This Blog will discuss politics, government, corruption, police, S.I.U., courts, education, min. of attorney general, min. of labour, v.o.i.c.e. and other current and past events of interest to concerned citizens. In the "About me" section to the right and down I have included the names of persons whom I have tremendous respect for. Their influence on me however has been primarily environmental (and personal) and this is therefore a disclaimer that all words posted on this Blog/Website are mine and I alone am responsible for them. I say this with the greatest respect and affection to my friends.
Wednesday, June 5, 2019
O.K. this is maybe a stretch for an environmental blog but what the heck here goes. Today's Waterloo Region Record carries the following opinion piece titled "Sick workers aren't forgotten". The author is Janice Martell who is the founder of the McIntyre Powder Project. That project name refers to the powder that was liberally doused over miners in northern Ontario allegedly to protect them from silicosis I think. That lung disease was common among miners due to possibly exposure to asbestos or perhaps another underground compound. Oh heck as you can see I'm not certain which toxic compound it was supposed to protect miners from but it turns out that the McIntyre Powder itself was toxic. I have a personal friend here in Elmira whose father died when my friend was only five years old, courtesy of McIntyre Powder.
June 1 is the annual Injured Workers Day and workers and their families gather both locally and in Toronto at Queen's Park (Ontario legislature). Ms. Martell in her opinion piece is praising Greg Mercer of the Record for his series on local rubber workers in Kitchener-Waterloo and their suffering from occupational diseases. She is also points out that there currently are four known occupational disease clusters in Ontario namely the McIntyre Powder Project, GE Peterborough workers and widows, Victims of Chemical Valley (Sarnia) and Kitchener rubber workers. While neighbours, families, and residents may suffer health and environmental effects from these industries, clearly the workers spending eight hours per day or more in close proximity to the toxins involved suffer horribly. Ms. Martell is sending a rallying cry out to those victimized through no more fault then trying to provide for their families.
Monday, June 3, 2019
The title of this story in the June 1, 2019 Waterloo Region Record is "Supreme Court sides with man over detention in race-tinged case". Essentially police were advised by security guards that a specific address in a Toronto housing complex was a "problem address" regarding concerns about drug trafficking. Toronto police then entered a private backyard and began questioning an Asian man who was talking to four young black men. Without any reasonable cause to enter the private property police arrested the Asian man and he was found to be in possession of drugs and a weapon. He was convicted of those offences and appealed to the Ontario Court of Appeal where he also lost. The Supreme Court of Ontario however said that the Toronto police actions amounted to arbitray detention and a serious violation of the man's rights. His conviction has been overturned.
The basic principle that the Supreme Court upheld is that over-policing of racial minorities in Canada is unconstitutional. When there is no reasonable suspicion of criminal activity police do not have the right to enter either homes or properties without permission or a warrant. They especially are forbidden from doing this in the case of racial minorities unless criminal activity has been ascertained beforehand. For me what is very interesting is that two lower courts got this totally wrong. Not all citizens have the financial means to go to Canada's highest court especially after expensive legal fighting in the lower courts.