More on delay…

June 15, 2017

National Post – Christie Blatchford
 Senate report on court delays gets at big truths about criminal justice system

The Senate has just finished and published its review of the court delays.  The Supreme Court case of R vs Jordan established some time lines within which accused must the brought to trail and continued failure to live within these norms has led to questioning the norms as well as serious criminal cases stayed.  The report acknowledges that there are too many people in prison, the bail and remand system is broken and that the inmates are the wrong people – the poor, indigent, Indigenous, drug addicts and mentally ill.   Full Senate Report:  (211 page downloadable pdf)  An Urgent Need to Address Lengthy Court Delays in Canada   Related article: Toronto Star – Tonda MacCharles Supreme Court ruling on trial delays ‘out of step with reality,’ senators say   Related article: Toronto Star – Brendan Kennedy    Lawyers to demand release of man detained four years while awaiting deportation   Related article: Globe and Mail – Stefanie Levitz  Asylum claim wait times could hit over 11 years: federal analysis   Related article: Ottawa Citizen Editorial (June 15, 2017)  It’s a long road ahead, even with a good map, for fixing court delays

CTV News – Laura Peyton
Six bills to watch as Parliament winds down

These are bills (with their current status) expected to go before the House before the summer recess.  They include C-22 (security), C-16 (trans rights), C-6 (Changes to the Citizenship Act), C-44 (Budget implementation), C-210 (Gender neutral national anthem), and C-45, 46 (marijuana).  Related article: VICE News – Justin Ling  Canada’s anti-terrorism overhaul is coming Tuesday   Related article: CTV News – Kristy Kirkup   Legalizing cannabis could help reduce opioid use: experts

Hill Times – Peter Mazereeuw
 Feds promise regional balance on Supreme Court, with western seat up for grabs in December

The announced retirement of the Chief Justice has initiated some questions about the process to replace her.  The issue seems to be regional representation on the court with a nod to Western Canada. Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould says that bilingualism is a requirement and that the federal government is currently clarifying other qualifications.  Related article: Globe and Mail – Sean Fine    Next Supreme Court pick should come from Western Canada, committee urges

Policy Options – Isabelle Mondou and James Gilbert
A new initiative within the federal government aims to stimulate innovative, long-term policy thinking in the new generation of public servants.

Two very senior civil servants offer a perspective on that the government is doing as part of the 150th Anniversary to create a vision for Canada in the future.  Sponsored by the Privy Council and to be shepherded by Policy Horizons Canada, Canada Beyond 150: Policy for a Diverse and Inclusive Future the project aims for “a consciously diverse and inclusive approach to policy development (that) will enable better and more innovative methods, generate stronger analyses, and yield better outcomes and greater prosperity for all Canadians.”  The project will look for an intentional diversity of methods for policy development and a broad spectrum of partners in long term analysis.

 CBC News – Kate Kyle
‘Women have nowhere to go’: New report shows picture of intimate partner violence in N.W.T. – Frontline workers in 12 communities talk about gaps in services, needs of women facing violence

The report is a five year study involving a broad section of personnel in the  NWT trying to establish what intimate violence looks like for women.  Service gaps, few community resources, especially for shelters, and facing high turnovers in staffing all contribute to the problems.  Government of Canada (2014) Understanding Intimate Partner Violence Fact Sheet