My recent trip to Canada held one major surprise and the image, vivid after more than two weeks, of a kid in a red shirt.
I recently received a pamphlet from the federal government in my home mailbox titled "First Nation Elementary and Secondary Education Consultations" announcing an effort to seek citizen input into Aboriginal education on reserves. This is an area covered by the federal government whereas for other populations, education is a provincial matter. The hope is for proposed legislation to improve educational opportunities for Aboriginal children and youth.
Let he who is without sin cast the first stone
And let he who poses no threat fly the first drone
Scapegoating always does harm to the innocent
We forget due process and forgiveness
When we dream about security
Assume it means revenge, jails, police
That’s not maturity
And it doesn’t really help us in the least
Too many sentences are designed to be malicious
But this is harmful and indecent, so I tend to be suspicious
When the PM repeats a mantra disproved by the evidence
Being tough on crime often means talking about keeping criminals off the street, protecting the rights of victims and deterring offenders from either offending in the first place, or re-offending upon release. All of these things, however laudable, sound great on talk radio.
Do politicians and a debate about policy and policy changes impact public opinion? Anthony Piscitelli asked this question at the end of the previous episode and now he reveals his answer!
Everyone wants to know... how do political leaders make their decisions about crime policy anyway? Are they influenced by public opinion polls? Do politicians influence public attitudes?
When you have the opportunity to learn from someone who has 'been there'... take it! This week, we had the honour of welcoming and hosting Jamie Courtorielle in Waterloo Region. Jamie is cycling across Canada in order to raise awareness about addictions and the destruction it is causing in our families, communities, and most of all, our youth.
You may have been taken in by one of those urban myth emails that float around our inboxes from time to time. You might have seen the one we’re about to bust for you.
The email we’re talking about arrives with a subject heading along the lines of “Can you guess what this is? You won't believe it!!” The email contains photos of a state of the art looking facility complete with recreation spaces and lounges.
Crime costs Canadians. It reaches deep into our wallets and our overall quality of life. And who is doing most of this spending? Mainly victims. When we crunch the cost of policing, corrections and courts, we’re looking at $31.4 billion in 2008. For pain and suffering, we’re looking at $68.2 billion.
What would our communities look like if we consistently prioritized spending on education over spending on prisons? There are lessons to be learned from our neighbours to the south where several US states are looking long and hard at reversing the trend of priosn budgets trumping education.