Whisked from Guantanamo Bay to Millhaven Institution, Omar Khadr tries to learn the ropes

Janet Hamlin


October 1, 2012 – Globe and Mail

Eleven months after Canada pledged to bring him back from Guantanamo Bay, Omar Khadr’s fate is in the hands of prison officials as the convicted terrorist tries to learn the rules in a home he can’t remember.

The pre-dawn flight via American military aircraft on Saturday that brought the 26-year-old to Ontario from the U.S. naval base where he was imprisoned for nine years and 11 months came as a surprise to Mr. Khadr, his lawyers and his family, who learned of it from television news.

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In Afganistan’s only bowling alley, Canadian escapist inspiration

Muhammed Muheisen/The Associated Press

Monday, May 28, 2012 – Globe and Mail

There’s no shortage of strategies to improve life in Afghanistan. But this is the only one centred around rolling heavy neon balls down wooden lanes, sending white pins flying.

Faced with a hometown she couldn’t recognize, Meena Rahmani drew inspiration from her life as an immigrant in suburban Canada: She opened a bowling alley.

The Strikers is Afghanistan’s first and, so far, only bowling alley. If Ms. Rahmani has her way, it won’t be for long.

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In Jason Kenney’s immigration system, the labour market calls the shots

Photo by Fernando Morales/The Globe and Mail

Thursday, April 5, 2012 – Globe and Mail


Jason Kenney has had it with incremental measures.

“It frustrates the hell out of me,” the Immigration Minister told The Globe and Mail’s editorial board on Wednesday. “We’re bringing hundreds of thousands of people into the country to end up, many of them, unemployed or underemployed in an economy where there are acute labour shortages.”

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Canadian Cynthia Vanier’s arrest a success in international security co-operation, Mexico’s Calderon says

Photo by Carolyn Kaster/AP

Wednesday, April 4, 2012 – Globe and Mail


Mexican President Felipe Calderon cites the arrest of Canadian consultant Cynthia Vanier on accusations of trying to smuggle one of Moammar Gadhafi’s sons out of Libya as a prime example of successful security co-operation between Mexico, Canada and the United States.

Thing is, Canada has yet to elucidate exactly what its role was in Ms. Vanier’s arrest and the investigation leading up to it – and her lawyer, among others, would really like to know.

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A penny spurned: Anatomy of Canada’s soon-to-be defunct one-cent coin

Susanna Blunt, who designed the latest queen on Canada's coins, seen here at Capilano University, in North Vancouver.
Photo by John Lehmann/Globe and Mail

Saturday, March 31, 2012 – Globe and Mail

Pity the penny: In the past 15 years it’s lost its copper, its usage and its cost-effectiveness – the butt of jokes and bane of neat freaks well before its end became official in Thursday’s federal budget.

Despite its lowly monetary status, the penny is a high-maintenance bit of metal. It is by far the most expensive Canadian coin to produce, relative to its value. At a cost of a little over 1.6 cents per penny, it’s the only piece of currency in the country that now costs more than its value to make.

While the news of the penny’s phase-out came as a surprise even to the Royal Canadian Mint, the analysts and coin-crafters in charge of Canada’s money say they’ve known for years its days were numbered.

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Canada’s youth crime plans bewilder international observers

A group of boys play basketball at the St. Louis Juvenile Detention Center Tuesday, July 19, 2011. The juvenile rehabilitation program houses from 50 to 100 youth between the ages of 9 and 17.
(Photo by Whitney Curtis for the Globe and Mail)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011 – Globe and Mail

If Canada follows through on plans to crack down on miscreant youth, it’ll be one of the few jurisdictions in the world heading in that direction.

And the tough-on-crime approach in the face of contrary evidence is bemusing international observers.

Judges, criminologists and policy-makers in the United States, Britain and Australia – countries whose systems, for the most part, closely resemble Canada’s – can’t figure out why this country is planning to shift toward a jail-intensive approach. Everyone else seems to be doing the opposite, not for ideological reasons, but because evidence shows it works.

“It’s somewhat ironic, actually,” said Marc Mauer, executive director of the Washington, D.C.-based Sentencing Project, which studies jail policy across the United States.

“After nearly four decades of the so-called ‘get tough’ movement in the U.S., which has meant sending more people to prisons [and] keeping them there for longer periods of time, there’s beginning to be a shift away from that.”

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Tory ‘tough on crime’ bill has youth advocates worried

Frontenac Youth Diversion Program Executive Director Daren Dougall, in Kingston, Ont.
(Photo by Harrison Smith/The Globe and Mail)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011 – Globe and Mail

The idea behind Canada’s current strategy to fight youth crime was deceptively simple: Put teens in jail if you have to, but only if you have to.

It was supposed to strike a balance between two competing anxieties: that young people were committing heinous crimes and not being punished appropriately; and that locking up impressionable teens created criminals who would spend the rest of their lives bouncing in and out of the penal system.

“There was considerable concern around whether the balance was quite right in terms of protection of the public and rehabilitation,” says Anne McLellan, the Liberal justice minister who brought in the Youth Criminal Justice Act in the late 1990s.

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The young convicts of Canada’s ‘Criminal University’


“It’s like Criminal University,” says Oluwasegun Akinsanya. “All you do in jail is sit down and talk – what he did, what he did, what he did. You realize, ‘Hey, that’s an opportunity.’ You learn from their mistakes. You’ll come back and do a better version.”
(Photo by J.P. Moczulski for the Globe and Mail)

Monday, July 18, 2011 – Globe and Mail

Canada incarcerates more convicted youth than almost any similarly industrialized country.

And new federal crime legislation is poised to drive those numbers higher, even though imprisoned teens are statistically less likely to get jobs after they’re released and, if anything, are more likely to reoffend.

Years after enacting laws that have been successful in reducing youth incarceration rates, Canada still sends five times more of its convicted teens into custody than England and Wales, according to data obtained from the British justice ministry and Statistics Canada’s justice arm.

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