News in Brief
Human trafficking bill passes second reading
OTTAWA – Bill C-268, the private members’ bill from Joy Smith (C, Kildonan – St. Paul) that sets mandatory minimums sentences for child trafficking, passed second reading in Parliament April 22 by vote of 232-47. If the bill passes third reading after being reviewed by the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights, it would amend the Criminal Code to ensure that anyone over the age of 18 who was guilty of trafficking persons under the age of 18 would face a sentence of no less than five years. After the vote Smith, who tabled petitions containing over 5000 signatures in favour of her bill, said: “The resounding support for Bill C-268 is a clear indication that Members of Parliament understand the importance of enacting enhanced penalties for the trafficking of children.” She went on to say: “Mandatory minimum sentences would reflect the both gravity of this crime and Canada’s international obligations to protect children.”
Obama’s Notre Dame appearance blasted
SOUTH BEND, Ind. – The Catholic University of Notre Dame invited pro-abortion President Barack Obama to provide the commencement address and receive an honourary law degree at the school’s May 17 graduation ceremonies.Bishop John D’Arcy of South Bend, Ind., in whose diocese Notre Dame is located, is boycotting the commencement. As of April 21, 42 Catholic bishops had spoken out against giving Obama the honour and platform that Notre Dame has provided. Bishop Robert Vasa of Baker, Ore., said: “This is just one more sign of the failure of Catholic institutions to stand up for and support a higher ethical standard.”
Pro-lifers labeled extremists
WASHINGTON D.C. – The Department of Homeland Security has released a document warning about a possible rise in “right-wing extremists,” which it defines as “groups or individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration.” The department admits that there is no evidence that such groups or individuals are “planning acts of violence.” Lawyer Richard Moore of the Thomas More Law Centre said the Homeland Security document is a “prelude” to “hate speech laws targeting Christian churches and others who oppose abortion.” The law centre filed a lawsuit against Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and her department.