Thursday, May 8 Commentary

Posted By: Dave Agar · 5/8/2014 12:00:00 AM

An important court ruling about the responsibility of employers to accomodate their workers who are having difficulty finding child-care, unless the employer can show it would cause undue hardship.

This is a ruling which could affect families across the country but predominantly working women because they are the one's who typically arrange for child-care.

Here's the crux of the case:  Fiona Johnstone and her husband worked full-time at Pearson International for Canada Border Services.   Full-time meant rotating shifts and weird hours to the point Johnstone couldn't find anyone to take care of her kids.  The employer wouldn't give her regular full-time hours, even if it meant working overnights.  She filed a complaint with the federal human rights commission.  A tribunal ruled in her favour.  That was 4 years ago.  Canada Border Services appealed, arguing that it should have no duty to accomodate because having kids is a personal choice.   The Federal Court of Appeal has now decided the agency is wrong.  It must accomodate.  Ottawa has 60 days to decide if it should try one more appeal.  This one to the Supreme Court of Canada.

When a mother is simply asking for a predictable shift so she can make sure her kids are taken care of, it's difficult to understand why the Feds are fighting this.   


After some missteps and indecision in the first couple of days, Ontario PC leader Tim Hudak is honing his patter with the media on the campaign trail.

Hudak says Kathleen Wynne and Andrea Horwath will spend every day talking about how much more they are going to spend.  They're going to have a hundred priorities.

For her part, Liberal leader Kathleen Wynne doesn't seem to understand that spouting the words Dalton McGuinty these days is the equivalent of political poison.  Granted she made her remarks in his old riding but, Ms Wynne...we can hear you here.  Voters across Ontario can hear you.

How long will it take the PC's or New Democrats to yank the tail end of that clip and run it on their radio and TV commercials.

Did so much for Ontario?  Gas plants, e-health, Ornge, deficit, debt.  The PC and New Democrats are going to have a field day. 


In the very early days of his trek across the Canadian political landscape, Justine Trudeau made it clear that he was all about openess especially within the Federal Liberal Party.  Open nominations in every riding...no interference from the leaders office.  We found out recently that was a crock when he blocked Christine Innes from seeking the Liberal nomination in Trinity-Spadina.

And now he's slammed the door on the independence of virtually all local riding associations and their right to decide which candidate will represent them.

The issue: abortion. The decision: any Liberal who does not support pro-choice will not get the green light to seek a nomination anywhere.  Oh he's made a couple of exceptions, incumbent MP's Judy Sgro and John McKay, both here in the Toronto area..   They're opposed to abortion but Trudeau won't block their bids for re-election.  This will apply to potential candidates.

Fair enough.  You get to call the shots as leader but would you kindly remove the sword of hypocrisy you have stuck who knows where.  Just drop this claim to political openess because by your very actions, its simply not true.

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