Letters to Editor
As is our custom, I picked up a copy of your Aug 20th Springwater News @ our sons place in Snow Valley. As always I’m amazed @ the breadth of news & articles that you cram into it. It truly is a pleasure to browse through. Keep up the good work, regards,
G20 class action settlement
Re: the Editor's Musings (August 20) on the 2010 G20 meeting class action lawsuit.
The Editor states "The protesters (10,000) wore masks, some gas masks. They burned cars....The police were blamed for trying to control a mob.". Unfortunately, these statements and the implication that all protesters were involved in these behaviors is not consistent with the facts.
The accounts of the protest from several independent sources (The Globe and Mail, The National Post and the Office of the Independent Police Review Director--which issued a 300 page report) all note that the vast majority of protesters were peaceful.
The rationale for the settlement was because: "Lines of riot police boxed in peaceful protesters, a technique known as 'kettling'....In all, roughly 1,100 people were arrested, and large numbers detained without legal counsel, adequate food and water or bathroom privacy, in crowded wire cages in a makeshift jail", according to a court document cited by the Globe on August 17. Charges against these peaceful protesters were eventually all dropped.
A tiny percentage of protesters, not connected to the main body of the protest, were involved in unlawful actions and were appropriately charged. These individuals were not part of the class action lawsuit.
While it's disappointing that the Editor chose to make clearly misleading statements about this protest my main concern is these kinds of ill-informed comments inevitably lead to rigid thinking and divisive positions--which is counterproductive to a harmonious society.
What is needed is a willingness to understand and communicate all the facts so that there can be thoughtful problem-solving on the challenging issue of balancing Canadians' rights to protest--on any issue--with society's need for security.
Thank you for reviewing this letter.
Peter Kizoff, Tiny, ON
Why would a Minister sign a Contract when the terms of the Contract are merely in Draft form?
Thought of the Day – 2020 08 31- Why would a Minister sign a Contract when the terms of the Contract are merely in Draft form? Said terms may or may not change due to said terms not being ratified prior to the Contract being executed, therefore any terms of the contract, if not ratified prior to the signatures being placed, can be amended after the contract is to be executed, couldn’t they? Does this not leave the “third parties” (Canadian tax-payers and students) affected by the contract in jeopardy and is this not a fraud considering the Contract has been signed without all terms being ratified and confirmed prior to its execution?
That is for you, members of the Opposition parties and the Officers of Her Majesty to decide…
Firstly, what is a “contract”?
Black’s Law Dictionary, 9th Edition, 2009, p. 366
“3. A promise or set of promises by a party to a transaction, enforceable or otherwise recognizable at law; the writing expressing that promise or set of promises...”
It would seem there are, in the Criminal Code of Canada, a number of sections which deal with this type of action, depending on the “intent,” and so forth. These could include sections 121, 336, 341, 363, PART X, etc.
This lack of solidified terms, in the contract, should be very concerning to Canadians due to the fact that we, Canadians, are the tax-payers. It would seem government has left the door open to a number of failings due to the lack of secured defined terms in the Contract to support students.
In the Contract “Project” is defined as:
“Project” means the project described in Schedule A.”
And yet, as provided in the signed Contract by Minister Chagger, dated June 23, 2020, Schedule “A” is merely a draft document. This may or may not set out the exact terms of what the “Project” actually entails, as it is merely a “DRAFT” of what WE Charity, WEIIbeing Foundation, or ME to WE Foundation of Canada are to actually do and/or what obligations they are to fulfill, doesn’t it? Could the lack of concrete terms leave the Canadian tax-payers on the hook for something that no one actually agreed to? How much leeway does this provide, to 3 named corporations, in the contract? And was the Minister aware, at the time she signed the document – backdating it to May 5th, that Schedule “A” was in draft form?
Once the Minister’s name is affixed it means that she had accepted the terms as they were on the date of signing the document as she is to be fully aware of the contract she is accepting, particularly when it involved up to almost $1 Billion tax-payer’s dollars. Isn’t she to perform due diligence or is this the failings of her staff? Could she have been pressured to sign this document by other Ministers before the terms of Schedule “A” (Project) were confirmed?
