This week on Open Sources Guelph, we’ve got Canadian problems. This will not be an easy one to parse, because these are complicated situations and complicated issues. For instance, what do you do when the system for paying federal employees seems practically unable to work right? What can be done about the persistent allegations of harassment on a Canadian university campus? How should we respond to a made up hate crime? And is it time to give our Indigenous people veto power in lawmaking? It’s a conundrum heavy show to be sure.
This Thursday, January 18, at 5 pm, Scotty Hertz and Adam A. Donaldson will discuss:
1) Disorder of the Phoenix. Nearly two years later, there’s still no solution to the Federal government’s Phoenix Pay System. So bad is the problem that it made our year end list as one of the “Dumpster-Wrecks” of 2017, but more importantly then that, about half of federal employees are still affected by over-payments, missed payments, or not getting the salary they’re supposed to get. Even Liberal MPs are fed up as their constituency offices are getting one new complaint after the other about the slow progress of repairs. Meanwhile, a new report on the matter says that Phoenix was more or less set up to fail. Is there anything the government can do, and if there is, why is it taking so long to get it done?
2) #MeToo Concordia. The wave of allegations of harassment and inappropriate sexual relations hit a Canadian campus in a big way last week, when the once [open] secret culture of predatory professors in Concordia’s creative writing department was revealed. Montreal novelist Heather O’Neill says there’s an open culture of harassment and power abuse in the department, which included groping and pressure on underclass women by their male professors for sex. This is not a thing of the past either. Concordia has tried to address the situation, but not to the satisfaction of high-profile writers like O’Neill. The more concerning implication though is how many other [open] secret harassment is happening on other Canadian campuses?
3) Not Running With Scissors. The story was shocking. An 11-year-old girl walking to her Toronto school with her brother was attacked by a smiling Asian man with scissors who cut her hijab twice. The Toronto School Board and Police Service scrambled, condemnations were delivered, a suspect was sought, the story spread internationally as politicians righteously declared that this was not Canada. But it never happened. The girl had made it up. So where did it all go wrong with this hysteria? The board? The media? And what happens the next time someone reports an actual hate crime? Are they going to be believed? Will those in power take such a report seriously?
4) This (Could) Change Everything. A case is coming up at the Supreme Court of Canada from the Mikisew Cree First Nation in northern Alberta who are challenging changes made to the Fisheries Act, the Species At Risk Act, the Navigable Waters Protection Act and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act by the Harper government. The argument is that the First Nations should have been consulted before these changes were made, and that their treaty rights were violated, which seems reasonable. Here’s the question: Should First Nations have a more official voice in laws made in Canada? That could be the implication of the SCOC ruling according to a University of Saskatchewan law professor. So here’s our question: Isn’t it about time we start taking nation-to-nation relations seriously?
Open Sources is live on CFRU 93.3 fm and cfru.ca at 5 pm on Thursday.