What could happen to his job if Toronto Mayor Rob Ford were a ‘regular city employee’?

York University’s David Doorey, a professor of labour and employment law, looks at how employment standards and human rights legislation would play into the scandal were Mayor Rob Ford a normal civic worker. In his Law of Work blog, Doorey says it’s a virtual certainty that the mayor, as a “regular city employee,” would have been tossed from his job. This came as city council debated a motion to ask the mayor to take a voluntary leave. “If Ford were an employee, he’d have been fired for cause by now,” said Doorey in The Globe and Mail Nov. 13. “This is really a point I want my students to grasp – we hold politicians to a much lower standard of accountability for their conduct than we do a Walmart cashier or McDonald’s burger flipper.” Read full story.

How globalization has left the 1 per cent even further ahead
In Toronto, David Langille says he and his wife are “likely in the top 2 per cent” of income earners in Canada but do not feel affluent. The instructor at the University of Toronto and York University says they live in a modest home in central Toronto with a growing line of credit and an older car. He says academic research has convinced him there is a clear link between more equal wealth distribution and societies that are happier and healthier – and he worries that Canada will see those advantages erode. “I’m very happy to be able to live in a mixed-income neighbourhood where there aren’t terrible extremes of wealth and poverty, because it affects our safety,” he said in The Globe and Mail Nov. 14. “I’m proud that I don’t have to live in a gated community that is secured at night. I don’t believe in creating ghettos of poverty or wealth.” Read full story.

Guy Turcotte case: Ruling shows that federal bill was premature, legal experts say
York University law Professor Benjamin Berger would not comment on Wednesday’s court of appeals decision to overturn the controversial Guy Turcotte ruling, ordering a new first-degree murder trial for the former cardiologist who killed his two children, but Berger says there are a great number of misconceptions about “not criminally responsible” (NCR) rulings. “Generally, the view that NCR is somehow getting off easy is patently and manifestly false,” Berger said in the Montreal Gazette Nov. 13. “It’s a very serious, demanding and careful process that can require a lifetime of treatment in an institution.” Read full story.

Pipeline a threat to local water
If you drink water, consider the risks of TransCanada’s proposed Energy East Pipeline to you and your family’s health, residence, neighbourhood, livelihood and recreation. . . . “Even a relatively small spill in a critical body of water can have enormously detrimental effects on people and wildlife,” said York University history Professor Sean Kheraj, who has documented Alberta pipeline spills for 40 years, in the Arnprior Chronicle-Guide Nov. 13. Read full story.