From the equality of rights springs identity of our highest interests; you cannot subvert your neighbor's rights without striking a dangerous blow at your own. Carl Schurz

Saturday, December 1, 2012

#TOpoli “I’m going to whup both your asses.”

That was Doug Ford at city council this past Thursday.

From a Marcus Gee column in the Globe  Emphasis mine:

That manner was on full display at city council on Thursday evening when the mayor stood to accuse rival Adam Vaughan of putting a local developer through a “shakedown.” What he was talking about was the perfectly ordinary process of pressing developers to help pay for community improvements in return for city zoning amendments. Ignoring entreaties from the council deputy speaker to “cool your jets,” a red-faced Mr. Ford shouted across the chamber at Mr. Vaughan, calling him an “outright liar.” His brother Doug got into the act, jabbing his finger at opposing councillors and telling them “I’m going to whup both your asses.” Rookie Councillor Josh Colle said the spectacle was so squalid he wouldn’t let his kids watch city council.

While it would easy to slough this off as Doug Ford merely being his boorish juvenile self  there are serious issues here that need to be addressed.

Firstly this is a clear violation under Ontario's Bill 168, Occupational Health and Safety Amendment Act (Violence and Harassment in the Workplace) Which states among other things that verbally threatening to attack a person constitutes an act of violence therefor must be dealt with as such.

 1.  Subsection 1 (1) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act is amended by adding the following definitions:
“workplace harassment” means engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conduct against a worker in a workplace that is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome; (“harcèlement au travail”)
“workplace violence” means,
  (a)  the exercise of physical force by a person against a worker, in a workplace, that causes or could cause physical injury to the worker,
  (b)  an attempt to exercise physical force against a worker, in a workplace, that could cause physical injury to the worker,
   (c)  a statement or behaviour that it is reasonable for a worker to interpret as a threat to exercise physical force against the worker, in a workplace, that could cause physical injury to the worker.  (“violence au travail”)

Secondly threats of bodily harm are a crime under the Canadian criminal code:

264.1 (1) Every one commits an offence who, in any manner, knowingly utters, conveys or causes any person to receive a threat
(a) to cause death or bodily harm to any person;

 So one must ask, Why is Doug Ford allowed to continue to sit in council or for that matter even allowed on City Hall premises or any other city property until his threat to "... whup both your asses.” is appropriately dealt with. As he has demonstrated more than once, he is clearly a threat to those that work there. Everyone has a right to a workplace free from bulling and violence, even politicians.

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