TEACHER + UNION
ETFO public elementary teachers issue a comprehensive call to action on the ongoing, pressing issue of violence in our Ontario schools. Mental health, incident reporting and the need for proper, adequate Special Education supports are all addressed in a straightforward and often overlooked manner @ ETFO
OSSTF Public Secondary School Teacher President Paul Elliot's statement on the Quebec City shootings is @ OSSTF
Not So Safe Schools For Teachers and Staff: EA's [Educational Assistants] across Canada regularly get attacked and assaulted as a part of their job. Few of us even know or seem to care about the situation. Here's a good firsthand account of what our EA's are expected to put up with everyday @ EF
One School System? Fraser Institute study argues that our publicly funded, Ontario, Catholic school system is largely a "political decision". It could be fairly easily reversed with a legislative amendment to our Constitution, if the will is there @ MN
"In The Liberal Pocket" or "Bill 115 Follow Up": For shame! OECTA Catholic teachers reach a tentative contract extension deal with the notorious teacher bashing Wynne Liberals! Concessions, concessions, concessions .... real and figurative @ Star
Ontario MOE [Ministry Of Education] continues to try to negotiate teacher union contract extensions beyond the next very problematic provincial election. The besieged Liberal government must go to the polls by June 7, 2018. A tentative deal has been struck with the provinces 10,000 AEFO French language teachers. Also perhaps, some individual Unifor support staff units. So far, I have only been able to confirm that OSSTF has broken off the contentious talks. More @ CTV
NSTU [Nova Scotia Teacher Union] has again recommended a tentative agreement with the provincial government to their 9,300 members, the third so far. Work to rule is being phased out prior to the Feb. 8th ratification vote. Let's see if the union are finally listening to their grass root teacher members @ CTV
Ontario Teacher/ Support Staff Unions Take Note!
Nova Scotia teachers resume Work to Rule as member discontent with many of the terms, and confusion from the premier's office over key details, suggest it's far from a done deal come the Feb. 8th ratification vote @ CBC
Here's why the grass root members are pissed off with the latest union "deal" @ CBC
Welcome to Canada eh? A helpful campus guide for American students' thinking of fleeing Trump by attending university in Canada; the pro's and con's @ Vice
Don't Laugh: Ryerson University, downtown Toronto reports a 62% spike in US undergraduate student applications now that Trump is Prez @ EyeOpener
Medical Cannabis: How will it be covered by our medical benefit programs at work once it's legalized? It's time to start planning properly now. This is worth repeating from my Oh Cannabis blog because I know a lot of my readers are involved in collective bargaining and the union movement. Something to think about @ MedReleaf
Windsor Ontario assembly line worker fights for his right to use prescription medical cannabis on the job. Note that his prescription is for a CBD hybrid which isn't okay, but mind numbing Fentalyn and Percocets are fine @ Star
What are your rights in Canada if you are fired from work because you require medical cannabis? Are accommodations in order? It's tricky but basically it should be treated like any other prescription drug! More @ Globe
How female students are targeted and recruited for the sex trade!
Traffickers target Canadian high school girls as sex trade worker recruits @ Star
Despite our reservations about many other aspect's of the Ontario Wynne government, they have passed some very leading edge social legislation. Now, if passed, Bill 26 will permit a work leave for victims of domestic violence, a first in Canada and many other jurisdictions @ McMillan
Right 2 Disconnect: A new French employment law allows workers to turn off their smart phones and not be disturbed outside of regular work hours. Burn out, unpaid overtime and the attendant home/family problems resulting from an "always on work culture" are cited. Attention CB'ers: Suppose we are too polite to insist upon this in Canada?!? @ Telesur
"Xmas [W]Rap" or "The 2016 Lump o' Coal Award": Over 1 million Canadian retail workers didn't earn a living wage working throughout the Christmas season, now receding for another year in our rear view shopping mirror. Not surprisingly, only 12% of them are unionized. Meanwhile, retailers continue to rake in billions in revenue without any inclination whatsoever to give them a fair shake! Fa la la @ PP
Please share: A teenager's guide to becoming an activist! OK protest kids! It's @ Affinity
TORONTO ONTARIO CANADA
Is Canadian Prime minister Justin Trudeau the last major progressive leader still standing on the world stage today? PS: We use the term progressive lightly! @ CBC
Trudeau verses Trump? Justin isn't Donald. Canada is not the USA. This should be really interesting @ CBC and @ Vice
New Year's Message: PM Justin Trudeau speaks out against "fear and division" pledging that he will focus on "what brings people together" during the year ahead. Sounds good, but we eagerly wait to see the "deliverology". Trudeau's recent announcement that he will go ahead with the western pipelines certainly gives pause for concern among our indigenous people. Also for those of us concerned about the environment, if not the Canadian and US oil interests. Sigh! At least he's not Donald Trump! See below ... Speech @ CBC
Immigration or "Canada is NOT The US": Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau responds to Trump's shocking immigration ban by reconfirming that refugee's are still welcome in Canada @ Ind
Trudeau government quickly confirms with Washington that Canadian "permanent residents" are exempt from Trump's immigration ban. Best bet? Use your Canadian passport ... More @ Star
Quebec Suspect: An Muslim Terrorist Threat?!? Ummmm .... he's white!
