Posts Tagged ‘canadian politics’

AL: All of the coverage of the shooting incident at Kingston General
Hospital by Millhaven Institution inmate Corey Ward has tended to
focus, understandably, on the effects it has had on the Hospital: staff
are feeling “traumatized” and “violated” according to Dr.
David Messenger, an emergency room doctor and head of the Queen’s
University department of emergency medicine. The
danger to other patients, the shock and fear of patients, their families and friends, and staff, and the need to bring in counselors and support all those deeply upset by the shooting, has been emphasized – again, understandably. The
with a story November 21
about the security and policy
changes that may take place at the Hospital, as well.

The Union of Canadian Correctional Officers has told the press that both officers feel “shaken up” by the incident, while Correctional Service of Canada officially praised the escort team for being “very diligent and professional.” Ward’s criminal record – 10 years for uttering death threats, violent assault and assaulting a police officer in 2012 – has been released as well.

This local story interests
me for a few other reasons. Initial reports from
CTV via the Canadian Press said Ward was “found unconscious”
in his cell –
this is why he was brought to emergency. But
from what? Why? During his arraignment, Ward
asked for a 30-day psychiatric assessment and
that his medications were being withheld – was he on medication?
For what? Is that connected to the medical emergency in his cell?  He
was charged with attempted murder and firing with intent. but
aside from the initial reports saying the firearm was discharged
during a struggle (it’s not unknown for guns to be fired
accidentally during such a situation) and not aimed at anyone
directly, there is no publicly available evidence to back up these
charges. The
Kingston Police claim the escape was not premeditated, either. Again,
during his arraignment, Ward shouted out: “they
correctional officers]
took the cuffs off me and dared me to attack them.”
may be a post-hoc justification, of course, and perhaps his escort did nothing of the sort, but given the history and
current relationship between staff and inmates at Millhaven – not
good is an understatement – this is not out of the realm of the possible.

Ward is being transferred to the Regional Reception Centre
in Saint-Anne-Des-Plaines, Quebec, which also houses the super-max Special
Handling Unit – a punitive measure without a doubt. This will also make his legal defense more difficult. Finally,
during the few seconds Ward was taped by CTV being dragged into the
courtroom by the Emergency Response Team escort (doing their best
security theatre routine) he yelled something about “suicide” and
Ashley Smith.” What was he trying to say? Why has this not been
reported on by the CBC or the Whig-Standard in their coverage? Does
this not bear further investigation, that an inmate, no matter how
violent or dangerous, might have a strong historical and communal
understanding of the connection between prison conditions, mental health and suicide?

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Traditional Canadian complacency, the open society, and a feeling generated by its geography that “it cannot happen here,” help to create the troubled waters in which the revolutionary fish can swim and propagate.—British Institute for the Study of Conflict, September, 1978.

Swallows scatter down across the October quilt of the Petawawa plain and on toward the river and Quebec, where the far hills ghost into rain cloud. In air as close as cobwebs the soldiers of the Canadian Special Service Force in the reanimated Armed Forces wait for the beginning of what they call “erection time”—a solid, stunning minute that turns the land punch-drunk with explosion. When it is over a major’s voice rises eagerly from the loudspeaker, quieter but no less disturbing: “Would you be dead? Would you be critically injured? Would you have the guts to stand up and fight like a man as our infantry came over to kill you?” Only then is there silence, as the questions rise and are lost in the bruised clouds.

This sky will clear in the days to come, but a cloud of suspicion continues to linger over the 3,500-member Special Service Force. Its duties may be as simple as a girl guide’s—Be Prepared— but the calling remains somewhat more sinister than hustling cookies. Formed last year by combining a number of crack Petawawa units with the elite Canadian Airborne Regiment, which was transferred under much controversy from Edmonton, the SSF’s lack of any specific task has led to continuing rumors concerning the military and the possible separation of Quebec. Though the force was planned for more than a decade, its inopportune announcement-just two weeks after the 1976 Parti Québécois victory—and opportune location directly across the river from Quebec have given rise to questions that are also without answers. And it is this lack of a “defined role” more than anything else that has Defence Minister Barney Danson announcing a specific SSF task this week, which insiders hint may be a detailed NATO commitment to the defence of Norway.

