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Report: Domestic deaths have a number of common links

Posted by cgccanada on June 23, 2010

By April Cunningham, Telegraph-Journal, June 22, 2010

SAINT JOHN – Women in New Brunswick are more likely to be killed by their intimate partner if they are in a common-law relationship, there are guns in the house, alcohol abuse and a history of violence, a researcher says.

Deborah Doherty, executive director of Public Legal Education and Information Service of New Brunswick, spoke about domestic homicide at the Saint John Free Public Library.

In a study of the province’s last 35 domestic deaths – including homicides and murder-suicides – since 1989, Deborah Doherty has found that often, judges call the deaths “senseless acts,” she said.

“But we must make sense of these deaths. We need to learn something that might help us prevent deaths in the future,” said Doherty, the executive director of the Public Legal Education and Information Service of New Brunswick, at a presentation at the Saint John Free Public Library.

Doherty, an expert in family violence, has researched New Brunswick’s domestic deaths since 2001 for the Silent Witness Project – an exhibit of life-sized red, wooden silhouettes representing women killed by their partners.

Her research doesn’t yet include Melanie Getson or Deborah Gunn, who were both killed in two separate slayings on May 10 in Saint John and Moncton respectively. Each of the women’s partners has been charged with first-degree murder.

“I just find it so disheartening every time I hear of a domestic death,” Doherty said in an interview. “Doing the research, and seeing so many of them were experiencing the same types of abuse in their life, I keep thinking, ?What could have been done? Can we learn one more thing from this death to help the next woman? Was there a signal that someone could have acted on to help Melanie?’ ”

Of the 35 cases – 15 of which were murder-suicides – Doherty found that 25 of them were in small towns or rural New Brunswick communities. That compares to 0.9 per cent for Ontario domestic deaths.

Guns have been the weapon of choice. Nineteen of the women were shot, and all but one was with a long gun rifle. “I have a pretty good idea it relates to the fact that this is a hunting province, with more firearms in homes,” Doherty said.

Combined with alcohol, the risk factor increases. Seventy-five per cent of the perpetrators had a serious drug or alcohol problem. That compares to 42 per cent in Ontario.

An overwhelming factor was a history of violence, which Doherty defined as not just physical, but emotional or sexual as well. Ninety per cent of the cases appeared to have a history of violence – though it wasn’t clear in court documents, she said.

Relationships were described as turbulent, stormy with a lot of bickering. Often friends, family or crisis workers knew about the violence, but police were never involved, so reports didn’t make it to court, she said.

Mental health also increased the risk, she found. Out of 20 court cases she examined, eight had documented depression, and several had attempted or threatened to commit suicide.

One of the more surprising factors for Doherty was martial status with 66 per cent of the women killed by their common-law partner.

Only 37 per cent of the women killed were recently separated, compared to 81 per cent in Ontario.

Doherty said it points to the need not just to help women leave abusive relationships – but to help them stay safely.

Along with awareness, communities need to start identifying abuse, she said.

“We as a society have a lower threshold for abusive behaviours and violence, firearms misuse, behaviours when people are drunk,” she said. “That’s not an excuse. We have to speak out against it.”

http://telegraphjournal.canadaeast.com/city/article/1104216

Posted in Cost of gun violence, Current Events, Gun Registry, news, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Report: Domestic deaths have a number of common links

Top North Vancouver Mountie supports gun registry

Posted by cgccanada on May 19, 2010

By Benjamin Alldritt, North Shore News, May 19, 2010

The officer in charge of North Vancouver’s RCMP detachment is defending the usefulness of Canada’s Firearms Registry in response to efforts from a Conservative MP to abolish it.

In her capacity as vice-president of the B.C. Association of Chiefs of Police, Supt. Tonia Enger said the registry is used by the province’s police officers thousands of times each day.

“It’s used in criminal investigations to determine the origin of firearms,” she said. “It gives us a heads-up; we can determine if a residence that we might be going into may or may not have a licensed firearm and also the number and type of firearms. We have a lot of domestic violence situations and a lot of disturbance calls when we don’t know why we’re getting called. If we have the names and addresses we can see if there’s any firearms.”

