Hold your fire…

March 24, 2016

CBC First Hand
Hold Your Fire

This 44 minute video broadcast by CBC in January is a review of the incidents involving the death of mentally ill persons in confrontation with police.  The video also reviews the training offered to British police on de-escalation of the incident rather than escalation.  Questions around adopting less lethal weapons and better training need to consider this proposed British police training teaching police to hold their fire instead.  http://www.cbc.ca/firsthand/episodes//hold-your-fire

Criminological Highlights – Anthony Doob and Rosemary Gartner

The link is to a series of periodic and scholarly articles on a wide variety of criminal justice issues largely from Doob and Gartner of the U of T’s Centre for Criminology and Sociolegal Studies.  The 11 page pdf (downloadable) journal includes a brief intro to the topic followed by a one page summary of the article itself and origins.  This issue of Criminological Highlights addresses the following questions:  1. Where do gangs get their guns?  2. What kinds of strategies can the police use to reduce crime in specific neighbourhoods?  3. Can employment programs for those being released from prisons reduce reoffending? 4. Who has a bigger effect on criminal sentences: the judge or the prosecutor?  5. Can we assume correctional programs that sound as if they should be effective will do no harm?  6. How do risk assessments affect the pretrial release process? 7. Did the softening of drug laws in Portugal change dramatically drug use in that country?  8. How do different types of conservatives differ in their views of the police?  http://criminology.utoronto.ca/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/CrimHighlightsV15N5.pdf  Readers who enjoy the breathe and depth of these commentaries on contemporary issues may receive the Highlights directly by e-mail subscription at anthony.doob@utoronto.ca   There are also a number of special articles to be found at http://criminology.utoronto.ca/criminological-highlights/

National Newswatch – Jordan Press, Canadian Press
Federal budget targets affordable housing, homelessness and child care

The federal government already funds some 570,000 units of social housing but many of them are badly in need of repair and are neither water nor energy efficient.  Advocates for the homeless say that there are presently 119,000 families living on the street or about to wind up on the street and were looking for 100,000 new units as well.  The funding also includes money for housing for Indigenous people.  Women’s shelters across the country will get an $89 million infusion for housing often in bad repair. http://www.nationalnewswatch.com/2016/03/22/federal-budget-targets-affordable-housing-homelessness-and-child-care/#.VvGr9uLyuUk Related article: National Newswatch – Kristy Kirkup, Canadian Press  Liberal budget includes billions in new spending for Aboriginal Peoples   http://www.nationalnewswatch.com/2016/03/22/liberal-budget-includes-billions-in-new-spending-for-aboriginal-peoples-3/#.VvGn6OLyuUk Related article: CBC News – Margo McDiarmid  Liberals keep most of their green election promises in 1st budget    http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/federal-budget-2016-green-spending-1.3502992   Related article: Hill Times – Rachel Aiello   Feds give Shared Services extra $383.8-million to complete IT consolidation     http://www.hilltimes.com/2016/03/22/feds-give-shared-services-extra-383-8-million-to-complete-it-consolidation/55000   Related article:  Toronto Star – Michael Robinson and Sunny Freeman  How the federal budget affects everyday Canadian families   http://www.thestar.com/business/2016/03/22/crunching-how-the-budget-impacts-real-canadians-tax-payments-credits.html    Related article: Toronto Star Editorial (March 22, 2016)  Trudeau government budgets for a better world  http://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorials/2016/03/22/trudeau-government-budgets-for-a-better-world-editorial.html   Related article: Globe and Mail – Robert Fife   How Trudeau and his Liberal cabinet built their first budget    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/how-trudeau-and-his-liberal-cabinet-built-their-first-budget/article29356902/   Related article: Globe and Mail – Laura Stone    Promises, promises: Which Liberal pledges does the federal budget keep or break?  http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/which-liberal-pledges-does-the-budget-keep-orbreak/article29352253/   Related document:  Government of Canada – Budget 2016   (271 page downloadable pdf) http://www.budget.gc.ca/2016/docs/plan/budget2016-en.pdf   Chapter by chapter outline:  http://www.budget.gc.ca/2016/docs/plan/toc-tdm-en.html

CBC News
Opiate-blocker Naloxone no longer requires a prescription, Health Canada says – Health advocates had been calling for the change following fentanyl-related overdoses

The drug Naloxone is used by first responders for cases of opiate overdoes and is an effective response for critical use.  However there has been controversy about ensuring that it is in the hands of those first responders.  Health Canada has now decided that the drug is no longer a prescription drug and will be widely available, a circumstance that drew very positive approval from the health services community.  http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/naloxone-canada-no-prescription-1.3503316   Related article: CTV News – Sadie Gurman, Associated Press    U.S. inmates given training in using heroin overdose antidote   http://www.ctvnews.ca/health/u-s-inmates-given-training-in-using-heroin-overdose-antidote-1.2828829

Kelowna News.ca – Jim Bronskill, Canadian Press
Supreme Court Justice Thomas Cromwell to retire in September

Cromwell has been on the Supreme Court of Canada since 2008 and is retiring in September 2016, an appointee of Stephen Harper and now creating the first opportunity for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to appoint a justice to the court.  The Liberals are promising widespread consultation and a restored respectful process of appointment.  http://infotel.ca/newsitem/scoc-cromwell-retires/cp36835027