Opening Statement

Monday 13 May 2013

May Teacher News Link Digest 3

My blog acronym guide can be found by clicking HERE. Latest news links are posted in Large type. Enjoy! Remember, you can comment below each blog ...


NDP bless the OLP budget: no spring election!

NDP's Andrea Horwath announces the party will vote to support the OLP Spring budget live at the legislature. She outlines the hard fought gains the party made for the people of Ontario with their demands. A non confidence vote will not result in a spring election.

News links + more below under "Party Politics"


OECTA verses the Catholic School Boards: Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea has been removed to the separate blog above. My May Teachers News Link Digest 3 is being revamped. The latest updated news links will continue to be added here.

Meanwhile ....

"Those who can, teach." The CBC's Peter Mansbridge speaks out against people putting down teachers. Hallelujah, and pass me a tall cool long weekend drink. Essay @ Teachers Rock!

MOE Sandals invites reps from all the affiliates to begin consultations for the new collective bargaining framework on May 23. Please note this is not an open member invite. Read @ Here We Go Again

OECTA Provincial Executive met Friday May 17 to discuss the MOE's response to their Me Too enquiries. A little birdie told me that it might not all be good news from an OECTA provincial perspective. Details as they are released.

OECTA TSU 1st VP Election Coverage: Both candidates are featured in guest blogs. On Wednesday members vote for Frank Bruno or David Szollosy. See their posts above.

NDP's Cheri DiNovo issues statement on International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia @ International Day

Should you apply at at Catholic school board if you are protestant? Read my "Devil + The Deep Blue Sea" blog posted above and I think the question might better be put, why would you really want too?!? Anyway, I'm obviously fit to be tied. Read this Toronto Star Q+A @ Say 3 Hail Marys!

The Cold War: I remember civil defence!

OCT symposium to discuss barricading classrooms during safety lock downs. Remember during the Cold War when the teacher would blow a whistle and we would hide under our desks in case of nuclear war? Then someone bright star figured it would be safer to crouch down out in the hallway along the wall. I suppose it made people feel better that something was being done. Eventually it just became recognized as ridiculous. Ok. So now we are going to have to barricade our classroom doors with furniture every time there is a lockdown practice That should have a calming effect eh? Who says it will work + how do they know? Another high paid expert? Nice work if you can get it ... See @ Barricades

Toronto Star laments full EC's are not all ago, with many teachers still refusing to coach teams across the GTA. Volunteer teachers "denying" students although the public affiliate "boycott is over". Well that's one way of spinning it @ Boo Hoo!

Hamilton Catholic + public school trustees go head to head in the one school system debate @ Catholic School debate heats up

200 Catholic teachers face layoffs in Windsor Essex. Declining enrolment cited. See @ Layoffs

Kim Zarzour reports on an especially bad day for the York Region schools; a lock down and an evacuation @ York Report

The Toronto Star debunks the high school class  destreaming theory, as it threatens to rear its ugly head in our schools again, with a much deserved reality fix. I am biased here. IMHO it was one of the 5 all time most idiotic latest greatest plans to save our schools last time around during the early 90's. It will be a long list when I finish compiling it, I'd bet a hundred "bright ideas" at least. So as you might guess, I have absolutely nothing nice to say about destreaming this time around. See @ A bad bet

The TDSB will be opening it's second controversial "Afrocentric" high school at Downsview Secondary this fall. At the risk of being politically incorrect, can you imagine the out roar if somebody suggested opening "Caucasian centric" schools across the city? On the other hand it is only a program within the school, not the whole school that is being used. One wonders if French and Catholic studies might not end up someday being set up the same way? See @ Afrocentric high + low

Shade-ism, aka colourism or pigmentocracy is a common problem in the black community. Students at one Oshawa school are trying to promote awareness, an excellent accepting schools initiative I should think. Read more @ Black on black

How do you spell "Constitutional Challenge"? TCDSB Catholic trustees are to debate a ban of GSA [Gay Straight Alliances] on 7:30 pm Thursday May 23rd at the Catholic school board offices at 80 Sheppard Ave East. For the record, OECTA supports the clubs, which are mandated by the province, though not all Catholic teachers are on side. It's not hard to imagine how a court challenge on denominational verses civil rights will play out in the media especially with the increasing calls for a one school system in Ontario. Ouch! Find out more @ Catholic GSA's?

