Deplorable conditions of detention to the detriment of all


Violent human trafficker gets one-year suspended sentence due to ‘deplorable’ conditions in Toronto jails, judge rules August 30

It has long been common practice to grant detainees a suspended sentence for time spent in pre-trial detention in appalling conditions. A reader suggests that some of these convicted felons should not be given such consideration because they deserve to be subjected to extreme physical and psychological discomfort in addition to the loss of their freedom.

Catch and release, the reader argues, does not make society safer. True. But neither catches, subjected to extreme mistreatment and then released.

The solution is to clean up the deplorable conditions in which many prisoners live – many of whom are mentally ill and some of whom will be declared innocent, either on their first trial or sometimes after years of soul-destroying incarceration.

As a father of three children, each at different stages of their educational journey, I have enjoyed your Fresh Start articles.

The need and role of education was highlighted by students, parents, teachers and Ontario Minister of Education, Stephen Lecce. All parties stressed the need to return to « normal ».

The return to extracurricular activities is essential. It would perhaps be appropriate to mention that these activities are the result of the purely voluntary work of the teachers.

Teachers have been on the front line of the pandemic with the same pay as nurses (1%). If we want a ‘normal’ school year with all the wealth of teacher support, Minister Lecce is the person to step up and ensure that.

If you want a « normal » year minister, put your money where your mouth is.

The Dreaded Future Is Here – The Courage to Act Is Not Here, September 6

Reading Jerry Levitan’s comments regarding our collective inaction on climate change made me cry.

Most of our rulers seem to be following Nero’s lead, fiddling while Rome burns while entertaining the populace at large with « bread and games ».

Cheryl Simpson, Stratford, Ont.

I received a bill for a recent highway trip. 407, and I hadn’t taken that route in a while. While I was expecting the toll fee ($24.65), I was surprised to see a toll fee ($1 to enter both times on a round trip), camera fee ( again, two fees of $4.20 each) and an account fee of ($3.95). Therefore, royalties in addition to toll charges accounted for 58% of toll charges.

The invoice included the following statement: “Rates change from time to time. We’ll let you know when they do. It also states that the 407 will communicate with the customer « by telephone or in writing » and that « (c) written communications may be sent by mail, email, or other comparable methods that are mutually convenient to us. » I have not received any such notification.

Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to take the same liberties and charge back to the 407 the payment fee (check or wire transfer fee from the bank to send my money to the 407 and, of course, postage if I pay by cheque)?

Highway. 407 was sold by Mike Harris in 1999 during his common sense revolution. How ironic. We urgently need consumer protection and advocacy today.

John Winter, Midland, Ont.

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