Under the "scary" legislation, known as Getting It Right For Every Child or GIRFEC, every child aged under 18 will have a 'Named Person' with the legal right to ensure they are raised in a government-approved manner.
It will also mean that sensitve personal details about every child - even down to the names of their pets - can be recorded, stored and shared on a central database.
Among the more unsettling aspects of the Rob Ford crack video fiasco has been the insistence, at least among some of his supporters, that it doesn't matter if the Mayor is a crack a smoker. There is a vague libertarian tinge to this argument. So long as the Mayor does a good job, who cares what he puts into his body?
The argument is somewhat amusing because many of its proponents have no problem with the Drug Wars.
If we were talking about some two bit dealer, the alleged amateur videographers in the scandal for instance, the talk would be of throwing the book at these scumbags. Should a Left leaning pol have been caught on camera, calls for resignation would be coming from the same quarter.
Step back a moment from the partisan warfare and consider this: Would you invest in a firm whose CEO was an addict? Would you trust a lawyer or accountant who routinely indulged in mind altering substances?
This isn't an issue of individual liberty. Rob Ford is the Mayor of Toronto. This is a matter of the capacity to uphold a public trust. A crack addict is by definition incapable of holding such a position.
There are some high functioning alcoholics, though in time even they break down and become overwhelmed. There are certainly many senior figures in Canada who indulge in recreational marijuana use. A routine crack user is in a different category. There are clear and obvious concerns as to their ability to discharge their duty. There is the possibility of blackmail. What if the people supplying the drugs are involved in other activities? Then there are the more straight forward legal complications.
Whatever your opinion of the Drug Laws they still remain on the statute books. If these allegations are true, the Toronto Police Service is placed in an awkward position. The city's Chief Magistrate is a known criminal. Their ultimate boss is a crook. Do they arrest the Mayor? If they don't are they thereby openly signalling that the law is applied differently to elected officials? Or at least ones with a strong electoral base?
This scandal du jour might yet turn out to be a con job by Rob Ford's enemies. The Mayor has been remarkably unhelpful at clearing his name, sending a series of proxies, most notably his brother, to deal with the media for over a week before coming out himself. These do not look to be the actions of an innocent man. Even if he is the victim of foul media play, he has hardly covered himself with glory these last few days.
"Our country has lost a man of great courage, conviction and personal bravery.
Due in large part to his efforts and advocacy, women in Ontario and across Canada have the right to control their reproductive choices. Although the path he chose was not easy, he dedicated himself to ensuring that women had access to safe medical abortions.
His contributions to a fair society have been felt around the globe, and my thoughts are with his friends and family at this time."
First they hid in Rob Ford's bushes. Now we see a CTV hack stalking Nigel Wright at 4:00 am:
"I'm going to first of all give my submissions to the ethics commissioner, she's going to look into this and I think I can stand behind everything I did," Wright said after stopping to answer Hamamdjian’s questions.
"I made some mistakes, I'm living with the consequences of those mistakes, but I believe I can account for my actions and I think that's the right forum for it."
The video is inadvertently hilarious. The CTV reporter is seen actually running after the PM's former Chief of Staff. Why? So she could get Nigel Wright to give some boilerplate brush off? A press release would have provided exactly the same kind of non-answer. But then we wouldn't have an amusing visual of a once very powerful man running away from media!
Look at him run! What does he have to hide?
Aside from some monumentally poor judgement, probably not much. It's a cheap visual and further confirmation that the MSM is more interested in theatre than journalism. The man's running down the street because, ahem, he runs to keep in shape. Pretty good shape too. He's barely out of breadth while fluffling the reporter off.
Let's do a bit of compare and contrast.
Back in December the Sun News Network's Faith Goldy followed Justin Trudeau after he refused to answer some basic questions about attending an Islamic conference. The walk about, in which we got an extended view of Justin's luscious locks, was conducted in broad daylight at an official event. Justin had refused to answer any questions from SNN reporters after some embarrassing incidents. So like a petulant child he refused to speak.
He didn't hold his breadth until he turned blue, but that was probably because he forgot.
Journalists being a bit obnoxious is par for the course. It's what they're paid to do. Had Miss Goldy been following Justin around on the streets of Montreal, hoping to catch him walking his dog, you'd better believe the MSM and the police would have been interested. When the Sun asks a slightly aggressive question it gets, quite literally, the cold shoulder. When CTV stalks a prominent public figure, hey it's great copy.
CTV even had the gall to say that Wright was speaking "exclusively" to the network. Yeah, like he had a choice. If a camera crew started trailing me at 4:00 am you can well believe I'd be calling the cops. Then again I'm not dumb enough to get involved in politics. Just smart ass enough to make fun of the fools who do.
