Stuff Still Happens, week 43: An entirely Trump free blog (except for this mention)

See if you can guess in which country the following prison horror story took place.

A 24-year-old man, accused of killing another inmate back in 2012, has been held in solitary confinement for the last four years. He spends all of his time, alone, in a Plexiglass cell, with the lights on 24/7.

What kind of country would subject a person to this kind of torture? Iran? Iraq? Saudi Arabia?

Try Canada.

Adam Capay, a First Nations man, has now spent four years in isolation, with lights on 24-hours-a-day, in a Thunder Bay prison. A visitor reports he has memory loss and has a hard time putting sentences together. The Ontario government minister in charge of the provincial prison won’t intervene, saying it’s up to the prison to make those kinds of decisions. He has been held in solitary confinement for more than 1,500 days. The United Nations says the most anyone should be held in solitary is 15 days.

There is something seriously wrong with a system – and, for that matter, a country – that takes four years to put a man to trial, and keeps him in a torture cell for the duration. At the very least, for God’s sake, turn out the lights.

Topsy-turvy week for Trudeau

While we’re on the subject of disgraces, the Trudeau government is under the gun for its fundraising tactics.

The Liberal party holds big ticket fundraisers with political heavyweights like Justin Trudeau and Finance Minister Bill Morneau as the star attractions. Tickets to these exclusive events range from $500 to $1,500, with the donations going to fatten the Liberal Party coffers. Trudeau shrugs off the allegations of “cash-for-access” saying the fundraisers fall within the rules. But what of Trudeau’s Open and Accountable Government ethics rules, which stated “there should be no preferential access or appearance of preferential access” in exchange for political donations? Well, Trudeau says, get real – $1,500 isn’t enough to sway a government minister, and besides, the meetings are open to anyone. The fact that not many of us have a spare $1,500 for exclusive chin wags with ministers isn’t his problem. The meetings are open and accountable, right? Wrong. Trudeau’s ethics are looking no better, and maybe worse, than Stephen Harper’s.

On top of this, Trudeau is signalling that revamping our electoral system is not such a high priority after all, now that the people have a government they like. He is hedging on his promise that last year’s election will be the last under the old ‘first past the post’ system.

But, on the plus side, two victories for Trudeau. The PM named nine new senators this week, and there is not a political bag man or party hack in the bunch. Under Trudeau’s leadership, the Senate is becoming more and more what it was designed to be (a chamber of sober second thought) over what it has become (the chamber of not-so-sober party hacks). And to end the week, Trudeau signed the massive free trade deal between Canada and the European Union, a deal that just last week was in danger of being scuttled.

The team that dare not speak its name

As you may or may not know, the Cleveland Indians are in the World Series. But, according to the crawl at the bottom of the screen on the CTV Morning News on Wednesday, the team competing is “The MLB team from Cleveland…” Apparently, somebody at CTV (formerly known as CFRN) decided that the I-word must never be spoken.

RIP

Bobby Vee, 73, pop singer with hits like Take Good Care of My Baby, and The Night Has a Thousand Eyes.

 

 

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