Human in there…

June 20, 2022

 Human Rights Watch Organization Canada
Canada: Abuse, Discrimination in Immigration Detention – Thousands Held; Systemic Change Needed

In anticipation of the World Refugee Day (June 20) the Canadian Human rights Watch have issued a 100 page report entitled:  “I Didn’t Feel Like a Human in There” Immigration Detention in Canada and its Impact on Mental Health.  The fact is that many detainees under CBSA are held in provincial jails and that the detainees includes handicap people and those fleeing prosecution.  “Despite its reputation as a refugee-welcoming and multicultural country, Canada incarcerates thousands of people on immigration-related grounds every year, including people who are fleeing persecution, those seeking employment and a better life, and people who have lived in Canada since childhood. Immigration detainees are held for non-criminal purposes but endure some of the most restrictive conditions of confinement in the country, including maximum security jails and solitary confinement, with no set release date.” Cf HRW Call to Action:   Related article: Globe and Mail – Steven Chase   Liberal MP calls on Ottawa to grant refuge to 10,000 Uyghurs fleeing China

 CBC News – Vanessa Balintec
Widow hopes Ontario government acts to prevent future suicides in custody – Joint coroner’s inquest looked into suicides that happened between 2014 to 2019

The hiatus between the events and the inquest seeking to determine how to avoid more is in itself matter for question.  “Darrel Tavernier, Arun Kumar Rajendiran and Stephen Kelly died by hanging between 2014 and 2019 at the Central East Correctional Centre (CECC) in Lindsay, Ont…  Revealed in the inquest, Dhar states Kelly’s original health file was misfiled and missing when staff became aware of his death, and Tavernier was scheduled for a psychiatrist appointment weeks before his death. It never actually took place. In Rajendiran’s case, he was never flagged as a suicide risk and never saw a psychiatrist, social worker, or mental-health worker during his time at the CECC.”  What may be as challenging as the time it took for the inquest to happen is that the 38 recommendations may simply join other such recommendations on the shelf.

The Conversation (Queen’s) – Temitope Oriola
The Toronto police apology for its treatment of racialized people is meaningless without action

Many who listened to Toronto Police Chief Ramer at the press conference in which he acknowledged the statistical proof for the racism exercised by police waited patiently for the end expecting to hear what police were going to do about the problem.  “It is one thing to acknowledge that the police service has a problem, it is another to ensure accountability to ease out perpetrators. Without that, the next report will be identical to the current one. For communities being targeted, that means more traumatized victims, families and friendship circles… Some activists like Beverly Bain, from the No Pride in Policing Coalition, refused to accept the chief’s apology: “What we have asked for you to do is stop. To stop brutalizing us. To stop killing us.” Bain called Ramer’s apology a “public relations stunt,” which she considered “insulting” to those affected.

The Lawyer’s Daily – Amanda Jerome
Legal associations call for ‘concrete action,’ ‘access to justice’ for victims of police misconduct

Moya Teklu, the executive director of the Black Legal Action Centre (BLAC), has seen the data of systemic racism several times already, now also confirmed by Toronto Police itself.  “The police continue to fail to fulfil their purported mandate. They continue to fail to serve and protect Black people. And yet, year after year, all levels of government continue to pour money into police services. They do this instead of funding Black communities. The solution is not to provide the police with more money for body scanners, or training. It is to de-task the police and to redirect funding into those services that will actually protect and serve and increase the public safety of Black people. The police have shown that they are not up to the task,” she added.”

Law360 (US) – Christina Swarns
Justices Leave Many with No Court to Hear Innocence Claims

The link’s narrative presents another of those cases – involving the finality of the death penalty – in which the review of evident injustice is not possible in the federal court system beyond the state court pronouncements.  “Indeed, U.S. District Judge Timothy Burgess of the U.S. District Court for the District of Alaska in a 2018 decision criticized law enforcement’s “rush to judgment” and observed that if Jones’ trial lawyers had done their job, “there is a reasonable probability that his jury would not have convicted him of any of the crimes.” … But the U.S. Supreme Court reversed that decision. Without disputing the validity of the lower courts’ analysis, the court declared that the federal courts were required to turn a blind eye to the evidence showing that Jones was wrongfully convicted due to the ineffectiveness of his trial counsel.”

Lawyers Daily – Cristin Schmitz
Ottawa proposes narrower self-induced extreme intoxication defence to violence to ‘fill legal gap’

“Federal Justice Minister David Lametti says the Liberal government’s proposed law to impose criminal negligence liability on those who commit violent offences after becoming extremely intoxicated fills “a gap” left last month when the Supreme Court of Canada struck down the Criminal Code’s s. 33.1 ban on raising the defence of non-mental disorder automatism to general intent violence-based offences, including sexual assault…
“Bill C-28 fills that gap; it does so in a way that is both constitutional and fair,” Lametti said at Parliament Hill news conference, after he proposed the law in the House of Commons June 17.  First Reading Bill C-28:

A Tweet from Senator Kim Pate:

“Many people believe that mandatory minimum penalties encourage equality because they impose the same sentence for everybody… In reality however, by not taking into account pre-existing inequality on the basis of class, race, gender and ability, MMPs actually exacerbate inequities… (cf string:


A Tweet from Meanwhile in Canada:

“Out of over 200 countries, Canada ranked #5 for freedom. This will come as a shock to those who are furious they had to wear a mask at Home Depot for a while during a global pandemic.”  (Go to tweet for the rest of the country ratings)