LUXEMBOURG: Europe’s top court ruled Tuesday that a complaints resolution mechanism in the EU-Canada trade deal is legal, a blow to campaigners who argue it gives too much power to corporations. The “Investment Court System”, which is also part of Europe’s trade agreements with Singapore and Vietnam, will allow companies to sue governments if they feel their commercial rights are infringed. But some environmentalists, social activists and free trade-sceptics argue it does not give citizens a balancing right to take legal action if corporations break the rules. In 2016, Belgium — under pressure from left-wing opposition leaders from the French-speaking region of Wallonia — had asked the European Court of Justice for an opinion on the legality of the mechanism. On Tuesday, the court ruled “there is no effect of the autonomy of the EU legal order” which protects “the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, … [Read more...] about EU court rules Canada trade pact is legal
By Brian Lee Crowley Justin Mohammed Opinion Tues., April 30, 2019 Are the federal Liberals right to make it more difficult for immigrants and refugees to enter Canada from the United States? Brian Lee Crowley, managing director of the Macdonald-Laurier Institute, argues Yes, while Justin Mohammed, a human rights law and policy campaigner at Amnesty International, argues No. Yes, Canada would be right to tighten its borders, particularly with respect to those who have been entering Canada illegally. Unfortunately, while the government is making noises that it wants to do so, there is little evidence that those measures will be effective. Let’s begin with why it would make sense to toughen border controls. Canada’s highly successful postwar immigration policy, supported by an all-party political consensus and public opinion, has never been laissez-faire about who gets in. On the contrary. That admirable policy has always been premised on the idea that … [Read more...] about Is Canada right to tighten its border?
By David Nickle Toronto.com Mon., April 29, 2019 Failed mayoral candidate and alt-right commentator Faith Goldy will have to undergo a compliance audit for her 2018 campaign fundraising. Toronto’s Compliance Audit Committee voted to require the audit at its Monday meeting, following a request by Evan Balgord to look into Goldy’s campaign expenses in 2018, when she unsuccessfully ran to unseat Toronto Mayor John Tory in the municipal election. Balgord, Executive Director of the Canadian Anti-Hate Network and a former staffer of Mayor Tory’s, argued in his application that an Oct. 25 YouTube video by Goldy allegedly soliciting funds for a legal battle with Bell Media over a refusal to run her campaign advertisements may have contravened the Municipal Elections Act. Goldy told the committee there was no wrongdoing and that her campaign finances have been reviewed by an independent auditor. Under the Act, only Ontario residents may contribute to a … [Read more...] about Alt-right failed mayoral candidate Faith Goldy will face compliance audit
By Brennan Doherty Star Calgary Mon., April 29, 2019 CALGARY—Another legal attempt to suspend provincial legislation protecting gay-straight alliances has been blocked by Alberta’s highest court. The clubs are voluntary organizations for LGBTQ students and their allies. While GSAs have been accepted in Alberta schools since 2015, Bill 24 — introduced in 2017 — further protects them. It requires school administrators to accept a GSA if students ask for one and forbids staff from outing members to their parents. Roughly two dozen faith-based schools, parents, and advocacy groups represented by the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms launched an injunction in April 2018 to suspend Bill 24, pending a constitutional review of the law. The group of appellants described GSAs as “ideological sexual clubs” and argued keeping parents out of the loop on their children’s participation in the clubs violated their charter … [Read more...] about Alberta’s top court dismisses appeal in legal battle over gay-straight alliances
By Warda Shazadi Meighen Opinion Thu., April 18, 2019 The Government of Ontario has cut one-third of legal aid funding. Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) funds legal representation for those individuals whose annual income is less than $17,000 – in other words, the most impoverished in our society. As a result, with some exceptions, LAO will not be in a position to fund refugee and immigration matters as of this week. The administration of justice is provincial responsibility. Defending the cuts, the attorney general states “there are two stakeholders that must always be front-of-mind: the clients LAO serves and the taxpayers who pay the bills.” But neither stakeholder is served by the cuts. The cuts certainly do not serve legal aid clients. Legal aid assists people dealing with immigration, criminal, family, and child protection issues. Many refugees rely on legal aid after fleeing dire circumstances, with little command of English. It is often difficult for … [Read more...] about Provincial legal aid cuts are senseless economic and social policy