Firing a PC manager might be legal but it’s not fair
While the “freedom” convoy was an exercise in stupidity, the Ontario government had no policy in place when she made her donation.
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A former senior Ontario government official is suing her former employer for $450,000 because she says she was fired from her job following her exit as a donor to the truckers’ protest, called Freedom Convoy, which took control of Ottawa in February.
I say good for her.
Let me be clear. I was not a supporter of the convoy. I considered it a stupid exercise, an attack on the very freedoms those in the convoy claimed to protect.
However, I was not in favor of people from the federal government or from any of the provincial governments losing their jobs, and more so than the plaintiff did, because they gave funds to those who participated in the demonstration.
As wrong as the protesters’ actions are, this is a free country. People inside and outside government should be free to donate to the political party of their choice and to the organization or protest movement they wish to support.
After all, there have been politicians, mainly Conservatives, who have expressed their support for the truckers who have blocked the streets of Ottawa for several weeks and nothing has happened to them.
MP Pierre Poilievre, now a candidate for the leadership of the Conservative Party, was one of them. According to a CBC report, in Poilievre’s account, the convoy represents “people who want to stand up and speak out for their freedoms” and “everyone our government and media has insulted and left behind.”
Marion Isabeau Ringuette was director of communications for the Solicitor General of Ontario when the ax fell on her, a move she says was for Premier Doug Ford’s “personal political gain” because it allowed her to publicly show his opposition to the convoy.
Ringuette told the National Post that she was fired from her job minutes after being exposed as a protest convoy donor, even though she was a loyal government soldier.
As a result, she is suing Ford, her chief of staff James Wallace, the Ontario government, Toronto Star Newspapers Ltd. and two journalists.
In addition to seeking $450,000 from the government and its officials for wrongful dismissal, she also has a joint claim against all defendants for $1.5 million for invasion of privacy, public disclosure of private facts, invasion of reputation and emotional distress.
According to the Post article, on February 5, Ringuette donated $100 to the Freedom Convoy, a donation that his lawsuit claims was made when there was no government policy against the protest and a day before the City of Ottawa declares a state of emergency. She says that since the province only took a stand against the convoy protest on February 10, it made her private donation legal and not contrary to government policy.
“Ms. Ringuette expected her donation to be private and confidential,” her suit states.
But the site GiveSendGo, which took over after fundraising for truckers was banned from the mainstream site GoFundMe, was hacked on February 13 and, thanks to the resulting release of data, a journalist has makes the connection with Ringette and its name as well as the amount of the donation. has been published.
Under ordinary circumstances it would seem that Ringette might have a case for wrongful dismissal, but people appointed to jobs like his serve at the pleasure of the minister, which normally means they can be fired for any offense or even on a headbutt.
And I really can’t foresee any success in his lawsuit against the Toronto Star and Charles Pinkerton, acting editor of QP Briefing, an Ontario politics-focused publication owned by the paper, and journalist Andrew Takagi.
They just did what journalists do, track the stories. And the fact that a member of the Ford government donated to the Freedom Convoy was a story.
But in itself, it was not a great story. It didn’t become a big story until Ringette was fired.
If it hadn’t happened, it would have been worth a few paragraphs in a single edition of the journal, and then would have disappeared from sight.
I believe it will turn out that legally the government had the right to fire Ringuette because she would be an employee of the government, not the public service.
But as with so many cases of this nature, I’m not sure this can ever be considered morally right.
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PAINTING OF TRAFFIC lines on city streets will begin shortly and I certainly welcome them. However, I have some suggestions, but I don’t expect anyone to listen to them.
When Bruce St was rebuilt a few years ago, we lost the right turn lane at Queen St when heading south. I suggest we could get it back just by moving the circulation line one foot to the left. If a vehicle heading south on Bruce is currently putting a wheel on the line, some vehicles may pull over to make a right turn. But just move the line about a foot to make it easier.
And where Bay Street meets Pim Street, I hope line painters this year will make better use of the area than they did last year, leveling the lanes on Pim.
Last year when exiting Bay in the left lane on Pim, which takes a motorist towards Queen East or West at the Church Street intersection, the lane was normal size, making the turn from Bay to Pim tighter than it should be. The right lane on Pim, which leads to Queen Street East, was about twice as tall
It would seem logical to bring tracks of the same size closer together.