PAUL'S THOUGHTS  

The following are Paul’s views on issues affecting us all, especially and including issues involving the current election. Paul has provided his views here so you can learn a bit more about him and consider casting your vote for him to represent not just his party, but more importantly Guelph!



Direct Democracy

Worker Rights

Homlessness

Direct Democracy

Often people confuse a country’s economic polices with its electoral system, or they confuse the way a government control’s its peoples with its electoral system.
Democracy is about allowing each individual REAL opportunity to have an equal say in the way they are governed. I believe the first and most important principle of democracy is individual rights & freedoms. Without individual rights & freedoms you can not have a true democracy. This is because people need the freedom to choose what they believe to best for them and not what they are told is best for them. Sadly, in every political system there are extremes, and they are abuses.
For example, Hitler was democratically elected and so was the current president of Russia. In both cases, they were elected in a democratic system. Then eventually over time they seized power. This is why democracy will never fully work. That is, unless we have checks and balances in place. Often, we are told we have check and balances in place, but when you ask you are told they exist, without any specific reference. Say for example Doug Ford seize control of government. What steps would be taken to remove him. There aren’t any.
This is why we need Democracy 2.0, or Direct democracy!

3 Rs of Direct Democracy
Those checks and balances are the three Rs of direct democracy.

Recall
This is the ability of voters to recall a bad elected or appointed officials, including judges.
Ask yourself this simple question, why is it that people in power always seem to not be able to be fired from a job, like the everyday working person? Should they, like us not be held to the same level of accountability? Oh, I am sure they will create panic and fear mongering by making such claims as
we would have elections every week”,
it would allow opposition parties to oust a ruling party”.
we would end up like Europe where we have governments that never get anything done
These and many more examples are nothing more than the power elites afraid to give up control they have, to the PEOPLE! Most importantly they have little faith or respect in the people to govern ourselves, which further confirms the power elites should no longer be ruling us. There can be simple rules put in place to prevent many of these alleged nightmare situations. For example, I refer to a legal phrase when discussing a section 12 Charter argument that is “when something shocks the very foundation of society.” More specifically a rule could be put in place that when 50% or more of elected voters petition elections Ontario then that would trigger a recall, a by-election.
many would say that then our leaders would never be able to make hard decisions. To this I respond EXACTLY! When there is a hard decision to be made, maybe as reasonably think adults we should be making those decisions. To do anything less is to say we are incapable of thinking or governing ourselves. This brings us to the second R.

Referendum
Let me ask you a simple question. When the Constitution, the highest law in Canada that sits above all other laws, was created, do you think it should have been put to a vote to the people of Canada, before being brought into law?
If you ask the average politician, they will say, are you crazy, people will never agree on it, or that it would be a waste of time. To this I reply, people would never agree on something that would hurt them. For example, why is it that Canada’s Constitution, unlike the U.S. does not apply to business? Also, why does a judge, Parliament and/or a Legislature have a right to override certain sections, like our right to life?
This is why I agree that important laws should be approved by the people. Especially, laws that dramatically impact us all. Let me ask you another question. If the Ontario budget in 2018, just after the Conservative government was elected, was presented to the people of Ontario for a vote, do you think we would pass it? Furthermore, do you think we would pass it knowing the MPPs all gave themselves a housing allowance increase?
As you can start to understand we all in Ontario need real political change. Moreover, when we vote it is like we flip-flop between political parties hoping for the magically mix of a great party. However, we must look back to the past. There we will see it just does not seem to ever really work! This is why we need to reform our current electoral laws. This brings us to the third R.

Reform
Presently we have much like a totalitarian political regime. It is where the elites see us and pretend to listen, but they really do not. Is not, freedom of expression, part of our society’s beliefs? Is it not part of our Charter? Yet many especially durign eelction times and debates would say I or you have nothing important to say so you are not allowed to speak.

For example one need only look at the other two debates in Guelph. Debates that prevented all candidates from speaking. It is unbelievably ironic, as one is hosted by the local chamber of commerce, that claims to be the voice of business and two of the candidate prevented from attending are small business owners. The problem is that the local chamber of commerce, like all other chamber of commerce, believe the Conservatives are and will help small business. Ironically, one need only look back on the past two years to see how the Conservatives thought of small business.
The other debate hosted by a group funded, in part by all governments and supported by the United Nations is claiming to be about sustainable communities. If sustainable communities are about exclusionary practices, I am sorry but count me out! I fully support protecting communities and the environment but not at the expense of our individual freedoms and democracy!
While many do not believe in this party or that candidate, we should all allow of them the opportunity to have their say and present their platform. Who knows they, we, may actually impress you? Moreover, you may think you are throwing your vote away, but you are doing much better than the more than 50% of Canadians who don’t vote.

