Thursday, June 22, 2006

Soft Harassment In The Workplace

Harassment comes in many forms and at times, I think it becomes very easy to feel powerless against it. I am no legal expert, so what I'm about to say could be shit, but I really think there is such a thing as overt harassment (objective and documented) and soft harassment (subjective and undocumented, such as the spreading of lies or rumours for the purposes of intimidation).

As defined by the Canadian Human Rights Commission, “[h]arassment, whether by a supervisor or co-worker, creates a barrier to equality by demeaning its victims, interfering with their ability to work effectively and, in some instances, even forcing them to resign.”

Taking that a little further, I looked up what is the employer’s responsibility towards harassment and it reads: “The employer is responsible for any harassment that occurs in the workplace. It is the employer’s duty to:

Make it clear that harassment will not be tolerated;

Establish a harassment policy;

Make sure every employee understands the policy and procedures for dealing with harassment;
Inform supervisors and managers of their responsibility to provide a harassment-free work environment;

Investigate and correct harassment problems as soon as they come to light, even if a formal complaint has not been received.

The employer should be prepared to take appropriate disciplinary action against an employee found to have harassed someone.”

But what do you do when there is no concrete evidence of harassment? What happens when your boss is totally committed to making your life a living hell by being a first class dick just so you quit? What if he or she does so by spreading fictitious lies or telling your colleagues rumours about you with the hopes that it gets back to you? What if your boss is doing this to intimidate you, but there is no concrete evidence? Then what happens? What are your options? And what if no one listens?

Personally, I'm tired of witnessing this bullshit and it's time more employers step up to the plate and protect their employees as opposed to covering their asses. We all know that productivity increases when employees are in a nurturing environment. I think employers are definitely beginning to make the leap by trying to create this "nurturing environment", but sometimes I just get the feeling that these are hollow attempts, high on rhetoric and low on action.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Pot Heads Of The World, Unite!

While organizing for Michael Ignatieff, I came across a woman who has been working hard with community activists and lawyers to legalize marijuana.

While I am a huge advocate for the legalization of marijuana for one reason or another, I think the biggest reason why I believe marijuana should be legalized is because the drug trafficking industry can be quite dangerous and I have met countless people who have been directly affected by it, regardless of whether or not they are involved in it. If you live in BC, or more specifically, the GVA or the Fraser Valley, chances are you have seen just how insiduous, nasty and trecherous this industry can be.

Something needs to change and so I wanted to post a resolution that this woman created.


WHEREAS Cannabis, its preparations, derivatives and similar synthetic preparations including:

(1) Cannabis resin;

(2) Cannabis (marihuana);

(3) Cannabidoiol (2-[3-methyl-6-(1methylethenyl)-2-cyclohexen-1-yl]-5]pentyl-1,3- benzenediol);

(4) Cannabinol (3-n-amyl-6,6,9-trimethyl 1-6-dibenzopyran-1-o1);

(5) Nabilone ((+)-trans-3-(1,1, dimethylheptyl- 6,6a,7,8,10,10a-hexahydro-1- hydroxy6,6-dimethyl-0H-dibenzo[b,d]pyran-9-one);

(6) Pyrahexyl (3-n-hexyl-6,6,9-timethyl, 7,8,9,10-tetrahydro-6-dibenzopyran-1-of);

(7) Tetrahydrocannabinol (tetrahydro-6,6,9-trimethyl-3-pentyl-6H-dibezol [b,d]pyran- 1-ol);

(7.1) 3-(1,2-dimethylheptyl)-7,8,9,10-tetrahydro-6,6,9-trimethyl-6H-dibenz[b,d] pyran-I-of (DMHP)

but not including

(8) Non-viable cannabis seed, with the exception of its derivatives;

(9) Mature cannabis stalks that do not include leaves, flowers, seeds or branches and fiber derived from such stalks is a controlled substance pursuant to the provisions of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (Schedule II)

