Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

Looks Like 'Serve and Protect' Doesn't Extend To Toronto's Black Community

Senator Mobina Jaffer | Posted 04.07.2014 | Canada Politics
Senator Mobina Jaffer

All I could see was my dad attempting to move past the first officer and that officer not moving, continuing to block the door way and then preceding to hold back my father. I screamed, "Daddy, just wait! Just wait! Don't move any further." I was reminded me of the rash, fatal shooting and tasering of Sammy Yatim and feared that my father could too have suffered a similar fate

The Importance of Minority Women Role-Models for Young Women and Girls

Senator Mobina Jaffer | Posted 04.02.2014 | Canada Politics
Senator Mobina Jaffer

Systemic discrimination expands beyond our general scope of understanding. Behind every young man that is criminalized there is a community that is affected, and half of that community is female. These women are all affected by the higher likelihood of their community's men being criminalized. It is fundamental to our Canadian values to make all members of society feel at home, and that requires addressing the systemic discrimination that exists in our nation.

Marois Willing To Invoke Notwithstanding Clause

CP | The Canadian Press | Posted 03.31.2014 | Canada Politics

TROIS-RIVIERES, - Parti Quebecois Leader Pauline Marois is prepared to invoke the rarely used notwithstanding clause to ensure her party's controversi...

Visible Minority Youth Aren't Getting Adequate Access to Legal Aid

Senator Mobina Jaffer | Posted 03.28.2014 | Canada Politics
Senator Mobina Jaffer

When an at risk visible minority youth comes into contact with the law they often cannot afford the high cost of legal counsel and are forced to apply for legal aid. But what happens when they are unable to access the essential legal aid program? The fact of the matter is that many at risk visible minority youth come from backgrounds of poverty where they are unable to afford their own legal counsel which means they must rely on the government legal aid program. Federal government funding to provinces and territories to provide legal aid services has not changed in 10 years.

Toronto's Carding System Is Basically a 'Stop and Frisk' Program

Senator Mobina Jaffer | Posted 03.26.2014 | Canada Politics
Senator Mobina Jaffer

On March 3, the Standing Senate Committee on Human Rights discussed the issue of visible minority youth and their interactions with the criminal justice system. In Toronto, the police have implemented a carding system where police forces stop, question and document people during non-criminal encounters on the streets. Statistics about carding in Toronto tell us that people who are black or brown are more likely to be carded than whites. Essentially this means that a brown or black person is more likely to be seen as suspicious by the police than someone who is white.

Understanding Systemic Discrimination in Our Criminal Justice System - Part 1

Senator Mobina Jaffer | Posted 03.21.2014 | Canada Politics
Senator Mobina Jaffer

Visible Minority Youth Need Our Support On March 3, 2014 the Standing Senate Committee on Human Rights met to discuss the issue of visible minority y...

If You Have Nothing to Hide, Why Wear Pants?

Danielle S. McLaughlin | Posted 01.23.2014 | Canada Living
Danielle S. McLaughlin

If our youngest citizens grow up not understanding their rights and freedoms, we may all find, likely too late, that we have lost something very valuable: our privacy.

Marois' Charter of Anti-Canadian Values

Mitch Wolfe | Posted 10.23.2013 | Canada Politics
Mitch Wolfe

Marois is now trying to frighten French Quebec voters into believing that the growing communities of Quebec Muslims, Jews and Sikhs are threatening to impose their cultures and religious beliefs on French Quebecers and threaten the identity of French Quebecers. I think that Marois is hoping that these proposals will create a terrible backlash in the rest of Canada.

Patriating the Constitution and the Charter

Bob Rae | Posted 07.20.2013 | Canada Politics
Bob Rae

The recent flurry about patriating the Canadian constitution has brought back a flood of memories, and some reflections. Patriation was not an exercise in partisanship. Neither was the Charter. The origins of the desire to "bring the Constitution home" go back decades.

Someone Tell the Conservatives: Our Charter's Worth Celebrating

Irwin Cotler | Posted 06.17.2013 | Canada Politics
Irwin Cotler

As opposed to viewing the Charter as a hindrance to its legislative agenda, the government should embrace the Charter -- as have lawyers, judges, academics, and even the majority of Canadians according to public opinion polls. We should be promoting and protecting those values the document enshrines.

Muzzling Scientists Is an Assault on Democracy

David Suzuki | Posted 06.10.2013 | Canada Impact
David Suzuki

The government appears determined to challenge any information, person or organization that could stand in the way of its plans for rapid tar sands expansion and transport and sale of raw resources as quickly as possible to any country with money. The results have been astounding.

