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Ontario teachers’ union opts for controversial weighted voting to bolster minority representation

The new approach to voting will see that minority groups will always have 50% of the vote regardless of how many are present from the group.

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A teachers’ union in southern Ontario has implemented a new system where minority board members will have their votes weighted if not enough minority members are present.

The system aims to increase the representation of racialized teachers who belong to minority groups in the decision-making process. The new approach will see that minority groups will always have 50% of the vote regardless how many are voting from the group.

The weighting process would ensure in situations where there are, for example, only five who have identified as racialized are involved in a vote with a total of 15 people, each group will be weighted to represent 50% of the total vote.

twitter post with slides provided by Ontario secondary school teachers’ federation, district 20

The weighted voting system was introduced in one of the Ontario Secondary Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF) bargaining units located in the Halton region which consists of roughly 1,400 teachers and staff, according to the website.

The system was proposed at the union’s annual general meeting in June and was voted in with the support of 68% of members.

Daryl LeBlanc, a teacher and branch president with the union, said the new approach to voting will only apply to decisions made by the board of local presidents who represent teachers when decisions are being made.

“I do believe it’s a very positive step for equity,” LeBlanc, told the National Post, adding he voted in favour of the weighted system.

Union President Cindy Gage released a statement to the media on Monday that said: “Bylaws, policies, and procedures, including voting, may evolve based on the goals and priorities of the OSSTF/FEESO membership.”

“The Teachers’ Bargaining Unit acknowledges changes to local policies, procedures and bylaws may create tension within the membership, but such tension will not deter efforts to eliminate barriers for members.”

Gage said union members were e-mailed a deck of slides explaining the system in which quorum will always be reached with 50/50 representation for minority groups who identify as racialized.

“We have heard from members at both the local and provincial level within our union that Black, racialized and indigenous members do not feel safe or welcome at union activities,” members were told in the e-mail.

A video included in the slideshow says the concept of one person/one vote may seem even-handed, “fair doesn’t necessarily mean equitable,” and goes on to explain the process aims to help achieve equal opportunity and thus do not violate Ontario’s human rights code.

Although the new policy was implemented in Halton at the start of the 2021 school year, it has created a divisive nature among union members — some citing discrimination while others feeling it will help represent disadvantaged groups.

Melanie Risdon is a reporter with the Western Standard
mrisdon@westernstandardonline.com

Melanie Risdon is a Calgary-based Reporter for the Western Standard. She has over 20 years experience in media at Global News, Rogers and Corus. mrisdon@westernstandardonline.com

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11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. Glenn Taylor

    November 25, 2021 at 8:54 am

    Jeez, the foolishness and stupidity of the left knows no depth.

  2. RM

    November 25, 2021 at 8:01 am

    This is a perfect example of the Left crossing the line into territory so indefensible that they are starting to lose their own supporters. Leftist activists in positions of power are starting to do this a lot and are leaving their own base behind. Thanks for highlighting this story.

  3. Claudette Leece

    November 24, 2021 at 10:35 pm

    Pat everything’s racist now, and teachers are filling kids heads with crt , thanks to left leaning universities churning out these social , woke warriors. Teachers will be the death of Canada

  4. Claudette Leece

    November 24, 2021 at 10:32 pm

    No more radical groups than teachers and their unions. School boards not far behind

  5. Barbara

    November 24, 2021 at 1:10 pm

    Justin Trudeau Served with Legal Paperwork. You Too Can Serve Your Own Notice of Liability Especially if You’re a Parent Wanting to Protect Your Child!

    https://www.globalresearch.ca/justin-trudeau-served-legal-paperwork-you-too-can-serve-your-own-notice-liability-especially-youre-parent-wanting-protect-your-child/5762485

  6. Tiberius

    November 24, 2021 at 12:28 pm

    Cambridge definition of “systemic racism”: policies and practices that exist throughout a whole society or organization, and that result in and support a continued unfair advantage to some people and unfair or harmful treatment of others based on race.

