Here we go again. You know the routine. The links are organized as per the categories below, with updates later included in larger type. My Blogsite Acronym Guide is @ Here!
Mexico Protests: 43 student teachers kidnapped + killed!
TEACHER + UNION:
The news reports are ablaze with claims that the auditor general has reported that the Liberal government spent $468 million to reopen teacher contracts before the spring 2013 provincial election. Here is the actual press release @ Audit
Here is the actual auditor's report @ Link
OLP Minister of Education Liz Sandals states that they will still save $2.1 from the MOU cuts. They had intended to save $2.5.
NDP MPP Peter Tabuns claims that the government was taking money that they shouldn't have taken anyways, in violating the teachers' collective agreements.
The Audit? NDP's Peter Tabuns emphasizes the Bill 115 Charter Challenge!
The auditor has warned that the savings could still even be less if the teachers court challenge is successful. I assume that's referring to Bill 115.
PC Lisa Macleod claims that the difference in savings should've gone into the "hands of moms and dads" and was intended for the "kids in the classroom". She accuses Premier Wynne of trying to be popular and to buy labour peace.
Well, it's quite the numbers game. This CP article is written by somebody who at least knows what everyone is talking about. Be aware: Others don't. A decent one's @ Auditor's Report!
NDP Party Leader Andrea Horwath blames Liberal's for having "played with the lives of people so inappropriately" @ CHCH TV
The focus is on the numbers in the next link. It will be interesting to cross check the Toronto Star's account of events in Spring 2013 with the news links from back then. Check out my teacher news link "Archive" in the top left column of my site. I am also Tweeting the links out, if relevant, over the next little bit. You can subscribe to my Twitter account #davidchiarelli. The Star article is @ Toronto Star
OK ladies: Think spin control!
The Globe + Mail takes the PC party line and even embellishes it by taking some liberties in how they are interpret what the auditor said @ Globe
Ditto the National Post with it's taxpayers angle. Both neglect to mention the Bill 115 court challenge comments by the auditor general @ National Post
OSSTF reports @ Queen's Park Notes
Now the history writing about spring 2013 begins! CTV newscast reports @ Nightly News
Without doubt, there's a lot more to follow ....... might I suggest in the meantime that you play let's connect the dots with the earlier news stories below?
Ontario's Wynne government is planning to cut $500 million from the Ministry of Education budget. Declining enrollment will mean up to 600 school closings. The government argues that they need to balance the budget and have increased the education budget 56.5% since being first elected in 2003. Catholic school funding won't get the axe. More @ Education Cuts!
More on this story @ Here!
CTV reports @ Video
OSSTF welcomes the release of the Ontario Regulation 274 Final Report on the new hiring procedures for the province's occasional teachers. Reg 274 was included as a part of the OECTA MOU to combat rampant nepotism at the Catholic school board level, but didn't prove popular with the public teacher union counterparts @ 274
Here's a copy of the Regulation 274 Report @ Link
News about student kidnappings in Mexico and Nigeria should be a solidarity concern for teachers everywhere. A strong government or international response in both cases seems sadly lacking. Talk about a leadership vacuum! Think how difficult it must be as a teacher, let alone a student! In Nigeria over 200 female students have been kidnapped, converted and married off to Muslim militants who opposed their education @ Nigeria.
In Mexico, municipal authorities, the police force and a drug gang are apparently linked with the kidnapping and execution of 43 missing teacher college students @ Mexico
Further trouble in Nigeria: suicide bomber disguised in school uniform kills 47 students at boys school @ 47!!!
Much chest beating and war cries as ISIS beheads a US aid worker. Ok it's very awful but what about the 47 murdered student teachers in Mexico? The 200 kidnapped Nigerian students? Don't hear much about that, do we? More @ Big Out Cry!
The billionaire Koch brothers are busy "buying influence" to they can "set curriculum" within the US schools. Scary scary! They are not known for being especially sensitive or caring corporate citizens, to say the least. Notice how wherever you go, it's OK when the neo cons try to influence curriculum. However it's very bad for teachers to also try to do so, even though we actually know quite a bit more about education!!! What BS! Read all about it @ Koch
Quebec unions finding solidarity is allusive in the face of aggressive provincial government austerity measures + cuts. No Common Front @ Rabble.ca
As contract talks drag on, ETFO teachers will be holding an online strike vote from November 24-29th. Why don't the other affiliates make better use of the internet? Are they afraid of that darn grass roots democracy thingy?! More info @ ETFO Votes
Outgoing TDSB trustee charged with assaulting public school board director Donna Quan @ Toronto Sun
MOE Sandals to meet with TDSB Chair about allegations "culture of intimidation" @ Public Shamings
London Catholic board projects whopping $4.2 million deficit @ $$$?!
London Catholic board not big on pay equity issues. Equity?!? What's that mean??? Duh @ Snowball Effect!
When is a $292,000 surplus actually a 9,000,000 deficit? When you are the TCDSB @ "human error"
Ontario Catholic School full funding 1984 - ?!
Former OLP heavy weight Greg Sorbara comes out against public finding for the province's Catholic Boards in his new memoir @ Secular
Amalgamated Transit [ATU] President Bob Kinnear takes a constructive pro-active union approach with the ATU's non partisan "TorontoTransit Future" report. It has 68 costed recommendations for solving Toronto public transit gridlock crisis. It's directed at Toronto's incoming mayor elect John Tory, and the new city council, as well as all three Federal political parties in next year's upcoming Federal election. Kinnear explains that "When we work together in a democracy it works". Members are also urged to ask the politicos what they can do to help solve the crisis in what he labels the 2015 Federal "Transit Election".
The report is a positive, engaging effort to provide a broad framework for discussing how to solve the issue with labour input. It will be interesting to see John Tory's response. Indeed the report neither approves nor disapproves of his "Smart City" transit plan. However, I also wonder whether it is it too Toronto-centric for the rest of the country? Remember: We are the city the rest of Canada loves to hate! BTAIM, top marks go to the AUT for extending an olive branch to all concerned. The Federal government contribution is an issue that both the union, the city and the province will need to make any plan work @ ATU
Learning two or more languages can be good for your brain. A new study suggests it will improve your thinking skills in old age @ Use your noodle!
Here's an interesting perspective on special education integration in the regular classroom setting. Some very good points! My only concern is that everybody else has the right to be safe too, which sadly, is often overlooked and ignored in my experience @ Teacher 2 Parents
Also see my notes on questions that need to be asked when severely autistic students are being integrated into a regular school setting @ Duh!
Tip! Watch for a motion to defend Catholic teachers from being fired because of their sexual orientation [read LGBTQ] at this spring's OECTA AGM. They are the only workers who can be legally discriminated against in the province of Ontario, based upon the school board's denominational rights ....
There's just no nice way to put this: Even US principals are speaking out against the wave of dumb ass education "reforms" happening stateside. Lucky we nixed Tim Hudak here in Ontario, Canada eh?! More @ Washington Post
Dept. of Different but the Same: A secret US teacher letter exposes how teachers are being coerced to return to work when they are sick, and what of course happens next @ Sick Daze?
ONTARIO PARTY POLITICS
OLP privitization of surgical clinics and ORNGE air ambulance proves to be a bad way to deliver public services. But it seems business as usual for the Wynne government @ Privatization
Former PC Premier Bill Davis endorses Christine Elliot in the PC Party Leadership race, with the convention and an electronic vote scheduled for this May. Perhaps Ontario's leading conservative voices can discourage Doug Ford from running and turning our provincial government at Queens Park into a complete clown show? We'll see. Memories of 4 years of Ford Bros' lunacy in Toronto city politics die hard. Story @ Brampton Bill and @ Toronto Sun
Ford Bros: Exit stage right? Left?!?
It's official Doug Ford won't be running for PC Party Leader. Doug explains, well kind of sort of @ Goon But Not Forgotten!
CTV reports @ News Report Huffington @ Here
National Post warns that the PC's better have a "containment plan" in place for him now @ All the PC's loves Doug?
