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National Newswatch

Alberta UCP shows how empowered the fringe right has become

Nov 16 2023 — Dale Smith — Alberta’s United Conservative Party held their biennial policy convention on the first weekend of November and, not unexpectedly, anti-trans policies, along with a number of other supposedly “anti-woke” policies were all voted on by the party membership in overwhelming numbers. Big and small-c conservative parties across the country are embracing these beliefs, in ways that […]

Survivors need better avenues to justice

Nov 9 2023 — Dale Smith — A recent report from the Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF) underscores the pressing need for increased availability of restorative and transformative justice options in cases of sexual violence. It emphasizes how alternatives can help redirect certain cases away from the criminal justice system to provide more effective support for survivors.

Attacks on sex-ed may be more subtle than pronoun policies, but are just as dangerous

Nov 3 2023 — Dale Smith — As part of his legislative attack on LGBTQ2S+ students in Saskatchewan, Premier Scott Moe also put through rules that prevent third-party groups from doing sexual education in schools. The move is motivated both by the moral panic around “parental rights,” but also an incident where Planned Parenthood educators had mistakenly brought “ABC sex cards” as […]

The IAA went too far

Oct 16 2023 — Dale Smith — But the Supreme Court of Canada recognizes that Parliament has the power to enact a scheme of environmental assessment. The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that the federal Impact Assessment Act is “largely” unconstitutional, delivering a blow to Ottawa’s efforts to assess the environmental and social impacts of federally financed ressource and infrastructure projects. […]

How exactly is Canada helping Ukraine’s queer and trans communities?

Oct 13 2023 — Dale Smith — Last month, I had a conversation with Lenny Emson of Transgender Europe and formerly of Kyiv Pride. Following it, I decided to look into what Canada was currently doing to support LGBTQ+ communities in Ukraine in order to see if it included any of the things that Emson pointed out. This in turn can help […]

Saskatchewan resorts to notwithstanding clause

Oct 12 2023 — Dale Smith — “The Government’s expression of the public interest is reversible. UR Pride’s expression of these students’ public interest is, potentially, irreversible while possibly attracting irreparable harm.” That was the conclusion Justice Michael Megaw came to when he issued an injunction last month, halting the Saskatchewan government’s naming and pronoun policy in the province’s schools before a […]

No conflict between open court principle and trial fairness

Oct 6 2023 — Dale Smith — In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that automatic publication bans for pre-trial hearings before a jury is empanelled are a valid exception to the open court principle. This resolves an ongoing decades-long debate across the country over inconsistent case law. “There is no irreconcilable conflict between the open court principle […]

The 1 Million March shows how one minority can unite all haters

Sep 29 2023 — Dale Smith — The so-called 1 Million March 4 Children was, in part, a sequel to the Freedom Convoy occupation, with many of the same players organizing the marches that happened across the country—but they were also something new. More than just a conglomerate of far-right agitators, conspiracy theorists, grifters and grievance tourists, these marches also featured a […]

Parliament’s fall sitting

Sep 18 2023 — Dale Smith — Following a major cabinet shuffle over the summer, which included the appointment of a new Justice Minister, Parliament resumes this week amid a housing and cost-of-living crisis, the fallout from web giants refusing to pay for news following legislative changes to Canada’s broadcasting policy, and declining support for the government in national public opinion polls. […]

Poilievre’s silence on party’s anti-trans policies speaks volumes

Sep 14 2023 — Dale Smith — It was not wholly unexpected that the anti-trans resolutions that came up at the Conservative Party’s biennial convention passed with overwhelming majorities—it was pretty much the whole point of why those particular resolutions were prioritized and brought to the floor for the plenary session and voting. With the degradation of how party politics works in […]

New Brunswick premier’s discriminatory policy gets deserved rebuke

Aug 18 2023 — Dale Smith — Kelly Lamrock, New Brunswick’s Child and Youth Advocate, has completed his scathing review of Premier Blaine Higgs’ Progressive Conservative government’s changes to Policy 713, which is supposed to provide a safe space for LGBTQ2S+ students in the province’s schools. The report was released publicly on Tuesday and is titled On Balance, Choose Kindness (which makes […]

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