But that will hardly stop the rumors. There will still be those who wonder why the force has 2,500 pairs of handcuffs and 17,800 gas masks despite the fact that no Canadian soldier has come under gas attack since 1918. And further questions will arise next month when the first of some 50 special armored vehicles arrives on the Petawawa base—vehicles that are nearly identical to those used by the West German police and others for riot control. Such items are dismissed as basic equipment by the defence department, but Conservative defence critic Allan McKinnon has said they “fit better into the needs of unstable banana republics” than those of Canada. It would have been worse had the previous chief of defence staff, General Jacques Dextraze, had his way and located the 250 French-speaking SSF commandos in Ottawa. Fortunately, Danson fought that decision and won —“I don’t want to turn the place into an armed camp,” he says—otherwise the capital city, which still discourages military uniforms on Friday, shopping day, would have been shackled with camouflaged jungle jackets, calf-high jumping boots and maroon berets—the trademark of the toughest soldiers in the Armed Forces.

The most startling SSF story, however, has remained a secret since the early hours of July 5, 1978, when a plane loaded with British commandos—estimates vary widely between 30 and 190stole out of Petawawa. Fully two months earlier, also in the dead of night, the same commandos had come into the country. And their secret presence here might never have become known but for the one part of the soldiers’ equipment that was out of action over those eight weeks. On July 3, the commandos took over a cottage on Petawawa Point where they invited several women they had met at the isolated Hotel Pontiac. Alcohol and high hopes naturally led to bragging, and the soldiers thoughtlessly let it slip that they were members of the mysterious British SAS—a fact confirmed to Maclean’s last week by the department of national defence.

There are a number of small similarities between the British Special Air Service and the Canadian SSF: their undefined roles, jaunty berets, symbol (a winged dagger) and even motto—the Canadian “Let us dare” and the British “Who Dares, Wins.” But the Canadians are, as one officer put it, merely “lethal boy scouts” when compared to the cream of the British army. So secretive is the SAS that it is not even kiiown how many members there are, though estimates average out to around 700. Photographing them is forbidden even for the official military magazines and the British ministry of defence attitude toward them is simply, “We don’t mention them—ever.”

However, the SAS is known to operate extensively in Northern Ireland where they parachute in at night in small groups and work undercover to disrupt the Irish Republican Army. How they actually operate is guesswork—one exSAS told Maclean’s London bureau that being a member is “automatically a licence to kill”—but their effectiveness is evident. Since their arrival in Ulster deaths and bombings are down from 170 in the first six months of 1976 to 49 in the first six months of 1978.

Obviously, this clear tie with civil war adds further intrigue to the SAS visit to Canada. The only comparable force to the SAS, the United States Rangers, was also quietly here this year in January when some 175 of them trained with the Special Service Force, and more Rangers apparently are due back next January and February.

For those who feed off such information, there is a virtual banquet of paranoia around. The September report from London’s Institute for the Study of Conflict was prepared by Major-General Rowland Mans, who happened to spend three years with the National Defence College in Kingston, Ontario, and it warns with utter clarity of the risks inherent in a disunited Canada. “Just how long the United States would be prepared to stand idly by if the situation worsened would be a matter of nice judgment,” Mans says. Closer to home, the former director-general of the RCMP Security Service, John Starnes, wrote in a 1977 issue of the British magazine, Survival, that “Canada’s internal situation is such that, for the first time since NATO was formed, there is now a potential threat to the security of the North American heartland.” There have also been two puzzling federal appointments this fall: Marcel Cadieux, the former Canadian ambassador to the United States, to advise the RCMP on domestic and international security; and Eldon Black, who has spent the past three years seconded to the department of national defence, to the newly created post of deputy undersecretary of state for security and intelligence in the department of external affairs, which some claim is the beginnings of a new supra-RCMP security force.

Such concern with the internal workings of the country may pre-date both the Parti Québécois victory and the 1970 October Crisis. Ten years ago this week, in response to a Queen’s University student’s question on NATO, newly elected Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau said: “I happen to believe that in a very real sense civilization and culture in North America are more menaced … by internal disorders than by external pressure.” Trudeau emphasized he did not believe the turmoil would be caused by separatists, but he did envisage a North America with “large rebellions and large disturbances of civil order.”

