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09.05.23 11:45 PM

"You have failed democracy and because of you democracy is failing"

Introduction to the 2009 Scribd edition.

In 2005 an anonymous (at the time of printing) editorialist lied in The Vancouver Sun about a detail in a nasty labour contract negotiation. The editorial was designed to malign the Telecommunications Workers Union and undermine what little credibility it may have had in the public eye. Both the union and the employer, TELUS, partook of questionable tactics, the silliest and least effectual coming from the union, and the strongest and most egregious coming from the employer. Typical of our anti-labour age the media ensured that the reporting was biased in favour of their corporate owners and major advertisers, as was exemplified in the editorial lie.

Dissembling editorialists are nothing new, of course. But what makes this one remarkable, and prompted my verbiage, was that the anonymous editorialist responded to my criticism by boasting that his 'considered judgement' had power enough to make the lie a mere technical irrelevancy.

And so it came to pass that I excoriated Fazil Mihlar for being an acknowledge liar, a contributor to the failure of democracy, and a complete ignoramous of economic and labour history. (I had listened to Mihlar a year or two earlier, on a CBC-Radio interview for up and comers in the province, and was thoroughly aghast at the level of ignorance, poor vocabulary, and general myopic thinking that this so-called up and comer comported.)

I also appealed to the print journalists ethical board, the BC Press Council, the result of which I have already published in Scribd. See BCPC Complaint Dismissal and Response in Scribd.

What follows is a chronological and complete, albeit slightly cleaned up, text of our verbal exchanges, including my complaint to the BC Press Council. As this exchange was happening, I was disseminating it to those who were interested in my arguments.

GAD 2009.05.23


09.05.23 11:45 PM

Introduction to the edition disseminated in the Spring of 2005

To those who through interest or misfortune or request have come to have this document stuck before your eyes, please be advised that I have written this in no small part to be mean to Fazil Mihlar, an editor in the Vancouver Sun’s anonymous editorial page, because he defended a libelous disprovable statement of fact he’d made in his editorial. In his “considered judgement,” the truth was not good enough – I’ve paraphrased him, but his letter is included below. Because Mihlar makes his living pumping out column inches of words, I have peppered this document with some nasty, meaning uncommon, but perfectly fine, words. I suspect that he will be ignorant of at least one of them, the thought of which amuses me. Since you are not Mihlar, and since someone has given this to you to read – you may want to strike that person from your Christmas card list – I have no intention of being mean to you, and so have supplied at the end of the May 24th “letter,” a glossary of the few obtuse words I used. (Caution: I have put the word “letter” in quotes because, as you will see if you have the stomach to wade through this “thing,” my “letter” is more like a university mid-term paper than a true “letter” in terms of length and the number of bibliographed citations.)

Enjoy. If you can.

Oh. And for completeness, I have included the complete history of this verbal exchange, which goes:

A transcription of the libelous editorial.

Guy’s official complaint to the BC Press Council of The Sun’s editorial.

Mihlar’s “defense” of his anonymous editorial board’s libelous editorial.

Guy’s preliminary response to Mihlar’s response.

Guy’s “considered” reply to Mihlar’s response to my original complaint to the BC Press Council – long, mean, and filled with the ideas of dead white males.

o It includes a synopsis of the various Canadian Industrial Relations Board (CIRB) and Federal Appeals Court of Canada (FCA) rulings.

Addendum – The Vancouver Sun also lied about the BC Teachers Federation

(BCTF), regarding which I wrote a SHORT(!) letter to the BC Press Council as it pertains to one of my points in the LONG “letter” thing.


GAD 2005.05.27 (Slightly Revised Jul 15, 2005, and May 24, 2009)



The Offending and Libelous Editorial


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It's time for the union to do its share toward a solution at Telus

The Vancouver Sun, Wednesday, April 27, 2005 [by anonymous].

Telus Corp., Canada's second largest telecommunications company, and the Telecommunications Workers Union, which represents about 13,700 Telus employees, resumed negotiations this week, for which full credit goes to the company.

Otherwise, the unproductive negotiations threatened to indefinitely delay contract talks that have already gone on for an unbelievable 41/2 years.

In all that time, the TWU has not tabled a single proposal. It has gone to court countless times over grievances. It has bought advocacy advertising, including billboards aimed at embarrassing the company. It has called for CEO Darren Entwistle's resignation. It has held rallies and demonstrations. It has intervened at regulatory hearings in an effort to halt the company's expansion and diversification. It has urged customers not to do business with Telus. It has asked employees to work to rule.

But it hasn't taken a positive step with a set of proposals that might bring to an end years of fruitless collective bargaining.

It is not surprising that Telus had finally had enough. Last week, Entwistle shook up the Canadian labour relations system by doing what the union had refused to do: He put the company's offer directly to its employees. Terms of the deal were e-mailed to every employee, customized to show each one the impact on his or her family's finances.

The offer is generous, including lump sum payments ranging from $11,350 to $24,545, a two-per-cent pay hike every year over five years, as well as cost of living increases and performance-based raises of three per cent in 2005, four per cent in 2006 and five per cent in 2007, on top of a rich benefits package.

The company is also seeking concessions on mandatory overtime, contracting out and vacation days. For every concession, however, employees would be fully compensated. They will also have guaranteed job security. The offer will cost Telus about $200 million.

The TWU response was predictable. Rather than address the merits of the offer, it launched legal challenges, including an unfair labour practice charge,


which remains outstanding.

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But it lost a legal round last week when the Federal Court dismissed the union's bid for an injunction to block the company's plan, in the absence of any progress on an agreement, to defer wage increases, freeze vacation entitlements, suspend grievance and arbitration activities and take other "lockout measures." It suffered a second defeat Sunday when the Canadian Industrial Relations Board ruled that preventing Telus from implementing those measures was disproportionate to any alleged harm the TWU might suffer.

Telus employees are bound to be having a difficult time performing their jobs and arranging their personal lives when their conditions of employment have been in play for so long. The endless contract dispute has been equally harmful to Telus, which has to compete with one arm tied behind its back against giants BCE, Rogers and Shaw.

Labour lawyers may debate whether Telus is in violation of the Canadian Industrial Relations Act for its unprecedented move to bypass its employees' legal bargaining agent, but the genie is out of the bottle. Telus employees now know what the TWU refused them and they can make up their own minds, pro or con. The TWU may or may not be found to have breached Canada's labour law as well for refusing to present what was deemed the company's "final offer" to its membership. The union leadership didn't have to recommend it, but it should have let its members have their say.

It is time for Telus and the union to close this chapter of their unhappy relationship and begin to work together to build a prosperous company that provides a high standard of living for employees, a profitable investment for shareholders and good service for its customers.

[My emphasis is of that which is an out and out lie.]



Original Complaint to the BC Press Council


April 29, 2005

Guy A. Duperreault [Contact information]

To Mr. Bill Bachop, Executive Director BC Press Council #201 - 1290 Broad St. Victoria, BC V8W 2A5

Dear Mr. Bachop:

09.05.23 11:45 PM

This is my formal complaint against a recent editorial published in The Vancouver Sun in the form of a letter to its anonymous editorial board. (An aside: why is anonymity tolerated? It is a pernicious practice!)

