Confronting the mess…

March 10, 2018

 Ottawa Citizen – Dylan McGinty
A #MeThree movement, based on truth and reconciliation

We have had a few months of very difficult dialogue about the outcomes of trials, especially around the treatment of indigenous people and around sexual assault.  The link offers an excellent reflection pause and a chance to assess what has been in our immediate pass and what sort of future we may choose.  You may like to take a look at the companion piece as well at the second link.   Feature piece:   Related article: Ottawa Citizen: Iris Winston   Why #MeToo is not for me

Hill Times (Ottawa) – Abbas Rena
Upcoming gun bill ‘scaring the hell out of the Liberal caucus,’ and Trudeau’s response to Harvey’s concerns puts a chill on backbenchers, say Liberals

Gun legislation in the US is having an impact here in Canada as well, beyond the issues of registering long guns and having the RCMP determine which guns are permissible and which not.  In Canada, the divide around guns is mired in the urban vs rural opinion, apparently coming into focus through a malfunction within the Liberal party where the alleged control of the caucus is ascribed to the PM’s office and not the caucus membership.  The danger now may be that the riff within the party may impact the proposed changes in the gun legislation.   Related article:  Toronto Star – Julien Gignac  Brampton advocates urging removal of police from Peel Region schools   Toronto Star – Koojeung Lee  Toronto police risk permanent damage to community trust

The Sentencing Project (US) – Nazgol Ghandnoosh, Ph.D.
 Can We Wait 75 Years to Cut the Prison Population in Half?

Think there’s real progress in addressing the mass incarceration in the US?  Think again!  This new study says that at the present rate it will take 75 years to reduce by half the current prison population.  It took approximately 40 years to create the present incarceration ratio and while some states are making real progress in ‘decarceration’ figures based on the decline rates from 2009 – the peak of the mass incarceration to 2016, the numbers are painfully slow in going down.  The study includes a state-by-state status report.   Related article: des Moines Register – Stephen Gruber-Miller   Iowa Supreme Court ruling offers guidance for sentencing juveniles who commit murder

CBC News – Janice Johnson
Explosive allegations against male prison guards contained in lawsuit – 4 female guards allege constant harassment, waterboarding and sex assault in $43.4M lawsuit

A group of former and current female prison have filed a lawsuit against the union and the Correctional Services of Canada for the abuse they received from other male guards at the Edmonton Institution.  To date, the six accused have filed no response to the allegations.  The court documents filed in the suit say that the Institution is rife with sexual harassment and assault.   “The four plaintiffs detail repeated failed attempts to get help or protection from management or the union, alleging some of the biggest abusers “all had prominent positions in the union and for the most part still do.”

CBC News – John Paul Tasker
Brenda Lucki named Canada’s 1st permanent female RCMP commissioner – ‘Best person for the job, who just happens to be a woman,’ Trudeau says in introducing 24th commissioner

The RCMP have been through tumultuous times recently, facing morale problems leading to loss of members, the fallout from a lawsuit over gender discrimination and sexual harassment, failing relations with Indigenous people after two murders of Indigenous people without successful prosecution but with attendant complaints of misconduct, denial, and review of personnel investigating the Indigenous incidents.  “The prime minister said Lucki will play a vital role in advancing reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, promoting gender equality, addressing workplace harassment and protecting the civil liberties of Canadians.”