Enger said the registry is also used to help return stolen firearms to their lawful owners.

Candice Hoeppner, who represents the southern Manitoba riding of Portage-Lisgar, filed a private member’s bill that, if passed into law, would remove the requirement for gun owners to register their weapons, effectively abolishing the registry. The bill has enjoyed the support of rural MPs from several different parties.

“For me, when I’m driving around listening to the radio,” Enger said, “I’m very alerted when dispatch tells a member ‘Just so you know, so-and-so is residing there and is believed to be in possession of four handguns and three rifles.’ I know on the North Shore it’s active all the time.”

The Firearms Registry was first set up in 1995, and the Liberal government of the day believed the program would cost taxpayers about $2 million. But in a scathing 2002 report, Auditor General Sheila Fraser said the registry’s bill would be closer to $1 billion. Abolishing the registry has been a popular topic for Canada’s centre-right parties ever since.

“The estimated cost to operate the program currently is between $3.5 million and $4 million per year,” Enger said. “You may be able to say there were substantial costs to start it up, but we are now in a maintenance mode and it costs substantially less than it did initially.”

Enger also turned aside criticism that the registry is an expensive hassle for law-abiding gun owners without helping to catch armed criminals.

“It helps,” she said. “It’s one component and if you take it away, we lose something. B.C. chiefs of police are coming out to say they support the registry and there’s no question that it’s strongly supported by the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police as well.”

http://www2.canada.com/northshorenews/news/story.html?id=61a54f24-f7c5-4d46-a9c4-60a4d104f8d9

Posted in Canadian gun control, Current Events, Gun Registry, news | Comments Off on Top North Vancouver Mountie supports gun registry

Chatham police support long gun registry as a valuable tool

Posted by cgccanada on May 19, 2010

By Blair Andrews, Chatham Daily News, May 18, 2010

The Chatham-Kent Police Services Board strongly opposes the move to scrap the long gun registry.

Conservative MP Candice Heoppner’s private member’s bill to abolish the registry is coming up for a third and final vote.

At Tuesday’s board meeting, Chief Dennis Poole said that although the registry had a controversial beginning and was criticized for significant cost overruns, it has become a valuable tool for police to track firearms in Canada.

“In most cases, guns that are used in crimes come from law-abiding citizens who have had their homes broken into or had their weapons stolen,” Poole said. “And it certainly allows us to trace those weapons back or account for them, even years later when they show up, either in a pawn shop or in the hands of a criminal.”

In his report to the board, Poole said the registry is used thousands of times each day by police when answering calls such as domestic disputes.

The board accepted a recommendation to outline its position to Chatham-Kent MP Dave Van Kesteren.

Board member Uly Bondy suggested a firm message should be sent.

“We hear about rifles not being used (in crimes). Most of the incidences that you can see on television in the past few years have involved long rifles,” Bondy said. “I think a very strong message should be sent to the government, which we will do.”

Van Kesteren said he “respectfully disagrees” with the board’s position to keep the long gun registry. Despite the official positions stated by associations of police chiefs and officers, he countered that there are many in the law enforcement community that agree with government’s position to abolish the registry.

Van Kesteren believes the gun registry has been wasteful and has accomplished very little.

“There are thousands upon thousands of guns that are not listed in the registry. When I talk to police officers, they tell me that any time that they would make an inquiry (to the registry), they still treat it as a situation as they don’t know what is on the other end,” he said.

Van Kesteren also claimed that most gun crimes are committed with guns that are smuggled into Canada from the United States.

A parliamentary committee is studying the private member’s bill – Bill C-391 – before it receives third and final reading.

While the timing is uncertain, Van Kesteren said MPs could vote on the legislation within a few weeks.

“I think it could very well be out of committee before we (the House) rise. That would be in the summer. If not, then the fall.”

http://www.chathamdailynews.ca/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=2584208

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No registering of unrestricted sniper rifles?

