Better days…

May 1, 2020

The Lily (Hawaii) – Frances Nguyen
This state says it has a ‘feminist economic recovery plan.’ Here’s what that looks like. The state wants ‘to build a system that is capable of delivering gender equality’

Here in Canada we are wrestling with the extent to which the killing of 22 people in Nova Scotia was toxic masculinity gone awry.  In Hawaii, the state is looking at its reality that the economy penalizes women and is looking to correct the inequity as a measure of recovery from Covid-19.  “Hawaii (is) the first state to propose what it’s calling a “feminist economic recovery plan” Rather than restoring the economy to the old normal, the state is looking to seize the opportunity “to build a system that is capable of delivering gender equality.”   Related article: Goodmen – What We Talk About When We Talk About Men: The Top 12 Issues Men Face Today – Men’s roles are changing almost faster than we can keep up with the change. Here are twelve reasons the conversation about men is so incredibly important.   (Ed note: The link is to a statement first developed in 2014 and regularly re-edited and may be helpful in viewing an alternate to toxic masculinity.)  Related article:  Hill Times (Canada) – Samantha Wright Allen   Mass shooting should prompt discussion on domestic violence, says Liberal MP – Justin Ling
The Government Said It’s Releasing Many Inmates to Combat COVID-19. It’s Not – The numbers provided by Public Safety Minister Bill Blair just don’t add up.

The numbers don’t add up.  What appears to be the case is a mixture of the numbers regularly released for sentence expiry and parole with those specifically release to combat the virus.  As far as Vice can determine, only the one prisoner who won his case in lawsuit against Corrections Canada has in fact been released for the sake of the virus.  None of the agencies involved are answering questions or returning calls from Vice, neither Bill Blair’s ministry, the National Parole Board and Corrections Canada.  Blair has previously claimed that “hundreds of prisoners’ have been released.

Amnesty International
No more violence at Manitoba Hydro’s Keeyask Dam

With the support of Amnesty International, the appeal from Hilda Anderson-Pyrz of the Cree Nation may well prove a concrete example of toxic masculinity as a threat against the Indigenous people living in the Gillam, Manitoba area.  “Indigenous peoples—particularly Indigenous women—have reported experiencing racist, sexist, and homophobic harassment and violence, including sexual violence, on the construction site in the worker camp, and in nearby urban centres. Some of these incidents have been reported to police. Others have been reported to media. Fearing reprisals at work and mistrusting police, many incidents have been reported to trusted community members.”   Related article:  Toronto Star: Pewter Edwards  How COVID-19 is changing underage sex-trafficking in the GTA

The Marshall Project (US) – Cary Aspinwall and Joseph Neff
These Prisons Are Doing Mass Testing for COVID-19—And Finding Mass Infections – Health experts say not testing staff could be a blind spot.

This link provides reputable evidence that in fact prisons are like a Petri dish for incubating the Coronavirus.  A very rural prison – even without a state highway passing through – has become the latest hot spot.  Following testing of all in the 1700 prisoner population, 680 and 14 staff have tested positive for the virus.  Most prisons are not pursuing vigorous testing and those that do are discovering the virus widespread and unpredictable without the testing, especially if the state policy does not test guards.  Related article: Twitter Rachel Barkow   A Preventable Tragedy   Related article:  USA Today (US) – Kevin Johnson   Mass virus testing in state prisons reveals hidden asymptomatic infections; feds join effort  Related article: AP News Service (US) – Michael Balsamo  Over 70% of tested inmates in federal prisons have COVID-19   Related article: Pennsylvania Capitol-Star (US) – Elizabeth Hardison  Commutation applications put on indefinite hold, as reformers press for action amid pandemic  

 CBC News – Jean Paul Tasker
Trudeau announces ban on 1,500 ‘assault-style’ firearms — effective immediately – Public safety minister has drafted a list of firearms to be banned, including those used in mass shootings

There are over 1500 types on the list of banned military type weapons.  “Trudeau said there will be a two-year amnesty period for people who already own these firearms to comply with the ban. Trudeau promised to pass legislation in the coming months to provide “fair compensation” for people who own these firearms.” According to the proposal, by 2022, those who currently have these weapons may not use them and must dispose of them or face criminal charges. There are an estimated an estimated 83,572 such weapons in Canada.   Related article:  Angus Reid Institute – Four-in-five Canadians support complete ban on civilian possession of assault style weapons

 Ottawa Citizen – Art Eggleton and Hugh Segal
Eggleton and Segal: COVID-19 presents lessons in how a guaranteed basic income program could work

Prompted by the economic and social impact of the Coronavirus, almost half the Canadian Senate is advocating for some sort of universal annual income.  “The Canada Emergency Relief Benefit (CERB) is one program that comes close to being a basic income measure. But there are still people falling through the cracks who can’t provide sufficiently for the necessities of life: food, medicines and housing for themselves and their families.”