Posts Tagged ‘ employment ’

“…not a single worker is protected under the Employment Standards Act”

Posted on May 20th, 2015 Be the first to comment


In Ontario, not a single worker is protected from wrongful dismissal under the Employment Standards Act.

Filed under: Dispatches, Patrick Bay, Pictures

The bottom line

Posted on November 20th, 2013 3 Comments

Under Rob Ford:

 “This is the path the Fords have chosen, and it is clearly working!”
I Hate the War on Mayor Rob Ford

Filed under: Dispatches, Patrick Bay

Another promise made

Posted on September 13th, 2013 Be the first to comment

Rob Ford is basking in the knowledge that he has personally wrestled Toronto’s unemployment rate down to the ground where he beat it senseless and left it soaking in a pool of its own blood.

Unemployment, it seems, is down – that’s true.

But people are having trouble making the connection between this news and Ford’s efforts:

Pressed by reporters to explain how, exactly, he had managed to slay the beast of unemployment, Mr. Ford said he has been cutting red tape, making the city safer and cleaner, fighting gridlock and campaigning to build subways. The last, obviously, is a work in progress; the others, pretty hard to quantify. “We’ve made it a business-friendly atmosphere,” the mayor said, “and you have to have business experience to do that, and obviously I do.”

Others too are having trouble with is on a conceptual level:

Councillor John Parker, who represents Don Valley West, said, “I frankly think that the case [the mayor] is making is a bit of a stretch. As the Canadian economy grows, Toronto’s economy grows with it.”

Mr. Ford said in his speech that, “we have adopted a very aggressive plan to fight gridlock.”

Mr. Parker, who sits on the works committee and the Toronto Transit Commission, said he is unaware of such a plan.

I’m not insinuating that good news is unwelcome, just that taking the credit for something you didn’t really do is pretty weak sauce.

And even if I were of the opinion that I’m just, like, #1 top business guy in Canada and when I snap my fingers jobs fly out of my ass, I still think I’d have the tact to say something to the effect that I’d contributed to the unemployment rate.

Oh, Fordo.

Filed under: Dispatches, Patrick Bay

Ford’s casino bid cost taxpayers $370 thousand (and counting)

Posted on June 11th, 2013 Be the first to comment

The Toronto Sun recently asked what councillors, and anyone opposed to a Toronto casino, have against jobs?

That’s “10,000” casino jobs as promised by Rob and Doug Ford, the same jobs that Rob outwardly rejected because Kathleen Wynne wasn’t prepared to bend to his irrational and completely made-up demands:

“If the province won’t agree (to) that $100 million, then folks, the deal is dead. We are not going to carry on the casino debate.”

The Sun, of course, conveniently left that fact out and instead (just like their heroes Rob and Doug), pointed fingers at everything and everyone else. Had they included the most vocal and blusterous opponents of the casino — the Fords themselves — the following line would’ve taken on a whole different tone:

A really clever Toronto councillor would have cast aside their own prejudices for a moment and considered the wider public benefit.

It’s not fair to say that the Fords were solely against their pet project — the vote was 40 to 4 — so clearly other councillors were involved. And the numbers indicate that those councillors weren’t just the “lefties” that the ignorant Sun writers keep bashing.

In fact, at least one of those “lefty” councillors wanted to know how much Ford’s hare-brained casino idea was going to cost Toronto, something the Fords never bothered to question in their quest against “gravy” — just like the $3 million KPMG report Ford indiscriminately sole-sourced to simultaneously ignore the wishes of taxpayers in order to “save” money for the city.

In the end, councillor Mary Fragedakis got her answer: $370 thousand

The Sun (and others), were quick to distance Ford from this jaw-dropping waste, even though this was his and his brother’s baby from day one, and is yet another example of how Rob Ford is wasting millions of taxpayer money, not saving it.

The story was framed as “the casino debate that cost taxpayers $370,000”, even though the debate was just part of regular City Hall business. It was all the research that went into the casino idea that cost nearly half a million dollars, and that came at the direct behest of the Ford brothers. In other words, Rob and Doug Ford cost the city $370 grand.

This came at the same time that Ford attempted to explain his boasts of saving the city $1 billion dollars, which sounded like a fabrication while Ford refused to elaborate on it, and is now seemingly more so:

Councillor Gord Perks dismissed the mayor’s math.

“The mayor doesn’t seem to understand the difference between addition and subtraction or between addition and multiplication,” Perks told the Toronto Sun. “This is a completely bogus claim.”

