Another review…

April 30, 2021

Toronto Star – Jacques Gallant
Ottawa announces independent review of military and promises external reporting system for sexual misconduct

The news recently around the sexual assault and rape in the ranks of the Canadian Military has forced the Liberal government, accused of complicity in the cover-up of offenses by senior ranks, to establish a review by former Supreme Court Justice Louise Arbour, a lady much admired and respected in the legal community.  After a distinguished career on Canada’s Supreme Court, Arbour has contributed significantly to the international arena of human rights.  Her mandate from Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan: “Arbour will provide recommendations on how the Canadian armed forces and defence department can tackle systemic misconduct, and on how to establish an external reporting system — outside the CAF and the defence department — for those who have faced sexual misconduct.”  Related article: CBC News – Murray Brewster  Military recorded more than 500 sexual assault reports during five-year effort to stamp out misconduct    Related article: Global News – Amanda Connolly   Sajjan announces review of military sexual misconduct, plans for independent reporting system   Related article: Global News – Mercedes Stephenson, Marc-André Cossette & Amanda Connolly    Posts in private military police Facebook group mock woman at heart of Vance allegation  Related article: Lawyer’s Daily – Terry Davidson  Ex-SCC justice Arbour to lead review of sexual misconduct in Canadian military

Lawyer’s Daily – Lee Chappelle
COVID-19 pandemic: Time to reassess corrections

Chappelle is founder and president of Canadian Prison Consulting Incorporated and offers a comprehensive overview of the covid-19 inside Canadian prisons and the response of the correctional agencies and government to the impact on prisoners.  Besides the obvious threat to personal health, Chappelle says:  “Rehabilitation and/or productive use of incarceration time is just not available while we remain under the grips of the pandemic.”  Related article: Halifax Examiner (NS) – Zane Woodford   Nova Scotia urged to depopulate jails as prisoners and staff continue to wait for vaccine

Homelessness Hub – Melanie Redman
Preventing Youth Homelessness in Canada during the Pandemic and Beyond

Redman is the CEO and the author of A Way Home Canada.   The link offers her blog on the recent consultations with youth in which the youth themselves, at the Roundtable on Youth and Homelessness, explain to government and advocates what would have prevented their homelessness.  The soundings have been collected in key themes: Families and natural support, schools, mental health and peer mentors.

Toronto Star – Rob Ferguson
‘We didn’t start the fire,’ nursing home minister says in response to auditor’s report on the Ford government’s COVID-19 shortcomings

This public statement by the Minister for Long Term Care homes in Ontario, Merrilee Fullerton,   has to be the most outrageous uttered to date in an era when pretty well everyone in government with responsibility for the virus is looking for scape goats.  The refusal to accept responsibility is the frequent and often repeated accusation against the whole Ford government in matters of the Covid-19 virus.  Critics and advocates alike are calling for her resignation as well as Ford’s.   Related article: Toronto Star – Bruce Arthur  The Ford government ‘didn’t start the fire’ but spread lots of gasoline around

The Tyee – Katie Hyslop
Vancouver School Board Ends Police Presence in Schools – But a motion to cancel the program includes more interactions with officers, critics say.

The police presence in the public schools of Vancouver has been a fact for 49 years but is coming to an end, after some further negotiations between police and school board.  The program involved 17 officers; it is unknown if the cancellation involves loss of positions at the Vancouver police nor how the program was paid for or what savings may result.   Related article: CBC News – Meera Bains   Vancouver School Board votes to cancel police liaison program   Related article:  CBC News – Bethany Lindsay   New Westminster school board joins Vancouver in ending police liaison program – Program has been on hold while a review was underway 

Blogger Russell Webster (UK)
Surge in number of people dying in prison

143 people in prison have died from Covid this year to the end of March.  The number increases the prison death toll by 43% to March 31.  Russell references a government document – the Safety in Custody Quarterly Report –  that includes deaths from Covid-19, from self-harming.  The report also include assaults, self-harming in both male and female prisons (measured by the number per 1,000 prisoners).

Strategies for Policing Innovation (US) –
Responding to People in Crisis – Alternate Models of Police Service

The site and the offering is from a progressive police organization that pursues improvements in the way police do their jobs.  This video presentation (A webinar of 1h22min) looks at first responders in three cities where they have attempted to address the way to respond to people in crisis: mental health, homelessness and addiction.  The link to be Youtube presentation also allows a reviewer to download the slides used in the presentation.   Related article: The – John Pfaff   The Greatest Threat To Defunding The Police? State Pre-emption – A little-known legal tool allows states to override progressive policies in cities.