God bless us, one and all…

    Dec 24, 2014

(Ed note:  We are approaching a time when most media is summarizing the news events rather than delivering new.  Time for holidays, back in the New Year … One correction: A recent item identified Retired Judge Marion Lane as retiring from BC.  In fact she retired from Ontario and spends time in both BC and Ontario.  Apologies for the confusion… Happy holidays!)

 Toronto Star – Catherine Latimer, Executive Director, John Howard Canada
Canadian criminal justice meets ghost of Christmas past  

Latimer offers an insight on the basic unfairness of a criminal justice system that imposes impossible terms and consequences disproportionally and unequally on the poor.  “The essential principle of justice, that the punishment of crime be proportional to the responsibility of the offender and the seriousness of the offence, is unavoidably lost in the way the victim surcharges operate on the poor.  As for these mandatory penalties, Latimer says:  “Canada should not take this major step backward in imposing a special system of fines which particularly harms the poor.”    http://www.thestar.com/opinion/commentary/2014/12/22/canadian_criminal_justice_meets_ghost_of_christmas_past.html

 Vancouver Sun – Gordon Hoekstra
Ottawa should have consulted First Nation over omnibus bills C-38 and C-45’s sweeping legal changes: Federal Court  

Federal Court Judge Roger Hughes has ruled that the federal government environmental laws embedded in C-38 and C-45 removing federal oversight from Aboriginal land in north-eastern Alberta are in error in that the bills should not have happened with consulting the Mikisew Cree whose fishing and hunting rights are impacted.  The ruling opens the door for Aboriginals to appeal any future law that fails to consult.  http://www.vancouversun.com/technology/Ottawa+should+have+consulted+First+Nation+over+omnibus+bills/10674431/story.html

 Globe and Mail – David Butt
Victims of sexual assault need a stronger voice in Canada’s courts  

Butt compares the justice system to an aircraft carrier for bulk and complexity, conceding that though change is possible it is also slow.  The patriarchy inbred in the justice system is a complication and Budd suggests what needs to change and how to change it.   No one, he says, represents the complainant or the victim.   http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-debate/why-victims-of-sexual-assault-need-a-stronger-voice-in-canadas-courts/article22158280

 Guardian (UK) – Stuart Jeffries
Angela Davis: ‘There is an unbroken line of police violence in the US that takes us all the way back to the days of slavery’ 

This article may provide some insight around the present US tensions between police and the Black community.  Angela Davis is a long time Black feminist and activist who says:  “There is so much history of this racist violence that simply to bring one person to justice is not going to disturb the whole racist edifice.”   http://www.theguardian.com/global/2014/dec/14/angela-davis-there-is-an-unbroken-line-of-police-violence-in-the-us-that-takes-us-all-the-way-back-to-the-days-of-slavery   Related article:  Reuters (NY) – Shannon Stapleton    Black NYPD cops expose climate of rampant racial profiling in force    http://rt.com/usa/217239-black-police-racial-profiling  Related article: Huffington Post – Blogger Jessica S. Henry   Top 10 Ways to Fix the Criminal Justice System    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jessica-s-henry/top-10-ways-to-fix-the-cr_b_6362274.html

 Globe and Mail – Josh Wingrove and Daniel Leblanc
Ontario police asked to start third probe into Parliament Hill shooting 

Now there are three separate police probes into the Centre Block attack.  One probe involves an OPP investigation of the conduct of the RCMP within the Centre Block.  A second involves an OPP investigation of the conduct of the Hill security staff, requested by House of Commons Speaker Andrew Scheer.  This third now involves the pre-Centre Block activity – Mr. Zehaf-Bibeau’s approach from Wellington Street to the doors of the building. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/ontario-police-asked-to-start-third-probe-into-parliament-hill-shooting/article22197472

 Rick Howe Show (Halifax) – News 95.7
Margo Van Sluytman speaks about RJ efforts at Dalhousie

This is an audio recording (Margo’s interview starts at 23:44 minutes and runs about 20 minutes.  Margo brings her personal experience with the man who killed her father to the context of the dental school problems and the university’s decision to go the route of RJ in spite of a petition now with over 40,000 looking for more punitive response. http://pmd.news957.com/podcasts/atlantic_talk_shows/RHshow/2014.12.23-0900.mp3   Related link: Margo’s blog –  http://sawbonna.blogspot.com/2014/12/sawbonna-restorative-justice-dalhousie.html   Related article: Chronicle Herald (Halifax – Paul MacLeod    Dalhousie University process may include board that licenses dentists    http://thechronicleherald.ca/novascotia/1259290-dalhousie-university-process-may-include-board-that-licenses-dentists

 Toronto Star – Susan Delacourt
Tracking politician’s favourite words provides amusement, insight 

Sometimes, when the rhetoric and the discussions descend below the tolerable level, and you need a distraction, here is a new political game.  Count the number of times that your favourite politician utters his favourite word.  Not much creativity needed to guess the word at issue.  http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2014/12/23/tracking_politicians_favourite_words_provides_amusement_insight.html