More secrets…

Aug 4, 2017 

Globe and Mail – Anna Mehler Paperny
Canada’s jailhouse secret: Legally innocent prisoners are dying

In the last five years 270 people have died in provincial jails, two thirds never having been convicted of any crime: they were waiting for trails in a system that has created huge over-crowding through bail problems.  “Canadians are dying in prisons here in Canada on a regular basis and it gets very little attention,” said lawyer Kevin Egan.  The Reuters study from 2012 – 2017 examined seven provinces and concluded the death rate was unusually and disproportionately high.

Globe and Mail – Sean Fine
Supreme Court justice offers explanation for LGBTQ decision

Supreme Court Justice Richard Wagner, who is thought to be a candidate for Chief Justice, rejected all four requests from advocacy groups for intervenor status on the case of Trinity Western’s exclusion of LBGTQ from its Law School.  Justice Wagner was later over-ruled by Chief Justice Beverly McLachlin.  26 groups who were seeking intervenor status were reduced to nine, some of whom, says Wagner, in an unusual press interview and statement, were able to offer the LBGTQ perspective.  The re-set means that all 26 will now have intervenor status.

Edmonton Journal – Emily Graney
Jean, in UCP leadership bid, talks tough-on-crime policies

Tough-on-crime is back in play, if it ever went away, in the debates and conversations around the Alberta United Conservative Party leadership bid for Bryan Jean and perhaps others as well.  Thus far, the conversation is around keeping dangerous people off the streets and strengthening the parole services.  The potential impact of the Jordan decision of the SCC and a shortage of judges are other focus points.   Related article: Edmonton Journal – Shawn Logan   UCP leadership poll finds Brian Jean in the driver’s seat

 CBC News – Sherri Borden Colley
 Black former inmates turn to new program to help themselves — and their children – Health Association of African Canadians launches project in Nova Scotia to support former prisoners

Second Chance for Better Futures project is sponsored by the Health Association for African Canadians in Nova Scotia, a project that inserts health care concerns and practices into the re-entry of Black inmates.  Sharon Davis-Murdoch, co-president of the Health Association of African Canadians, expressed the hopes of the project:  “It will increase, we hope, their quality of life, reduce recidivism — going back to prison — and perhaps taking preventive action against the future incarceration of their children.”

CNN (US) – Susan Scutti
Suicide rate hit 40-year peak among older teen girls in 2015

This is a US statistical report on an extra-ordinary impact on depression leading to the increased rate of suicide among older teen girls.  The link offers a one minute CNN health clip.  For these girls, the suicide rate from 2007 t0 2015 doubled; while accentuated for girls the rate has increased significantly for both genders; for boys the rate went up 31%.  The link looks also at some of potential causes.  The study comes from Tom Simon, associate director for science in the division of violence protection at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

CBC News – Verity Stevenson
Why are thousands of Haitians streaming into Canada from the U.S.?

For 50,000 Haitians granted temporary protection in the US following the earthquake in 2010, the protection expires in January 2018, leaving many unsettled and anxious around the likelihood of being deported to Haiti where reports suggest that condition have not substantially improved in the intervening years.  Emmanuel Depas, a New York-based immigration lawyer, who was born in Haiti, says to expect a major humanitarian crisis when the protection expires:  “Going back to Haiti would mean living in poverty, facing persecution or, for a fifth of them with U.S.-born children, being separated from their families.”

Ottawa Citizen – Joanna Smith
Ottawa pledges to cover shortfall from proposed changes to victim surcharge

The federal Liberals have given judges some discretionary power over the imposition of the victim surcharge (Bill C-28), mandatory under the Harper government.  Recognizing that some provinces may see a shortfall in justice budgets, the feds plan to top up the loss of revenue for three years on demonstration of the loss and application for transitional funding.

World Economic Forum (Davos, Switzerland) – Leena Al Olaimy
Terrorists don’t kill for their religion. It’s something else entirely.

The Davos web publication has another factor rarely suggested as part of the terrorist motivation for the violence.  How about shame?  Al Olaimy thinks that a number of terrorist have both causes for shame and an experience of that shame close to their act of terrorism.  The terrorist are often living a life style completely at odd with the tenets of the Muslim faith, often even when cloaked in religious fervor.