The best faith-based response to physician-assisted suicide

Canadians need quality, accessible palliative care, not a quick end to life

The best faith-based response to physician-assisted suicidePhysician-assisted suicide is coming soon to a health-care institution near you, and you won't need to be terminally ill to access this medical intervention. In its decision in the Carter vs. Canada case, the Supreme Court has given Canadians the right to die, and an answer for the perennial problem of pain and suffering. But the Carter…

A glimpse into Vancouver’s Eastside Skid Row

There were drug addicts on the street in 1976, but somehow many of the interactions seemed to involve mentally ill people

A glimpse into Vancouver’s Eastside Skid RowFor four months in 1976, I was a pretend cop in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.  I was really a UBC Law student who had just finished first year, and had landed a summer job as a ride-along with the Vancouver Police Department. The program was geared towards students who were interested in criminal law, and its day-to-day…

Vancouver cannot ignore its dark ‘Skid Row’

Vancouver has to begin catering less to the needs of the international elites and more to its own citizens

Vancouver cannot ignore its dark ‘Skid Row’Vancouver is a case study in catering to newcomers and abiding old problems. The downtown core juxtaposes two neighbourhoods, Yaletown and the Downtown Eastside (called Skid Row in the logging era), enabling casual observers to pass through two solitudes in a matter of minutes. I do it every day when I walk to work down…

The smarter way to fight terrorism at home

With new defence minister Harjit Sajja at the helm, Canada stands a fighting chance of averting a devastating terrorist attack

The smarter way to fight terrorism at homeOn Nov. 27, 2005, Mubin Shaikh met, in Toronto, with members of a terrorist group. The group was establishing a terrorist training camp in a wooded area near Orillia, and asked if Shaikh would join them and teach them what he had learned through his military and martial arts training. What they did not know…

The naughty sex wasn’t the problem

Waiving one's right to privacy by engaging in 3-way sex in an alley is the tacky part

The naughty sex wasn’t the problemGeorge Orwell, where are you now? Are you looking down from some distant lookout, shaking your head and marvelling that the absurd world you imagined way back in 1948 has become so real in 2015? Are you surprised that the plot twist you didn’t foresee in your dystopian novel 1984 was that people around the…

Food fraud leaves a bad taste

Food fraudsters' days numbered because of technological advances

Food fraud leaves a bad tasteIf you think Canada is immune to fraudulent food labels, think again. Chances are, you have unknowingly purchased a food product with an inaccurate food label. Regulators and the food industry are beginning to realize that the problem is far more widespread than first supposed. For example, a recent study in the U.S. revealed a…

Jail time could be used to help people improve their health

Most people in jail are dealing with both serious medical problems and difficult social situations

Jail time could be used to help people improve their healthBy Fiona Kouyoumdjian McMaster University and Stephen Hwang St. Michael’s Hospital During his decade-long tenure as Canada’s top prison watchdog, Howard Sapers has often been a vocal critic of Canada’s prison system, including the treatment of mentally ill and aboriginal inmates, as well as the use of solitary confinement, among other issues. Canadian prisons, he…

Decaying social infrastructure leading to social isolation

The complex networks of relationships that make up the deep operating system of our common lives is being taken for granted

Decaying social infrastructure leading to social isolationThe Federation of Canadian Municipalities will no doubt attract significant media interest at its upcoming annual conference with calls for great physical infrastructure spending. Indeed, even before it kicks off its gathering in Edmonton from June 5 to 8, the FCM has already won well-deserved attention for a report showing Canada is $123 billion behind…

Canadians now have the human right to be killed

Supreme Court’s assisted-suicide decision a perversion of human rights

Canadians now have the human right to be killedOver the past week or so, the implications of the Supreme Court decision in the assisted suicide case have gradually been clarified. A commonsensical reading of the decision and some reflection on how the Supremes obfuscate the English language suggests an ethical and logical incoherence seldom achieved even by the ermine-clad lawyers who have made…

Ottawa’s anti-terrorism cure worse than the price

The very foundations of our free society slowly being whittled away

Ottawa’s anti-terrorism cure worse than the priceHere’s a trick question for you: Why do you see young adults stopping friends who’ve been drinking from getting behind the wheel? You might say it’s because they don’t want their friend to get into an accident, hurt somebody or end up in jail. All of those reasons are valid, but they’re not the full…
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