“Small, mean, regressive…”

     June 23, 2015

Council of Canadians – John Trent
John Trent’s new booklet “Harper’s Record” 

One of the founders of the Council and now Senior Fellow with the Centre for Governance, John Trent is asking you to read his booklet before the next federal election – John’s record of what the Harper government has been doing as the government of Canada.  Trent minces no words nor meanings:  “Above all he (Harper) is an ideologue. He has a narrow view of the world based on his personal economic and social conservative ideas which he has spent a decade trying to impose on Canada. In fact, he is more retrograde than he is Conservative. …It is clear that Prime Minister Harper has been driven by a preconceived ideological agenda to turn back the clock, to overturn the progressive state and replace it with small, mean, regressive government.”    http://canadians.org/blog/john-trents-new-booklet-harpers-record   Full booklet Harper’s Canada   (40 page downloadable pdf)   http://www.johntrent.ca/harpers-canada-bkt-en.pdf   Related article: MacLean’s – Aaron Wherry  Irwin Cotler’s perfect ending – Liberal MP Irwin Cotler uses his second last day in the House of Commons to uphold the ‘the vitality of our democracy’  http://www.macleans.ca/politics/irwin-cotlers-perfect-ending/

 National Newswatch –
Critics up in arms over federal government’s new rules for injection sites

There are now 26 criteria for establishing a safe injection site according to the new federal legislation, a chore likely to mean the end of any new sites. The Respect for Communities Act received royal assent last week and beyond increasing the difficulty to establish new sites the bill is likely to provoke more problems for existing sites.  NDP critic and long-time supporter of the sites Libby Davis anticipates that provinces and cities will define the process and go back to court.  http://www.nationalnewswatch.com/2015/06/22/critics-up-in-arms-over-federal-governments-new-rules-for-injection-sites/#.VYl4JkZQRUZ

Toronto Star – Laurie Monsebraaten
Toronto releases 20-year poverty-busting plan

Toronto has set its sights on 2035 to end poverty and inequality.  The comprehensive plan has five themes: housing, city services, transit, food access and quality jobs and living wages.  Over two dozen agencies participated in formulating the plan with its 24 recommendations and 74 short and mid to long term goals.  The 48 page report goes first to management and then on July 8 to city council.  http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2015/06/23/toronto-releases-20-year-poverty-busting-plan.html

 National Newswatch – Bruce Cheadle, Canadian Press
Federal Court orders public safety minister, RCMP to hand over gun registry data 

Suzanne Legault has been persistent and Judge Luc Martineau of the Federal court agrees with her, ordering the feds to turn over the long-gun registry information.  The judge gave federal minister Stephen Blaney until 10 AM this morning to turn over the external hard drive with the information, pending the court’s decision around what decision will be taken.  http://www.nationalnewswatch.com/2015/06/23/federal-court-orders-public-safety-minister-rcmp-to-hand-over-gun-registry-data/#.VYl7p0ZQRUZ   Related article: Globe and Mail – Gloria Galloway Tories comply with court order to submit gun-registry data   http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/judge-orders-ottawa-to-hand-over-gun-registry-data/article25072076/

 Truthout (US) – Mike Ludwig
US Prisons Block Access to Lifesaving Addiction Medication

A memo from the Bureau of Prisons says that the federal prison system has an abstinence only approach to opioid addiction treatment and does not permit the use of methadone or Suboxone.  The numbers of those addicted is staggering, variously estimated as between 30 and 60% of those in prison while as high as 70% are jailed locally for drug offences and are drug dependent.   http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/31456-us-prisons-block-access-to-lifesaving-addiction-medication

Think Progress (US) – Jack Jenkins
Forgiveness, ‘Cheap Grace,’ and the Struggle for Justice in Charleston

The article reviews the startlingly different reactions to the murder of the nine Charleston Blacks and the killer Dylan Roof.  The victims forgave, the social media wanted more blood and the experts were reflecting on the potential for “cheap grace” in the exercise.  The discussion is around how forgiveness can help or prevent the coping with such terrible events, especially given the racial hatred that prompted them.  In the aftermath, what does justice look like or pursue? http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2015/06/23/3672722/charleston-shooter-forgiveness/