Friday, June 08, 2007

Good, Bad, Ugly 

The Supreme Court of Canada has overturned a B.C. legislation that effectively tore up union contracts in 2002 and ruled collective bargaining is protected under the Charter of Rights . . . It's the first time the Supreme Court has recognized the right of collective bargaining. It sided with a group of B.C. health unions seeking to overturn Bill 29, the Health and Social Services Delivery Improvement Act, rushed through in January 2002 in just three days by the B.C. Liberal government . . . The Supreme Court justices agreed the B.C. government was facing a dilemma but shot down its lack of consultation with its unions and failure to try less intrusive and heavy-handed ways to find a compromise. The "measures adopted by the government constitute a virtual denial of the (charter) right to a process of good faith bargaining and consultation," the decision said. "The government presented no evidence as to why this particular solution was chosen and why there was no consultation with the unions about the range of options open to it."
Two of world's most famous anti-poverty activists [Bono and Bob Geldof] tore into Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Friday, accusing Canada of blocking other G8 nations from making clear targets in the group's humanitarian aid package to Africa. . . The high-profile activist-musicians cited sources inside the summit who alleged Harper personally blocked the G8 leaders from accepting accountability for fulfilling their promises. "It's as if we have the place bugged, because everybody tells us," Bono said.
245. Detainees were taken to their cells by strong people who wore black outfits, masks that covered their whole faces, and dark visors over their eyes. Clothes were cut up and torn off; many detainees were then kept naked for several weeks.. . .
247. Detainees went through months of solitary confinement and extreme sensory deprivation in cramped cells, shackled and handcuffed at all times.
248. Detainees were given old, black blankets that were too small to lie upon at the same time as attempting to cover oneself.. . .
252. A common feature for many detainees was the four-month isolation regime. During this period of over 120 days, absolutely no human contact was granted with anyone but masked, silent guards. . . .
256. Detainees were exposed at times to over-heating in the cell; at other times drafts of freezing breeze.. . .
266. There was a shackling ring in the wall of the cell, about half a metre up off the floor. Detainees’ hands and feet were clamped in handcuffs and leg irons. Bodies were regularly forced into contorted shapes and chained to this ring for long, painful periods. . . .

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