Opening Statement



Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Guest Blog: Democracy in OECTA [Part 2]


Since my last blog “Democracy in OECTA?” [ LINK ] nothing has happened that would change my opinion. Instead, OECTA Provincial is steadily digging its own grave deeper. There was evidently not enough leadership in OECTA provincial to remedy its summary wrongful dismissal of elected President Richard Brock of Halton Elementary unit, this past August. Instead; this OECTA debacle has escalated into an expensive court case with OECTA Provincial having all of our member dues at its disposal and the multi-million dollar strike contingency fund. 



To alleviate this obvious power/financial imbalance Halton Elementary Unit gallantly set up a legal trust fund for the defence of President Richard Brock (whose only crime was looking out for his unit members’ interests and rights as he was elected to do). Rather than being thanked as one might expect, Halton Elementary Unit is now being actively persecuted and blacklisted for having dared to try to help their President (who had been re-elected for a period of 20 years). Halton Unit is seemingly being targeted by OECTA Provincial as an example of what happens to “bad” units, who support presidents that commit the “crime” of speaking out against bad “deals” by OECTA, and thus; who do not toe the OECTA Provincial line. Welcome to the “Catholic” “Teachers’” “Union” which increasingly resembles the KGB of the old Soviet Union with its open reprisals against anyone in our union who appears to be pro-democracy or even pro-teachers. 

Instead of serving its mandate to protect the rights and interests of union members against exterior forces; OECTA Provincial is plainly attacking and persecuting its own union members and making a mockery of both unionism and Catholicity. One cannot but wonder who is minding the shop (what is left of it after the MOU of July, 2012) while our leaders spend their time, energy and our resources in such “worthy” endeavours. Perhaps, these present reprisals are aimed at ensuring that President Richard Brock runs out of funds before his case reaches the civil court; which would definitely not look upon OECTA Provincial’s increasingly shady dealings with amusement. The courts will undoubtedly regard this further violation of Richard’s civil rights and his rights as a member of this union with severity, and will likely also, look upon the blacklisting of his unit, as an attempt to undermine Richard’s legal rights and the integrity of the civil court proceedings, by silencing his supporters.

York President Liz Stuart says in her York Sentinel article “Challenging Times Ahead” [ LINK ], that “according to the handbook the Provincial Discipline Board is to be established, as are all provincial committees, by the Provincial Executive”. Members of Richard Brock’s “panel” were not selected by the provincial executive and the “trial” itself had many glaring irregularities.




A petition by our independent OECTA Justice Committee is still on line and open. A hard copy was put in the hands of President James Ryan on November 22nd, 2013 at a meeting with the OECTA Justice Committee.  The petition details facts about the case and documents member support for its remediationPETITION
    
Delegates to the upcoming AGM have an opportunity to vote to have Richard Brock restored to his rightful position as President of Halton Elementary and to let OECTA know what we think of their unsavoury tactics and abuse of power in a free vote on an Action Directive submitted by Halton before they came under attack by Provincial.

The Action Directive put forward by Halton Elementary reads:

[132 Action Directive, page 80 (Halton Elementary]

Simple Majority

"That the Association annual general meeting 2014 declare null and void the August 29, 2013 decision of the discipline panel. That Richard Brock immediately be re-instated as duly elected president of Halton Elementary unit with the restoration of all rights and privileges of membership. That the respondents be reimbursed for the costs incurred, damages, lost wages and the inconvenience arising from the wrongful action".

Rationale: The Supreme Body, the AGM, in recognizing the errors in process, can overrule the entire handbook and reverse the decision of the discipline board with one simple majority vote by the member delegates.



This can be done by AGM delegates and must be done in my view to save any integrity that OECTA still possesses. Ask yourselves the following question:

Do we as delegates want OECTA Provincial to get away with assuming the powers of a dictatorship or an oligarchy? This is the issue, and the Richard Brock and Halton Elementary unit cases; are just a microcosm of this issue which must be dealt with here and now if our OECTA can survive as a viable union ruled by the wishes of its due-paying members. 

Please show Provincial that we know who has the ultimate authority in our union and that the executive is responsible for its mistakes, by voting in favour of Action Directive 132. Justice must be done and be seen to be done, if our organization is to have any credibility.
For a discussion on the issue of democracy in our union see @ Reinstate Richard Brock


P. Spearns
OECTA Staff Representative

Mary Ward CSS

Friday, 21 February 2014

Hudak: No Right to Work for Less?!?


Provincial Conservative [PC] Party Leader Tim Hudak claims he is renouncing Right 2 Work 4 Less [R2W4L]. It apparently is no longer a part of his economic platform. He has claimed he was going to remove the Rand formula, but no more ..... 



Hudak: Ya! Sure! I've seen the light! No Right 2 Work 4 Less! You bet ......

