Something we used to do…

Jan 8, 2016

Toronto Star – Desmond Cole
Abolish solitary confinement for Ontario’s children and youth

Solving problems by name changes seems a major part of the struggle to confront the harmful effects of solitary confinement in Ontario.  For adults, it is called “administrative segregation.”  For children, it is called “secure isolation” or “secure de-escalation.”  After considerable public attention to the case of Adam Capay, a young Indigenous man who was in solitary confinement for over 1500 days, now comes the revelation that he was first locked into solitary as a teenager.  “Let’s call it something we used to do,” says Cole.

Toronto Star – David Bruser, Jim Rankin, Tanya Talaga
Authorities take another look at how well indigenous women knew their killers

How well did the murdered Indigenous women know their attacker?  It has long been assumed and given widespread acceptance that the women were assaulted by family and friends.  A new analysis of murder stats by Stats Canada may suggest otherwise.  After clarifying the definition of ‘causal relationship’ and studying the data from 1980 to 2015, some different impressions are coming.    Related article: Toronto Star – Editorial (Jan 5, 2017)  A decade of inaction on indigenous child welfare  –  “A year after the Human Rights Tribunal ruled that Ottawa was systematically discriminating against indigenous children, the government has done little about it.”   Related article: Nation Talk Native Women’s Association of Canada  –  NWAC Releases Report Card on the National Inquiry into MMIWG

Globe and Mail – Amira Elghawaby
In a post-truth environment, false perceptions can hurt us all

Elghawaby, Communications Director at the National Council of Canadian Muslims, offers some research results about discrimination in Canada and then some comments on the basis for informed decision making: scientific reason or fact vs emotion and perception.   Related article: Globe and Mail: Daniel Leblanc  CBC opposing release of warrants used by Quebec police to probe journalists

World Economic Forum – Klaus Schwab, Executive Director
Five leadership priorities for 2017

Davos attendees this year will be treated to an exposé of the impact of leadership on global affairs as Schwab identifies the problem and the leadership quality that is challenged by the problem.  “The coming year will be a critical test for all stakeholders in global society. More than ever, we will need responsive and responsible leadership to address our collective challenges, and to restore people’s trust in institutions and in one another.”    Related article (from the agenda for WEF 2017): World Economic Forum – Diane Coyle Globalization has left people behind. This is what we should do about it

CBC News – Kathleen Harris
Lawyers urge government to hire judges to fix ‘unacceptable delays’ in criminal justice system

The Chair of the Canadian Bar Association (CBA) says that the delay in the appointment of judges at all levels and across the country is “taxing the whole system: the victims, the accused, the procedures.”  The CBA has written to Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould who has appointed 24 to date, asking her to fill the 43 vacancies already known as of Dec 1, and a further 12 expected in February.  Both are reacting to the recent ruling R vs Jordan which imposed a time limit to get to court of 18 months for provincial offences and 30 months for a superior court.

Globe and Mail – Elizabeth Renzetti
Women killed by their spouses are not casualties in someone else’s story

The article reminds us that the women who are victims of domestic violence are more than simply a victim of a violent death in a story told mostly about the killer.  Renzetti is looking through the lens of the Desmond family in Nova Scotia where a narrative is being played out “that almost entirely erases the three victims of his crime. Indeed, it makes Mr. Desmond as much of a victim as the women he killed.”  Even though Desmond was also a victim of neglected PTSD, the case should also stir up some realization of the impact of domestic violence in Canada and “these women killed by their spouses lose their identities” while becoming mere casualties in the story.  Related article:  Blogger Russell Webster (UK): (Three new short videos about domestic violence   Raising awareness of domestic abuse  (Accents may be a little bothersome but otherwise good video for discussion starters)

American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) gears up for fund raising by identifying five tasks to pursue in the coming year.