Justice and Freedom

13 Jun 2008 Save $1 Billion and 800 Lives: CAMH’s “Avoidable Costs of Alcohol Abuse in Canada 2002” Study released

Centre for Addiction and Mental Health: For Immediate Release – June 11, 2008 (TORONTO): The economic burden of alcohol abuse costs each Canadian $463 per year. In fact, the direct health care costs for alcohol abuse in Canada exceed those of cancer.Released today by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), the Avoidable Cost of Alcohol Abuse in Canada 2002 report estimates that, even under very conservative assumptions,implementing six reviewed interventions would result in cost savings of about $1 billion per year and a savings of about 800 lives, close to 26,000 years of life lost to premature death and more than 88,000 acute care hospital days in Canada per year. This pioneering study is Canada’s first systematic estimate of the avoidable costs of alcohol abuse, and the first study of its kind worldwide.
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10 Jun 2008 Alberta Pastor Fined $7000 and Ordered to Publicly Apologize and Remain Silent on Homosexuality

Says he won't apologize - "I stand by what I said." Will appeal decision.By Tim Waggoner [Lifesitenews.com] OTTAWA, June 9, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - On Friday, the Alberta Human Rights Commission ordered Alberta pastor Stephen Boissoin to desist from expressing his views on homosexuality in any sort of public forum. He was also commanded to pay damages equivalent to $7,000 as a result of the tribunal's November decision to side with complainant and homosexual activist Dr. Darren Lund. The tribunal has also called for Boissoin to personally apologize to Lund via a public statement in the local newspaper. The remedy order demands the pastor to pay $5,000 to Lund personally for the "time and energy" he has expended and for the "ridicule and harassment" he has faced. Combined with that financial burden, Boissoin must also pay up to $2,000 in expenses to one of Lund's witness, provided she produces records of such costs.
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05 Jun 2008 Afternoon at the BC Human Rights Tribunal

Mark Penninga - ARPA Canada - June 4, 2008The third day of the hearings for Mark Steyn and Maclean's magazine wrapped up today in Vancouver and I was able to catch some of the show. The case is a result of a complaint by the Canadian Islamic Congress that Steyn's book America Alone (pictured on the right) and a Maclean's magazine article, which came from the book, are "anti-Muslim". Instead of giving a run-down of what was said (check out Andrew Coyne's blog for that) I thought I would give a brief analysis from an inexperienced onlooker's perspective. The court room was quite small - with the three member panel of the BC Human Rights Commission in the front (Heather MacNaughton is the Chair), the lawyers from both sides in front of them, and then about twenty people in the audience. Mark Steyn himself showed up shortly after I did. He hasn't spoken before the tribunal yet, and it doesn't look like he will. In fact, the Maclean's side has not put forward any expert witnesses in their defence yet, possibly as a protest against the ridiculous nature of the the tribunal itself.
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03 Jun 2008 What we now know about marijuana

by Margret Kopala (with permission) First Appeared in the Ottawa Citizen - May 31, 2008 Leading the recent National Post debate on cannabis, columnist Barbara Kay can't have anticipated Vancouver's safe injection site, rather than legalized cannabis, would be the Trojan Horse for the legalization of all addictive drugs. This week, the right of addicts to continue use of illicit drugs was upheld by the B.C. Supreme Court even though no treatment of which I am aware uses the substance that caused the problem to cure it. Smokers use nicotine gum, not more cigarettes, to kick the habit, don't steal to feed their habit and if heroine and cocaine are so helpful, why aren't doctors prescribing them in pill form? At least we know something about cannabis. In fact we know a lot. And now a paper published in Nature places the medicinal, the harmful and the recreational aspects of cannabis in a perspective that has implications for how we treat all addictive substances.
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16 May 2008 Human Rights Complaint Forces College to Permit Pro-Life Group Official Club Status

VANCOUVER, May 15, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) –The Capilano College Heartbeat Club and the Capilano Students Union (CSU) have reached an agreement that will see the pro-life Heartbeat Club achieve CSU club recognition, pending they submit an application in the fall. The parties released a joint statement shortly after the agreement had been made: "The Heartbeat Club filed a Human Rights complaint against the Capilano Students' Union. The Club and the CSU have entered into a settlement agreement which is confidential. The parties agree that there is no admission of liability by the CSU and that the Heartbeat Club will be entitled to CSU club status if they apply."
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28 Apr 2008 Report on Human Rights Commissions

