Ruth Shaw and I argue in this piece that we shouldn’t limit freedom of speech or association without solid evidence.
Bubble zones on public property in front of abortion clinics set a bad precedent. What do they mean for other law abiding and peaceful protests? What about protesting a corporation violating good environmental practices, or an embassy infringing on human rights? Recently, Indigenous protestors erected a teepee on Parliament Hill. Significantly, they placed it where the power and action is, and were allowed to do so.
Meanwhile, I’ve finally gotten a response from the Ontario Auditor General on how we can all contribute to the public consultation process. Long story short, they essentially aren’t having one. I’d suggest writing in–if you like you can use the piece linked to above for talking points. Here’s the response I got in full.
Thank you for your email requesting to participate in consultations with respect to the development of “safe access zone” legislation. This legislation would protect the safety and security of patients at health care facilities that offer women’s reproductive services. I appreciate that you have taken the time to write to me on this important issue.
As you may be aware, on May 29, 2017 I announced a plan to introduce a bill this fall that would, if passed, provide for the creation of “safe access zones” at specified health care facilities. These zones would help ensure that women across Ontario have safe access to health care services, and that their privacy and dignity are protected when doing so.
My ministry is working over the summer to develop a legislative proposal that strikes the right balance. Additional information about the proposed bill may be found here:
I would encourage you to provide your views on the proposed legislation in writing. Once the bill is introduced, there will be opportunity for further comment and debate as it moves through the usual legislative process.
So write in, people. It’s now or never for the government to hear the concerns of citizens. We ought to all expect and demand a higher standard of evidence than what we have in this debate.