Rory Leishman

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Gairdner on liberals vs. conservatives

Gairdner on liberals vs. conservatives

William D. Gairdner, prolific author of The War on the Family, The Trouble with Canada, and several other penetrating publications, is one of the most influential conservative intellectuals in North America. In his latest book, The Great Divide: Why Liberals and Conservatives will Never, Ever Agree,  he explains how the ideological divide between left- and right-wingers in Canada, the United States, and elsewhere in the Western world has developed into an acrimonious ... (Continue reading)

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Activist judges strike down ban on assisted suicide

National Affairs Rory Leishman With the precedent-shattering ruling in Carter v. Canada on Feb. 6, nine robed dictators on the Supreme Court of Canada not only struck down the longstanding ban on physician-assisted suicide in the Criminal Code: they also delivered a lethal blow to democracy and the rule of law in Canada. Consider the evidence: Gloria Taylor, the now deceased person who initiated the Carter case, was ... (Continue reading)

Canadian Supreme Court ignores Parliament in doctor-assisted suicide ruling

With the precedent-shattering ruling in Carter v. Canada on Feb. 6, nine robed dictators on the Supreme Court of Canada not only struck down the longstanding ban on physician-assisted suicide in the Criminal Code: They also delivered a lethal blow to democracy and the rule of law in Canada. Consider the evidence: Gloria Taylor, the now deceased person who initiated the Carter case, was tragically afflicted with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, the same progressive, incurable, paralysing disease that afflicted Sue Rodriguez, the principal in , Rodriguez v. ... (Continue reading)

Euthanasia’s slippery slope

Euthanasia’s slippery slope

In “End of Life Decision Making,” a report issued in 2011, a so-called “expert panel” appointed by the Royal Society of Canada assured Canadians: “The evidence does not support claims that decriminalizing voluntary euthanasia and assisted suicide poses a threat to vulnerable people, or that decriminalization will lead us down a slippery slope from assisted suicide and voluntary euthanasia to non-voluntary or involuntary euthanasia.” That statement is plainly wrong. For ... (Continue reading)

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Being Mortal is mostly good, except for egregious euthanasia error

Being Mortal is mostly good, except for egregious euthanasia error

Dr. Atul Gawande is a renowned surgeon, public-health researcher and medical professor at Harvard. His latest book, Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End, contains many valuable suggestions for improving the care and treatment of terminally ill patients nearing the end of life. To begin with, Gawande notes that as recently as 1945, most deaths in the United States, Canada, and other industrialized countries occurred at home. Today, most ... (Continue reading)

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Democracy and Christianity are compatible

National Affairs Rory Leishman Over the past 50 years in North America, faithful Christians – that is to say, those who look to Sacred Scripture as the ultimate authority on all questions of faith and morality – have endured one political calamity after another. In the United States, the process came to an early climax in 1973 with the calamitous decision of the United States Supreme Court in Roe ... (Continue reading)

The Left abandons traditional morality

The Left abandons traditional morality

National Affairs Rory Leishman Prior to the 1960s, the great majority of Canadians deplored the immorality of fornication, adultery and abortion. Tommy Douglas, founding leader of the New Democratic Party, was no exception. In his master’s thesis in sociology for McMaster University in 1933, he called for the sterilization of “mentally defective” women on the ground that they are prone to breed “sexually immoral girls” who are ... (Continue reading)

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In Carter Supreme Court should be bound by Rodriguez

In Carter Supreme Court should be bound by Rodriguez

Sue Rodriguez (left) and Lee Carter (right) In the 1993 Rodriguez case, the Supreme Court of Canada upheld the constitutional validity of the ban on assisted suicide in section 241(b) of the Criminal Code. Since then, advocates of so-called death with dignity have made several failed attempts to legalize assisted suicide by means of a private-member’s bill; most recently in 2010, when the bill was thoroughly ... (Continue reading)

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‘Enduring’ vs. ‘living’ constitutions

National Affairs Rory Leishman Among proponents of judicial restraint, Justice Antonin Scalia of the United States Supreme Court is widely esteemed as one of the most brilliant, learned and principled judges in the English-speaking world. Bruce Allen Murphy disagrees. In Scalia: A Court of One, he sides with the partisans of judicial activism who deride Scalia as a vainglorious hypocrite who imposes his conservative, Catholic ideology on the ... (Continue reading)

No need for buffer zones

National Affairs Rory Leishman On June 26, the United States Supreme Court unanimously struck down a Massachusetts’ law prohibiting pro-life counselling or picketing on a public sidewalk within 35 feet of the entrance to an abortuary. In the opinion of the Court, this law violated the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, which prohibits the enactment of any law “abridging the freedom of speech.” Meanwhile, several ... (Continue reading)

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Perverting ‘security of the person’

National Affairs Rory Leishman In response to the outrageous ruling by the Supreme Court of Canada in Canada v. Bedford last December that struck down Canada’s longstanding laws on prostitution, Justice Minister Peter MacKay has introduced a commendable new bill on prostitution, the Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act, that, for the first time in Canada, criminalizes the purchase of sexual services. Will Canada’s top court invoke the Canadian Charter of Rights ... (Continue reading)

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Parliament should commit to improving palliative care

New Democrat MP Charlie Angus deserves credit for introducing a motion into the House of Commons that calls upon the government of Canada to establish “a Pan-Canadian Palliative and End-of-life Care Strategy” that has the goal of “ensuring all Canadians have access to high quality home-based and hospice palliative end-of-life care.” It is noteworthy that this NDP initiative also has the support of several Liberal and Conservative MPs. In speaking ... (Continue reading)

Religious freedom at stake in Loyola case

Arguments have begun in what, for faithful Christians, is one of the most important cases ever to come before the Supreme Court of Canada: at issue, is the fundamental right of Canadians to have their children educated in accordance with the basic principles of Christian faith and morality. This matter has been brought before the Court by the relentlessly secular government of Quebec, which, in 2008, imposed a compulsory course ... (Continue reading)

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Freedom of conscience in the culture of death

Freedom of conscience in the culture of death

On Jan. 30, the Ottawa Citizen reported that three local family physicians were refusing to prescribe birth control pills. Not so long ago, the great majority of Canadians would have responded with an amazed: “So what?” Not so the anonymous woman who brought this story to public attention. She was incensed when, in response to her request for a birth control prescription at an Ottawa medical clinic, she was given ... (Continue reading)

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Religious freedom at stake in Loyola case

Arguments have begun in what, for faithful Christians, is one of the most important cases ever to come before the Supreme Court of Canada: at issue, is the fundamental right of Canadians to have their children educated in accordance with the basic principles of Christian faith and morality. This matter has been brought before the Court by the relentlessly secular government of Quebec, which, in 2008, imposed a compulsory course in Ethics and Religious Culture (ERC) on every school, ... (Continue reading)

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