Columnist shouldn't throw stones
Erich Jacoby-Hawkins’ Barrie Green Party 2011 online profile says he was an 'education consultant'. His op-ed column is full of inaccurate education.
The writer, who makes errors such as the ones noted below, also appears to call Green Party leader Elizabeth May a “partisan and flighty” Member of Parliament in the House of Commons.
First, Canadian Senators are not “securely serving-for-life representatives” – they must retire no later than age 75.
Second, calling disgraced Senators Mike Duffy and Pamela Wallin Conservative “party hacks” is completely contradicted by their decades as respected, high-profile journalists of prominent media organizations.
They were never long-time party activists, let alone “party hacks”.
Finally, he inaccurately criticizes the Senate process regarding Federal Bill C-525, the Employees’ Voting Rights Act, which aligned three federal labour codes with six different provincial labour codes and all 50 American states.
The new law statutorily protects an employee’s right to the bulwark of democracy – a secret ballot vote in place of unionization with union cards alone.
He claims that the bill had “significant errors”. This is completely false. He also misrepresents what happened in the Senate.
The bill had been amended by a House of Commons committee earlier in 2014. The committee missed adding the number '.1' in two places to get its amendments perfect. These errors were not in the original draft of the Bill that came to that committee.
The Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs had before it a legal opinion from a prominent lawyer and Queen’s Counsel, along with three high profile Court rulings, one from the Supreme Court of Canada, noting such numbering errors are a reality, particularly when laws are amended (as was the case with this Bill).
I was in the committee room for that additional session.
At that whole extra hearing on the two tiny, tiny numbering errors, the committee considered the law of the land on errors and voted the Bill into law. Our common law says any tribunal or court corrects such errors when faced with them; to do otherwise would be 'absurd', our courts have ruled. All governments pass laws from time to time to correct these errors which are a reality of life.
Jacoby-Hawkins either needs to get his facts right and be more careful himself, or maybe recognize that he is no more perfect in his glass house than those he throws stones at.
It is unclear to what extent he is still in fact a Green Party 'partisan' and 'party hack' or is headed to the same career path as former media personalities Duffy and Wallin, and maybe an eventual appointment to the “chamber of sober second thought”.
Canadian LabourWatch Association
Well, he took the trouble to write that lengthy and detailed letter, so I felt I owed him at least the following response.
|Yes Virginia, interesting things do sometimes happen in the Senate