7 Years of inaction…

   Oct. 21, 2014

 Criminalization and Punishment Education Project (CPEP)
The Death of Ashley Smith in Federal Prison:  March and Silent Vigil to Denounce 7 Years of Inaction 

It took seven years for the Ashley Smith inquest to run its course.  The jury ruled the death a homicide and the coroner and every advocacy group involved offered recommendations, few of which have been acted on.  Correctional Services Canada is called on now to respond to each recommendation and explain what they have done to correct the problems identified. CPEP will mark this tragic anniversary with a march and silent vigil, including 7-minute moments of silence at the Human Rights Monument (corner of Elgin St. and Lisgar St.), CSC National Headquarters (340 Laurier Ave. West) and Parliament Hill (Wellington St.).   www.facebook.com/CPEPgroup or  cpep.action@gmail.com

 Sesame Street
A Clip for Kids Who Have A Parent In Prison. It’ll Break Your Heart. 

A two min 13 sec clip prepared by Sesame Street producers from the perspective of  little girl visiting her daddy in prison.   The clip can enlarge your understanding of the victims of crime. http://www.upworthy.com/sesame-street-made-a-clip-for-kids-who-have-a-parent-in-prison-itll-break-your-heart?c=ufb2

 Toronto Star – Jesse McLean and David Bruser
Drugs under import ban allowed for sale 

First, Health Canada refused discussion around drugs suspected of contamination in the Indian manufacturers so the media went to the US Food and Drug Administration for details.  The Health Canada banned about 40 drugs from India manufactured for Apotex, one of the largest drug companies in Canada.  Now, the ban has been rescinded due to the discovery that these drugs are “medically necessary” and will be subject to a third party independent testing – details are not clear. The US FDA found data manipulation at all three factories involved.  http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2014/10/20/drugs_under_import_ban_allowed_for_sale.html#    Products in question:  Health Canada –  http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/dhp-mps/compli-conform/info-prod/drugs-drogues/api-ipa-eng.php

 Globe and Mail – Colin Freeze
Q&A with Glenn Greenwald: ‘There are so many stories left to be reported’

Greenwald is the Guardian reporter who broke the news and published the data from Edward Snowden.  The article is a Q & A  about the joint activity of the 5 Eyes and their collection of data – “That’s very much what the Five Eyes network is – sharing information about your own citizens, and you don’t have control over what is done with it by the other governments.”  Greenwald includes his assessment of the proposed new Canadian legislation around the security agencies.  http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/qa-with-glenn-greenwald-there-are-so-many-stories-left/article21160219

 VERA Institute of Justice
Crime Bill @ 20 

Vera Institute offers commentary on the consequences of the infamous crime bill that twenty years later has led to mass incarceration.  This time, the two keynotes are:  Former Secretary of the U.S. Treasury Robert E. Rubin, now co-chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations; and Stanley Richards, senior vice president at the Fortune Society and a former NY State prison inmate.  The articles focus on economic and human impact of the mass incarceration.  VERA also offers a list of other significant contributors to the issues. http://us8.campaign-archive1.com/?u=6542df2be696ba0ea2f17b66a&id=0ad2d19c86&e=76776c8b38

Globe and Mail –Ivan Semeniuk
Foreign scientists write letter criticizing decline of Canadian federal research 

For some time now, the media has suggested that Canada’s scientific community have been muzzled about findings that strike discord with the federal government agenda, especially in the environment and the pipeline issues.  Now, the international scientific community have written a letter criticizing the lack of research and funding.  Released jointly with the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC), the union for 15,000 Canadian scientists, over 800 scientists from various countries have signed the letter.   In a survey of 4,000 Canadian scientists working for the federal government the scientists said they did not feel free to speak about their work without the approval of Ottawa.  http://www.theglobeandmail.com/technology/science/foreign-scientists-write-letter-criticizing-decline-of-canadian-federal-research/article21183867

Graham Steward, retired Executive Director of John Howard Canada, reacts to the Sullivan article suggesting that bad news about prisons is good news for the federal conservatives:

Just in case anyone suggests that Steve Sullivan (cf http://dev.ipolitics.ca/2014/10/01/tough-talk-on-crime-is-cheap-which-is-why-conservatives-like-it/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=tough-talk-on-crime-is-cheap-which-is-why-conservatives-like-it )  is a bit paranoid or unfair in suggesting that Harper thinks criticism from Howard Sapers actually benefits him as it “appeals to his base”, I thought the following quote published in  MACLEANS.CA, Nov 9, 2009, by John Geddes entitled “Are we really soft on crime?”  might shed some light on the subject.   See: http://www.macleans.ca/news/canada/are-we-really-soft-on-crime/

Ian Brodie the former university political science professor who served as Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s chief of staff from 2006 to 2008, explained why in an unusually candid talk on Conservative strategy last spring at McGill University in Montreal.

“Every time we proposed amendments to the Criminal Code, sociologists, criminologists, defence lawyers and Liberals attacked us for proposing measures that the evidence apparently showed did not work,” Brodie said. “That was a good thing for us politically, in that sociologists, criminologists and defence lawyers were and are all held in lower repute than Conservative politicians by the voting public. Politically it helped us tremendously to be attacked by this coalition of university types.”