Hello, every One and welcome to the Good News Journal’s Tell a Vision Tuesday Edition, thank You for joining Me. I’ve considered Writing a Post about Canada’s criminal culture and how it’s ‘evolving’ almost as fast as Man’s consciousness for awhile now. Today, the CBC Posted an opinion column by Michael Spratt, a criminal defence lawyer in the city of Ottawa, and partner of Abergel, Goldstein and Partners.
“He is an award-winning blogger and podcaster who frequently appears as an expert witness before the House of Commons and the Senate.” – CBC
In a nutshell, Doug Ford is making cutbacks to legal aid. This is an Issue I am very passionate about and the primary reason I Acted as defence council for a couple of Friends recently. My Friends were denied legal aid because their charges were not considered ‘serious’ enough. But they are serious enough to Give someone a criminal record, and that alone is enough to place the individual at a serious disadvantage with respect to finding gainful employment. People who can’t get a job because they have a criminal record are then subject to social welfare which only provides 1/3 of market value rent for housing allowance, which eventually results in losing their home/apartment and ending up on the street. Others may resort to crime in an effort to maintain their lifestyle and avoid homelessness, which inevitably leads to more charges, more convictions, and eventually jail time.
Doug Ford’s recent decision to cut back funding for legal aid further demonstrates the government’s determination to Create a criminal culture. The determination to Create a criminal culture in Canada stems from the provincial budget, which provides funding to municipalities for social welfare programs. The social welfare programs that provide less than a third of market value rent for housing are designed to create homelessness and/or compel individuals to come up with ‘creative solutions’ to pay their rent if they are unable to find gainful employment – FAST! The two most common solutions for those that can’t find work, are theft, and dealing drugs.
The honest ones who can’t find a job are eventually evicted from their homes and subject to city shelters. Once a person becomes homeless, they are subject to all the stigma that comes with it, criminal or not, they are generally perceived that way. My current lawsuit with the city of Ottawa is an exceptional example. Complaints of unfair treatment, being expelled from a shelter without cause, and deplorable living conditions that violate municipal property standards, were initially completely ignored (by the city of Ottawa).
It took an application to the Divisional Court for Judicial review before the Matter was taken seriously enough to be investigated by the city of Ottawa. When the Matter was finally investigated, the city acknowledged that clients are subject to conditions that violate municipal property standards, deemed the conditions ‘acceptable’, claimed the shelter did not have to provide any reason for barring clients from the facility, acknowledged that clients were compelled to participate in a Christian chapel service to gain access to any of the support programs offered by the shelter to improve their situation (with a threat of being expelled from the program and/or barred from the facility if they fail to attend [the Chapel service]), and failed to have any internal complaint resolution process in place for clients to resolve their grievances regarding unfair treatment or the conditions of the shelter in a constructive, respectful Way.
All of these conditions are violations of the Emergency Shelter Standards, and rather than acknowledge that clients were harmed by the shelter’s negligence and failure to comply with the standards, the city promised to resolve the issues, ‘thanked Me’ for bringing the Issues to their attention, then characterized My overall actions and behaviour as a DANGER to staff and clients so that the shelter’s determination to have Me barred without cause from the facility would ‘appear’ to be in compliance with the shelter standards. It literally blew My Mind when I read the final determination. Not only was I never a risk to clients or staff, My complaint to the city of Ottawa (about the shelter treatment and conditions) is an example of what One should do when One is treated unfairly or discriminated against for being a minority.
My audience knows I don’t believe in coincidences and the cuts proposed by Doug Ford are just one more example of how government aims to criminalize those subject to poverty, My complaint with the city of Ottawa is another. I was never a risk to clients or staff of the shelter, the city produced no information from the shelter to support their accusation, and that’s what makes the determination doubly insulting. Not only is the city accusing Me of being a danger to others, but failing to produce any evidence to substantiate the accusation demonstrates their prejudice and discrimination. Does it not make sense that the investigate branch should at least ask what behaviour and actions placed the clients and staff at risk? Does one typically accuse one of being a danger to others without cause?
Rather than resolve My complaint, the city has escalated My grievance by not only asserting the shelter can bar Me without cause, they can also characterize Me as a danger to others without having to provide any evidence whatsover to validate their assertion. Disgraceful. But it Will be a Good One for a Superior Court Justice to hear.
With Doug Ford proposing these new cuts to legal aid, perhaps I Will have a renewed incentive to provide defence council for those who can’t afford a lawyer. The other big issue here, is that many People Will get absolutely steamrolled by the courts without a lawyer because Canada’s criminal code is so cryptic. That’s why I am war King on decoding it for You.
Okay, I’m done ranting for now but I couldn’t let this one go. The other thing I Wish to remind People is that this is NOT about budgets and saving taxpayers money. The Court system is big business, as are jails – it costs money to Keep People in jail. Don’t be tricked into believing this is an effort to save taxpayers, these cuts are designed to provide more business for jails which are paid for by taxpayers and cost even more than shelters. It’s just another means of cleaning up the streets by placing those subject to shelters in a more costly institution; big money for big business.
I’ll be back this evening to let You know how I plan to crash these political parties (and the economy).
Love and Blessings,