Category Archives: Issues in Society

Learning about creating change in our society with examinations of important issues that are/may be viewed as irrelevant by government.

Trick or Treat -Laws and Canadian Prison Inmates

inmate prison cells block

Laws in Canada are available across the nation for many Canadians. Laws are created to help keep society operating, and sets down rules for actions and behaviors that are unacceptable and applies consequences. They serve as guidelines for how people can best manage themselves both in private and in public life. Most importantly, to help keep harm from befalling the people.

Laws are created by the government and enforced by police and the Judicial system (Judges, jails, prisons). Citizens are able to go to court to defend themselves with a court-appointed lawyer, or hired lawyer.

A prison sentence can be applied for crimes that fall within the Canadian Criminal code. There are Federal, Provincial and municipal laws, courts and varying levels of consequences. Canadian prisons have a high number of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous People of Color) which should beg the question, why? And what does this say about the government, courts and nation, to accept such obvious differentiation?

I’m Indigenous, and would think, I’m NOT safe in this country because I’m colored. Does it seem like the Life of a minority is meaningless in this nation?

Crimes are committed by both genders, men and women, and Youth laws apply to youths since they too have proven that they can commit adult crimes. Outcomes of going through the court system, after age 18 for criminal charges, creates a Criminal record. This record keeps a record of all crimes that a person commits and, becomes a barrier towards finding employment in certain careers. It is permanent. Youth records get sealed but not always.

Tricks

Now, let’s take a peek at those behind bars residing in jail/prisons. A common antic that arises for an inmate nearing his/her release date. One or more inmates will go all out with violence to sabotage and/or cancel outright, the release of another inmate.

Such acts will ensure another criminal charge upon the inmate ready for release. This will prolong his/her stay in jail for another time frame, and until another court day is set for this new charge.

A deliberate physical assault gets initiated against the inmate set for release, and the one initiating the fight will ‘play‘ the role of victim. We’ll assign them as inmate A, ready for release, and inmate B, plans to stop the release.

Jails and prisons may and/or will have two inmates per cell. So, during lockdown the two inmates are in one room. Nobody is looking, staff shortages do not have guards patrolling the cells, and there may be no cameras. Inmate B will not have any witnesses other than maybe one or two cells across the aisle and those inmates may support his claim.

The distance between cells may skew line of sight. Nobody may see inmate B throwing the first punch. They may not see the non-stop attack being done upon inmate A. They may only see the middle-to-end fighting.

payhip advert

Inmate A defending himself from harm and inmate B taking hits willingly even deliberately walking into the return punches. After all, the worst inmate B looks, the worst the jail and courts will see inmate A.

Once this assault has the attention of the prison guards. Inmate B enters his/her role, the victim of a physical assault. Inmate A is immediately removed and put into another prison area designated for the ‘violent’. A serious unpredictable environment literally has inmates in high stress and survival mode. Is this supposed to help ‘rehabilitate‘ inmates too?

Usually, an inmate is moved to a ‘range’ with other inmates soon to be released, and they wait out their time with minimal, if any, problems. Unfortunately, this practice may not be followed nor available.

Office of the Correctional Investigator

Oh yes, I know. This can’t be real! No way, etc, etc. It happens, is happening. I suggest you read one, or more, reports from the Office of the Correctional Investigator –> here to learn about the most recent 2019-2020 report.

The reports are honest and definitely fall within his Mission Statement of investigations and “ serves Canadians and contributes to safe, lawful and humane corrections through independent oversight of the Correctional Service of Canada by providing accessible, impartial and timely investigation of individual and systemic concerns.” I appreciate the honesty, courage, humanity and objectivity of these reports, and glad he can present them to Parliament.

It is greatly alarming to read about Corrections staff permitting harms between inmates, and permission from Superiors, to use ‘techniques‘ requiring brutal physical force upon inmates aka ‘pain compliance techniques‘ for 17 minutes.

Reading this section of the report was quite eye opening, and I have to ask the governments and all parties who ‘create‘ such policies, why allow inflicting such brutality on others? Add to these abhorrent acts done by Corrections staff – there are zero consequences. Nobody takes responsibility nor are charges applied. I do not see how such treatment of inmates helps to ‘rehabilitate‘ them for re-entry into mainstream society.