This is interesting too. Ford had warned that the PC's are "too far right" in a move reminiscent of NDP Party Leader Andrea Horwath's unsuccessful spring election "populist pocketbook play" @ National Post
My blog on Doug Ford's possible PC party leader candidacy is @ Here!
Apparently there is a weighted "leadership vote" to prevent Doug from winning the PC leadership race by signing up a majority of his Ford Nation supporters from Toronto. Plus, the PC's are in one helluva mess. Attendance isn't his forte. Is he up to the job, or would he even really want it if he wins? More @ More Ford Follies
Last spring, Ontario had a game changer of an election that brought back a landslide Ontario Liberal government. The NDP's Andrea Horwath now faces a leadership review at this month's party convention. Dissent runs deep @ Here
The NDP's socialist caucus is not impressed @ Here!
Ms. Horwath admits some mistakes were made @ Mea Culpa?
She is reportedly trying to re chart the parties political direction back to the left @ Sinking Feeling?
Speculation builds as Andrea Horwath faces a leadership vote this Saturday November 15th @ NDP Convention
Andrea: Heh heh heh ...... er ..... er ....er ....
Andrea survives as NDP party leader with a 76.4% party approval vote. Listen that's not what one might consider great. Especially if the party conference was as tightly scripted and controlled as an OECTA or OSSTF AGM. You can bet Andrea wasn't taking any risks! Anyway, if the NDP is going to shoot itself in the foot again, then so be it. It's hard for progressives to expect much from them anymore. The Ontario union movement would've been very predisposed and willing to support the NDP in the spring election, before she turned her back on us. What timing! Sorry Toots! I'm sure the OLP + PC's must be having a good belly laugh. Irony of ironies: Premier Wynne is now somewhere to the far left of Andrea!!! Oh, but that's right, Andrea's "seen the light". It was all her big bad advisors' fault .... Listen, if you believe that maybe I can sell you some private property in Cuba?! What?!? You can't buy private property in Cuba??? Go figure. More @ Horwath
Is Andrea Horwath a "good fit" for the NDP leadership? Problem: nobody else wants the job. She got a lukewarm reception at last weekends party convention. There is also a first hand account in the "Comments" section below. The news story is @ Globe + Mail
How Andrea lost the NDP's balance of power in the QP legislature during the spring provincial election @ Kaput!
NDP MPP Rob Ford look alike: "$@#*! this!"
Rookie NDP MPP Cimino resigns 6 months into the job citing vague personal family reasons he doesn't want to discuss. OLP candidate Andrew Olivier, a parapalegic is biting at the bit for a second run at the job in the riding of Sudbury. Odd side note: Cimino had also had the bad luck of being a dead ringer for Rob Ford in the appearance department. Story @ Bye!
A review of the Ontario spring election is @ Results
IN THE NEWS
Burden of poverty: all is not well in our home + native land!!!!
Here's an interesting "snapshot" of what we are doing, or rather not doing across Canada to lift the burden of poverty. A 14.9% poverty rate is not exactly good @ BOP
The Russians are coming! The Russians are coming?!? Maybe the Ukrainians??? No, it's just an Antonov AN Myri, the world's largest aircraft! One landed at Toronto's Pearson Airport for the first time. Amazing! Check out the tail fins and wheels! Video @ Youtube
Whoa! This is on the net but no info @ Very Disturbing
Dept of Deep Thoughts: Canada Politics verses the US? Different sh*t, same smell!
Hmmm. Then there's this: A former CIA director talks about the US living in a gap between strategic epochs. Apparently there is still some cleaning up that needs to be done. This is quite fascinating @ TVO Agenda
Meanwhile it's the 25th Anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. The future looked bright then. There were even bizarre claims that history was now over. The end of the Cold War seems a lifetime ago now, as the world marches on in folly. Where? In any number of political and military hot spots you might care to mention. No shortage of these. Gee, sometimes I even get nostalgic. I miss the Cold War, boo hoo hooo ...... Um, well IMHO we were a lot safer with a tri-polar balance of power. Here's a look back @ History
Prime Minister Steven Harper's Federal Conservatives hold on to 2 seats in by elections today [November 17th] but the riding of Whitby - Oshawa was very close. In both races, the NDP basically tanked. Not good! Now we know why party leader Mulcair disappeared lickety-split while Federal Liberal leader Justin Trudeau stuck around mugging it up for the cameras. More @ Results? and @ Here!
