Carding concessions?

 Oct. 6, 2013

 Toronto Star – Jim Rankin and Pattie Winsa
Toronto police propose purging carding information from database

Previously reported as involved in ‘carding’ more than their famous counterparts in New York City, Toronto police have a new name – community safety notes, instead of Form 208 – and a promise to purge the data after seven years while monitoring for racial bias.  The people whose names are in the databank must wonder what the concession means and what comfort they can draw from the police response, given that the practice will still count in performance reviews and therefore in promotions and increased salary for police.   

 Toronto Star – Alex Himmelfarb and Jordan Himmelfarb
Canada’s dangerously distorted tax conversation – Any reasonable discussion of taxes must take into account the public goods and services they buy. So why doesn’t ours? 

The Himmelfarbs argue that taxes are used to provide services and yet rarely does the tax discussion include any reference to what the taxes buy for Canadians or what Canadians want the taxes to buy.  The question for all three political parties who have endorsed the tax cuts approach is not how much will we save but what will we lose, or alternately what can we get for the money.  Anyone for a change in conversation?   

 Vancouver Sun – Douglas Todd
Is Canada up to snuff on gender equity?  A look at labour market sex ‘segregation’ points to a surprising answer

This report describes the situation in Scandinavia – the world’s leader – and then compares Canada with a report on salaries, and equally important, where each gender works.  Private vs Public pensions and benefits enter the picture, too.

 Association of Corporate Counsel – Danielle Stone, Blaney McMurtry
Law enacted to protect youth from cyber-bullying gives businesses a weapon to battle online harassment

First published in October of 2013, this article is about the application of the new Nova Scotia law on cyberbullying to the world of business and professionals.   Says Stone:  “As it turns out, however, a piece of legislation intended to protect the young and vulnerable in our society could have far-reaching consequences and could apply to situations not contemplated. What was intended to help protect our children from the consequences of online bullying may be used to check criticism of a commercial nature, too.” – Kathleen Copps
Omar Khadr in Court: Eight ways the mainstream media missed the real story

A fascinating commentary on Khadr who has sparked considerable interest over the years and is now appealing his presence in a maximum security federal prison on the grounds he was convicted under age and should be elsewhere.  He was also the focus of considerable problems around repatriation from US custody.   

 CBC News (Ottawa)
Ottawa police offer digital cameras for guns – Officers to make house calls to pick up weapons in ‘Pixels for Pistols’ program 

Sponsored by Olympus and Henry’s, the Ottawa police will come during an amnesty to pick up your gun in exchange for a digital camera for the next two weeks.  You don’t get the camera until the guns are tested and cleared for involvement in gun crime.  And by the way, replicas and pellet guns aren’t in the program; and the guns have to work!    

 USA Today – Associated Press
Brown signs law limiting detention of immigrants 

Following on the decision by the city of San Francisco not to detain people who make contact with police on the basis of a check and request from federal law enforcement only. California’s Governor Gerry Brown has signed legislation that will now apply state-wide.   

 The Daily Journal (San Mateo, CA) – John Kelly
OP-ED: Restorative justice — what is that? 

Here is a reflection piece with a succinct explanation of restorative justice from the heart of three strikes and you’re out territory.  The explanation is in the context of citizen meetings with San Quentin inmates and includes a suggestion that re-entry strategy is properly part of the RJ process.  Related article:  New Zealand Press   Meeting criminals helps the healing  

 The Daily Record (Wooster, OH)  – Marc Kovac
House Bill Proposal Would Have Repeat  Sex Offenders Who Rape Children Face Death Penalty

 Rep. John Becker, a Republican from the Cincinnati area, wants the state of Ohio to pass Bill 244 giving prosecutors the option of pursuing the death penalty for child rapists.  The same notion was tried in 2008 in Louisiana and ruled unconstitutional.   

 The Connecticut Mirror – Grace Merritt
Federal prison in Danbury to begin transferring female inmates out Monday 

 The transfer of over 1100 female inmates from Danbury Federal Prison to as far away as Texas is again stirring controversy.  Eleven senators in the area requested the Bureau of Prisons to halt the plan on the grounds of the impact on the families of the inmates.  Besides the #1.1 million in costs to move the women, almost 60% of the women have children under the age of 21.  The bottom-line reasoning is to make room for more men in the prison that once housed all males.