Friday miscellany…

Happy Canada Day edition!

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About these “Harper Hates Me” buttons – I’m coming down on this issue on a side that you might not expect…

Public servants who got in trouble for wearing “Stephen Harper Hates Me” buttons to work are fighting back.

Several employees at the Canada Revenue Agency who were told to remove the buttons by their managers have filed grievances through their union to fight the order.

The buttons were made by members of the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC), the largest union representing federal public servants, and have been circulating around the country. Some workers wore them at May Day rallies to mark International Workers Day and they were available at PSAC’s national convention in Ottawa at the end of April.

Robert Campbell, president of the Union of Taxation Employees (UTE), which falls under the PSAC umbrella, said some CRA employees pinned the buttons to their jackets and wore them to and from work in the following weeks. They complied when advised to remove them.

Look, folks criticise the government all of the time and I do think that The Robot and his minions don’t particularly “love” the PS. BUT, as long as it is done on your own time and own equipment (at home or over an iPhone, for example), criticism is within the bounds. But government critics who are also in the PS ought to be very careful about the line that is straddled because, like it or not, ultimately, the government is the boss. And one should not criticise them on work time or on work premises. As far as I am concerned, what public servants do outside these parameters is well within their rights, as long as they are not casting aspersions on their own departments.

So no, the employer is within their rights to demand that these buttons not be worn on work premises. Just like they have the right to dictate hours and dress codes.

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Even though I am not a BB user, I do of course feel for the thousands of families who are going to suffer because of the downfall of the once Canadian Golden Boy of the tech world.

RIM plunges
Shares of Research In Motion Ltd. are plunging in pre-market action this morning in the wake of the company’s brutal first-quarter results and the decision to delay its crucial new BlackBerry 10.

RIM stock is down by about 15 per cent in pre-market moves on Nasdaq as the BlackBerry maker’s stunning fall from grace continues amid heated competition from the likes of Apple Inc.’s popular iPhone and devices running Google Inc.’s Android system.

But I gotta wonder if this would have happened hadn’t the previous CEO, Jim Basillie, been more concerned with his companies health than with landing an NHL franchise.

Just sayin’…

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How about that pony-tailed Senator that Justin Trudeau laid a thumping on? Pretty outta control, I’d say!

Brazeau wasn’t just missing from the Senate floor. Between June 2011 and April 2012, he also missed 65 per cent of meetings at the aboriginal peoples committee on which he sits.

He was away for 31 per cent of the meetings of the human rights committee, where he is deputy chair.

The senator, appointed in 2008 by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, sent an email response to a request for comment.

“The very simple answer to your question with respect to my attendance or lack thereof is for personal matters,” said Brazeau, former national chief of the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples.

He did not elaborate, but later posted a message on Twitter directed to the reporter, Jennifer Ditchburn of The Canadian Press: “while u smile Jen, others suffer. Change the D to a B in your last name and we’re even! Don’t mean it but needs saying.”

Like I said to Dean, Dean, The Cheque Cashing Machine – stay classy, big guy!

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Hey! Maybe the Cons can use the old Gun Registry for this… just change a few data fields, et voilà!

A local MP and police in northwest Toronto are calling for a national stolen cellphone registry to stop an epidemic of thefts in their area and across the city.

Mike Sullivan, MP for York South-Weston, says the CRTC must act quickly to create a registry of identification numbers from stolen cellphones and ask providers not to reactivate phones on that list.

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That’s all for now! Have a safe and fun long weekend and try to picture a Canada Day a few years out when we will NOT have Stephen Harper living at 24 Sussex…

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