Posts Tagged ‘Federal politics’

The state of assisted-dying legislation after Carter

December 7th, 2015 by Safia Lakhani

This post was first published on rabble.ca

On November 13, 2015, newly elected Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provided his Minister of Justice, Jodi Wilson-Raybould, with a mandate letter. First on the list of priorities is that Ms. Wilson-Raybould “lead a process, supported by the Minister of Health, to work with provinces and territories to respond to the Supreme Court of Canada decision regarding physician-assisted death.”

It has been nine months since the Supreme Court released its ruling in Carter v. Canada, 2015 SCC 5, striking down the constitutionality of Sections 14 and 241(b) of the Criminal Code which prohibit physician-assisted suicide. The Court in Carter departed from the 1993 ruling in Rodriguez, which also dealt with the issue of physician-assisted suicide. In that case, the Court found that the provisions prohibiting physician-assisted suicide violated the individual’s right to life, liberty and security, but in a manner that was justified under Section 1 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. By contrast, the Court in Carter found that the offending provisions of the Criminal Code infringed on the individual’s right to life, liberty and security, as well as the right to equal protection under the law in a manner that could not be justified. Read the rest of this entry

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

Vote co-op housing – you hold the key

October 7th, 2015 by Iler Campbell

CHF Canada has launched a campaign calling on co-op housing supporters to help make the future of affordable co-op housing an issue in the federal election. On votecoophousing.ca they write:

Federal and provincial funding agreements that assist more than 20,000 low-income households living in co-operative housing with their rents are coming to an end in large numbers. Unless governments agree to help, the co‑ops where these low-income Canadians live will be unable to offer them affordable rents based on their incomes.

They’re calling on voters to call on their candidates for their support, share their co-op housing stories and help spread the word. Find out more at votecoophousing.ca

Affordable housing for all: Let’s make it an election priority

September 24th, 2015 by Celia Chandler

This post was first published on rabble.ca

Last week, I attended the AGM of Accommodation, Information and Support(AIS), a supportive housing provider for 104 Torontonians who have experienced mental health challenges and homelessness; many AIS tenants attended the meeting. Although AIS tenants have not had easy lives, they are lucky to have found permanent housing where they get the invaluable support services they need to live independently. Even as a mature organization with a 44-year history, AIS struggles to find money to create more housing. Each organizational resource ‑- financial and human -‑ is stretched to capacity, with no way to meet the burgeoning demand. The waitlist for people with mental health issues and/or addictions in Toronto has over 8,000 names — quadrupled in the last five years.

This is just one example of the critical need for a changed affordable housing landscape in Canada. Read the rest of this entry

Climate in election 2015: The time for action is now

August 27th, 2015 by Brian Iler

In 1990, Greenpeace published Global Warming: The Greenpeace Report. It’s a serious work, some 480 pages written by a host of highly qualified scientists and policy analysts.

Perusing the book now is a chilling experience: even then, the scientific evidence it sets out in detail was more than clear, and the book’s call for urgent and drastic cuts to our greenhouse gas emissions has essentially been ignored for the past 25 years.

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Millions of Canadians denied the right to vote in 2015 federal election

July 31st, 2015 by Priya Sarin

This post was first published on rabble.ca

Last week, the Ontario Court of Appeal and the Ontario Superior Court of Justice each ruled on separate Charter challenges to legislation affecting the rights of certain groups of Canadians to vote in the October 2015 federal election. Surprisingly, both courts permitted the impugned provisions at issue to continue in force and effectively denied these groups the right to vote.

The main focus of this article is the Court of Appeal’s decision regarding the right of Canadian expatriates to vote; however, I will first briefly address the Ontario Superior Court’s disappointing decision in Council of Canadians v. Canada related to  voter ID requirements (the “Voter ID Case”).
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