Nov. 15, 2016

Ottawa Citizen – Andrew Seymour
More jail advisory boards needed in Ontario, Ottawa board chair says

There are 26 detention facilities in Ontario but only 8 have Civilian Advisory Boards.  Ottawa CAB thinks that we need more if we are to confront the Adam Capay scene that evolved in Thunder Bay where an Aboriginal man spent 52 months in solitary confinement.  The boards, intended to create more accountability, give recommendations and advice to the government on the operations of the jails.

BBC News – Dominic Harris
Why companies give employment to ex-offenders

Successful re-entry by former inmates often hinges on the availability of employment.  Quite simply, it quickly becomes a win-win.  “Once you’ve been in prison it’s very rare that people want to go again, so most of these kids come to us and really want to make a difference… That’s what I want – I want people that are passionate and are going to learn. Every now and again you get one that doesn’t, but the majority want it more than anybody else.”

Ottawa Citizen – Amira Elghawaby
To counter-balance Trump’s influence, let’s turn to First Nations’ values of openness and equality

The article is an op-ed piece by the Communications Director for the National Council of Canadian Muslims.  Elghawaby suggests that the respect for the freedoms and rights that underlines the Canadian national character derives from its Indigenous base and that respecting that base even more is the only proper response to the fears engendered by one dimension nationalism. As John Ralston Saul has suggested: “And yet you could simply see it as a profoundly non-racial approach to civilization – one based on the idea of an inclusive circle that expands and gradually adapts as new people join us.”   Related article: CBC News – Peter Mansbridge   Tony Blair cautions Canada not to follow anti-immigration path of Trump and Brexit   Related article:  Toronto Star – Alicja Siekierska   Signs in Toronto urge white people to join ‘alt-right’

Huffington Post (CA) – Althia Raj
Liberals to Repeal Criminal Code Provision on Anal Sex

The LGBTQ community have long requested that Section 159 be repealed.  The section deals with anal sex between consenting adults and offensive to the LGBTQ community who have long called for a repeal of the ban on anal intercourse, calling it unconstitutional and discriminatory to gay men.  Many countries in the world still see homosexual activity as a crime punishable by imprisonment, lashes and even execution.  The new law will set 16 as the age of consent for all sexual activity as it has been for heterosexual people.  Text of Section 159:  cf    Related article: CBC News  Katie Simpson  PM Trudeau names special advisor on LGBTQ2 issues – Edmonton Centre MP Randy Boissonnault to report to Justin Trudeau on community concerns

CBC News – Dave Seglins, Robert Cribb, Chelsea Gomez
RCMP seeking new powers to bypass digital roadblocks in terrorism, major crime cases – Mounties grant access to spark public debate about police, power and privacy in digital age

In the middle of the thorny debate around the provisions of Bill C-51 and the ability of police and security agencies to confront the electronically sophisticated criminal or terrorist, the RCMP is looking for the legislative mandate to be able to crack the increasingly more complicated encryption.  The RCMP want the power to compel users to unlock the encryption on computers and cell phones, and the requirement that communications providers install interception and data retention capacities.  Privacy advocates want police to provide better and specific cause for such powers.   Related article: Toronto Star – Dave Seglins, Robert Cribb, Chelsea Gomez  Top-secret RCMP files show digital roadblocks thwarting criminal investigations in Canada

Ottawa Citizen – Shaamini Yogaretnam
Female officers unequal in police force, audit finds

Ottawa police wanted to know factually, so they conducted a force-wide study of the retention and treatment of women police officers who make up 23% of the force.  Not surprising, the study found that female officers’ careers suffer when they have children, that they are less likely to be promoted, and that they experience sexism in the workplace.”  The audit of the practices was part of a settlement agreement in a 2012 Human Rights complaint from a female officer and was done by an independent agency.

National Framework for Responding to Intimate Partner Violence released at UNB

Starting with the notion that intimate and safe relationships are the key to confronting domestic violence, the University of New Brunswick and the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP) have announced a new national framework for addressing the needs of victims of domestic violence in the context of intimate relationships.  “Family violence accounts for more than a quarter of all police-reported violence crime in Canada. The framework provides guiding principles to police forces on how to deal with such cases, from the moment of dispatch to handling children at risk to preparing the case with the Crown.”  English Text of the framework(A 48 page downloadable pdf):   French text (A 51 page downloadable pdf):