Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Harper should lead the debate on Canada's mission to Afghanistan

The London Free Press,
By Rory Leishman

While Prime Minister Stephen Harper has shown commendable leadership in backing the deployment of Canadian troops in Afghanistan, he is needlessly jeopardizing the broad political consensus that is essential to the success of this vital mission, by refusing to countenance renewed debate on the matter in Parliament.

In 2001, the Conservatives and New Democrats joined the Liberals in backing the decision of the Chretien government to commit Canadian troops to the liberation of Afghanistan. The Liberals still support this mission, but Stephane Dion, the party’s astute foreign affairs critic, insists: "We should talk about it. We should build stronger support through a debate. But we don't want to second-guess. It's a very important mission and we want to be there."

NDP leader Jack Layton likewise insists it’s time to reconsider Canada’s Afghanistan commitment, especially in view of the dangerous assignment that our troops have recently taken on in the violence-torn Kandahar region. Instead of opposing such a discussion, Harper should lead it as he did in his inspirational speech to Canadian troops in Kandahar last week. "Our Canada is a great place, but Canada is not an island," Harper warned, "And what happens in places like Afghanistan threatens and affects all of us back home in our own country."

The same can be said about what goes on in Iraq, Iran, North Korea and numerous other sanctuaries for terrorists around the world, yet many Canadians are blind to the danger. Despite the deaths of 24 Canadians in the September 11 attack on the United States, they naively suppose that we Canadians would be safe if only Canada were to withdraw from all but peace-keeping operations overseas and retire into splendid isolation in North America.

Former Liberal prime minister Mackenzie King entertained much the same naive view in the 1920s. Despite the mounting turmoil in Europe, he opposed any Canadian military contribution to collective security through the League of Nations on the supposition that Canadians live in "a fire-proof house, far from inflammable materials."

King, to his credit, promptly abandoned this delusion upon the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939. And having learned then the folly of trying to appease foreign aggressors, he saw to it in 1949 that Canada would do its part in containing Soviet imperialism, by becoming a founding and active member of the NATO alliance.

Today, NATO is engaged with a different, but no less dangerous enemy. The 2,300 Canadian troops serving in Afghanistan are part of a NATO assistance force that also includes large contingents from Germany, Italy and France. Soon, a substantial Dutch force will join this mission as well. Working together, the NATO allies are determined to crush the Islamist terrorists in Afghanistan rather than sit back and allow them to mount another terrorist strike like the one last year on the transit system in London, England, that killed more than 50 people and injured 700.

The NATO assistance force in Afghanistan is also trying to help the Afghan people to transform their country from a quasi-medieval wilderness of Islamist warlords into an effective and prospering democracy. Canada’s contribution to this noble goal includes a provincial reconstruction team near Kandahar and a commitment of $100 million a year in foreign aid, which makes Afghanistan much the largest recipient of Canadian bilateral assistance.

Our brave troops in Afghanistan can be counted upon to uphold the glorious fighting traditions of the Canadian armed forces. What, though, should be done to provide them with better equipment to protect themselves and carry the fight to the enemy? How long might Canadian troops have to remain in Afghanistan? And at what cost?

Afghanistan now has a democratically elected president and government, but if that fragile democracy were to collapse in sectarian strife, should Canada promptly withdraw its troops? Or should the NATO allies collectively resolve to keep their fighting forces in Afghanistan so long as necessary to prevent the Taliban from regaining power and turning the country back into a haven for Al Qaeda and other Islamist terrorists?

These are just a few of the serious questions raised by Canada’s mission to Afghanistan. Harper should take the initiative in assuring they get thorough consideration in the next Parliament.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Swiss remedy for medicare

The London Free Press
By Rory Leishman

Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty was up in arms last week over Alberta’s “Third Way” on health reform that would allow Albertans to seek better and faster medicare at their own expense through a private health insurance plan operating in tandem with the public system. That’s not the Ontario way, said McGuinty. He insisted that wait times should be reduced for everybody, “not just for those who can afford to jump to the front of the queue.”