Listen! The man is a snake in the grass. He got his butt kicked by the unions on the R2W4L issue during the recent February 13 provincial by elections, when it became obvious it was a very unpopular issue. Still, he has his eyes on a likely spring provincial election. He will doubtlessly form a neo con cabinet if he wins. His MPP caucus and party movers + shakers are predominantly neo con. Don't doubt all deals will be off if he can fool enough people to get elected and form the next government. You can read the latest from Hudak @ No R2W4L?

I hope the OFL [Ontario Federation of Labour] keeps mobilizing Ontario's unions and creating public awareness that we are still ready to fight the R2W4L battle. We must not be lulled into complacency! The OFL is highly commended for the great job that was done in making R2W4L a BIG issue in the Feb 13 by elections. Rather than react, Ontario unionists have taken the pro active initiative to create a properly balanced and knowledgeable public mindset for when it comes to discussing this contentious and quite treacherous labour issue. 

The neo con name of the so called "Right to Work" policy is very false and misleading. It has nothing to do with us being able to get jobs. Rather it gives big business a free hand to roll back wages, undermine working conditions, strip contracts and go after your health care benefits and pension. "Right to Work" sounds like a motherhood issue! Who could possibly be against it?!? As a result a false anti union perception is created in the public mind. That is how the issue is being fought by the neo con interests, both here in Canada and in the United States. 

Ontario's unions have succeeded in reframing + exposing the supposed "Right to Work" as the "Right to Work for Less" con game that it really is. By renaming it as such, it can be effectively defanged. This is no small achievement! Larger union movements in other jurisdictions [Michigan, Wisconsin etc. etc. etc.] have suffered when that was not the case. A new "doable" standard and template has been set! Bravo!

By removing the Rand formula in Ontario, Hudak knows he can effectively stop unions from collecting fees and being able to represent the interests of the members. By making it hard to unionize, and negotiate on behalf of our Ontario workers + professionals Hudak could do as he pleases to roll labour conditions back into the 1800's. 

Do not doubt that still is foremost in PC Party Leader Hudak's mind! It is an integral part of his neo con strategy and agenda regardless of whatever he is saying now!

Beware!

In Solidarity!

David C

Some Backgrounders:

You can read about the troubled history of Hudak and his Right to Work con game going back to last summer, matter of fact right back to the Harris Years @ The Story So Far ...

My by-election coverage also included many useful links to help trace the story as it has recently unfolded @ Feb 13 By Election coverage!

The OFL has been planning to host a further meeting to discuss union strategy for stopping Tim Hudak + his neo con agenda. It's scheduled for Feb 27. All of Ontario's unions and local units are invited. Let's hope they don't change their plans! We are not out of the woods yet! Details are @ Here!

PC Hudak's US style "Right to Work" policy, if pursued, would encounter some very serious legal problems here in Ontario due to the Rand formula. Tim was planning to try using it as a wedge issue in the next provincial election. However he has had to keep details about the "new law" that he would also need to pass once he gets elected as vague as possible. Now it has become quite clear that voters don't want all the hassles + labour strife this would create. Still, one would be wise to consider this previous news story in light of his recent apparent "change of heart" + proceed with caution Rand

Here is Doorey's Law of Work blog. It provides a useful, insightful legal perspective on Right to Work issue in Ontario @ RTW4L?

Here is why we need a unionized workforce @ Reasons?

The News Reports

Doorey's Law of Work blog looks at the language in Hudaks statement + warns nothing might have changed at allDisingenuous!

Martin Regg Cohn critiques Hudak's Right to Work for Less policy noting it would've allowed workers to either negotiate their contracts by themselves or through the union with their employer. It obviously wasn't very well thought out and could've easily been picked apart in an election. It wouldn't work politically, economically or legally. He questions Hudak's judgement. Hudak still believes in Right 2 Work. He even said as much at the same time as he "renounced" his "policy" after doggedly hanging onto it for 2 years @ Toronto Star

Unifor warns Hudak's intentions are still quite unclear @ More PC BS?

The OFL [Ontario Federation of Labour] makes it quite clear they will not be stepping down from their campaign. Hudak is not to be trusted or believed. He is only trying to further hiding his agenda from voters in anticipation of the election campaign ahead. Sid Ryan's statement + more @ OFL Speaks!

The OFL will be continuing it's Rights at Work campaign with meetings across the province in the weeks ahead. A schedule along with more info, documentation, handouts and other download able materials are available @ Rights at Work!

Press Progress reminds us that R2W4L was only one of the neo con planks in his election platform @ More!






COMMENTS:

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Welcome New Readers! Some Blog Notes!



Welcome! I'm happily surprised by the number of new site readers here in Ontario, across Canada, the US + UK etc. etc. etc. Here's a few notes to help make it easier to navigate my site: 

This is an independent all affiliate Ontario teacher union blogsite. You can read the header at the top of my site for more info. Perhaps some of the acronyms and terms are new to you? My Teacher + Union Blog Acronym Dictionary isHere!

I regularly post a monthly ongoing Teacher News + Views blog. It's divided into sections: Teacher + Union/ Party Politics/ In Other News + Culture Kult Ink. New additions will be added under each section over the course of the month. The latest are usually written in large typeset to make them easier to find at a glance. My ongoing Teacher February News + Views links are There!


This is a teacher free speech site! I regularly post my own point of view on any number of relevant issues. You can comment below. All points of view are welcome, to make for a healthy, constructive and challenging forum. Treat each other with respect, and provide examples + proof where appropriate to back up any controversial claims you might want to make. I interfere as little as possible as moderator. Our open discussions have tended to achieve their own sense of balance over time. You will find the Comment link below each blog. 

My 2 most recent think pieces were on the state of our teacher unions going into the 2014 contract year @  Collective Bargaining!? Also on the Ontario teachers unions endorsement and support strategy for a possible provincial spring election @ Provincial Politics



Guest blogs are always welcome. Challenge us with something interesting! It would be great to hear from those of you outside Ontario and around the world about the situation where you are. Details for guest blogs are @ Welcome!

Yes! I am Toronto born + bred. I have lived here all my life. You will find my ongoing coverage of Cracked: The Toronto Mayor Rob Ford Story goes way back. The latest, with links to my previous Ford blogs isOur Rob!

Kulture Kult Inclinations are favourite topics of mine. Besides the section in each News + Views blog, there will be separate articles on stories of interest. This year is the 50th Anniversary of Beatlemania, so there have been a number of articles on Beatlemania 1964, the Beatles albums, John Lennon + so on. More will follow. A good introduction isYeah! Yeah! Yeah!



My teacher archives is below this blog column. You can go back to 2011 by year + month to find postings of interest about what was happening at the time. There are well over 450 blogs listed there. Please explore as you will. If you subscribe to my Twitter hashtag, I will regularly send out news updates and relevant archive links. My hashtag is

#davidchiarelli

There are also music reviews, top ten lists and all sorts of pictures +  features of interest. Explore the sidebars and below the blogs some time when you get the chance. I trust you might find it interesting and amusing. All work + no play make for sad boys and girls. Teachers + unionists are no different.

If you like my blog please retweet my link in solidarity. There is a Twitter button on the top left side of the page or you can retweet my tweets.

Cheers!/
Solidarity!

David C

COMMENTS!

Friday, 14 February 2014

By Election Results: There's Got To Be A Mourning After!

Ongoing Teacher February News + views links are @ There!
My Teacher + Union blog acronym dictionary is @ Here!
Election news coverage up until the this blog are @ There! 
Regular Teacher February News + views links are @ Here!


NDP Wayne gates breaks OLP's 10 year hold on Niagara Falls!

RESULTS:

Niagara Falls: NDP=40% / PC=36% / OLP=18%
Thornhill: PC=49% / OLP=40% / NDP= 7%

We know the winners. These are approximate percentages. Elections Ontario is still tracking the final count. You can see and crunch the exact numbers @ The Elections Ontario Website

Here's one way of looking at the seat results in term of seat losses or gains at Queens Park [QP]: NDP +1/ PC 0/ OLP -1


NEWS ANALYSIS:

The by election losses are a double whammy for the Wynne OLP @ The Globe + Mail

Two crushing defeats do not bode well for the Wynne Liberals @ Canadian Press

TVO's Steve Paikin claims we've seen this movie before @ TVO

TVO Agenda's Story of the Week will include a by election discussion between Piya Chattopadhyay + the Toronto Star's Martin Regg Cohen. This blog is not in the business of selling online subscriptions for the Toronto Star. I've used up my 20 free links this month. However, Cohen can be quite insightful at times. If you'd like to watch, details on the upcoming show are @ TVO Agenda Week in Review

My by election coverage up to and including last nights leader victory/ concession speeches is @ HERE!

THE MOURNING AFTER:

Hudak Press Conference [10:30 am]: An angry, quite melodramatic Provincial Conservative [PC] Party leader Tim Hudak, wearing the best thin veneer of faux choirboy despair throws his hands in the air. He declares the PCs would've won in Niagara Falls if it weren't for the big unions. He announces a new Working Family Exposed website. It will expose "Working Families", a union elite conspiracy whom he claims are running the political show in Ontario. They only want the OLP +NDP in their back pockets so they can make more money for themselves and workers. As a result Niagara Falls, which is a PC riding [in his words] was not an equal playing field or else the PC's would have won.


How much does the PC party hate workers + their families?