WHEREAS despite that prohibition the production, including manufacturing, synthesizing or using any means of altering the chemical or physical properties of the substance, or cultivating, propagating or harvesting the substance or any living thing from which the substance may be extracted or otherwise obtained and includes an offer to produce Marihuana and trafficking in Marihuana, including selling, administering, giving, transferring, transporting, sending, delivering or selling an authorization to obtain Marihuana of offering to do any of the above is a flourishing industry;

WHEREAS the Royal Canadian Mounted Police have identified the Fraser Valley in the Province of British Columbia as a major source of Marihuana production and trafficking;

WHEREAS the Royal Canadian Mounted Police have determined that illegal activity related to the production and trafficking of Marihuana, including but not necessarily being limited to the trace in illegal weapons, laundering of proceeds of crime, importation of other prohibited or controlled substances specifically but not limited to cocaine and heroin, smuggling of illegal immigrants and violent offences such as assault are directly related to the marihuana industry;

WHEREAS the Royal Canadian Mounted Police have determined that the illegal production and trafficking in Marihuana typically occurs in residences and out buildings such as barns or sheds within the Fraser Valley of the Province of British Columbia and specifically within the federal riding of Langley;

WHEREAS the Royal Canadian Mounted Police have determined that the production and trafficking of Marihuana is directly related to theft of electricity, extensive property damage and fires caused by improper electrical installation;

WHEREAS the Royal Canadian Mounted Police have determined that they have inadequate resources to address the production and trafficking of Marihuana and the other incidental illegal activity;

WHEREAS the Royal Canadian Mounted Police report that more than $8 Billion of Marihuana produced and trafficked in British Columbia is traded across the border of Canada and the United States of America each year;

WHEREAS the federal riding of Langley is directly adjacent to the United States of America;

WHEREAS the problems associated with the prohibition of Marihuana are analogous to the problems associated with the historical prohibition of alcohol;

WHEREAS the chronic use of Marihuana leads to psychological and physical addiction of users;

WHEREAS chronic users of Marihuana may be socially marginalized;

WHEREAS the chronic use of Marihuana has been identified as a health risk to users;

WHEREAS the chronic use of alcohol leads to psychological and physical addiction of users;

WHEREAS chronic users of alcohol may be socially marginalized;

WHEREAS the chronic use of alcohol has been identified as a health risk to users;

WHEREAS residents in Canada actively and legally produce wine, beer and other alcohol beverages in their residences and at licensed business premises;

WHEREAS the Provinces of Canada control the production and distribution of alcohol and collect taxes;

WHEREAS the former Minister of Health, John Munro has, in the past, given active consideration to the legalization and control of the production and distribution of Marihuana;

BE IT RESOLVED that this convention endorse a policy to remove Marihuana from the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act and to add Marihuana to the legislation of the Provinces to permit production and distribution of Marihuana within Canada and to establish a tax collection scheme for the purpose of controlling and taxing the production and distribution of Marihuana by way of enacting Provincial legislation analogous to the Liquor Control Act.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Iggs Is Gonna Take It

You heard it here first! :)

I know there is plenty of bullshit being spun by bloggers on how great their candidate is. It's easy to think that it's just empty propoganda, but I assure you that I use the utmost sincerity when talking about Michael Ignatieff.

As I truck along with the Ignatieff's campaign, I continue to be impressed with the organization. I'm learning so much and this is truly one of the best experiences I've had in politics.

The people a leadership candidate has around him or her, are very much indicative of the person they are. I've been lucky enought to have met a lot of people on the campaign in BC and I am totally impressed with the morale, the integrity and the work ethic. The people Ignatieff keeps close to him are good, quality folk and ultimately, it's their character that has confirmed it for me that I am working for the right candidate.

