Live bullets…

Jan 28, 2022 – (Canada) – Justin Ling
‘They’re Shooting Live Bullets at Us’: Guards Keep Firing Guns at Edmonton’s Federal Prison – Inmates, corrections guards, and advocates tell VICE World News that they’re extremely worried at the rapidly deteriorating situation.

Describing the Edmonton Max Prison as a powder keg, Ling says that there have been two different incidents in which shots have been fired but that information about who fired the shots and who was hit by the shots is not available, though in one incident some fragments of a bullet appear to have injured one person, likely a prisoner.  In a late 2021 inspection, Correctional Investigator Ivan Zinger “had sent two investigators into the prison, unplanned, in November 2021 to survey the state of the prison. “My investigators observed conditions of confinement that are oppressive and intolerable by any standard,” Zinger wrote. “For a maximum-security facility, EI [Edmonton Institution] is over-populated, under-served, and severely short-staffed.”

Bell – Let’s talk…

According to many critics, Bell has sponsored the Let’s Talk Day as a commercial while striving to allegedly help with various mental health issues.  Comedian Darcy Michael outlines in this Tiktok posting what critics have said about the effort.  “We celebrate ending the stigma on mental health here but let’s not fall for a marketing ploy.”  Related article: The Conversation (Queen’s) – Anna Sui and Erika Katzman   Bell, let’s talk about #colonialism, #racism and #ableism

CBC News – Eva Uguen-Csenge
Woman assaulted by husband awarded $800K in civil lawsuit. He received an absolute discharge in criminal case

The husband who pleaded guilty to three incidents of physical attack on his wife got a conditional discharge.  Critics and advocates are signaling a most unusual outcome in a civil court – the BC Supreme Court at that – for the wife who was awarded $800,000. The two decisions contrast gender differences:  “The two decisions highlight differences in how incidents of intimate partner violence are handled in the criminal court system, where the case is brought forward by the Crown prosecution, as opposed to civil court, where the plaintiff, in this case the victim of abuse, can have more control over the evidence brought forward.”

Vancouver Magazine – Nathan Caddell
What Could Restorative Justice Mean for Vancouver’s Court System? Restorative justice has had success both close to home and abroad. Now, a group of advocates is hoping to bring it to Vancouver in a meaningful way.

This is exciting news from one of Canada’s largest cities: an exploration of what it would mean to become a restorative city has passed the city council.  What and how would the life of the city change?  Here’s what advocates mean by Restorative Justice:  “restorative justice is a global social movement that seeks to find ways to include everyone affected by a conflict or crime in the process of repairing the harm, and to shift how communities think about and achieve justice.”  Clair MacGougan, executive director of the Hastings Sunrise Community Policing Centre, Evelyn Zeller Director of Peace of the Circle (BC) and professor at Simon Fraser’s Restorative Justice Department, Catherine Bargen and Aaron Lyons, co-founders of restorative justice advocacy firm Just Outcomes, brought together a number of groups in a second wind effort called:  Building Partnerships for Restorative Justice in Vancouver.  The coalition now has gathered many more community partners and are looking for a hearing at City Hall.    Related link: Peace of the Circle – Evelyn Zeller   Restorative Collective Vancouver: diverse voices working together to make Vancouver a restorative city   Related article:  City of Vancouver- Council Motion by Michael Weibe   Working Collaboratively to Become a Restorative City   Related article: Vancouver Green Party – City of Vancouver commits to becoming a Restorative City with focus on restorative justice

Blogger Russell Webster (UK) –
Big jump in prison suicides

In the UK, there has been an alarming 28% increase in suicide deaths, now numbering 371.  The likelihood is that those who practice the same prison policy and philosophy are experiencing approximately the same.  The difference is that in the UK there is some sort of accounting in the annual prison statistics.  Why the incidents of deaths and violence are not more transparent in Canada is a puzzle since the safety of the incarcerated person is the primary responsibility of the custodians.  The report includes the number of self-harm incidents   52,000 plus. Of which 20% were serious enough to require hospitalization.  The annual stats also offer the Covid deaths.   Related article: The Center for Crime and Justice Studies (UK) –  (A listing of anticipated reports and activities around Imprisonment for Public Protection or IPP in which government holds a person indefinitely who is judged a danger to others.)  Related article: Blogger Russell Webster: A guest post by Kerrie Ellis Devitt   The Complex pathways to violence in the home

Maytree Newsletter (Jan 22)

This newsletter is loaded with very timely information on a number of issues: the homeless, the pandemic impact on the poor, Black racism, and a listing of Maytree events coming up and news from Maytree partners.

The Conversation (Queen’s) – Maya K. Gislason and Angel M. Kennedy
How to teach children about climate change, inspire hope and take action to change the future

The authors are focused specifically on helping children to cope with the impact of climate change.   “Climate change is a social and intergenerational justice issue that disproportionately impacts children and youth, who have inherited the problem.”  The authors call for ‘grounded hope,” to respond to the intergenerational justice issue in climate change.  “For their development and well-being, children need information that both acknowledges the very troubling realities we are facing but also equips them to take action to change that future.”

 CBC News – Hala Ghonaim
Fergus, Ont., teen stands up against school bullying, community hate through Kindness Pledge

How to respond to the dynamics of bullying when one in three girls and one in four boys experience bullying?  Here’s a pledge for appropriate response from Abby Graham, 17, of Fergus, ON:  “I pledge to do my best to make my community more safe and inclusive. I will take responsibility for my actions and do my best to educate myself for the better of others.  I understand that in making everyone feel included I will need to speak up but not over others. I pledge to stand up against transphobia, homophobia, racism, ableism, sexism and xenophobia.  Above all, I pledge to spread kindness above hate and to create a more inclusive community!”  The pledge involves a three step process: Reading an info package on inclusive language, learning about privilege and unconscious bias, taking action.   So far, both individuals and businesses have taken the pledge.  (Pledge website:  )