Inmate deaths and drug overdoses…

    Feb 18, 2015

Hamilton Spectator – Nicole O’Reilly
Barton jail inmates are overdosing: Who’s watching?

The Barton Street Jail in Hamilton has had four, possibly five, drug overdose deaths and when the Spectator inquired about the stats on inmate deaths from drug overdoses the Ontario Ministry of Correctional Services conceded that the ministry does not track overdoses or deaths from overdoses.  The regional coroner is expected to begin an inquiry shortly.       New York State Department of Health:   DOCCS, DOH, and HRC Announce New Opioid Program to Address Growing Opioid Crisis –   Pilot Program trains inmates to use naloxone    Related article:  Solitary Watch – Aviva Stahl     In Canada, a Death in Prison Sparks Debate, Lawsuits Over Solitary Confinement   Related article: Toronto Star – Ann Dempsey   Toronto superjail sees second inmate death in a week

 Globe and Mail – Campbell Clark
Five key questions remain as Ottawa presses ahead with anti-terrorism bill

Here they are:  What is promoting terrorism “in general?”   Why does the Anti-Terrorism Act expand powers that have nothing to do with terrorism?   What are “measures?”  How does a judge decide what illegal or unconstitutional acts they can authorize?  Why no oversight?   Related article: Toronto Star – Thomas Walkom   Halifax murder plot shows absurdity of anti-terror laws – According to Ottawa, murderous Muslim misfits are terrorists. But murderous Nazi misfits are not.    Related article: Toronto Star Tim Harper    To fight terror, we should first properly define it – As the Commons prepares to debate anti-terror legislation, the term terrorist continues to be defined on the fly by our politicians   Related article: National Newswatch- Jim Bronskill, Canadian Press   Anti-terrorism bill opens door to spying on opponents, Mulcair charges   Related article: Toronto Star –  Craig Forcese and Kent Roach     Bill C-51 moves us one step closer to the end of privacy

 MacLean’s – Aaron Wherry
What did the House of Commons do to itself last night?   The House of Commons barely pauses before acceding to a government demand 

Wherry wants to know if the RCMP are in charge of security in the House and the Senate and if the RCMP reports to government of the day, how does the absolute supremacy of Parliament work?  Yet the measure seems to have passed the majority conservative house without reference to the historic setback it created.

 National Newswatch – Frances Russell
Canada’s Crime Rate is Plunging but the Harper Government’s Incarceration Rate is Skyrocketing: What’s Wrong with This Picture? 

Russell is responding to the latest Stats Can report on the homicide rate which goes international and discovers that Canada’s rate in one third that of the US and much closer to European rates:  1.73 per 100,000, the lowest in all the Americas.  Howard Sapers is the Correctional Investigator in Canada’s prisons.  “Asked if Canada is out of step internationally with its moves back to harsh and punitive incarceration, Sapers points out that Canada’s incarceration rate is higher than in Europe and now, increasingly, harsher even than in the U.S.”

 CBC News
Quebec’s education minister backtracks on school strip search policy 

Quebec Education Minister Yves Bolduc at first justified and now is willing to re-examine Quebec’s policy to allow strip searches of the high school students under five specific circumstances.  The focus was prompted by an incident in a Quebec City school reported to a local newspaper by the mother of 15 year old girl.  While insisting the school has the right to strip search, he acknowledges, after a storm of protest, that the rights of the individual enter as well.  The student asked to call her mother but the request was refused.

 Toronto Star – Canadian Press
Alberta Tory politician says deporting paralyzed foreign worker would be ‘inhumane’

A temporary foreign worker is beginning to realize how vulnerable she is under Canadian Immigration law, such that a Tory backbencher is speaking out.  Maria Venancio, a Philippine national in Canada under contract to MacDonald’s, was hit by a car and paralyzed while riding her bike to work.  While she has access to treatment and some care from a free research program at the University of Alberta Hospital, Immigration wants to deport her on the grounds that she cannot work.  She does not have Alberta Health coverage – and is not covered for diagnostic tests like MRI’s – and has not received any benefits from her employee benefits or the accident.