Senator says solitaryconfinement bill will make some conditions worse not better

first_imgOTTAWA — A Canadian senator who has spent four decades advocating for the rights of vulnerable people in Canadian prisons says a new bill that purports to end solitary confinement should be scrapped.Sen. Kim Pate says the Trudeau government’s Bill C-83 only offers a cosmetic rebranding of the practice of separating inmates from others in isolated cells for administrative or disciplinary reasons. Pate was the executive director of the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies, which work with women in the criminal-justice system, before Prime Minister Justin Trudeau named her to the Senate as an independent in 2016.Currently, inmates in segregation are restricted to two hours a day outside their cells and do not have access to meaningful interactions with others, nor do they benefit from programming or mental-health supports. According to recent numbers released to the parliamentary budget office, the number of inmates in segregation at any given time has varied from 360 to 434. Nearly all are men.“Over four decades, I have spent countless hours kneeling on cement floors outside segregation cells, pleading through meal slots in solid metal doors as someone’s loved one — someone’s child, sibling, parent or partner — smashed their heads against cement walls or floors, slashed their bodies, tied ligatures or put nooses around their necks, tried to gouge out their own eyes, mutilated themselves in sometimes unimaginable ways, or smeared blood and feces on their bodies, windows and walls,” Pate said in a speech in the Senate on Thursday. “I have heard indescribable sounds of torment and despair that reverberate and haunt me.”Last October, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale announced Bill C-83 would end the practice of isolating prisoners who pose risks to security or themselves — changes aimed at addressing recommendations from the coroner’s inquest into the 2007 death of Ashley Smith.Smith, who was 19, strangled herself in a segregation cell at Grand Valley Institution in Kitchener, Ont., as prison guards looked on. She had spent more than 1,000 days in segregation before her death.An Ontario coroner’s inquest in 2013 ruled her death a homicide and made 104 recommendations, including the banning of indefinite solitary confinement.Under Bill C-83, prisoners transferred to structured intervention units will be permitted to spend four hours a day outside their cells, during which time they would be guaranteed a minimum of two hours to interact with others. Inmates in these units are also supposed to be visited daily by health professionals and see patient advocates.The bill was adopted by the House of Commons and is now before the Senate.Pate says the fine print of the legislation does not deliver on Goodale’s promises. Provisions and procedural safeguards in the current law are being “watered down,” she says.Under Bill C-83, segregation cells are just renamed as “structured intervention units,” Pate says. With no hard time limits on isolation or separation of inmates, which the current law has, the new legislation makes it easier to put someone in segregation, she argues.She and other legal experts who have provided feedback on the bill say it would not withstand a constitutional challenge.“I think it needs some very significant amendment. Otherwise all parliamentarians who vote for this bill as-is would be doing a major disservice to the country, because we would be knowingly passing unconstitutional legislation.”Goodale was not available for an interview this week but his spokesman Scott Bardsley says the minister will discuss the bill with senators when it goes to the Senate committee on social affairs for further review.As for constitutional concerns that courts have raised about the current system regarding a lack of oversight and a lack of meaningful human interaction for inmates in segregation, Bill C-83 directly addresses both, Bardsley says.“The new system created by Bill C-83 will strengthen procedural safeguards by implementing binding external oversight, as well as regular reviews by the warden and the Commissioner (of corrections). And unlike with the current system, these oversight mechanisms will be enshrined in law.”Pate and other senators have been visiting federal prisons as part of a broader study by the Senate human-rights committee.Last week, Nova Scotia independent Sen. Colin Deacon published photos from a visit he made to the Nova Institution for Women in Truro, N.S. One showed a map given to the visiting senators by government officials indicating an outside yard for inmates that included a “garden and spirituality area,” The reality the senators encountered was a bare concrete pad.“The objectives laid out by (Correctional Services Canada) and its staff are great. Their ability to consistently act (to) achieve those objectives seems constrained,” Deacon wrote.Pate produces more photographs showing institution after institution she has visited where segregation cells have been re-categorized as “structured intervention units” with minimal changes.“I’ve literally been chasing around saying, ‘Where are these new units?’ There’s no new units, just new names.”A recent parliamentary budget office report Pate commissioned found that the operating costs for the structured intervention units would be $58 million annually.Pate asked for costings of three alternatives. Placing profoundly mentally ill inmates in psychiatric hospitals would cost $900 a day per inmate, the PBO found. Placements with correctional services on First Nations would cost $300 a day per inmate. A national anti-gang program in prisons would cost about $200,000.Determining whether those moves would save money is difficult, the PBO report says — that depends on how well they work.Pate wants the government and her Senate colleagues to take a closer look at alternative measures rather than passing Bill C-83 in its current form.  “The minister says he wants to get rid of segregation. I fully support that and think that’s fantastic. But the pretext that this bill is going to do it … if he actually believes that, I don’t think he has actually gone into any of the prisons to see what they’re now going to call structured intervention units.”Ottawa has committed $448 million to the new system to pay for 950 new staff and building renovations.—Follow @ReporterTeresa on TwitterTeresa Wright, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Read more on Senator says solitaryconfinement bill will make some conditions worse not better

