David Akin - December 20th, 2013
The Supreme Court today delivered a landmark ruling on prostitution. My colleague Daniel Proussalidis has the news here and Justice Minister Peter MacKay has released a statement in response.
Another colleague this morning remarked that reaction among those who vote for candidates of MacKay’s party, i.e. The Conservative Party of Canada, is likely to be mixed: The libertarian set will see nothing wrong at all with what the Court is saying. The social conservatives, on the other hand, will be terribly distressed.
But both libertarians and social conservatives are likely to be upset at the fact that these decisions — landmark decisions — are not being made by any legislature or by any government that must regularly defend its decisions to voters, but instead are being made by judges.
Employment Minister Jason Kenney was asked about this decision at a press conference he gave in Calgary on another matter hours after the release of the court ruling. Kenney sums up this ‘conservative’ objection: ”I think that in our system of government there is an understandable primacy of Parliament as the democratic deliberative process and that my own view is that the judiciary should be restrained at the exercise of judicial power in overturning a democratic consensus. Having said that, we of course respect the independence of the judiciary and its role. We will review the decision and determine what is the necessary next step to ensure the protection of vulnerable women from sexual exploitation.”
Maclean’s political editor Paul Wells talks about what Kenney is getting at in his book The Longer I’m Prime Minister and while I’m going to quote a big chunk from that book here on this topic, there is more in the book … Read more…
David Akin - November 12th, 2013
The first one to take a kick at this week’s political football was Liberal leader Justin Trudeau, who said on Twitter on Sunday he would be prepared to reconsider some of the mandatory minimum sentence provisions brought in by the Harper government over the last few years.
Ok. Interesting idea. Tell me more. Which, in Trudeau’s view would be the most likely mandatory minimum sentence (hereinfter known as MMS) provisions to roll back?
He didn’t expand on this on Twitter, so I e-mailed Trudeau’s press people yesterday morning with this message: Read more…
David Akin - November 10th, 2013
Earlier this month, a judge in Kitchener, Ont. said he was “embarrassed” to do what Parliament had told him to do and levy a “victim surcharge” fine on those convicted of crimes.
Last month, a judge in Manitoba said the decision by Parliament (i.e. the Conservative majority) to impose mandatory miniumum sentences in all cases results in “cruel and unusual punishment” in some cases. The judge ignore Parliament’s wish and did not impose a mandatory minimum sentence.
Those two judges — and others who don’t like Parliament telling them what to do — have a friend in Justin Trudeau who, a few minutes ago on Twitter, responded to a question about mandatory miniumums this way:
David Akin - November 21st, 2012
London Free Press colleague Chip Martin had a front-page scoop in mid-October:
LONDON, ONT. – Federal tax dollars paid the $1,700 deposit on the 2005 wedding reception for Mayor Joe Fontana’s son, QMI Agency has learned.
And the then-manager of the London facility recalls another cheque issued by the feds appeared several months later to cover the outstanding $18,900 Fontana still owed. … [Read the rest of Chip's story]
Today, the RCMP made the following announcement:
David Akin - November 21st, 2012
MUMBAI, India – The bullet holes from shots fired by terrorists who tortured and murdered the occupants of the Jewish community centre in November, 2008 could still be seen outside the centre when Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Laureen visited the site a year later. (DAVID AKIN)
On November 26, 2008, Islamist terrorists landed in small dinghies on the shores of Mumbai, India and, over the next three days killed 164 and wounded 308.
Most of the attackers were killed by the police and army in fierce battles.
On Wednesday, at 7:30 a.m. local time, Indian authorities hanged the lone survivor of the terrorist squads that attacked Mumbai. Read more…