Susan on the Soapbox: The UCP Runs Away from the Bubble Zone

Last week the NDP government introduced Bill 9 which will create a 50-metre bubble zone of safety and privacy for women accessing healthcare, including abortions and other reproductive health services,* in Calgary and Edmonton. Jason Kenney and the UCP caucus bailed on the debate, sending their colleague MLA Angela Pitt to deliver a message on ...

Susan on the Soapbox: The Attack on Gay-Straight Alliances Continues

Last week the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF) brought a court application challenging the constitutionality of changes to the School Act which are intended to support the establishment of gay-straight alliances (GSAs) in Alberta schools. Just to get our bearings, the JCCF is a non-profit legal organization run by John Carpay.  Mr Carpay is ...

Susan on the Soapbox: How to Stay Under the Radar When Bill C-51 Becomes Law

Bill C-51 is an omnibus anti-terrorism bill that grants CSIS new information sharing powers and converts CSIS from a covert intelligence gathering organization to a covert enforcement agency. No wonder Canadians don’t know what the heck is going on!   Ms Soapbox is here to offer four simple suggestions to keep you out of trouble ...

Susan on the Soapbox: Ralph Nader’s Open Letter to Stephen Harper

February 18, 2015 The Right Honourable Stephen Harper, P.C., M.P. 80 Wellington Street Ottawa, ON K1A 0A2 Dear Prime Minister: Many Americans love Canada and the specific benefits that have come to our country from our northern neighbor’s many achievements (see Canada Firsts by Nader, Conacher and Milleron). Unfortunately, your latest proposed legislation—the new anti-terrorism act—is being ...

Susan on the Soapbox: Fortress Calgary: The “Gate” in Mahogany Manor

What is it about gated communities that sends us into orbit? Calgary Planning Commission (CPC) just approved the construction of a “gate” in the southern Calgary to keep the hoi polloi out of Mahogany Manor despite the fact that the Planning Department recommended refusal. The “gate” is actually a seven foot high solid wall made ...

Susan on the Soapbox: CSEC Exonerated

Mr Jean-Pierre Plouffe, CSEC watchdog, has determined that CSEC is off the hook,it did not direct any activity at Canadians or persons in Canada.  He’s hanging his hat on the distinction between “collecting metadata” and “tracking Canadians”.  I guess if CSEC activity isn’t “directed” at Canadians, then CSEC bears no responsibility if it just happens  to ...

Susan on the Soapbox: CSEC Letter from Wayne Easter Liberal MP

Last week I sent a letter to Justin Trudeau and Liberal MP Wayne Easter expressing support the Liberal bill that would impose parliamentary oversight over CSEC.  Here is Mr Easter’s reply.  I copied my letter to the Prime Minister, his Defence Minister and my MP, Joan Crockatt.  Not a peep from that corner. Dear Ms. ...

Susan on the Soapbox: Forget “Angry Birds” Where are the Angry Canadians?

Saturday’s headline in Canada’s “newspaper of record”, The Globe and Mail, was not “Harper government caught spying on Canadians” but “Rob Ford admits jaywalking ticket in Vancouver”.  Are you kidding me??? Let’s review the week, shall we? Angry Birds It started with Edward Snowden revealing that American and British spy agencies target smartphone applications like ...