Friday 31 August 2007

Great Place to Work

UPDATE: Here's a follow up article by the Leader Post's Neil Scott.

As reported in the August 31 edition of the Regina Leader-Post - according to the Fraser Institute (and their flawed methodology) - 2nd best is still not good enough. They continue to engage in the BIG LIE campaign that decent labour laws, strong public services and rights for workers make Saskatchewan a not-so-good place.

The Fraser Institute has a singular agenda, and that is to strip workers of every right and entitlement that they might enjoy in a free and democratic society -- and then hand those rights over to the control of the corporate elite for determination.

And according to this article, Brad Wall would deliver just that to the Fraser Institute and the richest, greediest CEO's from North American companies if he ever became Premier of Saskatchewan.

As stated in this article - the Fraser Institute says Saskatchewan has "pro-union labour laws," "high public sector employment" and "relatively high minimum wages" - which they (the Fraser Institute and apparently Brad Wall) don't like.

Translated, given the opportunity they would strip away worker rights: like Health and Safety laws, and protection from harassment; like Labour Standards; like Minimum Wages; and like a workers' constitutional right to join a union ........... and then they would disband government departments, privatize health care and sell off the Crown Corporations - to get rid of those pesky public sector workers.

Thursday 30 August 2007

SFL Proud to be Union on Labour Day

SFL Proud to be Union on Labour Day

More than 130 years ago, Labour Day was created to honour the Ontario demonstrations of 1872. Marchers from 27 unions took to the streets and demanded that their brothers from the Toronto typographical union, who had struck for a nine-hour workday, be released from prison. Thousands of citizens flocked to the protests in support of the right to legally belong to a union.

And the workers won.

Unions have come a long way from that groundbreaking victory.

This Labour Day, the labour movement in Saskatchewan will celebrate another victory, as we continue to fight for the rights of working people.

The Saskatchewan Federation of Labour recently led a successful campaign to stop the provincial government from signing the Trade, Investment, and Labour Mobility Agreement (TILMA).

“Union history is the story of the struggle for strong labour standards and workers’ rights, for medicare, for public ownership of utilities, for a more equitable sharing of our collective resources. TILMA would seek to wipe out those historical gains,” says SFL President Larry Hubich.

The Saskatchewan Federation of Labour demanded public consultations on TILMA, and those hearings took place in June. The Standing Committee on the Economy heard from dozens of unions and social activists, who made the case that TILMA takes away government’s ability to govern in the public interest.

Presenters asked serious questions about the kinds of values that a corporate, profit-driven economic agreement like TILMA promotes, arguing that TILMA puts the ‘bottom line’ and corporate profits above the needs of workers and their families.

“We convinced not only the Provincial Government, but also those in Opposition, that trade deals like TILMA do not belong in a province like Saskatchewan, with its rich history of social democracy. Workers and their families want secure, decent jobs. Our laws, policies and programs should not be at the mercy of big business interests, “ says Hubich.

This Labour Day, the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour re-commits to the struggle against right-wing policies and agendas, including the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP), the latest North American trade scheme.

“The SPP is being negotiated in secret by our federal government, and with the ‘help’ of the richest corporate CEOs. Canada’s water, energy supply, medicare, and much more, will be sold off or dismantled if the SPP succeeds. We will expose this process as undemocratic and as a threat to our values,” adds Hubich.

The 36 affiliated unions of the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour, representing over 93,500 workers in this province are proud to be union this Labour Day. The SFL wishes all Saskatchewan citizens a safe and enjoyable Labour Day weekend. Join us as we celebrate our successes in building an equitable and just society.

Saturday 25 August 2007

Police Trample Graves

Police in Montebello show complete and utter disrespect for the graves of the citizens of this small Quebec community. Click photos to see larger picture.

Friday 24 August 2007

Did Police Thugs and Goons attempt to incite violence at the SPP?

Write to Prime Minister Harper calling for an inquiry into the use of police thugs and goons to incite violence at the recent SPP (Security and Prosperity Partnership) Summit held in Montebello, Quebec.

Click the image below:

SPP - Police tactics and PMO role questioned

Did the PMO (Prime Ministers Office) order the hiring of thugs and goons to incite violent confrontations at the SPP (Security and Prosperity Partnership) Summit?

