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The Globe and Mail

Men more tolerant than women, poll indicates

Canadian Press, Various Canadian newspapers including The Globe and Mail, June 11, 2006

Montreal Sixty-five per cent of Canadians seem to agree with the Conservative government's belief that sex under age 16 is wrong, a new poll indicates.

Sex before 16 ranked fifth on a recent Leger Marketing survey of behaviour that Canadians consider immoral.

That belief was strongest in British Columbia, where 71 per cent of respondents said it was immoral, and weakest in Quebec, where 51 per cent agreed.

Support was also stronger among women, at 68 per cent, than men, at 61 per cent, according to the poll provided to The Canadian Press.

The Harper government has said it will raise the age of consent from 14 to 16.

Critics say the proposed change could make criminals out of consenting teenage lovers, but the government is said to be considering a close in age exemption.

Not surprisingly, pedophilia was ranked the most unforgivable behaviour, considered immoral by 81 per cent of respondents.

Extra-marital sex was second, condemned by 74 per cent of respondents in the telephone survey.

However, women were more enraged than men about adultery, with 81 per cent declaring it taboo, compared with 68 per cent of men.

Prostitution was third on the list, considered immoral by 68 per cent of the 1,508 adults polled between April 17 and April 23.

Again, more women than men condemned prostitution, at 76 per cent compared to 59 per cent of men.

We found that men are much more tolerant than women on most of these issues, except for abortion, said Christian Bourque, of Lger Marketing.

Thirty-four per cent of respondents disapproved of abortion men at 35 per cent and women at 33.

(Women) see clearer rules about things and a more refined way of behaving in society, he said.

The gap between the sexes was greatest on the issue of pornographic films, which 68 per cent of women considered wrong but only 46 per cent of men.

Alcohol abuse, pornographic films, and blasphemy were condemned by more than 50 per cent of respondents.

Those were followed by abortion, which 34 per cent felt was immoral, and divorce, at 17 per cent.

Mr. Bourque said he was surprised that 31 per cent of respondents considered homosexuality immoral.

That's a third of Canadians, he said. This is one issue where still we haven't resolved our views collectively regarding homosexuality. We probably tolerate it much better now that we used to, but still I don't think we've resolved this issue in the country.

Contraception was last on the list, considered immoral by just 8 per cent of those polled.

The poll results have margin of error of plus of minus 2.6 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

The Atlantic provinces were most conservative, with the highest percentages of respondents who considered prostitution, alcohol abuse, pornographic films, blasphemy, abortion, homosexuality, divorce and contraception immoral.

Respondents in Quebec and Alberta were the most tolerant of the behaviours put to them by pollsters.

Albertans had the lowest percentages when it came to prostitution, alcohol abuse, porn and contraception. Quebeckers were the most tolerant of adultery, sex before 16, blasphemy, abortion and homosexuality.

A Quote Worth Remembering

"We must vigilantly stand on guard within our own borders for human rights and fundamental freedoms which are our proud heritage......we cannot take for granted the continuance and maintenance of those rights and freedoms."

John Diefenbaker

A Quote Worth Remembering

About The truth

"All truth passes through three stages. First it is ridiculed, Second it is violently opposed. Third it is accepted as self-evident."

Arthur Schopenhauer

A Quote Worth Remembering

"In a world darkened by ethnic conflicts that tear nations apart, Canada stands as a model of how people of different cultures can live and work together in peace, prosperity, and mutual respect."

Bill Clinton
(William J. Clinton)
42nd President of The United States of America

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Louise Arbour

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Louise Arbour: a colleague we have failed

Law Times, Canada
22 September 2008

This profession - and all of us in it - have failed to protect, honour, and defend one of our most accomplished and distinguished members. We have let Louise Arbour down by our silence when she needed and deserved voices of support.

On July 1, Arbour stepped down as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, an enormously prestigious and important international position.

The gratitude and praise which greeted her at the end of her term was shamefully muted. Arbour was a courageous champion of human rights, and a bold critic of the erosion of those basic tenets in our world.

She was never timid. She was never chained to a desk, was involved, hands on, outspoken, and challenging. She breathed life into the enormous portfolio that she was asked to take on.