It might have beehoved Nigel Wright to have left the country for a few weeks. Perhaps a long luxury cruise in the Mediterranean, far away from stalking reporters and greedy Senators. Then again it's unlikely he would have suspected this level of unprofessionalism from the Press Gallery. This isn't Watergate. There is no useful information to be gained by following around Nigel Wright in the wee hours. No public interest is being served. This is gotcha journalism at its worst. More gotcha than news.
The last time there was this much controversy swirling around Canada’s normally sleepy Senate arguably was in the early 1930s, when the Beauharnois hydroelectric project on the St. Lawrence River was transformed into the Beauharnois Scandal.
That scandal was, in fact, more serious — both in the extent of the alleged wrongdoing and the scope of the money involved — than the current controversy. But there were similarities. Then, as now, there were allegations about partisan lobbying efforts, financial manipulations and conflict of interest — along with a whiff of involvement by prime minister William Lyon Mackenzie King.
According to the Toronto Star and the gossip website Gawker.com, there is a cellphone video for sale that purportedly shows Toronto Mayor Rob Ford smoking what appears to be crack cocaine.
CBC News has not seen the video and has not been able to validate any of the claims being made.
On Friday, Ford told reporters that the "allegations are ridiculous. It's another story with respect to the Toronto Star going after me and that's all."
Whether the allegations are true or not is now beside the point. Rob Ford has become not only his own worst enemy but the worst enemy of conservatives on Toronto council. His frank and populist style was once seen as a powerful asset, as a way of mobilizing the more right-leaning inner-suburbs against the pinkish enclaves of the old City of Toronto. That's no longer the case. The real and imagined scandals that have plagued Rob Ford are now the issue. Not his record, which is considerable and positive, but the man himself is now a threat to further constructive reform.
The Toronto Star has waged an unceasing and unprofessional vendetta against the Mayor. From video clips of Ford walking into a fast food restaurant, to exaggerations and distortions of Ford's business dealings, the Red Star has embarrassed itself as much as it has embarrassed the Mayor. There is an ethical lapse in allowing such disgraceful conduct to occur in a large media outlet. The Star has always been biased, yet it has rarely in its past been this vindictive toward an elected official.
Whatever the demerits of the MSM's conduct, Rob Ford stands where he does now because of Rob Ford. His populist predecessors, such as Mel Lastman, would often say stupid things but they would rarely do stupid things. These pols had enough of an instinct for self preservation not to flip the bird at a passing motorist, not to embarrass oneself in a weight-loss contest, in general to think before they acted in hopes of not making a fool of themselves.
There is a little voice in back of most sane people's brains. It tells them when they are doing something stupid or morally wrong. We don't always pay attention to that voice. Most of the time we do. That willingness to heed our better sides is what keeps the majority of mankind from destroying itself. The more we ignore that voice, the more we slip toward recklessness, cowardice and incompetence. That little voice in the back of Rob Ford's head has either been silenced or it has died from loneliness.
Yes, the media is out to get Rob Ford. It's politics. Most hacks are not militantly left-wing, though their political assumptions are broadly statist. What almost all successful reporters have, no matter what their political inclinations, is a sixth sense about good copy. They can smell blood from miles away. Even the most right-leaning member of Ford Nation, who has a slight tinge of journalistic ability, can sense Rob Ford is a headline generating machine. More than that he generates the right kind of headlines: Cheap, simple and easy to understand.
He's a big fat white guy who keeps getting himself into trouble. The man is an elected Fox sitcom.
That's why he has to go. Hopefully to be replaced by someone with his values but also with a modicum of common sense. When faced with allegations, whether absurd or serious, the instinctive reaction of the Mayor has been to whine like a petulant child and to blame a vast-left-wing conspiracy. It never seems to have occurred to the Mayor, who has a penchant for self-pity, that this same media complex is also besieging Tim Hudak, Stephen Harper, Jason Kenney, John Baird and Danielle Smith. Whatever you think of those politicians, each is enough of a professional to deal with the media they're stuck with, rather than wish for a media that has never existed.
Neil Reynolds made a career out of steering Canadian newspapers along uncharted courses, looking for stories with scant regard for the safe or predictable.
He wanted storytelling, and got it, by letting reporters off the leash with a rare degree of freedom.
Reynolds died of cancer in Ottawa on Sunday at the age of 72.
Born in Kingston, Ont., Reynolds was a high-school dropout who became city editor and assistant managing editor at the Toronto Star — but left Canada’s biggest newsroom in 1977 for a much smaller daily.