Thursday 23 August 2007

NACC: Canadian American Business Council peddles corporate members; details of July 2006 meeting of Canadian representatives in Toronto kept secret

Joe Kuchta over at the "Owls and Roosters Blog" has put together a great posting that pulls the covers off of the North American Competitive Council (NACC).

It exposes the who's who of the corporate elite, and shines a light on the special unfettered access they have to the governments of Canada, Mexico, and the U.S.

Citizens voices are being ignored while our rights are being trampled on, and democracy in North America is being handed over to the boardrooms of transnational corporations.

Read it by clicking here.

Police Pose As Protesters At Montebello Summit - CTV NewsNet coverage

Here is the CTV NewsNet coverage of the undercover cops being outed at the SPP.

SPP Protesters deliver petition at Montebello

Here's another video of events at the so-called Security and Prosperity Partnership Summit (SPP) where the Council of Canadians was attempting to deliver a 10,000 name petition to Prime Minister Harper in Montebello, Quebec.

Taxpayer funded police protecting politicians from the citizens who elect them? Why is our Prime Minister afraid to hear from average Canadian citizens, but is prepared give exclusive unfettered access to the corporate elite?

Also, you can check out this link to the Gazetteer Blog for more posts on this topic.

Update: Quebec police admit they went undercover at Montebello protest

Tuesday 21 August 2007

Police accused of using provocateurs to spark violent confrontations at summit

The video below, and the article posted here reveal that undercover police have been exposed using provocateurs to spark violent confrontations at the recent so-called Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) summit held in Montebello, Quebec.

Update: Click here for the CTV report on this story.

SPP is built around secrecy and US military command - law expert

Don't believe the corporate spin doctors and the right-wing politicians they control. The so-called Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) will benefit no one but the corporate power brokers at the expense of average citizens and our democratic societies.

That's why they refuse to discuss it in the open, and prefer to meet in secret, behind closed doors and surrounded by tax-payer funded barricades complete with military and police armed with pepper spray, tear gas, and rubber bullets.

"The agreement's title is classic framing: "Security and Prosperity Partnership" (SPP) conjures up comfortable images. Michael Byers says the agreement under discussion this week by Canadian, US and Mexican leaders Harper, Bush and Calderon should more properly be framed as a secret agreement to give sweeping military, immigration and border control of all three countries over to the US. On Sunday, Byers, the Canada Research Chair in Global Politics and International Law at the University of British Columbia told a standing-room-only forum in Ottawa about the politics and persuasion connected with the agreement under discussion behind the barricades this week at Montebello, Quebec."

Read the entire article (quoted above) on "" by clicking here.

Sunday 19 August 2007

Alberta city considers containers for housing

Talk about the "Alberta Advantage". The following article appeared in the Saturday, August 18, 2007 edition of the Kamloops Daily News:

"Alberta city considers containers for housing

GRANDE PRAIRIE, Alta. (CP) -- Faced with feverish population growth, a northern Alberta community is looking to old steel shipping containers to tackle its housing crunch.

The proposal is one of several ideas for low-income housing that the rapidly-growing city of Grande Prairie is pitching to the province for funding.

The use of shipping containers, more commonly found on cargo ships, as low-cost housing is not new.

One U.S.-based non-profit group, Global Peace Containers, has been converting old containers into schools, clinics, community centres and homes in developing countries since 1995.

Retired shipping containers are being used increasingly in the U.S. where they can be bought cheap and stacked like Lego."

Incredible, now housing options in Alberta are being measured against those in developing countries.

VVFS Dick Cheney - Funny

This really gets funny when it gets past the 1 minute mark. Hang in there until you get to that point in the video - you won't regret it.

Wednesday 15 August 2007

Cheney changed his tune - Big Time

In 1994 U.S. Vice-President Cheney said invading Baghdad/Iraq would be a quagmire and he would have no part of it.

He should have taken his own advice.

Sunday 12 August 2007

Regina Restaurant Rips Off Workers

On Saturday, July 28, 2007 the Regina Leader Post ran a story entitled: Post-secondary students entitled to call-out pay. The story reports on a recent decision by Labour Standards Adjudicator, Maureen Dumonceaux upholding claims against Regina restaurant Poverino's Pasta Grill for unpaid wages.

