seems to go very quickly for me, much more so than first semester, though I'm not quite sure why!?! Anyway ...

Tuesday: The Metro 7 OLRB Round 2 !

I've covered two teacher OLRB cases this week: the OECTA MOU  + the ETFO Work to Rule complaints. In a broad sense I think both these two case are particularly interesting for all of us across the province. Some very important decisions and precedents could be set that could effect us in the future, and help us figure out where we now stand with the whole Bill 115 debacle now that it has been repealed.

PS: Check out my new feature at the bottom of the blog page below "Heavy Rotations" [my top 10 music, movies, t.v. books etc]. There will be regular reviews, this week on the Beatles White Album + stereo equipment etc.

Big blizzard buries Toronto! Subway trains parked overnight in the underground tunnels. Schools remained open!

Toronto snow day instructions here:
TDSB: TDSB Closings?
TCDSB: School Closings?

Storm watch closings: All public + separate schools in Toronto were open, but there wasn't any student bus service. Isn't this a health + Safety Issue for teachers? It took my wife 3 hours to get to work this morning with car pile ups + snowplows everywhere! Where to park or how to get back out when plows block in lots with mountain ridges of snow? See the closures: Storm watch


Upper Canada board director, super + board chair costing $1200 a day to stay in Toronto each day of the ETFO OLRB WTR hearings, now into day 7 [See my blog reports for this week]. Now that does not include legal costs. I don't think travel costs either. See story: OLRB $$$

ETFO OLRB hearings to continue next Tuesday 1-6 pm! See my next blog!

OSSTF contributed to 4 OLP leadership contenders while also protesting outside. D12 President Doug Jolliffe explains logic. The Toronto Star is all over this. See: $ OLP $

Toronto Star article makes board lawyer Michael Hines out to be some sort of misaligned hero trying to present "studies" about why extracurriculars are good for students, while condemning ETFO as being "Martians" for saying the weren't, during Wednesday's WTR OLRB hearing. This is total b.s! Check out my Wednesday meeting report about what Hines + ETFO actually said + did after you read this piece, marvel + ask yourself again, who is from Mars! See: major b.s. 

TDSB + parents to guarantee spring proms despite WTR [Work to Rule]. Now they have to deal with all the bookings, permits + supervision they think teachers should be volun-told to do. I don't know ETFO or OSSTF's official position but I should think it will be a good teachable moment for them about what teachers do for freeProm on!

Education Minister Laurel Broten is interviewed at the OLP leadership convention on how she got into the building + plans to get out, also about the huge J26 Rally outside. She still believes strongly in what she did + speculates on what comes next. Interesting remark on how her + OECTA discussed form of the next pdt as a part of the MOU deal talks. Not much has been said about this but I have heard it before through the grapevine. See: Broten J26 Interview

Thunder Bay schools in mysterious "hold + secure" police mode for 3 straight days due to alleged "family matter". See: Hold + Secure?

Thunder Bay Public + Catholic boards considering lock down + security camera security provisions. Welcome to Toronto? Nasty! See: Tight Security Needed

OECTA Provincial PAC seminar Fri. Feb 8. OECTA will continue with "Who Speaks for children?" campaign" Very little news as usual. I will find out more later. See: OECTA PAC?

ETFO KPR members are pretty upset over Director "Rusty's" Youtube video taking it upon himself to announce everybody is now going to be working together again doing extracurriculars.  Meanwhile the teachers have been up to their ears with marking and report cards. Rusty is doing the old "Rah! Rah! Rah! We will do more!" routine!  How sad! What next?!? Seems like Director Dad is taking it upon himself to crack the old whip. More info to follow. See his Youtube video + give Rusty the raspberry at: Director Dad

School is not limbo! Tired of bending over backwards for every #%@#^ who comes along? How low can you go? Not ! A lot of teachers are quiting! Enough is enough!!!

Across North America teachers are quiting in droves. Nearly half quit within 5 years. Admin + parent bullying, unfair pressures, false allegations, poor work conditions, the blame game etc etc etc. On + on the list goes. I don't like how the article sneaks in the notion that we want merit pay, but otherwise this is a good read. Teaching sure isn't nearly the joy it once was. What disturbs me most is that it isn't the kids, rather it's the adults who are the big pain in the butt. Can't we just be left alone to teach?!? We are highly trained professionals! Anyway: Royal pains

ETFO gives good report card advice. Every student doesn't need a personalized comment. You don't need to completely fill in every box. Makes good common sense to me. Quality over quantity, keep the swarmy edu-gibberish etc to a minimum, as need be.  The title of this article bugs me tho. It is worded such that ETFO is trying to "direct" you again like with all that b.s. over the job actions memo before the OLRB. See: Report cards

School competition for students is growing fierce as declining enrolment and teacher job actions take their toll. Allegations Catholic schools are emphasizing they still offer extracurriculars public counterparts lack. Sounds nasty. Bad news for everybody. See: Extracurriculars

Shared Prosperity?!? US decline in unionized workers linked to definite spike in the share of income going into the top wealthiest pockets. Worker Alliances can try to stop the bleeding but are no substitute for an organized union. Read + see why the unions aren't the bad guys the powers that be portray us as. "Right to Work " for less? Class warfare indeed! See: Big bad unions?!?

Canadian Teachers Daily website lets you know what's happening with our colleagues across the country. Politically speaking, BC and Alberta can be plum nuts. Then of course there is here. Anyway, good to keep abreast: Canadian Teacher

Parents take Dufferin Peel Catholic board to court seeking exemption from religious studies for their children. Win fist round. Could be precedent setting. See: Catholic Schools?

Traditional orthodox Christian group representing 20,000 members is concerned about faith based bullying at schools in Hamilton. See: Faith based bullying


Two, count 'em two Liberal by-elections coming up folks, if we don't end up with a spring election first. Sudbury might well not stay OLP. Everyone assumes Duncan's Windor's seat was safe but this is not a given. Everything is now in flux!

Energy Minister Chris Bentley resigns controversial post + as MPP! Another by-election? Andrea says bye bye. See: Bentley . News story at: Resigns Add Chris to the two below now:

Sudbury OLP MPP Rick Bartolucci Minister of Norhern Development + Mines announces retirement from politics. See breaking story from the Northern Times.
Includes live stream videos. See: Sudbury

Bartoluci will hold onto seat until election: Staying seated

Finance Minister Dwight Duncan is set to become a senior adviser at a top Bay Street law firm as soon as he resigns. Many of the Ministers are Bay St. lawyers, and take a cut in pay while in public office, Laurel Broten included. Now that Duncan has resigned from politics tho, the big bucks can really start rolling in. I'm sure he's quite the brain trust for info oh how things work. This is in the Globe + Mail Business Section, naturally: Bay St Magnate

Finance Minister Duncan's resignation next week opens the door to a by election soon. See: Duncan

Toronto Star says Sandra Pupatello would be OLP's best bet to hold onto Duncan's Windsor seat. NDP surge to take 10 % lead in riding! See: NDP lead

Torontophobia? Wynne heads out to the countryside for a photo-op to battle the provincial  curse. Toronto as the centre of our political universe is really getting trashed out there in the towns, farms and small cities of Ontario. Northern Ontario is not a Liberal lovefest, nor is the south east. The anger is going to be hard to calm down. Author seems to think Kathleen's got a handle on it though. I know! How about we let them take Mayor Ford as hostage til we behave? ;-) No??? Drat! See: .Torontophobia

Watch for the attacks on the Ontario NDP to now begin in earnest.

The National Post's Scott Stinson argues the NDP's populist platform, like on car insurance rates, mostly benefit the well off, not the disadvantaged who you'd think they are out to help. Then he goads them into promising they'd raise taxes to pay for better social programs. Guess that would be one way to self destruct, as he also notes. Don't think he likes the NDP. Nope. Course now that they are in a near dead heat in the polls, the Liberal and Conservative pressure is on. The Bay St. gloves come off. Watch 4 the trend. Must mean the NDP is doing well + they are scared. It was just awful how the power brokers were out to get the Ontario NDP government in the early 90's from the get-go. Real heavy duty. See: Whither too NDP?

Andrea Horwath's letter to Kathleen Wynne succinctly sets the NDP legislative agenda for this spring. A very good summary for your reference. See: Dear Kathleen!

Wynne gets set to move in. An interesting backgrounder on power politics within the Premiers office. Good to know. BTW Tom Alliston looks set to step in too. See: Office Politics

Speculation on new cabinet? Wynne says she will announce who on MondayCabinet maker

Liberal attack on CB was political not fiscal. See explanation: OLP Politics

Premier designate Wynne to invite school boards back to the bargaining table. I hope not the Catholic trustees. If you will recall they stomped out of the PDT because the MOE + teachers would not accept their especially vile + self serving demands. Also look at how 2 of the public boards are treating ETFO at the OLRB! Ho boy! Let's see just where exactly all this reconciliation talk goes! There is still nothing new on the table accept a bunch of invites to meet. See: Trustees back?!?

NDP's Andrea Horwath announces goals for when legislature resumes: better senior homecare service, reduced car insurance rates + protection for public services. IMHO she's firing on all cylinders now. Ok Kathleen! Whatcha say now? See: NDP

Here's a CTV video on the NDP goal of cutting auto insurance by 15%. If the NDP has shaken the Rae years stigma, and Wynne gets on board could it happen? My car insurance is ridiculous just because I live near the intersection between 2 highways [400 + 401], even tough I avoid both like the plague. There's always some b.s. eh? See: Auto Insurance

Tim: "Sure chicks dig me!"

Does PC Tim Hudak have a gender gap problem? He's now appearing in public with a woman MPP, often Lisa McLeod standing beside him like "wallpaper" as he faces off with Horwath + Wynne. Poor Tim! He just doesn't get it eh? Ironically, his wife Deb Hutton is probably the brain trust in that family. Elsewhere in Steve Paikin's article he suggests Wynne should appoint Pupatello as Finance Minster when she announces her new cabinet. Ummm .... See: Tim's woman wall paper?!

Auditor General will review Autism services in Ontario. Start with the high schools!  Let me tell you from 1st hand experience: Some are dirty, unsafe, understaffed, and nobody has a friggin' idea what they are doing. SeeAutism

Martin Regg Cohn considers whether Horwath + Wynne can get it together when the legislature resumes + leave Hudak the odd man out, in more ways than one! An odd guy indeed. Pay particular attention to his report on Hudak's latest bumbling press scrum. See: Horwath + Wynne, not Tim?

Attack of the Lady Premiers!?! Sounds like a great title for a B-Grade movie eh? Some neo con thriller about aliens from Pluto taking over the world + making it safe for Communism? Yiikes! Shouldn't these ladies be at home cooking, cleaning + raising babies on Pluto [or wherever ... ] [but I kinda like Pluto ... sounds neat! ] so our world will be safe for your nice mon n' pop neighbourhood fascist Torys?!? What's a bluenoser to do??? Hmmm! I digress and I'm not going to mention you-know-who's name again tonight so just go see: Ladies Night

Queen's Park: Everybody back to the pool + get into the new swim of things!

Sexual Politics: a third rail in the spring Ontario legislature? See: QP

The Queer Liberal blogsite reports on the backroom manoeuvring and shenanigans of the party power elite during the OLP leadership convention which inadvertently led to Pupatello's unexpected defeat. See: Back rooms

XTRA magazine reports on Wynne's win from a gay perspective. Group named Liberal Queers are pleased. Campaign described as gay without rainbows. Wynne's focus has been on equality. I wonder how Hudak is going to play the gay issue out in the hustings when push comes to shove during the next provincial election? He has said they are good friends, but he's all ready launched his first attack ad. It focused on budget and tax issues. See: Xtra

Pit Bull owners group accuses Wynne of discriminating against people who own Pit Bulls in an attack on their charter rights. OK. I know the Pit Bull ban is contentious for dog owners but ... but ... but ... Group argues if gay people can marry, then why can't they own a Pit Bull? See: Barking mad!

Mr. Wiggins the Pit Bull enters the charter rights fray.


Kathleen Wynne's son talks about the challenges of coming out of the closet as a gay male while living at home with his father, mother + her wife. Xtra magazine has a two part video interview: Coming Out

Idle No More! How does the Canadian government fund the first nations? What sources of income do they have on their own? It's a problem that has been covered up and ignored for far too long. See: Funding?

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford proclaims Feb.6th Bob Marley Day. Probably only half witted idea he has ever had as mayor. Course Bob Marley must be close to his heart. Remember that time it was revealed Rob had been charged with a DUI in Florida? He denied up and down he'd been caught drunk driving. Seemed odd. So a reporter dug into the story. Guess what? Rob was telling the truth Actually he'd been caught driving while he was stoned on weed! I'm sure Jah Bob is rolling over in his grave! Happy Bob Marley Day! See Ford's official proclamation at: Bob Marley Day 

Feb 6 is proclaimed Bob Marley Day in Toronto!

United Food + Commerical Workers UFCW joins push to get share of the new sprawling marijuana industry in the US. Estimates are that it could equal the booze industry in sales and possibly create 100,000 new jobs. Marijuana shops in LA are identified by a green cross and a UFCW decal on the door. No. This isn't a joke. Maybe Bob Marley was onto something?! See: Legalized

Who Guitarist, song writer, singer Pete Townshend ["Tommy"/ "Who's Next?"/ Live at Leeds" etc] answers "Who Am I?" in video examing his rise from an angry young Mod to one of the defining musicians of his generation. Long live rock! See: Meaty Beaty Big + Bouncy

Brit Reg Presley lead singer of 60's prototype garage rock group "The Troggs" dies at age 71 in UK. The Troggs big #1 hit was "Wild Thing". Fans could list many more great songs. "Trogglodyte"  album was also a classic. Now this chokes me up. Seriously. We would lower our school flags to half mast if I had my way. Guess I will never become Education Minister ... ;-)

 Will North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un conquer the US + Canada with a secret missile attack?!? What will you + your loved ones do?

