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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: Can CanCon Rules Survive

The Week in Review: Can CanCon Rules Survive Netflix?

This week, we learned that about one in five Canadian television subscribers has said goodbye to cable or satellite contracts and opted to get his TV fix from streaming and over-the-air sources instead. This makes me wonder about the future of Canadian content rules. Mandating the percentage of CanCon that gets aired works in the cable monopoly model, but it's a tough feat when consumers are selecting and purchasing what they will watch on an individual show-by-show basis. Government's attempts at force-feeding viewers particular categories of pedigreed entertainment are going to become a losing proposition.
04/06/2013 11:33 EDT
Change My Mind: Should There Be an Age Limit For Fertility

Change My Mind: Should There Be an Age Limit For Fertility Treatments?

How old is too old to be a new mother? In the latest installment of our "Change My Mind" series, HuffPost asked two experts in the field of the bioethics of fertility to debate the statement: It's time to drop upper age limits on fertility treatments. Arguing for the "agree" side is Sara Cohen, a fertility law lawyer based in Toronto. Her practice focuses on legal issues surrounding fertility treatments including IVF, egg donation and embryo donation. Arguing for the "disagree" side is Francoise Baylis, Canada Research Chair in Bioethics and Philosophy at Dalhousie University. What do you think?
04/03/2013 07:56 EDT
Why Are We Paying Parking Cops $100,000 a

Why Are We Paying Parking Cops $100,000 a Year?

I look at the sunshine list and worry that we're not just paying public sector employees eye-popping salaries that no private sector employer would dream of offering for comparable positions. If the province is going broke, why are parking enforcement officers making over $100,000 a year?
04/02/2013 01:41 EDT
The Week in Review: Why I'm Liking Canada As a Rogue

The Week in Review: Why I'm Liking Canada As a Rogue Nation

This week, plenty of critics took the Harper government to task over its decision to withdraw Canada from the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification. Even though the Conservatives' method of backing out of the convention was typically cowardly and arrogant, it's actually encouraging to see Canada asserting itself as a country grown-up and morally self-assured enough to act as a free agent on these kinds of matters. Given the UN's record, if Canada took the initiative for creating a new framework for principled, voluntary international co-operation, it might be doing the whole world a favour.
03/30/2013 11:34 EDT
The World's Fairer with Courtroom

The World's Fairer with Courtroom Tweets

Many courtrooms across the continent currently ban people from bringing smart phones into a trial or hearing, never mind allowing people to actually live-Tweet or blog the proceedings. That's a real waste. Live coverage of court proceedings is an invaluable educational tool for citizens and provides the kind of scrutiny that motivates judges, lawyers and jurors to maintain high standards and take care with every decision. If you don't allow natural courtroom watchdogs, the sense quickly grows that courts are closed, secretive and unfair places. Justice is supposed to be blind. The citizens of a free country aren't.
03/26/2013 05:19 EDT
The Week in Review: Of feasting, fasting, and

The Week in Review: Of feasting, fasting, and fiddleheads

This week, we welcomed in spring, which led to anticipation of sunny afternoons spent sipping smoothies in the park. But our HuffPost living team warned us that our smoothie might not be too healthy unless we make it at home (store-bought means more sugar and less protein). Just don't go overboard with the food-watching. As nutritionist Rose Reisman also pointed out this week, taking the restriction of food too far tends to lead to psychological and physiological hoarding of fat and calories as soon as the deprivation is over -- which sounds like an even worse game plan than not watching what you eat at all.
03/23/2013 11:53 EDT
Change My Mind: Can Government Solve Toronto's Gun Violence

Change My Mind: Can Government Solve Toronto's Gun Violence Problem?