No one has dared suggest the military has actual plans for the invasion of Quebec, but what has been questioned is the real purpose of the Special Service Force, which hardly sets up and breaks down a full, transportable command post on manoeuvres an average of once a day because flies get inside their tents. Defence Minister Danson argues that placing the SSF next door to Quebec “was not a consideration—but I know people are going to read things into it.” The commander of the SSF, burly Brigadier-General Andrew Christie, is even more adamant. ‘Tm a simple, honorable soldier,” Christie says. “And I haven’t got any ulterior motive. We are not SAS. People think something nefarious is going on and we’re involved in clandestine operations. We haven’t got any cards under the table.”

But there is still the issue of secrecy. Christie, who used his influence to kill a Pembroke Observer story on British troops being seen on the nearby base, says no mention was made of the SAS simply because the British requested nothing be said. Barney Danson far more candidly says: “In Canada, where response time is so important, you don’t want to start tipping your hand. We don’t broadcast things.” Retorts Tory McKinnon: “Our government seems suspicious of its own people. It’s as if they can’t be trusted to know what’s going on.” Concerning the actual activities of the British SAS in Canada, Brigadier-General Christie says, “We had very little to do with them.” One senior officer who was there, however, argues that relationships were “very friendly indeed. We were training with them and training them, too.” Very little concrete information is offered concerning the SAS stay here—and numerous Maclean’s calls to a specific SAS soldier, who left his number with a Pembroke woman, failed—but it is believed the British commandos were testing a Bombardier manufactured cross-country motorcycle, climbing in Alberta, underwater testing near Point Pelee in Southwestern Ontario and parachuting in both Edmonton and in an isolated area of Ontario. Bill Beacham, who leases the out-of-the-way, 652-acre Bonnechère Airport near Killaloe from the federal ministry of transport, received a call this spring that the military would be making some use of his facilities. “We never saw them,” says Beacham, who was seldom around the airport for the most part, but an officer in the Canadian SSF claims the SAS were involved in free-fall jumping.

Though the Canadian SSF is described as an “airportable, airdroppable” force, it is wrong to say the Canadian SSF was modelled on the British SAS. When General Dextraze created the Special Service Force in Petawawa—virtually his final act as chief of defence staff—he was reviving a memory that went back to the last World War when the first Special Service Force, a joint U.S.-Canadian force known as The Devil’s Brigade, performed so well in Europe. There was never any stated intention that the force would concern itself with internal security, but there were clear hints in the government’s 1971 white paper, Defence in the ‘70s, that Canada was becoming less concerned with NATO and far more introspective. The white paper spoke of “the threat to society posed by violent revolutionaries” and “the necessity of being able to cope effectively with any future resort to disruption, intimidation and violence as weapons of political action.”

The key to the force, Dextraze believed, would be in moving the Canadian Airborne Regiment from Edmonton to Petawawa, and then adding a third commando unit to the Airborne by bringing the Third Mechanized Commando back from Europe. Defence headquarters was able, amid great protest, to pull the Airborne out of Edmonton but it was unable, thanks to Danson, to put an armed commando in Ottawa. As for the Third Mechanized Commando, it did leave Europe but it has never arrived, having been quietly absorbed into other regiments that needed men. It was this loss of a full commando, sources claim, that bothered Colonel Jacques Painchaud, commander of the Airborne, the most. His outburst in July that Danson should resign for suggesting there was no room for elite troops in the forces was merely the last straw.

The removal of Painchaud which followed was merely one more black mark against the Airborne. Not only was it impossible for the huge Hercules aircraft, which generally carry troops such as the Airborne, to land at Petawawa, but the regiment found there were no jump facilities at the base. When they did parachute, they had to travel by bus to Trenton (three hours away), and then later had to send their parachutes all the way back to Edmonton for repacking. Dextraze himself later admitted the Airborne, as a proper airborne, would be “less effective” in Petawawa. There were also a number of more localized problems: fights in Pembroke; a soldier dead from wood alcohol poisoning; a frozen lake dynamited, now under investigation by provincial authorities.

Today, all that has settled down. With Painchaud gone to headquarters in Ottawa, a minor point of controversy concerns his successor, Colonel Kent Foster, who—as commander of the officially bilingual unit in the Special Service Force—is not classified as bilingual. Brigadier-General Christie, who is bilingual, dismisses this by saying, “He can communicate with his soldiers and they can with him—that’s bilingualism.” Still, the francophone half of the volunteer Airborne is some 90 men short of its full complement of 250. And though Christie has worked hard to attract more French-speaking soldiers to Petawawa—including spending $120,000 a year on a French school — they are slow in coming.

Still, if morale is down in that one area, it is significantly up in the Armed Forces as a whole, thanks to the current $4-billion spending spree. As Admiral Robert Falls, the new chief of defence staff, has put it, the forces cannot attract recruits with “broomsticks instead of rifles,” and the department of national defence—presumably under pressure from the European Economic Community, who will buy Canadian goods in exchange for a larger Canadian commitment to NATO—is making sure the broomsticks are replaced.

A revivified military in such troubled times, however, presents worry to a number of people. In a defence committee meeting on March 10, 1977, General Dextraze—the man who created the SSF—was being quizzed by Edmonton Member of Parliament Steve Paproski on the Airborne’s move to Petawawa. “Does the general include the possibility of a separatist Quebec as one of the challenges to our sovereignty?” Paproski asked. General Dextraze, somewhat miffed at the question, somewhat obtusely replied: “Inasmuch as the military is concerned … one should not ask any questions as to their loyalty at all…I have their loyalty . ..”

There was a moment during the SSF’s recent two-day Exercise Mobile Warrior that was every bit as stunning as the mad minute of “erection time.” At lunch on the first day, one of the visiting officers, Brigadier-General Christopher (Killer) Kirby from the Royal Military College in Kingston, was handed a machete, and a live chicken was produced from a cook’s pot. Then, to the cheers of 230 Canadian military college students, Kirby lopped off the head with a single swipe, leaving the body to stagger pathetically in the spray of its own blood until it fell. The kill was traditional, supposedly to remind the officers that they must be prepared to find their own food during extensive manoeuvres, but the “entertainment” aspect of the act—meat and potatoes were cooking barely 20 yards away—was as unnecessary this year as it had been the year before, when a woman killed a rabbit. Chilling incidents that easily excite the apprehension of the non-military mind.

– Roy MacGregor, “Fighting Back: The Canadian Forces reborn – in from the cold,” Maclean’s. November 6, 1978.

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“The Aurea Foundation was established in 2006 by Peter Munk, the billionaire former CEO of Barrick Gold – “the world’s largest gold mining company” – who passed away earlier this year.

According to its website, the Aurea Foundation “supports qualified institutions and affiliated individuals involved in the study and development of public policy,” giving “special attention” to issues like the “economic foundations of freedom” and “the strengthening of the free market system.”

In practice, the Aurea Foundation is one of the biggest funders sustaining a network of right-wing think tanks in Canada.Canada Revenue Agency disclosures for 2017 show Aurea distributed nearly $1.8 million in funds. A few beneficiaries include:

The Fraser Institute ($518,238)
Macdonald-Laurier Institute ($250,000)
Montreal Economic Institute ($250,000)
Canadian Constitution Foundation ($250,000)
C. D. Howe Institute ($225,000)
Manning Foundation ($100,000)

These “gifts” to other registered charities and qualified donees accounted for nearly two-thirds (63%) of Aurea’s total expenditures in 2017.

Between 2011 and 2017, Aurea’s regular donations to these right-wing organizations have totaled in the millions:

The Fraser Institute ($1,675,568)
MacDonald-Laurier Institute ($1,255,000)
Frontier Centre for Public Policy ($1,204,000)
Montreal Economic Institute ($968,000)
C.D. Howe Institute ($870,000)
Canadian Constitution Foundation ($425,000)
Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms ($275,000)
Atlantic Institute for Market Studies ($252,500)

According to group’s charitable disclosures, the right-wing Fraser Institute has been a top recipient of Aurea Foundation cash over the years.The Fraser Institute has received $1.7 million from the Aurea Foundation since 2011 and received a $5 million donation from Munk himself in 2016 to fund an education program that provides right-wing training sessions for teachers and offers teenagers cash prizes to write essays attacking minimum wage increases.

Programming accounted for 23% of the organization’s $2.7 million budget. The only program listed on the Aurea Foundation’s website is the semi-annual Munk Debate.

Speakers selected to participate in Munk Debates often voice right-wing and neoconservative views.

Past speakers have included the controversial University of Toronto professor andalt-right idol Jordan Peterson, the former leader of the anti-immigrant UKIP party Nigel Farage as well as Richard Nixon’s Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.

Former Republican house speaker Newt Gingrich, meanwhile, has participated in no fewer than three Munk Debates.

– “The Group Behind Steve Bannon’s Toronto Event Also Funds Canada’s Biggest Right-Wing Think Tanks.” PressProgress.ca, November 2, 2018.

