First Published in The Chronicle Journal Monday March 3, 2014
By Julee Boan
In 2010, two municipal councillors from Thornhill, Ont., advocating for the protection of prime farmland in their community were sued by a developer who accused them of trespassing on his land. The developer seemingly forgot that he had leased the land back to a local farmer who had given the councillors permission to hold a news conference on the side of the road at the farm.
The lawsuit was, of course, dismissed as nonsense by the courts. But it took two years and substantial lawyers’ fees to resolve. In response, one of the councillors said, “To us, this looks like an attempt at intimidation and bullying … In my opinion, this is a SLAPP suit.”
A SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) is a lawsuit initiated against one or more individuals who speak out on an issue of public interest. More »
Proposed new rules would limit power of prime minister, increase that of MPs
Sure, change has to happen with the Senate, but far more important is the runaway power we allow our prime minister. This is what needs to be reined in if we ever want to keep straight faces when calling our country a democracy.
Stephen Harper, with his dictatorial grip on Conservative MPs, has fired up all available power tools, either allowed by our Constitution or not mentioned in it, and has kept their engines running full tilt. More »
As our prime minister prorogues Parliament (again), environmental advocates are suing the federal government over new rules restricting public participation in hearings conducted by the National Energy Board (NEB) on major energy projects, including Enbridge’s proposed reversal of its Line 9B pipeline.
Some background: In 2008 the government passed the Federal Sustainable Development Act. The unobjectionable purpose of this legislation is to make environmental decision-making more transparent and accountable. In passing the act, the government acknowledged the “need to integrate environmental, economic and social factors in the making of all decisions by government.” More »
So it’s OK for John Baird to “quietly” allow Canadian gun dealers to sell fully automatic assault weapons, banned in Canada, to Colombians (Canada Opens Colombia to Gun Sellers — story in Thunder Bay Chronicle Journal, Jan 3, 2013). It’s OK for Canada to contribute to mayhem in far-off places, as long as there’s a buck to be made at home. I’m guessing we’re already selling these Newtown specials to certain gun-happy Americans. More »