Fentanyl, a deadly synthetic opioid – It was only half a pill that killed him

At the Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs we have been studying the fatal impact of fentanyl on our Canadian streets. Senator Vern White has introduced Bill S-225, to regulate the ingredients required to make fentanyl. These ingredients are called precursors, substances that are used to make the illicit drug. Fentanyl is a […]

What Happens if Bill C-14 is Not Passed by June 6?

Monday, June 6 is a day that has been circled on many Canadians’ calendars. On June 6 it will no longer be a crime for a physician to provide medical assistance in dying to those who fit the criteria as they were set out in the Supreme Court’s unanimous decision in Carter v. Canada. Many […]

Climate Change and the Right to Health

Check out the infographic below This series of blog posts is exploring how human rights will be affected by the impact of climate change. This week I am looking at the right to health. The right to health is not the same as the right to being healthy – it means that everyone should have access to […]

The Locust Effect – Changing the Conversation on Global Poverty

On the morning of Thursday May 1st, I attended a breakfast discussion held in the Commonwealth room on Parliament Hill. Among a small group of my peers, I listened to Victor Boutros speak on the book he and Gary Haugen wrote, titled The Locust Effect. The impact of this talk is what I wish to […]

Remembering Zeenab Kassam

On March 20, 2014, Zeenab Kassam and Roshan Thomas, both Canadians volunteering in Afghanistan, were brutally gunned down by several Taliban. I will speak of Roshan Thomas at another time. That same day, Zeenab’s family in Calgary was informed about her murder. Zeenab Kassam was born in Zanzibar to an esteemed family. Her great grandfather […]

Bill C-14: Not Criminally Responsible Reform Act

Bill C-14, An Act to Amend the Criminal Code and the National Defence Act (mental disorder), is better known as the Not Criminally Responsible Reform Act.  First and most importantly, this bill makes the safety of the public the paramount consideration in the decision-making process for individuals who have been found not criminally responsible or […]

International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation

Today, February 6, 2014, marks the United Nations International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation. Female genital mutilation is a practice that has historically victimized at least 125 million women and girls.  It is a procedure that involves the partial or complete removal of a female’s external genitalia and is practiced in twenty-seven […]

Ongoing Risk of Female Genital Mutilation

Worldwide, there are 125 million girls and women alive today who have been subjected to female genital mutilation, also known as cutting. Cutting refers to all procedures which involve cutting away part or all of a girl’s external genitalia. Globally, the practice is recognized as a violation of the human rights of girls and women […]

Malaria: What is it and why does it still exist?

On September 10, 2013, in Affordable Medicine, Africa, Health, India, International Cooperation, Malaria, by Senator Jaffer

Malaria is an entirely treatable and mostly preventable disease. Less than a century ago it was prevalent across the world, but in high-income countries prevention, monitoring and treatment brought the disease under control and eventually eradicated it. In 1951 the United States hit a milestone by having three years without a single malaria case. Malaria […]

Food Banks – No Longer Just a Temporary Solution

On August 7, 2013, in Canada, Health, Human Rights, Poverty, by Senator Jaffer

Food banks were originally intended to be a temporary measure, when the first Canadian food bank opened its doors in Edmonton in 1981. Instead, the need for food banks has continued over the years and, in fact, grown. Today, there are approximately 800 food banks in Canada and over 3,000 food programs. In their 2012 […]