Monday, September 12, 2011

Monday Post

A bit of a slow day.

A woman convicted of infanticide walks free:

An Alberta judge has let a woman who strangled her newborn son walk free by arguing that Canada’s absence of a law on abortion signals that Canadians “sympathize” with the mother....

Katrina Effert of Wetaskiwin, Alberta gave birth secretly in her parents’ downstairs bathroom on April 13, 2005, and then later strangled the newborn and threw his body over a fence.  She was 19 at the time.

She has been found guilty of second-degree murder by two juries, but both times the judgment was thrown out by the appeals court.  In May, the Alberta Court of Appeal overturned her 2009 murder conviction and replaced it with the lesser charge of infanticide.

On Friday, Effert got a three-year suspended sentence from Justice Joanne Veit of the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench.  As a result, she was able to walk out of court, though she will have to abide by certain conditions.

According to Justice Veit, Canada’s lack of an abortion law indicates that “while many Canadians undoubtedly view abortion as a less than ideal solution to unprotected sex and unwanted pregnancy, they generally understand, accept and sympathize with the onerous demands pregnancy and childbirth exact from mothers, especially mothers without support.”

“Naturally, Canadians are grieved by an infant’s death, especially at the hands of the infant’s mother, but Canadians also grieve for the mother,” she added.

Wrong. I don't grieve for the mother. Ever.

Let's elect our judges.

(hat tip)

Blazing Cat Fur has some amazing pictures of New York.

Phantom has a rather interesting idea for a September 11th memorial.

Sucks to be you, francophones:

The latest studies published by Quebec’s language watchdog, the Office québécois de la langue française, have drawn predictable warnings that the sky is falling. The headline-grabbing statistic is Université de Montréal demographer Marc Termote’s projection that by 2031, fewer than half the residents of the island of Montreal will speak French at home.

The knee-jerk reaction to this news, heard from various language hawks since the data was published Friday, is that French is being swamped in a relentless English tide....

What the report actually found was that Quebec is following precisely the course one would expect when an old-stock population stops having babies and immigrants are needed to compensate for the fertility decline. 

What used to be a two-player, French-English game has been transformed by the influx of allophones, those whose mother tongue is not one of the official languages.

Between 1971 and 2006, the year for which the latest census data is available, the allophone share of the population jumped to 21% from 11% on the island of Montreal and to 7.6% from 4.5% in all of Quebec.

During the same period, francophones went from 61% of the population on the island of Montreal to 54% in 2006, and anglophones dropped to 25% from 27.4%. Looking forward, Mr. Termote predicts that in 2031, the proportion of francophones on the island will fall to 47.4%, that of anglophones to 23% and that of allophones will increase to 30%.

Of course the divide between the island and the rest of the Montreal metropolitan area is an arbitrary one favoured by the glass-half-empty crowd. For metropolitan Montreal, which includes surrounding suburbs, francophones are projected to still account for 63% of the population in 2031. In Quebec as a whole, Mr. Termote envisages francophones representing 78% of the population in 2031, allophones 12% and anglophones 10%.

What the numbers reveal is that the great social engineering project launched 34 years ago with Bill 101 has its limits. One of the main factors for the decline of the francophone population on the island of Montreal is that young families have migrated en masse to off-island suburbs. Unless allowing key bridges onto the island to fall into their current disrepair was a shrewd plan to counter urban sprawl, the government has been powerless to reverse that trend.

And despite all the government’s family-friendly policies, francophone Quebec is not about to return to the days when families of 10 children were common. Immigration will remain key to the province’s economic survival, just as it is in other big Canadian cities. The proportion of allophones in metropolitan Toronto rose to 43.6% in 2006 from 39.9% five years earlier. In Vancouver, it jumped to 41.1% from 37.6%.

Witness the decline of the McKenzies and Bouchards. Culture matters. If you want yours to survive, do something about it. Something sane.

What the hell is wrong with people?

An alleged slave ring operating in the heart of England where people had their heads shaved and were forced to live in kennels and horse trailers has been broken up by police.

Officers said they found 24 British and eastern European men living in “shockingly filthy and cramped” conditions on a mobile home site in Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire.

The men were forced to do manual labouring jobs such as paving driveways and clearing rubble from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m., because they were deemed cheaper than hiring machinery, according to reports.

On Sunday morning, 200 police raided the site and arrested four men and a woman.

Detective Chief Inspector Sean O’Neil, from the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit, said, “Some of these people have come off covered in excrement and dirty clothing because that was all they were allowed to live in.

“After being cared for, given food and fresh clothing, we hope to then interview them. That in itself will take a long time because these people are institutionalized.

“One person we know has been here 15 years — so to him this is normal life,” he told the BBC.

And now, trust issues around the world.

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