Trudeau government stands firm in clash with faith-based groups over summer jobs

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Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

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I can be respectful of something and not oppose it without being in support of it. Being asked to declare the latter? Another twist of a knife.

The form doesn't require organizations to "support" any rights, only respect them (with respect pretty clearly defined by now, and not to be confused with "admire" or "hold in high esteem").

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Canada's abortion law was struck down on the point of security of the person, and rightly so.

The government doesn't want to give our money to organizations that are actively seeking to undo that.  Again, organizations know whether this is or is not part of what they do.

6079_Smith_W

There are no "reproductive rights" protected in the Charter, Magoo. The Supreme Court decriminalized abortion. 

Not that I am not fully in support of access to abortion, but if the Trudeau government is going to get people to commit to un-named "underlying values" and things that aren't there at all, and bar groups from funding based on it, someone might be less inclined to take Harper's approach of avoiding the hornet's nest.

Especially if there really isn't anything solid to back it up other than a legal and legislative vacuum.

 

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

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There are no "reproductive rights" protected in the Charter, Magoo. The Supreme Court decriminalized abortion.

Here's the actual line from the form.  Tell us what part you disagree with, or feel is confusing.

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Both the job* and my organization's core mandate* respect individual human rights in Canada, including the values underlying the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms as well as other rights. These include reproductive rights and the right to be free from discrimination on the basis of sex, religion, race, national or ethnic origin, colour, mental or physical disability or sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression;

Also, where do you see the word "support"?  You seem to feel that organizations were being compelled to "support" things, yes?

6079_Smith_W

It isn't unclear. It does not specify what "underlying values" are (except that it presumably does not include freedom of conscience). And there are no explicit reproductive rights in the Charter. If there were I don't think women in P.E.I. would have spent 35 years not having access to those services.

And a "mandate" is a statement of purpose and action. So if there is nothing in their mandate regarding recognition of those rights and freedoms (that would be the support  part) it is an irrelevant question.

As in this case, it is a cherry festival. Do you think there is any pledge in their articles of incorporation or whatever it is that they recognize the Charter? I seriously doubt it.

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

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It does not specify what "underlying values" are (except that it presumably does not include freedom of conscience).

The very next sentence is literally examples of what the government is looking at.

As for "freedom of conscience", that's kind of already addressed when the government clarified that none of this is about "beliefs". 

Nobody's freedom of conscience is being denied.  Unless freedom of conscience now included the right to believe that your freedom of conscience is being denied.

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As in this case, it is a cherry festival. Do you think there is any pledge in their articles of incorporation or whatever it is that they recognize the Charter? I seriously doubt it.

Me too.  Those articles of incorporation don't require the government to send munnee.

Fascinating, though, how a "cherry festival" seems to have such strong religious beliefs.  Maybe I'm just used to fruit festivals not hating fruits.  Why was I completely unshocked to find Jesus in there somewhere?

Sean in Ottawa

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
I can be respectful of something and not oppose it without being in support of it. Being asked to declare the latter? Another twist of a knife.

The form doesn't require organizations to "support" any rights, only respect them (with respect pretty clearly defined by now, and not to be confused with "admire" or "hold in high esteem").

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Canada's abortion law was struck down on the point of security of the person, and rightly so.

The government doesn't want to give our money to organizations that are actively seeking to undo that.  Again, organizations know whether this is or is not part of what they do.

Respect is a multilayered meaning. It includes concepts of obey, tolerate and admire and means different things to different people.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

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Respect is a multilayered meaning. It includes concepts of obey, tolerate and admire and means different things to different people.

Not on a government form, when the government makes it clear what the working definition of the term is.

Similarly, municipal codes will clarify what is meant by "dwelling".  If you think an umbrella counts as a dwelling, fine, but not when you're applying for a permit.

I think it's pretty common, in law, for words to have a specific working meaning, even if they might mean other things in common speech.  Would you agree?

6079_Smith_W

Except again, the government and everyone else has admitted those terms were not clear.

And given that some of the things made reference to aren't specified at all, or don't exist, I think appealing to the supposed strict regimen of government forms is quite the stretch.

The sensible thing really would have been to accept it with the revisions and explanations being offered in good faith by some of the applicants, and fix up the mess next year.

But no surprise that Trudeau turned around and blamed it on those applicants who were trying to make it work.

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

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But no surprise that Trudeau turned around and blamed it on those applicants who were trying to make it work.

The ones who -- gosh! -- STILL couldn't seem to figure out what words mean, even when the government was polite enough to clarify, weren't trying to make it work.  They were trying to make it NOT work. 

The government acted in good faith when it clarified its working definitions, and when it explicitly explained that none of this is about beliefs or individuals.  Somehow, religious k00Ks still can't understand!  Even when everyone else can.

And yes, you're going to tell me for the fiftieth time that the government even said it was unclear.  And I'll remind you for the fiftieth time that they followed up with a clarification.  Or did the government say that the clarification was also unclear?