This brings me to another improtnat point over these debates. That is the amount, or lack of the amount of people who do not vote in elections should make clear that the current electoral system does not work! Often people feel the system is rigged. Most feel compelled to strategically vote thinking that voting for the leading party will help their community and them. In actual fact, having a representative of a majority party in the current political system is counter productive. This is because a representative of a majority party often has their hands tied when a problem occurs within, the community.
For example, when the Liberals were in power and Guelph had a liberal MPP I asked for help and they could and would not. It was because they like any representative of a majority party do not want to make waves. On the other hand, a representative of an opposition or smaller party can scream and holler and shame the government into change. Also, another issue with party allegiances is that the representative will not go against their party views or platform. Take for example the cancelled highway six and seven projects. The recent former MPP said nothing to help Guelph.
This is why we must have real change through electoral reform!

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Worker Rights

Many of my jobs involved working as a temporary worker, as a truck driver. In one example, I worked for one company, Canadian Tire, working more than 70 hours per week. I did this for many years. All the time I did this work I, like the other workers then, were not considered a REAL worker! This was because I, we were considered a temporary worker. To me temporary worker means for a day, two, or maybe a vacation fill in. However, it is clear that Big business abuses and exploits temp workers.

Today the next phase of Big business plan to exploit workers is the abuse of what is called today as “Gig Workers”. This is laughable to me. The reason why I say this, is because it is nothing more than another fancy word for sub-contractor. A way for Big business to get out of its legal responsibilities as a employer. In the past, at least dependant contractors had some protections under the law, well until Ford’s conservatives recently changed the law, claiming to help gig workers.

I still remember the first time I met the Mayor of Guelph. I was there asking for help for a new local injured worker support group I was trying to start up. The goal was to provide emotional, financial, and legal supports to workers who were injured at work. Workers who were abandoned by their employers and the WSIB. Not surprisingly, I walked away with nothing. In conversation I did ask the mayor how the city is not concerned with uber. To me it was no different than an illegal taxi company. He defended it as an affordable option for consumers.

In being an injured worker I learned quickly how much business and our government REALLY HATES not just workers but injured workers!

Take for example the workers compensation system and how it is promoted by Big business and governments. That is, they claim it to be a social program inferring to people it is taxpayers who foot the bill, when that is a complete lie.

The workers compensation system is a very unique system. It is sort of like unemployment insurance in that it is run by the government. However, it is different than that, in that it is funded solely by employers. The system was created after many years of research by a prominent social activist, who was of all things a Conservative. The individual was Sir William Meredith. He was also the former Chief justice of Ontario’s Courts. He created a new system known today as workers compensation. It was based on his principles, know today as the Meredith Principles. Many argue the number of principles and what the principles were. However, I refer to the following, which was scientifically verified by Dr. Robert Storey.

No Fault
Compensation is paid without regard to negligence or fault of the worker, co-worker or employer.

Non-adversarial An inquiry system, based on benefit of the doubt that “seeks to compensate,” and cannot be challenged in court. No blame.

Compensation for as long as disability lasts
Worker can depend on security of benefits based on lost wages and promptly paid. The injured worker was not to become a financial burden on their family or the community.

Employer pays
Employer pays the rates because the costs can be passed on to others (in prices of goods and services, and in wage negotiations). Meredith noted that workers cannot pass the cost on and pay in other ways, including some level of lost income despite the compensation.

Collective liability
Employers pay into single accident fund and do not suffer financial consequences from the cost of a specific accident.

Independent Public Agency Set up to be a non-partisan organisation to administer claims and assessments.

You can find the principles here along with Dr. Storey’s paper and his references to how he verified each principle. Meredith Principles https://injuredworkersonline.org/workers-compensation

The reason for the creation of the principles and the workers compensation system, as Meredith justified, was to prevent workers, who suffer debilitating injuries/disease/illness, from becoming a financial burden on their families and/or most importantly from becoming a financial burden to taxpayers. This is why the system was solely funded by employers and not taxpayers. It is also why the system was to compensate a person for as long as the disability lasts.

