Saturday, 19 January 2013

If a Tree Falls in the Forest is it not Canadian if it Originated in Norway

I remember way back when when I was in school, not back in the days of the one room schoolhouse but back in the days of the eight classroom schoolhouse with one class for each grade when everyone walked to school, learning about maple trees and maple leaves. We learned about the Norway Maple, and that it's name came from it's origins in Norway but I do not recall learning that it was an evil illegal alien that should not be identified with anything Canadian such as our currency.

Friday, 18 January 2013

Rogers and Me Part 2: When You Have A Monopoly I Guess You Don't Have to Tell Your Customers What They Are Paying For

After my original attempts to get Rogers to answer my questions via e-mail failed I posted my questions to Google Drive (originally Google Docs) and tweeted the location to them and finally got answers via Twitter, 140 characters at a time.

That brought me to the next stage of the decision making process, which was deciding between the Digital Plus and VIP packages. So that should be easy - go to the Rogers website and see just what the differences between the two packages are. Not so easy I discovered. I expected to find a listing and description of the Basic package, and then what Digital Plus adds, and then what VIP adds. But it does not work that way. They only list the full complement of channels for each package and you have to go through them yourself to determine just what additional channels you get with the each package and then you only have a list of names. So then I went looking on the Rogers web site to find descriptions of the channels they wanted me to pay to subscribe to, without success so, I tweeted @RogersHelps again, resulting in this exchange.

Richard W. Woodley ‏@the5thColumnist @RogersHelps is there a place on your website where I can find a DESCRIPTION of all the channels in the VIP package, not just list of names

Nicolas @ Rogers ‏@RogersNicolas @the5thColumnist Hi Richard, I'm afraid we don't have a description of each channel individually.

Richard W. Woodley ‏@the5thColumnist @RogersNicolas rather astounding that you can't provide customers with a description of what you're trying to sell to them @RogersHelps

So I did my own research and made my own list which I posted to Google Drive here and I am still considering my options. But it is rather astounding that they expect people to buy a package without knowing it's contents, and more so that they can get away with it. The power of a monopoly.

Friday, 11 January 2013

The Teachers Dilemma

Nobody wants to give in to a bully. Indeed teachers teach students not to give in to bullies and teachers are expected to be role models and teach by example.

So the teachers, when the bully took away their collective bargaining rights with draconian legislation that took away their right to strike, used the only legal avenue they had to fight back against the bully and refused voluntary activities.

They knew the government had pushed them into a corner so that their only legal way of fighting back would impact students and keep them from doing things they loved to do. I am sure they were looking individually and collectively for a way to bring things back to normal for their students while still taking a stand against the bully government.

When they found another way to make a last stand against the government with minimal impact on students, Dalton McGuinty said no that is illegal, the only protests we will allow you to undertake are ones that harm your students.

So what next.

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Teachers Political Protest Not a Strike and Not Illegal

First of all it is not a strike because it is not part of the collective bargaining process because with a government imposed contract, imposed under a draconian law whose constitutionality is under challenge, there is no collective bargaining process. Secondly the political protest is aimed at the government as policy maker and legislator, not as employer.

It is not illegal because political protests are not illegal in Canada, even if Stephen Harper and Dalton McGuinty wish they were.

Not that the teachers are completely free of consequences. For one they will not be paid for the day, and secondly their contract provisions may provide for discipline for absences not approved by the employer. But any such action will be subject to the grievance and appeal provisions of their contracts. That being said the usual discipline by employers for such absences is suspension from work without pay. So theoretically the school boards could force the teachers to take time off work without pay as punishment for taking time off work without pay. Sort of like suspending students for truancy.

The biggest irony, or perhaps more appropriately described as hypocrisy, is that Dalton McGuinty has his knickers in a knot over teachers taking a day off without pay to protest a process that has imposed a contract on them that requires them to take days off without pay.