• Ontario must make bail reform meaningful

    If you own a house, have a job, and have family or friends who can pledge a sizable sum of money and act as supervisors, you are likely to soon be on your way home… immigrants, the mentally ill, racialized groups, and the poor stand the least chance of being released on bail. Despite remaining wholly innocent under the law, they lose their freedom for months or years as the criminal process plays out.

  • Paradise Papers show Ottawa must crack down on offshore tax havens

    … these revelations promise to deepen the longstanding problems of distrust and cynicism that inhibit needed tax reform and corrode our democracy… more than 3,000 Canadians are among those who made use of byzantine tax-avoidance schemes chronicled in the leaked documents. Most of these schemes are ethically dubious, some possibly illegal, and many might have been avoided had the government listened to the experts.

  • What to do about the overrepresentation of Indigenous people in prisons

    Between 2007 and 2016, while the overall federal prison population increased by less than 5 per cent, the number of Indigenous prisoners rose by 39 per cent… In fact, for the last three decades, there has been an increase every single year in the federal incarceration rates for Indigenous people. While they make up less than 5 per cent of the Canadian population, today they represent 26.4 per cent of all federal inmates.

  • Ontario policing reforms will mean officers can be suspended without pay

    The creation of an inspector general to monitor police services, penalties for officers who fail to co-operate in police watchdog investigations, and the ability to suspend officers without pay were part of an announcement Thursday to revamp policing and the police oversight system in Ontario…. Other proposed changes include: Greater SIU powers of investigation… Expanded SIU powers to lay criminal charges… Penalties for non-cooperation…

  • Ontario takes an important step toward a fairer bail system

    The key point in the new policy is that accused persons should not have to provide a surety, except in exceptional circumstances, in order to be released… Ontario has opened “bail beds” in halfway houses. People can be sent there, instead of to jail, if they are homeless… Jails were created for those convicted of crimes. The new bail policy will go a long way to ensure that Ontario’s prisons stop being used as expensive warehouses for the disadvantaged, the racialized, Indigenous peoples, and the mentally ill.

  • Mentally-ill female inmates housed in male facility: report

    … Mr. Zinger focused on the conditions of confinement in Canada’s federal prisons, which “serve no underlying correctional or rehabilitative purpose.” … women with serious mental-health issues are more likely to be placed in maximum-security units, which are “far from therapeutic,” and noted nearly half the maximum-security population in women’s prisons is Indigenous… While Indigenous people make up less than 5 per cent of the total population, they comprise 26.4 per cent of the total federal inmate population,

  • New book ‘Invisible No More’ will change what you think you know about police brutality

    For white women, the concern is about police nonresponse to violence. For women of colour, police response is the problem – too many cases where officers responding to domestic violence calls sexually assault the person who called for help, strip searches and cavity searches, criminalization around supposed welfare fraud, the way child protective services police motherhood of women of colour, and how prostitution is policed. “Very few people have paid attention to the police interactions… Counting police violence in the overall equation of violence…”

  • Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin on sex assault cases: ‘No one has the right to a particular verdict’

    … while the system seems focused on the accused, “complainants and victims are also part of the process,” and the integrity of the system demands that they be taken seriously and that their interests be reconciled with the rights of the accused… The justice system can achieve a “fine but crucial balance” between protecting the right of the accused and the dignity of complainants, but “we must not divide ourselves into warring camps shouting at each other…

  • We owe sexual abuse survivors more than #MeTo

    … is awareness actually the problem? Just how many hundreds of thousands of stories will it take to convince those who haven’t suffered sexual abuse that the issue is real and life altering? What needs more airtime? Concrete measures for enacting cultural and institutional change… From the ground up, we need to start with schools imparting deeper knowledge to young minds about consent, empathy, entitlement, bodily autonomy and bystander behaviour.

  • Let’s not dismiss the painful pattern of microaggressions

    … Examples of microaggressions included: general condescension; intuiting that others expected their work to be inferior; or being treated as an intimidating presence… Some people who aren’t subject to microaggressions view them as small, unimportant experiences that are blown out of proportion. But BEP participants told us their effects are real and cumulative… anti-black racism is an especially stubborn force.