Beyond carding: how police surveillance has dangerously evolved

The end of carding won’t cease the gathering of information. Instead, it will be entered into police data bases without the public’s knowledge

Beyond carding: how police surveillance has dangerously evolvedWe’re in the era of predictive policing, geo-profiling and crime prevention – carding 2.0 – and need to ask the tough questions about what that means. Understanding and safeguarding personal freedom and civil rights is more critical than ever. The pace at which artificial intelligence is being developed and incorporated is far outpacing the regulatory…

Politicians have allowed judges to usurp too much power

Canadians have never been that interested in who sits on our top court. We should be

Politicians have allowed judges to usurp too much powerLeaks from the prime minister’s office concerning the potential appointment of Justice Glenn Joyal, Chief Justice of the Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench, to the Supreme Court of Canada highlights differences between the treatment of judiciary appointments in Canada and the United States. Why do Canadians not pay more attention to appointments to our highest…

Federal government challenges the independence of Canadian media

The proposal to give $595 million in federal funding over five years to Canadian media organizations comes with significant strings attached

Federal government challenges the independence of Canadian mediaMuch has been written about the federal government’s proposal to give $595 million in funding over five years to Canadian media organizations. This political strategy has been called everything from a financial life saver to a Liberal takeover/buyout of our news industry. While it’s hard to blame anyone in the media who is starving economically…

Trudeau’s sunny ways are turning into dark days

Will the Norman affair have more political impact than SNC-Lavalin when voters head to the polls this fall?

What will be the bigger political scandal involving Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Liberal government? SNC-Lavalin is well out in front, but the Norman affair is slowly starting to catch up. It all begins with a $668-million deal signed by former Conservative prime minister Stephen Harper with the Quebec-based shipbuilding company Chantier Davie Canada…

Quebec bill shows a deep desire to push people around

Banning the wearing of religious clothing robs public servants of the right to make their own choices

Quebec bill shows a deep desire to push people aroundLegislative hearings on outlawing the wearing of religious clothing or symbols by specific Quebec public servants could easily be dismissed as proverbial lipstick on a pig.  In fact, they’re worse, much worse, than a skin-deep brush with porcine cosmetology. They are part of a calculated exploitation of the deep human spiritual need to push other…

Inside ‘a tap on the back’ that ruined a 40-year policing career

B.C.’s Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner is a watchdog that barks public interest but whose bite is about self-interest

Inside ‘a tap on the back’ that ruined a 40-year policing careerThe Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner (OPCC) was created to provide independent civilian oversight over municipal police forces in British Columbia. But a string of recent cases shows the OPCC is more about overreach than oversight. I know. I was one of the cases. This summer, after 40 years of unblemished service with the…

When a culture of fear dominates, organizations crumble

Without accountability within our organizations, we lack credibility. Without credibility, we lose our respect and become irrelevant

When a culture of fear dominates, organizations crumbleThe Catholic church has faced increased – and justified – criticism of its handling of abuse cases. There are allegations that the highest authorities of the church turned a blind eye to the misdeeds of some of its leaders. The results were catastrophic at so many levels, especially for those people who were abused by…

Doug Ford’s abuse of power for petty personal gain

The premier is ignoring very real problems across Ontario in order to settle a personal vendetta with Toronto city council

Doug Ford’s abuse of power for petty personal gainIt’s no shock that Ontario Premier Doug Ford wishes to shrink the size of Toronto city council. Conservatives like small government. Ford, a former Toronto city councillor, and his late brother Rob, a former mayor of Toronto, were known to be libertarian. They regularly made it clear that they believed that government should be leaner…

How to confront sex abuse in the Catholic church

If we’re to rid the world of this horrendous theft of innocence, we need to approach it the same way we approached the Holocaust

How to confront sex abuse in the Catholic churchIn the song Sympathy for the Devil, the Rolling Stones repeat several times, “Pleased to meet you. Hope you guessed my name. But what’s puzzling you is the nature of my game.” In essence, the Stones are talking about the nature of evil and our relation to it. We see it but we often don’t…

Compelled speech compromises basic rights

If the Canada Summer Jobs precedent holds, soon other government agencies will mix public funds and political preferences

Compelled speech compromises basic rightsIn a crucial free speech ruling recently, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed that the constitution in that country prohibits forcing people to say what they don’t believe. Here in Canada, a young Ottawa lawyer upped the ante recently by filing a Federal Court lawsuit arguing that our Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects the right…
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