Thoughts and Opinions On Today's Important Issues

Friday, May 29, 2009

Did You Read This

Some interesting stories out there


Finally, they were forced to admit the truth about the business run by Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd.
  • "The government wants to have the Crown corporation's nuclear reactor operations run by people in the business community, instead of bureaucrats...

    O'Brien said the government aren't "experts in the management of nuclear reactors"

Now if they could only admit that the Bridge Company can run our border crossing better than they can, we might actually get somewhere!


This whole episode with the strikers at the Mayor's house is so strange to me. Consider this again:

  • "The CUPE members dispersed after about 20 minutes. A Windsor police sergeant arrived a few minutes later, only to find the strikers were gone."

One car, one officer only notwithstanding words like intimidate, disrespectful, disgusting, unnerved by the incident, worried for her children's well-being, I will protect it in the Star story. And it is the house of the Mayor who is also the head of the Police Services Board.

Compare with this story:

  • "Investigators said it appeared there was nothing suspicious about the death, but they were waiting for an autopsy today.

    Four police vehicles and two ambulances were sent to the 100 block of Langlois around 12:30 p.m. after getting a report of deceased person."

I wonder if it was Sgt. Brett Corey who arrived at the scene.


Speaking of Sgt. Brett Corey:

  • "Windsor police spokesman Sgt. Brett Corey said the Supreme Court of Canada ruled in 2002 that it is unlawful to picket the private residence of the executive of a corporation.

    Corey said Windsor police will continue to monitor the situation. Asked if the demonstrations are lawful, Corey said: "We're not certain anyone's in the clear at this stage of the game."

I must admit that I could not find a case that said what the spokesman said. I did find this case in 2002 that was a Supreme Court of Canada case that said:

  • "The Charter constitutionally enshrines essential values and principles widely recognized in Canada, and more generally, within Western democracies. Charter rights, based on a long process of historical and political development, constitute a fundamental element of the Canadian legal order upon the patriation of the Constitution. The Charter must thus be viewed as one of the guiding instruments in the development of Canadian law...

    the right to free expression that it enshrines is a fundamental Canadian value...

    Picketing, however defined, always involves expressive action. As such, it engages one of the highest constitutional values: freedom of expression, enshrined in s. 2(b) of the Charter. This Court’s jurisprudence establishes that both primary and secondary picketing are forms of expression..

    At this point we may usefully review what is caught by the rule that all picketing is legal absent tortious or criminal conduct. The answer is, a great deal. Picketing which breaches the criminal law or one of the specific torts like trespass, nuisance, intimidation, defamation or misrepresentation will be impermissible, regardless of where it occurs. Specific torts known to the law will catch most of the situations which are liable to take place in a labour dispute. In particular, the breadth of the torts of nuisance and defamation should permit control of most coercive picketing. Known torts will also protect property interests. They will not allow for intimidation, they will protect free access to private premises and thereby protect the right to use one’s property. Finally, rights arising out of contracts or business relationships also receive basic protection through the tort of inducing breach of contract...

    Pepsi-Cola should only be allowed to initiate injunction proceedings where it has been subjected to a tort or a crime – not where it has merely been the target of peaceful secondary picketing...

    With regard to the demonstration outside the homes of Pepsi-Cola’s management personnel, we agree with the Court of Appeal that the injunction was well-founded, since the conduct was tortious. As Cameron J. A. stated, at pp. 243-44:

    What occurred at the homes in the present case did not constitute peaceful picketing. Indeed it did not so much constitute picketing as such (though it took the outward form thereof), as it amounted to disorderly conduct accompanied by threats of harm to the resident employees of the company in an effort to have them refrain from doing what they had every right to do, namely come and go as they wished for whatever purpose. Chief among these purposes at the time in question was doing the work assigned to them by the company in consequence of the strike and lockout. That being so, the union can have no complaint over the restraint of this picketing. The actions of the striking employees amounted to intimidation, not of the company but of its other employees, which as noted earlier was actionable at the instance of the company. Their actions also amounted to a private nuisance."

I would suggest that Windsor Police get an definitive opinion. We would not want to see people get charged for the wrong reason.


I really would like to know considering:

  • "OMERS Administration Corp, one of Canada's biggest pension-fund managers, will likely adjust its asset mix as of 2010 to an even split between public and private markets, after favoring the former since about 2002.

    OMERS Chief Executive Michael Nobrega told Reuters in an exclusive interview that the shift would be minimal, and will follow a long run of private market investments outperforming public markets.

    Currently the weighting puts public market investments at some 57 percent of the mix, with private market investment at 43 percent.

    "We may tweak that to make it closer to 50-50," Nobrega said."


  • "Mr. Horr [Robert G. Horr III, Thousand Islands Bridge Authority executive director] said most bridges in the Great Lakes region have seen a decrease in commercial traffic owing to the national economic downturn.

    More recently, he said, the Ambassador Bridge in Detroit saw a huge decrease in commercial traffic because of the struggling auto industry.

    Commercial traffic at the Ambassador Bridge dropped by 25.5 percentin March and April compared with the same months last year. "


I wonder what is really inside the binder

  • "The 1,000-page contingency plan for operating the city during the strike by municipal workers has been off limits to city councillors because of fears the information will be leaked to strikers, says Coun. Drew Dilkens.

    The 10 councillors have been refused access to a massive binder that contains management’s responsibilities to provide essential city services and protect city assets...

    Mayor Eddie Francis, who has a copy, paraded the binder around to the media just days prior to the strike to suggest management was well-prepared for a work stoppage.

    Councillors were handed a copy of the plan’s table of contents and a short summary, Dilkens said."

Here is why I asked the question:

  • "A spokeswoman for the ministry [of the Environment] said the order followed "numerous attempts" to have the municipality voluntarily implement a garbage strike contingency plan drafted by Windsor and submitted to the province the week after the CUPE strike began April 15."

And this:

  • "The city's original contingency plan filed with the ministry identifies seven locations where, if the plan were implemented, residents would be allowed to take their residential garbage during the labour dispute: Ford test track, Memorial and Mic Mac parks, the downtown parking lot at University Street and Bruce Avenue and the Adstoll, Riverside and South Windsor arenas.

    Francis said that contingency plan was something "put together very quickly" following the ministry's earlier order to remove the mound of garbage illegally dumped outside the city's waste transfer station off Central Avenue early in the strike."

The way I read this the 1,000 page manual had nothing in it about garbage. What an obvious lack of planning if true.

No wonder we could have this conflict:

  • "Mayor Eddie Francis told reporters after a three-hour secret council meeting Monday night that Windsor's medical officer of health had assured the public that the situation was fine. But Heimann on Tuesday told The Star he was siding with the environment ministry's order.

    "I've never said that everything is fine. The question the ministry asked was, 'Is this a potential health hazard?' and I have to say, yes, it is," he said."