The reason for the creation of the principles and the workers compensation system, as Meredith justified, was to prevent workers, who suffer debilitating injuries/disease/illness, from becoming a financial burden on their families and/or most importantly from becoming a financial burden to taxpayers. This is why the system was solely funded by employers and not taxpayers. It is also why the system was to compensate a person for as long as the disability lasts.

Over the years the Conservative governments, under the direction of Big business have completely corrupted the system. The Conservatives in making draconian changes often portray workers compensation like welfare and injured workers like that of deadbeats. The purpose of which is to stir anger at injured workers, with the false belief it is funded by taxpayers.

For example, Mike Harris, in 1997, when he was forcing through legislation to reduce the amount of workers compensation a worker receives from 90% to 85%, said the reasoning was to encourage workers to GET BACK TO WORK!
What was intentionally missed in the media, obviously because let’s not forget media is Big business, was that Mike Harris also instituted a system of forced return to work. This was where injured workers, like myself were forced back to work and were not even recovered or able to return to work. hat was intentionally missed in the media, obviously because let’s not forget media is Big business, was that Mike Harris also instituted a system of forced return to work. This was where injured workers, like myself were forced back to work and were not even recovered or able to return to work.

Instead, we were forced fed opioid pain medications and told GET BACK TO WORK!

The reason is that the then newly created Workplace Safety and Insurance Board – WSIB, could do as it pleased. This is because the WSIB knew the courts would not involve itself in worker compensation matters.

In addition to the forced return to work programs, by Harris, was the massive reduction of representation for workers before the WSIB and the tribunal. A system that while promoted as being non adversarial and non legalistic, would be utterly heartless and cruel to injured workers suffering disabilities while attempting to represent themselves before the board and/or tribunal. As I said on the home page, a trial system that is comparable to that of the Salem witch trials of the late 1690’s where over 150 people were accused and jailed for being a witch. More than 25 were executed. here

This witch trial system of appeal process caused many injured workers to suffer new injuries. This included mental health issues. Many injured workers committed suicide. Countless others attempted suicide including myself. All the while being mocked and made fun of by the very system that is supposed to be there to help them. The stress of dealing with such a corrupt appeal system and the harms were confirmed in a recent scientific study. The study found that more than 40% of injured workers suffered severe mental health issues. Just from dealing with the WSIB’s witch trial system of an appeal process.

As an injured worker myself, I can attest as to the pure cruelty and hatred that both the WSIB and the WSIAT hold toward injured workers. In my own case the WSIAT decision makers were heard saying I was a F#$%ing Joke and I deserved to have my ass kicked for not getting back to work and supporting my family. That as an injured worker I was faking my injuries as all injured workers do.

Ironically, these are comments from people the courts have held in the highest regard and declared to be experts. As such their decisions should rarely, if ever, be questioned. What is ironic is that, in my case, I was forced back to work many times by the WSIB and the WSIAT. I was pumped full of opioid pain medications and sent back to work. They could careless if I drove a truck for a living. Even now the WSIB never asks a worker if they have any side effects from the medications or most importantly if the work, they do is safety sensitive.

As an injured worker myself, I can attest as to the pure cruelty and hatred that both the WSIB and the WSIAT hold toward injured workers. In my own case the WSIAT decision makers were heard saying I was a F#$%ing Joke and I deserved to have my ass kicked for not getting back to work and supporting my family. That as an injured worker I was faking my injuries as all injured workers do.

Ironically, these are comments from people the courts have held in the highest regard and declared to be experts. As such their decisions should rarely, if ever, be questioned. What is ironic is that, in my case, I was forced back to work many times by the WSIB and the WSIAT. I was pumped full of opioid pain medications and sent back to work. They could careless if I drove a truck for a living. Even now the WSIB never asks a worker if they have any side effects from the medications or most importantly if the work, they do is safety sensitive.

Often injured workers have argued that we need to do away with the workers compensation system because it is so corrupt and criminal. That nothing can fix it. While I do feel that way especially the way I was treated. I would like to remind employers if we ever got to that point, it would mean all business would be sued by their workers for their injuries from work.

As a legal person, I can honestly say that possibility is not an impossible one. Yes, the legislation bars an injured worker from suing their employer. Also, the legislation was found to be constitutional. However, in every case where workers challenged the law under the constitution. The courts did agree the legislations was an infringement under section seven of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The courts found that the infringement was justified under section one of the Charter. The court’s reasoning was that injured workers get speedy determination and payment of workers compensation. That said, one only need to prove this is no longer the case to a judge. Especially, when the WSIB is returning over $1.5 Billion to employers.

This means employers need to be very careful what they wish for!

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