28, going on 18…

June 18, 2019

CBC News – Amina Zafar
‘New 18 now is 28′: How screens delay teens’ emotional maturity

The number of teens (13-17) who visited emergency wards in Ontario with self-harming causes has doubled from 2009-2917.  There is a similar trend in the US, Australia and Europe.  The trend is prompting both analysis of how we deliver mental health care to teens and why the increase.  There may be a link between social media and possibly an emotional maturation delay that suggests a developmental hiatus in emotional and social skills.  There also appears to be a significant difference in the way boys present the emotional problems compared to girls. https://www.cbc.ca/news/health/teen-self-harm-emotional-maturity-1.5174104

Toronto Star – Jacques Gallant
Sweeping cuts to legal clinics called a ‘directed attack’ on Toronto and organizations challenging Ford government

Bad blood between Toronto and the Ford provincial government is what is driving the cuts to the Legal Aid clinics in Toronto who say that the cuts are disproportionately targeting Toronto over the rest of the province.  Besides representing the impoverished in court the LAO is also an active advocate for community legal clinics.  “According to the 2016 census, Toronto had a higher prevalence of low-income residents than any other Ontario census area, with 20.2 per cent of the population in 2015 considered low-income after tax by Statistics Canada’s measure.”  https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2019/06/12/sweeping-cuts-to-legal-aid-disproportionately-hit-toronto-clinics-parkdale-site-to-lose-1-million.html

CTV News – Colin Perkel, Canadian Press
Government wins last-ditch reprieve for law allowing inmate segregation

Remember when the Ontario Superior Court Justice Frank Marrocco declared certain parts of the solitary confinement authorization in the Correctional and Conditional Release act unconstitutional, gave the government a year to fix the offending portions, Guess what?  In the meantime, the Ontario Court of Appeal has twice delayed the implementation at request of government and now the Supreme Court has acceded to a government request for a delay in the cut-off date pending a full hearing on the issue, expected in early July.  Bill 83 is the government answer which was called window dressing by its critics and was heavily amended with significant changes in the Senate.  https://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/government-wins-last-ditch-reprieve-for-law-allowing-inmate-segregation-1.4468744?fbclid=IwAR1bESDOm5SpqbSwqyJT9HfowiMOfnyGcBo5T8HLmJLzhz8kXZLPRYfIxzo

Houston Chronicle – Keri Blakinger
‘It’s tough to go around without teeth’: Texas prisons start 3D-denture printing program

Here’s some happy news that mixes medical care. In this case, dental care, with high tech for Texas inmates.  The Texas Department of Corrections has the capacity to provide dentures to inmates through 3-D printing.  63 year old Richard Buehning is the first to receive dentures after over twenty years of a toothless smile and trouble eating.  The program started seven months ago and the Huntsville prison produces the dentures inside the jail.  https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/amp/It-s-tough-to-go-around-without-teeth-13998650.php?__twitter_impression=true

The Southern Illinoisan – Isaac Smith
‘We carry a light’: Inmates at Shawnee Correctional Center care for the prison’s dying

The Shawnee Correctional Center has a novel answer to the question of how to care appropriately for aging and dying inmates.  88 year old Ernest Cornes is surrounded by what he calls “My guys” as he prepares to die.  “No one dies alone,” Karen Smoot said. “Smoot, health care unit director at the Shawnee Correctional Center, said she and her team were on “24-hour vigil” for an inmate in the infirmary. He would be dying soon.”  https://thesouthern.com/news/local/we-carry-a-light-inmates-at-shawnee-correctional-center-care/article_cad783ab-53b2-52cd-a5fb-c8417724e39c.html?utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter&utm_campaign=user-share

National Newswatch – Canadian Press
Quebec adopts secularism bill that bans religious symbols for state workers

Bill 21 has passed the Quebec Assemblée by a vote of 73 to 35 after applying the mechanism of closure to end debate on the bill prematurely. The Parti Quebecois also voted in favour, while the Liberals and Quebec solidaire were opposed.  The bill bans religious symbols in the dress while at work for civil servants, public servants and police.  The legislation also has a pre-emptive by-pass preventing anyone from a challenge that the law violates fundamental freedoms in law. https://www.nationalnewswatch.com/2019/06/17/quebec-government-passes-contentious-immigration-bill-in-early-morning-vote-2/#.XQenpI97k2x

Ottawa Citizen – David Pugliese
Sajjan taken to task about white supremacists in the Canadian Forces – military says it’s dealing with the issue

