We already knew that solitary confinement was being cruelly misused by Canadian prison officials who recklessly incarcerate mentally-ill inmates in tiny cells that exacerbate the inmates’ symptoms. Now we are learning that inmates in a provincial facility in Toronto are being sent to solitary simply because they are under the weather.
You read that right. Ontario’s ombudsman, André Marin, says he will launch an investigation into the Toronto South Detention Centre unless officials there stop using segregation cells to house inmates who are injured or sick. Mr. Marin’s statement followed a report that the new jail, which opened 11 months ago, still hasn’t put its medical facilities into service. As a consequence, the jail has been using cells that should only be resorted to in extreme circumstances to house prisoners who belong in a hospital bed or, worse, in a mental-health facility.
All photos by TJ Watt One of Canada’s most iconic and grandest old-growth temperate rainforests is under threat as signs of potential logging have been discovered in the heart of the Upper Walbran Valley on Vancouver Island.
Ancient Forest Alliance (AFA) activists TJ Watt and Jackie Korn recently documented survey tape marked “Falling Boundary” and “Road Location” in the Central Walbran Ancient Forest, one of the last, largely-intact sections of the unprotected portion of the valley.
The Surrey-based logging company, the Teal Jones Group, has the logging rights to the area.
While most of the Upper Walbran Valley has been heavily fragmented by old-growth logging, two major tracts of ancient forest remain largely unlogged there: The Castle Grove (Canada’s finest ancient redcedar forest) and the Central Walbran Ancient Forest (currently under potential logging threat) which abuts against the boundary of the Carmanah-Walbran Provincial Park.
The former B.C. attorney-general who led a months-long inquiry into missing women in British Columbia does not support a national inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women, saying the factors behind the high rate of violence for native women are well-known and that recommendations from his 2012 report could be applied across the country.
WASHINGTON - U.S. President Barack Obama spent five minutes disparaging the potential benefits of the Keystone XL pipeline Friday.
He then kept it alive with five words.
At a wide-ranging year-end news conference Friday, Obama maintained his recent pattern of expressed skepticism about the project: He played down its job potential, said it wouldn't lower gas prices for Americans and, employing the language of pipeline opponents, said it would merely help Canadian "tar sands" companies export their product overseas.
A 77-year-old woman shot dead in her two-storey Saanich home, along with the family dog. A 67-year-old woman brutally assaulted in a Surrey home who died later in hospital. An East Vancouver mom killed in the basement with her son in the same house.
Domestic homicides are considered the most predictable and preventable of all homicides, yet many, mostly women, still die at the hands of a person who has vowed to love them.
Spousal homicides, termed intimate-partner violence (IPV) homicides by the B.C. Coroners Service, have hit a five-year high in B.C.
OTTAWA—The very public spat between Queen’s Park and Ottawa won’t work well for Premier Kathleen Wynne in the long term, according to Treasury Board President Tony Clement. The Conservative cabinet minister and former MPP accused Wynne of dialing up her “rhetoric” around Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s seeming reluctance to meet with her. “My experience in provincial and federal politics leads me to conclude that move never works as a long-term strategy in Ontario,” Clement said in an interview with the Star.
HALIFAX - Dalhousie University is proceeding with a restorative justice process to resolve complaints about sexually violent comments posted on a Facebook group page about female dentistry students, the university's president said Wednesday.
The Halifax university said many of the women who were the subject of the comments and members of the Facebook group have come forward.
University president Richard Florizone said the women have chosen the restorative justice process, which is an informal and confidential resolution procedure that includes the parties involved.
Canadians aren't feeling very positive about the direction of the country under Prime Minister Stephen Harper, a new poll suggests.
But according to new numbers from Nanos Research and the Institute for Research on Public Policy, things have improved slightly for Conservatives from their darkest point last year.
The survey, released Thursday, shows 45 per cent of Canadians think the Harper government has performed poorly or very poorly, while 37 per cent rate the performance as good or very good. Last December, in the thick of the Senate expense scandal, 56 per cent of respondents told Nanos they were unhappy with the government's performance.
The federal government neglected to spend $300 million in Parliament-approved funding for “environmentally responsible” programs last year, while overspending on programs to support the oil and gas industry through research, market development and ads, according to The Hill Times.
A Natural Resources Canada spending report submitted to Parliament indicates that it failed to spend $298.6-million on programs for green programs such as renewable energy development and technology innovation.
Amnesty International's Canada branch has issued a wide-ranging attack on the Harper government for making economic development a higher priority than human rights — especially in resource development.