By Will Gortemaker - [Aloud in the Street]On February 15, 2006, a complaint was filed with the Alberta Human Rights Commission against Western Standard magazine. The complainant, the leader of a Muslim mosque, alleged that Western Standard's decision to publish the Danish cartoons of Mohammed, exposed him and his family to hate, discrimination and violence. Ezra Levant, the publisher of the magazine, was called to appear before an investigator. As Levant, a lawyer by trade, prepared for the investigation, he realized that something was terribly wrong.
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25 Apr 2008 Christian Horizons rebuked

ARPA Canada Action Alert: Click here for suggestions on how to respond to the human rights commissions. Employer ordered to compensate fired gay worker, abolish code of conductBy Greg Mercer theRecord.com A provincially-funded Christian group violated the rights of a worker who had to quit her job after revealing she was gay, says the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario. The tribunal has ordered Kitchener-based Christian Horizons to compensate Connie Heintz, 39, and to end a prohibitive code-of-conduct contract for its 2,500 employees.The contract, which all staff must sign, forbids workers from cheating on their spouses, having pre-marital sex or homosexual relationships, using pornography and "endorsing" alcohol or tobacco, among other things. That policy violates those workers' basic rights, ruled Michael Gottheil, chair of the tribunal.Heintz's case provided an inside look at the practices of Christian Horizons, an evangelical organization that operates more than 180 residential homes in Ontario for people with developmental disabilities.
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18 Apr 2008 Exposure of The Failures of Vancouver Drug Injection Site

REAL Women of Canada: ME D I A  R E L E A S E - Ottawa, Ontario April 16, 2008 The Final Report of an Expert Advisory Committee summarizing evidence-based research on the injection site in Vancouver has exposed it as a failure. It has also exposed the fallacy of the arguments used to support the site when it was first established in 2003. The federal government should immediately withdraw its support for the site to indicate its willingness to learn from past mistakes, and to deal with the reality of the situation made apparent by the Advisory Committee’s report.
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18 Apr 2008 Vellacott re-introduces Private Member’s Bill to protect conscience rights of health care workers

For Immediate Release - April 16, 2008 OTTAWA – Conservative MP Maurice Vellacott (Saskatoon-Wanuskewin) today re-introduced his Private Member’s Bill that would protect the conscience rights of Canada’s health care workers. This is the third time Vellacott has introduced a bill to protect health care workers’ conscience rights. “I hope that the Canadian Parliament will eventually pass this kind of a common sense measure that would protect the freedom of choice for all health care workers,” said Vellacott.Introducing the bill in Parliament this afternoon, Vellacott said:"Mr. Speaker, the bill would prohibit coercion in medical procedures that offend a person's religion or belief that human life is inviolable. The bill seeks to ensure that health care providers will never be forced to participate against their will in procedures such as abortions or acts of euthanasia.
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11 Apr 2008 Conduct Unbecoming a Free Society

Chris Kempling, National Post, Wednesday, April 09, 2008 (picture from www.chp.ca) On the first day of the counselling psychology class, the instructor asked us to share what was the most important fact about ourselves. Jim (not his real name) identified himself as gay. I identified myself as a Christian. I decided to befriend him and we went through the two-year program together. I even stayed overnight at his house when we had a weekend seminar in his town. Fast forward to the present. I encouraged my high school-aged son, a social leader, to befriend gay classmates, protect them if they were bullied and invite them over if he wished. He did (and was harassed for doing so). After graduation, his friend "Andy" moved away, but stayed overnight at our house on two occasions when back in town visiting. I mention these anecdotes, because some people are convinced that I am "homophobic." They believe this because I publicly express opinions consistent with socially conservative views of sexual behaviour. I have been suspended, without pay, twice from my job as a school teacher -- once for one month, and once for three months. It was hard on my family. Yet I maintain that people can hold, and express such views but still treat those who practise different values with decency. I do, and so does my son.
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