Barely a day goes by in Toronto, or any large city, without some reminder of the pain and damage caused by gun violence. While most agree it's a serious issue, the best way to address it remains a topic of considerable debate. Do we need more police? Better grass-roots community programs? Stricter gun control laws? In this latest installment of our popular series "Change My Mind," Huffpost asked two panelists from today's Direct Engagement Show "Putting the gunz down" town hall to debate the statement: Government can solve Toronto's gun violence problem.
03/19/2013 12:35 EDT
The Week in Review: Hey World, We Don't Need No (More)

The Week in Review: Hey World, We Don't Need No (More) Education

This week, Canada learned that it has dropped out of the top ten and into 11th place in the United Nations' annual Human Development Index (HDI). The change has raised calls for the government to focus on education and income inequality in its upcoming budget, rather than concentrating on deficit reduction. The HDI is useful when looked at as a broad-strokes measure of where countries on stand health, education and income. But given the limitations of the metrics, sweating the smaller differences in rankings is pretty silly. For the sake of Canada's economy, I'm hoping Jim Flaherty thinks so too.
03/16/2013 11:51 EDT
Breastfed Kids Get Fat Too (And Other Reasons To Question Breastfeeding

Breastfed Kids Get Fat Too (And Other Reasons To Question Breastfeeding Zealotry)

A new study debunks the idea that extended exclusive breastfeeding wards off childhood obesity. Maybe we should use these results as an opportunity to ask ourselves whether having all mothers breastfeed exclusively for four or six months should really be the ultimate goal? Shouldn't other considerations about mother/child bonding, maternal sanity, child thriving and family unity be taken into account? Isn't it possible that we may have reached the level of exclusive breastfeeding that reflects the portion of the mother/child population for whom this is the best option, all things weighed?
03/14/2013 05:19 EDT
The Week in Review: Pissed-Off Canadians of the World,

The Week in Review: Pissed-Off Canadians of the World, Unite!

This week saw a couple Americans engaging in Canada-bashing that made us sit up and take to Twitter. And just when we'd gotten over Stephen Colbert's schtick about the perils of a hockey-stick toting, "eh"-dropping Canadian pope, too! First, BuzzFeed's Matt Kiebus posted "an exhaustive list" of "every single way to piss off a Canadian" -- which turned out to consist of only two things: insulting hockey and insulting Canadian beer. How droll! And then writer Neil Steinberg contended that Toronto is hopelessly inferior to Chicago -- without mentioning that Chicago has more than nines times as many murders.
03/09/2013 11:38 EST
The Week in Review: Tom Flanagan, Child Porn, and Questions We Don't Want to

The Week in Review: Tom Flanagan, Child Porn, and Questions We Don't Want to Hear

Arguments got heated this week in the wake of a YouTube video showing academic Tom Flanagan saying that the viewing of child pornography does not "harm another person," and that he "has some grave doubts about putting people in jail because of their taste in pictures." It's frustrating that the incident has been cast simplistically as Flanagan revealing himself to be "okay with child porn." As inelegantly as he went about it, Flanagan seemed to be trying to get at a legitimate question: Is criminalizing the act of viewing evidence, after the fact, of a disgusting crime a reasonable curtailment of freedom expression?
03/02/2013 11:31 EST
You've Been Robbed By the Supreme Court's Whatcott

You've Been Robbed By the Supreme Court's Whatcott Decision

Dear Supreme Court of Canada, While I personally find Mr. Whatcott's message repugnant, I am nonetheless in favour of his being able to peacefully express his religious and political opinion without being silenced by the government and forced to pay tens of thousands of dollars in damages. (I'm a little like Voltaire that way, though your decision has moved me to blog rather than to put my life on the line.) Canada, which will lose more in the breadth and honesty of public expression and debate as a result of your opinion than you seem to realize.
02/27/2013 12:47 EST
The Week in Review: Boys, Girls, Bodies and

The Week in Review: Boys, Girls, Bodies and Breasts

This week, a number of our bloggers were moved to give spirited takes on what we're teaching kids -- and ourselves -- about gender and our bodies. The posts ranged from the oft overlooked destructive effect that "girl power" has on boys (written by a blogger whose young son likes pink skirts and serving tea), to the confusion that comes from a culture in which successful women deliver a message of female empowerment -- but do so "half-naked, through pouting lips while humping the ground or spreading their legs." Taken together, they offer a fascinating look at what feminism and sexuality mean to us today.
02/23/2013 11:28 EST
Why Is Milk So Darn Expensive? A Debate on Supply

Why Is Milk So Darn Expensive? A Debate on Supply Management

When it comes to food prices, Canadians often complain about paying too much. Who or what is to blame? Martha Hall Findlay points the finger at the supply management (SM) system. But Richard Doyle says SM has little to do with the price of milk -- it just benefits the economy. What do you think? Have a look at what Hall Findlay and Doyle have to say in our online debate. Then decide whose case is more persuasive, and cast your vote...
02/20/2013 05:25 EST
Change My Mind: Should Toronto Bet on a

Change My Mind: Should Toronto Bet on a Casino?

