Senate muscle…

June 16, 2016

CBC News – John Paul Tasker
Physician-assisted dying bill passes Senate 64-12, sent back to House – Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould has already thrown cold water on a major amendment

The vote in the Senate was 64-12 with one abstention and was illustrative of the controversial nature of Bill C-14, the assisted dying bill, and at once an indication of the changing role of the Senate from one of automatic party loyalty voting to a Senate trying to re-establish its own unique role as a sober second opinion with lots of now independent members.  The Senate added seven amendments and sent C-14 back to the House.  Perhaps there is a showdown coming between the two houses of government.   (Link has specifics of the Senate amendments)  Related article: Globe and Mail – Editorial ( June 14, 2016)  Right-to-die bill should be passed without Senate amendment    Related article: Toronto Star – Chantal Hébert    – Assisted dying bill won’t cause Parliament crisis -Neither Senate nor the government would benefit from a prolonged impasse, and neither want one   Related article: Globe and Mail – Lauren Krugel    Can inmates ask to die? Clarity urged around doctor-assisted death in prison

 Toronto Star – Helen Ubinas, Philadelphia Daily News
This reporter bought an AR-15 assault rifle in 7 minutes

How easy it is to buy an assault rifle in Philadelphia, the city of brotherly love?  Seven minutes is what it took for Urbanis to acquire the weapon used in the Orlando shooting.  She spent longer at the Philadelphia Police Department when she later tried to turn in the rifle.   A sober conclusion:  “While we’re mourning the dead, let us mourn the national loss of humanity that is to blame for this world we have created. And let us take more than seven minutes to do it.”   Related article: National Post – John Ivison   Canadians not so eager to weaken our country’s anti-terrorism legislation anymore    Related article: CBC News – Peter Zimonjic,    New bill would allow border guards to collect biographic data on those leaving Canada – Liberals also plan to bring in legislation to create security oversight committee this week

Globe and Mail – Gloria Galloway
Ottawa owes veterans no ‘duty of care,’ federal lawyers argue in case

This is hair splitting with a vengeance.  On record as supporting a motion in the House last year that “Canada has a “moral, social, legal and fiduciary obligation” to support injured veterans, that motion holds no legal weight.”  Federal lawyers, supported by the Liberal government, are arguing in the BC Court of Appeal that six severely injured and disabled veterans should accept less than payment under civil court or workers’ compensation.  The case was previously abandoned by the Conservative government as unwinnable.   Related article: Toronto Star – Editorial (June 16, 2016)  Ottawa should fulfil its ‘sacred’ duty to veterans   Related article: National Newswatch – Canadian Press    Veterans turn sights on Liberals after 94-year-old man rejected for hospital bed

Globe and Mail – Kathryn Blaze Baum

Indigenous group wants review of police conduct to be part of inquiry

The Native Women’s Association of Canada wants the inquiry into murdered and missing Indigenous women to include a review of how police have responded and investigated the cases.  They also think there should be a good representation of Indigenous people on any review panel.  The jurisdictions of agencies implicated may prevent a simple solution.

Globe and Mail – Daniel Leblanc
New parliamentary committee to oversee Canadian security agencies

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale has released some detail, though not the membership, of a proposed new committee to oversee the Canadian Security establishments.  He is proposing committee of nine members, seven MP’s and two Senators, with four members from the Liberal government.  The members will be appointed by the Prime Minister and sworn to secrecy to prevent any sort of leak around national security issues.

Toronto Star – Betsey Powell and Wendy Gillis
Police task force calls for hiring freeze, division mergers – The Transformational Task Force’s interim report lays out an initial path to a “modern vision” for Toronto police — and $100 million in savings.

It’s about the costs.  Police forces everywhere are confronting serious increased costs which are not sustainable.  The Toronto Transformational Task Force identifies $100 million in reductions and savings to the service’s operating budget in the next three years and includes reducing the number of police, specifying and consolidating police tasks, and closing police stations.