- Showing 2 posts filed under: Country:Canada [–] published between Mar 01, 2010 and Mar 31, 2010 [Show all]
Tough on crime but short on logic
Promises beget price tags.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper has revealed very little about the cost of the crime crackdown his government has begun and plans to extend in this session of Parliament.
The Department of Public Safety has estimates of the growth of the prison population but the minister, Peter Van Loan, refuses to make them public, citing cabinet confidentiality. The government has projections of the cost of imposing mandatory minimum sentences for drug offences, meting out longer jail terms and beefing up police forces. But it hasn't made them public.
Even in secrecy-obsessed Ottawa, however, some information gets out.
This month, Correctional Service Canada released its spending estimates for the coming fiscal year. They showed a 43 per cent increase in capital expenditures on penitentiaries.
In 2010-11, the government expects to spend $329.4 million on prison infrastructure. Last year's jail-building budget was $230.8 million. To put these numbers in perspective, Correctional Service Canada spent $88.5 million on prison construction when Harper took office four years ago.
Africville apology is a start, not an end
This week's apology by city of Halifax Mayor Peter Kelly, for the evictions and razing of the African-Canadian community of Africville in Nova Scotia during the 1960s, marks a small but significant moment in the history of slavery and racism in Canada. The official apology issued February 24, 2010, made on behalf of Halifax Regional Council and Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM), was accompanied by terms of the 2005 agreement reached between the municipality and the Africville Genealogy Society, which, along with a formal acknowledgment of loss, included:
- $3 million (CAN) contributed towards the reconstruction of the Seaview United Baptist Church which will serve as a memorial to Africville;
- 2.5 acres of land at Seaview Park to be provided to the Africville Heritage Trust Board;
- a park maintenance agreement to be established between Africville Heritage Trust and HRM for the lands known as Seaview Park;
- and, the establishment of an African-Nova Scotian Affairs function within HRM.