Life, death and rights…

Aug 11, 2021

Toronto Star – Alyshah Hasham
Soleiman Faqiri’s death caused by correctional guards in Lindsay jail, coroner’s report confirms

This report may suggest that five years in the determination of the cause of death of someone in custody is indicative of all that is wrong with the justice system.  Soleiman Faqiri’s  schizophrenia endured for 10 more days in Central East Correctional Centre in Lindsay, ON, before he succumb to the beatings, kicking and pepper spraying while bound and in a spit hood as up to 30 guards delivered a death sentence.  The system, and the people who are part of it, protect themselves too well at the expense of life and human rights.  The Ontario government and the coroner have now passed the case for the third time to the Ontario Provincial Police to investigate.  Related article:  CBC News – Mickey Djuric   Métis man was handcuffed after being fatally shot by Regina police, inquest hears – ‘You guys just escalated everything. You pushed it,’ mother tells officer who shot Geoffrey Morris in 2019  Related article: CBC News –   Indigenous man testifies he was repeatedly beaten by Edmonton police officers – Court views citizen’s video of officer driving knee into prone man’s back    Related article: National Post – Julia Peterson, Canadian Press  ‘He deserved a life:’ Colten Boushie’s mother demands change in justice system  Related link:  The Alberta Prison Justice Society  Alberta Prison Justice Society (APJS) (@PrisonApjs) tweeted at 5:19 p.m. on Tue., Aug. 10, 2021:  “Just a reminder of this great webinar coming up next Thursday! Treatment and housing of Trans inmates are important issues and can also have bearing on potential Charter issues in Trans inmates’ criminal cases.  (”

   Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General
Subject: Re: Ontario Continues to Improve Security at Adult Correctional Facilities

A further measure of the inadequacy of the Ontario Government’s vacillation on criminal justice comes in this recent announcement at the infamous ion machines for detecting drugs that all visitors to provincial prisoners are subjected to on entry to a prison.  Already proven to deliver false positive at an alarming rate to the detrimental of family visitors and prisoners alike, the machines have now been installed in all Ontario prisons where all visiting is done behind Plexiglas anyway.  To say that this announcement is fluff is inadequate.  It is a waste of tax money and at best another lie about how to keep the public safe.  Says Lorraine Berzins of the Smart Justice Network: “This is a very infuriating announcement from Ontario Corrections: ion scanners now in all prisons, even though they have been proven ineffective, with many false positives due to malfunctioning.  The false testing has already proven highly upsetting for family and visitors- whose visits in provincial prisons are only through glass with a telephone anyway.”

National Catholic Reporter (US) – Mark Pattison, Catholic News Service
 Poll reveals religious differences in acceptance of COVID-19 vaccine

These polling results may serve to remind us of the influence of religion in the lives of ordinary people in the face of serious and proven threat from the Covid-19 virus and its variants.  The Public Religion Research Institute is showing that:  “Forty percent of white Catholics and 48% of Hispanic Catholics said they have gotten or will get their children vaccinated, but only 18% of white evangelical Protestants and 27% of Hispanic Protestants said they will do the same. The two Protestant groups are the least likely to do so of all the groups surveyed in the poll… Among other groups, 33% of white mainline Protestants, 35% of Black Protestants and 35% of the religiously unaffiliated “are vaccine acceptant for their children,” PRRI said.” (US) – Audrey Carleton
 An Oil Company Paid Police $2 Million to Defend Its Pipeline from Protests – Enbridge is funding police who have violently responded to protests of its Line 3 pipeline.

This revelation may even shock proponents of letting the Pipeline 3 project go ahead, even as the Canadian government places great reliance on the tax dollars from the project to sustain the recovery status.  “Calgary-based oil giant Enbridge set up a fund called the Public Safety Escrow Trust in May, 2020 as part of its permitting process for the Line 3 pipeline route, which carries tar sands oil from Edmonton, Alberta to Superior, Wisconsin. The funds in this account have been used to reimburse costs associated with “maintaining the peace” around the pipeline, including for officer wages, lodging, and boom trucks, according to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) and Line 3 permits.”  Related article:  CBC News – Associated Press   New spills into wetlands, river crossings reported along Line 3 pipeline construction route – Releases are under investigation as potential violations of Enbridge’s permit   Related article: National Newswatch – Christopher Reynolds, The Canadian Press   UN report ‘must sound death knell’ for fossil fuels as Canada faces climate urgency

CBC News – Nicole Mortillaro
What the new UN report warning of climate impacts means for Canadians – Expect more heat waves, fires and flood events in future

Called Code Red by the UN sources, the sixth assessment report warns that time is running out for the world’s governments and people to address the climate impact.  “Monday’s report, which examined several scenarios, including one of low carbon emissions and one of high carbon emissions, or a business-as-usual approach, said the planet has already warmed almost 1.2 C above pre-industrial levels. The IPCC is calling on world governments to reduce CO2 emissions to limit that warming to 1.5 C, though it appears we may hit that threshold within the next two decades unless drastic reductions are made… We are already seeing the effects of climate change across Canada, including more intense wildfires, heat waves and drought. There is nowhere — and no one — that will not be affected.”   Related article:  Related article: CBC News / Thompson-Reuters (US) – UN sounds alarm on ‘irreversible’ climate impacts, but offers hope “The UN climate panel sounded a dire warning Monday, saying the world is dangerously close to runaway warming — and that humans are “unequivocally” to blame.”   Full UN Report: The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)   IPCC Sixth Assessment Report:   Related article: BC Tyee – Olamide Olaniyan   The Most Important Climate Action You Can Take? We Asked Paul Hawken – A Tyee interview with the eminent environmentalist on his new book, ‘Regeneration.’