Four years max…

Mar 30, 2017

CBC News – Alison Crawford
Federal Court orders public safety minister to make decision in immigration case – Chief justice rejects argument minister is too busy to make decisions on sensitive cases

Chief Justice Paul Crampton of the Federal Court has ordered Immigration Minister Ralph Goodale to attend to his business a little better than the delays involved in the case of Morteza Momenzadeh Tameh, an Iranian national who was ordered deported but who made a Ministerial appeal.  Four different ministers later, Tameh is still waiting for a ruling.  The judge also thinks the upper limit for such decisions should be four years, a new marker that immigration lawyers are welcoming.  Government is reviewing the ruling before responding.

National Newswatch – Alexandra Posadzki, The Canadian Press
Cannabis producers lobby government ahead of legalization legislation

Seven medical and recreational marijuana producers, several of whom are already licensed, want the feds to allow branding of their product and a tax free status for the medical use.  The rationale is that the branding allows for both competition and education around the various strains.   Related article: Toronto Star – Lisa Wright   Shoppers, Loblaw employees covered for medical marijuana – Shoppers largest private sector employer in Canada to provide medical marijuana benefits to employees

Toronto Star – Thomas Walkom
Among Conservatives the dark side of Stephen Harper lives on

Recent surveys around immigration and refugee perspectives are suggesting that the Canadian welcome may be somewhat endangered.  Walkom is reporting that 48% of Canadians in a recent survey think that those crossing our border illegally from the US should be sent back, safe third country or not.  Walkom looks at the issue through the lens of the Conservative leadership candidates.   Related article: Globe and Mail – Christian Leuprecht   More border resources for migrants is not a solution

National Newswatch – Lee Berthiaume, Canadian Press
Defence chief promises action as review finds major problems at military college

Chief of defence staff Gen. Jonathan Vance seems determined to resolve some problems at Canada`s Kingston Royal Military College.  The report follows the suicide of three cadets and looks to how to relieve stressors that are unrelated to military leadership skills and practices.  The report does not address the suicides whose investigation is in the hands of a board of inquiry.  Nor is there any suggestion that sexual assault and harassment is front and center, a question still reverberating in the entire Armed Forces.  Related article: CBC News – Top general says no systemic problems at Royal Military College after report on suicide, sexual misconduct   Full Report:

CBC News –
Senator Murray Sinclair responds to Lynn Beyak’s defence of residential schools – Former head of Truth and Reconciliation Commission says residential school deniers are ‘dim-witted’

Senator Murray Sinclair, the former head of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, thinks that the best way to fight the deniers of the evils of the residential school system is to preserve the record of the wrongdoing for this and future generations.  Sinclair was answering questions from CBC`s Anna Maria Tremonti about remarks from another senator, Lynn Beyak, who has asserted that positive things came from the schools as well.   Related article: CBC News – John Paul Tasker  Senator Lynn Beyak stands by residential school remarks, cites ‘fake news’ – Tory senator ignores calls for an apology, asks for an audit of money ‘flowing in and out of reservations’

 Toronto Star – Maxime Bergeron, La Presse (Montréal)
Americans increasingly refused entry to Canada, documents show – Figures from the Canada Border Services Agency show a spike last year in the number of refusals for American travellers seeking to cross to Canada, La Presse reports.

La Presse has a startling piece of information for us so habituated to reporting troubles for Canadians crossing into the US.  The stats show that there has been an increase of 31% in the number of Americans refused entry into Canada in 2016, a total of 30,233.  No one is saying why the increase nor any particular cause for turning away the travellers, though better access to criminal history info by CBSA is thought to be factor. There has actually been a reduction of 8.5% in the refusal for US bound Canadian citizens.

Globe and Mail – Colin Freeze
China hack cost Ottawa ‘hundreds of millions,’ documents show

The hacking of the National Research Council computers in 2014 has been attributed to the Chinese state and is estimated to have cost Canada millions.  The Globe and Mail, under Freedom of Access to Information, has discovered a federal government Powerpoint presentation outlining the extent of the problem and damages.  Related article: The Tyee (BC) Jeremy J. Nuttall   Ottawa’s Approval for Chinese Takeover of Tech Firm Sparks Concerns

Ottawa Citizen – Shaamini Yogaretnam and Vito Pilieci
Updated: Tensions rise within Ottawa police, community over ‘United We Stand’ bracelets

Const. Daniel Montsion has been charged in the death of Abdirahman Abdi who died after a beating.  The Ottawa Police Association has a $2 black and blue wrist band inscribed with Montsion`s badge number and the words “United We Stand.”  Police Chief Charles Bordeleau has ordered a ban on wearing the wrist bands while on duty.

Ontario Introduces Anti-Racism Legislation

Ontario has introduced and given First Reading to Bill 114 a three year strategic plan to combat racism that includes establishing an Anti-racism Directorate in legislation (it was already initiated in 2016) among other steps in the effort to confront systemic racism.   Full Text:  A Better Way Forward: Ontario’s 3-Year Anti-Racism Strategic Plan (A 60 page PDF; also a summary available)   

Homeless Hub – Courtney Pankratz; Geoff Nelson
An Evaluation of Rent Assistance for Individuals Experiencing Persistent Homelessness in Waterloo Region

The Waterloo (Ontario) region has a new study that suggests three distinct advantages to the practice of rent assistance in getting long term homeless people into housing.  The assistance improves housing stability, improves the quality of the housing, and the quality of life for the renters.  Full report:  ( A 9 page pdf)