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Even before Canada's Premiers departed Whitehorse on Friday, media coverage was applauding a "ground-breaking" and "historic" agreement on internal trade within Canada. Not so fast. One key omission was immediately evident. When it comes to alcohol, the agreement will establish "a working group on alcoholic beverages, which will explore opportunities to improve trade in beer, wine and spirits across Canada."
Is it too much to ask in the 21st century to self-identify based on the beliefs you hold so dearly? After all, who has the right to tell me who I am and who I'm not? Apparently the Pakistani government does, who have declared the Ahmadiyya community "infidel" and non-Muslim since the infamous ruling in 1974.
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As senator, you will be entering in a whole new phase of your life. As a newcomer, you have a freedom of thought and a creativity which will invariably be constrained once you will have internalized the Senate's culture. Use this limited time wisely.
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The battle for civil rights eventually gave rise to such watershed moments as the Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education, the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act and serious attempts at affirmative action. Sadly, some of those initiatives are even now being curtailed by an increasingly tone-deaf right wing majority on the Supreme Court.
Most of us, having only a vague understanding of the Senate's possible functions and past realizations, see it as illegitimate or undemocratic, and wish to correct the situation by applying one of two stereotypical and superficial recipes: election or abolition.
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The Constitution defined a container, but not the content. Nothing in it says that the Senate has to be a partisan body. It has become so by choice, due to a particular political culture. Filling the Senate with non-partisan members is a practical first step to its cultural evolution.
Canada must talk about the real challenges facing our country -- our response to the greatest threat humanity faces, climate change. We should be talking about trade deals, endangered species, protecting water resources, our responsibilities to the rest of the world and so much more. Instead, this election has bogged down into "dead cat" distractions like niqabs, an issue that affects almost no one!
In sum, while Magna Carta certainly represents the enduring nature of our legal order, it also underscores just how fragile the rule of law is. As we rightly celebrate what we have held onto for so long, we must also recognize what could have been lost. Magna Carta, like our own Charter of Rights and Freedoms, is by itself only a document and is therefore only as good as those who are tasked with interpreting and enforcing its provisions.
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To celebrate the ideas of the constitution made more 200 years back might seem irrelevant and outdated. However, for Norwegians everywhere May 17 is a reminder of freedom fight, of identity, and of gratefulness for shared values. In Canada, we find a close ally that share these ideas.
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MP Joy Smith's December 10 editorial declares it "appalling" that 25 members of Toronto City Council asked Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne to refer the Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act to the Ontario Court of Appeal. In imposing her preferred frame of "survivors of prostitution" versus "pimps and johns," she fails to address the crucial point of the councillors' letter.
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A celebration of our history brings us to reflect on the present. There are certain questions we must ask ourselves. What challenges do Norway, Canada, and other like-minded countries face in our efforts, for example, to promote democracy, protect, and live in an inclusive society with equal rights and non-discriminatory practices? What is our role in the global picture?
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Bruce found himself convicted of roughly two dozen counts of possessing unlicensed firearms. He was sentenced to 18 months in jail and a lifetime prohibition order from possessing firearms; therefore, he can no longer be a gunsmith. Moreover, his entire inventory of firearms and ammunition (worth roughly $116,000) was forfeited to the Crown.
Since the Conservatives have come to power, that same trend has unfortunately continued and a number of small-c conservative MPs have begun to voice their disapproval. The latest to do so is Brent Rathgeber, over what he referred to as the Conservative's lack of commitment to "open government."
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ST-TITE, Que. - Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard is now downplaying his desire to have Quebec sign the Canadian Constitution. A day after suggesting he'd like the province to do so by 2017 for the 15...
In Norway, 1814 is known by many as "The Year of Miracles" because of the huge national and political changes that suddenly and rapidly took place that year. 1814 is the starting point for modern Norwegian democracy. It had both a national and a democratic element: independence for the state of Norway and liberty for Norwegian citizens
The senators themselves could also aid in this democratization process by self-imposing term limits. Once again, this would come to pass over time as a matter of convention, not legislation. The senators would legally be appointed to age 75, but as a more democratic culture took hold, they would face pressure to step down after X number of years.