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

Canada has a Constitution Act with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and under Legal Rights, the following says :

Treatment and Punishment

12. Everyone has the Right not to be subjected to any cruel and unusual treatment or punishment.

The policy for ‘Pain compliance‘ has since been changed. No such force is permitted but how long will that last? We saw the effects on inmates of what ‘Segregation‘ does to the human mind. Yet this practice is still ongoing. It just has a new name, Quarantine being one. Inmates still sit in segregation cells for 23 hours and maybe, allowed out for one hour, and time runs out to use the phone for many when they’re forced to return to their cells.

Further into reading the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, we will see ;

Application of Charter

27. The Criminal Law, except the Constitution of Courts of Criminal Jurisdiction, but including the Procedure in Criminal Matters.

  • 32 (1) This Charter applies
    • (a) to the Parliament and government of Canada in respect of all matters within the authority of Parliament including all matters relating to the Yukon Territory and Northwest Territories; and
    • (b) to the legislature and government of each province in respect of all matters within the authority of the legislature of each province.

Read a little further into the Constitution Act and we’ll find a division between Federal and Provincial powers and jurisdiction that shows TWO Constitutions;

VI. Distribution of Legislative Powers

Powers of the Parliament

Legislative Authority of Parliament of Canada

28. The Establishment, Maintenance, and Management of Penitentiaries.

Exclusive Powers of Provincial Legislatures

6. The Establishment, Maintenance, and Management of Public and Reformatory Prisons in and for the Province.

7. The Establishment, Maintenance, and Management of Hospitals, Asylums, Charities, and Eleemosynary Institutions in and for the Province, other than Marine Hospitals.

Laws and Inmates

Sleight of hand? Create changes in policies to become law of the land. A method used in Federal and Provincial governments, to skirt accepting responsibility for any wrongdoing. Do you see it? One level of government follows the rules and turns a blind eye on the 2nd level of government allowing brutalities behind bars and near open abuses on the People. Both claim innocence and, ‘its for public safety‘ and neither allowing consequences for such brutalities.

Is this a Proud moment for Canadians?

Is this truly acceptable treatment of prison Inmates?

Do you question the state of mind of government officials who write policy?

Does each ‘erosion‘ of Rights mean LESS Protections for the People?

Should any level of government be allowed to ‘violate’ Constitutional rights of the People with impunity (exempt from punishment)?

Is this how Canada should be governed ?

Is there no ONE and TRUE Constitution now?

Learning in Motion

Reading Resources

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, PDF

What is difference between flawed democracy and full democracy?

10 Awful Canadian Violations of Human Rights

I hope you found this article informative and gained some new insight. Please feel free to leave your comments and share your new found knowledge with others. Use the ‘Ask A Question’ form to make a request on a topic of your own interest. It is FREE to subscribe by RSS feed.

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jobs and gigs

Jobs vs Covid-19

Our world has been turned upside down with this virus, Covid-19. It is a highly infectious disease that attacks our respiratory system, and affects everybody differently with a range of symptoms that can be mild, or create complications leading to death. No one person gets affected the same.

Employment is required to provide shelter, food, and luxury items such as mobile and landline telephone, cable or satellite services, and internet access, to name a few. It’s not just for self but family and loved ones too including our pet named, Boo.

Employee’s of these particular businesses forced to close their doors and not considered essential has left many people without employment, and receiving unemployment benefits is a short term program. So, what is one to do for on-going financial security?

Lower your Bills

One of the first tasks, is to take a look at all expenses, and reduce these costs :

  • can you lower your service bills to more basic costs?
  • can you suspend your services?
  • evaluate your food needs and trim groceries. Set up meal plans to most basic following national healthy diet standards.
  • food insecurity and shortages are being faced by many people and families. Search online and learn how you can extend your food stuffs with preserving methods such as dehydrating fruits and meat, freezing pre-cooked meals, and/or canning.
  • Purchase dry food stuffs. Beans and lentils, soup bouillon cubes, or powder packages, and powdered milk or eggs. Search online or check around for stores that carry dehydrated foods, and you may just find a jackpot, such as Bulk Barn.
  • Vehicle costs may not be negotiable but call and check if they’re open to negotiating lowering the cost by $50.00, and offer to repay this amount after a year. $50.00 x 12 = $600.00. It’s a temporary savings for extra funds but also one cost that will be due in full by year’s end. So, you must keep that in mind. They may say no altogether and you will have to decide to keep or forego the vehicle. This idea may be applied to rents or mortgages but again, check with your bank or landlord. These may require new ‘agreements/contracts’ and make sure to read the fine print so no extra charges are being applied since money gouging can be reported.

build food security

Government Essential Services & Jobs

Finding regular employment is the next step. One can always join the workers at the ‘essential’ businesses allowed by Ontario in areas such as:

