Essay about Canadian Morality and the Law

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Canadian Morality and the Law

In legal theory, there is a great debate over whether or not law should be used to enforce morality. The sides of the debate can be presented as a continuum. At one end, there is the libertarian view, which holds that morality is an individual belief and that the state should not interfere in the affairs of the individual. According to this view, a democracy cannot limit or enforce morality. At the other end, there is the communitarian position, which justifies the community as a whole deciding what moral values are, and hence justifies using the law to enforce community values. For libertarians, judges should play a prominent role in limiting the state, while for communitarians, judges should
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The collective agreement between the government and Mossap's union afford bereavement leave only in the case of the death of Mossap's "immediate family." Although this definition included a common-law spouse, it precluded members of the opposite sex. Mossap, who argued that he was being unfairly discriminated against, filed a complaint with the Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC). The CHRC agreed, and ordered that he be given bereavement leave and that the collective agreement be restated to include persons of the same sex. The government appealed this decision and the case was brought before the Supreme Court. The Supreme Could held that the "family status" provision in the Canadian Human Rights Act (CHRA) was meant to uphold an implicit legal interpretation which excluded homosexuals from anti-discriminatory protection. In his decision, Judge Lamer argued that the CHRA had been amended in 1983 to include the "family status" provision, and if the CHRA had meant it to include homosexuals, they would have made it explicit then. Instead, according to Lamer, Parliament (through the CHRA) had a clear intent to not extend anyone protection from discrimination based on sexual orientation [354]. Since the legislature had not willed it, Lamer did not feel it was appropriate to amend it. But the decision was not unanimous. Judge L'Heureux-Dube, representing the voice of dissent, argued that the majority
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