Posted by cgccanada on May 18, 2010

The Steyr-Mannlicher HS .50 is classified as an “unrestricted” sniper rifle in Canada. It is reported that “it can pierce light armour from a distance of up to 1.5 kilometres.” It can also be legally acquired in Canada by anyone with a valid firearms license.

The Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security is currently hearing witnesses on Bill C-391. If passed, this Bill will repeal the requirement to register unrestricted firearms like the Steyr-Mannlicher HS .50 sniper rifle. There are also no provisions in Bill C-391 to reinstate the requirement that businesses keep records of firearm sales, a requirement in place since 1977 that was removed when the Firearms Act passed in 1995 as the information would be in the registry. This information, which is a crucial component of Canada’s gun control strategies, would be lost with Bill C-391 and no efforts would be made to rebuild such information in a way that helps police officers (as the current registry does).

Austrian Weapons in Iraq: A Smoking Gun from the Alps
By Marion Kraske in Vienna
From Spiegel Online
Published on Sunday, February 14, 2007

Steyr HS .50

Steyr HS .50

More than 800 high-powered weapons were shipped to Iran from Austria in 2004 over US and British objections. Now, the rifles may have turned up in the hands of Iraq insurgents.

It is considered one of the world’s most modern and precise weapons — the Steyr HS .50, made by Austrian weapons manufacturer Steyr-Mannlicher. The easily disassembled gun goes for about €4,000 in the Internet. And the buyer gets a deadly weapon that can penetrate basic armor at a range of 1.5 kilometers (just under a mile).

And they may now be in Iraq. According to a report in the Daily Telegraph on Tuesday, the US Army uncovered 100 of the weapons in a raid in Baghdad. Individual weapons, the paper writes, had already turned up in recent months, but now the number found has jumped to more than 100. Indeed, a Steyr HS .50 was reportedly used to shoot and kill a US officer in his vehicle.

“Obviously, if the reports are true, it would be profoundly disturbing,” said William Wanlund, a spokesman for the US Embassy in Vienna, according to the AP.

If the reports are true, it is highly likely that the hoard of HS .50 rifles US authorities found came from a shipment that left Austria in late 2004. Eight hundred of the rifles were shipped to Iran with the express approval of the government of then Chancellor Wolfgang Schüssel. Steyr-Mannlicher, the manufacturer of the weapons, had filed a request with the Austrian interior ministry for approval to export the weapons a year earlier.

Officially the Austrian company’s buyer was Iran’s federal police force, specifically a special anti-drug unit. The Iranians claimed at the time that they needed the weapons for use in fighting the drug trade — smugglers and dealers.

Concerned that these dangerous weapons could fall into the hands of insurgents and terrorists, the governments in London and Washington both tried to put a stop to the controversial sale, but were unsuccessful. Steyr-Mannlicher went through with the deal anyway.

The reaction came swiftly. In late 2005 the US government angrily imposed an embargo on the Austrian weapons manufacturer. Since then Steyr-Mannlicher, together with manufacturers from India and China, has been excluded from lucrative US government contracts.

The company remained stubborn. Wolfgang Fürlinger, the CEO of Steyr-Mannlicher at the time, made a public effort to downplay the dangers of the weapon, claiming that the HS .50 was less harmful than a pistol. He also insisted that the Iranian government had signed a so-called end-user certificate that ruled out the re-export of the guns.

Certificate or not, the Iranian weapons deal also triggered a heated political debate in Austria. The opposition party believed that the deal between Steyr and Tehran was everything but clean. Peter Pilz, a Green Party member of the Austrian parliament and his party’s spokesman on security issues, even went so far as to call the deal “illegal.”

Pilz argued that HS .50 was not a “toy weapon,” as many had claimed, but that the rifle was in fact capable of piercing armor-plated vehicles and body armor from great distances. The HS .50, according to Pilz, hardly seemed designed for use in fighting the drug trade.

