Four Fixes…

    Dec 4, 2015

 Toronto Star – F. Roy McMurtry, Mary Campbell, and Anthony Doob
Four fixes for Canada’s broken justice system – There is no need for the scare tactics and simple meanness we experienced under the previous government.

Three well-known justice professionals are suggesting that some things wrong with justice in Canada can be fixed quickly and simply.  First, give judges discretion; second fix overcrowding from excessive remand; third, repeal private member bills that imposed restrictions on release; fourth, refocus tax dollars on high risk offenders.

 Speech from the Throne (Dec. 4, 2015)
Making Real Change Happen

The text of the speech is available at the link in pdf downloadable format.   Related article:  CBC News – Read and watch the full speech from the throne

 Global News – Andrew Russell
If Canada legalizes marijuana, how will cops combat high drivers?

This article is dated (Oct. 30, 2015) but is raising fair question about one of the potential eventualities of legalizing marijuana:  how do police deal with those who are under the influence of marijuana while driving?  Will such incidents increase in frequency once legalized?  What criteria? There is limited evidence available from the US experience and there is no tool to measure the THC in the blood.

Toronto Star – David Bruser, Jim Rankin, Joanna Smith, Tanya Talaga, Jennifer Wells, and Andrew Bailey
 Nearly half of murdered indigenous women did not know killers, Star analysis shows

The Star analysis shows that in many of the cases of the murdered Indigenous women, in fact, almost half and contrary to earlier reports, the victims did not known their killers and that there was no known prior   relationship.  Indigenous leaders think that the profiles of the killers is not so easily discoverable based on the analysis.  Says Chief Percy Bellegarde: “You need to break this down further and define it. The way you looked at it, only 50 per cent are in relationships. If the RCMP said it was 90 per cent — well, there is a discrepancy already. It is alarming — the transparency and openness.”

 Toronto Star – Nicholas Keung
Immigration detention: Trapped in a ‘legal black hole’ – Immigration detention is a world shrouded in secrecy, where people Canada doesn’t want are locked away, sometimes for years.

Lindsay (ON) superjail saw 6,000 men and 1,746 women detained on immigration holds last year.  These are non-status foreign nationals or permanent resident who have lost their status due to criminal activity, all awaiting deportation.  Those who are without papers can be indefinitely detained since the country of origin or birth is unknown for deportation.  Despite mandatory reviews, some are detained for years.  BC Civil Liberties Josh Paterson says: “Immigration detention has been far over used. It’s particularly problematic when it’s used on people with mental health issues.”

 Centre for Crime and Justice Studies (UK)
The Justice Maze 

A five minute video that explores the problems in the justice system once a woman is sentenced to prison – too many roads in, not many with direct solutions.

CBC News – Associated Press
COP21: UN negotiators adopt draft deal to fight climate change – ‘We are not at the end of the route. Major political issues are yet to be resolved,’ says French envoy 

The draft is still cluttered with brackets that indicate areas of disagreement and negotiators say they are still not where they would like to be but there is at least a draft document.  Governments will return to the text of this document on Monday for further development and changes.  Two giant areas of discord remain the obligations and expectations of the countries participating and the target of maximum global temperature rise.  Related article: CBC News –  Nahlah Ayed    Bristol, England, shows what cities can do to fight climate change