A Sri Lankan man employed by a Sydney university has been charged over a document that police allege contained plans for terrorism attacks.The 25-year-old was arrested by counter-terrorism officers at the University of NSW in Kensington on Thursday afternoon, police said, according to the Australian Associated Press. The man was charged with collecting or making a document which is connected with preparation for, the engagement of a person in, or assistance in a terrorist act.He was refused bail to appear at Waverley local court on Friday.“The charges laid against this person are serious and significant, and should not be underestimated,” said Australian Federal police Detective Superintendent Michael McTiernan. “We have psychologists and investigators looking at that document to try to interpret the intent and capability, but that is in essence the offence that is before the court.”A number of electronic items were also seized during a raid at a unit at Zetland early on Friday morning. The man, who is in Australia on a student visa that expires in September, has not been charged with being a member of a terrorist group. It followed a tip-off from a worker at the university, who police said found a notebook that allegedly contained the names of several locations and individuals as “potential targets”. “They are symbolic locations within Sydney,” acting Detective Superintendent Mick Sheehy said on Friday. He was employed as a contractor at the University of NSW and has allegedly travelled back to Sri Lanka and other areas.The man was not known to police and does not have any criminal history in Australia, police said.Authorities insist there was no concern for public safety. (Colombo Gazette)
Alison Braley-Rattai, Assistant Professor in the Department of Labour Studies, wrote a piece for The Conversation which was picked up by the National Post and other publications Wednesday, Nov. 28. The article focused on Bill C-89, which ended the rotating strikes that the Canadian Union of Postal Workers had engaged in for more than a month and sends the labour dispute to third-party, binding arbitration after a specified mediation period.Braley-Rattai writes:Those arguing Bill C-89 is unconstitutional refer to the fact that postal service is not “essential.” They also cite a 2016 court ruling in which a similar bill (C-6) introduced by Stephen Harper’s Conservatives in 2011 was deemed unconstitutional.While both of these facts are relevant, neither determines whether the present bill is unconstitutional.Essential servicesFederal Labour Minister Patricia Hajdu claims the postal service is “essential” and the rotating strikes were harming small and medium-sized enterprises.Under international labour law, “essential services” are defined narrowly. Previous attempts to expand the definition of essential to include economic harm caused by a strike have been decisively rejected by the International Labour Organization’s Committee on Freedom of Association. And the Supreme Court of Canada has explicitly endorsed the restricted definition of “essential services” found under international labour law.When it comes to labour law, the term “essential” is a loaded one. And it isn’t obvious whether the minister intends for the term to be understood in its legal, or some other, sense. And maybe it doesn’t matter.Continue reading the full article here.