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Marni Soupcoff

Executive Director, Canadian Constitution Foundation

Marni Soupcoff is Executive Director of the Canadian Constitution Foundation. Her writing appears in the National Post and here at the Huffington Post Canada. She is also a regular contributor to Regulation magazine. Her work has previously appeared in the Washington Post, the New York Post, the Stanford Journal of International Law and other publications.

Marni is a fourth generation Torontonian, but spent nine years in the United States, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the Johns Hopkins University in 1997 and received her law degree from Stanford University in 2000. Before moving back to Toronto, Marni worked as a lawyer with the Institute for Justice, where she litigated economic liberty and property rights cases. She has been a member of the District of Columbia bar since 2000.
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'Elephant Song' Review: Dolan Disappoints, but Greenwood Awes

After screening the movie, I had the good fortune to be able to listen to a Q&A session with Bruce Greenwood, in which he discussed some of the many thoughtful creative choices he and the rest of the cast and crew had made in filming "Elephant Song." Go see this one for Greenwood and Catherine Keener. Just don't expect to remember much beyond them once you leave the theatre.
03/02/2015 06:09 EST
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Cab Companies Cry Foul on Uber Instead of Stepping Up Their Service

In Toronto, where I live, I use Uber's taxi service. The cars and drivers are the exact same ones I'd be using without Uber. But the wait times are three minutes instead of 30, and the trip is automatically charged to my credit card with a tip included. Clearly, taxi companies could have offered those perks themselves. But they never did because they didn't need to. And now that they do, they're crying foul rather than stepping up.
01/15/2015 12:44 EST
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The Week In Review: My Oscar Pick Is Rob Ford

Tonight's Academy Awards ceremony marks the end of a week of predictions about which films will take home a coveted Oscar. Myself, I'm rooting for Philomena, because it just doesn't get much better than Steve Coogan, Judi Dench and Stephen Frears all in one place. Yet if I had to put money it, I'd bet that the celeb who will be most chatted about on Monday won't be one of those three, nor Leo DiCaprio or Sandy Bullock, for that matter. My $50 is on Toronto Mayor Rob Ford being the talk of Tinseltown after attending the Oscars and appearing on Jimmy Kimmel Live! the next evening. Hollywood has never been known for nuance.
03/02/2014 01:24 EST
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The Week In Review: Government Should Never Come Between Beer and a Hockey Fan

This week, most Canadians who wanted to be sitting in a cozy pub or friendly bar to watch Sunday's gold medal hockey game were in luck. Authorities in jurisdictions across the country allowed bars to extend their hours and serve liquor beyond normal times in order to accommodate the popular desire to cheer on team Canada with a beer in hand and fellow fans all around. But the fact that special legal dispensation was required for something as innocuous as letting people have a beer in a bar to watch a sporting event at an unusual time of day should make us all shake our heads.
02/23/2014 07:32 EST
AP

The Week in Review: A Second-Best Tribute to First-Rate Sarah Burke

On Saturday, late Canadian freestyle skier Sarah Burke was honoured as part of National Flag of Canada Day. This was a lovely way to recognize the inspiring young athlete, who died in a training accident two years ago. But given the competitor and athlete that Burke was, there would have been no more fitting spot to honour Sarah Burke than right in the middle of the competitions she loved so much. It's a shame the International Olympic Committee let its bureaucratic anxieties get in the way of such a perfect tribute at Sochi.
02/16/2014 08:11 EST
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Being Polished, Being Plain, and Being OK With Both

Now when someone fixes my collar or warns me about the lipstick on my teeth before I go on TV, I'm only a little mortified; mostly I'm grateful. Because they aren't trying to attack who I am or tell me I'm not good enough. They're trying to help me get my point across by helping me clear away distractions.
02/12/2014 02:13 EST
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The Week in Review: Could We Have Saved Philip Seymour Hoffman?

I don't think more liberal drug laws would, in themselves, have saved Philip Seymour Hoffman, as Russell Brand suggests. Still, the takeaway lesson from Hoffman's death, if there is one, surely must have less to do with the particular individuals who furnished Hoffman with drugs, and more to do with the depressing reality that this was an unexceptional occurrence: 100 Americans die of drug overdoses every single day. That's not a crime problem. It's a health problem. Admitting as much won't save every addict, but it will increase our odds of doing something a little more useful about it each day.
02/08/2014 11:46 EST
AP/CP

The Week In Review: Keystone's Safe, But It'll Still Have to Wait

This week, the U.S. State Department gave the Keystone XL pipeline an environmental thumbs up. In its latest report on the project, the department stated that Keystone wouldn't have a significant environmental impact and wouldn't create unacceptable levels of greenhouse gases. So how much longer can Obama stall before making a decision? Can he ignore the 42,000 jobs and $3.4-billion the report suggests Keystone would bring to the U.S. economy? Probably yes. Any decision Obama makes will inevitably alienate part of his constituency, either environmentalists or unionists, so he has an interest in putting it off as long as possible.
02/02/2014 02:38 EST
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The Week In Review: The Mac Turns 30

This week, the Macintosh computer turned 30. As someone who plugged away on a boxy little Mac SE from high school all the way through university, I can't help but feel a great deal of personal tenderness for the Mac. But as Stephen Fry reminds us in the Daily Telegraph, the original Mac was much more than just a cute new product (that now serves as a cue for nostalgia). It was a revolution that included folders and windows "which could be operated and manipulated, not by keyboard commands but by this mystical magical mouse." It's easy to forget what a departure that was. And how many naysayers were sure it would never last.
01/26/2014 10:25 EST
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A Letter to My Children

