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Archive for July, 2017

“In a hugely disappointing decision, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled against the Chippewas of the Thames First Nation (COTT) in its appeal against Enbridge.  The National Energy Board (NEB) in 2015 gave approval for Enbridge to begin flowing tar sands oil through its 40-year old Line 9 pipeline. The high likelihood of a spill was enough for COTT to fight against this decision, as a way of protecting the waterway (Thames River) on which it has depended as a food source and for cultural ceremonies.  After winning at the federal appeals court, COTT had its Supreme Court of Canada hearing at the end of November 2016.

Along the way, COTT picked up financial support from hundreds of individuals as well as trade unions, student unions and other community organizations.

COTT argued that the Crown had failed to adequately consult with the nation prior to NEB providing approval for Enbridge to allow tar sands oil to flow through Line 9.

While COTT had engaged in conversations to express its environmental and cultural concerns to both Enbridge and the NEB, at no time did COTT consider these conversations to be with “the Crown.” Furthermore, the federal government did not clarify with COTT until after the NEB hearings were finished, that those hearings and discussions constituted “Crown consultation.”

But in providing the rationale for the unanimous decision, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled not only that NEB had delegated authority to conduct “Crown” consultation, but that it had done so in this case, and had taken into consideration COTT rights and concerns (!)

To any outside observer, it is obvious that if one party says it has been wronged by another party, then it is not up to that other party to declare whether a wrong has occurred. In the COTT situation, since COTT has said it does not consider legitimate Crown consultation to have occurred, then who is the Supreme Court to say otherwise?

As former COTT Chief and longtime indigenous rights activist Del Riley said at the community centre where the court decision was announced, “We face an all white jury.”  He went on to say there is a conflict of interest for NEB, since it was both conducting discussions with COTT as well as assessing whether Crown consultation had taken place. (It’s like NEB was saying “Crown consultation took place because we said it did.”) Riley said “It all comes down to the Doctrine of Discovery” – the belief of European governments that settled Turtle Island that they had “discovered” the Americas.

Newly elected Chief  and prominent campaigner Myeengun Henry said “We will keep fighting. I was at Oka and I guess we have to continue. You can’t change the nation to nation relationship just by saying after the (NEB) hearing that the NEB is acting for the Crown.”

Councillor Denise Beeswax noted “We can’t have a country that excludes our voices.  The land belongs to us regardless of what the Crown says.””

– Valerie Lannon, “Chippewas of the Thames: “This will keep us fighting!”” Socialist.ca. July 27, 2017.

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“Judge Teetzel ‘Calls’ Archibald Methods, Says Police Inspector Too Quickly Assumes That Defendants Are Guilty – Lacked Courtesy, Too.” Toronto World. July 27, 1908.  Page 09.

Justice Teetzel on Saturday dismissed the suit of Ing Kong and Ing John, who claimed $300 dimages from Police Inspectors Stephen and Archibald for the destruction of certain wines which the police had seized in a raid on the premises.

At the same time the judgement scores police methods and refuses to allow costs, saying in part:

‘As to the defendant Stephen, there is not a little of evidence on which to form an argument that he acted with any improper motive.

As to the defendant Archibald, while his demeanor towards plaintiff’s counsel and witnesses during the investigation was deserving of most serve censure, and should have been inflicted with the reprobation of the magistrate, I cannot say that it even suggests that under all the circumstances he acted from an improper motive or recklessly in destroying the plaintiff’s goods…It is a great misfortune that in such important matters as trials for violation of the liquor license act, which may not only involve the liberties and business reputations of the accused, but, as in this case, a large amount of property, the prosecution and conduct of the trial should be left solely to a police officer.

With very great respect for the efficiency of the police forces of Ontario cities, and for their honesty of purpose in prosecuting criminal offenders, one cannot fail to observe how often they, no doubt unconsciously, in practice reverse that fundamental maxim of British criminal jurisprudence: ‘Everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty.’

The training and practice of a police officer quite unfits him for the office of prosecuting counsel.  The tendency of his life work is to make him suspicious of the guilt of all persons charged with crime, and he frequently becomes despotic and arbitrary in his views, and in the examination of witnesses and treatment of criminals is likely to be unmindful of the civilities and proprieties which should mark the conduct of an officer whose duty is not merely to obtain a conviction but to assist the court to see that the accused has a fair trial.

The judgment concludes: ‘If Archibald had had the courtesy to notify Mr. Mills that not having heard from him he was preparing to destroy the liquors, the occasion for this action would not in all probability have arisen.’”

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“An Ontario prison guard could face punitive measures and potential dismissal for blowing the whistle on the handling of an inmate placed in solitary confinement.