An incredulous reporter jumps on Hudak's argument right away. He points out that Hudak is just using this post election media debriefing to promote a new website so he can launch another attack on labour. Didn't this backfire on him all ready during the by elections? He created an anti union "Right to Work" issue, or "whatever" he "wants to call it", as the reporter notes, and it backfired on him last night. Voters did not respond positively. It even badly alienated many of his own party supporters. Hudak adamantly rejects this argument; "No, no no ....."

Analysis: It would seem "political lobbys" and "special interest groups" are okay to Tim Hudak as long as they are big business + conservative. I have to laugh at Hudak's apparent dismay. His cartoon portrayal of working family issues as just an attempt to make more money for the big union bosses and greedy workers is ludicrous. It will appeal to his hardcore neo con supporters, but they support him all ready. Hudak's R2W4L [Right 2 Work 4 Less] has not proven to be a likely provincial election winner in gaining enough of the soft vote to break through the 38% glass ceiling he has all ready long reached within the polls. Hopefully his numbers will continue to bounce back and forth beneath that ceiling further exacerbating the frustrating divide within his party ranks. It seems unlikely he will make a breakthrough with his current anti union bogeyman path of attack in order to be able to form the government. That is an incredibly pigheaded, obstinate course of action to pursue in a possible spring election against a Liberal Party who's shelf life has long expired, and is facing a provincial election that could well be his for the taking.

I was glad to see the unions seize the agenda and set the tone for Hudak's "Right 2 Work 4 Less" [R2W4L] issue, rather than be in a position of reacting to such issues as has usually been the case in the past. It has obviously been very successful. If in doubt, just look at how royally p.o'ed Hudak is at being beat at his own game!

Bravo! However, one must be careful. If Hudak is smart he will find a way to rejig this debate for the next provincial election. If not it will continue to severely split and handicap his party from within. Moreover the R2W4L issue does not look like an election vote winner for the Hudak PC's. This wouldn't be the first time the Ontario PCs have shot themselves in the foot! Or snatched defeat from the jaws of victory, so to speak!  Remember though: the by elections were merely but a dry run for the big provincial one that will be sooner or later coming up! 

MY coverage of the Right 2 Work 4 Less issue as it unfolded during the by elections is @ HERE!


[11:25 am]. New Democratic Party Leader Andrea Horwath's media debriefing: She provides an overview of the party emphasis on creating jobs for working people.  Andrea attacks the Liberal policies, and notes they reward Corporate CEO's by helping them to make profits while the average family suffers. The needs of working families should be at the centre of the province's focus. Niagara needs jobs. That is what the NDP will focus on in the riding, and across the province.

A reporter notes the NDP Niagara win was slim, despite the help of union canvassers. "Horwathmania" is evidently not sweeping Ontario. Will she prop up the Liberal government again in the spring budget? Is a provincial election the best bet for the NDP? Horwath argues she will not focus on election fever like the other parties but upon the needs of the people of the province. She wants to see what she can do for them with the spring budget rather than speculate on a non confidence vote.

Analysis: By elections are the NDP's forte and Niagara Falls has turned out to be no exception. It's extremely high unemployment rate, the highest in the province I believe, makes the riding choice NDP pickings. Hudak can think what he will, the riding was held by the OLP for the last 10 years. After all is said and done, neither the PC's nor the OLP could win the day here.

It is also interesting how Hudak's R2W4L policy galvanized union NDP support with the full blast of venom thrown at us here. The shift towards supporting the NDP in London + Waterloo last year also readily emphasizes how badly the OLP has alienated it's once loyal union support. Let's face it, we got screwed with the MOU, and there has been little change since, despite all the fine talk. The 2014 provincial contract offer is tucked away hidden until the provincial election prospects seem clear. The MOE has all but ignored the school boards when they refuse to implement the terms of the MOU, especially at the Catholic schools.

Obviously McGuinty took a gamble with the MOU in 2012. It behooves the teacher unions, IMHO, to realize that the OLP needs us as much as we need them, if re-elected to keep the neo con PC's at bay. If it's chicken they want to play, well that should go both ways. The teacher unions, OECTA in particular, need to show more spine and only endorse NDP candidates whenever an NDP win seems possible. At best we need to keep our fighter jets on deck, so to speak, by not attacking the OLP in a no win NDP situation.

For what its worth, on my blogsite I would support the Doug Little Report provincial election strategy proposal, along similar lines, with the possible exception being that I don't think the teacher unions should endorse the OLP at all, though I can see where that might not be wise in a very close OLP PC fight. I will still want to consider that some more. Any constructive Comments are much appreciated. In the meantime you can read the Doug Little Report over while carefully considering it yourself @ Doug Little Report

[11:35am] Premier Wynne's is questioned at a media scrum after an Ottawa aerospace plant funding announcement: Wynne claims the "dynamics" in each riding last night were different, each has "their own reality". She understands voters "appetite for change", the Ontario Liberal Party [OLP] has been in office for 10 years. She repeats her mantra from last night's concession speech in Thornhill; "I am the change." Voters will see the OLP's new plan and trajectory with businesses and communities across Ontario in the next general election.