Clearly, McGuinty does not get it. Under the Alberta proposal, people who take out private medical insurance would not jump to the head of medicare queue. They would get out of that queue altogether, by transferring at their own expense to a separate private system.

“But that’s two-tiered medicare,” wail the Liberals. So what? Britain, France, Germany, The Netherlands and Sweden – to name just a few countries – have operated two-tiered medicare systems for decades. Why should Canadians remain stuck with a grossly inefficient, virtually Soviet-style, medicare monopoly?

Granted, a two-tiered, public and private, medicare system is hardly better than a single-tiered system run by the government. While people who can afford private medical insurance in Europe can get good medicare, the majority who remain stuck in the public system encounter much the same problems as all of us in Canada – long and often painful waits for less than life-saving procedures such as hip-replacement and cataract surgery.

The ultimate remedy for public-sector medicare is to eliminate the inefficient system altogether. Yet the idea is anathema to liberals and socialists. They think it is beyond the capacity of statecraft to devise a system for the private delivery of medicare services that is superior to the model in the United States.

This is not to suggest that the United States’ system is especially bad. Despite all the supposed advantages of the Canadian medicare system, the Medicare and Medicaid programs in the United States provide the poorest of the poor with much quicker access to better medical services than is available even to the richest of the rich within Canada’s public-sector medicare monopoly.

A key flaw in the United States’ medical system is the lack of universal and comprehensive coverage. Many people cannot afford, or refuse to buy, comprehensive coverage for medical care. There is an obvious remedy for this defect: Acting together, the federal and state governments should subsidize the costs of basic medical insurance, and make this coverage compulsory.

Switzerland has adopted such an approach. Rather than provide medical services through a public plan, the Swiss Cantons require all residents to purchase at least basic medicare coverage from one of 87 competing, private-sector, albeit not-for-profit, insurance companies.

The companies are closely regulated. To hold down costs for the sick and elderly, they must provide insurance at the same rate as other clients within a designated region. In addition, the Swiss Cantons subsidize medicare premiums, so everyone, regardless of income, can afford comprehensive, basic coverage for sickness and accidents.

Thanks to this private-sector system, Swiss patients rarely have to endure long waits for basic medical treatments. But to be sure, the quality of Swiss medicare does not come cheap. According to the latest figures from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development on health care spending per person per year, the total for Switzerland was $3,781 in 2003, as compared to $3,001 in Canada.

If the governments of Canada were to lavish an extra $780 per capita on the existing Canadian medicare system at an extra annual cost of $25 billion, would Canadians enjoy the same quality of medicare as the Swiss? That’s most unlikely. Private-sector competition is the key to the success of the Swiss system: For Swiss physicians, hospitals and insurance providers to remain in business, they must provide quality service at an attractive price.

Alberta Premier Ralph Klein is eager to experiment with more private-sector competition for public medicare. Prime Minister Stephen Harper should allow him to do so within the limits of the Canada Health Act.

As for McGuinty, he should beware: By refusing to give private-sector providers any opportunity to reduce wait times for key medical services, he could incur the wrath of fed-up voters in the next Ontario election.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Further evidence of a clash of civilizations

In my column, "Elmasry exemplifies the clash of civilizations," The London Free Press (February 21, 2006), I quoted Mohammad Elmasry, national president of the Canadian Islamic Congress, as having recently described the Taliban terrorists of Afghanistan as “a popular movement with strong grassroots support.” With reference to the Canadian troops now serving in Afghanistan, he added: “many Afghans … perceive Americans -- and the Canadians who follow them -- as hostile foreigners occupying their country. Is it any surprise that some turn to suicide bombing?”
In light of the subsequent terrorist attacks on Canadian troops in Afghanistan, one might have supposed that Elmasry would want to clarify his views on Taliban suicide bombers. But no. In a rebuttal published in The Free Press on Wednesday (see below), he simply denounces me as "anti-Islam" for criticizing him.
I think you will also find interesting the revealing exchange of emails I have had over this same column of mine with Yahya Abdul Rahman. He is a Canadian convert to Islam, otherwise known as Shawn Smith, who edits the Montreal Muslim News.

