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Special tribunal among options to probe crimes linked to unmarked graves: official

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OTTAWA — An independent official appointed to help communities investigate unmarked graves at former residential school sites says she is exploring the idea of whether a special tribunal should prosecute or investigate related crimes.

Kimberly Murray, whom the federal government named as a special interlocutor on the file in June, says that questions of justice are arising often in her conversations with Indigenous communities and survivors.

Murray is a former executive director of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, which spent seven years investigating the residential school system.

The creation of the independent office she now leads was spurred by announcements from First Nations across Western Canada, beginning last year, that ground-penetrating radar technology had detected the presence of what are believed to be hundreds of unmarked graves near where residential schools once operated.

As of May, government statistics showed that at least 1,685 such graves had been reported across nine First Nations.

The findings touched off a reckoning about the ongoing impacts of residential schools and raised questions of accountability around the deaths and disappearances of Indigenous children who were forced to attend the government-funded, church-run institutions.

“I am not thinking that the current justice system in Canada is capable of doing this type of investigation and prosecution,” Murray, a member of the Kanesatake Mohawk Nation in Quebec,said in an interview Thursday. “And so, what’s the right answer?”

She said reports from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission document the history of distrust Indigenous communities have toward the justice system, so she is considering looking to international experts to get their advice.

“How do we prosecute entities for any wrongdoing that happened?” she asked. “Is there a possibility for an ad hoc tribunal of some sort to do this?”

Advocates including the Native Women’s Association of Canada and the federal New Democrats have suggested appointing a special prosecutor.

Justice officials explored the feasibility of doing so last year, according to a heavily redacted briefing note that was recently released to The Canadian Press through access-to-information legislation.

“Crimes that may have been committed include those in relation to the children’s deaths, those committed in relation to the disposal of the bodies, and past and present future crimes in relation to the burial sites themselves (including their management),” the document reads.

In January, federal officials advised they did not think it would be possible to appoint a prosecutor — but left the door open for the special interlocutor, who had not yet been appointed, to say otherwise.

“As the Department of Justice has advised, the appointment of an independent federal ‘special prosecutor’ is not feasible within the current legislative framework, because of jurisdictional considerations,” read a separate briefing note, also obtained by The Canadian Press through freedom of information laws.

“The special interlocutor’s mandate could include hearing the views of communities, families and survivors on what their expectations are when it comes to prosecutions and consider recommendations for a new legislated framework if a special prosecutor at the federal level is needed.”

Both the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs and Assembly of First Nations have said there needs to be an independent investigation into crimes that happened at residential schools, with the latter looking to the United Nations Human Rights Council and the International Criminal Court.

While making policy recommendations is a major part of Murray’s mandate, she said she has spent much of her time meeting with different communities, hosting gatherings and helping residential school survivors with their search for records.

“I had survivor contact me and say, ‘I don’t know where I was,’” she said.

‘I don’t know if I was in an Indian residential school, I don’t know if was in a sanatorium. All I know is I was taken away from a remote fly-in community and taken to southern Ontario. Can you find me?’”

Murray has a two-year term, and a progress report on her office’s work so far is expected to be released next week.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 4, 2022.

 

Stephanie Taylor, The Canadian Press

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Mexico visa-free travel a ‘bilateral irritant’ for Canada-U.S. relations – National – Global News

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Mexico visa-free travel a ‘bilateral irritant’ for Canada-U.S. relations – National  Global News

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Show Employers You Can Hit the Ground Running

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Employers are increasingly stating: “We want someone who can hit the ground running.”

Essentially, the message is, “Don’t expect us to explain the basics. We expect you to know your sh*t.” Employers understand you’ll need time to learn their business, applications, software, infrastructure, etc. However, they expect that you’re proficient in Microsoft Office Suite software (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), understand file management (creating, saving, and organizing files), and know how to troubleshoot common computer problems, and won’t be learning these basic computer skills as part of your learning curve on their dime.

Employers aren’t in the business of training people. You’re responsible for your career; therefore, you’re responsible for acquiring the skillset you need.

For an employee’s compensation to be justified, an ROI (return on investment) is required. When referring to employment, ROI refers to the value an employee brings to the company relative to their compensation. Employers pay their employees, and employees work for their wages. Employee work value is created when their work directly or indirectly results in profitably selling the company’s goods and services. Your best chance of job security (no guarantee) is to be an employee who undeniably contributes measurable value to your employer’s profitability.

(Employee’s measurable value to the company) – (Employer’s investment in compensation) = (ROI)

Understandably, employers are looking for candidates who can make an immediate impact, individuals who can jump right in, learn and adapt quickly, and start delivering results as soon as possible. Hence, you want to distinguish yourself as being capable and willing to “hit the ground running.”

Here are some tips to help you present yourself as a fast-starting, high-potential hire:

Emphasize relevant experience

Presenting irrelevant information will be perceived as lacking the ability to communicate succinctly, a highly valued skill in the business world. Only share experiences and quantified results (key), results that are pertinent to the position you’re applying for.

When crafting your resume and cover letter, identify the skills, knowledge, and previous responsibilities/quantified results that align with the job you’re aiming for. By demonstrating that you’ve “been there, done that” and brought measurable value to previous employers in a similar scenario, employers will feel confident that you can immediately deliver value.

Showcase transferable skills

Consider the universal soft skills that employers universally value.