Kathleen: No really, nobody was watching or cared!

Wynne is questioned about whether she is wearing rose coloured glasses. The OLP lost 2 by elections last night. She claims she is a realist. Last night she visited the losing candidates, and thanked them for their terrific team job in continuing to implement the new party plan. Not everybody was watching the by elections. Most people in Ontario are more concerned about her efforts to create jobs like she is doing this morning. Her job is to work to make their lives better by helping provide more jobs, as in today's case in the Ottawa aerospace industry.


 
Wynne is questioned about why she is referring to a general election. She replies that's what she is always being asked about by the media. By elections are not the same as a general provincial election, so she can't extrapolate about the results of last nights vote. The OLP is in a minority government  position. Many didn't think she'd still be around a year ago, but here she is. She will continue to focus on the needs of Ontarians.

Analysis: This truly is the by election "mourning after". When I first met Kathleen Wynne during her first successful 2003 OLP Don Valley West campaign it was my opinion that she could have pretty much as easily run for the OLP or the NDP. I do believe she is a pragmatist, and for a long time, as assistant to and as our Education Minister, a lot of good work was accomplished with our teachers. In relative terms, until 2012 it might even be considered a golden period, but no more.

Premier Wynne's mantra that "I am change" is a pretty tall order, not one that I would doubt in and of itself. However, the bottom line is that she is stuck with a train wreck of a party. It is most unfortunate that she is left holding the dreck, and I doubt she has much wiggle room, even within her own party ranks with it's various competing interests and their often quite contentious "advisors".  

Quite frankly I don't see any concrete OLP "new plan and trajectory". With the teacher unions it is still, a year after she won the OLP leadership race, all words. In today's comments Kathleen engaged in a lot of platitudes about voters seeing all the good work she wishes to do. Unless the PC's screw up, that will not win her the next election. Dirty fighting might well not win the PC's a majority government. Nor will being seen as a good person, however true that might well be, keep her in power.

A by election is not necessarily a good indicator of a parties strength, but in politics perceptions are reality as far as most voters are concerned. After three bruising rounds of by election losses, fought alone without her teacher union support, the writing should be clearly visible on the wall for the OLP to see.

The teacher unions have little option but to play hardball with Premier Wynne and the OLP. Although the risks are high, for both sides, its high time to suck it up and not accept any more fig leaves or future promises.  IMHO its always better to go down fighting and take an honour guard along rather than grovel and kiss boot. That time is now upon us. The ultimate question of success though will be whether all the teacher unions have the fortitude and spine to take on the Liberals at their own game and see it through. Do they?

Neither the PC's, the NDP or the OLP have very much chance of forming a government majority at this point in time, nor as the polls suggest has this been the case for quite some time. If its a minority government that Ontario is stuck with then so be it. That is not necessarily a bad thing, far from it. On the other hand any further support for the OLP, as things now stand for the conceivable future, most certainly is. Andrea Horwath seems to understand and use the OLP's desperate situation quite well. It's high time all the teacher unions do too!

COMMENTS: 

Friday, 7 February 2014

Canada: Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics!


Here are some good live online links to watch, listen or read about Canada's medal wins at the Winter Olympic's in Sochi:

Here's a page of links to Canada's top moments at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics @ Best of Canada!

Read about, watch or listen to the Canada Olympic news round the clock online @ Tsn.ca Live Feed!

You can follow the Canadian medal count, latest breaking news + info on our athletes via the Official Canadian Olympic Website @ We own the Podium!

Another excellent spot to keep checking for a running count of the medals is @
Huffington



Canada Men's Hockey Gold on Feb 23 in a 3-0 shut out against Sweden!




Canadian Men's team beat US in Friday hockey semi final Friday Feb 2! Details @ Hockey!



Canadian Women's hockey team wins Gold for 4th time in a row on Feb 20!



Canada Women's hockey team above!




Excitement as Team Canada men's hockey team moves into the semi finals Feb 19!



Canadians take silver in Ice dancing Feb 17.


Canadian silver in men's figure skating Feb 14th


Canadian silver in Men's 1000 Metre Speed Skating Feb 12!


Canada takes Gold + Silver in Men's Mogul Mon Feb 10 at Sochi!

Although it's only lunch time Friday Feb 7 here in Toronto Canada, the 2014 Russian Winter Olympic opening ceremonies have all ready commenced due to the time change. They are recreating the history of Russia. I look forward to seeing how they represent the 20th century: Lenin, Stalin, WW2, the Cold War, + the Soviet Collapse!


