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 […]

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 […]

Understanding Human Trafficking: the first step in fighting it

Understanding Human Trafficking: the first step in fighting it Often times when we think of human trafficking, our thoughts go straight to what we see in the movies: twenty-something women huddled in a dark house, forced into violent forms of sexual exploitation. That is part of the unfortunate truth, but human trafficking is much more […]

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 […]

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 […]