Leaving behind…

Nov 22, 2016

Tyee – Stefania Seccia, Megaphone Magazine
Homeless Youth Are Even Younger than You Thought

Here’s some startling news about Canada’s homeless youth and the age for their becoming homeless.  The latest survey, conducted in all ten provinces among 47 different communities with 1000 plus youth, reveals that many of the one in five of the homeless started their life of homelessness well before the typical age – thought to be 16-18 year olds.  http://thetyee.ca/News/2016/11/19/Homeless-Youth-Even-Younger/  Full report:  Without a Home: The National Youth Homelessness Survey  http://homelesshub.ca/YouthWithoutHome?platform=hootsuite

Toronto Star – Roy Romanov
Pursuit of economic growth leaving millions of Canadians behind

Romanov is referencing the latest report of the Canadian Index of Wellbeing (CIW) which tracks 64 indicators forming eight domains of vital importance to the quality of life in Canada:  community vitality, democratic engagement, education, environment, healthy populations, leisure and culture, living standards and time use.  Says Romanov:  “Now is the time for Canada to refocus on a sense of shared destiny. It is time to reaffirm our values, which provide guideposts on how to move forward as a society.”  https://www.thestar.com/opinion/commentary/2016/11/22/pursuit-of-economic-growth-leaving-millions-of-canadians-behind.html

National Post – Kristy Kirkup, Canadian Press
Cycle of indigenous child sexual abuse likely to dominate inquiry into murdered and missing women

Kirkup and others, in the Indigenous communities, are suggesting an overwhelming link between child abuse and domestic violence, to the point that they think it may well overwhelm the hearings on Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women.  Kim Pate, recently appointed a senator and Executive Director of the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies, says:  “If they end up on the street or in communities where they are being victimized, they’re often trying to figure out ways to survive that violence,” Pate said. “They’re trying to negotiate their lives.”    http://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/cycle-of-indigenous-child-sexual-abuse-likely-to-dominate-inquiry-into-murdered-and-missing-women

CTV News –
 N.S. expands restorative justice program to include adult offenders

Provincial Justice Minister Diana Whalen announced that NS would be the first province in Canada to have both youth and adult Restorative Justice programs available across the entire province.  The announcement came at the beginning of a national RJ symposium.   “I hope that this will be one part of the solution to us having fewer cases that really shouldn’t be before a judge, to divert them to the community and for other means of accountability,” said Whalen.  http://atlantic.ctvnews.ca/n-s-expands-restorative-justice-program-to-include-adult-offenders-1.3169946

VERA Institute –
A peek behind bars, and an invitation to re-imagine prison

VERA Institute is setting up visits for community members in the hope of de-mystifying what goes on inside the gates of the local prison and then to re-imagine what could happen with changed community awareness.  Scott Semple, a local corrections commissioner, was a willing participant and host for the Friday night group of visitors made up of an economist, a banker, a teacher, fire chief, a local councilman, a church worker.  “This part of Reimagining Prison is about transparency.”   http://ctmirror.org/2016/11/21/a-peek-behind-bars-and-an-invitation-to-reimagine-prison/

Globe and Mail – Sean Fine

Ontario judge strikes down mandatory minimum sentence for sexual interference

A 50 year old man fondled the breasts of a 15 year and the under the mandatory requirements sentencing should mean a year in jail.  Justice Maria Linhares de Sousa of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice gave the man 7 months and 2 years of probation, calling the mandatory one year “grossly excessive.”   http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/ontario-judge-strikes-down-mandatory-minimum-sentence-for-sexual-interference/article32971752/

Toronto Star – Mitchell Goldberg, Alex Neve
Time for reforms to reverse punitive 2012 refugee laws

In 2012, the Conservative government introduced a number of punitive laws around refugees, some even since declared unconstitutional.  The authors are calling for the end of some left-over elements that make refugee life harder in Canada.  The focus of the reform is the Designated Foreign Nationals (DFN) regime which allows any immigration authority to refuse a refugee based on the means of transportation; once invoked, it is  without appeal, and the individual over the age of 16 is automatically detained.  https://www.thestar.com/opinion/commentary/2016/11/22/time-for-reforms-to-reverse-punitive-2012-refugee-laws.html

Globe and Mail – Patrick White
Jail records of Adam Capay’s stay in solitary confinement lack key information

Compounding the problem with extensive use of solitary, there is the problem that White has discovered: faulty records and perhaps unconstitutional application of solitary.  White, prompted by the Adam Capay incident, looks at the forms, what goes on the form and what does not, and the problems behind their inadequacies.  http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/jail-record-on-adam-capays-solitary-stay-contains-errors-omissions/article32971947/