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Justice is a Privilege Reserved for the Few



History is full of examples showing us that Justice is a privilege reserved for the few, the wealthy, politically and financially connected, in fact, those of the right colour or race depending on where and when this justice was to be dealt with. Justice must be earnt, and it expends a colossal cost. What do I mean?

When a justice system demands proof of your innocence, while viewing the accused as guilty until that proof surfaces, the system of justice seems to be blind to all but those with the ability to hire known lawyers and a defense team to point out any misunderstandings that arise. A Black Man with many priors stands before a judge, accused of violent crimes. Will such a man have the ability to raise money to get out of jail and hire a powerful legal team? If he is a financially well-off man perhaps, but if he is an “Average Joe”, the justice system swallows him up, incarcerating him while he waits for his trial, and possible conviction. While the justice system is supposed to be blind to financial, sexist, and racial coding, the statistics show White men often walk, and Black-Hispanic and men of color often do not. Don’t think so?

America’s Justice system has a huge penal population, well into the millions of citizens in public and private prisons across the land. According to Scientific America, 71% of those imprisoned are not white. So do you think these men and women got there because of their choices or did the system help to decide that while whites can be either excused, rehabilitated or found not endangering the greater society, “the others” are threats to the nation’s security and population?

White privilege is still prevalent within our system, with financial privilege a close second.

The World was white, but now its really black(non-white)
Justice for all is never achieved, just verbatim.
What can justice do for the lowly man
while jails fill and are built anew continually?

When you are seen as an outsider always,
and the precious few escape societies’ hungry grasp.
Justice for all is the cry we all hear these days,
While the policeman stamps your future out at last.

Martin L says the Black Persons going to win this war,
and a war of attrition it truly has been.
Justice is a privileged and socially mobile thing,
leaving the many to pray to the spirit of Tyre Nichols,
asking what the hell can we do???

I walked through an airport recently with no problem and no questioning. Customs and border officers were busy getting into the face of many non-white travelers. To this very day, a non-white person flying anywhere with a long beard, and dressed like a Muslim could get you unwelcomed trouble. Being different will always create difficulties. Being out of your place in another financial-ethnic society will be a challenge. Race, financial and political privilege will forever be with us. The powerful will always be able to dance around the justice system’s rules and regulations. Why? Well, the justice system is an exclusive club, filled with lawyers and police. The administrators and enforcers of the system. Some other form of the judicial system is needed, with a firm root in community equality. Can our Justice System be truly blind to all influencers, but the laws of the land? Can victims of crime receive true justice, retribution in kind for the offenses carried out by criminals against them?

” In the final analysis, true justice is not a matter of courts and law books, but of a commitment in each of us to liberty and mutual respect”(Jimmy Carter). Mutual respect of all actors in the play known as the Justice System, influenced, manipulated, and written by lawyers and academics. God help us.

Steven Kaszab
Bradford, Ontario


Toronto flood insurance claims could be ‘significant but manageable’: ratings agency



TORONTO – Morningstar DBRS says insurance claims caused by the Toronto flood earlier this week could be “significant but manageable” for insurers.

The credit rating agency says the insurance industry can expect insured losses of around $1 billion from the heavy rains on July 16 that led to flooded highways and basements.

The agency says the insured losses are large for a single weather event, but they’re entirely manageable for the insurance industry.

While the single event won’t disrupt the industry, insurers have been facing upward pressure on claims including more than $3 billion in claims in both of the past two years.

To help with all the expected claims from the flood, Ontario’s insurance regulator says it has implemented temporary measures that should speed up processing.

The Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario says under the short-term measures, firms can use claims adjusters with licences outside of Ontario and insurers in the province can use the services of employees of affiliated insurers.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 19, 2024.

The Canadian Press. All rights reserved.

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LCBO, union reach tentative deal to end two-week-long strike



TORONTO – The Liquor Control Board of Ontario and the union representing 10,000 of its workers reached a tentative contract deal Friday to end a two-week-old strike.

The LCBO said in a statement that the tentative agreement will end the strike at 12:01 a.m. on Monday if it is ratified and the retailer is planning to reopen stores on Tuesday.

“We look forward to welcoming our unionized employees back to work in service of Ontarians,” the LCBO wrote in its statement.

“We recognize the disruption the strike caused for our employees, partners, and customers who rely on our services, and we thank everyone for their continued patience and understanding as we begin resuming regular operations.”

Workers represented by the Ontario Public Service Employees Union walked off the job July 5 and negotiations had resumed on Wednesday this week.

No details were immediately available about the terms of the agreement, but OPSEU trumpeted the deal reached after the first strike in the LCBO’s history.

“Workers went on strike to protect their jobs and LCBO revenues supporting public services – this agreement just does that,” the union wrote in a statement.

OPSEU had said the dispute was largely about Premier Doug Ford’s plan to allow convenience and grocery stores to sell ready-to-drink cocktails. The union has said expanded sales of ready-to-drink beverages will threaten their jobs.

