This article was published in the Canadian Lawyers Weekly in June, 2012. PDF of the actual article is attached.
Not long ago, I was speaking to a professional responsibility class at a law school in Ontario. The students were asked: Do you believe it is possible to make a difference in the world, earn a good living, and have a satisfying personal and professional life?
The looks on their faces spoke volumes. The answer was clearly no. “Two out of three?” I asked. A few hands went up, somewhat reluctantly.
" CALGARY, Sept. 30 /CNW/ - Financial rewards for damages caused by mental injury at work have increased over the past five years by as much as 700%, according to a report released today by the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC). The report warns that a perfect legal storm is brewing in the area of mental health protection at work, and points to emerging responsibilities for employers to provide a psychologically safe workplace. This is timely, since October is Canada's Healthy Workplace Month and next week is Mental Illness Awareness Week.
The Tracking the Perfect Legal Storm (2010) report has been prepared for the MHCC by Dr. Martin Shain (University of Toronto), an academic lawyer and leading expert in workplace mental health issues. It concludes that employers are confronted with a legal duty to maintain not only a physically safe workplace, but also a psychologically safe workplace.
"The Odawa Native Friendship Centre launched a restorative justice project Tuesday to offer healing, rather than criminal sentences, to aboriginal people charged with minor offences.
Similar plans have been implemented in communities throughout Ontario in an effort to address the disproportionate numbers of aboriginal people in Canada's criminal justice system. First Nations and Inuit make up only 3 per cent of the country's population, but represent almost one fifth of the people in Canada's prisons and correctional programs."
Two weeks ago Statistics Canada released a Report with some scary statistics for divorcing and separating couples. While the report did mention an overall decline in divorces for the period from 2005 to 2008, what caught my eye was the fact that 25% of divorce files took 2 years, or more, to conclude, which is downright scary!
Of that 25% there are no doubt spouses, already relieved to be living separate and apart, where there is little motivation to pursue a divorce. There will also be those who decide, for financial and/or emotional reasons, to put the divorce on hold.
Excerpt: The province has approved a ground-breaking restorative justice program designed to help vulnerable and troubled young mothers who land in court.
Just-Us Girls is a grassroots initiative that will help mothers between the ages of 12 and 24 who have committed crimes or who have had their children apprehended by Children's Services.
Excerpt from Victoria Times Colonist and Canada.com:
In the emotional saga following the brutal murder of 14-year-old Reena Virk in 1997, her traumatized parents went through markedly different experiences with their daughter's two killers: One of denial and self-pity with Kelly Ellard, and one of remorse and closure with Warren Glowatski.
Excerpt: The public school board will begin experimenting next fall with the aboriginal philosophy of the healing circle to settle school yard disputes and disciplinary issues.
In a report to the Greater Essex County District School Board, Clara Howitt, Superintendent of Education, introduced "restorative justice" to trustees.
This method of conflict resolution stresses bringing the perpetrator, the victim, witnesses and the authorities face-to-face to resolve differences.