The federal cabinet has responded to an adverse court ruling by increasing the number of medical marijuana users a licensed grower may supply -- to two from one. The slight increase, to be announced this week, has prompted fierce criticism from MPs and advocates for the freer use of marijuana to alleviate symptoms for a range of illnesses.
On May 21, 2007, Malalai Joya – the young MP dubbed “the bravest woman in Afghanistan” by the BBC – was unjustly suspended from the Afghan National Assembly. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper was in Afghanistan on that day and, two years later, has still yet to make any statement about Joya’s mistreatment. “Canada’s participation in this war in Afghanistan has been justified with rhetoric about women’s rights, yet Harper and the Conservatives remained silent when Malalai Joya was ousted from her elected position and again did nothing meaningful when Karzai signed the anti-women provision which sanctioned rape in marriage,” said Parvin Ashrafi, a women’s rights activist with the Iranian Centre for Peace, Freedom and Social Justice and a member of Friends of Malalai Joya -- Canada.
OTTAWA - The Conservatives are poised to kill off any chance of a spring election by using the parliamentary calendar to delay a possible non-confidence motion from the Liberals. The Tories have told some of their rivals that they will push back the Liberals' so-called opposition day - their easiest opportunity to table a non-confidence motion - to June 17. Such a move would leave opposition parties with two options: trigger a rare midsummer election with a national vote July 27 at the earliest, or keep the government alive until later this year.
VANCOUVER -- A controversial proposal for sweeping changes in how B.C. elects its provincial government was heading for defeat last night in early returns in the referendum on electoral reform. The proposed changes had support in several ridings across the province but were falling far short of the threshold of 60-per-cent approval required for change.
After 35 years of experience with mandatory minimum sentences for drug crimes, Americans are beginning to abandon this discredited approach. Yet Stephen Harper's Conservative government now wants to saddle Canadians with these expensive and ineffective laws.
Not that all men are warmongers, but it's striking how, in recent years, the most outspoken, out-front, outrageous and out-there peace activists have been women. And older women at that. Is it because, as our baby-making hormones ebb, our anti-war-mones take over? Here in Canada, we have the Raging Grannies, often seen at the front lines of demonstrations against everything from the U.S. attack on Iraq to the globalization of trade that exploits workers, including women and children, around the word.
Under Canada's proposed new drug laws, an 18-year-old who shares a joint with a 17-year-old friend could end up in jail. Small-time addicts convicted of pushing drugs near schools, parks, malls or other prospective youth hangouts would be automatically incarcerated for two years. Growers caught selling even one plant to a friend would also be jailed. The Harper government's bill to impose Canada's first mandatory minimum prison sentences for drug crimes -- removing judges' sentencing discretion -- has come under intense scrutiny in public hearings, which began last week.