Nov 6, 2016

Wellesley Institute – Greg Suttor
National Affordable Housing Strategy Submission

With widespread community support, the Wellesley Institute has formulated and submitted to the federal government a strategic response to the housing crisis in Canada.  The report includes a section on principles as well as a series of goals and objectives to support affordable housing at the national level involving the federal government. http://www.wellesleyinstitute.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/National-Affordable-Housing-Strategy-Wellesley-Institute-Submission.pdf  Related article: Homeless Hub – Canadian Definition of Youth Homelessness   http://homelesshub.ca/resource/canadian-definition-youth-homelessness?Hub_Newsletter=&utm_term=0_dbc0a7bb5b-88961f73b1-416567089

CBC News – Sean Kavanagh
Every Manitoba jail over capacity: Inmates ‘will be living in tents’ warns advocate – John Howard Society says province needs to step up efforts to keep people out of jail

Manitoba has seven provincial jails with a capacity of 2010 inmates but the current population is at 2,555, prompting John Howard’s John Hutton to suggest inmates will soon be living in tents.  70% of the adults are on remand and while the crime rate is dropping, the prison population is increasing at around 7%, in spite of efforts to reduce.  Costs are also skyrocketing.  http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/jail-manitoba-capacity-inmates-1.3831682

Public Health (England)
Health & Justice Annual Review 2015-16

As part of the World Health (Europe) this report (a 66 page downloadable pdf) voices the tag line:  No health without justice, no justice without health.  There is an Executive Summary from pp 8-13.  The report reviews the presence of various illnesses, including substance abuse and smoking, and sets some goals for the year based on WHO norms.  https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/562181/Health_and_justice_annual_review_2015-2016.pdf

Prison Safety and Reform (UK) – The Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss, Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice

Truss thinks it is worthwhile to look over the high walls of prisons since the public does not often have that opportunity and the prison system is often a closed system.  The position paper looks at a variety of issues pertinent to reform: the framework for reform, raising the standards, safety and security, developing leaders and staff. The position paper sees reform as generated properly by the participants.   https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/565014/cm-9350-prison-safety-and-reform-_web_.pdf   (A 65 page downloadable pdf)

Human Rights Watch – Alexandra Kotowski
Canada’s Feminist Prime Minister, One Year In – Will Justin Trudeau Fulfill his Promises to First Nations Women?

Kotowski acknowledges that Trudeau has responded with a gendered balanced appointment of ministers of government but suggests that little has followed the appointments except to urge international leadership to greater recognition of the role of women. The focus of this commentary is the treatment of Indigenous women by police in northern BC.  https://www.hrw.org/news/2016/11/02/canadas-feminist-prime-minister-one-year   Related Report: Amnesty International  Out of Sight, Out of Mind   (Link is to the Executive Summary) https://www.amnesty.ca/sites/amnesty/files/Out%20of%20Sight%20Out%20of%20Mind%20ES%20FINAL%20EN%20CDA.pdf?utm_medium=email&utm_source=engagingnetworks&utm_campaign=Fort+St+John+MMIW+Indigenous+women+&utm_content=Fort+St+John+report+release+-+IP+++MMIW+list+(Nov+3+2016)

CBC News – John Paul Tasker
What you need to know about the CSIS metadata ruling

The courts may prompt the revision of C-51, an election promise from the Liberals who supported the Conservative measure and promised a revision of offensive parts which included supervision of Canada’s spy agencies.  Another area of concern was how long mega-data would be kept and how to protect Canadian citizens from being swept up in the collection of data.  Public Safety Minister Goodale is promising swift compliance with the latest court orders.  http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/what-you-need-to-know-about-csis-metadata-1.3837104   Related article: CBC News – Kamila Hinkson    Quebec launches commission of inquiry into police spying on journalists – Probe will have powers of a commission, including ability to call witnesses and hold public hearings  http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/stephane-bergeron-quebec-police-journalist-spying-1.3834286   Related article: Globe and Mail – Stephanie Carvin   Where is the review of intelligence analysis in CSIS?   http://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/where-is-the-review-of-intelligence-analysis-in-csis/article32678501/

(Ed note:  I have received a thoughtful note from one of my correspondents, an Aboriginal man and retired police officer, about the sudden death of a serving police officer who, under severe stress, took his own life while trying to walk both sides of some community tension.  By all reports, the fallen officer was a good man, an enthusiastic community volunteer and a very fair police officer who genuinely pursued peaceful solutions to community conflict and tensions.  The pursuit of justice, formally or otherwise, often leads to tragedy and we are confronted by our human heart’s struggle to deal with the consequences.  Here is some advice for all of us from my correspondent from another of his Aboriginal friends:  “When things like this happen we must all cry together.” Surely the pursuit of justice, and its often defects, belongs as common heritage and shared realm.)