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Marni Soupcoff

Executive Director, Canadian Constitution Foundation

Marni Soupcoff is Executive Director of the Canadian Constitution Foundation. Her writing appears in the National Post and here at the Huffington Post Canada. She is also a regular contributor to Regulation magazine. Her work has previously appeared in the Washington Post, the New York Post, the Stanford Journal of International Law and other publications.

Marni is a fourth generation Torontonian, but spent nine years in the United States, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the Johns Hopkins University in 1997 and received her law degree from Stanford University in 2000. Before moving back to Toronto, Marni worked as a lawyer with the Institute for Justice, where she litigated economic liberty and property rights cases. She has been a member of the District of Columbia bar since 2000.
The Week in Review: There's More To TIFF Than Long

The Week in Review: There's More To TIFF Than Long Lines

This week saw the kickoff of the Toronto International Film Festival and all the line-ups, cameras, parties, celeb sightings (and stalkings), road closures, red carpet poses, and chaos that go with it. TIFF usually makes me cranky. The whole lining up for tickets you've already bought thing makes no sense. And why the herding of audience members outdoors in inclement weather? Enter HuffPost's Spotlight on TIFF blog series. Hearing from directors such as <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/atom-egoyan/west-memphis-three-devils-knot-tiff_b_3870348.html?utm_hp_ref=toronto-film-festival" target="_hplink">Atom Egoyan</a> and <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/alanis-obomsawin/attawapiskat-tiff-2013_b_3882713.html?utm_hp_ref=toronto-film-festival" target="_hplink">Alanis Obomsawin</a> has been a refreshing reminder of what the festival is really about. It's not just a venue for waiting around and celeb stalking. It's the place an incredibly creative, hardworking group of people choose to share their deeply felt visions with an audience for the first time. Looked at that way, TIFF feels more like a privilege than a hassle.
09/08/2013 09:22 EDT
The Week in Review: Bombing Syria Will Cost Lives -- But Will it Save

The Week in Review: Bombing Syria Will Cost Lives -- But Will it Save Any?

As thoroughly unpalatable as it is to sit back and watch the horrific murder of innocents without doing something to help, it's difficult to see how a military strike on Syria will do anything to stop the violence, though it would almost certainly add to it, and could realistically help spread it beyond the country's borders. Is making a public moral statement a good enough reason for initiating military action when there's precious little chance of the action contributing to peace? It's a question the United States will have to answer in the coming days.
08/31/2013 07:11 EDT
Legalize Pot, But Ban Dr.

Legalize Pot, But Ban Dr. Pepper?

More and more people seem to be concluding that while marijuana has its real risks, letting grown-ups make their own choices about it is preferable to, and ultimately less damaging than, having the government assume a protective, prohibitory role. And yet... Take many of these same people and start talking to them about transfats or super-size sodas -- about Twinkies and Coca Cola -- and the conversation quickly turns to calls for bans and lawsuits and regulation. At just about the same time Colorado was legalizing pot, New York mayor Michael Bloomberg was busy trying to ban large sugary drinks.
08/30/2013 12:13 EDT
The Week in Review: Why Is a Canadian Hero on the Speakers' List for an

The Week in Review: Why Is a Canadian Hero on the Speakers' List for an "Anti-Semitic Conference"?

Senator Romeo Dallaire is currently listed as a speaker at a conference being held by an organization that the Southern Poverty Law Center calls "perhaps the single largest group of hard-core anti-Semites in North America." Other speakers at this event will include the president of the John Birch Society and a former professor who is slated "to explain satan's role in current human history." You don't have to agree with every position a group takes before agreeing to talk to them. But when a sitting senator is given high billing as a speaker to a divisive fringe group that was apparently too far right for William F. Buckley, there's reason to get riled up.
08/24/2013 11:26 EDT
Does My Son Need a Soccer

Does My Son Need a Soccer Dad?

