Friday, May 22, 2009

Tori Stafford's mom wants her daughter’s ‘killers dead’

WOODSTOCK, Ont. -- The mother of Victoria (Tori) Stafford has told a local newspaper that she wants the accused suspects in the killing of her eight-year-old daughter dead.

“My daughter’s not coming home.I want the killers dead,” Tara McDonald told the London Free Press Friday, the first time she has spoken to the media following the arrests of a man and woman earlier this week.

Michael Rafferty, 28, of Woodstock, faces one count of first-degree murder and one count of abduction.

His girlfriend, Terri-Lynne McClintic, 18 also of Woodstock, has also been charged with abduction and accessory after the fact to murder.

Tori went missing on April 8. Her body has yet to be found but police resumed their search on Friday.

According to court documents, it is believed the young girl was killed the same day she went missing.

Ms. McDonald said that she has not been able to think about what her Grade 3 daughter must’ve suffered following her death.

“To think someone took my daughter and then ... I can’t even think about it,” she said. “I know there are sick and twisted people in the world but I had no idea. I don’t want to sound selfish and I wish this on no one, but I sometimes think, why did it have to be my daughter?”

Ms. McDonald told the Free Press that she was also very angry with how police dealt with her daughter’s abduction, and outright accused investigators of pinning the blame on her.

“One officer came into my house and said, ‘You are my prime suspect.’ He said, ‘I have been doing this job as long as you have been alive and I have never seen a mother behave like you.’ I said, ‘You should have dropped off the mother’s handbook to me so I would know how I’m supposed to behave’.”

She said the police also made threats to her son, Tori’s older brother, Daryn, who is 10.

“I don’t know what I’m going to do about it, but I’m going to do something about it,” she said. “I don’t want anyone else to have to go through this.”

Meanwhile, the search for Tori’s remains continued in an area near Fergus, Ont., about 90 kilometres northeast of Woodstock.

Tori’s father, Rodney Stafford said that he hopes his daughter will be returned to the family.

“(I’m) a little less optimistic I guess of where it (the search) is,” he said Thursday. “(My) hopes are still there but they’re fading. Only now that they have Terri-Lynne helping with the search -- that kind of puts a damper on things.”

Three canine units were seen descending on the rural Ontario town early Friday.

On Thursday, the Ontario Provincial Police had taken Ms. McClintic out of jail to be their guide in the search for the little girl’s remains.

A short distance away, another group of investigators hauled away a large garbage bin that sat near the end of a property. Ontario Provincial Police Const. Steven Starr would not comment on what led police to the large green Dumpster.

With files from National Post

Sunday, May 17, 2009

CUPE striker breaks ankle in melee

A striking outside city worker said he suffered serious injuries after a confrontation with a private contractor who was trying to mow grass on Kildare Road, according to a union statement and a police report.

The union member, who remains at Hotel-Dieu Grace Hospital awaiting surgery Saturday, suffered a broken ankle after he fell to the ground. He also had cuts to his nose and face, said Jim Wood, president of CUPE Local 82, which represents about 400 outside city workers who have been on strike since April 15. Another 1,400 inside city workers joined the picket lines on April 18.

According to police, around 4 p.m. Friday a private contractor, who does landscaping for Windsor Regional Hospital, was asked by a hospital official to mow a city median on Kildare Road because it was very overgrown, said acting Staff Sgt. Steve Cincurak.

When the private contractor was unloading his truck, union picketers arrived. There was a confrontation, then a face-to-face argument, Cincurak said.

"Someone threw a punch, the striker fell to the ground and scraped his elbow, allegedly," Cincurak said reading from the police report from officers who arrived at the scene. "The story is conflicted."

Police filed no charges and the case is to be followed up, Cincurak said.

Wood said the hospital erred when it asked the contractor to mow the median. When strikers confront people mowing city property or picking up garbage, they are supposed to be friendly and not have an angry face, Wood said.

"Regardless of whether it was risky, you can't go around beating people up," Wood said.

City workers are on strike to preserve retirement benefits for new hires.