These are all questions that need to be answered but with the redactions in the documents provided, it would seem there is a very long road ahead for Canadians. Sadly, this seems to be the case when dealing with friends of government(s) and sadly, for Canadians, we may never know the depths of governmental abuse committed against the people of Canada.
Why would a Minister sign a Contract when the terms of the Contract are merely in Draft form? Said terms may or may not change due to said terms not being ratified prior to the Contract being executed, therefore any terms of the contract, if not ratified prior to the signatures being placed, can be amended after the contract is to be executed, couldn’t they? Does this not leave the “third parties,” (Canadian tax-payers and students) affected by the contract, in jeopardy and is this not a fraud considering the Contract has been signed without all terms being ratified and confirmed prior to its execution?
That is for you, members of the Opposition parties and the Officers of Her Majesty to decide…
Elizabeth F. Marshall, President All Rights Research Ltd.,
Director of Research Ontario Landowners Association
Author – “Property Rights 101: An Introduction”
Board Member/Secretary – Canadian Justice Review Board
Legal Research – Queen’s Counsel, Lawyers, Law Offices, etc.,
Legislative Researcher – MPs, MPPs, Municipal Councillors,
I am not a lawyer and do not give legal advice. Any information relayed is for informational purposes only. Please contact a lawyer. “The rule is the public interest is always paramount but NEVER when it is at the expense of a private individual.” Ontario Legislative Assembly, Februrary 11, 1965 – Vol. 1, p. 478.
COVID-19 and scientific fallibility
By Pat Murphy on August 20, 2020
The pandemic has underlined that we should neither disregard nor worship uncritically at the altar of science
In addition to upending 21st century normalcy, the COVID-19 pandemic has shone the light on science itself. Just how reliable is it?
It’s an interesting question.
First, though, let me be open about my default settings. I’m generally very big on medical science, believing that without it I mightn’t be alive today.
Ireland, where I grew up, was badly hit by the 20th century tuberculosis outbreak and I was one of its victims. A critical component of my successful treatment was streptomycin, a drug introduced in the U.S. in the 1940s.
Decades later, I benefited from the innovation of PSA screening, which acted as a potential prostate cancer warning and facilitated early action. Given that my father died an unpleasant death from the same affliction at a younger age than my current one, perhaps my life was saved.
So I’m well disposed towards medical science. As for science in general, I’m also a fan. But with caveats.
Karl Popper’s falsifiability principle strikes me as important.
Specifically, a scientific proposition needs to be refutable – meaning it should be possible to define a test that might prove it false. Otherwise, a significant degree of skepticism is appropriate. To quote Popper, “A theory that explains everything explains nothing.”
And declarations that science is settled don’t warm my heart or build my confidence. I think of science as an ongoing process and attempts to shut down discussion just raise my suspicions.
I also think it’s naïve to believe that scientists are devoid of ego, personal values, political preferences and ideology. In theory, a scientist should put such considerations aside. In practise, that’s a very big ask.
I’m prepared to cut science some slack on COVID-19. In a brutally uncharted real-time environment, mistakes will be made.
Still, there were significant areas where science fell short of what common sense would’ve suggested.
Masks are a case in point.
Many of us figured out early that masks could be of some value in certain situations. Yes, they were by no means foolproof and shouldn’t be a licence to behave recklessly. However, the maxim to never make the perfect the enemy of the good surely applied.
But for weeks, the official scientific instruction was opposed. Then came the about-turn and the elevation of masks to near religious status.
Care homes are another example.
We regularly visit an elderly friend in a long-term care facility but stopped doing so in early March. It just seemed irresponsible in light of the generally fragile state of resident health. And we wondered why the medical authorities were slower on the uptake than we were.
Ideology also reared its head.
The initial reluctance to shut down international travel – even from COVID-19 hot spots – can probably be ascribed to concerns of racism, stigmatization and xenophobia. So instead of timely action, we were treated to fatuous mantras about the virus not respecting or recognizing boundaries. Mere common sense would’ve suggested that infected carriers crossing borders was potentially a huge problem.
