Wilson-Reybould quits cabinet…

Feb 14, 2019 

 Jody Wilson-Raybould

“With a heavy heart I have submitted my letter of resignation to the Prime Minister as a member of Cabinet. Please read my full letter:”  jwilson-raybould.liberal.ca/…/statement-from-the-honourabl…/   Perhaps significantly, Wilson-Reybould signed her letter of resignation:  Puglaas (“woman born to noble people.”) a traditional Kwak’wala name given to her by her grandmother.

CBC News – Catherine Tunney

Jody Wilson-Raybould resigns from cabinet in wake of SNC-Lavalin allegations

“Wilson-Raybould, who was shuffled to the Veterans Affairs portfolio in January, has been under intense scrutiny since a Globe and Mail report alleged last week that the PMO wanted her to direct federal prosecutors to make a “deferred prosecution agreement” (DPA) to avoid taking SNC-Lavalin to trial on bribery and fraud charges in relation to contracts in Libya.

Wilson-Raybould, who plans to stay on as MP for Vancouver-Granville, has been quiet since the story broke, saying she can’t comment because she’s bound by solicitor-client privilege.”  https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/wilson-rayboul-snc-lavalin-1.5015755  Related article: Huffington Post – Zi-Ann Lum   Jody Wilson-Raybould Resigns From Cabinet In Wake Of SNC-Lavalin Scandal   https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2019/02/12/jody-wilson-raybould-resigns_a_23667810/?ncid=newsletter-Canada%20Breaking%20Wilson-Raybould%20021219%20ron&utm_campaign=canada_newsletter_Canada%20Breaking%20Wilson-Raybould%20021219%20ron

Slate.com – Dahlia Lithwick
An Execution without an Imam:  Domineque Ray died Thursday night, in prison, without access to his religious leader. The Supreme Court thought that was fine.

Ray, a Muslim, had asked for an Imam rather than a Christian minister to be present at his execution in Alabama.  The prison officers refused on the grounds that only employees of the state may assist at an execution.  Lawyers appealed on the grounds of violation of the right to religious freedom to the US Supreme Court who ruled that the lack of an Imam was not reason to delay the execution.  The Christian chaplain was not in the execution chamber at Ray’s request.  The Muslim chaplain who had been visiting with Ray for some time attended the execution in the witness room.   “Time and time again the courts have demanded religious neutrality from the state, whether the context is schools, government programs, or religious displays. Alabama acknowledges that since 1997, the Rev. Chris Summers has witnessed nearly every execution in the state, kneeling and praying with prisoners just before they are killed. But they would not allow Ray’s imam to do the same.”  https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2019/02/domineque-ray-alabama-execution-imam-first-amendment-scotus.amp?__twitter_impression=true

Blogger Russell Webster (UK) –
Female offending and Brain Injury

This report offers a startling statistical picture of the impact of family violence on women offenders.  The report present equally stark statistics on re-offending and male brain injury among inmates.  “The research found that of 173 women within HMP/YOI Drake Hall who were screened using the Brain Injury Screening Index tool, 64% reported a history indicative of brain injury, and of those, almost all (96%) reported a history indicative of traumatic brain injury (TBI). From the women supported through the service, 62% reported they had sustained their brain injury through domestic violence.”  https://mailchi.mp/russellwebster/womenbi?e=10ab936adc  Full Report:  Disabilities Trust – Making the Link: Female Offending and Brain Injury  (9 page PDF)  https://www.thedtgroup.org/media/163299/making-the-link-female-offending-and-brain-injury-brief.pdf

The Tyee (BC) – by 11 Indigenous academics
Indigenous Scholars Decry ‘Character Assassination’ of Jody Wilson-Raybould – From ‘star Liberal MP’ to ‘difficult and incompetent’… Really?

Eleven Indigenous scholars have voiced an opinion around the recent resignation of the former Minister of Justice Jody Wilson-Reybould.  Here is their conclusion:  “The merits of participating in mainstream electoral politics are complicated for Indigenous people. Wilson-Raybould’s choice to participate in partisan politics wasn’t universally supported in Indian Country, which has little trust in and fewer reasons to support mainstream political parties and governments. Nor was her every stance supported by all Indigenous people. Her positioning in Justin Trudeau’s government was as much liability as asset in Indian Country. For we signatories, this is both a sad and proud moment. We are troubled by the rolling train of toxic federal politics and by the treatment of one of our own, an accomplished Indigenous woman who chose to contribute to mainstream politics…We are proud of her record, her integrity, her principles, and we wish her well.  https://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2019/02/13/Indigenous-Scholars-Character-Assassination-Jody-Wilson-Raybould/

 Texas Tribune (US) – Jolie McCullough
Courts have called Texas bail practices unconstitutional. Will that push this year’s reform efforts to success?

The attention focused on the mass incarceration, its costs, its impact on the lives of Black people, minorities and the poor is finding its origins not in serious crime but in unjust practices, in which people not convicted of any crime remain in jail without recourse because they cannot afford the required bail.  Critics suggest that the practices define a debtor’s prison. Previous efforts to address the poverty connection have failed and now there is a second attempt to confront the bail practices.  Not exclusive to Texas, prejudicial systems of bail, fines, fees and probation costs have, some suggest, contributed directly to guilty pleas by the innocent and to keeping the poor in poverty.  https://www.texastribune.org/2019/02/04/bail-reform-texas-legislature-bills-filed/?utm_campaign=trib-social&utm_content=1549649774&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter   (The problem has an excellent and comprehensive exposé in Punishment without Crime by Alexandra Natapoff  (Basic Books, New York) 2018.)

CBC News – Canadian Press
Women investigated for anti-Indigenous comments given conditions by mediation circle

What to do when people threaten gratuitous violence on Indigenous people?  The Opaskwayak  Cree Nation, Canada offered a restorative justice session and suggested it would not be easy to be subjected to Cree law.  An elder put the issue in perspective: “You are now part of our family because we are going to heal together now going forward.”  Chief Christian Sinclair said “It was a historic opportunity to see justice from a First Nations perspective and the woman who took part was very receptive…We came out of it feeling really good about it and that it was fair and that it served justice to our community at large.”  https://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/women-investigated-for-anti-indigenous-comments-given-conditions-by-mediation-circle-1.4295793