Dear Editorial Board:

Re.: It's time for the union to do its share toward a solution at Telus

The Vancouver Sun Wednesday, April 27, 2005

It seems that you have opened yourself to charges of libel.

"In all that time, the TWU has not tabled a single proposal."

Here is a citation from the CIRB ruling that went against TELUS for breaking labour law:

[4] The TWU gave notice to bargain to TELUS on August 15, 2000, and filed their bargaining proposals with a view to renewing the TWU agreement. Collective bargaining commenced on November 1, 2000. TELUS did not file bargaining proposals but issued statements of “issues and objectives” with a view to concluding an entirely new collective agreement. There have been two conciliation attempts, the latest of which commenced on November 14, 2003, and has now been concluded. Both attempts have been unsuccessful. After three years of negotiations, the parties have yet to conclude a collective agreement or sign off any collective agreement language. The only two issues on which the parties have been able to agree are a maintenance of services agreement and the conciliation process. [My emphasis.]

Beyond this, the editorial board's article of disinformation strongly condemns the


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TWU for taking TELUS to court. In point of fact, TELUS has taken the TWU to court about the same number of times as has the TWU TELUS. And, unlike the TWU, TELUS has lost more of its cases than it has won. And when TELUS loses, TELUS then loses its appeal, and then loses its appeal to the appeal, and even, recently, its appeal to the Federal Appeals Court of Canada. For example, Docket: A-327-04, Citation: 2004 FCA 438, which concludes, against TELUS, that

[112] For these reasons, I would dismiss the application for judicial review with costs.

And, for example, see CIRB/CCRI Decision no. 271 April 8, 2004. TELUS of course appealed this loss and lost. See Board Files: 24220-C, 24375-C CIRB/ CCRI Decision no. 317 April 20, 2005, in which you will see that the CIRB

1) upholds the ultimate findings in respect of the alleged contraventions of the Code, that form the subject matter of Board File no. 23742-C, no. 24063-C and no.



4) reinstates and continues the January 17, 2004 interim cease and desist order, as amended, so that it will have full force and effect and will bind TELUS until the conditions set out in section 89 of the Code have been fulfilled.

Given paragraph 4) above, The Sun's anonymous editorial board has condoned, if not abetted, the illegal act of TELUS. Furthermore, The Vancouver Sun has become, by this editorial, an open if not formal advocate of TELUS, and as such is breaking the orders of the CIRB by directing communications on the bargaining process directly to the TWU membership.

I understand that this anonymous board quite likely proselytized their anti-union cant in complete ignorance of what is "really" going on. Otherwise it would not have published such a libelous piece. But ignorance is no excuse from the law. Furthermore this kind of ignorance from a respected – well, perhaps not respected, but presumably widely read paper’s – editorial board, if their collective ignorance was real, displays the board's woeful, and even criminal, disregard for journalistic integrity and due diligence. But if their display of ignorance was a sham, then this newspaper's anonymous editorial board deliberately attempted to influence public opinion by the use of outright lies and a complete misrepresentation of the labour situation at TELUS. In either case, the board has behaved abominably, as well as libelously.

Guy A. Duperreault

P.S.: It seems to me that there is a perception on the part of Entwistle and his sycophants, which have apparently been expanded to include The Vancouver Sun's editorial board, that the TWU membership is by-and-large stupid and ignorant of the bargaining issues, in general and specific terms. Or maybe The Sun’s board, like TELUS’s executives, believes the TWU membership is easily bought off. (I suspect that this is probably a matter of seeing in others one’s own


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nature, but being untrained in psychology, this is only speculation, of course.) This is not the case. Keep in mind that members of the TWU have not had even a cost of living increase in the last four plus years, while our CEO's rich remuneration has increased by hundreds of times the cost of living. You may find it worthwhile to review the old rules about labour peace being jeopardized whenever an obscene gap exists between the highest and lowest paid in any organization. And while pretending to do that, please note that on the day TELUS openly, willfully, and with apparent impunity, broke the law and went against the CIRB’s injunctions against it by proffering its respected(?) workforce no increase in pay for those last lost(?) four years, Entwistle was pleased to announce a gift of $7.5 million to an Ontario Science Museum.

Note: In keeping with the formal complaint procedure as listed in the BC Press Council's web sight, I have copied this to the BC Press Council's Executive Director and to The Vancouver Sun's publisher, and have included a copy of the offending article. I have also sent a copy to the Canadian Newspaper Association, to my MP and to the Minister of Labour.

CC: Bill Bachop, Executive Director B.C. Press Council ; Dennis Skulsky, President and Publisher The Vancouver Sun; Bryan Cantley, Vice-President of Member Services Canadian Newspaper Association; Claudette Bradshaw MP, Minister of Labour; Peter Julian, MP.;;;;



Mihlar’s Response Dated May 10, 2005


May10, 2005

Guy A. Duperreault [Contact information]

09.05.23 11:45 PM

Dear Mr. Duperreault:

I am writing in response to your complaint to the B.C. Press Council about the Vancouver Sun editorial "It's time for the union to do its share towards a solution at Telus" on April 27, 2005.

Let me take each of your complaints in turn.

(1) You assert that the editorial "

TELUS." We did nothing of the sort. The editorial merely pointed out that "Labour lawyers may debate whether Telus is in violation of the Canadian Industrial Relations Act for its unprecedented move to bypass its employees' legal bargaining agent, but the genie is out of the bottle."

condoned, if not abetted, the illegal acts of

This is a statement of fact. At the time of writing, no court or tribunal had found Telus guilty of breaking the Canadian Industrial Relations Act by directly communicating with employees rather than through the bargaining unit. And genie was indeed out of the bottle, for good or bad.

(2) You assert that "the editorial board's article of disinformation strongly condemns the TWU for taking TELUS to court." We object to your characterization of our editorial as an "article of disinformation." Isn't it a fact that the TWU has gone to court several times? Isn't is a fact that it has called for the resignation of Telus CEO Darren Entwistle? Isn't a fact that the union has urged customers to take their business elsewhere?

As to condemning the TWU for going to court and/or taking the aforementioned other actions, that's precisely what editorial writers do. We make considered judgements on particular actions and explain why it's bad or good. That's why we have a letters page and an op-ed page where our readers can take our columnists or editorial writers to task for their views.

(3) You take issue with our statement "In all that time, the TWU has not tabled a


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single proposal." While it is true that the TWU proposed renewing the existing contract with improvements, our considered judgement was since Telus was a new company (merging of the two firms from Alberta and B.C.) and the competitive landscape had changed, any proposal should consider these realities. So in our view, there was no new proposal or counter proposal to what Telus had on the table. [My emphasis - Mihlar admits the lie by trying to morph the adjective 'new' into his argument, which with his considered judgment he has, as it turned out, the power to do.]

