Nov. 11, 2019

National Newswatch – Glen Pearson
It’s Important to Doubt Our Certainties

In the aftermath of the federal election, and the general distaste for its headlong rush into thrashing personalities while avoid the issues, Pearson offers us a reflection on the real threats before us if collaborative government does not work: “Should they dissolve into disarray, it will, in part, be because Canadians in general have exchanged compatibility and complexity with certainty and simplicity.  To save the essence of democracy in this country, we must fight that transfer with the bit of hope that collectively remains in us.”   https://www.nationalnewswatch.com/2019/11/06/its-important-to-doubt-our-certainties/#.XcQ6u9V7k2w

CBC News – Julie Ireton
Sexual abuse survivors angry after province cuts crime victims fund

“Melissa Heimerl, the executive director of Ottawa Victim Services, said the “biggest downfall” is the change to counselling and therapy services.”  Effectively those receiving victim compensation for historic incidents will run out of options under victim compensation as of the end of September.  The new regulations governing the victim services will be subject to strict new eligibility requirements. The new rules do not include any sort of ‘grandfathering” to allow on-going services for those already pursuing counselling or psychological services.  https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/ontario-compensation-victims-cuts-sexual-abuse-counselling-1.5350474

Appointed Podcast from Senator Kim Pate and Reakash Walters
A discussion on victims and criminals

This is a community discussion, one of a regular series, around the definition of victim and criminal by a group of community advocates. The podcast defines both but also paints the tableau around the actual experience of both, including the commentary of the federal Ombudsman for Victims of crime.  Voices included are Margot Van Slutyman, poet and author, and Sharon Moroney, best-selling author, both of whom have a real memory of harm from crime.   https://appointedpod.simplecast.fm/063bcc1e  Link to the entire series:  https://appointedpod.simplecast.fm/episodes

CBC News – Stephen Davis
Judges have tossed dozens of cases in past 5 years over credibility concerns with police testimony

The concerns around testimony by police in criminal trials has prompted this CBC investigation.  In the US some district attorneys have actually composed a list of policemen in their jurisdiction known for fabricating evidence and base their decisions to prosecute on the police witnesses.  Sometimes the evidence crosses the line in interrogation as well.  This investigation by the CBC covers the last five years and fifty cases where the judges found problems with police testimony.  Rarely are there any consequences to false testimony by police, even then clearly established.   https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/police-testimony-court-cases-investigation-1.5352086         Related article: Toronto Star – Rosie DiManno   The gist of the Theriault brothers’ trial: Who attacked whom? Why was such violence exerted against young Black man Dafonte Miller?   https://www.thestar.com/opinion/star-columnists/2019/11/07/the-gist-of-the-theriault-brothers-trial-who-attacked-whom-why-was-such-violence-exerted-against-young-black-man-dafonte-miller.html

Global News –   Anna Mehler Paperny
Canada’s jailhouse secret: legally innocent inmates are dying in prison

Equally concerning in Canada’s prisons are the number of deaths in custody.  This report is dated Aug 2019 but clearly frames concerns about how inmates die and what happens after the death.  In the last week in Canada there have been four inmates who have died without adequate explanation.  Unfortunately, there is no independent body or NGO keeping track of who or why; Corrections Canada has been repeatedly criticized for it minimalism in even notifying families.  https://globalnews.ca/news/3644735/canada-jail-prisoners-dying/   Related article: Star Halifax – Haley Ryan Halifax peace officers ‘reckless’ with man who died in custody: Crown    https://www.thestar.com/halifax/2019/11/07/halifax-peace-officers-reckless-with-man-who-died-in-custody-crown.html   Related article: Corrections Canada – Deaths in Custody   https://www.csc-scc.gc.ca/001/004/001004-1001-en.shtml   CSC Website latest annual report on deaths in custody (2015-2016)  https://www.csc-scc.gc.ca/research/005008-3010-en.shtml  Related article: Toronto Star – Louie Rosella   Inmate charged with manslaughter after rash of drug overdoses at Milton jail  https://www.thestar.com/news/crime/2019/11/05/inmate-charged-with-manslaughter-after-rash-of-drug-overdoses-at-milton-jail.html   Related article: CBC News – Verity Stevenson   Quebec mother who was to be extradited to U.S. on custody charge dies in Laval jail  https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/quebec-mother-to-be-extradited-us-dies-in-jail-1.5351567?fbclid=IwAR1f3qMLURTjvJFD6DXJZtW3at4Z3BhqklXqRI9IxQoPM_Bcc-cTKUeAf4M

 Peacebuilders Canada

The RJ wing of Peacebuilders has a new video that helps understand the notion of restorative justice and a website filled with information on RJ, RJ in schools, Circle Keepers.  The video is 3min40 seconds and is a great conversation starter for groups to explore the advantages of RJ.  http://peacebuilders.ca/restorativejustice/    Peacebuilders is holding a benefit concert Nov. 20 with David  Clayton-Thomas  http://spillmagazine.com/spill-news-david-clayton-thomas-releases-the-system-new-lyric-video-and-announces-benefit-concert-for-peacebuilders-canada/   Tickets available through: www.peacebuilders.ca

 Canadian Families and Corrections Network
Strengthening Family Events

CFCN‘s support for families impacted by crime will be on display in Prince Albert, SK, on Nov. 15, 2019 from 1PM – 3PM.  Its program / kit, using Sesame Street characters, is called Little Children, Big Challenges: Incarceration.  It provides children in this situation with an alternate option for “dealing with loneliness, shame, anger, grief, community isolation, and school bullying, which may affect their self-esteem, scholastic marks, and interpersonal skills.”  The event page further describes the program and invites interested parties to request an event in their locale.  https://www.cfcn-rcafd.org/strengtheningfamilies   Related article: CBC News – Rachel Bergen and Aidan Geary    Solution to violent crime isn’t more policing, experts and community advocates say  https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/manitoba-crime-spike-restorative-justice-poverty-mental-health-1.5351520

National Newswatch – Alex Binkley
Maple Leaf has achieved carbon neutrality in its food-processing operations

Canada has a first in the environmental struggle with carbon: Maple Leaf Foods are carbon neutral and plans to actively encourage all those with whom they do business to pursue carbon neutrality.  The feat was achieved using guidelines from the Paris Accord.  Michael McCain, CEO of Maple Leaf says:  “But, with the urgency of the climate crisis, we felt compelled to act and take our biggest and boldest step ever by becoming the first major food company in the world to become carbon neutral.”   https://www.nationalnewswatch.com/2019/11/11/maple-leaf-has-achieved-carbon-neutrality-in-its-food-processing-operations/#.XcmDhtV7k2w

100 Resilient Cities.org
What a Chief Resilience Officer Does

The notion of resilience offers a reflection on the capacity for whole cities to look at stressful events and pursue recovery in policies.  This site gathers a group of 100 cities and tackles the work of the chief resiliency officer (CRO), generally an adviser to the mayor of the city.  The idea recognizes the complexity of intertwining systems and the way to recover when one systems suffers a setback that influences another system.  “Effective CROs perform all these functions, helping their cities manage their own complexities to make resilience efforts more impactful, and collaborating externally to identify and integrate lessons other cities have learned, so solutions scale globally.”  http://www.100resilientcities.org/what-a-chief-resilience-officer-does/