For several years now, I have been experiencing significant problems at work regarding my off-duty volunteer advocacy with Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP). I tried to resolve these problems in a number of ways but I was not successful in these efforts. Unfortunately, the situation became so bad that I felt I had no choice but to submit a complaint to the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal. The complaint alleges discrimination in the area of employment on the ground of political belief, contrary to Section 13 of the BC Human Rights Code.
Yesterday, the BCHRT released its first decision about the case. It is a preliminary decision, focused on the issue of timeliness. The decision itself can be read here. The Vancouver Sun also has a writeup. Because this matter is before the Tribunal, I will refrain from commenting publicly on the actual details of my complaint. The BCHRT is a quasi-judicial body and it is really important for me to respect the legal process underway.
I am seeking pro bono legal assistance. If you have experience in BC human rights law, and you feel the principles raised in this case are important, please contact me. I am not necessarily looking for someone to take over the whole case as that would be a huge commitment. That said, there are a couple of specific areas where I could use some help as the case moves forward.
A big “thank you” to the friends, family and colleagues who are supporting me during a very difficult time in my life. I am also grateful for past and current support from LEAP, Stop the Violence BC and the BC Civil Liberties Association.
Applications are now open to become a speaker with TEDxVictoria. This is an amazing local event, put together by an incredible group of volunteers. If you are interested, submit a proposal soon because applications close on June 28th.
The theme this year is emergence.
This is a well-written essay by Deputy Chief Ducker. Even if you disagree with police regionalization, it raises some interesting facts and anecdotes that many people throughout the CRD probably did not know about or may not have considered:
It’s no secret to VicPD members that many of the region’s hardcore drug dealers, organized criminals and party crowd live in the outlying areas, which most certainly includes Saanich.
The criminal element of these groups ply their trade on the streets of our downtown core and often retire to the bedroom communities, where not enough attention is paid to them. After 34 years I could fill a police notebook with instances where outlying agencies have either declined outright or simply don’t have the true capacity to deal with serious criminal elements living in their communities, leaving it to VicPD to handle or simply allow the problem to be ignored.
Apparently Felicitas’s Pub is going to be renamed by the University of Victoria Students’ Society. They are holding a contest with a $500 prize. The final vote is tomorrow night (November 29) at the pub.
This contest is a mistake. As a general rule, monuments, landmarks and buildings should not be renamed, absent a compelling reason. (No, corporate rebranding is not a compelling reason.)
Page 25 of the Autumn 2012 issue of Torch Magazine lists fifty unique things about UVic. Here is number 24:
“Felicita’s Campus Pub in the Student Union Building is named after beloved janitor Felicita Gomez who used to work in the SUB.”
This renaming contest is disrespectful to Mrs. Gomez. It is disrespectful to thousands of alumni, many of whom remember great times at Felicita’s. And it is disrespectful to working-class people, who almost never get anything named after them. Ditto for women, of course. Most buildings are named after men.
I hope the UVSS leadership reconsiders. I hope they think about history. Visit the Save Felicita’s Facebook page if you agree. If you are a student, you can also vote on Thursday evening at the pub.
Many municipalities, police departments and school boards in British Columbia struggle with their budgets each year. Perhaps they should consider following the lead of Munich, Germany:
Over €10 million (approximately £8 million or $12.8 million) has been saved by the city of Munich, thanks to its development and use of the city’s own Linux platform. The calculation of savings follows a question by the city council’s independent Free Voters (Freie Wähler) group, which led to Munich’s municipal LiMux project presenting a comparative budget calculation at the meeting of the city council’s IT committee on Wednesday. The calculation compares the current overall cost of the LiMux migration with that of two technologically equivalent Windows scenarios: Windows with Microsoft Office and Windows with OpenOffice. Reportedly, savings amount to over €10 million.
Linux is open source, secure, flexible and free. Yet the only local government on southern Vancouver Island using Linux – that I know of – is School District 63.