Nov. 17, 2016 

Magna Carta Training and e-Learning – David J.D. Sims
The Price of Incivility

Sims is a lawyer in Whitby, ON, who works with a police training company.  He recounts a number of instances in which the lack of civility by police made an impact not to the erased in the mind of the people encountering the police.  Over 90% of complaints against police, he says, are following an act of incivility.  Sims cites a number of studies that detail the consequences of a careless and perhaps mindless police interaction with civilians.   Related article: Toronto Star – Jackie Hong   Racist behaviour in Toronto simply coming into sharper focus, experts say

 EconoTimes – Sarah Malotane Henkeman
Why a narrow view of restorative justice blunts its impact

Henkeman says that RJ is used across the world and likely reflects a natural pre-disposition for a mechanism for solving conflict and tension.  Most see the value of RJ in the intra-personal and the interpersonal but, says Henkemann, in spite of its perceived limits, RJ deserves a more expansive application.

Toronto Star – Robert Cribb, Dave Seglins, Chelsea Gomez
Top Mountie lobbying PM for greater digital surveillance powers

There are crimes facilitated by sophisticated use of electronic media and the RCMP says it is helpless to do anything about it.  Commissioner Paulson wants greater power to scrutinize the internet activity supporting crime or national security.  “Paulson said that Canadians should “think about where you go with that complaint because I don’t know that we can help you.”  Advocates like  Christopher Parsons, a technology and privacy researcher at the Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto, on the other hand say:  “If we plan every law around a hypothetical ticking time bomb, it will be used in a lot of non-time-bomb scenarios.”   Related article:  Toronto Star – Alex Boutilier   Spy agency declined to meet Federal Court judges to describe its methods   Related article: Toronto Star – Brenda McPhail  Privacy advocate Brenda McPhail on why privacy rights should be upheld at all costs   Today’s Video (Nov. 16, 2016) (A 1min 30 sec video)

Toronto Star – Michael Lewis
Influx of Syrian refugees fuels surge in food bank use, report says

Food Banks Canada’s new report, Hunger Count 2016, puts food bank usage up again, this time by 1.3% with children an astonishing 36% of food bank users.  The report puts the cause as unemployment and dislocation as well as an influx of refugees.  863,000 depended on the food banks while a further 4.400,000 had meals at meal programs, highlighting a serious issue with both hunger and food security.   Full report: HungerCount 2016 (A 36 page downloadable pdf)  Related article:  Toronto Star – Elena Becatoros And Josh Lederman, Associated Press    Obama says leaders must heed people’s economic fears to stem tensions

Church Council on Justice and Corrections (CCJC) –
Restorative Justice Week – Nov. 20-27 – Inspiring Innovation

Correctional Services of Canada (CSC) and CCJC material can be found at:

Conference of Major Superiors of Men (CMSM), The Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) and Pax Christi  (US)

The Catholic religious of the United States have issued a statement calling for a response to racism, both conscious and unconscious, in personal and institutional life. Specifically the religious leadership of both men and women congregations, and the mixture of religious and laity making up Pax Christi,  are inviting  “our communities to seriously reflect on making a commitment to 1) participate in racial solidarity training; 2) create spaces for truth and reconciliation in our homes, organizations, and parishes; 3) engage in training in nonviolent conflict transformation; 4) promote programs of unarmed civilian peacekeepers in our communities; and 5) require substantive ongoing de-escalation training for police officers.