The recent discovery of the Austrian weapons in Iraq has only served to confirm Pilz’s initial criticism. Pilz assigns the blame for the politically sensitive deal to the cabinet of former Chancellor Wolfgang Schüssel, and most of all to Günther Platter, the then interior minister and current defense minister, former Interior Minister Ernst Strasser and Ursula Plassnik, Austria’s former and current foreign minister.

Steyr-Mannlicher continues to fend off criticism of the deal. According to Franz Holzschuh, the company’s new owner, the serial numbers of the weapons that were found in Iraq would have to be checked clarify the source of the rifles. The weapons found in Iraq, says Holzschuh, could also be imitations. After all, he adds, the patents for the HS .50 expired “years ago.”

http://www.spiegel.de/international/0,1518,466284,00.html

Austrian Weapons in Iraq: A Smoking Gun from the Alps
By Marion Kraske in Vienna

From Spiegel Online

Published on Sunday, February 14, 2007

Posted in Canadian gun control, Current Events, Gun Registry, news | Tagged: , | Comments Off on No registering of unrestricted sniper rifles?

Repealing long-gun registry could get officers killed: Chief

Posted by cgccanada on April 30, 2010

By Laura Stone, Canwest News ServiceApril 28, 2010 8:02 PM

OTTAWA – The head of Canada’s association of police chiefs says
repealing the long-gun registry would harm police officers’ work and
“could get them killed.”

William Blair, chief of police in Toronto and president of the
Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, made the strongly worded
comments this week as the fight over a private member’s bill that
would scrap the registry raged on inside and outside of Parliament.

Conservative MP Candice Hoeppner’s Bill C-391 bill takes aim at what
the her party has long called a costly and ineffective registry, but
police chiefs, including Blair, have repeatedly defended the program.

“Police officers rely on information,” Blair said in comments posted
on the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police website.

“Accurate and complete information is the best protection I can give
them. Knowing (not assuming) who has firearms is valuable,” he said.

“The registry gives officers information that keeps them safe. If the
registry is taken from us, police officers may guess, but they cannot
know. It could get them killed. We are going to fight to make sure the
information they need to be safe is available to them.”

The difference between licensing and registration, according to the
RCMP, is that a firearms licence shows the licence holder has met
certain public-safety criteria and is allowed to possess and use
firearms. A registration certificate identifies a firearm and links
the firearm to its owner.

Ontario’s chiefs of police have also expressed their dismay
surrounding the bill, calling the registration “a vital public-safety
tool.”

“A licence tells us a person can have a gun. The registry tells us
what guns that person has. There is a huge difference – a difference
that could put the lives of citizens and our officers in great
danger,” said Chief Robert Herman of Thunder Bay, Ont., who is also
the vice-president of the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police.

The association said Canadian law-enforcement organizations use the
federal firearms registry 11,500 times a day on average, and more than
4.1 million times a year.

At least one police chief, however, recently announced his opposition
to the registry.

Rick Hanson, Calgary’s police chief, told CTV on Monday that “the gun
registry has done little to make the streets safer.”

He said officers use the registry as an investigative tool, and it
doesn’t work when dealing with gangs and drug dealers.

“It’s not helping. The guns these people have, they don’t register,
they don’t care, they’re probably stolen, they’re probably obtained
illegally, in many cases they’re prohibited,” Hanson told CTV.

Blair chalked up such comments to “a police chief or two who may not
be well informed about the real value of the registry. They are very
rare exceptions.”

Health-care experts also said Wednesday the controversial registry is
essential to Canadians as a “public health-and-safety” law – one that
can help prevent domestic murders, accidents and, most significantly,
suicides.

Most firearm deaths in Canada are suicides and the guns most often
used are rifles and shotguns, said a coalition of experts. They said
that in the nine years between 1995 and 2005 – the first year that the
long-gun registration was introduced as part of a wider gun-control
plan by a then-Liberal government – firearm suicides involving 15 to
35 year olds in the home decreased by 64 per cent.

