More PAC’$…

    June 26, 2015

National Newswatch – Canadian Press
HarperPAC shutting down; donations to be returned

Less than a week after announcing the launch of the third party political action strategy, Conservatives on Thursday have announced they are closing down the operation and returning any donated funds to date.  The idea was that funds collected prior to the writ for the election would be excluded from having to name the donors and the amounts under election fund rules.  As of Wednesday, in an interview Tom Flanagan was still expecting the PAC to be used to fight groups like Engage Canada.    Related article:  Toronto Star – Tonda MacCharles    Conservative officials angered by creation of ‘HarperPAC’   Related article:  Canadian Press – Kristy Kirkup   Latest third-party group will help offset left-leaning counterparts: Flanagan   Related article: CBC News – Chris Hall   What election rules? U.S.-style attack time comes to Canada – Anonymous donors, no accountability, all fair in the PAC-land of pre-writ electioneering   Related article:  Ottawa Citizen –  Glen McGregor   Former Tory MP Dean Del Mastro jailed one month for ‘cheating’ in 2008 election

CTV News – Scott MacLean
Former Police Chief assigned new officers to NE Calgary in final hour on the job

In a matter of hours after assigning 22 new officers to District Five of the Calgary Police Services, retiring chief Rick Hansen announced his candidacy for the Conservative riding in District Five.  After 40 years of exemplary service, Hansen is now the center of a storm around a call to the Attorney General of Alberta to investigate a potential conflict of interest.

Toronto Star – Laurie Monsebraaten
Homeless denied day in court – Charter challenge dies as Supreme Court of Canada refuses to hear the landmark case arguing that homelessness violates the right to “security of the person.” 

The case was built around the notion the federal and provincial governments violated the charter by the failure to provide affordable housing.  The SCC has ruled that the solution to housing is the business of the legislatures and not the court, rejecting the challenge.  The Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation (CERA) and four clients launched the challenge in 2010, claiming that the rights to security of person were violated by homelessness.  “An estimated 235,000 people are homeless on any given night in Canada, according to a recent report. Many more “hidden homeless” are living in inadequate or unstable housing.”

CBC News North – Kate Kyle
Aboriginal inmates less likely to get early release from prison – ‘Releasing someone at the end of their sentence does not make a safe community,’ John Howard spokeswoman says

Aboriginal inmates of the federal corrections system are subject to the same release regulations as anybody else but they likely to be held until statutory release (two thirds sentence completion) in 85% of the case vs 69% for others.  Critics have long accepted that the system is discriminatory for Aboriginals: “While aboriginal people make up three per cent of Canada’s adult population, they made up 23.1 per cent of the in-custody population and 16.8 per cent of offenders on community supervision in 2013- 14.”  But critics also argue that mandatory release does not keep the community safe with either group.  The closer an inmate is to mandatory release the more likely is the inmate to re-offend.  The article references the Truth and Reconciliation Report and offers the latest stats province by province.

The UN – Sustainable Development – Draft Outcome for meeting of September 25-27, 2015, to be declared Jan 1, 2016

The document is prepared as a negotiated and expected outcome in anticipation of a meeting of the Sustainable Development Committee scheduled for Sept. 25, 2015, and is meant to replace the almost 15 years old Millennium Development Goals.  The stress in the document is the eradication of poverty in the world and inclusion of all peoples.  The document goes well beyond the Millennium goals – health, education, food and nutrition – by adding economic and environmental goals while offering an integrated approach and branding it a “new agenda.”   (a 44 page pdf, not yet downloadable, with the 17 Goals listed on page 10 of the document.)

Ministry of Children and Youth Services (Ontario)
Ontario’s Enhanced Youth Action Plan

In an effort to confront youth violence the Ministry has recently tabled an enhanced Youth Action Plan (with community funding) building on the 2012 plan.  The plan offers teen transition, safe community development, youth well-being, youth engagement, and working together program options.