Great lives…

Aug 21, 2022

Globe and Mail – Martha Love
Great Lives lived:  Activist and advocate Patricia Love never backed down from doing the right thing…

Smart Justice Network offers condolences to the family on Pat Love’s death but rejoices with them in a great life lived that saw her co-found the Circles of Support and Accountability – a vibrant and powerful expression of restorative justice and compassion.   Circles of Support and Accountability (CoSA, Ottawa) Pat’s daughter Susan is Executive Director:

Toronto Star – Stephanie Levitz
‘I am optimistic it will erase a blind spot’: Who is Michelle O’Bonsawin, the Supreme Court of Canada’s first Indigenous justice?  Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced her nomination Friday, the fifth selection he’s made for the top court since the Liberals came to power in 2015.

Toronto Star – Stephanie Taylor, Canadian Press
Deal freeing Catholic entities from $25M campaign for residential schools released

The Canadian Press submitted an access to information request that results in what appears to be the first time that the government documents behind the deal with a “forever discharge” of the financial obligation of Catholic entities towards the residential school settlements.  The documents and agreement appear to have been the product of both the Trudeau and the Harper governments following a court imposed settlement by a Saskatchewan judge in 2015.  The documents also question what specific liabilities are included in the discharge.   Related article: Toronto Star – Brianna Bell   I’m a pastor’s wife and I’m horrified, but not surprised, by abuse in the church – When we turn a pastor into a celebrity we celebrate all the wrong things: patriarchal norms, greed, hunger for wealth and all-consuming pride.

Toronto Star – Megan Ogilvie, Kenyon Wallace, and Olivia Bowden
Ontario is going to lean on private health facilities. Here’s what that could mean for our system – Promise and perils seen in the new — and still fuzzy — plan from the Ford government

Does channelling more health care to the 900 plus certified private facilities in Ontario promote health care or privatization, or both?  Critics say that these facilities deliver on less complex surgeries and that the number of doctors and nurses in the health care system remains the same.  Government and critics also need to say something about if the increase in health services will come from non-profit or for-profit facilities.  If for-profit how will that do anything but increase health costs over the present costs?  Most importantly, would private and better paying with better on the job circumstances lead to a further drain on the public sector doctors and nurses?  While there appears to be little planning to date, the private route seems to ignore the chronic underfunding of the public for more costs than just higher costs to fix the public system.   “Dr. Shoo Lee, a professor emeritus at University of Toronto and former Paediatrician-in-Chief at Mount Sinai Hospital, said that introducing any private health care means a profit incentive will materialize. That means the system can’t simply function; it also needs to make money. And that ends up being done through cost-cutting measures, he said, often done by reducing wages.”   Related article: Toronto Star –   Jennifer Yang and Sara Mojtehedzadeh   ‘It’s going to bankrupt health care’: Spending on temp agency nurses up more than 550% since pre-pandemic at one Toronto hospital network – As Ontario hospitals grapple with a staffing crisis, critics warn the rising reliance of temp agencies is not financially sustainable.   Related article:  Toronto Star – Emma Teitel Want to retain nurses and encourage more to enter the profession in Ontario? The key is decent wages – It’s tragic, albeit tragically predictable, that a crisis that began with the clanging of pots and pans in honour of essential workers will culminate in their blatant disrespect.

Tweet from Alex Karakatsanis  (US):

“THREAD. This thread is about how the news media covers the cash bail system. It is a story of profound professional and moral failure. I try to lay it out as best I can below because the stakes are so high.”  cf also The News Media and Bail:  A case study in fear and science denial  Related article: WeAre (US) – Cora Seibt   Brown Co. inmates create memories with their children through reading program  Related article: The Marshall Project  (US) – Closing Argument  Jamiles Lartey – How Conservatives Are Trying to Shut Down the Progressive Prosecutor Movement – Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis removed an elected prosecutor from office. Will this become the right’s new tactic? 

 Toronto Star – Rosie DiManno
 A 14-year-old boy stabs a boy, 15, to death brutally in a for-profit group home for foster adolescents. How could this happen?  Two boys were failed by the system, by agencies, by adults, by family, writes Rosie DiManno.

This article raises serious issues around young offenders, the identification and treatment of children with known behavioural problems, the child welfare system and the judicial system.  The delay of appropriate intervention over a period of time also raises issues with the for-profit status of much of the systemic response.  In this case, a 24 year old with no relevant work experience was the sole care-giver in the home.  Also at issue, the Ford government decision to close down the Child Advocate’s Office in 2019, in spite of a huge number of calls from people seeking help in the child welfare system.