Law gone wrong…

April 7, 2021

 Toronto Star – Alyshah Hasham
An Ontario sex assault victim was just fined $2,000 for breaking a publication ban on her own identity. The case is as bad as it sounds, experts say

Waterloo is one place in Canada that seems to be progressive on justice issues (decorated police cars for diversity to the contrary.  But a lady who violated a court ban on the revelation of her own identity was fined $2600 (including a ‘victim surcharge of $600) for deciding that her best personal interests lay in identifying herself as a victim of sexual assault.  Even more bizarre, in the agreed statement of fact, the women in this case identified herself to family and friends, her normal support group.  And the complaint to police came from her ex-husband, the accused and already convicted perpetrator.

 Toronto Star – Wendy Gillis
‘There’s just no justification’: More than 120 police officers in Ontario are currently suspended with pay

Justice usually moves at a slower pace when cops are the focus.  Four cops suspended for five years are on the $100,000 list but have been receiving their pay while suspended for over four years now.  The four cops are accused by a Toronto judge of planting drugs on a suspect and then making up a narrative to cover the plant for the courts.  “Police forces are still bound by decades-old provincial legislation that only allows officers to be suspended without pay if they are convicted of a crime and sentenced to jail.”  There are currently over 120 cops suspended with full pay in Ontario and whose status resolution as police officers is delayed.  The solution, says Gillis, is to give the authority to the Chief of police to suspend without pay.  No one appears to offer any cost total for the 120 or how long the delay in their cases.

The Guardian (UK) – Matthew Bremner
The death truck: how a solution to Mexico’s morgue crisis created a new horror – How did a lorry carrying 273 dead bodies end up stranded on the outskirts of Guadalajara?

It’s as though this one story goes well into explaining why there is a surge at the Mexico / US land border.  Who would want to live under these conditions where a family man cannot trust the crime cartels and likewise cannot trust the government?  This is a story of a different terror than imported political or ideological terror.  This narrative comes largely from Luis Octavio Cotero, the former director of Jalisco’s Institute of Forensic Sciences.   Related article: The Guardian (UK) -Jacqueline Rose    Damage: the silent forms of violence against women

 NY Times (US) – Carol Rosenberg
Military Closes Failing Facility at Guantánamo Bay to Consolidate Prisoners – The move, which took place in a secret operation over the weekend, was conceived during the Trump administration to save on costs and troops at the remote base in Cuba.

How much would you spend to keep extra-territorial political and war prisoners?  Behind the recent news there is no admission of violation of law and denial of trail within the US – simply a quiet shutdown of the facility with two prisoners.  The real revelation is that Guantanamo Bay was costing the US over $13 million per prisoner and has become politically unacceptable.  Efforts to close the prison date back to Obama.

 CNN – Chris James
There’s a new approach to police response to mental health emergencies. Taking the police out of it

Here’s another model already operating in San Francisco on how to have appropriate intervention in mental health crisis.  The team consists of a social worker, a paramedic and a peer counsellor working with the fire department and public health.  In this case, the crisis was stabilized in part by a hamburger!  No police needed, no escalation.  Related article: Alaska Public Media (US) – Pablo Arauz Peña  Police reform legislation aims to change department policies across Alaska

The Independent (UK) – Bethany Dawson
New Zealand raises minimum wage to $20 an hour – Taxes on the riches New Zealanders are being raised

Three days ago in New Zealand a vision only envied elsewhere came into force.  175,000 plus on the lower levels of income will see their minimum wage – their compensation for being willing persons on the front lines – go up by approximately $44 a week.  Those well-to-do who now pay 33% in tax will see the rate rise 6% to 39%.  Curiously, New Zealand has not had a case of Covid-19 since February but other working benefits will improve as well.  The Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has also lowered her salary by 20%.

Institute for Research on Public Policy – Colleen M. Flood, Deirdre DeJean, Lorraine Frisina Doetter, Amélie Quesnel-Vallée and Erik Schut
Assessing Cash-for-Care Benefits to Support Aging at Home in Canada

The paper recognizes that the greatest portion of elder care in Canada is with the use of long term care homes, often accompanied with family trauma and guilt when such care is finally deemed necessary.  Much of Europe on the other hand believes in stay-at-home care subsidized by government. “In this study, a group of leading scholars led by Colleen Flood argue that the challenge facing Canada’s policy-makers is to not only adequately meet the growing needs for LTC services, but also to ensure that those services are delivered where people want to receive them, most often at home. Of course, governments have to improve the quality and safety of care in LTC homes for those who require institutional care. But to avoid unnecessary or unwanted admissions to those institutions, they must also increase funding for formal home care and improve supports for informal caregivers.”   Full text of paper (A 28 page downloadable pdf) (US) – Fabiola Cineas
Trial by trauma – The Derek Chauvin trial is re-traumatizing Black Americans.

We have always known that the aftermath of violent crime and the trial of the accused has the potential to traumatize almost as much as the criminal incident itself.  This trial may well be an opportunity for all to make those victim experienced traumas a little more vivid and a little more urgent a matter for attention and solution.  The link offers a perspective on the trauma, not just for the immediate victims, but for the victims from such racism events repeated across the country and relived in the very brashness of this specific incident and its intenseness.  Ibram X. Kendi is suggesting the trauma is a public health crisis.   (Kendi opinion: ) (Canada)

Leadnow is one of those groups attempting to marshal the persuasion of numbers recoding their support for various social causes, this one for basic income.  The video is focused on the loss of income and the economic struggles that ordinary people are facing for food and housing.  (A one minute video with personal testimony)