Pondering

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Except again, the government and everyone else has admitted those terms were not clear.

And given that some of the things made reference to aren't specified at all, or don't exist, I think appealing to the supposed strict regimen of government forms is quite the stretch.

The sensible thing really would have been to accept it with the revisions and explanations being offered in good faith by some of the applicants, and fix up the mess next year.

But no surprise that Trudeau turned around and blamed it on those applicants who were trying to make it work

They didn't admit it was unclear as far as I know. They further clarified for organizations having difficultly so that they could check the box. 

Applicants don't get to revise government forms. There was a requirement the organizations refused to meet. They got turned down. They were given a clarification even though there was no need for one and an opportunity to resubmit their application and they refused. 

Will shall have to see if they are content with the wording next year but I wouldn't count on it. I think the wording will be more strict. 

Sean in Ottawa

dup

Martin N.

Mr. Magoo wrote:

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His zeal to punish those who dare to not to agree with his position on abortion is nothing short of fascism.

Are you just venting your personal feelings about "Herr" Trudeau?

Because the last I checked, the Charter is more than just "Herr" Trudeau's opinions.

I like Justin just fine, magoo. It is the Prime Minister I have issues with, as you well know, but don't let it stop you from dragging your smelly red herring through every topic. A freedom is a freedom A right is a right, no matter the convictions involved.

Where in the Charter are Herr Trudeau's opinions enshrined? Are you attempting to put choice in the Constitution? 

Martin N.


There is nothing in the wording of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms to indicate a constitutional right to abortion. And although claims are often made that the Supreme Court of Canada recognized a constitutional right to abortion in its 1988 Morgentaler decision,1 that is an incorrect understanding of what the Court decided.

As Osgoode Hall Law Professor Shelley A.M. Gavigan wrote in an essay published shortly after the 1988 decision, “The Supreme Court’s decision, profound as it was, did not create a right to abortion for Canadian women, nor did it offer any resolution of the abortion issue.” 2

And Associate Professor of Law at University of Ottawa, Daphne Gilbert, quoted in an article in The Epoch Times, says, “The Morgentaler decision didn’t say a woman has a constitutional right to abortion, it didn’t go that far –pro-choice is not a legal question, it is a social/cultural issue.” According to this article, Daphne Gilbert who “specializes in Charter rights, says the Morgentaler case didn’t go as far as the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision in the Roe v. Wade case, which granted the constitutional right to abortion and subsequently changed laws in 46 states.” 3

Clear enough, Magoo?

josh

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
Respect is a multilayered meaning. It includes concepts of obey, tolerate and admire and means different things to different people.

Not on a government form, when the government makes it clear what the working definition of the term is.

Similarly, municipal codes will clarify what is meant by "dwelling".  If you think an umbrella counts as a dwelling, fine, but not when you're applying for a permit.

I think it's pretty common, in law, for words to have a specific working meaning, even if they might mean other things in common speech.  Would you agree?

A dwelling is clearly defined in an ordinance.  What is the definition of respect here?

Sean in Ottawa

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
Respect is a multilayered meaning. It includes concepts of obey, tolerate and admire and means different things to different people.

Not on a government form, when the government makes it clear what the working definition of the term is.

Similarly, municipal codes will clarify what is meant by "dwelling".  If you think an umbrella counts as a dwelling, fine, but not when you're applying for a permit.

I think it's pretty common, in law, for words to have a specific working meaning, even if they might mean other things in common speech.  Would you agree?

No becuase the government has itself interpreted this inconsistently. I do not think that this is at all like a definition of dwelling for the purpose of -- in part because this is not a single word definition in the middle of plain English.

In law there is also a principle of interpretation that includes the expressed political intentions surrounding the legislative history. The government's intentions have been muddied becuase of the Liberals trying to take maximum political benefit at minimum cost so the entire thing has meant different things to different people.

Your example is the case also where a specific word is defined because it did not exist and was created for clarity. In this case the government has said one thing and defined it as something else for political purpose.

As well, even using all the governments' definitions, there is a requirement to interpret that is really excessive:

So if you want to say this activity is allowed or not allowed that is one thing but then to qualify it as whether or not it is a core activity opens it to subjective interpretation. Further, this means having an understanding of what the organization is -- do we mean a department, parent entity, partnership or what?

In some cases things may be clear but this could have been written to be clear in all cases.

As well the intention of the governmment remains unknown. When convenient they say that organizations, like some churches, that hold core positions that you would think would exclude them are not included in the definition. The government's examples are designed to look like this is clear but as soon as you think of other real-life examples you can see that these are contrived and very quickly you can enter into interpretation that will fall on the person charged with signing the form.

I get the sense the that message the government wants Churches who are in opposition to hear is not the same message that they want people who want these rights defended to hear. The government seems to want people to read into this policy whatever they would like best.

In other words clarity was sacrificed for maximum politics -- it never needed to be this unclear.

