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Conservatives slash secret liberal excesses.

LAW COMMISSION OF CANADA ABOLISHED

Ottawa -- A 35-year-old federal commission that has recommended numerous liberalizing and morally objectionable legal reforms in the course of its existence, had the financial rug pulled out from under it on September 25, 2006.

The Law Commission of Canada (previously known as the Law Reform Commission) was established in 1971 to serve as a permanent body to review federal laws and make recommendations for their "improvement, modernization and reform." From the beginning it backed such measures as abortion on demand up to 22 weeks' gestation; fetal experimentation; the elimination of the crime of incest between brother and sister; a reduction in the age of consent for sexual intercourse from 18 to 14; the decriminalization of prostitution and keeping a bawdy house; and the elimination of the crime of bestiality.

The Progressive Conservative government of Brian Mulroney abolished it in 1974 and Jean Chretien resurrected it in 1993, renaming it the Law Commission of Canada. "It is a biased, unrepresentative organization used to promote the agenda of special interest organizations," noted REAL Women of Canada in its March-April 2001 newsletter, as the Commission continued in its old ways.

One of its projects was a discussion paper on Recognizing and Supporting Close Personal Relationships Between Adults, authored by five people, including three well-known lesbians. The final version of the paper was released on January 29, 2002 as a 26-page report recommending the legal acceptance of same-sex 'marriage' (C.I., April 2002).

In further setting the stage for the debate over same-sex "marriage," the LCC staged a webcast panel discussion in 2001 on the question of whether the conjugal relationship should remain as the basis of Canada's social policies. Panelists, who included LCC president Nathalie Des Rosiers, slammed what they saw as a "prejudice" in favour of marriage and conjugality. They called for this "old idea" to be set aside so that "fostering, caring relationships" could be put first. (See also Stanley Kurtz, "Martha Bailey and the Law Reform Commission," C.I., Sept 2006, pp. 15-17).

Predictably, those whose ideas the LCC most promoted are protesting its demise. An open letter to Justice Minister Vic Toews was signed by a number of Canadian anti-life activists including pro-abortion feminists June Callwood and Doris Anderson (Tor. Star, Sept. 29, 2006).

Ominously, Ontario Attorney-General Michael Bryant has been working behind the scenes to bring back a provincial law reform commission. Reportedly, he has most of the pieces in place and is attempting to build an entity "that is ideologically indestructible, so that a Conservative government couldn't come along and put it out of business" (Tor. Star, Oct. 23, 2006).

COURT CHALLENGES PROGRAM AXED

Ottawa -- The Court Challenges Program (CPP) was set up in 1985 to help so-called disadvantaged groups launch challenges based on the Charter of Rights; the program expended millions of taxpayers' dollars in the course of its 21-year run. An analysis by REAL Women of Canada (July-August 2003 newsletter), showed that most of the money went to interlocking feminist and homosexual organizations. This program was also axed on September 29, 2006.

The CCP's annual report for 2001-2002 shows that its seven-member board of directors included chairwoman Chantal Tie, who is a member of the feminist Women's Legal Education and Action Fund. Also on the board was lesbian Shelagh Day, a former vice-president of the National Action Committee on the Status of Women (NAC) and one of the founders of LEAF. The remaining board members were human rights activists and 'equality rights' lawyers.

The program's equality advisory committee consisted of representatives from feminist groups such as Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies (an affiliate of the NAC), the National Association of Women and the Law, and LEAF. Two homosexual organizations were also represented on the committee, with John Fisher for the lobby group EGALE (Equality for Gays and Lesbians Everywhere). One of the special committees set up by the advisory committee was a panel to deal with "transgender issues."

The only source of funding for the entire program was the federal government, which handed out $2,141,029 for the 2001 fiscal year ending March 31, 2002. Since the program was run as a private corporation, it was not subject to provisions contained in the Access to Information Act, so it could not be determined which organizations obtained funding and how much they received.

The 2001-2002 annual report, however, revealed that the program funded a total of 77 organizations that fiscal year. This included the Canadian Foundation for Children, and Youth and the Law, which received monies to bring a court challenge to remove spanking from the Criminal Code. Also, EGALE, as well as an intervenor, the Coalition of Canadian Liberal Rabbis for Same-Sex 'Marriage,' were funded to take same-sex "marriage" cases to court.

Between October 1994 and March 31, 2002, the program secretly funded a total of 23 homosexual court cases, four of which went before the Supreme Court of Canada. Opponents, on the other hand, were forced to find their own funding in these costly undertakings, even though, for the most part, the public did not support the values being argued and promoted.