Angry Canadian veterans are launching an "Anybody But Conservative" campaign due to the Harper governments shoddy treatment of the Veteran Affairs portfolio @ Veterans
PM Harper prepares his case against legalizing marijuana!
Federal Tory anti marijuana ads denounced as scare tactic @ Up In Smoke
Canadian physicians decline to join endorse the Tory ads, which they consider "political messaging". Political?!?Liberal party leader Justin Trudeau will be running with a legalize it platform in next year's Federal election. The doctors speak out @ No thanks!
Pete McKay: Heee ha! Harper's caucus agrees!
Harper gets to talk bad like the big boys to Russian President Putin at the G-20 summit. Now I know a lot of folk are upset about the Ukraine, it's very understandable. Still Canada's aged fleet of CF-18 jet fighters in Iraq must be finally paying off, in Harper's mind, if his little side show with Putin turns your crank. Let me guess: he always wanted to be US President but he couldn't because he's a Canuck? Boo hoo hoo! Wait! Before everybody gets all choked up and starts to sing "O Canada" or "God Bless America" know this: if we are in fact on the verge of a new Cold War with the Russians again, well that really sucks. Been there. Done that. Not good for all concerned. Story @ Big Boy Stuff!
Besides, with the Putin kerfuffle he didn't have to deal with the climate change issue! More @ Sneaky! Sneaky!
NASA lands an unmanned Rosetta European Space Agency spacecraft on a comet! It can help us better understand the history of our solar system and the universe @ NASA
Look what the cat dragged in! 10 of the strangest creatures you are ever likely/ unlikely to see @ A Blob Fish, A Woodlouse + More!
More news stories to follow .....
KULTURE KULT INK
Meanwhile in Quebec the world's first poutine training centre is opening ..... Very Canuck/ Quebecois eh? Heart attack city! That said Costco sells pretty excellent fries with poutine + gravy at their restaurant counter. More @ Poutine anyone?
Vinyl: You don't need to dance but if you do, that's nice too!
Here's a list of the 5 best record stores in Toronto. I will be doing more on this when my Music Reviews Page is up and running. Also on important issues like vinyl records verses CDs: which is best? A lot of folks are starting to choose vinyl record albums again @ Record Stores
What are the Top 10 all time best selling albums? Alas! Lots and lots of dreck. Maybe with record albums making a comeback of sorts a new underground will spring up? Let's face it, the really commercial big sellers still only come out on CD or even more likely downloads nowadays. Record buyers tend to have a lot more esoteric tastes. Go, check out the titles in a record store to see. If you are a baby boomer, you might be quite surprised! More @ The List
Here's a handy dandy white peoples introduction to reggae music ;-) 10 CC @ Dreadlock Holiday!
Play that reggae music white boy .... Dread Zeppelin show how it's done @ Youtube!
More Dread @ Stairway to Heaven! and @ More Youtube!
If you are enjoying my Bob Marley + the Wailer album reviews and/ or love reggae you can fast forward to now, with the latest reggae news, videos + tunes @ Irie!
Stay tuned for my upcoming blog: "A White Persons Guide To Reggae!" Coming soon [but not too soon] .....
Warning: Christmas music can make you violent! Fa la la .......
America's Parent Television Council [?!] in the US protests a 3 minute "sex montage" on the popular TV series "Sons of Anarchy", in which "bare bottoms" can be seen. Gimme a break! Don't get me wrong, it's one of my favourite TV shows. However, isn't it odd that there isn't a boo over all the very graphic violence but just don't dare show a bare bum @ Bummer!
Sons Of Anarchy: ummm ..... violence is ok but no bare bottoms boys!!!