Dec. 6, 2021

CBC News – Sidney King

Jury delivers recommendations at inquest into 2015 death of Iqaluit man in Ontario prison

After 74 days in solitary at Beaver Creek Institution, Mark King Jeffrey, serving life without parole for 14 years, chose to end his life at 34 years of age in June, 2015.  Now, six years after, an inquest, after eight days of deliberation, has surfaced 19 recommendations for prevention, including the violation of the solitary confinement rules, known to be a factor in the suicide.  “The jury made 19 recommendations. Among them, that corrections ensure Inuit in federal custody are able to maintain their family and community connections, and that it hire more Inuit staff at Inuit-specific institutions, like Beaver Creek.”   Related article: Hill Times – Rose Lemay  There is no doubt the RCMP is a failed institution –  Indigenous peoples can’t even gather together to voice their demands for better treatment, without getting an alarmed response from the federal government and the RCMP.

 Ottawa Citizen – Bruce Deachman
Montreal massacre: For Ottawa’s Anthony Di Monte, Dec. 6, 1989 is the day the country lost its innocence – He was a senior officer with Montreal’s paramedic service that day, and attended the early-evening call to the University of Montreal’s École Polytechnique, where Marc Lépine killed 14 women and injured 14 other people, including 10 women, before taking his own life.

The anniversary of the Ecole Polytechnique massacre in Montreal brings opportunity to appreciate the way such acts seep into others around the incidents.  In this case Emergency Response Director Anthony Di Monte was a responder who is now just retiring from the services and shares his memories.   “I think it was the day we all lost our innocence,” he says. “We lost our innocence as a country. We realized that this can happen here, too.”

Global News – Canadian Press
Liberals to introduce bill repealing mandatory minimums for drug offences

Canadian Press is announcing that the Liberal government will today introduce a bill to suppress mandatory minimums for drug offences.  The Bill, previously proposed in February under the last government, ran out of time and is expected to allow a variety of alternate sentences for drug offences such as conditional sentences, house arrest and treatment.

CBC News – Tara Carman, Kimberly Ivany, Eva Uguen-Csenge
Warning signs present in 1 in 3 homicides of intimate partners, CBC investigation finds – Analysis of nearly 400 cases reveals which predictors were most common in relationships that turn deadly

CBC News analyzed over 400 cases of intimate partner homicides and have discovered a series of warning signs, one of which seems frequently present in advance of the crime.  One sign appears present in at least 36% of the homicides.  The report identifies threats and warning behaviour, and lists seven circumstances often present in the relationship.

Blogger Russell Webster (UK)
Understanding the barriers women face in accessing drug treatment

Webster is referring to a new report by a UK group We are with you that sees differences in both access and treatment for women trying to get drug addiction treatment.  “The report argues that drug-related problems unique to women have received insufficient attention in research and that women are held back from getting support by a system that often lacks the capacity and flexibility to cater for their needs. It sets out a series of recommendations for services, commissioners and policymakers to create more accessible and welcoming environments for women.”   We are with you full report (A 42 page downloadable pdf):  A system designed for women?  Understanding the barriers women face in accessing drug treatment and support services.

Lawyer’s Daily – Cristin Schmitz
Ottawa seeks funding proposals for projects to help abused partners access family justice system

The federal government is looking for proposals from Canada’s legal community for assistance in intimate partner violence.  The government is offering up to $1million per proposal to find ways to confront a worsening situation of domestic violence:  “In 2020, 160 women were violently killed, and women accounted for 80 per cent of people killed by an intimate partner between 2014 and 2020. Moreover, Indigenous women made up nearly a quarter of all women killed by an intimate partner during those years, yet they only make up about five per cent of all women in Canada.”

The Atlantic (US) – Barton Gellman
Trump’s Next Coup Has Already Begun – January 6 was practice. Donald Trump’s GOP is much better positioned to subvert the next election.

This reflection piece may be a little masochistic given that we are just getting insight into how the last attempted coup happened.  But if the last Trump attempt to deny the vote is any indication, it may be timely to consider immediately if the last was a dry run for the next, even with all the dread the prospect entails, even for Canadians.  “As we near the anniversary of January 6, investigators are still unearthing the roots of the insurrection that sacked the Capitol and sent members of Congress fleeing for their lives. What we know already, and could not have known then, is that the chaos wrought on that day was integral to a coherent plan. In retrospect, the insurrection takes on the aspect of rehearsal.”

N.Y. Times (US) – Jack Healy
Behind the Charges Faced by the Parents of the Michigan Shooting Suspect – Prosecutors say the parents of the 15-year-old accused of killing four classmates failed to act on troubling signs. The parents pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter charges.

The case burst into the headlines not because it is most gruesome of the school shootings or highest number of victims, nor even the age of the victims.  But the case draws attention because prosecutors in Michigan, a state without much gun control laws, even for storage, have charged the parents with negligent manslaughter in the four deaths.  Some legal experts think the case against the parents will be difficult to establish legally.  What is clear legally is that the 15 year old could not legally own or possess the handgun.