Hoeppner responded by saying these doctors, while meaning well, are
“really confusing the issue.”

“I think we definitely have a problem with suicide in Canada, but the
long-gun registry does nothing to stop, to curb, to do anything to
actually address suicide. Licensing might help so that those people
don’t get guns, unfortunately if someone is going to commit suicide,
many times they’re still finding other ways,” said Hoeppner.

The bill passed in a preliminary vote in the Commons last November
with support of the eight Liberals and 12 New Democrats, and is
expected to return to the House of Commons late this spring or next
fall for another vote. Five Liberals have reversed their positions
since Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff said his party would modify the
registry.

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Another clear example that C-391 is Private Members Bill (PMB) in name only. It is a government bill disguised as a PMB.

Posted by cgccanada on April 22, 2010

Globe and mail, Thursday, April 22, 2010 8:25 AM, Jane Taber (Blog) “Tory bagmen come out with long guns blazing”

Stephen Harper’s Conservatives have launched a new fundraising campaign aimed at filling their war chest on the back of Michael Ignatieff’s vow to whip his caucus into voting to preserve the long-gun registry.
A fundraising letter from Irving Gerstein, the chair of Conservative Fund Canada, pleading for donations of between $100 and $200, was sent late yesterday. It follows the party’s radio ad campaign targeting the ridings of the eight Liberal MPs who voted with the government to scrap the controversial program.
Mr. Gerstein, who was appointed to the Senate by the Prime Minister last year, names the eight Grit rebels in his letter, urging supporters to donate now to help “hold these Liberal MPs to their previous commitment.”
“They need to understand the political consequences of going back on their word. Of voting against their constituents. Of choosing Michael Ignatieff over their friends and neighbours back home.”
Mr. Ignatieff, the Liberal Leader, reignited the debate over scrapping the long-gun registry this week in a speech to police. He said his caucus would not support a Conservative private member’s bill to abolish the registry.
The bill, by Manitoba MP Candice Hoeppner, is expected to return to the House for third reading in either May or June. Last November, eight of Mr. Ignatieff’s MPs, mainly from rural ridings, voted for the Tory legislation despite the fact the long-gun registry was created by the Jean Chrétien’s Liberals – at great political cost.
“These MPs have now been told that they MUST support Michael Ignatieff,” Mr. Gerstein writes. “They must vote to protect and preserve the failed long-gun registry. They must choose their leader over their constituents. They must do what they have been told.”
The Harper Tories are successful at raising money, knowing which buttons to push (anti-CBC fundraising works well, apparently) to bring in cash to help pay for their anti-Liberal ad campaigns and other pre-writ strategy spending.
But the Conservative zeal to scrap the registry has also created headaches and embarrassment for the Prime Minister. An aggressively-worded press release, saying police chiefs are part of a cult for supporting the registry and suggesting Liberal MPs should beat their leader “black and blue” for his registry support, was sent out this week from the office of anti-long gun registry MP Garry Breitkreuz.
The Saskatchewan MP apologized, saying he didn’t write the letter. And yesterday, in Question Period, Mr. Harper said the staffer who wrote the release had resigned.
Mr. Gerstein, meanwhile, says donations will “ensure that every long-gun owner, every citizen and every voter in these eight Liberal ridings will be fully aware of the choice they must make.”
“Working together we can scrap the failed Liberal long-gun registry,” he writes. “If Michael Ignatieff succeeds, the failed long-gun registry will continue to threaten law-abiding farmers, hunters and sport-shooting competitors – while doing nothing to reduce gun crime in our major cities.”
The full text of the Conservative fundraising letter follows:
(Urgent) Stop Michael Ignatieff from preserving the failed long-gun registry
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Earlier this week, Michael Ignatieff turned his back on rural Canadians by renewing his vow to protect and preserve the failed long-gun registry. And this time around, he’s promised to whip his rural MPs into protecting and preserving this costly Liberal legacy.
If Michael Ignatieff succeeds, the failed long-gun registry will continue to threaten law-abiding farmers, hunters and sport-shooting competitors – while doing nothing to reduce gun crime in our major cities.
We need your support now to prevent that from happening. Please make a contribution of $200 or $100 by following this link right now.
During the last session of Parliament, eight Liberal MPs stood with their constituents and voted with the Conservative Government to scrap the long-gun registry.
Liberal MP Todd Russell was clear:
“I’ve been clear about my position and I will be consistent with that particular position, and I will vote subsequently to scrap the long-gun registry,” (The Labradorian, Dec. 29, 2009).
So was Liberal MP Anthony Rota. He went so far as to call the long-gun registry “disgusting” (North Bay Nugget, June 18, 2004).
Russell and Rota were joined by six other Liberal MPs in voting against the long-gun registry: Scott Andrews, Larry Bagnell, Jean-Claude D’Amours, Wayne Easter, Keith Martin and Scott Simms.
These MPs have now been told that they MUST support Michael Ignatieff. They must vote to protect and preserve the failed long-gun registry. They must choose their leader over their constituents. They must do what they have been told.
We need your help today to hold these Liberal MPs to their previous commitment. They need to understand the political consequences of going back on their word. Of voting against their constituents. Of choosing Michael Ignatieff over their friends and neighbours back home.
The Conservative Party is launching a campaign to do just that. Please make a contribution of $200 or $100 right now by following this link in support of this campaign. We will ensure that every long-gun owner, every citizen and every voter in these eight Liberal ridings will be fully aware of the choice they must make.
Their choice will be clear: SCRAP the failed long-gun registry or KEEP it. It’s as simple as that. No shifting, no sliding.
We need your help today to keep these Liberal MPs to their word. Make a contribution of $200 or $100 right now by following this link.
Working together we can scrap the failed Liberal long-gun registry. Support our campaign today.
Sincerely,
Irving R. Gerstein, C.M., O.Ont.
Chair, Conservative Fund Canada
PS – Remember that you’ll receive a tax receipt for any contribution you make. This can make the actual cost of your contribution as low as 25% of your overall giving this year. Please, follow this link right now and make a contribution of $200 or $100.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/ottawa-notebook/tory-bagmen-come-out-with-long-guns-blazing/article1542951/