Perks argued Ford was counting some things twice — like the cut to the car tax and then the cut to spending.

“They seem to have forgotten the millions of dollars they’ve spent in consultants, the millions of dollars they’ve spent paying staff to go away, the tens of millions of dollars in cancellation of Transit City,” he said.

“Over 10 years they’re adding $400 million in transportation projects — that actually costs money, it doesn’t save money.”

The vocal Ford critic stressed residents are paying more tax under Mayor Ford than under his predecessor.

“The basic thing is a Torontonian pays more tax today than when David Miller was mayor,” Perks said.

As an interesting and informative aside, the brain farts on Ford’s former (?) cheer leading squad, the Toronto Taxpayers Coalition, pegged the potential benefits of a casino at $400 million. These same pinheads, led by a loser with absolutely no experience in either government or finance and who couldn’t hack it in the tech field, are constantly propped up by the same media seeking to explain their ever-growing canopy of misinformation and bizarre justifications.

Now that this ongoing waste is out in the open and really nothing has changed, including Ford’s fantasy math, and both he and his brother are vowing to renew the debate (with Woodbine Casino), potentially wasting another half million, it’s looking like the brothers Ford are already gearing up for the next round of the finger pointing game.

Filed under: Dispatches, Patrick Bay

Between the lines of the death of the Toronto casino

Posted on May 19th, 2013 Be the first to comment

Was the proposed casino supposed to bring revenue to the city of Toronto, or “10,000 jobs“, as Rob Ford repeatedly pronounced?

I suppose if the numbers were as high as Ford asserted ($100 million, minimum), a casino could’ve potentially brought both. But those idealized revenues turned out to be about half (or a quarter, or an eighth, depending on what day it was and how he was feeling), of Rob’s projections.

So faced with the reality of only about $54 million under the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Commission’s formula for divvying up casino spoils, Ford declared the project dead:

If the province won’t agree (to) that $100 million, then folks, the deal is dead. We are not going to carry on the casino debate.

Well, that’s it. Ford’s one and only source of potential income for Toronto projects has dried up (aside from the mysterious public-private partnerships that never materialized). So if the city can’t get a bigger chunk of cash out of the deal then it’s pointless.

Oh, and about those jobs — if the city can’t get a bigger chunk of cash out of the deal then they’re pointless too. Sorry, single moms, I guess it’s a future of frying up chicken for the foreseeable future.

Okay, snarkiness aside, I hope you see what I’m driving at here. Rob has no problem pulling the “jobs, jobs, jobs!” card out of his ass when it’s expedient for him, but when something like the casino fails we quickly see that it was never about jobs, his constituents, or the citizens of Toronto — it’s about gobbling up money for use by the government. Okay, yes, we do need transit funding, but we also need jobs, so to sacrifice one at the expense of another belies the true intentions behind the casino push.

Not that I believed the job numbers either, but that’s kind of beside the point.

At least there was a smidgen of honesty in some of Ford’s remarks:

Contrary to what many people have said, I’m not married to a casino, I never campaigned on a casino.

That’s true, unless you consider marriage to be an exclusive commitment. Then again, he never campaigned on subways either, but that never stopped him from claiming the opposite at every opportunity.

Filed under: B Sides, Patrick Bay, Videos

The Conservative Dynasty (of sociopaths, criminals, tyrants, and unabashed assholes)

Posted on April 23rd, 2013 1 Comment

Conservative minions, like the recently exposed scumbaggery of Harper’s appointment to the Human Rights Tribunal, Shirish Chotslis, are all pretty much cut from the same despicable, criminal, sociopathic cloth.

I have no doubt (see below), that the vast majority of Harper’s hand-picked cabinet would gleefully engage in exactly the same things as she did:

Chotalia treated staff and appointed members disgracefully: harassing, screaming, spying on staff; speaking to them and about them in derogatory terms; impugning their credibility in front of colleagues; and contaminating the workplace by sowing misinformation about them. She belittled and humiliated, frequently reducing employees to tears.

“The result was a poisoned atmosphere at the tribunal, a place that, ironically, is supposed to place respect of individuals at the very highest level,” Dion told reporters.

But it went even beyond that, to outright lunacy, the madness of entitlement.

On the day of her swearing-in-ceremony — which also happened to be the day that a magnitude-five earthquake struck Ottawa — Chotalia would not allow staff to leave their 11th-floor office, compelling everyone to stay where they were so that the ceremony could proceed as scheduled.

