The Doers and Watchers…

    Feb 5, 2015

Church Council on Justice and Corrections and Circles of Support and Accountability
Circles of Support and Accountability (CoSA): An Effective Approach to Community Safety 

The government funding of the CoSA programs stops the end of March 2015.  Nowhere is the federal government’s refusal to consider the safety of Canadians more glaringly lacking than in its premature rejection of this enormously successful 7-24 program of volunteers with recently released sex offenders which has operated in 17 centres across Canada.  In 2009, the National Centre for Crime Prevention of Public Safety Canada asked CCJC to do a demonstration project on the effectiveness of the CoSA program.  In the interim, CoSA got notice of the termination of its approximately $700,000 in funding.    Full CCJC Report:  Circles of Support and Accountability (CoSA): An Effective Approach to Community Safety   (A 127 page downloadable pdf – Executive Summary pp 1-9)

 CBC News – Terry Milewski
SIRC’s mixed record in watching Canada’s spies — remember Air India? 

SIRC stands for Security Intelligence Review Committee and the changes in the powers of Canada’s spy agencies, domestic and foreign, have resulted in this review of its performance on the AIR India bombing.  Retired Judge John Major did not think much of the oversight and branded the bombing as an intelligence failure.  Dr. Arthur Porter was selected by the Prime Minister himself to chair the committee and is now jailed in Panama awaiting extradition for fraud here in Canada.  Until recently when a fourth member was appointed, the committee limped along with three of five appointments and still lacks another member.  Many want a committee of MP’s to oversee the new provisions but Stephen Blaney says:  SIRC “provides robust oversight.”   Related article:  Globe and Mail – Canadian Press    Supreme Court to weigh legality of CSIS’s overseas spying   Related article:  Toronto Star  Editorial (Feb. 3, 2015)   Edward Snowden is right to urge caution on anti-terror measures  – Douglas Quail
AS RCMP focuses on terrorism, it’s a ‘great day’ to be in organized crime – Former Mountie fears drug trafficking, fraud could flourish in Canada as resources are diverted to terror threat

Canada’s top cop is suggesting that in the demands of resources and personnel to focus on terrorism related investigations, the RCMP has had to shift its priorities and that has resulted in neglect in previous priorities.  Garry Clement, a retired superintendent who was in charge of the RCMP’s proceeds of crime program, thinks “it’s a great day for organized crime.”    related article:  Victoria Times Colonist – James Keller, Canadian Press    RCMP warned budget cuts would hamper Highway of Tears probe

 Hill Times-on-line – Tim Naumetz
House security union slams move to put Mounties in charge of Hill security

The decision to create a uniformed protection service on Parliament Hill has the former security union critical.  The crux of their complaint seems to be the potential for one branch of government and one political party to remove the Parliamentary allegiance in favour of the executive branch of the ruling government.   NDP MP Yvon Godin says:  “As far as I’m concerned, they [RCMP] have got no business in the Parliament, even in that position, because for the protection of all parties, and the politics and the democracy, there has to be a division between the state police and what happens in this place.”   Related article: National Newswatch – Stephanie Levitz and Jim Bronskill, The Canadian Press   Mounties to take control of Hill security

 Toronto Star – Canadian Press
Six strikes against the Tories from the Supreme Court 

On the eve of the Supreme Court`s ruling on assisted suicide, the article reviews the six previous rulings that went against the Harper government`s arguments.

 Toronto Star – Editorial (Feb. 5, 2015)
Integrated domestic violence court can help families

In Julie Cravens case, a criminal court judge ordered no contact between the husband and their son while a family court judge gave unsupervised access on week-ends.  The husband was shot and killed by police after killing the eight year old son and while about to cut the mother`s throat.  The Integrated Domestic Violence Court in Toronto is the first of its kind in Canada and was set up in 2011 to handle such lack of communications.   Related article: Globe and Mail – Andrea Woo    Mental health services for B.C. youth get a boost with new intake process   Related article:  McGill University     Socioeconomic differences in adolescent health widen – Global trends in health inequalities related to income inequality

 Orangeville (ON) Citizen – Editorial (Feb. 4, 2015)
Good politics but bad policy 

This 905 area small town newspaper reviews the proposed life without parole legislation supposedly due before June as an election ploy that says nothing about the safety of Canadians and seems to have no purpose other than getting votes in the next general election.  The editorial reviews the stats around the type of murder implicated and the current likelihood of a convicted inmate who remains a danger actually getting parole.