Posted in Canadian gun control, Gun Registry, news | Tagged: , | Comments Off on Another clear example that C-391 is Private Members Bill (PMB) in name only. It is a government bill disguised as a PMB.

From: The Leader-Post, April 9, 2010, RCMP worried about 15 stolen guns

Posted by cgccanada on April 9, 2010

The RCMP is concerned that 15 hand guns stolen from a truck over the weekend could end up in the hands of criminals. The owner of the weapons bought the firearms at a gun show in Calgary and was transporting the hand guns back to Melfort. The firearms, with trigger guards, were stored in lock boxes inside the locked compartment of a 2008 Chevy three-quarter-ton. On Saturday, at approximately 1:30 p.m., the truck broke down just west of Drumheller and was left unattended. The truck was also left alone Saturday night and Sunday morning outside a Kindersley hotel. “The number of stolen guns concerns us,” said Sgt. Doug Coleman, RCMP “F” Division’s Crime Stoppers Police Co-ordinator. “They Could be used in many potential criminal activities. We want to do everything we can do so they don’t end up on the street.” The hand guns stolen include seven Chaparral Arms, Colt, 1873, single action revolver, 45 COLT (army reproductions); two Chaparral Arms, Colt, 1873, single action revolver, 44-40 WIN (army reproductions); one Chaparral Arms, Colt, 1873, single action revolver, 357 Mag (army reproduction); three Norinco, NP 20, semi-automatic, 9mm Lugar; one Norinco, NP 40, semi-automatic, .40 caliber; and one Smith and Wesson, 22A, semi automatic, .22 calibre.

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From Metronews.ca: On gender equality, we’ve come a long way…maybe

Posted by cgccanada on March 1, 2010

Speaking Out by Wendy Cukier

METRO CANADA
February 25, 2010 5:42 a.m.