First, Elmasry's rebuttal:

The London Free Press,
March 1, 2005
By Mohammed Elmasry

Rory Leishman's column, Cartoonclash polarizes (Feb. 21) was, as usual, anti-Islam, lacking fairness and balance, devoid of substantiated analysis and riddled with chopped logic.

Leishman did not, for example, explain to LFP readers why Canadians
shouldn't use our country's enlightened hate laws in response to the
deliberately targeted republication of those offending Danish cartoons.
Isn't the law meant to treat all citizens -- including minorities --
equally? Isn't the law supposed to identify anti-Islam hate literature
as clearly as it does anti-Semitic propaganda?

Canada is the only Western country to have such laws on the books, but
if they aren't applied with the equality inherent in our constitutional
rights and freedoms, we might as well abolish this legislation altogether.

Leishman makes matters worse by continuing to twist quotations of
mine out of context, or omitting salient facts that he knows but chooses
to ignore whenever they challenge his biases. He failed once again to
acknowledge that many Israeli prime ministers and IRA leaders were once
designated as terrorists by the British, as was Nelson Mandela by the
former Apartheid South African government. Yet many went on to become
the peacemakers of the next generation, some even winning Nobel prizes
for their efforts. This could well be the case for Hamas, if it is given
a fair chance to govern.

As for the Taliban, their popularity as a grassroots organization and
their influence among Afghani youth does not mean that we Canadians
should agree with them. It does not mean either that Canadians should
risk their lives to fight them in their homeland.

I usually do not answer my critics, but Leishman did such a poor job of
understanding the issues that I had to respond, for the sake of the
London Free Press readers.

Mohamed Elmasry is national president of the Canadian Islamic Congress in Waterloo.
Here is the first email from Yahya Abdul Rahman:

Dear Mr.Leishman,

Re (your last column):

Before resorting to the ridiculous and reductionist "Clash Of
Civilizations" thesis, you might want to read the following article by
Robert Wright, a senior fellow at the New America Foundation, in the
New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/17/opinion/17Wright.html
You might also want to read the voluminous critiques
on Huntington's work which exposes the flaws in Huntington's
thinking. Gregory Melleuish's article titled "The Clash of
Civilizations: A Model Of Historical Developmnent?" published in the
journal "Thesis Eleven" in August 2000 would be a good start as well
as anything by the late Dr. Edward Said. Here is an abstract of
Melleuish's article:

Take a look at this link also:

Yahya Abdul Rahman

Montreal Muslim News Network - http://www.montrealmuslimnews.net
Send us your feeback at: montrealnews@gmail.com

My response:
Dear Mr. Rahman:
In the opening paragraph of my column, I stated:
In 1996, Prof. Samuel P. Huntington of Harvard University predicted in his book The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order that “the single and most dangerous dimension of the emerging global politics would be conflict between groups from differing civilizations.”
What more dangerous dimension of the emerging global politics do you apprehend?
Also, what is your opinion on the views expressed by Elmasry cited in my column?
Best wishes,

Raman's reply:

Thanks for responding.

It seems to me you were more interested in discrediting Dr. Elmasry
than commenting honestly or giving any credit to the numerous attempts
by the Muslim community to launch a dialogue on the cartoon issue. And
there is a lot of effort taking place on this front. See for example
the efforts of the Muslim Council of Montreal:

You seem to have left the impression that Dr. Elmsary is the
personification of the Muslim community here in Canada and that his
views on one issue categorize or label him in all other issues also
and, by extension, the Muslim community in general. No one gives Dr.
Elmasry credit for the tremendous contributions he has made to Canada
in the past 30 years. He has trained hundreds of graduate students in
the high tech industry and made huge contributions to scientific
knowledge through his research. This in turn has helped booste
Canada's contributions in the high tech industry and created well
paying jobs. But no, this wont be mentioned because the media would be
forced to give a Muslim some credit instead of continually labeling
them as some fifth column, like this fanantic website does:

Also, the media gives a lot of attention to a Tarek Fatah in Toronto
and his Canadian Muslim Congress, whose membership could fit into a
phone booth, because this former communist back in Pakistan and now
gay-rights defender spends all of his energy attacking the Muslim
community. The man is almost universally despised even by progressive
leftists who are non Muslim, not to mention the feelings of antipathy
Muslims here in Canada have towards him. I called him one time to tell
him I disagreed with something he said and he launched into a tirade
about me supporting Taliban. This is what he does all the time -
accusses people with no evidence and he gets off with it. I cannot
understand why he is taken seriously by the media. He has no abililty
at all to read the pulse of the Muslim community here in Canada.