Trudeau succinctly describes the attack on a Quebec mosque in which 6 are killed as a "terrorist attack on Muslims". Boy, you can tell he isn't Donald Trump! More @ Reuters Read Trudeau's statement @ GC.CA More news updates @ Fox
Heart of White Darkness: A 27 year old white male university student is charged in the Quebec Mosque shootings. Of course, the media quickly label him a "lone wolf" and "online troll" assuaging fears that we white folks are equally capable of despicable racist/ terrorist acts .... er ... like those dreadful Muslim Islamist terrorists we hear so much about in the daily news! Oh, and by the way .... he is a Canuck Trump supporter, and is against Muslim immigration to Quebec too! Read @ Globe and @ CNN Critique @ ZeroHedge
Me Too! Me Too! Canadian mainstream media engages in "false news" stories as the Quebec Mosque shooting story breaks. Some reflections on the "common threads of intolerance" in Trumpland North @ Post
Dept-Of-Actions-Speak-Louder-Than-Words-But-Aren't-A- Substitute-For-Speaking-Out! The Trump White House quickly plays the Quebec Mosque shooting as a ludicrous justification for it's own controversial immigration ban. Justin frames the problem much more differently, nay appropriately for Canadians, but still can't quite take bully boy Trump to task @ Star
NAFTA: Consider the Canadian angle: President Trump's protectionist thrust has the world's free trading nations lining up to play negotiation hardball. The outcomes remain uncertain. Think of our trade agreements as a game of Jenga. No one piece, exists in isolation. Remove any and the whole darn thing, for all concerned, is in danger of coming toppling down! As far as free trade agreements go, that could be right on top of everybody's head, including US President Trump. Where does that leave Canada? With NAFTA? The TPP? More @ CBC
UNIFOR Bemoans Loss of 625 Ontario GM Auto Jobs To Mexico: Many Canadian businesses, unions as well as the Canadian government want positive changes to NAFTA. Why anyone would think Donald "Make-America-Great-Again" Trump wants to make NAFTA more profitable and create more jobs for us as Canadians, sorely misses the point @ Sun and @ CDN
PM Kevin O'Leary?!?
Into The Dragon Den We Go: Villain Millionaire Reality TV Star Kevin O'Leary enters the Canadian Conservative Party leadership race as a nefarious if not watered down version of Donald Trump North @ Yahoo!
Welcome to 2017: Here's an overview of the new tax and regulation changes that come into effect for Toronto and across Ontario. Hydro bills? Transit fares? Towing? Restaurant menus? Vacation package pricing? For better or worse, they are all affected @ BT
Road Tolls To Nowhere: Embattled Liberal Premier Wynne joins the NDP and PC's in opposing Toronto Mayor John "Flip-Flop" Tory's plans to introduced road tolls on the Gardiner Expressway/ 401. Now if she'd only stop playing footsies altogether with the Tory is a Tory is a John Tory @ Star
Under the Christmas radar: Among the holiday blur, our Canadian government finally admits that the $15 billion worth of armoured vehicles we are selling to the Saudi's could be used by the oil giant in it's brutal and unjust war against Yemen. With jobs on the line, even UNIFOR has been silent about the obvious moral contradiction vis a vis the blood on our hands from supporting a bloodthirsty tyrannical theocracy, in the troubled middle east @ Vice
Margaritaville North? We might joke that climate change could soon change Canada into a balmy hot weather getaway destination. But unfortunately it won't be healthy for people and other living things! With President Trump treating it like a hoax, how will the unfolding environmental crisis affect us here in the true north @ Vice
Toronto Police + Gay Pride: Close but no cigar!
