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Straight to the heart of Trinity Western's anti-gay law school rules

The Federation of Law Societies of Canada (FLSC) released its report on Trinity Western University's (TWU) proposed law school program in December 2013. The FLSC gave TWU's law school preliminary approval despite serious concerns expressed by different sectors of the legal profession, including the Council of Canadian Law Deans, that the school's Community Covenant Agreement, which requires TWU students and staff to agree not to engage in same‑sex sexual intimacy, discriminates against LGBTQ students.

FLSC's approval has, unsurprisingly, led to strong and divergent opinions on the appropriate balancing of rights.  

Columnists

Federal Court finds Canadian government failed to protect species at risk

Recently, a number of environmental groups represented by Ecojustice brought a series of judicial reviews alleging that the federal government has unlawfully failed to protect four species due to delays: the Pacific Humpback Whale, Nechako White Sturgeon, Marbled Murrelet and Southern Mountain Caribou.

Without a recovery strategy, the species are not fully protected under the federal Species At Risk Act, which depends on the recovery strategy for some protections to kick in. All four species' habitat lies along the controversial proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline and shipping route in northern B.C. 

Columnists

Rana Plaza victims still awaiting compensation after garment factory disaster

Following the failed compensation talks in Geneva in September 2013, an agreement has now been reached and a process established to compensate the victims of the Rana Plaza factory disaster in Bangladesh. Very few of the 28 retailers involved, however, have signed the accord or agreed to provide compensation to victims and their families.

Columnists

Whose freedom of expression is the Harper government protecting?

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Last week, in Prime Minister Stephen Harper's address to the Israeli Knesset, he equated criticisms of the Israeli state and its policies with anti-Semitism. He stated that "most disgracefully of all, some openly call Israel an apartheid state," continuing on to say that "it is nothing short of sickening."

Columnists

Changes to Canadian Experience Class immigration program introduce new eligibility provisions

On November 8, 2013 Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander announced changes to the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) immigration program. The new CEC eligibility provisions apply to any application received at the Sydney, Nova Scotia Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) office on or after November 9, 2013.

A cap has been imposed limiting the number of applicants to be accepted. Between November 9, 2013 to October 31, 2014, CIC will accept a maximum of 12,000 new applications under the Canadian Experience Class immigration category.

Columnists

Moving away from the transport of dangerous goods toward safer, low-carbon solutions

The Lac‑Mégantic derailment in Quebec last July involved the transportation of 72 tank cars of crude oil. This derailment caused the confirmed deaths of 42 people, with five more missing and presumed dead. Approximately half the downtown core was destroyed. It is one of the most significant train disasters in Canadian history.

Columnists

Do governments have to pay out on their contracts?

In light of debates about the real cost of government contracts, including the $14-billion fighter jets and the $1-billion Ontario gas plant cancellation, it is worth noting what the principles are that govern government contracts.

Columnists

Reparation after the Bangladesh garment factory disaster

In the wake of the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh this April, the corporations who use the factory expressed grave concern for the deceased workers and their families and committed to helping them.

Built on swampland outside the capital city of Dhaka and housing five factories, when the Rana Plaza building collapsed, 1,100 workers were killed and 1,900 injured. Most of the workers, and thus the victims, were women.

Although one of the world's worst industrial disasters, to date only one retailer has given compensation to the victims of the Rana Plaza disaster.

Columnists

Report describes unequal access to justice in Canada

The Canadian Bar Association (CBA) released a summary report from the Access to Justice Committee this month called Equal Justice: Balancing the Scales. It addresses the challenges to accessing the civil justice system in Canada and sets out targets that should be achieved by 2030. The targets engage many different sectors of society, including provincial and federal government, the courts system, law schools, members of the legal profession and the public, to improve the accessibility of the civil justice system.

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