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In today's Morning Brief, assault victims say justice hasn’t been served in case of Ottawa police officer

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Assault victims say justice hasn't been served in case of Ottawa police officer

Before he was granted a plea deal, Ottawa Police Const. Eric Post faced 32 charges ranging from sexual assault and criminal harassment to unlawful confinement. A record for an officer in the Ottawa Police Service.

Last month, Post pleaded guilty to just five charges. They all related to violence against women over the course of five years — women he was linked to romantically or knew personally.

Two of those women told CBC's The Fifth Estate they wanted to testify to hold the constable accountable. But after months of preparation, they found out Post was being offered a plea deal instead.

WATCH | Victim angered by Crown's plea deal for 'dangerous' Ottawa police officer:

Public servant describes how Const. Eric Post threatened her in their relationship

The Fifth Estate

1 month ago
1:02

 

"I was disappointed and heartbroken. I trusted in our system. I was hoping for justice," said Leah, a kindergarten teacher. "I felt my case was watered down and not presented in the way it needed to be." 

CBC is using pseudonyms for the women because their identities are protected by a court-ordered publication ban.

The women said the justice system has "silenced" them while safeguarding a "dangerous" police officer. 

Post is awaiting sentencing in April after being convicted of four counts of assault and one count of uttering threats.

He is one of eight Ottawa police officers suspended with pay for alleged incidents of violence and misconduct related to women that occurred on and off duty. Read more about the women's fight for accountability here.

In sickness and in health

(Submitted by Wes Ely)

Tom and Virginia Stevens were separated when they got COVID-19 last summer and were transferred to hospital. Tom Stevens, 89, became disoriented and started wandering the halls looking for his wife. So, the care team decided to bring the couple together into the same room for treatment. A recent study of more than 2,000 COVID-19 patients, published last month in The Lancet, found family visits lowered the risk of delirium. Read about the human side of healing here.

In brief

The pandemic is testing the limits of kids' resilience. A study from the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto found that 70 per cent of children and youth surveyed experienced a deterioration of mental health in the first wave of the pandemic. Here are four key resilience-building strategies parents can use during difficult times: take a break, enhance positive emotions, show kindness to others, keep up social connections. Read tips on how to implement those strategies here.

Katherine Tai is slated to be the next U.S. trade representative — the Biden administration official whose decisions could have the biggest effect on Canada's economy. We got a sense of what her strategy will be when she sat for three hours of questions yesterday at her confirmation hearing. Tai said she wants to move away from negotiations that pit one sector's workers against another. While that could come as a relief for trading partners like Canada, Tai's hearing also revealed several priorities to watch carefully. For example, what will her approach be to China? "China is simultaneously a rival, a partner and an outsized player whose co-operation we'll also need to address certain global challenges," she said. "We must remember how to walk, chew gum and play chess at the same time." Read more here.

The family of Cindy Gladue wants Alberta's Office of the Chief Medical Examiner to return her remains so they can lay her to rest. The 36-year-old Cree-Métis mother of three was found dead in an Edmonton hotel room in 2011. It took two trials and 10 years to convict her killer Bradley Barton, who was found guilty of manslaughter by a jury last week. Gladue's family has written to the province's chief medical examiner to return the part of her body used as evidence during the first trial of Barton. That was the first time in Canadian courtroom history that preserved human tissue was used in a trial. It sent shockwaves — and has been called both a "barbaric" indignity and an example of systemic racism in the justice system. Read more here.

At the height of the renewed Black Lives Matter movement last summer, Canada saw its prime minister and Toronto's former chief of police take a knee in the middle of protests. They saw premiers tweet promises to fight anti-Black racism. They saw businesses join other Canadians in posting black squares with statements of solidarity to Instagram feeds on #BlackoutTuesday. Nine months later, during a month that commemorates Black history in this country, activists want to know: where are those changes? Read how they're working to dial up the pressure.

WATCH | Black Lives Matter activists in Canada say the time to act is now. Here's why:

What the Black Lives Matter movement looks like in 2021

1 month ago
8:35


Seattle-based Brown Paper Tickets is an online ticketing company that's popular with smaller arts organizations for its low fees. But now artists and organizations in Canada are wondering when or if they or their audiences will ever see the money they say Brown Paper collected on their behalf. Some have spent up to 11 months trying to get answers from the company. And they're not alone. Washington State is suing, claiming Brown Paper owes more than $6.75 million US  across the United States. Read how grassroots Canadian artists are being affected here.

Now for some good news to start your Friday: Like many others, the Mathewson brothers were keen to get their grandparents vaccinated. But within minutes of its 8 a.m. opening on Wednesday morning, the Alberta system allowing seniors to book their COVID-19 vaccine had crashed. So, the brothers Mathewson — Kory in Montreal, Ky in Edmonton and Keyfer in Ottawa — got to work. They diagnosed the problem, debugged it and deployed the solution. Kory, who's a research scientist with Google's DeepMind Technologies, created a fix, which involved adding some code into the JavaScript developer console. Then the brothers started sharing it on Twitter so others could start making appointments for their elderly loved ones. Read the full story here

Front Burner: Why the Golden Globes' shady reputation persists

On Sunday, Hollywood will celebrate the 78th annual Golden Globe Awards. The event is considered influential, even as it is dogged by persistent jokes that it's out of touch, and even corrupt. When this year's nominations were announced, many were puzzled that the fluffy Netflix series Emily in Paris received two nods, while the critically acclaimed I May Destroy You was shut out. 

This week, a sprawling Los Angeles Times investigation revealed that some 30 members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which puts on the awards, were set up in a luxury hotel and treated like "kings and queens" during a visit to the Emily in Paris set. 

Today, the two journalists behind that investigation, Josh Rottenberg and Stacy Perman, explain Golden Globes, the small, secretive body behind them, and why the event's shady reputation persists.

Today in history: February 26

1942: The Canadian government uses the War Measures Act to order the removal of all Japanese-Canadians within 160 kilometres of the Pacific coast. About 22,000 people were stripped of all their non-portable possessions, interned and then deported to the B.C. Interior, Alberta and Manitoba.

1960: Anne Heggtveit of Ottawa becomes the first Canadian to win an Olympic skiing gold medal. She won the slalom in Squaw Valley, Calif.

1979: A total solar eclipse casts a moving shadow 281 kilometres wide as it travels across the U.S. into Canada. 

2012: Neighbourhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman shoots and kills unarmed Black teenager Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla. The incident sparks weeks of nationwide protests over racial profiling and controversial self-defence laws.

With files from The Canadian Press, The Associated Press and Reuters

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