A dearth of pardon…

Oct 13, 2016   

CBC News – Alison Crawford
Applications for criminal pardons down following Tory reforms – Liberals to review Conservative changes to the Criminal Records Act

Over the last five years, the number of applications for pardons for criminal offenses has dropped by 50%.  The pardons are often necessary for jobs, housing, travel or volunteer involvement. The reduction in application reflect the former Conservative government’s policy to make the process harder, substituting a record suspension for the pardon, and an increase in the fee for the application from $150 to $631.  Drunk driving and drug offenses are often the conviction and pardons were granted to about two thirds of those who applied.  http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/pardon-applications-decrease-consultations-1.3796105   Related article: Toronto Star Editorial (Oct. 12, 2016) Ottawa should fix punitive pardon process    https://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorials/2016/10/12/ottawa-should-fix-punitive-pardon-process-editorial.html

Toronto Star – Nicholas Keung
Woman stripped of refugee status after questions raised over identity

This case is raising the hackles of many in the immigration/refugee arena.  Once granted refugee status, Gift Daniel, 32, a Nigerian refugee with documented evidence of genital mutilation, is now facing deportation from Canada to her native Nigeria where she was sold to an older man.  The case revolves around the spelling of her name on her Nigerian driver’s license and birth certificate: ‘Gife’ rather than ‘Gift’.  https://www.thestar.com/news/immigration/2016/10/11/woman-stripped-of-refugee-status-after-questions-raised-over-identity.html   Related article: Toronto Star – Nicholas Keung    Citizenship applications plummet as fees soar –  The number of immigrants applying for citizenship has dropped significantly for the second year in a row after fees went up from $100 to $530    https://www.thestar.com/news/immigration/2016/10/12/citizenship-applications-plummet-as-fees-soar.html  Related article: Policy Option  – Andrew Griffith   The impact of citizenship fees on naturalization   http://policyoptions.irpp.org/magazines/october-2016/the-impact-of-citizenship-fees-on-naturalization/    Related article: National Newswatch – Will Leroy, Canadian Press    Minister begs for help to resist public “pushback” on immigration levels   http://www.nationalnewswatch.com/2016/10/12/minister-begs-for-help-to-resist-public-pushback-on-immigration-levels-2/#.V_-RVfkrJhF

Toronto Star – Lauren Pelley
Donald Trump video prompts global revelations of sexual assault

A Canadian woman, Kelly Oxford, has started what appears to be an extra-ordinary flow of recitations of sexual assault incidents based on personal experiences, often in public and when under-aged.  Kelly Oxford has women to reply with their experience when she tweeted:  “Old man on city bus grabs my ‘p—y’ and smiles at me, I’m 12.”  At one point, she was getting 50 replies per minute and is suggesting that the replies are delineating the extent of the problem and the extreme difficulty of making progress in concrete change.  https://www.thestar.com/life/2016/10/12/donald-trump-video-prompts-global-revelations-of-sexual-assault.html

Toronto Star – Wendy Gillis
Humiliated by strip search, Toronto man wants watchdog’s ruling quashed

Matthew Green was drunk in public but did not think his arrest and circumstances warranted a strip search once in the police station.  He complained and the complaint body – the Office of the Independent Police Review Director (OIPRD) –   agreed that Matthew had experienced police misconduct.  Then, the same body ruled the embarrassing experience was “less serious” and that there should be no consequences.  How, wonders Green and his advocates, can one expect police compliance when there are no consequences?  The case is now under judicial review. https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2016/10/12/humiliated-by-strip-search-toronto-man-wants-watchdogs-ruling-quashed.html

Toronto Star – Michelle McQuigge, The Canadian Press
Ontario family lawyer won’t be suspended after child porn conviction

This is the sort of case that inevitably raises eyebrows about double standards.  The Law Society was seeking to remove temporarily the licence to practice law of a family practices lawyer who has been convicted of child pornography.  The tribune refused saying that the lawyer is not likely to re-offend.  The case now awaits a final review of the lawyer’s status.  https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2016/10/11/ontario-family-lawyer-wont-be-suspended-after-child-porn-conviction.html

Ottawa Citizen – Kady O’Malley
Trans rights bill sets stage for battle among Tory leadership hopefuls

Bill C-16 has been tabled but left in the background for almost a year now.  It deals with the human rights protection of trans-gendered people.  Due next week for second reading, Conservative leader Rona Ambrose has promised a free vote and the bill will likely set off a barrage of reaction in the ranks of those vying for the conservative leadership; C-16 is likely to pass easily with a Liberal majority.  http://ottawacitizen.com/news/politics/kady-trans-rights-bill-sets-stage-for-battle-among-tory-leadership-hopefuls

Globe and Mail – Andrea Woo
Legal system adapting to rise of fentanyl-related drug offences

The deadly potential of the pain killer fentanyl on the streets and the increasing number of victims of overdose is prompting the legal system to look on the trafficking of the drug as meriting a more serious sentence on conviction.  BC judges, where the deaths have been high, are looking to the US where the specific danger of this synthetic opioid is getting longer sentences comparable to second degree murder.  http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/legal-system-adapting-to-rise-of-fentanyl-related-drug-offences/article32325979/