Since reasonable people can disagree on this point, we made sure that TWU President Bruce Bell had a chance to rebut our editorial point by point, including the issue of whether the union tabled a proposal of its own. Which he did an admirable job of on April 29. On the same day that Mr. Bell's op-ed ran, we also provided space for John MacKillop, a Telus employee, to pass judgement on the editorial. Together, Mr. Bell and Mr. MacKillop, took up more space than our editorial did!

I should also point out that our editorial sympathized with the fact that Telus employees are having a hard time with all the uncertainty surrounding their terms of employment. And we also made mention of the fact that Telus management is seeking concessions – mandatory overtime, contracting out and less vacation days – in return for the lump sum payments and higher wages.

Our editorial writers are journalists with integrity and work hard to adhere to the highest journalistic standards. That means they check and cross-check facts before coming to any conclusions. They did so in this instance, too. I hope you will agree with me that a different point of view from the Sun's editorial got a fair hearing on our pages.

Thank you. Sincerely, Fazil Mihlar

Editorial page editor

cc: Bill Bachop, B.C. Press Council.



“Preliminary” E.mail response


May 13, 2005

09.05.23 11:45 PM

Mr. Skulsky [Publisher, The Vancouver Sun]:

On late Friday, I responded to Fazil Mihlar's letter he sent me in response to my complaint. I sent my preliminary reaction to Bill Bachop of the BC Press Council, with a copy to Mihlar. Today I thought that you likely require seeing a copy of that reaction too. Here it is.

Mr. Mihlar and Mr. Bachop:

I have cc'd you this e.mail to advise you that I have now sent a copy to Dennis Skulsky, publisher of The Vancouver Sun.

To Mr. Bill Bachop, BC Press Council Executive Director.


have received from Fazil Mihlar his response to my complaint.


is unacceptable to me.


am still composing my complete response to his verbiage. But as mine will be


considered one, it will not be completed until sometime next week. With this

response I am affirming my dissatisfaction with Mihlar's answer to ensure that I do not lose my opportunity to have my complaint properly addressed by the BC Press Council because I failed to respond within a prescribed time.

In part, my letter will include the following:

Mihlar has confirmed that the editorial board's piece was knowingly libelous. He states that "his" editorial writers and journalists "check and cross-check facts before coming to any conclusions. They did so in this instance, too." And he proves his writers' integrity by acknowledging that the TWU did in fact put proposals on the table. (Odd, how a missing adjective changes a statement of fact to an opinion – unfortunately, that adjective was missing.) From this I can only conclude that he (or the board) knowingly impugned the integrity of the TWU with a known lie. The editorial then continued to use that inflammatory and defamatory lie as a foundation upon which the integrity of the TWU could be further impugned by both half and full truths. In effect, the editorial used that false statement as a first attack in its intent to undermine the legally accepted bargaining practice and extend TELUS's efforts to win the public relations war in the event of a lockout by TELUS. (This seems oddly unnecessary given the


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peculiarly silly things the TWU has done, unless the cited stupid truths were there to add credence to the editorial lie.)

With the admission from Mihlar that he knowingly published a false statement because "there was no new proposal or counter proposal to what Telus had on the table" in no way turns the editorial's lie into a truth. And furthermore, at the time of that publication, TELUS did not have proposals on the table, but had "issued statements of 'issues and objectives', which the TWU had repeatedly asked be turned into concrete bargaining positions that could be negotiated.

I believe that Mihlar has, in this response, further confirmed that his board's editorial meets the requirements for a libel lawsuit. Unless I see some signs of moral integrity from Mihlar and/or The Vancouver Sun I will be seeking legal advice on this matter. And if Mihlar takes offence at my castigation, I suggest he ask himself how many other times he has deliberately made mis-statements of fact because he considers his opinion "considered."

Guy A. Duperreault [contact information]

p.s.: And I repeat. This does not constitute my complete reply. I have sent this as a statement of dissatisfaction, with cause, so as to ensure that this serious complaint be not prematurely closed.


09.05.23 11:45 PM


“Considered” – meaning long and difficult – reply to Mihlar.


May 21, 2005

Guy A. Duperreault [Contact information.]

To: Mr. Bill Bachop, Executive Director BC Press Council

Re.: Mr. Mihlar’s Response to my Complaint of April 29 th , 2005.

Dear Mr. Bachop:

Here is my complete response to Fazil Mihlar’s letter dated May 10, 2005. It is to supercede my initial response dated May 13. Or, if you prefer, you could take that one in conjunction with this one. I have written this response in the form of a letter directed to Mr. Mihlar. I have sent an electronic copy of it to him, The Sun’s publisher and to others as noted below.

Dear Mr. Mihlar:

I expect that you have seen my May 13, 2005 preliminary response to the explanation you sent May 10. As stated, I sent that response to ensure that my complaint was not closed by the BC Press Council before I had a chance to formulate a considered reply. This is it.

“At the time of writing, no court or tribunal had found Telus [sic] guilty of breaking the Canadian Industrial Relations Act by directly communicating with employees rather than through the bargaining unit.” I am most certainly filled with respect that in your well researched and informed consideration no court or tribunal had found TELUS guilty of violating the labour act. Thank you for setting me straight.

Except that, well, you haven’t, have you? Set me straight, I mean, because you have once again made a misstatement of fact. But you knew that before writing your response, I am to presume, given the level of double cross-checking your learnèd and experienced staff were sure to have exercised before you considered replying. However, to set the record straight…

[126]… the [Canadian Industrial Relations] Board views the employer’s argument


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as ignoring the context in which the undertaking was given. Before proposing an undertaking, the Board had an open discussion with counsel as to the spirit of avoiding further complaints by the union concerning improper communications until the Board rendered its decision. The Board understood this to be the accepted undertaking and was prepared to allow the employer to save face by not issuing a public order to be posted in the workplace, given the ongoing conciliation process. [127] The Board is dismayed that an experienced and sophisticated employer should seek to take advantage of a “very carefully crafted” undertaking given to the Board through its learned counsel, at public hearings, in order to devise other circumstances that avoid the strict wording of its undertaking. Such actions are contrary to effective industrial relations and sound labour- management relations promulgated by the Code in its Preamble. In the circumstances of this case, the employer’s actions have had the consequence of poisoning the collective bargaining process in which the parties are engaged and have effectively destroyed whatever remaining trust may have been necessary for the parties to voluntarily conclude a collective agreement. (Board Files: 23742, 24063 and 24160; CIRB/CCRI Decision no. 271 April 8, 2004.) [My emphasis].

I guess it is possible, with all the considerable weight of your weighted judgement, to quibble that “no court or tribunal” includes the CIRB. Or that this finding or ruling be considered not breaking the rules of the Canadian Industrial Relations Act because their condemnation failed to include the words “break” or “law” or “act”. (I find it Canadian-quaint, the concern the Board expressed for saving the face of TELUS. Quaint and, as it turns out, unnecessary, given the many Sun-like encomiums heaped on Entwistle by our corporatist but nonetheless assuredly free press.) It would be only uneducated and ignorant media outsiders who could possibly mistake your casual dismissal of the CIRB’s ruling as a measure of the extent to which you and your board take their understanding cues from TELUS’s communication’s department. Or perhaps your board, for the sake of expediency, more or less transcribed with perhaps only a small risk of plagiarism, TELUS’s communiqué because TELUS is ethically bound by having bought your advertising space to be upfront and forthright and truthful and honest to its courtier in all its communiqués?

