Dec 16, 2015

CBC News – Susana Mas
Truth and Reconciliation final report charts path to ‘true reconciliation’

Justice Murray Sinclair is hoping for a new era in relationship with Canada’s First Nations.  In releasing the final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Sinclair says that while the commission is reporting the death of 3200 children in residential schools, the true number is likely as high as 10,000.  In calling for reconciliation Sinclair said:  “Reconciliation is about forging and maintaining respectful relationships. There are no shortcuts.”  The link provides two 2 minute video reports, one from Sinclair and as reaction from Justin Trudeau as well as a number of related reports.    Actual report website:     Related article: Toronto Star- Joanna Smith   Time to lift the burden of residential schools, says Prime Minister Justin Trudeau   Related article: Globe and Mail: John Ibbitson   Missing children, unmarked burials a legacy of residential schools   (Link includes stats on the deaths)   Related article: Toronto Star Editorial (Dec. 15, 2015) Residential schools report challenges us all   Related article: Globe and Mail – Simona Chiose     Law schools across Canada debate how to enact TRC recommendations   Related article:  Globe and Mail – Chinta Puxley, Canadian Press     Manitoba opens Tina Fontaine case to review by children’s advocate   Related article: Globe and Mail – Hayden King and Erica Violet Lee   The truth is there. But reconciliation is deeply complicated   Related article:  Ottawa Citizen – Mark Kennedy   Trudeau says Canada must accept ‘failings’ on aboriginal residential schools   Related article: CTV – Marlene Yeung   Aboriginal children at residential schools often buried in unmarked graves, report reveals

 Hamilton Spectator – Nicole O’Reilly and Molly Hayes
Dying behind bars: overdose deaths in Ontario jails  

At least five, possibly six, inmates have died of drug overdose while in custody in the Hamilton Wentworth Detention Centre since 2012.  Though there have been repeated inquests and over 100 recommendations to prevent the deaths, insiders say little or nothing has changed in the intervening years.  The recs have repeatedly (22 times to date) included the training of guards.  Lawyer Kevin Egan of London calls the process “toothless” and says:  “Explore is a big word in inquests, but who’s to determine what are appropriate corrective measures? It’s back in the hands of the ministry and they’re driven by politics.”

The Sentencing Project (US) – Joshua Rovner
Declines in Youth Commitments and Facilities in the 21st Century 

The Juvenile Justice System has already attained the goal of a 50% reduction in the number of incarcerated youth in the 21st century.  What is important to note that the reduction has occurred without harming public safety.  The link offers a state-by-state breakdown of the numbers.  (7 page downloadable pdf)   Related article: Bureau of Justice Statistics (US) – Marcus Berzofsky, Dr.P.H., Jennifer Bronson, Ph.D., Laura Maruschak   Disabilities Among Prison and Jail Inmates, 2011–12

Toronto Star – Louise Brown
Principals seen as key to turning around troubled First Nations schools 

The key to turning around the school system on the First Nations reserves of Canada lies in training the principals.  The course is 200 hours of internet and personal learning designed to improve the quality of the educational product.  The course started in September with 20 candidates and is part of Paul Martin’s Aboriginal Education Initiative, now applied under the federal government which is responsible for education on the reserves.  Critics also think that the feds need to correct the other inequities such as the per capita funding shortfall.

Toronto Star – Allen Woods
Should provincial liquor stores serve as neighbourhood pot dealers?

As the decision time for legalizing pot gets closer, there is talk about delays in implementing the new laws but the conversation about how recreational pot will be made available to the buying public heats up as well.  The latest is a suggestion by Ontario that the pot be sold in government owned liquor stores.