Breaking badge…

    Sept 21, 2015

Toronto Star – Jayme Poisson and Jesse McLean
Breaking Badge – A four part series

The series brings to light the frequency and types of misbehaviour by police officers and the apparent double standard applied to them under the law.  The first part looks at an OPP inspector who videoed a woman guest in his house with a hidden camera in the bathroom.  The second part looks at incidents of drunk driving by police officers.  Part 1 Disciplined OPP member still a high-ranking cop     Dozens of officers from across Ontario busted for drunk driving in last five years   Part 2 Hundreds of officers in the Greater Toronto Area disciplined for ‘serious’ misconduct in past five years    (Part 4 pending)

 Globe and Mail – Sandra Martin

Grant Crosbie, 71, suffers from an aggressive form of Alzheimer’s.  His wife Karen Harrington is his caregiver.  Martin tells the struggle of seeking the help Crosbie and his wife need to cope with the steady deterioration and search for a care facility.  “I have to try to keep a sense of humour and remember him the way he was, his wife says.

 Toronto Star – Laurie Monsebraaten
Hunger in Toronto is a tale of two cities

The Toronto Daily Bread Food Bank report is suggesting that rents are too high in downtown Toronto and that the poor, and the hungry, are on to the move to other places, notably Scarborough, North York, York and Etobicoke where there has been a 45% increase in food bank use since 2008.  Says Gail Nyberg, the Daily Bread’s executive director:  “Hunger doesn’t happen in isolation.  The reason people are hungry is that they are poor and they don’t have enough money to buy their own food or they don’t have enough money to pay their rent and buy their own food.”    Full Daily Bread Food Bank Report:  Who’s Hungry in 2015: A tale of Two Cities  (A 34 page downloadable pdf)   Related article: Globe and Mail – Tavia Grant    Toronto’s food banks see rising demand in inner suburbs

 Globe and Mail – Andrea Woo
Homeless people given $20 to attend meeting on housing in Victoria

Here’s a novel approach to consultation.  Victoria, BC, is looking for solutions to a shortage of housing so the council paid poor and homeless people $20 each to come to a meeting at which their opinions were solicited.  Not only did they get ideas for solutions but the 500 who accepted the invitation also offered an inventory of skilled workers who could actually do the work required.   The $7,320 came from a $350,000 budget allocation for the project exploring solutions.

 Globe and Mail – David McLaughlin
The campaign quest for an economic narrative

This article may leave you wondering if there is any substance behind the narratives that are the daily spin while the election approaches.  McLaughlin acknowledges the popular dissatisfaction with balanced budgets at all costs while he offer critiques of the Harper, Mulcair and Trudeau positions on finances, leaving out the Greens altogether and the connection about prioritization that ordinary Canadians will pay for anyway.

 Ottawa Citizen – David Pugliese
 Chief of the Defence Staff Gen. Jon Vance and the “weaponization of public affairs”

The National Defense Department, and its commander Chief of Staff Jon Vance apparently have a rather thin skin.  Or so one could be led to believe if the public affairs branch strategy is accurate.  There seems to be several suggestions about what the term could mean but one is that reporters would be divided into good guys and bad guys, favourable to NDHQ or unfavourable.  Information and interviews would go to the good guys in return for very favourable co-operation.  Witness the investigation of Bob Fife after his story about vacation flight expenses by former Chief of Defence Staff Walt Natynczyk.  One has to wonder where the truth lies and its role in national defence.

 Welland Tribune – Robin Baranyai
Loss of farms for prison rehab still smells

Canada’s federal prisons used to have prison farms in which the inmates raised chickens and prize cows and sent the eggs and milk to other prisons – an estimated $2 million in discounted produce each year.  The article reviews the rationale by then Minister Vic Toews around the Frontenac closing of their prison farm, the 24 citizens arrested protesting the closure and the formation of the Pen Herd Farm Co-op.    For the documentary mentioned in the article, Til the cows come home… .

Essex News Daily (Newark, N.J.) – Chris Sykes
 Irvington represented at Summit II public safety discussion at NJPAC

The article is a report on the efforts of Newark Mayor Ras Baraka to invite prominent personalities to lead a discussion about re-defining public safety and reforming the justice system.  Summit I set the stage and Summit II had four divisions for focused conversation: “The Real Root Causes of the National Epidemic of Gang/Black on Black Violence”; “Smart Justice: Reforming the Criminal Justice System”; “Redefining Public Safety: Community Partnership Strategies”; and “Public Health: Healing and Recovering from Trauma.”

International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group (ICLMG)
In the National Interest? Criminalization of Land and Environment Defenders in the Americas

The activity of Canadian mining companies in South America – Guatemala, Peru Mexico, Ecuador and Canada itself – is the focus of this report.  The 92 page downloadable pdf is accompanied by an executive summary (31 pages downloadable pdf).   Full report:   Executive Summary: