Cultural genocide…

   June 2, 2015

 Ottawa Citizen – Mark Kennedy
Atoning for ‘cultural genocide’: Truth and Reconciliation Commission lays out its blueprint

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission has released its report (seven volumes) and an executive summary with 94 recommendations “touching on everything from education to health care, law, the corrections and welfare systems, and even how the history of the schools should be commemorated.”   Related article: Toronto Star – Joanna Smith    Canada’s residential schools cultural genocide, Truth and Reconciliation commission says  TRC Summary Report: Honouring the Truth, Reconciling for the Future

Global Centre on Pluralism
Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin’s full lecture on tolerance in Canadian society 

The link is an hour and 14 minute video of the remarks of the Chief Justice Beverly McLachlin of the Supreme Court of Canada in which the term cultural genocide was used with reference to the findings of the Truth and Reconciliation Report. Her speech starts at the 8 minute mark and ends at the 44 minute mark; it is well worth the time to draw us back to a vision of Canadian society perhaps somewhat eclipsed in recent times.

CBC News – Evan Solomon
Ottawa gunman Michael Zehaf-Bibeau was shot 31 times, police report to reveal

Michael Zehaf-Bibeau was hit by 31 bullets but more were fired.  The report by the OPP, not yet released except through leaks to media, was commissioned by the Speaker Andrew Scheer who is holding back the full report.  Not surprisingly the OPP have found the killing justifiable but critics are wondering about the number of shots fired and the number of hits on Zehaf-Bibeau.  Thus far, there is no indication when the full report will be made public.

Globe and Mail – Verity Stevenson
Hundreds make final bids to stay in Canada after deportation hold lifted

3,500 people in Canada – 3,200 Haitians and 300 Zimbabweans – are now, as of June 1, facing deportation since the Canadian government has lifted the ban on deportations to Haiti and Zimbabwe.   The moratorium on deportations dates from 2004 and 2002 respectively so that some among those scrambling under humanitarian grounds have been in Canada for some years.  The decision and repeated failure on applications to date for those long term residents have also resulted in a movement to the underground.

Prison Reform International (UK) & the UN
‘Mandela Rules’ on prisoner treatment adopted 

The United Nations Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (CCPCJ or Crime Commission) has adopted a revised protocol on the treatment of prisoners, replacing norms some 60 years old.  The revision is due to changes in both the criminal justice and human rights standards.  The Standard Minimum Rules will be known as the Mandela Rules and will be applied to nine different areas of treatment for inmates, including a new standard on solitary confinement. The declaration is expected to go to the General Assembly by the end of this current year.    Related article:  Prison Reform International (PRI)  PRI celebrates its 25th anniversary with a debate on: “If prison doesn’t work, what does?” 

“A lot of the solutions to criminal justice problems don’t lie within prison walls. They are out there in public health, in housing, in social justice, in the relationships between people and in restorative justice,” said Juliet Lyon, PRI’s Secretary-General.”    (The link provides a 20 minute film of highlights or a 40 minute pod cast of the panel debate.)  Related article:  Huffington Post (US) Blogger – Marc Schindler  Bringing an End to the Incarceration Generation

Toronto Star – Jack Gillum Eileen Sullivan, and Eric Tucker
FBI behind mysterious aircraft spying over U.S. cities

Shortly after the US courts – and the Senate – ended the National Security Agency’s collection of mega-data from the nation’s telephone systems, the FBI, it seems, is flying small aircraft over US cities with eavesdropping capacity for video and cell phones and with fictitious company registrations.  Associated Press has identified at least 13 of these companies and gotten acknowledgement from the FBI of its activities using 115 airplanes.