Rights of Indigenous People…

May 9, 2016

 CBC News
Canada to shift position on UN Declaration on Rights of Indigenous Peoples – Indigenous and Northern Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett to make announcement in New York City on Monday

The UN Declaration on Rights of Indigenous People was passed and signed by 140 nations in 2007; Canada, with the US, Australia and New Zealand opposed it.  The declaration “recognizes Indigenous people’s basic human rights, as well as rights to self-determination, language, equality and land, among others.”  Canada, in 2010 endorsed the declaration but only as ‘aspirational’; today, Canada is going to change its position and endorse the declaration, opening up substantial changes in the relations with its Indigenous people.    http://www.cbc.ca/news/aboriginal/canada-shifting-position-un-declaration-indigenous-1.3571732

Mothers Offering Mutual Support – MOMS (Ottawa) and the Criminalization Punishment and Education Project (CPEP)

A Public Forum on the conditions in Ottawa’s Jail

Place:  Jean Pigott Place, City Hall

Time:   6:00 – 8:00 p.m. – Thursday, May 12, 2016

Who:   All are welcome

Contact:  irenemathias9@gmail.com or http://www.momsottawa.com/#

CBC Sunday Edition – Michael Enright
Canada’s prison ombudsman says “tough on crime” is just a meaningless slogan

Howard Sapers, recent re-appointed as the Correctional Investigator for Canada’s federal prisons, knows what he talking about.  So does Rev. Carol Finney who directs a program called Book Clubs for Inmates.  Sapers says that the prisons are overcrowded and violent, filled with the mentally ill who should be in a hospital with disproportionate numbers of minorities and Aboriginals.  Finlay says: “Canada’s prisons have become places of anger, hopelessness and despair for Aboriginal women.”  http://www.cbc.ca/radio/thesundayedition/the-resilience-of-fort-mcmurray-prison-ombudsman-leaving-halifax-dead-mom-talking-the-existentialist-caf%C3%A9-1.3557099/canada-s-prison-ombudsman-says-tough-on-crime-is-just-a-meaningless-slogan-1.3557119  (A 23 minute audio report at the link)

iPolitics –Leslie MacKinnon
As committees debate assisted death bill, opponents call it unconstitutional

Bill C-14 say some critics violates the Charter and will likely be unconstitutional, at least in the present form.  The Bill is in committee and will come out with amendments for third reading and then to the Senate, all to happen before the SCC deadline of June 6.  Vancouver lawyer Joe Arvay who brought the case prompting the SCC decision has loudly denounced in the committee the condition that the patient anticipate “a reasonably foreseeable death.”  Still some think that this provision may well be the basis for surviving the constitutional question.  http://ipolitics.ca/2016/05/09/as-committees-debate-assisted-death-bill-opponents-call-it-unconstitutional/   Related article:  National Newswatch – Don Lenihan   Assisted Dying: Who is vulnerable to whom?   http://www.nationalnewswatch.com/2016/05/09/assisted-dying-who-is-vulnerable-to-whom/#.VzCVK4QrKM9   Related article: CBC News – Aaron Wherry   Assisted dying legislation a unique window into Parliament’s soul – MPs balance personal considerations, constituent concerns as Bill C-14 goes to justice committee for study   http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/wherry-assisted-dying-1.3572528

Penal Reform International (UK)
Ten-point plan on reducing pre-trial detention

Noting a problem world-wide with pre-trial detention in spite of the availability of bail for remand cases, PRI has a plan for ways to reduce the imprisonment.  “Drawing on international standards, practical experience and findings from the research, PRI has drawn up this plan to assist countries to reform their legislation, policy and practice in relation to pre‑trial justice.”  The succinct plan is available as a PDF download, contained in a brief four pages.  http://www.penalreform.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/10-pt-plan-overcrowding.pdf

Amnesty International
Death Penalty Report for 2015

Amnesty is reporting a shocking 50% death penalty increase in 2015 over 2014, a total of 607 people known to have been executed by their own government, and many more unknown, Amnesty says, in secret, especially in China and North Korea.  Amnesty views the executions as the ultimate in the denial of human rights. Amnesty has also denounced Malawi, asking to stop ritual murders of people with albinism.  https://www.amnesty.org.uk/issues/Death-penalty