  • food and convenience stores
  • food manufacturers and processors
  • packaging and delivery
  • liquor stores
  • health suppliers for human and pet consumption
  • gas suppliers and related services for ground and air
  • pharmacies and pharmaceuticals
  • food preparation, delivery and take-out
  • hotels, motels and rental units, residential and students
  • maintenance, repair, sanitation and security services for residential and commercial buildings
  • office and business suppliers
  • IT and communications services
  • safety equipment suppliers/manufacturers/distribution chain
  • transportation, taxi’s, delivery truck fleets, rail, air, and marine providing delivery of essential services
  • warehousing and storage of essential service products
  • truck stops and tow operators
  • business support providers for upkeep of transportation, etc.
  • agricultural services, harvest, processing, manufacture and distribution of foods for human and pet consumption.
  • business support providers for safety of primary food supply chain (livestock auctions, feed mills, farm equipment and feed suppliers, food terminals/warehouses, animal slaughter plants, and grain elevators)
  • veterinary pet care providers, and related animal health and welfare services
  • waste management services
  • construction services
  • financial services, bank and credit union, insurance, payroll support, and pensions
  • business suppliers that support global continuity of mining products, processing, manufacturers, oil and gas
  • environmental management/monitoring, spill emergency response, and related support services
  • infrastructure and safety government services, sewage, fire, police, water treatment, electrical grid, courts, and related support services
  • newspapers, radio and telecommunication providers and support services
  • medical research and support services
  • LTC homes and related services, medical devices, equipment, etc.
  • health providers, dental, hospital, mental health, optometrists, etc.
  • non-profit organizations for homeless, food banks, shelters, and related services providing food, shelter, protection, disabled, and economically disadvantaged
  • Other : mail and courier services, legal services, laundromats, funeral service providers, security services (security guards), temporary staff services, childcare for essential workers, home childcare for less than six children, cheque cashing businesses

A problem with finding employment with some of these ‘essential’ service providers that’s been in the news, is that they have Covid-19 ‘outbreaks‘. It seems that the more people working together in such close proximity raises the risk factors of getting infected. Secondly, there may be a huge pay difference as some of these ‘essential‘ businesses only offer minimum wage. Nobody wants to bring the virus home yet having a job with regular pay is needed, for our most basic needs, shelter, safety and food with the current high costs of living.

Creating Self-employment

One fix does exist but will require additional effort on your part. Take a minimum wage job and include a side hustle aka a part-time Gig. This will bring in extra monies to help maintain your current quality of living, or at least help with household bills. Exploring alternative self- employment ideas can help such as providing your own services that may be similar or complementary, to the existing essential services. A few other home business ideas and side hustles to consider:

start gig second income

  • offer dehydrating food services
  • offer canning food services
  • make large bag of cereal trail mixes for sale
  • offer two hour childcare services for six, or less children
  • rent an extra room, or garage space for temporary/seasonal storage
  • check web sites with Apps offering services such as Rover . com, Handyman . com
  • join App sites that offer coupons, and cash back for purchases
  • join a call centre for customer service, an online job
  • write articles and get paid by web sites looking for writers in topics you know
  • sell photographs to those business sectors looking for photo’s
  • make how-to videos for Youtube and include advertising
  • start your own food service business (food catering truck)
  • offer securing packages services for homes (Amazon, Wayfair, etc., packages) and deliver when home owners return home
  • house or pet sit
  • make and sell freezable meals
  • mobile-curbside pet groomer
  • join a court paper processor service delivering summons to court for legal offices
  • mobile curbside mechanic
  • offer translation services
  • offer new language classes (learn speak Italian, Arabic, Russian)
  • make and sell fresh bread from home
  • work with property managers/landlords to clean, repair, update apartments
  • offer computer repair, recovery, security service
  • become a Drone operator
  • learn and offer Drone repair services
  • join Rent-a-Friend, Rent-a-Cyber-Friend, or similar sites online but keep personal safety in mind too
  • explore becoming a Street Vendor
  • offer to sell personal safety products to families. Find a security business wholesale supplier that offers personal safety products such as personal alarms, GPS products, nanny cams. Order products at wholesale and sell at retail prices.
  • Personal Support service, offer to run errands, pick up and deliver orders, check in on elderly family members.
  • Offer to digitize family photos and make slideshows, offer them to buy flash USB memory cards (electronic data storage devices) as an extra service
  • income tax services, or bookkeeping
  • offer handwriting services for birthdays, anniversaries, etc., for business executives
  • sell small craft items on consignment with a few essential local stores

The employment news has not sounded great lately but we can take initiative and use a work-around. We just have to be okay with the idea of a minimum wage job, and a side hustle rather than concerned with our pride. It may be tough with a full or part time minimum wage job and a side hustle depending on the work output required. At least the HOURS and WHEN you do the side hustle is under your control, and to include how many gigs to reach a certain earning level. I will also highly recommend checking government INDUSTRY standards and laws which are governed by Acts. Lastly, you’ll need to set and diligently follow, a time schedule of your side hustles, and manage your available time. Keep a smile, respect confidentiality, and trust will be earned by paying customers.

Finding Comfortable

The exercise to trim your expenses to the near barest minimum will help extend what monies you have, or can earn. Hopefully, you have found that minimum threshold needed for your bills, maybe the small bills, and now got to focus on the large higher cost items such as mortgage and vehicle payments.

The second exercise to reassess your food shopping will help further reduce costs and extend food security. The bonus results are extra monies you can apply towards the costlier items that require payment, and maybe, learning to cook with new foods.

You’ll need to research your connected services online and see if they have lower cost service bundles, or suspend/cancel them outright. You can then calculate how much money is needed for all expenses. Wouldn’t it be cool if the government required businesses to cut prices in half? this would apply for the businesses too with their own costs, of course.

Learning to work two different types of jobs will also require you to change hats. You may find this may need taking a few moments to meditate. Close your eyes, breathe, and separate from a job requiring you to work for another, and switch your thinking to boss and delivering a service, to others. It will take practice and some take to it quickly while others struggle to find the balance but it can be done. Most of all, have faith in yourself that you got this.

Over time you’ll find your expenses manageable, and new sense of financial security. Strict management of your finances will be needed to keep up your new normal but you and your family will be safe with shelter, food and control of your bills. Changes to our lives with this novel virus will be our new normal but humans are adaptable too.

financial security

Waiting on Science & Personal Well Being

Today’s health scientists have made many medical advancements, and working hard, to bring a vaccine, to the people. As said earlier, we just need to give them that time, and do our best to protect ourselves, and each other with masks, social distancing, and keeping our gatherings, as small as possible. This pandemic will eventually come under control. For now, stay strong, keep faith, stay safe.

I hope you found this article informative and gained some new insight. Please feel free to leave your comments and Share your new found knowledge with others. It is FREE to subscribe by email or RSS feed.

An Informal Cornr, all rights reserved. Gins writes articles on business skills, development, health, science, technology and society and enjoys advocating for independence, security and a better world for all of us.

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Living the Conditions of Genocide

genocide,60s Scoop, ptsd, mental health, living genocide, healing and welness
Healing from Genocide

One day, nestled in the forest, a child giggles and points to the birds flying by, staying close to his/her parent. This parent teaches the child how to pronounce words, naming the birds, a tree, the grass. That smile that lights up the parents face when this child repeats the words back, correctly, makes this child happy beyond words. It’s called joy.

Can you remember experiencing such a joy and sense of freedom, security, from your own childhood years? Can you imagine living the conditions of genocide?

Learning what is Genocide?

Genocide, in our minds, refers to ‘mass murder’ of a people but there are a few other terms that need explaining since they get used interchangeably but have their own separate definitions. As we know, the United Nations defines Genocide as ‘the destruction of a national ethnic, racial or religious group‘ and is considered the ultimate crime against humanity. It doesn’t have to necessarily mean complete annihilation of a group but still aims, to ‘eradicate‘ a part of Humanity.

Crimes against Humanity refers to systematic attacks against the civilian population regardless of whether in times of peace or war. It refers to acts against common human rights and values such as murder, extermination, forced displacement, slavery, rape, torture and other inhumane acts.

War Crimes, refers to criminal acts committed during armed conflicts and severe acts of Breach to the Rules of warfare. These rules are set down in the Geneva Conventions to protect the innocent civilian population, prisoners of war, sick or wounded military personnel, destruction of towns, cities, not justified by armed combatants.

The term crimes against humanity, is considered an ‘umbrella‘ term to encompass crimes that are not necessarily extreme as genocide but these crimes do not need to reach this point, in order to be defined and punished, by International laws.

urban militarized police
urban militarized police

What is a Society and Culture?

The conditions that occur in armed conflict zones affect people who make up a society. A society is defined as, ‘a group of people who live within the same territory and share a common culture’ (Sociology, The Core). Their social structure (more-or-less recurrent and stable patterns) are disrupted and people are displaced when homes, towns, villages are destroyed.

