Canadian abortion rights doctor Morgentaler dead at 90

Doctor Henlek “Henry” Morgentaler, Polish-born Canadian immigrant, has died of a heart attack on May 29th, 2013. He was a Nazi prison camp survivor, and became a physician and family planning doctor in Montreal in 1955. He presented a brief to the House of Commons in 1967 about illegal abortions, arguing that women had the right to safe, legal ones. He eventually began performing abortions in 1968. He was physically assaulted and jailed in Canada numerous times for his advocacy, but ultimately vindicated by society.
[Read more…]

Copyright Board of Canada: “palpable error” in 15x inflated music tariffs

Michael Geist covers the Copyright Board of Canada admitting to having made a “palpable error” in accidentally super-inflating music company royalties well beyond the original decisions for reproduced music in movies intended for personal use:

The Canadian Association of Film Distributors and Exporters had proposed a tiered tariff approach of a maximum of 2 cents per copy containing 30 minutes of music or more (less music would result in a lower tariff). The Copyright Board mistakenly established a tariff of three cents per copy, mistakenly treating three tiers as three cents. As the Board now notes:

CAFDE was seeking a rate of 2 cents per DVD copy containing over 30 minutes of SODRAC music; the Board’s interpretation leads to royalties that are 15 times higher or even more.

[Read more…]

Canadian birth control recall — for placebos instead of real pills

Here’s one of those screw-ups whose impact would be significantly dampened if it wasn’t covered up by the drug corps responsible. Users of Alysena-28, by Canadian drug company Apotex, should check their pills’ batch number.

Apotex says one batch of the Alysena-28 may contain two weeks of placebo sugar pills instead of one, adding the error can reduce the effectiveness of the pills and raises the possibility of unplanned pregnancy.

The company informed wholesalers and retailers Friday, but did not inform women who are taking the pill.

The code on the recalled packages is LF01899A. The bad packages were distributed in all provinces except Saskatchewan and Alberta.

Emphasis mine.
[Read more…]

Transgender rights bill passes in Canada!

Back on March 20th, despite the Tories’ attempts at kicking the can down the road, NDP, Liberals and a whopping 15 Conservatives passed the controversial transgender rights bill in the House of Commons, making assault on a transgender person a hate crime, and protecting trans* folk against discrimination.

I hate having to say “the controversial” in this case, but as usual, it’s controversial because Conservatives don’t want to pass anything making it any less acceptable to attack anyone who isn’t a straight white cis-gendered males in this world. Making it illegal to discriminate against a trans* person, in the same way as it’s illegal to discriminate against any other non-ciswhitestraightmales, well, would simply be a bridge too far to most of them. So they’ve been fighting it with the rhetoric that it would allow sexual predators to assault women in bathrooms by pretending to be transgender. They’ve honestly smeared it throughout the media and throughout the political discourse as “The Bathroom Bill”.

Yeah, it makes about as little sense as it sounds.
[Read more…]

Harper government gives money to anti-gay religious group working in Uganda

Via reader Jeffrey P, seems the Government of Canada has provided over five hundred thousand dollars to a rabidly anti-gay religious group, Crossroads Christian Communications, to “help dig wells, build latrines and promote hygiene awareness in Uganda through 2014.” Given John Baird’s spoken out against the plans for a death penalty for homosexuality in that country, this seems like a rather underhanded way to promote that same agenda without taking flak for it.

Ottawa Citizen reports:

Until Tuesday, the organization’s website carried a list of “sexual sins” deemed to be “perversion”: “Turning from the true and/or proper purpose of sexual intercourse; misusing or abusing it, such as in pedophilia, homosexuality and lesbianism, sadism, masochism, transvestism, and bestiality.”

Lower down the page, the group asks sinners to “repent.”

“God cares too much for you (and all of His children) to leave such tampering and spiritual abuse unpunished,” according to the group’s website.

Just hours after The Canadian Press contacted the group to ask a spokesperson about the site, the page in question disappeared from public view.

[Read more…]

Nova Scotia wine, after dark

My wife works at a vineyard owned by Jöst (pronounced Yost, to rhyme with “most”). We’ve had a few bottles of this — it’s not horrible. So, apparently, has Jay Leno.

Such feminist misandry — making wine out of foreskins! Those castrating Canucks! Someone call the Canadian consulate and have them issue a warning about roving bands of feminists taking over our country!

What’s that, dear? They “ferment four varieties of grapes in the skins”? Well, okay, slightly clever. Gimmicky but clever.

Transgender rights bill status: have Tories run down the clock?

Among all the silence from Harper in response to the #IdleNoMore campaign, there’s also an important bill that’s been all but ignored in the media, and intentionally forestalled by Tories. Stall tactics work, I guess. Ignore the problem til the fury dies down and get the media to look the other way, and all your political hegemonic dreams will come true, I guess.

Bill C-279’s clock may have run out, and I’m having problems finding any further information about it outside of the last time it made it to the floor to be discussed. Apparently some changes were passed to the bill in committee, but through some procedural hiccup that appears to have been intentional, never made it back to the House.

National Post reports:

Last Thursday, Conservative MPs opposed to the bill brought up several objections and procedural questions that ate up most of the time allotted for clause-by-clause consideration and votes.

[Read more…]

An anniversary to remember, with a thumb to Harper’s eye

Today’s the 23rd anniversary of the Montréal Massacre, which has of late been a focus in Canadian politics with Harper having successfully destroyed the long gun registry.

Except, as it turns out, in Quebec. The provincial government kept their copy, with the help of a sympathetic judge, and plans on implementing their own registry, according to Stephane Bergeron in statements made marking the anniversary of the deadly shooting at Montreal’s Ecole Polytechnique.

Bergeron also mentioned the deadly shooting at Dawson College in 2006, as well as the fatal shooting that disrupted Premier Pauline Marois’ victory speech on Sept. 4.

“Quebec believes in a system of firearms registration, essential to the administration of justice, to police work and to the safety of the population,” he said.

[Read more…]