TIFF 2017 Deals The Complete List of Festival Purchases So Far

first_imgAdvertisement While the Toronto International Film Festival doesn’t boast a market as robust as other festivals, like Sundance or Cannes, the yearly event often plays home to some major buys of big contenders. Last year, films as diverse “I Am Not Your Negro,” “Salt and Fire,” and “A Quiet Passion” found a home at the festival, and this year will likely include a slate of picked-up offerings that are as wide-ranging as the festival itself. We will be tracking every buy below, so keep checking back to stay up to date.The Toronto International Film Festival runs September 7 – 17 in Toronto, Canada. Stay up to date on all of this year’s TIFF acquisitions below.– In an early deal that was announced before the festival even kicked off, AMC Networks’ streaming horror service Shudder picked up North American, U.K., Ireland and Australian rights to Coralie Fargeat’s debut “Revenge.” The film is billed as “a thriller about a woman who exacts bloody vengeance on her attackers” and is part of the festival’s well-loved Midnight Madness section. Login/Register With: Twitter Advertisementcenter_img Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Facebooklast_img read more

Read more on TIFF 2017 Deals The Complete List of Festival Purchases So Far

CDI presents first phase of Fort St John community profile to Council

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — Representatives from UNBC’s Community Development Institute gave a presentation at yesterday’s committee of the whole meeting of the Institute’s first community profile of Fort St. John, showing that while some facets of the city have stayed the same over the years, the community has experienced a number of drastic demographic changes.Researcher Dr. Michael Lait and the CDI’s co-director Marleen Morris presented a summary of the Institute’s 61-page report that chronicles the changes the Energetic City has experienced over the past 32 years. The report, which represents the CDI’s first of two phases to profile the community, took a look at census data and government statistics.Looking at the size of the community itself, Dr. Lait said that with an exception during the 1980’s energy industry recession, Fort St. John’s population grew 45 percent between 1981 and 2016, to an estimated 20,155. However, the demographics of the community have aged slightly. In 1981, people under 35 comprised 75 percent of the city’s population, but in 2016 that number fell to 57 percent. Despite this, the city’s median age two years ago was 31.5 years, which is still far below the provincial median age of 41 years. Still, the city’s population of senior citizens increased 119 percent over the last 30 years.Fort St. John’s residents have gotten more educated over the last 12 years, as data shows the percentage of city residents that did not complete high school fell from 20 percent in 2006 to 12 percent in 2016. During that time, the provincial average fell from 12 to 10 percent. The only area where Fort St. John ranked higher than the provincial average was the percentage of residents in an apprenticeship or that had a trades certificate or diploma. Fifteen percent of city residents were in the trades both in 2006 and 2016, while during that time the provincial average fell from 12 to nine percent.Interestingly, the percentage of School District 60 students graduating high school stayed fairly constant between the 2011/12 school year and 2015/16. That rate is lower both than the provincial average rate and the percentage of Peace River South students. Another statistic showed that the percentage of First Nations students graduating in Peace River North fell slightly with wild variations during those five years, while the rate south of the Peace increased steadily over the same period.In terms of housing, the average rental rate in Fort St. John in 2016 worked out to $1,275 per month, while Vancouver’s average that year was only $21/month more. This was despite the average value of a home in Fort St. John being over 2/3 lower than the same value in Vancouver. Despite this, Dr. Lait said that city residents faced less stress than both the average renter and homeowner in B.C. when it came to paying for their dwellings. The percentage of renters and homeowners in Fort St. John paying more than 30 percent of earnings on housing costs fell much more from 2011 to 2016 than in the rest of B.C. as a whole.The entire report from the CDI can be read below.last_img read more

Read more on CDI presents first phase of Fort St John community profile to Council