NB: This news story has been moved to my May 20th blog. 

TCDSB Trustees GSA ban: Serious business! No easy way out!

Pope Francis reminds Catholics the church needs to be less serious and more loving. Lets hope everybody is mindful at next Thursday's meeting @ Pope Francis

A full blog report + study guide for the TCDSB GSA Ban debate was posted above on Monday May 20.

The Panther Culture Corner promises to teach the black history you won't find in a textbook @ Black History

Views differ widely on Toronto Afrocentric schools

A new francophone long distance grant will be set up to help students attend french schools @ A Francais?

Ojibi-Cree "Ki" reservation 600 kms north of Thunder Bay is inviting 25 students to fly in for a stay in June to build friendships and fight racism @ Third World Canada

New OTPP President + CEO Ron Mock steps up as Jim Leech retires @ Teacher Pension Plan Chief

New expanded Autism Spectrum Disorder "umbrella" definition combines 4 different groups @ DSM

There are concerns such an umbrella group might be too wide ranging to provide proper identification and treatment services @ Going too far?

I teach students with extreme autism disorders. Quite frankly I have a number of hazard reports pending and am appalled at the lack of adequate health and safety support that is provided for the students, myself and others in the school. There is even a grievance pending on the bullying and harassment I have received for trying to get these urgent issues dealt with in an appropriate way. OECTA TSU is looking into these very seriously from a Bill 168 Health + Safety viewpoint, and under the terms of our school boards Respectful Workplace policies.

All is certainly not well. When I read articles like those above which show programs like mine are to be thrown into an even large pot I shudder to think how this will make the situation even worse when it comes to focus, attention, care and of course the available resources which are in very, very short supply. Read my blog on teaching low functioning autistic students @ danger zone!

To celebrate Chris Hadfields return from the ISS [International Space Agency] Canadian Space Agency launches new classroom Project Science sky to inspire and engage youth in STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering and Math] @ Space Agency

Microsofts Bill Gates recommends an in class video evaluation of teachers in the US. This article explains why that is not a good idea, of course, but don't be surprised if PC Hudak picks up on it. Unfortunately for him it's very expensive, an issue he would need to be taken to task for asap. Hey, why hasn't anybody ever suggested that the students behaviour and academic performance be monitored this way? What's good for the goose is good for the gander? Actually I think the latter might be more insightful. What an eye opener that would be. It's all b.s. but scary stuff @ Microsoft

Parents call for the reinstatement of a TDSB teacher who created a student guide on safe oral sex which included graphic materials for use in his middle school classroom. Imagine if this happened at the Catholic TCDSB?!? Junior grade students in the downtown Dufferin corridor use to ask about the topic in health class/ or family studies during the mid 1980's [ie could the girl get pregnant that way?] Go figure @ Safe? [PS: No! No funny pictures 4 this story. No way!]

See ETFO's new environmental friendly provincial office in the Upper Jarvis neighbourhood of Toronto @ moving!

CAW Local 12: "Stop attacking the unions!" @ workers speak

CAW + Durham ETFO go pro active with protest outside local PC's constituency office after the party claims it would cut 10,000 teacher jobs if elected. Very prudent. Read @ A PC Budget?

BC teachers win case in freedom of speech at school during labour disputes @ Vancouver Sun

Nurses seek moratorium on cuts @ No more cuts!

OPSEU LCBO workers file a gender discrimination complaint against the liquor board @ LCBO discrimination?

Walmart charges underpaid workers with "disorderly conduct" after labour protests @ low prices?


Abacus leader popularity poll: Wynne = 34% Horwath = 32% Hudak = 22%. Full breakdown + analyses available @ Download Full Results

Latest Polls: OLP = 37% /PC = 30% /NDP = 25% 
Angus OLP = 34% /PC = 34% /NDP = 25%
Forum [last week] OLP = 35% /PC = 35% /NDP = 25%

Latest ABACUS poll suggest Ontarians don't want an election @ Spring election?

Why are the polls so unreliable these days? Read @ often wrong

Premier Wynne celebrates 100 days in office with this media release @ 100

Happy Birthday Kathleen Wynne! Todays March 21 100 days anniversary is also her 60th! Guess what Andrea gave her as a present ... ?