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“They buried Harry Snedden with honor last week. They placed his cap upon a Canadian flag, which lay across his coffin, and from the crowded pews of St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in suburban Toronto they sang him to rest, privately measuring the

meaning of his death. Afterward, in a solemn processional, they marched— 1,100 policemen, six abreast, their shoes bright with polish, their hands gloved in white—through the very streets Constable Snedden had patrolled and not far from where he had been shot, with his own gun, while trying to break up a domestic dispute.

At 22, fit and industrious, Harry Snedden had contemplated a long career in his chosen profession and, for his family and friends, his death had the awesome absurdity of random fate. But police forces everywhere viewed it as one more justification for their campaign to restore capital punishment. In fact, Snedden died less than two weeks after a national gathering of police chiefs had urged a federal referendum on the death penalty and only days after Justice Minister Otto Lang and Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau—once regarded as firm abolitionists—had themselves mused out loud about just such a possibility.

Ottawa’s apparent turnabout on the issue may have stunned party loyalists, but it plainly tickled the police. “Thank God,” sighed AÍ Evelyn, president of Toronto’s 5,300-member police association. “Let’s have a referendum. There’s no doubt in my mind that the majority wants capital punishment.”

There is no doubt, either, that on the hanging question—as on many others— Canada’s cops have become increasingly outspoken. “We’ve had to,” explains Halifax policeman Joe Ross, the militantly pro-hanging vice-president of the Canadian Police Association. “There’s not a week goes by that police aren’t shot at. We have to be more political—for our own protection.”

And so they are. From St. John’s to Surrey, the nation’s 65,000 policemen are making themselves heard as never before. Frequent conclaves, media blitzes and the long parade of appearances before legislative committees have given this country’s most visible minority a new and sometimes disturbing dimension. The newest centurions are not only peace officers, but lobbyists, influential shapers of opinion.

“Those who would enforce the law are now trying to determine how the laws should be made,” warns Toronto lawyer Harold Levy. “That concerns me. Every time the Criminal Lawyers Association goes to Ottawa to present a brief, the police chiefs have been there before us. This is not public relations and this is not education. It’s very close to intimidation.”

Whatever it is, the police show little inclination to stop. Joe Ross’s 600-member Police Association of Nova Scotia hopes to make capital punishment the major issue in next spring’s federal election. Its Ontario counterpart has set a $100,000 fund-raising target to promote the police viewpoint—one shared by 68 per cent of all Canadians, according to last April’s Gallup poll. Says Toronto Police Superintendent Frank Barbetta (see box): “I think the death penalty is a deterrent and I think it’s a fit punishment, not just for the murder of police officers and prison guards—that was never our contention—but for all premeditated murder.”

The new tempo of police politics does not stop with capital punishment. At almost every level, Canadian police forces are now engaged in a quest for more equipment, more personnel, more money and more -power. Especially power. Among their specific demands: the right to open mail (with a judicial warrant); changes in the Human Rights Act, to prevent criminals from gaining access to federal police files; withdrawal of Ottawa’s freedom-of-information proposals; enough federal aid to double the size of police intelligence units, to fight organized crime; and amendments to the Criminal Code that would make any car owner liable for all offences involving his vehicle—even if it were stolen. Insists Stan Raike, newly elected president of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police: “The war on crime is a war indeed.”

Still, the campaign for extra clout comes when the growth rate of crime itself is levelling off. For example, between 1961 and 1967 crimes of violence increased by an average of 12 per cent annually.

But between 1975 and 1977, the average rate of growth plummeted to less than one per cent per year. Asks Dr.

Paul Reed, director of Statistics Canada’s justice division: “You’re wondering why the police need more power? I would encourage you to wonder.”

But statistics are a fruitless game; they yield more questions than they answer. Is the curve dipping because the most crime-prone age group (15 to 24) is maturing? Or is it because in an era of economic restraint, police forces—the source of most crime statistics—see no advantage in reporting new crests in the wave? No one can say conclusively.

One category that shows an indisputable advance, however, is cannabis offences, which now account for one in every eight charges laid against adults (compared to one in 57 nine years ago).

In several American states, possession of marijuana or hashish is no longer a crime and even the Canadian Bar Association—never exactly aggressive in pursuit of reform—and the government’s own 1972 LeDain Commission have called for decriminalization of simple possession. Yet last year alone, more than 40,000 possession charges were laid.