TELUS has been a leader in dismissing, debasing (as noted in par. 127 above), or appealing CIRB decisions it doesn’t like. And it was even more curious that TELUS’s free to frequently misinform internal propaganda machine relayed our esteemed CEO’s pleasure at being able to enter into binding arbitration when it was an act he was forced to undertake because of his “poisoning the collective bargaining process.” (See RD0271.) It stands to reason from your purported staff’s due diligence that the “fact” that this “factoid” wasn’t relayed in the broad scope media reportage, nor included in your editorial opinions, was in fact a well considered conscientious act of omission designed to “disinform” your readers on the nature of both the TWU and TELUS in their bargaining dance. And in typical fashion, and despite his averred pleasure and the press’s reportage of that pleasure, TELUS never respected nor participated in binding arbitration. In typical fashion TELUS appealed it. Within a month.


09.05.23 11:45 PM

This reconsideration application, filed by TELUS Communications Inc. (TELUS or the employer) with the Board on February 16, 2004, and modified by an amendment dated April 29, 2004, requests the reconsideration of the Board’s interim cease and desist order dated January 17, 2004. (Board Files: 24220-C, 24375-C CIRB/CCRI Decision no. 317 April 20, 2005, p. 3.)

Okay, so your board considered this pejorative fact not worthy of note in your board’s editorial – that is an editorial decision. A crappy one in my opinion, but typically corporatist and yours to make. But to paint the TWU to be the speciously litigious party, and not TELUS, is to actively disseminate disinformation by calculated omission and by clever dissembling. (To demonstrate the depth of the “dis-informational” nature of your editorial’s portrayal of the two parties and their legal wranglings, I supply a running total of the TWU vs. TELUS court or tribunal applications and results at the end of this remonstration.)

And FYI. You may want to inform your intrepid researchers that TELUS also lost that appeal.

[276] This reconsideration panel upheld, for the reasons set out in this decision, the original panel’s ultimate findings that the employer communications were impermissible and contrary to section 94(1)(a) of the Code (RD0317) [my emphasis].

Question: Mihlar, in your considered and weighty opinion does “no court or tribunal” include the Federal Court of Appeals? Well, I infer it must, given the due conscientiousness you insist exists in you and your department before running off at the keyboard, because with such doughty diligence I can only be assured you were aware of 2004fca438, the “Clearnet” appeal, to the FCA by TELUS – or, more specifically by TM-Mobile, a wholly owned subsidiary. It was to appeal their loss of the appeal of their loss to the CIRB. When you write “no court or tribunal” you have been able to dismiss the Federal Court of Appeals and its three judges their understanding of what legal role the CIRB has in labour law when they unanimously ruled that

[46] Labour boards in Canada are among the most senior of our administrative tribunals, and are regarded as possessing a broad mandate and matching expertise in the regulation of labour relations. The strong preclusive clauses typically found in their enabling legislation further indicate a legislative intention that in judicial review proceedings courts should afford labour board decisions a high degree of deference. These observations apply fully to the Canada Industrial Relations Board [my emphasis. And in case you missed the emphasis, note the words “tribunals” and “legislation.”]

Given the level of due diligence you claim for The Sun’s staff, am I to infer that you have once again knowingly lied to me? Or perhaps your goal was simply to walk tall in your ability to dismiss the opinion of the three federal appeals court judges their characterization of the CIRB as a “tribunal", and in their deference to its “enabling legislation”. Given that I am merely an ignorant, lumpen worker- grunt who needs bow to your considered judgement, I am curious how you would consider to define “legislation”? To assist your considerations, here is


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the OED’s concise definition: “n. (enacting of) laws.” Or perhaps your object was an even loftier one, given the weight of your considerable judgement, which was to dismiss in their entirety the existence of FCA as a court, and the three FCA judges who made those statements of law.

In these hubristic actions and/or attitudes, it is remarkable how alike you and TELUS are. TELUS has now re-appealed the loss of their FCA appeal’s loss to the CIRB’s appeal’s loss to the CIRB’s ruling that went against them.

[112] For these reasons, I would dismiss the application for judicial review with costs (2004fca438).

I am sure with your diligent research you read through this decision. But I find it amusing to point out some of the highlights of their decision-making because their elegant and complete disregard and dismissal of the arguments put forward by TELUS carries … how to put it? Weight worth considering?

[47] … The inquiry can thus focus principally on the nature of the question in dispute and whether it is within the scope of the Board's expertise. Here, too, settled jurisprudence avoids the need for reviewing courts constantly to reinvent the wheel: labour boards' decisions based on an interpretation of their constitutive, and closely related, legislation are normally reviewable only for patent unreasonableness … [my emphasis].

[76] In my opinion, it was not patently unreasonable for the Board to conclude, on the basis of its jurisprudence and the facts before it, that the inclusion of the new employees would not involve such change [my emphasis].

[83] Given these differences, it cannot be said that the 2004 Decision was patently unreasonable in applying the more relevant Board jurisprudence dealing with accretions to a bargaining unit [my emphasis].


Decision simply overlooked the fact that the 2001 Decision distinguished between employees hired as a result of TELUS' expansion of its existing operations, and employees of acquired companies. As I indicated earlier in these reasons (at [19]), when making its 2004 Decision the Board was very alive to this distinction:

see, for example, paras. 186-88 and 313 of the reasons for the 2004 Decision [my emphasis].

The complaint is unfounded in so far as it alleges that the 2004

[106] In my view, there is no merit in these contentions … [my emphasis].

See also para.s [72], [74], [89], [90], [96], [98], [100], [105] and [112] (cited above). Heck, why not actually read the decision? It is quite readable. And filled with juicy quotes that would almost certainly sell papers – but perhaps piss-off your advertising client and jeopardize valued advertising space. Not that either you or your paper are bought! I do understand that, all in all and for the sake of the quarter, you are bound to consider what is best for the corporate interests of your paper, full steam ahead. But to damn the truth? (In a rather sad way, one must kind of admire that such a dismissive ruling was not able to stop the righteous Entwistle and his lawyers from appealing what they consider to be a bad, unlawful, and unwanted decision.)


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For your consideration: perhaps the FCA ruled as it did in part because of the legislated role of the CIRB.

The Canada Industrial Relations Board is an independent, representational, quasi-judicial tribunal responsible for the interpretation and administration of Part I (Industrial Relations), and certain provisions of Part II (Occupational Health and Safety) of the Canada Labour Code [my emphasis].

And that is a statement of legislated fact. You may want to review the meaning of “quasi-judicial,” given the rather creatively loose reinterpretation you have given the word “tribunal”.

