Dec 7, 2020 

Ottawa Citizen – Gary Dimmock
No system in place to inform Ottawa police officers if judge rules they’ve violated someone’s charter rights: court – “How are officers to learn and uphold charter-protected rights without a system in place to provide feedback and education?” an Ontario Court judge said.

What happens when a court makes a decision about the appropriateness of a police officer’s conduct when effecting an arrest?  Suppose he Court rules that the officer violated a charter right?  Ottawa lawyer Lawrence Greenspon recently filed a charter application in a drunk driving case.  Here’s what Ontario Court Justice Marlyse Dumel had to say, calling the problem “a gap in the system.”  “His (the police officer) evidence was that some of these cases have gone to court and there were charter applications brought, but there (was) no system in place to let him know that a judge (had) found a charter violation.”  No system means no remedy says Greenspon.

Amnesty International Canada – Jackie Hansen
Call on Saudi Arabia to release women’s rights activist Nassima al-Sada immediately.

Smart Justice identified this case as a miscarriage of even elemental norms of legal justice in its Nov. 27, 2020 newsletter (cf ).  Advocates are alarmed at the steadfast determination of the Saudi government to make an example of al-Sada’s civic resistance over who may drive a car.  She has already spent one year in jail in solitary confinement.  “Nassima courageously and peacefully advocated for the right to drive, for the right to make decisions about her life without needing the permission of a male relative, and for the right to be equal to her male peers.”  AI Canada is trying to mount a protest of her treatment, especially before a terrorist court.

Toronto Star – Steve McKinley
An Indigenous woman killed by police. Her brother dead by suicide. And their mother’s plea for change

If there is one glaring cause seeking remedy, it is the death of Indigenous people in conflict with the law.  In this case, first the death of a daughter, Chantal, killed by police on a wellness call in June in NB.  Now, the suicide death of her son Michael Martin in a BC Correctional facility in Surrey on Nov. 14.  “It feels so unreal,” (Martha) Martin said tearfully on Tuesday. “How does this happen? I come twice on two different flights with both my kid’s ashes. How does that happen?”  And equally, what is the remedy?   Related article: Toronto Star – Steve McKinley   Canadian mass shooter’s common-law wife, two others charged with getting ammunition  (Ed note: “Police also stated that, based on their investigation, the people charged had no prior knowledge of the gunman’s actions on April 18 and 19.”)

Pro Publica (US) – Eric Umansky
It Wasn’t the First Time the NYPD Killed Someone in Crisis. For Kawaski Trawick, It Only Took 112 Seconds. – Trawick was alone in his apartment when an officer pushed open the door. He was holding a bread knife and a stick. “Why are you in my home?” he asked. He never got an answer.

Beyond another death from failure of de-escalate, the slowness of the NYPD to be accountable, the refusal of the NYPD to make public the body camera evidence, and a host of other detail wrapped in this new killing, the fundamental question remains: why do these killings keep happening and apparently with immunity when the killing is by police? Both officers involved had had de-escalation training; one, the senior officer, a Black man, tried to stop first a taser use and then a gun use, to no avail.  NYPD answer?  Delay and withhold information.  The link expands this specific killing to the performance of the NYPD.

HuffPost Canada – Zi-Ann Lum
Trudeau Says He Sees No Path For Basic Income Right Now – The prime minister was asked to share his two cents about universal basic income.

The link distinguishes between universal basic income and guaranteed basic income and then locates the issues in the context of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) – the ones charged with the sustainable goals – are suggesting that the income could also impact the spread of the Covid-19 virus ( A 9 min video).  An UN expert estimates the rationale and monthly cost of the income and advocates for a six month project for the effectiveness of government spending.   Related article: Global News – Kamyar Razavi & Mike Le Couteur   ‘It’s our duty’: How giving Canadians a basic income can improve health and reduce costs   Related article: Global News – Universal Basic Income: Can the pandemic make it a reality? (A 9 minute video reviewing the history of Ontario’s initial test of basic income.)

National Post – Keith Fraser
B.C. man ‘stunned’ to be ordered released after 25 years in jail – The original trial heard that a murder victim was last seen alive in Gerald Klassen’s vehicle on the evening of Dec. 15, 1993

“In 1995, a B.C. Supreme Court jury found Gerald Bernard Klassen guilty of the 1993 first-degree murder of Julie McLeod, 21, near Merritt.”  After 25 years in prison, Klassen is stunned to be released on bail pending the review of his conviction, another case in which the Innocence Project (This time of UBC) has established considerable doubt of the truth of the charge against him.  The frequency of the determination of innocence long after conviction is giving rise to the notion that true justice requires some sort of mandatory oversight commission rather than struggling volunteers – a federal government sponsored Innocence Project.  The complete process will take over a year say the experts while Klassen is free on $200,000 bail provided by his family.   Related article: CTV News – Jon Woodward    ‘I wish you luck’: Judge releases B.C. man after doubt raised on murder conviction 25 years ago

National Observer – Carl Meyer
Denmark’s ‘oil and gas valves will be turned off for good’

This is an extraordinary first: by 2050 Denmark will have turned off all fossil fuels operations for good and done so without loss of employment.  “The parliamentary agreement also commits to a “just transition” initiative in and around the Danish west coast seaport of Esbjerg, where there is a “high concentration of companies in the energy industry and specialized knowledge within the energy sector… The agreement sets aside about $18 million to support the development of “large-scale offshore wind” in the region. Denmark is already a leader in wind power, sourcing about half its electricity from wind last year and its turbine manufacturer Vestas can put its name to the most turbines now installed in Canada.”