Easter ‘news’ follows a predictable pattern

Earlier this month, the international wire services carried a story involving a fragment of papyrus written in Coptic that suggested Jesus may have referred to “my wife” in speaking to a group of followers.

Euthanasia bill’s delay a time for reflection

The delay in the passage of Quebec’s Bill-52, which would allow euthanasia in certain circumstances, gives individuals and groups on both sides of the issue time to reflect on better ways to move forward on providing effective end-of-life care both in Quebec and elsewhere.

Re-defining ‘creed’ stirs up controversy

The recent incident at Toronto’s York University, in which a student sought exemption from group work due to religious beliefs that forbid contact with women, attracted much media attention but perhaps did not shine as much attention as it could have on how the Ontario Human Rights Code interprets religion and gender as grounds for discrimination. On at least one level the York situation was a conflict between competing rights.

Francis, Quebec secular charter, top Catholic stories of 2013

Catholic story of 2013 was the retirement of Pope Benedict and the election of Pope Francis as his successor. During the period between those events, the media exploded with a mixture of ill-informed rants about the need for a new pope who would bring the Church “into the 21st century,” particularly on issues related to sexual morality, including same-sex marriage, contraception and abortion.

Cyberbullying only one part of a bigger picture

A wide-ranging cyberbullying bill introduced in Parliament on Nov. 20 covers far more than the distribution of sexually explicit images without the person’s consent. It also gives police new tools to investigate the use of the Internet for terrorism, organized crime and hate propaganda. Justice Minister Peter McKay acknowledged that Bill C-13 (Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act) goes beyond cyberbullying and will modernize parts of the Criminal Code that were written before text messaging and e-mail existed.

Forget emotional appeal, let’s have rational debate

A YouTube video issued by the family of the late Dr. Donald Low, in which the doctor argued passionately for a law that would allow assisted suicide in Canada for the terminally ill, has re-ignited the public debate about euthanasia and assisted suicide.

Blogger seeks answers on suppressed abortion information

Public deserves to know about $50-million expenditure

The gender gap in current affairs

In research described as “sure to inflame the gender wars,” a study funded by the U.K. government suggests women around the world, and especially in Canada, are significantly more ignorant of current affairs and politics than men.

Rolling the dice on an ‘illusion’

The debate on whether Toronto should have a casino has generated a lively range of opinion, both pro and con. People I have discussed it with have a mixed reaction. There’s a sense that all those new jobs would be good and an occasional visit to the a casino might be fun, but there are serious concerns about what government-sponsored, high-stakes gambling could mean for families and for people with addiction problems.

Free speech everywhere but Parliament

The late-March decision to declare Private Members’ Motion-408 “unvotable” has generated a debate about the control of party leaders and the Prime Minister’s Office over what Members of Parliament can and can’t say in the House of Commons.