You know those gay rights, oldster rights, women's right and all those other lefty rights? Fuhgeddaboudit! The Conservative government has simply axed the legal-rights program that protected minorities and helped their court battles for the past 30 years.
As covered in CNEWS, this is just the latest right-wing lie that stomps on previously protected minority rights.
In particular, it notes the campaign statements by now Prime Minister Stephen Harper on this area. "He said, 'Don't worry, if you elect me as a prime minister, the courts will hold me in check'," Liberal MP Omar Alghabra told a news conference.
"(Then) what does he do? He cancels the Court Challenges Program, which is supposed to hold him in check."
The program has helped fund successful legal actions that "broadened the rights of Canadian seniors, women, the disabled, homosexuals, religious groups, aboriginals, and minority-language groups." Specifically:
- Defining women's pay-equity
- Simplifying the necessary argument for a sexual-assault conviction
- Opening schools for French-Canadians
- Guaranteeing English-language rights in Quebec
- Affirming religious freedoms
- Helping homosexuals "win equality protection under the Charter of Rights in landmark 1990s cases that led to a slew of new legal benefits and eventually paved the path to same-sex marriage."
Up North, the Tories stopped this program 14 years ago when they were in power. The 1994 Liberal government restored it. To this day, Tories have remained Republican-irritated that they have to help fund attacks on their regressive policies. Power is supposed to come with arbitrary privileges, right?
In a Karl Rove-esque moment, Harper's chief of staff's doctoral dissertation and other published papers hint that this was coming. As that Ian Brodie wrote in Do the "Haves" Still Come Out Ahead in Canada?:
"Three interests - official language minority groups, feminists, and homosexual rights groups - have been particularly successful at pursuing their objectives through the courts," Brodie wrote when he was a professor at the University of Western Ontario.A Tory official, speaking anonymously said that "If there are any future injustices, he said, offended groups can simply use the news media or the political process to pressure government. Or they can launch lawsuits with their own money."
"All three of these interests consider themselves traditionally 'disadvantaged' groups in Canadian society, and so their success is puzzling."
The paper, which he co-authored in 2003 just before joining Harper's staff, suggests "a solution to this puzzle."
The paper concludes that the so-called "haves" really do come out ahead in our legal system - and that's because the Court Challenges Program has simply helped reverse the definition.
"In other words, these self-described 'disadvantaged' groups win because under the new conditions they are now among the 'haves'," Brodie writes in the paper, co-authored with the University of Calgary's Ted Morton.
"Being among the 'haves' has given them the resources required to become repeat players and succeed in judicial politics."
A few other Tories have distanced themselves from this spiteful move. Also, the Canadian Bar Association called killing the program dishonest. "They're making it sound like these fringe groups were the only ones accessing it," said Guy Joubert, a vice-president at the association. "That's definitely not the case. . . . What this move has done is silence the voices of marginalized Canadians."
So, if Kerry and D.C. Republicans get tossed in November, they might consider emigrating to Canada -- only legally, please. Why settle for simple amendments and an occasional law to institutionalize your spite and disdain? Think bigger. Change the system to keep the downtrodden where they belong.
Tags: massmarrier, Canada, same sex marriage, Stephen Harper, minorities