In a series of tweets posted in May, Chris Jackel, a long-time correctional officer of the Central North Correctional Centre in Penetanguishene, Ont., alleged that management had been negligent in the handling of an inmate in segregation — akin to solitary confinement — who was said to be left for eight days “in urine/feces soaked cell” and “eating his own feces.”

The tweets were directed to the Ontario Ombudsman, a watchdog that oversees the provincial government; the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services; and the Ontario Public Service Employees Union, which represents the province’s prison guards.

The tweets contain graphic photos of the inmate’s feces and blood spread on the window and bed of the cell. He also claims managerial staff, recently hired to manage the use of segregation, would ask other employees for direction on what to do to help the inmate. Jackel claimed they were responded to by “shrugs” and “‘don’t know’ answers.”

Evidently, his tweets caught the attention of the government, which has been under fire for conditions inside jails, including overcrowding and the use of solitary confinement.

On Monday, Jackel tweeted a letter he received the week prior, calling him to a disciplinary meeting to discuss “your inappropriate use of social media.”

“These are confidential human resources matters between the employer and the employee,” the ministry wrote to VICE News. “It would not be appropriate to discuss the specific details publicly.”

The letter to Jackel alleges that his tweets infringed upon multiple employee policies, including the Ontario Public Services’ guidelines on social media.”

– Sarah Krichel, “A prison guard blew the whistle on jail conditions in Canada, now he could face punishment,” VICE Canada. July 26, 2017.

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“Journal D’un Forçat: Récit de ses Souffrances et Tribulations,”

from LE MONDE CRIMINEL: Histoire des Prisons D’état, Des Prisons Criminelles, Des Galeries, Des Bagnes et de leurs Habitants. Suite de Recits et de Révelations a l’instar Des Mémoires de Vidoq et Des Mystéres de Paris. Paris: B. Renault, Editeur. 1846. Volume 2, page 1.

 

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In the 1860s founders of
institutions and programs for boys’ control, like the PAA, began to
tackle the problem of (predominantly) dangerous working-class male
youth disrespecting adults, not attending school, associating with
deviant peers, and, in their idleness, offending privileged standards
of morality. Deviant boys set themselves apart from their
middle-class counterparts through their actions, family context,
location in the city, and by the companions they kept. Even their
bodies were deemed deviant. Doctor P. Spohn, a physician at the
Penetanguishene Reformatory, testified before the Commissioners
Appointed to Enquire into the Prison and Reformatory System of
Ontario in 1891 how wayward boys were “different in physique.”
He added, “boys of the criminal classes were not so well
developed as a rule”; they were “often quite scrofulous.”

Elite reformers during the
late 19th century were convinced truancy was the precursor to
juvenile deviance. A. Ainger, a teacher in the city of Toronto,
argued that truancy was a “first step in the downward career of
those who, at length constituted the criminal class.” To combat
bad boys’ predilection for shirking their educational duties the Free
School System was created. The problem, however, was that those boys
most in need of education and preventative intervention were the
least likely to hear the lessons imparted by school teachers. One
magistrate who was frustrated by the increasing numbers of truant
boys appearing before him lamented to a mid 19th century Grand Jury
that, “the classes most in want of instruction, and the most
dangerous to society, are always those on whose ear the invitation to
come and be taught falls unheeded.” In this respect, elites
considered a lack of commitment to education destructive with
significance that went beyond the mere act of truancy. Truancy was a
precursor to criminality and, as a result, was threatening to the
well being of “society,” defined as a property-right of the
middle and upper classes.

While many of Toronto’s elite
were proud of their accomplishment of establishing Common Schools for
youth, they were gravely concerned about the number of boys who
refused to attend, and, as a result were deprived of the lessons of
respectability. According to Alexander Topp, these boys were,
“growing up in ignorance, familiar with vice in its most
degrading forms, trained to crime, and gradually, year by year,
filling [the] gaols and reformatories.” To ameliorate the
“ignorant” conditions of Toronto’s dangerous working-class
boys, Magistrate Hagarty was convinced that education should be
forced upon those who refused to attend. He argued that there was no
more important topic than “the possibility of ex tending the
healthy influence of education to the class of children by whom our
streets are infested and our jails burdened.”

Industrial
schools, such as the Victoria Industrial School located in Mimico,
Ontario (a short distance west of Toronto), were promoted by elites
as the panacea to Toronto’s truant boy problem. The class and
religious backgrounds of industrial school promoters betray the
underlying rationale for these institutions. For exam ple, W.H.
Howland, the group’s most vocal supporter, was the eldest son of a
wealthy Toronto banker (Sir William Pearch Howland). Other Industrial
School backers came from similarly privileged backgrounds: William
Proudfoot was professor of law and vice-chancellor at the University
of Toronto and Goldwin Smith was publisher of the Toronto-based Week.
Clearly, institutions like the Victoria Industrial School were at the
heart of elite efforts to control dangerous youth and, in the
process, solidify privileged class position.

