Quebec to table euthanasia legislation

QUEBEC CITY – A spokeswoman for the minority Parti Quebecois government of Premier Pauline Marois said proposed legislation to legalize euthanasia and doctor-assisted suicide will be tabled by Spring and that permitting doctor-assisted suicide was part of the party’s election platform and is based on recommendations from the report of the province’s Special Commission on Dying with Dignity. The commission recommended “medical aid in dying” in so-called “exceptional cases” for Quebec adult residents only, but Alex Schadenberg of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition points out that the suggestions are modeled on Belgium’s laws which ostensibly have limitations but where euthanasia and doctor-assisted suicide are practiced virtually on demand. “We really feel that it is necessary to put forward such a possibility for people who, at the end of their life, are suffering in an unbearable manner,” said Véronique Hivon, Quebec’s Junior Minister of Social Services. Schadenberg notes that Canada’s Criminal Code forbids euthanasia and assisted suicide but points out the provincial government will try to circumvent the law by passing a law instructing crown attorneys not to prosecute cases of euthanasia and assisted suicide as long as the case fits the province’s criteria. Georges Buscemi of Campagne Quebec Vie said the PQ’s decision to introduce euthanasia legislation under the euphemism of “medical aid in dying” was disappointing, but not surprising, calling the ploy to get around the Criminal Code “cynical.”

McGuinty resigns as Ontario premier

TORONTO – On Oct. 15, Ontario Liberal Premier Dalton McGuinty announced he was stepping down as party leader and premier effective when the Ontario Liberals chose a new leader at a convention in January. McGuinty has been an MPP since 1990 and premier since 2003. In 1995, McGuinty informed Campaign Life Coalition he believed life began at conception and supported informed consent for women, but as premier he has affirmed his support for abortion and earlier this year his government passed a law that would make it impossible to access statistics about how many abortions are carried out in the province. Furthermore, McGuinty’s governments have pushed a radical pro-homosexual agenda on Ontario’s schools under the guise of combatting bullying. CLC stated in their press release, that McGuinty’s resignation “was the best decision” in nine years.”

No need to disclose HIV status before sex

OTTAWA – The Supreme Court of Canada ruled on Oct. 5 that individuals with HIV are not required to tell their sex partners about it. According to the 9-0 ruling based on two separate appeal cases, the “realistic possibility of transmission of HIV is negated” if the HIV-positive person has a “low viral load and uses a condom.” This reversed a 1998 judgment that HIV-positive people could be convicted of aggravated sexual assault if they withheld the information from their partners and face a maximum penalty of life in prison.

Boissoin’s long legal battle ends in victory

EDMONTON – In 2007, Pastor Stephen Boissoin was found guilty of hate speech by the Alberta Human Rights Tribunal for writing a 2002 letter to the editor to the Red Deer Advocate for expressing his views on homosexuality. Last month, the Alberta Appeals Court dismissed an appeal of a 2009 Court of Queen’s Bench decision in Boissoin’s favour which forced homosexual activist Darren Lund, who launched the human rights complaint, to pay Boissoin’s attorney fees. Appeals Court Justice Clifton O’Brien concurred with the lower court that Boissoin’s letter “was not likely to expose homosexuals to hatred or contempt within the meaning of the Alberta statute.” The 2009 decision quashed the tribunal’s order to pay $7,000 damages to Lund, refrain from publicly expressing his views on homosexuality, and to apologize to Lund for causing offense. Justice Wilson said nothing in the statute was designed to prevent views critical of homosexuality from being expressed if they do not directly cause “hate” or “contempt.” Boissoin’s lawyer, Gerald Chipeur, noted that not only did Justice O’Brien throw out the AHRT’s decision, but ruled that a human rights panel had no constitutional authority to limit freedom of speech.