As I keep saying being unsympathetic to the organizations is not the answer since you also have to consider both the potential job seekers and potential clients of the services. You have to consider when it comes to social services the impact on other organizations that would bear any burden.

Finally, there is the principle here that the government is not as clear as it could have been in order to gain politically out of being less than direct.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

According to the government:

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Respect: Individual human rights are respected when an organization’s primary activities, and the job responsibilities, do not seek to remove or actively undermine these existing rights.

Martin N.

The intolerance of progressives to any dissent is a weakness they need to deal with.  Trudeau and his Neoliberals will self-destruct before the next election and a leader with a functioning brain must be found to replace him.

Sean in Ottawa

Mr. Magoo wrote:

According to the government:

Quote:
Respect: Individual human rights are respected when an organization’s primary activities, and the job responsibilities, do not seek to remove or actively undermine these existing rights.

Not clear.

Could say in the document to be signed -- "organizations who do not advocate against these rights."

Instead it includes vague statements like undermine.

Also, for example, given the position of the catholic church it is hard to say that opposing abortion is not a primary activity when they do whole events around it. Yet they say this does not apply.

Forget discussion about the intent. Let's just say that the government, duly elected, can have any of the intentions it has expressed. But we could easily here come to a clear simple sentence without ambiguity as to what it would mean. Of course then the government would then have to defend it.

As it is, the government wants to satisfy those who mant it to go further than it might really go while satisfying those who want it not to go as far as it does.

The result is an absurdity where the government has to pretend that there is still meaning behind this and yet somehow it does not capture the Catholic Church as an organization that does not undermine reproductive rights. All this while the Catholic Church is the leading poster child for opposing choice. No wonder they want each person to read in hatever they like and to never have to actual say it clearly.

Elephant in the room: The catholic Church is the leading opponent of reproductive rights in Canada AND they are one of the leading charitable social service organizations AND their sub organizations hire summer students.

So the objective is to sound like you are doing something when you sound like you are not doing something slowly with haste.

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

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The intolerance of progressives to any dissent is a weakness they need to deal with.

Can they keep "intolerance of intolerance"?

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Elephant in the room: The catholic Church is the leading opponent of reproductive rights in Canada AND they are one of the leading charitable social service organizations AND their sub organizations hire summer students.

Is the real problem that the government can't see a difference between these things?  Or that it does see a difference between these things?

Merely being associated with the Catholic Church does not, de facto, make an organization ineligible for this funding.  But if you're saying the problem is that the Catholic Church does actively try to roll back reproductive rights, well, OK.  No more Catholic cherry festivals, I guess.  But meanwhile, they're saying it's a whole different problem.

6079_Smith_W

We're back to this again. 

Well if the objective is to drive the Catholic Church into the ground why is Trudeau pissing around with chump change like this. Hit them where it really hurts:

https://www.saintboniface.ca/foundation/en/funding-announcement-research...

Of course, if it is research that might help prevent people dying, not a cherry festival, maybe those principles aren't quite so unwavering.

The hospital up the road from Bruno in Humboldt did get taken away from the Catholic Church a few years back when the board started snooping into patient records regarding tubal ligations. Thing is, in that case they actually did break rules, unlike this case, where they are doing nothing.

You know, more than the fact this means lost jobs, and lost services, what I think is most irresponsible of Trudeau is that this gives free rein to haters, and an easy scapegoat, when in fact they have no intention of really applying these so-called principles and cutting federal funding to all Catholic hospitals, schools, and service organizations.

6079_Smith_W

Plus it isn't just the Catholics. Ninety groups - Christian, Jewish and Muslim - signed the letter protesting the government's rult.

Pondering

No lost jobs as more students are being hired this year than any other year. It seems other organizations are filling the void and then some. 

I don't care how many organizations signed the letter. They are still all religious organizations who argue against equality for women and the LGBTQ community. They have a right to their beliefs but they don't have the right to government money to promote those beliefs. 

Trudeau did not claim that choice is written into the constitution. 

Both the job* and my organization's core mandate* respect individual human rights in Canada, including the values underlying the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms as well as other rights. These include reproductive rights and the right to be free from discrimination on the basis of sex, religion, race, national or ethnic origin, colour, mental or physical disability or sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression;

"as well as other rights" Those other rights include reproductive rights which women currently have. 

As to the charter:

Chief Justice Brian Dickson wrote:

"Forcing a woman, by threat of criminal sanction, to carry a fetus to term unless she meets certain criteria unrelated to her own priorities and aspirations, is a profound interference with a woman's body and thus a violation of her security of the person."[27]

Justice Bertha Wilson wrote:

"The decision of a woman to terminate her pregnancy falls within the class of protected decisions [because it will have] profound psychological, economic and social consequences for the pregnant woman… The right to reproduce or not to reproduce… is properly perceived as an integral part of modern woman’s struggle to assert her dignity and worth as a human being… The purpose of [section 251] is to take the decision away from the woman and give it to a committee."[39]

.... In 1995 abortion was added to the Canada Health Act as an essential medical service, meaning that it must be covered by health insurance. Nevertheless, some provinces do not cover clinic abortions.[40]

Seems to me that it is a charter right. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Morgentaler#Judicial_battles

Sean in Ottawa

6079_Smith_W wrote:

We're back to this again. 