Here are two of our most recent editorials:




But do any of these views get published or mentioned elsewhere? No!
The media is more interested in the statements or positions of one
single person. This is unfair and dishonest reporting and does not
reflect the reality or the diversity of what our community is.

There are radical extremists out there who want to foment conflict
hatred. Dr. Elmasry is not one of them regardless of what you think. I
never read anything in your columns regarding the daily injustices and
humiliations of the Palestinian people, as documented by numerous
human rights organizations, at the hands of Israeli occupation forces.
Are the people children of a lesser god?

When you know the political background on Flemming Rose, and there are
numerous articles on this topic, you will know what his motivations
were on publishing those cartoons. Is this what we want? They use the
pre-existing Islamaphobia in the west to create further conflict. One
can cry freedom, but will this freedom, when it is used to defame
others, serve the good of humanity?

Here is an interesting article in yesterday's Globe and Mail on the
history of political cartoons in Canada:



Montreal Muslim News Network - http://www.montrealmuslimnews.net
Send us your feeback at: montrealnews@gmail.com

My reply:
I can understand that radicals like Tarek Fatah and Irshad Manji do not speak for many Muslims. What alarms me is that no one in the Muslim community, has, to my knowledge, spoken out publicly in support of Prof. Salim Mansur, a genuine Muslim democrat. Has your news organization ever given him an opportunity to express his views?
You wrote:
You seem to have left the impression that Dr. Elmsary (sic) is the
personification of the Muslim community here in Canada and that his
views on one issue categorize or label him in all other issues also
and, by extension, the Muslim community in general.
Yet your editorial on Feb. 17 states the following with regard to the infamous Imam Qureshi:
"He certainly does not speak for me or anyone I know and respect," stated CIC national president Dr. Mohamed Elmasry earlier today in a press release.

Elmasry further stated that: "What has been said and done by this irresponsible individual is totally against the teachings of the Qur'an, which condemns the taking of human lives. On behalf of all Canadian Muslims, the CIC repudiates and utterly rejects any call for death or injury to those charged with insulting our faith. Only God is ultimate arbiter and judge of those who do wrong."
With this report, you have confirmed my impression that Dr. Elmasry is a prominent leader among Muslims in Canada who heads an organization that purports, albeit falsely, to speak "on behalf of all Canadian Muslims." Do you disagree with any of his controversial statements that I cited in the column? Am I wrong to conclude that most Canadian Muslims either support the viewpoint expressed in those statements or are loath to express their criticism of Elmasry in public?
Rahman's evasive response:
I honestly don't think there is any group or organization that speaks
for every single Muslim either in Canada or the world. I don't think
even Dr. Elmasry or CAIR-CAN has ever made that claim about
themselves. I know the media would like to find such a group so they
can then tag our community down, but it is not going to happen in my
or your lifetime. We are just too diverse. CIC, CAIR-CAN and other
groups have levels of support and we post their communiques, but there
are others in our community who do not like their approach at all. We
have people, like myself, who are very leftist in orientation, while
others are more right-wing and actually supported Harper for PM. You
have got to remember, our community consists of people from well over
a hundred different nations speaking numerous languages and various
levels of education background and political involvement. Most Muslims
in Canada I know are not even interested in politics other than
discussing it in passing and then moving on to other issues. If
anything, there is a general political apathy in our community, much
like the general population. (I think the only exception tot his would
be the Palestinians who are always active. I have never witnessed
anything like these people.) In short, we are not that much different
from the wider society except for a few superficial things like dress,
food etc. We want t good and peaceful life like all other Canadians
but continually feel the sting of collective blame when some Muslims
commit misdeeds or utter an inappropriate statement. We always feel
pressured to isse statements of comdemnation even though we have
nothing to do with what those people or groups did. If we say nothing
then this means we support them and are, by extension, guilty. No
other group is singled out this way like we are. I am sure not every
single Christian is responsible for this:


or this:




and that most certainly Christians not asked to issue statements
condemning it either. As a wag the dog strategy just take a look at
the recent statements of British Defense Secretary John Reid at:


They kill and tortue Muslims and then call us barbarians and terrorists!!!!