Here's a look at some of Ignatieff's support across Canada:

Newfoundland and Labrador
- Paul Antle, Past Candidate (2006) - St. John's East
- Tom McGrath, Treasurer - Liberal Party of Canada (Newfoundland and Labrador), 1999 Provincial Candidate - St. John’s East
- Todd Russell, MP Labrador

- Hon. Wayne Easter, MP Malpeque
- Hon. Joe McGuire, MP Egmont

Nova Scotia
- Hon. Geoff Regan, MP Halifax West
- Rodger Cuzner, MP Cape Breton-Canso
- Robert Thibault, MP West Nova

New Brunswick
- Jean-Claude D’Amours, MP Madawaska-Restigouche
- Sen. Rose-Marie Losier-Cool
- Paul Zed, MP Saint John

- Hon. Denis Coderre, MP Bourassa
- Sen. Roméo Dallaire, retired Lieutenant-General
- Raymonde Folco, MP Laval—Les Îles
- Marcel Proulx, MP Hull Aylmer
- Pablo Rodriguez, MP Honore-Mercier and former President of LPCQ

- John Cannis, MP Scarborough Centre
- Paul Szabo, MP Mississauga South
- Hon. Mauril Bélanger, MP Ottawa-Vanier
- Marlene Catterall, former MP Ottawa West—Nepean
- Hon. Elinor Caplan, former Cabinet Minister, former MP Thornhill
- Milton Chan, Vice President Policy - Young Liberals of Canada
- Ruby Dhalla, MP Brampton-Springdale
- Hon. Albina Guarnieri, MP Mississauga East-Cooksville
- Susan Kadis, MP Thornhill
- Hon. Derek Lee, MP Scarborough-Rouge River
- John Maloney, MP Welland
- Hon. John McCallum, MP Markham-Unionville
- Hon. John McKay, MP Scarborough-Guildwood
- Christian Provenzano, 2006 Liberal Candidate - Sault Ste. Marie
- Lloyd St. Amand, MP Brant
- Roger Valley, MP Kenora
- Hon. Elinor Caplan, former federal and provincial cabinet minister
- Hon. Jim Peterson, MP Willowdale
- Sen. David Smith

- Sharon Appleyard, President of Liberal Party of Canada (Manitoba
- Hon. Raymond Simard, MP Saint Boniface

- Hon. Pana Papas Merchant, Senator

- Cory Lynch, Elections Readiness Chair - Alberta Young Liberals
- Sen. Grant Mitchell, Former Leader - Alberta Liberal Party

- Hon. Keith Martin, MP Esquimalt - Juan de Fuca
- Hon. Stephen Owen, MP Vancouver Quadra

Monday, June 05, 2006

Displeased in BC with Volpe

I want to commend Jason Walker, Riding Association President for Esquimalt - Juan de Fuca, for challenging Joe Volpe on his kiddie donations.

At the BC Federal Liberal Council, held this weekend in Victoria, BC, Joe Volpe addressed the crowd and took questions. In one of his speeches, Volpe claimed to have inspired three grade schoolers to donate thousands of dollars to his leadership campaign.

Frustrated with the spin, excuses and bullshit, Mr. Walker, an adjunct assistant professor with the University of Victoria's school of child and youth care, challenged him on this and when his questions were more spin, excuses and bullshit, Walker walked out.

While on his way, Walker claims to have been "hassled" by one of Mr. Volpe's supporters - whom others identified as being the candidate's national campaign coordinator Jim Karygiannis. In an interview with Public Eye Online, Walker mentioned that , "[Karygiannis] was very angry. He was angry that I raised the issue. He was asking for evidence. And my response was this is about children and it is not open for debate. It involves children. It is wrong. And this is not what our party's about. And we need to step up and take responsibility. And, as a president, I don't expect to be harassed on my way out of a meeting by an observer."

