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Law society program sees spike in harassment complaints in wake of #MeToo movement

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A Law Society of Ontario service that deals with harassment and discrimination by lawyers and paralegals saw a 50 per cent increase in complaints in the first half of 2018 compared to the last six months of 2017.

“I believe we’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg,” said lawyer Lai-King Hum, one of the individuals who serve as discrimination and harassment counsel (DHC). The free service is funded by the legal regulator but operates independently of it.

“I believe there’s now probably going to be a consistent level (of complaints.)”

The service’s mandate is to deal with allegations, both from the public and from members of the legal profession, that are based on the prohibited grounds of discrimination in the Ontario Human Rights Code, including sex, race and sexual orientation.

The service says in its latest report that 125 individuals reached out with a new issue between Jan. 1 and June 30, 2018, averaging about 21 “new contacts” per month.

Of those 125 individuals, 46 complaints fell within the program’s mandate: 45 related to lawyers’ conduct and one related to the conduct of an articling student.

The remaining 79 complaints dealt with matters outside the program’s mandate, such as complaints about individuals other than lawyers and paralegals. A portion of these complaints were related to members of the legal profession but dealt with matters other than human rights code grounds, such as complaints about abusive work environments, many of which were made by articling students.

“The behaviours they reported included not being given legal work; being forced to run personal errands for their articling principal and/or their principal’s family; being subjected to verbal abuse and threats; not being paid; being paid less than minimum wage; verbally abusing and/or humiliating students in front of other lawyers/clients; and bullying,” the report states.

“A disproportionate number of the students reporting abusive employment relationships are students who received their training outside Canada … or racialized students. While these matters fall outside the mandate of the DHC, they are significant enough a trend that they warrant being brought to the law society’s attention.”

The report points to a number of possible reasons for the spike in complaints this year.

“The number of contacts to the DHC office increased noticeably beginning in the fall of 2017 as the #MeToo movement emerged,” the report states. “That higher level of contact has been sustained, with a number of callers citing the #MeToo movement as giving them confidence to come forward to report.”

The report also points to a November 2017 story in the Globe and Mail by Hadiya Roderique, about her experiences as a Black female lawyer, that was widely read in the legal community.

Of the 45 complaints about lawyers that fell within the program’s mandate, 34 were made by members of the legal profession:

Twenty-eight of those 34 complaints, representing 80 per cent, were made by women, more than half of whom identified as racialized and/or a person with a disability.

Six of the 34 complaints were made by men, all but one of whom identified as “being racialized, and/or of a minority religion, gay or a man with a disability,” according to the report.

The remaining 11 complaints about lawyers were made by members of the public.

“I think it’s a very important role that we play,” Hum said. “Even if people are not prepared to take any actual action about harassment or discrimination that they’ve faced, the fact that they provide us with the information will help us to determine how much of a problem there is in the profession. Without the data, it’s hard to say.”

Services provided by the discrimination and harassment counsel program include coaching for individuals who want to handle a harassment situation by themselves, facilitating mediation and advising complainants of other avenues of recourse, including filing a formal complaint of misconduct with the law society against a lawyer or paralegal.

The complaints about lawyers that fell within the program’s mandate include sexual harassment, such as “predatory texting, persistent unwanted contact outside of work, including late night phone calls; sexual advances and persistent pressuring of complainant(s) for sexual relationships; disparaging women in front of colleagues.”

There were also complaints from female members of the profession about being pressured to return early from maternity leave, as well as reprisals for having taken it in the first place.

Others complained of racial harassment, including verbal and physical threats, and systemic racism “in which racialized lawyers and students were denied opportunities for mentorship; denied access to desirable work, and assigned work that was non-legal work or work below their level.”

Hum said the program is reviewing its mandate to become more proactive, “such as providing education to law firms, going in and explaining what discrimination and harassment is, and what steps they can take.”

Jacques Gallant is a Toronto-based reporter covering legal affairs. Follow him on Twitter: @JacquesGallant



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These US entities partnered with the Wuhan Institute of Virology — time for a criminal investigation?

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(Natural News) The Wuhan Institute of Virology from which the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) is believed to have “escaped” has a number of questionable partnerships that are worth looking into in light of the pandemic.

Most of them are universities, including the University of Alabama, the University of North Texas, and Harvard University. There is also the EcoHealth Alliance, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the National Wildlife Federation.

While the relationships between these entities and the Wuhan Institute of Virology may be completely innocent, there is no way to really say for sure without a proper investigation. And this is exactly what Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is calling for, as is the nation of Australia.

Pompeo and the folks down under, along with millions of Americans, would really like to know the true origins of the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19). An increasing number of people simply are not buying the narrative that the novel virus originated in bat soup at a Chinese wet market, and this even includes mainstream media outlets like Fox News.

The only way to really determine what was going on at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, and who else might have been involved. is to open the place up for an international investigation. But communist China is against this, of course, accusing Australia of “petty tricks” and collusion with the United States.

“Overnight, I saw comments from the Chinese Foreign Ministry talking about a course of activity with respect to Australia who had the temerity to ask for investigation,” Pompeo is quoted as saying in response to China’s aggression against a proposed investigation.

“Who in the world wouldn’t want an investigation of how this happened to the world?” he added.

As the U.S. aims to get back on track economically speaking, Pompeo believes that now is the time to hold communist China, the Wuhan Institute of Virology, and whoever else may have been involved accountable for unleashing this pandemic on the world.

“Not only American wealth, but the global economy’s devastation as a result of this virus,” Pompeo further stated. “There will be a time for this. We will get that timing right.”

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New U.S. analysis finds that lab in Wuhan, China was “most likely” origin of coronavirus release

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(Natural News) While American Leftists and most of the Democrat Party continue to serve as apologists for the Chinese Communist regime over its role in creating and then perpetuating the coronavirus pandemic, a new U.S. government analysis concludes that COVID-19 “most likely” escaped from a lab near Wuhan city.

The Washington Times reports that the analysis cataloged evidence linking the outbreak to the Wuhan lab and has found that other explanations for the origins of the virus are not as credible.

The paper reported:

The document, compiled from open sources and not a finished product, says there is no smoking gun to blame the virus on either the Wuhan Institute of Virology or the Wuhan branch of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, both located in the city where the first outbreaks were reported.

However, “there is circumstantial evidence to suggest such may be the case,” the paper says.

“All other possible places of the virus’ origin have been proven to be highly unlikely,” said the report, a copy of which was obtained by the Times.

ChiCom officials have claimed that the virus’ origin is unknown. However, Beijing initially stated that coronavirus came from animals at a “wet market” in Wuhan where exotic meats are butchered and sold in disgusting conditions.

Chinese officials claim that COVID-19 went from bats to animals sold in the market last year, then infected humans.

U.S. intelligence officials have increasingly dismissed that explanation, however, as attention has begun to focus on evidence suggesting that Chinese medical researchers were working with coronavirus in the country’s only Level 4 facility, which is in Wuhan.

U.S. Army Gen. Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has said that intelligence agencies are investigating whether the virus escaped from a lab or was the result of a naturally occurring outbreak, but that analysts have ruled out reports that COVID-19 was manmade.

‘The most logical place to investigate the virus origin has been completely sealed off’

“At this point, it’s inconclusive, although the weight of evidence seems to indicate natural,” the general said on April 14, “but we don’t know for certain.”

The analysis said that the wet market explanation does not ring true because the first human diagnosis of coronavirus was made in someone who had no connection to the wet market in question. And according to Chinese reports, no bats were sold at that particular market.

At the same time, several questionable actions and a growing paper trail provide clues that the virus actually escaped from a lab, even as China begins to clamp down on those information streams.

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The biggest media lies about the coronavirus: Origins, treatments and vaccines

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(Natural News) If there is one thing that most everyone can agree on concerning the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, it is the fact that there is no shortage of conflicting information out there about the nature of it. And the mainstream media is certainly doing its part to steer the narrative as part of a larger agenda, using plenty of misinformation along the way.

The following are among the most commonly parroted lies about the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) that aim to distort the facts and deceive you into believing falsehoods about this pandemic:

Media LIE: The virus is not man-made

From the very beginning of this thing, the official narrative was that the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) came from a Chinese wet market where bats and other “exotic” animals are sold as meat. But the world later learned that it actually more than likely “escaped” from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

The mainstream media and social media platforms went nuts trying to censor this information and even called it  “fake news.” But eventually it became undeniable that bat soup was not responsible for spreading the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) around Wuhan and eventually to the rest of the world – hence why we continue to call it the Wuhan coronavirus rather than just COVID-19.

We have even seen attempts by the media machine at making the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) a racial issue because there are supposedly more “people of color” coming down with it than people with fair skin, which further detracts attention away from the source of this virus.

Media LIE: Hydroxychloroquine is extremely dangerous and doesn’t work

The minute that President Donald Trump announced that hydroxychloroquine may be an effective, and very inexpensive, remedy for the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19), the mainstream media immediately began decrying this claim as fake news, even though Anthony Fauci himself praised hydroxychloroquine back in 2013 under Barack Obama as being some type of “miracle cure” for SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome).

There have even been studies conducted that were designed to intentionally smear the drug as both ineffective and dangerous, though one in particular purposely left out zinc, which appears to be a critical co-factor in supporting the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine – in other words, politics as usual.

Media LIE: Only a vaccine can save us from coronavirus

Many politicians and public health officials are parroting the lie that the only way America can come out of lockdown and go back to “normal” is to get vaccinated with some future vaccine for the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) that does not even yet exist. A vaccine, we are repeatedly told, is the only thing, or perhaps some new “blockbuster” antiviral drug, that can cure the world of this scourge and make everything happy and wonderful once again.

Meanwhile, not a peep is being made about things like intravenous (IV) high-dose vitamin C, which is being successfully used in other countries to stem the tide of infections without the need for new drugs and vaccines.

By omission, nutrition is pointless

Speaking of natural approaches to overcoming the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) that are being systematically ignored by the mainstream media and most in politics, have you heard anyone mention the importance of nutrition in all of this? We did not think so, and this is intentional.

Regular readers of this site over the years should know by now that the single-most important thing you need to do to stay healthy besides exercising regularly is to feed your body the nutrition it needs to naturally ward off illnesses, including those associated with the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19).

Research compiled by the Lewin Group reveals that nutritional remedies such as calcium, vitamin D, folate, omega-3 fatty acids, lutein, zeaxanthin, and more all play a critical role in fortifying the immune system, which, if properly nourished, should have little problem fending off disease.

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