Well if the objective is to drive the Catholic Church into the ground why is Trudeau pissing around with chump change....

 

the objective is votes and each side thinking the Liberals are delivering or defending. The people who want to support choice get to think the Liberals are defending it while the Catholics see that it makes no difference.

6079_Smith_W

It might seem to you Pondering, but that does not mean it is there.  It is actually a fragile right, and this dumb move doesn't really do anything to make it stronger.

And as for the other "underlying rights" applicants are supposed to sign off on, I suppose we just guess what those are.

 

Sean in Ottawa

The other problem is that there is a precident created of a government having people affirm the rights they most want to promote. I am concerned that a right wing government chocie will be made. Is it not better to have a blanket statement that you cannot advocate against human rights (complete list) and get federal money. Period. Don't care if it is a core mandate or what it is. Make it simple and easy to understand.

Pondering

6079_Smith_W wrote:

It might seem to you Pondering, but that does not mean it is there.  It is actually a fragile right, and this dumb move doesn't really do anything to make it stronger.

And as for the other "underlying rights" applicants are supposed to sign off on, I suppose we just guess what those are.

I think it was put in there for political reasons and it worked. I think they won more votes than they lost over the issue. 

Sean, I agree about a more blanket protection of rights. That is what would have  been done if the point were protecting rights. In my view the point was to appear to be taking steps to protect women's and LGBTQ rights without spending a dime. 

Pondering

Wrong thread

progressive17 progressive17's picture

I was thinking about this issue. Perhaps it would be better to stop funding this program completely. Then there would be no argument about religious preference. If a group can raise money to provide work to people where there is no demand, the generosity of their donors will allow it. If they can't raise money, well, the people can look somewhere else for a situation where they can work where there is no demand for their labour. 

Students are more qualified than non-students at any age. There is no reason why they should receive an additional subsidy to work, when non-students are more desperate, and did not have the privilege of an education. If the students cannot find work, maybe it is because they took the wrong subjects at school. Everyone should be allowed to fail.

By withdrawing from this huge waste of money, the government can then hire 200 bureaucrats for the National Capital Commission who will decide where 1 tree is planted per year.

cco

6079_Smith_W wrote:

It is actually a fragile right, and this dumb move doesn't really do anything to make it stronger.

No, it just stops tax money from subsidizing people who want to make it weaker. That's not all that complicated. If we want to strengthen abortion rights, perhaps we should do that legislatively, instead of relying on the good sportsmanship of social conservatives.

That's what all these arguments really add up to, and it requires wilful blindness of how conservatives operate. "If we don't pay them to oppose abortion, then next election they'll really oppose abortion!" (They'll oppose it anyway.) "If we take money away from anti-abortion groups, they'll take money away from anti-Israel groups!" (They already did.) Opposing women's rights is a fundamental principle for the right, while supporting them is something to be horse-traded away for the left, when we think we can buy a few religious votes. This is why we keep losing these battles.

As far as the oh-so-hopelessly confusing language on the form, it's funny -- when I'm confused by language on a government form, I call someone and get clarification. Maybe I even go ask my MP's office. What I don't do is call a press conference to theatrically mope and wail about how I'm being excluded from filling it out by the big fascist meanies in Ottawa who want to eradicate me. This is performance art for churches, and it never ceases to amaze me how many people fall for it.

6079_Smith_W

Actually cco, on this issue no they didn't.

https://www.ctvnews.ca/harper-says-he-ll-vote-against-abortion-motion-1....

https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/no-new-abortion-law-harper-1.908532

Harper may have made this decision out of political necessity, but it did hold the line on anti-abortion legislation. It might be a different story if anti-choice supporters know they are going to be targetted even if they are doing nothing. Again, remember where Liberal hubris got the long gun registry.

If you really want a lasting peace you don't do it by attacking and blaming. And you certainly don't do it when those rights are still under threat, and can easily be undone if those who have kept the peace decide it is an issue worth mobilizing on.

If Trudeau can take the step of explaining what the words on this form really mean, then he had the power to accept irregular applications until the problem is fixed. That he didn't do that, and instead blamed those caught up by his mistake was a conscious decision.

Pondering

6079_Smith_W wrote:
  Harper may have made this decision out of political necessity, but it did hold the line on anti-abortion legislation. It might be a different story if anti-choice supporters know they are going to be targetted even if they are doing nothing. Again, remember where Liberal hubris got the long gun registry. 

They aren't being targeted. They just aren't recieving government funding. It is not an entitlement. I don't think the long gun registry hurt the Liberals at all other than perhaps the out of control cost. They would have lost to Harper regardless. Harper chose the long gun registry because it was something he could give to his base. 

