The federal Conservative government’s omnibus anti-crime bill includes a provision to raise the age of consent for heterosexual sexual activity from 14 to 16 … Conservative MP Joy Smith(Kildonan-St. Paul) will introduce a private member’s bill targeting human trafficking by amending the Criminal Code to outlaw sexual tourism and transmitting, distributing or advertising information for the means of sexual exploitation. Smith is also considering another bill that would permit the monitoring of convicted pedophiles in Canada … The Archdiocese of Winnipeg disinvited James Loney, a Canadian Catholic peace activst, former Iraq hostage and open homosexual, from addressing a conference on social justice. Loney, usually identified as a Christian peace activist, has criticized prayer, fasting and the weekly Mass. Archbishop James Weisgerber said Loney was asked not to attend the conference because of his opposition to Christian “teaching on sexual morality” … Women whose test-tube eggs are about to expire at the University of Saskatchewan will not be prevented from completing their fertility treatments despite a strike at the university. The Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 1975deemed fertility treatments an “essential service” and exempted an IVF laboratory technician from strike duty … New Brunswick Judge Leslie Jacksontold pro-life activist David Little, 62, to submit his unfiled tax returns and pay a $3,000 fine by March 31, 2008 or return to court by April 4. Little refuses to pay his taxes because the federal government funds abortion. According to the Globe and Mail,Little says he will not comply with the order … Vancouver Mayor Sam Sullivanand NDP MP Libby Davies(Vancouver East) have joined the B.C. Coalition of Experiential Communities, a prostitution advocacy group, in calling the federal government to establish a brothel in the city in time for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Whistler. The BCCEC said it wants to incorporate a co-operative facility with “quickie rooms,” but won’t do so without Ottawa’s permission … New Brunswick, the province that introduced video lottery terminals in Canada, has announced it will pull the plug on 650 of 2,650 VLTs but, at the same time, open a casino with  hundreds of new slot machines. Finance MinisterVictor Boudreausaid he hopes a casino will revive N.B.’s struggling tourism industry. In the Liberal government’s “Responsible management, responsible play in a responsible environment” strategy, the word “responsible” appears more than 120 times in a 24-page document. The announcement leaves Newfoundland-Labrador as the only province without a casino.

United States

According to a Los Angeles Timespoll, 50 per cent of Americans think abortion should be outlawed, including 10 per cent who say abortion should always be illegal and 40 per cent who say it should be legal only in cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother … President George W. Bushhas appointed pro-life Harvard law professor Mary Ann Glendonto be U.S. ambassador to the Vatican. In 1995, Glendon represented the Holy See at the Beijing UN Women’s Conference … New Jersey voters have rejected a  $450 million bond issue to fund embryonic stem cell research, including building a special institute to conduct such research, by 53-47 per cent. It was the first time voters in the state had rejected a ballot initiative in 17 years. GovernorJohn Corzinehad already broken ground on the research institute. In 2004, New Jersey became the first state to fund ESCR … President Bush awarded the Cuban dissident, Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet, the Medal of Freedom. Biscet is currently serving a 25-year sentence for peaceful demonstrations against the communist regime in Havana. He was originally arrested in 1999 for refusing to commit abortions.


Human Rights Watchhas criticized Nicaragua’s law banning abortion in all cases, claiming it “violates international human rights standards.” HRW’s Americas director Jose Miguel Vivancowrote a letter to the Nicaragua Supreme Court claiming, “International law prohibits bans on abortion because such restrictions deny women their basic rights to life and health” … British MPs are considering restricting abortion in Britain by lowering the gestational age at which the unborn can be killed from 24 weeks to 20. The Daily Telegraphreports the time limit for abortions is unlikely to be the only proposed change to abortion law. Liberal Democrat Evan Harrisis preparing an amendment to allow nurses to commit abortions without the supervision of a doctor. Last year, there were more than 194,000 abortions in England and Wales … Under the proposed Criminal Justice Bill, the British Parliament is considering a law that would set a maximum penalty of seven years in prison for speech that is considered threatening to homosexuals. ActorRowan Atkinson,of Mr. Bean and Blackadder fame, said the bill has “serious implications for freedom of speech, humour and creative expression.” Justice Secretary Jack Strawsaid such fears are unfounded, but he promised to introduce a freedom of speech amendment, except when the words are deemed to pose a threat or more than merely humorous or mocking.