If you woke up thinking, I’d love to read some articles discussing the intersection of law, policy, and politics today, you’re in luck. As a policy tool, the law can protect and it can punish, and it can have far-reaching implications for our daily lives—which is why it’s subject to political debate. We’ve gathered five articles that demonstrate the politically charged and policy relevant nature of recent legal issues. Keep reading for more!
- The Ontario government just passed legislation that creates “safe access zones” around abortion clinics where pro-life protesters are barred from demonstrating. Kayla Ishkanian welcomes such legislation but has written a scathing critique of politicians on both sides who use abortion to score cheap political points. [Ishkanian/PPGR]
- Contrary to popular belief, marijuana is still illegal in Canada – but not for long. The Liberal government is planning to legalize the drug in July 2018 through the passing of the Cannabis Act. Jasper Paredes explains what the proposed Act involves and what the future of pot policy might look like [Paredes/PPGR].
- Quebec’s Bill 62, the controversial new legislation that bans face covering in the name of ‘religious neutrality’, pointedly restricts the religious and cultural practices of Muslim women. In this piece, Colin Singer warns that leaving such bills unchecked can threaten the very constitutional principles the country was founded on. [Singer/Hill Times]
- How does the law apply to our ever-changing digital world – and what’s the appropriate balance when such laws conflict? For example, there’s been a 600 per cent increase in intolerant and hateful online speech by Canadians between November 2015 and 2016. Should Canada join countries like Germany in passing legislation to limit online hate speech? Nadia Naffi explores the difficult tension between stopping hate online and preserving free speech. [Naffi/Macleans]
- The once-controversial Supreme Court decision to uphold the constitutionality of supervised injection sites like Insite in Vancouver seems to have lost its political charge. Andrew Wherry notes that Health Canada’s approval of two dozen new supervised injection sites across the country has been met with less partisan debate. [Wherry/CBC]