Since starting to coach my six-year-old son's soccer team, I've found myself wondering: Am I helping the boys? Or am I saddling them with mommy truisms that have no useful place in the world of male sport, even when the "men" concerned haven't even grown into their kiddie goalie gloves?
08/23/2013 12:05 EDT
Harper Brought On the Wallin Scandal

Harper Brought On the Wallin Scandal Himself

The Prime Minister is probably having serious second thoughts about appointing high-profile journalists and insiders Mike Duffy and Pamela Wallin to the Senate, and he should be. He missed a grand opportunity to implement true Senate reform: tapping normal everyday folks to sit in the country's upper house.
08/13/2013 03:56 EDT
The Week In Review: Deadly Pythons Make Bad

The Week In Review: Deadly Pythons Make Bad Law

This week, the terrible story of two young New Brunswick boys, who were killed by an African rock python, left the country flailing about in search of solutions. For example, Ontario's Community Safety Minister Madeleine Meilleur responded with talk of making new laws to more thoroughly regulate exotic pets. It won't work. You can pile regulation upon regulation, but ultimately the responsibility and capacity for keeping people (and children, in particular) safe from the hazards of life will always come down to the decisions made by the individuals closest to them. For better or -- in a heartbreaking case like this one -- for worse, there's no getting around that.
08/11/2013 09:41 EDT
The Week In Review: The Shooting of Sammy

The Week In Review: The Shooting of Sammy Yatim

This week saw Toronto trying to make sense of the fatal shooting by police of a knife-wielding 18-year-old man, Sammy Yatim, on an empty streetcar. Most of us look at the video of the incident and think: How did this happen? The officers would have had ample time to fire had Yatim come at them with the knife, so why do nine shots appear to have been discharged before he came anywhere near them? Surely a failure to obey a police order (Yatim was told repeatedly to drop the knife and did not comply) cannot be considered reasonable grounds for letting loose with a hail of bullets.
08/04/2013 07:37 EDT
Justice Wanting: The Problem With Ariel Castro's Plea

Justice Wanting: The Problem With Ariel Castro's Plea Bargain

What does it say about the justice system that in a case where almost everyone agrees about the profoundly cruel and disturbing nature of the crimes committed, the least satisfying or constructive thing most of us can imagine is the case actually going through the normal process of criminal prosecution?
08/02/2013 02:59 EDT
The Week In Review: Welcoming George and Defending the

The Week In Review: Welcoming George and Defending the Crown

This week began with the end of the royal baby watch when the Duchess of Cambridge gave birth Monday to a baby boy. It turned out to be not only a happy occasion, but also the beginning of many debates. Did Prince William screw up plugging George into the car seat for his ride home from the hospital? Did Kate do fellow women a service by appearing for photographs with the remains of her baby bump still prominent? Or was the good undone by the less realistically attainable perfect hair, makeup, and clothes? (Where's the royal spit-up?) But perhaps the most productive discussions were those that involved the merits of the monarchy.
07/28/2013 11:10 EDT
Let the Internet Be: Why Blocking Porn Won't Save the

Let the Internet Be: Why Blocking Porn Won't Save the Children

I know this may sound weird coming from a mother of three young kids, but I am always wary of legislation passed in the name of protecting children. Obviously, I'm as keen as the next feeling human being to save kids from harm. It's just that when laws are passed with this explicit goal as justification, they tend to be not only of questionable help in achieving this end, but also to trample on the rights of everyone, including said kids who will one day be adults hoping to go about their lives in a free society. And nowhere is this truer than in the case of the U.K.'s newly announced porn blocking program.
07/24/2013 04:11 EDT
The Week In Review: O Baby, Where Art

The Week In Review: O Baby, Where Art Thou?

This week was a week of waiting. In the U.K. (and, let's face it, much of the world), all eyes were on the pregnant Duchess of Cambridge, searching for signs that the first stages of her baby's birth might be beginning. Meanwhile, a more sombre watch has been focused on former South African president Nelson Mandela, who remains in a Pretoria hospital after weeks of treatment and waxing and waning rumours that he is near death. No matter how powerful, famous, or celebrated a person might be, birth and death are two things that remain immune to man's predictions and plans.
07/20/2013 11:05 EDT
Dzhokhar, Cover

