Law

  • Canada At Its Best

    Rabbi Reuven Bulka praises the integrity and wisdom of all sides in a legal bid to accommodate a Jewish candidate’s religious convictions by changing the federal election date.

    So, the Chief Electoral Officer has spoken, and Canada's next election will take place as scheduled, on October 21, 2019.

    Thus has ended the drama surrounding the date of the coming Federal election. The drama was widely reported as a source of confl...

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  • Cracks in Canada’s Media Freedom

    The good news, Convivium contributor Susan Korah reports, is Canadian journalists aren’t murdered like their global colleagues. The bad news is subtle intimidation and harassment that lets the powerful keep their secrets.

    The cloud that hovers over Canadian journalists’ freedom to report the truth has a silver lining.

    But even clouds with silver linings sometimes bring rain, and Canadian journalists need to be prepared for the storm that sometimes breaks over their he...

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  • Judicial Idiosyncrasy

    Lawyer Barry Bussey, who argued as an intervenor in the Trinity Western University hearings last winter, says Canadians must demand their legislatures protect religious freedom from a Supreme Court that seems to have lost its way.

    Last Friday’s Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) decisions on Trinity Western University call for freedom-loving Canadians to courageously stand up and demand change to legislation governing the law societies in this country.  

    We need our legislatures to...

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  • The Charter Circle Game

    Some argue the Supreme Court left the Charter a wreck and a tangle with last week’s Trinity Western decision. But our Editor in Chief Father Raymond de Souza has a former Justice tell him it’s all part of making equality Canada’s concentric centre.

    A Supreme Court Justice told me how the Trinity Western law school case was going to turn out. So, while very disappointed, I was not entirely surprised by last Friday’s verdict. 

    Convivium writers more learned in the law than I will explain...

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  • MAiD and Modern Medicine

    Two years ago, on June 1, 2016, federal Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould was escorted to her seat in front of Canada’s Senate to explain her government's rationale for Bill C-14, a legislative concoction with a name from a high school chemistry class and the full power to transform Canadian society forever.

    Two years ago, on June 1, 2016, federal Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould was escorted to her seat in front of Canada’s Senate to explain her government's rationale for Bill C-14, a legislative concoction with a name from a high school chemistry class a...

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  • Trinity Western Loses

    Trinity Western University has lost its legal battle to have graduates of its proposed law school accredited by law societies in Ontario and B.C.

    In two separate decisions released today, the Supreme Court of Canada has ruled protection of the public interest and the human rights of LGBT students at the evangelical Christian school outweigh the religious freedoms of TWU. Both decisions were decided b...

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  • A Wall Between Church and Court

    Convivium contributor Janet Epp Buckingham explains this week’s unusual Wall case in which the Supreme Court said judges have no business telling churches how to decide who belongs. It’s a positive outcome for religious freedom, she says, though less far-reaching than other anticipated rulings will be.

    It’s one of those strange legal cases that should never have gone this far. But on Thursday, the Supreme Court of Canada brought an end to the strange saga of Randy Wall and his fight with the Highwood Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses. 

    In essence...

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  • The Law Society of Orwell

    Ottawa lawyer Albertos Polizogopoulos is saying “no” to the Law Society of Ontario’s demand for a written statement of principles obliging lawyers in the province to promote equality, diversity and inclusion. Here’s why.

    Every year, lawyers in Ontario are required to fill-out an annual report and submit it to the Law Society of Ontario (LSUC), the legal regulator in Ontario. The report addresses trust accounts, client identification and the scope of one’s practice. ...

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  • LGBTQ AT TWU

    As a Trinity Western University grad and member of the LGBTQ community, contributor Matthew Wigmore urges caution about seeing tomorrow Supreme Court hearing strictly as a legal fight over religious freedom. 

    Can religious freedom claims be taken seriously if the claimant is responsible for discrimination? In light of Trinity Western University’s ongoing battle for a law school, the question should effect c...

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  • Defending Trinity’s Right To Exist

    Tomorrow’s Supreme Court of Canada’s hearing on Trinity Western University should engage all Canadians confronted by the State’s chipping away at fundamental Charter rights, warns alumnus Evan Menzies.

    Off Metcalfe Street and MacLaren in Ottawa, sits the century old J.R. Booth mansion which now houses the Laurentian Leadership Centre. It runs and operates an internship program for Trinity Western, the private Christ...

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  • Trinity Western Wishes

    Tomorrow, Prime Minister Trudeau offers an unprecedented apology to persecuted members of sexual minorities. On Thursday, Trinity Western University is before the Supreme Court of Canada arguing for its religious freedom. Having previously presented TWU's perspective, Convivium asks lawyers Mark Berlin and Douglas Judson about sexual politics and the law.  

    Mark Berlin wishes Trinity Western University well in its bid to establish a law school at the evangelical Christian institution in B.C.’s Fraser Valley.

    He also wishes TWU’s Community Covenant didn’t bar him f...

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  • Lessons in Political Cooperation

    Cardus Law Program Director Dr. Andrew Bennett reflects on the way the House of Commons justice committee dealt with Bill C-51. 

    OTTAWA - Sometimes Parliament works just the way the textbooks say it’s supposed to work. Arguably, the most recent example is in the way the House of Commons justice committee dealt with Bill C-51, which aims to erase “outdated” parts of the Criminal Code....

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  • Simply About Freedom

    In the past two weeks, Ottawa lawyer Albertos Polizogopoulos has argued the case for conscience rights of doctors, and won a major freedom of information legal battle over publicizing statistics about abortion. Convivium Publisher Peter Stockland sat down with him to discuss the cases.

