The decision follows the far-right group’s role in the Capitol insurrection.
Canada's murder sentencing law, already harsh by international standards, was made even more punitive under the Harper government.
The Canadian Act for Animals was written in 1892 -- that's not a typo. We've had some changes through the years, but still have few enforceable laws to protect animals even from extreme neglect and cruelty in this country. It is well known that Canada falls far behind other nations recognizing the sentience and rights of animals.
Nearly two years after Mercy for Animals (MFA) went public with an undercover investigation into Canada's largest dairy farm, charges have finally been laid against the company, Chilliwack Cattle Sales, located in British Columbia. Before rejoicing that justice will finally be done, let's carefully examine the case.
While certainly the Harper government wishes to reduce the discretion of justices in almost every scenario, I view subsection 3.1 as an escape valve. This legislation is ideological but it is also strategically drafted. Creating an escape clause to the general rule, while also leaving "the circumstances" undefined and ambiguous was done so that the legislation would survive a challenge.
Is sex work inherently and irredeemably wicked, as the abolitionsts would have us conclude? Or is it in fact possible to have a morally defensible prostitution? A testing of public values alone will not answer these questions, assuming they are even answerable. Values are an important and necessary starting point for a discussion of public policy, to be sure, but they are only one element of policy. Given that vulnerable lives are going to be affected, the feds are going to need to come up with a solid policy that has something more beneath it than our deeply-held touchy feelies.
If human-induced climate change is the cause of death and destruction, is not Canada's failure to reduce its CO2 emissions at least morally negligent? Does not the conscious pursuit of economic policies that actually exacerbate climate change display "wanton or reckless disregard for the lives or safety of other persons," particularly so if alternative paths are available?
Most Canadians probably do not know what blasphemy is, let alone that publishing blasphemous materials is still a criminal offence in this country. But there is some irony here, because the Canadian government publicly defends the freedom to publish cartoons that mock a religious figure and looks abroad to protect religious minorities from oppression while at the same time punishing that at home.
When you first heard about the statement of Chiheb Esseghaier -- one of the men charged with plotting a terror attack against a Via Rail train -- that he did not recognize the authority of the Criminal Code because "it is not holy book", how did you respond? The fact is that in a broad, general way, it is not enough for us to see the Criminal Code as morally binding because it is the law of the land. We must go beyond that assertion. We must understand it to be -- again, in a broad and general manner -- the law of the land because it reflects a greater, moral standard that is incumbent upon all humanity.
Imagine a truck driver collapses over the wheel and slams into a school bus killing eight children. He'd had a heart attack. Now imagine a man takes a gun, enters a theatre and shoots randomly, killing eight children. It seems he had an acute psychotic break. The truck driver probably won't go to jail. But the young man? He'll be maligned and incarcerated. In truth, neither one is to blame for their illness or the tragic unpredictable events.
The utilitarian belief that individual rights to speak freely are somehow less important than the right of others to not be offended is ludicrous in so many ways. For the top court of the country to support it brings many questions of its legitimacy and effectiveness in protecting the fundamental freedoms that we supposedly enjoy.
A dreadful murder in Toronto where the suspect was on bail has, once again, led to media outrage. Calls to restrict or even prohibit bail have been made. What is striking about the media outrage is how ill-informed the response seems to be about bail itself.
It's time to shift away from the messy public spectacles regarding euthanasia. Instead let's follow Quebec's lead -- Canadians everywhere should be able to choose from a full range of end-of-life options, including -- if the prerequisites are met, the option of a medically assisted suicide. There aren't really any scary precedents or slippery slopes here. What there is, is an alternative to an existence of suffering and pain that should, and can be afforded to a terminally ill, palliative treated, mentally competent adult.
I recently overheard two people joking about how they could shoot up a place, say they were crazy, then not go to jail.The reality is that a court's goal is to rehabilitate those with severe mental illness. I hope you'll keep this in mind as you read about Colorado shooting suspect James Holmes' upcoming hearing.
This week, the Union of B.C. Municipalities voted to support the decriminalization of marijuana in Canada. This step may seem small, but it signifies that public leadership in British Columbia has reached an historic tipping point on the war on drugs. It won't tip back.
In the modern world, we are encouraged to live in a constant state of fear. There are gang members behind each display of graffiti. Politicians eager to exploit the fear embedded in our collective psyche keep demanding tougher mandatory minimum legislation and endless funding to "fight crime."