Globe and Mail reported that the Conservative Party’s new “Policy Advice to the Leader” document that will serve as the party’s campaign policy guide, “eschews hardline notions such as MP recall and social conservatism in favour of a more centrist approach,” because it does not mention abortion and permits free votes for MPs on the “sticky issue” of the definition of marriage … Gay activist EGALE – Equality for Gays and Lesbians Everywhere – created an election blacklist of candidates that should be defeated … John Tory formally entered race to become the next Ontario Progressive Conservative leader. He comes from the “fiscally responsible, socially progressive” wing of the party and will likely face socially conservative MPs Frank Klees and Jim Flaherty … Kingston Whig-Standard reported that Ontario Health Minister George Smitherman has instructed ministry officials to restore OHIP funding for sex-change operations … Sage Research Associates of Mississauga conducted focus groups on behalf of the federal Justice Department and advised that the government use the term “civil marriage” instead of plain “marriage” when discussing extending the institution to homosexuals to “avoid confusion.” Focus on the Family says that using the term “civil marriage” will cause confusion …Statistics Canada reported that the divorce rate declined slightly in 2002 … First Statistics Canada study of alcohol and drug use among 12-15 year olds finds that children who had a hostile relationship with their parents were more likely to use drugs and alcohol … Vancouver Mayor Larry Campbell said marijuana should be legal and its sale taxed to raise funds for treatment for other “more serious” drugs … TheEvelyn Martens case goes to court Sept. 20. Martens is charged with aiding and counselling in the suicide deaths of two British Columbia women. The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition will hold a symposium in Vancouver, Sept. 25, at the Plaza 500 Hotel, to focus on issues raised by the case.


Pope John Paul II says in his new book Get Up! Let Us Go!, that he did not do enough to uphold Catholic moral teaching: “I think that in this aspect, maybe I have done too little. There is always this problem to balance authority and service.” But he added: “There is no space for compromising on truth” … China faces a “major threat” from the growing gender imbalance due to the fact that by 2020, there will be 40 million unmarried men in the country. There are now approximately 117 males for every 100 females in China, the result of the country’s brutal one-child policy … Upon receipt of his honorary doctorate at University of St. Francis Xavier in Antigonish, N.S., Cardinal Keith O’Brien encouraged students to emigrate to Scotland because his country needed them after two decades of declining population … U.S. President George W. Bush in his commencement address at Louisiana State University: “Sometimes you’ll hear people say that moral truth is relative, or call religious faith a comforting illusion. And when you hear talk like that, take it seriously enough to be sceptical. It may seem generous and open-minded to say that everybody, on every moral issue, is equally right. But that attitude can also be an excuse for sidestepping life’s most important questions.”

Brave New World