Tuesday's sentencing of anaesthesiologist George Doodnaught -- to a decade in jail for sexually assaulting 21 women under his care during surgery -- should have been good news. But I read this comment from the presiding judge: "There are no reported Canadian cases in which an anaesthesiologist sexually assaulted sedated patients in an operating room during surgery." This has happened before, and in my home town.
The Jewish community in Canada didn't even concentrate on Israeli politics until the Six Day War in 1967. Resulting, however, from the fear that Israeli Jews were facing a second Holocaust, as well from a new confidence that was born out of decisive victory in the war, Israel was officially adopted by the Canadian Jewish mainstream.
Every year, political corruption kills as many as 140,000 children worldwide, by depriving them of medical care, food, and water. Yet, far too often, the perpetrators of the most outrageous acts of corruption are able to use their illicit wealth and power to pervert the very laws and institutions that should call them to account.
It is easy to look at the facts, and other distressing realities, that surround the International Criminal Court and conclude that the 11-year old court is failing. And it might be. It has only handed out one verdict in its entire history, and it was a guilty vote. Many of its accused are still at large. But it serves a vital purpose in this day and age.
Like most religious minorities in Quebec, I am only slightly shocked by the proposed charter of values. The people that at the short end of the proverbial legislation stick are kids. Because our kids will live the rest of their future in the shadow of the laws and governments we support, it is imperative to consult them. So I decided to put my ear to the ground, and asked my youth group girls and their friends what they thought of the Quebec charter of values. Here are some reactions by girls age 12-16, all from different backgrounds and religions.
Yesterday, Toronto witnessed a protest in search for answers of Sammy Yatim's death. I can understand the lack of trust and respect for the police if you yourself have been a victim of police brutality. But at what point does a sincere protest become a parade of stupidity on our streets? "We want justice for Sammy" many protesters shouted. I agree whole heartedly that the questions we all have about the events of Saturday morning need to be answered. Until we get those answers, is categorizing all police officers as killers and murderers going to bring Sammy any justice?
If we Jews and all other citizens of humanity actually mean the words we speak when we say, "never again," then we must take a stand, today, and actively choose to care and to defend justice by celebrating the uncelebrated and by protecting and giving voice to the voiceless among us, and to say that hatred and intolerance, in any shape or form, no matter how small, has no place in this world.
The upcoming 7th annual Ottawa Sisters in Spirit (SIS) vigil is a special event for me as a recent immigrant to Canada. It offers me the opportunity to reflect on what it means for my adopted country to embrace and heal me, while neglecting the perennial issue of the missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls. Canada restored that which Zimbabwe denied me for the first 32 years of my life: human dignity. But Canada cares for me, an immigrant, more than it cares for Aboriginal people. If there is another western country that has so many people from one racialized group missing or murdered and still has neither the political will nor strategy to find lasting a solution, please let me know.
There has been a complete elimination of the discretion not to charge in sexual assault complaints followed by a complete elimination of the individual Crown's discretion not to prosecute them. There are two major types of individuals who suffer as a result: real victims of sexual assault and those who should never have been charged in the first place.
I am in awe of Drs. Kamiar and Arash Alaei's strength, courage and commitment in continuing their critical global HIV/AIDS work after enduring imprisonment for their important work. Now we must also recognize the work of Masoud Shafii, the lawyer who got them -- and hikers Josh, Shane and Sarah -- their freedom from Iran's oppressive regime.
Three odd cases of "justice" are in the news these days, all of them likely to make those who don't commit crimes uneasy. No sane person wants an innocent person wrongly convicted (hence the abolishment of the death penalty). By the same token, no sane person wants a guilty person freed on a technicality. Marian Andrzejewski, Byron Sonne and Michael Rafferty all made headlines for their less-than-usual cases.