Sanctioned discrimination…

Oct 10, 2016

Policy Option – Cindy Blackstock
The long history of discrimination against First Nations children

The Canadian Human Rights Commission has now twice ordered the federal government to correct the discriminatory practices against Indigenous children but it continues to fail.  Blackstock reviews the history of the relationships with the federal government and offers an insight into what it will take to finally alleviate the problem.

CBC News – Evan Dyer
Trudeau government revoking citizenship at much higher rate than Conservatives – Liberals say revocations target fraud, but government accused of hypocrisy following Maryam Monsef case

Remember “A Canadian is a Canadian is a Canadian?  Turns out that it ain’t necessarily so.  The Liberal government has revoked the citizenship of 184 citizens from the end of November 2015 to August 2016 and appears in desperate haste to get the revocations done before again the changing the law (Bill C-24) that still allows government to remove citizenship without a hearing for misrepresentation.  Only in Canada, you say?  Related article: National Newswatch – Canadian Press   Ottawa will continue revoking citizenship of immigrants accused of misrepresentation

London Free Press – Drew Pearson
‘Illusion of knowledge’ steers us wrong

Pearson invites us to a reflection about what constitutes ‘Canadian values.’  Some suggest that Canadians want more scrutiny of immigrants and refugees.  Other than the act of welcoming the alien is in itself a Canadian value.  Pearson identifies four streams to becoming a Canadian and offers some insight into the complications of each.

CBC News –
RCMP’s disciplinary review body says it’s swamped, warns of delays – External Review Committee says some aspects of new internal disciplinary process are too informal

The growth in reviews has reached 248% and is already beyond what is designated as an officially unacceptable level.  The External Review Committee is an appeal body for internal disciplinary decisions and harassment allegations.  Cases in which the RCMP are not seeking dismissal are currently settle in somewhat arbitrary manner behind closed doors.  The committee has a staff and support of nine people and has seen its case load go from 26 a year to over 100.   Related article: Toronto Star Editorial (Oct. 9, 2016)   RCMP commissioner must stop sexual harassment

CBC News – Alison Crawford
Drop in police requests for electronic surveillance of suspected criminals baffles experts – Expert says report may suggest police are finding other ways to conduct surveillance

C-51, the Conservative anti-terrorist bill, is still awaiting the promised Liberal revision.  The Bill requires the consent of supervisors to make legal electronic surveillance of citizens using the StingRays, an electronic device that can capture all the messages going through a particular cell tower, both targeted messages and yours.  There seems to have been a considerable drop in the number of requests, leaving experts to think police have found another way.

Toronto Star – Lee Berthiaume, Canadian Press
Canadian military to consider leaving sex crimes with civilian courts

The Canadian military has looked at its police personnel and its laws and concluded that the pursuit of justice in the area of sexual assaults and harassment may be best left to civilians.  The military has three judges who must preside over about 47 annual court martials, most of which are guilty pleas and uncontested.  The military code, with minor updating over the years has not been reviewed since the 50`s.

Toronto Star – Alex Himelfarb and Trish Hennessy
Basic income is coming to Ontario: now what?

In about one month say the authors, the Ontario government will release the details of a pilot project to test basic income as a way of confronting poverty.  The Ontario government defines basic income as “a payment to eligible families or individuals that ensures a minimum level of income.”  Himelfarb and Hennessey don`t think that the plan will eliminate poverty.  The devil may be in the detail.