Peacemaker or warrior…

     July 12, 2015

Toronto Star – Michael Valpy
Peacemaker or warrior? Canada faces identity crisis 

Valpy recalls Allan Gotlieb’s discussion in the 70’s around the mythology buried in the Canadian identity.  The Danes make good furniture and Canada makes peace, said Gotlieb.  The last decade has seen an effort to replace the peace maker role, ideally suited to a lesser international power, with the warrior, an issue, Valpy suggests is part of the anti-communism monument debate in Ottawa and the Mother of Canada in Cape Breton.  Time to consider which mythology Canadians want to embrace openly?

Globe and Mail – Alex Neve
A sobering look at Canada’s human rights record

Alex Neve, the secretary-general of Amnesty International Canada, is appearing before the UN Committee on Human Rights and reports on both the NGO’s offering testimony and the government response to the critique.  A routine 10 year review, Sir Nigel Rodley, a law professor and chair of the Human Rights Centre at the University of Essex and member of the UN committee, said:  “This is not the Canada I once knew.”   The UN report on Canada’s Human Rights practice is due in about a month.

Canadian Families and Corrections Network (CFCN)

“Building stronger and safer communities by assisting families affected by criminal behavior, incarceration and community reintegration.”  So reads the tag line on their web site and this summer they are releasing a number of research projects about the impact of crime on families.  As a network, they are also trying to identify groups across the country working on helping through the incarceration and the re-entry.  They have three new specific research reports about coping with a loved one who is incarcerated, all journals of the group and available on the landing page of their web site.

Mirror (UK) – Laura Connor
Woman who was viciously raped at knifepoint in her own bed: ‘I met attacker in prison and forgave him’

Rosalyn Bryce was raped at knife point while in her own bed and then lived in the shadow of that rape for fifteen years until the experience began to impact her daughter.  “For years I felt like I had a huge neon sign on my head that said ‘rape’,” she said. “But after meeting Hill (the rapist, still in prison) I just feel like that sign isn’t even there anymore.  The only way I could know for certain that he was no longer a danger to me was to look him in the eyes.”

Toronto Star – Donovan Vincent
Lockdowns soaring in Ontario jails due to staff shortages – There were 900 lockdowns in Ontario’s provincial jails due to staff shortages last year, a figure that has more than tripled since 2009

There were over 900 full or partial lockdowns in Ontario provincial jails last year, alarming growth, given 259 in 2009.  The lockdown can be for a few hours or for a few days; inmates are confined to cells and the programming is not available; lockdowns are often caused by shortage of staff, absent for sickness or leave.  Despite hiring, the guards union says they are still short about 300 full timers and up to 500 fixed term people.

Globe and Mail – Colin Freeze
Shadow of G20 security tactics loom over Pan Am Games protesters

A protest group around mining – Mining Injustice Solidarity Network (NISN) is convinced that a couple who joined their group last year were in fact undercover police seeking information on the potential disruption of the Pan Am games.  Though the couple denied they were police, once expelled from MISN, the couple has vanished without a trace despite considerable effort by the Globe and Mail to discover them and OPP are neither confirming nor denying that there are undercover officers buried in the various protest groups.