Dec 16, 2016

World Economic Forum – Guy Standing
The 5 biggest lies of global capitalism

Better known as Davos, this forum is preparing for its annual meeting next year with a series of three articles on world economic conditions and where they are leading nations and peoples.  This second article is focused on the question of whether the current income disparity can find an answer in employment practices and the current distribution system of salaries, benefits, and wages.   (Ed note: the first article, also by Standing, Meet the precariat, the new global class fuelling the rise of populism  is available through the link.  Third article is yet to come.)    Related article: The Guardian (UK)  Ashifa Kassam and Laurence Mathieu-Léger     Justin Trudeau: ‘Globalisation isn’t working for ordinary people’

Toronto Star – Brian Bradley
Christmas comes early for father with record who turned to Kijiji in job hunt

Everyone who has a criminal record and is looking for a job dreads the question and record check requirement.  Steve Norman, 37, put his criminal record out front and went on Kijiji announcing himself a former addict with an armed robbery conviction but with a wife and four kids under 16.  The response to what is often a crippling reality for ex-cons was overwhelming.   Related article: Toronto Star – Associated Press    101-year-old man convicted of child sex offences in 1970s, ’80s   Related article: The Walrus – Molly Hayes   Crops and Robbers

Toronto Star – Rob Ferguson
Ontario to hire 239 more staff to help improve conditions in correction systems – Ontario bolsters mental health services in jails as the corrections system goes under an investigator’s microscope

The jails, said Corrections Minister David Orazietti, need more people to ease the present difficulties and is willing to put forward an estimated $33 million to get there.  The changes may be prompted by the Adam Capay incident – over four years in solitary – and the hiring of former federal Correctional Investigator Howard Sapers, the Canadian Mental Health Association’s Executive Director Camille Quenneville said:  “The whole system is lagging. The reality is sometimes people get mental-health care for the first time after they have been incarcerated,” Quenneville told the Star in an interview…The whole system is lagging. The reality is sometimes people get mental-health care for the first time after they have been incarcerated.”  But she adds the system does not currently have the capacity to cope.   Related article: Globe and Mail – Sunny Dhillon   Judge delays start of solitary-confinement trial to wait for federal changes

CBC News
Family of Jason Bird grieving following his death at Sask. Prison – Inmate died on Wednesday during a riot at Saskatchewan Penitentiary

The riot may have started with a dispute over food rations and a refusal by about 200 inmates to return to their cells shortly after lunch.  Bird, the third sibling in a family of six children to die prematurely, was stabbed in the mêlée; two others are in hospital with serious wounds; guards fired weapons to quell the riot injuring five.   Related article: CBC News – Michael Tutton, Canadian Press  Ombudsman hopes Liberals act on promised reforms amid growing prison violence – Correctional Investigator of Canada: Federal prisons see 93 per cent increase in inmate assaults since 2006

BC Tyee – Kyle Duggan
Ottawa Clears Way For Supervised Injection Sites – Fentanyl overdose crisis brings action from Liberal government.

Fentanyl, and its even more dangerous partner synthetic carfantanil, are causing a flurry of deaths across Canada.  Very small doses can be fatal; the drugs are opioids and appear to be coming into Canada from China and by Canada Post.  The Conservatives put in place a bill called the Respect for Communities Act (Bill C-2) and the Liberals are now moving to repeal with Bill C-37 the 26 requirements of C-2 before establishing a safe injection site.  The new bill, and perhaps the wider provision of naloxone, an antidote drug in the hands of first responders, will likely pave the way to more safe-injection sites.  Text of Bill C-37:  An Act to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act and to make related amendments to other Acts (Passed its First Reading on Dec. 12, 2016)