Parent and child…

June 28, 2018

Global News – Brian Hill
Canada blocks teen from reuniting with family despite Taliban death threats

…according to regulations created by Immigration Canada, parents and siblings of child refugees are not considered “family members.”  This case contains some of the potential for strictly Canadian immigration child abuse.  The differences displayed in this case are relatively minor from those currently displayed in the southern US border crisis: it is separation of parent and child.  A child, judged a legitimate refugee who fears for his life, cannot be reunited by granting refugee status to his parents because the definition does not reverse: the parents can claim to child, but the child cannot claim the parents.  Immigration lawyers are appalled.  Says one, Raoul Boulakia: “The regulation is not humane because a child who’s a minor should be able to be reunited with his parents.”   (Includes an 8 minute video interview.)  Related article:  CBC News – Mark Gallom   Would scrapping Safe Third Country Agreement lead to influx of asylum seekers? Not necessarily. Trump administration’s hard line on immigration has prompted calls for reform of Canada-U.S. deal   Related article: National Newswatch – Teresa Wright, Canadian Press   Canada spends millions housing and feeding border crossers, detains only some   Related article: Toronto Star – Gillian Stewart   Separating children from their parents, the Canadian way   Related article: Toronto Star – Jennifer Paglario More than half of refugee claimants in Toronto’s temporary shelters are children, new figures show   Related article: Toronto Star – Nicholas Keung   Canada slammed for ‘culture of secrecy’ over immigration detention   Related article: Toronto Star Editorial (June 27, 2018)  Governments must act now to head off backlash against migrants

BC Tyee
‘It’s Not Enough to Say We’re Sorry’ for the Indigenous Child Welfare Crisis – Watch advocate and professor Cindy Blackstock deliver her convocation address.

The University of Toronto has bestowed a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa  on Indigenous child advocate Cindy Blackstock.  She gave a 14 minute convocation address which is offered in video format.

CBC News – Catherine Tunney
Number of police officers per Canadian hits 13-year low, Goodale told – Nation’s policing strength now lagging behind every other G7 country

Stats Canada has just published a report on police strength in Canada.  The stat is based on the number of police officers per 100,000 population.  In Canada, as of the 2017 report (released March 2018), the ratio is 188 per 100,000.  What is also clear is what commentators are calling the “civilization of police,” hiring civilians to do work previously allocated to police, such as record keeping, crime mapping, even intelligence gathering.  The scope of the work load is somewhat elusive; police officers are aging, crime severity is up slightly; crime rates down somewhat; women officers up but minorities down.  Stats Canada (2017) – Patricia Conor   Police Resources in Canada, 2017

CBC News – Tara Carman and Vik Adhopia
More than half a million prescription drugs are stolen each year – and most are opioids – Nearly 9 million doses were reported lost between Jan. 1, 2012, and Sept. 30, 2017

Here’s a startling commentary on the sources for prescription drugs, especially opioids: they are stolen from drug stores across the country and wind up in street black market sales.  What’s more, the rate of thefts is going up from year to year.  Besides theft, there is a sizeable amount of unexplained disappearances from the pharmacies.   Related article: CTV News – Dirk Meissner, The Canadian Press  Cost of substance use in Canada tops $38 billion, with booze and tobacco on top

Pew Foundation (US) – Fact Sheet
Data Trends: Utah Criminal Justice Reform – After bipartisan law passed in 2015, state’s prison population dropped 9%

Utah saw its prison population increase five times the national averages:  19% from 2004-2013.  Anticipating a cost increase or 37% or $500 million over the next twenty years the state adopted a series of reforms, based on the notion that prison should be reserved for serious and violent offences.  At the same time, the state strengthened community supervision, expanded and improved re-entry, and supervised the implementation of the reforms.  The link offers the stats coming from the reforms.   Related article: Texas Public Policy (US) – Marc Levin and Michael Haugen Open Roads and Overflowing Jails  (A view previously reported in upstate N.Y. – a contrary increase in inmate population in rural communities.)  Related article: The Marshall Project (US) – Nicole Lewis  Maryland Leads as Prison Populations Continue to Decline – Sentencing reforms still curbing mass incarceration, but some eye reversals.   Related article: Reuters (US) – Sarah N. Lynch   Compassionate release for dying prisoners underused: report   Related article: Pew Foundation – Matt McKillop   Health Care Continuity After Prison Protects Investments and Progress – States take a variety of steps to smooth re-entry and preserve positive outcomes

Blogger Russell Webster (UK)
Government’s privatisation of the probation service

Webster is blogging on the failure of the UK’s new private probation system under the reform dictated by the Ministry of Justice.  The failure will lead to yet another revision so Webster outlines the problems that led to this most recent failure as judged by the Ministry’s own yardstick.

Blogger Russell Webster (UK)
Female Offender Strategy

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has just released a paper on the new strategy for female offenders that focuses on diversion and community innovation whose emphasis will include scrapping the building of new prisons.  Webster includes an analysis of the type of crime and the recidivism rates along with the cost of the current practice of imprisoning the women, especially on short sentences.

CBC News – John-Paul Tasker
Ottawa’s push to share more border-crossing data with U.S. raising red flags over privacy – Bill C-21 would result in the collection of data on all Canadians entering and leaving the country

Advocates are alarmed about the quiet manner the federal government has brought Bill C-21 already two years in the offering to the Senate for approval without much attention to the impact on Canadians.  The government plans to record arrivals and departures of Canadians at the border, to use that data for discovering false information about the place of residence, and to share the accumulated information with the Americans.  Allowed 182 days per year, Canadians in the US are subject to both Canadian and US taxes and visitor regulations by over-staying.  The collection of the data on arrival in Canada has been part of the process but what is new is the intent to collect info on departure and then to share all the personal data with international authorities.   Related article: Toronto Star – Marco Chown Oved   Canadians with offshore holdings evade up to $3 billion in tax per year