B.C.’s Mental Health Act fails human rights test

The treatment of mentally-ill inmates in B.C. is the most regressive in the country, according to a Community Legal Assistance Society report

B.C.’s Mental Health Act fails human rights testBy Shahleen Premji Junior research associate Frontier Centre for Public Policy Do you hear voices? Do you have too much on your mind to get any sleep? Do you wonder if you’re still alive? These are frightening thoughts. But they’re the thoughts people have when they’re in solitary confinement, a correctional method used for violent…

Painting a masterpiece: the art of dissent in search of truth

Freedom of expression in the arts is as fragile as freedom of the press, and it’s just as vital to human rights as freedom of thought

Painting a masterpiece: the art of dissent in search of truthUkrainian businessman and philanthropist Victor Pinchuk said, “Art, freedom and creativity will change society faster than politics.” Art has been a part of the human experience as long as there have been people. It’s served many purposes, from the practical to the philosophical. Great pieces of art offer an expression of beauty and human creativity.…

When inclusivity runs counter to simple common sense

Inclusion is a virtue, but not when it erodes the boundaries of taste, truth and common sense

When inclusivity runs counter to simple common senseSometimes you have to wonder what’s going through another person’s mind – or whether anything’s going on in there at all. The latest entry in the what’s-he-thinking? ledger belongs to the teachers at Archbishop Denis O’Connor Catholic High School in Ajax, Ont. To celebrate Black History Month, the school’s black history committee suggested students and…

Dispelling the myth of rape culture on campus

The concept of rape culture was invented by feminists to tar all men with the brush of the worst of them

Dispelling the myth of rape culture on campusAccusations of rape made by students against other students or staff members have caused great concern in universities and beyond. Female students at McGill University, according to individual and in-class conversations, frame rape as a result of “rape culture.” But their definition of “rape culture” doesn’t fit with what’s usually meant by “culture.” In order…

Using student job funding to silence critics

The Liberals’ latest decision means summer employment is now a testing ground for ideological adhesion, obedience and purity

Using student job funding to silence criticsIt’s tough work to imagine two groups more radically different than the Canadian Council of Christian Charities and the gays rights network LGBTory. So when both join the rising chorus opposing changes to what should be among Ottawa’s most innocuous programs, it’s a signal something significant is going on. The Four Cs, as the council…

The soft tyranny of Quebec’s ongoing linguistic crossfire

Quebecers find themselves taking sides in language squabbles their better judgment says are irrelevant to life outside the political bubble

The soft tyranny of Quebec’s ongoing linguistic crossfireQuebec’s anglophones, francophones and allophones should all be on their smart phones demanding to know what in the name of Saint René Lévesque just happened in the National Assembly. “We are not a small people,” the late premier, Lévesque, famously said after his victorious Parti Quebecois stunned everyone on election night in 1976. “We are…

Justin Trudeau stands tall in China

You’d have thought conservatives would have rejoiced at a Liberal standing up for Canadians. But no, they slammed him

Justin Trudeau stands tall in ChinaIt's not very often that I'm really proud of being Canadian, but Justin Trudeau made me proud this week in China. What did the prime minister do? First of all, he defended western values against a determined communist bully. Secondly, he once again made the essential point that until there’s a common set of rules…

Standing on guard for human rights critical to a civil society

The New Brunswick Human Rights Commission celebrates 50 years of exemplary work, but much more can be done to allow citizens to move ahead

Standing on guard for human rights critical to a civil societyThe New Brunswick Human Rights Commission celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. It’s a appropriate time to celebrate the commission’s accomplishments and acknowledge that more can – and should – be done. Founded in 1967, it was one of the first human rights commissions in Canada. Today, every province and territory, and the federal jurisdiction…

Alberta’s sex-ed showdown

In a tolerant, civil society, we embrace a diversity of beliefs. But we need to take care that society's core values aren't undermined by religious beliefs

Alberta’s sex-ed showdownJason Kenney, the newly-elected leader of Alberta's United Conservative Party, has made it clear that Alberta Premier Rachel Notley has no business dictating how sex education should be taught in the Catholic school system. “It’s not for me or the premier to dictate to the Catholic education system how it teaches Catholic values,” he has…

Criminal Code changes put sacred spaces at risk

The federal government needs to affirm the importance of freedom of religion and conscience by preserving Section 176

Criminal Code changes put sacred spaces at riskIn June, Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould tabled in the House of Commons omnibus legislation to amend the Criminal Code and Department of Justice Act. One of Bill C-51’s provisions should concern Canadians for what it proposes and says about the value we place on religious freedom and our understanding of sacred space. The bill would…