Poor enough for legal aid?

June 3, 2016

Toronto Star – Jacques Gallant
Toronto judge halts charges against man until government pays for lawyer

Here’s the problem for Superior Court Justice Ian Nordheimer: the threshold for legal aid is too low for the times.  So absent a hired lawyer, the judge halted the trail until a solution is found.  Tyrell Moodie, 23, is charged with a number of drug offences and made $16,000 last year – the upper limit for legal aid for a single person is $12,000, disqualify him.  But Moodie does not have the estimated $11,000 to hire a lawyer. “It should be obvious to any outside observer that the income thresholds being used by Legal Aid Ontario do not bear any reasonable relationship to what constitutes poverty in this country,” said Nordheimer.  “Nordheimer cited a Statistics Canada report from 2015 that “calculated the low-income cut-off, before tax, for a single person living in a metropolitan area for 2014 at $24,328, or more than twice the figure that Legal Aid Ontario uses.”   https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2016/06/03/threshold-to-qualify-for-legal-aid-too-low-toronto-judge-rules.html

Toronto Star – Theresa Boyle
Health ministry ordered to disclose names on OHIP billings

The privacy commissioner’s office has decided that the money paid doctors is not subject to exclusion under the privacy laws since the amount paid contains no personal information.  The office through adjudicator John Higgins, went further to suggest that public interest would outweigh an interpretation of the legislation as it applies to the money paid doctors. https://www.thestar.com/life/health_wellness/2016/06/03/health-ministry-ordered-to-disclose-names-on-ohip-billings.html

Globe and Mail – Daniel Leblanc and Mike Hager
New hire is a signal Ottawa is taking a strict line on recreational marijuana

Pot shops, medical users, recreational users are all confused by mixed signals around the de-criminalization of marijuana.  After police raids in cities across Canada, pronouncements at the UN that the de-criminalization laws are coming in spring of 2017, Leblanc and Hager are suggesting that the appointment of an apparently well qualified former minister of justice, health and its first public safety minister may be an omen that, with a former police chief in the mix, will bring less than full de-criminalization as promised.  http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/new-hire-is-a-signal-ottawa-is-taking-a-strict-line-on-recreational-marijuana/article30256092/   Related article: CBC News – Sophia Harris    Pot pancakes? Cooking with cannabis and what could be on Canada’s menu – Cannabis food products aren’t for sale yet, but entrepreneurs already preparing for legalization of edibles   http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/cannabis-cooking-edibles-1.3612835

CBC News – Chantelle Bellrichard
Highway of Tears ‘cleansing walk’ begins in Prince Rupert – Ten years after the Highway of Tears Symposium, families walk to raise awareness and improve safety

The Highway of Tears, so named for the disappearance of many Indigenous women, is a stretch of BC Highway 16 from Prince Rupert to Prince George.  Ten years after the first walk to raise consciousness, walkers are repeating the 700 km trek, stopping in communities along the way for sessions on community safety.  This time, the walk includes a ritual cleansing of the highway calling for the safety of the children.  http://www.cbc.ca/news/aboriginal/highway-of-tears-cleansing-walk-1.3613107

BC Tyee – Meagan Devlin
Indigenomics, and Why the Time Is Right

Carol Anne Hilton wants a new concept and term to be embedded in the life of Indigenous people in Canada:  Indigenomics.  It refers to the notion of inserting the Indigenous people into economic and social development.  “Canada, says Hilton, needs a new language to move toward reconciliation. It’s a language she speaks to the federal government after being appointed advisor to the finance minister.”  http://thetyee.ca/News/2016/06/03/Indigenomics/

Vancouver Sun – Ian Mulgrew
Prisoners’ class-action suit close to reality

The Kent Institution outside Agassiz, BC, in January 2010, was in lockdown and body armored officers searched in a frenzy looking for a zip gun.  The incident is finally getting a review, in spite of very pointed criticisms at the time of the staff reaction and their failure to follow protocol by the Correctional Investigator Howard Sapers.  It seems, in Mulgrew’s judgment and the documents in the appeal for class action stature for the case, the claims are close to the reality of the event.  http://vancouversun.com/opinion/columnists/ian-mulgrew-prisoners-class-action-suit-close-to-reality