It’s time to talk about end of life

Most of us do not have the means of providing palliative care for our loved ones

It’s time to talk about end of lifeChoice now trumps life as Canada's political preference of, well, choice. For the first 149 years of our country’s existence, life had dignity and deserved the fullest protection of the law. But by this time next year, Parliament must codify the principle that the choice to take one's life is a greater good than life…

Not even the Supreme Court is above the law

Magna Carta's 800th anniversary reminds us to kneel to no one

Not even the Supreme Court is above the lawOne of the most meaningful, hopeful, and typically unreported speeches on Parliament Hill in recent years came from Calgary's own Pierre Poilievre. Poilievre, of course, has represented a suburban Ottawa riding for a decade, but he is Calgary born and bred. He is an intellectual apprentice of the Calgary School made famous – infamous? –…

Dying badly a fact of life in Canada

A lack of proper palliative care could lead to increases in requests for assisted suicides

Dying badly a fact of life in CanadaA few days after the Supreme Court of Canada overturned the prohibition against doctor-assisted suicide, I received a note from a wonderful colleague of mine saying that her closest friend’s 53 year old son had just died of spinal cancer. Two weeks before his death he had visited his general practitioner, experiencing “terrible pain.” Despite…

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…

Assisted suicide ruling changes Canada, forever

Legislating physician-assisted suicide is bound to be difficult, but there are ways to mitigate any adverse consequences

Assisted suicide ruling changes Canada, foreverThe Supreme Court of Canada’s unanimous decision on assisted suicide last Friday means that, soon, doctors (and only doctors) may lawfully help competent adults, who are grievously and irremediably ill, to end their lives. Even though this litigation began in 2011 and is likely to cause less than 1 per cent of all Canadian deaths…

Building social license one step at a time

No one knows what it means or how to get it, but we know that, without it, projects are in jeopardy

Building social license one step at a timeSocial license is like pornography, it’s hard to define, but you know it when you see it. Large-scale natural resource projects in Canada like pipelines, fracking, and mines are all running into brick walls of public approvals, even when they meet the legal and regulatory requirements. A “social license” is the new term describing broad…
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