Last words…

    Jan 2, 2015

 National Post  – Full Comment
Greenspan & Doob: Stephen Harper’s scary crime bluster 

Last week, Eddie Greenspan, Canada’s best respected criminal lawyer died and was buried.  He and his colleague University of Toronto Law Professor Anthony Doob had just a few days previously submitted an article to the National Post.  Smart Justice commends the article to all those interested and active in restoring rationality to criminal justice.

 Globe and Mail – Editorial, Jan. 2, 2015-01-02
Five conversations Canadians need to have in 2015

The editorial identifies five areas for conversation in 2015: crime and punishment, pipelines, climate change, Aboriginal law and policing.  Says the voice of the Globe and Mail:  “Canada has a history of thoughtful arguments over big issues – battles of ideas, powered by reason and evidence, and not just shouting matches…And the more Canadians can have intelligent, honest conversations about today’s big issues, the better choices this country will make.”

 CBC News
Immigration changes to watch for in 2015  

The CBC offers five significant changes to the immigration Act whose impact will continue to be felt in 2015:  express entry, Syrian refugees, refugee health care, citizenship changes, and the caregivers program top the list.

 Toronto Star – Daniel Dale
Serious offenders among dozens mistakenly released from Ontario jails  

The mistaken release of inmates before their terms are complete seems to be a common problem across Canada but recent experiences in Ontario serve to highlight the problem.  While there have been repeated offences by some of those released, almost all are re-captured and returned to prison.

 Ottawa Citizen – Kathrine May
Some say PM could justifiably shut down Parliament in crisis: survey 

Here’s a scary way to start 2015.  While 77% of respondents to a survey conducted by Environics Institute and Ottawa’s Institute on Governance in the summer for the Americas Barometer biennial study object, 23% thought the PM would be justified in closing down the Parliament in times of crisis and 17% thought the Supreme Court could be closed down for the same reason.  The stat has climbed from 15% in 2012.  The survey does not address the question of what type of crisis could prompt the shut downs.


Here are some quick links for items occurring over the Christmas holidays:

Stay in psychiatric hospital not enough to prevent gun ownership – appeals court

Growing Pains: Collaborative approach key in mental health court

CEO pay increased at twice the rate of average Canadian since 2008

Newsweek (US) Seven Ways to Raise Wages

 Chicago Sun Times – Frank Main
Cook County Jail aims to help inmates with civilian version of PTSD 

The language is suggesting that there is a civilian version of PTSD (Post traumatic stress disorder), arising from the stress of urban living.  The term is coming from Elli Petacque Montgomery, the chief clinical social worker in the Cook County Sheriff’s office who daily vets the intake pen for signs of mental illness; five to ten inmates a day are diagnosed with a civilian version of the usually military stress disorder.   Related article: Forbes – Nicole Fisher    4 Things To Understand About Youth, Mental Health & Juvenile Justice In The US