Canada takes Gold + Silver in Women's Mogul Saturday Feb 8!

A REPORT ON THE OPENING CEREMONIES + SOME THOUGHTS ON THE UPCOMING TORONTO PAM AM GAMES FOLLOWS BELOW:

Retirement is great. I am sitting on my couch, still in my pyjamas with a coffee while it's freezing f'ing cold outside. Ha. Maybe I'll go out for dinner tonight. Dunno. I had planned to watch the opening ceremonies this evening but it's on now. Wonder what the networks will do for this evening for everybody else when they get home from work? Maybe you can set up a t.v. in the staff room?


Canuck team officially arrives at Sochi!

Right now they are performing an interpretive dance of War + Peace. Hmmm. That was kind of a long book wasn't it?!? The could cut this as far as I'm concerned, but it is quite the spectacle.



What I saw: The Russian Revolution: a dance of people + machines. Floating abstract shapes. Better than it sounds .... a very short clip @ Abstract Communism?


Skips to WW2. A bomber sound. Now lots of rebuilding: a big construction worker thingie. Young Pioneers. Everybody dressed the same...... oooh! Cosmonauts marching with a big rocket. I  like!  A red square parade: An abstract hammer + sickle floats by. Folks are dancing to rock + roll while policemen try to wave them away. Red Army chorus singing Moscow bights. Armies of women with baby carriages. Lots of fast construction and everybody running everywhere. They spread out to form two huge circles as the floor clears. A little girl floats away holding a balloon.

Historical revisionism is always very dicey at best but I'd give this a solid A+ for presentation + symbolism. Yup.


Sochi.ru online broadcasts also here!

Huffington Post reports + includes photos from the ceremonies @ Huffington


NASA photo: Sochi from earth orbit! Tres kool eh?

Some other notes:


OMG?! Some Russian attitudes might shock us, but let's look more carefully ... A sexist ad? If we say she is gay would that make it ok here?

There has been lots of criticism of the Sochi Olympic preparations. It even continued right through the opening ceremony today when one display didn't light up correctly. OK folks. Fair is fair. But just wait until the Pan American Games come to Toronto next year! Brace yourself! Have you actually seen many preparations under way? Ohhh! By the way, what about transportation?! NOTHING is in place as City Hall continues to argue about subways. We can't even efficiently move around 1.5 million Toronto commuters now. How about if we add another million visitors?!?


Funny bathrooms eh? But Pan American visitors won't be laughing about Toronto transit next year!

Then as far as human rights go how about our aboriginie reservations eh? Third world or what? Genocide, you say? No? Others might .......

There are problems in Russia.address some relevant ones here on my blogsite. But please, let's keep it in perspective and enjoy the games. Here's a litany of Rooskie complaints, rather comical, so ha ha  ha but ...... Remember! See @ We are next!


Toronto prepares for Pan American games? Oh wait! This is in Sochi?!

So you think they are backwards in Russia eh? Check it out:

Gay Pride flag raised at Toronto City Hall, like in many Canadian municipalities during the Olympics. Mayor Rob Ford wants it removed @ Gay Pride Flag

Gay Pride flag is raised at Ottawa City Hall for duration of the Socha Winter Olympics. An interesting Twitter exchange!


Advocate.com reports on 22 famous LGBT gay Russians President Vladimir Putin shouldn't forget @ Russian pride

AT+T telcom speaks out against gay discrimination in Russia. Many sponsors are hesitant because it might not help their business prospects in the country. However, this article claims that if more do it's possible the games might not be awarded to countries with discriminatory polities in the future. Then that means better chances for us??? Yup. We are just so caring and concerned in the west eh? No? @ Sochi 2014

Russian fake lesbian duo t.A.T.u are reportedly to perform at opening ceremonies seemingly to deflect gay discrimination issue @ t.A.T.u.


Jah! Even fake lesbian women in Russia must live in dump today! No care can sing!

Ready for action! Terrorist threats are a big ongoing Sochi concern. Will something bad happen? Really, these days it's anybody's guess. Russia is taking great precautions. See below:


We could be in for an interesting 19 days ahead!

COMMENTS:

Thursday, 6 February 2014

By Election Right 2 Work 4 Less Issue Explodes!


My regular ongoing by election news coverage is @ Here! My blog acronym dictionary is @ There! My by election results blog is @ Here!


Harris + Hudak! Tim is Him! Tim's wife Deb Hutton [in background] was a key Harris political architect. Now they are working together with Mike again to finish the job + stick it to you!

