Impaired driving…

July 25, 2016

Toronto Star – Jim Coyle
Canada tops list of developed countries for rate of impaired-driving fatalities

Here’s distressing news about Canada from a US source.  Canada is highest in alcohol involved vehicle fatalities – 33.6% – higher than even the US (31%) and much higher than the 19% global average.  MADD legal director Robert Solomon blames it on “the dumbest impaired-driving laws on the face of the planet.”   The report comes from U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention who analyzed data from the World Health Organization and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) (Ontario)
LAO launches mental health training for its criminal lawyers

Legal Aid Ontario has launched a province wide initiative to train 25 representatives to lead regional mental health responses in criminal courts.  “The training touched on several key topics such as: the foundation and history of mental health advocacy in Canada, understanding disability, effective communication and accommodation skills, and mental wellness in the profession.”  The CMHA has partnered with the Legal Aid to create new resources as well.

Globe and Mail – Steven Chase
Canadian think tank under fire for accepting donations from arms maker

The Canadian Global Affairs Institute, a think tank based in Calgary has just published a paper supporting the sale of $15 billion worth of armored cars to Saudi Arabia.  Trouble is the institute has also acknowledged  receiving substantial donations – no amounts revealed from the manufacturer General Dynamics.  Four of the Institutes fellows have also published favourable articles urging the sale in the last two years.  Critics of the sale point to the abysmal human rights record of Saudi Arabia and that the vehicles will likely encourage more human rights violations.

Toronto Star – Editorial (July 24, 2016)
Judge’s decision on consent and rape sends a strong message:

Ontario Court Justice Marvin Zuker in the case of Mandi Gray and the man he convicted of raping her, Mustafa Ururyar, is breaking new ground in the always problematic he-said/she said rape cases in court.  “It doesn’t matter if the victim was drinking, out at night alone, sexually exploited, on a date with the perpetrator, or how the victim was dressed,” the judge wrote. “No one asks to be raped.”  The judge further clarified that consensual but previous sex is not a blanket or on-going consent.  Related article: Toronto Star – Catherine Porter  ‘Myths of rape should be dispelled,’ says judge in Mandi Gray case

Toronto Star – Anthony Morgan
Why Canada needs Black Lives Matter

The movement was born in controversy and frustration in confronting racism, particularly in interventions with police.  The recent events in the US involving both the wanton death of both Black persons and police officers has increased the controversy and brought comparison between the US and Canada.  Morgan thinks we need to recognize the relative size of incidents between the US and Canada and Canadians ought not be lulled into thinking there is no reason for concern.

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