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CCF staff write on a variety of policy areas from a mostly legal viewpoint. Our staff often focus on policy issues related to the legal cases we support.

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As the Cambie case drags on, Canadians suffer

As the Cambie case drags on, Canadians suffer

Feb 10 2017

In his novel Bleak House, Charles Dickens satirized the crippling inefficiency of the old Court of Chancery using the case of Jarndyce v. Jarndyce, an inheritance dispute that dragged on so long that the value of the original estate had been consumed by the costs of litigation. Jarndyce v. Jarndyce

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The much-needed separation of church and state

The much-needed separation of church and state

Jan 25 2017

Is there any limit to the law’s reach in the Charter era? Does any sphere of private life or civil society remain beyond the sweep of our judiciary’s Sauron-like gaze? What began as a membership dispute in a suburban Calgary church has landed on the steps of the Supreme Court

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Government has created health care waiting lists

Government has created health care waiting lists

Nov 15 2016

Psychologists call the delusion of attributing your own faults to others, while denying them in yourself, “projection.” Maybe this explains why government lawyers in British Columbia are trying to blame doctors for long health care waiting lists, rather than admitting the obvious: that waiting times are the product of deliberate

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Time to bring free trade closer to home

Time to bring free trade closer to home

Nov 09 2016

Why does far-sighted provincial support for the international free trade turn into myopic resistance when it comes to similar trade with Canada’s other provinces? After harsh words and even a few tears, the on-again, off-again romance between Canada and the Belgian region of Wallonia ended happily with the signing of

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Allow a voluntary boost to health care funding

Allow a voluntary boost to health care funding

Oct 24 2016

“This is the number one issue for every Canadian province. This is our single biggest line item, delivering health care to our citizens.” That’s from Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil, who has been one of the most outspoken critics of the federal decision to offer only a three per cent

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Interpreting The New Supreme Court Justice’s Job Application

Interpreting The New Supreme Court Justice’s Job Application

Oct 21 2016

“Supreme Court judges ordinarily make law, rather than simply applying it.” As a description of the current state of Canadian constitutionalism, this is accurate, but stated so baldly by newly-named Justice Malcolm Rowe, it should raise eyebrows. We know Mr Justice Rowe believes this, apparently uncritically, because he wrote it

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Canadian health care is even more restrictive than communist China’s

Canadian health care is even more restrictive than communist China’s

Oct 07 2016

Several weeks ago I had coffee with a board member of one of British Columbia’s regional health authorities. In the course of our conversation, I mentioned the ongoing constitutional challenge to B.C.’s restrictions on patient access to private health care. The nub of the plaintiffs’ case is that, if the

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Canada’s university voice of human rights intolerance

Canada’s university voice of human rights intolerance

Oct 06 2016

Universities Canada bills itself as “the voice of Canadian universities,” but later this month it will vote on a new bylaw and policy to silence the individual voices of some of its 97 members. The current non-discrimination policy, which mirrors provincial Human Rights Codes in prohibiting discrimination on specified grounds,

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Why are our governments denying us our constitutional right to get the medical care we need?

Why are our governments denying us our constitutional right to get the medical care we need?

Sep 14 2016

“Access to a waiting list is not the same as access to health care.” This observation from the 2005 Supreme Court case of Chaoulli v. Quebec is probably the most famous judicial statement about Canadian health care. And rightly so. On the surface it is simple logic, but its depths

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