Courtly cautions…

  Oct. 30, 2014

   Huffington Post – Althia Raj
John Major, Retired Supreme Court Justice, Warns Over ‘Knee-Jerk’ Reaction to Ottawa Attack   

The former leader of the Air India inquiry thinks that the government needs to make a case for expanding police and security agency powers or concede that the added measures are not needed.  Majors thinks the resources for the agencies is a more pressing question.  Former Justice Frank Iacobucci , a fellow panellist at the Ottawa U event, said:  “We need to be very, very concerned about … the overreach in what we are doing, in the struggle against terrorism, to marginalized groups in our society.”   Related article: – Elizabeth Thompson   MacKay weighs new laws to curb online terror ‘promotion’   Related article: Globe and Mail – Steven Chase and Josh Wingrove    Terror fight turns to Internet, sparking new free-speech debate   Related article:  Globe and Mail – Lysiane Gagnon   Lone wolves, police state     Related article:  N.Y. Times – Michael Wines and Ian Austen    Computing the Political Impact of Canada’s Attacks

Ottawa Citizen – Jason Fekete
Billions in federal cash go unspent as Tories mull tax cuts

Talk of budget surplus leads to asking where did the funds for tax cuts come from, especially since the funds available are considerably beyond expectations.  Part of the answer may be that the feds did not spend what was allocated, an estimated total of $18 billion over the last two years.

 Globe and Mail – Colin Freeze and SAHAR FATIMA
Arrest shows police using new strategy to charge suspected extremists  

A 30 year old Pakistani refugee who has been in Canada a number of years is accused of “being a danger to the security of Canada” under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, a charge requiring less proof under the Immigration Act than the Criminal Code.  Muhammad Aqeeq Ansari, say authorities, is known to have had terrorist connections in Pakistan, that he had uttered extreme opinions on Twitter, and is amassing a collection of rifles.   Ansari, who claims to be a gun collector, surrendered the weapons a year previously before they formed part of the present allegations.

 Ottawa Citizen – Chris Cobb
Prison imam leaves post to protest missed ‘counter-radicalization’ opportunity  

Canada’s only Muslim federal prison chaplain, an innovator in the effort to reverse the impact of radicalization, has resigned in protest over the failure of the chaplaincy system under a new regime – a private company of former prison chaplains who direct the pastoral care programs.  Imam Yasin Dwyer, from Hamilton, says:  “There have been a slew of changes that have had a major effect on the quality of chaplaincy care and the quality of pastoring,..not only with Muslim offenders but also non-Muslim offenders.”

 Winnipeg Free Press  –  Debra Parkes and Abby Deshman
The high cost of jailing the innocent  

After $182 million and an increase of 52% in the jail spaces, Manitoba is still facing huge overcrowding problems since it has the highest percentage of those spaces – 66% – dedicated to remand, prisoners not convicted of anything to date.  Rates were much lower ten years ago and are currently much lower in neighbouring provinces.  Expenses mount quickly at $170 a day for pre-trial custody, a system and a process made worse by rigid regulations within the parole system since parolees are frequently returned to jail for administrative reasons.

 CTV News – Stephanie Levitz, Canadian Press
Government prepared for possibility of losing refugee health care case

This summer, a federal court delivered a scathing reproach to the federal government for its health care practices towards immigrants and refugees.  The federal government appealed and, it appears, are now prepared to lose the appeal. Justice Anne McTavish of the Federal Court ruled:  “The 2012 modifications to the interim federal health program potentially jeopardize the health, the safety and indeed the very lives, of these innocent and vulnerable children in a manner that shocks the conscience and outrages our standards of decency,” she wrote.  She gave the government four months to create a charter-proof plan — that deadline is Nov. 4.

 MSNBC (US) – Ned Resnikoff
Janet Yellen’s remarks trigger inequality debate 

The US Federal Reserve Chair spoke in Boston last month about the growing income inequality and its potential for impact on the economy.  Janet Yellen has set off a firestorm of debate about her remarks, the extent of the problem, and the potential influence of the inequity.