Charities and then charities…

 Nov. 17, 2014

 Globe and Mail – Gerald Caplan
As CRA audits charities, there’s a scandal within a scandal  

The question of the use of the CRA audits against charities voicing opposition to the Harper government policy is not new.  Caplan is suggesting that there are political charities like the Fraser Institute that are not audited while consistently charities with an alternate perspective are minutely and painstakingly pursued for labour intensive explanations.  Further, says Caplan while the CRA has had $13.4 million available for charity audits, it has closed down the sector that pursues those with secret international and illegal tax havens.

 Le Devoir (Montreal) – Caroline Montpetit
La liberté après la perpétuité 

Léo S., agé de 63, a passé la plupart de sa vie comme détenu.   Montpetit nous décrit la vie des personnes agées et la lutte quand ils se trovent en prison, puis la lutte plus tard,  après tant d’années, quand on est libéré.  <En fait, environ 20 % de la population carcérale canadienne a désormais plus de 50 ans. Dans des établissements comme le centre fédéral de formation, qui regroupe la Montée Saint-François, 45,7 % des prisonniers ont plus de 50 ans. C’est presque un sur deux. Et au Québec, 84 détenus de pénitenciers fédéraux ont présentement plus de 70 ans. Cette population a doublé depuis dix ans,> dit Michel Gagnon, de la maison de transition Crossroads.

 Ottawa Citizen – Emma Loop
Parole board faces ‘significant’ increase in workload as clemency requests rise  

The National Parole Board is overwhelmed and underfunded to cope with a high increase in the number of application for clemency.  Clemency is a different process than either record suspension or pardon.  The numbers have jumped from 25 to 50 in 2012, to 39 in 2013, to 90 in 2014-15.  The reviews also go to the Minister.

 John Howard Alberta
Innovations in Criminal Justice Conference May 2015 

 The conference is to focus on innovations in the criminal justice system and is a joint venture with MacEwan University, and the Correctional Services Division of the Alberta Solicitor General and Alberta Justice.  Speakers already committed are: Howard Sapers, the CSC Correctional Investigator, Dr. Gabor Mate, Speaker and best-selling author on addictions, and Dr. James Ogloff, Forensic Mental Health Practitioner.  May 12 – May 14, 2015 – Registration will open in January; go to the link to be notified when the registration opens and to get updates.

 Judge finds creative way around mandatory jail time  

Superior Court Justice Ian Nordheimer thought he had an excellent example where mandatory minimum sentences were entirely inappropriate and he ruled according in the case of 30-year-old Brandon Donnelly, pleaded guilty to editing 74 films that featured naked teenage boys as an employee of a company that sold the videos over the Internet.  While the Crown wanted seven years,  “Of more importance, however, is that I have the opinions of three medical professionals (two psychologists and one psychiatrist) who say, in very clear terms, that Mr. Donnelly is at a marked risk for suicide, as a consequence of these events,” wrote Nordheimer.  Breaches of Donnelly’s Charter Rights and a deteriorating mental state contributed to Nordheimer’s decision that Donnelly would not serve time in prison.

 Huffington Post – Jelena Damjanovic, University of Toronto T News
Canada Needs a Plan to Address Violence Against Immigrant and Refugee Women  

Federal government changes to regulations around immigrants and refugees have considerably impacted on access to legal representation, access to social and health services, and pathways to permanent residence for those one million temporary visa holders.  The Migrant Mothers Project is calling attention to the fact that many of the temporary visas in Canada are repeatedly denied access to health and social services when seeking to escape violence because they are ineligible for services.