Last year the military police warned of the rising threat from white supremacists in the Forces.  Canadian Anti-Hate Network Chair Bernie Farber is now warning that the measures taken in response to the warning are insufficient.  The November 2018 report identified at least 30 members who were identified as extreme in spite of the tendency to want to stay below the radar.  “Drawing on their training and deployment experience, current and former military members find that their skills are valued by these groups,” the military police report pointed out. “Further, they provide structure to these organizations, therefore, affording them the ability to gain positions of leadership.”  https://ottawacitizen.com/news/national/defence-watch/sajjan-taken-to-task-about-white-supremacists-in-the-canadian-forces-military-says-its-dealing-with-the-issue  Related article: CBC News – Jonathan Montpetit   How can Quebec heal wounds caused by emotional debate over religious symbols?   https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/how-can-quebec-heal-wounds-caused-by-emotional-debate-over-religious-symbols-1.5177778

National Newswatch – Canadian Press
Poll suggests majority of Canadians favour limiting immigration levels

Perhaps a sign of the raw political discourse of protectionism and isolationism, who are resisting and perhaps resenting immigration, are now in the majority according to this latest poll.  “Sixty-three per cent of respondents to a recent Leger poll said the government should prioritize limiting immigration levels because the country might be reaching a limit in its ability to integrate them…  Just 37 per cent said the priority should be on growing immigration to meet the demands of Canada’s expanding economy.”  Still, the problem may be a survey about filling employment gaps rather than reaching out to desperate families. https://www.nationalnewswatch.com/2019/06/16/poll-suggests-majority-of-canadians-favour-limiting-immigration-levels/#.XQez6I97k2y    CBC News – Austin Grabish   ‘I’m freezing to death’: 911 call shows compassionate RCMP response to asylum seekers en route to Canada   https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/asylum-seeker-911-call-1.5157477   CBC News – Arta Rexhepi   ‘We will always be grateful:’ Kosovo refugees reflect on how Canada shaped their lives  https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/kosovo-refugees-anniversary-greenwood-1.5156189

National Newswatch – Joan Bryden
Majority agrees Indigenous women victims of ‘genocide’ but not on how or by whom

If anyone expected clarity about moving forward from the report of the MMIWG, a Leger poll is suggested that while we agree on an ongoing genocide, we are somewhat muddled about the rest of the conclusion and the way forward.  The poll says, in approximately equal portions, that the blame goes to colonialism, the churches, the destruction of cultural identity and forced assimilation.  The survey says, again in approximately equal parts, the English and French forefathers, the Catholic and Protestant churches and all Canadians are responsible.  https://www.nationalnewswatch.com/2019/06/16/majority-agrees-indigenous-women-victims-of-genocide-but-not-on-how-or-by-whom-3/#.XQe2Fo97k2y   Related article: CBC News – Olivia Stefanovich   UN Human Rights Office calls for examination of MMIWG inquiry’s genocide claim    https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/stefanovich-un-national-inquiry-genocide-response-1.5174855

Toronto Star – Tonda MacCharles
Federal Liberals to campaign on letting cities tighten handgun controls

The federal government appears ready to ignore calls for a ban on handguns and to leave the regulating to the cities.  Bill Blair, federal minister of border security and organized crime, says that the focus of the federal government is to ban assault type rifles and that a ban on handguns would not significantly enhance public safety and would not return benefit for the cost.  Blair is urging cities to improve laws around safe storage of handguns beyond those federal regulations already in place.  Is someone missing the mark here in the light of the prevalence and presence of handguns even at a Raptors victory parade.   https://www.thestar.com/politics/federal/2019/06/17/federal-liberals-to-campaign-on-letting-cities-tighten-handgun-controls.html    Related article: Toronto Star  – Wendy Gillis, Sherina Harris, Francine Kopun    4 injured in shooting near Raptors rally in Nathan Phillips Square https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2019/06/17/reports-of-a-woman-shot-in-nathan-phillips-square-police.html

Toronto Star – Marco Chown Oved and Robert Cribb
Canadian companies failed to pay billions of taxes owed, new CRA report reveals

This is yet again a startling report from the CRA after the previous report about the immunity deal making with off-shore tax evaders.  There is around $10 billion dollars in uncollected corporate taxes dating from 2014, and by implication, much more in the intervening five years.  The link offers some of the efforts and mitigating circumstances that allow corporations, especial foreign corporations, to escape or delay Canadian taxes.  The report includes HST fraud, domestic unreported income fraud, and the ever elusive off-shore fraud, all of which reaches an estimated $21.8 – 26 billion per year.  https://www.thestar.com/news/investigations/2019/06/18/canadian-companies-failed-to-pay-billions-of-taxes-owed-new-cra-report-reveals.html