Learning wisdom…

Nov 8, 2018

Toronto Star – Katie Daubs
In her short life, little Abby inspired countless acts of kindness. Now even strangers are mourning her death

This is a story that prompts the rest of us to pause from the ugliness and bitterness of political and social justice wrangling and instead to grow some courage through admiration for the strength of others.  What has unfolded in the brief life of Abby Eveson, her family and community, can pay-it-forward.  https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2018/11/02/in-her-short-life-little-abby-inspired-countless-acts-of-kindness-now-even-strangers-are-mourning-her-death.html

CBC News – Art Eggleton and Raymonde Saint-Germain
Bringing humanity back to the justice system: Why Canada needs more restorative justice programs

Here’s the good news about restorative justice: it enhances our humanity and 52% of Canadians who know nothing about it are the target for educational exposure by these two senators, and others, whose recent focus in committee heard from a distinguished panel of advocates.  “We need to support restorative justice programs beyond individual success stories to system-wide approaches, including, as Jennifer Llewellyn stated, “legislative changes to support increased use and access” and adequate funding that involves government and community collaboration…We also need to educate Canadians about restorative justice options, particularly those stakeholders working in the justice system and community organizations.”  https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/opinion-eggleton-saint-germain-restorative-justice-1.4884839   Related article: National Newswatch: Art Eggleton and Raymonde Saint-Germain    Canada needs more Restorative Justice   https://www.nationalnewswatch.com/2018/11/07/canada-needs-more-restorative-justice/#.W-RO3-JRc2x

Globe and Mail Editorial – Nov 6, 2018
Globe editorial: Fixing solitary isn’t enough. Canada’s prisons need to be reformed top to bottom

The editorial regrets that as Canada tries to eliminate solitary confinement and mitigate its impact, the use of solitary is on the rise.  The editorial quotes Ivan Zinger, the Correctional Investigator of Canada, suggesting a key principle in the use of incarceration: “Prisoners,” he wrote, “are sent to prisons as punishment, not for punishment.”  As well, the recent news about riots and deaths of incarcerated people, including the appropriate use of healing lodges, leads the editorial to proclaim:  “The deprivation of liberty – the most severe sanction a free society can impose, short of a death sentence – is the punishment. It is the role of prisons to administer that punishment, not add to it.”    https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/editorials/article-globe-editorial-fixing-solitary-isnt-enough-canadas-prisons-need/

CBC News – Saman Malik
Drug-impaired driving tests ‘not there yet,’ says top RCMP officer – Police forces have trained drug recognition experts, but tests they use are only partly based on science

The new challenges presented by the legalization of marijuana in detecting driving while under its influence continues as a specific legal challenge according to RCMP Chief Supt. Dennis Daley:  “It’s important for Canadians to realize that we don’t have a tool right now, a similar on the alcohol side, a machine that will actually print out something that says ‘you are this, you are that.’ We do not have that,” says Daley.  “As the science improves, the technology no doubt will follow.”  If the detection remains subjective, what are the implications for enforcement?  https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/drug-impaired-driving-tests-1.4891163   Related article: Toronto Star – Mitchell KedroskyFor StarMetro Halifax   Dalhousie student researching cannabis use across menstrual cycle hopes to build ‘educational tool for women’  https://www.thestar.com/news/cannabis/2018/11/04/dalhousie-student-researching-cannabis-use-across-menstrual-cycle-hopes-to-build-educational-tool-for-women.html

CBC News – Associated Press
‘Love in the face of evil gives others hope,’ says Jewish nurse who treated alleged synagogue shooter

The Emergency para-medic who treated the wounded killer from the Pittsburgh synagogue has a powerful response to the shooter.  EMS Ari Mahler said later in a Facebook post:   “I didn’t say a word to him about my religion,” Mahler said in the post. “I chose not to say anything to him the entire time. I wanted him to feel compassion. I chose to show him empathy. I felt that the best way to honour his victims was for a Jew to prove him wrong.”  https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/pittsburgh-synagogue-ari-mahler-nurse-gunman-1.4891282

 Star Phoenix (SK) – Kim Bolan
B.C. Corrections officers didn’t stop as inmate died in back of van

For over an hour the guards in the Corrections van going from Prince George to Maple Ridge (BC) ignored the other prisoners pounding and shouting for help after Alex Joseph collapsed from an overdose and died.  BC Corrections said in a statement after the death:   “Staff in the cab of vehicles can monitor inmates via cameras mounted in the passenger compartment, supplemented by a two-way communications system.” https://thestarphoenix.com/news/crime/corrections-officers-didnt-stop-as-inmate-dies-in-back-of-van/wcm/65e262d3-c9cc-4eb0-9519-77fc940b4055

The Intercept – Emma Whitfield
“The United States Is Not a Safe Country”: Canadian Advocates Want to End a Policy That Turns Asylum-Seekers Back to U.S.

Canadian refugee advocates are pressing the Canadian government to change the designation of the US as a “safe third country” under Canada’s refugee regulations.  Three major organizations fighting for immigrant rights in Canada — the Canadian Council for Refugees, the Canadian Council of Churches, and Amnesty International Canada are again arguing that the US is not in fact a safe country for the Haitian refugees getting out of the US as their emergency visas expire.  The elements that make Janet Dench of the Canadian Council of Refugees say the US is no longer safe are showing up in the treatment of the refugees on the US southern border.   https://theintercept.com/2018/11/03/trump-immigration-canada-safe-third-country-asylum/

Toronto Star – Alex Ballingall
Liberals table bill to set Canada’s first official poverty line

Anti-poverty advocates have been struggling for some time to establish an agreed measure of poverty in Canada.  One of those measures, the market basket is about to be incorporated in Bill C-87 and will give Stats Can a concrete measure of the levels of poverty and the effectiveness of government programs to alleviate the problem while recognizing the regional differences in the measure.   The Bill includes an advisory body and the obligation to report annual to government.  https://www.thestar.com/politics/federal/2018/11/06/liberals-table-bill-to-set-canadas-first-official-poverty-line.html

Between the lines (US) …
ACLU Campaign Aims to Reduce U.S. Prison Population and Combat Racial Disparities in Criminal Justice System

Interview with Anderson Curtis, an organizer with the ACLU’s Smart Justice campaign in Connecticut, conducted by Melinda Tuhus

The link is to a six minute audio tape and transcript of the interview in which Curtis develops the approach of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) for confronting mass incarceration and reducing the number of people in prison.  https://btlonline.org/aclu-campaign-aims-to-reduce-us-prison-population-and-combat-racial-disparities-in-criminal-justice-system/