The future of the Court Challenges Program was cast into doubt in the fall of 2006 when Justice Minister Vic Toews expressed concern over the fact that the CCP, and other similar taxpayer-funded entities were exempt from reporting their activities even to cabinet ministers like him (Today's Family News, Sept. 13, 2006). Even Treasury Board president John Baird, a libertarian, noted it did not make sense for the government to subsidize lawyers to challenge the government's own laws in court.

Not surprisingly, "powerful liberal-left special interest groups," as National Post columnist Lorne Gunter calls them--have launched a counter-offensive in the wake of the cut to reinstate the program (CTV.ca, Sept. 26; Nat. Post, Sept. 27, 2006; Xtra!, Oct. 12, 2006).

Comment: Please send Mr. Toews a token of support.

$5 MILLION CUT FROM STATUS OF WOMEN

Ottawa -- The Conservative government's move to cut $5 million from the $23-million-a-year Status of Women agency also has drawn condemnation from leftists, liberals and feminists, but praise from social conservatives and advocates of responsible government spending. The National Post (Oct. 6, 2006) described Heritage Minister Bev Oda as having undergone "a verbal pummeling," as well as calls for her resignation from Liberal, NDP and Bloc Quebecois MPs. Her government also wrote a new mandate saying it will no longer fund groups doing research, lobbying or advocacy on behalf of women's rights. This amounted to $10.8 million in 2005. In addition, the government has dropped the word "equality" from a list of Status of Women agency goals.

"You're letting down Canadian women," charged NDP MP Irene Mathyssen. "Cutting off the funds is shameful and will shut down a major and vital democratic process in this country," editorialized the left-leaning Toronto Star.

But Diane Watts of REAL Women of Canada sees the cuts as "a bit of fresh air," and a sign that "Times are changing." Her organization has lobbied for Status of Women to be abolished entirely, because it believes the agency is based on the false premise that women are victims of a patriarchal society and need outside support and recognition (Brockville Recorder, August 24, 2006; Nat. Post, Oct. 6, 2006; Tor. Star, Oct. 7, 2006).

A Status of Women section was established in the Department of Secretary of State in 1973, in response to a recommendation in the 1970 Royal Commission Report on the Status of Women. Since 1971, there has been within the federal cabinet a minister responsible for the status of women. An office of the co-ordinator for the Status of Women became an independent agency of the federal government on April 1, 1976.

But the agency became an agent for the promotion of a radical feminist agenda. During the fiscal years 1996-1998, for example, it paid out $253,918 to lesbian-related causes, including to the Lesbian and Bisexual Wimmin in Action in Prince George, B.C.; La Collective Lesbienne in Ottawa; Equality for Gays and Lesbians Everywhere (EGALE) in Ottawa; and the Lesbian and Gay Immigration Task Force in Vancouver. At the same time, conservative-oriented women's groups were denied federal funding.

DION IS NOT PRO-LIFE OR PRO-FAMILY

Montreal--Quebec MP and former cabinet minister Stephane Dion had barely been elected the new leader of the federal Liberal party at a convention in this city on December 2 when he let it be known that he would be ready to "crack the whip" at his caucus when it came time to vote on whether to reopen the same-sex "marriage" issue in Parliament, scheduled for December 6 or 7 (Can Press, Dec. 3.

"Indeed, to me it's a matter of rights and you don't pick and choose rights," he said, in repeating the position of former prime minister Paul Martin. At least one Liberal MP, John McKay (Scarborough-Guildwood, ON), balked at the notion of the entire caucus having to vote a certain way on a moral issue.

"Kick me out of caucus, go ahead," he said. "If the Liberal leader decides that's a good idea ... That will be the first issue of which he and I will have a falling out." Later Dion backtracked, noting that he would speak first with his MPs.

Dion is described by Campagne-Quebec Vie president Luc Gagnon as supporting the Canadian status quo on abortion, that is, the right to kill preborn babies right up to birth. The late Gilles Grondin, former head of CLC Quebec, met personally with Dion four years ago and noted he exhibited "no sign of sympathy for the pro-life cause."

Gagnon said Dion was raised in a family that disdained the influence of the Catholic Church in society. "His father, Leon Dion, was more a liberal of the 1950s and 1960s against the influence of the Church in Quebec society," he said (LifeSiteNews, Dec. 4, 2006). Dion's office had confirmed earlier that Stephane Dion is a Catholic.

When the vote came on December 7, 2006, Liberal members, like the Conservatives--but unlike the NDP and the Bloc Quebecois--were given a free vote. The vote was 175 to 123 against the Conservative motion.

Tony Gosgnach is a freelance media person. He hosts the "Family Matters" radio program, co-sponsored by Catholic Insight, the second and fourth Thursday of each month, from 6:00-700 p.m Eastern time., on HWMN Radio Maria. (Listen live online at www.hmwn.net.)
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Author:Gosgnach, Tony
Publication:Catholic Insight
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:Jan 1, 2007
Words:1739
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