National Newswatch

Ottawa jail inmates argue anti-COVID measures a breach of charter rights

Jul 2 2020 — Colin Perkel — TORONTO — Nine inmates of a provincial jail in Ottawa have gone to court to argue they are being subjected to egregious conditions due to COVID-19 that violate their constitutional rights and international law. The application filed in Superior Court, accuses authorities at the Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre of putting dangerously lax health measures in place and […]

Ottawa jail inmates argue anti-COVID measures a breach of charter rights

Jul 2 2020 — Colin Perkel — TORONTO — Nine inmates of a provincial jail in Ottawa have gone to court to argue they are being subjected to egregious conditions due to COVID-19 that violate their constitutional rights and international law. The application filed in Superior Court, accuses authorities at the Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre of putting dangerously lax health measures in place and […]

Psychiatrists, Ontario government liable for horrific patient abuse

Jul 2 2020 — Colin Perkel — TORONTO — Two psychiatrists have been found liable for the harm they caused inmates at a maximum security mental-health facility, who said the mistreatment they endured amounted to torture. In his decision, Ontario Superior Court Justice Ed Morgan sided with 28 former patients of Oak Ridge in Penetanguishene, Ont., in their 20-year-old action against the doctors […]

OPG pulls plug on plan to bury nuclear waste near the Lake Huron shoreline

Jun 26 2020 — Colin Perkel — TORONTO — A politically fraught plan to store hazardous nuclear waste deep underground near the Lake Huron shoreline has been formally put to rest more than 15 years after it was first proposed. In a recent letter to the federal environment minister, Ontario's publicly owned power generator said it no longer wished to proceed with […]

OPG pulls plug on plan to bury nuclear waste near the Lake Huron shoreline

Jun 26 2020 — Colin Perkel — TORONTO — A politically fraught plan to store hazardous nuclear waste deep underground near the Lake Huron shoreline has been formally put to rest more than 15 years after it was first proposed. In a recent letter to the federal environment minister, Ontario's publicly owned power generator said it no longer wished to proceed with […]

Toronto mayor calls for policing reforms; says police budget cut likely result

Jun 25 2020 — Colin Perkel — TORONTO — Sweeping reforms of the country's largest municipal police service are needed to address systemic racism and the concerns of disadvantaged communities, Toronto Mayor John Tory said on Thursday, although he made no direct call for cutting the police budget as activists have demanded. Instead, Tory proposed various measures such as "detasking" officers, which […]

Toronto Coun. Jim Karygiannis must lose seat over expenses, court rules

Jun 24 2020 — Colin Perkel — TORONTO — A Toronto city councillor should be removed from office for campaign spending violations even if the error was accidental, Ontario's top court ruled on Wednesday. In overturning a lower court decision, the Court of Appeal ruled the relevant legislation required that Jim Karygiannis forfeit his position, even if that might be harsh. "Forfeiture […]

Pandemic fines top $13 million, study says; punitive approach rapped

Jun 24 2020 — Colin Perkel — TORONTO — Authorities in some provinces ramped up often arbitrary law enforcement to help curtail the COVID-19 pandemic rather than rely on a purely public health approach, according to a report out Wednesday. The main problem, the report finds, is that marginalized or other vulnerable groups tended to bear the brunt of police and bylaw action. […]

Pandemic fines top $13 million, study says; punitive approach rapped

Jun 24 2020 — Colin Perkel — TORONTO — Authorities in some provinces ramped up often arbitrary law enforcement to help curtail the COVID-19 pandemic rather than rely on a purely public health approach, according to a report out Wednesday. The main problem, the report finds, is that marginalized or other vulnerable groups tended to bear the brunt of police and bylaw action. […]

Police watchdog wants Supreme Court to rule on limits of oversight powers

Jun 23 2020 — Colin Perkel — TORONTO — Ontario's police watchdog is asking Canada's top court to decide whether the agency has the power to take a second look at its own decision to refer a complaint to a disciplinary hearing. The application, by the Officer of the Independent Review Director in a case in which a Black family alleged they were […]

Police watchdog wants Supreme Court to rule on limits of oversight powers

Jun 23 2020 — Colin Perkel — TORONTO — Ontario's police watchdog is asking Canada's top court to decide whether the agency has the power to take a second look at its own decision to refer a complaint to a disciplinary hearing. The application, by the Officer of the Independent Review Director in a case in which a Black family alleged they were […]

COVID pandemic prompts initiative to offer free legal aid to anyone in Canada

Jun 13 2020 — Colin Perkel — TORONTO — The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted a group of young lawyers to launch a project to offer free legal advice remotely to anyone in the country. Dubbed the National Canadian Lawyers Initiative, the aim is to connect people in need with professionals who can offer help and direction. "The lockdown has created just a myriad of […]

Man who lured officer posing as girl on Internet loses entrapment appeal

Jun 12 2020 — Colin Perkel — TORONTO — A medical student who sought sex with an undercover police officer posing as a 14-year-old girl lost his argument on Friday that he was the victim of entrapment. In a case likely to end up before the country's top court, the Ontario Court of Appeal upheld the Internet child-luring conviction of Akash Ghotra that […]

Ontario’s police watchdog to collect race data, as advocates have long urged

Jun 11 2020 — Colin Perkel — TORONTO — The agency that investigates police conduct in encounters resulting in serious injury will begin collecting race-based data later this year, it said on Thursday, but critics say the information by itself will have little effect on addressing racial inequities in policing. Currently, the Special Investigations Unit only collects data on the age and […]

Ontario’s police watchdog to collect race data, as advocates have long urged

Jun 11 2020 — Colin Perkel — TORONTO — The agency that investigates police conduct in encounters resulting in serious injury will begin collecting race-based data later this year, it said on Thursday, but critics say the information by itself will have little effect on addressing racial inequities in policing. Currently, the Special Investigations Unit only collects data on the age and […]