Big business…

Oct 27, 2016

Toronto Star – Robert Benzie
Recreational weed could be a $22.6B industry: study

Recently a number of prominent organizations have voiced interest in getting involved as dispensers of legalized marijuana for both medical and recreational purposes.  $22 billion is nothing to sneeze at.  Deloitte who did the report are suggesting that the amount involved is enough “to jolt the economy.”  There are currently 36 producers farming medical marijuana but estimates for recreational usage are calling for a supply of 600,000 kilograms per year.  The government is expecting a blue print about how to handle the legalization by Nov. 30, 2016 and legislation in early 2017.  Ontario is looking to perhaps sell marijuana through the liquor outlets.  The estimate does not include any taxes, sales or sin taxes.

Toronto Star
OPP to use cellphone info to text potential witnesses in homicide case

The OPP have disclosed the use of a new ‘survey of potential witnesses’ approach.  When there is a cell tower near a crime scene the police can get the tower’s register of those cell phones that passed through the area around the tower.  They then text all the numbers asking for witnesses to come forth.  All the police get is the actual telephone number but presumably the name and address is not a difficult next step.  The process is stirring controversy over privacy concerns while the OPP are saying that they simply ‘canvasing the neighbourhood for witnesses.’

Toronto Star – Desmond Cole
Racism in policing is about outcomes, not intentions

The assessment is from Ottawa Police Chief Charles Bordeleau and is in response to the revelation that in Ottawa traffic stops are far more frequent for people of minority racial groups – specifically Middle Easterners and Black – than for others.  Less than 4% of the population account for over 12% of the stops.  Bordeleau explains it like this:  “residents want us to be visible and active in areas with high crime or social disorder issues and to respond to violent crimes, shootings and gang activity.” Cole compares it to a colleague stepping on his toes because he is in a particular neighbourhood.   Related article: Ottawa Citizen – Susana Mas    Ottawans urge overhaul of police oversight at public forum   Related article: Ottawa Citizen – Tyler Dawson     Police oversight review’s focus on race inevitable, and welcome

Globe and Mail – Editorial (Oct 26, 2016)
For politicians, the abuse of Adam Capay is no big deal

Capay is a 22 year old Indigenous person who has been held for four years in solitary without conviction or even a trial for the murder he is accused of committing shortly after he was first jailed.  No one is responsible for this violation of both Canada’s law and international human rights.  Incredibly, David Orazietti, Ontario’s Minister of Correctional Services, has refused to do anything about it.  Capay has been moved to another cell, supposedly out of solitary, but guards say the move is to facilitate construction in the jail.   Related article:  Globe and Mail – Patrick White and Adrian Morrow   Adam Capay only moved from cell due to renovations: union official

Ottawa Citizen – Joan Bryden, Canadian Press
Meet Canada’s nine newest senators: Five women and four men, all non-partisans who applied for entry

2700 applied and were reduced to 105 and now we have a first batch of non-partisan senators who will have a majority in the senate.  No one is quite sure what difference we can expect but the make-up of the senate is 40 Conservatives, 21 Liberal independents and now 44 Independents.  The 105 represented five nominees for each of the 21 vacancies and more appointments are expected shortly.

Ottawa Citizen – Gary Dimmock
Ottawa mom forgives son’s accused killer

Holly Briere has broken her silence about the murder of her son, Joshua, 26, who was stabbed at an Ottawa house party over the week-end by Brandon Jack Ethier, 27.   Describing her pain as a “whirlwind of mourning,” Briere said:  “I’m not wanting hard justice. I don’t long for those things. I don’t ever want to hold bitterness against him.”   Briere’s full statement is available at the link.

Tyee (BC) – Linda Givetash
In BC, Caregiving Takes Toll on Finances, Career, Health

According to Doctors of BC, there are more than a million people who provide more than 70% of the care for sick relatives, putting on hold income, career, and enduring tremendous personal and emotional stress to do so with limited access to resources.  Doctors of BC have release a study of the situation with suggestions for relief for family members.      Full report:  Circle of Care: Supporting Family Caregivers in BC