Kudos to Walker for staying firm in his beliefs and demanding more from a leadership candidate. The Party is in a position where it can't take any more scandals. Not only is our public image at stake, but so is our own morale. We all need to rise to the occasion to ensure the integrity of our Party.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Job Opportunity At SFU

The Department of Political Science at Simon Fraser University invites applications for a twelve month limited term appointment at the Assistant Professor level in the areas of Canadian politics and government and Quantitative methods. Completion or near-completion of a Ph.D., demonstrable ability to teach quantitative methods, and a well developed research agenda are required. The appointment will be made at the Instructor level in the event that the successful candidate has not yet competed the Ph.D. This colleague will be responsible for teaching four semester-long courses over the twelve month period: POL 201 and 423 [fall]; POL 221 and 321 [spring]. For course descriptions, please consult

The successful candidate will join a department of 24 faculty members, with degree programs at all levels, including Ph.D. Simon Fraser University offers programs to approximately 25,000 students, and is consistently ranked among the top comprehensive universities in Canada. The main campus of Simon Fraser University is situated on Burnaby Mountain, with sweeping views of the mountains and Greater Vancouver below. As a result of its many cultural and multicultural events, skiing, boating, hiking, favorable climate, and clean, safe environment, Vancouver has consistently been judged among the top three cities in the world in which to live and work.

Applications should include a curriculum vitae, an article-length writing sample and letters of reference from three referees, who should be asked by applicants to send references directly to our department chair. Please send applications to Dr. David Laycock, Chair, Department of Political Science, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby B.C., V5A 1S6. Applicants must include among their referees one who can comment on their teaching experience and potential. The deadline for receipt of applications and associated materials is July 1, 2006.

All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadian citizens and Permanent Residents will be given priority. Simon Fraser University is committed to employment equity and encourages applications from all qualified women and men, including visible minorities, aboriginal people and persons with disabilities. All appointments are subject to final budgetary approval.

Osama The Uncut Version - Funny

This is the Family Guy version of Osama uncut. Very funny.

*** Sorry, I posted a bad link last time. Here's the video.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Harper's Dilemma

Ten years ago last week, Stephen Harper attended the "Winds of Change" conference in Calgary to discuss the possible merger of the Reform and Progressive Conservative parties. In a keynote speech, Harper outlined what he saw as a recipe for winning a national government.

According to Harper, the key was to build a coalition focusing on three core constituencies - the "three sisters" as political architect, Tom Flanagan, put it. The first - populist reformers in the West; the second - traditional "blue" Tories in Ontario and the Atlantic provinces; the third - Quebec nationalists.

Harper began to foster relationships with each of the three sisters and it was their support that insiders credit for his minority election win in January. But while last week may mark a special anniversary in Harper's rise to power, there are also signs that tensions between those three sisters may be on the rise.

It started with Quebec Premier, Jean Charest's announcement that Quebec was willing to go it alone with it came to the Kyoto accord. Then another sister chimed in last week - Ralph Klein, the voice of populist Alberta itself, over ideas about reforming the Federal government's equalization payments to the provinces by adding resource revenues to the equation. I guess "blue" Tories in Ontario could also be added to the list depending on how upset they are over Harper's treatment of McGuinty.

I'm not the only one noticing tensions.

This is why I can't see the Tories staying in power too long.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Dion's Camp Runs Into Trouble

TDH Strategies posted today about rumours that the Dion campaign is quickly running out of money to the point where some formerly paid organizers are now being asked to carry on without financial compensation. Later, TDH updated their site to mention that the information regarding the financial shape of the campaign has been confirmed by another source.

There are a lot of rumours going around that this is the case - Dion is running out of steam. Apparently an event, hosted recently in BC, was only attended by 9 people. Also, the change in the campaign's tone - Dion wanting to rebuff his image - is just another signal that Dion is falling behind.

Dion isn't one of my top picks, but I like him a lot. He has been a huge contribution to the Party and Canada as a whole. Dion made sure the environment played a significant role in his campaign platform, and for that, I truly commend him.

I posted in the past that I would never support Rae and that he would be a lousy leader for the Liberals. Indeed, he brings a lot of baggage, but after hearing Rae speak this weekend in Abbotsford, I am convinced that if Michael Ignatieff were to lose to what are probably the two other front runners in the race, Gerard Kennedy and Bob Rae, I would perfectly content to support them and would have confidence in their abilities to successfully lead our Party .