It’s Friday! Jeremy (@JeremyAppel1025) here with your final Passage Daily of the week. We’ve got stories on: the resignation of our bullying Governor General; the federal government’s reluctance to get rid of nukes; the Ontario government ignoring expert advice; problems with B.C.’s safe supply program.
Let’s get to it!
Governor General Julie Payette Resigns After Damning Report On Toxic Workplace
There’s a vacancy at Canada’s most useless position after now-former Governor General Julie Payette, as well as her secretary and close confidant Assunta di Lorenzo, were forced to resign in disgrace.
Both are accused of fermenting a toxic workplace in a damning independent review, the contents of which haven’t been made public.
From the CBC: “The Privy Council Office launched the unprecedented third-party review in July in response to a CBC News report featuring a dozen public servants and former employees confidentially claiming Payette belittled, berated and publicly humiliated Rideau Hall staff. Di Lorenzo, Payette’s longtime friend and second-in-command, is also accused of bullying staff.”
Payette, who achieved acclaim as an astronaut, is very sorry, not sorry, saying in a statement, “While no formal complaints or official grievances were made during my tenure, which would have immediately triggered a detailed investigation as prescribed by law and the collective agreements in place, I still take these allegations very seriously. […] We all experience things differently, but we should always strive to do better and be attentive to one another’s perceptions.”
For her part, Di Lorenzo has hired lawyer Marie Henein, who once represented Jian Ghomeshi, which is definitely what someone does when they’ve done nothing wrong.
In a statement, the Monarchist League of Canada — yes, that’s a thing that exists — said they hope Payette’s successor continues the monarchy’s tradition of “loyalty, dignity and respect.”
The Bloc Québécois, for all its glaring flaws (like racism), had it right when they called for the full release of the report and abolition of the governor general position as a relic of British imperial rule.
Some say the governor general plays an important constitutional role, particularly in a minority government, but those people are suckers, as the governor general almost always acts on the advice of the prime minister.
- MPs from all parties — except the Conservatives — are calling on the Liberal government to ratify the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which they have thus far refused to do.
- The government’s position is that they are constrained by membership in NATO, which has a nuclear weapons first-strike policy and regards nukes as a valued deterrent to Russia, or some shit.
- “We know we aren’t going to see the end of the possession of nuclear weapons in the short term, but it is incredibly important that the world stigmatizes and delegitimizes the use of these weapons and the possession of these weapons going forward.” — Liberal MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith.
- Ontario’s Ministry of Education drafted a memo calling for mass surveillance testing to keep COVID-19 out of schools in July, which was ignored by Ontario’s Conservative government for months.
- Via the Toronto Star: “Taken together with other changes to the ministry’s guidance over the summer months, particularly around class sizes, critics say the province repeatedly moved the goal posts in its schools plan, loosening safety measures at a time when COVID rates in the community were low.”
- In November, the government finally introduced a pilot surveillance testing for asymptomatic individuals in schools, but only in four hard-hit regions, which allowed it to spread elsewhere.
- As late as October, when the province had a backlog of more than 80,000 tests, the government said kids with minor symptoms, such as runny noses, didn’t need to get tested.
ICYMI: B.C.’s Safer Supply Program Has Major Flaws, According To People Who Use It
In September, British Columbia’s top doctor Bonnie Henry announced that the province was expanding its safe supply program to allow registered nurses to prescribe prescription drugs to people who use opioids to avoid overdoses.
But, as the Tyee reports, the program is moving at a snail’s pace, with nurses still unable to do so. This is making the program less effective than it needs to be to work.
Meanwhile, doctors are reluctant to prescribe opioids, given the stigma surrounding drugs and addiction. This reticence forces people who use to return to the increasingly-toxic illicit supply.
There were more than 1,500 overdose deaths in B.C. in 2020.
That’s a wrap on this week’s Passage Daily. Come back Monday for more news from an unapologetically progressive perspective.
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