THIS

Progressive politics, ideas & culture

Menu

constitution

September-October 2011

Aamjiwnaang First Nation case could add environmental rights to Canada’s constitution

Teresa Goff

Over the last 40 years, 90 countries have amended their constitutions to include the right to a healthy environment. Portugal was the first in 1976, and since then scores have followed, from Argentina to Zambia. But not Canada. What we have is the 1999 Canadian Environmental Protection Act. Under that law, polluters found in violation […] More »
March-April 2011

Checking the right wing’s math on First Nations tax exemptions

Daniel Wilson

Apparently, some Canadians find it troubling that some First Nations citizens do not pay taxes. This supposed unfairness is the subject of frequent criticism. For example, the Frontier Centre for Public Policy  reprinted an article (originally appearing in C2C Journal) reading: “Tax relief and tax reform must be based on the principle of fairness. Taxes […] More »

42 years on, the freedoms that Bill C-150 affirmed can't be taken for granted

hilary beaumont

Tomorrow, let’s take a moment to reflect on the 42nd anniversary of the passing of Bill C-150, the omnibus bill that decriminalized abortion, contraception and homosexuality. The rights that Canadians have because of this historic bill are crucial to remember as those same rights come under attack elsewhere: on Wednesday, Indiana became the first state […] More »

Why Omar Khadr's case is a constitutional crisis for us all

jesse mintz

It’s time for a little refresher course in Canadian civil society: Canada’s formal political dependence on Britain came to an end in 1982 with Pierre Trudeau’s Canada Act.  The Act led to the patriation of the Canadian Constitution–you know, that old document that outlines the vibrant democratic system of government we so proudly employ in […] More »

Wednesday WTF: Quebec's headwear ban is obviously totally unconstitutional

Graham F. Scott

Quebec is going ahead with its ludicrous ban on religious head-coverings like the niqab and the burka on provincial government property. It’s an astonishing piece of legislation that manages the improbable feat of being baselessly arbitrary and obviously xenophobic. The whole law is crafted to be targeted at a single identifiable—and extremely tiny—minority, but Premier […] More »

Friday FTW: A pop-up prorogue poetry project from Mansfield Press

Graham F. Scott

Among the many responses to a prorogued parliament, we’re tickled by this project from a Toronto small press publisher, Mansfield Press — one that co-stars our own Fiction & Poetry editor, Stuart Ross. He, along with Ottawa’s Stephen Brockwell and Mansfield publisher Denis De Klerck, put out a lightning-fast call for poetry about the proroguement […] More »

This Magazine's map of Saturday's anti-prorogue rallies

Graham F. Scott

View Anti-Prorogue Rallies in a larger map Tomorrow is the big day all across Canada, as thousands of Canadians will be gathering to protest Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s decision to prorogue parliament until March 3. There are going to be many ways to participate in this peaceful, non-partisan event, both on the street and online. […] More »
January-February 2010

A modest proposal: turn all Aboriginal lands into the 11th province

Bruce M. Hicks

The Royal Proclamation of 1763 included a clause prohibiting British colonists from purchasing “Lands of the Indians,” so as not to commit more of the “Frauds and Abuses” that characterized colonial takeovers of Aboriginal territory. To my reading, this measure was intended to make clear to the English colonists that Aboriginal Peoples enjoyed equal status. […] More »

Prorogue, Facebook, and the politics of self-doubt

Graham F. Scott

It’s been a week now since the Prime Minister’s December 30 announcement that the house of commons would be prorogued until March 3, 2010. Peter Mansbridge’s toothless interview with the Prime Minister last night (first question: the underwear bomber? Seriously?) was disappointing. Mansbridge didn’t challenge the PM on anything of substance, and used that favourite […] More »

PM's Parliamentary prorogue plan provokes passionate public pugnacity

Graham F. Scott

This morning several news sources reported that Prime Minister Stephen Harper planned to prorogue parliament until March 3. This story is a bit of a moving target today, so this is just a quick post to collect some of the thought we’ve seen bubbling around the web today: The PMO’s official announcement/non-announcement is now out. […] More »
November-December 2009

Strengthen democracy and fight bigotry head-on — Legalize Hate Speech

Laura KusistoWebsite

The fight for free speech is not the work of angels. Academics love Evelyn Hall’s famous saying, “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” In the age of promiscuous online speech, the sentiment of two university protestors seems more apt: “Free speech for all. […] More »