By Colin Perkel - Monday, February 4, 2013 - 0 Comments
TORONTO – Promises to give victims a formal role in Canada’s criminal justice system…
TORONTO – Promises to give victims a formal role in Canada’s criminal justice system and to stiffen penalties for child sex predators are important if overdue federal initiatives, two abused former hockey players said Monday.
Speaking after a roundtable with the justice minister, Greg Gilhooly and Sheldon Kennedy said the Conservative government was on the right track, even if details were lacking.
“Right now a victim is simply a witness — we’re at the beck and call of other people,” Gilhooly said.
“To the extent that we can be given a formalized role in the judicial process, that to me would be a wonderfully empowering thing.”
A victim’s bill of rights was one of three get-tough-on-crime themes the government plans to emphasize this year, Justice Minister Rob Nicholson said. The aim is to entrench the rights of victims into a single law.
By Jane Armstrong - Thursday, November 1, 2012 at 7:20 AM - 0 Comments
Stories of violence at a Halifax home for black children spur calls for an inquiry
Former residents of the Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children have vivid memories of the three-storey, shingled building outside Halifax. Harriet Johnson was eight years old when, in 1977, a social worker drove her past the pillared gates up the long, steep driveway. “She said: ‘This is going to be your new home,’ ” says Johnson, 43, who was seized by provincial authorities from her New Glasgow home when her alcoholic grandfather—her sole guardian—couldn’t care for her.
Within a week, Johnson was beaten with a belt for wetting her bed. At age 9, she says a staff member raped her in a car behind a Dartmouth junior high school. It was the first of many brutal attacks. “I screamed and screamed and begged him to stop,” Johnson wrote in searing 16-page affidavit, one of scores of signed documents from nearly 100 former orphanage residents, alleging physical and sexual abuse at the provincially funded institution. The oldest complaints stem from incidents that date to the late 1930s.
The affidavits form the basis for a class-action suit, which alleges that provincial authorities and home directors ignored widespread abuse and neglect. Though none of the allegations have been proven in court, the case has stirred up emotions in Nova Scotia, where race remains a touchy—often explosive—subject.
By Barbara Amiel - Tuesday, November 29, 2011 at 8:40 AM - 12 Comments
Should we punish Joe Paterno in the 21st century for his retrospective cultural attitudes?
A virus hits American commanders-in-chief when on aircraft carriers. Think George W. Bush on the USS Abraham Lincoln declaring we “have prevailed” in front of the Mission Accomplished banner. Or the sombre Richard Nixon doing a mini jig of excitement on board the Hornet at the Apollo 11 splashdown. Hard not to compare them unfavourably with Cher on the USS Missouri in thigh-high stockings and biker jacket, utter fabulosity, even though her lyrics, “If I could turn back time,” were nearly as banal as Dubya’s.
For new lows the ribbon goes to President Obama’s Veterans Day remarks on the USS Carl Vinson. The Penn State scandal, said the American President, should lead to “soul- searching” by Americans. “Our first priority,” he said, “is protecting our kids.” As opposed to what: protecting senior citizens, the economy or perhaps the endangered Kretschmarr cave mould beetle? A bit rich, anyway, in a country where over a million of its potential kids per year get deliberately aborted.
Briefly, in case you have been in a coma: legendary (junior grade) Penn State football assistant coach Jerry Sandusky, 67 (there are many “legendary” figures in this story, but as I can’t tell legend from long snapper in American football, I can’t vouch for the designation), has been indicted on 40 charges, all relating to sexual assault on minors. The indictment came via a grand jury convened over years in the absence of the citizen under investigation or proper rules of evidence.
By macleans.ca - Monday, September 19, 2011 at 12:27 PM - 2 Comments
Hard data now available to confirm the connection
Hospitals admitted more abused kids with brain injuries as the U.S. economy started to struggle, according to a new study. Published on Monday in the journal Pediatrics, the findings come from hospital data on children under age 5 from four states, Reuters reports. From 2004 to 2009, 422 kids were diagnosed with “abusive head trauma,” and 16 per cent of them died of their injuries. In the three years before the crash in December 2007, the rate of abusive head injuries was 8.9 per year per 100,000 kids. After the crash, that number climbed to 14.7 per 100,000.
By selley - Tuesday, June 17, 2008 at 1:57 PM - 0 Comments
Must-reads: Don Martin on child abuse in Afghanistan; …Jeffrey Simpson on bad carbon tax
Junk science, junk politics
Behold: six columns about five things that are more or less to do with federal politics.
The Canadian vision of a carbon tax is all about incrementalism, The Globe and Mail‘s Jeffrey Simpson argues. “Higher prices would change behaviour away from carbon-intensive products and lifestyles … [and] people and businesses would have time to adjust” as the tax was “phased in gradually.” But in the past year, gas prices have soared far higher and far quicker than anyone—carbon tax proponents included—anticipated, which imposes all the burdens of a carbon tax with none of the touchy-feely revenue neutrality and tax breaks to farmers and low-income families. As such, Simpson concludes, “the political timing” for Stéphane Dion’s gambit “could not be worse.”
For Dion’s sake, the National Post‘s John Ivison hopes the plan—which will be revealed tomorrow, first to the Liberal caucus and then to the press gallery—is “less patronizing than the ’50 tips on greener living’ that appeared on the Liberal Web site yesterday.” It’ll need attractive packaging, after all, what with its rumoured $200 boost to the cost of heating oil for a single home, its “hogwash” suggestion that prices won’t rise at the pump and, fundamentally, the unnerving fact that a new tax—however purportedly neutral—now forms “the centerpiece of [the Liberals'] election campaign.” Dion “may feel a debt to the planet,” Ivison concludes, “but even his own caucus doubts Canadians are prepared to pay it off with their money.”
By selley - Tuesday, April 29, 2008 at 1:04 PM - 0 Comments
Must-reads: …Doug Saunders on “Americanizing” the Afghanistan mission; Christie Blatchford on rescuing child abuse
Must-reads: Doug Saunders on “Americanizing” the Afghanistan mission; Christie Blatchford on rescuing child abuse victims; James Travers on the food crisis; John Ivison on the doctor shortage; Don Martin on Brenda Martin.
Criticism and advice for the ministries of Foreign Affairs, Citizenship and Immigration, Finance and Defence. And a finger in the eye for the Liberals.
The Calgary Herald‘s Don Martin implores Foreign Affairs to get Brenda Martin (who is clearly of no relation) home from Mexico as soon as is humanly possible—guilty, innocent, whatever; he just wants the whining to end. Continue…