Mihlar, you seem to like using the word “genie.” I am not sure why. Perhaps because it talks to you of something mischievous, but that which brings to the wise the good things in life and to the foolish pain and misery? Unfortunately, the use of it in both the editorial and your justification displays an incredible level of ignorance of not just what is happening at TELUS, but of labour history in general – not just Canadian. Since the beginning of the industrialization of labour, and the ascendancy of the corporatist mien, it has been recognized by considered thinkers, such as Adam Smith and John Stuart Mill, that labour is at a significant disadvantage against the owners of wealth when it comes to the negotiation of wages and work conditions. At its most basic, the owners of capital in a oligarchic-democracy usually own the police and military and press, and often resort to brutality as their form of direct communication.

It is not, however, difficult to foresee which of the two parties must, upon all

ordinary occasions, have the advantage in the dispute, and force the other into a compliance with their terms. The masters, being fewer in number, can combine much more easily; and the law, besides, authorises, or at least does not prohibit their combinations, while it prohibits those of the workmen. We have no acts of parliament against combining to lower the price of work; but many against combining to raise it. In all such disputes the masters can hold out much longer.

A landlord, a farmer, a master manufacturer, or merchant, though they did not

employ a single workman, could generally live a year or two upon the stocks which they have already acquired. Many workmen could not subsist a week, few could subsist a month, and scarce any a year without employment. In the long- run the workman may be as necessary to his master as his master is to him, but the necessity is not so immediate. (Smith, Adam. An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, Bk. I, Ch. 8, “Of the Wages of Labour” par. 12.)

Or what about John Stuart Mill? You have heard of him, haven’t you?

It is a great error to condemn, per se and absolutely, either trade unions or the

collective action of strikes. Even assuming that a strike must inevitably fail whenever it attempts to raise wages above that market rate which is fixed by the demand and supply; demand and supply are not physical agencies, which thrust

a given amount of wages into a labourer's hand without the participation of his own will and actions. The market rate is not fixed for him by some self-acting instrument, but is the result of bargaining between human beings—of what Adam Smith calls "the higgling of the market;" and those who do not "higgle" will long continue to pay … more than the market price for their purchases. Still more might poor labourers who have to do with rich employers, remain long without the


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amount of wages which the demand for their labour would justify, unless, in vernacular phrase, they stood-out for it, and how can they stand out for terms without organized concert? What chance would any labourer have, who struck singly for an advance of wages? How could he even know whether the state of the market admitted of a rise, except by consultation with his fellows, naturally leading to concerted action? I do not hesitate to say that associations of labourers, of a nature similar to trades unions, far from being a hindrance to a free market for labour, are the necessary instrumentality of that free market; the indispensable means of enabling the sellers of labour to take due care of their own interests under a system of competition. There is an ulterior consideration of much importance…. Experience has at length enabled the more intelligent trade to take a tolerably correct measure of the circumstances on which the success of a strike for an advance of wages depends. The workmen are now nearly as well informed as the master, of the state of the market for his commodities; they can calculate his gains and his expenses, they know when his trade is or is not prosperous, and only when it is, are they ever again likely to strike for higher wages; which wages their known readiness to strike makes their employers for the most part willing, in that case, to concede. The tendency, therefore, of this state of things is to make a rise of wages in any particular trade usually consequent upon a rise of profits, which … is a commencement of that regular participation of the labourers in the profits derived from their labour … since to it we have chiefly to look for any radical improvement in the social and economical relations between labour and capital. Strikes, therefore, and the trade societies which render strikes possible, are for these various reasons not a mischievous, but on the contrary, a valuable part of the existing machinery of society. (Bk. V, Ch. 10 par 32: Mill, John Stuart. Principles of Political Economy with some of their Applications to Social Philosophy. Edited with an introduction by W. J. Ashley, M.A., M.Com., Professor of Commerce in the University of Birmingham, Sometime Fellow of Lincoln College, Oxford. 1909, London; Longmans, Green and Co. Based on the 7th edition. First edition published 1848; first publication of the 7th edition, 1870.) [My emphasis.]

Do you want an historical example of direct communication? When child slavery was still legal in Britain, which it was for about 250 years up until the late 19th century, children were often physically forced to crawl into flues, at times as small as four inches in diameter, naked, and with the aid of fire tickling encouragement into their feet and toes. Now that is direct communication. And if you think that this kind of thing doesn’t happen today, examine the “reality” or “truth” of the EPZs and their often brutal, and near inhuman working conditions, or to a lesser extent, today’s sweatshops that are populated by “illegals.” The media rarely comments on current working conditions in these factories, even after being morally obligated to broadcast such things as the charred Mickey Mouse corpses along side the remains of the trapped Disney workers who were killed by the scores in an EPZ fire-trap-factory fire. Nor did the media report the recent corporatist authorized killing by police in Bolivia of citizens demonstrating for the right to collect rain water. But such examples are not, of course, disinformation through omission. They, are, perhaps, examples of corporatist editorial acumen in action, of carefully considered editorial consideration crafting their self-serving oligarchic-democratic “truth.”


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The reason that laws exist to stop direct communications is because those in positions of power will abuse their position to get what the want – which in the case of TELUS includes a form of paid slave labour – i.e. mandatory overtime concomitant with permanent understaffing. Another example is TELUS abusing the labour tribunal and court systems of Canada to avoid “higgling” with their union. Or, perhaps, to put a Sun-like corporatist spin on it, TELUS’s use of the judiciary is Entwistle’s way of “higgling” with labour: he puts on the mask of reason and respect for the law to and via his courted media and governments – both of whom are pleased to receive his generous gifts – while exercising his condescending, paternalistic and patronizing control of TELUS by using the law to ignore the rule of law.

FYI: In TELUS’s proffered “contract”, it states that the TWU is the recognized bargaining agent. Now that hypocrisy certainly has filled the TWU’s members with the desire to trust the people who have with pride publicly broken the labour code to sidestep negotiating with the TWU! Or, read article 12 of that document, which makes the claim that TELUS will abide by an arbitrator’s decision. Balance that against the four years that TELUS has done everything in its power in and outside the law to avoid honouring any CIRB’s or FCA decision.

The Sun’s editorial praise for TELUS’s illegal act falls in line with your role as corporate courtier. Reread between the lines of the FCA’s decisions and I am sure even you may detect just a wee bit of disdain from them directed towards TELUS for having treated the CIRB’s decisions with contempt.

And do you think TELUS’s (ab)use of the courts to bully his way is new? Is that your vaunted genie, uncorked?

The masters upon these occasions are just as clamorous upon the other side, and never cease to call aloud for the assistance of the civil magistrate, and the rigorous execution of those laws which have been enacted with so much severity against the combinations of servants, labourers, and journeymen ringleaders (Smith, Adam. B.I, Ch.8, “Of the Wages of Labour”, par. 14). [My emphasis.]

