Canada's human rights record has come under fire over the past several months. In December of 2012, Amnesty International released a highly critical report of the state of human rights in Canada. The report details abuses against vulnerable groups in Canada including indigenous peoples, women, migrant workers and refugees.
Amnesty International notes in its report that "support for strong advocacy and diverse, including dissenting, views in debates and discussion of important public policy issues is being dramatically undermined and rapidly dismantled [in Canada]."
September 4th marked the 10-year anniversary of the landmark 2002 "Senate Report on Cannabis" (the cttee members unanimously recommended legaliation) and NORML Canada is commemorating this anniversary with a campaign that includes a new website dedicated to educating Canadians by making the findings in this report easily accessible.
We've also posted a number of statements made by Canadian politicians on cannabis policy and we're looking for your help to add to the collection.
The Supreme Court of Canada's Chief Justice, Beverly McLachlan, raised many virtual eyebrows on January 31 when she expressed concern about the impacts of social media on Canada's justice system. Her worry is that people using social media as their main information source may be getting an inaccurate impression of the justice system.
Especially timely -- at least to West Coast Environmental Law -- was her question: "How can a medium such as Twitter inform the public accurately or adequately, in 140 characters or less, of the real gist of a complex constitutional decision?"
Statements by the Prime Minister and Minister of Justice on January 12 about the validity of same-sex marriage left thousands of same-sex couples who have come to Canada to get married and celebrate their love wondering if they were in fact married at all. And if some same-sex marriages are neither equal nor even valid, are equal marriage rights for Canadian same-sex couples safe and secure?
Those who came to Canada to get married were told by the government of Canada that their love was equal and their relationships would be recognized as legal. These are people who followed the rules, paid their fees, spent their tourist dollars here in Canada, and suddenly had the rug pulled out from under them.
Toronto: Canada's federal Department of Justice has made a conscious decision to intervene in a case that challenges the validity of thousands of marriages. According to their arguments same-sex marriages performed in Canada between non-citizens whose countries of origin do not recognize marriage equality are not now and have never been legally valid. A direct insult to gays and lesbians both in Canada and abroad, this action reflects either complete neglect of the government's responsibilities over the past seven years, or a direct attack on the principle of equality in Canadian law.