Supreme Court

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Why Did the Liberals Vote For Bill C-13 After Fiercely Opposing It?

Like an overwhelming number of Canadians, you said -- publicly -- that you didn't want to grant telecom providers immunity for handing over our sensitive private information to government without a warrant. But then at the last minute something changed. You voted for the Bill in Parliament, and I don't mind telling you that was a huge disappointment. I also can't help but detect a hint of shame in the blog post that you wrote explaining why you turned around and supported the Bill after speaking out so vociferously against it.
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Why We Need To Remove the Stigma Around Men Who Seek Therapy

I started by telling you about my own experience in the world of abuse. I did this because those experiences are what helped me understand the importance of healing in light of a frightening situation. These women -- our sisters -- need our support and understanding to heal. But we cannot forget the men. At some point we are going to have to turn around and help heal this man. Many will think he is undeserving, but he too experienced trauma in his life which he has had to cope with. I'm not talking about forgiveness, I'm talking about compassion.
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Is Canada Ready for Assisted Suicide?

This past week, the Supreme Court of Canada has been hearing an appeal by the BC Civil Liberties Association that could grant terminally ill Canadians the right to assisted suicide. The Court faces a daunting task. Palliative care cannot eliminate every facet of end-of life suffering. Preserving dignity for patients at the end of life requires a steadfast commitment to non-abandonment, meticulous management of suffering and a tone of care marked by kindness. In response to this dignity conserving approach, the former head of the Hemlock Society conceded that "if most individuals with a terminal illness were treated this way, the incentive to end their lives would be greatly reduced."
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Lend Death A Hand?

OTTAWA - The so-called "right to die" was back on Canada's conscience Wednesday as the Supreme Court confronted the question of whether a ban on assisted suicide protects or violates the fundamental r...
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Why Has Our Supreme Court Barred Civil Claims by Canadians Tortured in a Foreign State?

The International Human Rights Program (IHRP) at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law and David Asper Centre for Constitutional Rights were interveners before the Supreme Court and argued that the right to a remedy is protected under international law, and is a principle of fundamental justice under the Charter (which protects life, liberty and security of the person). The Supreme Court rejected that argument.
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Harper, Stop Fighting Aboriginal Peoples and Learn to Share

The failure to grant aboriginal peoples the dignity and opportunity of a land base also comes at a tremendous cost -- economic, social and moral. It is the cost of an entirely unacceptable status quo. Aboriginal rights are complicated and often poorly understood by Canadians, but behind the intricate issues of rights, title and treaties is the essential notion of sharing. Change is required. That change can come through arduous, adversarial court battles or through a more co-operative nation-building process.
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Supreme Court Justice Retiring

OTTAWA - Political gadflies and jurisprudence junkies, grab the popcorn and pull up a chair: Prime Minister Stephen Harper will soon have yet another Quebec vacancy to fill on the Supreme Court of Can...
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Why It's OK to Criticize the Supreme Court

At a time when the Prime Minister's public feud with the Chief Justice is prompting Harper-haters in both press and parliament alike to offer blind, slavish adulation to some mythical idea of a Supreme Court that is both never wrong and beyond criticism, it's worth recalling just how arbitrary and disputable many of that court's recent rulings have been.
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Questions About Justice Marc Nadon Linger

In Monday's question period, much of the back-and-forth concerned the insinuations from the Prime Minister's Office of wrongdoing on the part of the Chief Justice in striking down Justice Nadon's appointment to the Supreme Court. What follows are eight questions that arise from this whole affair.
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The CBC Wants 'Diverse' Students in College, Not Those Who Deserve It

What the CBC altogether missed was the most important plank of opposition to affirmative action: namely, that students should be admitted to college not according to shifting conceptions of "diversity" or to sweeping assumptions about racial-minority experience, but rather according to merit. In other words, prospective students should be judged not by the colour of their skin, but by the content of their character -- in particular their academic aptitude and personal potential.

Conservative Mockery of the Charter of Rights: Let's Count the Ways

This month marks the 32nd anniversary of Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms, a landmark achievement in the promotion and protection of human rights, and which has served as a model for other countries drafting constitutions of their own. While Canadians have occasion and cause to celebrate this transformative constitutional document, silence is to be expected from Canada's Conservative government. The government's consistent refusal to fully acknowledge the Charter's importance is regrettable not only as a matter of symbolism, but as one of substance as well.
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Justice Nadon's Dismissal Highlights a Permanently Flawed Institution

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.
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Top Court's Rare Ruling For Petty Thief

OTTAWA - The Supreme Court of Canada has dismissed the appeal of a convicted thief who tried to use the Conservative government's Truth in Sentencing Act to reduce his jail sentence.It's the first tim...
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Canada's Sex Work Laws: Don't Break What We Worked So Hard to Fix

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.
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The Week In Review: How the Government Can Fix Canada's Prostitution Laws

Now that the government's hand has been forced, let's hope it will take the view of prostitution it should have all along: seeing and treating it as work. Work that can involve danger and nuisance, yes. Work that most of us would strongly prefer our grown children did not choose. But work just the same. And work that will take place whether the government bans it or not. As the Supreme Court's decision recognized, harsh criminal penalties aren't an acceptable way to address the harms of the sex trade because these penalties just force prostitution underground, making life unconscionably dangerous for sex-workers.