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Censorship, and the democratic ‘right’ not to be ignored

March 1, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

Bill Whatcott says that homosexuality is an “abomination”, and that homosexuals are “sex addicts” that have “sick desires”. He says that teaching children tolerance and acceptance of homosexuality in our public schools will cause children to die early, and will subject us all to God’s wrath. The Bible tells him so, and he likes to quote it in his pamphlets opposing the promotion of tolerance and acceptance of homosexuality in our public school curricula.

A couple of days ago, the Supreme Court of Canada issued its decision in the case of Saskatchewan (Human Rights Commission) v. Whatcott (hereinafter referred to as the Whatcott decision). It said that if we say things that cause others to laugh at Bill and other Christians because of their Christian beliefs, the court will not allow the government to punish us. If we write things that cause others to look down their noses at Bill and his fellow Christians for their beliefs, no problem, they’ve got our backs. We can even say things that cause people to engage in an affront to the dignity of all Christians, and the court will stand on guard for thee and me. But if we say anything true or false that is likely to cause people to hate Bill and other Christians then, whether or not we intended to cause others to hate Christians, the Court will look the other way if the government gags us and punishes us. Read more

Layman’s Summary of the Court of Appeal’s Decision in R. v. Mernagh

February 1, 2013 by · 11 Comments 

Ontario’s Court of Appeal released its 60 page decision today in the case of R. v. Mernagh. In layman terms, the decision can be summed up as follows: Read more

Is a provincial ban on medical cannabis prescriptions the key to ending prohibition?

January 31, 2013 by · 2 Comments 

It may be time for Canada’s provinces to pass legislation banning medical professionals from prescribing cannabis for medical purposes. Ironically, that may be the only measure capable of stopping a federal moving target dead, and ending cannabis prohibition in Canada. Read more

Ontario Court of Appeal Concludes Hearings re: Striking Down Canada’s Pot Laws

May 9, 2012 by · 3 Comments 

Are Canada’s laws against the possession and cultivation of cannabis to go up in smoke? Canadians now begin to wait for the Court of Appeal for Ontario to make that call. The appeal court yesterday wrapped up two days of hearings of the Crown’s appeal of Justice D.J. Taliano’s April 11, 2011 trial decision in the case of R. v. Mernagh. The Court of Appeal could take days or weeks to render its decision, but the history of the time taken by Ontario’s highest court to make decisions about the constitutionality of Canada’s cannabis laws suggests Canadians will be waiting between 2 and 6 months for the answer. What follows is a brief explanation of Justice Taliano’s decision, and an overview of the main arguments made on appeal; the arguments to be weighed by the Court of Appeal as it makes its decision. Read more

Atlas Toked: Why Prohibition is Dead in Canada

April 24, 2011 by · 5 Comments 

In Ayn Rand’s novel “Atlas Shrugged”, the United States’ taxed and over-regulated inventors and problem solvers go on strike. Having shrugged off the burden of carrying others – the burden of thinking for them and making possible the production of goods and services that make civilization possible – the rest of society falls into hunger, darkness, and violence. In the interim, the government attempts to prevent the strike with force of law and guns but it ultimately discovers that the human mind is sovereign; that no amount of law or physical might can force a person to think and work if he simply chooses not to do so. A recent decision in Ontario’s Superior Court of Justice has now demonstrated that the same metaphysical fact faces the proponents of cannabis prohibition in Canada, which now appears destined to share the fate of Rand’s Atlas-forsaken United States. Read more

Accountability, Tyranny and Democracy

August 2, 2010 by · 2 Comments 

Proponents of the collectivist status quo do not like a recent decision that appears to have been made by the Prime Minister of Canada. As a result, some of them are now telling us that this can mean only one thing: the PM is a tyrant, democracy is under attack, and Canada is being turned into a totalitarian state. Given the gravity of their remarks, the reader will be forgiven if he is baffled upon discovering that the decision in question was the decision to eliminate penalties for choosing not to complete the long form of the 2011 census. Given the form and content of a column by Ottawa University law professor Errol Mendes in today’s Ottawa Citizen newspaper, we are apparently meant to conclude that an elected officials’ failure to follow, or to release to the public, the advice of an unelected public servant is tantamount both to an assault on democracy and to a drift into totalitarianism. Such a conclusion is utter nonsense and, when written by a law professor, for public consumption, it is worse than nonsense. Read more

A Fine Time for Your Greatest Sin

April 12, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

2010-04-12.gimmeI today received a letter from a stranger whom I’ll call “Mr. X”. I get these letters – or similar phone calls – from time to time, usually at around tax filing season. Read more

Marijuana and the Short-lived Freedom of the Summer of 2003

June 23, 2008 by · 3 Comments 

On June 19, 2008, the National Post’s Letters Editor, Paul Russell, posted to the NP blog a letter he had received from a reader, Ross Reynolds. In the letter, Mr. Reynolds asserted that there is no “constitutionally valid” law (i.e., there is no law) prohibiting the possession of marijuana in Canada. Read more

"Equalization" and the "Constitutional Entrenchment" Myth

May 12, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

For days now, major daily newspapers have featured one or more reports or columns about the Canadian federal government’s “equalization program”. In a nutshell, the equalization program works like this:

  1. The federal government overtaxes Canadians, so that it has more money than it needs to pay for services that it is authorized, by the constitution, to provide.
  2. The federal government takes the extra revenue, and contributes it to provincial coffers in an effort to ensure that each province has the same amount of money for its various socialist programs (notably, health care, welfare, and education).

Under this program, people who get skinned are called residents of the “Have” provinces. People who get stuff they didn’t pay for are called residents of the “Have Not” provinces. Read more

Lobbying for Death

May 8, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

In response to my blog entry about David Archuleta, Mark Steyn, and Reason, a facebook friend commented, in part:

I’m worried what those law students will be trying to do once they pass the bar. Sounds like they want to criminalize people’s feelings and anything that may stir the pot in a direction they don’t like. Thought police anyone?

I replied:

Law is a description of the circumstances under which the government may deprive you of liberty or property. It can be consistent with the facts of reality (including the nature of man), or it can be contrary to the facts of reality.

To tell your child that a given religious belief is contrary to the facts of reality, or that it foretells a physical threat to ones liberty or property, may very well offend those who hold the belief, but it may very well save the life of ones child. All of the good feelings in the world won’t allow someone to survive. All of the ignorance in the world will certainly decrease the likelihood of ones survival/happiness.

Freedom requires that a government’s ethical standard be the life of a man qua man. That requires government always to be consistent with the facts of reality.

To call upon the government to seize control of a person’s liberty or property on the ground of emotion is to call upon the government to abandon human life as its ethical standard. It is to lobby for death.

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