Archive for the ‘Courts’ Category

Canada needs to do more to protect teens from porn, sociologist says

- November 20th, 2013

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OTTAWA — Canada can reduce the demand for prostitutes by better limiting teenagers’ access to pornography, Wheelock College sociologist Dr. Gail Dines says.

“We have 40 years of peer-reviewed studies that shows that pornography shapes the way boys and men think about women,” the Boston-based professor told a press conference on Parliament Hill Wednesday. “It shapes their behaviour as well.”

She said the earlier boys start viewing porn, the less they’re able to perform sexually without it, while their appetite for uninhibited sex partners increases. Read more…

Blast from the past: Harper on Senate reform 2006

- November 6th, 2013

I came across this speech today – an address by then rookie Prime Minister Stephen Harper before a Senate committee discussing his plans to reform the upper chamber. Some seven years later, the federal government is readying to argue Parliament has the power to move ahead alone with reforms including implementing term limits before the Supreme Court of Canada next week.

There’s video here

Harper on the importance of Senate reform:

As everyone in this room knows, it has become a right of passage for aspiring leaders and prime ministers to promise Senate reform – on their way to the top. The promises are usually made in Western Canada. And these statements of intent are usually warmly received by party activists, editorial writers and ordinary people. But once they are elected, Senate reform quickly falls to the bottom of the Government’s agenda. Nothing ever gets done. And the status quo goes on. Honourable Senators, this has got to stop. For the Senate must change. And we will be the ones to make it happen. The Government is not looking for a report. We are seeking action.

On “modest” Senate reforms like term limits:

“We must act.  The Government believes that S-4 is achievable through the action of Parliament itself….The key point is this. We are seeking limited, fixed terms of office, not decades based on the antiquated criteria of age. I have carefully reviewed your deliberations on this Bill. Some Senators have said the Bill goes too far.  Others have said it does not go far enough. But we can all agree on one thing:  it does go somewhere.   Somewhere reasonable, and somewhere achievable.
And in conclusion:
I would like to read a quote from a book I reviewed recently. On page 206, the author writes, and I quote: “Probably on no other public question in Canada has there been such unanimity of opinion as on that of the necessity for Senate reform.” The author is Robert MacKay. The book is The Unreformed Senate of Canada.  The year is 1926.

Guess who’s coming to dinner

- May 27th, 2013

Back in 2005 in Ezra Levant’s Western Standard magazine I wrote a piece on polygamy that began:

Guess who’s coming to dinner? Looks like Bob and Carol and Alice, but not Ted. Ideas matter, and polygamy is a bad one whose time has come.

Why? Simple. We recently switched quite abruptly from regarding marriage as something that existed independently of our wishes to one defined by them. In the case of gay marriage we said “If two adults love one another, it should not matter that they are of the same sex.” Well, what if three adults love one another?

People tend immediately to dismiss this line of reasoning as absurd… probably because it’s just about their only defence against it.  At any rate, the Canadian Polyamory Advocacy Association (CPAA) is about to host its first ever national conference full of practical advice on managing the emotional and financial aspects of “polyamory” in Canada. Meaning it’s already here and not just in breakaway Mormon communities or among some recent Muslim immigrants. As the National Post notes, the CPAA regards the recent B.C. Supreme Court ruling as a victory because it banned formally marrying more than one person but let you live as if you had; in fact on its web site the CPAA calls the ruling “the legalization of polyamory”.

Now, remind me again why we can redefine marriage when it comes to the gender of participants, but it’s absurd to suggest we could do it respecting the number.

Oh right. Because we don’t want to think about it.

Simple response to a complex suggestion

- April 24th, 2013

New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, who it is safe to say comes from the paternalistic wing of the Republican party, just told a press conference Americans’ interpretation of their Constitution will “have to change” because of the threat of terrorism.

The people who are worried about privacy have a legitimate worry. But we live in a complex world where you’re going to have to have a level of security greater than you did back in the olden days, if you will. And our laws and our interpretation of the Constitution, I think, have to change.

He could not be more wrong. Starting with his belief that his suggestion is itself up-to-date.

Read more…

Child molester house arrest bill deemed ‘votable’

- April 23rd, 2013

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The same parliamentary sub-committee that killed Mark Warawa’s motion against “gendercide” has given the Conservative MP the thumbs-up for a private member’s bill on a completely different issue.

Warawa’s bill to prevent sexual abusers of children from serving house arrest within two kilometres of their victims’ homes got the go-ahead to proceed Tuesday after Conservative, NDP and Liberal MPs deemed it votable.

Read more…