Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Good news from Canada

Good news from Canada:

  1. The first Walmart in the world to have a union contract will be in Jonquière, Quebec. This will be the first break in the Walmart anti-union stance, with other Canadian stores, and possibly American stores, to follow.

  2. Nova Scotia, the only Canadian province not to allow Sunday shopping at any time of the year (Prince Edward Island also bans it except at Christmas), had a referendum on the subject, and despite the propaganda from the business lobbyists, rejected Sunday shopping fairly decisively. It is almost unheard of these days for anybody to confront the cult of turbo-capitalism that human beings have to live their lives in accordance with the interests of big business. Sunday shopping is currently also an issue in Germany, with the Germans so far holding out for sanity. There are a lot of people who think that Nova Scotia is the perfect place in the world to live, and its failure to concede to the big-business-driven madness is probably a large part of that.

  3. Americans who feel that there is no difference between John Kerry and George Bush should really consider the issue of who will appoint Supreme Court justices (not to mention the issue of the environment, but that's another story). The present Canadian Liberal government beat the Conservatives in a hotly contested election, and promptly appointed two very progressive judges to the Canadian Supreme Court, Rosalie Abella and Louise Charron. There is not a snowball's chance in hell that either of these judges would have been appointed by a Conservative government. Although the government chickened out in sending the gay marriage issue to the Supreme Court, it has now effectively stacked the court by adding two judges from the Ontario Court of Appeal that recently decided that the existing common-law man-woman definition of marriage is unconstitutional. Although neither of these judges were involved in that opinion, it is clear where their sympathies lie. Charron wrote the majority decision in the Ontario Court of Appeal case of M. v. H., which determined that the heterosexual definition of marriage in the Ontario Family Law Act was unconstitutional. Abella must drive conservatives particularly crazy, as she created the concept of employment equity, the more-nuanced Canadian version of affirmative action. Conservative columnist Andrew Coyne of the National Post wrote:

    "But this is the first time I can recall that a judicial appointment has been used as a political weapon, in the most partisan sense of the word. Ms. Abella is so far out of the mainstream, even among liberal jurists, that her appointment can only be seen as a deliberate provocation. Even allowing for the inability of certain Liberals to conceive that their views might in fact be controversial - for that presumes the existence of differences of opinion - the choice of such a polarizing figure, at such a delicate political moment, cannot have been accidental.

    Ms. Abella, for those just joining us, is the author of the 1984 report of the Royal Commission on Equality in Employment, which laid the foundation for legislation imposing racial and sexual hiring quotas on employers under federal jurisdiction and, later, Ontario's aborted attempt to apply this across the entire private sector. Indeed, she invented the term 'employment equity,' the latest in a long line of euphemisms for this disastrous practice. She is, in short, the original quota queen."

    Quota queen! The problem with allowing conservatives to win even one election is that the damage they do in the appointment of judges survives them for decades. Americans ought to bear that in mind, hold their noses, and vote for Kerry.