Unlike yourself, J.S. Mill described a real genie, not your flaccid genie- wannabe, the genie behind a successful democracy. It is called education and literacy:

Of the working men… it may be pronounced certain, that the patriarchal or paternal system of government is one to which they will not again be subject. That question was decided, when they were taught to read, and allowed access to newspapers and political tracts; when dissenting preachers were suffered to go among them, and appeal to their faculties and feelings in opposition to the creeds professed and countenanced by their superiors; when they were brought together in numbers, to work socially under the same roof; when railways enabled them to shift from place to place, and change their patrons and employers as easily as their coats; when they were


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encouraged to seek a share in the government, by means of the electoral franchise. The working classes have taken their interests into their own hands, and are perpetually showing that they think the interests of their employers not identical with their own, but opposite to them. Some among the higher classes flatter themselves that these tendencies may be counteracted by moral and religious education: but they have let the time go by for giving an education which can serve their purpose. … Among the more inert and less modernized agricultural population of the southern counties, it might be possible for the gentry to retain, for some time longer, something of the ancient deference and submission of the poor, by bribing them with high wages and constant employment; by insuring them support, and never requiring them to do anything which they do not like. But these are two conditions which never have been combined, and never can be, for long together. A guarantee of subsistence can only be practically kept up, when work is enforced and superfluous multiplication restrained by at least a moral compulsion. It is then, that the would-be revivers of old times which they do not understand, would feel practically in how hopeless a task they were engaged. The whole fabric of patriarchal or seignorial influence, attempted to be raised on the foundation of caressing the poor, would be shattered against the necessity of enforcing a stringent Poor-law (Mill, J.S. Bk. IV, Ch.7 par. 7) [my emphasis].

Mihlar, I deem it unlikely that you would to re(?)-read the TWU’s evidence in RD0271, but if you do you will find current examples of Mill’s argument. Entwistle and his executive cronies attempted to use patronizing bullying and “patriarchal influence” in their attempts to pervert the legally accepted bargaining process: see pars. 17-41 of that CIRB decision. And while they may not have put flames to their employees toes, threats of financial fire and brimstone were clearly made. Amen. Your “genie” really isn’t a genie. It is, instead, a rather dispirited ghost, a ghost of ignorance of history cloaked in ideology, the combination of which leads history to repeat itself and for oligarchy to supplant democracy.

In your editorial you chastised the TWU for failing to pass on to its membership TELUS’s final offer, and complimented Entwistle for his bold move. While the TWU members had not been given the full text of the “final offer”, they were given, as it turns out, a very accurate synopsis of it – at an infinitesimal fraction of the tens, perhaps hundreds of thousands of dollars it took TELUS to disseminate its high gloss mail outs, thirteen thousand plus copies of the 191 page “contract”, as well as an intranet web-based access. The TWU neither “misinformed” nor “disinformed” its membership; that has been the function of Entwistle, his executives and their “ministry of truth” – er, I mean communication’s department. The corporatist media abets these efforts by publishing CEO puff pieces and carefully crafted disinformation editorials. For an example of the “disinformational” nature of your editorial, you give the impression that TELUS is generously offering “a two-per-cent[sic] pay hike every year for five years”. While this is partially true, it glosses over zero, zero, zero, zero and zero – count five zeros – before the first increase comes into effect. The lump sum payments you and Entwistle crow on about are mostly a


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short-changed discount to “take” back variable days off. It is not wholly or even mostly compensation for wages lost to the cost of living in the last five years or the associated loss of pension contributions – five years during which TELUS has been making, overall, very healthy profits and giving its executives very healthy salaries, including huge increases, and extremely generous gifts of cash to just about everybody but their employees. (A creative package might include employee wage increases linked to executive officer increases, say 1% for every 2% of the CEO’s salary increases. To save you the arithmetic, that would amount to about a 5% increase for one year alone – on his basic salary. Include his total compensation, and then his valued employees might get maybe 10 or 15%.)

The trick in offering a bribe is to balance between offering too low, which insults the target, and offering too high, which hurts the pocketbook. Given that greed

is far more stupefying than sex, invariably the wealthy proffer bribes that insult.

This TELUS has done – all the while continuing to rake in increasingly big bucks for its executives, shareholders, and public charities. The perniciousness of the greed ethic that has contaminated our society has been well described by John Ralston Saul.

In a study of young men caught in the Boersky scandal, Carol Asher found them to be from middle-class backgrounds, with average BA’s but a subsequent degree from one of the best business or law schools. They had above average salaries and were on the promotional track. Their colleagues described them as “motivated,” “bright,” “conscientious,” “determined,” “intense,” “eager,” “entrepreneurial” and “very hard working.” In other words, they neither needed to break the law nor were apparent lawbreaking types. They were simply part of an overall economic atmosphere in which the definition of smart had nothing to do with social standards, because society had canonized structure and the manipulation of it. They were like most people on Wall Street…. The product of this atmosphere has been a general concern about the decline in ethics. Business schools [and the faddish CEOs of corporations] have rushed to create courses in ethical behaviour [such as TELUS’s ‘e.ethics’]. But when the economic system has been abstracted from reality, there is nothing concrete upon which ethics can be judged. The result is a wild inflation in the definition of integrity. These flatulent ethics mirror our monetary inflation. And ethical decisions taken under current business structures has no more reality than a real estate transaction in a Monopoly game (Saul, John Ralston. Voltaire’s Bastards: The Dictatorship of Reason in the West. Toronto: Penguin Books, 1993, pg. 414.)

It was curious to re-read this, given the recent publications of studies that show

a high correlation between the psychology of CEOs and that of sociopaths. And

it is even more amusing when considered in conjunction with the many panegyrics published about Entwistle that have used, almost breathlessly in their effusiveness, many, if not all, of the adjectives listed above.

And as to the state of ethics in journalism? It would seem that your lie, your apparently clear conscienced defence of it, and use of a second lie in an effort


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to … bluff(?), intimidate(?) me, fits rather well into the ethical teachings of current society’s business “leaders.” Morris Berman stumbled across this little item:

In an article in the San Francisco Chronicle of 20 October 1985, David Lampert, himself a graduate of Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business described the ‘hidden curriculum’ of the school as ‘the unconscious destruction of democratic values.’ The school’s “ethics” course B295, is (or was then) a training in how to outflank any external forces attempting to limit managerial autonomy – things such as constitutional entitlements, property, civil rights, and so on. The course teaches the future business elite ‘how to stonewall the media, how to present oneself on television and protect corporate interests, [and] [sic] how to manipulate the public and Congress….’ Student papers on issues such as the Love Canal come back with comments such as ‘Why didn’t you advise Hooker Chemical to sue the journalists who exposed the story?’ while an exam question in another course states, ‘Assume that the memorandum you are writing will be burned before it reaches the Anti-Trust Division of the Department of Justice’ (Berman, Morris. The Twilight of American Culture. New York: W.W. Norton & Co., Inc., 2000, p68.)

Of course those students wouldn’t have to make that kind of recommendation to Hooker Chemical anymore, given the state of current investigative journalism when it comes to rooting out the truth of their corporatist owners and their courtiers. (For example, the dearth of stories on EPZs or the privatization/anti- privatization ‘water wars.’) It is far, far easier for our considered journalists to take the ethically sound road of transcribing to the lumpen the pre-keyed pabulum fed to them by their masters. Chomsky describes best this quality.