Not Welcome: Toronto Police have been officially uninvited from marching in the Toronto Gay Pride Parade! Black Lives Matter Toronto has been actively pressing the issue since the 2016 march. Many local blacks, along with other disadvantaged and abused LGBTQ's of all colour and persuasions still feel uncomfortable with the police department's prominent presence in the yearly grand parade. Despite some notable attempts at redress, the wounds from the infamous Toronto Police bathhouse raids and the Cherry Beach beatings of years past, still run deep. Police union chief Mike McCormack's aggressive push back doesn't seem to be helping matters much either @ Vice
Red Alert: Timely report on how Canadian right wing interests used the police and media to thwart a duly elected NDP social democratic government in our Ontario economic heartland during the Bob Rae years in the early 90's. Many of us should remember that very well. Here we go again! Apply the same model to Alberta
today @ Globe
Gender Equality: On the first full day of the Trump presidency thousands of Toronto protesters gather at Queen's Park in solidarity with the Women's Washington March. They join over a million of their counterparts in protests across the US and around the world. Story @ Globe Video @ CP24
Canada is not the US, but here's 10 more reason's why we marched @ Now
No Balls? Perhaps with an eye to the upcoming Canada US NAFTA talks, the Trudeau government downplays a US decision to deny a group of Canadian women marchers entry at the border to join the Washington protest. The women are definitely wearing the pants here! @ Guardian
Canadian women join their US counterparts to explain why they felt it was important to join the march in Washington D.C. @ Cut
Ontario NDP's Andrea Horwath becomes the only main Ontario political party leader to join the Toronto protest outside the provincial legislature at Queen's Park. Lefty stalwart MPP Cheri Dinovo also made her services available from within the "Pink Palace" via Twitter. Our Premier Kathleen Wynne? Nowhere to be seen! Here's to Andrea and Cheri @ Getty
Night of the Living Dead: Former CPC PM Stephen Harper is reactivated for a Neo Con Canuck perspective on the Trump presidency. He makes shaded, guarded references to "global uncertainty". Love the side comments here @ Vice
IN THE NEWS
How to survive Donald Trump?!? Sigh! Alas! Worry not -kinda sorta .... Here's a practical guide that helps keep these troubling issues within a manageable perspective during very trying times. Interesting point -it's written by a Republican too! @ Politico
Read the transcript and/ or watch the video of President Trump's "populist" Inauguration speech @ CBC
Trump's Inaugural Speech portrays an alternate reality of a deep, dark Amerika wherein only he can save the "forgotten" @ Politico
Strictly An Amateur Apprentice: German Chancellor Angela Merkel has to explain the terms of the Geneva Accord to the Donald as waves of shock, anger and concern follow around the world in response to his plans to ban refugees from 7 countries; Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Sudan and Somalia @ Guardian
Trump Not Above the Law: ACLU [American Civil Liberties Authority] are issued an "emergency stay" putting President Trump's "executive order" for an immigration ban on hold, while the legalities or lack thereof are sorted out. Fortunately, in a constitutional democracy, even the president isn't above the law @ Yahoo
You're Fired: US Attorney General Sally Yates is removed from office by President Trump for contradicting his immigration ban. What did she do wrong?!? She wasn't convinced that the ban was lawful nor that it will hold up in court, so she wouldn't support it @ Guardian
Trump sparks a constitutional crisis the likes of which the US hasn't seen since Watergate in dismissing AG Sally Yates @ GQ and @ Guardian
Duh ... well I signed it real nice! Now everybody needs to obey!
Not Too Popular Here! The Women's March in Washington: some highlights and the view from Canada @ Globe
Ironically, President Trump might unwittingly be helping rally and revitalize the disparate US feminist movement. A sunny side to all the madness? Seems to me like the left often flourishes best in opposition @ Economist
Alt Right/ Alt Facts?!? Unbecoming Trump White House spat over the numbers attending his inauguration introduce a new term into our political lexicon; "alternative facts". They are quickly exposed as just "old fashioned lies", leading many to ponder why the Donald would so quickly undermine his important credibility as the new US President on such a trivial matter. Trumped @ Guardian
Food 4 Thought: Global trust in government and the mainstream media is at an all time low. Worldwide, the angry masses, rather than waking up, are instead being sidetracked, divided and conquered with virulent populist and nationalist appeals by their "leaders" @ ActivistPost
Fake News? Alt Facts? Nothing New! Bernie Sanders explains how corporate media threatens democracy!
