CBC Radio's The House: June 20, 2020
Here is what’s on this week's episode of The House
Fixing the 'conveyor belt' of Canada's criminal justice system
The Parliamentary Black Caucus demanded urgent action this week to address anti-Black racism in Canada. The caucus — created in 2015 and comprising MPs and Senators from various political parties — called on the federal government to measure systemic discrimination by collecting race-based data, help businesses owned and operated by Black Canadians and implement a new justice strategy.
But reforming the criminal justice system must go far beyond policing, says Danardo Jones, a staff lawyer with Legal Aid Ontario and an assistant professor of law at Windsor Law School.
He says interactions with police are often quite temporary and don't result in the kind of in-custody deaths that have occurred recently in Minneapolis, where George Floyd was killed, and New Brunswick, where two Indigenous people — Chantel Moore and Rodney Levi — were killed at the hands of police within days of each other.
"Most people make it out of those situations with their lives," Jones said in an interview airing Saturday on The House. "The problem is when they get on the conveyor belt of the criminal justice system. That's the more protracted and long-term trauma."
It may begin with the police, but Crown prosecutors, judges and defence lawyers all have significant roles to play, Jones said.
"The question we have to ask ourselves is, 'What are these actors doing and what role can they play in addressing structural racism within the criminal justice system?' All of these actors have been given cultural competency training, they're been given anti-bias training, they've been given you name it, but for whatever reason, we're still seeing the same outcomes. So it's not a lack of training. It's a system that they're operating within that seems to be resistant to actual change."
A Security Council setback
Canada failed to win a temporary seat on the United Nations Security Council for the second time in a decade, losing out to Ireland and Norway in a vote on Wednesday.
The House checks in with international relations experts Bessma Momani and Janice Stein for their thoughts on what this loss says about Canada's foreign policy — and this country's place in the world.
Premier Brian Pallister's pandemic politics
There are currently a handful of active COVID-19 cases in Manitoba — and the province has only had around 300 cases in total since the onset of the pandemic.
Nonetheless, Premier Brian Pallister has been accused by provincial opposition parties of using the public health crisis as an excuse to carry out policy changes that would be politically untenable in normal times. CBC Manitoba reporter Bartley Kives joins The House for a special report.
Debriefing on the Conservative leadership debate
This week, federal Conservatives finally got a chance to see all four leadership contenders in the same place at the same time. Leslyn Lewis, Peter MacKay, Erin O'Toole and Derek Sloan took part in two debates this week, one in French and the other in English.
How well did they do? And how important were these debates in a race that has been largely overshadowed by COVID-19?
Chris Hall gets a debate debrief from two Conservative members: Natalie Pon, an Edmonton-based accountant and business advisor, and Chad Rogers, a public affairs strategist with Crestview Strategies in Toronto.
A COVID-19 crisis among Ontario's migrant workers
Mexico halted efforts to send more temporary foreign workers to Canada this week after two men employed by farms in Ontario's Windsor region died of COVID-19. More than 300 migrant workers in the area have now tested positive for the virus.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the pandemic is a chance to reflect on the country's temporary foreign worker program, as other federal and provincial politicians scramble to stem the spread.
But longtime migrant worker researcher Tanya Basok at the University of Windsor told The House that she has yet to see the concrete action needed to protect some of Canada's most vulnerable employees.