Manitoba Liberals hope law will help workers talk about incident that killed

first_img(Barry Swan, centre bottom, speaks at the Manitoba Legislature)Kathleen MartensAPTN NewsManitoba’s Liberals are poring over the province’s Workplace, Safety and Health Act hoping to find a part that will help protect workers willing to come forward to talk about an incident that killed a First Nations man in January.Todd Maytwayashing, 22, was working for the Manitoba Hydro contractor Forbes Brothers Ltd., when he was struck by a piece of falling steel at a job site near Gillam, Man.Liberal MLA Jon Gerrard said people working for Forbes, which is building a transmission line to carry power to Hydro’s $8.7-billion under-construction Keeyask Generating Station, want to share inside information.But they fear dismissal.“I understand there are others…who are ready to come forward to talk about the situation but are reluctant to do so for fear of losing their jobs,” said Gerrard (River Heights).Gerrard originally pitched the idea of expanding the Whistleblower Protection Act to Premier Brian Pallister earlier this week, suggesting coverage for employees at contract companies was needed to get information the Maytwayashing family wanted.But Gerrard switched gears Friday saying existing Workplace, Safety and Health legislation should provide the needed protection to get people to come forward.Maytwayashing’s father, Barry Swan, says he’s been hearing about “bullying and harassment and safety” from other workers.But he says those workers aren’t ready to share details with provincial Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) investigators without assurance their jobs are protected.“They are quite afraid and I am very afraid for them because they got young ones, they got mortgages, car loans, and if they’re black-balled from industry I wouldn’t want that to be our fault,” Swan said in an interview Thursday.Pallister, who paid a condolence call to Maytwayashing’s family last month, says he will personally look into the fatal workplace incident at the mega project.He also encouraged workers to speak up.Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister.“I would give assurance to anyone who has information that they would like to bring forward in the process of investigating this tragedy to bring that forward without fear of repercussions of any kind,” he told the Legislature Wednesday. “They deserve to feel entirely confident and safe in doing so.”Swan says he “was honoured” to have Pallister in his home.“He assured me that Hydro would come to my house and apologize face-to-face,” Swan said. “And he assured me this investigation would not be tampered with.”Gerrard said Friday he believes the WSH Act has enough teeth to protect workers who want to contribute information to the investigation.Swan says he just wants to know what led to his son’s death.“We’re trying to work with workplace safety to have an honest and fair investigation,” he said. “If Hydro and Forbes are willing to share information with us that doesn’t jeopardize anything is what we’re looking for at this point.”Meanwhile, Forbes has completed its own investigation.Senior manager Brenda Madley says Maytwashing was doing a “high-risk” part of the job when he was killed and the company has since made changes to try and reduce the danger of loading and unloading material.“Fatalities don’t occur very often at Forbes,” she said, noting the death of Maytwayashing and two others in eastern Canada last summer during a tower collapse “are the only three fatalities that we’ve had in 40 years.“Our workers are part of our family. I mean I can’t even tell you how difficult it is on every single individual that’s in the organization,” she added in a telephone interview from Edmonton.Madley said workers shouldn’t fear for their jobs if they want to report problems.“We want to know about unsafe conditions so that we can correct them,” she said.“We have several safety advisors on our Manitoba project. They are encouraged to report unsafe conditions.”Maytwashing’s is the second death at a Keeyask-related site since the project began in 2014. Carpenter Joseph Head suffered a brain bleed in 2017 that ultimately led to a fatal heart attack.His widow is suing Hydro alleging her husband died a “wrongful death.”last_img read more