The more articulate elements of those groups, the ones who have access to the educational apparatus, they should properly be referred to as a class of "commissars." That's their essential function: to design, propagate and create a system of doctrines and beliefs which will undermine independent thought and prevent understanding and analysis of institutional structures and their functions. That's their social role. I don't mean to say that they're conscious of it. In fact, they're not. In a really effective system of indoctrination the commissars are quite unaware of it and believe that they themselves are independent, critical minds. If you investigate the actual productions of the media, the journals of opinion, etc., you find exactly that. It's a very narrow, very tightly constrained and grotesquely inaccurate account of the world in which we live (Chomsky, Noam. Chronicles of Dissent: Interviewed by David Barsamian. Vancouver, BC: New Star Books, 1992, pp. 5-6.)

In my preliminary letter, I asked for ‘some signs of moral integrity’ from you and/ or The Vancouver Sun. Quite frankly, I believe that your second misstatement of fact warrants at the very least suspension from The Sun’s board. That you actually admitted to having lied knowingly, and defended it as being considered judgement because “Telus [sic] was a new company …” is as abhorrent to the principles of truth in reporting as was bayoneted babies and desecrated Bibles. And it deserves as much for the perpetrator: dismissal from not just The Sun but from the news world. Mihlar, either you and your board do not know how to use adjectives correctly and lie to cover your failure, or you have the hubris to think that statements of fact can be fudged into opinion because of the weight of your


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“considered judgement.” In either case, you and/or your editorial board have displayed an appalling breach in both honesty to the public, and moral integrity to your profession and to yourselves, at the expense of an organization’s public reputation.

I stand with my words, which Mihlar, you have confirmed: The Sun’s editorial was deliberately misleading as to the nature of the negotiations and on who is tying up the courts. That constitutes disinformation. That the lie was a knowing one, which you confirm, is grounds for dismissal, as well as constituting deliberate disinformation. That the purpose of the editorial was to use that lie, some partial truths, defamatory and inflammatory language to influence not just public opinion but the TWU membership, confirms that The Sun is a corporate courtier, whose goal is no longer to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable, but to enrich themselves by pandering to the rich. And that you have pointed to column inches of two angry union members and, apparently with a clean conscience, are able to aver that their words somehow take away the impact of this editorial board’s lie – which was to plant in the publics’ mind that the TWU is a union unwilling to negotiate a new contract – is as morally bankrupt as it is specious. The irrefutable evidence, only some of which has been presented here, is that TELUS is refusing to negotiate, which is the opposite of what you opined in an effort to influence the bargaining process and public opinion in the event of a work interruption.

Shame on you all. You have failed democracy, and with it democracy is failing.

As for the publisher, I believe that the TWU, and more particularly its members, deserve from The Sun a front page apology. The public deserves a detailed and honest reporting of TELUS’ s and the TWU’s bargaining history, as well as some honest details of the contract, and not just TELUS’s sugar coated version honeyed up by a band of self-considered dissembling anonymous editorialists. Then, after printing a disinterested truth, if the anonymous editors and/or publisher so incline, then opine their properly “adjectived” babble until the cows come home. As Mihlar has pointed out, the TWU’s history affords the critic plenty of truth-based ammunition – lying is not required. But when deservedly pilloried, it is a truthfully informed population that can decide for itself the value to be ascribed to the opinions printed.

If I do not see some signs of at least journalistic integrity, let alone moral integrity, from Mihlar and The Sun derived from honesty, disinterest, and a respect for law and democracy, I will seek legal advice with regards to launching a libel suit.

Sincerely, with anger and disappointment,


Guy A. Duperreault

09.05.23 11:45 PM

cc.: Fazil Mihlar, Editorial Board Spokesman for The Vancouver Sun; Dennis Skulsky, President and Publisher The Vancouver Sun; Bryan Cantley, Vice-President of Member Services Canadian Newspaper Association; Claudette Bradshaw MP, Minister of Labour; Peter Julian, MP.;;;;;

attach: Synopsis of legal history; copy of Mihlar’s reply, dated May 10, 2005; copy of Duperreault’s preliminary response, dated May 13, 2005.



09.05.23 11:45 PM

A Brief Summary of the TELUS/TWU legal applications:


1. Totals

2. CIRB Rulings

3. FCA Decisions

1. First: Totals (Omitting RD0073)

TELUS APPLICANT (Ruling#Loss/Win):

94L, 108L, 143W/L, 244W/L, 317L; FCA: 438L - (& appeal applied for) Sum: 7 Applications, 4 Losses, 0 Wins, 2 W/L and one pending.

TWU APPLICANT (Ruling # - Result):

222L, 271W, 277W/L, 278W; FCA: 146L, 146L Sum: 6 Applications, 3 Losses, 2 Wins, 1 W/L

2. CIRB Rulings

RD0073 - TELUS applicant. TWU named bargaining agent for merged company. Amicable settlement.

RD0094 - TELUS applicant. TELUS appeals TWU as bargaining agent for certain classifications. TELUS argued that original ruling RD0073 contained errors. TELUS loses.

[41] After consideration of all the submissions, therefore, the present reconsideration panel found that the application for reconsideration does not raise significant new factual issues that would require that the matter be referred to the original panel for further consideration. Furthermore, no question of law or policy has been raised in this application that would require that the matter be reconsidered. There has, as has been noted, been no denial of natural justice. Therefore, nothing leads the present panel of the Board to alter the original decision. [42] For the reasons set out above, the Board dismissed this application. This is a unanimous decision of the Board.

RD0108 - TELUS Applicant. TELUS questions the applicability of the TWU to represent TELUS's employees. And appeals RD0094. TELUS loses.


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[54] The Board hereby determines that the existing collective agreements are to continue to be in force until a revised collective agreement is ratified. The circumstances in this instance, whereby collective bargaining is timely by the normal expiration of the various collective agreements, even more strongly dictate that the appropriate role for the Board is to step back and provide for an opportunity for the free collective bargaining process to operate.

[61] In following the BCTV, a Division of WIC TV Limited, supra, approach, the effective date for the application of the collective agreement(s) to these employees shall be the date of the Board order adding them to the bargaining unit - March 24, 2000.

RD0143 - TELUS Applicant. Determination of Exclusions from the TWU. TELUS wins some, loses some.

RD0222 - TWU Applicant. A spurious application regarding TELUS's time wasting Personal Development Plans. TWU loses.

RD0244 - TELUS Applicant. Final determination by the board of exclusions. TELUS wins some, loses some.

RD0271 - TWU Applicant. TWU applies for a cease and desist order regarding TELUS initiating unfair bargaining practices. TWU wins - TELUS forced into binding arbitration and order to cease and desist – which they do.

RD0277 - TWU Applicant. TWU seeks to have "expert" witnesses on the changing nature of telephony be heard on behalf of the union with respect to Clearnet/Tele-Mobile. TWU wins 1, loses 2.

