Jan 5, 2017

iPolitics – Janice Dickson
Leitch campaign manager gloats about spreading false info – Kouvalis says his goal was to ‘make the left go nuts’

Nick Kouvalis laughingly conceded to sharing what he knew to be false information on the funds spent on overseas aid and development projects.  He even twitted that, among the “billions” distributed, Hamas, an acknowledged terrorist group, had received $351 million.  Says Kouvalis:  “I did it to make the left go nuts!  It worked!”  Alt-right in Canada?

N.Y. Times (US): Editorial (Jan. 3, 2017)
Why Keep the Old and Sick Behind Bars?

Prisons are getting to look like old age homes and nursing care facilities but by conceding that people age more quickly in prison and defining elderly as 50’s, the system is inviting criticism about the failure to grant medical parole to the some 10% of the populations who qualify as elderly.  Much of the discussion revolves around the increasing cost of aging prisoners and the assumption that the inmates have relatives who would help in the care on the outside.  What is equally problematic is that many former inmates are denied public housing access and other social services as well.  The editorial concludes that prisons cannot release people simply on the basis of age.  Perhaps it is time to take all such assumptions off the table and improve the services available to former inmates?   Related article: Bureau of Justice (US) Report: E. Ann Carson and  William J. Sabol   Aging of the State Prison Population, 1993-2013   Related article: Toronto Star – Josh Lederman and Eric Tucker, Associated Press    Obama under pressure to grant last-minute pardons, commutations    Related article: The Guardian (UK) – Jamiles Lartey (US Desk)  Quarter of inmates could have been spared prison without risk, study says

Prison Reform Trust (UK) – Helen Fair and Jessica Jacobson
Family Connections

The second part of a series on the importance of maintaining family connections as part of the rehab process for the inmate and the well-being of spouse and children.  The 17 page downloadable pdf has a page with the key findings and those findings are expanded in the remainder of the report.

Toronto Star – Nicholas Keung
Canadian immigration applications could soon be assessed by computers

Instead of doing business by the book, applicants to Canadian Immigration may soon be doing business by the computer.  Since 2014, the department has been trying to build a predictive analysis model to deal with applications by detecting patterns derived from previous applications.  Some, like Andrew Griffith, retired director general of the Immigration Department, think that any automated system will require human monitoring.

CBC News – Matthew Kupfer
Former CSIS director says expanded surveillance powers needed to prevent terror attacks – Ward Elcock says current lawful access provisions insufficient for spy agency

With the matter of the deficiencies of Bill C-51 still in abeyance, the spy agencies are again raising the issue of the insufficiency of the legal parameters for surveillance of Canadians.  Former Canadian Security Intelligence Services director Ward Elcock is pleading his case in the middle of considerable controversy about both personal privacy and the debate about accuracy and accountability in the US.   Related article: National Newswatch – Justin Ling   CSIS may have kept the Trudeau government in the dark about a secret spy database 

International Institute for Restorative Practices (IIRP) – Bruce Schenk
Conversations about Restorative Justice:
Moving Toward a New Paradigm 

April 4, 5, 2017 at Holiday Inn, Ottawa

 “Restorative justice, with its focus on reparation of harm, restitution, reconciliation and healing, has made great strides. It currently provides innovative, practical alternatives to an adversarial, punitive, retributive justice system in Canada and around the world. Yet how resilient could our communities be if our justice system and other collaborating systems were based on a paradigm of building, strengthening and repairing relationships?

This two-day gathering will allow both experienced practitioners and those interested in restorative justice to come together for a series of conversations to evolve restorative justice in Canada.”

Contact:  Bruce Schenk, Director, International Institute for Restorative Practices – Canada  Direct Line: (289)251-1923   To register: