Editorials by Michael Ashby

Opinion: Non-medical drug use should be a health issue, not a criminal matter

Opinion: Non-medical drug use should be a health issue, not a criminal matter

Opinion: Non-medical drug use should be a health issue, not a criminal matter
By Michael Ashby, Director, National Pardon Centre

When will Canadians find the courage to legalize cocaine? What about all the other drugs, for that matter? Since marijuana has become an election issue, we should stop wasting time and just talk about all drugs at once. cont. reading

Distracted Driving Should be a Criminal Offence

Distracted Driving Should be a Criminal Offence

Distracted Driving Should be a Criminal Offence
By Michael Ashby, Director, National Pardon Centre

Is it time to make distracted driving a criminal offence? By distracted, I mean staring at our cellphones, of course. If you’re reading this behind the wheel of your car, you probably don’t think so. cont. reading

TorStar

The federal government’s pardons backlog is a crime against the vulnerable

 

Opinion: The federal government’s pardons backlog is a crime against the vulnerable
By Michael Ashby, Director, National Pardon Centre

Is it OK to steal from a criminal? The criminals probably don’t think so. What about fraud? Is it OK to commit fraud against someone who has a criminal record?

Here’s another question: If a corporation can be found guilty of a crime, why not a government agency? cont. reading

logo ipolotics

Pardons Backlog: Justice Delayed, Justice Denied

Pardons Backlog: Justice Delayed, Justice Denied

By Michael Ashby, Director, National Pardon Centre

Have you ever thought finding a job was impossible? Most of us have at one time or another. But imagine looking for work with a criminal record holding you back. Then imagine knowing that Canadian law says you’re eligible to have that criminal record removed — and that it should have been done years ago. cont reading.

TorStar


The Consequences of a DUI Arrest

The Consequences of a DUI Arrest

By Michael Ashby, Director, National Pardon Centre

Want to drink and drive? Forget about it.

Forget that you might kill yourself or someone you love. Forget that you might kill a stranger. Forget that it might be a child or a single parent or a veteran.

Those are all great reasons not to drink and drive this holiday season, or any other
time. But for many people, those reasons aren’t good enough. cont. reading

TorStar


Unpardonable Policy

Unpardonable Policy

By Michael Ashby, Director, National Pardon Centre

You haven’t struggled to find work until you’ve struggled to find work with a criminal record tied to your back. Perhaps this is the reason Canada’s pardon program is such an astonishing success. And yet the Conservative government is happy to ignore this fact. But with less than 4 per cent of offenders granted a pardon ever committing another crime, common sense tells us there is not much room for improvement. cont. reading

logo ipolotics

How the Parole Board Treats the Presumption of Innocence

How the Parole Board Treats the Presumption of Innocence

By Michael Ashby, Director, National Pardon Centre

Is it okay to punish a criminal for the same crime twice? The Conservative government thinks so. Recently, the Supreme Court of Canada disagreed, ruling that the government’s attempt to retroactively impose tougher parole eligibility rules would violate offenders’ charter rights. cont. reading on ipolitics or continue reading on nationalpardon.org

TorStar


Ottawa’s anti-crime agenda hurts Canadians looking for a new start

Ottawa’s anti-crime agenda hurts Canadians looking for a new start

By Michael Ashby, Director, National Pardon Centre

It’s hard to understand how keeping Canadians from finding a decent job adds up to being tough on crime. But that is what the Conservative government has done with a section of its omnibus crime legislation Bill C-10. Perhaps there is hope in knowing that several measures from the bill have already been shot down by the courts. cont. reading

TorStar


Ottawa’s reefer madness

Ottawa’s reefer madness

By Michael Ashby, Director, National Pardon Centre

If ever there was an example of beating a dead horse, it is the continuing prohibition of marijuana in the 21st century. The propaganda campaign failed so completely that most Canadians no longer believe marijuana is worth worrying about. Since the federal Conservatives are escalating the war on drugs, we have to wonder who they think they’re kidding. cont. reading

TorStar

Canadians don’t need to be protected from marijuana 

Canadians don’t need to be protected from marijuana

By Michael Ashby, Director, National Pardon Centre

Canadians need to stop framing the marijuana issue in the timeless tradition of good vs. bad. We have to get past the medical argument, the gateway argument, the economic argument, the addiction argument, the failure of the war on drugs argument and many others. It’s not a question of right or wrong. cont. reading