Capital Punishment Doesn’t Work

A recent editorial in this newspaper under the heading “10 reasons to oppose the death penalty” listed the names of the 10 Canadians who have been cleared of murder convictions because of miscarriages of justice or are still trying to clear their names. Some, possibly all, of them would have been executed by now if the Canadian government hadn’t outlawed the death penalty in 1976, and re-affirmed that position in 1987 despite polls that showed most Canadians favoured capital punishment. Continue reading

Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal negotiated in secrecy

(Phil here, with some additional information as I’m about to post this October 10, 2015 “Counterpoint” column to this blog: I was obviously worried about the outcome of the election and the effect the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal might have on it. Election day was just nine days away, after the longest campaign in Canadian history. Now-former Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper likely hoped the long campaign would work to his advantage. Quite the opposite though; as we now know it worked to the advantage of Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party: they went from third-party status, to the formation of a majority government, with Prime Minister Trudeau and his promise of “real change” in charge.)

I was listening to Canada’s International Trade Minister, Ed Fast being interviewed on the radio about the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) proposed deal as I drove into Lion’s Head from the farm a few days ago. He was asked by CBC interviewer when details of the secretly-negotiated deal would be made

Fast hummed and hawed a bit, explaining the final draft of the deal with the results of the last-minute negotiations included still had to be written, then it would have to be vetted by the negotiators to ensure it was exactly what had been agreed. “Hopefully,” the minister said, it will be made public “before the election.”

Surely, he knows better. Every on-line news and comment source I’ve read since said it will be at least a month before the details are made public.

Besides, so what if the massive, complex, 30-chapter document is made public a day or two before the election. That leaves no time for the vast majority of Canadians to mentally digest the contents, reflect on them, and come to some sort of opinion.

So, with all due respect, Fast was talking nonsense. Continue reading