6079_Smith_W wrote:
 If you really want a lasting peace you don't do it by attacking and blaming. And you certainly don't do it when those rights are still under threat, and can easily be undone if those who have kept the peace decide it is an issue worth mobilizing on.  

They are not being  attacked and blamed. They are just being denied government funding. The right to an abortion is not under threat. Not even a tiny bit. There is no political party that will put their head in that noose. They won't even discuss it. 

6079_Smith_W wrote:
 If Trudeau can take the step of explaining what the words on this form really mean, then he had the power to accept irregular applications until the problem is fixed. That he didn't do that, and instead blamed those caught up by his mistake was a conscious decision.  

Checking the box was compulsory, the organizations didn't feel they could do that so they didn't qualify for funding. No blaming necessary.

Yes he did have the power to accept irregular applications that did not meet that requirement or any other requirement but it's called a requirement for a reason. 

They could have checked the box but added a note clarifying they understood it to mean what Trudeau said it meant so were checking the box on that basis. I'm sure God would understand. 

What they wanted was for the requirement to go away. They want to be able to oppose abortion and LGBTQ rights as part of their core mandate and still get government funding.  

As to the motives of the church:

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/summer-job-program-changes-anger-c...

"Everybody understands that a church's charitable element is an expression of religion, but the truth is that our church is not just here for religious purposes," Hillier said.

An expression of a religion preaching that the charter rights of women and the LGBTQ community are wrong and should be taken away. 

If all the church wants to do is run a cherry festival not intended to promote their religion they can just put the Cherry Festival outside of the church's organization. They won't do that because they want the church to get credit for its good works so they can attract followers to teach them that abortion and LGBTQ rights are wrong. 

Charitable works by churches are missionary in nature even if they don't preach while delivering the charity. 

6079_Smith_W

Abortion isn't under threat even a tiny bit? And Conservatives won't dare stick their heads in that noose even though the other parties pull a stunt like this?

Don't be so sure.

Pogo Pogo's picture

So the church sat down and said we don't have enough volunteers picketing abortion centres.  Let's organize a cherry festival.  That way we can get more members that we can train into zealots.

Or someone said lets organize a cherry festival, to you know anywhere we can meet and is interested in helping us out?

Looks like a place for Occham's Razor.

Pondering

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Abortion isn't under threat even a tiny bit? And Conservatives won't dare stick their heads in that noose even though the other parties pull a stunt like this?

Don't be so sure.

In a decade Harper never allowed debate on any topic concerning when life begins nevermind abortion. Even when he finally had his majority he wouldn't touch the subject. That was the anti-abortion movements best shot and all they could muster was a handful or two of protesters. 

Let's say Scheer wins and is foolish enough to try to have a debate on when life begins, or any other topic that seems connected to abortion rights, pussy hat wearing women in the thousands will demonstrate. If he tried to pass any sort of law, which would require a Conservative majority, women would show up in the tens of thousands. 

If  he actually succeeded in passing a law it would be challenged right up to the Supreme Court and I am confident we would win. 

Anti-abortionists will always exist on the fringe but they won't gain power in Canada because people are increasing disinterested in trying to control the behavior of others when it has no impact on them. 

You're anti-abortion? Don't have one. Against gay marriage? Don't marry someone of the same sex as yourself. 

Martin N.

Pondering wrote:

6079_Smith_W wrote:

It might seem to you Pondering, but that does not mean it is there.  It is actually a fragile right, and this dumb move doesn't really do anything to make it stronger.

And as for the other "underlying rights" applicants are supposed to sign off on, I suppose we just guess what those are.

I think it was put in there for political reasons and it worked. I think they won more votes than they lost over the issue. 

Sean, I agree about a more blanket protection of rights. That is what would have  been done if the point were protecting rights. In my view the point was to appear to be taking steps to protect women's and LGBTQ rights without spending a dime. 

Eloquently stated. I agree and further say that making quasi-legitimate rules and regulations on the fly to pursue this agenda will cause more harm than good. Trudeau is creating a platform for the anti-abortion agenda, not excluding them.

The fear that choice enthusiasts exhibit about the anti agenda is real because they understand that choice is not a right yet. 

Pondering

Pogo wrote:
So the church sat down and said we don't have enough volunteers picketing abortion centres.  Let's organize a cherry festival.  That way we can get more members that we can train into zealots.

Or someone said lets organize a cherry festival, to you know anywhere we can meet and is interested in helping us out?

Looks like a place for Occham's Razor.

I'm guessing the second is more likely. If they are just running the Cherry Festival out of the goodness of their hearts no need to do it under the church banner. They can  still meet in the church community room for discussions. The church can still help out. 

6079_Smith_W

Anti-abortionists DID gain power, Pondering. And they did implement some of their agenda by cutting funding to women's groups, and denying funding to international aid projects.