NDP Horwath expected to announce whether NDP will support the OLP budget on Tuesday May 21. Read her media release @ Spring Election?

Premier Wynne concedes to NDP budget watchdog demand but not 4 the car pool study @ NDP budget demands?

Why the idea of a HOT [high occupancy toll] lane sucks @ Not so hot

Wynne's optimistic NDP will support the OLP budget @ Yay or nay?

How many political cards does the NDP really have in its hands? Read @ NDP strategy?

Is the threat of an Ontario spring election easing? Read @ Election Speculation

Here's the Premiers statement on meeting the NDP demands @ Wynne or lose?

Tim Hudak comments on this weeks QP news on Audio Boo @ Sun News Rant

ETFO's summary of this week at Queens Park @ QP!

Tuesday May 21: NDP's Andrea Horwath announces party will vote to support OLP budget averting a spring election!

IMHO it is good to see a minority government legislature at work. Quite frankly I wouldn't like to see any of the parties with a ruling majority at this point in time.

The CP24 video + announcement report @ See + hear

The NDP statement @ Party site

Here's a City TV video of Premier Wynnes reaction @ A Great 60th B'Day Gift

The CBC reports @ NDP announcement

The Toronto Sun reports @ Sun QP Bureau reports @ No spring election

CTV News reports on the resignations + sudden dismissals at the OLG [Ontario Lottery + Gambling] Corporation during the heated, high stakes Toronto Casino debate Backroom Gambles

BC Liberals win surprise majority: How could the polls be so wrong? Good question. Read @ The Numbers Game

Wynne: Grrrrrr! Why ... why ... I'd love to wring Andreas neck!

The gas plant scandal: Premier Wynne says she is sorry for the fiasco. Looks like she will spend the rest of Wednesday apologizing all over the place in English and French to mixed reactions until her and Andrea sit down to talk about the budget later in the afternoon. Suppose she hopes the apology will finally put the story behind her and she can move on. Will it? TVO Agenda tells the story of Wynne's apology @ Sorry

Steely eyed and determined, Premier Wynne still has a lot of OLP baggage to lug around. Even if the party survives the budget vote they could fall anytime over the next legislative year starting in September. An Ottawa Citizen article says don't think she will go down without an epic struggle @ Wynne or loose?

Horwath makes demand that Wynne remove tolls for car pool lanes from the budget. I'd think this helps her distance the NDP from the OLP tax grab. On the other hand something does need to be done to help finance Toronto's transportation infrastructure. Are the tolls the right way to go? Were they well thought out and studied? They could be expensive and impractical to enforce. I watched the press scrum after her speech. Andrea was rather dissolute, but wants a meeting with Wynne over the issue asap. See + read @ Toll lanes?

Green Party claims the NDP is not acting by it's environmental principles on the Toronto's transit issues @ Green

NDP's Andrea Horwath ~At least somebody is smiling at Queen's Park these days!

Wondering about the NDP's prolonged tightrope balancing act in deciding whether to support the OLP budget or not? Apparently the party has just signed the check for a major advertising campaign at months end when the vote should come. Lots more for our political pundits to chew over @ Yay or Nay? 

Has NDP's Horwath overplayed her hand? Does she want an election or not? See @ National Post

PC Hudak appears before the committee investigating the gas plants denouncing it as "cheap theatrics" while he engaged in a lot of cheap politicking himself. It was basically an opportunity for him to grandstand, and call for a judicial inquiry as he continues to rake the Liberals for right or wrong over the issue @ Tims power outage.

Last weeks Forum Poll suggested Ontarians are losing interest over the gas plant scandal. I wonder if the low standards Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has set for ethical issues means they are now falling off the public radar? Hudaks outrage + indignation lacks much moral credibility to me. It's obvious he will use anything and everything to score political points, from wedge issues to ones of principal. That gives his concerns a lack of moral authenticity. See @ Issue losing traction

Olivia! Come back home! Toronto needs you!!!

Forum Poll suggests current NDP MP + Jack Layton widow Olivia Chow could kick Mayor Rob Fords butt by 57% to 36% during the 2014 Toronto municipal election in all but one scenario @ No 3 way centre left vote split!

