Morning Coffee – By Aaron Hall

Weather forecast for Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Today – Mainly cloudy with 60 percent chance of flurries. Fog patches dissipating early this morning. Wind becoming west 30 km/h gusting to 50 near noon. High plus 2.

Tonight – Mainly cloudy with 40 percent chance of flurries. Wind west 30 km/h gusting to 50. Low minus 3.

The national inquiry into MMIWG requests a two-year extension

The National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls on Tuesday submitted a formal request to the federal government for a 24-month extension of its mandate through to December 31, 2020.

The submission made to the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs highlights work that the National Inquiry has done, and areas of investigation, research and commemoration that require more time to complete.

“The Commissioners and I firmly believe that an additional two years is required to do justice to our critically important mandate for the safety and security of Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQ people,” said Chief Commissioner Marion Buller. “The response from families, survivors and Indigenous communities has been overwhelming, and we have a sacred responsibility to them to continue moving forward.”

Since the truth gathering process was launched the National Inquiry has heard from 763 witnesses during 134 public hearings and 103 in-camera at 11 Community Hearings and one Expert Hearing held across the country. The National Inquiry’s Statement Gathering team has collected an additional 276 statements and received 45 Artistic expressions. About 630 more individuals have registered with the National Inquiry to share their truths and continue to express interest in participating.

The National Inquiry continues to reach out to and engage with women and girls to increase our understanding of the issues faced by women and girls of the Métis Nation, Inuit women and girls and Indigenous women and girls living in Québec whose perspectives are critical in guiding our important work and formulating meaningful recommendations relevant to them and all of Canada.

Should the National Inquiry receive additional time, families and survivors who wish to share their truth can do so and their recommendations for change will help the Commissioners formulate recommendations for their Final Report. It will also give the National Inquiry time to more thoroughly engage with 2SLGBTQ people and to reach vulnerable Indigenous women and girls including those who are incarcerated, homeless and trafficked.

Furthermore, an extension will allow the National Inquiry to hold additional National Institutional and Expert Hearings, and Regional Institutional and Expert Hearings. These additional hearings would allow for in-depth examination of issues that include human trafficking and sexual exploitation, institutionalization of Indigenous women and girls, and healthcare and addiction services. Further they would allow for distinctions based and regional examination of these issues to ensure practical and applicable recommendations are developed. With an extension, the National Inquiry also plans to commission original research to fill gaps on pressing topics, including on the criminal justice system and systems of colonial violence.

Canadian police watchdog launches probe into investigation of Colten Boushie’s death

(Facebook)

The Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the RCMP (CRCC) has initiated a complaint and a public interest investigation into the RCMP’s investigation of the death of Mr. Colten Boushie and the events that followed.

Furthermore, at the request of the Boushie family, the CRCC is conducting a review and further investigation into the RCMP’s disposition of their initial public complaint filed following the death of Colten Boushie.

“In the course of our review and our ongoing monitoring of events related to this tragic incident, it has become apparent that additional matters related to the conduct of RCMP members involved need to be examined. As such, I am satisfied that it is in the public interest to launch an independent investigation into this matter,” said Guy Bujold, the Acting Chairperson.

The complaint and public interest investigation terms of reference are available here.

The CRCC will independently investigate the conduct of the members involved in this matter and whether their actions followed RCMP policy, practice and training. The CRCC will make findings and recommendations to address any deficiencies in member conduct as well as RCMP policies, procedures, training and guidelines.

The CRCC is distinct and independent from the RCMP and has jurisdiction over complaints regarding all members of the RCMP. In addition, the CRCC Chairperson may initiate a complaint in relation to the conduct of RCMP members if he is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds to so do. As is the case in this instance, the CRCC has the authority to investigate a complaint if the Chairperson is of the opinion that it would be in the public interest for the Commission to do so.

For more information, please visit the Commission’s website at: www.complaintscommission.ca.

Ontario ban on door-to-door sales in effect as of March 1

Starting March 1, 2018, Ontario has banned unsolicited, door-to-door sales of certain household appliances to better protect consumers from aggressive and misleading contracting at home.

Businesses will only be able to enter into a contract in the consumer’s home if the consumer has contacted the business ahead of time and invited them into their home for the purpose of entering into a contract.

Contracts that are in violation of the new rules relating to door-to-door contract solicitation will be considered void, and consumers will be able to keep the goods and services with no obligations.

The new rules will apply to:

– Air cleaners

– Air conditioners

– Air purifiers

– Duct cleaning services

– Furnaces

– Water filters

– Water heaters

– Water purifiers

– Water softeners

– Water treatment devices

– Bundles of these goods and services

“These new laws will ensure that people aren’t being taken advantage of through unsolicited door-to-door contracting,” stated Tracy MacCharles, Minister of Government and Consumer Services.

“We have heard from many consumers, ‎including many seniors, who are being taken advantage of at their doorsteps. Our government is taking steps to protect Ontario consumers and provide them with more protection against aggressive and misleading door-to-door contracting tactics so that they can enjoy peace of mind in their homes.”

In addition, businesses will be required to keep a record of how contact with the consumer entering the contract was made, and all contracts signed in the home for these goods and services will also have a 10-day cooling-off period, allowing consumers to cancel the contract for any reason without penalty.

Door-to-door contracts have been among the top complaints received by the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services.

Ontario is the second province in Canada to restrict door-to-door solicitation and contracts.

If a consumer calls for a repair, maintenance or any other reason, businesses will only be allowed to leave information about the products and services they offer, unless the business has a written contract in place with the consumer and secures the consumer’s approval in advance of the visit to solicit a contract for the restricted goods or services.

Businesses will need to keep a record of how contact with the consumer was made and provide consumers with clear information about their rights.

Here is a video with some more tips:

World news

If you have a suggestion, story idea, column idea, or if you want to say hello… drop me an e-mail at aaron@sydenhamcurrent.ca.