And unlike other parties which clamped down on dissenters, Harper allowed MPs the rare privilege of criticizing him on the abortion issue, without consequence.

They didn't open up the lawonly because he was aware that for now that is a red line. But the groundswell you talk about did not happen over Harper's other assaults on choice.

You think that this is just a fringe, and that they will never act on it? If they could deny medical care to refugee applicants they can do whatever they think they can get away with. Push them in an unfair way, as Trudeau is doing, and we might find out.

quizzical

"unfair"

any state of unfairness would be a creation of their own mind.

abortion laws will not be opened because it is covered under charter rights.

i take your words as levelling threats smith.

Sean in Ottawa

progressive17 wrote:

I was thinking about this issue. Perhaps it would be better to stop funding this program completely. Then there would be no argument about religious preference. If a group can raise money to provide work to people where there is no demand, the generosity of their donors will allow it. If they can't raise money, well, the people can look somewhere else for a situation where they can work where there is no demand for their labour. 

Students are more qualified than non-students at any age. There is no reason why they should receive an additional subsidy to work, when non-students are more desperate, and did not have the privilege of an education. If the students cannot find work, maybe it is because they took the wrong subjects at school. Everyone should be allowed to fail.

By withdrawing from this huge waste of money, the government can then hire 200 bureaucrats for the National Capital Commission who will decide where 1 tree is planted per year.

..

***

 

It is hard for everyone to know all at once when someone who puts up posts like this if it is trolling or being serious. This is why we got into debates over whether we should respect this person with politeness, engage or go away. It is the whole point of effective trolling.

So is this a serious argument to not provide any student employment support in Canada?

Is this a serious argument saying that people without experience are more qualified than anyone else?

Is this serious about the merits of 200 civil servants for a tree?

Is this serious about insulting public workers in this way?

Do we really have to pretend that this is not a pile of utter bullshit and be nice to it?

We certainly cannot respond to this person with success since he is on record saying facts and logic are oppressive and we should be ashamed, for example, to use language that has a meaning in law.

***

This is the point about effective trolling. It is designed to aggravate part of a community who can see it is trolling while splitting the community as others take it seriously. It makes a complete joke out of a website while still being able to get a few sincere people confused enough that they defend the troll to continue the train wreck attacking each other. Or they engage the troll discussing ridiculous points that the troll does not even beleive in.

At the end of the day you need the consensus that the person is a troll or the wreck continues. You get to debate what is up and what is down and that night and day are not relevent. You get to debate whether using the word "the" is a problem. You derail any normal conversation while we stop for the benefit of the troll and the troll's defenders to discuss whether there is any sincerity in a discussion about the concept supporting students to get their first work opportunities. That is the point: you prevent a conversation about the how by interjecting why. You can never have a conversation here about how to support students becuase we will get a troll arguing that we need to debate if we should support students. if we engage in this further we might have a debate about what is a student, what is a school and does learnign really exist.

We get to discuss whether even discussing a statistic about students being more likely to be unemployed is an oppressive use of logic. After all when all facts, logic and language are oppresive you get to completely dismiss all conversations and reduce them to blather. What else do you do on a discussion site? Should we have videos of stomach growling to play to each other?

People get to attack each other over response to the troll.

Eventually people get to realize that they have a choice. Engage on a website in these conditions or do something more productive. That is the point of the troll. Truth is they have the power to disrupt becuase they follow no rules and their participation is designed to divide and make any conversation impossible by attacking the basis of any possible conversation.

This has nothing to do with disagreement here. It is all about distruction.

Martin N.

abortion laws will not be opened because it is covered under charter rights.

-------------

Please show us where in the Charter.

Martin N.

So, P17, enlighten us about your motivation.

Sean in Ottawa

quizzical wrote:

"unfair"

any state of unfairness would be a creation of their own mind.

abortion laws will not be opened because it is covered under charter rights.

i take your words as levelling threats smith.

There is a difference between a threat and a warning. A threat is if you are proposing something you want or claim that you can do. Someone who does not have control over the thing is not threatening when they say it is a risk. The above comment is like saying that I am threatening climate disaster becuase I think it is a risk.

***

As for your contention that choice is protected under the Charter, I think that is simplistic.

Constitutional law includes both 1) direct assertions and protections in and 2) interpretations of those freedoms to extend to other things. The first is protected under the Charter. The second is only protected so long as the people making the interpretations continue to interpret them in that way.

For those paying attention to the US, the right to choice is being changed from being protected to not being not protected. The constitution is not changing. Ditto for unions. The underpinning of union finance has just been eliminated in the US by a decision from the court. No constitutional change was required.

An analogy is that a law is a revolution but interpretation is evolution. A law can be changed and a constitutional law is hard to change but the interpretation is easily changed and is constantly evolving - back and forwards. Both the passage of laws and the choices of judges are very political. The protections to choice all come from evolutions -- nowhere is there a constitutional clause that asserts it. You can read the document here:

http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/Const/page-15.html

Decisions invoking equality rights and protected from discrimination rights have been extended to mean more but nowhere is reproductive choice specifically protected.

