Media mergers …

February 24, 2016

Guardian (UK)
Democracy warning as Canadian media outlets merge and papers close: Federal minister convenes talks as union calls for action over increasingly centralised ownership and publishers warn of threat to public interest journalism

Here is a UK commentary on the merger and consolidation of media power in Canada, especially in the financially troubled print media. “What sets Canada out as an outlier is the extent of vertical integration,” he said. “The companies that own the pipes also own the content providers whose messages are flowing over those pipes,” says Dwayne Winseck, a Carleton University professor and director of the Canadian Media Concentration Research Project.   Critics are wondering if the high concentration of media power is legal.    Realted article: Winnipeg Sun – Anthony Furey, Postmedia Network    The coming push to nationalize the media

National Newswatch – Canadian Press
Federal judge to decide if medical marijuana patients can grow their own

The notion of legalized marijuana is sparking interest on behalf of all sorts of producers and investors but also raises the question about medical users producing their own crop.  A Federal court is expected to decide today.   Related article: Globe and Mail – Grant Robertson and Greg McAuthur      Shoppers Drug Mart eyes sales of medical marijuana

Toronto Star – Keith Leslie, Canadian Press
Ontario pledges $100 million to help end violence against indigenous women

The Ontario program is call Walking Together and is focus on the violence underlying the grim statistics that are following Indigenous families and communities.  $80 million will be used for family well-being to help families in crisis.  The program also includes over $15 million to help Indigenous people dealing with the justice system.

Toronto Star – Carol Goar
Lessons from Canada’s refugee-health saga: Goar

Four years ago two Toronto doctors took exception to the denial of medical health coverage for refugees and formed ab organization called Canadians Doctors for Refugee Care.  Now, the concern is whether doctors, given that the government itself made legitimate the refusal to care for refugees, will go back to treating refugees as part of their normal practice.  The truth that refugees get exactly the same medical treatment as Canadians, not better, combined with the supportive response from a vast majority of Canadians to deliver that care marks a gratifying outlook on the character of Canadians.

Bureau of Justice Statistics (U.S.)
New data added to Corrections Statistical Analysis Tools (CSAT) – Probation and Parole

The US Justice Department agency for tracking information on the justice system has introduced an additional feature:  information on probation and parole from 2005 to 2014.  The information includes both federal and state systems and offers the possibility of analysis of various factors:  sex, race, Hispanic origins, length of sentence, most serious offense, status, type of release and type of entry and exit to and from parole programs.

Prison Reform Trust (UK)
Prime Minister’s speech:  (Feb 8, 2016)  David Cameron spoke at the Policy Exchange on prison reform including plans to give governors complete control over the way they run their prisons

Prison reformers in England hail this speech as giving both impetus and legitimacy to the efforts to reform the justice system in the UK.  Reformers think that this speech is going to re-set the debate about the prisons, the sentencing and recidivism rates as well as the parole and diversion programs.  “If we get it right, we can change lives, improve public safety and bring hope to those for whom it was in short supply,” says Cameron.,41DMS,6JSCMH,ELVL2,1  Related article: PRT –  Peter Dawson, Deputy Director PRT    In an age of austerity, we need to use prisons less  (A PRT response to Cameron’s speech)

The Collaborating Centre for Prison Health and Education (University of British Columbia)
Guidelines for the Implementation of Mother-Child Units in Canadian Correctional Facilities

Dated November  2015 but not available until now, the revised Guidelines are available in both English and French pdf format.  The document comprises 24 pages of best practices on a host of circumstances involving the mother and child.  For the English version: For the French version: