Peace be upon you…

Jan 31, 2017

Toronto Star – Editorial Jan 30, 2017
Canada must stand strong in wake of attack on mosque

The editorial, while prising the political leadership for their offers of condolences and solidarity, insists that we have had any number of signs and warnings that Islamophobia is alive in Canada.  “…but the fact is alarm bells have been ringing for a long time, warning of a rising climate of hate…In fact, hate crimes directed at Muslim-Canadians more than doubled over the past three years, while such crimes were actually down overall.”  Related article: Globe and Mail – Konrad Yakabuski   A mosque shooting Quebeckers must never forget   Related article: Globe and Mail – Campbell Clark   Trudeau’s homily about the Quebec City mosque attack demands a call for healing  Related article: Ottawa Citizen – David Pugliese   Alleged mosque shooter known as a right-wing supporter who “liked” Trump, Marine LePen

The Walrus – Jonathan Kay
Lessons from a Hateful Weekend

Kay reflects on the past week-end with its double blow to Muslim Canadians: the death of six and more seriously wounded and the travel ban which is splitting families. “Sometimes, clarity can emerge from tragedy. Maybe this horrible weekend will be remembered as the moment when Justin Trudeau finds his moral mission on the world stage: to act as a corrective against the inhumane and ignorant policies adopted by the Trump administration.”  Related article: The Walrus – Nadim Roberts   Peace Be upon You – Meet the Calgary imam who saves Muslim men from radicalization    Related article: Walrus – Felix Vikhman    Narcissistic Personality Disorder Comes to Washington

 Ottawa Citizen – Trevor Pritchard

Ottawa to get 2 judges, bail reforms as province tries to speed up legal system – Changes come 6 months after Supreme Court unveiled strict trial deadlines

The fall-out from the Supreme Court of Canada’s imposition of very specific limits on delay for both provincial and federal courts, known as the Jordan decision, is having an impact.  Attorney General Yasir Naqvi has announced some province wide improvements in both the courts and the bail process to expedite the trials and to reduce the chances of serious charges ended for non-compliance with the time limits for prosecution.

Toronto Star – Wendy Gillis
York Region cops appeal guilty verdicts over video incident – Two York police officers were found guilty of misconduct for charging a 17-year-old who was filming them

The right of by-standers to video record police in action has been at the forefront of several recent interactions.  This latest one was followed by charges against two police officers who attempted to deal with a noise complaint and a group of teens by arrest, intimidation, and threat.  While the conviction of the officers is under appeal, the case draws attention as well to the growing frequency of these incidents and the fall-out.   Related article: Toronto Star Editorial (Jan 25, 2917)  Video shows disturbing behaviour by Toronto police

The Walrus – Breese Davis
To Live and Die in Solitary Confinement – In Canada’s prisons, the horrors of segregation are most often visited on the mentally ill

The article serves to draw attention to the use of solitary confinement in Canada’s prisons as a way for staff to cope with mental illness of inmates.  The article is also drawing attention to the intractable commitment to its use in spite of an abundance of contrary evidence and repeated manifestations of the intensified mental illness and even numerous suicides of inmates, especially females, following prolonged solitary.   Related article: Ottawa Citizen  – Andrew Seymour   Health care, mental health units among improvements at Ottawa jail, province says

The Walrus – Ann Brocklehurst
Beyond a Reasonable Doubt: Part 1

This is the first part of a six part series that follows a sexual assault trial from the beginning to the end of an appeal – the Epilogue will appear when the Appellate Court announces its decision.  The case involves two witnesses, one who says the assault happened, the other says it did not.  While the law allows for a conviction under these circumstances, the truth remains elusive and appeals are almost inevitable.  The six parts are available through the link.

 The Tyee (BC) – Jeremy J. Nuttall
Liberals Not Ready to Reverse Harper Government’s Torture Policy

A year ago, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodall said that the Liberals intended to review the security provisions that allowed Canadian security agencies to share intelligence with foreign agencies who use torture and who extract information using torture. Eight Canadian rights agencies are asking what the delay is.  The directives on torture are in the form of ministerial directives which could be easily withdrawn.