She ordered one employee to carry a set of keys to the office around her neck — like a latchkey — “despite the fact that this person complained that this caused discomfort and pain,” the report discloses. She indulged in petty retaliation. She ordered staff to spy on an employee while at work and to report that person’s movements and actions to her.

She repeatedly attempted to terminate a staff without justifiable cause and tried to pursue disciplinary action against another even after they left the CHRT.

She maintained a secret file on an employee, entitled “Insubordination,” even though that individual had never been advised of any problems. She demanded that staff be available around the clock, to corral her non-essential BlackBerry communications.

She accused staff of stealing items from her when unable to locate them, many witnesses stating Chotalia regularly lost these items.

She ordered staff not to cancel a trip to Vancouver for a mediation session, even though the parties involved had come to an agreement. She flew to the West Coast and then transferred to a San Diego-bound flight for a previously planned personal trip.

The list of insupportable conduct goes on and on.

This shining beacon of the modern Conservative stayed in her position for two years, left to her own devices with Harper’s Privy Council Office (the people who are supposed to advise him on running an effective government), staunchly refusing to hear from the 26 complainants.

The only reason Chotslis was called out was because there are still some independent government departments out there that could hold her to account. Harper is doing his best to ensure that he and his lapdogs are increasingly exempt from not only accountability but even the fundamental laws of Canada.

Now have a look at Chotslis’ response in the face of these facts:

“I was chosen by a Conservative government, I am a brown woman from Alberta and the unions want to remove me.”

She then basically told the investigators to go fuck themselves and refused to cooperate in any way.

When Ford was ousted for breaching the law for the umpteenth time in his Conflict of Interest trial, he responded with:

I was elected two years ago by the people of Toronto to do a job … This comes down to left-wing politics. The left wing wants me out of here, and they’ll do anything in their power to (do that).

In the fucked up world of the Harper conservative, it should be noted, unions are the same thing as the “lefties”, and that goes for anyone not supporting the tyrannical government or their agenda to sell out Canada and separate Canadians from not only their basic rights but from the very necessities of life.

But, of course, Harper can speak for himself:

Prime Minister Stephen Harper says unions are behind a misinformation campaign about changes to the employment insurance program.

His comments came as Human Resources Minister Diane Finley admitted Thursday that the government hadn’t conducted studies on the potential impact of the reforms.

As protesters were kept away from the Premier Tech plant where Harper was announcing a $9.2 million loan, the prime minister pointed a finger at unions for creating some of the turmoil around changes to the program.

“I read that some unions were saying we’re cutting seasonal workers. That is completely false.”

And just so you know how Harper justifies his crackdowns:

… Harper said the [anti-terrorism] measures are supported by “law enforcement people” across the country, and the Tories have been promising the changes for a long time.

“We were elected specifically to move forward on them, and that’s what we’re going to do.”

There are also brown-nose trolls like Harper’s Goebbels-in-waiting, Vic Toews:

Toews’s department [while Minister of Labour], proposed the privatization of home-care delivery services in 1996, drawing opposition from many in the field and triggering an extended strike. He was also forced to deal with strikes at Boeing, Inco, and the Manitoba Lotteries Corporation, leading one journalist to describe 1996 as “the busiest year for picketing since the 1919 Winnipeg General Strike”. Toews blamed unions for provoking the strikes, saying they were conducted “for political, not economic, reasons.”

In explaining why Toews is vigorously backing the creation of a horrific police/Gulag state in Canada:

“We were elected to bring change.”

Seeing a running theme there? Same shit, same mentality, same results. It’s not in any way a stretch to think that Harper, Toews, Ford, or any other Conservative wraith aren’t treating their staff in exactly the same way, using the same excuses, refusing to find anything wrong with any of it, etc.

And just like all good corrupt Harperites, Chotslis was rewarded for her exemplary service to the government with a cushy new position in the private sector and a commitment by her Conservative buddies to refuse to discuss the matter or do anything about it.

Filed under: B Sides, Patrick Bay

Canada is being sold out from under us

Posted on April 14th, 2013 1 Comment

In case you didn’t believe that destroying Canada is run-of-the-mill for the Harper government…

… 33,000 companies and agencies who have applied to the federal temporary foreign worker program in Canada stretch to almost every corner of the economy, ranging from the biggest players in the finance and resource sectors to airlines, hotels, government agencies, and the Canadian Broadcasting Corp., according to documents obtained by The Globe and Mail.

The lengthy list of companies and groups, obtained through federal Access to Information laws, spans 475 pages and demonstrates how widely used the federal program has become since it was expanded in 2006 to help Canadian employers deal with shortages of specialized skills in Canada.

