A tale of 3 cities…

April 25, 2017

CBC News –
Ontario basic income pilot project to launch in Hamilton, Lindsay and Thunder Bay – Premier Wynne made the announcement at Liuna Station in Hamilton on Monday just after 9 a.m.

You have to apply but there are no strings attached.  The basic income experiment will take place in three Ontario cities which, according to Premier Wynne, reflect the right demographics.  Whether they are working or not, the targeted income level is just below $17,000 for a single person.  The project will be limited to 1,000 applicants total and will cost $50 million each of the three years. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/hamilton/wynne-announcement-hamilton-1.4082476    Related article:  Ontario Government Discussion Paper: Hugh Segal Finding a better way…  https://files.ontario.ca/discussionpaper_nov3_english_final.pdf

Ottawa Citizen – Paola Loriggio, Canadian Press
Why sex assault complainants are turning to human rights tribunals, instead of criminal justice system

The sexual assault case of Tamsyn Riddle draws attention to new trend in confronting the problem.  Assaulted by a student on campus, Riddle reported the case to the University of Toronto, fearing the repercussions from going the police route.  After finding “the university’s process distressing and unhelpful,” Riddle complained to Human Rights.  http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/national/assault+complainants+turning+human+rights+tribunals+instead/13320048/story.html   Related article: Forbes Magazine (US) – Nicole Fisher    Human Trafficking Is In Plain Sight. Are You Supporting It Without Knowing? https://www.forbes.com/sites/nicolefisher/2017/04/24/human-trafficking-in-plain-sight/#36c186ec51f8

CBC News – Peter Zimonjic
Trudeau says his dad went to bat for son Michel when he was charged with pot possession – After legalization, Trudeau will introduce a ‘process’ to ‘make things fairer’ for those with pot convictions

In a town hall meeting, Prime Minister Trudeau was asked by a young man about a pot possession charge.  The answer involved a narrative about younger brother Michel who was charged with possession after a car accident.  Trudeau’s father had the resources and connections to make the charge go away.  Trudeau says that once the new legislation is passed he will look to those cases where a criminal record is the legacy of those who were convicted for what will become legal shortly.  The answer, and the promise, fails to consider why the government is still vigorously pursuing the ‘low-hanging fruit.” http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/trudeau-vice-pot-possession-1.4083892

CBC News – Kathleen Harris and Alison Crawford
Supreme Court to hear case on justice system delays – Accused drug dealer James Cody argues his constitutional right to a timely trial was violated

SCC is hearing another case that may allow a review of the Jordan decision placing limits on how long a delay is permissible in a criminal case.  The Jordan case was a 5-4 decision which has rocked the legal community and allowed several serious changes – even murder – to be dismissed for delay.  Critics say the criteria should include the seriousness of the crime and the impact on victims.   http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/supreme-court-justice-delays-1.4082967   Related article: Globe and Mail – Heather Stefanson   The preliminary inquiry: A relic that needs reform    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/the-preliminary-inquiry-a-relic-that-needs-reform/article34793520/

Vancouver Sun – Larry Pynn
B.C. Election 2017: Green platform pledges to balance budget over four years

As the BC election (May 9) warms up, Green leader Andrew Weaver has promised $50 million to support and enhance services of restorative justice, and other alternatives for the criminal justice system.  Likely, the first time in Canada’s history that electioneering has brought RJ and specific budgeted amounts into a party platform, the promise is in the context of initial deficit.  http://vancouversun.com/news/politics/b-c-election-2017-green-platform-pledges-50-million-towards-restorative-justice

Healthier San Francisco – The Unified School District
Teaching Restorative Practices with Classroom Circles

The link is to a 63 page downloadable pdf that explains how to introduce and sustain RJ in a classroom context.  The focus is on the goals of RJ in a classroom setting and the circles used to establish the classroom relationships.  http://www.healthiersf.org/RestorativePractices/Resources/documents/RP%20Curriculum%20and%20Scripts%20and%20PowePoints/Classroom%20Curriculum/Teaching%20Restorative%20Practices%20in%20the%20Classroom%207%20lesson%20Curriculum.pdf

CBC News – Chris Brown
How Europe’s heroin capital solved its overdose crisis – What Canada can learn from Portugal about opioid addiction, rehab and recovery

The number of deaths from opioid overdose has reached extra-ordinary levels in Canada, more than from automobile deaths.  Portugal had a similar problem but adopted a different route than law enforcement and the medical model.  They dropped all criminal penalties and turned the problem into a public health issue.  The results:  in a decade the number of addicts has dropped by one half and drug related deaths are four times lower than the European average.  http://www.cbc.ca/news2/interactives/portugal-heroin-decriminalization/