Jukasa News Update – Friday, December 8, 2017
Crown- Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett is staying silent on a call by First Nations chiefs to appoint a new head of the national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.
A special gathering of chiefs hosted by the Assembly of First Nations approved a resolution calling for the federal government to reset the inquiry by replacing the chief commissioner, Marion Buller.
It also suggested a new head should be named through a process of full engagement with Indigenous survivors and families.
The inquiry, which comprises four commissioners including Buller, is now more than a year into its two-year mandate but needs more time and money to do its work.
Indigenous Services Minister Jane Philpott says the federal government will spend as much money as it takes to end long-term, boil-water advisories in First Nations communities by March 2021.
Phillpott made that vow Thursday after Parliament’s budget watchdog warned that the federal government hasn’t devoted anywhere near enough money to fulfil Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s promise to end boil-water advisories within five years.
It will cost at least $3.2 billion in capital investment to bring First Nations drinking water and wastewater systems up to standards comparable to non-Indigenous communities by 2020, according to a report released by the parliamentary budget office.
That includes $1.8 billion to upgrade drinking water systems and another $1.4 billion to upgrade wastewater treatment, along with $361 million in maintenance costs.
Another coalition of conservation groups is suing to stop President Donald Trump’s cuts to Bears Ears National Monument in Utah.
The lawsuit filed Thursday by 11 organizations including the Sierra Club is the fifth legal challenge to Trump’s reductions to Bear Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments.
It is the third lawsuit focused on Bears Ears, which has land considered sacred to a coalition of Native American tribes.
The complaint echoes arguments made in the two previous Bears Ears lawsuits, claiming that Trump exceeded his power and jeopardized protections for “irreplaceable archaeological sites.”
Past presidents have trimmed national monuments 18 times, but there’s never been a court ruling about whether the 1906 Antiquities Act _ which allows presidents to create a monument _ also lets them reduce one.
The next federal budget will include more money for First Nations child welfare services on reserves, Indigenous Services Minister Jane Philpott said Wednesday.
Phillpott spoke at the AFN Special Chiefs Assembly and said the Liberal government wants to amend funding discrepancies in the resources available to Indigenous children as compared to non-Indigenous kids.
Outstanding concerns about chronic underfunding of First Nations child welfare services has been at the centre of a legal battle at the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, which issued multiple rulings urging the government to make more resources available.
Ontario will offer naloxone to police and firefighters across the province and can now approve safe injection sites on its own, it announced Thursday as new figures showed a dramatic spike in opioid-related deaths.
There were 336 opioid-related deaths in the province from May to July _ an increase of 68 per cent from the same time period last year.
As well, the province said Thursday that there were 2,449 emergency department visits from July to September related to opioid overdoses — an increase of 115 per cent increase from a year earlier.
Nearly half of drivers who are also marijuana users told a survey they drive better, drive about the same or don’t know if cannabis impacts their ability behind the wheel.
The survey — a poll of 1,000 drivers commissioned by the Ontario’s CAA found that 16 per cent of respondents had used marijuana within the last three months.
According to the survey, eight per cent of current marijuana users believe they drive better after using marijuana than when they are sober. Another 29 per cent of current cannabis users believe their ability to drive is the same after using marijuana as when sober. Twelve per cent of respondents who are current users said they didn’t know if there was any difference between their ability to drive after using marijuana or sober.
The remaining 52 per cent of current marijuana users believe they drive worse after using pot than when sober.
Officials call those results “startling” but say it lines up with the view of nearly three quarters of survey respondents that a public education campaign is necessary and those efforts should target young drivers who are more likely to be regular users of pot, she said.
Nearly 75 per cent of respondents either strongly support or somewhat support stricter penalties for drug-impaired drivers.
The poll found that 77 per cent of respondents are concerned about road safety when marijuana is legalized on July 1, 2018.
Di Felice said the survey shows the majority of respondents also believe there will be an increase in the frequency of marijuana-impaired driving.
Police say a man wanted in connection the fatal shooting of a Good Samaritan in Hamilton has been arrested.
Yosif Al-Hasnawi was shot when he tried to intervene as two men were assaulting an older man in downtown Hamilton on Saturday night.
A second-degree murder warrant was issued on Monday for 19-year-old Dale Burningsky King, who police say was arrested Thursday afternoon in Hagersville.
Hamilton police say a female arrested at the same time is charged with accessory after the fact to murder.
A 20-year-old man who was arrested on Monday in connection with the shooting also faces a charge of accessory after the fact to murder.
- Previous Jukasa News Update – Thursday, December 7, 2017
- Next Jukasa News Update – Wednesday December 13, 2017