Police and funding…

Feb 24, 2021

Toronto Star – Matt Elliot
With its budget, Toronto council takes slow, careful steps toward police reform — but will it stay the course?

The issue of funding Toronto police shows sign of becoming increasingly contentious, both among politicians and voter advocates.  The largest YouTube audience ever for a city council meeting came over police budget but the meeting ending at an impasse.  Toronto spends $108 million a year on policing.  Each year, even inflationary increases are getting to be monumental while discontent with policing results in calls for other types of policing and other types of responses to the 911 calls.  Says guest columnist Elliot:  “The evidence continues to suggest a major transformation of policing — and the police budget — is the right path forward. And the mayor and council have taken several careful steps down that path. But charting a course is easy. Staying on it is the hard part. My best advice to the 18,000-plus who watched the debate last summer: keep watching.”  https://www.thestar.com/opinion/contributors/2021/02/23/with-its-budget-toronto-council-takes-slow-careful-steps-toward-police-reform-but-will-it-stay-the-course.html?source=newsletter&utm_content=a09&utm_source=ts_nl&utm_medium=email&utm_email=404CAADEF7EB839FC77B1B04F0C251E1&utm_campaign=top_46561   Related article: CBC News – Catherine Tunney  As RCMP pleads for funds, national security committee launches mandate review – Mounties have flagged ‘significant resourcing challenges’ with its federal policing mandate  https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/nsicop-rcmp-review-1.5924323   Related article: The Appeal.com – Joshua Vaughn  How George Floyd’s Death Is Pushing Minneapolis to Rethink Public Safety – The police killing has accelerated a years-long effort by advocates and lawmakers to shift resources and money away from law enforcement.   https://theappeal.org/how-george-floyds-death-is-pushing-minneapolis-to-rethink-public-safety/   Related article: The Walrus –   Rinaldo Walcott  Modern Policing Is an Invention of Slavery – As calls to defund the police grow, a look back at the origins of contemporary law enforcement  https://thewalrus.ca/modern-policing-is-an-invention-of-slavery/   Related article: Toronto Star – Wendy Gillis  After top female deputies leave, what’s next in the lengthy search for Toronto’s next police chief?  https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2021/02/22/after-top-female-deputies-leave-whats-next-in-the-slow-search-for-torontos-next-police-chief.html   Related Site (US) Strategies for Innovative Policing (SPI) –  This site promotes improving policing in publications and web page access.  The site offers insightful approaches for change in policing.  https://www.strategiesforpolicinginnovation.com/tta/publications  and https://www.strategiesforpolicinginnovation.com/events/january-2021-spi-national-meeting  The keynote in the January 2021 AGM is Leveraging an SPI for Organizational Change.  (Materials available)  Related article: WNYC Radio – Joining Takeaway host Tanzina Vega is Simone Weichselbaum, National Law Enforcement reporter with The Marshall Project    How Federal U.S. Marshals Escape Accountability and Reform https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/takeaway/segments/how-federal-us-marshals-escape-accountability-and-reform

Canadian Lawyer’s Daily –Brad Regehr and Vivene Salmon
A time to think about justice system — and to act

Regehr, the Canadian Bar Association President, and Salmon, the outgoing President, together write about the implications for the technological changes facing the criminal court processes and the opportunities / warning signs ahead of the long anticipated moment of upgrade.  “While the justice system is now eager to embrace technology, we must be careful not to overlook some of its perils and potential unintended negative side effects…As courts, tribunals and registries evolve they’ll need to do so in a way that is user-friendly.”  And there are money considerations as well:  “In weighing the social and economic costs of an ill-resourced justice system against a clear return on investment of an accessible and modern justice system, we suggest investment in this area is more than justified.”  https://www.thelawyersdaily.ca/criminal/articles/24721/a-time-to-think-about-justice-system-and-to-act-brad-regehr-and-vivene-salmon?nl_pk=40ed8ea4-637a-4d76-870f-04f0eeae7de8&utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=criminal  Related article: Vox.com   Ian Millhiser  The Supreme Court is about to hear two cases that could destroy what remains of the Voting Rights Act – A 6-3 Republican Court will hear one of the most aggressive attacks on voting rights since Jim Crow. https://www.vox.com/22286213/supreme-court-voting-rights-act-arizona-brnovich-democratic-national-committee-republican-party    Related article: National Geographic.com (US) – Phillip Morris   Sentenced to death, but innocent: These are stories of justice gone wrong. – Since 1973, more than 8,700 people in the U.S. have been sent to death row. At least 182 weren’t guilty—their lives upended by a system that nearly killed them.  https://www.nationalgeographic.com/history/article/sentenced-to-death-but-innocent-these-are-stories-of-justice-gone-wrong   Related article: DigBoston.com (US) –    Commonwealth Committed to “other death penalty”  – New report shows 1/6 of women in Mass prisons sentenced to life without parole.   https://digboston.com/commonwealth-committed-to-other-death-penalty/

CBC News – Associated Press
Facebook to restore Australian news pages after deal reached to amend proposed law

Last week, the Australian government passed a law governing the interaction between Facebook and its news sources.  Facebook eliminated the news sources both direct posting and re-posting by Facebook users.  Government has relented its decision and Facebook is promising to bring back the news sources access.  What’s in store for the same issues here in Canada?  https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/facebook-ban-australia-1.5924076   Related article: Globe and Mail – Canadian Press  Canada and Australia agree to co-ordinate efforts to regulate online platforms such as Facebook  https://www.theglobeandmail.com/business/article-canada-and-australia-agree-to-co-ordinate-efforts-to-regulate-online/   Related article: Toronto Star – Kieran Leavitt   In ‘very significant’ move for Canada, Facebook reinstates news sharing in Australia   https://www.thestar.com/politics/federal/2021/02/23/in-very-significant-move-for-canada-facebook-reinstates-news-sharing-in-australia.html

The Walrus – Matthew Remski
When QAnon Came to Canada – As the conspiracy theories continue to creep northward, experts warn that we should be prepared for anything

Canada has just declared the Proud Boys a terrorist group making them subject to the anti-terrorist laws as well as the criminal laws.  What is disturbing about this QAnon movement is first the ordinary people attracted to its membership and then the considerable growth in the membership stimulated by current events.  Equally concerning, the direction the group will take in the future.  “But, in Canada, the infiltration is quieter, subtler. It has become a visible, nationalized thread—mostly online but increasingly in the streets—quilting together a motley alliance of yoga moms, Yellow Vesters, anti-vaxers, pedophilia obsessives, and white nationalists. For psychologists and cult researchers, the focus is on the slow burn: How much damage can Canadian QAnon, untethered from American politics, bring?”  https://thewalrus.ca/when-qanon-came-to-canada/

Parliamentary Budget Office – Government of Canada

This is a ground breaking report and an action long delayed from the discussion tables.  “In September 2019, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (CHRT) ordered Canada to pay compensation to certain First Nations children. That decision included compensation for children who remained in their home but were “denied services or received services after an unreasonable delay or upon reconsideration ordered by [the] Tribunal, between December 12, 2007 … and November 2, 2017.”  https://pbo-dpb.s3.ca-central-1.amazonaws.com/artefacts/4a8d9dc18e860d5a1eb13c055ce7aff594ef231fcd52347f28d0c25c9ac3a6cc   (A 19 page downloadable pdf)