Bits & Pieces

Canada

During a nomination hearing, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s first Supreme Court appointee, Justice Malcolm Rowe of Newfoundland and Labrador, elaborated on his comment in his application for the job that he believes judges make law rather than limit themselves to interpreting it, saying “it is our responsibility to encroach upon the authority of Parliament.” The Mail’s Sean Fine said the comments “place him squarely in the liberal camp,” a view reinforced when Rowe admitted that the justices he most admired were Bertha Wilson and Brian Dickson, two of the first post-Charter activist judges. Campaign Life Coalition issued a press release condemning Trudeau’s appointee as another judicial activist … Former federal MP Jason Kenney, who is running for the Alberta Progressive Conservative Party leadership on a platform of uniting the PC and Wildrose parties, will face at least four opponents: MLAs Sandra Jansen (Calgary-North West), Donna Kennedy-Glans (Calgary-Varsity), and Richard Starke (Vermilion-Lloydminster) and Calgary lawyer Byron Nelson. All of them oppose a merger of the Wildrose and PC parties, with Nelson stressing the progressive part of the PCs and Kennedy-Glans vowing to merge the political “middle.” Jansen has criticized Kenney’s socially conservative views … The Manning Centre solicited an opinion from the law firm of Masuch Albert LLP to review provincial regulations in order to determine if a PC-Wildrose merger was permissible, and the lawyers concluded that if the grassroots of each party affirmed a decision to unite the two, such a union would be legally possible … The Council of Economic Advisers to federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau, submitted three policy recommendations to spur economic growth and one of them was setting a goal of growing the country’s population from 36 million today to 100 million by 2100 by increasing immigration by 50 per cent annually to 450,000. There was no mention in their brief of addressing abortion or contraception or otherwise increasing domestic family size … In the Medicine Hat-Cardston-Warner federal by-election on Oct. 24, the NDP finished fourth behind the Christian Heritage Party. CHP leader Rod Taylor took 702 votes, good for 2 per cent of the vote, while the NDP’s Beverly Ann Waege won 353. Conservative Glen Motz was victorious with nearly 70 per cent of the vote … Sam Oosterhoff, 19, won the Ontario Progressive Conservative nomination in Niagara West-Glanbrook for a by-election in the riding that will be held Nov. 17. He defeated party president Rick Dykstra and regional councilor Tony Quirk. The CBC’s Mike Crawley reported that some political observers interpreted the victory of the young social conservative over party stalwarts as a “slap in the face to the Ontario PC brainstrust.” columnist Martin Regg Cohn said that Oosterhoff is not qualified to be an MPP because the candidate was reportedly homeschooled and therefore would not understand the education file.

United States

During the third presidential debate, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said he would appoint pro-life judges to the Supreme Court and if is overturned the issue will go back to the states. Pressed by Fox News’ Chris Wallace, Trump would not say if he wanted to see overturned but insisted that is what would happen if he appointed “two or three judges.” Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton said “I will defend Planned Parenthood, I will defend , and I will defend women’s rights to make their own health care decisions” … During the vice presidential debate, Republican Mike Pence said, “for me the sanctity of life” comes from the “ancient principle where God says ‘before you were formed in the womb I knew you’,” and thus he was pro-life. He touted his support for pro-life policies as governor of Indiana and condemned Hillary Clinton’s defense of partial-birth abortion and the Democratic Party’s support of expanding taxpayer funding of abortion. Tim Kaine, the Democratic vice presidential candidate, said his and Clinton’s religious upbringing were both formative but that they do not believe religious morals should be imposed by the state.

International

Belgium’s Federal Commission on the Control and Evaluation of Euthanasia presented its report to the Belgian Parliament on Oct. 7, and it states that 124 of 3,950 euthanasia deaths in the country involved persons diagnosed with a “mental and behavioral disorder,” or a total of 3.1 per cent of all cases. There were 29 cases of patients with dementia being euthanized and 39 individuals suffering from depression who were killed. Furthermore, 594 patients who were not terminally ill were given a lethal injection … The Federal Statistical Office in Switzerland reports that assisted-suicide deaths have increased 26 per cent from 2013 to 2014, for a total of 742 cases, representing 1.2 per cent of all deaths in the country … The Federal Court in Switzerland ordered a Salvation Army-run nursing home in Neuchatel, to carry out assisted suicides despite the institution’s commitment to uphold Christian ideals.

 

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