Many working-class boys
preferred the freedom of the streets to the restraints of the
schoolroom. In addition to providing opportunities for illicit
conduct, street life was a site to demonstrate, learn, and assert
their masculinity. Ainger argued that all bad boys wanted to
demonstrate manly competency among their friends. In his words, “the
boy desires to show his prowess; on the streets he can do it in a way
natural and spontaneous.” Classrooms, however, provided few such
opportunities. In school, boys gained credit from teachers or fellow
pupils only as they grasped curriculum material. Establishing their
masculinity in school was difficult for the truant since excelling
required qualities many did not possess. According to Ainger, truants
dwelled on jokes, companionship, excitement, and not the steadiness,
self-repression, and plodding industry required of successful
students. Of course, Ainger continued, the truant failed in school
and continued to fail. The restrained and obedient masculinity
demanded by middle-class teachers differed in form and function from
traits held in high regard by street companions.

Masculinity is stratified
along a number of structural lines including class. Although some
sensibilities regarding appropriate manliness were shared, they were,
for the most part, class bound. Working-class boys who eschewed the
class room in favour of the street flouted middle and upper-class
masculine norms of educational attainment. Instead of learning
numbers and skills to apply to a future occupation, many truants
established their streetwise masculinity in association with
like-situated boys. Male youth often took tests of toughness and
prowess in deviant conduct on the street more seriously than math
examinations. The injurious influence of negligent parents was
considered by commentators on truancy to be the fundamental reason
boys did not attend school. Kelso, for example, was certain home
circumstances held the secret as to why so many young children went
astray. In 1895, Reverend S. Card, protestant Chaplain of the Ontario
Reformatory for Boys at Penetanguishene, reported the results of a
study he conducted on the character and disposition of deviant boys.
After visiting inmates’ homes, having conversations about their
parents, and communicating with their neighbours he concluded: “not
one of those boys had come from a home where parents were Christians
and the family discipline was what it ought to be.” They lacked
what Card thought was essential to the formation of manly habits of
industry and obedience central to respectable working-class
existence.

Many
other individuals who worked among juvenile offenders were convinced
that poor parents were frequently negligent in their duty of raising
law abiding citizens because of their refusal to ensure sons’
attendance at school. In the minds of many elite reformers, hapless
children were the consequence of derelict working-class parents.
According to a letter sent from University of Toronto Professor
Wilson to the editors of the Journal
of Education
,
parents of vagrant children could not be counted on to send their
children to school. Wilson was certain that compulsory education
legislation was not sufficient to, in his words, “meet the case
of the hungry, ragged children of the poor and often vicious
parents… [who could] be turned to account, to hawk, to beg, and
perchance to steal.” J.J. Kelso was also dismayed by the fact
that boys would be thrust into the world of work as newsboys and to
beg on the street in an effort to earn money for the negligent
working-class family. When building trades were suspended during the
winter months a great number of men were suddenly unemployed. To keep
the family fed, Kelso claimed, “and the parents in drink, many
children, girls as well as boys, were sent on the street to sell
newspapers and peddle laces and pencils and other trifles – a form of
begging in disguise.”

Begging on the streets or
selling newspapers became a fundamental part of some boys’ lives.
Kelso suggested that sending boys to the street to earn money for the
family at the expense of their attendance at school was an example of
the evil influence of wicked parents. From his considerable
experience with deviant boys, an Assize Court Judge argued that,
“parental authority is the greatest evil to which these poor
children are exposed.” He thought many boys were “dispatched
upon their daily errand of crime to bring home to worthless parents,
to be dissipated in drunkenness what they may lay their little
pilfering hands upon.” The judge was convinced that many male
youth of the dangerous classes attempted to extract charity from the
wealthier citizens of Toronto through tales of orphanage or some
imaginary calamity that suddenly befell them. For boys involved in
such deviance, at least one commentator believed, “instruction
in fictions of misery is all that they receive at home.”
Immorality among these children, Kelso reasoned, was exceedingly
common.

However, Kelso and Wilson
failed to recognize working-class families’ social and economic
reality. Many were recent immigrants who had difficulty providing for
their families and therefore were forced to depend on their sons as
additional breadwinners. In answer to his question, “who goes to
school?” Michael Katz found that indeed lower socio-economic
status was the greatest predictor of who would not be found in the
school yard. Katz found the one exception to this rule was
working-class parents with very young children. l Poor families found
prioritizing their sons’ voluntary attendance at school difficult
when juxtaposed with their earning potential. But to suggest that the
main reason boys eschewed school was because their parents required
their labour power is to deny the spirit of youth for adventure and
deviance. That bad boys did not like their teacher (or the teacher
did not like them), or were frustrated by the work, or that distance
to the school was too great, or that they considered it a waste of
time since education was not a prerequisite for employment, are
certainly other plausible reasons for non attendance. These reasons
were lost on elite reformers.

