Bail and over-crowding…

    May 26, 2015

 Canadian Law Times – Yamri Tadesse
Lawyers predict more overcrowding after St-Cloud 

The SCC recently ruled in R. vs. St. Cloud that, beyond the two normal reasons for denial of bail – danger to offend again or flight risk – the third and rarely used reason is both acceptable and may be used more frequently.  The third reason is that the public would lose confidence in the administration of justice if the court granted bail.  Lawyers drew a connection immediately to the likelihood that the ruling will result in even more over-crowding of the system due to denial of bail. “With all due respect for the reviewing judge, I believe he erred in stating that s. 515(10) (c) Cr.C. must be interpreted narrowly and applied only in rare cases,” wrote Supreme Court Justice Richard Wagner.

 Ottawa Citizen – Emma Loop
Fix may be in on replacing prison watchdog, says former top bureaucrat

Mary Campbell, former director general of corrections and criminal justice at Public Safety Canada for 10 years, thinks that Stephen Blaney has already a candidate to replace Howard Sapers as the Correctional Investigator.  Sapers was told that he would continue temporarily until a replacement was found but given no reason for the government non-renewal decision.  Campbell, who was once part of the hiring committee for the position, commended Sapers for the work of bringing the short-comings of the correctional system to the attention of the government and said that her committee would have renewed Sapers’ employment.

 Ottawa Citizen – Mark Kennedy
Teachings about aboriginals ‘simply wrong’, says Murray Sinclair

“Canadians must acknowledge that for generations their public schools have fed them misinformation about aboriginal people, says the chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.”  Justice Sinclair identifies the major finding of the six year commission saying the impact of the public educational system on Aboriginals is far wider than ever imagined.  “This is not an aboriginal problem,” he said. “This is a Canadian problem. Because at the same time that aboriginal people were being demeaned in the schools and their culture and language were being taken away from them and they were being told that they were inferior, they were pagans, that they were heathens and savages and that they were unworthy of being respected — that very same message was being given to the non-aboriginal children in the public schools as well.”   The Commission report is due for release on June 2. – Elizabeth Thompson
Precedent in gun registry case could be used to cover up Duffy scandal

Canada’s Information Commissioner Susanne Legault appeared before the Privacy and Ethics Committee of the House and suggested that the exemption of the Long Gun Registry could become the precedent that allows the government to nullify the investigative powers and the redress procedures for any potentially embarrassing event or incident.  “I think that this retroactive application and the retroactive stripping of the application of the access to information act is a perilous precedent…I think it could be used in any other file, of course. It could be used in any of our further investigations,” Legault told the committee.

Toronto Star – Harald Bauder and Ratna Omidvar
Canada takes a step back on immigration policy – It’s becoming harder to become a Canadian — and that’s reason to worry

Bauder is director of the Ryerson Centre for Immigration and Settlement and a professor at Ryerson University while Omidvar is executive director of the Global Diversity Exchange and Adjunct Professor Ryerson University.  They suggest that Canada is losing its reputation for leadership in immigration and refugee settlement.  The authors say that Canada has reduced the access to nationality, tightened requirements for sponsorship and family re-unification, and raised fees.  Ryerson collected information from newcomers during the past year.

Globe and Mail – Sean Fine
Victim fines spur break between lower and higher courts

How about a 30 cent victim surcharge fine?  Judges, despite a higher court ruling of constitutionality, are finding creative ways to avoid the mandatory charge for victim funds for convictions.  The surcharge, $100 for minor crimes and $200 for more serious, can be replaced by 30% of a fine so some judges are imposing minimal fines – such as $1 – and reducing the surcharge accordingly.  Provincial Court Justice Colin Westman has called the surcharge “a tax on broken souls.”

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