Zombie laws…

Mar 9, 2017

CBC News – Kathleen Harris
Federal government to axe ‘zombie laws’ from Canada’s Criminal Code – Bans on abortion, duelling and water-skiing at night remain on books after being struck down in court

Canada’s Criminal Code has had only two clean-ups after it was established in 1892: one in the 1950’s and one in the 1970’s.  Today, Minister of Justice Jody Wilson-Raybould will announce an effort to purge the overlapping and contradictory elements called Zombie laws.  Laws that have been struck down cannot be enforced yet these same laws create clutter and confusion.  http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/criminal-code-reform-zombie-laws-1.4013869   Related article: Globe and Mail – Sean Fine   Alberta tells prosecutors: Don’t waste time on cases with ‘slim chance’ of conviction   http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/alberta-government-orders-prosecutors-to-weigh-cost-of-justice/article34236767/

Globe and Mail – Grant Robertson and Mike Hager
Medical marijuana firms discussed using banned pesticides

What’s in your weed? Even the commercial weed used for medical distribution?  Reports say a drug called myclobutanil, condemned for hydrogen cyanide when combusted, has been found in the product of two of a dozen or so commercial producers.  Recalls, destruction of product and class action lawsuits have followed.  The experience has also raised questions about how effective the Health Canada supervision is.  http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/medical-marijuana-firms-discussed-using-banned-pesticides/article34236779/

Institute for Research on Public Policy (IRPP) – Glenn Miller
No Place to Grow Old: How Canadian Suburbs Can Become Age-Friendly

The link offers a 26 page pdf examining the aging of Canadians and the question of where they live, and possibly what may encourage them to live where they are not car-dependant.  The sprawling suburbs seem to leave many seniors isolated and lonely and the issue is how to make the places where seniors live more “age friendly.”  http://irpp.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/insight-no14.pdf?mc_cid=eeb06684bf&mc_eid=0823b9a108

The Tyee (BC) – Mariam Baldeh
Why Discrimination Is a Public Health Issue – Racism literally makes people sick, and we need to do more to understand its role as a determinant of health.

Here’s a different thought about racism.  Suppose we regard racism as a public health issue?  Dr. Onye Nnorom is the Black health lead at the University of Toronto and is urging the collection of race and ethnicity data to allow more accurate analysis than derived from ‘visible minorities’ categories.  https://thetyee.ca/News/2017/03/08/Discrimination-Public-Health-Issue/

Winnipeg Free Press – John Hutton, John Howard of Manitoba
Laying fewer charges will help reduce overcrowding

Hutton looks at the higher rate of incarceration in Manitoba, the trial delays as well as the overcrowding in Manitoba jails and suggests that one route to alleviation is by laying fewer charges and allowing more diversion to community resources.   “Increasing the number of people on bail, diverting cases from the court to restorative justice programs, looking at early release for good behaviour and keeping minor cases out of the system to begin with — this is a combination of strategies already proven to reduce incarceration rates.”   http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/opinion/analysis/laying-fewer-charges-will-help-reduce-overcrowding-415643934.html   Related article: Whitehorse Star – Emily Blake   Territory leads nation in youth incarceration – A new report says the Yukon has the highest youth incarceration rate in Canada   http://www.whitehorsestar.com/News/territory-leads-nation-in-youth-incarceration

Globe and Mail – Robyn Doolittle
Unfounded: Justice Minister points to U.S. sex-assault initiative for Canada

Canada’s Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Reybould is looking to an approach called the Philadelphia Model to address the decision of police agencies to classify one in five sexual assaults in Canada as unfounded.  Philadelphia invites local advocacy groups and outside experts in sexual assaults and violence to participate in the review.  http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/justice-minister-points-to-us-sex-assault-initiative-for-canada/article34246540/

CTV News – Laura Peyton
338 women take seats in House of Commons for first time

The program, celebrating International Women’s Day, is called Daughters of the Vote and one day of the week long experience was spent in the House of Commons occupying the MP chairs. Organized by Equal Voice, each riding had the chance to send one delegate and the number included 70 Indigenous women.  The sight compared to the 88 women MP’s who would normally sit in those chairs, the highest number ever.  A large part of the purpose was to encourage more women to pursue political office.  http://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/338-women-take-seats-in-house-of-commons-for-first-time-1.3316862