Driving grass…

Sept 19, 2017

Globe and Mail – Canadian Press
Ontario plans tougher penalties for drug-impaired drivers

The feds have already announced the intent to reduce the Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) from the current .08 to .05, making the .05 a criminal offence as opposed to provincial suspension.  While the feds are also still in a quandary to establish measurement for legal purposes, Ontario is announcing it intends zero tolerance for marijuana use while driving for those under 21.  Two fundamental questions remain for the critics:  why is there any tolerance at any age for either alcohol or drugs, given the death and injury record of impaired driving?  Additionally, how is the profit motive or the tax revenue influencing the issue?  https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/ontario-plans-tougher-penalties-for-drug-impaired-drivers/article36288143/  Related article: Toronto Star – David Rider   Pot-friendly businesses cry foul as Toronto licensing committee backs provincial plan   https://www.thestar.com/news/city_hall/2017/09/18/pot-friendly-businesses-cry-foul-as-toronto-licensing-committee-backs-provincial-plan.html   Related article:  Canadian Lawyer – Michael Spratt  Bill C-45 no cure to the ills inflicted through marijuana criminalization  http://www.canadianlawyermag.com/author/michael-spratt/bill-c-45-no-cure-to-the-ills-inflicted-through-marijuana-criminalization-13676/?utm_term=Bill%20C-45%20no%20cure%20to%20the%20ills%20inflicted%20through%20marijuana%20criminalization&utm_campaign=CLNewswire_20170918&utm_content=email&utm_source=Act-On+Software&utm_medium=email  (Bill C-45 is the actual proposed Bill on the legalization of marijuana, now finished second reading and referred to the Health Committee   http://www.parl.ca/LegisInfo/BillDetails.aspx?billId=8886269

Globe and Mail – Colin Freeze
RCMP shelved hundreds of organized-crime cases after terror attacks

While the feds have extended the deadline for candidates for the Commissioner’s job, the pressures on personnel, recruiting, departures and morale have manifested themselves in the revelation that the demand for terrorist attention has led to ignoring serious and organized crime, allegedly more than 300 cases.  The problem seems to be encouraging a national debate on the usual understanding that a pan-Canada police force is better capable of blitzing when necessary.   https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/mounties-put-hundreds-of-files-on-hold-in-shift-toward-anti-terrorism/article36285597/

 Globe and Mail –
House of Commons study on Islamophobia set to begin Monday

The motion of the House this past spring called for the inquiry into systemic racism and religious discrimination in Canada.  Liberals who sponsored the previous rejection of Islamophobia have in the meantime received thousands of pieces of hate mail and there is sharp division between the left and the right, even in the House.  “The term “Islamophobia” has become the lightening rod.”   https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/house-of-commons-study-on-islamophobia-set-to-begin-monday/article36287550/

Globe and Mail – Tavia Grant
Toronto food-bank use spikes, with notable increase among seniors

“Food-bank use in Canada’s largest city has returned to levels not seen since the wake of the last recession, driven by growing demand among seniors and those in the inner suburbs.”  The Daily Bread Food Bank is up 24%; the length of time that users are dependent on food banks has doubled since 2010.  Those 65 plus had the highest rate of increase in the past year.  Seniors in the inner city are clearly economically precarious. https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/toronto-food-bank-use-spikes-with-notable-increse-among-seniors/article36287133/?service=amp  Related article:   Toronto Star – Canadian Press   More Canadians are using food banks, new report suggests   https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2016/11/15/more-canadians-are-using-food-banks-new-report-suggests.html    Food Bank Canada: (A 36 page downloadable pdf)  HungerCount 2016   https://www.foodbankscanada.ca/getmedia/6173994f-8a25-40d9-acdf-660a28e40f37/HungerCount_2016_final_singlepage.pdf Food Bank Canada web site:  https://www.foodbankscanada.ca/Hunger-in-Canada/HungerCount.aspx

Juvenile Justice Information Exchange (US) – Bill Myers
Untrained Police Officers in Schools Focus on Girls of Color, Report Says

In the light of the recent suspension of the police in schools – RSO’s -program in Toronto, this report makes for interesting reading.  “Researchers at the Georgetown Law Center on Poverty and Inequality and the National Black Women’s Justice Institute found that the explosion of police in the nation’s schools is forcing increasing numbers of black and brown girls into the school-to-prison pipeline.”    In the US there are armed police in nearly half the nation’s schools and the number is growing with incidents to which the zero tolerance response is to station police.  The report is actually a tool-kit.  http://jjie.org/2017/09/13/untrained-police-officers-in-schools-focus-on-girls-of-color-report-says/   Report: Monique W. Morris, Rebecca Epstein,  Aishatu Yusuf – Be Her Resource:  A Toolkit about School Resource Officers and Girls of Colour   (A 68 page downloadable pdf)   http://www.law.georgetown.edu/news/press-releases/upload/be-her-resource.pdf    (Executive Summary on p.4ff)

HuffPost / Right Relevance (US) – Christopher Zoukis
U.S. prisoners the least rehabilitated in the world

The US has more than 2 million people in prison, 500,000 more than any other country in the world, including China.  Not surprisingly, the US also has the highest recidivism rate in the world:  76%compared to the lowest 20% in Norway.  And yes, the US crime rate is nowhere near the top on the world list.  The report charges that the recidivism rate is driven by the way inmates are treated.  The report includes a comparison of the worst and the best in inmate treatment.  http://www.rightrelevance.com/search/articles/hero?article=2ee983659325fed7e39764386e9d8bdc72cb0ba2&query=prisons&taccount=penologyrr