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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: When Rights Collide, Seek Common

The Week In Review: When Rights Collide, Seek Common Sense

The collective freakout Canadian commentators seem to be having about a collision of religious and gender rights is overblown. Yes, some decisions must be made that won't please everyone. But usually the people involved can figure things out sensibly, without human rights commissions or TV commentators dictating the correct answers. Because realistically, those answers will differ in each case. If we concentrate more on protecting the overarching right of individuals to act as they see fit, then the complicated calculations (Does gender trump religion? Does creed trump sexual orientation?) will take care of themselves.
01/19/2014 08:07 EST
The Week in Review: In Defence of Living Vicariously through Stephen Harper's Twitter

The Week in Review: In Defence of Living Vicariously through Stephen Harper's Twitter Feed

This week, Prime Minister Stephen Harper gave us a taste of his everyday life, tweeting out photos and videos of himself doing the normal human being stuff, like lunching at his desk with a Diet Coke for a companion. A calculated move to appear more approachable? Perhaps. But I've got to say, it's hard not to like a guy who comes home at the end of a long day and takes time out to warmly greet his pet chinchilla. Besides, learning what it's like to walk in another person's shoes is healthy. It broadens minds about how to live well -- be it in a $12-million mansion or a 45-sq. foot 1987 Dodge Ram Prospector.
02/02/2013 10:58 EST
I Hate Valentine's

I Hate Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is so saturated with images and notions of "ideal" love (true and pure and unquestioned) that it's just too hard for the real-life instances of love (complicated and exhausting and ebbing and flowing) to measure up.
01/30/2013 01:19 EST
The Week in Review: Can't We All Just Get Along (And Stop Calling Each Other Assholes on

The Week in Review: Can't We All Just Get Along (And Stop Calling Each Other Assholes on Twitter)?

This week, a tweet sent from Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence's account lashed out at Senator Patrick Brazeau, calling him "a typical colonized indian asshole." A spokesperson for Chief Spence told Global News that the inflammatory "asshole" comment neither came from Spence, nor was it "something she would ever say." However, I don't think it's a stretch to imagine that relations between Brazeau and Spence can probably be described as chilly. Then again, who wasn't feeling a little frosty what with the frigid weather across the country.
01/26/2013 11:27 EST
You May Hate Rob Ford, But He Won Fair and

You May Hate Rob Ford, But He Won Fair and Square

I've been told that it's impolite to say "I told you so," so I won't say that exactly. But given today's divisional court ruling overturning Toronto Mayor Rob Ford's removal from office, I will say this: "The lawyer I quoted told you so." That lawyer had warned that the lower court judge was wrong to interpret the law as empowering council to force Mayor Ford to pay out over $3,000 for a code of conduct violation. And today the divisional agreed. Do you think Rob Ford is unfit to lead Toronto? Then begin a campaign for a better candidate for 2014. But don't use the legal system to undo a decision of Toronto's voters.
01/25/2013 12:51 EST
Why You Shouldn't Blame America for Gun

Why You Shouldn't Blame America for Gun Violence

For many Canadians, the apparent U.S. preoccupation with the right to bear arms -- and with arms in general -- seems just plain perverse, especially when it's juxtaposed with a horrific high-profile gun crime. But news Tuesday of a deadly shooting in a courtroom the Philippines (allegedly perpetrated by a Canadian, no less) may be a timely reminder that gun violence is neither a uniquely American scourge, nor a problem whose solution is only blocked by the 2nd Amendment. Casting gun violence as an American problem or an American phenomenon is a cop out.
01/22/2013 05:24 EST
The Week in Review: Everything I Need to Know About Weight Loss I Learned From a

The Week in Review: Everything I Need to Know About Weight Loss I Learned From a Cat

This week, with the New Year in full swing, attention focused on that familiar January preoccupation: losing weight. Shedding excess pounds can certainly be healthy. The trouble is, in our zeal for fighting obesity, we sometimes end up taking a punitive stand that does more to marginalize and harm people who are overweight than it does to actually help them get healthier. How about taking our cues from Tiny, the formerly obese New Brunswick cat, and keeping the weight loss theme focused on small consistent steps that lead to big results?
01/20/2013 12:24 EST
Drunk Drivers? Put Them Away, But Don't Take Their

Drunk Drivers? Put Them Away, But Don't Take Their Truck

It's dangerous to treat drunk drivers too lightly. But it's equally dangerous to entrench a legal precedent that offers an incentive for government prosecution in the form of a valuable prize that the government gets to keep if it wins.
01/17/2013 05:24 EST
Should Gay Men Be Allowed to Donate

Should Gay Men Be Allowed to Donate Blood?

I would respect Canadian Blood Services more if it took a stronger position on gay blood donations. Either stick with the lifelong ban and admit that it's a super-cautious approach to try to mitigate against potential infections we don't yet understand, based on the deadly mistakes made in the past with HIV. Or focus on the bloodborne diseases we do know about, and adjust the ban accordingly to six-months or one-year, as would be consistent with the current science of detection. Either one of these approaches would be a more defensible posture than the arbitrary five-year ban Canadian Blood Services has chosen to champion.
01/15/2013 05:06 EST
The Week in Review: What to Make of Theresa Spence's

The Week in Review: What to Make of Theresa Spence's No-Show?

This week Prime Minister Stephen Harper granted Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence's wish and met with First Nations Chiefs. But the still-hunger-striking Spence was one of many chiefs who chose to boycott the three-hour talks, in part because the Governor General would not be in attendance. So what to make of a leader who's willing to forego solid food for weeks to further her goal of meeting with the nation's leadership -- but who doesn't consider a conversation with merely the PM good enough? Apparently she's not an incrementalist.
01/13/2013 12:56 EST
Can Counselling

Can Counselling "Cure" Animal Killer Kayla Bourque?

Since the Sandy Hook shootings, there seems to be a popular mantra that we need better and easier access to quality mental-health care.This is probably a true statement, yet it seems to me we may be avoiding a difficult truth: There are limits to what mental-health treatment can do. The recent story about disturbing violent offender Kayla Bourque, and the court's requirement for her to receive counselling as part of her release from jail, brings this to the fore. The idea that someone with problems as deep-seated as Bourque's can be "cured" by dropping in for sessions at a clinic for a few years is pretty far-fetched.
01/08/2013 12:21 EST
The Week in Review: Tweets from Space and Pitbull

The Week in Review: Tweets from Space and Pitbull Problems

This week, Huff Post Canada's own Rebecca Zamon put the reading habits of mere mortals to shame by sharing the 52 (yes, I did say 52) books she read in 2012. And we're not talking coffee-table photo collections, here. Meanwhile, Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield gave us a sense of perspective with a set of photos Tweeted from space. And back on Earth, a series of pitbull attacks in Calgary reignited the ongoing debate about the efficacy and wisdom of dog-breed bans. Are all pitbulls just too inherently dangerous to trust ? And if so, is legally outlawing an entire breed the way to handle the problem?
01/06/2013 12:21 EST
The Week That Was: In With the New Year (and

The Week That Was: In With the New Year (and Editor)

For me, the final days of 2012 were a sneak peak at an exciting new professional beginning: taking the helm as managing editor for blogs at HuffPost Canada. There's a frenetic and lively conversation going on here, and I look forward to both helping steward it and diving headlong into it myself. This is what has impressed me most so far: HuffPost bloggers do not all sing from the same song sheet. While one calls out the NRA, another insists that guns aren't the root of our violence problem. That diversity of opinion is a large part of what drew me here, and I suspect it's part of what draws you too.
12/30/2012 03:03 EST