Canadian politics in short (Canada).
Ottawa--On November 16, 1999, the Parliamentary committee for Private Members' Business ruled Reform member Maurice Vellacott's conscience clause Bill non-votable despite its written support by over one hundred MPs. The Bill was scheduled for debate in the House of Commons the next day. Earlier, the Committee had ruled that private member bills which have the support of 100 MPs would become debatable and votable.
Since the Liberal dominated committee declared it non-votable, it cannot become law. The bill would have protected the employment and education rights of health care workers, including those who refuse to participate in abortions.
Meanwhile, in the Senate, Senator Raymond Perrault (Lib) has introduced Bill S-11 to protect the conscience rights of health workers. The bill was originally introduced by Senator Stanley Haidasz (PC) who has since retired from the Senate.
Liberal Senator Sharon Carstairs' Bill S-2 has been called "euthanasia in disguise" by the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition. According to Carstairs the bill would "clarify the law" and protect care-givers when they withhold or withdraw treatment necessary to sustain life at the patients' requests. She also stated that the bill is not intended to protect those whose intent it is to cause death.
Dr. Barry de Veber, who heads the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, states that Carstairs' bill allows some doctors "not to provide necessary, ordinary, and routine medical treatments for elderly, disabled, or incompetent (vulnerable) patients." This is unacceptable.
Killing the disabled
In Ontario the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition is questioning the lenient and conditional sentence, two years less a day, with three years probation, given Lisa Thompson by Mr. Justice Paul Forestell on November 30, 1999. Thompson had pleaded guilty to attempting to kill her six-year-old disabled child.
On December 14 the group sent a letter to the Attorney General, Jim Flaherty, questioning how such a lenient sentence could be passed.
"We fear that if precedent is established that the lives of dependent, disabled, or other vulnerable persons will not be equally protected in practice under the law, then the trust relationship will be broken between these persons and their caregivers."
The Thompson case points to a disturbing trend of the courts' soft-handed approach to such cases. In Montreal, Danielle Blais was given a suspended sentence for killing her autistic six-year-old son. In Saskatchewan, Robert Latimer, who killed his disabled daughter in October 1994, has appealed his conviction and is now waiting for the Supreme Court of Canada to acquit him. He has yet to spend a day in jail.
Morgentaler is exempt
A National Post editorial (Nov. 1) took Allan Rock, the federal Minister of Health, to task for failing to oppose Morgentaler's request for a "facility fee," while denying private clinics in Alberta the same privilege.
The editorial stated: "For if Mr. Rock turns a blind eye to Dr. Morgentaler's extra abortion fees, he sends one of two messages: commercial health care is acceptable as long as it's not in Alberta; or facility fees are out, unless charged by abortionists."
The new proposed gag law
Bill C-2 is a government bill that would create a new Canada Elections Act. This Act would limit non-party interest groups to spend only up to $150,000 during an election campaign, with a $300 cap for any single riding!
The bill allows parties to be registered only if they have 50 candidates running. It would also ban publication of news dealing with opinion polls just before elections.
"Elections are not just about the parties, by the parties, and for the parties," stated a Nov. 19 Globe and Mail editorial. "People--even those who band together and have some money to spend--matter, too. It's called democracy."
This is the third attempt by the Liberals to restrict election participation to established political parties only. The earlier Acts were disallowed by the courts.
In the feminists' den
At a women's conference at Aylmer, Quebec, REAL Women of Canada delegate Cecilia Forsyth spent her time either being ignored or snarled at: it was a conference on gender equality sponsored by the federal government.
Some of the women demanded that Forsyth's invitation be withdrawn; at one meeting she was asked to leave; and at several workshops her mere presence led to objections. She spent her time at coffee and lunch breaks alone, and she was booed when she tried to present her "moderate conservative" viewpoint.
The attitude at this feminist conference was summed up by lesbian Shelagh Day, a special advisor on human rights to the National Association of Women and the Law. REAL Women, she stated, has no place at this conference: "They endorse a subordinate status for women. It's like inviting a white supremacist organization to a meeting dealing with discrimination against minorities."
Clearly, this feminism smacks of fascism. Shelagh Day, for one, should be sued for her malicious falsehoods.
Supreme Court: lap-dancing upheld
Ottawa--On Dec 13, 1999, newly appointed Supreme Court Justice, Louise Arbour, opened her court career by writing the Court's decision to allow lap-dancing (sexual touching) in strip bars. This ruling was justified, Arbour and the Court said, because it reflects "community standards."
As the Justices did not consult the community, one may assume that these standards are their own. For a number of years the Court has been confusing itself with the people of Canada. In reality, lap-dancing is not part of "community standards" at all.
Supreme Court: B.C.'s secular bigots seek dominance
Ottawa--The Supreme Court of Canada announced on December 9, 1999, that it is willing to hear an appeal in the case of B.C. College of Teachers v. Trinity Western University. At issue is the attempt by the B.C. Teachers Union to discriminate against graduates of the TWU education degree programs. The Union wants to deny them accreditation to teach in B.C. public schools because TWU teaches that all sexual relations outside marriage, including homosexuality therefore, are forbidden. This enrages the teachers' union.
The decision of the Supreme Court to hear the appeal is not good news. Catholic organizations are preparing to join the Evangelical University in a legal battle they say "strikes at the very heart of religious freedom in Canada" (Nat. Post, Dec. 16, '99).
Quebec court: Judge orders abortion
Quebec City--At the end of July, 1999, Judge Paul Vezine ordered that the at least twelve-week-old baby of a 37-year-old mentally handicapped woman be aborted. He also ordered a tubal ligation for the woman.
The clearly disabled woman had no one to intervene for her. She had been sexually active, this being her fifth pregnancy. A psychiatrist testified that the experience of seeing her baby and then having him taken away might adversely affect her.
The prosecuting attorney showed that, in all cases where the Supreme Court had ruled on "foetal" rights, they had ruled that the unborn have no rights, and that neither under Canadian law, nor under Quebec's Charter of Human Rights, is there recognition of foetal rights.
The woman (whose name does not appear in the news report) had a lawyer who did not really oppose the hospital's application other than to say that "medical treatment" requires an illness and that pregnancy was not an illness. She did not elaborate.
The judge immediately ordered the two "surgical procedures." Except for the French language Quebec daily Le Soleil and CBC Newsworld OnLine, the story remained unreported in Canada's regular media.
Alberta court: More judicial law-making
Edmonton--Mr. Justice Peter Martin of Alberta's Court of Queen's Bench ruled on November 26, 1999, that two lesbians, who each has a child through artificial insemination, can adopt each other's child.
The Alberta government, which initially defended its policy to "not permit same-sex adoption," withdrew from the case at the last minute, allowing the judge to throw Out its evidence, thereby cutting off the only other intervenor in support of the government's policy, the Alberta Federation of Women United for Families. The judge then ordered them to pay court costs of $3,500.00. In other words, he penalized the nonprofit organization for defending government policy (CFAC, Nov, 29, 1999).
As for the children's interest, the judge ignored overwhelming evidence that children want and need both a mother and a father.
Banks spoil Christmas
Shortly before Christmas, 1999, Canada's five Big Banks revealed that their total profit this year was a record $8.75 billion. The least successful, CIBC, still made over a billion; the highest, TD, made over $3 billion, the largest profit ever made by a Canadian bank. One would have thought that the bank presidents would be rejoicing at having employees who can rack up such stupendous sums.
But the bank executives think otherwise. They have a different concept of "efficiency," and in pursuit of it they intend to reduce their staffs by 17,500 people. In their greed for ever higher profits, they are willing to lay off employees by the thousands and deprive Canadians of the service they are used to.