Our Canada & the romance of the gun…

Oct 3, 2017

CBC News – Aaron Wherry
Julie Payette is unscripted and at ease on first day as GG – References to scholars and poets replaced with space metaphors in aspirational speech    http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/julie-payette-installation-wherry-1.4316673

 Excerpt from the First speech of Canada’s new Governor General, Honourable Julie Payette:

“We are the true north, strong and free, and we should continue, all the time, to look out for those who have less, to stand for those who can’t, to reach out across differences, to use our land intelligently, to open our borders and welcome those who seek harbour and never, ever cease to be curious, ask questions, and to explore and search.

“And we shouldn’t forget to be happy about celebrating who we are and what we’d like to become.”  (Swearing in ceremony (Oct. 2, 2017)

Related article: National Newswatch / Canadian Press Former astronaut Julie Payette sworn in as Canada’s 29th Governor General   https://www.nationalnewswatch.com/2017/10/02/former-astronaut-to-be-installed-today-as-canadas-29th-governor-general-3/#.WdJjgltSyUk   Related article: National Post – John Ivison  Julie Payette has chance to take vice-regal role to infinity and beyond  http://nationalpost.com/opinion/john-ivison-julie-payette-has-chance-to-take-vice-regal-role-to-infinity-and-beyond   Related article: Toronto Star – Tonda MacCharles  Julie Payette becomes Canada’s 29th Governor General   https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2017/10/02/julie-payette-to-be-installed-as-canadas-29th-governor-general.html

Related article: The Conversation (US) / National Newswatch   Henry Giroux (Chaired professor for Scholarship in the Public Interest, McGill University) Donald Trump’s passion for cruelty https://www.nationalnewswatch.com/2017/10/03/donald-trumps-passion-for-cruelty/#.WdNmKVtSyUl   

Vox.com (US) – German Lopez
Gun violence in America, explained in 17 maps and charts

This article is a comprehensive examination – updated with each new incident – on the violence that seems endemic in our lives.  There is an international comparison on the violence and the availability and use of guns to effect the violence.  The marvel is likely that so many people are impervious and have abundant other causes for the violence.  The graphs of the stats and the source info presented may be significantly helpful.  Equally startling, the graphs on the frequency of mass shootings, defined as four or more victims. Since Sandy Hook (December 2015) there have been 1518 mass shootings, death toll has been 1715 and the wounded toll, now significantly increased, has been 6089.  https://www.vox.com/platform/amp/policy-and-politics/2017/10/2/16399418/us-gun-violence-statistics-maps-charts   Related cartoon: Toronto Star – Theo Moudakis: Las Vegas Massacre   https://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorial_cartoon/2017/10/02/theo-moudakis-las-vegas-massacre.html

The Week.com (Texas) – Lauren Hansen
America’s forgotten prisoners:  A photographer steps into a women’s prison in Texas to meet those caught in the crossfire of the war on drugs

This article is a photographic illustration of what the mass incarceration has done to women inmates who have been sentence for minor non-violent roles in drug offences under harsh federal laws.  Women of colour have frequently been a collateral damage of the drug wars and more than three quarters of women imprisoned are mothers or sole care-givers for whom the ripple effect is destructive of family, particularly with longer sentences, despite being first time offenders.  http://theweek.com/captured/727124/americas-forgotten-prisoners

Blogger Russell Webster (UK)
The payment by results drug recovery pilots failed

The UK has been exploring in a serious way the notion of funding by demonstrated results.  When you prove your program is effective you get funding.  The evaluation, now available, was due in 2015 and is disappointing.  The government experimented at 8 sites that also had variations in conditions and circumstances but in the end only one of the 8 thought continuance worthwhile.  http://us2.campaign-archive2.com/?e=10ab936adc&u=f3b97d02b5235c9e7c9b3a65b&id=d13536c345

Policy Options – David Newhouse
A 19th century Indian Act for 21st century objectives?

Newhouse sees the Indian Act as seriously flawed suffering historical failures in efforts to reform.  Dating from 1876, the Act imposed democracy on the Indigenous population but with a view to enabling the government of the day to create a legal person over whom the government could exercise power. Says Newhouse, “In no other sphere of Canadian life would we use a nineteenth-century piece of legislation to achieve twenty-first-century objectives.”  With the failure to achieve gender reform over the last thirty years, substantive “reform may have to take place outside of the Indian Act through an opt-in approach community by community… The Indian Act is so intertwined with many aspects of First Nations’ lives that a bottom-up, community-driven and community-specific approach is the only approach that has a reasonable hope of success.”  http://policyoptions.irpp.org/magazines/october-2017/a-19th-century-indian-act-for-21st-century-objectives/    Related article: Policy Options – John Cutfeet   The one-sided “accountability” of the Indian Act   http://policyoptions.irpp.org/magazines/septembre-2017/the-one-sided-accountability-of-the-indian-act/

Globe and Mail – Canadian Press
Ontario needs to address issue of strip searches in jails: report

A report from former federal Correctional Investigator Howard Sapers is calling on the Ontario government to formulate new corrections law to address a number of deficiencies and recommendations.  Reporting at the request of the Ontario government, Sapers has 62 recommendations, including fixing strip searches mandated by the present law but also governed by the charter.  Additionally, says Sapers, there is almost no law whatsoever governing how inmate complaints or deaths in custody should be handled.  https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/ontario-needs-to-address-issue-of-strip-searches-in-jails-report/article36468210/  Full report:  Ministry of Community and Correctional Services (MCCSC) Corrections in Ontario: Directions for Reform – Independent Review of Ontario Corrections  http://www.mcscs.jus.gov.on.ca/english/Corrections/IndependentReviewOntarioCorrections/IndependentReviewOntarioCorrectionsDirectionsReform.html

Restorative Justice Week 2017: November 19-26