NMDC gallops to digital mode

first_imgNEW DELHI: After achieving record performance in FY 2018-19, NMDC is embarking on a digital transformation journey in the new Financial Year, by adopting SAP as an ERP Solution through project titled ‘Kalpataru’. With this project NMDC aims to fully integrated solution encompassing all the business functions of the organization.The Project Kick off meeting took place at NMDC Head Office in the august presence of N Baijendra Kumar, CMD, NMDC; Dr T R K Rao, Director (Commercial); P K Satpathy, Director (Production); Sandeep Tula, Director (Personnel); Amitava Mukherjee, Director (Finance) and Shri V V S Sreenivas, Chief Vigilance Officer; Leadership teams from the partners Deloitte, CHiPS, Accenture and SAP also participated in the meeting. The ERP initiative at NMDC is expected to usher in process transformation by adoption of the global industry best practices, resulting in improved efficiency and greater transparency. This project will also provide competitive advantages to NMDC by harnessing technologies such as loT, Data Analytics, AI, which will enable NMDC to be among the leading Mining and Steel producers globally. Hailing the ERP team of NMDC for achieving this milestone, Baijendra Kumar said that this initiative will improve NMDC’s operational efficiency, and position NMDC as one of the most competitive and dynamic PSE of the country.last_img read more

Read more on NMDC gallops to digital mode

UNICEF unveils $1 billion aid for Syrian children

first_imgGENEVA- The campaign launches to prevent a “lost generation” in Syria, the group saysThe United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has unveiled a one-billion-dollar aid campaign for Syria one week ahead of a major humanitarian relief conference planned in Kuwait.“Through the $1 billion strategy, the organization is focusing on donor and public support on critical education and protection programs to lift Syrian children out of misery, isolation and trauma,” UNICEF spokesman Patrick McCormick said in a press conference on Tuesday. UNICEF, UN Refugee Agency, Save the Children, World Vision and other partners have called on governments, aid agencies and members of the public to support the cause.The groups promote an aid strategy that they call “No Lost Generation”, which aims to provide those affected by conflict with the chance to chart a more stable and secure future for themselves.McCormick said a major public engagement campaign is also being launched under the hastag #childrenofsyria to enlist supporters and public contributors.UNICEF says over one million Syrian refugees are children, of whom more than 425,000 are under the age of five.The vast majority of these refugees has fled either to Lebanon or to Jordan, Turkey, Egypt and Iraq.UNICEF along with other international organizations will channel one billion dollars into programs that, in partnership with governments and local communities, will deliver safe education as well as protection from exploitation, abuse and violence.last_img read more

Read more on UNICEF unveils $1 billion aid for Syrian children

Germany Takes the Top Spot in Soccer Rankings

Here’s another stunning aspect of Germany’s 7-1 domination of Brazil on Tuesday: We have a new best soccer team in the world. The blowout changed the landscape of ESPN’s Soccer Power Index (SPI) ratings. Going into the match, here’s what the SPI top five looked like:Despite somewhat unimpressive play in the World Cup, Brazil still ranked first over Argentina by a healthy margin, and the Germans ranked fourth. But when ESPN’s Stats & Info team recalculated the SPI on Wednesday morning, a very different picture emerged:Essentially, Germany’s incredibly lopsided victory caused it to flip spots with Brazil. Now the Germans have a sizable lead over the rest of the field (nearly as big a separation as Brazil had going into the tournament), and Brazil has dropped to fourth behind the Argentines and Colombians. (Note, too, that Colombia’s SPI dropped marginally, because Brazil’s loss affected the strength-of-schedule component of its rating.)SPI was wrong Tuesday in its estimation of the relative qualities of Germany and Brazil, even after adjusting for the loss of Brazil’s superstar forward, Neymar. But the good thing about a rating system like SPI is that it can use new information to revise its estimates; the stronger the new evidence, the greater the adjustment. And a 7-1 win is strong evidence that SPI had Germany rated too low and Brazil too highly. read more

