Welfare in Canada (2019) Report

Nov 20, 2020 

Maytree Foundation –
Welfare in Canada (2019)

This annual report may prove helpful as Canada discusses how to remedy the loss of income and worsening threats of increasing poverty from covid.  There is both a province by province analysis and a national view.   “The Welfare in Canada reports look at the total incomes available to those relying on social assistance (often called “welfare”), taking into account tax credits and other benefits along with social assistance itself. The reports look at four different household types for each province and territory. Established by the Caledon Institute of Social Policy, Welfare in Canada is a continuation of the Welfare Incomes series originally published by the National Council of Welfare, based on the same approach. This 2019 edition was published in November 2020.”  https://maytree.com/welfare-in-canada/?mc_cid=ee8ffe86b0&mc_eid=d3ca2ffb1f    Related article: Abacus Data – Bruce Davidson and David Coletto   Wealth tax? Canadians like the idea.   https://abacusdata.ca/thoughts-findings/

CBC News – Catharine Tunney
RCMP tolerates ‘misogynistic, racist, and homophobic attitudes:’ former Supreme Court justice – More than 2,300 women received compensation through class-action lawsuit

This link is the first report from former Supreme Court Justice Michel Bastarache looking into the sexual harassment in the RCMP that prompted 2300 women constables and civilian workers to file a class action lawsuit.  “What I learned led me to conclude that a toxic culture prevails in the RCMP. This culture encourages, or at least tolerates, misogynistic, racist, and homophobic attitudes among many members of the RCMP,” wrote Michel Bastarache in his final report released Thursday titled “Broken Dreams Broken Lives.”  The problem, he added, is systemic and cannot be solved by punishing a few bad apples.  https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/rcmp-merlo-davidson-final-report-1.5807022   Report: Broken Dreams, Broken Lives – Merlo-Davidson Settlement Agreement   https://merlodavidson.ca/wp-content/uploads/RCMP_Final-Report_Broken-Dreams.pdf  (A 178 page downloadable pdf – Executive Summary on page 5)  Related article: CTV News – Rachel Aiello   ‘It shook me’: Report details ‘toxic’ and hateful culture within RCMP   https://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/it-shook-me-report-details-toxic-and-hateful-culture-within-rcmp-1.5195954  Related article: Global News – Hannah Jackson    RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki self-isolating after exposure to coronavirus   https://globalnews.ca/news/7471408/rcmp-commissioner-coronavirus/

 CBC News – Drew Anderson
Alberta bans carding, imposes new rules on street checks – Justice Minister Kaycee Madu says both practices alienate minority cultural communities

The province is catching up to Edmonton and Calgary by instituting an immediate ban on the practice of stopping people without reason and recording their personal information in a practice called ‘carding.’  Given that carding is already contrary to the Charter, critics are wondering if the new term ‘street check’ is just a rose by another name and is perhaps prompted by a determination to prompt some better PR against defunding police and an effort to rein in police spending, the largest single item in the budgets.  Critics say that the practice is still widespread and that the privacy issue of what happens to data once collected and inserted into computer records is not addressed.  https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/alberta-carding-street-checks-1.5808568

The Nation (US) – Victoria Law
Executing Lisa Montgomery Would Be One of Trump’s Final Cruelties – For the first time in 67 years, the federal government is set to execute a woman.

From the perspective of a Canada without the death penalty, this prospect is utterly despicable.  “From a young age, Lisa Marie Montgomery endured brutal physical and sexual assaults at the hands of her mother and stepfather, leading to severe mental illness. Now 52, she is set to be the first woman executed by the federal government in 67 years.”  Already eight others under federal death sentences have been executed since the resumption of the federal penalty earlier this year.  President-Elect Biden has promised to end federal executions.  https://www.thenation.com/article/society/lisa-montgomery-execution/  Related article: CNN (US) – Mallika Kallingal and Jamiel Lynch    Execution date set for South Carolina inmate but lethal injection drugs not available  https://www.cnn.com/2020/11/20/us/execution-date-set-for-inmate-but-drugs-unavailable/index.html

WFDD.org (Charlotte, NC) – Neal Charnoff
North Carolina Hospitals Declare Racism a Public Health Crisis

All 130 hospital in North Carolina have collectively declared that racism is a matter of public health.  The North Carolina Healthcare Association says:  “…persistent racism is among several social injustices driving widening disparities in care that disproportionately harm people of color. The association says marginalized groups are being especially impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.”  https://www.wfdd.org/story/north-carolina-hospitals-declare-racism-public-health-crisis   Related article: The Brooklyn Eagle (NY) – Lisa Schreibersdorf  Opinions & observations: Alternatives to Incarceration programs alone won’t fix a broken criminal justice system – NYC must invest in communities, not in reactive punishments  https://brooklyneagle.com/articles/2020/11/18/opinions-observations-alternatives-to-incarceration-programs-alone-wont-fix-a-broken-criminal-justice-system/

Blogger Russell Webster (UK)
Women in prison for life for crimes they did not commit – The criminalisation of women convicted under joint enterprise laws.

There are about 109 women lifers in prison in the UK after conviction under the ‘enterprise laws,’ a version of the US felony law.  Brought to light by a new book entitled Stories of Injustice by Becky Clarke & Kathryn Chadwick from Manchester Metropolitan University, “Joint enterprise is a doctrine of criminal law which permits two or more defendants to be convicted of the same criminal offence in relation to the same incident, even where they had different types or levels of involvement in the incident.”  The youngest at charging was 13 years old and the oldest now in prison is 68 years old.  The problem that seems to cry out for change is that crown prosecutors have a very wide sweep in the periphery of a crime to include those who were guilty of nothing.  https://www.russellwebster.com/women-in-prison-for-life-for-crimes-they-did-not-commit/

CBC Marketplace  – Jenny Cowley, Asha Tomlinson, Stephanie Matteis
Despite 30,000 pandemic-related price-gouging complaints, there have been few repercussions

The Canadian public is used to hearing about shortages of sanitizers, paper products and other related pandemic products.  All of the provinces have threatened consequences to companies gouging on the prices of needed products but in fact little has happened and in most cases the penalty is far less than the profit.  CBC Marketplace reports that “Ontario received the highest number of price-gouging complaints — about 29,500 — after a campaign to promote the province’s price-gouging hotline. To date, Ontario has referred around 900 of those complaints to law enforcement. Marketplace reached out to all police services the province said it forwarded complaints to. Each service confirmed no charges had been laid.”  https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/pandemic-price-gouging-1.5806500

 Serving time: how fine dining in jail is helping prisoners and satisfying customers

Welcome to the Clink, a very popular restaurant chain in the UK, or AKA as the In Galera restaurants in Italy and INTERNOs in Colombia, and now in New Zealand, all have two things in common.  They are charities and public restaurants inside prisons where the prisoners go through a rigorous training both inside the prison and in the restaurant itself (still with measures of security in place and sorry – no liquor but a 65% reduction in recidivism and a certificate in hospitality).  “Prison food and fine dining aren’t usually mentioned together. But various initiatives around the world are changing that, with restaurants located within jails offering both culinary satisfaction and opportunities for positive social change.”  https://menafn.com/1101148260/Serving-time-how-fine-dining-in-jail-is-helping-prisoners-and-satisfying-customers