Weekly Roundup: #carding, #reconciliation and prisons, and Ottawa failing Indigenous children (again!)

This week in the weekly round-up proves to be another example of “Tell us, what we don’t already know!”

Desmond Cole calls on the Ministry of Children and Youth Services / Anti-Racism Directorate to end solitary confinement for youth and young people in prison.

Faisal Kutty writes about the racism experienced by racialized members licensees (members of the Ontario bar or the Law Society of Upper Canada, which is the regulatory body overseeing practicing lawyers/paralegals). This racism came as no surprise to anyone but, it is an important discussion (though probably not the first or last time this will happen).

In a CBC article, the Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services (as well as the Minister of Labour) alleged that the new carding regulations were “drafted after the provincial government consulted the public on how to improve public confidence in police.” But had the Minister actually listened to the public about improving public confidence in police (especially those most impacted by police violence, surveillance and harassment like carding initiatives), these regulations probably would have never been passed. And, remember, there is nothing in the carding regulations that dictate that policing agencies must have these carding regulations in place. Don’t believe the hype (i.e., that these carding regulations are required for police to undertake arbitrary policing practices).

Like with all new technology marketed to government agencies and state actors, especially policing agencies, we know all to well that these tools rarely ever go to protecting the public from state intrusion. In fact, a London, Ontario tech company is banned from twitter, after “being implicated” in racial profiling by police.

Ontario Human Rights Commissioner calls out the North Bay for its use of solitary confinement and how the justice system targets Indigenous peoples. There is a call on relevant authorities, organizations and other stakeholders to determine a new strategic pathway which includes Indigenous reconciliation. However, Naomi, a co-creator of BTL, does not believe there is much reconciliation in justifying the continued criminalization of Indigenous, Black and Brown communities since the alleged abolishment of slavery in Canada back in 1833 wherein Canada quickly built the first prison in 1835. She uses the word “alleged” to qualify her statement because she believes that Canada did not abolish slavery; rather, Canada just transferred the power into another institution: The Canadian prison system and by extension, the prison industrial complex.  Further, these discussions always fail to ignore the women, especially Indigenous women, in prison.

And finally, Ottawa continues to ignore the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal decision on its discrimination toward Indigenous children. Are we even surprised anymore?

In good and empowering news, however, we recommend you do not miss NOW Toronto’s Love Your Body campaign.


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