Dad Hero…

Aug. 11, 2018

Canadian Families and Corrections Network (CFCN)

This organization (CFCN) is helping families cope with some of the fall-out on families and children from the jailing of parents.  They have been researching how to invite Dads who are in prison to begin to develop the necessary parenting skills helpful once released.  The program operates with the support of CSC inside the medium and minimum federal prisons beginning with a parenting course, then graduating to a Dad’s Support group first inside, and later outside the prisons.  “Our project is HERO – ‘Helping Everyone Realize Opportunities’ because each individual in our prisons has many sides. Being a dad doesn’t stop because you are incarcerated. It’s not just a title, it’s a job, and each dad has many positives that they can offer their children, their families. We want them to recognize that, to increase their confidence, and stay connected to build resiliency toward their well-being and successful family reunification” says Louise Leonardi, CFCN’s Executive Director.”  Though this project is funded by the Movember Foundation, CFCN also depends on donations.

Times Colonist (Victoria, BC) – Colin Perkel
Women urge memorial garden at notorious former prison in Kingston

Remember the notorious P4W or the Kingston Prison for Women?  Lots of former inmates remember it well and want to have a garden commemorating the harm done to many inmates while it functioned.  Closed since 2000, the prison was once described in a parliamentary report as “unfit for bears.”  Part of the purpose of the garden is to draw public attention to the surge in the number of Indigenous women still going to jail for relatively minor crime, often even simple poverty.   Related article:  Global News – Quinn Ohler   Former dangerous offender Lisa Neve speaks about her once notorious designation: ‘You lose all hope’

 Toronto Star – Canadian Press
Seven inmates in Ontario jail overdose within minutes of each other

The London, Ontario, Elgin Middlesex Detention Centre has been an on-going concern for some time around the behaviour of guards and violence inside the prison.  Now, in one incident, over the course of some few minutes, the prison has reported a series of seven inmates overdosing on an unknown drug.  But naloxone, a drug to treat fentanyl over dose was administer; none of the inmates were unconscious at the time of hospitalization; six are in stable condition, one still in serious condition.  Related article: London Free Press – Da Brown and Randy Richmond   Seven inmate drug overdoses found simultaneously at London’s jail Related article: Toronto Star – Thomas Rohner    Video shows officers punching and kicking this Inuk man on three separate occasions. Advocates warn his case is part of a trend

CBC News – Evan Dyer
Canada can’t say where its crime guns are coming from

Perhaps a moment of pause is in order.  The Ontario government just gave Toronto police $25 million over four years and is calling for the city and the feds to do likewise to fight gangs and guns.  Dyer is suggesting there is a basic lack of information about where the guns are coming from.  Suggestions about a total handgun ban are not acceptable to Ford as the tax payer is facing potentially $75 million over four years to fight the prevalence of guns and gun crimes.  A spokesperson for the RCMP, Sgt Marie Damian says:  “The Canadian Firearms Program does not collect or track national statistics with regard to the origin of crime guns.”   The lack of tracking for statistical purposes means that the source of the guns are sometimes ascribed to domestic sources, sometimes to smuggling from the US.  Some, like Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale, thinks domestic break and entry plays a considerable role in providing crime guns.    Related article: Toronto Star – Jennifer Pagliaro   Premier Doug Ford opposes ban on handgun sales in Toronto   Related article: National Newswatch – Teresa Wright, Canadian Press   Gun violence a ‘significant concern’ for Canadians, Bill Blair says

National Justice Network Up-date
Ontario Court Tosses Retroactive change to ‘faint-hope’ clause for convicted murderers

The ‘faint-hope’ clause, introduced in 1976 when Canada ended capital punishment, was instituted for those serving a life sentence and offered inmates a hope, however faint, that after passage of 15 years, they could be considered for parole rather than having no opportunity at all for release or having to wait until 25 years had passed.  Guards also liked the ruling because it meant that there was a motive for inmates to behave themselves and keep the faint-hope open.  The Harper government eliminated the faint-hope and the court has now decided that those sentenced before the elimination could still be eligible for the parole, without the incremental change in sentencing the elimination represented.  The sentence for murder now is life without parole for 25 years.

CBC News – Jacques Marcoux, Katie Nicholson
4 decades of Canadian police homicides by the numbers

The article is prompted by the tragic death of four people in Fredericton, two of them police officers.  Of the 284 officers killed while on duty since 1975, 101 were homicides.  About one third of the homicides were firearms and officers were surprised by the gunman.  Investigating robbery is the most common immediate precipitating cause, Friday the most common day, and not surprising, RCMP officers were the single most common victims.

CBC News – Kathleen Harris
Liberals move to give survivors of domestic violence paid leave

While still in the planning stages and while those supporting the basic annual income have directed requests to the feds to pick up the study costs abandoned by the Ford government, the Liberals in Ottawa have announced plans to introduce a benefit package addition that would allow those employees in federally regulated work places (about 900,000 in all) to have 10 days off for recouping and recovery after domestic abuse occurs.  Already practiced in New Zealand, the intent is to lessen the pressures of finances and possible job loss while coping with the domestic abuse and making decisions that may have long term implications for the family future and finances.  The expectation is that the process of legislation and implementation will take approximately two years.   Related article: London Free Press – Glen Pearson    Years of compromise scuttled by chopping basic income pilot   Related article: Toronto Star Editorial (Aug. 11, 2018)  If Ontario won’t see sense, Ottawa should save the basic income pilot

Tyee (BC) – Alistair Spriggs
Photo Essay: Getting Arrested at a Kinder Morgan Protest – What it’s like to be arrested for opposing a pipeline expansion.

The frequency of seeing protestors arrested on TV for defiance of laws and court orders has perhaps immunized us to the implications and experience of those people who put their immediate futures on the line to make a point.  Ruth Campbell, a 66-year-old Vancouver resident and former lawyer for the Attorney General of B.C., tells from her personal perspective her growth in conviction that she needed to protest and her second thoughts as the experience unfolded around the Kinder Morgan pipeline dispute.  The story is enhanced by an accompanying photo essay of the Aug. 1 incident.

 The Guardian (Manchester, UK) – Henk Blanken
‘My death is not my own’: the limits of legal euthanasia

The article focuses on the practice of medically assisted suicide in Holland and the practical and legal problems experienced by the first country to legalize the request for assisted death.  The more specific focus is the impact of pre-authorized requests when the person succumbs to a specific medical condition used to trigger the death.  The article highlights the legalities that have arisen when the patient is no longer able to decide, even if there is a prior and legal authorization request on record.  Blanken’s reflection comes as he approaches the end from the medical complications of long term Parkinson’s disease.   Related article:  CBC News – Kathleen Harris   Watchdog calls for ‘compassionate’ parole as prison system adopts new assisted death policy – Report shows many requests from terminally ill inmates for special parole are rejected