• How Canada became an international surrogacy destination

    Many people want to be parents and can’t do so without surrogacy, but they live in countries where surrogacy is either prohibited entirely, or prohibited for them… Canada is one of the few jurisdictions left in the world that both allows surrogacy and allows foreign participation in it… Canada… does not allow discrimination on the basis of marital status or sexual orientation… Canada is also fairly efficient about granting legal parental rights… A big question is whether Canadians need to think about recovering medical costs.

  • Statement on government-mandated free speech policies from the Ontario Universities and Colleges Coalition

    There is no free speech crisis on Ontario campuses. This is an ideological fiction advanced by the government to justify interference in the academic governance and autonomy of Ontario’s universities and colleges. It is telling that the government did not consult with any sector stakeholders before announcing the new requirement for campus “free speech” policies and disciplinary measures tied to possible cuts to university and college funding.

  • Ontario’s child protection system fails children, again

    Just yanking kids from their homes, especially when they are placed into a system that has repeatedly proven incapable of dealing with their complex needs, isn’t a solution. The panel was struck by how often these kids were classified as “safe with intervention.” The tragedy is that they were far from safe because they didn’t get the constructive intervention they needed.

  • Some law schools are developing tools to improve access to justice

    Increasingly, Canadians go to court without a lawyer. Roughly 50 to 80 percent of family-law litigants and 30 to 40 percent of civil litigants represent themselves… some Canadian law schools are undertaking initiatives to improve access to justice. The NSRLP publishes on its website resources prepared specifically for self-represented litigants, or SRLs… Its most widely used resource is Coping with the Courtroom… the most intimidating part of the legal process: participating in a hearing.

  • Doug Ford can’t apply the notwithstanding clause retroactively to impede democracy

    In the light of his impatience in regard to changing the rules for the municipal election – and even to the time it takes to appeal judgments he dislikes – we can expect more retroactive overrides. These actions will, in effect, pre-empt the role of the judiciary designated by the Constitution to be impartial arbiters of the constitutional validity of legislation… The Charter expressly guarantees fundamental rights so that we can live our lives within a rights-protecting constitutional democracy dedicated to the rule of law.

  • We should judge decisions, not judges

    Of course politicians are elected and judges are appointed. But that does not mean that governments should be free from the scrutiny of the courts. Nor that judges must be elected for that scrutiny to be legitimate… But Canadian courts have largely avoided the deep ideological and partisan divisions we see south of the border.

  • Doug Ford, no power grab is worth undermining Canada’s solid foundation

    Governments are required to act in accordance with the law and, in particular, our Constitution. Even when you don’t agree with the law… Politicians are not any more legitimate in our democracy than judges. The judiciary acts as an independent check on government authority because it is unelected, not in spite of it. That is how we, as a democratic country, have decided to govern ourselves. Moreover, the judiciary has a particular function in protecting the minority from the majority that elected representatives cannot, by nature, be counted on to carry out.

  • Ford government should clearly explain rationale for invoking notwithstanding clause

    Whatever one thinks of the use of the notwithstanding clause, few scholars would advocate for government-by-notwithstanding-clause. Such an approach would seriously undermine constitutional rights protections. Any use of the notwithstanding clause should be preceded by serious, reasoned deliberation, both within the executive and in the legislature. The Ford government should clearly explain its rationale for seeking to invoke the clause.

  • Doug Ford is trampling on the rights of all Ontarians

    For the past 36 years, ever since the Charter of Rights and Freedoms was entrenched in Canada’s Constitution, Ontario premiers of all political persuasions managed to govern while respecting our fundamental rights… none… found it necessary to brush aside basic Charter freedoms and invoke the Constitution’s nuclear option, the “notwithstanding” clause, to exercise their will.

  • Ford majority exposes democratic crisis

    The Ontario election is yet another symptom of a democratic dilemma facing Canada. A minority of voters elect the government. The leaders then claim a mandate to make changes not widely supported by the majority. When voters are left to wonder whether their vote really matters, they lose confidence. When voters lose confidence, many just don’t show up at the polls… A ranked or preferential ballot might be the easiest way to address both the federal and provincial representative dilemma.