Evidence in, but…

May 10, 2017 

Globe and Mail – Sonny Dhillon and Daniel Leblanc
Ottawa fails to act in time to stop lawsuit on solitary confinement

The trial was scheduled for January but the Liberal government asked in November to allow time for new legislation to resolve the issues around solitary confinement.  The plaintiffs, BC Civil Liberties and the John Howard Society, want the feds to legislate the solutions as they promised but the federal government thinks there may be other means.  The judge, Justice Peter Leask, says: “There is no bill and there is no provision in the budget dealing specifically with commitments to remedy the problems that this case is about.” http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/ottawa-reneges-on-promise-to-reform-solitary-confinement/article34928513/   Related article: Toronto Star Editorial (May 8, 2017) Ontario must limit use of solitary confinement   https://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorials/2017/05/08/ontario-must-limit-use-of-solitary-confinement-editorial.html    Related article: Ottawa Citizen – Irvin Waller and Jeffery Bradley    A new jail is no solution to making the public safer   http://ottawacitizen.com/opinion/columnists/waller-and-bradley-a-new-jail-is-no-solution-to-making-the-public-safer  

 Globe and Mail – Paola Loriggio, Canadian Press
Teen girl was too drunk to consent to sex at beach party: judge

The courts have another ruling around drunkenness and sexual assault, this time involving two under age teens at a beach party.  Justice Kimberley Crosbie ruled that the 14 year old girl was too drunk for consent and that a 15 year old boy, who was also drunk and says she asked to have sex, is guilty of sexual assault.  http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/toronto/teen-girl-was-too-drunk-to-consent-to-sex-at-beach-party-toronto-judge-rules/article34929177/    Related article: Ottawa Citizen- Sharon Kirkey    Is ‘stealthing’ — covert condom removal during sex — a crime? Research paper argues it could be rape  http://www.ottawacitizen.com/health/98stealthing+a0covert+condom+removal+during+crime+research+paper/13346223/story.html

CBC News – Diana Swain and Jennifer Fowler
Millions in suspected Russian crime proceeds flowed through Canadian banks, companies – Money traced back to largest tax fraud in Russian history

Now, it appears, we have our own Russian tampering with Canadian law, banks and income tax.  Says Lincoln Caylor, a Toronto lawyer who specializes in complex fraud cases and has examined the documents: “Not a lot of people would have thought that Canada is such a safe haven for ill-gotten gains.”   There are at least 30 Canadian banks involved and documents to remove speculation, originating with “U.K.-based businessman Bill Browder, widely regarded as once the most successful foreign investor in Russia with his hedge fund, Hermitage Capital.”   Browder estimates as much as $227 million has flowed through his fund stolen by organized crime tied to Russian government officials. http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/russian-money-canada-1.4102132

CBC News – Kathleen Harris
Liberals to table legal defence of crackdown on impaired driving – New provisions for saliva testing, mandatory breathalyzer without suspicion expected to be tested in court

The proposed new marijuana laws will provide an opportunity for the feds to introduce additional powers to police for both alcohol and marijuana impaired driving, but the proposed additional powers have every chance of being challenged in court over charter rights and unreasonable search and seizure.  Police will not need a reason to stop and acquire breathalyzer or saliva samples.  Critics see the same risks as when police stop and card individuals without cause, later passing the information to other law enforcement agencies.  Critics also see excessiveness in the penalty for giving or selling marijuana to under age youth: 14 years in prison.  http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/impaired-driving-legislation-legal-challenges-1.4086439   Related article: CBC News – Kathleen Harris   – Liberals table bills to legalize pot, clamp down on impaired driving Regulations aim to restrict access to minors, remove profits to organized crime  http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/marijuana-legal-bill-1.4069178    Related article: National Newswatch – Ross Marowits  Marijuana to take less than 1 per cent out of multibillion-dollar booze sales: study   http://www.nationalnewswatch.com/2017/05/10/marijuana-to-take-less-than-1-per-cent-out-of-multibillion-dollar-booze-sales-study/#.WRLiLvnyuUk

Toronto Star Editorial (May 9, 2017)
Don’t abandon impoverished people who need legal aid

Due to shortage of funds, the Ontario Legal Aid announced that it would pay for defense lawyers only if the accused had a good chance of going to jail.  That left everyone else unable to afford a lawyer exposed and perhaps defenceless.  Lack of adequate funding for legal aid is an on-going problem in provincial and federal levels, and has an especially serious impact on juvenile and family law.  Currently Legal Aid Ontario has a budget of $440 million and a deficit of $26 million.  https://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorials/2017/05/09/dont-abandon-impoverished-people-who-need-legal-aid-editorial.html

Globe and Mail Editorial (May 9, 2017)
 Ottawa should stop delaying and start fixing Bill C-51

Noting that the report from the Standing Committee on Public Safety and Security has already filed its report, the editorial questions why there is continued delay in the promised Liberal revision of the C-51 Bill on national security.  The Committee filed 41 recommendations.  http://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/editorials/globe-editorial-ottawa-should-stop-delaying-and-start-fixing-bill-c-51/article34936377/   Text of Committee Report May 2017:  Protecting Canadians and their Rights: A New Road Map for Canada’s National Security   http://www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Language=e&Mode=1&Parl=42&Ses=1&DocId=8874869