BTW, here is the full transcript of Dr. Elmasry's comments we posted
on our website for general information:

You can ask the London community what they think about Salim Mansur. A
good place to start would be Meer Sahib at: msahib@sympatico.ca

I personally don't read his articles as they are too divorced from
reality and extremely right wing. Anti Muslim groups like his material
a lot and quote him quite often.

Montreal Muslim News Network - http://www.montrealmuslimnews.net
Send us your feeback at: montrealnews@gmail.com

My comment:
At this point, having repeatedly failed to draw out Yahya's views on Elmasry, I gave up. Meer Sahib is a prominent Muslim in London, Ontario, and a former member of the board of The London Muslim Mosque. Judging from his latest article in The Montreal Muslim News, you can well imagine the opinion he holds of my courageous Muslim friend, Prof. Salim Mansur:


by Meer Sahib - msahib@sympatico.ca

Feb 27, 2006

Dear Brothers / Sisters:

Most of us realize that the Sept 11 Attack, blamed on Arabs, was the beginning of the “Muslim Holocaust”. The Western governments, manipulated by the Zionists, have used this pretext to murder hundreds of thousands of Arabs and Muslims, destroy those nations, take control of their resources and build military bases there. Many Arabs and Muslims in the West have been jailed and tortured and quite a few have died under torture. Draconian laws affecting Arabs and Muslims have also been enacted, and more are expected.

What have Muslims done to counteract this false allegation? Virtually nothing. But, fortunately, many westerners of conscience – scientists, professors, structural and aeronautical engineers, former fighter pilots, FBI veterans, journalists and so on, have gone through mountains of evidences and come to the conclusion that the 911 attack was not possible by Al-Qaeda, but could have been an ‘inside job’. For this, they provide logical, scientific, and engineering based proofs, which no person of intellect can deny. In a way, it is good that this work is being done by non-Muslims, as Western masses are likely to accept their findings more readily. These researchers have written many books, set up websites and produced documentaries with visual and sound effects, and conducted numerous lectures, conferences and so on.

There are also some Christians who have taken the troubles to distribute these documentaries (DVDs) free of charge by mail. Shouldn’t we admire them for their commitment to truth? This is indeed a noble act by them, but where are we Muslims? The least we can do is to disseminate the knowledge, so that more and more people will come to know the truth and insha Allah, one day, the real perpetrators may be caught. To my great distress, I find the vast majority of Muslims continue to believe the US administration’s 911 story. They are then taken by surprise when they see the facts presented in these documentaries – for example the BBC documentary (listed below) proves that Al-Qaeda is a non-existent, phantom, imaginary enemy, invented by the Neo-cons, and, the documentary “In Plane Site” proves that the Pentagon was NOT hit by a 747 and so on. These documentaries also ask numerous questions on the US Administration’s 911 story, to which no answers have been provided by the government.

I was very pleased to see a good number of brothers and sisters who were impressed by the documentaries, purchasing several copies to send them to their loved ones back home.

Brothers and sisters, let us make this our personal jihad – the jihad of Education. I have spent hundreds of hours collecting valuable data, learned the computer programs which helps me produce DVDs using such data, editing, and putting them together, so that others don’t have to spend so much time to get these information.

The mainstream media has hidden this information from the masses. Therefore, it is our duty to make this information available to Muslims and non-Muslims. Here is how YOU can help:

  1. Obtain these videos, choose the ones you like, copy and mail them to prominent members of your city – this could be the MPPs, MPs, City Councillors, priests, librarians, school teachers, colleges, newspaper editors, columnists, radio and TV broadcasters, police chiefs, and so on. Students can share the information with fellow students.

