The situation for animals in Canada remains dire, with hundreds of millions of animals suffering and dying every year on farms, in laboratories, in entertainment and for their fur. Parliament has a tremendous opportunity to improve life for many of these animals, and Canadians are crying out for change. The election results offer many reasons for optimism. It's now time for advocates to roll up our sleeves, start working with the new Parliament, and help MPs pass meaningful legislation for animals.
The advocacy of terrorism cannot be separated out neatly from the violence it generates. It is not an ancillary factor causally removed from its devastating result, but an inextricable feature of the recruitment methodology employed by terror-supporting states, terrorist organizations and their supporters.
Bruce Hyer describes himself as an "independent plus." Strong on representing his constituents, he is a loud voice for conservation, sustainable resource development, small business growth and democratic governmental reform. He has pioneered climate change legislation and fought against the huge subsidies to energy companies.
How best to describe the rushed hearings the House of Commons' Public Safety Committee held over the past few weeks examining Bill C-51, the government's anti-terrorism law reforms? Circus, farce and disgrace all come to mind. I know, I was there on Amnesty International's behalf earlier this month.
Conservative MPs had an historic, unprecedented chance to throw off their chains and empower themselves and all MPs, and political party riding associations, to represent voters. Instead, they changed the Reform Act to the "Hope for Reform Act," essentially giving up the chance to limit party leaders' powers.
Stephen Harper has decided to be in Ottawa for Remembrance Day. He had originally planned to blow off what is arguably the second-most meaningful Canadian holiday to attend the APEC economic leaders' meeting in Beijing Nov. 10-11. The Chinese Communist Party reigns supreme and its decisions are beyond appeal. Hardly the kind of trading partner we want to own our natural resources. And hardly the kind of hosts our Prime Minister should prefer to attending the first Remembrance Day after our country survived its terrible test of fire.
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.
As one of the key institutions of the federal government, it obviously makes sense for the Supreme Court to enjoy certain constitutional protections. But to decree that even modifying the resume criteria for the men and women who sit on it should require nothing short of a constitutional amendment is to cordon off yet another enormous realm of the broken Canadian political system from even the mildest tinkerings of common-sense improvement.
Creating laws that are overly broad and ineffective will just push sex work back into the shadows, and will continue to make it less safe for all those involved. Sex work can be safe, clean, and beneficial to those of us who choose it as a career. It can be conducted ethically, honestly, and freely, with the full consent of all participants. It can be done right, in the privacy of our own homes, without exploitation; we just need to ensure that governments do not restrict our right to choose what we do with our own bodies.