© Copyright (c) The Windsor Star

Health And Safety - H1N1 Flu Watch - May 15/09

As of May 14, 2009, the total number of H1N1flu cases in Ontario is 155. All of the cases are mild; one person with H1N1 flu has been hospitalized for other medical reasons. MOHLTC has released a new fact sheet "Occupational Health and Safety Requirements for the Health Care Sector" which describes duties and responsibilities [MORE] of employers, supervisors and workers under the Occupational Health and Safety Act and its regulations. All of hese obligations continue during the current influenza outbreak. The Occupational Health and Safety Act is available at the following link: A worker who is required by his or her employer or by the Regulation for Health Care and Residential Facilities ( ) to wear or use any protective clothing, equipment or device shall be instructed and trained in its care, use and limitations before wearing or using it for the first time and at regular intervals. Employers are encouraged to document that workers are trained, dates when training was conducted and materials covered during training. A worker must work in compliance with the Act and its regulations and use or wear any equipment, protective devices or clothing required by the employer. The other new document, "Information on the use and fit-testing of N95 Respirators" is specifically aimed at the healthcare sector, but provides useful guidance to any workplace where N95 respirators may be required. N95 respirators filter out tiny airborne particles when the respirator fits and is properly used. Individuals who are required to wear N95 respirators must be fit tested at least every two years to ensure a proper fit. Please continue to watch the OPSEU website and the links below for updates on H1N1 Influenza:
New Occupational Health and Safety Requirements for the Health Care Sector
New Information on the use and fit-testing of N95 Respirators
Ministry of Health and Long Term Care H1N1 Flu Virus (Human Swine Flu) site has regular updates and links to other useful sites
Ontario’s Agency for Health Protection and Promotion provides regularly updated information on H1N1 Flu (Human Swine Flu)
OPSEU’s “A Healthcare Workers Guide to Pandemic Influenza”

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Lock Talk

Local presidents to meet in Ottawa

Local presidents will come to Ottawa on May 21 to discuss the ongoing labour relations problems in the Corrections Division.
The meeting begins at 9 a.m. at the OPSEU Ottawa Resource Centre at 1793B Kilborn Ave. The purpose of the meeting is to bring local presidents up to date on what has been happening across the division with respect to CTO and other issues, reports from the MERCs and legal counsel, as well as a strategy session on next steps.
For more information, please contact your respective Corrections or Children and Youth Services MERC Teams.

CT-NO? Or CT-Depends?

Since the Ministry decided to unilaterally back out of long-standing mutual agreement in the OPS contract, CTO has become “CT-NO” for Corrections Division members.
However, rumour has it that managers in our adult and youth facilities are still able to earn and use compensating time off for working overtime.
Next time you see a manager, ask if he or she can still earn CTO. If yes, we’re sure the Minister will have a good reason for this elitist inequity.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Introducing PC Tim (The Weasel) Hudak

TORONTO — Ontario Progressive Conservative leadership hopeful Tim Hudak is calling on the McGuinty government to tear up wage agreements with the public sector and reach new deals designed for hard times. In his first major speech to a business audience since announcing his leadership bid, Mr. Hudak said the government should renegotiate more affordable agreements. The government signed agreements with public sector unions that include wage increases of 3 per cent a year over three years even as the economic downturn was looming, Mr. Hudak told the Economic Club of Canada. "By any reasonable standard, they were rich agreements," he said. "That's simply irresponsible." In releasing some of the economic policies in his campaign platform, Mr. Hudak said the interests of middle-class families are front and centre. He vowed to turn to the private sector to create jobs - something he says the governing Liberals have ignored. Mr. Hudak said the government should eliminate, for one year, payroll taxes and the land transfer tax on home purchases to stimulate job creation and help middle-class families. He also said the government should freeze wages of MPPs and non-unionized employees in the public service for the duration of the recession. Mr. Hudak, 41, was first elected as an MPP in the 1995 sweep that ushered in the Conservatives under premier Mike Harris. Many veterans of that era hope he can steer the party back to the small-c conservative policies that were a hallmark of the Common Sense revolution. His campaign has the support of Mr. Harris. The government sought yesterday to link Mr. Hudak to the dramatic funding cuts to health care and education that were part of the Harris era. "We respect the bargaining process," said Greg Dennis, a spokesman for Government and Consumer Services Minister Ted McMeekin. "We are not going to return to the Conservative approach of firing nurses by the thousand and firing our teachers and water inspectors." Mr. Hudak also said he would fight the McGuinty government's plans to harmonize the provincial sales tax with the federal goods and services tax. But he would not say whether he would repeal it, in the event he wins the leadership and the Tories form the next government. John Tory kicked off the leadership race after he stepped down from the helm in March after losing a by-election race. He is returning to the public spotlight as a talk show host on CFRB. The Progressive Conservatives also announced that veteran MPP Bill Murdoch was returning to the caucus after sitting as an independent since September. Please feel free to contact the Weasel at Phone: 647-367-2300 or E-mail:

