Legalized assisted suicide increases total suicide rates

This piece was published in the Montreal Gazette on May 13, 2016:

Under Bill C-14, people in Attawapiskat who meet the criteria provided in Bill C-14 will be able to request suicide assistance and end their lives. The argument may be made that few of those suicidal in Attawapiskat would qualify for assisted suicide or euthanasia under Bill C-14. However, as the study in the October edition of the Southern Medical Journal demonstrates, general suicide rates increase, not decrease, after legalization. Overall, there has been an average of a 6.3 per cent increase in suicides (assisted and unassisted) among the states where assisted suicide was legalized.

Read more here.

Joyce Arthur Demands “Naïve Reporters” Shut Out Pro-Lifers

As I wrote yesterday over at the EFC’s law and public policy blog, ActivateCFPL:

Joyce Arthur, executive director of the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada, recently blasted media outlets for being too “balanced” in their coverage of Dr. Henry Morgentaler’s death by interviewing pro-life Canadians.  

The pro-life perspective “is an extremist view,” not deserving of “legitimacy” and “does not deserve equal time or respect in Canada” railed Arthur in a recent piece. According to Arthur, “naïve reporters” should not be interested in the pro-life expression of “concern for women’s well-being,” or the perspective that all human beings, including those at earlier stages of development, deserve human rights. […]

The accusation that the media was being too balanced in its coverage of Morgentaler’s death is a ridiculous claim. Even by Arthur’s own analysis of the media coverage, a significant number of stories – 37 per cent of those she reviewed – didn’t include interviews with pro-life Canadians. But if “extreme” or minority positions should be ignored by the media, than by her own standard, Arthur is the one who should be excluded from engaging with the media. Ever.  Again.

In Arthur’s attempt to exclude pro-life Canadians from the media and the public square, she condemns herself to the same fate with her irrational and ridiculous standards.

Media Coverage on Manitoba’s Bill 18

I did a few interviews this week regarding Manitoba’s Bill 18. The EFC released an updated version of its report on Canadian bullying statistics and trends. You can download it here for free if you’re interested. It’s a great document. There’s nothing else like it available in Canada at this point.

I did a radio interview with Richard Clouthier at CJOB 680 AM first thing Wednesday morning. A couple of my statements were captured in a short article on their website.

I also did an interview with Bruce Owen at the Winnipeg Free Press. The interview can be found here. Here are a few of my quotes:

The EFC says one survey showed body image alone accounted for 38 per cent of cases of bullying; grades or marks accounted for 17 per cent; and cultural background for 11 per cent.

EFC lawyer Faye Sonier said based on that, Manitoba’s Bill 18 does not fully recognize those types of bullying.

Sonier said Bill 18 instead says school must accommodate pupils who want to establish and lead activities and organizations that promote gender equity, anti-racism, disabilities and gay-straight alliances.

“You have to ask yourself why then is the province focusing on these four clubs or showing more concern for them than the student who is bullied because of the way he looks,” Sonier said.

“This can be interpreted as government expressing concern for some student over others.”

Sonier said for Bill 18 to be more equitable, it has to be reworded to include anti-bullying clubs.

“Parents and teachers can tailor the clubs to the circumstances their schools and communities face,” she said.

Some of my comments also appeared in the Winnipeg Sun, alongside statements from EFC’s Don Hutchinson:

Faye Sonier, EFC legal counsel, said the study also revealed that children themselves want to stop bullying: 88% called it “a major problem in their school.”

The EFC study also asked adults about the long-term effects of all types of bullying: 30% said they suffered lasting and harmful effects, and 84% said it should be considered a crime.

“This is very distinct from the anti-bullying legislation currently before the Manitoba legislature, which would only amend The Public Schools Act and address bullying behaviours that take place in schools,” Sonier said.

Don and I also had comments appear in a LifeSiteNews article as well.

Being occasionally offended the price we pay to live in a free society

Originally published in the Guelph Mercury:

Every few years, city bus banner ads in Guelph trigger debate about free speech rights.

A few years ago, it was an atheist ad that read: “There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.” This year, it’s a couple of ads from Alliance for Life Ontario. One ad depicts a fetus at 19 weeks of development and states, “This is a child, not a choice.” The second includes images of fetuses with the message, “I’m a human being with potential, not a potential human being.”

Coun. Ian Findlay shared on his blog that he had received complaints about the ads and posted one such anonymous complaint. The complainant argues that the ads are “highly inappropriate for public property”, that as a woman she finds the ad offensive and that since abortions at 19 weeks are rare, the first ad is misleading.

And to the complainant, I say “So what?”

We live in a pluralistic, multicultural society where no two citizens hold identical views, or are required to do so. We live in a constitutionally described “free and democratic society” that is characterized by freedoms of expression, conscience, association and religion, among others, guaranteed constitutionally in our Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

If, as a society, we fail to value the conversation that arises from an open marketplace of shared ideas, and if we were to appoint someone, such as the complainant, to judge which expressions should be banned according to her subjective standards of “offensiveness” or “misleadingness,” there would be very little free speech indeed.

Read the rest at the Guelph Mercury website.