Niqab and hijab…

    Mar 11, 2015

 National Newswatch:  Joan Bryden
Harper calls Muslim face-covering veil ‘anti-women,’ unacceptable

The rhetoric around the niqab and the hijab has been notched a little higher with an exchange between Stephen Harper and Justin Trudeau in Question Period on Tuesday.  Harper has used both the niqab and the hijab as illustrative of the Muslim oppression of women.  Trudeau’s question to Harper sought clarification and included Immigration Minister Alexander’s remarks confusing the two items and NB MP John Williamson’s remarks about “whites” and “browns.”  Related article: CBC News –  John Williamson faces heavy criticism after ‘whities’ comment – Conservative MP referred to ‘whities,’ ‘brown people’ when asked about the Temporary Foreign Workers program    Related article:  CBC News – ‘Loaded’ terrorism mail out from Conservative MP raises eyebrows People have expressed outrage at the “you’re for us or you’re against us” nature of the question   Related article:  Toronto Star Editorial (Mar 11, 2015)   Justin Trudeau’s welcome call for an end to fear-mongering – At a time when Muslims feel besieged as never before, Trudeau’s call for civility and inclusion speaks to the best Canadian values   Related article: CBC News – Terry Milewski   Niqab controversy: Stephen Harper, Justin Trudeau wade into culture war over the veil – An election year, a terror bill and a culture conflict — what could possibly go wrong?

    CBC News
RCMP database remains out of date, police and prosecutors say – Years after auditor general flagged issue, RCMP database still stale, hampering police and courts 

The article exposes an on-going debate about the rhetoric of safety and the resources necessary to practice it.  There are now over 400,000 criminal records from 2013 and earlier missing from Canada’s National Crime Data Base (CPIC) and those responsible blame resources saying that there is no longer any quick fix.  Prosecutors, judges and police across the country have been protesting the neglect even since the problem was twice flagged by the auditor general in 2009 and 2011.  The accumulated deficiency is now approaching four years.

 Globe and Mail – Lysiane Gagnon
A cruel break with Canadian judicial tradition

The article puts in contrast a judicial system which operates under a rehabilitation approach and one which operates from the current tough-on-crime conservative approach.  Gagnon calls the abandonment of rehabilitation as a break with Canada’s well established practice and a primitive return to lex talionis and suggests that the absence of substantiated evidence of best rehabilitative practice in decision / policy makes the tough-on-crime an intellectual fraud.

 Thompson Reuters Foundation (US) – Maria Caspani
Online domestic abuse becomes growing threat for women

The United Nations is reporting a growing problem with women subjected to domestic abuse through the use of social media, tablets, iphones, etc, when partners used these device to monitor, track the movement and threaten the woman partner.  In a national survey in Australia, 97% of domestic violence workers reported abuse through these media from their clients.

 CTV News – Marlene Leung
‘Transformative’ decision: How a judge’s decision is turning legal heads  

A judge in Ontario is getting full marks for a judgment he delivered that involves the application of the well-known Gladue principle.  The judgment for 29-year-old Jesse Armitage, delivered Feb. 11 by Justice Shaun Nakatsuru, took four months to write and factors in a long history of confrontation at law and an evident need for a different healing.   Related article:  Canada Law Times: Editorial: A remarkable ruling
National Day of Action to protest Bill C-51 and stop the Secret Police Bill

The social media response to C-51 is envisioned for March 14 and will take place at various times in a number of locations across the country, frequently at the local offices of Conservative MP’s.  You can search engine for time and place in your riding at: .  The link also explains the rationale for the protests.

 CoSA in the US – Vermont
Rutland Volunteers Help Sex Offender Re-Enter Community

Canada and the federal government just terminated funding to the Circles of Support and Accountability (CoSA), threatening 17 centres across Canada in which volunteers are delivering 24/7 support for sex offenders released from prison.  As in Canada, the success rate is extremely high at twenty of 21 who went through the US program to date and have not re-offended.   Related article: Baltimore SUN – Michael Dresser   Assembly weighs bills to help ex-offenders overcome past