Hard truths…

Nov. 3, 2015

Globe and Mail – Gloria Galloway
Residential school documents to be publicly available for first time

National Research Centre for Truth and Reconciliation is making the documents accumulated during the investigations on the Residential Schools available on line for the first time.  The initial batch will be only a small amount of the larger file documents.  Ry Moran, the centre’s director, thinks “This is, fundamentally, going to be about a conversation of hard truths.”  http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/residential-school-documents-to-be-publicly-available-for-first-time/article27075555/

CBC News – Maureen Brosnahan
2 Muslim inmates file rights complaints against Alberta prison -‘Our religion was trumped because of band practice,’ complainant says

National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) is lending its support to claim of religious discrimination against Corrections Canada.  Two men in Alberta, Nicolas Hovanesian, 30, and Mohammed Karim, 35, say they have been denied by the Catholic prison chaplain opportunity for the use of the prison chapel and for prayer.   The NCCM is calling for the development of a standard of spiritual care.  http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/2-muslim-inmates-file-rights-complaints-against-alberta-prison-1.3300658?utm_source=NR-+Prison+Chaplaincy&utm_campaign=NR-Quebec+assault+%2F+Quebec+Solidaire+call+2+reject+islamophobia&utm_medium=email

Globe and Mail – John Ibbitson
Trudeau’s proposal to appoint senators on merit looks promising

The idea appears to be to nominate new senators the same way a lieutenant governor or the governor general is chosen: a panel to invite nominees from a wide variety of backgrounds to a short list for the PM’s approval.  The senate then becomes a genuinely independent body of distinguished Canadians better able without political loyalties to be a house of sober second thought.  http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/trudeaus-proposal-to-appoint-senators-on-merit-looks-promising/article27060268/

N. Y. Times – Editorial (Nov. 2, 2015)
Excluding Blacks from Juries 

In Georgia, the selection of a jury for the murder trial of an eighteen year old Black named Timothy Tyrone Foster who was convicted and sentenced to death was long thought to be deliberately racist for its exclusion of Black persons from the jury selection.  In fact, the prosecutor’s notes had all the Black prospects highlighted in green with a “B’ on the list of potentials.  After twenty years, the notes have been released for the Supreme Court to rule on the exclusions.  The disguised racial exclusion by pre-emptory challenges have been found in other states as well and raise issues about the legitimacy of the challenges in jury selection.  http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/02/opinion/excluding-blacks-from-juries.html?mwrsm=Email&_r=0

International Business Times (US) – Adam Lidgett
Prison Reform 2015: Growing Push to Reduce Incarceration Rates Could Hurt Private Prisons, Experts Say

Here’s a delightful thought!  Let’s reduce the mass incarceration of convicted inmates and immigration detention and deny profiteering off misery.  There are now some 60 private prison facilities holding about 19% of federal prisoners.  GEO Group and the Corrections Corporation of America are the nation’s largest private jailers.   http://www.ibtimes.com/prison-reform-2015-growing-push-reduce-incarceration-rates-could-hurt-private-prisons-2163902    Related article – N.Y. Times – Eric Eckholm    Thousands Start Life Anew With Early Prison Releases   http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/02/us/with-early-release-thousands-of-inmates-are-adjusting-to-freedom.html?_r=1&ncid=newsltushpmg00000003

Smart Justice Remembers…
Bill C-10: The consequences for a fair and effective Canadian Criminal Justice System

On Mar 6, 2011, David Daubney, a retired Conservative MP and Privy Council member, and a SJCN member,  led a panel of distinguished persons, including retired judge and current SJNC chair Barry Stuart, who examined the impact on the justice system of Bill C-10, the classic omnibus piece for tough-on-crime of the Conservative government.  It may be worth re-visiting this 30 minute video to affirm the accuracy of the concerns then and how far the system now needs to be moved.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bxjpKZPit4w

Globe and Mail – Renate D’Aliesio
Medical discharges pose risk to wounded Canadian soldiers

Just over 1900 members of the Canadian Armed Forces were given medical discharges in 2014, a 52% increase over the previous year and a financial windfall in cutting medical costs.  Military review of the practices around medical discharges one year ago have not made appreciable differences.  http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/medical-discharges-may-pose-risk-to-wounded-canadian-vets/article27075940/  Related article: Globe and Mail – Renate D’Aliesio   Roméo Dallaire decries government’s ‘penny pinching’ care for vets    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/romeo-dallaire-decries-governments-penny-pinching-care-for-vets/article27060807/