Human rights

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Catholic bishops’ letter to Canada’s foreign minister

The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, P.C., M.P. Minister of Foreign Affairs Dear Minister, I am writing to express profound concern with your speech on Canadian Foreign Policy, which you gave in the House of Commons on Tuesday 6 June 2017, and on which Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau further elaborated on 9 June. In it, you equated women’s rights with the right to abortion and “sexual reproductive rights” and said “hese rights are at the core of Canadian foreign policy.” You went on to say ... (Continue reading)

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Ontario government set to ban pro-life speech

Ontario government set to ban pro-life speech

Yasir Naqvi Ontario Attorney General Yasir Naqvi announced on May 29 that the Liberal government plans to table a bill in the fall in order to legislate “bubble zones” that would ban pro-life demonstrations and sidewalk counseling near any abortion facility. Most abortion facilities have a legal injunction preventing pro-life activity within 30 feet of their facilities, but the so-called temporary injunction, which expired in December 2016, affects only ... (Continue reading)

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Brad Wall to invoke notwithstanding clause to restore democracy

Brad Wall to invoke notwithstanding clause to restore democracy

Thanks to judicial distortion of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms over the past 30 years, freedom of religion in Canada has come under such severe restriction that an otherwise law-abiding, and conscientious citizen could now lose his livelihood or even end up in jail simply for steadfastly upholding the traditional principles of Judeo-Christian morality. Faithful bakers, florists, printers and Christian organizations like the Knights of Columbus are well ... (Continue reading)

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Senate holds hearings on C-16

Senate holds hearings on C-16

Bill C-16 seeks to amend “the Canadian Human Rights Act to add gender identity and gender expression to the list of prohibited grounds of discrimination” and to amend the Criminal Code so that gender identity and gender expression are listed under the definition of “identifiable group” for protection against hate propaganda and are listed as aggravating circumstances for hate crimes. It passed its third reading in the ... (Continue reading)

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Injunction bans New Brunswick pro-life protests

Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Reginald Leger banned 40 Days for Life from protesting outside the Chaleur Regional Hospital in Bathurst, New Brunswick. Leger granted a permanent injunction against the pro-life activists demonstrating against the hospital where abortions are committed. The sweeping court order bans pro-life activists from demonstrating anywhere on the hospital grounds. Ronald Jessulat, a defendant, said members of 40 Days for Life have the right to express their religious beliefs near the hospital to express their opposition to abortion ... (Continue reading)

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Ontario Bill 84 has no protection for conscience rights

Last month, a number of legal, medical, and civil rights lobby groups appeared before an Ontario legislative committee in an attempt to persuade legislators to amend Bill 84 to protect the conscience rights of doctors and other medical professionals who refuse to participate in “medical assistance in dying” (MAID). The Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs heard submissions by the Catholic Civil Rights League (CCRL), the Faith and Freedom Alliance (FFA), and the Christian Legal Fellowship (CLF), among others. But ... (Continue reading)

‘Phobias’ kill our freedom of expression

‘Phobias’ kill our freedom  of expression

Law Matters John Carpay Like homophobia, Islamophobia is a dangerous word. Both words are dangerous because they are ambiguous. Uncertainty about the meaning of words makes it impossible to have honest discussion and debate. Without honest debate, democracy and society function poorly. Undermining the citizen’s ability to communicate with others results in misunderstanding and fear. Dictionaries define “phobia” as “an extreme or irrational fear” and as a mild ... (Continue reading)

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Trudeau revives Court Challenges Program

On Feb. 7, Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould and Heritage Minister Melanie Joly announced the Liberal government would resurrect the Court Challenges Program, the federal fund for third parties to challenge the constitutionality of laws. The CCP was created in the 1970s by the Pierre Trudeau government to launch court challenges to laws based on equality and language rights. The Harper government nixed the program in 2006 and Justin Trudeau ran in 2015 vowing to bring it back. Wilson-Raybould and Joly announced ... (Continue reading)

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Student unions held to account on free speech

Law Matters John Carpay Campus free speech hits a temporary road block in October, wih an Ontario court ruling against Students for Life at Ryerson. Since 2013, these pro-life students have been denied their right to set up a campus club by the Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU). Without status as a registered campus club, the students cannot set up a table on clubs day, cannot advertise, and cannot readily ... (Continue reading)

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‘Completed life’

‘Completed life’

How sad it is that the Netherlands, a country which heroically resisted the Nazi euthanasia program, is now saddled with a government so steeped in the culture of death that it plans to extend legalized assisted suicide to any healthy elderly person who has voluntarily resolved that he or she has simply had a “completed life” (voltooid leven) and wants to die. For Albert Heringa, a Dutch intellectual and longstanding ... (Continue reading)

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C-16 passes

On Nov. 18, the House of Commons passed Bill C-16, An Act to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code to include transgender rights in the country’s hate crimes and human rights laws. It was overwhelmingly passed on a voice vote -- that is, there is no record of who supported and opposed the bill. Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould said afterwards, “all Canadians should feel safe to be themselves. Our strength as a nation lies in our diversity ... (Continue reading)

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Ontario redefining family

Ontario redefining family

Gwen Landolt opposes Wynne government's redefining family relationships. Kathleen Wynne’s Liberal government introduced Bill 28, the “All Families Are Equal Act,” which, if passed, will legally redefine “mother” and “father” as “parent” to accommodate homosexual couples who adopt or conceive children through artificial means. REAL Women vice president Gwen Landolt criticized the Ontario government for “ramming through a revolutionary bill to completely restructure ‘family’ relationships ... (Continue reading)

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Federal trans rights bill passes second reading

On Oct. 19, the Liberal government’s Bill C-16, which will amend the Canadian Human Rights Act, making it illegal to discriminate on the basis of gender identity and expression, passed second reading in a 248-40 vote. C-16 also amends the Criminal Code’s hate crime laws to include gender identity and gender expression so that crimes thought to be motivated by prejudice against individuals who self-identify as transgender and transsexual can face additional punishment. Among the 38 Conservatives joining the Liberals, NDP, and ... (Continue reading)

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Gay-Straight Alliances: the clash of religions

Gay-Straight Alliances: the clash of religions

Law Matters John Carpay Alberta’s education minister has launched a formal inquiry into two Edmonton-area Baptist schools, ostensibly to ensure a “welcoming, caring, respectful and safe learning environment to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) students.” This inquiry has its origins in Bill 10, passed in a matter of hours, without public consultation. This new law requires every school to set up and host a Gay-Straight Alliance ... (Continue reading)

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Progressive solecisms (Part II)

There is a certain intellectual consistency, at least, between the expedient fluidity of liberals’ positions on women, gays, and Islam, and their affectation that gender is a matter of private whim. For progressives, after all, neither words nor states of being are ever objectively fixed. Thus marriage is not a union between a man and a woman as determined by immemorial custom or law, but a gauzy and malleable concept to be defined and re-defined in accordance with the evolving ... (Continue reading)

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