Dec. 8, 2021

Ottawa Citizen – Jeffrey Bradley, Irvin Waller
City of Ottawa must budget for preventative approach to tackling violence – If done properly, evidence-based prevention can reduce serious crime dramatically in the next several years. Other cities have proven it.

The article brings into sharp focus the alternative to blindly and reactively funding increases to police budges without considering the real alternatives in preventative measures.  “These approaches invest in people; are affordable and popular because they tackle the causes of violence; reduce the demand for expensive police reaction to violence; and reduce the serious negative consequences of policing and imprisonment on racialized and disadvantaged communities. If done properly, evidence-based prevention will reduce violence by 50 per cent well before 2030.”  Waller is also the author of Smarter Crime Control. A guide to a safer future for citizens, communities and politicians, an excellent reference for those seeking real crime prevention.   Related article: Audrey Monette et Irvin WallerLe Devoir (Montreal) – Sauver des vies ou punir les criminels? 

Press Reader / Ottawa Citizen – Natasha Nouesnard, Dr. Christy Sutherland, and Lindsey Richardson
How to end the overdose crisis

The authors identify the 22,000 overdose deaths with increased toxicity of the illicit drug supply and advocate for an end to the stubborn refusal to control the supply.  “Our drug prohibition laws are directly responsible for the drug supply being adulterated with toxic contaminants.”  The authors add that the problem impacts racialized and the poor disproportionately and results in greater harm from arrests, incarceration and overdose.  The experience with the legalization of marijuana illustrates that those who predict dire consequences are wrong and that the interests of all Canadians is served by ending the prohibitions and providing safe medications.  Related article: Toronto Star –  Canadian Press   Toronto health board votes in favour of application to decriminalize drug possession   Toronto Star – Emma Teitel Toronto wants to allow the simple possession of illegal drugs. So why does the city still treat homelessness as a crime?

CBC News – Shania Luck
 Coercive control, the silent partner of domestic violence, instils fear, helplessness in victims – Some advocates in Canada want ‘coercive control’ to be made a criminal offence

Investigations into intimate partner violence has highlighted the difficulty of confronting the problem in the light of the presence of “coercive control” by the perpetrator.  Coercive control played a part in 15% of the intimate partner homicides according to a recent study by the CBC.  Ardath Whynacht, a professor of sociology at Mount Allison University in Sackville, N.B., recounts her understanding of why the warning sign accounts for 15% of these homicides. Related article: CBC News – Believe, love, support: Finding resources for people experiencing intimate partner violence  (A 3min 25 sec video).

CBC News (SK) – Pratyush Dayal
Ongoing immigration-processing delays leave many in limbo in Canada and overseas

Do we dare to say it?  Is the Canadian immigration system broken?  There are 1.8 million applications for permanent residences, temporary residences and Canadian citizenship in the current backlog.  IRCC (Immigration, Refugee, and Citizenship Canada) says it has experienced processing delays amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. But nearly two years into it, most of the department’s in-person offices remain closed. And many applicants told CBC News they feel stuck in limbo, with no clear way to check on their files.

Maytree Report –
Welfare in Canada, 2020 report

“At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, income insecurity became an urgent policy priority as millions of Canadians lost their livelihoods due to stay-at-home orders. The federal government provided significant support to workers who lost their jobs and to affected businesses. But what about those who didn’t qualify for programs like CERB? What supports did governments provide to those already living in deep poverty to help them cope in this difficult period?… Maytree’s Welfare in Canada, 2020 report provides annual data and analysis on welfare incomes.”

Dec 9, 2021 01:30 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)  Register here for the webinar report followed by a panel discussion.

Toronto Star – Alyshah Hasham
More than 120 off work at GTA jail after health unit bars unvaccinated staff

The Covid-19 health issues around jails and prisons is not over yet and especially in the light of more recent variants.  Peer Public Health banned unvaccinated staff and 124 of the over 1,000 staff at Maplehurst Correctional Complex at Milton have been sanctioned.  The result is 14 hour shifts and more disputes with the local union which claims that visitors to the complex are not required to be vaccinated.  “There are 80 cases linked to the current outbreak, according to Halton Public Health. As of Dec. 1, according to the Ministry of the Solicitor General, there were 36 active inmate cases.”   The unvaccinated staff are now on unpaid leave.  Related article: CBC News – Rising COVID-19 hospitalizations will strain system, even without omicron: Ontario science table – Group says too many Ontarians still are not vaccinated

 CTV News – Rachel Aiello
Six weeks after swearing-in, ministers haven’t been issued mandate letters

Perhaps a change in policy, perhaps just a bureaucratic delay, but the mandate letters that usually go with ministerial appointments have not yet happened.  The letters usually spell out the government priorities for any particular ministry and set the course after government sets its legislative priorities – the sort of map for delivery of the election promises.  One minister has reportedly said that he does not know when to expect the mandate letter.


From Nelson Mandela and Basic Income Canada:  Poverty is not an accident. Like slavery and apartheid, it is man-made and can be removed by the actions of human beings.”