Some Texas Electors Wont Vote For Trump And Our Founding Fathers Are

first_imgStacy ThreattToday at the Texas State Capitol, electors will cast their votes for president of the United States. The expectation, of course, is that they will vote for the candidate who won the state’s popular vote, President-elect Donald Trump.As most of us know, on Election Day we don’t exactly cast our ballots for a candidate. We vote for who will be among the state’s 38 electors in the Electoral College. Because more Texans voted for Republican Donald Trump, the electors will be folks chosen by the Republican Party of Texas. “Electors make some sort of pledge when they accept the job from their party, because there is a party slate of electors,” said George Edwards, a Texas A&M political science professor and Electoral College expert. “So, there is an expectation the electors will support the candidate of that party.”Edwards stresses that this is an expectation, not a rule. The electors may have made a pledge to the party, but Edwards says the U.S. Constitution has different ideas about what electors can do.“At the time of the writing of the Constitution there were no political parties. States didn’t vote as blocks necessarily,” Edwards said. “So, they expected the electors to be mediators between the public and the selection of the president, and they expected them to exercise discretion.”Some Texas electors want to use that discretion this year. Some say they aren’t going to vote for Donald Trump.  Critics call these electors “faithless electors.” They call themselves “Hamilton electors.”One of the electors not voting for Trump is Art Sisneros.He told The Texas Standard a few weeks ago that at first he didn’t know this is what the founders’ had in mind.“I didn’t really understand the original intent and much of the history behind the Electoral College,” he said. “So I began to discover that after I won.  I began to discover that after I won. I began to really examine.”After some examination, Sisneros decided to resign. He says voting for Trump would be a “dishonor to God.”Christopher Suprun – another Texas elector – wrote an op-ed in The New York Times asking other Republican electors to join him in voting for someone other than Trump.All this is why state Rep. John Raney, R-Bryan, introduced a bill, House Bill 543, for next year’s session that would fine faithless electors $5,000 for violating their party’s pledge.“I think it’s important that people who pledge to do something. such as pledge to vote for the nominee of the party, whichever party it might be, that they then follow through and do that,” Raney told KUT.Other states have similar laws binding electors to the state’s popular vote, but they have never been tested.  Edwards says those laws are flat-out unconstitutional.He also says Raney’s bill won’t really solve a problem. Throughout American history, he says, 99 percent of electors have voted for their party’s nominee.Edwards says that’s not a sign that electors need stricter rules. He says it’s just a sign that our Electoral College isn’t operating the way our Founding Fathers’ wanted. Copyright 2016 KUT-FM. To see more, visit KUT-FM. Sharelast_img read more

Sewage Overflows In Houston Caused By Harvey A Health Concern

first_img Share 00:00 /01:05 X To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Gail DelaughterOfficials say sewage overflows, caused by Harvey flood waters, have already been reported in Memorial Villages, West University, Baytown, and Crosby.Bellville resident Bruce Margolis has been volunteering with water rescues, in multiple areas around Houston.“We watch things floating through the water that you can only imagine,” said Margolis.  “The water we’re in, if you can imagine, the sewers back up. We watch these sewers bubble.”And advocacy group Environment Texas fears sewage overflows could eventually total in the millions of gallons; and it says many systems have yet to file reports.At least 12 sewage spills in Houston have been reported to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.And Brian Zabcik, a clean water advocate with Environment Texas, said that’s concerning. “Think of it. It’s your toilet flowing into floodwaters, bay, and bayous.”Even though its diluted, Zabcik says the untreated sewage is a health concern for anyone who wades in the water; due to infectious organisms, intestinal bacteria, and other disease agents that may be present.A Texas A&M analysis of Houston floodwater shows E. coli levels are 125 times higher than what’s considered safe for swimming. Listenlast_img read more

A Pants travel tale

first_imgStand-up comedy gets a facelift with comedian and writer Sorabh Pant showcasing an interesting piece The Travelling Pants, his travelogue, in Delhi.Giving an extensive insight into his travel experiences, Sorabh has collated this interesting act. Talking about the act, he said: ‘It is a stand-up comedy show about travelling across India and the world. It’s a lot of material that I’ve collected over the last year in Mumbai and abroad. So expect some ridiculous insights into people and travelling quirks and airport announcements and racism.’ Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’So get ready for an 80 minute complete joyride, as Pant covers travel across India, abroad and even that in Delhi, in the process explaining why Bihar is an amusement park, why in America milk rules, why Spanish people are molesters and what lingo improves travel in north India. Asked how he came up with the idea for the show, Pant explained: ‘I’ve always been interested in travel mainly because I’m married. So any excuse to get away is welcomed by both me and my wife! I’ve been writing about travel constantly and been trying to find the humour in the ridiculous ways of people. Whether it’s the Spanish throwing tomatoes at each other for fun or Delhiites being reluctant to give directions, Bengalis obsessed with the age of their restaurants, Biharis trying to parcel their silly tourism as an amusement park or even how uncomfortable it is for Jains in a land like South Africa where fish is vegetarian.’ Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflix‘Also, stand-up comedy has taken me to a few countries. I just toured Canada, US and Dubai and all the madness there flew into this special. I love to travel. I love to make jokes. The combination was magic!’ he added.So how many places has he covered in his ‘pants’? ‘Even before I turned nine I had been to Europe and most of India. With my family I’ve travelled to about four continents. So, The Travelling Pants is probably my whole family. In total I think I’ve been to about 23 countries and a lot of Indian states. My passport is quite travel weary, I think I should be like Dawood Ibrahim and get four extra ones for fun! We love travelling so much my wife and me decided to spend our honeymoon bumming a trip to Bhutan with the whole family. Our honeymoon was our family moon!’ said Pant.DETAILAt: Epicentre, Gurgaon When: 2 December; Tickets: Rs 400, 300, 200last_img read more