Torture and C-51…

Dec 8, 2016

 Globe and Mail – Colin Freeze
Trump’s torture view may change secrets sharing with Canada: spy watchdog executive

Here’s a twist on the usual C-51 discussion about Five Eyes intelligence sharing, more specifically intelligence sharing with the new US approach to torture.  What if one of the countries were to practice torture?  Would your country still send information, even if not about your own citizens?  Michael Doucet, the executive director of the Security Intelligence Review Committee, spoke for an hour and a half at Ryerson where the student newspaper recorded a comment that whistle blower Edward Snowden should be shot.  Doucet seemed to deliver mixed messages.   Related article: Globe and Mail – Daniel Leblanc   Privacy watchdogs warn Ottawa not to expand surveillance powers   Related article:  Globe and Mail – Eric Andrew-Gee   Garratts recount dark odyssey through China’s security apparatus

 CBC News – Brent Ruskin
$1B RCMP overtime bill proof of ‘exhausted and depressed’ members, retirees say – More than 90 per cent of RCMP members work overtime, internal reports show

Since 2009, the RCMP use of overtime has led to increased stress and burnout, says Derek Snow, a 29 year veteran.  Terry McKee acts as a spokesperson for the Mounted Police Professional Association of Canada (MPPAC).  He says that the overtime pay should be used to hire more officers.  Demands on individual constables in smaller detachments are more severe.

CBC News (NF) – Ariana Kelland
How a Supreme Court of Canada decision sparked concerns in N.L., and what’s being done to address them – 14 murder cases taking up time, resources in Crown’s office; new guidelines require speedier trials

Regina v Jordan is a Supreme Court of Canada ruling about the right of an accused to a speedy trial.  The Newfoundland Justice Minister Andrew Parsons is concerned that as many as 14 cases of serious crime are at risk on the basis of the guidelines provided by the SCC ruling: 18 months for provincial offences, extendable to 30 months if there is a preliminary hearing; 30 months in the Supreme Court cases.  Disclosure of the evidence by police seems a considerable element in the delay.  There are similar concerns in the other provinces as well.

CBC News – Angelia MacIvor
Nova Scotia pushing more addicts to methadone, away from detox – Mother of former addict says methadone treatment was like ‘liquid handcuffs’ for daughter

Nova Scotia is embroiled in a controversy about the best treatment for opioid addiction.  De-tox has long been an accepted treatment but Dr. Linda Courey, director of mental health and addictions for the health authority, says de-tox does not work.  The Health Authority wants to move towards the use of methadone for a long term solution but advocates are equally insistent that long term methadone treatment does not work either.  Related article: CBC News     Centres providing treatment for opioid addiction in Nova Scotia

CBC News – Lauren Pelley
Leaving relationship is ‘most dangerous time’ for domestic violence victims, experts say – Death of Dr. Elana Fric-Shamji sparking dialogue about dangers facing women trying to flee abuse

The murder of Dr. Fric-Shamji by her doctor husband as she was trying to escape an abusive relationship has suggested that the most dangerous time for women escaping abuse is around the time when they actually try to escape the relationship.  “According to experts on intimate-partner violence, leaving an abusive partner puts women in potentially life-threatening danger.”  There was at least one previous domestic violence incident in this relationship as well.

Globe and Mail – Naiomi Buck
What is a fit penalty when a driver takes a pedestrian’s life?

The article calls attention to the 44 pedestrian deaths year to date in Toronto and wonders about what the legal consequences should be.  The frequent charge for as driver-responsible death is careless driving with a penalty of a fine of $2000/6 months in jail and driver restrictions.  A second possible charge is a criminal code charge of dangerous driving, a charge that looks to the consequences with increasingly more severe penalties.

Toronto Star – Sandro Contenta, Laurie Monsebaaten, Jim Rankin
New Ontario child protection law will give kids a say

The proposed legislation, to be unveiled later today will see sweeping changes with kids having a say.  The proposal is also a first in acknowledging that there is systemic racism in child protection.   The legislation is also expected to raise the age for children in care from 16-18.