How the Conservative Party in Canada got in bed with Gay Rights in two decades or less: The move allowed the Conservative government to poke a stick in Iran’s eye, and help a genuinely in-need refugee constituency, all at one blow. As a bonus, such steps help create a bulwark against radicalism in our immigrant population. “When you’re dealing with a country like Iran, gay asylum seekers are exactly the ones you want,” says Mr. Raphael. “In general, these are precisely the people who you can guarantee don’t support the Iranian regime back home. They’re going to bring in a more secular, moderate perspective.”
It has been 15 years since the Supreme Court of Canada released their decision in Delgamuukw v. British Columbia. The decision was perhaps the most important Aboriginal rights decision in Canadian history, radically framing the notion of Aboriginal title and creating several legacies in common law. [more inside]
Will Canada be the first developed nation to decriminalise Polygamy? After Charter challenges legalised orgies, prostitution (most recently "living off the avails"), same-sex marriages, non-sexual adult interdependent relationships, common-law marraiges and multiple legally recognised spouses in Saskatchewan, the West Coast is now hosting a unique reference case in B.C.'s superior court considering whether section 293 of the Canadian Criminal Code is legal under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. [more inside]
Crimes of Necessity On Oct. 14 2008 the B.C. Supreme Court handed down a landmark decision declaring that, due to the lack of adequate homeless shelters, it was unconstitutional for the City of Victoria to prevent homeless individuals from erecting temporary structures for protection from the elements. The ruling culminates a multi-year campaign by David Arthur Johnston to establish the "right to sleep". As the decision is based on an interpretation of Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the ruling applies to every municipality in Canada. In the wake of the decision, Victoria City Council passed a resolution which stipulates that such shelters must be removed by 7:00 each morning. [more inside]
Canada Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage. "We are a nation of minorities. And in a nation of minorities, it is important that you don't cherry-pick rights," said Prime Minister Paul Martin. "A right is a right and that is what this vote tonight is all about."
Address by Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin on Gay Marriage. Taking the bull by the horns, Mr. Martin speaks to the House of Commons regarding Bill C-38, The Civil Marriage Act:
"This question does not demand rhetoric. It demands clarity. There are only two legitimate answers – yes or no. Not the demagoguery we have heard, not the dodging, the flawed reasoning, the false options. Just yes or no."One of the finest speeches from a Canadian politician in memory, and an important read for Canadians and Americans alike.