Along
with truancy, Toronto’s opinion leaders loathed disrespect and
disregard for authority in deviant youth. Deviant boys, one editor
commented, had “no respect for adults as such. They feigned
none.” When a group of boys were playing ball near your windows,
the editor lamented, and “you, not wishing to spoil their sport,
say to them: ‘Boys watch those windows,’ one of the boys was sure to
retort, ‘how long do you want me to look at them?” Or, as the
editorial continued, if a boy on his way to school was rebuked by an
adult for abusing his younger brother, he would almost certainly turn
and say: “’Aw, what’s chewin’ you – mind your own business!”
G.W. Allan while speaking at the First Annual Conference on Child
Saving bemoaned the fact that one of the most distinguishing features
of er rant youth was their almost complete lack of respect. He, along
with Kelso, was certain that: “when you find a boy who is
utterly devoid of any respect for those who are in authority over
him, or who are older than himself, you may be sure it will not be
very long before he is into trouble.”

– Bryan Hogeveen, “"The Evils with Which We Are Called to Grapple": Élite Reformers, Eugenicists, Environmental Psychologists, and the Construction of Toronto’s Working-Class Boy Problem, 1860-1930.” Labour / Le Travail, Vol. 55 (Spring, 2005), pp. 46-51

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“And while I wouldn’t wish brain cancer on my worst enemy, McCain’s illness shouldn’t act as some magical shield that absolves him from abetting—no wait, LEADING—a GOP whose appetite for brazen monstrousness grows by the day. And yet, there were Senate Democrats giving our man a standing O right after he gleefully fucked their constituents, because Democrats would happily set aside differences with Godzilla for the sake of gentility … I was duped when I gave McCain my pitiable little sum all those years ago, but I know better today. Everyone should know better. Everyone should realize that John McCain is the perfect American lie, a man who professes to be noble and fair and just while being none of those things. He served his country honorably in combat, but in no other fashion. And he serves out his time in the Senate, and here on planet Earth, as a pathetic enabler. Never the lion; always the sheep. For seventeen years, gullible people have been waiting for him to make his face turn, to make some grand defiant move for the sake of God and country. But that was always just clever branding on his part, and today should serve as a cold slap in the face to anyone who still thought he might have that kind of political courage left in him. He’s a fucking disgrace.”

– Drew Magary, “John McCain Is the Perfect American Lie,” GG. July 25, 2017.

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“Penitentiary limits visiting privileges: Wives of prisoners picket Collin’s Bay to complain of curbs,” Kingston Whig-Standard. February 20, 1973.

“Wives of five prisoners said yesterday they will continue picketing Collin’s Bay Penitentiary to protest against restrictions on their visiting privileges.  

The women paraded outside the penitentiary for the first time on Monday afternoon to protest against what one said was ‘prejudice against the families of inmates that live in the area.’

One of the wives said their visiting privileges have been limiting to Tuesday and Wednesday nights and on weekends.

Additional visits may be granted by special permission of the penitentiary’s director, she said, but the women were not informed in advance they would have to forfeit a regular visit if granted a special one.

The women said they were informed by letter that the restrictions on visits to their husbands were effective Dec. 1.

John Moloney, regional director of penitentiaries, said that in theory there were no limits on visits to prisoners in penitentiaries.

But he said this depends on the facilities and staff available at the individual institution.

‘The institution bends in the case of out-of-town visitors and always has,’ he said.

A. J. Doerksen, assistant director of organization and administration at Collins Bay, said as many visits as possible are permitted, depending on the number of officers available.  ‘We can’t allow local people to visit indiscriminately,’ he said.

Two of the women also complained about objections of penitentiary officials to children accompanying their mothers on visits.  The women said the visiting area should be expanded and renovated to make it suitable for visits by children of prisoners.  

In another development, Mr. Doerksen said yesterday that repairs were made to cellblock heating facilities on Monday after about 35 prisoners set fire to a table in their cellblock Sunday night to protest inadequate heating.

He said the fire was minor and none of the prisoners was punished.

He said a large heating unit was installed in the cellblock on Monday to replace one of the four already there.  A $5,000 winter works program has been approved, he said, which would provide electric-heating facilities.

Mr. Doerksen said ‘the administration has been aware for a long time that the heating system in the area was not as good as it should be.’

He said a cold north wind and inadequate heating facilities made the cellblock colder than normal on Sunday night.”

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