The 2014 Toronto Mayorial Race: Ford + Chow off + running all ready? Read @ Toronto

Mondo Bizarre: Mayor Rob Ford is caught on video bolting a contentious community meeting where deputations are being made to stick election fridge magnets on the cars parked outside @ Watch + hear him 4 yourself

Rob Ford: Crackhead? The Toronto Star allegations @ Cocaine?

The latest Mayor Rob Ford Scandal has been moved to a separate blog above!

OLP unveils new Wynne Liberals logo. Zzzzz. Reminds me of a grade 10 applied art assignment done by a student who likes to use a ruler a lot. View @ New logo!

Yahoo! The official variations of the new logo @ More logo


Influential aboriginal leader + Meech Lake Politician Elijah Harper dies of diabetes at age 64 @ RIP

4.8 to 5.0 earthquake rocks southern Ontario. Damage seems minimal @ Rockin'

Here's Natural Resources Canada's official earthquake report @ Shakin'

Is human intelligence on the decline? Don't get me going!
;-).... Read @ Dumbing down?

Russians detain US diplomat accused of spying. Hey everybody! The Cold War is over!!! Don't get us all going again ... er ... unless you are going to come up with some more great kitsch art! ;.-) Story @ Spy verses spy

The plot thickens! Russians claim he was wearing a blond wig. Didn't Austin Powers try that once?!? He is handed over to US Embassy + told to leave the country. For fashion crimes??? Naw he was apparently trying to recruit another Russian spy. Maybe this is how they recognize each other? Ingenious! @ Spy recruits spy!

Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfields returns to planet Earth on board a Soyuz Russian space capsule in Kazakhstan. It was a "hard landing"; no splashdown in the sea like the Apollo, Gemini or Mercury capsules of yore nor gliding in like the space shuttle. provides live coverage starting at 7pm. Read all about it @ Man Who Fell To Earth

See a video of the Soyuz "hard landing" in Kazakhstan @ Soyuz

Here's a NASA photo gallery of the ISS crews returnsoft hard landing

BTW: See my Cold War Space Art photos at the bottom of my blogsite!

Jack Ruby shoots Lee Harvey Oswald. Peter Worthington in back left. Story below:

Peter Worthington, Canadian conservative journalism giant and co- founding editor of the Toronto Sun dies at age 86.  He really, really didn't like unions + lefties. See @ Worthington

The Toronto Star reminds us he despised gays, and was always looking for Reds under his bed. He covered the Kennedy assassination in 1963, and is in the infamous photo when accused Kennedy assassin Lee Harvey Oswald was shot to death before he could testify @ More

Here's an article on Worthington being eye witness to Oswalds assassination @ JFK


Best ask the waiter how much your beer costs first! Sixties Civil Rights activist Malcolm X's grandson beaten to death with fists, feet, stick +/or bat over a bar tab dispute. Malcolm Shabazz was charged $1200 for 12 beers he drank with a friend at the Palace Bar in Mexico City. Wow! Friend alleges they were lured to the bar by a young English speaking woman. Video claims he was in Mexico City to meet with civil right activists and had a target on his back. Cover up suspected: Bar quickly closes + all the inside security cameras disappear @ X

Leaf Hopes Collapse: The Toronto Maple Leafs get beat again. Maybe not next year? Hope springs eternal. See @ Leaf Nation

A Star Trek fashion guide past + present: Seems the new Star Trek movie will update the future fashion scene @ The future isn't what it use to be!

Canadian Space Commander Chris Hadfield goes viral over the Internet with his performance of David Bowie's "Space Oddity" from aboard the ISS. Very nice. Bowie says it's the best version of his song yet. Spot the baby boomer @ Space Oddity Video

Mars Colony 2023? Apply now!

35 Canadians volunteer for Mars 1 Project. It involves a one way trip to colonize Mars in 2023. You would pretty much need to be a loner who likes working with others!?! Might very well not happen then but interplanetary travel is coming our way @ Mars Needs Men + Women! 

Mars Colonists beware! NASA estimates 200 small asteroids and comet bits have hit Mars in the last year alone! It sort of sounds like life in a golf course putting zone. Here's the story @ Fore! Here's the photos to prove it @ Martian Sand trap!

Marshall Mcluhans Global Village: O' brave new world? Here's an excerpt from Raffi Cavoukian's Lightweb Darkweb. Ying + Yang? Can we reform the internet before it reforms us @ Going Global?

