Violence against Women…

Mar 31, 2017

Government of Canada – National Committee on the Status of Women
Taking Action to End Violence against Young Women and Girls in Canada

Marilyn Gladu, the Chair of the National Committee on the Status of Women, has tabled this comprehensive report for Parliament.  The report offers 45 specific recommendations and calls on government for a detailed response.  The report identifies factors and causes of violence and vulnerabilities, including cyber threats.

Victim Justice Network – Dr. Benjamin Roebuck
Everyone’s experience of violence is unique.  We’d like to hear about yours.

The link and articles attached are about an exciting project at Algonquin College to establish some clear understanding around the experiences of victims of crime.  The hope is that by so doing, the project will help establish and deliver services better, especially for those who have experienced violent crime and will address how best to effect resiliency for those hurt by crime.  There are both a helpful Q & A on the issues and a chance to participate if you are a victim by completing an on-line questionnaire.  Version française:   Related article : Ottawa Citizen – Joanne Laucius   ‘Post-traumatic growth’: Researchers look at resilience and victims of violent crime   Related article: Globe and Mail – Wency Yeung   Study to examine resilience of victims of violent crime

Blogger Russell Webster (UK)
Race and distrust in the justice system

The commentary and the report highlight the ethnic and racial disparity in the UK courts and prison systems. The thesis is that trust and fairness gives the system legitimacy and alternately “we-them” makes everything more difficult.  More than half the Black, Asian and Minority population (vs 35% of the white) thinks that the justice system unfairly discriminates. The issues become more strident in the government’s decision to build more prisons to handle overcrowding.  Centre for Justice Innovation – full Report (44 page pdf): Building Trust: How our courts can improve the criminal court experience for Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic defendants   Related article:  Government of the UK Press Release – Justice Secretary announces plans to create 5,000 modern prison places   Related article: UK Parliament – Prisons and Courts Bill 2016-17   Related article: Ottawa Citizen – Tyler Dawson   Why should we trust the Ottawa Police Service?

CBC News (NS) – Michael MacDonald
Nova Scotia tackles racial profiling in stores: ‘It’s about a societal transformation’

Nova Scotia tackled racial profiling as a problem in policing some time ago.  Now, the festering problem of racial profiling in retailing is getting attention with a free on-line instructional by the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission.  Black people, in particular, instantly know when they enter a retail shop that staff “routinely follow, search, ignore, insult and provide poor service to visible minorities.”

London (ON) Free Press – Randy Richmond
Mental health: Ontario’s health minister say a project to divert thousands of patients from ERs and save $2.5M a year would violate the law

Mental health services are hard to come by in many places.  This article reflects how complications within the law itself serve to remove the possibility of mental health further than need be.  Equally, there is a price tag on the failure to recognize the community dynamics involved.   Related article: The Chronicle-Herald (NS) Editorial (Mar 27, 2017)  Youth mental health first steps overdue in Nova Scotia

  CBC News – Chris Hall
A smile and arrest welcome asylum seekers to Canada

It may be a friendly encounter – smiles and no guns drawn – but there is an arrest ahead.  In fact, for the first three months of the year, and particularly in two hotspots, Hemmingford, QC and Emerson, MB, Canada has seen 1,134 illegal border crossers, about half already from 2016.  “We give them a warning that if you pass the border we are going to arrest you,” says RCMP spokesman Const. Erique Gasse. “This is not very common in our job, but when we say that, they start walking toward us!”  Related article: Toronto Star – Nicholas Keung   As refugee numbers surge, federal legal aid funding shrinks

 Globe and Mail – Wendy Steuck
Funding models for Indigenous child-welfare agencies ‘flawed and discriminatory’: report

Indigenous child service agents in BC are mystified.  There are enlarged federal budgets for child care but the money is not showing up on the ground.  “Although more money is in the federal budget, God knows where it’s going – because it’s not going to front-line services where it is desperately needed,” said Bernard Richard, the province’s independent child watchdog.

CTV Power Play – Don Martin
Pot penalties ahead of legalization could have long-term impact

While the movement to legalization of medical and recreational marijuana shows a more focused target date – July 1, 2018 – the question still remains why vigorous prosecution until then for those who smoke it?  Advocates have long recognized the practice of grabbing at ‘low-hanging fruit’ to boost arrest records and have protested the impact on young people in particular.  Here’s a brave confession from Power Play’s Don Martin, and at once a pressing question about the issue.  “The raging misperception is that smoking a joint today is akin to bring caught drinking booze in public because it’s almost legal. Except it’s not.”

CBC News – Alison Crawford
RCMP appeals decision in officer’s bullying lawsuit – Lawyers for the RCMP take issue with nearly all of Justice Mary Vallee’s findings

Sgt. Peter Merrifield could not get satisfaction and was delighted when Justice Mary Vallee order the RCMP to pay $41,000 in failure to promote compensation and $100,000 in general damages for workplace “harassment and intentional infliction of mental suffering.”  The RCMP will appeal almost every finding of the judge who called the RCMP conduct “outrageous.”   Merrifield is now a senior member of the National Police Federation, one of two groups seeking to unionize the RCMP membership.