Entertainment B.C. civil rights group sues federal government over solitary confinement
Dozens of lawyers call for suspension of extradition with France over Diab case
OTTAWA — More than 100 legal professionals are asking Canada to suspend its extradition treaty with France over concerns "an innocent man" could face trial there in a terrorism case. In a new letter to Justice Minister David Lametti, many prominent lawyers say there is no evidence to support sending Ottawa sociology professor Hassan Diab to France a second time in the long-running matter. In May, a French court upheld a decision directing Diab to stand trial in the decades-old bombing of a Paris synagogue. Born in Lebanon, Diab became a Canadian citizen in 1993, working in Ottawa as a university teacher.
VANCOUVER — A civil liberties group has filed a lawsuit against the federal government over solitary confinement, two years after the top courts in British Columbia and Ontarioruled there has been a violation of prisoners' constitutional rights.
The B.C. Civil Liberties Association alleges in a notice of civil claim filed in British Columbia Supreme Court that the conditions of solitary confinement infringe on federal inmates' charter rights, arguing they are exposed to physical, psychological, social and spiritual trauma.
Grace Pastine, the association's litigation director, said thousands of inmates are still being isolated in their cells for 22 hours a day or more with little access to human contact, despite promised reforms.
Adam Zivo: Justin Trudeau has failed LGBTQ Canadians
Whether shedding tears in Parliament or giving pretty speeches, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau really wants you to know that he supports the LGBTQ community. Yet his government’s record on LGBTQ rights has been lacklustre at best. When they first came to power, it seemed as if the Liberals actually cared. They passed Bill C-16 in 2016, which amended the Canada Human Rights Act to explicitly protect transgender Canadians from discrimination and hate crimes. This had a positive impact on the well-being of countless LGBTQ Canadians, as it gave them a legal shield against violence and harassment. But things went downhill after that.
"Wardens at federal prisons continue to isolate people for days, weeks and months at a time as a routine form of prison management," she told a news conference Wednesday.
Long periods of isolation have a disproportionate impact on Indigenous and racialized people or those with mental disabilities, says the notice of claim, which names the Attorney General of Canada as a defendant.
The lawsuit alleges that inmates who experience extended use of restrictive movement routines and lockdowns "are observed to suffer from a wide variety of adverse effects" including anxiety, hallucinations, panic, paranoia, self-harm, social withdrawal, and suicidal thoughts and behaviours.
A statement of defence has not been filed with the court. A spokesman for Justice Canada said the Correctional Service of Canada would respond to a request for comment on the lawsuit, but the agency did not immediately provide a response.
Kristopher Kinsinger: Federal leaders’ failure to take stand against Bill 21 is to their shame
It’s shocking enough that a Canadian province has all but banned visible religious minorities from being employed in certain civil service jobs. That this same policy has yet to become the subject of serious discussion — much less debate — during a national election campaign is unconscionable. Such is the case, however, with Quebec’s Bill 21. The legislation prohibits the wearing of religious symbols or clothing by many of the province’s employees — such as police officers, teachers and those in positions of authority — all in the name of promoting state secularism and laicity.
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None of the allegations made in the notice of civil claim have been tested in court.
The Correctional Service launched so-called structured intervention units at 15 prisons across the country in November 2019, months after the British Columbia Court of Appeal and the Ontario Court of Appeal ruled Canada’s administrative segregation regime violated inmates' charter rights.
It said then that the units would bring "transformational and historic changes" to eliminate disciplinary segregation. It said the cells had windows and provided access to a yard for inmates, who would receive health assessments. Visitors, legal counsel and spiritual leaders were also given access, the same as for others in the prison system.
However, senior counsel Megan Tweedie of the civil liberties association said in an interview that the units are "essentially solitary confinement by another name."
Tweedie said efforts have been made to deal with the problem through internal grievance processes.
"Nothing's happening," she added. "So we're stepping in to fight that fight for them."
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 13, 2021.
Camille Bains, The Canadian Press
Architecture: Defused, the window comes out of the .
frame provided by Liberation "Future Scenarios". Post-confined facade devices. Cyrus Ardalan, Ophélie Dozat, Lucien Dumas. tenor who sings from the opera, applause at 8 pm, DJ for a balcony-concert, gymnastic course, aperitif between neighbors or even simple nap in the sun: During the containment, the window was, for cloistered towns, a escaped towards the outside world, place of individual escape but also meetings and common experiences.