B.C. group opposes violent video games

VANCOUVER — The Coalition Opposing Violent Entertainment, which includes B.C. teachers and RCMP, is speaking out against the video gaming industry’s marketing of violence to children.

The National Post reports COVE spokesman Stephen Kline, a professor at Simon Fraser University, has condemned the games which he sees as “more graphically violent” and featuring “more anti-social themes” than the video games of just a few years ago. He condemned the idea that games should reward violence and provide the message that “Killing is fun.”

Alberta considers expanding same-sex rights

EDMONTON — Provincial Justice Minister Dave Hancock announced a review of family law in Alberta which recommends giving homosexual couples the same legal benefits as married couples. His ministry “proposes that Alberta’s legislation concerning personal relationships be amended to comply with the charter,” which would “include persons in common-law or same-sex relationships.” Hancock also announced a consultation process with a March 1 deadline for Albertans to raise concerns with the proposal.

Daycare until midnight worries family advocates

CALGARY — Pro-family advocates are upset with plans by Kidily-Winks, a newly licensed daycare facility in Calgary, to offer care until midnight. Hermina Dykxhoorn, president of the Alberta Federation of Women United for Families, told the Calgary Herald, the late hours could cause an “unhealthy” disruption in the children’s live. “If (children) are getting picked up at midnight, how can they possibly be sleeping when they should be sleeping and eating when they should be eating?” Pro-family activist Bev Smith says parents need other affordable options which would allow children to at least stay home in the care of a nanny or a babysitter so they could have “stability” and develop “an ability to bond.”

Anglican head complains of suppression of religion

OTTAWA — Archbishop Michael Peers, the head of the Anglican Church of Canada, warned in his New Year’s Day sermon at Ottawa’s Christ Church Cathedral that Canada’s move to eliminate all mention of religion from public life is dangerous. Archbishop Peers said the federal government’s official ceremony following the Sept. 11 tragedy, which purposely excluded all mention of religion in the name of pluralism, was “not only a suppression of our pluralist reality, but also folly of the worst sort for our society.” He said that elites who define Canada as secular often mean the elimination of all religious references in public life. If such is the case, he said, then the values of secularism and democracy are not necessarily compatible.

Support for gay marriage falls in Quebec

MONTREAL — According to a Focus on the Family news brief, a province-wide survey commissioned by La Presse and conducted by Crop Inc. a Montreal-based marketing research and consulting firm, found that fewer than half of Quebecers (47 per cent) support same-sex marriage, a drop of nearly 30 points from a Leger Marketing poll conducted last July and more than 20 points less than an Environics polls published last May. Likewise, support for same-sex couples gaining adoption rights fell to 43 per cent. Focus on the Family Canada research director Derek Rogusky says the recent “poll numbers indicate that there continues to be significant opposition to legalizing gay marriages,” and that as more Canadians focus on the issue, “the more likely they are to support the natural definition of marriage.” In December, the provincial government promised to introduce legislation allowing for recognition of same-sex unions.

Mother sues doctors for failing to detect pregnancy

MONTREAL — Two doctors are being sued for $90,000 by a woman who had no idea she was pregnant until she gave birth in a toilet stall. The lawsuit alleges the doctors were negligent in missing the pregnancy despite two gynecological exams and five visits to two different health facilities. The suit said the woman was completely unprepared mentally and financially to be a mother. The woman, who has not been identified, now has a three-year-old girl whom the suit says she would have aborted if she knew of the pregnancy.

Sunday shopping debated

MONCTON — A decision by Moncton city council that may allow year-round Sunday shopping has began a regional debate on the issue. While Nova Scotia Premier John Hamm has reiterated he has no interest in revisiting the issue, Prince Edward Island Tourism Minister Greg Deighan has said Sunday shopping during tourist season is something he is willing to consider. Deighan said that if the business community was clamoring for summertime Sunday shopping, it was something the government would look at. Hamm said Sunday is the “only day” many service sector workers “can spend with their family.” But the mayor of Amherst, N.S. criticized Hamm, saying businesses in towns near the province’s border will suffer if they aren’t open on Sundays.