Categories
Aboriginal - First Nations Accountability Civil liberties Justice Race and ethnicity

The sorry state of Canadian civil liberties: Hate crime up, race primary motive

Canada_injustice

Hate crimes in Canada: Most violent against gays, black people most targeted racial group
Craig Takeuchi, straight.com June 27, 2014

The referenced StatsCan release. As the article notes, the majority of all police-reported hate crimes (704 incidents, or 52 percent) were racially or ethnically motivated. Yet, remarkably, the few stories published focused on sexual orientation, a far less frequent motive (185 incidents, or 13%), albeit one involving greater incidence of violence.

Categories
Aboriginal - First Nations Accountability Civil liberties Justice Race and ethnicity

The sorry state of Canadian civil liberties: Defining away ‘diversity’

peter-mckay_mph

Photo above appears to be from The Canadian Press (original source unknown). The white rubber wristband federal Justice Minister Peter MacKay appears to wear is interesting. It’s popularly associated with the Make Poverty History campaign. Among the issues discussed by the Canadian MPH campaign is homeless veterans – interesting, given the accompanying Support Our Troops lapel pin.

Cynical symbology is a useful segue to the latest scandal Mr. MacKay finds himself facing, over a Mother’s Day greeting / supposedly sexist quip about female judges. Its absurdity was recently highlighted by an exchange of open letters between a columnist and his wife.

What the beleaguered Justice Minister wrote or said is secondary to his (can’t stress this point often enough) as well as previous Canadian governments’ policy decisions and resulting outcomes. And those outcomes are far worse for racial / ethno-cultural minorities than for women. Which begs the question(s): When/why/how did ‘diversity’ in judicial appointments become exclusively associated with female nominees, especially when the imbalance is many times greater for racial and other actual minority groups?

Categories
Aboriginal - First Nations Governance Transparency

2011 NHS: Aboriginal Peoples Technical Report released, unreleased, re-released (updated June 23, 2014)

National Household Survey: Aboriginal Peoples – Aboriginal Peoples Technical Report, National Household Survey, 2011 , National Household Survey year 2011 (99-011-X2011002)

Someone should really work on that web page title. Reviewed, and will update with comments shortly. in the meantime, check out the featured map to the right – Aboriginal Peoples Technical Report makes passing reference to that ‘issue’.

Update (09/06/2014)

Missing_2011_NHS_Aboriginal_Report

The release page indicates ‘Date modified:

Update (23/06/2014)

Revised_2011_NHS_Aboriginal_Report

It’s back up, with a bold red ‘Revised June 19, 2014’ tag, along with a yellow caution sign with an ‘R’ up top. Credit for making it obvious the content’s been revised.

Looking at the two sections StatsCan had previously indicated would be subject to revision:

– the ironic error in section 5.3.2 Coverage error for incompletely enumerated reserves and settlements, saw the 2011 NHS estimates in Table 8 Model estimated counts and rates for incompletely enumerated Indian reserves (IER) revised. The pre-revised version estimates were for total on-reserve rather than incompletely enumerated reserve populations. Despite this, the figures still don’t look right. It’s unclear how the voluntary survey 2011 NHS could have had even lower IER counts than the mandatory 2006 long-form Census. As noted immediately beneath Table 8: “These estimates should be used with caution as they are based on a model whose assumptions cannot be verified.” No kidding.

-the explanatory text added to section 4.2.1 NHS Profile doesn’t clarify so much as correct an oversight. The revised version mentions both the NHS Aboriginal Population Profile and the NHS Profile. The pre-revised version neglected to mention the NHS Aboriginal Population Profile. The reader is left to assume both were used for comparisons between the Aboriginal / First Nations and general population.

If readers notice other changes (beside the ones StatsCan noted), please write to let us know.

 

 

Categories
Aboriginal - First Nations Civil liberties Justice Poverty Race and ethnicity

The sorry state of Canadian civil liberties: ‘Hurricane’ passes as his adopted country regresses

Rubin-Carter-0421

 Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter dead at 76: Former professional boxer became an advocate for the wrongly convicted
Mark Gollom, CBC News Apr 20, 2014

The extensive record clearly demonstrates that the petitioners’ convictions were predicated upon an appeal to racism rather than reason, and concealment rather than disclosure.

Wrongful Convictions in Canada (PDF)
Kent Roach, University of Cincinnati Law Review 2012

… the Canadian experience is of interest because in recent years an increasing number of wrongful convictions arising from guilty pleas have been discovered. This phenomenon suggests that the unknown number of wrongful convictions may be much larger than many have appreciated. In other words, wrongful convictions may result not only from contested trials, but from the majority of cases in which accused plead guilty…

How many wrongful convictions in Canada are never detected? Even if the error rate resulting in wrongful convictions in Canada was exceedingly small, there may be large numbers of undiscovered  wrongful convictions, given that about 90,000 criminal court cases result in a person being sentenced to custody in Canada each year. An error rate of only 0.5% would result in approximately 450 wrongful convictions a year

Two-thirds of cases in adult criminal court result in  convictions on the basis of guilty pleas, but given the recent evidence of  innocent people making both irrational and rational decisions to plead guilty, it cannot be assumed that all those in Canada who plead guilty  actually are guilty. The prosecution terminates most of the remaining third of criminal cases. Only 3% of cases result in an acquittalsuggesting that criminal trials only reject a very small percentage of all prosecutions.

That ‘error’ rate is not only 0.5%. And those ‘errors’ tend to overwhelmingly accrue against socio-economically disadvantaged Canadians: Aboriginal / First Nations, visible minorities and low-income individuals. That they’re also far more likely to be charged and denied due process is just another unfortunate ‘error’. Or not.

It would seem the vast majority (2/3) of criminally accused are pleading guilty as they perceive little chance of receiving a fair trial. That a statistically insignificant (3%) share of Canadian criminal cases result in acquittal underscores that in Canada – despite efforts to portray the country as progressive, governed by the rule of law and due process, without prejudice – an accused is not just de jure ‘guilty until proven innocent’, but de facto guilty.

On the bright side, at least Canada doesn’t have the death penalty… yet.

And the Canadian government wonders why it has no credibility when it criticises other nations’ human rights records…

Categories
Aboriginal - First Nations Environment Governance Poverty Race and ethnicity Transparency

DataLibre: Axed federal advisory web sites available on Archive.org, but not Library and Archives Canada

The previous post got us thinking, why not look up the other federal advisory agencies and councils that were recently axed

First Nations Statistical Institute (FNSI)

National Council of Welfare (NCoW)

National Roundtable on the Environment and the Economy (NRTEE)

National Council on Visible Minorities (NCVM)

Readers are encouraged to visit Archive.org’s Wayback Machine and let us know what other interesting deleted or modified Government of Canada sites and pages they find.

wayback

All the referenced web sites were supposed to be archived at Library and Archives Canada. Of the four listed above, only NCVM and NRTEE are archived, the latter 6 years older than Archive.org’s. Perhaps something to do with those cutbacks at Library and Archives, which just so happened to coincide with the elimination of the referenced advisory councils…

Before getting too excited, archived web sites have very limited functionality. Things like forms and search functions don’t work. So, for example, data searches won’t work.

Nevertheless, Archive.org’s efforts are commendable. This site does not endorse nor have any affiliation with the agencies or firms mentioned on its pages. That said, readers who find Archive.org’s pages useful may wish to consider contributing to the organisation’s efforts.

Readers may also wish to inquire of their federal MP re the missing and out-of-date Library and Archives Canada web archives.