State lawlessness …

February 22, 2016 

Toronto Star – Joanna Smith

Inquiry into missing aboriginal women must not ignore indigenous law, advocates say

Indigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett wants to consider how and what parts of Indigenous law should and could be included in the Inquiry into Murdered and Missing Women.  The argument goes that Canadian laws have done little other than wound Indigenous people in the colonialist intents and its attendant violence towards the Indigenous people.  The Native Women’s Association of Canada and the Feminist Alliance for International Action have a list of recommendations to confront “a consequence of state lawlessness.”

Globe and Mail – Karen Howlett and Andrea Woo
Highly potent Fentanyl now leading cause of opioid deaths in Ontario

Fentanyl is a fast acting pain killer and is now the most frequent cause of opioid deaths in Ontario, accounting for one in four opioid deaths. The real scope of the problem is unknown since the data is one year out of date.  Alberta and BC are both reporting high incidents as well.  The drug fentanyl became popular among abusers when OxyContin was removed from the drug market and thereby the black market as well.  The issue is also tied into another controversy around the availability on front lines of the anti-dote drug naloxone.

Globe and Mail – Jim Bronskill, Canadian Press
Trudeau government studies options to fix ‘broken bail’ system

The federal government has been hearing from activists for some time that the bail system in Canada needs fixing and that the refusal to grant bail is a major cause for both the overcrowding and the expense of jails. Study author and University of Ottawa criminologist Cheryl Webster points out that the risk adverse atmosphere is denying what Common Law has always thought about bail – its primary purpose is to assure that accused persons will later appear in court.

Globe and Mail – Michelle Zilio
Ottawa lifts deportation order for Syrian teen detained for three weeks

One the controversies around immigration and refugees, especially in Australia currently, and now in Canada, is the practice of detention for children.  While this article involves a reversal of a deportation order on a teenager, the underlying practice of detention dos not appear to be in question.  Canada Border Services Agency says there have been 16 since November 2015.  The prime reason seems to be fear that these children  will fail to appear for hearings.  CBSA says there are none in detention as of Friday past.

MacLean’s – Nancy Macdonald and Charlie Gillis
Inside the RCMP’s biggest crisis: Hundreds of women are complaining about sexual harassment inside the RCMP

The question of the internal culture of the RCMP around women and sexual harassment hits big time this week when BC lawyer Sandy Zeitzeff seeks to establish the basis for a class action lawsuit for 380 female plaintiffs.  The issue has clearly gone beyond individual complaints and efforts to address those complaints.  Recent events at the Ottawa RCMP Explosives Training site seem to re-inforce.  The question seems to focus on the ability and propriety of the RCMP themselves responding to the allegations by internal investigations and offering resolution.  Related article:  CBC News – Alliston Crawford   Allegations of sexual touching, bullying investigated at police college run by RCMP – Two former bomb technician instructors face investigations after more complaints from former college staff   Related article: CBC News  John Paul Tasker and Alliston Crawford  Latest RCMP harassment allegations an ’embarrassment,’ public safety minister says – ‘How could this have happened in a facility that is designed to train police officers?,’ Goodale says  Related article: Post media News  Nudity, bullying alleged at RCMP training school: Report

Yes Magazine (US) – Sarah Van Gelder
The Radical Work of Healing: Fania and Angela Davis on a New Kind of Civil Rights Activism

Two long time civil rights activists want to offer a new approach in restorative justice:  “Self-care and healing and attention to the body and the spiritual dimension—all of this is now a part of radical social justice struggles.”  The more famous of the two, Angela Davis, was connected to the Black Panthers and gave up a teaching position at UCLA in the late sixties and 70’s in dispute over Communist Party connections.  Sister Fania is a lawyer and both are now espousing “a truth and reconciliation process focused on the historic racial trauma that continues to haunt the United States.”