Lamer helped strike down abortion law

OTTAWA – Former judge and lawyer Antonio Lamer has died at the age of 74. Lamer joined the Supreme Court in 1980 and was appointed chief justice in 1990, retiring from the bench a decade later. The Toronto Star said he was “one of the key architects of how courts interpret the 1982 Constitution and Charter of Rights and Freedoms.” During his tenure, the court dealt with issues including abortion, gay rights and euthanasia. In 1988, he was part of the majority that struck down Canada’s abortion laws in Morgentaler. In 1998, he admitted to University of Toronto law students that public opinion played a role in his decision: “My reasoning is that, unless you have a vast majority of people think something is criminal, you should not make it a crime.” In four other decisions – Daigle, Dobson, Sullivan and Winnipeg Child and Family Services – he sided with the majority, denying any rights to the unborn child. In 1993, when the court denied Sue Rodriguez the legal right to doctor-assisted suicide, he was part of the minority that ruled in her favour. In the 1990s, he sided with the majority to expand gay rights (Egan, Vriend, M v. H).

Human rights complaint against CHP

OTTAWA – Edmonton homosexual activist Rob Wells has complained to both the Canadian Human Rights Commission and the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal that material published on the website of the Christian Heritage Party is offensive to homosexuals. Wells is taking issue with a 2002 WorldNetDaily news article, as well as three CHP communiqués – one from 2004 and two from 2005 – written by party leader Ron Gray. The WND article examined pedophilia among gays. One of Gray’s communiqués reported the disruption of a Christian meeting by a gay militia, another took issue with the legalization of same-sex “marriage” and the last dealt with Canada’s “code of silence” surrounding any discussion of homosexuality. Gray says it is ironic he is being investigated for “hate,” considering that he seeks to deliver homosexuals from “an addiction that will shorten their lives in this world and condemn them in the next … I’m not motivated by hate at all. I would guess that very few, if any, real Christians are motivated by hate in their response to these issues. It’s a question of compassion.” Gray said he is concerned the CHRC is examining the statements of a political party. He told The Interim that when human rights commissions can tell a political party what to think, “we are headed toward totalitarianism.”

Tribunal declares gay criticism ‘hate’

CALGARY – For five years, Darren Lund, a former Red Deer high school teacher, had attempted to get a letter by Stephen Boissoin to the Red Deer Advocate branded as hate literature. Lund, now a professor at the University of Calgary, took his complaint against Boissoin and the Concerned Christian Coalition to the Alberta Human Rights Commission in 2002. Boissoin, a full-time youth minister, criticized the gay agenda and worried that “children as young as five and six years of age are being subjected to psychologically and physiologically damaging pro-homosexual literature and guidance in the public school system, all under the fraudulent guise of equal rights.” He also linked homosexuality to pedophilia and promiscuity. Lund claimed the letter could be linked to the beating of a homosexual teen two weeks after the letter appeared. The Advocate amended its letters to the editor policy to ban publishing letters that criticized homosexuality and so it was not included in the Lund complaint. On Nov. 30, the AHRC agreed with Lund as the panel’s chair, Lori Andreachuk, said: “I find that there is a circumstantial connection between the hate speech of Mr. Boissoin and the CCC and the beating of a gay teenager.” She also said that it is “nonsensical” to have human rights legislation “only to have it overridden by the expression of opinion in all forms.” The commission has not yet announced what punishment Boissoin faces.

Alberta Tories nix Christian candidate

EDMONTON – The Alberta Progressive Conservatives will hold a new nomination meeting in Calgary-Egmont after Premier Ed Stelmach announced the party’s executive committee would not endorse Craig Chandler’s nomination. Chandler, who won the riding nomination handily, is a founder of the Concerned Christian Coalition and has been a vocal critic of the gay agenda. The media had also made much of the human rights complaint against CCC member Stephen Boissoin‘s (see above story). Stelmach said it was “in the best interest of the party” to not let the nomination stand and that his party doesn’t “tolerate intolerance.” Chandler, who said he was asked whether he was a social conservative and whether he believed in Jesus Christ by the executive committee, charged its members with Christophobia. The Tories maintain that it is an “open party and will continue to be so.” It ordered a new nomination meeting to be held in January. Keith Brownsey, a political science professor at Mount Royal College in Calgary, told the Globe and Mail that Chandler may be  “a very controversial individual” who “may be popular with his supporters, but I don’t think he reflects the wider sentiments of that riding.” Yet, Brownsey said, Chandler was “elected fair and square” by the conservative members of the riding association. Chandler said while he will quit the party, he will remain active in politics, perhaps running as an independent candidate.