800 delays…

Feb 16, 2017

Globe and Mail – Sean Fine
Lawyers want to toss hundreds of criminal cases for unreasonable delays

The push back from defence lawyers is starting to reveal the number of cases impacted by the Jordan decision around the appropriate time limits in bringing accused people into court: 18 months for provincial, 30 months for Superior Court.  Lawyers are looking to throw out over 800 cases, including manslaughter and murder cases while judges are becoming less tolerant of what they see as lethargic delay.  http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/across-canada-hundreds-of-criminal-case-suspensions-sought-for-unreasonable-delay/article34026240/?reqid=0ae3db1b-e2c5-46cd-99f1-894b2d709b03

N.Y. Times – Tina Rosenberg
Even in Texas, Mass Imprisonment Is Going Out of Style

Many in the US are justly concerned about the sustenance of the social welfare safety net for the next four years.  But response to the mass incarceration problems, and more specifically its costs, are not likely to remain dormant or suffer reverses.  There are, in fact, at least six items that all – Liberals and Conservatives – agree on.  Even when there is disagreement, the problems are shared by both federal and state authorities who operate independently in policy matters.  In Texas last year there have been 16 prison reform bills passed at the state level with Liberals and Conservatives agreeing on 70-80% of the items.  https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/02/14/opinion/even-in-texas-mass-imprisonment-is-going-out-of-style.html?em_pos=small&emc=edit_ty_20170214&nl=opinion-today&nl_art=10&nlid=65895931&ref=headline&te=1&_r=0&referer=

 National Post – David Akin
Liberal MP keen to allay ‘fear and anxiety’ on anti-Islamophobia motion but will not change it in face of ‘hatred’

Debate in the House on Motion 103, a motion that can neither add nor change any laws, will start today, Wednesday.  The motion, introduced by Pakistan born Liberal MP Iqra Khalid from Mississauga (ON) has prompted some support from the Liberals and some resistance from the Conservatives.  The motion speaks against intolerance and Islamophobia and got support from 70,000 Canadians in the aftermath of the six Quebec mosque murders.  http://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/canadian-politics/liberal-mp-keen-to-allay-fear-and-anxiety-on-anti-islamophobia-motion-but-will-not-change-it-in-face-of-hatred   Related article: Toronto Star – Alex Boutilier  Conservatives divided on anti-Islamophobia motion   https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2017/02/14/conservatives-divided-on-anti-islamaphobia-motion.html   Related article: Calgary Herald – Postmedia News   Vicious abuse and personal attacks on the rise say politicians  http://calgaryherald.com/news/local-news/vicious-abuse-and-personal-attacks-on-the-rise-say-politicians

Ottawa Citizen – Andrew Seymour
Inmate death marks third suicide in Ottawa jail in past 10 months

The trouble Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre (OCDC), a provincial institution, continues to astound.  Despite frequent and loud calls for reform and change, the Centre has its third inmate suicide in 10 months.  Cleve Geddes, 30, of Killaloe, held in protective custody, hanged himself in his cell on Feb. 8.  (Seymour also provides a chart of the number of suicides in federal institutions since 1994.)  There are protocols around assessing the need for suicide prevention measures on admission and special requirements to insure that the cell has no fixed point to be used in hanging.  To date the Ontario ministry has simply re-iterated its policy on prevention.  http://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/inmate-death-marks-third-suicide-in-ottawa-jail-in-past-10-months

Public Health Canada

A Focus on Family Violence in Canada

This is a 64 page downloadable pdf from the Chief Public Health Officer – Dr. Gregory Taylor.  The report is a genuine collabourative effort with many public and community agencies.  There is a summary of key messages found on p. 7, followed by a section identifying the challenges around family violence.  The report is clear in its insistence that family violence is a health issue.  The report also offers updates on incidents and statistics around family violence, with both breakdown by province, education and gender; it examines as well as well prevention and intergenerational trauma.  Highlights and graphics are excellent.  Potential solutions start on p. 36.  Extensive footnotes and references comprise over 20 pages of the pdf.   http://healthycanadians.gc.ca/publications/department-ministere/state-public-health-family-violence-2016-etat-sante-publique-violence-familiale/alt/pdf-eng.pdf

Toronto Star – Tanya Talaga and Peter Edwards

First Nations artist dies in Thunder Bay Jail and days later grieving sister killed in car crash

Moses Amik Beaver, a widely recognized Indigenous artist, had long struggled with mental illness and his sister was en route to see him.  No one is talking about the inmate death and local authorities are not even confirming the identity of Beaver as the death in Thunder Bay Jail.  The family is wondering why he was in jail and not a mental hospital.  The body has been sent to Toronto for autopsy. https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2017/02/15/first-nations-artist-dies-in-thunder-bay-jail.html