A few conservative judges can change a great deal.

Never say something cannot happen here.

A constitutional interpretation can at times be changed with the passage of a law that may not even have to change the constitution or a decision by a judge.

This is exactly what it means when some people say that judges make law.

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

I practised law for 7 years back in the 1970s. I don't know how much things have changed since then, but at that time, it made very little difference which party appointed a judge. I mean, it made a difference in the sense that Liberal governments appointed mostly Liberal lawyers as judges, and Conservative governments mostly Conservative lawyers.

However, you generally couldn't tell which party had appointed a judge by reading their reasons for judgment in the cases they ruled on. I attribute this to a legal culture that was non-partisan and shared by almost all lawyers and judges. The judicial function in interpreting a statute was seen as finding the true intention of parliament in passing the bill. In my experience, there were very few cases in which a judge would make a ruling based on their own political opinions. I suspect this is still mostly the case, but I have been out of touch for 40 years, so take that with a tonne of salt.

The big problem in the U.S. court system is the lack of such a legal culture. Down there, judging is seen as merely an extension of the partisan struggle. I don't know if it was ever any better, but the U.S. Supreme Court as it now exists is completely lacking in the non-partisan desire to make rulings that best reflect the intent of constitutional or legislative documents.

Sean in Ottawa

Michael Moriarity wrote:

I practised law for 7 years back in the 1970s. I don't know how much things have changed since then, but at that time, it made very little difference which party appointed a judge. I mean, it made a difference in the sense that Liberal governments appointed mostly Liberal lawyers as judges, and Conservative governments mostly Conservative lawyers.

However, you generally couldn't tell which party had appointed a judge by reading their reasons for judgment in the cases they ruled on. I attribute this to a legal culture that was non-partisan and shared by almost all lawyers and judges. The judicial function in interpreting a statute was seen as finding the true intention of parliament in passing the bill. In my experience, there were very few cases in which a judge would make a ruling based on their own political opinions. I suspect this is still mostly the case, but I have been out of touch for 40 years, so take that with a tonne of salt.

The big problem in the U.S. court system is the lack of such a legal culture. Down there, judging is seen as merely an extension of the partisan struggle. I don't know if it was ever any better, but the U.S. Supreme Court as it now exists is completely lacking in the non-partisan desire to make rulings that best reflect the intent of constitutional or legislative documents.

I agree with some of this but I beleive there are reasons. Canadian politics has not been one of extremes historically and as a result appointments tend to be less ideological and more partisan. There is no guarantee this will continue.

As the parties diverge in ideology, the appoints will as well.

The US has gone down that same road much earlier. More and more positions are ideological becuase the parties positions differ to that degree.

People have said that in Canada that the centre is not holding and that positions are opening up. There are lots of examples of this in political discussion.

Pondering

6079_Smith_W wrote:
 Anti-abortionists DID gain power, Pondering. And they did implement some of their agenda by cutting funding to women's groups, and denying funding to international aid projects.  

Yes, as a sop to social conservatives. They refused to touch the law or even discuss when life begins. 

6079_Smith_W wrote:
  And unlike other parties which clamped down on dissenters, Harper allowed MPs the rare privilege of criticizing him on the abortion issue, without consequence. 

Yes, as a sop to social conservatives because as long as he refused any debate in parliament it didn't hurt him politicly.

6079_Smith_W wrote:
 They didn't open up the lawonly because he was aware that for now that is a red line. But the groundswell you talk about did not happen over Harper's other assaults on choice.  

They did not impact women's rights in Canada. That is the threat that would bring women into the streets as they were in the day of Morgentaler. 

6079_Smith_W wrote:
  You think that this is just a fringe, and that they will never act on it? If they could deny medical care to refugee applicants they can do whatever they think they can get away with. Push them in an unfair way, as Trudeau is doing, and we might find out.

Yes, they went so far as to deny medical aid to refugees. They did not do so on abortion because they would not go so far as to threaten women's rights in Canada. 

They are not being unfairly pushed.  Anti-abortionists have been trying as hard as they can for some time now. The movement is waning not gaining strength. 

People are more and more loath to interfere in the personal decisions of others. 

 

Sean in Ottawa

Pondering wrote:

6079_Smith_W wrote:
 Anti-abortionists DID gain power, Pondering. And they did implement some of their agenda by cutting funding to women's groups, and denying funding to international aid projects.  

Yes, as a sop to social conservatives. They refused to touch the law or even discuss when life begins. 

6079_Smith_W wrote:
  And unlike other parties which clamped down on dissenters, Harper allowed MPs the rare privilege of criticizing him on the abortion issue, without consequence. 

Yes, as a sop to social conservatives because as long as he refused any debate in parliament it didn't hurt him politicly.

