Posts Tagged ‘rabble.ca’

With judges like Robin Camp, how impartial is Canada’s justice system?

September 29th, 2016 by Shelina Ali

This article was first published on rabble.ca

I was recently listening to a radio program featuring racialized lawyers in Ontario discussing the challenges they faced in the legal profession and was struck by my reaction. I thought: how unfortunate that this was all being shared publically. Unfortunate, not because I did not believe the experiences of these individuals or sympathize with the challenges they were describing, but because I didn’t want people to know about the challenges. Why would anyone hire a racialized lawyer if they knew that the lawyer felt that there was a higher standard placed on them in court, by judges, as compared with their non‑racialized colleagues?

I wish my reaction was that this was the unusual experience of one lawyer and not a reflection of the justice system’s treatment of marginalized groups generally. Instead, it was one which exposed my own distrust in the Canadian judicial system and its impartiality. And my belief that the justice system as a whole does not provide the same opportunities and access to justice for individuals of colour, women, and other marginalized groups.

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Privacy compromised: Legal rights and protections in Canada

August 4th, 2016 by Michael Hackl

This article was first published on rabble.ca

Privacy and secrecy are two interrelated concepts that raise a great many legal and ethical questions, with few easy answers. A recent example of the interplay between these concepts comes from the recent misuse of surveillance video by a liquor store employee. To set the stage, we have to go back to 2013, when a nasty verbal altercation between a feminist activist and men’s rights supporters at an event at the University of Toronto was recorded and uploaded to the Internet. The online response was truly appalling, as the woman involved received numerous serious threats. The level and nature of the abuse (including death and rape threats) was so egregious that she withdrew from her advocacy work, and instead tried to disappear from public attention.

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Alberta parents ‘morally blameworthy’ in son’s death: The moral dimension of alternative health care

June 30th, 2016 by Celia Chandler

This article was first published on rabble.ca

Last April, a jury found David and Collet Stephan guilty of “failing to provide the necessaries of life,” under section 215 of the Criminal Code, when their nearly 19-month-old son Ezekiel died in March 2012 of meningitis. Rather than pursuing traditional health care for their son, they made a series of decisions about his health care from February 27, 2012 — the day little Ezekial’s symptoms emerged ‑‑ through to the evening of March 13, 2012, when he stopped breathing and they called 911. Those decisions involved treating him with, among other things, hot peppers, garlic, onions and horseradish, despite a nurse family friend suggesting his symptoms might point to meningitis. Their defence at trial was that they had pursued a legitimate, alternative course of treatment.

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Non-profits await change from Liberal government. Here’s what needs to happen

April 5th, 2016 by Brian Iler

This article was first published on rabble.ca

In mandate letters to his newly appointed ministers, Justin Trudeau told Finance Minister Bill Morneau, and his minister responsible for Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), Diane Lebouthillier, to:

“modernize the rules governing the charitable and not-for-profit sectors. … A new legislative framework to strengthen the sector will emerge from this process.”

Wonderful news, for both charities and non-profits (sometimes referred to as “not-for-profits”). For non-charitable non-profits, this was especially exciting, as their voice in political circles is regularly eclipsed by far-better organized charities.

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Outgrowing the government: Medical cannabis access in Canada in light of the Allard decision

March 3rd, 2016 by Lauren Blumas

This article was first published on rabble.ca. It is co-written by Jenna Valleriani.

Each week, new retail storefronts are opening in the city of Toronto. But these aren’t your average retailers.

Medical cannabis dispensaries, storefronts which dispense cannabis on-site to those with medical conditions, have historically operated on the margins of the law, providing access to patients since a time in Canada when there was no legal means of doing so.

But this is not the slow uptake of a grassroots movement by the mainstream. What cities like Vancouver, Victoria and Toronto are experiencing can accurately be described as a dispensary boom — neon lights and all. What is going on? Why now? And are they legal?

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What the court decision on the niqab ban was really about

October 29th, 2015 by Shelina Ali

This post was first published on rabble.ca

Voter turnout during the last federal election is estimated to be 68.5 per cent, the highest voter turnout since 1993. Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party campaigned on a platform of promising real change, which resonated with voters, giving the Liberals a clear majority of seats in the House of Commons and 39.5 per cent of the popular vote. Canadians showed that they wanted to uphold and participate in the democratic system.

One issue that, for the wrong reasons, garnered a great deal of attention as a hot button election topic was the Federal Court of Appeal decision on whether an individual could wear the niqab while taking their citizenship oath. Stephen Harper drew the other party leaders into a polarized dialogue about Canadian values, women’s rights and religious freedom, a misleading debate, considering neither the Federal Court nor the Federal Court of Appeal addressed those issues in their decisions. The decisions of both courts on the issue of wearing a niqab during a citizenship oath was grounded in the fact that the Harper government tried to circumvent the law by passing “mandatory” policies — in doing so, the Conservatives disregarded the requirements of a democratic system based on the rule of law. Read the rest of this entry