Mental Health

Edmonton police officers shot

Two Edmonton Police Service officers were killed today when responding to a domestic violence call. A male suspect is reported to have committed suicide and a related female is listed in stable condition but with life-threatening injuries. [node:read-more:link]

Assisted suicide plan postponed

Implementation of nearly two-year-old federal legislation to permit medical assistance in dying for mental health reasons would be postponed until at least 2024 through an amendment introduced in the House of Commons today. next year. “It is clear more time is needed to get this right,” explained Justice Minister David Lametti. [node:read-more:link]

Ontario jail suicides worrisome

Forty-one suicides in Ontario’s correctional facilities in 2021, nearly double the previous year, have prompted calls for Solicitor General Michael Kerzner to set up a “dedicated independent oversight body.” Some 40 advocacy and other groups say in a letter it would “ensure timely reporting on deaths in custody and assist in taking urgent action.” [node:read-more:link]

An “extremely extraordinary” court ruling

A Nova Scotia court has banished a U.S.-Canadian citizen from Canada in what the presiding judge acknowledges is an “extremely extraordinary” sentencing. Allen Desrosiers, 64, whose only tie to Canada is through his mother, served 23 years in Massachusetts for a range of sexual offences. Shortly after arriving in Nova Scotia last fall, he was charged with criminal harassment for stalking a woman. He told the judge he would not return to Canada if he was sent back to the U.S., where he has spent most of his life. [node:read-more:link]

Ontario child-exploitation ring exposed

Coordinated investigations by 27 Ontario police services have resulted in 428 child exploitation and pornography charges being laid against 109 persons. The Ontario Provincial Police said November 30 that the charges laid in October through Project Maverick, which is ongoing, are a “snapshot” of efforts to protect children from Internet-based sexual abuse and exploitation. “Because the Internet can cross jurisdictional boundaries, this project highlights the collaborative working happening with police services all over,” the OPP said. [node:read-more:link]

Hefty penalty for “porn revenge”

A Saskatchewan man has been ordered by a Court of Queen’s Bench judge to pay $160,000 in damages for posting nude images of a woman on Internet pornography sites. In setting the penalty, the largest of its kind in Canada to date, Justice Krista Zerr found that Daylan Heidel's “flagrant and outrageous” behaviour had “unleashed a torrent of degrading, humiliating and frightening content” directed at his victim. Heidel’s lawyer has said his client likely would petition for bankruptcy because “you can’t squeeze blood out of a stone.” [node:read-more:link]

Government House attacker paroled

Manitoba resident Corey Hurren, a military veteran who rammed his truck into a gate at Rideau Hall in Ottawa in July 2020 in an attempt to confront Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, has been granted day parole under strict conditions. Hurren, who had told police he wanted to arrest Trudeau to make a statement about federal coronavirus restrictions and the government’s ban on “assault style” firearms, had been sentenced to six years in prison after pleading guilty to weapons offences and public mischief. [node:read-more:link]

Public safety a concern in B.C.

Two days after being sworn in as Premier of British Columbia, David Eby announced a package of plans November 20 he said are designed to address growing concerns about public safety. They include proposals expanded emergency mental health resources and the formation of “repeat violent offender response teams” to address what’s been criticized as a “catch and release” justice system. [node:read-more:link]

B.C. hopes to address doctor shortage

A new physician payment model will be rolled out by the B.C. government in February in a bid to recruit and retain more family physicians. At least 20 per cent of the province’s residents do not have access to family doctors and Health Minister Adrian Dix said October 31 that the new model will consider an array of factors involved in patient consultations rather than a single fee for all visits. [node:read-more:link]

ISIS bride released on bail

One of two Canadian women repatriated last week after marrying Islamic State fighters and spending years in detention in Syria has been released on bail pending a hearing to determine whether should she be subject to a “terrorism peace bond.” She also has been ordered to wear an electronic tracker and get counselling. The other woman has been detained to face terrorism charges. [node:read-more:link]

Another black eye for policing

Alberta’s Serious Incident Response Team is investigating the RCMP’s handling of an autistic teenager in the Edmonton satellite community of St. Albert. The 16-year-old was in playing in a park behind his grandparents’ house when officers responded to a complaint. Even though the RCMP had been advised of the teen’s condition, they took him into custody before moving him to hospital from a holding cell. RCMP have also launched an internal investigation. [node:read-more:link]

RCMP officer stabbed to death

A 37-year-old man has been charged with first-degree murder in the October 18 stabbing death of an RCMP officer in Burnaby, B.C. Constable Shaelyn Yang, a member of the force’s mental health and homeless outreach team, was stabbed by a man while helping a city employee to ask the man to remove his tent from a park. [node:read-more:link]

Class-action suit against RCMP going ahead

A national class-action lawsuit fronted by two RCMP veterans against the national police force has been certified by the Federal Court of Canada. Alleging failure to provide a workplace free from intimidation and harassment, the suit seeks more than $1.1 billion in damages on behalf of all current and former uniformed and civilian personnel. The government had tried to block the action but that was rejected by the Supreme Court of Canada last March. [node:read-more:link]

Non-lethal projectile use investigated

The circumstances of an Ottawa police officer’s use of a non-lethal projectile against a 37-year-old man who threatened self-harm is being examined by Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit. “At this time, it does not appear that the man suffered any serious injury,” said the SIU, a civilian oversight body mandated to review police incidents that may have resulted in death, serious injury, sexual assault, or the discharge of a firearm. [node:read-more:link]

B.C. focuses on repeat offenders

An independent six-month study of repeat criminal offenders is being launched by the B.C. government as part of a plan to curb chronic crime and random attacks. The study is led by Doug Lepard, a former Vancouver deputy police chief, and Amanda Butler, a criminologist and health researcher with a focus on mental health, substance-use disorders, criminal justice systems and prison health. [node:read-more:link]

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