Walk a Kb or Two in my Moccasins- Nobody 'splained it to me like that!

Simple answers to Complex Questions and Complex Answers to Simple Questions. In real life, I'm a Greater-Toronto (Canada) Realtor with RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Ltd, Brokerage. I first joined RE/MAX in 1983 and was first Registered to Trade in Real Estate in Ontario in 1974. Formerly known as "Two-Finger Ramblings of a Forensic Acuitant turned Community Synthesizer"

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Supremes read-in a new Charter right (with thx to Mr J Mortimer)

Today's (Aug 5 07) FinPost Comments section had an exellent little morsel from John Mortimer, president of the non-profit Canadian LabourWatch Association Inventing union rights FP21, outlining how the good ol' Supreme Court read-in a new Charter right and showing the doubletalk they used to reverse 20 years of their own jurispudence.

Here's the best parts (red and underlining my added emphasis):

..."Had the government first attempted to negotiate with these unions, there almost certainly would have been a different court judgment. Regardless, the Supreme Court's Bill 29 decision reversed 20 years of its own constitutional jurisprudence that clearly stated there is no Charter right to collective bargaining. The court's June reversal means that unions have a "procedural right to collective bargaining" under the Charter's freedom of association provision.

How did the court reverse 20 years of its own decisions? First, the court clearly took umbrage with the government's failure to engage in any bargaining before legislating on such an important issues. Second, the justices criticized their prior decisions, saying they "do not withstand principled scrutiny." Third, the court asserted significance to collective bargaining in Canadian industrial labour relations past and present. Fourth, the court argued it was time for Canada to keep up with Canada's international obligations.

The court agreed that under "Canada's federal system of government, the incorporation of international agreements into domestic law is properly the role of legislatures." The court even noted that these international documents are "not binding" and then offered a large 'but': "However, Canada's international obligations can assist courts charged with interpreting the Charter's guarantees."

It 's important to note the court 's doubletalk. How do inanimate, non-binding, international obligations "assist" a court that already admits incorporating international agreements is properly up to Parliament and the provinces? Answer: This court strode in where previous Supreme Courts refused to tread, i.e., it invented a Charter right which Canadians were told did not previously exist -- largely because a government failed to try to bargain, reaching instead for the blunt instrument of legislation.

However, in other areas, the court has declined to apply international standards, where those standards promote the rights of employees over those of unions. Canada's unions can (and already do) negotiate collective agreements with employers where unionized employees are also forced to join and maintain union "membership" as a condition of employment -- or be fired. Such firings can and do happen. Most Canadian governments and courts also allow forced dues for political (and other) purposes from unionized employees.

Remembering Myron Baloney -to David Frum re: "Repairing PET's Mistakes"

Dear Mr Frum,

Your piece in the Post (Aug 5/07, A19, Issues & Ideas) Repairing Trudeau's mistakes is a mildly partisan and immensely provocative apologia and therefore must been deemed a masterful journalistic success. Congrats!

May I address two points: BM's success - the American Free Trade Agreement and "his greatest failure - his inability to balance Canada's finances"

Free trade was a rush job done in (overheated) fear of American protectionism. It obliterated the old Ontario/Canadian 'economic compact' that all our other internal revenue-sharing and income re-distribution programs were premised upon.

Free trade eliminated the branch-plants of southern Ontario, killing many a job here and thereby knee-capping many a municipality. Further, it disrupted the income stream flowing through many Ontarians' bank accounts to the province's consolidated revenue fund from where it traditionally tributary'd back to municipalities, schools, hospitals and individuals.

This stream of taxation from wages in plants that were supported by pan-Canadian consumers' purchases of made-in-Canada-for-Canada goods was the 'funding formula' that permitted Ontario to be THE have province and the biggest source of Income Tax for the Dominion gov't to spray around to the rest of Canada (ie back to those who'd paid too much for the protected Ontario-made goods in the first place).

If Mr Mulroney is to be praised for foresight internationally, he must be damned for not seeing the consequences in southern Ontario and not preparing a re-jigging of the old compact to suit the new times.

Ok, he didn't have enough revenue to pay for programs (ie nevermind debt-service) to do much revenue-reducing re-jigging - which brings me to #2.