It looks like the Right 2 Work 4 Less issue is about to blow up in PC Party leader Tim Hudak's face as we enter the last week of the February 13th election race. Let's hope it turns out to be bad luck for him! Hudak would like nothing more than to run in the next provincial election on the issue despite warnings and dissent from within the party. However, it looks like he is being strongly encouraged to cool it and lay low! Should he wins the next provincial election though make no doubt, he is going to use it to kick your union butt and send pay, benefits and working conditions in Ontario back into the stone age. I am creating a separate blog for the issue since it has really exploded this week in the Niagara by election. Here's the story so far but .......

First things first:

Vote! CBC's poll on Tim Hudak's "Right to Work" policy:

Should Ontario adopt Right to Work Legislation? @ Poll

Here's a good week's review on Hudak's Right 2 Work 4 Less debacle @ Windsor Star

Vote in the Windsor Star Right 2 Work poll. Last time I checked it was close! See @ Windsor Star Online Poll


When you see a call for a leadership review in the Toronto Sun, you know the knives are back out for Tim, not for the same reasons as we'd have of course, but the heat is obviously back on. See below for more proof. Also the Sun @ On the ropes?

Right 2 Work 4 Less has become a Niagara by election issue PC party leader Hudak + candidate Bart Maves won't address! Could it be Hudak's "Faith Based School" torpedo? Remember what happened to former Tory leader John Tory when that became the big issue in the 2007 provincial election? Seems Timbo finally might @ Lots of Coy BS!

Hudak was getting hammered all day [Thursday Feb 7] on RTW4L by the media in Toronto. Keeps saying he just wants to "modernize labour laws". The OLP Labour minister goes on the offensive, notes Hudak's plan will only drive down wages @ Offensive/ defensive

Here are the 3 party candidates' position on Right 2 Work 4 Less in Niagara @ WTR4L

Ironies of ironies! In 1997 young buck Bart Maves spoke out at QP against RTW4L and explained why. Suddenly it seems the cats got his tongue @ What's up Bart?

The OLP have slipped this video link into the by election mix. At the summer PC Policy Convention in Toronto PC's MPP John O'Toole warned Hudak + the party faithful that RTW4L could be a sensitive enough issue to cost them the next election. He even went so far as to note that if anyone mentions the word "Wisconsin" the PC's could be "screwed". See + hear O'Toole @ Wisconsin North?


Hello Wisconsin North! Would Ontario vote 4 Hudak's plan if he told the truth?!

A leaked document surfaced today in which 11 PC candidates from across Ontario worry about Hudak's approach to Right to Work 4 Less. They lay out a plan for him to "massage" it so they can win across the province, especially up north. Typical Tory scheming but quite diabolical none the less. Check out the PC mindset @ Toronto Star


PC's were at loggerheads over the issue at the Sept. policy conference, a Jan 22 conference call of 300 party stalwarts + now the letter. O'Toole has said they should use the catch phrase "strengthening workplace democracy" instead but it would seem the cats out of the bag, so to speak. Updated story @ Toronto Star

I've heard that Hudak will hold a caucus meeting in Toronto Friday [Feb 7th]. Hmmmm. Let's hope he is obstinate and pigheaded, but regardless, whatever he comes up with now, is he to be believed?

PC centralists are hammering Hudak to behave like Bill Davis, a moderate, or they will remain stuck way out far right in the political wilderness @ Hamilton Spectator

Hudak can keep trying to rejig his semantics but it's blatantly clear he isn't backing down on his Right 2 Work 4 Less plans, nor will he engage in an intelligent debate to explain his position, because quite frankly it can't be done in an honest upfront manner @ Hudak digs in his heels

Backgrounder: The story so far!

Early in the by election our brave Timbo evoked former NDP Premier Bob Rae and the OLP/NDP "government union" coalition as his opening volley @ Pre Harris

However Hudak soon seemed to be floating a trial balloon that he might dump his anti union Right To Work For Less [RTWFL] Policy. A Globe + Mail article suggests it's to make him more palatable to voters. I'd be soooooooo careful of Timbo here! This has BS written all over it @ Sees the Light?! No!

Scott Stinson weighs in. Timbo left out Right to Work 4 Less in his Million Dollar Man speech at the Empire club last Tuesday as the by elections kicked off in earnest. It's good timing from his perspective to play down the unpopular issue and steal some union thunder, but it hardly means RTW4L is out for the count. Story @ Globe + Mail

Is Hudak softening on RTW4L? Make no mistake it's a by election ruse! All signs are Timbo thinks the Rand formula will make the perfect wedge issue in the next provincial election @ Star's Cohn

A snake in the grass? At the same time the trial balloon story appears Timbo fires PC candidate nominee Dave Brister for speaking out against his RTW4L platform @ Can't have it both ways ... or can he!

Dave Brister Fired? Follow the twitter trail for some telling Tory intrigues @ Tweet! Tweet!

