The reality is that crime fuels a multi-billion dollar industry; I am not talking about the money generated from those who commit crimes, but the system designed to stop them: The Justice System. Not only does it contribute to our economic system but it actually gives the majority of its participants a purpose and an identity. How many lawyers do you meet and don't learn of their occupation within minutes? Officers and Judges are no different: They define themselves by their roles in the system.
No one will ever know whether Ghomeshi would have been convicted had his accusers been more honest and candid. All we can say is that the Crown's case would have been far stronger. Knowing that they will be judged in light of such "rape myths," it may seem sensible -- even obvious -- to a great many complainants that certain pieces of information should be managed so that they conform to the stereotype.
Over the last few years, as sharing of personal information on social media has become more ubiquitous, many personal injury cases in Ontario are being decided on evidence gathered from plaintiffs' social media accounts, which provide 'metadata' creating a time and location stamp of a user's online activity. And it's all admissible as evidence in court.
Since 2009, Health Canada has taken the position that e-cigarettes containing nicotine are illegal. But out on the streets, Health Canada is simply being ignored. There's a brisk trade in vaping supplies including nicotine. Much of the new legislation might be found unconstitutional if challenged in the courts. Nicotine addicts who still use tobacco as a delivery method are suffering harm to their health that now appears to be quite unnecessary.
As of 2014, 143 out of 195 countries legally guarantee equality between men and women. I wish I could say that gender equality, or any equality, enforced by the law translates into equality in the minds of people. Deeply rooted problems preventing true parity have been promoted by patriarchy for years, passed on from one generation to another disguised as 'tradition.'
I was a true believer in the war on drugs, but at the end of the day, as a physician, I have believe in an evidenced-based approach. The evidence shows that incarceration doesn't work, and decriminalization with offers of treatment do. It's time to ignore dogma and act in the best interests of Canadians. It's time to end this war.
Marineland has launched lawsuits targeting myself, former orca trainer Christine Santos and animal care supervisor Jim Hammond. My latest round of legal bills totaled more than I will earn in this year -- $100,000. Our lawsuits are shining examples of the urgent need for the anti-SLAPP legislation that is Bill 52: Protection of Public Participation Act. It is unbearable to think that this historic piece of legislation -- as it is currently written -- will not apply to the very people who have largely inspired it. Why is the province turning its back on us and leaving us behind? Where is the procedural fairness for those of us who are already proceeding with unfair cases before the courts in Ontario?
Last week, the Yukon Court of Appeal heard arguments about the future of the massive Peel River watershed, and about the meaning and application of modern aboriginal treaties. Will this land be mostly protected from development, as the planning commission decided after extensive aboriginal consultation? Or will it mostly be used for resource extraction, as the Yukon government wants? So soon after the report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, will First Nations interests again be sacrificed for the economic gain of others?
I'm sure that most of you have experienced the feeling of having to be somewhere by a certain time, only to get on the road and face terrible traffic and road closures due to car accidents. A question that I get asked frequently is "which car is at fault for my car accident?" While in some scenarios, the answer is easy, usually the answer is...it depends.
John Carpay's condemnation of the Ontario Superior Court alleges that 'half-truths' have been relied on to scuttle Trinity Western University's quest to establish a law school. Ironically, Mr. Carpay's own analysis is built upon factual and legal mischaracterizations. These are designed to stoke suspicions of a nonexistent anti-Christian bias among legal institutions and to undermine the crucial public policy considerations invoked by the Law Society of Upper Canada in denying TWU's accreditation. The dispute surrounding TWU is about the public interest obligations of law societies to promote equal access to the profession, not about meddling with university policies or religious doctrines.
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.
Medical marijuana is not a legal drug in Canada. It is an illicit (illegal) substance and Health Canada's current accessibility policy hasn't changed that fact. Marijuana has not been designated a prescription medication or medication of any kind. Not only does it not currently have a DIN, it looks like it will not have one any time soon. According to the Medical Use of Marijuana section on Health Canada's website, DIN's can only be issued after Health Canada scientists have assessed a drug's safety, efficacy and quality in order to be sure it meets Regulations and the requirements of the Food and Drug Act.
Our classes often look at cases and circumstances where a decision must be made about what happens to people's bodies, and indeed, to their lives. Do students who do not yet have the right to vote care about such issues? My experience is that they care deeply and passionately. They are profoundly interested in fairness and justice -- and they are waiting for us to listen.
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?
The tragedy of friendly fire is perhaps the starkest proof that militaries can make deadly errors that are neither intentional nor illegal. In the same vein, civilian casualties are painful, but they do not automatically represent a breach of the international law so long as the distinction, proportionality, and intentionality are observed (and other rules of course).