HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html Peeing In The Wind
Pubdate: Fri, 04 Jun 2004
Source: Calgary Sun, The (CN AB)
Copyright: 2004 The Calgary Sun
Author: Jose Rodriguez
Bookmark: (Drug Testing)


If it was as simple as peeing in a cup, Deb Dore would still have a

As the province toys with the idea of random drug testing to reduce
workplace deaths, Deb can't help but grit her teeth and roll her eyes. "It's
hypocritical," she says.

Deb knows more than any mother should about workplace safety.

On a cold night in February 2000, a waste-of-oxygen named Trevor Stang
slithered his way into the Subway on 17 Ave. and 50 St. S.E. and slaughtered
Deb's daughter Tara McDonald.

It was late and Tara, 25, was working alone -- mopping the floor before
closing shop.

Stang, high on crack and in need of another hit, crept up behind her and
crushed her skull with a three-pound sledgehammer.

He grabbed the cash box from the till and bolted -- his bloodied footsteps
marking a track out the door.

McDonald was left to die in a pool of her own blood.

Stang was off to his dealer's to score more crack.

A frantic manhunt followed in the days after Tara's slaying.

Stang -- a career criminal out on bail -- was arrested. He is now serving a
life sentence for killing Tara.

At the time, much was made of Tara's death.

Labour Minister Clint Dunford talked tough about introducing legislation to
make workplaces safer.

Tara's Law became a magnet for all those wanting to stop late-night
employees who deal with the public from working alone.

Deb collected 10,000 names on a petition.

She went as far as sitting face-to-face with her daughter's killer to try
and garner support for Tara's Law.

But despite all of Dunford's public empathy, in the end, Tara's Law became
Tara's regulation. It now kindly requests employers sit down with those who
must work alone at night and have a touchy-feely chit-chat about the dangers
they may encounter.

It sets down a very subjective set of guidelines employers must follow to
ensure safety.

It does not force them to have two workers on at night or install special
security devices.

In my pedestrian view, nothing has changed.

Dollars won out over sense.

"All we asked was that there be more than one person, proper lighting,
drive-thrus where possible or automatic locks," says Deb.

"They were simple measures but (Dunford) wasn't willing to listen."

And now, the same man who taked the talk on Tara's Law, is once again
yakking about workplace safety -- this time in the form of random drug

Dunford said he's shocked by the increasing number of deaths at Alberta work
sites -- 127 last year -- but acknowledged there's no evidence to link the
growing number of deaths to drugs or alcohol.

He says random drug tests are already taking place at some workplaces, but
the province needs to give employers some legislative backing for what
they're doing.

What a load.

Random drug testing takes the onus off the employer to be a good manager.

Can anyone be so out of touch with their business that they don't recognize
when their employees are drunk or stoned?

And if they are hammered, just fire them.

But don't put people's private lives on a petri dish.

If someone wants to smoke a joint on the weekend, it doesn't make them a
crappy employee once Monday morning rolls around.

AADAC commissioned a study that was released last year on substance abuse in
the workplace.

It found only 1% of workers used drugs while at work or within four hours of
coming to work.

So, with little -- if any -- proof, the province wants to move to allow
companies to violate workers' privacy.

Pee in a cup?

Sounds more like peeing in the wind to me. 
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