TRC response…

May 29, 2016

Toronto Star – Robert Benzie
Kathleen Wynne offers indigenous people ‘a formal apology for the abuses of the past’

This morning Wynne delivered an apology to Indigenous people and offered a response from the government of Ontario to the Truth and Reconciliation Report issued a year ago.  Wynne minced no words in the apology:  “As premier, I apologize for the policies and practices supported by past Ontario governments and for the harm they caused. I apologize for the province’s silence in the face of abuses and deaths at residential schools. And I apologize for the fact that the residential schools are only one example of systemic, intergenerational injustices inflicted upon indigenous communities throughout Canada.”  (Link includes both the TRC document and a briefer highlights of the TRC Report.)  Full text of the Wynne statement:  Full text of Kathleen Wynne’s formal apology to indigenous peoples   Related article: Globe and Mail – Jane Taber   Wynne apologizes to indigenous peoples ‘for the abuses of the past’

Toronto Star – Edward Keenan
Massive pot raid makes life in Toronto more dangerous: Keenan

In terms of the size of this most recent police raid on marijuana shops, it was among the largest ever carried out but Keenan is left wondering about the intent of the exercise.  43 search warrants, 90 people arrested, over 200 charges laid, but Keenan wants to know who was made safer by these raids.  “Why did the police department and the city decide that these were the infractions they wanted to target with a massive crackdown operation? What the hell is this really all about?  The answer still isn’t clear.”    Related article: Toronto Star – John Barber     Liberals’ pot policy is a big fog

 CTV News
Former CSIS director backs greater oversight

Recently retired and former CSIS director Richard Fadden says that having oversight of the security and intelligence agencies through an all-party Parliamentary Committee is needed and he spells out conditions needed to make the oversight work.  He adds two threats that the security community needs to address: traditional terrorism and cyberattacks.  But there is still no information on the committee or how it will function from government spokesperson Dominic Leblanc.   Related article:  The Times of India – Rohan Dual   Khalistan terror camp in Canada plotting attacks in Punjab: India to Trudeau govt   Related article: Ottawa Citizen – Cheryl Chan    Surrey man accused of running ‘terror camp’ near Mission

 iPolitics – Amanda Connolly
RCMP Dismisses Member Who Alleged Harassment in Two Lawsuits

Karen Katz is a 27 year member of the force who went on medical leave for PTSD in 2009 and launched lawsuit for systemic sexual harassment against the force.  The lawsuits are still pending and the decree of dismissal was issued in 2015 to be effective in May 2016.  Critics thought that the tactic was intended to influence Katz to drop the lawsuits but Katz intends to appeal the dismissal and to pursue the lawsuits.

Vera Institute of Justice (US)
Bail stories

These are a series short videos of people speaking about the bail faced in New York.  Alternately, the individual stories are collected in a single video.  Even though they are US in origin, the stories raise questions about the impact of poverty on the administration of justice.

Toronto Star – David Calnitsky
Basic income: social assistance without the stigma

In the 70’s, in Dauphin, Manitoba, a citizen could collect mincome rather than welfare.  Economist Evelyn Forget studies the changes that accompanied the experiment to examine the impact of social stigma, absent the welfare system and the in the format of mincome, an “option to collect substantial cash payments without work requirements.”   Even those generally opposed to welfare were sometimes more accepting of mincome.

Globe and Mail – K. Sonu Gaind
How mental illness complicates medically assisted dying

Gaind is president of the Canadian Psychiatric Association and an associate professor at the University of Toronto.  He looks at the complications introduced by mental illness in the assisted dying debate, pointing out that mental illness is not the same as degenerative diseases whose outcome can be fairly safely predicted.  “Opening the door to assisted suicide for people with mental illness, involving inconsistent application of non-existent standards, would itself be discriminatory against this vulnerable population.”