Yeah, sure, 1 out of 20 Canadians is out of work (if it’s measured the same way as it is in the US, that only means people actively seeking work and reporting to the government). Clearly we have no labour shortage. Clearly the Harper government continues to tell the truth about everything. Clearly nothing is wrong; now back to your regularly scheduled programming.

Filed under: B Sides

If you make enough noise…

Posted on April 11th, 2013 Be the first to comment

…sometimes someone hears you.

An Open Letter to Canadians

RBC has been in the news this week in a way no company ever wants to be.

The recent debate about an outsourcing arrangement for some technology services has raised important questions.

While we are compliant with the regulations, the debate has been about something else. The question for many people is not about doing only what the rules require – it’s about doing what employees, clients, shareholders and Canadians expect of RBC. And that’s something we take very much to heart.

Despite our best efforts, we don’t always meet everyone’s expectations, and when we get it wrong you are quick to tell us. You have my assurance that I’m listening and we are making the following commitments.

First, I want to apologize to the employees affected by this outsourcing arrangement as we should have been more sensitive and helpful to them. All will be offered comparable job opportunities within the bank.

Second, we are reviewing our supplier arrangements and policies with a continued focus on Canadian jobs and prosperity, balancing our desire to be both a successful business and a leading corporate citizen.

Third, our Canadian client call centres are located in Canada and support our domestic and our U.S. business, and they will remain in Canada.

Fourth, we are preparing a new initiative aimed at helping young people gain an important first work experience in our company, which we will announce in the weeks ahead.

RBC proudly employs over 57,000 people in Canada. Over the last four years, despite a challenging global economy, we added almost 3,000 full-time jobs in Canada. We also hire over 2,000 youth in Canada each year and we support thousands more jobs through the purchases we make from Canadian suppliers. As we continue to grow, so will the number of jobs for Canadians.

RBC opened for business in 1864 and we have worked hard since then to earn the confidence and support of the community. Today, we remain every bit as committed to earning the right to be our clients’ first choice, providing rewarding careers for our employees, delivering returns to shareholders who invest with us, and supporting the communities in which we are privileged to operate.

I’d like to close by thanking our employees, clients, shareholders and community partners for your input and continued support.


Gord Nixon
President and Chief Executive Officer,
Royal Bank of Canada

Filed under: Dispatches, Patrick Bay

Holyday wants to raise management pay

Posted on May 31st, 2012 1 Comment

Hmmm, seems that Doug Holyday, the Deputy Mayor, might be starting to see exactly why those unions fought for good pay year after year. Except that all those “lefty” concepts of wealth distribution to workers weren’t exactly what he took away from it.

Instead, Holyday is redistributing the money to already higher-earning management who have been responsible for cutting costs (i.e. other employees).

A few dozen senior managers would get annual increases of 2.75 per cent over the four years through 2015.

Altogether, the tab for those raises over four years comes to $30 million.

It’s also proposed that city council reinstate lump-sum bonuses for managers at the top of their salary range. The bonuses were cancelled in 2010 and 2011, which meant about 2,600 managers didn’t receive bonuses. As a result, the city saved about $11 million.

Holyday said the senior management has helped cut costs and trim the workforce, steps that were needed to put the city on a sounder financial footing.

So to all those labourers out there who thought that the Rob Ford gang weren’t into this sort of thing, that his cuts and slashes were simply fiscal responsibility intended to weed out greedy unions, I’m afraid you were mistaken. All that extra money, instead of being distributed to workers, is simply being given to those willing to toe the line for the Mayor. And now you can see that, although unions can be problematic, they go a long way to ensuring that the rich don’t simply get richer while the rest of us lose our jobs.

Filed under: Dispatches, Patrick Bay

Key Employment Insurance data removed from government stats

Posted on May 24th, 2012 Be the first to comment

Is it any wonder that while the government is pushing in Employment Insurance changes that will impoverish Canadians, they’ve simultaneously hid key statistical data from their reports?

And just in time, too! Gotta hand it to the Harper government, when they screw over the Canadian population, they make sure to do it right!

Demand for information about EI is running high right now due to the government’s slow strip tease on changes to the program.

“Loss of data will make it much more difficult to analyse the impacts of changes to the EI rules as they are implemented,” said Andrew Jackson, chief economist at the Canadian Labour Congress.

He is concerned that stricter criteria for EI claimants are coming at the same time as Ottawa reduces the avenues for appeal — leaving adjudicators with little leeway to allow for local and personal circumstances.

Filed under: Dispatches, Patrick Bay