  2. Encourage your friends and relatives to join you in this effort, so that they too feel proud to fulfill their duty.

  3. Always send a short note, as people do not like to receive anything anonymous. You can include a note like this : “Dear friend: In modern history, there has been nothing as profound as the September 11 Terror Attack, yet the media has not informed us the truth nor done its duty to ask probing questions to uncover the facts. I hope you will find the enclosed DVDs helpful in unravelling the mystery surrounding the 911 Attack. Your fellow citizen (your name).

  4. I recommend item GC-1 to be one of the DVDs you mail, as this was authored by a well respected Canadian journalist, Mr. Barry Zwicker. I have an ‘honor-based’ agreement with him to mail him $10 for every DVD copied (originals sell for $35). So, please send him $10.00 for each copy you may sell. His em address is: bwz@rogers.com

  5. To cover the cost of production, please enclose a donation of $5 for each DVD you order ($10 for item GC-1).

  6. For those of you who cannot afford to make the donation, but are willing to make copies and mail to prominent people, I will mail the DVDs free of charge.

Brothers and Sisters, we cannot bury our heads in the sand and hope the problem would go away. It is time that EACH ONE of us did something concrete. Don’t expect others to do your job. If we failed, it will be only ourselves to blame, when matters get worse. Believe me, things are likely to get much worse.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Capitulation to the courts on same-sex marriage

Catholic Insight
March, 2006
By Rory Leishman

In the context of defending the alleged equality right of homosexuals to same-sex marriage during the election campaign, Liberal party leader Paul Martin declared: “I believe a right is a right, and that it having been established, it is the responsibility of the prime minister of
Canada to support the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.”

Consider that statement in relation to section 15(1) of the Charter: Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.” There is no mention of sexual orientation or marriage rights in this or any other provision of the Charter. Yet Martin insists that same-sex couples have a Charter right to marry. Why is that?

In an unanimous judgment in the Reference re Same-Sex Marriage, the Supreme Court of Canada stated that the purpose of the Martin government’s bill extending the right to marry to same-sex couples “far from violating the Charter, flows from it.” For Martin, that opinion is decisive. He takes the view that the Charter means whatever the Supreme Court says it means. But is that right?

Just before Christmas, the Court found that Canadians have a Charter right to engage in group sex in a public club. That, too, was fine with Martin. Are there any limits to the tolerance of our Christian prime minister for the immoral lawmaking of pagan judges? Would he go along if the Supreme Court of Canada were to ordain that Canadians have a Charter right to prostitution or infanticide?

Let us hope not. Martin’s insistence that he is duty bound as prime minister to affirm any so-called right that is read into the Charter by the courts is not only wrong in principle, but fundamentally undemocratic.

Conservative Party Leader Stephen Harper has grasped this point. Following the Halpern ruling of the Ontario Court of Appeal in 2003 that imposed same-sex marriage on the people of Ontario, he introduced a motion into the House of Commons stating: "That, in the opinion of this House, it is necessary, in light of public debate around recent court decisions, to reaffirm that marriage is and should remain the union of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others, and that Parliament take all necessary steps within the jurisdiction of the Parliament of Canada to preserve this definition of marriage in Canada.”

During debate on the motion, Harper recalled that in enacting the Charter, Parliament had deliberately excluded sexual orientation as analogous to race and ethnicity. He noted sexual orientation "was not included, not because of some kind of accident or oversight, but deliberately and explicitly by all sides of the House of Commons.”

Regardless, the Supreme Court of Canada proceeded to read sexual orientation into the Charter in a string of cases, starting with the 1995 Egan ruling. Harper derided these rulings as unconstitutional. He said: "I would point out that an amendment to the Constitution by the courts is not a power of the courts under our Constitution. Something the House will have to address at some point in time is where its powers begin and where those of the courts end.”

Harper was absolutely right then, but what has he done since? During the last election campaign, he promised that a government led by him would give all MPs a free vote on a motion to reinstate the traditional definition of marriage as between a man and a woman. Yet, he also insisted: “I will never use the notwithstanding clause on this issue.”

Despite having previously urged Parliament to “take all necessary steps” to reinstate the traditional definition of marriage, Harper abandoned this policy during the election campaign. He surrendered to our robed dictators on the Supreme Court of Canada, by announcing that he would never use the notwithstanding clause to override a decision of the Court to strike down any law that Parliament might enact to reinstate the traditional definition of marriage.

On this issue, then, there is no real difference between Martin and Harper: Their unwillingness to curb the judicial abuse of power is equally unprincipled and undemocratic.

A new low for judicial depravity

The Interim
March, 2006
By Rory Leishman

In a judgment handed down just four days before Christmas, Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin declared on behalf of the Supreme Court of Canada that Canadians have a constitutional right to engage in group sex in a nightclub. The ruling was unprecedented. It outraged the public. And it ran clearly contrary to section 210(1) of the Criminal Code, which prohibits the practice of acts of indecency in a common bawdy house.

How can McLachlin justify such an offensive and lawless decision? What makes her think that the Supreme Court of Canada has any right to invent legal rights that not only offend most Canadians but have no basis in the laws or the Constitution of Canada?

In an address to law students at the University of Victoria in Wellington, New Zealand, early in December, McLachlin claimed: "The rule of law requires judges to uphold unwritten constitutional norms, even in the face of clearly enacted laws or hostile public opinion." With this statement, she demonstrated that she has no appreciation for the fundamental separation of legislative and judicial powers under the Constitution. Instead of parliamentary democracy and the rule of law, she and her like-minded colleagues on the Supreme Court of Canada prefer the arbitrary rule of unelected judges.

In a genuine constitutional democracy, judges do not presume to legislate from the bench. Rather, they restrain themselves to upholding the laws and the Constitution as enacted and originally understood by elected representatives of the people in the legislative branch of government, subject to the rule that in the event of a conflict between a statute law and the Constitution, restrained judges give precedence to the Constitution.

The peculiar notion that judges have a right to invoke unwritten constitutional norms as a pretence for rewriting the laws and the Constitution was entirely unknown in Canadian law prior to the 1998 ruling of the Supreme Court of Canada in the Quebec Secession Reference. The central issue in this case was straightforward: Is there any provision in the Constitution of Canada that confers on Quebec the right to separate unilaterally?

The Court stated the obvious at the outset of its judgment: Quebec has no right under the Constitution of Canada to separate. That settled the only legal issue in dispute and should have ended the case. Instead, the Court went on to serve up the gratuitous political opinion that “a clear majority vote in Quebec on a clear question in favour of secession would confer democratic legitimacy on the secession initiative which all of the other participants in Confederation would have to recognize.”

In support of this unprecedented intrusion into the legislative process, the Court cited four unwritten constitutional norms: namely, “federalism; democracy; constitutionalism and the rule of law; and respect for minorities.” In a trenchant commentary in 1999, Prof. Greg Craven, a leading Australian authority on constitutional law, pointed out that these four norms “are so inherently vague that they conceivably could be applied in the future so as to mean virtually anything ... In effect, the potential of the secession reference is to equip the Canadian Supreme Court with four vast subject matters of constitutional morality upon which it conceivably could legislate with much the same freedom as the Canadian parliament legislating upon a subject matter within its competence.”

Prescient as he was, Craven could hardly have anticipated that the Supreme Court of Canada would soon find a right to group sex hidden in the norms of the Constitution. What’s next? Judicially sanctioned prostitution, incest, infanticide and euthanasia?

No such outrage is inconceivable. Our judicial masters on the Supreme Court of Canada scorn “the supremacy of God” acknowledged in the preamble to the Constitution. They repudiate the principles of Judeo-Christian morality enshrined in the common law and the statute laws of Canada. And they have no respect even for the original understanding of the fundamental provisions of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

In short, led by McLachlin, the judicial activists on the Supreme Court of Canada have become a law unto themselves. What will it finally take for some leader in Parliament to summon up the resolve to save us from these arrogant, immoral and lawless judges?