Solutions To Rampant Stabbings on George Street Afoot …
Two weekends in row, a skeet stabbed someone on George Street, and the police and press have not revealed why either of these people decided to do such a thing. Apparently, The George Street Association feel that closing bars an hour earlier could curb the stabbings. Arguably, however, the problem isn’t that hundreds of people like to stay out late and have a fun time, so much as the fact one or two people in St. John’s will always be skeety enough to carry knives and stab people with them. There is in fact nothing we can do to alter their genetic predispositions — if we close the bars earlier, the skeets will probably just stab us sooner? Arguably, a man’s proclivity to stab another has little to do with the hour of the morning. Come 2 am, one is as hammered as they’d be by 3, as a rule.
The other solution proposed by the George Street Association, a much better one, is a metal detector on all doors. A third proposed solution, also a slightly better one, is to have more RNC presence on George Street. The trouble there though, is that it only takes a second to stab someone, and unless these cops are clairvoyant ninjas, it doesn’t guarantee the end of skeety violence. The stabbers, Jake Long two weeks back, and Michael Kelly this time around, were both young whippersnappers, and their motivation to commit stabbery is still unexplained. (The Overcast will pay a reporter for an investigative report on why they stabbed these people, honestly.)
RNC Superintendant Jason Sheppard would like us all to rest assured that two stabbings two weekends in a row does not indicate an overall rise in skeetyness and danger for George Street dwellers. Apparently, the RNC haven’t seen an increase in violence since 2010. They also stress that there’s a camera system in place on the streets now, helping to curb violence. They’ll also be stepping up their presence, as they always do, heading into spring and summer.
Are We Turning A Blind Eye To Mistreated Temporary Foreign Workers in This Province?
This week, NDP Leader Lorraine Michael has been vocal on the matter of mistreated temporary foreign workers in the province, and sought to determine “what, if anything, the provincial government is doing to ensure that workers brought here from other countries are not being exploited by their employers.” One federal government investigation suspended the license of a company in Labrador City that was bringing in temporary foreign workers. “I ask the Premier, does the province have a record of the number of temporary foreign workers currently working and living in this province?”
This Labrador company was suspended after allegations that twenty-six temporary foreign workers were living in a single house owned by the company. Michael has pointed out that other provinces have legislation in place to protect temporary foreign workers who “have almost no rights, and can be sent home at a moment’s notice.” She is asking the premier to amend our Labour Standards Act for the protection of temporary foreign workers. “Why isn’t this government taking the lead of Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Nova Scotia, who already have legislation regulating these workers?”
While our Labour Standards Act is said to protect temporary foreign workers, Michael points out that our Act is complaint-driven. “Workers themselves have to report abuses which we hear they are afraid to do. Manitoba’s Worker Recruitment and Protection Act requires employers to register their temporary foreign workers and submit to regular, proactive inspections.”
General Rick Hillier, and Poet George Murray Receive High Honours
This week, General Rick Hillier was presented with the Order of Newfoundland and Labrador. Hillier is a highly respected military commander and Afghanistan veteran, whom Premier Tom Marshall called “a tireless advocate for the rights of soldiers, veterans, and their families” and a man who “embodies the true spirit of the Order of Newfoundland and Labrador.” Hillier received the province’s highest honour with much gratitude.
St. John’s has also appointed its third Poet Laureate, the deserving George Murray. Our laureates before him were Agnes Walsh and Tom Dawe. Murray’s poetry has appeared in esteemed publications worldwide, and also happens to be very good: his six books of poetry are exceptional, and even those of you adverse to poetry would agree. Sandy Hickman, chair of the city’s arts advisory committee, said, “George Murray will be an effective and engaging Poet Laureate, and I look forward to working with him over the next four years.” He is tasked now with the tough job of relaying “the contribution of poetry to civic life” by integrating poetry into “a variety of official and unofficial civic events.”