SCC and policy…

    Nov 28, 2014 – Ian MacLeod, Ottawa Citizen
Supreme Court named ‘policymaker of the year’ 

The MacDonald Institute, a conservative think tank, has named the Supreme Court of Canada the policy maker of the year for its ten rulings that went contrary to the federal government’s thrust, particular in Aboriginal treaty ruling and the tough-on-crime agenda.   These major rulings, say the Institute, are significant in implication for law and policy. Further, eight of the 10 cases were decided unanimously   Related article:  National Newswatch –  Steve Rennie, Canadian Press     Harper names new Supreme Court justice    Related article:  National Post – Benjamin Perrin   The Supreme Court of Canada won’t want this award

 The Skanner News (US) – Helen Silvis
Oregon’s ‘Forever Crimes’ Law Hurts Black Families 

In Oregon, there are 69 crimes which prohibit involvement in schools – they are called Forever Crimes because the prohibition never expires.  The school districts have extended the application of Forever Laws to volunteers as well and many grand-parents who had an indiscretion in youth can not even enjoy a support role.  The type of crime is also a curiosity. –  Elizabeth Thompson
Domestic violence taking toll in Canada’s workplaces: study  

Researchers at the University of Western Ontario and the Canadian Labour Congress have just published a study saying that 1/3 of respondents have acknowledged suffering domestic violence and over 80% of those who do suffer domestic violence say it impacts work performance; 8% say it cost them the job.  53% say the violence followed them into their workplace and 38% said it became a factor in getting a job.   Transgendered or homosexual reported a higher frequency of domestic violence.

 National Newswatch – Bruce Cheadle, Canadian Press
Pardon backlog keeps many from reintegrating  

The Conservative government changed the rules around pardons in 2010, making it harder to get a pardon.  In March 2013 the National Parole Board acknowledged a backlog of 22,000 of older applications and gave itself two years to clear them, but still has over 10,000 of those.  The board has no timeline for clearing all the remaining backlog and still expects to have 7,000 in line as of March 2015.

 APTN News – Jorge Barrera
Ex-spy’s allegations of CSIS law-breaking need investigation, say opposition MPs 

Former spy Danny Palmer, a 12-year veteran of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, testified in court documents that CSIS routinely ignores Canadian law and even assisted a foreign agency in the assassination of two foreign residents in Canada.  Reacting to the sworn court documents, NDP MP and Public Safety Critic Randall Garrison and Liberal MP and justice critic Wayne Easter, given the seriousness of the allegations, both advocated an investigation of the allegations.

 CBC News – Timothy Sawa, Dave Seglins, Jeremy McDonald
Who are the most wanted extremists in Canada?  

This report was put together by the CBC with terrorism experts using open sources of information.  The report identifies 18 people who have been arrested or are known to have travelled overseas to enlist in fighting on behalf of terrorist groups.

 Toronto Star – Tonda MacCharles
Privacy czar doesn’t get chance to testify on CSIS powers 

Federal privacy commissioner Daniel Therrien offered but was refused an opportunity to appear as a witness in the committee hearings around Bill C-44 involving expansion of power for CSIS.  Therrien was a senior lawyer in the Justice Department responsible for public safety and immigration.  He is concerned about human rights violations such as those uncovered by both the O’Connor and Iacobbuchi Commissions.

 Toronto Star – Moira Welsh and Andrew Bailey
‘Near misses’ show surviving school violence is pure luck 

In the last four years there have been almost 1100 incidents of violence with the Toronto District School Board; one in five involves a gun, a shot, a knife or a stabbing.  The incidents are mostly classified as “near misses” understood as incidents in which  the situations  “could have led to a more serious injury or  fatality.

 Globe and Mail – Gloria Galloway
Fine print on Ottawa’s $200-million veterans fund: It’ll take 50 years to pay  

The resolution of the crisis in providing timely mental health services to our veterans has suffered a Black Friday.  The announcement of an additional $200 million was made by no fewer than three federal cabinet ministers in Halifax on Sunday past, two days before the Auditor General blasted the deficiencies.  Critics who wondered about which other fund would pay for the $200 million can stop wondering: the feds have 50 years to pay up.    Related article: iPolitics   – Michael Harris   Want to make amends with vets? Start by firing Fantino