The gargantuan effort expended to curb dubious violations of the Criminal Code is not restricted to cannabis. Laments Osgoode Hall law professor Alan Grant: “Senior officers know they’re catching the mackerel and leaving the whales; that’s what accounts for their frustration.”

Something certainly accounts for it. Although, as University of Saskatchewan law professor Brian Grosman notes, “public support for the police in this country is at an all-time high,” police morale is with few exceptions at an all-time low. Easy bail, plea bargaining, criminals acquitted by loopholes in the law, soft judges, quick parole—these are the verses of the policeman’s complaint. Staring into a coffee cup in northern B.C., an RCMP constable reflects: “Out of 20 charges you might get five or six convictions. We don’t get any support from the court. You spend hours on an investigation, paper work, court time. There’s no incentive for initiative. That’s why the guys are getting out.”

Even beyond the courtroom, though, a policeman’s lot is not a happy one these days. In Moncton, for example, Chief Greg Cahoon, a former RCMP sergeant, has upset his force with sweeping policy changes. Several senior officers have resigned. More recently, Cahoon has tried to force team policing upon the department.

In Charlottetown, friction between Chief Donald Saunders—imported from Ontario in 1974—and his staff continues. A 1977 provincial inquiry said the force was flying on a wing and a prayer, had lost public confidence and should immediately adopt formal rules and regulations—a code it had astonishingly managed to do without.

The Newfoundland Constabulary wants the right to carry guns; Halifax cops are threatening a strike; and the Quebec Policemen’s Federation (9,800 members—among the most militant blue-knight organizations in the country) predicts politicians will soon try to destroy police unions. “The storm clouds are forming,” says Guy Marcil, the federation’s executive director. “For the next three years, we won’t be fighting to gain new things, but to keep what we have won in the past.”

All of that is but a barely audible murmur to the raucous vibrations touched off by police forces in Ontario. At week’s end, the province’s police commission had completed one investigation (finding “management by crisis” in Thunder Bay), had two more under way and two others were contemplated. In tiny Ingersoll (pop. 8,200), Chief Ronald James had the temerity to suggest recently that epileptics be barred from the town’s restaurants. “Some guy barfing on the floor is not good for business,” the chief maintained.

Even Metro Toronto’s well-greased operation is sputtering. Three killings by police officers last month have raised anxious questions about police racism, emergency task forces and the adequacy of training techniques.

The most serious abuse occurred in Waterloo, Ont., former home of the Henchmen motorcycle gang, a group whose lifestyle blended into the community as punk rock blends with Beethoven. In 1977, the Waterloo Regional Police Commission hired a new police chief—Syd Brown. He was a daring and controversial choice, in part because he had been a constable—and only a constable—for 23 years.

Brown made numerous changes in Waterloo, many of them positive. He gave junior officers more authority, believing then and now that officers on the street are more in tune with reality than desk-bound administrators. But he also set up an eight-man tactical squad. This past March, it raided the Henchmen clubhouse. Ostensibly, it was a drug raid. In fact, it was an exercise in terrorism. Gang members, an Ontario Police Commission inquiry was subsequently told, were handcuffed and forced to kneel against a wall while police walked on their legs. They were made to run a gauntlet of police punches. They were beaten with nightsticks. Their clubhouse was destroyed. An improperly trained police dog inflicted more than 20 bites. Only one charge, for possession of marijuana, was laid.

“Hell, even the Pope made mistakes,” offers Constable Charles Neegy, now standing guard outside the coronary unit of Kitchener-Waterloo General Hospital where Brown, with pulse rate of 28, was admitted last month. “I tell you, Syd brought policing out of the dark ages. None of this hiding behind bushes to trap some motorist for speeding. We were doing police work.” The commission inquiry is expected to recommend next month that Brown be relieved of his duties.

The Henchmen affair and other probes have made the whole process of police investigating themselves a matter of considerable debate. Two Ontario commissions in recent years have urged formation of a citizen review board to monitor complaints of police conduct. So far, the cops have lobbied successfully against its creation.