Health And Safety - H1N1 Flu Watch - May 6/09

As of May 6, there are 49 lab-confirmed cases of H1N1 influenza in Ontario. Travel to Mexico or contact with a person who has H1N1 and who traveled to Mexico remains the most frequent source of the illness. Because laboratory testing capacity has been increased, cases of H1N1 are now being confirmed faster. New guidance has been released for the management of influenza-like-illness (ILI) in Long Term Care facilities. Unfortunately, the health and safety/infection prevention and control guidance for workers is not as protective as OPSEU believes it should be. OPSEU takes the position that the precautionary principle, which states that action to reduce risk need not await scientific certainty, should be applied as we establish protective measures against this new virus. The three main weaknesses in the document are as follows:
1. There is no recommendation that persons entering a LTC facility be screened by a person (active screening) for ILI before entering the home. The guidance note advises that signs be posted reminding people not to enter if they have ILI symptoms. This is known as passive screening or self-screening. Self-screening may not be effective if people are determined to enter despite having ILI symptoms or if they do not understand the questions on the sign. Advice: OPSEU takes the position that active screening of people entering the facility is more protective of worker health and safety.
2. Healthcare workers are advised to wear an N95 respirator when directly caring for a resident with ILI symptoms who has had contact with a person with a confirmed case of H1N1 flu. OPSEU does not believe that this advice is protective enough. If a visitor with ILI enters the facility, they may not know if they have H1N1. If the visitor later is diagnosed with a confirmed case of H1N1, this information may not be communicated to the LTC facility and workers may not be protected adequately. Advice: OPSEU believes it would be prudent for healthcare workers to wear an N95 respirator when in direct contact with residents with ILI who have been in contact with a person with confirmed or possible H1N1 influenza.
3. Healthcare workers are advised to wear a surgical mask to care for residents with ILI and a fit-tested N95 respirator during aerosol-generating procedures such as tracheal or oral suctioning. This is confusing advice and does not reflect the application of the precautionary principle. It is reasonable to advise the use of an N95 respirator during aerosol-generating procedures. However, requiring workers to wear a surgical mask when caring for residents with ILI in some circumstances and to wear an N95 respirator when caring for residents with ILI who have had contact with a confirmed case of H1N1 will confuse workers and may not be protective enough. Advice: OPSEU believes it would be prudent for healthcare workers to wear an N95 respirator when in direct contact with residents with ILI who have been in contact with a person with confirmed or possible H1N1 influenza.
4. OPSEU continues to advise its members on Joint Health and Safety Committees, and Health and Safety Representatives, to meet to review and update their pandemic influenza plans. In particular, JHSCs in LTC facilities should meet to review this new guidance and to determine what precautions to implement.
Please continue to watch the OPSEU website and the links below for updates on H1N1 Influenza (Human Swine Flu).
New Guidance for Influenza-like Illness (ILI) Management in Long-Term Care
Guidance for Clinical Care of Patients: Ambulatory Settings – provides important infection prevention and health and safety information
Ministry of Health and Long Term Care H1N1 Flu Virus (Human Swine Flu) site has regular updates and links to other useful sites
Ontario’s Agency for Health Protection and Promotion provides regularly updated information on H1N1 Flu (Human Swine Flu)
OPSEU’s “A Healthcare Workers Guide to Pandemic Influenza”

Five Guards Hurt In Northland Prison - May 5/09

Five guards hurt in Northland Prison Fifteen prisoners overcame five guards at Northland Prison near Kaihohe today, Parliament has been told. One prison officer suffered a suspected fractured shoulder, Parliament was told. Labour's corrections spokesman Clayton Cosgrove quizzed Corrections Minister Judith Collins over the incident, in which which he claimed bones were broken and other serious injuries were received. Mr Cosgrove linked it to prisoners sharing cells, but Ms Collins played down the incident saying it was sparked by a change in routine at the prison. Prisoners had been made to eat meals in the dining area rather than in their cells. "Unfortunately, a number of staff received minor injuries. The most serious injury is a suspected fractured shoulder," Ms Collins said. TVNZ reported that the five guards, including two women, were lucky to be alive after they were attacked for five minutes. They said the unit housed 60 prisoners and the fighting broke out after one inmate was found trying to smuggle food back into his cell. It reported that one of the female guards dislocated her shoulder and fractured her arm after she was pushed into a bunk. Mr Cosgrove said another female officer was kicked and punched. "Three other male officers were also attacked in this incident, they talk of trying to fight their way to freedom and protect their fellow officers." Mr Cosgrove said. "As they fended off one prisoner another would attack. All three officers were overwhelmed and knocked to the ground. They received serious bruises and cuts from the attack. It is believed that one has a broken nose."Mr Cosgrove said the Government was not doing enough to protect prison officers. The Corrections Association called for its guard members to be armed. Meanwhile, Ms Collins welcomed a clampdown on razor blades in high-security units, saying it would improve safety and save lives. Prisoners would be issued with a safety razor on request, which they would be allowed to keep for up to an hour. It would then be collected, checked and disposed of. Action would be taken if a razor was not returned, or it was returned with missing blades. "At least two prisoners have died from razor blade injuries and many more prisoners and corrections officers have been hurt by razor blades," Ms Collins said. "This commonsense new policy restricts access to razor blades by prisoners who are most likely to use them to inflict injury on themselves or others."In 2007, there were 272 razor blade incidents in prisons.
Wonder how many razor incidents we had in Ontario jails?

