Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Not A Libertarian Among Them

The Blogging Tories are at it again, they are now doing a blog burst to oppose the reinstatement of funding for the Court Challenges Program. It is the same kind of campaign they launched in favour of cuts to the Status of Women. As usual these social conservative dweebs prove their is not a libertarian bone in their body politic.

In ideological goose step with their Republican counterparts south of the border, they forget that the CCP is actually a program that benefits the citizens of this country, not all of whom are Taxpayers (that appleation is used by the right to designate businessmen). In fact it allows the average Canadian to challenge the State. A unique program indeed. And one of the few libertarian policies to come out of the Trudeau government. Right up there with the right to abortion, no fault divorce, and gay rights.

Of course these idiots make the usual rhetorical excuses such as the program is for 'special interest groups". And of course all special interest groups=left wing.

For the right wing they complain that they don't get funding to OPPOSE Supreme court challenges. Well duh. The fact is that the social conservatives who oppose abortion, gay marriage, gay rights, womens rights, etc. want the state to fund their religious lobbies to side with the State. Can you say contradiction. Of course these church based and right wing charitable lobbies are TAXFREE. Something they forget to mention.

Except that the Conservative government is now looking at legislation for aboriginal womens property rights which was a direct result of the Court Challenge program.....hmmmm can you say hypocrisy.

Of course aboriginal peoples are a 'special interest' for the average right winger. Who wants to strip them of their 'special status' , that is they own the land we are on, and make them just like us cause they are NOT taxpayers now.

Cutting court challenges program would be "devastating" for r Aboriginals: program director

Badiou said that as "historically disadvantaged groups," Aboriginals would stand to lose much if funding was cut off entirely.

"As disadvantaged groups, they often do not have the funds. This program provides them with a voice to be heard," he said. Referring to program data, Badiou said that First Nations communities do take advantage of the program. In the year ending 2006, he said, Aboriginal applicants represented 19 % of all applicants received since 1994, or 266 total applicants. Of those, a total of 185 cases were funded by the Court Challenges Program, representing about 21% of all applicants. This is no insignificant amount, he says.

Significant cases involving Aboriginal equality rights have been funded through the program, said Badiou, pointing to annual report data.

For example, the program funded the Corbiere case where an Aboriginal woman challenged Indian Act provisions that prohibit band members living off- reserve from participating in Band elections. Due to a shortage of land and housing, many members of the Batchewana Indian Band in Northern Ontario often must live off-reserve. Particularly affected by this provision are women and children reinstated under Bill C-31 who have never had the opportunity to live on the reserve. A number of persons in this position challenged the residency requirement as contrary to the equality guarantees in section 15 of the Charter. The court would eventually agree that the band provisions did violate the off-reserve band member's equality rights and the requirement was struck down.

In the L'Hirondelle case, a number of Indian Bands had brought a challenge to Bill C-31. This Bill amended the Indian Act to oblige Indian Bands to include in their membership persons who, for various reasons, have been excluded from such membership. The case has tremendous implications for Aboriginal women who were particularly targeted by C-31 when they lost their Indian status and other descendants of band members who had lost theirs. The case has been to trial at least once is still working its way through the courts.

And despite the Arar debacle, which the Law and Order Tories continue to refuse to address RCMP/CSIS wrong doing, it appears that another vunerable group of Canadians will also be denied access to challenge the State, refugees.

Cuts to Program Shut Out Refugee Appeals
But penniless refugees wronged by CSIS will not be able to challenge the spy organization anymore using the Court Challenges Program. Last month, the program, together with 15 others the Conservatives consider a waste of taxpayers' money, was axed. The Treasury Board cut $5.6 million from the program. The government said the cuts to the programs will save taxpayers' $2 billion.


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