Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Saturday September 23, 2017
Council looks to nix program forcing Hess Village bars to pay for police
The city is poised to kill contentious bylaw rules that force Hess Village bars to pay for extra policing during patio season.
Ward Coun. Jason Farr introduced the motion Tuesday that would remove paid duty policing from the special “entertainment district” bylaw governing the pedestrianized party strip.
The planning committee voted 7-2 in favour of the motion, which still needs a council sign-off next week.
The city has long insisted on extra policing along the strip, which earned a reputation over time for alcohol-fueled rowdiness and violence. Council passed a bylaw in 2010 specifically requiring Hess Village bars to pay for up to 10 paid duty officers to patrol on weekend nights in the summer.
But on Tuesday, Farr argued “the village is not was it was when we enacted that bylaw.”
He said bar owners report a “busy” night now attracts around 1,500 people compared to a high of 5,500 back in 2010.
The number of bars sharing the bill under the paid duty program has also shrunk from 15 a few years ago to seven this year.
More bars are also “getting wise” to the bylaw loopholes, he said.
Bylaw head Ken Leendertse explained some owners are adding more seating and cutting late-night hours to be treated as a restaurant, rather than a bar. Only the latter must pitch in for paid duty police.
Hamilton police Supt. Will Mason told councillors he agreed crowd sizes have “decreased somewhat” over time, “but not substantially.” (Source: Hamilton Spectator)
By Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator, Thursday September 20, 2012
Nuclear family is no longer the norm in Canada
The mom-pop-and-three-kids-under-one-roof model that typified Canadian households of 50 years ago has morphed into a complex and diverse web of family ties involving living alone, re-marriage, stepchildren, empty-nesters and multiple generations sharing a home.
Statistics Canada has released the third tranche of new data from its 2011 census, this time portraying the changes in Canadian families and living arrangements over five decades.
Married couples are in a long-term decline, single parenting has risen persistently, and families have gradually shrunk. The average family was 3.9 people in 1961, when the baby boom was in full swing. Now, it’s 2.9.
“We do see more complexity and definitely more diversity in families,” said Statistics Canada demographer Anne Milan.
For the first time, Statistics Canada says there are more people living alone in Canada than there are couples with children. One-person households now make up 27.6 per cent of all homes, a three-fold increase since 1961 that is especially notable in Quebec.
Meanwhile, couples with children have continued their decline, down to 26.5 per cent of all households, from 28.5 per cent in 2006.
Just 10 years ago, couples with children under 24 years old made up 43.6 per cent of all families (not including one-person households) — by far the most typical kind of family. (Source: Toronto Star)
Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Thursday February 8, 2001
The End to Office Xmas Parties?
So what will it be now? Waiver forms at the entrance saying the host is not responsible for how much you chug this evening? Maybe a security system that beeps every time someone passes through with car keys?
Monday’s decision by a Barrie judge to order an employer to pay $312,000 to a worker who was brain-damaged in a drunk-driving accident brings to the fore once again the question of who is responsible when someone drinks too much and takes control of a car.
It takes the issue of responsibility for someone else’s drinking one step further down the line than Canada has ever walked before, from decisions that hold tavern owners responsible for serving inebriated clients who suffer injury or inflict injury onto others, to employers at office parties. And it has some believing the next likely step is hosts of private home parties, an issue that has never reached a judgment.
In her decision, Justice Clair Marchand tallied the lost earning, general damages and future care costs at over $1 million. He declared Hunt’s own “self indulgence” in drinking and driving in poor conditions meant she was responsible for three-quarters of that amount. He held Hunt’s employer and the pub she visited 25 per cent responsible. The pub owner is now out of business and there is no insurance. So Sutton Realty is responsible for $312,000. (Hamilton Spectator)