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 […]

Implementing Change in Carding Procedures

Over the last few months I have spoken out incessantly against the carding / street check practices that have been taking place across Ontario, as well as throughout Canada. I am extremely happy to hear that the Ontario Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services has proposed two regulations, one new and one amended, to […]

My Reflections on Bill C-36 – Part 4

Over the past few blog posts, (part 1, part 2, part 3) I have outlined some of my opinions on bill C-36. In this final post on the matter (for now) I would like to look at the issue from a new angle: let us look forward. What does it mean for Canada now that […]

My Reflections on Bill C-36 – Part 3

I decided to write a series of blog posts on Bill C-36 even though it has passed because I believe that the discourse around this piece of legislation needs to continue. Bill C-36 brought with it a heated debate, with strong opinions and strong emotions. Instead of abruptly ending that dialogue, I want us to […]

My Reflections on Bill C-36 – Part 2

In my last blog post, I summarized what happened with Bill C-36. In this post, I would like to explain to you why I took the position I did on the bill. As critic in the Senate of Bill C-36, I found aspects of the bill concerning. Now that it has passed, we must continue […]

My Reflections on Bill C-36

Over the summer, I spent a lot of time speaking with sex workers in my home province of BC. This was in anticipation of Bill C-36, the Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act. As a result, I heard many stories over the past months, and was moved by a number of them. I thank […]

There is no “Delicate” Way to Part a Farmer from his Land

At 86 years old, the only constant in Franks life has been his farm. Gifted to his family by King George III in 1798, after the American Civil War, the deed says that John Meyers (Frank’s sixth grandfather) would have the land “forever.” Now the government is going to take his farm and replace it […]

How ‘Serve and Protect’ Can Often Become ‘Fear and Distrust’ for Black Men and Women in Toronto

On March 3rd 2014 the Standing Senate Committee on Human Rights held a meeting on the topic of visible minority youth and the criminal justice system. Since that meeting, young people from across the country have contacted us to share their experiences living as a visible minorities, and I want to share one of their […]

The Importance of Minority Women Role-Models for Young Women and Girls

When we look at young visible minorities in the criminal justice system, it is easy for the conversation to focus primarily on young males. This is not without reason: According to the Statistics Canada: “In 2008/2009, as in previous years, less than one quarter of completed court cases involved a female accused. Approximately 18% of […]

Are Visible Minority Youth Getting Adequate Access to Legal Aid?

One of the basic tenants of the Canadian justice system is the right to be represented by a lawyer. If an individual cannot afford a lawyer it falls upon the government to provide that service for its citizens. When an at risk visible minority youth comes into contact with the law they often cannot afford […]