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Newsstand: May 9, 2014

Even when he's in rehab he's still in the news. Rob Ford really has a knack. Sharing the news pages with our illustrious mayor: the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario defends the lack of mandatory inquests into migrant farm workers' deaths, and police are still making money on the side after council tried to stop them.

matt newsstand raccoon

Apparently the brothers Ford will be releasing evidence proving that Rob is indeed in rehab. This news came via Toronto Sun reporter Joe Warmington, who has long been one of the only media people in town the mayor will speak to. Warmington’s story also included a video shot April 27, near the time of the second video allegedly showing Mayor Ford smoking crack cocaine. In the video, which a source sent to Warmington, the mayor threatens to “kick you in the fucking head,” though it’s unclear whom he is addressing. As Warmington’s source said of Ford being in rehab, “maybe he should be allowed to heal in peace.”

When mining and construction workers die on the job, the Coroners Act requires that inquests be conducted. These investigations are intended to root out any possible negligent conduct or lax standards that could have led to the deaths. Farm worker deaths, on the other hand, do not require an inquest. After the death of Jamaican migrant farm worker Ned Peart in 2002 and the lack of a resulting inquest, Peart’s family charged that the Act discriminates against seasonal farm workers. The Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, though, has ruled that this is not the case, as construction and mining workers die on the job in higher numbers and more varied ways, meaning inquests into their deaths are more likely to produce useful recommendations. Peart was crushed by a 450-kilogram tobacco bin.

City council’s 2009 attempt to cut back on the hours and earnings of police officers who do off-duty work seems not to have been effective. Officers earned an extra $26.1 million in 2013, up from $24.2 million in 2009. For the 3,047 officers who collected extra pay, that averages out to $8,565 in income above and beyond their officers’ pay. And for that extra pay they may be doing nothing more than standing beside a construction site or in a beer store, collecting at least $65 per hour. The auditor called on Police Chief Bill Blair to establish a firm limit on extra pay for officers, but that demand was rejected.

CORRECTION: May 9, 2014, 10:00 AM This post originally stated that inquests into workers’ deaths are carried out by the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, when in fact they are carried out by the Office of the Chief Coroner for Ontario. We regret the error.


  • Notcleverguy

    ” As Warmington’s source said of Ford being in rehab, “maybe he should be allowed to heal in peace.””

    Just like he should drop out of the race, get out of politics all together and let Toronto heal in peace?

    • dsmithhfx

      Coupla things: We’re his boss. So long as he holds the job title and is drawing a city salary, we need to know: is he really in real rehab and if so, what’s the program, and will the clinic confirm he is in treatment.

      The other thing is, if he really doesn’t want media attention, fine. He should stop phoning/taking calls from media, or telling stuff to colleagues/family he intends to be blabbed to the media.

      I don’t think he can do it. He’s addicted to media attention, and he can’t kick it. It’s like he’s down to the crack house toking on a pipe and saying, ‘I wish you guys would leave me alone’. Huh?

      • rich1299

        I understand about wanting proof Ford is in rehab but when it comes down to it it really doesn’t matter at this point. Ford is still an incompetent all around bigot and chronic liar extremely unfit to be mayor or hold any elected position. Whether or not he’s in rehab won’t change that. Rehab won’t keep him from drinking and drugging again and it won’t make him fit to be mayor.

        It would be good to catch him in yet another really big lie. I do wonder how, after he was denied entry to the US, he could immediately go to another luxury spa type rehab in Guelph. Outside of medical detox I’ve never heard of any residential rehab that you could just walk into without prior planning. Perhaps that’s what the $100,000 buys him.

  • whereverjustice

    Correction: The mandatory inquest following an on-the-job death (per s.10(5) of the Coroners Act) is carried out by a coroner, not by the Human Rights Tribunal. The HRTO was involved in this particular case because of an allegation that the Coroners Act is discriminatory in the discretion it grants to the coroner in determining whether an inquest is necessary.

    • TorontoistCopyEditors

      Thanks for pointing this out. We’ve corrected the error.

  • mixandserve

    God, cops are the WORST. Why can’t the overtime simply be straight time and not time and a half?

    Look…cops are people, too (well, sort of–see G20). If they want a new deck or a new boat and want to suck up a shit-tonne of off-hours, their reward shouldn’t be time and a half, it should be that they had the opportunity to earn money in their off hours, simple.

    I can’t believe I’m actually going to do this…but if someone tells me which city councillor is leading the charge to reign in the skull-splitters, I’ll happy start pestering them to rise up and take a machete to the TPS’ budget. Cops don’t do much and haven’t really earned their pay in generations…I think it’s time for action.

    • bobloblawbloblawblah

      The TPS budget is the elephant in the room that none of the Mayoral candidates save for Soknacki are addressing. People are happy to spout off about the TTC but no one ever talks about the biggest item in the Toronto budget.

      • dsmithhfx

        “tough on crime”. just not his own.

        • bobloblawbloblawblah

          Well, we all know the rules don’t apply to Ford.

    • Geoff

      Time and a half for overtime is the law for most workers in Ontario. Are you seriously calling police “the worst” for wanting the same labour rights almost everyone else has?

      • dsmithhfx

        I think cops should be banned from moonlighting, period. If they’re not working hard enough on their day jobs, we don’t need ‘em. If they are, moonlighting can only hurt their effectiveness. Replace the ‘paid duty’ assignments with security guards and construction workers, for a fraction of the cost.

      • tyrannosaurus_rek

        How is it overtime if they’re not on duty? If I get a second job can I expect time-and-a-half from my new employer?

        • Geoff

          It’s overtime because even though they are not on duty, they are still working as employees of the Toronto Police Service. Off duty just means they are not doing regular duties, it doesn’t mean they are not working as employees of the police service.

          It’s like when an office building signs a contract with a cleaning company. The cleaners are working as employees of the cleaning company not the office building. It’s the same thing here. The police officers aren’t being directly hired by the outside company. They are being sent out through the police service. So if their regular work plus paid off-duty work adds up to more than the overtime threshold, they are legally entitled to overtime pay.

      • mixandserve

        Look, many jobs don’t offer hours outside the 40 per week. If cops want to log more hours, great. But they shouldn’t be able to rack up a 50% bonus “just because”.

        If their supervisor called them in for work, that’s different. I think time-and-a-half applies, as does every other union perk that accompanies OT. Otherwise, no.

        I pay their taxes, and I don’t feel it’s right that I have to fork over a bonus just because a cop wants to VOLUNTARILY fatten his paycheque.

      • mixandserve

        Actually Geoff, other than it’s a union rule across the province, why is it fair to pay time and a half on voluntary fair to anyone?

        Time and a half should only kick in if they canvas for people to volunteer (example need lots of cops at pride on a Sunday) and no one puts their hand up.