Friday, 7 December 2007

Local media declares Jihad on Saskatchewan government

There are a couple of articles/columns in today's (Friday, December 7, 2007) Regina Leader-Post reporting on the Brad Wall government's recent flip-flop on the question of "Essential Services Legislation". Before the election they said they "Wouldn't bring in legislation", now they are determined that they will.

The article is by James Wood - Wall tries to settle labour law confusion.

and the column by Murray Mandryk - Sask. Party rewrites election script.

Just to clear up the comments regarding demonstrations and rallies on the steps of the legislature -- this is how it went. It was right at the end of a 15 minute scrum following my meeting (On Thursday) with the new minister in charge of labour, Rob Norris. I had talked and responded to questions about worker rights; potential judicial challenges against the backdrop of recent Supreme Court of Canada decisions; why the Sask. Party said one thing before the election and the complete opposite after the election; whether workers might defy legislation like has occurred in the past; and so on.

We were just about to conclude the interview and Leader-Post Reporter James Wood demands something like - "so if the Wall government refuses to back down and refuses to consult appropriately will we be seeing 500 people protesting on the steps of the legislature?"

I looked at him with a puzzled and astonished look, thinking to myself - "you can't be serious James, we're talking about peoples' constitutional and charter rights here - that's the best question you can ask?" and I responded (kind of tongue in cheek) - "oh I don't know, probably - maybe even more. If workers feel strongly enough that this is an infringement on their charter rights I'm sure they'll protest in a variety of ways."

p.s. Murray Mandryk wasn't even there to witness me "declaring Jihad ... with my threats of protests on the steps of the legislature." It was James Wood who threatened protests on the steps of the legislature, I just responded that protests were a possibility. Talk about sensationalism and exaggeration.

Other than that - the article and column are pretty good.


berlynn said...

Uh, Larry, shouldn't the Leader Post issue a clarification or an apology or something? I mean, if they're saying you said something you didn't say, they are lying to the public. That's propagandizing. And the media isn't supposed to do that.

leftdog said...

Our poor old Saskatchewan ... working people have to deal with the double whammy of:
a) A Premier who LIES!!!!
b) An irresponsible and sensationalist Media!!!

The two in combination make it difficult to get the truth out there.

This blog, and others, do a great public service by not allowing our dishonest premier and our agenda driven media to have the final say on important issues.

Sean S. said...

I agree Larry, you should seek redress or a retraction from Mandryk if he has twisted your words as you have describe here.

John Murney said...

What Sean said.

Rhonda Heisler said...

Using the term "Jihad" with its Muslim-specific connotations is both highly inflammatory and insulting.

If Mandrayk wants to use a term from the war lexicon to describe civil protest outside the legislature, why can't he use the term
"preemptive strike". That way, Brad Wall and his pig trough cronies could simply legislate an end to the preemptive strike.

Wt said...

Is there any kind of labour initiative that is going to highlight the extent to which the provincial government overrode CUPE 1975's Charter right to bargain collectively by threatening legislation? By threatening legislation, the circumstances of bargaining were altered, undermining the legitimacy of the 85% rejection of the University's final offer. The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that collective bargaining must be protected from government interference and that employees have right to bargain substantive workplace issues. This would also include, I presume, the right to bargain essential services in each case.