Aug 22, 2016

 Toronto Star – Michelle Shepherd
What to do about the next Aaron Driver

Prof. Alexandra Bain is a mother, a grandmother and a convert to the Muslim faith.  Bain is doing research on the social media presence of the fighters to one another and amazed at how many there are.  Holland, Calgary Police and Montreal’s Centre for the Prevention of Radicalization are leading in community directed response to radicalization.

Globe and Mail – Bill Curry
Number of federal inspections under foreign worker program on rise

Foreign workers are back in the news.  The system to admit and employ foreign workers goes with some safeguards but the plight of many fails to get redress.  The number of inspections at work site has risen dramatically and the increased inspectors are part of a Liberal government intent to review and revise the temporary foreign worker program.  There were no inspections in 2014 when new rules were introduced, 586 in 2015, and in 2016 to date there have been 1,537.

Globe and Mail – Jim Bronskill, Canadian Press
Liberals eye exceptions to mandatory minimum sentences

Access to information has resulted in the airing of a report to Justice Minister Jody Wilson Reybould that would dissect the mandatory minimums under sentencing and allow some mitigation under certain circumstances.  The report by criminologist Yvon Dandurand of the University of the Fraser Valley in British Columbia says that most countries where mandatory minimums are the law have a safety valve in which certain exceptions or circumstances allow variation.

Globe and Mail – Carrie Tait
Saskatchewan’s racial divide

The divide was highlighted in headlines when Colten Boushie went to a farmhouse off the road for help with a flat tire.  Boushie was shot dead by the farmer Gerald Stanley.  Boushie is a Cree from the Red Pheasant Reserve and Stanley has been release on bail under a charge of second degree murder.  Racial tensions have been high for decades say the locals.

Toronto Star – Jacques Gallant
Sixties Scoop survivors’ day in court finally arrives Tuesday

Thousands of Indigenous children, starting in the 1960’s, were removed from the homes and distributed through adoptive and foster homes.  Estimates for Ontario alone are 16,000 children.  The class action lawsuit, focusing on damage to parenting skills and the consequent lack of success of many families, started in 2009 and has slowly wound its way through the legal system.  “These factors, combined with prejudicial attitudes toward Aboriginal parenting skills and a tendency to see Aboriginal poverty as a symptom of neglect, rather than as a consequence of failed government policies, have resulted in grossly disproportionate rates of child apprehension among Aboriginal people.”

Toronto Star – Amira Elghawaby, National Council of Canadian Muslims
 Rift between Muslim communities and police deepens

 Elghawaby draws attention to the recent BC ruling of police entrapment and the death of a Muslim man to Ottawa as well as the death of Aaron Driver to frame the appraisal of deteriorating relations. The concern is that fear driving a focus on national security may eclipse human rights.   “The killing of Abdirahman Abdi in Ottawa made it critical that we collectively become more attuned to a battle that has raged long before his untimely death.”

Blogger Russell Webster (UK)
Latest prison/probation staffing news

Webster offers a synopsis of the latest UK stats on prison population, the type of crime for imprisonment, and notes a decline in the numbers of correctional staff.   Related report: Ministry of Justice (UK) Aug 2016 Report (34 page pdf)