Hate Crime Comes of Age in Canada

Wayne K. Spear | Posted 05.04.2013 | Canada Politics
Wayne K. Spear

Numerous examples, as recent and divergent in character as Hutu Power and the suicide of Amanda Todd, establish the causal relationship of hateful expression and material harms. And who can doubt the cranking of the thermostat which would occur if the William Whatcotts had their way? Viewed in this sense, Canadian hate speech laws may best be characterized not only as a striking of balance but as an essentially pre-emptive effort. But the Flanagan case reminds us that even in the absence of a formal criminal charge, an offended majority will impose its justice of the marketplace.

An Open Letter to Jean-François Lisée

Tony Kondaks | Posted 12.24.2012 | Canada Politics
Tony Kondaks

As the newly appointed Minister Responsible for the Montreal Region, Quebec Premier Marois has asked you to start a dialogue with the province's anglophone minority. Real nations are benevolent to their minorities. Perhaps acting as if you already are a nation may make nationhood become a reality that much faster. Mr. Lisée, give us this pittance. Throw us this crumb.

Watching the Watchdog: The Freedom of Speech Award Goes to...

Tim Knight | Posted 12.11.2012 | Canada
Tim Knight

So there I am in my last column agonizing over whether Canada should ban that obscene and hateful Internet video called Innocence of Muslims, when it occurs to me that it might be a really good idea to come up with an example of freedom of speech in action. Something easily understandable. Something vivid. Something gutsy.

Watching the Watchdog: Saving Canadian Journalism From Itself

Tim Knight | Posted 10.29.2012 | Canada
Tim Knight

Slowly, slowly, the dwindling band of journalists who survive all the cuts are being acclimatized to the notion that their job is no longer to serve the people in our democracy -- a tradition proudly built up over the past couple of hundred years, often at great cost -- but to serve their employer. So why don't we, the people, take over -- subsidize our precious democratic journalism ourselves? Here's the plan.

Omar Khadr Has the Right to Return to a Canadian Prison

Sukanya Pillay | Posted 09.05.2012 | Canada Politics
Sukanya Pillay

The U.S. has now agreed to transfer Omar Khadr to a Canadian prison to serve the remainder of his sentence. By law, the Canadian government should not obstruct his transfer to a Canadian prison. Here is why we believe it is time to repatriate Omar Khadr ASAP.

Hey Tories, Celebrating the War of 1812 Should Not be Partisan

Gavin Charles | Posted 08.26.2012 | Canada Politics
Gavin Charles

This year marks the bicentennial of the outbreak of the War of 1812, and it is right that Canadians recognize and celebrate its significance. To celebrate and commemorate only those parts -- indeed, those parts of parts -- of Canadian history that fit the talking points and policy direction of a particular government is to diminish the true greatness of the Canadian story.

Tories Nixed Plan For Big Charter Birthday Party

CP | Stephanie Levitz, The Canadian Press | Posted 08.06.2012 | Canada Politics

OTTAWA - Bureaucrats planned an elaborate party to celebrate the birthday of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms but the Conservative government refuse...

Harper Shrugs Off Charter Celebrations

Errol P. Mendes | Posted 06.15.2012 | Canada Politics
Errol P. Mendes

Can a single constitutional document change the evolution of a society? I would argue that happened with the Canadian people when the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms was signed on April 17, 1982 by the Queen on Parliament Hill. On April 17, 2012, we should all be celebrating the 30th Anniversary of this historic document.

Charter Made Canada A 'Constitutional' Trendsetter

CBC | Posted 06.16.2012 | Canada Politics

Forget, if you will, the prediction that Canada is fast becoming an energy superpower, able to wield influence on the world. ...

Thatcher Cabinet Considered Nixing Canadian Charter

CP | Jim Bronskill, The Canadian Press | Posted 06.15.2012 | Canada Politics

OTTAWA - The British cabinet considered denying Canada's proposal to create a Charter of Rights amid concern that Pierre Trudeau was pushing the plan ...

Human Smuggling Bill Just a Political Game?

Errol P. Mendes | Posted 11.28.2011 | Canada
Errol P. Mendes

If the evidence from independent non-partisan groups have concluded that the Harper government's human smuggling legislation is really not about curtailing human smuggling, what is the real political rationale for it? It is not unreasonable to suspect the answer is that refugees are being exploited for permanent political gain

Ontario's Top Court To Decide On Landmark Prostitution Case

CP | Posted 08.12.2011 | Canada

THE CANADIAN PRESS -- TORONTO - A landmark case that could leave prostitution decriminalized is drawing a lot of attention from intervening groups arg...