You do not always get along. Sam told me approximately 44 times this morning that P.J. popped her green balloon. P.J. sometimes resorts to creating Mega-bloks jail cells to contain Sam. Alex pulls Sam's hair. Sam pulls back. But you get more pure joy from each other than you get from water balloons, McDonald's fries and the iPad combined. Which is saying a lot.
01/20/2014 03:06 EST
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The Week In Review: When Rights Collide, Seek Common Sense

The collective freakout Canadian commentators seem to be having about a collision of religious and gender rights is overblown. Yes, some decisions must be made that won't please everyone. But usually the people involved can figure things out sensibly, without human rights commissions or TV commentators dictating the correct answers. Because realistically, those answers will differ in each case. If we concentrate more on protecting the overarching right of individuals to act as they see fit, then the complicated calculations (Does gender trump religion? Does creed trump sexual orientation?) will take care of themselves.
01/19/2014 08:07 EST
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The Week In Review: Putin's PR Problem

Maybe 25 days before Russia takes the world spotlight wasn't the best time for the Russian Orthodox Church to promote the idea of returning to a Stalin-era law prohibiting consenting adults from choosing their own partners. It's generally considered unseemly to initiate a human-rights disaster so close to hosting the games. However at least the Church has done the world a favour; it has reminded us that the reality of present-day Russia is a lot less like the palatable version Mr. Putin is trying to sell us and a lot more like the repressive and abusive version we suspect.
01/12/2014 08:40 EST
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Don't Overgeneralize About Global Warming

It made little sense for Calgary city councillor Sean Chu to imply on Twitter that a cold Calgary winter calls global warming into question. Many, including Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi, mocked Chu's extrapolation. Which is sort of fair. Chu was being illogical. Yet, it's interesting to note that those advocating for the environment are guilty of similar fallacies quite often. When deadly Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines earlier this year, everyone from Prince Charles to John Kerry linked the one storm with anthropogenic climate change, which is scientifically impossible to do. Why weren't they mocked too?
01/07/2014 12:12 EST
CP

The Week In Review: Toronto's Trees Don't Need the Army, They Need Less Red Tape

With Toronto's ice storm now past, the city is turning its attention to cleaning up fallen branches and taking care of damaged trees -- a process that we're told will cost $75-million. About $25-million of that money will be spent on picking up the debris, with the rest going to tending to the injured tree canopy. Despite the extensive damage, though, Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly's musings about calling in the army to help wrestle errant branches into submission seems an overreaction. Perhaps the more relevant musing at this point is: Why is it so onerous for Toronto residents to maintain, prune, or -- God forbid -- remove trees in their own yards?
01/05/2014 02:40 EST
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The Week In Review: Top Blogs of 2013

For HuffPost Canada, 2013 was a year in which our blogs really came into their own, combining powerful personal stories with thoughtful commentary, all in the tell-it-like-it-is style for which our bloggers have become known. There were provocative takes on Miley Cyrus's performance at the VMAs, warning calls about the future of free speech in Canada and reflections on what makes a great leader, as discovered by Calgarians as they watched their mayor take action during their city's floods. (No comment on what Torontonians discovered about the same subject.)
12/29/2013 09:35 EST
CP

The Week In Review: How the Government Can Fix Canada's Prostitution Laws

Now that the government's hand has been forced, let's hope it will take the view of prostitution it should have all along: seeing and treating it as work. Work that can involve danger and nuisance, yes. Work that most of us would strongly prefer our grown children did not choose. But work just the same. And work that will take place whether the government bans it or not. As the Supreme Court's decision recognized, harsh criminal penalties aren't an acceptable way to address the harms of the sex trade because these penalties just force prostitution underground, making life unconscionably dangerous for sex-workers.
12/22/2013 09:17 EST

On Writing Your Heart Out

"Trust your heart," J.D. Salinger's Seymour writes to his brother Buddy. "You're a deserving craftsman. It would never betray you." Do the rest of us get the same dispensation even if we're not deserving craftsmen? Might we be permitted time spent writing potential crap, as long as it's crap that genuinely pleases us (if no one else) to read?
12/20/2013 10:46 EST
Toronto Star/CP

The Week In Review: Daniel Dale Shouldn't Be Covering Rob Ford

If what Rob Ford has been saying about Daniel Dale is untrue, as Dale insists, then I don't blame the reporter for initiating legal action in an effort to protect his reputation. However, I do take issue with his insistence that it's fine for him to remain on the city hall beat for the Toronto Star while he does so. A reporter should be as impartial as possible, which means at a minimum he should have no obvious conflicts with the subjects he's reporting on. And there are few conflicts more obvious than being on the other end of a lawsuit with someone. Dale can't provide objective coverage about Ford at the same time that he's suing him.
12/15/2013 11:34 EST
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The 5 Most Frustrating Things About Turning 40

I'm turning 40 in a little more than a month. As this milestone has loomed, I've told myself many times that it's not a big deal. I have never been sympathetic to the whining about aging by healthy people in a good life space, but I've go to admit: I'm starting to see their point.
12/13/2013 11:33 EST