We can’t ignore the roots of some rural crime

Trotting out historical excuses for criminal actions will only leave rural residents to continue to be terrorized by gangsters

We can’t ignore the roots of some rural crimeRural crime near troubled reserves on the Prairies must be acknowledged if there’s any hope of remedying the situation. Doug Cuthand, an Indigenous Saskatchewan columnist, believes the phrase ‘rural crime‘ is code for crimes committed by Indigenous thugs. But in Saskatchewan, for example, an Indigenous man is 33 times as likely to be convicted of…

Why Canada needs more restorative justice

‘Imagine what society would look like with more empowered, restored individuals, giving back like I am, changing like I did’

Why Canada needs more restorative justiceBy Sen. Art Eggleton and Sen. Raymonde Saint-Germain A Department of Justice survey conducted earlier this year discovered that over half of Canadians (52 per cent) have little familiarity with restorative justice despite its use in our criminal justice system for over 40 years. So what is restorative justice? And can it provide better justice…

Let’s not ‘whitewash’ Cindy Gladue’s death

We must come to terms with the systemic racism and sexism the Canadian justice imposes on Indigenous people

Let’s not ‘whitewash’ Cindy Gladue’s deathThe Supreme Court of Canada recently heard the most important case in a generation regarding the Canadian legal system’s response to murdered and missing Indigenous women. The hearing was the culmination of a case that was set in motion on the morning of June 22, 2011. On that day, Bradley Barton checked out of a…

Ontario takes the initiative tackling terrorists

A simple – and seemingly obvious – provincial decision that should have been made by the Trudeau government long ago

Ontario takes the initiative tackling terroristsSome public policy initiatives are difficult for governments to make. They take a certain amount of time, effort, research, discussion, co-ordination, and wheeling and dealing before finally being implemented. And some public policy initiatives should be remarkably easy for governments to make and implement. Yet there are examples where simple political decisions take on a…

Compassion and tenderness can overcome evil

It’s far too easy to look at others as the problem with the world. It’s much harder to see our own commonality as humans

Compassion and tenderness can overcome evilWhen we read the newspaper or watch our news feeds, we learn about people doing horrendous things to each other. If we allowed ourselves, we could become inundated with evidence of our inherent inhumanity. It then becomes very easy to conclude that evil people walk among us and that something drastic needs to be done…

The man who shot Billy the Kid

Pat Garrett has been maligned for killing his "friend" in a "cowardly" way. Neither indictment is persuasive

The man who shot Billy the KidTo the extent he’s remembered at all, Pat Garrett (1850-1908) is known as the man who shot Billy the Kid. Reputation-wise, it’s been a mixed blessing. Although the shooting happened in Garrett’s capacity as a sheriff hunting down a convicted murderer, the fictionalizing of the Old West and the power of Hollywood storytelling often cast…

Time to end mandatory minimum sentences for murder

Indigenous women are vastly over-represented among those sentenced to life

Time to end mandatory minimum sentences for murderWhat’s wrong with mandatory minimum sentences? Plenty. Especially when it comes to murder. High-profile serial murderers come to mind when Canadians think of murder convictions: Bernardo, Olson, Pickton. Few turn their minds to the 18-year-old Indigenous teen who kills her abusive drug dealer. Such a situation can amount to murder in our law. When it…

Block Talk works to put the community concept back into people’s lives

Michael Murray talks about how his app sends real-time messages from where you live, work and play

Block Talk works to put the community concept back into people’s livesMichael Murray is founder of Block Talk. Calgary’s Business: What’s Block Talk? Murray: Block Talk is an app for your phone. You should download it to send and receive urgent safety alerts specific to the communities you choose to follow. It has five other categories of communication, including a platform to communicate non-urgent crime such…

How to confront sex abuse in the Catholic church

If we’re to rid the world of this horrendous theft of innocence, we need to approach it the same way we approached the Holocaust

How to confront sex abuse in the Catholic churchIn the song Sympathy for the Devil, the Rolling Stones repeat several times, “Pleased to meet you. Hope you guessed my name. But what’s puzzling you is the nature of my game.” In essence, the Stones are talking about the nature of evil and our relation to it. We see it but we often don’t…

When will abusive coaches finally be kicked out of sports?

Sports needs to be built on a foundation of humanistic coaching. A tragic incident at the University of Maryland shows why

When will abusive coaches finally be kicked out of sports?Legendary football coach Vince Lombardi has been dead for 48 years. Yet his treat-’em-like-dogs coaching style is very much alive in today’s sports world. The University of Maryland football program is but the latest example of reportedly tyrannical coaches allegedly going way beyond legitimate coaching techniques. It’s apparently another example of what I call Lombardi…