A chance to live great lives…

    Oct. 18, 2015 

Globe and Mail – Naheed Nenshi – Mayor of Calgary
Divided, Canada stands to lose what makes it great

For those who may need a refreshed sense of what we struggle to achieve and maintain as Canadian values, Nenshi’s reflection of his family’s arrival and struggles may inspire us to continue the fight for smart justice, widespread good will, and bonded, caring communities for all Canadians.  The thought below relates to a visit Nenshi made to a Calgary school with immigrant children:

All at once, I knew something to be true above all else. Regardless of what these kids had been through, of how little they have or had, of what wrath some vengeful God had visited on them and their families, they’d had one burst of extraordinary good fortune – they ended up in Canada, in Calgary, at the Connaught School. They ended up in a community that wants them to succeed, that has a stake in them – that cares about them, and will make sure they don’t fail.  And I knew that those kids would have a chance to live great lives. That’s the promise of Canada.   http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/divided-canada-stands-to-lose-what-makes-it-great/article26848363/

Globe and Mail – Doug Saunders
A new refugee story, but a sadly familiar tale

Saunders describes the changing tones and perceptions of the Serbian refugees in Belgium and the struggle of the various EU governments to respond to the numbers and the needs.  Saunders reminds us how we view all previous large influxes of refugees:  “they were seen in most countries, including Canada, as being impossible to assimilate, civilizationally remote and destined to become a long-term social problem.”  He offers two conclusions for the moment at least.  First that we have become impatient with generational change; and second, we still believe the old lie that life was neater and more orderly before them. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-debate/a-new-refugee-story-but-a-sadly-familiar-tale/article26845276/

Toronto Star – David Oliver
Why immigration is a chequebook issue – For Canada’s economy to stay competitive, we must help immigrants arrive here, and make their lives easier once they do 

Oliver argues that Canada has less than one half of one percent of the world’s population but is the world’s eleventh largest economy.  As opposed to merely tolerating immigrants, Canada in its multi-culturalism has embraced the immigrant and welcomes them to an economy that needs them to grow.  Oliver is a business reporter and musters considerable evidence to call for more immigration.  http://www.thestar.com/business/2015/10/16/why-immigration-is-a-chequebook-issue-olive.html

Toronto Star – Jacques Gallant
Secrecy to continue when complaints are raised against judges Ontario Judicial Council rebuffs a bid by the Toronto Star and Criminal Lawyers’ Association to make reviews of judges more transparent.

The Toronto Star and the Criminal Defence Lawyers Association brought complaints against provincially appointed judge, Ontario Court Justice John Ritchie.  Ritchie works in the Old City Hall in Toronto and has been the subject of other complaints as well.  The judicial council ruled that since the complaint did not lead to a public hearing – a relatively rare consequence- the information around the council investigation could not be released.  The Star plans an appeal of the decision to the Divisional Court.  http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2015/10/17/secrecy-to-continue-when-complaints-are-raised-against-judges.html   Related article: Toronto Star – Jim Bronskill, Canadian Press  Federal Access to Information law ‘critically sick’: new study – Audit by lobby group Newspapers Canada says long delays, blacked-out pages and staff shortages are the norm  http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2015/10/16/federal-access-to-information-law-critically-sick-new-study.html

The Age (Australia) – Farrah Tomazin
An increase in the age of eligibility is being considered to help keep young offenders out of adult jails, writes Farrah Tomazin.

In Australia the youth age for criminal justice stops at 18.  Tomazin wants to raise the age a year or two since the youth provisions do not apply if at the time of sentencing the accused is above the 18 years.  The argument is based on the notion of dealing more effectively with youthful indiscretion rather than hardened criminals and at once preventing formation into criminal ways with adult prison time.  The move is supported by the Youth Parole Board and by Smart Justice for Yong Persons.
http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/youth-parole-board-chairman-calls-for-rethink-of-juvenile-justice-20151016-gkbide.html#ixzz3ow9d1STF   Web site for Smart Justice for Young Persons:    http://www.smartjustice.org.au/cb_pages/index_sjfyp.php

Truth Out (US) – Victoria Law
Prisoners’ Families Organize to Resist Incarceration and Its Costs

Astonishingly, one in three families in the US with relatives incarcerated go into debt to maintain telephone calls or visits with their loved ones.  The costs to family include travel, telephone, canteen, the inmates ‘cash account,’ all at inflated pricing, and proving once again that there are mostly poor people in prison. http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/33259-prisoners-families-organize-to-resist-incarceration-and-its-costs  The problems are itemized in a 60 page new report and pdf called Who Pays and found at: http://whopaysreport.org/who-pays-full-report/