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Prison solitary confinement policies draw experts to Winnipeg

The growing use of solitary confinement in Canadian federal prisons has a lot of people concerned. They say the use of segregation cells results in serious mental problems for the prisoners.

The use of segregation cells in federal penitentiaries has grown to 8,600 prisoners a year. That's up from 8,000 in 2010. On any given day in Canada, there are 14,700 inmates in federal prisons. Of that number, some 850 are in solitary confinement.

Opponents of the measures fear it will get worse as  Canada's Conservative Party government follows through on its get-tough-on-cirme agenda.

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Canadian teens stressed out

Students in Toronto report feeling stress and anxiety that drives them to tears and to lose sleep. A wide-ranging survey of 103,000 students by the Toronto District School Board found they are uncertain and worried about their future. These results will be used by the board to plan future strategy for its already-existing mental health services.

In answering questionnaires, almost 60 per cent of students in Grades 7 and 8 said they worried about their future all the time or sometimes. By high school the percentage grew to 73 per cent.

Teens reported feeling tired, having trouble concentrating or making decisions. Almost half didn’t believe they could get over their difficulties and one in three wanted to cry all the time.

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Canada's National Flag Day

This week marks an important national anniversary for Canada.  On February 15th, 1965, the first distinctly Canada official national flag was raised in the cold air on Parliament Hill, in the national capital, Ottawa.

The idea was first proposed, to unappreciative even hostile reception, in the late 1950's.  Remaining fairly quiet at first, the debate began to heat up as the 1960's progressed.  The final design came after a long and often extremely bitter national debate on the political scene between the Liberal Prime Minister, Lester Pearson, seeking a new distinctly Canadian flag, and the Conservative opposition leader John Diefenbaker who staunchly supported the old Canadian Red Ensign of British Naval heritage.  

At the same time, the debate was also raging across all of Canada, and it too was at times very bitter, and yet it was an extremely exciting debate about creating a distinctly Canadian symbol, and to have it in time for Canada’s centennial year, when Canada would host the world at the international world fair, Expo 67.

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Girl Guides of Canada, new leader, new uniform, new directions


The Girls Guides of Canada has a new leader, and is also showing off a brand new uniform for girls aged five to 18.

Sharron Callahan of Newfoundlane and Labrador is the new and recently installed Chief Commissioner of the Girl Guides of Canada
She has been involved with Canadian Guiding from her own childhood first as a brownie, then later in life in a variety of leadership roles.

To talk about the new uniforms and modern additions to the focus of guiding, RCI's Marc Montgomery spoke to Chief Commissioner Callahan earlier this week

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Montreal School Board's Art Treasures For Sale

The English Montreal School Board is saying good-bye to a trove of art treasures collected over the years. Formerly known as the Protestant School Board of Greater Montreal, it was often the recipient of gifts and donations of art in the past.  As far back as the 1930’s, it was not uncommon for parents, alumni, or indeed artists themselves to honour schools with gifts of art.

Then in the 1960’s, Anne Savage, a well-known painter herself and teacher at Montreal’s Baron Byng High School, helped acquire more works and donated some of her own pieces when she became curator of the collection.  Many of the paintings were hung in schools and on display in the Board’s head office in Montreal  The PSBGM Cultural Heritage Foundation was the non-profit group established to oversee the collection.

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