Sisters in Spirit…

  Oct 1, 2014

 Globe and Mail – Beverley Jacobs and Alex Neve
We can’t wait another decade to end violence against native women 

Jacobs was the lead researcher for Amnesty International on the first Stolen Sisters report. Neve is the Secretary General for Amnesty International Canada.  The tenth anniversary of the first report is prompting a reflection on what we can anticipate for the next decade.  Say the authors:   “We never imagined that this heartfelt plea for justice, dignity and human rights would be met by such appalling government indifference.”   Related article: Nation Talk – Sisters In Spirit – REDress PROJECT   Cf 5 min 26 sec CBC video on the REDdress Project:

 CBC News
Canada sets lowest standard at World Conference on Indigenous Peoples 

The World Conference on Indigenous Peoples (WCIP), a two-day meeting, began on Sept. 22 at the UN General Assembly in New York.  Matthew Coon Come, the Grand Chief of the Grand Council of Crees, says that Canada, in spite of repeated criticisms by the UN Human Rights, sent no delegation to the sessions.  The General Assembly of the UN adopted a declaration that human rights for Aboriginals include “free, prior and informed consent” for dealings with governments.  Accepted everywhere in international law, Canada has reservations that some of the UN declaration may be unconstitutional!  Related article: Nation Talk (Indian Governments of Saskatchewan) Canada uses World Conference to continue indefensible attack on UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

 Globe and Mail – Lysiane Gagnon
Canada needs a war debate 

Gagnon inserts a word of caution is the muted public debate around Canada’s involvement in the Middle East and its apparent movement to a larger military response over a humanitarian response.  Gagnon wants to know why the Middle East states don’t resolve their own problem and whether there is some otherwise not obvious reason why the lead by the US and Europe in response to the beheadings may have been provocative.

 Huffington Post (Canada) – Daniel Tencer
Bill C-13 Moves Ahead, Despite Claims Supreme Court Already Killed It  

Bill C-13, the Protecting Canadians From Online Crime Act, also known as the Anti-Cyberbully Act comes before the House today.  The Bill still includes a provision requiring telecom companies to provide information that violates the privacy rulings of the SCC.  The companies are given immunity for responding to police requests for information without a warrant.  Last June, the SCC ruled that law enforcement requires a warrant to get even basic subscriber data.   A second bill, Bill S-4, has the same problem but was passed in the Senate a few days after the SCC ruled on the privacy issue.

 CBC News
‘Deadbeats’ across Canada owe more than $3.7B in support  

Here is yet another indication of how the income gap is growing.  There are nearly half a million open files on ‘deadbeat parents – 97% of them Dads – people who are refusing to pay support even after ordered by a court.  Nearly two thirds of such court orders are in arrears.  Case loads for workers trying to monitor and enforce the court orders vary from one to 233 in Quebec to one in 725 in BC, suggesting that the provincial programs are seriously underfunded.  Related article:  CBC News – Don Pittis  Free money for all could jumpstart the economy –   Universal demogrant an idea championed by former Conservative senator Hugh Segal

 Penal Reform International (PRI)  Bridget Sleap, Senior Rights Policy Adviser at HelpAge International
Old age behind bars: how can prisons adapt to the needs of increasingly elderly populations?  

Today, Oct. 1, is the International Day of Older Persons.  PRI is reporting that the number of elderly imprisoned is growing fast and disproportionately, raising a new concern with the human rights of the elderly behind bars.  Prisons, says Sleap, are designed for younger populations – whether in terms of their lay-out, regime, healthcare provision or the rehabilitative activities on offer – and are ill equipped to confront a senior population.  “In Canada the segment of the prison population over the age of 50 grew by more than 50% between 2001 and 2011.”