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Karen Selick

Lawyer and commentator

Karen Selick got her law degree at the University of Toronto in 1976, and was in private practice as a lawyer until 2009. She then served as Litigation Director for the Canadian Constitution Foundation until December, 2015. She has written widely about legal issues from a libertarian perspective. She has been a columnist for The Lawyers Weekly and Canadian Lawyer magazine. Her work has also appeared in the Globe and Mail, the National Post, Readers’ Digest, The Freeman, and many other newspapers and magazines. Originally from Toronto, she now resides in rural eastern Ontario.
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The Hypocrisy Of Marc Emery's Criminal Charges

This time around, the penalties Marc faces are so high that he will finally get the jury trial he has long desired. Let's hope the jury recognizes the injustice of being asked to impose life imprisonment on a man whose only "crime" has been to openly do something the government has agreed should be legalized.
03/24/2017 01:31 EDT
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Why Did The David And Collet Stephan Jurors Cry After The Trial?

It must be a huge relief for the members of a jury when an eight-week trial ends, but even so, it's not often that half-a-dozen jurors dissolve into tears and sobs in the courtroom immediately after announcing their verdict. Yet that's exactly what happened at the end of the David and Collet Stephan trial, and it gives us an opportunity to discuss how Canada's legal system may be failing jurors.
05/05/2016 04:06 EDT
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I Am Fed Up With Air Canada's Ridiculous Fees

In the fall of 2015, I planned to travel from Toronto to Vancouver and back. I booked my outbound flight with WestJet, and the return flight with Air Canada, because the timing of those flights was most convenient for me. Then an unforeseen problem arose, and I had to cancel my trip. Each airline told me I could cancel my flight, pay a penalty (I thought it was $100 in each case), then apply the credit balance to another flight, so long as I used my credit within a year. Each airline, that is, except Air Canada.
04/27/2016 02:31 EDT
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Governments Hate To Admit The Advantages Of Vaping

Since 2009, Health Canada has taken the position that e-cigarettes containing nicotine are illegal. But out on the streets, Health Canada is simply being ignored. There's a brisk trade in vaping supplies including nicotine. Much of the new legislation might be found unconstitutional if challenged in the courts. Nicotine addicts who still use tobacco as a delivery method are suffering harm to their health that now appears to be quite unnecessary.
12/30/2015 03:42 EST
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Toronto Cops Still Hate Being Recorded

Which do you think is worse: police officers who don't know the law, or officers who know the law but deliberately ignore it or even mock it? That question has been on my mind since I saw the video made by Mike Miller, who observed two police officers making an arrest in broad daylight in a Toronto parking lot on September 14, 2015.
11/16/2015 05:21 EST
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Leap Manifesto's Energy Policy Leaves Rural Dwellers Out

It would appear that Naomi Klein and her co-authors are oblivious to what's actually going on in rural Ontario. We are the backyard where all the wind turbines and solar farms are supposed to be built, providing "clean" renewable energy to clueless city dwellers. But guess what? We don't want these installations in our back yard either!
09/27/2015 08:06 EDT
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Landlords Are Supposed to Enforce Laws That Cops Can't

In 2007, Ontario froze 51 Taylor Avenue in Chatham, Ontario under the Civil Remedies Act, the law that strong-arms unwilling landlords into becoming law enforcement agents. The province alleged the building was an "instrument of unlawful activity." In 2012, a judge ruled that the property owners would forfeit the property permanently to the province.
07/09/2015 07:56 EDT
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This Marijuana Activist Is a Hero to Me, and I Don't Smoke the Stuff

Unlike the "Prince of Pot," I don't use marijuana. I never have, and probably never will, even if it were to become legal for recreational use. Nevertheless, I have been a staunch admirer of Marc's ever since I first met him. While Marc Emery didn't do this single-handedly, there is no question that he is at least partly responsible for the fact that hundreds of thousands of people across North America now have legal access to a medication that helps relieve their pain and epileptic seizures. Margaret Wente said that Marc's no hero, but I disagree.
08/14/2014 12:11 EDT
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Mr. Harper, Call Off CRA's Attack Dogs and Start Treating Taxpayers With Care

The CCF assisted a taxpayer named Irvin Leroux in getting a decision from the B.C. Supreme Court, holding that Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) owed him a duty of care and breached its duty towards him. This was a precedent-setting ruling: never before had the CRA been told by any court that it had a duty towards individual taxpayers to treat them with care, and not to be negligent towards them.
07/22/2014 05:39 EDT
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Canada's Labour Laws Have No Place In a Free Society

Of course, we fully support the right of any individual to stop working if he (or she) so chooses. If he quits his job, his employer can hire someone else. But that's not what strikes are about. Strikes are about collective work stoppages, enforced in some provinces by law and in others by sheer intimidation, with the expectation that the employer will still hold strikers' jobs open for them no matter how long they disrupt its business.
05/14/2014 08:05 EDT

Stop the CRA Bullies From Ruining Canadian Lives

No matter how many politicians in Ottawa may prefer to settle cases, the hired guns at the Department of Justice don't seem to have been copied on that memo. Their mandate is to litigate, and their client -- the CRA -- has infinitely deep pockets. So there is no reason to settle, and no reason to refrain from motions and appeals, regardless of how many lawyer-hours are spent.
08/23/2013 05:23 EDT

You Don't Fight Nazis by Becoming a Nazi Yourself

A Canadian court is being asked to adopt Nazi-like tactics: namely, to authorize the theft of property merely because it is slated to be delivered to an owner who is despised on the basis of ideology. The property at stake is a collection of rare coins and artifacts belonging to the estate of Robert McCorkell (sometimes written McCorkill).
07/29/2013 12:13 EDT