Culture refers to ‘the social heritage of a people, learned patterns for thinking, feeling and acting that are passed from one generation to the next. It includes ‘non-material’ culture, (the abstract creations like values, beliefs, symbols, norms, customs) and the ‘material’ culture which refers to the ‘physical’ artifacts and objects’.

Surviving Causes behind Violence

The urge and need, for self-preservation kicks in, and people will flee the conflict zone. They will enter a new nation seeking asylum and refuge. They will learn to add a new ‘culture‘ to their own. Where does one go when getting attacked in their own homelands?

The armed conflict zones, even in peaceful zones,can affect society and culture especially if ‘ethnocentrism‘ (judge the behavior of other groups by the standards of one’s OWN group) is the driving force to perceive others as an object of loathing, strangeness, evil and danger. It is one of three ingredients that arise from apathy towards the acts of racism.

One barrier may be ‘language‘. It is considered one of Man’s greatest ‘symbols‘ since it is ‘a socially structured system of sound patterns with specific and arbitrary meanings’. Language is the ‘cornerstone‘ of every culture around the world and PRINCIPLE means by which human beings create culture and share it from generation to generation.

silent pleas for help
pleas for help ignored

Why does Conflict exist?

Perspectives on reasons that conflict exists may differ, such as :

i) failure to give minorities full equality, wastes valuable human resources, generates ethnic hostilities, reduces economic production and undermines authority. Similar behaviors of abusers upon their ‘victims‘ and/or tyrants with government powers.

ii) A study of dominant group policies has revealed that a dominant nation ‘developed six types of policies: assimilation, pluralism, legal protection of minorities, population transfer, continued subjugation, and extermination‘(George E.Simpson and J.Milton Yinger, 1972). The minorities are kept ‘in their place‘- subservient, vulnerable and exploitable.

Long-term Effects of Violence

The long term effects of conflict zones have been studied since the First World war. Many names have been applied and today, a common term is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and is used to describe the psychological impact of a traumatic event for an individual.

PTSD is a form of anxiety arising from a stressful or frightening event. Causes can be from natural disasters, criminal violence, lawful violence, s. assault, serious physical beating, and military combat.

Prolonged deprivation (such as experienced by concentration camp survivors) may scar people psychologically for Life. Other symptoms may include recurring memories, sense of personal isolation, disturbed sleep and concentration, deadpan emotions, awkward socialization skills, depression, irritability. These symptoms may show immediately or months later aka ‘delayed‘ reaction.

stop violence signage
Stop Violence message

Research, New world, and Healing

The World Health Organization (WHO) has reported that ‘10% of the people who experience traumatic events will have serious mental health problems and another 10% will develop behavior that will hinder their ability to function effectively‘. It is a tragic consequence of living through conflict upon any Human regardless of age.

Research has found that rehabilitation can be gained with positive new life experiences, psychological support, religious and cultural practices. If we can provide opportunity to fulfill Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs: physiological (water, food, air), safety and security (shelter), love and belonging (family, friends, community), self-esteem (positive new experiences, hope, joy), self-actualization (conscious of others, able to help others), rehabilitation and recovery can be attained.

People accessing help are found to be resilient and find recovery. WHO and the UN continue their research for improving and providing continual help in this area.

Racism in Canada

Did you know that 2/3 of the Indigenous population of N America, were wiped out by the early colonists and pride abounds, in that extreme act? Remember the little child, so happy beyond words? Well, 1950’s to today, First Nation children have been systematically and regularly ‘apprehended‘ and removed, from their FN communities and families.

Adult children of the 60’s Scoop have literally ‘lived‘ the EXACT same conditions and experiences, as the terrified refugee’s (arriving on our shores) but, in government care supported by the Childrens Aid Society, in their own homelands, Canada. Do you think that’s truly fair to do, upon a People? a Child? in exchange for money?

Learning in Action

Related Reading

Racism Can Cause PTSD Similar To That Of Soldiers After War

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

FREE Download, UN Declaration of Human Rights

What is PTSD and What can we do about it?

I hope you found this article informative and gained some new insight. Please feel free to share your new found knowledge with others. Use the ‘Ask a Question’ form to make a request on a topic of your own interest. I hope you visit again for more informative articles coming soon.

 AIC| An Informal Cornr, all rights reserved. Ginsense writes articles on business skills, development, health, science, technology and society and enjoys advocating for independence, security and a better world for all of us. She works as a VEA to help businesses operate more effectively.

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