Then came the Black Lives Matter protests.
After weeks of public health evangelization on the need to avoid large gatherings, the protests no sooner erupted than they had the approval – sometimes explicit and sometimes tacit – of large chunks of those who’d been evangelizing. Unintended though it may have been, the message was unmissable: public health rules don’t apply to favoured political causes.
There have also been bright spots, situations where medical science has shone.
As of this writing, the population-adjusted COVID-19 case count in Texas is between 80 and 90 per cent of that experienced in New York. Its death rate, though, is just over one-fifth of New York’s.
Part of the difference has to do with Texan infections skewing younger. But a big part derives from a rapid learning process.
The Texas surge came later than New York’s and the state’s medical apparatus was able to use the intervening period to adjust treatment protocols and ramp up preparations. This sort of real-time learning and adaptation is medicine at its best.
Bottom line, the pandemic has underlined both the fallibility and indispensability of science. We should neither disregard it nor worship uncritically at its altar.
That’s inconveniently messy. It’s also real life.
Meanwhile let’s hope that Oxford epidemiologist Sunetra Gupta is correct and the threshold for effective herd immunity is much lower than generally thought. That would be nice.
Columnist Pat Murphy casts a history buff’s eye at the goings-on in our world. Never cynical – well perhaps a little bit.
My Spousal Sponsorship Story
I am writing this letter because I am currently in the process of sponsoring my husband and I would like to share with you the daily suffering many Canadians, like me, are experiencing due to our prolonged separation.
I have been with my (husband/wife) for 1.5 years, we have not been able to physically see each other for 17 months, and we have been waiting 12 months for our application to be approved. Spousal sponsorship applications are currently being delayed due to COVID19, and visitations denied even before the pandemic.
While most families have been asked to stay at home together, during this time, our families are being ripped apart. Our mental, emotional and psychological health is being stretched beyond its limits, and government officials are not viewing our concerns as a priority. The long distances across oceans and continents have left us wondering when we will be able to see each other again.
We have been left out of the announcement on June 8th to “reunite foreign family members with Canadian Citizens and Permanent Residents”. Family reunification is listed as a priority in numerous laws and government publications, but Visas are denied. I am asking IRCC to uphold its mission according to their Immigration program. Our families can come to Canada safely, with an effective quarantine plan, protective materials, and testing being completed.
Please help us tell our story, and get our families home. Thank you for your time and attention, I look forward to your response and we all hope to have your support.
Sincerely, Baljit Singh
Letter to the editor from Minister Schulte on preparing for the second wave
As our economy starts to reopen, the health and safety of Canadians is our number one priority. That’s why the Government of Canada is acting now to put the right tools in place before a potential second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic hits.
We have negotiated a Safe Restart Agreement with the provinces and territories that will invest $19 billion to protect the health of Canadians and ensure they can safely return to work. This Agreement bolsters the capacity of the provinces and territories to conduct contact tracing and testing, with a goal to have capacity for up to 200,000 tests a day across the country. This is vital to containing future outbreaks quickly before they spread.
To better protect seniors in long-term care homes, we are funding infection prevention measures and expanding eligibility for federal infrastructure funds so they can be used to modernize and renovate long-term care facilities.
We have set up a contingency reserve of personal protective equipment so front line and essential workers have the vital protection they need to do their jobs.
The Agreement also makes a significant investment to ensure sufficient and safe childcare is available for families. By ensuring staff and children are safe, parents will have the peace of mind to feel confident returning to work. The federal government is creating a temporary national sick leave program so no one feels pressured to go to work when sick. The program will provide 10 days of paid sick leave to workers who do not already qualify through their employers to ensure they can stay home and get well.
Throughout these difficult times, Canadians have stood together to look out for one another and protect our communities.
Our government will continue to ensure that Canadians have the supports to stay safe and get through this pandemic.
Canada’s Minister of Seniors