    Hmmmmmm…..

  7. K

    November 24, 2021 at 12:15 pm

    Self-hating whites are the bane of this country.

  8. Left Coast

    November 24, 2021 at 11:54 am

    Real Life ANIMAL FARM . . . right before your lyin eyes . . .

    Who better to bring in such marxist dribble than our Teachers . . .

    Most Teachers like no other group are folks who went to University, like our Dear Leader . . . FAILED at their chosen Profession, like our Dear Leader . . . took the quick Exit with a Teacher Certificate like our Dear Leader.

    Today in Canada we are turning out some of the Dumbest, most Indoctrinated Students in History, and according to many in the Business realm are unable to function or compete in the Real World? Public Education is Canada should be avoided at all costs . . .

  9. Baron Not Baron

    November 24, 2021 at 11:50 am

    In Islam the testimony of a woman or an infidel weighs half of that of a man. Nothing to see here, move on. I want to see when they will marry their goats.

  10. Patricia Seddon

    November 24, 2021 at 11:35 am

    What are they doing in a teachers union that would require race to play a significant role?

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News

Sask Polytech ditches vax policy but burdens unvaxxed with testing costs

The Justice Centre is unsatisfied with the response of Sask Polytech and reiterated its intention to pursue legal action against the institution and against the University of Saskatchewan over its requirement for staff and students to be vaccinated for COVID-19.

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By LEE HARDING

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms is unsatisfied with the decision of Saskatchewan Polytech to reverse its vaccination requirement for staff and students because the institute does not recognize natural immunity and imposes testing costs on the unvaccinated.

On November 19, the Justice Centre sent Sask Polytech and the University of Saskatchewan letters demanding they reverse their requirement that all staff and students be vaccinated by January 1, 2022. 

On December 1, Sask Polytech reversed its “vaccinated only” policy but now requires unvaccinated staff and students to comply with testing three times a week at their own expense. In a press release, the Justice Centre called this “unacceptable.”

“Such testing requirements for students are even greater than the Saskatchewan government’s requirements for employees of its ministries. Sask Poly has also failed to recognize the compelling scientific evidence of natural immunity for those who have already recovered from Covid-19 and have proof of antibodies,” reads a JCCF press release on Saturday.

“Testing costs, which could exceed $200 per week, mean that only the wealthy and privileged can bear the burden,” stated Andre Memauri, the Justice Centre’s Saskatoon-based lawyer.

“Sask Poly, which has chosen to impose discriminatory testing requirements for staff and students, has the ability to acquire these tests at wholesale cost.”

The Justice Centre said it would commence legal proceedings against Sask Poly in the Court of Queen’s Bench unless Sask Poly immediately absorbs the testing costs and recognizes natural immunity. 

On October 28, the U of S and Sask Polytech announced mandatory vaccinations for all students, staff and faculty, removing the alternative of twice weekly testing which had been in place since the start of the school year. The Justice Centre will also commence legal action against the U of S for refusing unvaccinated students. 

On November 26, Global News reported a 19-year-old student was hospitalized briefly with breathing problems after receiving the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. The student’s mother, Michelle Marciniuk, publicly called for the university to reconsider its policy.

The U of S’ policy includes exemptions on medical and religious grounds in accordance with the Saskatchewan Human Rights Code. But according to the Justice Centre, the university usually rejects exemption requests or does not respond to them for several weeks. Besides this, the university has made itself the arbiter of faith considerations for religious exemptions. Medical exemptions have become a difficult document for patients to receive in Canada, due to regulatory pressure on physicians not to provide them based on their medical judgement except in very rare circumstances.

The U of S crowns itself for academic freedom, diversity, equality, human dignity and a healthy work and learning environment, yet it has harshly terminated faculty for speaking on the hallmark principle of informed consent for Covid-19 vaccination of children,” stated Andre Memauri, a U of S alum. 

