Friday, December 20, 2013

A Great Day for Canadians: A Hat Trick for Justice and Fairness

This week has been a great day for Canada… well. actually, just in the last two days.
First, a jury on the Ashley Smith Inquest has ruled and has made recommendations (with safeguards that this ruling be heeded and enforced) that the mentally ill in society, and especially those in the Canadian prison system, be treated in the context of mental illness, with respect and humanity. Remarkably, this jury established that front-line workers may now go with their conscience and  against the orders of senior management if these orders are deemed unjust, even criminal.
Second, the Supreme Court of Canada has ruled in favour of honesty in police records and notes; that police have to hand in their daily notes, reports, and observations, at the end of their shifts, WITHOUT consulting a lawyer, specifically in cases under investigations. Consulting a lawyer, as well as an officer's peers, risks "compromising the independence of an officer and the recollection of the facts".This will lead to increased honesty and transparency, and inevitably, to justice and fairness for the Canadian public. This can only lead to greater transparency and trust in the police services.
Thirdly, the Supreme Court of Canada, has struck down Canada's medieval, incredibly-unfair-to-women prostitution laws. Unanimously!! This gives women more control over their bodies, and strikes a grievous blow to the pimps and human traffickers. This brings up Canada's laws to the same standards to those of the more enlightened European countries.

Next up, The Canadian government is hinting at the decriminalization and legalization of marijuana; opinion polls consistently show that the government policy is at odds with what the Canadian public wants.
One more item in the news, this just in: Police have recognized the unfairness and the racist implications of the designation "non-white" in police reports. Such a designation will shortly be relegated to the dust bin of history.
Canada: it's a beautiful country!

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