    Convivium: You’ve just argued for Ontario doctors conscience rights, and were part of the group that forced Ontario to release statistics on abortion. How are the issues linked?

    Albertos Polizogopoulos: Both have to ...

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  • The Canon's Answer

    Convivium’s publication of David Goa’s review of “The Slow Professor, Challenging the Culture of Speed in the Academy” by Maggie Berg and Barbara K.Seeber sparked lively debate among our readers. The most eloquent were from university students engaged in various degree levels and programs of study.

    Convivium’s publication of David Goa’s review of “The Slow Professor, Challenging the Culture of Speed in the Academy” by Maggie Berg and Barbara K.Seeber sparked lively debate among our...

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  • Thinking About Law

    Although Cardus has been attentive to legal issues for years, this week marks the launch of a formal research program called Cardus Law. Convivium sat down the Executive Director Ray Pennings and program director Andrew Bennett to find out how will seek to raise the bar on public understanding of law in Canada. 

    Convivium: Why is Cardus launching a research area involving law? What does Cardus have to do  with the law?

    Ray Pennings: Cardus Law has been an informal, or what we call a laboratory program, for a couple of years and really, when you think about t...

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  • Defending a Foundational Freedom

    Andrew Bennett, Canada’s former Ambassador for Religious Freedom and now Cardus Senior Fellow, argues for the need to recognise the foundational nature of freedom of religion and conscience in our society and its link to our common life.  

    If we are to share a common life in Canada, freedom of religion and conscience must be foundational. It is the freedom  that enables us to live fully as we are, and as we are called to be. It bears witness to the truth that  human beings have a metaphysical...

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  • Gun Control: Right Trumps Rights

    “The NRA has achieved its victories not by threats of insurrection but through the classic methods of democracy: debate, dialogue, lobbying and electioneering. Its source of strength lies not in the weapons its members own or carry, but in the votes they cast and the arguments they make,” he adds.

    David Cole makes a convincing case, worth bearing in mind as the presidential race erupts, that American gun violence is at heart a function of democracy at its best. “The NRA may ...

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  • ‘Inclusion’ to the Exclusion of Religious Freedom

    It’s worth, though, heeding the emerging voices warning us that freedom’s loss is as much, perhaps even more, a function of shifts in language almost too subtle for timely detection. In an exclusive interview with the Catholic Register, Canada’s former Ambassador for Religious Freedom – and now most welcome new colleague at Cardus – noted that his former bailiwick has been recast by the Liberal government into a muddle called the Office of Freedom, Human Rights and Inclusion.

    We’ve become habituated to associating loss of freedom with decisive, often violent, acts.

    It’s worth, though, heeding the emerging voices warning us that freedom’s loss is as much, perhaps even more, a function of shifts in language almost too subtl...

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  • Which NDP will introduce the "Act to End Predatory Lending"?

    The idea is sound. As noted in a recent report by Cardus, Banking on the Margins, payday lenders and the loans themselves are structured in such a way as to encourage their customers to become dependent. The loans, while quick and easy, do not build credit, and they require customers to pay back the original amount borrowed plus substantial interest in one lump sum. Too often this results in adding a significant deluge of spending for people who are already struggling to maintain a responsible cash-flow. An unemployed construction worker from Fort McMurray who has trouble making ends meet one week can be crippled by the automatic withdrawal of his previous week’s shortage plus interest rates that, in Alberta at an annual rate of 839% on a ten-day term, are the second highest in the country. And, as our research suggests, the struggle doesn’t stay with the individual. The lack of funds and the increase in debt are linked to mounting costs to families, significant physical and mental health problems, increased criminal activity, and a host of other problems which ultimately strain society – and often the government.

    In the throne speech this month, Lieutenant Governor Lois Mitchell announced the Notley government’s intention to “protect Albertans who are experiencing economic d...

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  • Changing Politics for a Changed Country

    Saying “government should not” is as simplistic as saying “government should” if there is nothing else that follows. Yes, conservatives believe in limited government. But this requires more than arithmetic requiring the size of government. What government should do, it should do well and enough resources need to be dedicated to those tasks.

    Co-authored by Michael Van Pelt (President), and Ray Pennings (Executive Vice-President) of Cardus, a Canadian think ta...

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  • Misreading Carter

    In its report released in December, the Provincial-Territorial Expert Advisory Group On Physician-Assisted Dying recommends that assisted suicide and euthanasia be publicly funded and available for the non-terminally ill, the mentally ill, and for minors. The “declaration” the Report is referring to is the Court’s declaration that certain Criminal Code provisions “are of no force or effect to the extent that they prohibit physician-assisted death for a competent adult person who (1) clearly consents to the termination of life and (2) has a grievous and irremediable medical condition (including an illness, disease, or disability) that causes enduring suffering that is intolerable to the individual in the circumstances of his or her condition.” .

    Written by John Sikkema (CLF Associate Counsel), and Derek Ross (CLF Executive Director).

    In its report released in December, the Provincial-Territorial Expert Advisory Group On Physician-Assisted Dying recommends that assisted suicide and e...

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  • Immune to Embarrassment

    Stunning, indeed preposterous, as those words might seem to someone freshly arrived to the issue, the truly appalling part is that they come as no surprise at all to those of us who’ve been around it for a while.

    The federal government has yet to introduce medical suicide legislation and already we are witnessing the next convulsion in the culture of death. It’s in the form of the debate, newly arisen this week, over whether 12-year-olds should be euthanized in secr...

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