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"For the People" quickly became "For Me"
|Not too far into the Progressive Conservatives' election in June of 2018, their campaign slogan quickly changed. It was now only about Doug Ford, not about the almost 14.6 million Ontarians.|
|Ford's first autocratic action was to seek revenge on Toronto City Council; attacking the city's local democracy. He passed a law to shrink the level of representation Torontonians would receive. Ford threatened the use of the Charter notwithstanding clause when his law looked to be hitting a legal roadblock.|
|Many attacks on Ontarians have continued over the next 3 years, with the recent egregious one certainly tipping the scales towards a "it can't get any worse”. Ford has decided to be the first Ontario Premier to invoke the notwithstanding clause following Justice Morgan's ruling to strike down Ford's Bill 254. Ford's action to resurrect his Bill 254 is an attack on all Ontarians; an attack on OUR Democracy, OUR Judicial System, OUR right to Free Political Speech, OUR Charter.|
Justice Morgan wrote: "skepticism of (the) government's motives is not displaced where new election procedures are concerned." The executive director of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association was quoted as saying: "changing the election rules to favour an incumbent government is unconstitutional and undemocratic."
|During the 15 plus months our parents and grandparents have been dying in LTC homes, workers have been infected putting their families and neighbourhoods at risk because of lax H&S protocols and lack of sick days, and small businesses have taken an inordinate hit on the economic front.|
|All the while, Doug Ford believes he has one job to do; take care of himself and focus on his re-election.|
|Besides Bill 254; a plan to muzzle political speech, which could include a variety of discussions on policies such as environment and poverty; it’s important to be reminded that this Bill has companion pieces of actions that have occurred over time to tip the scales in Ford’s favour.|
|Ford has catered to big business during the pandemic:|
|(i) Ford passed laws to protect privately owned LTC homes that disallow families from suing the companies that may be liable for the illnesses and deaths of their loved ones.|
|(ii) Ford has catered to developers by gutting conservation authorities’ legal obligations to protect communities. Instead he has politicized the issue; the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing can now override conservation authorities science-based decisions.|
(iii) Amazon, Walmart, Costco and other big corporations were given an unfair advantage over small businesses.
What do i, ii, iii all have in common?? Answer: Doug Ford has taken care of his friends; now they can take care of him with plenty of donations for his re-election.
And lo and behold, Ford recently passed another law that has increased political donation limits. Ford thought he had everything tied up with a nice little bow.
Those darn democratic laws and norms are getting in his way!! Ya, those laws and norms that are "for the people".
For further WDLC info contact Brian Hogan 226-348-7597 or [email protected]
On the Ontario Federation front: Monday June 14, 10am, Ontarians are virtually packing the public gallery at Queen's Park. For further OFL info contact Melissa Palermo at [email protected]
Listen To Brian Hogan discuss this important matter on CKLW - The Dan McDonald Show
Statement re 215 Indigenous children found buried near Kamloops Residential School
The Windsor and District Labour Council is deeply saddened and upset to learn of the discovery of 215 First Nation children buried near the Kamloops Residential School. The Canadian Government’s role in residential schools is well known and unforgivable.
While we can’t begin to imagine, let alone understand the atrocities that these children were subject to, we recognize that their final indignity was being buried in unmarked graves, and not being returned to their families. Like so many indigenous children before and after them, these children were ripped apart from their families, their communities, their culture, and their language as they were forced to attend residential schools which were often underfunded and overcrowded. Many children sent to residential schools never came home: killed by disease, accidents, fires and others hurt by physical and sexual abuse. Children were deprived of healthy examples of love and respect. It is known that 4,100 died while attending residential schools, and some experts estimate it can be 5 to 10 times this amount.
All of this was a consequence of a federal government policy, initiated by John A. McDonald who “In the late 1870s, dreamed of creating an organized system of federal schools for Indigenous children that could be used to disrupt Indigenous lifeways and control over the land to accelerate successful settler colonialism.”
“The Canadian government operated 139 residential schools from the 1870s to 1996 when the last residential school closed in Saskatchewan. It is estimated that "150,000 Indian, Inuit, and Métis children were forced to attend these schools."
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission was aware of the existence of unmarked graves as far back as 2009 at which time they requested $1.5 million in funding to search for those unmarked graves, which was turned down.
Now Prime Mister Trudeau is crying crocodile tears, saying that "People are hurting and we must be there for the survivors." This is the same Trudeau government who in 2019 fought in court a $2 billion compensation ruling over failures in First Nations child services. They have spent over $9 million trying to overthrow the Human rights ruling that found them guilty of systemic discrimination.
That same government is now indicating that more supports for survivors of residential schools are coming, without specifying what they will be. Why now? Why not so many years ago? Would the offer have been made had those bodies not been found? The damages inflicted by Residential Schools continue to this day, felt not only by the survivors of the system, but their families and communities as well. We are all affected.
The Trudeau government needs to do more than just lower flags to half-mast. It must give more than lips service to accountability and genuine contrition. It must do much more and soon, not unilaterally, but in consultation with the First Nations peoples.