Friday, May 1, 2009

CBC News Swine Flu - April 30/09

Canada doing all that's needed to respond to swine flu: PM
Canada is doing "everything that is necessary" to deal with the outbreak of swine flu, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Thursday. "I think we are doing everything that is necessary to respond to this situation at this time," Harper told reporters during a news conference in Toronto. By Thursday afternoon, there were 32 confirmed cases of swine flu in Canada, all said to be mild. Harper said the growing outbreak, which is believed to have started in Mexico, is a "serious situation."At this time, to avoid confusion among our readers, CBC News will continue to use the term "swine flu" despite a decision by the World Health Organization to call the disease by its technical scientific name, "H1N1 influenza A.""I can assure the people of Canada that governments around the world are responding in an appropriate and co-ordinated way," he said. Harper praised the "excellent co-operation" among federal and provincial governments, as well as among national governments around the globe. He advised Canadians to closely follow any health warnings to help prevent the flu's spread. "We are encouraging everyone to comply with the warnings that have been given and the advice provided by health-care officials during this period," he said. New cases confirmed Harper spoke as Nova Scotia and Alberta each confirmed four new cases of swine flu, while British Columbia confirmed three and Ontario and Quebec each confirmed one. The Quebec case is the province's first confirmed instance of the swine flu. The person is from the Montreal area and is recovering at home. Robert Strong, Nova Scotia's chief public health officer, said the new cases in his province are related to an original cluster of four cases among students attending the King's Edgehill School, a private boarding school in Windsor, N.S. Strang said only one of the students who has contracted a confirmed case of the virus had been to Mexico. "It has then spread through the larger population of the school," he said. In Alberta, the provincial chief medical officer of health, Dr. AndrĂ© Corriveau, said the four new cases confirmed there were all mild. They involve four young people from Calgary who went on a trip to Mexico together. Three are male and one is female. "They came back and had a mild course of illness and were managed at home and are all recovering," Corriveau said Thursday in Edmonton. The four have been advised to stay home for a week — the period when people are infectious, Corriveau said.

Management has taken away our ability to accumulate and use CTO. Now we will be forced to come to work even though we may have flu like symptoms. Way to go management team!

Current WHO Phase Of Pandemic Alert

Current WHO phase of pandemic alert
Current phase of alert in the WHO global influenza preparedness planPandemic preparedness In the 2009 revision of the phase descriptions, WHO has retained the use of a six-phased approach for easy incorporation of new recommendations and approaches into existing national preparedness and response plans. The grouping and description of pandemic phases have been revised to make them easier to understand, more precise, and based upon observable phenomena. Phases 1–3 correlate with preparedness, including capacity development and response planning activities, while Phases 4–6 clearly signal the need for response and mitigation efforts. Furthermore, periods after the first pandemic wave are elaborated to facilitate post pandemic recovery activities. The current WHO phase of pandemic alert is 5. In nature, influenza viruses circulate continuously among animals, especially birds. Even though such viruses might theoretically develop into pandemic viruses, in

