At Home: Quebec prisoners forced to give up smoking
Next year, Quebec will be enforcing its new anti-smoking law in its jails, a law that applies not only to inmates but to prison guards as well. Real Russy of Quebec’s Public Security Department said that the move was aimed purely at creating a healthier environment for inmates and prison employees; neither of these groups will be able to smoke in or out of doors when the enforcement begins (1). As with all bans, this policy has its share of critics, but based on federal Canadian legislation it is a logical and entirely expected step for the province.
Although smoking has been disallowed in Canada’s federal prisons since 2005, provinces have taken longer to inflict the same legislation on their own prisoners. Quebec is the final province to officially take the plunge into smoke-free jails, and coordinators believe that based on examples in other provinces the restriction on tobacco will not have a large impact on internal affairs.
Jean-Claude Bernheim of Quebec’s Prisoners? Rights Committee, however, thinks that prisoners should at least have access to cigarettes while outside because in many cases they have so little to occupy their time otherwise. He remarks that cigarette breaks are often the high point of the day for Quebec prisoners and insinuates that unless more activities are organised for inmates it is unfair to take away one of the only things that an estimated 80% of them enjoy during their incarceration (2).
If prisoners in the province are not ready to undertake the imposed smoking ban, they will be able to access nicotine patches from prison authorities at their own expense.
(1) CTV News, 2007. ?Cigarettes to be banned from Quebec prisons.? Retrieved August 15, 2007, from http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20070815/prison_smokes_070815/20070815?hub=Canada
(2) Breitbart.com. ?Prisoners in Quebec jails to pay for nicotine patches under smoking ban.? Retrieved August 15, 2007, from http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=cp_f9vt747b21&show_article=1
In Foreign News: India celebrates 60 years of independence and a new presence in the world
August 15 marked 60 years of independence for India, and 60 years of an economy free from the apron strings of Great Britain. Celebrations are underway not only in the country itself but in locations all over the world as Indian citizens come together to revel in years of a strengthening economy and an emerging presence on the world stage. The celebrations in Delhi will include a speech by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the release of thousands of kites, according to Festivals of India (1).
CBC News In Depth remarks that this anniversary of independence marks the beginning of a new India, one that boasts a stable government and the kind of reliable economy that could see the country become one of the major players in Eastern affairs. In comparison with the United States and other Western nations, India has invested a higher portion of its national income in technological developments and research projects, and because of this it is expected to soon rival its close neighbour China in such areas.
With an incredibly high population of more than one billion, India has always been a remarkable nation in terms of its history and culture, but now its government and citizens want the rest of the world to see the country for its new developments and modern technologies. Atul Kohli, professor of international affairs at Princeton University, remarks that ?in the past, India possessed a sluggish economy with constant fears of famine and political partitions. Now that these worries have subsided, the country is one of the world’s fastest growing economies, as well as being a relatively stable democracy? (2).
In coming years we should see the fruits of India’s labour and investment in new technologies, its commitment to democracy, and its natural resources?namely, its population.
(1) Festivals of India. ?Independence Day.? Retrieved August 16, 2007, from http://www.festivalsofindia.in/independenceday
(2) CBC News In Depth. ?India at 60, on its way to being a world power.? Retrieved August 16, 2007, from http://www.cbc.ca/news/background/india/binks-india60.html