The modern hellhole…

Nov. 30, 2017

Toronto Life – Raizel Robin
The $1-Billion Hellhole

Ever been to jail?  This place is the last jail one would ever want to go, particularly if not convicted of anything except perhaps risk adverse remand.  Robin is describing the Toronto East Detention super jail, barely three years old and already with an unenviable record for lockdowns, violence and suicides.  This provincial jail capacity is 1650.

CBC News – Murray Brewster
Canada sets aside two bunkers at military bases amid global uncertainty, North Korean threat – Threat of a North Korean missile striking Canada prompts officials to adopt a Cold War defensive posture

This article will surely recall the days of getting under the desk at school to protect against nuclear attack.  The politicians are setting up two currently vacant bunkers on the outskirts of Ottawa as refuge for government in the event of a North Korea attack.   The request may also be a measure of how real the threat is considered and may lead to a joint alliance with the US against North Korea, an equally scary prospect.

Toronto Star – Miriam Katawazi
Gender pay gap persists, census data shows

All the news about sexual harassment in the workplace and the punishment of powerful offenders should remind us that the basic gender inequality needs to be addressed beyond the question of punishment for offenders.  A new review by Sheila Block, a senior economist at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives is providing further evidence of the gender imbalance in paychecks for the same work.  “The wage gap persisted across all fields with women holding a bachelor’s degree having a median income of $68,342 in 2016, while men with the same level of education earned $82,082, according to Statistics Canada data released Wednesday.”   Related article: Toronto Star – Keith Doucette   Memorial University in Newfoundland orders sex harassment probe at med school

Ottawa Citizen – Associated Press
Man convicted of ‘online’ rape, handed 10-year sentence

A Swedish court has sentence a man to 10 years in jail for threatening on-line victims with harm to family unless they complied with requests for to perform sexual acts on internet connections.  The offenses occurred between 2015 and early 2017 and included 27 victims from Canada, Britain and the US.

Homeless Hub
Everyone is Home: Yellowknife’s 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness

Based on the premise that ending homelessness is less costly than allowing homelessness, Yellowknife has designed a 10 year plan to end homelessness.  Given its colonial past, designers say: “True wellness places importance on the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual of people, families, communities, and their interconnectedness with one another and the land. Ending homelessness is a collective responsibility, and this Plan is a call to action for all to take another step on a journey of healing and Reconciliation.”   Full report: Everyone is home  (A 70 page downloadable pdf. The plan examines why, the costs with start-up, the progress determinants, the leadership)—YELLOWKNIFE-10-YEAR-PLAN-TO-END-HOMELESSNESS-FINAL-REPORT-JULY-2017.pdf   Related article: CBC News – Makda Ghebreslassie   Food banks are not solving food insecurity problem, expert says – Food banks are ‘short-term Band-Aid’ on ‘huge gaping wound,’ says Mary Ellen Prange

Thompson Reuters Foundation News – Tom Miles
Violence and insecurity are likely to deteriorate in Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Libya, Ethiopia, Mali, Somalia, and Syria

As difficult as 2017 has been, the projection for 2018 in international events, living conditions and instability is more of the same.  The estimation comes from a Geneva based independent group called ACAPS, partially funded, among others, by Canada Global Affairs.   ACAPS Web page with detail: