Cost benefit analysis…

April 22, 2016

N.Y. Times – Jason Furman and Douglas Holyz-Eakin
Why Mass Incarceration Doesn’t Pay

The authors do a cost benefit analysis of the “staggering” growth in the nation’s prison population.  The article examines both the notion of mass incarceration and the impact of adding length to prison sentences and concludes that neither works and that neither is cost effective.  The bottom line, they say, “The putative benefits of more incarceration or longer sentences are actually costs.”  And the costs are not confined to the prison population.

Ottawa Citizen – Jim Bronskill, Canadian Press
Pardon marijuana possession convicts to free up needed resources: think tank

The C.D. Howe Institute has published a paper from a think tank suggesting that Trudeau should drop all pending charges for pot possession and pardon all already convicted of pot possession.  The paper suggests that the federal government follow up on health and safety goals around the use of pot and then leave the distribution of pot to the provinces to regulate.   Related article: Financial Post – Jim Bronskill, Canadian Press   It’s 4/20 and Ottawa and the provinces should share power to tax marijuana, think tank says   Related article: National Newswatch: Canadian Press   Pot law coming next spring: Health Minister Jane Philpott       Related article: National Newswatch: Vernon White   What to do about the Fentanyl crisis    Related article: Toronto Star – Canadian Press   Homegrown medical marijuana ruling should be expanded, lawyer says

 CBC News – Sarah Bridge, John Lancaster, Jennifer Fowler
Border security: hundreds detained in 1st month of new screening measures

The Canadian Border Services Agency now – since November 2015 – has had access to the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) for outstanding warrant information.  In the first month, the agency identified 1,800 people with outstanding warrants, many for minor infractions but about one quarter for criminal charges.

CBC News – John Paul Tasker
Mike Duffy trial: 6 notable lines from the judge’s ruling – Judge said the Prime Minister’s Office engaged in ‘mind-boggling’ and ‘unacceptable’ behaviour

The Duffy trial, 64 days spread over almost a full year, has heard the verdict from Mr. Justice Charles Vaillancourt: not guilty on all of the 31 charges.  Justice Vaillancourt`s remarks, contained in a 308 pages judgment, are highlighted by six quotes.   Related article: Toronto Star Editorial (April 21, 2016) Mike Duffy cleared, but Harper PMO feels the judge’s lash   Related article: Globe and Mail – Margaret Wente   The vindication of Mike Duffy

Policy Options – Ian Brodie
The Court Challenges Program Rises Once Again

The program intends to offer subsidy to activists and interest groups to sue the government over matters of policy.  Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau created the CCP in 1978 and son Justin is looking to re-establish it.  Brodie notes an on-again, off-again history for the Challenge program and wonders how to secure it from further episodic life.  Brodie suggests making the CCP broader and less partisan as well.  “Whatever the Trudeau government decides about the scope of the program, it should be careful to keep it out of cases that pit one Charter right against another.”

 iPolitics – Ilona Dougherty
The young people of Attawapiskat have a message for us

Dougherty, a nationally recognized youth engagement worker, grew up in the north, the daughter of a psychologist who repeatedly encountered suicide among the Indigenous.  Indigenous youth are seven times more likely to commit suicide than other Canadian youth and suicide is not recent in the north.  “The crisis in Attawapaskat should make it clear that listening to young people is not mere optics — that it is, in fact, a core task for any government.”

Toronto Star – Wendy Gillis
One death, two versions: finding the facts in the killing of Andrew Loku

No one disputes that Loku a 45-year-old immigrant from South Sudan, was killed by police in July 5, 2015.  But there are two versions of the killing, both differing substantially in detail.  The SIU investigation does not explain the differences, including a video of the event, but concludes that the homicide was justifiable.  SIU is not releasing the report into Loku’s death, nor is the provincial government.