When justice and security collide

Just a few weeks after Prime Minister Stephen Harper raised fears of left-wing ideologues on the bench, Public Safety Minister Peter Van Loan said he fears for the government’s ability to fight terrorism, wrote James Morton (LLB ’86), a Toronto lawyer and adjunct professor at York’s Osgoode Hall Law School, in a Toronto Star opinion piece Oct. 2.

Certainly it has been a difficult few months for the government’s anti-terrorism policy. Judges have not been notably supportive of government positions, Morton noted.

The Federal Court of Appeal recently upheld a ruling requiring the government to ask the Americans to bring Omar Khadr to Canada. That case is going to the Supreme Court but most observers do not see a government victory as likely.

Unlike the form of government many terrorists seek to impose, Canada is a nation of law with rights and duties held in a balance by the courts. That balance does act, as it is intended to act, as a check on unbridled state power. Judges are doing their job in maintaining that balance, concluded Morton.

Concert promotes anti-bullying message

Oakville teen James Valitchka is on a mission to stop bullies, reported the Oakville Beaver Oct. 1. The 14-year-old author and speaker was in town to promote a special concert in November that will convey an anti-bullying message to young people across the Greater Toronto Area. Proceeds from the fall event will help students attend an anti-bullying youth conference next spring at York University