Out west, the B.C. Police Commission has established an enviable track record, overseeing an average 1,100 citizen complaints a year, about 25 per cent of which involve allegations of police brutality. Most are unfounded. “The police are more cautious now,” says Vancouver’s senior Crown Prosecutor Bruce Donald. “The squads set up under the Police Act can lead to formal hearings. The guy on the street is thinking: ‘Why should I put my ass on the line? All I face is a truckload of grief.’ ”

Indeed, police relations with the publie, the press and the courts seem generally more amicable west of Ontario. The central grievance of Winnipeg’s 1,007 cops is wages (they rank about 50th nationally), but it hasn’t affected performance. Violent crime in the. city’s core declined 9.7 per cent last year, thanks largely to Operation Affirmative Action, which took policemen out of their cruisers and put them back on two-man foot patrols.

Still, tension is the rule. New recruits are better trained and better educated, but they are still governed by old ideologies. They are especially puzzled by what they regard as Canada’s double standard on police morality: it’s okay to beat and harass—it’s even expected. But woe unto the constable who gets caught. Says York University sociologist Hans Mohr: “We ask them to do a lot of the dirty business we can’t be bothered with and then we say, ‘Why did you shoot? Was that chase necessary?’ But the examination is healthy. We are finally zeroing in on the issue: what police powers are really needed?”

That question is not likely to be settled soon. If anything, the debate over police powers and accountability seems certain to swell in the months ahead, changing the way Canadians view their policemen and adding new meaning to the year’s cosmic salute: may the force be with you.

– Michael Posner,

“The New Centurions: Law and order on the march,” Maclean’s. October 2, 1978.

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“A 70-year-old grandmother has been ordered to serve seven days in
jail for blocking Kinder Morgan’s Burnaby, B.C. gates in opposition to
the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project.

Laurie Embree, a resident of 108 Mile Ranch located more than 400
kilometres north of Burnaby, learned of her sentencing Tuesday. She’s
the first of nine activists facing jail time following their arrests in

In her statement to the court before sentencing, Embree said there
have been “many times when our laws have supported injustices,”
including slavery, child labour and the apprehension of Indigenous

“I truly believe that when we have laws that support injustices, it
is the duty of all good men and women to stand up and challenge those
laws,” she said, according to a press release.

Jean Swanson, an Order of Canada recipient and Vancouver City Council
candidate, was also arrested for blocking the gates of Kinder Morgan’s
Westridge Marine Terminal on June 30. She’s also facing up to seven days
in custody and $5,000 in fines.

“I think it’s an unjust project – not only unjust, but a dangerous project – that we’re trying to stop,” she told APTN News.
“It’s also a ridiculous expenditure of tax money to keep people who
aren’t violent or doing anything bad – who are actually doing something
good – in jail.”

Following opposition by the B.C. government and anti-pipeline
activists, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the federal
government would purchase the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project
for $4.5 billion, a transaction due to be finalized this fall. That
doesn’t include the estimated $7.4 billion cost to twin the pipeline
from Edmonton to Burnaby.

Swanson said she would rather see the Trudeau government spend that
money on clean drinking water for reserves or invested in solar and wind
energy projects.”

– “Grandmother sentenced to seven days in jail for protesting Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.” APTN News,

July 31, 2018.

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““I think it is a matter of public
interest that border service agencies like the CBSA are able to obtain
access to DNA results from sites like Familytreedna.com and
Ancestry.com,” said Subodh Bharati, a lawyer who is representing a man
who says he’s Liberian, but who the government is now trying to prove is
actually Nigerian. “There are clear privacy concerns. How is the CBSA
able to access this information and what measures are being put in place
to ensure this information remains confidential?”

who is representing his client through CLASP, the legal aid clinic at
Osgoode Hall Law School, said he is aware of at least two individuals
who used Familytreedna.com, one in the UK, who have been contacted by
the CBSA seeking to deport someone from Canada.

using these sites to look at their family tree should be aware that
their confidential information is being made available to the government
and that border agents may contact them to help facilitate the
deportation of migrants,” he said.

Both companies deny working with law enforcement.

Godwin, one of Bharati’s clients, who was accepted as a refugee from
Liberia and granted permanent resident status in 1996, was charged two
years later with importing and conspiring to import heroin and sentenced
to seven years in jail. Because of the seriousness of his criminal
convictions, Godwin’s permanent residence status was taken away and the
government ordered him deported back to Liberia.

using these sites to look at their family tree should be aware [it may]
help facilitate the deportation of migrants.”

