Safe injection sites…

March 15, 2016

CBC News – Susan Lunn, Peter Zimonjic
Safe injection sites have potential to save lives, says Jane Philpott – Federal health minister says the more people know about them, the greater their support

Toronto’s medical officer of health Dr. David McKeown is calling for a series of 3-5 safe injection sites across Metro Toronto and appears to getting some encouragement from the federal government whose permission is essential to the process of joining Vancouver’s only safe site.  In 2013, there were 206 overdose related deaths in Toronto and the number appears to be rising.  Besides the actual injection and needle disposal safety, the site contribute to solutions by making access to professional help easier.   Related article: Toronto Star – Howard Ovens   Toronto should welcome safe injection sites   Toronto Star Editorial (March 14, 2016)  Keeping drug users safe helps the entire city

Globe and Mail – Colin Freeze and Matthew Braga
Surveillance device used in prison sets off police probe

The same device at issue in a Montreal courtroom mob prosecution has shown up in federal prisons and the electronic listening device has enveloped Corrections Canada in a lawsuit from prison guards’ union and an Ontario Provincial Police criminal investigation. The practices at Warkworth Institution, a medium-security prison in Ontario, is the focus of the investigation.

CBC News – Alison Crawford
RCMP accountability act leads to more secretive proceedings, lawyers say – Changes to RCMP disciplinary regime can make it easier for force to hide bad behaviour

Discipline within the RCMP was supposed to have been enhanced with clearer process and greater discretion for the Commissioner when the Act was passed in 2014.  Some critics are insisting that the Enhancing Royal Canadian Mounted Police Accountability Act has in fact made it easier for the force to bury the misbehaviour regularly coming to the public’s attention.   It seems that the RCMP decides what is serious, and if not serious, then the matter goes to a closed and secret misconduct hearing.

Energy Collective (US) – Amy Myers Jaffe
Commentary: Living in a Millennial World

Here is a thoughtful commentary that makes succinct some of the differences between “old think” and the potential of millennials equipped with computers and needing relatively little guidance to discover the actual facts behind almost any event or claim.  The illustration zeros in on the oil and gas industry but has applications for all:  “It isn’t sufficient to address advocacy groups or poor communications. Oil and gas companies have correctly set expectations among their stakeholders that they can operate without negative environmental impacts…The industry needs to create a system to address actors within its own ranks when actual performance has fallen short.”

Toronto Star – Michael Tutton
Wary of releasing ‘Internet Black Widow,’ Crown seeks conditions

Melissa Ann Shepard, now in her 80’s, is also known as the Internet Black Widow and is about to be released from a Nova Scotia prison.  She has been denied parole and is serving her full sentence for administering a noxious substance and manslaughter but crown attorney James Giacomantonio is going to court on Tuesday of next week because he thinks she represents a danger still; he wants further conditions imposed after release and sentence expiry.  Related article: CTV News – Canadian Press  ‘Internet Black Widow’ to be released on conditions    Related article: Ottawa Citizen – Gary Dimmock   ‘My criminal career is over’: Dying convicted criminal calls it quits   Related article: Ottawa Citizen – Julie Lauzon, National Post    When bail courts don’t follow the law

The Tyee (BC) – Geoff Dembicki

Naomi Klein: ‘We Face a Series of Radical Options’

When SFU invited Klein to speak, the event on March 11 sold out almost immediately and Dembicki sought a preview to allow a broader audience.  The result is this Q & A between Dembicki and Klein.   Related article: Public Policy Forum Canada – Madelaine Drohan    Does serious journalism have a future in Canada?  ( A 32 page download pdf)