Sunday, 24 September 2017

A new poem by El Jones. TRIGGER WARNING: 80-90 percent of women in prison are victims of physical and sexual assault. Yet because they are “criminals” what happens to them at the hands of the system must be something they deserve. When we talk about injustice to rape victims in Canadian courts where are their stories?

It took a while, but with the hiring of criminologist Dr Scot Wortley the analysis of Halifax carding data can finally begin. I went to the Board of Police Commissioners to get the details, and for a bonus finally got to ask Chief Blais why police collected race-based stats for ten years, but in all that time never looked at them.

The Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission has finally hired a data expert to analyse police check data within HRM. That was the bit of news delivered by Halifax Regional Police chief Jean Michel Blais at this Monday’s Halifax Board of Police Commissioners meeting. That’s eight months after a Freedom of Information request revealed that Black Haligonians are three times more likely to be subjected to police checks than white people. Eight months is way too slow.

The City of Halifax is not following up on a recommendation around criminal record checks that would remove obstacles to hiring Black and Indigenous workers in its Municipal Operations Programs (MOPS) division. The policy hasn’t really changed, and the City’s employment website is as uninviting to people with even a trivial criminal record as it has always been..

Danny Cavanagh, the president of the NS Federation of Labour, offers a short and powerful statement against fascist violence, white supremacy, racism, Islamophobia, and anti-Semitism. “Sisters and brothers, we cannot stay silent in the face of such hatred and we know that the future of our society and children are at stake if we don’t intensify our fight against discrimination, hatred and violence.”

The National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls has encountered lots of obstacles, some of them self-inflicted. Here Delilah Saunders, sister of Loretta, explains why she continues to support the initiative. “My family and I will be in Halifax this coming October to testify and if it is delayed, then we’ll have to wait. I welcome delays and hiccups in the process if it means the Inquiry is done right and honours the Indigenous women, girls, two-spirit and transgender loved ones we’ve lost.”