But when he
arrived in Liberia in 2003, accompanied by Canadian immigration
officials and with a travel certificate in hand from the Liberian
embassy in Ghana, he was denied entry into the country by Liberian
officials, who claimed that only the embassy in Washington could issue a
legitimate document, and that what he had was fake.

was brought back to Canada. The government also tried to deport him in
2005, but he was rejected once more, with officials claiming again he
wasn’t a Liberian national. He was brought back.

Since then,
Godwin has been ricocheting between the criminal justice system — with
multiple charges of theft, fraud, breaching bail conditions — and the

Godwin has never seen the results of the first test, and neither has
Bharati. He points out that Godwin was facing indefinite detention in a
maximum security prison and was willing to do anything to get himself
out, including providing his DNA.

his DNA that they’re using to determine his nationality and they’re not
releasing this test results to him for some sort of privacy concern —
they say they don’t want him to reach out to these individuals that
they’ve found in his family tree, despite the fact that he’s in a
maximum security prison,” said Bharati, adding that the whole premise of
using DNA to establish nationality is flawed since ethnic origin
doesn’t necessarily tell what someone’s citizenship is.

similar issue arose in the case of Olajide Ogunye, a Canadian who was
detained for eight months after the CBSA claimed his fingerprints
matched those of a failed refugee claimant who they believed had
returned to Canada illegally. The agency has never produced the
fingerprint sample they used to identify Ogunye. He’s now suing the
Canadian government for $10 million for wrongful arrest and negligent

Will, another Toronto-based immigration lawyer, has also had two
clients who had their DNA analyzed on the website FamilytreeDNA.com. He
described the process as “extorted consent.” In one case, the agency was
trying to establish Gambian nationality, and in the other, Ghanaian.
Both samples were taken in 2017. “They can’t really say no.”

both cases, I think what they were looking for is evidence of the
country to which they wanted to deport them,” said Will. “But in both
cases, clients are in detention and if they don’t do what’s asked of
them to facilitate removal, non-cooperation is used against them, so
they can’t really say no.”

Bharati has also found that Godwin’s
story of being denied entry at the border isn’t unique for Liberian
nationals. Emails obtained through access to information reveal
immigration officials repeatedly mention how difficult it is to deport
someone to Liberia and the lack of cooperation from Liberian officials
even when deportees have documents that have been issued by the Liberian
government. Emails reference officials in Monrovia “bouncing back our
cases for no apparent reason,” and Canadian officials often being told
that the identity of the person they’re sending or the documentation is
fraudulent. In one email, a CBSA officer says he was told by a UN police
officer that because there was an election coming up, Liberian
officials were reluctant to let people in because they didn’t want
deportees to change the outcome of the election.

not the case that Mr. Godwin is lying — Liberia doesn’t repatriate its
own citizens, especially the ones that have criminal records so Canada
brings him back,” Bharati told VICE News.

But Canada now seems
to be taking their word. They conducted a linguistics analysis with
Godwin using a Swedish company called Sprakab, which concluded that he
doesn’t sound Liberian, using a 24-minute recording taken in 2017.
Godwin’s lawyer Subodh Bharati doesn’t know where the recording came
from and hasn’t been allowed to hear it.”

Tamara Khandaker, “Canada is using ancestry DNA websites to help it deport people.” VICE News, July 26, 2018.

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“Negro Barred From Dance Hall In Hamilton’s Dundurn Park,” Toronto Star. July 7, 1948. Page 01.

Hamilton, July 7 – (CP) – Parks board officials today denied responsibility for an incident in which a local Negro war veteran was denied admission to the dance pavilion at Dundurn park.

‘It is up to them; they will have to deal with the question,’ Thomas M. Wright, vice-chairman of the parks board, said today. He referred to the contract which Morgan Thomas, orchestra leader, has with the parks board for the operation of the dance in the pavilion.

Asked today if there would be any change in the policy:

‘There can’t be any change. The only change there can be is that we don’t run any more.’

The practice in all dance halls, he said, was to ‘keep them out.’  and added: ‘If I let one in, I’d have to let two in, and then more, and the crowd would fall off.’

Mr. Thomas said: ‘Last year they [the parks board] said I should’t refuse admission.’ He added that he explained the situation, and ‘they saw the point.’

Morgan Thomas’ brother, ‘Bud’ Thomas, was on the door when the incident occurred. He said the admission had been refused, and accepted, by the Negro applicant, but the latter returned with a girl who objected.

‘Bud’ Thomas said there was a sign on the booth, over the name of the parks board: ‘We have the right to refuse admission to anyone without question.’

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