There are few rights more important in any healthy democracy than the right to privacy. When citizens believe they are being watched, their willingness to engage in democratic debate is eroded, which in turn undermines our whole democratic process. Yet we clearly have a privacy deficit in this country.
We've never met, but I read your open letter to Nazanin Afshin-Jam in the Globe and Mail. As you may have heard, there is a very unfortunate trend in the media to go after the spouse of a politician for something that politician did or said. This disturbing trend almost universally applies to wives only. Why is that?
We all know that motherhood is a balancing act. A fine art of juggling many breakable plates whilst appearing like everything is under control. As was...
When Peter MacKay, the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, made the comments that "women don't apply to be judges because they fear the job will take them away from their children," and that "children need their mothers more than their fathers," with one fell swoop, he handed successful working women some more unnecessary guilt, and made dads everywhere feel marginal, or even, optional, during the first few years of a child's life.
I am pleased to see that bill C-36 puts the responsibly on the johns. For far too long, prostitution has been an anonymous, low-risk activity for those seeking to purchase sex. Considering that prostitution has a high degree of violence (regardless of legal context), the only way to reduce the harm on a wide, long-term scale is to reduce demand for paid sex. We applaud Minister MacKay on his courageous first step of introducing legislation that recognizes the need for addressing demand and for pledging much needed funding for frontline programs.
It looks like the rumble against the government's Online Spying Bill C-13 is turning into a roar. We hope that pressure from Canadians will encourage Conservative MPs to start speaking out about the hugely unpopular blanket spying measures in Bill C-13. They should put both public and private pressure on Defence Minister MacKay to split the bill and remove the online spying provisions. Tens of thousands of Canadians are now speaking out to demand an end to online spying, and new privacy rules to safeguard law-abiding Canadians from government surveillance. It's never been more important to keep up the pressure.
Is sex work inherently and irredeemably wicked, as the abolitionsts would have us conclude? Or is it in fact possible to have a morally defensible prostitution? A testing of public values alone will not answer these questions, assuming they are even answerable. Values are an important and necessary starting point for a discussion of public policy, to be sure, but they are only one element of policy. Given that vulnerable lives are going to be affected, the feds are going to need to come up with a solid policy that has something more beneath it than our deeply-held touchy feelies.
I'm writing you in hopes that you can step in and stop these three from causing further harm. Is there a group or organization or caucus, say, that you could refer this matter to and come up with a mechanism for stopping these bullies? I'd really appreciate any help you could provide as I'm now even scared to go to my mailbox for fear of what the next letter from the government might bring. Some of my fellow victims are afraid these bullies are going to get meaner and meaner and de-index our pensions or even cut them back. Some are even saying they're going to take away our mailboxes but I can't believe they'd be that cruel.
We were horrified to find out that taking a photograph of oneself having sex with an unknowing and unconscious person then texting it out to pretty much everyone she knows wasn't a crime in Canada. Seriously, trust me. It isn't. But now, fortunately, it will be. I am very grateful to hear that Justice Minister Peter MacKay and Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney have announced new legislation that will address this disgusting crime that devastated our daughter Rehtaeh. Now, thanks to this new legislation, ignoring these young victims and their families will no longer be an option.
No matter how many politicians in Ottawa may prefer to settle cases, the hired guns at the Department of Justice don't seem to have been copied on that memo. Their mandate is to litigate, and their client -- the CRA -- has infinitely deep pockets. So there is no reason to settle, and no reason to refrain from motions and appeals, regardless of how many lawyer-hours are spent.
A travelling tribute to the men and women who lost their lives in Afghanistan will arrive in your province or territory during the next year or two. The memorial appears to be straight-forward but, in reality, it carries with it a heavy dose of hypocrisy regarding the Conservatives' real objective of the tour and their treatment of military veterans.
If you need a symbol for the budget challenge facing Stephen Harper, look no further than the old Nortel campus in Ottawa's western suburbs. The site is turning into a costly hot potato for the government. Three years ago, military planners shocked analysts with their initial $623 million estimate for fixing the place up. Now the price tag is said to have jumped over 40 per cent.
For many Iranian-Canadians, the marriage between defence minister Peter MacKay and Iranian-Canadian Nazanin Afshin-Jam was meant to absolve our alienated condition as distant participants in Canada's development. For Afshin-Jam and her cohorts, the closure of the embassy represents the full blossoming of this ancient but till now unrecognized unity. Is this unity actually real?
While it is of paramount importance to actively struggle against conspicuous violations of the most seriously thought out and radical ethical systems, this industry of human rights activism constantly puts Iranians in terribly compromising positions by encouraging the federal government to enforce retrogressive measures.
One can tell it is summer in Ottawa because there is a never ending speculation about a cabinet shuffle. With Bev Oda resigning, what will happen next? Will Peter MacKay become justice minister? Will Vic Toews take a judicial posting in Manitoba? And what will happen to the Defence Department?
Though the Department of National Defence is cutting 1,000 jobs for austerity, some 157 employees will be sharing $2 million in bonuses. The whole bonus tradition in both public service and the private sector should cease. None of us has any control over what the private sector does, but government employees get enough perks as it is without extra money for doing the job they are paid for.