America’s $400 billion, top-of-the-line aircraft can’t see the battlefield all that well. Which means it’s actually worse than its predecessors at fighting today’s wars. When the Pentagon’s nearly $400 billion F-35 Joint Strike Fighter finally enters service next year after nearly two decades in development, it won’t be able to support troops on the ground the way older planes can today. Its sensors won’t be able to see the battlefield as well; and what video the F-35 does capture, it won’t be able to transmit to infantrymen in real time.
"On a December afternoon, Frances Amy Richardson took a break from her quilting class to reflect on a groundbreaking experiment she took part in 40 years earlier.
“Well, that was quite a few years ago,” she said. “There was a lot of people that really benefitted from it.”
Between 1974 and 1979, residents of a small Manitoba city were selected to be subjects in a project that ensured basic annual incomes for everyone. For five years, monthly cheques were delivered to the poorest residents of Dauphin, Man. – no strings attached.
And for five years, poverty was completely eliminated.
The program was dubbed “Mincome” – a neologism of “minimum income” – and it was the first of its kind in North America. It stood out from similar American projects at the time because it didn’t shut out seniors and the disabled from qualification.
The project’s original intent was to evaluate if giving cheques to the working poor, enough to top-up their incomes to a living wage, would kill people’s motivation to work. It didn’t.
But the Conservative government that took power provincially in 1977 – and federally in 1979 – had no interest in implementing the project more widely. Researchers were told to pack up the project’s records into 1,800 boxes and place them in storage.
VANCOUVER - The federal government approved the environmental assessment application on Friday for the massive KSM gold and copper mine in northwestern British Columbia near the Alaska border.
The mine, which is owned by Seabridge Gold Inc., is considered the largest undeveloped gold reserve in the world and also has copper, silver and molybdenum deposits.
The project would be just 35 kilometres from the Alaska border, and in August the state took the rare step of asking the Canadian government for involvement in the approval process over concerns for its rivers and fish.
When Willie Thrasher first hit concert stages in the Northwest Territories during the late 1960s, his band the Cordells played Kinks and the Rolling Stones covers. That is, until an old man at a winter dance gig suggested he produce original music based on his heritage.
"I'd never seen this guy before. He came there and sat down and said, 'Why don't you write Inuit folk music about your culture, about your ways,'" Thrasher explains over the line from his current home in Nanaimo, B.C. where he works as a city-sanctioned busker. "I didn't know much about our culture at the time because the residential schools were meant to take all that away from us."
law professor named an Ontario judge this week wrote two years ago for a conservative, U.S.-based institute that the legalization of same-sex marriage in Canada has harmed religious freedom and free speech, and led to the “indoctrination” of children in public schools.
Bradley Miller, a constitutional specialist at Western University in London, Ont., said the “new orthodoxy” about gay marriage in Canada means that those who object to it are treated as bigots and denied their rights as parents, workers, pamphleteers or religious believers. He also said parents who do not want their children hearing discussions on the subject would have to pull them out of public schools.
Canadian energy delivery company Enbridge Inc. has temporarily shut down and isolated one of its crude oil pipelines that connects to the United States after a 1,350-barrel, or 56,700-gallon oil spill, the company reported Wednesday evening.
At the end of September, the Great Lakes Commission released its Draft report on transport of crude oil in Great Lakes region, which provides an overview of the increase of crude oil transportation in the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River region. The Commission gave stakeholders 60 days to provide comment on the Draft report. The final report will be formally released at the Commission's 2015 semiannual meeting on February 24-25, 2015 in Washington, D.C. Thirty organizations signed a collective submission to the Great Lakes Commission outlining gaps in the draft report including:
Resource development is outpacing provincial efforts to protect the habitat of the threatened woodland caribou.
That's the warning found in a report from the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society being released today.
Leona Aglukkaq to discuss species at risk with provinces in 2015 In an embargoed copy obtained by CBC, the CPAWS report shows there's been a lot of resource development since 2012, when the federal government ordered the provinces to come up with a plan to conserve caribou habitat by 2017.
The report points to increased natural gas development in British Columbia, new oil and gas leases in Alberta and a new mine in a Manitoba provincial park.
"Unfortunately conservation isn't keeping up with development, so the habitat of the caribou continues to be very much at risk pretty much everywhere across the country," said Eric Hebert-Daly, the group's national executive director.
The annual status report on the caribou, which ranks the provinces and their plans for recovery strategies for the caribou, puts Alberta at the bottom of the list.
Mayor Naheed Nenshi, speaking Thursday to hundreds of members of the Calgary Chamber on the state of the city’s economy as oil prices plummet, paused from that topic for a five-minute digression on Alberta’s recent legislation on gay-straight alliances.
After Bill 10 received two readings in the Alberta legislature, Premier Jim Prentice put the controversial legislation on “pause” last week, in the wake of public outcry across the province.
Here’s what Nenshi had to say, verbatim, about the whole affair: