Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Freeland responds—very carefully—to Trump’s remarks on the Huawei case

Freeland responds—very carefully—to Trump’s remarks on the Huawei case

It was excruciatingly clear that Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland did not want to risk letting a wrong word slip when she as asked today about U.S. President Donald Trump’s statement, in an interview with Reuters, that he might intervene in the U.S. case against Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou, if doing so would help him in trade negotiations with China.

Freeland was asked twice at a news conference just off Parliament Hill about Trump’s comment about Meng, who was arrested Dec. 1 in Vancouver on the request of U.S. authorities who want her extradited to face charges having to do with violating trade sanctions against Iran. The prominent Chinese executive was released on bail Tuesday night, and must stay in Vancouver for what could be years of legal wrangling over the extradition request.

Both times Freeland was asked about what Trump had said, she seemed to individually consider each syllable of her long answer. (Recall that Trump once said of Freeland, in the heat of the NAFTA renegotiations, “we don’t like their representative very much.”) Still, she did get around, in both tortuous responses, to saying that any comment that seemed to politicize the highly sensitive extradition process was a problem.

READ MORE: For once, Canada didn’t cave in to Huawei

Trump told Reuters when asked about the Meng case: “If I think it’s good for what will be certainly the largest trade deal ever made—which is a very important thing—what’s good for national security—I would certainly intervene if I thought it was necessary.” In full, here’s how Freeland unfurled her second answer to a reporter’s question on Trump’s comment. (She alludes repeatedly here to Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould, who is also the federal attorney general):

“As I said, with regard to remarks that have been made, in the first instance, it will be for Ms. Meng’s lawyers to judge whether it is pertinent for them to refer to remarks made by any officials in their defence of her. It will then be up to Canadian judges to determine the relevance of any submissions by Ms. Meng’s lawyers.

“Our attorney general has issued a very clear statement about how seriously she takes extradition proceedings, and where her responsibilities lie, and she has been very clear in that statement that she may be called up to make a judgement in the event that a Canadian court, at the end of the process, judges that the legal threshold for extradition has been met. At that point there will be a judgement for Canada’s attorney general to make that is a very serious judgement, and she has laid out very carefully, and I think very well, the situation.

“I do think that it makes a lot of sense for Canada to have an extradition treaty with the United States. They are our neighbour; we share a vast and non-militarized border with them; we do a lot of trade with them; and we’re allies. We are allies in the defence of this great continent in NORAD, we are allies in NATO. And, I think, one of the reasons that Canadians have confidence in our relationship with the United States, including in our extradition treaty with the United States, is that the United States, like Canada, has a very strong, highly respected legal system, a very strong, highly respected, independent judiciary.

“I do also think that it is incumbent upon parties making an extradition request to be sure that that extradition request is about ensuring that justice is done—is about respecting the rule of law. And our extradition partners should not seek to politicize the extradition process, or use it for ends other than the pursuit of justice and following the rule of law.”

MORE ABOUT CHRYSTIA FREELAND:

The post Freeland responds—very carefully—to Trump’s remarks on the Huawei case appeared first on Macleans.ca.

.

It was excruciatingly clear that Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland did not want to risk letting a wrong word slip when she as asked today about U.S. President Donald Trump’s statement, in an interview with Reuters, that he might intervene in the U.S. case against Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou, if doing so would help him in trade negotiations with China.

Freeland was asked twice at a news conference just off Parliament Hill about Trump’s comment about Meng, who was arrested Dec. 1 in Vancouver on the request of U.S. authorities who want her extradited to face charges having to do with violating trade sanctions against Iran. The prominent Chinese executive was released on bail Tuesday night, and must stay in Vancouver for what could be years of legal wrangling over the extradition request.

Both times Freeland was asked about what Trump had said, she seemed to individually consider each syllable of her long answer. (Recall that Trump once said of Freeland, in the heat of the NAFTA renegotiations, “we don’t like their representative very much.”) Still, she did get around, in both tortuous responses, to saying that any comment that seemed to politicize the highly sensitive extradition process was a problem.

READ MORE: For once, Canada didn’t cave in to Huawei

Trump told Reuters when asked about the Meng case: “If I think it’s good for what will be certainly the largest trade deal ever made—which is a very important thing—what’s good for national security—I would certainly intervene if I thought it was necessary.” In full, here’s how Freeland unfurled her second answer to a reporter’s question on Trump’s comment. (She alludes repeatedly here to Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould, who is also the federal attorney general):

“As I said, with regard to remarks that have been made, in the first instance, it will be for Ms. Meng’s lawyers to judge whether it is pertinent for them to refer to remarks made by any officials in their defence of her. It will then be up to Canadian judges to determine the relevance of any submissions by Ms. Meng’s lawyers.

“Our attorney general has issued a very clear statement about how seriously she takes extradition proceedings, and where her responsibilities lie, and she has been very clear in that statement that she may be called up to make a judgement in the event that a Canadian court, at the end of the process, judges that the legal threshold for extradition has been met. At that point there will be a judgement for Canada’s attorney general to make that is a very serious judgement, and she has laid out very carefully, and I think very well, the situation.

“I do think that it makes a lot of sense for Canada to have an extradition treaty with the United States. They are our neighbour; we share a vast and non-militarized border with them; we do a lot of trade with them; and we’re allies. We are allies in the defence of this great continent in NORAD, we are allies in NATO. And, I think, one of the reasons that Canadians have confidence in our relationship with the United States, including in our extradition treaty with the United States, is that the United States, like Canada, has a very strong, highly respected legal system, a very strong, highly respected, independent judiciary.

“I do also think that it is incumbent upon parties making an extradition request to be sure that that extradition request is about ensuring that justice is done—is about respecting the rule of law. And our extradition partners should not seek to politicize the extradition process, or use it for ends other than the pursuit of justice and following the rule of law.”

MORE ABOUT CHRYSTIA FREELAND:

The post Freeland responds—very carefully—to Trump’s remarks on the Huawei case appeared first on Macleans.ca.

.

It was excruciatingly clear that Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland did not want to risk letting a wrong word slip when she as asked today about U.S. President Donald Trump’s statement, in an interview with Reuters, that he might intervene in the U.S. case against Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou, if doing so would help him in trade negotiations with China.

Freeland was asked twice at a news conference just off Parliament Hill about Trump’s comment about Meng, who was arrested Dec. 1 in Vancouver on the request of U.S. authorities who want her extradited to face charges having to do with violating trade sanctions against Iran. The prominent Chinese executive was released on bail Tuesday night, and must stay in Vancouver for what could be years of legal wrangling over the extradition request.

Both times Freeland was asked about what Trump had said, she seemed to individually consider each syllable of her long answer. (Recall that Trump once said of Freeland, in the heat of the NAFTA renegotiations, “we don’t like their representative very much.”) Still, she did get around, in both tortuous responses, to saying that any comment that seemed to politicize the highly sensitive extradition process was a problem.

READ MORE: For once, Canada didn’t cave in to Huawei

Trump told Reuters when asked about the Meng case: “If I think it’s good for what will be certainly the largest trade deal ever made—which is a very important thing—what’s good for national security—I would certainly intervene if I thought it was necessary.” In full, here’s how Freeland unfurled her second answer to a reporter’s question on Trump’s comment. (She alludes repeatedly here to Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould, who is also the federal attorney general):

“As I said, with regard to remarks that have been made, in the first instance, it will be for Ms. Meng’s lawyers to judge whether it is pertinent for them to refer to remarks made by any officials in their defence of her. It will then be up to Canadian judges to determine the relevance of any submissions by Ms. Meng’s lawyers.

“Our attorney general has issued a very clear statement about how seriously she takes extradition proceedings, and where her responsibilities lie, and she has been very clear in that statement that she may be called up to make a judgement in the event that a Canadian court, at the end of the process, judges that the legal threshold for extradition has been met. At that point there will be a judgement for Canada’s attorney general to make that is a very serious judgement, and she has laid out very carefully, and I think very well, the situation.

“I do think that it makes a lot of sense for Canada to have an extradition treaty with the United States. They are our neighbour; we share a vast and non-militarized border with them; we do a lot of trade with them; and we’re allies. We are allies in the defence of this great continent in NORAD, we are allies in NATO. And, I think, one of the reasons that Canadians have confidence in our relationship with the United States, including in our extradition treaty with the United States, is that the United States, like Canada, has a very strong, highly respected legal system, a very strong, highly respected, independent judiciary.

“I do also think that it is incumbent upon parties making an extradition request to be sure that that extradition request is about ensuring that justice is done—is about respecting the rule of law. And our extradition partners should not seek to politicize the extradition process, or use it for ends other than the pursuit of justice and following the rule of law.”

MORE ABOUT CHRYSTIA FREELAND:

The post Freeland responds—very carefully—to Trump’s remarks on the Huawei case appeared first on Macleans.ca.

.

Something must be done about the Thunder Bay police

Something must be done about the Thunder Bay police

In October 2015, Stacy DeBungee, an Ojibway man from the Rainy River First Nation, was pulled from Thunder Bay’s McIntyre River. His name was added to the likes of Jethro Anderson, Reggie Bushie, Robyn Harper, Kyle Morriseau, Paul Panacheese, Curran Strang, Jordan Wabasse and others­­—all of whom were found dead in the same river under suspicious circumstances, and all of whom, young and Indigenous, were the subject of a months-long coroner’s inquest in 2016.

The Thunder Bay Police Service mishandled DeBungee’s investigation, declaring it “non-criminal” before an autopsy, hours after his body was recovered, and failed to follow important leads that suggested his debit card had been used after his death, according to a report that came out earlier this year from the Office of the Independent Police Review Director (OIPRD), which oversees complaints about police in Ontario.

Following the case, the OIPRD launched an investigation into the Thunder Bay police force’s conduct. “One would have reasonably expected that investigators would be particularly vigilant in ensuring that the investigation of the sudden death of an Indigenous man found in the river was thorough and responsive to the community’s concerns,” the report read. “Unfortunately, the opposite was true here.”

The report confirmed what First Nations people in the northern Ontario city had already worried—that police devalued their lives. “It’s obvious in this case that somebody made the assumption that it’s just another drunk Indian rolling in the river,” said Rainy River’s former chief. DeBungee’s death, along with the concerns and complaints that shadowed the botched investigation, launched another two-year probe into the police force’s handling of Indigenous deaths over several years.

READ MORE: The troubles in Thunder Bay should trouble all Canadians

On Wednesday, in front of a room of concerned citizens that cheered with each profound revelation, the OIPRD released the findings of its latest unprecedented report. And a dark conclusion was reached: systemic racism exists within the Thunder Bay Police Service. “The failure to conduct adequate investigations and the premature conclusions drawn in these cases is, at least in part, attributable to racist attitudes and racial stereotyping,” wrote Gerry McNeilly, the head of the OIPRD. “Officers repeatedly relied on generalized notions about how Indigenous people likely came to their deaths and acted, or refrained from acting, based on those biases.”

McNeilly examined allegations of racism within the force pertaining to its dealings with Indigenous victims and families, describing a long-fractured relationship—a “crisis of distrust”—between Thunder Bay’s police and First Nations people. He looked at more than three dozen investigations into the deaths of Indigenous men and women dating back to 2009, including the names of the seven students involved in that 2016 coroner’s inquest.

McNeilly notes in the report that the findings do not suggest all Thunder Bay officers engaged in “intentional racism,” instead he found that “systemic racism exists at an institutional level.”

Perhaps more alarming, the report calls for “at least” nine cases to be reopened and reinvestiged, a number that includes four of the death investigations from the 2016 inquest.

McNeilly pointed to a lack of expertise, experience, training and a “neglect of duty” among investigators and officers, compounded by a careless disregard when handling autopsy reports and case files. He noted that a lack of communication with other police forces has often led to Thunder Bay police officers working in “silos.”

RELATED: Inside the impossible work of Canada’s biggest Indigenous police force

The report makes 44 recommendations, many of which are reiterations from previous reports and inquests that the Thunder Bay police force has somewhere in its offices. And there will one more soon: Senator Murray Sinclair, who chaired the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, is investigating the Thunder Bay Police Services Board on behalf of the Ontario Civilian Police Commission.

In addition to the nine reinvestigations, it makes clear that a team should be formed to determine whether DeBungee’s case and others should be reopened. Among some of the more pertinent suggestions, the city’s police department is urged to undergo a “peer-review process” by another force for at least three years, to contract out some of its investigations, to improve almost every facet of its operation and for its leaders to “publicly and formally acknowledge that racism exists at all levels within the police service.”

The problems for the city’s police force go beyond its investigations involving Indigenous people. Its former police chief, J.P. Levesque, was charged with obstructing justice and breaching trust in 2017 (the charges were dismissed earlier this year). Levesque returned to work and retired in April. Over the years, Levesque had heard repeated calls from First Nations leaders to step down. Sylvie Hauth, the former deputy chief, took over the role in November, despite a nationwide search for a new boss.

In response to this week’s report, Hauth said in a statement: “I take this report very seriously. I have been very upfront in terms of my commitment and dedication about where we stand on the reconciliation process. Trust is very important and regaining that trust has been at the forefront of my new role.” She added that the force has “introduced a number of initiatives” over the past two years. Those include better community policing and efforts to recruit Indigenous officers.

“This report is as tragic as it is unsurprising, and it reinforces what First Nations have been saying for years—systemic racism is clearly something that needs to be addressed in a profound and substantial manner,” said AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde.

The city of Thunder Bay is at an impasse. A decision will inevitably have to be made about what to do next because the question in front of its council is unambiguous.

If the problem within its police force is systemic, if it’s rooted at all levels within the department, then is the Thunder Bay Police Service worth keeping in its current form? Does the force need to be entirely reorganized and reimagined from the bottom up? And would that even go far enough to address the depth of the problem in Thunder Bay? Julian Falconer, the lawyer for the DeBungee family and the Nishnawbe Aski Nation, which represents 49 First Nation communities in northern Ontario, said if the police force doesn’t implement all of the recommendations in three years, it should be disbanded.

The threat of violence and racism also goes beyond the men and women in uniform. In 2015, one-third of the hate crimes directed at Indigenous people in Canada occurred in Thunder Bay, according to Statistics Canada. Nearly 13 per cent of its roughly 110,000 residents are Indigenous. Last year, a trailer hitch thrown from a moving vehicle took the life of Barb Kentner, a member of the Waabigon Saaga’igan Anishinaabeg (Wabigoon Lake Ojibway Nation). It’s not the last horrifying incident to grab national headlines, and seems tragically unlikely to be the last.

Chiefs have tried to convince the RCMP and the Ontario Provincial Police to investigate the deaths of Indigenous people before. Vested with the responsibility to “serve and protect,” police officers in Thunder Bay have failed to fulfill this duty for a vulnerable segment of its population, and Wednesday’s report, fittingly titled “Broken Trust,” will do anything but reconcile the racism and discrimination they’ve encountered at the hands of law enforcement over the years.

In the OIPRD’s interviews with Thunder Bay police officers, some “exhibited a contempt bordering on hostility toward Indigenous people.” Their views are described in the report as “very disturbing” and they were expressed by “more than a few bad apples.” If that’s the case, then perhaps it’s time the city of Thunder Bay look elsewhere.

MORE ABOUT THUNDER BAY:

The post Something must be done about the Thunder Bay police appeared first on Macleans.ca.

.

In October 2015, Stacy DeBungee, an Ojibway man from the Rainy River First Nation, was pulled from Thunder Bay’s McIntyre River. His name was added to the likes of Jethro Anderson, Reggie Bushie, Robyn Harper, Kyle Morriseau, Paul Panacheese, Curran Strang, Jordan Wabasse and others­­—all of whom were found dead in the same river under suspicious circumstances, and all of whom, young and Indigenous, were the subject of a months-long coroner’s inquest in 2016.

The Thunder Bay Police Service mishandled DeBungee’s investigation, declaring it “non-criminal” before an autopsy, hours after his body was recovered, and failed to follow important leads that suggested his debit card had been used after his death, according to a report that came out earlier this year from the Office of the Independent Police Review Director (OIPRD), which oversees complaints about police in Ontario.

Following the case, the OIPRD launched an investigation into the Thunder Bay police force’s conduct. “One would have reasonably expected that investigators would be particularly vigilant in ensuring that the investigation of the sudden death of an Indigenous man found in the river was thorough and responsive to the community’s concerns,” the report read. “Unfortunately, the opposite was true here.”

The report confirmed what First Nations people in the northern Ontario city had already worried—that police devalued their lives. “It’s obvious in this case that somebody made the assumption that it’s just another drunk Indian rolling in the river,” said Rainy River’s former chief. DeBungee’s death, along with the concerns and complaints that shadowed the botched investigation, launched another two-year probe into the police force’s handling of Indigenous deaths over several years.

READ MORE: The troubles in Thunder Bay should trouble all Canadians

On Wednesday, in front of a room of concerned citizens that cheered with each profound revelation, the OIPRD released the findings of its latest unprecedented report. And a dark conclusion was reached: systemic racism exists within the Thunder Bay Police Service. “The failure to conduct adequate investigations and the premature conclusions drawn in these cases is, at least in part, attributable to racist attitudes and racial stereotyping,” wrote Gerry McNeilly, the head of the OIPRD. “Officers repeatedly relied on generalized notions about how Indigenous people likely came to their deaths and acted, or refrained from acting, based on those biases.”

McNeilly examined allegations of racism within the force pertaining to its dealings with Indigenous victims and families, describing a long-fractured relationship—a “crisis of distrust”—between Thunder Bay’s police and First Nations people. He looked at more than three dozen investigations into the deaths of Indigenous men and women dating back to 2009, including the names of the seven students involved in that 2016 coroner’s inquest.

McNeilly notes in the report that the findings do not suggest all Thunder Bay officers engaged in “intentional racism,” instead he found that “systemic racism exists at an institutional level.”

Perhaps more alarming, the report calls for “at least” nine cases to be reopened and reinvestiged, a number that includes four of the death investigations from the 2016 inquest.

McNeilly pointed to a lack of expertise, experience, training and a “neglect of duty” among investigators and officers, compounded by a careless disregard when handling autopsy reports and case files. He noted that a lack of communication with other police forces has often led to Thunder Bay police officers working in “silos.”

RELATED: Inside the impossible work of Canada’s biggest Indigenous police force

The report makes 44 recommendations, many of which are reiterations from previous reports and inquests that the Thunder Bay police force has somewhere in its offices. And there will one more soon: Senator Murray Sinclair, who chaired the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, is investigating the Thunder Bay Police Services Board on behalf of the Ontario Civilian Police Commission.

In addition to the nine reinvestigations, it makes clear that a team should be formed to determine whether DeBungee’s case and others should be reopened. Among some of the more pertinent suggestions, the city’s police department is urged to undergo a “peer-review process” by another force for at least three years, to contract out some of its investigations, to improve almost every facet of its operation and for its leaders to “publicly and formally acknowledge that racism exists at all levels within the police service.”

The problems for the city’s police force go beyond its investigations involving Indigenous people. Its former police chief, J.P. Levesque, was charged with obstructing justice and breaching trust in 2017 (the charges were dismissed earlier this year). Levesque returned to work and retired in April. Over the years, Levesque had heard repeated calls from First Nations leaders to step down. Sylvie Hauth, the former deputy chief, took over the role in November, despite a nationwide search for a new boss.

In response to this week’s report, Hauth said in a statement: “I take this report very seriously. I have been very upfront in terms of my commitment and dedication about where we stand on the reconciliation process. Trust is very important and regaining that trust has been at the forefront of my new role.” She added that the force has “introduced a number of initiatives” over the past two years. Those include better community policing and efforts to recruit Indigenous officers.

“This report is as tragic as it is unsurprising, and it reinforces what First Nations have been saying for years—systemic racism is clearly something that needs to be addressed in a profound and substantial manner,” said AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde.

The city of Thunder Bay is at an impasse. A decision will inevitably have to be made about what to do next because the question in front of its council is unambiguous.

If the problem within its police force is systemic, if it’s rooted at all levels within the department, then is the Thunder Bay Police Service worth keeping in its current form? Does the force need to be entirely reorganized and reimagined from the bottom up? And would that even go far enough to address the depth of the problem in Thunder Bay? Julian Falconer, the lawyer for the DeBungee family and the Nishnawbe Aski Nation, which represents 49 First Nation communities in northern Ontario, said if the police force doesn’t implement all of the recommendations in three years, it should be disbanded.

The threat of violence and racism also goes beyond the men and women in uniform. In 2015, one-third of the hate crimes directed at Indigenous people in Canada occurred in Thunder Bay, according to Statistics Canada. Nearly 13 per cent of its roughly 110,000 residents are Indigenous. Last year, a trailer hitch thrown from a moving vehicle took the life of Barb Kentner, a member of the Waabigon Saaga’igan Anishinaabeg (Wabigoon Lake Ojibway Nation). It’s not the last horrifying incident to grab national headlines, and seems tragically unlikely to be the last.

Chiefs have tried to convince the RCMP and the Ontario Provincial Police to investigate the deaths of Indigenous people before. Vested with the responsibility to “serve and protect,” police officers in Thunder Bay have failed to fulfill this duty for a vulnerable segment of its population, and Wednesday’s report, fittingly titled “Broken Trust,” will do anything but reconcile the racism and discrimination they’ve encountered at the hands of law enforcement over the years.

In the OIPRD’s interviews with Thunder Bay police officers, some “exhibited a contempt bordering on hostility toward Indigenous people.” Their views are described in the report as “very disturbing” and they were expressed by “more than a few bad apples.” If that’s the case, then perhaps it’s time the city of Thunder Bay look elsewhere.

MORE ABOUT THUNDER BAY:

The post Something must be done about the Thunder Bay police appeared first on Macleans.ca.

.

In October 2015, Stacy DeBungee, an Ojibway man from the Rainy River First Nation, was pulled from Thunder Bay’s McIntyre River. His name was added to the likes of Jethro Anderson, Reggie Bushie, Robyn Harper, Kyle Morriseau, Paul Panacheese, Curran Strang, Jordan Wabasse and others­­—all of whom were found dead in the same river under suspicious circumstances, and all of whom, young and Indigenous, were the subject of a months-long coroner’s inquest in 2016.

The Thunder Bay Police Service mishandled DeBungee’s investigation, declaring it “non-criminal” before an autopsy, hours after his body was recovered, and failed to follow important leads that suggested his debit card had been used after his death, according to a report that came out earlier this year from the Office of the Independent Police Review Director (OIPRD), which oversees complaints about police in Ontario.

Following the case, the OIPRD launched an investigation into the Thunder Bay police force’s conduct. “One would have reasonably expected that investigators would be particularly vigilant in ensuring that the investigation of the sudden death of an Indigenous man found in the river was thorough and responsive to the community’s concerns,” the report read. “Unfortunately, the opposite was true here.”

The report confirmed what First Nations people in the northern Ontario city had already worried—that police devalued their lives. “It’s obvious in this case that somebody made the assumption that it’s just another drunk Indian rolling in the river,” said Rainy River’s former chief. DeBungee’s death, along with the concerns and complaints that shadowed the botched investigation, launched another two-year probe into the police force’s handling of Indigenous deaths over several years.

READ MORE: The troubles in Thunder Bay should trouble all Canadians

On Wednesday, in front of a room of concerned citizens that cheered with each profound revelation, the OIPRD released the findings of its latest unprecedented report. And a dark conclusion was reached: systemic racism exists within the Thunder Bay Police Service. “The failure to conduct adequate investigations and the premature conclusions drawn in these cases is, at least in part, attributable to racist attitudes and racial stereotyping,” wrote Gerry McNeilly, the head of the OIPRD. “Officers repeatedly relied on generalized notions about how Indigenous people likely came to their deaths and acted, or refrained from acting, based on those biases.”

McNeilly examined allegations of racism within the force pertaining to its dealings with Indigenous victims and families, describing a long-fractured relationship—a “crisis of distrust”—between Thunder Bay’s police and First Nations people. He looked at more than three dozen investigations into the deaths of Indigenous men and women dating back to 2009, including the names of the seven students involved in that 2016 coroner’s inquest.

McNeilly notes in the report that the findings do not suggest all Thunder Bay officers engaged in “intentional racism,” instead he found that “systemic racism exists at an institutional level.”

Perhaps more alarming, the report calls for “at least” nine cases to be reopened and reinvestiged, a number that includes four of the death investigations from the 2016 inquest.

McNeilly pointed to a lack of expertise, experience, training and a “neglect of duty” among investigators and officers, compounded by a careless disregard when handling autopsy reports and case files. He noted that a lack of communication with other police forces has often led to Thunder Bay police officers working in “silos.”

RELATED: Inside the impossible work of Canada’s biggest Indigenous police force

The report makes 44 recommendations, many of which are reiterations from previous reports and inquests that the Thunder Bay police force has somewhere in its offices. And there will one more soon: Senator Murray Sinclair, who chaired the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, is investigating the Thunder Bay Police Services Board on behalf of the Ontario Civilian Police Commission.

In addition to the nine reinvestigations, it makes clear that a team should be formed to determine whether DeBungee’s case and others should be reopened. Among some of the more pertinent suggestions, the city’s police department is urged to undergo a “peer-review process” by another force for at least three years, to contract out some of its investigations, to improve almost every facet of its operation and for its leaders to “publicly and formally acknowledge that racism exists at all levels within the police service.”

The problems for the city’s police force go beyond its investigations involving Indigenous people. Its former police chief, J.P. Levesque, was charged with obstructing justice and breaching trust in 2017 (the charges were dismissed earlier this year). Levesque returned to work and retired in April. Over the years, Levesque had heard repeated calls from First Nations leaders to step down. Sylvie Hauth, the former deputy chief, took over the role in November, despite a nationwide search for a new boss.

In response to this week’s report, Hauth said in a statement: “I take this report very seriously. I have been very upfront in terms of my commitment and dedication about where we stand on the reconciliation process. Trust is very important and regaining that trust has been at the forefront of my new role.” She added that the force has “introduced a number of initiatives” over the past two years. Those include better community policing and efforts to recruit Indigenous officers.

“This report is as tragic as it is unsurprising, and it reinforces what First Nations have been saying for years—systemic racism is clearly something that needs to be addressed in a profound and substantial manner,” said AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde.

The city of Thunder Bay is at an impasse. A decision will inevitably have to be made about what to do next because the question in front of its council is unambiguous.

If the problem within its police force is systemic, if it’s rooted at all levels within the department, then is the Thunder Bay Police Service worth keeping in its current form? Does the force need to be entirely reorganized and reimagined from the bottom up? And would that even go far enough to address the depth of the problem in Thunder Bay? Julian Falconer, the lawyer for the DeBungee family and the Nishnawbe Aski Nation, which represents 49 First Nation communities in northern Ontario, said if the police force doesn’t implement all of the recommendations in three years, it should be disbanded.

The threat of violence and racism also goes beyond the men and women in uniform. In 2015, one-third of the hate crimes directed at Indigenous people in Canada occurred in Thunder Bay, according to Statistics Canada. Nearly 13 per cent of its roughly 110,000 residents are Indigenous. Last year, a trailer hitch thrown from a moving vehicle took the life of Barb Kentner, a member of the Waabigon Saaga’igan Anishinaabeg (Wabigoon Lake Ojibway Nation). It’s not the last horrifying incident to grab national headlines, and seems tragically unlikely to be the last.

Chiefs have tried to convince the RCMP and the Ontario Provincial Police to investigate the deaths of Indigenous people before. Vested with the responsibility to “serve and protect,” police officers in Thunder Bay have failed to fulfill this duty for a vulnerable segment of its population, and Wednesday’s report, fittingly titled “Broken Trust,” will do anything but reconcile the racism and discrimination they’ve encountered at the hands of law enforcement over the years.

In the OIPRD’s interviews with Thunder Bay police officers, some “exhibited a contempt bordering on hostility toward Indigenous people.” Their views are described in the report as “very disturbing” and they were expressed by “more than a few bad apples.” If that’s the case, then perhaps it’s time the city of Thunder Bay look elsewhere.

MORE ABOUT THUNDER BAY:

The post Something must be done about the Thunder Bay police appeared first on Macleans.ca.

.

As Nunavut turns 20, Inuit rethink their own governance

As Nunavut turns 20, Inuit rethink their own governance

It was around midnight on Dec. 15, 1991, when a tray of chicken salad sandwiches arrived at the boardroom on Parliament Hill. Around the U-shaped table, Inuit leaders and federal and territorial government officials were on hour 15 of their 80th day of hammering out plans that would result in the formation of Nunavut. “We were all frayed and nerves were jumpy,” recalls Malachi Arreak, an Inuit negotiator who was then in his 20s. “Inuit were starting to show their warrior side toward government, something we had never done previously. That comes out in life-and-death situations, where survival is the only priority.”

On one side of the table was Tom Siddon, then minister of Indian affairs and northern development, and federal civil servants; on the other, Inuit elders and negotiators, along with officials from the Northwest Territories. The breakthrough came at around 12:40 a.m., when all parties agreed to the timing for a new eastern Arctic territory and to work on a political accord for a Nunavut government. Cheers erupted and everyone stood and shook hands, says Arreak—some more vigorously than others.

“It was like seeing the camp after you’ve been in the woods hunting for a week,” says the 54-year-old from his home in Pond Inlet in northern Baffin Island. “It was like constant, non-stop work. You’re carrying all this meat, but then you see the camp and you no longer feel tired. You feel rejuvenated.”

READ MORE: What happens when Nunavut’s rapidly growing capital city runs out of water?

April 1, 2019, will mark the 20th anniversary of Nunavut being added to the map of Canada. That triumphant moment came six years after the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement received royal assent, fulfilling a long-time dream for the Inuit of the eastern Arctic by recognizing their land rights, granting political control and setting the road map for the formation of a new territorial government.

But over the past two decades, the initial euphoria among Inuit for Nunavut has faded. Many aspects of the ambitious project remain unfulfilled, leading many Inuit, who make up 85 per cent of the population, to doubt they can still realize their aspirations through the territorial public government.

Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. (NTI), an organization responsible for ensuring the other levels of government fulfill promises made under the 1993 settlement, is now considering an alternative path. In October, its board passed a resolution to explore potential models for Inuit self-government. “We’re being reflective: what are ways in which we can ensure Inuit needs and points of view are being looked at and engaged in, not in a superficial way?” says Aluki Kotierk, the president of NTI. “Is there a better way in which we can serve Inuit? If the territorial public government isn’t meeting the needs of Inuit, is there another way in which we can do that?”

At the centre of their concerns: employment, language and education. The historic agreement stipulates that the majority of government employees be Inuit, but Kotierk says that’s still not the case. “It’s been stagnant at 50 per cent, and the vast majority of Inuit who are employed are in administrative-level positions.” The agreement, if fully implemented, was supposed to ensure Inuit “would be in control and in a position to influence how programs and services would develop for Inuit,” she says.

Issues around language rights have added to the sense of powerlessness. Inuktitut is the mother tongue of 70 per cent of Nunavut’s population, but it’s been slowly declining, with each census showing English being used in more Nunavummiut homes. Most teachers in Nunavut’s schools do not speak Inuktitut, and last year, the territorial government proposed a controversial bill that would have delayed rolling out Inuktitut instruction to 2030. It failed, but raised anxiety among Inuit for the survival of their language and culture. “Children should be able to go to school and learn in their language from materials that are relevant to their lives,” says Kotierk. “At this point, that’s not happening.”

RELATED: Nunavut is growing faster than any other province or territory

There are some signs of change. A record-high 93 students—many of them Inuit—are enrolled in a Nunavut teacher training college, with 23 expected to graduate this year. But Kotierk says this still doesn’t meet the need, while the broader task of implementing all 42 articles of the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement has been aptly characterized by former Nunavut commissioner Ann Meekitjuk Hanson as being “as daunting as the opportunities have been promising.”

Over the years, independent reviews of the project have described a pattern of missed deadlines and slow starts caused by unproductive discussions, backsliding, funding disputes and lack of monitoring. Things came to a head in December 2006, when NTI filed a lawsuit seeking $1 billion in damages for alleged breach of contract by the federal government and claiming Ottawa keeps the Inuit dependent in a state of financial and emotional despair. Then, in May 2015, progress. An out-of-court settlement set $50 million aside for Inuit job training and re-emphasized the spirit of the original agreement. Yet several years in, says Kotierk, there is still no employment plan.

Nunavut’s historic land claims agreement exchanges title to the land for Inuit rights and benefits, including ownership of 18 per cent of the land—350,000 sq. km—in Nunavut; mineral rights to two per cent of those lands; more than $1.173 billion over 14 years; and the creation of the territory, which changed the map of Canada for the first time in 50 years.

Its intention was to protect the Inuit rights to fish, hunt and trap while ensuring more jobs and training. Inuit would benefit from opportunities in oil, gas and mining, and have guaranteed participation in making decisions on managing land and resources.

Some pieces of the plan have come to pass, but they’ve been overshadowed by social challenges facing the young territory. Many Inuit believe they are at a crisis point. Alcohol and substance abuse persists; crime, family violence and suicide rates are above the national average. Arson is a serious problem—recently, a fire burned part of the largest supermarket in the capital, Iqaluit. (A 17-year-old was charged.)

Nunavut has the highest infant mortality rate in Canada—17.7 per 1,000 live births, compared to the Canadian average of 4.7, according to a recent report. Yet its population grows faster than any province or territory—12.7 per cent between 2011 and 2016, and 40 per cent since the territory formed 20 years ago.

The expansion has caused growing pains and exposed poor planning, not least a looming water shortage in Iqaluit. And the problems might seem less pressing if chaos hadn’t lately reigned at the territorial legislature, with premiers and ministers constantly coming and going. In June, Nunavut Premier Paul Quassa was ousted as leader in a historic non-confidence vote. In October, MLA Pat Angnakak resigned from cabinet after she was stripped of her duties as minister responsible for housing and the energy corporation.

To be sure, the territory has also had successes. A deep-sea port in Iqaluit sought for decades is now finally under construction, and a new, $300-million airport terminal in the capital eight times larger than the previous one opened in 2017. Inuit culture and arts, meanwhile, have never been more revered, with internationally renowned artists’ work now on display as part of a Nunavut fine art collection at the Winnipeg Art Gallery. Some 3,000 Nunavut residents now earn some income from arts sales, contributing $33 million annually to the territory’s economy.

Whether a self-governing Inuit territory could fulfill the political aspirations of Nunavut, and how that might work, remain open questions (Kotierk hopes to report back in October on her people’s options.) So does the level of support among Inuit for going their own way—though frustration among elders and leaders is easy to find. Arreak, for one, laments the lost time and lack of political commitment to following through on the land claims agreement. “It’s becoming a tit-for-tat between Inuit and the government, which is not what the negotiators wanted,” he says. “If we had done what we as the negotiators wanted to implement, it would be a 180-degree difference from where it’s going now.”

These days, Arreak visits schools to tell children the story of the land claims agreement, urging them to pursue the opportunities he believes the territorial model could provide. Kotierk, too, says the unfulfilled promise of the Nunavut project should not take away from the “great feat” that led to it. “It was Inuit who changed the map of Canada, all in a peaceful manner,” she says. “When you look at how maps are changed around the world, it often involves war or civil strife. Yet we were able to do that within Canada with no war. It’s important that we remember that—particularly that it was young Inuit that got together to have this big dream.”

The post As Nunavut turns 20, Inuit rethink their own governance appeared first on Macleans.ca.

.

It was around midnight on Dec. 15, 1991, when a tray of chicken salad sandwiches arrived at the boardroom on Parliament Hill. Around the U-shaped table, Inuit leaders and federal and territorial government officials were on hour 15 of their 80th day of hammering out plans that would result in the formation of Nunavut. “We were all frayed and nerves were jumpy,” recalls Malachi Arreak, an Inuit negotiator who was then in his 20s. “Inuit were starting to show their warrior side toward government, something we had never done previously. That comes out in life-and-death situations, where survival is the only priority.”

On one side of the table was Tom Siddon, then minister of Indian affairs and northern development, and federal civil servants; on the other, Inuit elders and negotiators, along with officials from the Northwest Territories. The breakthrough came at around 12:40 a.m., when all parties agreed to the timing for a new eastern Arctic territory and to work on a political accord for a Nunavut government. Cheers erupted and everyone stood and shook hands, says Arreak—some more vigorously than others.

“It was like seeing the camp after you’ve been in the woods hunting for a week,” says the 54-year-old from his home in Pond Inlet in northern Baffin Island. “It was like constant, non-stop work. You’re carrying all this meat, but then you see the camp and you no longer feel tired. You feel rejuvenated.”

READ MORE: What happens when Nunavut’s rapidly growing capital city runs out of water?

April 1, 2019, will mark the 20th anniversary of Nunavut being added to the map of Canada. That triumphant moment came six years after the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement received royal assent, fulfilling a long-time dream for the Inuit of the eastern Arctic by recognizing their land rights, granting political control and setting the road map for the formation of a new territorial government.

But over the past two decades, the initial euphoria among Inuit for Nunavut has faded. Many aspects of the ambitious project remain unfulfilled, leading many Inuit, who make up 85 per cent of the population, to doubt they can still realize their aspirations through the territorial public government.

Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. (NTI), an organization responsible for ensuring the other levels of government fulfill promises made under the 1993 settlement, is now considering an alternative path. In October, its board passed a resolution to explore potential models for Inuit self-government. “We’re being reflective: what are ways in which we can ensure Inuit needs and points of view are being looked at and engaged in, not in a superficial way?” says Aluki Kotierk, the president of NTI. “Is there a better way in which we can serve Inuit? If the territorial public government isn’t meeting the needs of Inuit, is there another way in which we can do that?”

At the centre of their concerns: employment, language and education. The historic agreement stipulates that the majority of government employees be Inuit, but Kotierk says that’s still not the case. “It’s been stagnant at 50 per cent, and the vast majority of Inuit who are employed are in administrative-level positions.” The agreement, if fully implemented, was supposed to ensure Inuit “would be in control and in a position to influence how programs and services would develop for Inuit,” she says.

Issues around language rights have added to the sense of powerlessness. Inuktitut is the mother tongue of 70 per cent of Nunavut’s population, but it’s been slowly declining, with each census showing English being used in more Nunavummiut homes. Most teachers in Nunavut’s schools do not speak Inuktitut, and last year, the territorial government proposed a controversial bill that would have delayed rolling out Inuktitut instruction to 2030. It failed, but raised anxiety among Inuit for the survival of their language and culture. “Children should be able to go to school and learn in their language from materials that are relevant to their lives,” says Kotierk. “At this point, that’s not happening.”

RELATED: Nunavut is growing faster than any other province or territory

There are some signs of change. A record-high 93 students—many of them Inuit—are enrolled in a Nunavut teacher training college, with 23 expected to graduate this year. But Kotierk says this still doesn’t meet the need, while the broader task of implementing all 42 articles of the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement has been aptly characterized by former Nunavut commissioner Ann Meekitjuk Hanson as being “as daunting as the opportunities have been promising.”

Over the years, independent reviews of the project have described a pattern of missed deadlines and slow starts caused by unproductive discussions, backsliding, funding disputes and lack of monitoring. Things came to a head in December 2006, when NTI filed a lawsuit seeking $1 billion in damages for alleged breach of contract by the federal government and claiming Ottawa keeps the Inuit dependent in a state of financial and emotional despair. Then, in May 2015, progress. An out-of-court settlement set $50 million aside for Inuit job training and re-emphasized the spirit of the original agreement. Yet several years in, says Kotierk, there is still no employment plan.

Nunavut’s historic land claims agreement exchanges title to the land for Inuit rights and benefits, including ownership of 18 per cent of the land—350,000 sq. km—in Nunavut; mineral rights to two per cent of those lands; more than $1.173 billion over 14 years; and the creation of the territory, which changed the map of Canada for the first time in 50 years.

Its intention was to protect the Inuit rights to fish, hunt and trap while ensuring more jobs and training. Inuit would benefit from opportunities in oil, gas and mining, and have guaranteed participation in making decisions on managing land and resources.

Some pieces of the plan have come to pass, but they’ve been overshadowed by social challenges facing the young territory. Many Inuit believe they are at a crisis point. Alcohol and substance abuse persists; crime, family violence and suicide rates are above the national average. Arson is a serious problem—recently, a fire burned part of the largest supermarket in the capital, Iqaluit. (A 17-year-old was charged.)

Nunavut has the highest infant mortality rate in Canada—17.7 per 1,000 live births, compared to the Canadian average of 4.7, according to a recent report. Yet its population grows faster than any province or territory—12.7 per cent between 2011 and 2016, and 40 per cent since the territory formed 20 years ago.

The expansion has caused growing pains and exposed poor planning, not least a looming water shortage in Iqaluit. And the problems might seem less pressing if chaos hadn’t lately reigned at the territorial legislature, with premiers and ministers constantly coming and going. In June, Nunavut Premier Paul Quassa was ousted as leader in a historic non-confidence vote. In October, MLA Pat Angnakak resigned from cabinet after she was stripped of her duties as minister responsible for housing and the energy corporation.

To be sure, the territory has also had successes. A deep-sea port in Iqaluit sought for decades is now finally under construction, and a new, $300-million airport terminal in the capital eight times larger than the previous one opened in 2017. Inuit culture and arts, meanwhile, have never been more revered, with internationally renowned artists’ work now on display as part of a Nunavut fine art collection at the Winnipeg Art Gallery. Some 3,000 Nunavut residents now earn some income from arts sales, contributing $33 million annually to the territory’s economy.

Whether a self-governing Inuit territory could fulfill the political aspirations of Nunavut, and how that might work, remain open questions (Kotierk hopes to report back in October on her people’s options.) So does the level of support among Inuit for going their own way—though frustration among elders and leaders is easy to find. Arreak, for one, laments the lost time and lack of political commitment to following through on the land claims agreement. “It’s becoming a tit-for-tat between Inuit and the government, which is not what the negotiators wanted,” he says. “If we had done what we as the negotiators wanted to implement, it would be a 180-degree difference from where it’s going now.”

These days, Arreak visits schools to tell children the story of the land claims agreement, urging them to pursue the opportunities he believes the territorial model could provide. Kotierk, too, says the unfulfilled promise of the Nunavut project should not take away from the “great feat” that led to it. “It was Inuit who changed the map of Canada, all in a peaceful manner,” she says. “When you look at how maps are changed around the world, it often involves war or civil strife. Yet we were able to do that within Canada with no war. It’s important that we remember that—particularly that it was young Inuit that got together to have this big dream.”

The post As Nunavut turns 20, Inuit rethink their own governance appeared first on Macleans.ca.

.

It was around midnight on Dec. 15, 1991, when a tray of chicken salad sandwiches arrived at the boardroom on Parliament Hill. Around the U-shaped table, Inuit leaders and federal and territorial government officials were on hour 15 of their 80th day of hammering out plans that would result in the formation of Nunavut. “We were all frayed and nerves were jumpy,” recalls Malachi Arreak, an Inuit negotiator who was then in his 20s. “Inuit were starting to show their warrior side toward government, something we had never done previously. That comes out in life-and-death situations, where survival is the only priority.”

On one side of the table was Tom Siddon, then minister of Indian affairs and northern development, and federal civil servants; on the other, Inuit elders and negotiators, along with officials from the Northwest Territories. The breakthrough came at around 12:40 a.m., when all parties agreed to the timing for a new eastern Arctic territory and to work on a political accord for a Nunavut government. Cheers erupted and everyone stood and shook hands, says Arreak—some more vigorously than others.

“It was like seeing the camp after you’ve been in the woods hunting for a week,” says the 54-year-old from his home in Pond Inlet in northern Baffin Island. “It was like constant, non-stop work. You’re carrying all this meat, but then you see the camp and you no longer feel tired. You feel rejuvenated.”

READ MORE: What happens when Nunavut’s rapidly growing capital city runs out of water?

April 1, 2019, will mark the 20th anniversary of Nunavut being added to the map of Canada. That triumphant moment came six years after the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement received royal assent, fulfilling a long-time dream for the Inuit of the eastern Arctic by recognizing their land rights, granting political control and setting the road map for the formation of a new territorial government.

But over the past two decades, the initial euphoria among Inuit for Nunavut has faded. Many aspects of the ambitious project remain unfulfilled, leading many Inuit, who make up 85 per cent of the population, to doubt they can still realize their aspirations through the territorial public government.

Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. (NTI), an organization responsible for ensuring the other levels of government fulfill promises made under the 1993 settlement, is now considering an alternative path. In October, its board passed a resolution to explore potential models for Inuit self-government. “We’re being reflective: what are ways in which we can ensure Inuit needs and points of view are being looked at and engaged in, not in a superficial way?” says Aluki Kotierk, the president of NTI. “Is there a better way in which we can serve Inuit? If the territorial public government isn’t meeting the needs of Inuit, is there another way in which we can do that?”

At the centre of their concerns: employment, language and education. The historic agreement stipulates that the majority of government employees be Inuit, but Kotierk says that’s still not the case. “It’s been stagnant at 50 per cent, and the vast majority of Inuit who are employed are in administrative-level positions.” The agreement, if fully implemented, was supposed to ensure Inuit “would be in control and in a position to influence how programs and services would develop for Inuit,” she says.

Issues around language rights have added to the sense of powerlessness. Inuktitut is the mother tongue of 70 per cent of Nunavut’s population, but it’s been slowly declining, with each census showing English being used in more Nunavummiut homes. Most teachers in Nunavut’s schools do not speak Inuktitut, and last year, the territorial government proposed a controversial bill that would have delayed rolling out Inuktitut instruction to 2030. It failed, but raised anxiety among Inuit for the survival of their language and culture. “Children should be able to go to school and learn in their language from materials that are relevant to their lives,” says Kotierk. “At this point, that’s not happening.”

RELATED: Nunavut is growing faster than any other province or territory

There are some signs of change. A record-high 93 students—many of them Inuit—are enrolled in a Nunavut teacher training college, with 23 expected to graduate this year. But Kotierk says this still doesn’t meet the need, while the broader task of implementing all 42 articles of the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement has been aptly characterized by former Nunavut commissioner Ann Meekitjuk Hanson as being “as daunting as the opportunities have been promising.”

Over the years, independent reviews of the project have described a pattern of missed deadlines and slow starts caused by unproductive discussions, backsliding, funding disputes and lack of monitoring. Things came to a head in December 2006, when NTI filed a lawsuit seeking $1 billion in damages for alleged breach of contract by the federal government and claiming Ottawa keeps the Inuit dependent in a state of financial and emotional despair. Then, in May 2015, progress. An out-of-court settlement set $50 million aside for Inuit job training and re-emphasized the spirit of the original agreement. Yet several years in, says Kotierk, there is still no employment plan.

Nunavut’s historic land claims agreement exchanges title to the land for Inuit rights and benefits, including ownership of 18 per cent of the land—350,000 sq. km—in Nunavut; mineral rights to two per cent of those lands; more than $1.173 billion over 14 years; and the creation of the territory, which changed the map of Canada for the first time in 50 years.

Its intention was to protect the Inuit rights to fish, hunt and trap while ensuring more jobs and training. Inuit would benefit from opportunities in oil, gas and mining, and have guaranteed participation in making decisions on managing land and resources.

Some pieces of the plan have come to pass, but they’ve been overshadowed by social challenges facing the young territory. Many Inuit believe they are at a crisis point. Alcohol and substance abuse persists; crime, family violence and suicide rates are above the national average. Arson is a serious problem—recently, a fire burned part of the largest supermarket in the capital, Iqaluit. (A 17-year-old was charged.)

Nunavut has the highest infant mortality rate in Canada—17.7 per 1,000 live births, compared to the Canadian average of 4.7, according to a recent report. Yet its population grows faster than any province or territory—12.7 per cent between 2011 and 2016, and 40 per cent since the territory formed 20 years ago.

The expansion has caused growing pains and exposed poor planning, not least a looming water shortage in Iqaluit. And the problems might seem less pressing if chaos hadn’t lately reigned at the territorial legislature, with premiers and ministers constantly coming and going. In June, Nunavut Premier Paul Quassa was ousted as leader in a historic non-confidence vote. In October, MLA Pat Angnakak resigned from cabinet after she was stripped of her duties as minister responsible for housing and the energy corporation.

To be sure, the territory has also had successes. A deep-sea port in Iqaluit sought for decades is now finally under construction, and a new, $300-million airport terminal in the capital eight times larger than the previous one opened in 2017. Inuit culture and arts, meanwhile, have never been more revered, with internationally renowned artists’ work now on display as part of a Nunavut fine art collection at the Winnipeg Art Gallery. Some 3,000 Nunavut residents now earn some income from arts sales, contributing $33 million annually to the territory’s economy.

Whether a self-governing Inuit territory could fulfill the political aspirations of Nunavut, and how that might work, remain open questions (Kotierk hopes to report back in October on her people’s options.) So does the level of support among Inuit for going their own way—though frustration among elders and leaders is easy to find. Arreak, for one, laments the lost time and lack of political commitment to following through on the land claims agreement. “It’s becoming a tit-for-tat between Inuit and the government, which is not what the negotiators wanted,” he says. “If we had done what we as the negotiators wanted to implement, it would be a 180-degree difference from where it’s going now.”

These days, Arreak visits schools to tell children the story of the land claims agreement, urging them to pursue the opportunities he believes the territorial model could provide. Kotierk, too, says the unfulfilled promise of the Nunavut project should not take away from the “great feat” that led to it. “It was Inuit who changed the map of Canada, all in a peaceful manner,” she says. “When you look at how maps are changed around the world, it often involves war or civil strife. Yet we were able to do that within Canada with no war. It’s important that we remember that—particularly that it was young Inuit that got together to have this big dream.”

The post As Nunavut turns 20, Inuit rethink their own governance appeared first on Macleans.ca.

.

Have we reached peak chicken?

Have we reached peak chicken?

Not too long ago, rotisserie chicken from the grocery store had an iffy reputation as the go-to and to-go meal for students and singletons. It was there for folks heading home at 8 p.m. and desperate for something close to a home-cooked meal. “Sometimes the chicken wouldn’t even make it home—you’d eat it in the car,” says Angie Quaale, food trend expert and owner of Well Seasoned, a gourmet food store and cooking school in Langley, B.C. These days, the convenience and low cost of a pre-roasted bird have warmed almost everyone to the rotisserie chicken. “The appeal is so wide and so simple,” says Quaale, citing its versatility and (relative) nutritional value. “You literally grab it and go.”

You can buy a rotisserie chicken at just about any supermarket, but Costco’s has a cult-like following of rotisserie regulars: some 60 million fly off warming shelves each year at the low price of US$4.99. Massive numbers like that might make the Costco rotisserie business seem lucrative, but it’s not. According to Costco’s CFO, the retailer loses $30 to $40 million annually to deliver a chicken for under five bucks. Rather than raise the price—an unforgivable offence to many loyal Costco shoppers—execs have instead decided to cut out the middleman and open their own chicken-processing facility. The $275-million plant, currently under construction in Nebraska, aims to produce two million chickens per week. That might be enough to finally, maybe, satisfy our ever-increasing cravings for barbecued birds.

RELATED: How a North Bay pig is standing up for backyard chickens

Any stigma or shame over takeaway meals is long gone, says Quaale, and rotisserie chicken—the grandfather of grab-and-go dinners—has moved seamlessly from takeout to home cooking in our collective consciousness. Everyone from busy parents to thrifty shoppers to health nuts has embraced the birds, tweaking them as necessary to their diets and lifestyle. “You can add veggies on the side, you can pull the meat off and add it to pasta sauce, you can put it atop a salad,” says Quaale. All give the smug satisfaction of making a meal without having to turn on your oven.

Ensuring there’s a hot chicken in every pot, however, is a finicky balance of supply and demand. “It’s hard for us to keep up,” explains Jamie Cooney, CEO of Rowe Farms in Guelph, Ont., “and it’s exponentially more difficult for the big guys.” A decade ago, Rowe Farms, which operates seven retail locations, didn’t have rotisserie chickens anywhere in their business model. “These days, every one of our stores has a rotisserie oven—we sell rotisserie chickens in all our locations and to most of our wholesale customers. Rotisserie has gone from something non-existent to, depending on the week, the single largest-selling item in the store.”

Rowe Farms processes and “harvests”—a nicer word for, well, you know—about 8,000 chickens per week; about a quarter are fated for the roaster. Those birds tend to be younger and smaller and better priced by unit, rather than weight, as the rotisserie customer prefers. But having a fresh, warm and moist bird ready for every customer who walks through the door can be a logistical nightmare. Too many chickens left over is a waste of food and money. But if business is too good and people feel the need to call in advance to book their bird, Cooney will be concerned. “That tells me they can’t rely on stopping in at 6:15 p.m. and getting a chicken,” he says. Which is, of course, the whole point of a takeaway meal.

And it needs to taste good, too. “We also face a bit of a challenge in that people don’t always appreciate what it takes to bring good food to them,” says Cooney. His chickens are local, organic and hormone- and antibiotic-free—and priced accordingly. That makes them cost more than double the price of a Costco bird. “Cheap food’s the norm, and shoppers want it, but they also want something organic and local and with a certain animal standard. It’s a Catch-22.”

As always, warns Quaale, you get what you pay for. “You’ve got to know that a $6.99 chicken just isn’t as good as a $12.99 chicken,” she says. If price is the most important factor, here’s a novel idea: “Roast your own chicken at home,” she says. “It’s very, very easy and cheap, too. Then pull the meat off the bone and freeze it, and use the bones to make stock. That’s how to make a chicken go far.”

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The post Have we reached peak chicken? appeared first on Macleans.ca.

.

Not too long ago, rotisserie chicken from the grocery store had an iffy reputation as the go-to and to-go meal for students and singletons. It was there for folks heading home at 8 p.m. and desperate for something close to a home-cooked meal. “Sometimes the chicken wouldn’t even make it home—you’d eat it in the car,” says Angie Quaale, food trend expert and owner of Well Seasoned, a gourmet food store and cooking school in Langley, B.C. These days, the convenience and low cost of a pre-roasted bird have warmed almost everyone to the rotisserie chicken. “The appeal is so wide and so simple,” says Quaale, citing its versatility and (relative) nutritional value. “You literally grab it and go.”

You can buy a rotisserie chicken at just about any supermarket, but Costco’s has a cult-like following of rotisserie regulars: some 60 million fly off warming shelves each year at the low price of US$4.99. Massive numbers like that might make the Costco rotisserie business seem lucrative, but it’s not. According to Costco’s CFO, the retailer loses $30 to $40 million annually to deliver a chicken for under five bucks. Rather than raise the price—an unforgivable offence to many loyal Costco shoppers—execs have instead decided to cut out the middleman and open their own chicken-processing facility. The $275-million plant, currently under construction in Nebraska, aims to produce two million chickens per week. That might be enough to finally, maybe, satisfy our ever-increasing cravings for barbecued birds.

RELATED: How a North Bay pig is standing up for backyard chickens

Any stigma or shame over takeaway meals is long gone, says Quaale, and rotisserie chicken—the grandfather of grab-and-go dinners—has moved seamlessly from takeout to home cooking in our collective consciousness. Everyone from busy parents to thrifty shoppers to health nuts has embraced the birds, tweaking them as necessary to their diets and lifestyle. “You can add veggies on the side, you can pull the meat off and add it to pasta sauce, you can put it atop a salad,” says Quaale. All give the smug satisfaction of making a meal without having to turn on your oven.

Ensuring there’s a hot chicken in every pot, however, is a finicky balance of supply and demand. “It’s hard for us to keep up,” explains Jamie Cooney, CEO of Rowe Farms in Guelph, Ont., “and it’s exponentially more difficult for the big guys.” A decade ago, Rowe Farms, which operates seven retail locations, didn’t have rotisserie chickens anywhere in their business model. “These days, every one of our stores has a rotisserie oven—we sell rotisserie chickens in all our locations and to most of our wholesale customers. Rotisserie has gone from something non-existent to, depending on the week, the single largest-selling item in the store.”

Rowe Farms processes and “harvests”—a nicer word for, well, you know—about 8,000 chickens per week; about a quarter are fated for the roaster. Those birds tend to be younger and smaller and better priced by unit, rather than weight, as the rotisserie customer prefers. But having a fresh, warm and moist bird ready for every customer who walks through the door can be a logistical nightmare. Too many chickens left over is a waste of food and money. But if business is too good and people feel the need to call in advance to book their bird, Cooney will be concerned. “That tells me they can’t rely on stopping in at 6:15 p.m. and getting a chicken,” he says. Which is, of course, the whole point of a takeaway meal.

And it needs to taste good, too. “We also face a bit of a challenge in that people don’t always appreciate what it takes to bring good food to them,” says Cooney. His chickens are local, organic and hormone- and antibiotic-free—and priced accordingly. That makes them cost more than double the price of a Costco bird. “Cheap food’s the norm, and shoppers want it, but they also want something organic and local and with a certain animal standard. It’s a Catch-22.”

As always, warns Quaale, you get what you pay for. “You’ve got to know that a $6.99 chicken just isn’t as good as a $12.99 chicken,” she says. If price is the most important factor, here’s a novel idea: “Roast your own chicken at home,” she says. “It’s very, very easy and cheap, too. Then pull the meat off the bone and freeze it, and use the bones to make stock. That’s how to make a chicken go far.”

MORE ABOUT BUSINESS:

The post Have we reached peak chicken? appeared first on Macleans.ca.

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Not too long ago, rotisserie chicken from the grocery store had an iffy reputation as the go-to and to-go meal for students and singletons. It was there for folks heading home at 8 p.m. and desperate for something close to a home-cooked meal. “Sometimes the chicken wouldn’t even make it home—you’d eat it in the car,” says Angie Quaale, food trend expert and owner of Well Seasoned, a gourmet food store and cooking school in Langley, B.C. These days, the convenience and low cost of a pre-roasted bird have warmed almost everyone to the rotisserie chicken. “The appeal is so wide and so simple,” says Quaale, citing its versatility and (relative) nutritional value. “You literally grab it and go.”

You can buy a rotisserie chicken at just about any supermarket, but Costco’s has a cult-like following of rotisserie regulars: some 60 million fly off warming shelves each year at the low price of US$4.99. Massive numbers like that might make the Costco rotisserie business seem lucrative, but it’s not. According to Costco’s CFO, the retailer loses $30 to $40 million annually to deliver a chicken for under five bucks. Rather than raise the price—an unforgivable offence to many loyal Costco shoppers—execs have instead decided to cut out the middleman and open their own chicken-processing facility. The $275-million plant, currently under construction in Nebraska, aims to produce two million chickens per week. That might be enough to finally, maybe, satisfy our ever-increasing cravings for barbecued birds.

RELATED: How a North Bay pig is standing up for backyard chickens

Any stigma or shame over takeaway meals is long gone, says Quaale, and rotisserie chicken—the grandfather of grab-and-go dinners—has moved seamlessly from takeout to home cooking in our collective consciousness. Everyone from busy parents to thrifty shoppers to health nuts has embraced the birds, tweaking them as necessary to their diets and lifestyle. “You can add veggies on the side, you can pull the meat off and add it to pasta sauce, you can put it atop a salad,” says Quaale. All give the smug satisfaction of making a meal without having to turn on your oven.

Ensuring there’s a hot chicken in every pot, however, is a finicky balance of supply and demand. “It’s hard for us to keep up,” explains Jamie Cooney, CEO of Rowe Farms in Guelph, Ont., “and it’s exponentially more difficult for the big guys.” A decade ago, Rowe Farms, which operates seven retail locations, didn’t have rotisserie chickens anywhere in their business model. “These days, every one of our stores has a rotisserie oven—we sell rotisserie chickens in all our locations and to most of our wholesale customers. Rotisserie has gone from something non-existent to, depending on the week, the single largest-selling item in the store.”

Rowe Farms processes and “harvests”—a nicer word for, well, you know—about 8,000 chickens per week; about a quarter are fated for the roaster. Those birds tend to be younger and smaller and better priced by unit, rather than weight, as the rotisserie customer prefers. But having a fresh, warm and moist bird ready for every customer who walks through the door can be a logistical nightmare. Too many chickens left over is a waste of food and money. But if business is too good and people feel the need to call in advance to book their bird, Cooney will be concerned. “That tells me they can’t rely on stopping in at 6:15 p.m. and getting a chicken,” he says. Which is, of course, the whole point of a takeaway meal.

And it needs to taste good, too. “We also face a bit of a challenge in that people don’t always appreciate what it takes to bring good food to them,” says Cooney. His chickens are local, organic and hormone- and antibiotic-free—and priced accordingly. That makes them cost more than double the price of a Costco bird. “Cheap food’s the norm, and shoppers want it, but they also want something organic and local and with a certain animal standard. It’s a Catch-22.”

As always, warns Quaale, you get what you pay for. “You’ve got to know that a $6.99 chicken just isn’t as good as a $12.99 chicken,” she says. If price is the most important factor, here’s a novel idea: “Roast your own chicken at home,” she says. “It’s very, very easy and cheap, too. Then pull the meat off the bone and freeze it, and use the bones to make stock. That’s how to make a chicken go far.”

MORE ABOUT BUSINESS:

The post Have we reached peak chicken? appeared first on Macleans.ca.

.

Canada’s 10 worst cities for hate crime

Canada’s 10 worst cities for hate crime

Four out of the 10 Canadian urban areas with the highest hate crime rates are in the Greater Toronto Area or Greater Golden Horseshoe, Statistics Canada data supplied to Maclean’s shows.

Police services covering Hamilton, Peterborough, the York region and Guelph all recorded hate crime rates per 100,000 that put their cities among the top 10 highest in the country in 2017, the most recent year with statistics available. Hamilton, Ont. saw the highest rate of any jurisdiction in the region and the third highest in the country, at 16 incidents per 100,000 people.  

Several GTA/Golden Horseshoe cities were also among the country’s urban areas with the fastest-growing hate crime rates. In 2016, only one GTA/Greater Golden Horseshoe city—Hamilton—made the top 10 for hate-crime rates.

Barbara Perry, director of the Centre on Hate, Bias and Extremism at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, said she wasn’t surprised.

RELATED: Canada’s 20 most dangerous places

“These are very active areas for the organized far right movement,” Perry said. “Their very visibility and blatancy, I think, over the past couple of years, has contributed to that normalization of hate, that normalization of negative sentiment directed at targeted communities.”

Maclean’s analyzed numbers from police services covering a population of 50,000 people or more in order to avoid large fluctuations in the hate crime rate caused by one or two additional incidents in small towns. The analysis is based on a more detailed version of the annual hate crime data posted publicly by Statistics Canada in late November.

The increases are part of a drastic nation-wide rise in hate crime, with Statistics Canada reporting 47 per cent more incidents from 2016 to 2017. The data captures only hate incidents that were reported to the police.

Statistics Canada did not release data showing the type of incidents or motivations broken down at the police service level. Nation-wide, the government agency reported 38 per cent of hate crimes were violent, with criminals most likely to target Jews, Muslims, Black people and people with marginalized sexual and gender identities.


Police services in the GTA/Greater Golden Horseshoe region contacted by Maclean’s confirmed that national trends in hate crime motivations were mirrored in their communities. Superintendent Ricky Veerappan, who oversees the York Regional Police’s diversity, equity and inclusion bureau, said the force launched an anti-hate campaign in 2016 in response to rising negative sentiment towards Syrian refugees.

Veerappan said some of the large increase in police-reported hate crimes in the York region might be because of those outreach campaigns, in addition to an increase in the incidents themselves. “People are maybe a little bit more comfortable in connecting with the police, knowing the resources that are available, knowing the numbers to call and knowing members of our diversity unit are very accessible,” he said.

Josh Fraser, public information officer with the Guelph Police Service, said his force also participates in anti-hate public education campaigns. He noted that while Guelph’s hate crime rate of 11.8 incidents per 100,000 people is the eighth highest for any police service covering a population of 50,000 or more, 12 of the city’s 16 incidents were graffiti-related and seven took place on the University of Guelph’s campus.

“The year before it was 10 [incidents],” Fraser said. “I’m not trying to downplay it, but it’s six more. It’s not like it jumped from 50 to 100.”

Perry, the hate crime expert, said it’s important to remember that a handful of additional spray-painted swastikas reported to the police in a city like Guelph likely represents a much larger increase. She said her research and studies conducted by anti-hate groups suggest the true total number of hate crimes in Canada may be five to seven times greater than the official police-reported figure.

“It’s the tip of the iceberg,” she said. “There’s something real going on there.”

MORE ABOUT HATE CRIMES:

The post Canada’s 10 worst cities for hate crime appeared first on Macleans.ca.

.

Four out of the 10 Canadian urban areas with the highest hate crime rates are in the Greater Toronto Area or Greater Golden Horseshoe, Statistics Canada data supplied to Maclean’s shows.

Police services covering Hamilton, Peterborough, the York region and Guelph all recorded hate crime rates per 100,000 that put their cities among the top 10 highest in the country in 2017, the most recent year with statistics available. Hamilton, Ont. saw the highest rate of any jurisdiction in the region and the third highest in the country, at 16 incidents per 100,000 people.  

Several GTA/Golden Horseshoe cities were also among the country’s urban areas with the fastest-growing hate crime rates. In 2016, only one GTA/Greater Golden Horseshoe city—Hamilton—made the top 10 for hate-crime rates.

Barbara Perry, director of the Centre on Hate, Bias and Extremism at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, said she wasn’t surprised.

RELATED: Canada’s 20 most dangerous places

“These are very active areas for the organized far right movement,” Perry said. “Their very visibility and blatancy, I think, over the past couple of years, has contributed to that normalization of hate, that normalization of negative sentiment directed at targeted communities.”

Maclean’s analyzed numbers from police services covering a population of 50,000 people or more in order to avoid large fluctuations in the hate crime rate caused by one or two additional incidents in small towns. The analysis is based on a more detailed version of the annual hate crime data posted publicly by Statistics Canada in late November.

The increases are part of a drastic nation-wide rise in hate crime, with Statistics Canada reporting 47 per cent more incidents from 2016 to 2017. The data captures only hate incidents that were reported to the police.

Statistics Canada did not release data showing the type of incidents or motivations broken down at the police service level. Nation-wide, the government agency reported 38 per cent of hate crimes were violent, with criminals most likely to target Jews, Muslims, Black people and people with marginalized sexual and gender identities.


Police services in the GTA/Greater Golden Horseshoe region contacted by Maclean’s confirmed that national trends in hate crime motivations were mirrored in their communities. Superintendent Ricky Veerappan, who oversees the York Regional Police’s diversity, equity and inclusion bureau, said the force launched an anti-hate campaign in 2016 in response to rising negative sentiment towards Syrian refugees.

Veerappan said some of the large increase in police-reported hate crimes in the York region might be because of those outreach campaigns, in addition to an increase in the incidents themselves. “People are maybe a little bit more comfortable in connecting with the police, knowing the resources that are available, knowing the numbers to call and knowing members of our diversity unit are very accessible,” he said.

Josh Fraser, public information officer with the Guelph Police Service, said his force also participates in anti-hate public education campaigns. He noted that while Guelph’s hate crime rate of 11.8 incidents per 100,000 people is the eighth highest for any police service covering a population of 50,000 or more, 12 of the city’s 16 incidents were graffiti-related and seven took place on the University of Guelph’s campus.

“The year before it was 10 [incidents],” Fraser said. “I’m not trying to downplay it, but it’s six more. It’s not like it jumped from 50 to 100.”

Perry, the hate crime expert, said it’s important to remember that a handful of additional spray-painted swastikas reported to the police in a city like Guelph likely represents a much larger increase. She said her research and studies conducted by anti-hate groups suggest the true total number of hate crimes in Canada may be five to seven times greater than the official police-reported figure.

“It’s the tip of the iceberg,” she said. “There’s something real going on there.”

MORE ABOUT HATE CRIMES:

The post Canada’s 10 worst cities for hate crime appeared first on Macleans.ca.

.

Four out of the 10 Canadian urban areas with the highest hate crime rates are in the Greater Toronto Area or Greater Golden Horseshoe, Statistics Canada data supplied to Maclean’s shows.

Police services covering Hamilton, Peterborough, the York region and Guelph all recorded hate crime rates per 100,000 that put their cities among the top 10 highest in the country in 2017, the most recent year with statistics available. Hamilton, Ont. saw the highest rate of any jurisdiction in the region and the third highest in the country, at 16 incidents per 100,000 people.  

Several GTA/Golden Horseshoe cities were also among the country’s urban areas with the fastest-growing hate crime rates. In 2016, only one GTA/Greater Golden Horseshoe city—Hamilton—made the top 10 for hate-crime rates.

Barbara Perry, director of the Centre on Hate, Bias and Extremism at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, said she wasn’t surprised.

RELATED: Canada’s 20 most dangerous places

“These are very active areas for the organized far right movement,” Perry said. “Their very visibility and blatancy, I think, over the past couple of years, has contributed to that normalization of hate, that normalization of negative sentiment directed at targeted communities.”

Maclean’s analyzed numbers from police services covering a population of 50,000 people or more in order to avoid large fluctuations in the hate crime rate caused by one or two additional incidents in small towns. The analysis is based on a more detailed version of the annual hate crime data posted publicly by Statistics Canada in late November.

The increases are part of a drastic nation-wide rise in hate crime, with Statistics Canada reporting 47 per cent more incidents from 2016 to 2017. The data captures only hate incidents that were reported to the police.

Statistics Canada did not release data showing the type of incidents or motivations broken down at the police service level. Nation-wide, the government agency reported 38 per cent of hate crimes were violent, with criminals most likely to target Jews, Muslims, Black people and people with marginalized sexual and gender identities.


Police services in the GTA/Greater Golden Horseshoe region contacted by Maclean’s confirmed that national trends in hate crime motivations were mirrored in their communities. Superintendent Ricky Veerappan, who oversees the York Regional Police’s diversity, equity and inclusion bureau, said the force launched an anti-hate campaign in 2016 in response to rising negative sentiment towards Syrian refugees.

Veerappan said some of the large increase in police-reported hate crimes in the York region might be because of those outreach campaigns, in addition to an increase in the incidents themselves. “People are maybe a little bit more comfortable in connecting with the police, knowing the resources that are available, knowing the numbers to call and knowing members of our diversity unit are very accessible,” he said.

Josh Fraser, public information officer with the Guelph Police Service, said his force also participates in anti-hate public education campaigns. He noted that while Guelph’s hate crime rate of 11.8 incidents per 100,000 people is the eighth highest for any police service covering a population of 50,000 or more, 12 of the city’s 16 incidents were graffiti-related and seven took place on the University of Guelph’s campus.

“The year before it was 10 [incidents],” Fraser said. “I’m not trying to downplay it, but it’s six more. It’s not like it jumped from 50 to 100.”

Perry, the hate crime expert, said it’s important to remember that a handful of additional spray-painted swastikas reported to the police in a city like Guelph likely represents a much larger increase. She said her research and studies conducted by anti-hate groups suggest the true total number of hate crimes in Canada may be five to seven times greater than the official police-reported figure.

“It’s the tip of the iceberg,” she said. “There’s something real going on there.”

MORE ABOUT HATE CRIMES:

The post Canada’s 10 worst cities for hate crime appeared first on Macleans.ca.

.

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