Alas! There's nothing new under the sun! Seems fake news was okay up until now coz just the big boys were doing it. Without doubt, the mainstream news game is stacked! @ ITT
Post Truth Politics is Nothing New: Think WMD's [Weapon's of Mass Destruction] in Iraq! Or the DEA "Reefer Madness" fear mongering! Or the US's "free market goals" for Cuba! The list of lies goes on and on and on @ RT
Danger! It's a trap!
President Trump: For Americans the trap has already been set. The Trump presidency might even be crazier than expected -by design! Consider what might very well be really going on behind the Trump façade @ SCG
Comic hero Batman is the ONLY billionaire who ever dedicated his life to fighting for the little guy. Donald Trump is no Batman! The neo liberal, global, financial elite, of whom he is an integral part, continue full throttle to plunder, conquer, assimilate and exploit the less fortunate around the world for their own exclusive gain @ WT
Is Trump's populism really about giving the people what they want? Or is it a deceptive smokescreen to help facilitate the ruling elites self serving neo lib agenda? @ Vice
Shape Of Things To Come: Core, basic, everyman and woman civil right, climate change and healthcare issues have all been removed from the White House website as Trump becomes president @ Esquire
Back to the 50's? Any reference to LGBTQ issues is now MIA too! Compare the site now with during the Obama presidency for more on what's been removed and added @ AdWeek
Happy New Year: US President Elect Donald Trump ends 2016 by lavishly praising Russian President Putin for his "great move" against Obama in the ongoing US-Russian Cyber War. Then celebrates with an especially mean spirited Tweet against his enemies on the home front in his new year message. Auld Lang Syne? @ Ind
Putin's End Game: A look at the high stakes Russian info war and how President Trump's anti-globalist, anti-NATO rhetoric could play into their hands. Interesting angle on false news pro ports that the Russian goal is to lead the US to make a misstep and act against it's own interests. Lots to think about @ Politico
Post Factualism: A "weaponized narrative" is being used as the 21st century version of political "propaganda" or as it's now called "perception control", to manipulate the thoughts, feelings, actions and beliefs of a target audience, either at home in the US or abroad. Fears are being raised as to how common the technique might all ready be. Think of the CIA claims that Russian hacks might've screwed around with US electorate's mindset during the fall election. Has the US government also used this technique against other countries in the past too? More @ ActivistPost
Oligarchical Riggin' 201: The big news story for 2016? Russia verses the US? Clinton verses Trump? Our new "Post Truth" news era might very well enable the ruling powers that be to befuckle the public mind, further fooling us about what they are really up to, and what is really going on @ FTP
Is life in the world today like belonging to a cult group that never questions the irrational claims that are being made, nor ever wonders why everything is just so? More @ ActivistPost
Brit PM May: Pucker Up Butter Cup! The Donald's a comin' ...
