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.
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.
Trayvon Martin's parents were savvy enough to understand and then challenge their murdered son's standing in the "court of public opinion." The carefully-chosen photos of a fresh-faced Trayvon Martin told an alternate narrative. The pictures of Trayvon on horseback, on a ski hill, and with his doting father humanized the "hoodlum."
My friend has written on her blog that the media is guilty of sensationalism in the coverage of rapes in India. I disagree with her assessment, however. The attention the media is giving to the rape epidemic in India is long, long overdue. Should you be scared? Not really. But ask, is India as safe to travel as anywhere else? The answer is no, it's not.
Should police be permitted to impersonate religious figures to elicit confessions from suspects and their relatives? In a social democracy like ours, one that protects the right to a relationship with a religious advisor free from police interference, the answer should be obvious: No. The appeal in question concerns the conviction of Jamaican-Canadians Evol Robinson, Jahmar Welsh and Ruben Pinnock in a Brampton court for the 2004 murder of Youhan Oraha. In pursuing the investigation for this case, a Brampton Ontario police officer of Caribbean origin impersonated a religious priest of the Caribbean Obeah faith in order to solicit confessions from the men's family members.
What if a public company gave one set of sales numbers to its board of directors, another to its shareholders, and a third to its auditors? Would you feel comfortable entrusting the executive of this company with a $29.6 million investment? Incredibly, that's precisely what has happened with the Transit Police.
It was an arrest this week in Greece this week that put Canada's gang violence into perspective. To understand how it all fits together, it pays to revisit two murders in Toronto and Kelowna, B.C. -- 10 months and more than 4,000 kilometres apart -- to understand how organized crime is fomenting violence in Canada.
One reason the play is shocking: It is so badly written. The playwright, Beverley Cooper, used court transcripts and apparently knocked it together in a short time. It shows. If you have a couple of hours and want to know what really happened to Steven Truscott, you would be better off reading a book about him.
Earlier this month, Nicole Doucet was brought in front of the Supreme Court of Canada after she tried to have her allegedly abusive ex-husband, Michael Ryan, killed. She hired a hitman to do the job for $25,000, but unfortunately for Nicole and fortunately for Michael, the assassin turned out to be an undercover RCMP officer. Despite that, Nicole was ultimately absolved by the Supreme Court of Canada.
There are topics I wish I didn't have to write about, because I wish they didn't touch our community. I don't feel it is right to ignore them when they are happening, though, because it is only through frank and open dialogue that we can resolve some issues, and educate on others. It can be troubling to write about them, but it is also honest, and I think the most important thing we can do in this community is to be honest, and not only about what is great about us. We also need to be honest about the problems we encounter, too.
Another jail opened in Nunavut last week. It is long overdue -- the existing facility in Iqaluit, Baffin Correctional Centre is, as Justice Mahar of the Nunavut Court of Justice recently said, "notoriously over crowded and under resourced." And yet a rather bland factual news story about the opening of the new prison in Rankin was met with a flood of angry comments about over pampered prisoners, club fed hotels and similar complaints.
The Somali Canadian population is "undergoing the growing pains of integration into the larger Canadian mainstream" according to the head of the influential Somali Canadian Congress. Ahmed Hussen, a noted activist and newly minted Ottawa University lawyer, reflects on mentorship, influence and integration for Canada's large Somali population.
Increasing numbers of military veterans are entering the U.S. prison system. Why? A recent study highlights the important role that anger can play in how well veterans reintegrate into society after traumatic tours of duty -- and how likely they are to run into problems in prison, if that's where they end up.
Earlier today, Toronto City Councillor Georgio Mammoliti caused a stir when he discounted an independent report by Toronto's esteemed Ombudsman, Fiona Crean. In her report, she found that the appointments to city agencies and boards had been "compromised" by political influence. As a public servant, Mammoliti has advocated ideas that are disturbing at best. In a heated exchange, Councillor Perks spoke for all of us when he told Coun. Mammoliti, "Shame on you -- get out of this chamber" and called him a "bully."
The unusually forceful language in the recent government report titled "Marginalized" underscores the abject failure of this government's simplistic and outdated "tough on crime" approach, particularly for Canada's Aboriginal population. Aboriginal peoples are 4 per cent of the Canadian population, but 20 per cent of the prison population. All Canadians must realize that it is in all of our interests -- in terms of public safety, cost and untapped human potential -- to heed the call of this report and take "aggressive action" to deal with this national disgrace.