Clean environment a human right…

Sept 2, 2022

 United Nations Declaration: Climate and Environment
UN General Assembly declares access to clean and healthy environment a universal human right

“The UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, welcomed the ‘historic’ decision and said the landmark development demonstrates that Member States can come together in the collective fight against the triple planetary crisis of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution.

“The resolution will help reduce environmental injustices, close protection gaps and empower people, especially those that are in vulnerable situations, including environmental human rights defenders, children, youth, women and indigenous peoples”, he said in a statement released by his Spokesperson’s Office.

He added that the decision will also help States accelerate the implementation of their environmental and human rights obligations and commitments.

“The international community has given universal recognition to this right and brought us closer to making it a reality for all”, he said.”  The Secretary General is calling for urgent action to implement the decision.

Lawyer’s Daily – Cristin Schmitz
Incoming Supreme Court judge says top court ‘must work to move society forward in a progressive way’

“Ontario Superior Court Justice Michelle O’Bonsawin, who Sept. 1 becomes the first Indigenous jurist to join the Supreme Court of Canada, said in her application for that post that, in her view, the top court “must work to move society forward in a progressive way yet remain respectful of the law.”   What follows in the article is a refreshingly human articulation of what she brings to the role of Supreme Court Justice.

BC Tyee – Jennifer Chrumka
The Missing Women of Salmon River Valley – Five years on the RCMP remains tight-lipped about two dead and three disappeared. Protesters are demanding action.

This link is a reminder that the struggle around Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls is not at an end.  “(Traci) Genereaux was last seen in May 2017 when she was 18 years old. It was six months later, on Oct. 21, 2017, when her remains were discovered on a rural farm in the Salmon River Valley by the Vernon RCMP. It’s unclear when, exactly, she died… Genereaux is just one of five women who, in a span of about 18 months from 2016 to 2017, went missing from the Salmon River Valley and nearby small towns.”

Toronto Star – Jeremy Nuttall
Canadians are getting a 988 mental-health crisis line. But who’ll be picking up the phone? Advocates question whether resources needed will be made available, after a similar project in the U.S. came with $280 million (U.S.) in federal funding.

Canada’s CRTC is laying aside 988 for an emergency call line for mental health crisis but advocates are also wondering where and how much money / personnel will be available to answer the calls.  In many cases, volunteers do the work but the 7/24 operation will likely need more than just volunteers and may well be a call increase as the number becomes known.  “According to a CRTC fact sheet, the years 2017 through 2019 Canada saw about 4,500 deaths by suicide annually. Some groups are represented more prevalently, such as men, Indigenous people and LGBTQ2 community members.”  Margaret Eaton, the national CEO of the Canadian Mental Health Association:  “Our concern is to ensure that the government is not just announcing the number, but also ensuring that there are enough resources to pick up the phone 24/7.”

 Great Lives revisited: Patricia Anne Love

Celebration of Life in loving memory of Patricia Anne Love (September 9, 1927- May 5, 2022) to be held on September 10, 2022 at 1PM at Church of St. John the Evangelist 154 Somerset St. West, Ottawa.

Canada Drug Policy Coalition
Leading human rights and public health organizations release national drug decriminalization platform for Canada – The bill that the federal government introduced this week to repeal mandatory minimum sentences and offer alternatives to prosecution for simple drug possession is a step in the right direction, but doesn’t go far enough.

The failure of the present record suspension approach to people formerly convicted of marijuana possession is more than suggestive that the policy needs to be re-examined.  “In the wake of almost 23,000 drug poisoning deaths since 2016, twenty-one civil society organizations across the country, including groups of people who use drugs, families affected by drug use, drug policy and human rights organizations, frontline service providers, and researchers, have collaborated to release Canada’s first civil society-led policy framework for drug decriminalization in Canada. (Emphasis original)”   Full document:  Decriminalization Done Right: A Rights-Based Path for Drug Policy

Homeless Hub – Drew Kaufman
Expulsion: A type of forced mobility experienced by homeless people in Canada

The article may be a helpful link to better understand the consequences of forced mobility and homelessness.  The approach may also be helpful in the new Ontario regulations that allow hospitals to force re-location of patients awaiting transfer to Long Term Care against their wishes.  “This article draws from longitudinal research to develop a new framework for understanding forced migration, coerced mobility, and involuntary displacement.”

The Marshall Project (US) –
My Wild and Winding Path to a College Degree Behind Bars – Rahsaan “New York” Thomas was proud to finally earn his associate’s degree in San Quentin State Prison. But repeated COVID-19 lockdowns turned his graduation ceremony into a two-year ordeal.

Almost all the rehab research asserts that higher education is a very positive booster to successful re-integration, and as student loan forgiveness is now splashed all over the front pages, the moment may be ripe to consider prison education.  The article offers some insight to the pursuit of an associate degree (two year program) in San Quentin.  10 years of delay possibility, security clearance upgrade, costs for one earning 19 cents an hour, and Covid were considerable problems.