The Fisc was so fried by 1984 (burdened by perpetually-expanding, baby-boom based programs that prior Mandarins had dared not raise taxes to sufficiently fund, so they borrowed year after year to bridge that gap) and Canadians were so oblivious to that fact (among many, BM called it "benign neglect") that the first thing the Rt Hon Brian had to do was raise public consciousness and obtain general acknowledgement that the fiscal trend established by his Great Canadian Champion predecessor was non-sustainable.

After years of Trudeau deficit financing, Canadians had been frog-in-a-gradually-heated-pot deceived into thinking that this was normal, government-budget ,operating procedure - "surely the wealth of Canada's resources (or something) will bail us out of this mess ... won't it?"

Brian's unmentioned fiscal triumph was in successfully effecting the massive, brain-set turnaround in Carol and Jean Canuck. This 9 year, drip campaign was so effective that Mr Dithers' second budget's cuts and reorganizations of money flows were accepted as necessary evils (his first attempt was the same old do-nothing to upset the voters in this or that region pap).
NB to Dithers credit, he introduced the October pre-Budget consultation process and his Grey & Purple Books were outstandingly informative.

The article doesn't touch on the Meech/Charlottetown adventures in Trudeau-bettering, but I'd enjoy comparing opinions on why and whether Mr Mulroney repaired/sidestepped any Trudeau mistakes on the 'patriation of sovereignty' file.

Protestant School Funding!

Same idea but Mr Horvath actually made the paper

Secular Humanism and public schooling
National PostPublished: Monday, September 24, 2007
Re: All Education Is Faith-Based, letter, Sept. 21, and Don't Fear Secularism, letter, Sept. 22.

Zoltan Horvath, Langley, B.C.

Dear Editors, Hon Ladies and Gentlemen,

Once upon a time public schools in Ontario were Protestant Schools - the population was protestant and expected religious instruction as part of the curriculum. Providing 'free' public education in Ontario automatically meant funding protestant schools and (honouring the evolutionary provisions of the Quebec Act 1774, The Act of Union 1840 and Confederation's BNA Act 1867) extending that public funding to the religious minority of our province and vice versa in Quebec.

In more modern & sophisticated times the religious programs were eliminated in Ontario and the religion of the Humanist's god of the nanny state subsumed the God of the Christian Church's role in inspiring the administration of elementary and secondary schools (in addition to providing the guiding principles for social welfare, hospitals, universities and 'intellectual' thought too).

In Quebec schools, the language aspect edged out religion (the old assumption that English=Protestant and French=Catholic, being replaced by French=us & English=not us) in 1998, when Quebec bi-laterally opted out of the original 1774/1840/1867 provisions for (previously-reciprocal) minority vs majority, religious schools. This Constitutional opting out ( new section 93A) officially and finally switched the 'schools game' in Quebec from a religion-based spat to a language-based tussle.

So now, Quebec has a language-based school funding debate and in Ontario the current flap is about minority, religion-based schools in an otherwise secular Humanist government universe - who'd a thunk?

Dear Ol' Premier McGuinty is following the what am I gonna do to stay in office footsteps of dear Ol' Premier-of-the-Day Wm Davis, who pushed this policy envelope down a slippery slope in his own calculated move to shore up re-election support by extending Catholic School funding to High School (previously funded until Grade 8).

Today, in my view, for parents, who are not enamoured with the mores, morals (or lack) and official-thought taught/ subliminally-introduced in the Humanist's god of the nanny state (aka Public) school system, to want to opt out and educate their children in an environment that teaches and reinforces their family beliefs is not silly, or selfish or wrong - it's just not the law yet (and implementation will be tricky).

If the Ballot Question being framed is "Who's best able to solve the funding of minority religious schools?", then I suggest an alternate question "What about Protestant school funding?"If the minority segment of the Christian-based faith has its own education system furnished from public resources, the majority segment of the Christian-based faith should have that right restored (now that schools of the nanny-state teach the religion of secular Humanism instead of Protestantism -the original, tacit understanding).

Once all the per-capita demands for Protestant-based schools are restored from public funds, then any faith-based school should be funded on the same formula.

Why should any Ontarian be forced, via property and income taxes, to support a religious-based (secular Humanist) school system that teaches/professes/infuses a philosophy and morality that the taxpayer considers inferior and wrong?

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