Toronto has become a world-class city, making it an obvious target location for a blockbuster tourist attraction: a casino. Mayor Rob Ford famously supported the bid by MGM Resorts to put an entertainment complex at Toronto's Exhibition Place, but many city councillors claim the complex would play Russian roulette with the city's urban infrastructure. Alan Feldman, the Senior Vice President of Public Affairs at MGM Resorts International sees a casino as more ca-ching for the city and its residents, while Toronto Councillor Mike Layton argues the complex would deal Torontonians and tourists a losing hand. Where do you put your money?
02/19/2013 12:12 EST
The Week in Review: Let's Leave Brazeau and Pistorius Cases to the

The Week in Review: Let's Leave Brazeau and Pistorius Cases to the Courts

This week saw an odd juxtaposition: The too-cute images of idealized love and prezzies for your sweet (brought to you care of Valentine's Day) sat side by side with grim speculation about violence visited upon one intimate by another in the Patrick Brazeau and Oscar Pistorius cases. With any allegation of a despicable act, public reproach follows -- but the judgment seems particularly swift when the incident involves suspected domestic abuse. Let's hope our well-founded indignation at violence against women doesn't supersede our equally laudable tradition of considering an individual innocent until proven guilty.
02/16/2013 10:51 EST
A Terrorist's Passport Is the Least of Our

A Terrorist's Passport Is the Least of Our Worries

I'm open to considering acts of terror against Canada's friends and on behalf of Canada's enemies a de facto throwing of the Canadian passport in the trashcan. But if we're going to go that route, the expatriation that follows should apply to all Canadians, not just those with a second nationality. And let's not pretend this would do anything to prevent or reduce global terrorism. Changing the passport a terrorist carries doesn't address the extremism and hate that motivate these kinds of attacks. Ultimately, our energy would be much better spent tackling these issues than worrying about the murderers' nationalities.
02/13/2013 08:18 EST
The Week in Review: The Beginning of the End of the Penny

The Week in Review: The Beginning of the End of the Penny (Finally)

On Monday, retailers finally started rounding cash transactions to the nearest nickel in cases where neither party can produce enough pennies -- this to account for the fact that the mint also began, on Monday, its new procedure of melting and recycling all pennies received by banks. That so many Canadians have used the occasion of the penny's long roll home as an opportunity to raise money for worthy causes is heartening. But that it took the government this long to drop a coin that had clearly outlived its usefulness at least thirty years ago is discouraging.
02/09/2013 11:51 EST
Change My Mind: Should Assisted Suicide Be

Change My Mind: Should Assisted Suicide Be Legalized?

Will Quebec legalize medically assisted end-of-life procedures? Wanda Morris, Executive Director of Dying With Dignity, thinks it should -- she's sees it as a question of individual rights. But others -- including bioethicist Margaret Somerville -- say legally sanctioning euthanasia would endanger weak and vulnerable Canadians. and have a harmful impact on society. What's your position? Before you pick a side, have a look at what Morris and Somerville have to say in our online debate. Then decide whose case is more persuasive, and cast your vote...
02/08/2013 12:23 EST
Holding Out for a Hero (To Save Us from Air-Travel

Holding Out for a Hero (To Save Us from Air-Travel Hell)

The fact that one of the passengers accused of causing an emergency landing is alleged to have yelled "You f---ing ass----, I just pissed all over the floor," suggests he wasn't a sympathetic character. It's too bad, because air travel has become such a draining, demeaning slog that we need a fearless travel rebel.
02/05/2013 01:23 EST