Dzhokhar, Cover Boy

My greatest problem with <em>Rolling Stone</em>'s cover story is that it casts Dzhokhar Tsarnaev as, if not an innocent victim exactly, then at least as a neutral and unfortunate party on which radicalization was visited. Like it was something that happened to him, rather than a result of decisions he made and thoughts he had. The summary on the cover reads: "How a popular, promising student was failed by his family, fell into radical Islam and became a monster." As though it's a natural progression -- if your family isn't there for you, of course you will simply drop into a hateful ideology and end up murdering and maiming hundreds. Forces beyond your control.
07/19/2013 04:52 EDT
How the George Zimmerman Trial Went

How the George Zimmerman Trial Went Down

The verdict is in and George Zimmerman has been acquitted of the killing of Trayvon Martin. HuffPost blogger Steven Skurka covered the controversial trial from start to finish. Here, for anyone wishing to get a sense of how the case progressed, are Steven's posts.
07/15/2013 03:57 EDT
The Week In Review: Adding Insult to Grave Injury in

The Week In Review: Adding Insult to Grave Injury in Lac-Megantic

The Rail World Inc., the company involved with the Lac-Megantic derailment, could use a lesson or two in public relations. It took company president Ed Burkhardt four days to get himself to Lac-Megantic, and he spent those days casting blame on the town's fire department and making bad jokes about having to wear a bulletproof vest whenever he did visit. A company's priority should be to take a respectful tone while providing a frank and honest assessment of its own role in an incident. That's not only the right and decent thing to do, it also happens to be a good business decision. It's a lesson Ed Burkhardt may be learning the hard way.
07/13/2013 10:57 EDT
Do Talk to Strangers: Legoland's Anti-Adult Rule Is Bad for

Do Talk to Strangers: Legoland's Anti-Adult Rule Is Bad for Kids

In trying to protect our kids, we're so limiting their contact with "outsiders" that they're not getting the chance to develop the instincts they need to distinguish friend from foe, or to learn to relate to and coexist with people of all ages who aren't specifically there to look after or entertain them.
07/10/2013 02:55 EDT
The Week In Review: Breast

The Week In Review: Breast Confusion

It's all about context, the message seems to be. We need less sexualization of women's bodies (breasts in particular) and more acceptance of them as functional and natural. But the matter gets confusing is when you add in women like Paulina Gretzky, whose scantily clad body is all over Instagram in unmistakably sexy poses-- because she has freely chosen to put it there. Is she a feminist foe who is ensuring that generations of little girls will grow up objectified and not taken seriously by men? Or is her personal decision to celebrate her sexuality and glory in controlling her own image, critics (and Dad) be damned, actually a feminist move?
07/06/2013 11:52 EDT
Best Cottage

Best Cottage Reads

To determine if a work makes the cut, I factor in my usual measure of book quality: Does it elicit pangs of recognition, along with a desire to sign up for a creative writing class, and cause several emotions, preferably all at once?
07/02/2013 06:18 EDT
Advice for a Country on Its

Advice for a Country on Its Birthday

This week, HuffPost bloggers counted down to Canada Day with a series of short pieces about what they'd like to change about their home and native land. As you might imagine, the suggestions and wishes covered a wide range of territory -- from singer Jully Black's passionate plea that we support and celebrate the country's R&B soul artists, to chef Vikram Vij's wish for more experimenting with ethnic cuisines -- and food in general. I hope you'll sit back, put on some tunes, and take a few moments to check out all the ideas HuffPost contributors shared for keeping Canada strong and free.
06/30/2013 01:11 EDT
The Week In Review: Dumbing Obesity Down to a

The Week In Review: Dumbing Obesity Down to a Disease

This week the American Medical Association recognized obesity as a disease. One good thing about the change is that it should simplify procuring insurance coverage of treatments, programs, and drugs to help people whose weight is negatively affecting their health. But given what a complex and emotional issue obesity is -- few other health conditions are so closely tied to self-image, social standing, and shame -- it would have been more constructive if the AMA had chosen to emphasize to the public that this isn't a clear cut problem. Obesity inhabits a grey area between the black of disease and the white of individual choice.
06/23/2013 12:28 EDT