Strip searches…

July 28, 2016

Toronto Star – Wendy Gillis
Police watchdog to review police use of strip searches

Office of the Independent Police Review Director (OIPRD) Gerry McNeilly says he has had enough.  He is using the full power of his office to initiate a province wide examination of the police practice of strip searching, a practice whose governing rules were set in 2001 by the Supreme Court.  McNeilly says that the rules are flouted consistently and cites examples in which the strip search is established a normative practice rather than justified by specific applications of the ruling.

Globe and Mail – Gloria Galloway
PTSD affects 36 per cent of male prison officers, federal data reveal

There are about 8,200 corrections officers in Canada’s federal prison system.  36% is, some say, a crippling percentage to be afflicted, especially when the ones who seek help are denied access to the benefits and must often pay for the treatment out of personal funds.  Rates for PTSD among female correctional officers is not known.  The provincial Workers’ Comp programs mostly deny access to the problem from the perspective of a workplace harm.

Globe and Mail – Dorothy Cotton

Policing and mental illness: Many questions, no easy answers

Cotton is a forensic psychologist in Kingston, ON, and interacts frequently with police services following these type of incidents.  The death of Abdirahman Abdi in Ottawa prompts this suggestion that the issue is complicated and not given to easy answers.  She reviews the current strategies and the options available.     Related article: Ottawa Citizen Editorial (July 26, 2016)   The public must see the report into Abdirahman Abdi’s death   Related article: CBC News – Kate Porter   Timeline: Abdirahman Abdi’s fatal encounter with Ottawa Police     Related article: CBC News – Const. James Forcillo sentence will be at least 5 years in streetcar shooting death of Sammy Yatim

Ottawa Citizen – Blair Crawford
Fix ‘unacceptable’ social inequity to reduce Inuit suicide rates, report urges

A new report from the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami suggests that part of the solution to suicides involves fixing the disparity found in social inequity.  The stats on both suicide and the poverty is startling in comparison with average Canadian populations:  “29 per cent of Inuit finish high school, compared with 85 per cent nationally; just 45 per cent of Inuit are employed; the median salary of Inuit (who face the highest costs of living in Canada) is $17,778, compared with the national figure of $77,683; and an Inuk’s average life expectancy is 70.8 years, a decade less than the national average. Fully 70 per cent of Inuit households reported they didn’t have enough food to eat, compared with 8.3 per cent in the rest of Canada.”  Good comparative stats at the link.

CBC News – Amanda Grant
‘I am more than what you see’: disability activist on value of life – project Value to show that most people with disabilities not interested in doctor-assisted death

Project Value (a Facebook launch at ) is a response by some disabled people to the controversy around the doctor assisted death issues.  The group who want others to see them as people first, seeks “to explore a different perspective [that] contradicts the narrative that disability is a fate worse than death.”

CBC News – Roberta Bell and Rick McConnell
Edmonton kids sold as sex workers, as teen prostitution becomes more common – ‘We’re having a lot more kids having to find their own resources to meet their basic needs’

Citing the economic downturn as a causal factor, Edmonton social workers are noticing that resources, especially housing for street kids, is growing and the kids are recruited to prostitution for survival.  “In the 20 years Mark Cherrington has worked in youth court in this city, he has met and helped child prostitutes as young as 10…The exploitation of children has changed in recent years, he says, and now reflects “the echoes of an economic downturn.”

The Prime Minister’s Youth Council – Government of Canada

Prime Minister Trudeau is seeking applications for a new youth advisory council.  Thirty youth, aged 16-24, from diverse communities across Canada, will be selected as members of the Prime Minister’s Youth Council. The Council will advise the Prime Minister on national issues such as employment, access to education, building stronger communities, climate change and clean growth.