Read more on Germany Takes the Top Spot in Soccer Rankings

Ohio State basketball on top of Big Ten standings

The Ohio State men’s basketball team is alone in first place in the Big Ten standings, but they aren’t celebrating about it. Not yet, anyway. The now-No. 3-ranked Buckeyes defeated then-No. 20-ranked Michigan, 64-49, Sunday to move into the top spot in the conference, but coaches and players alike said they aren’t concerned with their standing in the Big Ten at this point in the season. OSU has far from completed its Big Ten schedule — two games against Michigan State, away games at Northwestern and Michigan, and a Saturday trip to Wisconsin still await the Buckeyes. It’s understandable why the team might not be in a mood to rejoice in its No. 1 position in the Big Ten. “The game on Saturday against Wisconsin,” said sophomore forward Jared Sullinger. “That’s the biggest focus right now.” OSU’s average margin of victory through its first 21 games is 22 points, and Sunday’s 15-point victory against the Wolverines was the second-closest game the men’s team has played at the Schottenstein Center so far this season. OSU sophomore guard Lenzelle Smith Jr., said it was good for the Buckeyes to win a tighter contest. “It feels good — it goes to show us that even if we don’t blow someone out, if we stay together and get through the adversity, we can pull out a win,” Smith Jr., said. “We grinded it out, things didn’t go our way, but we made the best of the situation.” OSU coach Thad Matta agreed with Smith Jr., saying it was good to win a “grind-it-out” game. “It’s probably good for us,” Matta said. “We knew going in (to the Michigan game) it was going to be a hard-fought battle. You know, we haven’t had those. We’ve had sizeable leads at halftime the last couple of games. Hopefully we’re a better team because of it.” The Buckeyes’ remaining regular season schedule will see the team play five home games and five away games. The team will then travel to Indianapolis for the Big Ten Tournament, where the team could play as many as four games from March 8-11. Then comes the NCAA Tournament. Perhaps with an eye on his team’s remaining schedule, Matta said he likes where his team is positioned in the conference, but added that there is much more basketball to be played. “It’s such a long season and we have to keep the focus on us,” Matta said. “Obviously, there’s some things we need to continue to get better at.” After the win against Michigan, Matta did concede that the No. 1 spot in the Big Ten is the preferable position to be in, though. “It beats second (place),” Matta said. “I do know that.” The Buckeyes (19-3, 7-2) continue conference play on Saturday against No. 19 Wisconsin (17-5, 6-3). Opening tip at the Kohl Center in Madison, Wis., is scheduled for 2 p.m. and will be broadcast nationally on ESPN. read more

Read more on Ohio State basketball on top of Big Ten standings

Opinion 5 questions to watch ahead of Ohio State basketball season

4. Is there a one-and-done on the roster?With players like Greg Oden, Mike Conley Jr., Daequan Cook, Kosta Koufos and Byron Mullins having already made the jump to the pros after one season under Matta, the OSU coach must know it’s a possibility this season.The only likely candidate to declare for the NBA Draft after his freshman season on the current roster is Russell, and that decision is by no means a guarantee. If he puts up huge numbers, it could happen, but it’d be more likely to see Russell stick around for at least a couple of years.And at the end of the day, there’s no guarantee just yet that he’ll end up being a pro prospect.Outside of Russell, any other non-senior on the roster would have to put up earth-shattering numbers to even consider making the jump. 1. Which freshmen will shine early?The OSU roster features four true freshmen and one redshirt-freshman, just one sophomore who is eligible to play this season and no juniors.In summary — apart from four fourth-year seniors and a redshirt-senior — the Buckeyes will be relying on young talent. And those freshmen are certainly talented.Of the true freshmen, three played in Sunday’s 77-37 exhibition win against Walsh, while the fourth — center David Bell — is set to redshirt, Matta said after the game. Out of the three who took the court, guard D’Angelo Russell and forward Jae’Sean Tate stood out by far.Russell led all players with 17 points and tied for team highs with six assists and eight rebounds. Tate got into double digits with 10 points of his own and added on eight rebounds while shooting five of seven from the field. At just 6-feet-4-inches tall, Tate played well beyond his size and showed off the ability to play in the low post. Russell proved he can be a do-it-all player for Matta and the Buckeyes, and both should see playing time early.In fact, Russell started the exhibition game against Walsh and I’d bet on him being on the court for the tip against UMass-Lowell as well.The third true freshman — forward Keita Bates-Diop — looked somewhat nervous and shot just one of eight from the field while redshirt-freshman guard Kam Williams admitted he came out trying to do everything too fast. But both should still contribute this season. 5. This team can run, but will they win?There’s no doubt a round-of-64 loss to Dayton in the NCAA Tournament last season was a disappointment for OSU.But as the main cogs in last year’s lineup — Craft, Smith Jr. and LaQuinton Ross — have moved on, there’s no point in dwelling a lot on what that edition of the Buckeyes accomplished.The team this year has the talent on paper paired with more athleticism to allow it to get out on run. Leading up to the season, multiple players have expressed their desire to run an up-tempo style this year, and it showed against Walsh.With senior guard Shannon Scott leading the break, the Buckeyes could put up big numbers in big situations. But with such a young lineup, there will be questions to be answered as to how much success they can have through a mostly easy preseason schedule and into Big Ten play. 2. Who will shoulder the scoring load?As a five-star recruit with a smooth shooting stroke, Russell could be the top offensive option for Matta. But don’t count out senior forward Sam Thompson.Thompson scored 13 points in just 20 minutes of action against Walsh, and has the talent, experience and athleticism to put up strong numbers for the Buckeyes this season. If all goes as planned, it’s very possible Matta would prefer Thompson to shoulder more of the load this year as Russell gets acclimated to the college game.Outside of that duo, sophomore forward Marc Loving was OSU’s top scoring threat in the exhibition with 12 points. I’d expect him to put up solid numbers, but he won’t be the one the Buckeyes go to when they need a quick bucket. 3. Who will earn more playing time down low?Senior center Amir Williams is the incumbent starter, but redshirt-senior forward Anthony Lee might be the better player as he enters his first season at OSU.The Temple transfer averaged 13.6 points and 8.6 rebounds per game last season with the Owls and poured in eight points to go with seven boards against Walsh. To accompany his inside game, Lee stepped out and knocked down an elbow jumper, which is a skill Williams hasn’t showcased so far during his time in Columbus.Both bring something different to the table and will likely receive significant playing time, but I wouldn’t count on Williams being in the starting five week in and week out.Senior center Trey McDonald will also see some floor time for the Buckeyes, but Matta might opt to go with a smaller lineup at times, forcing McDonald to wait his turn. OSU coach Thad Matta talks with freshman guard D’Angelo Russell (0) during an exhibition game against Walsh on Nov. 9 at the Schottenstein Center. OSU won, 77-37.Credit: Patrick Kalista / Lantern photographerWhile some Ohio State athletics fans might be hard pressed to focus on anything but football for another month, others might be setting their sights on the hardwood Friday night.The No. 20 OSU men’s basketball team is scheduled to open its 2014-15 season at 7 p.m. at the Schottenstein Center against the University of Massachusetts-Lowell. Coach Thad Matta’s roster is revamped for the season, as the Buckeyes get ready to play without Aaron Craft or Lenzelle Smith Jr. for the first time in well over 100 games.With young faces occupying new places in the lineup, I — as The Lantern’s sports editor — picked five key questions that need answers as the season progresses. read more