“Now, the U of S seeks to exclude and villainize those who decide for various reasons not to be vaccinated…Without question, our community has been through a great deal of difficulty and it requires these institutions to lead as vessels of science not ideology…The Justice Centre demands both schools follow the science and adopt policies that bring students together in the most safe and lawful manner.”

The letters sent to both schools from the Justice Centre on November 19 warned that the schools are seeking to deprive students from education on the basis of vaccination status, contrary to Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Sections 2(a), 7, and 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Harding is a Western Standard contributor based in Saskatchewan

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News

CRA wants more tax filers to file online

The government’s own research shows millions of paper filers resist change.

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The taxman is angry that too many Canadians are still filing by mail, says Blacklock’s Reporter.

The government’s own research shows millions of paper filers resist change.

“Those who submit their taxes by mail most often say they use paper rather than filing electronically because it is simply how they prefer to do it, e.g. they do it out of habit, because ‘it’s what they are comfortable with,’ they like it, etcetera,” said a Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) report.

“Just 13% cite security issues.”

Data show of 30.5 million tax returns filed this year a total 2.7 million or 9% were filed on paper. Millions of taxpayers, a total 4,234,772 including Internet filers, demanded refunds be paid by mailed cheque instead of direct deposit.

The CRA complained it would be “more timely and efficient” if all taxpayers used the Internet. The Agency spends $6.9 million annually mailing T1 general tax forms alone.

“There is still a sizable proportion of taxpayers who are conducting their business with the Canada Revenue Agency through paper rather than taking advantage of digital services which are much more timely and efficient,” said the report.

Research showed typical paper filers were working age men under 55 who completed their own return without a tax preparer, had a university degree, earned more than $80,000 a year and were more likely than other Canadians to prefer in-person teller service rather than online banking.

“The most important factor influencing why respondents file by paper instead of online is disinterest,” wrote researchers, who added: “Apathy is a barrier. Fifty percent of likely switchers say they are simply not interested in switching. Therefore the agency will have to demonstrate the value of switching.”

Findings were based on questionnaires with 2,000 taxpayers who filed returns by mail. The Agency paid Earnscliffe Strategy Group $130,061 for the survey.

The research follows a failed 2012 campaign to have all Canadians use direct deposit for payment of tax refunds and benefit cheques. The attempt by the Receiver General of Canada, the federal office responsible for processing payments, was intended to save costs. Paper cheques cost 82¢ apiece to process compared to 13¢ for electronic transfers, by official estimate.

An estimated 13% of taxpayers refused to surrender bank account information to the Receiver General. “Cheque recipients have become harder to engage,” said a 2020 Department of Public Works survey.

“A few have a general distrust of the Government of Canada’s ability to protect data,” wrote researchers. A total 23 percent of Atlantic residents said they wouldn’t rely on the government to protect their privacy, followed by 22% in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, 21% in Ontario, 19% in Alberta, 18% in BC and 12% in Québec.

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News

WATCH: Alberta Oil drives Guilbeault to meeting with Nixon

Federal Environment Minister Stephen Guilbeault’s tour of Alberta has already kicked off with a whiff of hypocrisy.

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Attended by a sizable entourage, Guilbeault exited his black gasoline-powered SUV and hustled into the McDougall Centre in Calgary for a meeting with Alberta Environment Minister Jason Nixon.  

Guilbeault has dedicated most of his career to telling Canadians they need to transition from petrochemically fueled transportation. During this meeting though, Guilbeault chose not to find an utilize an electric-powered SUV in order to demonstrate his environmental virtue. With the resources of the entire federal government behind him, one would have thought that Guilbeault could have arranged appropriate transportation for his cross-Canada tour.  

It’s almost as if electric vehicles are still not ready for mainstream use yet. 

At least Guilbeault contributed to the Western economy with his conspicuous consumption of local petrochemical products.  

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