Here's former PC candidate Dave Brister speaking out on how he was fired by Tim Hudak because he was against the parties RTW4L policy. He says voters have a right to know what they are getting with Tim Hudak. Here's the CTV news video Timbo would rather you didn't see @ Timbo: You're Fired!

Hudak's PC Party: No free speech allowed! Hmmm. Sounds familiar to us as grass root teachers eh?! Story @ Blister

A Forum poll shows support for the PC's RTW4L policy is down. Article @ Polling numbers


Timbo + the Thornhill PC Candidate Gila: Make the poor pay?! Who needs a minimum wage hike anyway???? It's not necessary for Hudak's PC's! The Gila Monster doesn't mind mimicking his platitudes. Mave's obviously agreed to clam up. More later.

Since the Brister story broke Hudak has been increasingly on the run. UNIFOR President challenged him to a public debate on the RTW4L [Right to Work 4 Less] issue so we can finally get it out in the open for all to see. Looks like Timbo's a chicken shit though. No wonder! He's got a lot to hide! More @ Tim won't debate!

Truth be told, Hudak's US style RTW4L policy would hit some very serious legal problems in Ontario due to the Rand formula. If Tim can tie in his plan as a credible solution for the economic crisis he might be able to create a wedge issue out of it in the next provincial election. However it would be best to keep details on the "new law" he would need to pass afterwards as vague as possible. Also, would Ontarians want all the hassles + labour strife RTW4L would create? Story @ Rand

Here is Doorey's Law of Work blog with a legal perspective on Right to Work in Ontario @ RTW4L?

Timbo and US style education reform? How the Canadian and US school systems are very different @ Not the same!

Made in the USA: That's Tim Hudak's plan to cut your teacher wages + benefits. Check out what happened to our colleagues stateside with the so called "Right to Work" laws. This is an excellent OPSEU video! Please share link @ Michigan Ontario?

The Orwellian named "Right to Work" neo con formula has its roots in the US deep south segregationist movement after WW2. History lesson @ Didn't like blacks or unions!

UNIFOR ratchets up it's campaign against PC Hudak's Right to Work for Less party platform. Good. Best defence is a strong offence @ UNIFOR


OPSEU's Smokey Thomas wants to talk but Tim says no! Wonder why? see below:

Timbo has been targeting OPSEU! Now it can be told: He even admits he has a big mouth, no talent, and that's why he got into politics! Seriously! That's a quote worth remembering! He then goes on to prove it by refusing to debate OPSEU President Smokey Thomas on RTW4L + his recent OPSEU comments. How did he get himself into so much shit? Hudak recently implied the union has organized crime ties. There has never been any accusations or proof of this before. When called on it he refuses to discuss the issues he's raised any further! Story @ Bizarre!

Hey, we examine all points of view on my blogsite. I have mine but you have a brain. You can think for yourself. Okay now, read this: a neo con defends Right to Work. Unions hate it, and worker freedom, because they only want to take their money. And if you believe that can I interest you in buying some private property in Cuba?!? Ha. Okay. Okay. Here it is @ Canada Free Press


Support OPSEU in the good fight! T-shirt available in men + womens' styles @ OPSEU Store

Timbo's Wisconsin North? Remember, RTW4L only passed by 53% at last September's PC Policy Convention. Tim has stuck to his guns even though the party is quit obviously badly split on the issue. I suppose he could do an about face now, or more likely just say he is, but what would his US puppet meisters think?!? Story @ 53% PC support


What exactly can we expect here in Ontario if Hudak's PCs do manage to form the next provincial government?  Many of our younger teachers missed out on the "Great Tory Demise of 2003". Our province's teachers from all the affiliates fought for 7 hard years to defeat the PC Premier Mike Harris government. During that time our life was a living hell. Harris was personally attacking teachers with extreme prejudice nightly on party sponsored commercial "foreside chats" + in the news. It was open season on every aspect of our profession. Had the PC's not been tossed from office in 2003, we would've been toast! You do NOT want to go through this again! The following interview link is very instructional. Mike ruminates on his fight with teacher "bully's" during the "Harris Years". Fortunately Steve Paikin really takes him to task on his strategy + tactics in this 2010 TVO agenda video clip. See Harris at work @ The Politics of Division

Tim is him! He's also got a lot more than just RTW4L to hide as becomes readily apparent the deeper we dig. Remember the PC infighting last summer? Hudak has 2 party caucus'. There's the official one at Queens Park and his secret Harris caucus which is actually calling the shots. I reported about Hudak's secret "Harris cabinet" at length with news links at the time. The blog might well now be especially worth a reread @ Behind the PC Scenes!


Toronto Life did a very insightful article on the Tim Hudak story, outlining his connections and so forth, that is also well worth a gander. Read @ Toronto Life


Birds of a feather stick together: Who is Tim Hudak + What makes him tick?


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