The LCBO had said that wasn’t a matter for the bargaining table. The last offer that it made public included wage increases of seven per cent over three years, a special adjustment for certain warehouse positions, improving access to benefits for casual part-timers, converting about 400 casual workers to permanent full time, and improving severance provisions.

Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy said he was pleased the two sides reached a tentative agreement.

“This is a good deal for workers and welcome news for Ontarians,” he wrote in a statement. “We look forward to working together to deliver choice and convenience across Ontario.”

During the strike, the Ford government has been forging ahead with its alcohol expansion plans. Ford sped up the date when grocery stores already licensed to sell beer and wine could add the pre-mixed cocktails and coolers to their offerings.

Those grocers could place orders for the beverages starting Thursday and by Friday some were already appearing on store shelves.

Pushing that step two weeks earlier than planned is part of an already fast-tracked timeline to expand alcohol sales in the province.

Ford’s previous plan was to get beer, wine and ready-to-drink cocktails in convenience stores and all grocery stores by 2026, but in May he announced that would instead happen this year.

An “early implementation agreement” with The Beer Store involves the province paying the company up to $225 million to help it keep stores open and workers employed. The province is also giving brewers a rebate on an LCBO fee that normally brings in $45 million a year, and it is giving retailers a 10 per cent wholesale discount.

Liberal Leader Bonnie Crombie has claimed the early implementation will actually cost $1 billion, which the government disputes, and she said the strike was entirely avoidable.

“Doug Ford has used the LCBO as a political pawn in his plan to give $1 billion of your money to the big grocers and international breweries,” she wrote in a statement.

“Why couldn’t Doug just wait a year and spend your money on things that actually matter?”

Convenience stores will be allowed to sell beer, wine and coolers starting Sept. 5 while newly licensed grocery stores can do so starting Oct. 31.

During the strike the LCBO had been fulfilling orders online and for licensees such as bars and restaurants, but those venues had said their supplies were becoming strained as the strike neared the two-week mark.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 19, 2024.

The Canadian Press. All rights reserved.

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Liberal House leader Steven MacKinnon sworn in as labour minister, replacing O’Regan



OTTAWA – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has made a modest tweak to his cabinet, replacing the latest Liberal MP to opt against seeking re-election with one who insists the party can bounce back from a prolonged slump in the polls.

Steven MacKinnon, the new minister for labour and seniors, said the Liberals face a “challenging political situation” but plan to bring into sharper relief “the contrast and the choices that Canadians will have to make.”

Moments after being sworn in Friday, MacKinnon tried to quell suggestions of a brewing Liberal mutiny against Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

“This caucus is foursquare behind our leader,” he told reporters.

The Gatineau, Que., MP took his oath in a brief ceremony at Rideau Hall alongside Trudeau and Gov. Gen. Mary Simon.

Outgoing labour minister Seamus O’Regan announced Thursday he was resigning from cabinet for family reasons, though he is staying on as a Newfoundland MP until the next federal election.

The adjustment to Trudeau’s cabinet comes as questions swirl around the Liberals’ political future. A surprising byelection loss in a long-held Toronto riding last month has fuelled speculation over whether a broader change-up is necessary.

A handful of Liberal MPs have decided against running for office whenever the next election takes place, though many have cited personal reasons, not dissatisfaction with Trudeau.

MacKinnon stressed that much can change in politics over time, though he acknowledged the government needs to do a better job of communicating its message to Canadians.

“We’re resolved to continue the work and continue on the path that we have set for Canadians. We understand, of course, there is nothing you can take for granted in politics,” he said.

“You can plan all you want,” MacKinnon added, but the government needs to be nimble in the face of what he described as recent “head-spinning events.”

MacKinnon joined cabinet in January to replace government House leader Karina Gould while on parental leave.

In that role, he “accumulated a wealth of experience building consensus and working with partners to pass legislation,” a news release from the Prime Minister’s Office said, adding he has “advanced progress on health care, affordable housing, organized labour and climate action.”

Gould will resume her previous role when she returns to the fold at the end of July, Trudeau’s office said.

Her “steely resolve and wisdom” will be a help when the House of Commons resumes in the fall, MacKinnon said.

Previously, MacKinnon served as the Liberals’ chief whip in the House of Commons. And during the COVID-19 pandemic, he was a parliamentary secretary in the crucial procurement portfolio.

He was first elected in the 2015 contest that swept Trudeau’s Liberals into power.

Trudeau’s itinerary for Friday listed a virtual cabinet meeting, the first to take place since the Toronto byelection loss that triggered some calls for the leader to step down. The meeting was expected to be brief.

MacKinnon was unequivocal when asked whether Trudeau should take time over the summer to consider if it’s time to quit.

“The prime minister enjoys the full support of me, of my colleagues, and the prime minister has obviously the full authority and full discretion to make the choices that he has to make,” MacKinnon said.

“Our confidence in him to make those choices is total.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 19, 2024.

The Canadian Press. All rights reserved.

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