P.Diddy [rear centre] heir apparant to Lord Crawleys estate? Will the Dowager approve???

Downton Diddy: In this spoof on the English "Upstairs Downstairs" update series "Downton Abbey", rapper P.Diddy shows up to claim he is the heir apparent of the stiff upper crust Crawly family estate. Ha ha. Watch @ Brit Aristocrat?

Oh Oh! Looks like Mr. Carson, the head butler, is not impressed!!!

Carol Pope announces 2 Toronto shows this weekend at the Flying Beaver Puberet. Maybe she reads my blog?!? Doubt it. Advance tickets, bio + details @ Rough Trade

Tip: New Intro to Socialist Art pictures here! Below blogs + at sides!


What's open + closed in Toronto on Victoria Day this Monday? See @ A toast to Vic!

Holiday connoisseurs may prefer wine over the traditional long weekend beverage, beer!

7 provincial parks closed this weekend due to MNR [Ministry of Natural Resources] budget cuts, 3 more because it's still too cold. See @ Provincial park cuts!

Should we change the name of the Victoria Day holiday? Various groups jockey for the honour, including the aborigines @ Name change?

Victoria Day verses May 2-4? Victoria Day celebrates a long dead British Queen. 2-4 refers to the cases of beer many Ontario folk will quaf back across the province this weekend. It's the unofficial start of summer in cottage country at least. Which should it be called? See the debate explained in great detail here @ Vic or 2-4?

IMHO there's no reason not to celebrate Canada's anglo roots too so I think we should leave Victoria day the way it is. However I admit I frequently referred to it as the May 2-4 weekend in years past. ;-)

Janet + I promenade in Etobicoke's Allan Gardens on Victoria Day!



Anonymous said...

I was recently elected as a Unit Councillor. Any advice on best way to do that role to help members? OECTA Handbooks available? How do you get into OECTA Leadership Training? Thanks and keep up the good work, David!

Kulture Kult Ink said...

Congratulations! My advice? Always remember you are in office to serve the members, not the other way around. Be an independent thinker, search for and consider all the facts. Ask a lot of questions. Rarily is everything as it might seem. I'm not sure this will make you popular on the executive, some executives prefer sidekicks and followers. The members however, will appreciate these qualities in you, with time, as they become apparant. Actions speak louder than words.

Your executive should be the place to find out about any unit handbooks about your duties and role. Possibly it is in your by-laws? They should also know about the OECTA Leadership Institute + be pleased to help you. If not call the provincial office and ask on your own sooner, rather than later. I'm not sure when you have to register for next year.

Best wishes and good luck!

In solidarity!

David C

Anonymous said...

Thanks to OSSTF's failed strategy on EC withdrawl projected enrollment is way down at my high school. We are losing students to the neighbouring Catholic school and quite a few new teachers to boot. Good thing OECTA got us reg 274. A small comfort I suppose. OECTA did two things right. #1 sold out to the government to save their own ass. Very smart. #2 negotiated good anti nepotism language. OSSTF and ETFO look like idiots as their enrollment flocks over to the Catholics.

Anonymous said...

Just in response to the Anonymous comment about declining enrolment in elementary and secondary schools: you are dead wrong. If your logic was sound, then enrolment in elementary schools where ETFO members work(where "pausing" on ECs started way back in September before OSSTF's advice) would be low. Actually enrolment in public ELEMENTARY schools across the province is stable; in some boards, it's up a bit due to FDK. Low enrolment has to do with demographic realities, not withdrawing from ECs or students moving to Catholic schools. The low enrolment years that plagued public elementary schools a few years ago (when there were no labour problems and ECs were happening in full force) have moved along as those cohorts move into secondary schools. Now these lower-than-normal numbers are being felt in the secondary public panel.

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Communist Girls ARE More Fun!

Communist Girls ARE More Fun!
See below ...

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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!

Help! I Have No Arms!
Please scratch my back.

I can't find my underwear!.

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

Weee! I can fly!

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Look! I can crawl thru walls!

I have a headache!

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And a broken nose.

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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!
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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.

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!

Gotta love it!
Truly amazing!

Under Reconstruction!

Under Reconstruction!

Temples + Snakes!

Temples + Snakes!

The Snake!

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