Archive for July, 2015

‘Like a bolt from the blue’ – Rubinowitz in early Vancouver

July 31, 2015

by Janet Mary Nicol

“Like a bolt from the blue, and to my profound astonishment, I was on Tuesday afternoon set upon by a number of special constables and arrested,” Israel Rubinowitz wrote from his prison cell in Nanaimo.

It was autumn 1913 when the budding defence lawyer made a plea for his release, penning a letter to Judge Frederick Howay in the midst of a coal miners’ strike on Vancouver Island. Though a Conservative in politics, Rubinowitz offered a passionate, occasionally radical, perspective in British Columbian courtrooms. He grew up in Vancouver, studied at McGill University in Montreal and attended Oxford University in England on a Rhodes scholarship in 1905. He returned to Vancouver and had only practised law for a short time when he found himself in Nanaimo – as both counsel and accused.

The story of Rubinowitz’ tragically short life and dynamic legal work is available in the latest issue of The Jewish Independent (Vancouver) and will appear in full in the historical journal, “The Scribe” at a later date.

Link to story at – http://www.jewishindependent.ca/like-a-bolt-from-the-blue/

dominion-hotel-1904

Above is a photograph of the Dominion Hotel in Vancouver’s Gastown district–past and present. Rubinowitz’ father owned a store at the corner on the main floor for several years and this is where the young Rubinowitz worked as a clerk and accountant while attending school.

Violence Against Aboriginal Women

July 9, 2015

‘A Human Rights Crisis’

by Janet Nicol

Connie Greyeyes travels to Ottawa every year, bringing public attention to the missing and murdered aboriginal women in the Peace region of northern British Columbia. And each year, when Greyeyes unfurls a banner on Parliament Hill, the list of victims’ names grows longer.

“This drew our attention,” says Jackie Hansen, an Amnesty International staff member. “We thought, ‘what’s going on?’”

Amnesty has long declared the high level of violence experienced by aboriginal women in Canada a “human rights crisis.” Last year, a national report by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police found 1,186 aboriginal women had gone missing or been murdered in the past 30 years.

In this article, I interview Connie Greyeyes and Jackie Hansen about this urgent issue.
Available in Peace magazine, July-September 2015 issue and will appear on line soon at

http://peacemagazine.org/archive/v31n3p06.htm

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