May 4, 2022

Toronto Star – Jacques Gallant
‘These people are serious national security threats.’ Why is it so hard for Canada’s military to root out white supremacists?  The problem of extremists in the Canadian Armed Forces is growing at an “alarming rate,” according to a recent report, but critics say Ottawa has failed to deliver a concrete action plan.

Gallant notes that the first public notice of a racist / white supremacist problem came 25 years ago when a Canadian soldier beat a Somali teen to death. “A quarter century later, the problem of white supremacists and other extremists in the military not only remains, but is growing at an “alarming rate,” according to a recent report from an advisory panel on systemic racism in the Canadian Armed Forces… Yet critics say the government has failed to deliver a concrete action plan to tackle a threat that affects the military’s ability to diversify its ranks — something it has been struggling to do — while at the same time posing a serious safety risk to the public.”  https://www.thestar.com/politics/federal/2022/04/29/these-people-are-serious-national-security-threats-why-is-it-so-hard-for-canadas-military-to-root-out-white-supremacists.html?source=newsletter&utm_source=ts_nl&utm_medium=email&utm_email=F8239A84543BECA6A1C40B187542D68C&utm_campaign=frst_121368  Related article: Toronto Star – Jacques Gallant Canada’s armed forces are struggling to keep white supremacists out, advisory panel finds  https://www.thestar.com/politics/federal/2022/04/25/canadian-military-poorly-implemented-discarded-20-years-of-recommendations-on-racism-and-discrimination-advisory-panel-says.html       Related article: Toronto Star – Jacques Gallant  Too white and too male, Canadian Armed Forces are rethinking recruiting as staffing slides, senior officers say  https://www.thestar.com/politics/federal/2022/03/23/too-white-and-too-male-canadian-armed-forces-are-rethinking-recruiting-as-staffing-slides-senior-officers-say.html   Related article: Toronto Star – Lee Berthiaume  Canadian military not doing enough to detect, prevent extremism in the ranks: Report  https://www.thestar.com/politics/2022/04/25/racism-report-to-take-military-to-task-for-not-doing-more-over-past-20-years.html   Related article: Toronto Star Editorial Board   We must all stand on guard against hate and extremism – ‘When it comes to protecting Canada and Canadians from extremism, we must all stand on guard for thee.’   https://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorials/2022/04/30/we-must-all-stand-on-guard-against-hate-and-extremism.html?source=newsletter&utm_content=a09&utm_source=ts_nl&utm_medium=email&utm_email=404CAADEF7EB839FC77B1B04F0C251E1&utm_campaign=top_121500

Institute for Review of Public Policy
How to Modernize Employment Insurance: Toward a Simpler, More Generous and Responsive Program

This first Working Group Report is a major revision coming both out of the failures of the pandemic and the needs of the people the unemployment benefits serve.  Barring some sort of guaranteed annual income scheme, unemployment is the most common recourse to avert personal and familial disaster when jobs disappear.  The report is a response to a two year review of the process by the federal government.  IRPP offers an initial assessment of eight commonly agreed stances as a point of departure for the review process.  https://irpp.org/research-studies/how-to-modernize-employment-insurance-toward-a-simpler-more-generous-and-responsive-program/?mc_cid=4e254a568f&mc_eid=0823b9a108

Scalawag Magazine (US) – Anthony Cobb and Khawla Nakua
Incarcerated Muslims in Florida celebrate Eid with limited accommodations – Prison restrictions over food, fasting and, prayer create challenges for Muslims observing Ramadan.

The link offers an understanding of the normal practices of Ramadan and the success and failures of one prison, Everglades in Florida, in making accommodations to allow those incarcerated Muslims to do faithful observances.  While men get a modicum of support, Muslim women have a more difficult time observing Ramadan.  https://scalawagmagazine.org/2022/05/ramadan-in-prison/?mc_cid=44736b739c&mc_eid=2a0f14705d

 Items coming up quickly:
Peacebuilders Canada:  19th Annual Spring for Peace – 7:30PM, Thursday, May 5, 2022  –  :

Restorative Justice VIRTUAL Spring for Peace Fundraiser, Thursday, May 5, (tickets free) features David McCallum who was incarcerated for 26 years though innocent – also Silent and Fine Wine  Auctions    Web site registration (Free but required):  https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/spring-for-peace-2022-virtual-event-online-auctions-tickets-293882990937?aff=s4p22hp Keynote Feature:  David McCallum

Catalysing Change Week | 9-13 May 2022 – https://catalyst2030.net/

Catalysing Change Week (CCW) is the world’s largest event led by social innovators and entrepreneurs to share knowledge, exchange ideas and accelerate collaborative systems change during more than 250 sessions and activities in a dedicated annual week.  Many of the sessions this year are dedicated to Restorative Justice principles.  The theme of CCW2022 (9-13 May 2022) is “Let’s Re-Energise the SDGs” that is built around three catalysing themes: Amplify. Accelerate. Action.   To register and review the schedule:  https://catalysingchangeweek.catalyst2030.net/events/

Also of note: Zoe Paliare Podcast on re-entry:   https://podcasts.apple.com/ca/podcast/the-field-with-zoe-paliare/id1565451446


Vera Institute (US)
Police Data Transparency Index

Given the current status of reforming police in the US, the transparency index is a novel idea for measuring the gap between actual conflictual incidents and the availability of information about the incident.  “Community demands for police accountability require information about what police do. However, police data transparency is low nationwide… Use Vera’s Police Data Transparency Index to see how locations across the United States are performing in their release of data and to access the data that is available. The vision of police transparency reflected in the index is rigorous and informed by conversations with justice advocates, service providers, and people directly impacted by the criminal legal system.”  Only 16 police agencies of the 94 in the index scored above 50 / 100 points for transparency, the highest score was 67 /100 for Washington, DC.  The index measured ten commonly agreed standards.  https://policetransparency.vera.org/