Phase 1 no viruses circulating among animals have been reported to cause infections in humans.
Phase 2 an animal influenza virus circulating among domesticated or wild animals is known to have caused infection in humans, and is therefore considered a potential pandemic threat.
Phase 3, an animal or human-animal influenza reassortant virus has caused sporadic cases or small clusters of disease in people, but has not resulted in human-to-human transmission sufficient to sustain community-level outbreaks. Limited human-to-human transmission may occur under some circumstances, for example, when there is close contact between an infected person and an unprotected caregiver. However, limited transmission under such restricted circumstances does not indicate that the virus has gained the level of transmissibility among humans necessary to cause a pandemic.
Phase 4 is characterized by verified human-to-human transmission of an animal or human-animal influenza reassortant virus able to cause “community-level outbreaks.” The ability to cause sustained disease outbreaks in a community marks a significant upwards shift in the risk for a pandemic. Any country that suspects or has verified such an event should urgently consult with WHO so that the situation can be jointly assessed and a decision made by the affected country if implementation of a rapid pandemic containment operation is warranted. Phase 4 indicates a significant increase in risk of a pandemic but does not necessarily mean that a pandemic is a forgone conclusion.
Phase 5 is characterized by human-to-human spread of the virus into at least two countries in one WHO region. While most countries will not be affected at this stage, the declaration of Phase 5 is a strong signal that a pandemic is imminent and that the time to finalize the organization, communication, and implementation of the planned mitigation measures is short.
Phase 6, the pandemic phase, is characterized by community level outbreaks in at least one other country in a different WHO region in addition to the criteria defined in Phase 5. Designation of this phase will indicate that a global pandemic is under way.
During the post-peak period, pandemic disease levels in most countries with adequate surveillance will have dropped below peak observed levels. The post-peak period signifies that pandemic activity appears to be decreasing; however, it is uncertain if additional waves will occur and countries will need to be prepared for a second wave.
Previous pandemics have been characterized by waves of activity spread over months. Once the level of disease activity drops, a critical communications task will be to balance this information with the possibility of another wave. Pandemic waves can be separated by months and an immediate “at-ease” signal may be premature.
In the post-pandemic period, influenza disease activity will have returned to levels normally seen for seasonal influenza. It is expected that the pandemic virus will behave as a seasonal influenza A virus. At this stage, it is important to maintain surveillance and update pandemic preparedness and response plans accordingly. An intensive phase of recovery and evaluation may be required.

Email To Management Bargaining Member

From MERC Website:

To: Buhagiar, Rose (JUS)
Subject: Article COR13 - Holiday Payment
Sent: Apr 29, 2009 10:32 AM
Mrs. Buhagiar,
I am writting you this email as it pertains to your memorandum to Regional Directors AIS regarding Aticle COR13 - Holiday Payment. This email will serve to notify you that you have made an error in the section COR13.4. You made a point to BOLD and UNDERLINE the word AND. You memo reads as follows:
- COR13.4 requires employees in the Correctional Bargaining Unit to work his/her full scheduled shift before and after a holiday, as well as the holiday itself, in order to qualify for holiday payment or compensating leave, as per the provisions of Article COR13.2.
If you take a look at the correct information which was settled at bargaining you will see how it is worded, it reads as follows:
-COR13.4(NEW) It is further understood that the employee has no entitlement under COR13.2 if he or she fails, without reasonable cause, to work all of his or her last regulary scheduled day of work before a holiday included under Aryicle 47 (Holidays) of the Central Agreement OR all of his or her regularly scheduled day of work after that holiday.
I am not sure how you can change the wording of the bargained Collective Agreement after it is settled, but no where does it say we have to work both before and after. It clearly states before or after. I trust this information will be helpful to you.

What To Do When Being Ordered Back . . . . .

From Local 234 website:

As for the questions about being forced to stay past your shift, I offer these words:
1. If you are too ill to work past the shift, say so! Let your manager know and if you are asked for a report write that you are compelled to write it and wish to have a steward present as you are being harassed for being sick. Also inform the manager that it is a health and safety issue for you to work in this manner. Also inform your fellow staff that they should be aware you are sick and the imminent danger to your health and their safety. All members are affected at this point and should assist the sick member.
2. If you are too tired to continue working past your shift, say so! Let your manager know you are too tired to continue. If you are asked to write a report do so stating you are being compelled to do so. Also ask for a steward and inform your fellow staff that your fatigue is a health and safety concern that could be dangerous. All members are affected at this point and should assist the tired member.
3. What do I do if I have childcare issues, a dependent family member or legal requirements such as custody arrangements? Speak up clearly!! Voice your requirements and issues. You have legal issues and the employer has the duty to accommodate! Ask for a steward and contact the police for clarity if you are being withheld from providing the legal needs of a child, dependent or court ordered custody arrangements.
4. What do I do if I am at home and work calls? Good question? Are you sick? Are you having alcohol? Are you tired? Do you have babysitting needs? Do you have to answer the call...if you do just be polite and don't say anything you will regret!!
In the meantime, keep yourself up to speed...
Remember management created this mess by taking away our CTO! Management we wish you luck during the summer months.