First child…

Sept 19, 2016

Mirror (UK) – Rachel Bishop
Terminally ill child becomes first minor to be euthanized in Belgium since mercy killing age restrictions were lifted

In 2014 Belgium, after introducing the euthanasia laws in 2002, lifted the age restrictions on medically assisted killing and is the only country to allow children to be euthanized.  The child must be in a medically hopeless situation and parents must consent.   Though Belgium has the first child death under the laws, there has been an 8-fold increase in the number of adult deaths between 2003 and 2013.  Related article: Reuters – Madelaine Kennedy   Euthanasia rising in Belgium, including more who are not terminally ill  

FAIR (US) – Rohit Chandan
Nationwide Prison Strike Mostly Ignored by National Media

The article is an intriguing list of those media sources who have acknowledged that there is a strike by prison workers across the country, and tragically, those major media sources that have ignored the entire issue.  The strike appears to involve 40 prisons in 24 states, started on Sept. 9, the anniversary of the Attica uprising.  Besides the media, organizers are surprised that social groups, especially unions, are not attentive to the strike.  Related article: The Intercept – Alice Speri   The Largest Prison Strike in U.S. History Enters Its Second Week

Washington Post – Rana Elmir
How Muslim women bear the brunt of Islamophobia

The article takes us on a world tour of incidents that are clearly prejudicial and involving Muslims, and then separates out the stats on the percentage of these incidents directed at women vs men.  Says Elmir:  “2015 had the highest number of anti-Muslim hate crimes — five times the pre-9/11 rate. And although the venom of anti-Muslim sentiment is directed against both men and women, it is a particularly gendered crisis. Women bear the brunt of Islamophobic prejudice.”

Globe and Mail – Bessma Momani
Immigration is a net economic benefit – this is a story Canada should build on

Bessma Momani is professor at the University of Waterloo and her study is suggesting that immigrants rather than being a net cost to Canada are in fact an economic benefit.  They are more entrepreneurial, more creative, more willing to accept risk.  Immigrant entrepreneurs establish all sorts of business ventures from the small to mega-corporations.

CBC News – Ian Hanomansing
Legal profession ‘willing to set logic aside’ to bar cameras from courtrooms – Canadians need to understand their court system, but there’s resistance from legal profession

The Travis Vader trail, besides giving rise to immediate appeal for a trail that took six years to accomplish, is inviting another consideration of the presence of TV cameras in the courtroom.  In fact, it allowed Peter Sankoff,  a Canadian lawyer in Germany at the time but watching the decision live, to recognize that the judge in his judgment cited a part of Criminal Law (Section 230) that had been declared unconstitutional for over 25 years.  Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Denny Thomas allowed a single camera focused exclusively on the judge and the decision has prompted a re-surface of all the arguments pro and con.  It has also prompted an immediate appeal based on the use of Section 230.  Related article: Ottawa Citizen – Paula Simons, Edmonton Journal    Travis Vader verdict ignites legal firestorm after experts cite error in judge’s decision   Related article: Ottawa Citizen – Daphne Gilbert   The case of Justice Robin Camp: Bigotry does not belong on the bench

Globe and Mail – Denise Balkissoon
Migrant farm workers deserve better from Canada

Would you believe that the plentiful supply of locally grown crops presently available in the markets was put there by 30,000 migrant workers from Mexico, Jamaica, and other Caribbean countries?  The workers come for 8 months, without family, and return at the end of the farming season.  Jenna Hennebry, director of the International Migrant Research Centre at Wilfrid Laurier University, says:  “These workers live in conditions most Canadians would not accept, often with no access to phone or transportation.”  With no path to citizenship or other government services, the workers pay employment insurance and pension-plan premiums, as well as income tax.

National Restorative Justice Symposium 2016 – Hosted by the Nova Scotia Restorative Justice Program, the Nova Scotia Department of Justice, and the Schulich School of Law –  November 21 and 22, 2016, Halifax Marriott Harbourfront Hotel    Register on line: