Monday, August 21, 2017

A Voice Refusing Silence

Mayorgate's monkeys have found themselves on the couch like the forgetful husband who somehow managed to let his mind slip past the anniversary date. Although the occupation of the couch in this situation is not due to forgetfulness, it was rather a need to bring forth two articles shedding light against a tide of destruction of both equality of law and the basic rights all Canadians expect.

Silence has not been comfortable at Mayorgate and it had not occurred as a result of a loss of interest. Ill health had got in the way and the pen stopped moving, though the mind itched for the scratch again. So this look back at the year past may be later than usual but the tradition could not be forgotten or let slip into the nether realm.

May of 2016 glanced back at the year past through Battles won, battles lost, the game continues. As much as any anniversary piece remembers articles of the last year, it is also the cleansing of the plate for the coming year. First out for year 8 an article dealing with local issues, Are By-Laws Real?Not in St. Catharines. The City of St. Catharines, Ontario isn't big nor is it small, yet it is a canvas that mirrors so many of the issues which are relevant to all of us regardless of our home base. For Mayorgate the roots which bind us to reality are never forgotten, in fact the title of that article is a question which will resonate even louder soon.

Democratic society is built on a foundation of law and the law has many tiers. This foundation is held together with a belief, and expectation that all the laws of this land are equally applicable to every Canadian. When this expectation of equality is lost we not only should ask for explanation, but demand it. Journalists hold a powerful position to inform the people of what unfolds before them, and that is why for a long time they have been thought of as watchers. These individuals use the art of language, and their acumen for both investigation and interpretation of information to bring light where darkness festers.

In Canada the world of journalism and traditional media slammed the panic button. This sound managed to grab the attention of the federal government resulting with a Commission being set up under Chair MP Hedy Fry to investigate the future of traditional journalism. Media giants like Paul Godfrey of Postmedia and John Honderich of Torstar shed tears over falling revenues, newspaper closures and the evil encroachment of a changing world and the Internet.

Journalism must remain independent of government influence yet here we had multi-millionaires crying for government handouts. A three part series: Who Watches the Watchers, attempted to sift through the theories of purveyors of think tanks, media advertising campaigns, the tears of media moguls and interfering government officials. At the time of publishing part three in this series the Canadian Heritage Standing Committee was promising to release its report. After all the roundtable meetings were finished and presentations completed, nothing really changed. Trust in the media and its journalists is still at an all time low, newspaper sales still dropping and cost cutting measures rising. The Heritage Committee has now released its report; Disruption: Change and Churning in Canada's Media Landscape, and it will be interesting to peak through its pages of wisdom.

After the journey into the world of media and journalism Mayorgate swung over to the retail world. Today's economies are struggling regardless of what politician's claim. In North America a whole new class in the workforce is growing larger than any other, and that is the Part-time Employee. Part-timers are a favourite especially within the retail industry, although banking and other commercial enterprises are following suit. These workers are not covered by any benefits, making them a cheaper workforce, and are often on minimum wage. Parts 1 and 2 of Modern Society's Reboot of Indentured Servitude not only discussed the near impossible task of surviving as a part-time employee, but also at the attitudes of corporations towards their employees.

Roadblocks appeared on the path and they took some time to steer through, yet Mayorgate sprung from a belief that silent acceptance is not the answer to anything. Strength and power comes from the courage to raise one's voice against what is wrong. The monkeys of Mayorgate will never accept as truth that silence is golden, well maybe when they wish to sleep.

The coming year promises to bring some thought provoking issues to deal with, and maybe some closures. In 2014 a lawsuit had been launched against Mayorgate and its publisher. An article from January 2014, Seniors Languish in Intimidation brought anger from the Board of the Paderewski Society Home. Lawyer Rachel Slingerland for the board played all kinds of tricks, and then jumped ship. Zijad Saskin of the law firm Broderick & Partners LLP took over the steering. Now all of Zijad Saskin's stalling tactics finally fell on deaf judicial ears and the trial was set for July 31st 2017. The trial lasted five days but had not reached an end and adjourned to a possible restart date of September 11th.

So remember that silence is not golden and keep on reading, and having said that, don't be silent with any of your comments. Maybe now the monkeys can get off the couch, but then knowing what monkeys are like they are more likely to continue to fool around.