Reports released in the last week suggest women’s economic progress in Canada has stalled.

The high-profile successes of some prominent, predominantly white, professional women may have obscured the broader trends. While some of us have moved forward, many have been left behind.

A report to the UN on the Status of Canadian Women in Canada documents “systemic erosion” of women’s position in recent years. In 2006, Canada was 14th among 115 countries in the World Forum’s gender gap index, but by 2009 we had slipped to 25th. Citing Stats Canada, the report notes that the wage gap between men and women steadily declined for three decades and then stagnated in 2000. Women employed full-time earned 75 per cent of what men earned in 1980, rising to 79 per cent in 1990 and 85 per cent in 2000 and stuck there in spite of a steady increase in the proportion of women graduating from university.

While these trends are troubling, the gaps for visible minority, aboriginal and disabled women are simply appalling. In addition, more than one-third of Canadian single mothers live below the poverty line at the same time that the advancement of women is being touted as a centepiece in our international development strategies… Read more

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From Canada.com: Man convicted of vicious spousal abuse handed dangerous offender tag

Posted by cgccanada on February 2, 2010

By Lori Coolican, Saskatoon StarPhoenix

January 29, 2010

SASKATOON — James Richard Standingwater is a serial spouse batterer with psychotic tendencies, whose parents — respected members of their home community — lied for him and supported the abuse he perpetrated against the mother of his four children, a Saskatoon judge concluded Friday.

For the sake of Lorinda Antoine’s future safety, he should be locked up indefinitely, Justice Allisen Rothery ruled in declaring Standingwater a dangerous offender.

“He continues to stalk Antoine by letter, attempting to put her freedom in jeopardy for his personal gain,” Rothery noted in a 58-page written judgment.

“Standingwater’s family, to date, has done nothing more than attempt to cover for his violent behaviour against Antoine. His father told a story at trial that Antoine must have sustained her injuries from falling down the basement stairs… more

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From Torontosun.com: He stood against guns

Posted by cgccanada on January 14, 2010

‘Gentle giant’ testified in shooting: Pal
By TAMARA CHERRY AND CHRIS DOUCETTE, TORONTO SUN
Last Updated: 11th January 2010, 5:22am

The sole remaining witness to a shooting that many believe led to the murder of “gentle giant” Kenneth Mark said yesterday she’s certain the Toronto man was killed because he took the stand against gun violence.

It was the concern over whether or not to “snitch” that kept Mark from pointing a finger until about a month after he was shot in September 2008, Robyn, who didn’t want her last name published, said yesterday, a day after Mark’s funeral.

Robyn and her then-year-old son, Malakai, were outside their St. Clair Ave. W. and Runnymede Rd. housing complex with Mark when a gunman wearing a disguise snuck up behind and fired a shotgun, spraying Mark’s face and shoulder with pellets, Robyn said.

“(Mark) pushed us backwards to get in my door,” she recalled, adding she or Malakai would have been shot had they not been blocked by Mark.

The shooting came mere days after Mark confronted a teen in their housing complex about brandishing a gun.

The Walmart manager didn’t threaten to go to police, but rather told the teen something along the lines of, “This is not a ghetto,” Robyn said.

“He didn’t want guns shown to the children.”

Mark was certain the shooting was connected to the confrontation and that he knew who the triggerman was, but he didn’t point fingers right away, Robyn said.

“There’s a big thing in our community about snitching, right? You’re not supposed to be a snitch. Things happen to you, you stay quiet and take it into your own hands,” she said. “That’s how we have so many good people dying, so many youth dying, so many black men dying.”

Two teens were charged with attempted murder and held in custody until last month, when charges were dropped against one teen and the other stood trial.

Mark gave crucial testimony, but the second teen was acquitted on Dec. 17 because of weak eyewitness identification of the masked shooter.

On Dec. 29, less than two weeks after the acquittal, Mark was shot in the back of the head while walking to work.

Grief rippled through the community. Read more

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