After seven years under Stephen Harper and his Conservative government, Canadians are not better off. For years they have rammed through Parliament an irresponsible and ideological agenda with little regard for the rule of law.
The Harper Conservatives have been continuously rebuked by the courts for the legality of their actions, notably, in the following decisions:
- Canada (Attorney General) v. PHS Community Services Society – The Supreme Court ruled unanimously against the Harper Conservatives, declaring that Vancouver’s safe injection site, InSite, should remain open because it saves lives. Closing it would violate the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
- Manuge v. Canada – The Federal Court ruled that the Harper Conservatives’ clawback of pensions for disabled veterans was fundamentally unfair and that they have a legal obligation to care for ill and injured veterans.
- Canada (Prime Minister) v. Khadr – After years of delay, the Harper Conservatives were forced to repatriate Canadian citizen Omar Khadr from the United States, following Federal Court and Federal Court of Appeal decisions ordering them to do so, and Supreme Court rulings that his constitutional rights had been violated.
- Canada (Chief Electoral Officer) v. Callaghan – After the Conservatives attempted to obtain almost $1 million from taxpayers in reimbursements for elections expenses in the In and Out scandal, the Federal Court of Appeal ruled that they did not have any right to be repaid for violating election finance rules.
- R v. Sheck and R v. Smickle – Courts in B.C. and Ontario ruled that the Harper Conservatives mandatory minimums sentences for gun crimes constitute cruel and unusual punishment and violate the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
- Fontaine v. Canada (Attorney General) – The Conservatives were found plainly in the wrong after they forced the Truth and Reconciliation Commission into court by refusing to release – as legally mandated – millions of documents revealing the systemic abuse in Indian residential schools. The Ontario Superior Court ruled the Conservative government must relinquish all documents.
- Smith v. Canada (Attorney General) – After backtracking on a request for clemency for Ronald Smith, the Conservatives were told clearly by the Federal Court that they cannot retreat from defending Canadians abroad on death row after already making commitments to do so.
- Canada (Human Rights Commission) v. Canada (Attorney General) – The Federal Court ruled against the Harper Conservatives and the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, stating that the Tribunal must hear Cindy Blackstock’s case regarding systemic discrimination of child welfare services provided by the federal government for Aboriginal children.
- Goulet v. Canada (Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness) – The Federal Court ruled against the Conservatives’ arbitrary refusal to repatriate Canadian Richard Goulet, serving low-security time in the US. This is only one of over a dozen cases where the Conservative government has been rebuked for failing to follow the law on transferring offenders.
- Attawapiskat First Nation v. Canada – The Federal Court ruled against the Harper Conservatives’ “unreasonable” and unilateral appointment of a third-party manager in Attawapiskat, following the First Nation’s declaration of a state of emergency due to an abysmal housing crisis.