He's Fired: 1.6 million Brits sign a petition to rescind or downgrade Trump's state visit to the UK hosted by the Queen, after he announces his immigration ban. Prime Minister Theresa May, fresh back from her trip to Washington remains adamant that the visit will go ahead as planned! Pucker up buttercup, the Donald's coming @ Guardian
Russia + The Ukraine/ Crimea? NATO posturing and war games in East Europe are cast in doubt as President Trump questions the US's ongoing role in the alliance. There must be a lot of ol' Republican and Democrat Cold Warriors and WW2 vets rolling over in their graves! @ Stars + Stripes
Big Oil Does It Again: Western antagonism towards Russia might have a lot less to do with refugees and terrorists than a concern over it's European oil pipelines @ ActivistPost
Uncertainty from Trump's hedging on a "One China Policy" creates potential for a high stake conflict, as the Chinese size up America's new president. The signs are not good @ CBC
China greets the new US President by deploying a new generation of nuclear tipped ICBM [Inter Continental Ballistic Missiles] capable of hitting the US. Oh ... and they hold over a trillion in US debt that they can cash in when push from Trump comes to shove! Kaboooom? @ ActivistPost
Big Oil Verses Indigenous Land Rights + Potable Water: Where does Standing Rock stand now that Trump is president?!? @ T-O
Native American tribe says no to Trump's plan to build the Mexico Wall across their lands @ Palmer
Bad Moon Rising: Flabbergasted NAACP members are arrested for protesting Trump's pro KKK Attorney General pick, Jeff Sessions @ Telesur
For Shame! House Republicans kill off the Flint Michigan water investigation while everybody is looking the other way, attention diverted, by all of the Donald's antics @ PalmerReport
All The New Laws + Executive Orders: Obamacare, the TPP [Trans Pacific Pact], abortion funding, a federal hiring freeze -the growing list goes on and on as Trump settles into the president's office. Keep track @ Vice
Amateur Apprentice #2: Seemingly still in campaign mode the Trumpster befuddles the CIA by bringing along his own cheering section of 40 to his first, contentious meeting with the intelligence boys at their Washington headquarters as POTUS [President Of The United States] @ DB
Hasta Siempre: Fidel Castro is dead. Trump is threatening to reverse Obama's efforts to normalize US relations with Cuba. The rogue socialist state has faced bigger threats before, so what to expect in 2017? Consider @ Telesur
KULTURE KULT INK
Pussy Hat Project's Colette Raptosh Rocks the Trump!
The Latest Protest Fashion Ware? Try a pink, crocheted "Pussy Hat" headpiece as popularized during the Washington Women's March! Here's the story about how they came to be, challenging the ahem .... more manly Trumpster's "Make America Great Again" er .... red caps. Thank gawd the Donald didn't choose a bluish purple fleshtone eh? .... but let's not say that toooooo loud, just in case ..... Anyway, here's a big tip o' the hat in solidarity with our protest grrrrrrls this winter season. Symbolism galore @ Globe
Beware the Savage Joy of "1984"! Uncle Bob Rae pulls out his old high school copy of the infamous dystopian novel to re-teach us George Orwell's lessons for the Trump World. Double-think? Double-speak? Howzabout a double detention for the Donald? Maybe somebody wasn't paying attention in class back in the day? Well, we were ... More @ Star
No Exodus/ Still Jammin' -Jamaica's Tuff Gong record pressing plant remains the last factory standing as vinyl records finally make a comeback @ Fact
Inclusive Hollywood: What's That?!? There aren't ANY Asians cast in lead roles for ANY of the big movies scheduled for release in 2017! @ Affinity
Ummm ... try 50 Paulie!
Beatle Meister Sir Paul "Macca" McCartney fights to regain rights to the Beatle song catalogue from Sony, who got them from Michael Jackson, who got them from .... More @ Billboard
Love! Love! Love? This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love! Also of the Beatle's psychedelic Sargent Pepper's Lonely Heart Club Band and Magical Mystery Tour albums. Here's more cause for celebration as we otherwise proceed into the new year with great in trepidation @ LATimes
Nothing New: Fake news has been around since at least the invention of the printing press 500 years ago. The powers that be continue to use it to fool and manipulate us. Business as usual -see how it's done @ Politico
Kulture Kult Jukebox
50th anniversary: The Beatle's landmark psychedelic album, Sargent Pepper's Lonely Heart Club Band,was released in 1967 during the Summer of Love. The Beach Boy's much anticipated psychedelic album that year was to be entitled Smile. Under pressure from an incredulous record company, their manager dad and some of the more straight laced band members, the original Smile album was shelved until 2011. The abbreviated Smiley Smile album was released instead. Jimi Hendrix once compared the Beach Boys to a barbershop quartet on LSD. Here's just a taste of Smile's splendour @ Heroes + Villains
Derailed Beach Boy musical genius Brian Wilson finally bounced back in 2004 with a re-recorded Smile album and live tour @ Youtube
PS: Yes! Yes! One wonders why they didn't change their name to the Beach Men decades ago or for that matter the Beach Grandpa's now, but so it goes .....
Many [most?!?] Canadian cell phone users don't know our rights when we are not satisfied with how a server responds to our concerns. There's no charge. Here's a guide [Here!] You can file a complaint online [Here!]. Know the law and use it @ CBC