Read more on Opinion 5 questions to watch ahead of Ohio State basketball season

Higginbotham reveals why Pogba Rashford are excelling at Man Utd

first_imgFormer Manchester United defender Danny Higginbotham gave his verdict on Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford’s strong form.Since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s appointment as an interim coach at United, Pogba has managed six goals and five assists in nine appearances and produced another brilliant display to assist Rashford for the match-winner against Leicester City on Sunday.Meanwhile, Rashford himself has found the net six times since Solskjaer moved him into his preferred centre-forward role.“They’ve got their best players playing in their best positions and it’s proving hugely successful for them,” Higginbotham told Sky Sports.“Obviously, there are still question marks over the defensive side of the team, but they are scoring so many goals.“You’ve got Marcus Rashford playing in his favourite position through the middle and he is going from strength to strength. The run he is on at the moment is unbelievable.“And then there’s Paul Pogba. He’s now looking like the player that is one of the best midfielders in the world and he’s been given the freedom to go and express himself.”Nine wins and a draw have enabled United to reach the fifth round of the FA Cup and close the gap to the top-four in the Premier League table to just two points under Solskjaer.Higginbotham added: “You’ve got to give Ole Gunnar Solskjaer unbelievable credit. “Everything he touches turns to gold.Harry Maguire, Manchester UnitedLiverpool legend Nicol slams Harry Maguire’s Man United form Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Steve Nicol believes Harry Maguire has made some “horrendous mistakes” recently, and has failed to find his best form since joining Manchester United.“I’ve heard a number of people saying anybody could have gone in and done that. No, they couldn’t, I’m sorry but they couldn’t. It doesn’t work like that.“What he’s done is he’s gone in there and looked at the team. What you see with the top managers and we see it all around world football, play your best players in their best positions and build a team around them in order to get the best out of them.”As for whether the Red Devils can snatch a top-four spot, Higginbotham said: “I think so and that’s something we wouldn’t have said a couple of months ago.“You have to give Solskjaer great credit because United are now playing to their strengths.”Rashford was named United’s Player of the Month for his strong performances in January.Horn Hill ➡️ Castle Black ➡️ The Citadel ➡️ Winterfell ➡️ Manchester 🏆Thanks for coming all this way to present @MarcusRashford with his #MUFC POTM award, @JohnBradleyWest! 😁— Manchester United (@ManUtd) February 7, 2019last_img read more

Read more on Higginbotham reveals why Pogba Rashford are excelling at Man Utd