• Ottawa’s focus on data a good step in addressing gender-based violence

    An epidemic such as gender-based violence can’t be solved without first understanding who is affected and how… the Trudeau government’s sensible new strategy on gender-based violence, which was announced this week, will focus foremost on modernizing research and collecting up-to-date data. These are crucial steps in addressing a deep-rooted problem ignored by Ottawa for far too long.

  • With new solitary rules, Canada gets smarter on crime

    Prison is a paradox. In a civilized society, the goal of putting people behind bars is to prepare them to be released, and to equip them to live successfully on the outside. That’s what Canada’s federal prison system says its about, and it should go doubly for the provincial prison systems… most people behind bars in Canada are getting out – soon… The use of solitary confinement for anything other than short periods of time doesn’t further that objective. Even relatively short spells in isolation can harm mental health.

  • Senate report offers valuable roadmap to tackling court delays

    “Delaying Justice is Denying Justice” makes 50 recommendations for how to address the crisis… governments would be better served tackling the roots of the crisis… introducing technologies “that facilitate cooperation, permit increased information sharing and improve efficiency.”… that judges be given better training on case management… [and that] incarceration should be a last resort and that less punitive and costly alternatives should be given priority.

  • Senate report on court delays gets at big truths about criminal justice system

    … if a country is smart on community safety, the first order of business is to acknowledge that most offenders don’t belong in prison except for those who commit violent crime — convicted murderers, rapists, child abusers, etc. The committee never explicitly says that prison should be for the few, not the many, but it’s that principle that drives its cry for reform – for better ways to handle impaired driving offences, for more restorative justice, for alternatives to jail.

  • Health-care system a free-for-all for double-dipping doctors

    There is no question that waits for surgery are too long… due to an array of engineering and administrative shortcomings. The solution to these problems is to fix the public system, to make it more efficient… in countries that deliver care efficiently and cost-effectively, publicly funded care is administered well, and privately funded care is regulated well.

  • It’s time to fix solitary confinement. Here’s how

    … here is the minimum that pan-Canadian standards must accomplish in order to be meaningful… “Solitary confinement,” or “segregation,” … is an amorphous concept in Canada… With a consistent definition and proper training, prison staff will be able to better track how long inmates are being kept in solitary… Stop putting mentally ill people in solitary… Require independent oversight… Legislation, not guidelines

  • Doctors tortured patients at Ontario mental-health centre, judge rules

    Patients at a maximum-security mental-health facility in Ontario were tortured by medical doctors over a 17-year period in unethical and degrading human experiments, a judge has ruled in a lawsuit. The techniques used on the patients between 1966 and 1983 included solitary confinement, as treatment and as punishment; the administration of hallucinogens and delirium-producing drugs, including LSD; and brainwashing methods developed by the CIA

  • Concerns that Liberal anti-terror bill looks to protect rights at expense of security

    The problem is, as the government’s own report on its consultations makes clear, the “secret and complex nature” of national security work means Canadians have no idea whether law enforcement officers need additional powers… The disruption provision allows CSIS to seek a court warrant to break laws or breach Charter rights, short of causing bodily harm or obstructing justice.

  • Passing laws one step in war on opioid overdoses

    … now there’s an urgent need to ensure its implementation is not bound up in bureaucratic red tape… provincial and territorial health authorities must not impose… unduly burdensome operational requirements that effectively delay their scaleup… such bureaucratic delays are deadly… there is a pressing need to expand access to treatment options for people with problematic substance use…

  • To solve Canada’s social housing problem, we should look to Britain’s privatization schemes

    … the needy would be able to rent newly-built, city-owned houses at subsidized rates for a fixed period of 10 to 15 years. The houses would then be offered for sale at a discount, with the tenants having first dibs at becoming owners of their own homes — something that is beyond reach for most renters… tenants will be likely to set aside the money they’ll need for the ultimate down payment 10 or 15 years hence, invest in their property’s upkeep, and develop a commitment to the safety of the neighbourhoods