  • Analytical
  • Communication
  • Interpersonal
  • Problem-solving
  • Project management
  • Time management

Tell STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) stories—describing a specific situation, the task you were assigned, the actions you took, and the results of your actions—that showcase your soft skills and explain how you can leverage them to succeed in the role you’re applying for. This’ll assure your interviewer you have the fundamental skills to achieve successful outcomes.

“While working at Norback, Jenkins, & St. Clair, I led a team of five architects to redesign a historic downtown Winnipeg landmark according to strict deadlines and complex stakeholder demands. I conducted Monday morning team meetings and used Slack to provide tailored updates to keep the team aligned. As a result of my communication skills, the project was completed on time and under the $7.5 million dollars budget.”

Discuss onboarding insights

A great way to position yourself as someone eager to hit the ground running is to show that you’ve considered what it’ll take to start delivering value.

“Based on my understanding of the typical onboarding timeline for this type of position, I anticipate completing all training and ramp-up activities within my first two weeks, enabling me to begin tackling projects by my first quarter.”

Assuming you’ve researched the company and studied current industry trends, which you should have done, mention the extra steps you’ve taken to prepare for the role. This’ll show your willingness to learn and will require minimal handholding.

Emphasize quick adaptability

Employers value the ability to adapt quickly to new situations and challenges. During your interviews, share examples of your flexibility and agility.

At some point in your career, you’ve likely had to learn something new (e.g., software, operating system) on the fly. Also likely, you’ve had to navigate a major change or disruption. Using STAR stories, explain how you approached these scenarios, your strategies, and the positive outcomes.

By showing resilience, resourcefulness, and adaptability, you demonstrate that you can thrive in ambiguous or rapidly evolving environments.

Propose a transition plan.

Presenting a transition plan is a strategy that wows employers, primarily because it is rare for a candidate to do this. This shows you’re ready to take ownership of your onboarding and deliver results.

Include specifics like:

  • Milestones you aim to accomplish in your first 30, 60, and 90 days.
  • Training activities or learning opportunities you’ll pursue.
  • Initial projects or tasks you’d tackle to demonstrate your capabilities.
  • Ways you’ll quickly build relationships with your new colleagues.

Showing this level of forethought and initiative shows you’re a strategic thinker, able to organize your thoughts, and, most importantly, eager to get started.

By touting your relevant experience, showcasing your transferable skills, discussing your onboarding insights, emphasizing your quick adaptability, and proposing a detailed transition plan, you’ll position yourself as a self-driven professional capable of driving results from the start, differentiating you from your competition.

_____________________________________________________________________

 

Nick Kossovan, a well-seasoned veteran of the corporate landscape, offers “unsweetened” job search advice. You can send Nick your questions to artoffindingwork@gmail.com.

 

 

 

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Karen Read back in court after murder case of Boston police officer boyfriend ended in mistrial

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BOSTON (AP) — Karen Read returns to court Monday for the first time since her murder case involving her Boston police officer boyfriend ended in a mistrial.

Read is accused of ramming into John O’Keefe with her SUV and leaving him for dead in a snowstorm in January 2022. Her two-month trial ended when jurors declared they were hopelessly deadlocked and a judge declared a mistrial on the fifth day of deliberations.

Jury deliberations during the trial are among the issues likely to be addressed.

In several motions, the defense contends four jurors have said the jury unanimously reached a not-guilty verdict on those two charges. The jurors reported being deadlocked only on the charge of manslaughter while operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol and trying her again for murder would be unconstitutional double jeopardy, they said.

The defense also argues Judge Beverly Cannone abruptly announced the mistrial without questioning the jurors about where they stood on each of the three charges Read faced and without giving lawyers for either side a chance to comment.

Prosecutors described the defense request to drop charges of second-degree murder and leaving the scene of a deadly accident an “unsubstantiated but sensational post-trial claim” based on “hearsay, conjecture and legally inappropriate reliance as to the substance of jury deliberations.”

As they push against a retrial, the defense also wants the judge to hold a “post-verdict inquiry” and question all 12 jurors if necessary to establish the record they say should have been created before the mistrial was declared, showing jurors “unanimously acquitted the defendant of two of the three charges against her.”

After the mistrial, Cannone ordered the names of the jurors to not be released for 10 days. She extended that order indefinitely Thursday after one of the jurors filed a motion saying they feared for their own and their family’s safety if the names are made public. The order does not preclude a juror from coming forward and identifying themselves, but so far none have done so.

Prosecutors argued the defense was given a chance to respond and, after one note from the jury indicating it was deadlocked, told the court there had been sufficient time and advocated for the jury to be declared deadlocked. Prosecutors wanted deliberations to continue, which they did before a mistrial was declared the following day.

“Contrary to the representation made in the defendant’s motion and supporting affidavits, the defendant advocated for and consented to a mistrial, as she had adequate opportunities to object and instead remained silent which removes any double jeopardy bar to retrial,” prosecutors wrote in their motion.

Read, a former adjunct professor at Bentley College, had been out drinking with O’Keefe, a 16-year member of the Boston police who was found outside the Canton home of another Boston police officer. An autopsy found O’Keefe died of hypothermia and blunt force trauma.

The defense contended O’Keefe was killed inside the home after Read dropped him off and that those involved chose to frame her because she was a “convenient outsider.”

The Canadian Press. All rights reserved.



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