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Canada is blessed with some of the last vestiges of pristine nature on Earth -- unbroken forests, coastlines and prairies, thousands of rivers, streams and lakes, open skies, abundant fresh air.
We are also defined by our Constitution. Our Constitution's Charter of Rights and Freedoms gives us freedom of expression, equal protection from discrimination and the right to life, liberty and security of the person. But it doesn't mention the environment. How can we fully enjoy our freedoms without the right to live in a healthy environment?
The infamous Cold Lake oil spills, discovered on four well pads operated by Canadian Natural Resources Ltd., spilled a total of at least 1.8 million litres of oil into surrounding forest and wetlands. Several fissures in the ground seeped oil into the area for months as the company and energy regulator tried to understand the cause of the release.
Our constitutional amendment rules are so terrible, so poorly-written and caked with complex regulations designed to eliminate any hope of ever achieving any meaningful improvement to anything, we barely even know how to read some of them. And we're not talking about 18th century legalese here -- this stuff was written all of 30 years ago.
The divisive PQ secularism initiative in fact provides our national leadership with a valuable opportunity to invite Quebecers to engage with all other Canadians in a broader debate -- one that brings us together to confront the challenges of the 21st century and build a country that matches our highest aspirations for the future.
Three permanent residents in Canada recently challenged the requirement to swear an oath to the Queen in order to obtain citizenship, claiming that it violated their Charter rights to free expression...
Today's economic situation in the United States is distressing. Despite Washington's best efforts, the nation's rate of unemployment continues to hover around eight per cent with millions more uncount...
Perhaps the greatest tragedy of all is how little much of the world knows about the tremendous progress made in Afghanistan over the past decade, and just how much is at stake. This is not yet another chapter in an unending story of a country perpetually on the brink of self-implosion.
As Canada turns 146, many recent surveys show that most Canadians are hankering for a new constitution. So is Canada's Constitution a completed document? Some commentators have claimed since 1995 that Canadians are tired of constitutional talks, and while this was likely true back then there is no evidence that the fatigue continues. As Canada moves toward its 150th birthday in 2017, what more appropriate national discussion could take place than about the document that founded both our country and our governments, and about the changes Canadians want in a new constitution?
Michele Bachmann needs a civics lesson. In a staggering public display of ignorance, Michele Bachmann -- a four term congresswoman -- showed the world that she truly is not qualified to sit in the Ho...
Canadians caught a glimpse of what "could be" in the 1992 Charlottetown Accord; the closest we have come to real Senate reform since Confederation.The prime minister who wrought this was Brian Mulroney. But even he was surprised. I know, because I was the one who informed him an elected Senate might just happen.
The constitutional standing of the tar sands -- one of the world's largest and most carbon-intensive energy projects -- is just what's at stake in a treaty rights claim the Beaver Lake Cree Nation (BLCN) is bringing against the Governments of Alberta and Canada.
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.
QUEBEC - The Quebec government wants an independent inquiry into allegations a former Supreme Court of Canada chief justice may have intervened in the repatriation of the Constitution in 1982.The Part...
QUEBEC - The Supreme Court of Canada says it will investigate allegations that some of its members intervened in the repatriation of the Constitution.The high court's decision came after urging by Que...
Despite all the problems, it's about time Quebec signed the Constitution. Quebeckers in the early '90s were tired of the constitutional discussion, and clearly expressed their opposition to it at the ballot box. Yet two decades have passed and a new generation of leaders have entered the political discussion.
The utilitarian belief that individual rights to speak freely are somehow less important than the right of others to not be offended is ludicrous in so many ways. For the top court of the country to support it brings many questions of its legitimacy and effectiveness in protecting the fundamental freedoms that we supposedly enjoy.