Pot a benefit?

May 31, 2017

CBC News – Solomon Israel
Could medical marijuana be your next employee health benefit?

This giant leap from “low-hanging fruits” to inclusion of medical marijuana as part of the employee’s benefit package is not so bizarre.  Several major employers in Canada have already made the decision to include prescription marijuana and the stories of the potential of marijuana for real pain relief are gaining in frequency and expectation.  There is lingering doubt about the potential for marijuana to get people back to work and questions for safety-sensitive industries.  http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/medical-marijuana-employee-health-benefit-1.4132562   Related article: CBC News – Solomon Israel   Tragically Hip goes into partnership with medical marijuana upstart – Marijuana companies may have limited abilities to advertise after federal legislation is passed   http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/medical-marijuana-tragically-hip-partnership-1.4137348

CBC News –

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne announces $15 minimum wage – Minimum wage announcement is among a suite of proposed workplace reforms

Among other labour reforms, Ontario plans a $15 / hour minimum wage, up from the present $11.40.  The increase starts with $14 / hour on Jan 1, 2018 and the full $15 on Jan 1, 2019.  What is pushing the move, besides stagnant wages, is growing realization of the income inequality and the growing impact on vulnerable and middle class populations.  http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/ontario-minimum-wage-announcement-1.4137339   Related article: CBC News – Mike Crawley   How a $15 minimum wage would affect Ontario  http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/ontario-15-minimum-wage-1.4136245

Toronto Star – Tanya Talaga and Alex Ballingall
 Ottawa spent $707,000 in legal fees fighting decision that protects Indigenous children

NDP Charlie Angus asked the question: how much did the federal government spend in legal costs to defend against the struggle First Nations Child and Family Caring Society and the Assembly of First Nations over a Canadian Human Rights order to stop discriminating against Indigenous children?  The answer it seems is nearly twice what one First Nations group, Wapekeka First Nation, needed for mental health care after discovering a suicide pact.  The Canadian Human Rights Commission has served several non-compliance notices to government around the care of Indigenous children.      https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2017/06/02/ottawa-spent-707000-in-legal-fees-fighting-a-rights-decision-that-protects-indigenous-children.html     Related article: Toronto Star Editorial (May 29, 2017)   What will it take for Ottawa finally to tackle Indigenous child-welfare crisis?   https://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorials/2017/05/29/what-will-it-take-for-ottawa-finally-to-tackle-indigenous-child-welfare-crisis-editorial.html

 Toronto Star – Canadian Press
 Karla Homolka no longer allowed to volunteer at Montreal elementary school

Revelations that serial killer Karla Homolka was volunteering at a school attended by her children have stirred considerable controversy.  The Seven Day Adventist school knew who she was and insisted that she was never alone with the children, but the Church school has since reversed the policy to preclude anyone with a criminal record from volunteering.  The reactions vary and focus the issue of community integration of convicted criminals.  https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2017/06/01/karla-homolka-no-longer-allowed-to-volunteer-at-montreal-elementary-school.html   Related article:  Toronto Star – Rosie DiManno   Karla Homolka should be hounded for the rest of her life   https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2017/06/02/karla-homolka-should-be-hounded-for-the-rest-of-her-life-dimanno.html   Related article: Montreal Gazette – Canadian Press    Karla Homolka situation ‘a question of forgiveness,’ NDP’s Thomas Mulcair says   http://montrealgazette.com/news/local-news/karla-homolka-situation-a-question-of-forgiveness-ndps-thomas-mulcair-says    Related article: CBC News – Robyn Urback   Will we recall Elizabeth Wettlaufer’s name the way we do Karla Homolka’s?  http://www.cbc.ca/news/opinion/elizabeth-wettlaufer-1.4142401   Related article: CBC News –  ‘She’s a monster’: Families of those killed by ex-nurse Elizabeth Wettlaufer struggling to forgive – ‘She took away my best friend and my hero, and I can’t forgive that’  http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/windsor/she-s-a-monster-families-of-those-killed-by-ex-nurse-elizabeth-wettlaufer-struggling-to-forgive-1.4141435

 CBC News – Tim Fontaine
Missing and murdered inquiry wraps emotional 1st hearings in Whitehorse

Still surrounded in controversy and struggling, the inquiry on Murder and Missing Indigenous Women held three days of hearings in Whitehorse this week with over 50 families giving tearful testimony. “In three days, we’ve heard stories of loss, pain but also stories of courage and hope,” said Marion Buller, the chair.  “But the most moving thing of all that’s happened is the magic of the healing, you can feel it here.”  Buller also says that the inquiry will need more time.   http://www.cbc.ca/news/indigenous/mmiwg-whitehorse-first-hearings-wrap-1.4142419   Related article: CBC News – ‘Please give us closure’: A family’s emotional plea to the MMIWG Inquiry   http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/mmiwg-inquiry-whitehorse-ladue-family-hearings-1.4141889

CBC News – Bonnie Allen
Saskatoon police chief apologizes for refusing young mom a breast pump while in custody – Lillian Desjarlais spent 3 days without access to a breast pump to relieve pain or to feed son

Lillian Desjarlais, 22, was arrested with her partner and jailed consequent to a domestic dispute call.  While in custody for 75 hours, over a week-end, she requested a breast pump to deal with leaking milk, a painful experience that went without response, and dry clothes.  Police Chief Clive Weighill has apologized personally to her – she had never been in any trouble prior – and issued her a good character letter after the charges from the domestic incident were dropped.  http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatchewan/saskatoon-police-chief-apologizes-for-refusing-young-mom-a-breast-pump-while-in-custody-1.4141326

Globe and Mail – Gloria Galloway
Feds say they can’t accept Senate changes to bill aiming to end Indian Act sexism

The effort to remove sexist elements in the Indian Act have hit a snag in the Senate.  Bill S-3, introduced by the government, intending to remove sexism does not wipe out the problem and government and the senate are disputing how to end the problem permanently and at once.  The offending elements are in conflict with the charter and an obstacle to the requirements of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, already endorsed by the federal government.  https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/senate-indian-act-sexism/article35185997/

Ottawa Citizen – Shaamini Yogaretnam
Four-year police contract would see $100k constable in 2019

A new four year contract retroactive to Jan. 2016 and to be ratified today would see a first class constable making the Sunshine List.  New officers are fourth class and move up roughly one grade for 15 months in the new contract and it includes changes to the court-work scheduling as well.  The police union is unreservedly recommending acceptance.  http://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/four-year-police-contract-would-see-100k-constable-in-2019