Newsstand: December 19, 2013




Newsstand: December 19, 2013

It's almost Friday, which means it's almost Saturday: Rebecca Black's two favourite days of the week, and the time we remember to live in fear of her next single. In the news for distraction from this horror: three men who were pressured to go against their religion at work have won their human rights tribunal, the Ford brothers get involved in sewage spill, and for-cash blood donations may be on their way to Toronto.

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Three former employees of a Toronto restaurant have been awarded almost $100,000 by a human rights tribunal that found the restaurant breached Ontario’s human rights code. The three men, Abdul Malik, Mohammed Islam, and Arif Hossain, worked in the kitchen at Le Papillon on the Park and listed a number of incidents in which management pressured them to go against their religion and rebuked them for speaking Bengali while working. Two of the men were pressured to try pork and the three cooks were also pressured to taste food during the fasting hours of Ramadan.

Mayor Rob Ford and Councillor Doug Ford approached the City’s bureaucrats to discuss a sewage spill that many were linking to a company their Deco Labels has done business with. So new questions have now arisen about influence, corporate connections, and the Fords’ use of power.

A new company is working to open a for-cash blood donation centre at Church and Adelaide, along with two other locations in Ontario. The Krever inquiry, which looked into the Canadian tainted-blood scandal of the early 1980s, ruled that people should only be paid for blood donations in very rare circumstances, but Canadian Plasma Resources has moved forward regardless. The collected blood would be fractionated (separated into its component parts), and then used in drug manufacturing rather than for transfusions. Even so, nurse and hemophiliac Michael McCarthy, who worked on behalf of the blood scandal’s victims, is very skeptical. The lack of public consultation is one of the sticking points for McCarthy.