The article focused on the part of the adjudicators decision that states the minimum 3 hour call-out section of the minimum wage provisions of the Saskatchewan Labour Standards Act must apply to post-secondary students. In other words, post-secondardy students, who are workers, must receive at least the equivalent of 3 hours pay at minimum wage each time they are called out (or scheduled and attend/report) to work. Just like all other Saskatchewan workers.

You can read the entire decision by clicking here. There was an additional decision issued at the same time which you can view a copy of by clicking here.

What wasn't focused on in the article is the fact that Poverino's has been ordered to pay, in total, more than $62,000.00 in unpaid wages to some 135 workers who have been cheated out of pay they earned and pay they were entitled to when Poverino's closed it's doors in late 2006.

There have been two wage assessments filed against Poverino's:

1. The first one dated January 4, 2007 (click here to view) and is in the amount of $19,156.33.

2. The second one dated February 16, 2007 (click here to view) which replaces the first one and is in the amount of $62,205.80.

You will notice in the first assessment, that on Schedule "A" Page 3 of 4 - there were two claims which were subsequently withdrawn. One by Kirby Onishenko in the amount of $2,572.12 and the other by Lori Onishenko in the amount of $2,171.71. Curious???

You will see from documents obtained from the Corporate Registry of the Saskatchewan Corporations Branch (view here) that Kirby Onishenko was/is listed as a significant shareholder of numbered company 626385 Saskatchewan Ltd. owning and operating under the trade name of Poverino's Pasta Grill.

A further connection between Numbered Company 626385 and Poverino's Pasta Grill (in Regina) is verified by viewing this cheque issued from Poverinos. You will notice from the cheque that the address of the Regina Poverinos is 2635 E Star Lite St. I wonder whose signature is on the cheque?

It was interesting then to read that a "New" restaurant namely "The Black Pepper Italian Eatery and Piano Bar", reportedly owned by Onishenko, is having problems recruiting workers.

The Thursday, August 8, 2007 edition of the Regina Leader-Post ran a story entitled: Bonuses lure line cooks, reporting that Onishenko is offering bonuses of up to $1,000.00 to lure cooks to his "new" business. For the record - the "new" Black Pepper is operating out of the exact same location as the "old" Poverino's Pasta Grill - i.e - 2635 E Star Lite St., Regina, SK.

Coincidence? You tell me.

Perhaps the main stream media should do a bit more "investigative reporting".

Tuesday 7 August 2007

SPP, TILMA, PNWER, Conservatives and the Corporate Agenda

Take a gander over at the "Owls and Roosters Blog" were Joe Kuchta has just posted an article entitled: TILMA: Saskatchewan Party Leader Brad Wall, the Pacific NorthWest Economic Region and the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America.

Once again, Joe has done some quality research - which connects the dots between a number of initiatives currently being pushed (mostly in secret, in back rooms) by right-wing governments, right-wing political parties, and their corporate backers.

Democracy is being slowly dismantled by big corporate money, elitism and priviledge.

Friday 3 August 2007

TILMA: A Saskatchewan Party government could seek agreement with BC-Alberta after April 1, 2009; media reports continue to mislead public

Joe Kuchta, over at the "Owls and Roosters" Blog does another masterful job of analysing the B.C./Alberta Trade, Investment and Labour Mobility Agreement (TILMA).

His recent blog posting (click here to read) illuminates the huge and growing body of evidence which reveals what those who support TILMA are saying, and what their true agenda is.

The analysis draws a clear connection between TILMA and the "so-called" Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP). It is an excellent read.

Wednesday 1 August 2007

Saskatchewan Government rejects anti-democratic TILMA scheme

Today (August 1, 2007) the Saskatchewan Government announced that it is rejecting the B.C./Alberta Trade Investment and Labour Mobility Agreement (TILMA).

At a news conference held in Regina, Government Relations Minister Harry Van Mulligan said, "After careful study, the government has concluded that the Trade, Investment and Labour Mobility Agreement in not for Saskatchewan."

See the official announcement by clicking here.

See the CBC website report by clicking here.