Charities regs…

Feb 11, 2021

Senator Ratna Omidvar
Effective and Accountable Charities Act

The legislation is S-222 from the Senate and is designed to update the current CRA provisions governing how charities can pursue their objectives.  Currently limited to spending their tax receipted dollars on ‘their own activities,’ this legislation calls for an expansion to allow the charity to engage in its pursuits with the partnership of non-charities.  “The Effective and Accountable Charities Act (Bill S-222) will replace the current Income Tax Act language of “own activities” with new language of “resource accountability.” This approach shifts a charity’s focus from ongoing operational control of activities to an approach focused on taking reasonable steps to ensure that charitable resources are devoted to achieving charitable outcomes.”   Bill S-222 text:

Toronto Star – Wendy Gillis
Is this 19-year-old’s death a gun smuggler’s fault? How an ‘unprecedented’ negligence charge may open a new front in Toronto’s battle with gun violence

Holding a gun smuggler and gun runner responsible for the death of a young man using one of the smuggled weapons is the latest tactic to battle handguns.  Peter Petrov Simov was a security guard at an impound yard who died of a gunshot to the head.  Police traced the gun involved to convicted gun runner Jeffrey Gilmour.  “Believed to be unprecedented in Canada, investigators hope the charge is a new way to stop rising gun violence and stem the flow of illegal handguns, the vast proportion of which police say are being smuggled in from the United States.”

Washington Post (US) – Arthur Rizer
Opinion: Virginia police should not fear more accountability

The article references a series of changes in the state of Virginia (Recently the 24th state to abolish the death penalty).  But it is also a helpful analysis of two bills, one senate and one House, both of which are well meaning perhaps but unlikely to have much impact on the process of making police more accountable for deadly force.   Related article:  Lansing State Journal (Lansing, MI) – Krystal Nurse    East Lansing Police reviewing ‘extremely preliminary’ data on officer-initiated contacts, chief says

State of Corrections:  Wednesday, Feb 10, 2021 at 7PM (Ontario) ZOOM Conference

We will be speaking about the conditions that incarcerated individuals are facing during the pandemic and steps forward.  Guest Speakers:  Jeffrey Hartman is a lawyer who advocates for Prison Law across Toronto and British Columbia. He is one of the lawyers leading a current Federal CLASS ACTION lawsuit that addresses COVID-19  in corrections, systemic failure and the violation of inmate Charter Rights.   Knia Singh is a criminal defence lawyer who also represents Human Rights, Civil and Police Complaint Matters. Mr. Singh led the complaint against the police in the tragic death of Regis Korchinski-Paquet.  Malik was a university student who was charged and convicted of Manslaughter and spent 4 years in a federal Institution in Ontario. Malik will speak to us about the conditions and inequalities that he has witnessed in corrections.  Lastly, we will be speaking with an Inmate who was incarcerated in the South Detention Center during the pandemic.

Join Zoom Meeting:  Meeting ID: 872 3816 8242 (Contact:  Zya Brown  or Z. Browne <>

Correctional Services Canada –
Restorative Opportunities : Victim-Offender Mediation Services 2019-2020

Corrections have just released their summary of services for 2019-20 and are noting an increase in requests for restorative justice and mediation.  In some cases, the encounter is face-to-face and in other cases achieved through letter writing.  The report includes break downs of the demographics and follow-up on re-offending after the RJ encounter.  The report also offers an assessment of what CSC calls the Restorative Opportunities Program.

Globe and Mail – Robyn Doolittle and Christine Dobby
Female partners earned nearly 25 per cent less than their male colleagues at a major Toronto law firm, document shows

Private documents obtained from Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP, a prestigious Toronto law firm with a national presence and about 250 lawyers, show that gender disparity is alive and well.  Even at the partnership level, women partners are paid as much as $200,000 a year less than their male counterparts.  The disparity appears to extend to bonus pay as well.  What is also upsetting is the lack of transparency around compensation for women lawyers.

The Marshall Project (US) – Thomas Meagher
What 120 Executions Tell Us About Criminal Justice in America – The Marshall Project tracked every execution in America for more than five years. For condemned people, the path to death grew longer, more winding and erratic.

The state of Virginia has just become the 24th state to abolish the death penalty and abolitionists are pressing President Biden to end executions at the federal level after a spate of federal executions during Trump’s last month in office.  For the last five years, the Marshall Project has followed every individual case by a Next-to-die report supported by a national network of reporting agencies.  120 were executed; about 2600 are still on death row.  After the learnings about the system, the Marshall Project will try to take its learnings to a new effort to be called Death Sentences in the hope of recording and exposing the short comings of the whole justice approach operating in the US.  Related article: Southerly (US)  Alabama deems execution an ‘essential function’ while leading in COVID-19 deaths per capita   Related article: The Intercept (US) – Liliana Segura   After Trump’s Execution Spree, Lingering Trauma and a Push for Abolition – As momentum builds to abolish the federal death penalty, the loved ones of those killed in Terre Haute have just started to grieve.

Huff Post – (Canada) – By Jamie Duncan, Contributor and Alex Luscombe Contributor
What Clearview AI Did Was Illegal, But Don’t Play Down The RCMP’s Role In It – Mass surveillance technology like Clearview’s would not exist without demand from Canadian police.

The link is to an opinion piece that insists that while Clearview knew that its surveillance was illegal in Canada, so did the police forces engaging its services, including the RCMP.  “Privacy Commissioner of Canada Daniel Therrien released a damning statement Wednesday about controversial technology company Clearview AI’s collection and analysis of facial photos of Canadians posted online.”  Similar investigations are underway in Britain and Australia.   Related article: HuffPost – Canadian Press   Clearview AI’s Mass Surveillance Of Canadians A ‘Clear Violation’ Of Privacy Laws: Watchdog – The company had said consent wasn’t needed because they don’t have a “real and substantial” connection to Canada.