6079_Smith_W wrote:
 They didn't open up the lawonly because he was aware that for now that is a red line. But the groundswell you talk about did not happen over Harper's other assaults on choice.  

They did not impact women's rights in Canada. That is the threat that would bring women into the streets as they were in the day of Morgentaler. 

6079_Smith_W wrote:
  You think that this is just a fringe, and that they will never act on it? If they could deny medical care to refugee applicants they can do whatever they think they can get away with. Push them in an unfair way, as Trudeau is doing, and we might find out.

Yes, they went so far as to deny medical aid to refugees. They did not do so on abortion because they would not go so far as to threaten women's rights in Canada. 

They are not being unfairly pushed.  Anti-abortionists having trying as hard as they can for some time now. The movement is waning not gaining strength. 

People are more and more loath to interfere in the personal decisions of others.

I want to believe waht you say.

But Trump was not electable. Harper was not electable. Many things that Harper did in Canada could not happen.

The problem is that there is no protection here in politics or law from very bad things happening. The only "protection" is the voters. Half the voters don't even vote. Half of those who do do not have enough interest to delve beyond the ads adn superficial promises (like here in Ontario buck-a-beer).

It is extremely unlikely that we could have a government that would attack choice.

We cannot easily forsee the political context for it.

But it is not impossible.

I could prepare a story outlining the scenario. It would be believable. It might even start with the Trump context and trade war and damage to the Canadian economy followed by scandal to the Liberals and the rise of an extreme right leader. Imagine the political interference possible coming out of a polarized election here. If you can even start to imagine interference in the US by Russia, then consider the reality of it by the US right in Canada.

Why pretend that the Conservatives do not want to restrict abortion? They do not attack choice ONLY becuase in the present political climate, they could not get away with it. Change that climate and you have a different reality.

progressive17 progressive17's picture

Pondering wrote:

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Abortion isn't under threat even a tiny bit? And Conservatives won't dare stick their heads in that noose even though the other parties pull a stunt like this?

Don't be so sure.

In a decade Harper never allowed debate on any topic concerning when life begins nevermind abortion. Even when he finally had his majority he wouldn't touch the subject. That was the anti-abortion movements best shot and all they could muster was a handful or two of protesters. 

Let's say Scheer wins and is foolish enough to try to have a debate on when life begins, or any other topic that seems connected to abortion rights, pussy hat wearing women in the thousands will demonstrate. If he tried to pass any sort of law, which would require a Conservative majority, women would show up in the tens of thousands. 

If  he actually succeeded in passing a law it would be challenged right up to the Supreme Court and I am confident we would win. 

Anti-abortionists will always exist on the fringe but they won't gain power in Canada because people are increasing disinterested in trying to control the behavior of others when it has no impact on them. 

You're anti-abortion? Don't have one. Against gay marriage? Don't marry someone of the same sex as yourself. 

Against slavery? Don't shop at the dollar store. Against global warming? Don't fly, drive, or eat meat. Against poverty? Donate some money. Against loneliness? Spend some time with someone who could use some company.

quizzical

so if abortion, as you men are trying to insist, isn't a charter right then your whole argument is mute about checking the box or not.

heads up it is.

under the section of ; "no one can be forced to give their life into the service of another even ...."

Sean in Ottawa

quizzical wrote:

so if abortion, as you men are trying to insist, isn't a charter right then your whole argument is mute about checking the box or not.

heads up it is.

under the section of ; "no one can be forced to give their life into the service of another even ...."

There is no such section. This is not about me or anyone else being a man. This is about the fact that the words are not there.

That does not mean it is not a Charter Right becuase interpretations of constitutional law extend the Charter. However, this interpretation can be at risk with the wrong judges on the bench. Due to past decisions interpreting Charter rights, apply to the laws of the land in any lower court. However, a serious of Conservative supreme court judges could change this.

Choice became a Charter right in 1988. It was not protected by the Charter before then.

The key element here is that Constitutional law is changed through either 

1) interpretation by the court https://scc-csc.lexum.com/scc-csc/scc-csc/en/item/288/index.do

or

2) The amending formula

"A frequent argument is that the specific word “abortion” does not feature in the Charter, and it is therefore not a Charter right. However, Charter rights are enumerated in a broad sense, and judicial interpretation  allows  for  judges  to apply  Charter  rights  in  new ways  to  various  situations. This results in  case  law that  expands  Charter  rights, sets precedent  for  future  cases,  and  ultimately becomes part of Charter law. Since 1988, all provincial and federal court cases related to abortion have upheld women's rights and denied fetal rights on the basis that this would infringe women's Charter rights."

The above paragraph shows how decisions change over time. While it is important to recognize that this Charter right exists, it is from an in interpretation so it is also important to guard it through good appointments to the court over time, a political culture that supports it, and political results in elections of a parliament that continue to support it.

 

progressive17 progressive17's picture

Abortion law would apply to women and not men, which would seem to me to be discrimination based on sex. Pretty clear to me...

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