They say that some politicians have a short ‘honeymoon period’, well in the “year of our lord” 2015 I think we can agree, the honeymoon is over. The only honeymoon that might have been shorter belongs to Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries. Perhaps we could ask for a do over and we declare January 28th New Year’s Eve part 2 and as of 9pm that night we start 2015 all over again?
Consider these news items that have taken place within the 1st 12 days of the year. Fresh off 49 shootings in 2014, the first of 2015 in Ottawa takes place on day 9 of 2015. By the 12th of January 3 Ottawans had been arrested on terrorism charges and of course the tragic events in Paris took place within the first week of the year. We can look to past events in Ottawa, St-Jean-sur-Richelieu and Sydney that took place in the last quarter of 2014 as the events that pulled the past year into the new. We are struggling in each of these instances to make sense of why they happened and what needs to be done to prevent a further opportunity for a repeat.
In Ottawa, the Mayor, Police Chief and the Ontario Minister for Correctional Services met to find a way to have a, ‘exit strategy’ for young people leaving detention to prevent them from going back to the ‘gang family’. Looking for an ‘exit strategy’ could be no further than Bill C-10 and Mandatory minimums. Though the mandatory minimums are controversial, the Bill offers a chance for those convicted a chance to gain an ‘exit strategy’ rather than being let our much earlier with no strategy for live on the outside. Rob Sampson, Chair of the Correction Services of Canada Review Panel and a former Minister of Correctional Services in Ontario, states in several interviews that rather than an early release from prison where someone will likely go back to an old life and re-offend, a mandatory minimum provides the time for training and a chance for a new and different life, a life away from the gang family that seems to be large and growing in Ottawa.
A lot of 2014 seems to have steamrolled its way into 2015. We need to take the hope, good faith and good intentions that are still with us from 2014 into the New Year and make our communities safe, provide our youth with a promising future and teach restraint and respect for others.
If you need a re-do for New Year’s Eve, pick a day, time and do it – but after it’s done start fresh and let’s make the rest of 2015 the best we each can contribute for a better outcome than the start may have forecast.
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