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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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