Creepy North Korean propaganda video shows missile attack on USA accompanied by a "We are the World" soundtrack and smiling faces. Geez. I hope Kim Jong Un doesn't try to take over Canada +make us wear drab suits + caps while we eat grass, sticks, dirt + sing songs about how much we love him and ... and ... Nope! I sure don't want to do that!. See: North Korea is coming!

Confirmed skeleton of Richard 3 found in car parking lot in England. No word on where he was headed. Shopping?! ;-) See: Richard 3

Trudeaumania 1968: Is Justin a rock star too?

Federal Liberal Leadership contender Justin Trudeau gets "rock star" welcome at Western University. Some of you might recall Pierre Trudeau appearing outside Toronto City Hall in 1968 accompanied by dancers in mini skirts + go go boots? Charisma? Real or manufactured? Folks like a good show. See the video of Justin's speech to see if he is just form or is there any content at: Trudeaumania?

Disturbing police car videocam footage of the stolen snowplow that went on a rampage across Toronto until turning around to chase, crash into the officer who was driving. The officer died. The felon is claiming not guilty by reasons of insanity. Looks pretty calculating and deliberate to me. Ho boy. What next? See: Crash video

Spartacus Final Season: Do you know what happens to him + all the freed slaves if the series sticks to historical facts? Yuck! Bad Romans! Bad! Bad!

Personally, commercials drive me nutz but if you'd like to see all the Superbowl commercials that weren't broadcast in Canada you can watch them at: Superbowl ads

[From Sunday Night:] OK who am I fooling here?!? Probably most of you are watching the Superbowl and "Spartacus: War of the Damned" will be on soon! Or maybe you are marking or finishing of report cards? An advantage of teaching my severely autistic students is they can't read write or talk so ..... Anyhow stay tuned -there will be a lot of great stuff coming up this week!

PS: Thanks for all you kind words of support over the OECTA nonsense. Don't worry! I'm a fighter! Still it helps to know I'm not going crazy. This truly is bizarre!

In solidarity!



Anonymous said...

The Liberals are hated in northern and southwestern Ontario. They are doomed next election. The Star column is designed to consolidate Liberal support in "fortress Toronto" by making Toronto Star readers feel they are under attack and should form ranks and hold there noses and vote Liberal. Polling shows huge NDP seat pickups which will be devastating for the Liberals hopes of re-election. Regarding the exit of finance minister Spanky: Isn't it funny how a guy who isn't even a lawyer gets a cushy post as senior advisor to a major Bay street law firm. This is who the Liberal party is folks. And your unions support them for a few trinkets. @#$%in sad. Rick Bartolucci is also retiring and wasn't going to be placed in Wynne's cabinet anyway. Polling showed his seat is NDP next time around. Libs will put David Orazetti into cabinet in Sue Sault Marie to try to save his seat and keep a toehold in northern Ontario. Ain't gonna work. Shows over. Call the election.

Kulture Kult Ink said...

A lot of this seems to make sense, but are you sure folks in Toronto really care about what the rest of Ontario thinks about us? Sad but true methinks, just as somebody who was born + has lived here most my life.

I remember dating this girl in university who came with me on a trip to the Ottawa Valley + was surprised because she'd never been outside Toronto before. Also, a lot of our students up at Jane Finch have never been seen Lake Ontario. One asked if there were sharks in it.

I look very forward to the next party polls to see how accurate your election forecast is. I'm still not quite sure this isn't just NDP wishful thinking. I've heard something like this before and quite frankly the next election made short order of it, but maybe not this time?.

Thanks 4 the insights!

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Communist Girls ARE More Fun!
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Art at the Paris Louvre: What does it mean?!?

Art at the Paris Louvre: What does it mean?!?
A careful analytical study!

Help! I Have No Arms!

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Please scratch my back.

I can't find my underwear!.

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Have you seen them!

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No. You have a bird face.

I have an ugly baby!

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Let's save all our money + buy pants!

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OK but I need a new hand too!

Oh no! I got something in my eye!

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You don't look well.

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No. My head hurts +I have a sore chest.

Would you like a bun?

Would you like a bun?

Chichen-Itza: Lost Maya City of Ruins!

Chichen-Itza: Lost Maya City of Ruins!
The Temple of Kukulkan!

Gotta love it!

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Truly amazing!

Under Reconstruction!

Under Reconstruction!

Temples + Snakes!

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The Snake!

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It runs the length of the ball field!