RD0278 - TWU Applicant. TWU seeks to be bargaining agent for Tele-Mobile, formerly Clearnet et al, including TELUS Mobility. TWU wins.

RD0317 - TELUS Applicant. TELUS seeks to have binding arbitration and unfair bargaining ruling overturned. TELUS loses and wins. TELUS is still guilty of unfair labour practices and subject to the cease and desist order, but the forced binding arbitration penalty is removed.


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1) upholds the ultimate findings in respect of the alleged contraventions of the that form the subject matter of Board File no. 23742-C, no. 24063-C and no. 24160C; 2) annuls the remedial relief, both the declaration and orders, issued in relation to Board File no. 23742-C as imposed by the Board in its April 8, 2004 decision; 3) annuls the order directing TELUS to offer binding arbitration to the TWU that was issued in relation to Board File no. 24160-C; and 4) reinstates and continues the January 17, 2004 interim cease and desist order, as amended, so that it will have full force and effect and will bind TELUS until the conditions set out in section 89 of the Code have been fulfilled.

3. FCA Decisions


Citation: 2004 FCA 438 - TELUS Applicant. TELUS appeals CIRB ruling on "Clearnet" decision citing the charter. TELUS loses - with costs.


Citation: [tba] - TELUS Applicant. TELUS applies for leave to appeal


Unheard, yet (I think). [Lost in early July, 2005.]


Citation: 2005 FCA 146 - TWU Applicant. TWU appeals to Federal Court of Appeal to have "Soft Lockout" measures stopped. (On basis of irreparable harm(??)) TWU loses.


Citation: 2005 FCA 146 - TWU Applicant. TWU appeals to Federal Court of Appeal to have "Soft Lockout" measures stopped on the basis of bias on the part of one of the jurists. TWU loses.



09.05.23 11:45 PM

Addendum: The Vancouver Sun also lied about the BCTF, and quite likely affected the election results.


May 25, 2005

Guy A. Duperreault [Contact information.]

Mr. Bill Bachop, Executive Director BC Press Council

Re.: "Misleading labour news a disservice to campaign," (S1), May 14th, 2005 Globe and Mail by Rod Mickleburgh, as it pertains to my reply to Fazil Mihlar dated May 24, 2005.

Mr. Bachop:

It seems that the TWU has not been the only labour union stung by at best sloppy, and at worst, malicious mis-reporting by The Vancouver Sun and their journalists who do not publish anything without "check[ing] and cross-check[ing] facts," if Fazil Mihlar's word can be trusted.

Today I was catching-up on my paper reading and while wending my way through the May 14th, 2005 Globe and Mail I stumbled into Rod Mickleburgh's article "Misleading labour news a disservice to campaign," (S1). In it I read that The Sun published "disinformation" on the BCTF [BC Teachers Federation] - disprovable statements of fact alongside truths or half-truths so as to mislead the electorate regarding the BCTF's upcoming strike vote with an anti-NDP cant that became a Gordon Campbell rant. This disinformation also made BC-TV's lead story. As an example of the pejorative nature of the "disinformation", what was described by The Sun as a "secret document," as if their reporters had managed to have actually investigated something, was in fact the BCTF's informational newsletter sent out in April to all members.

Mickleburgh is generous with The Sun, ascribing the disinformation to a failure on The Sun's part to have a properly trained/informed/assigned labour reporter. I am less generous - I believe, rightly or wrongly, that the dis-information was at the very, very best, sloppy work. But based on Fazil Mihlar's assertions in reaction to my formal complaint, the only stories that get published are "checked" and "cross-checked." This once again makes The Sun guilty of lying to a purpose - in this case, the manipulation of voters. And when I wrote in my


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reply to Mihlar that The Sun was failing democracy, I had no idea that such a concrete example had happened before my eyes. I am quite sure that there is more than one close riding that would have an NDP member sitting in the house rather than a liberal because of the pejorative anti-union un-truths that The Sun published as fact. (And with impunity?)

Mr. Bachop, if I had wanted additional evidence that the editorial board of The Sun is either incompetent or complicit in the manipulation of truth to suit their corporate interests, I really need not look any further. I have long since stopped even looking at the headlines of The Sun. And when their television news put out its anti-NDP rant on this story because of The Sun having uncovered "secret documents," I quite simply did not believe them. I had no idea what was or wasn't true, but the effort smelled like a pre-election smear campaign. Neither The Sun nor BC-TV have been for me a source of any news, truthful or not, for a long time, except for the weather, which I can trust to be either right or wrong at least most of the time.

It is rare that I have the opportunity to actually put my finger on concrete examples of how the corporatist media is condemning democracy to death by oligarchy. I do thank them, however, their unbridled hubris that has empowered at least one of their editors to defend lying with "While it is true that the TWU proposed renewing the existing contract with improvements, our considered judgement was since Telus [sic] was a new company (merging of the two firms from Alberta and B.C.) and the competitive landscape had changed, any proposal should consider these realities [so I was free to lie in my editorial and say that the TWU had 'not tabled a single proposal'.]" Wow! With such self- satisfying truth telling, Mihlar would likely do well in the Ministry of Truth.

Guy A. Duperreault

Sent to:



Glossary (abbreviated definitions from OED Concise)

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abhorrent: (Of conduct etc.) inspiring disgust, hateful. acumen: keen insight or discernment, penetration. ascribe: regard as belonging (to person or cause); attribute, impute. averred: asserted, affirmed. canonize: admit formally to list of saints; sanction by church authority. commissars: head of government department o USSR. concomitant: going together; accompanying thing courtier: attendant at or frequenter of sovereign’s court. dearth: scarcity and dearness of food; scanty supply of. dissemble: 1. v.t. cloak, disguise, conceal, (character, feeling, intention, act). 2. v.i. conceal one’s motives etc. or talk or act hypocritically. doughty: valiant, stout, formidable. effusive: (Of speech or emotion) exuberant, demonstrative. encomiums: formal or high-flown praise. flaccid: hanging loose or wrinkled, limp, flabby; … lacking vigour, feeble. hubris: insolent pride or presumption. lumpenproletariat: ignorantly contented lower orders of society uninterested in revolutionary advancement. mien: look or bearing of a person. oligarchic/oligarchy: government … by small group of persons. [Aristotle links the “small group” with the wealthy, who see themselves as being meritoriously deserving to rule because of their wealth.] panegyric: laudatory discourse [i.e. written or oral praise]. pander: … 2. minister (to base passions or evil designs, or person having these). pernicious: destructive, ruinous, fatal. pilloried: [from ‘pillory’] wooden framework with holes for head and hands of offender exposed to public ridicule, etc. quibble: …equivocation, evasion, unsubstantial or purely verbal argument etc. esp. one depending on ambiguity of words, petty objections. remonstrate: make protest … (against course of action, with person, on or upon matter….) seignior: feudal lord, lord of manner, hence seigniorial. specious: of good appearance, plausible, fair or right on the surface but not in reality. stupefy: make stupid or torpid, deprive of sensation. supplant: dispose and take the place of, esp. by underhand means.