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Mary arrived at the clinic with an envelope of cash.

She’d scraped together the $700 cost of her abortion from her own savings and a loan from her aunt, who accompanied her.

She was calm by then. Surprising, perhaps, given that 12 hours earlier she’d found a rosary and bloody photos of fetal remains in a bag left hanging on the doorknob of her home.

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Inside the bag were letters, apparently from adopted children, “saying I shouldn’t do what I’m doing, I’m killing a life, this child deserves a family,” Mary recalls.

“Even though my mind was made up, it hurt. I cried a lot. …

“Why would someone come to my door? It’s a breach of my privacy.”

And of her trust: Mary had confided in few enough people to know exactly who’d told anti-abortion activists about her appointment. That knowledge chilled her.

“I’ve never felt so betrayed in my life.”

That ordeal’s not abnormal. For thousands of Canadian women that’s what it’s like getting an abortion in the 21st century.

In the wake of a fatal mass shooting at a Colorado clinic, as a new government takes the reins and as a new abortion pill rolls out next year, Global News took a closer look at who gets access to abortions —; and who doesn’t.

About 100,000 Canadians need abortions every year —; arguably more, but we aren’t sure because our national statistics are unreliable. That means that over the course of a 45-year reproductive lifetime, more than 4.5 million women in this country will terminate unwanted pregnancies.

But if you’re in Canada and you need an abortion your chances of getting one —; and the distance you’ll travel, the amount you’ll pay, the number of medical professionals whose approval you’ll need and the degree of pushback you’ll get from people judging your decision —; vary widely depending on where you live.

READ MORE: Where can you get an abortion? It’s a secret

Provider patchwork: How abortion access varies across Canada

How the ‘abortion pill’ Mifegymiso could change reproductive health

Mary didn’t tell her parents she’d gotten pregnant and paid out of pocket to terminate the pregnancy and was greeted at her door by a gruesome warning the night before.

She still hasn’t told them. Mary isn’t her real name: Four years later, she still isn’t comfortable talking publicly about her experience.

Not because she’s ashamed. Mary knew at the time —; twentysomething, unexpectedly pregnant and on her own —; it was the right call.

“I’m still not ready to be a mom. And I’d have no problem doing it again.”

That said, “it’s not an easy decision.” The New Brunswick native had to choose between an eight-week wait-list for a hospital abortion or paying for one herself  at a clinic. She couldn’t afford to wait. She knows she’s lucky she had the cash and support she needed.

“It should be funded. Because s–t happens,” she said.

“A 13-year-old girl? She doesn’t have $700.”

Fewer than one in six Canadian hospitals provide abortions. The vast majority of them are in urban areas, within about 150 kilometres of the U.S. border.

Map by Leslie Young, created using location data from Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights. For more on why we can’t publish exact location details, click here.

And the poorer or younger you are, the more remote your home, the shakier your safety net or the more urgent your need, the harder abortions are to get.

Canada’s newly minted health minister Jane Philpott is under pressure to expand abortion access in Canada.

She admits access is “patchy” but declines to give details as to how she’ll fix it, or how she’ll approach the rollout of new abortion pill Mifegymiso, which becomes available in Canada early next year.

Reproductive rights have proven more intractable than other social and equality issues, says Joyce Arthur, head of the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada.

“There are these deep-seated fears and anxieties and uneasiness around these issues of women’s sexuality, but also around motherhood,” she said.

“It’s hard to overcome that. …  We revere motherhood but at the same time, we don’t support mothers.”

‘People don’t really think that abortion is an issue’

It’s been almost three decades since crusading abortion-provider Henry Morgentaler’s Supreme Court victory. Many Canadians assume the issue is settled: Women in this country have autonomy over their bodies and a right to abortions, period.

It’s nowhere near that simple, as Rachael Johnstone and Emmett Macfarlane explain in a paper published this fall in the International Journal of Canadian Studies.

“Many people don’t really think that abortion is an issue in Canada any more,” Johnstone said.

But “the 1988 decision created a patchwork of access that in many ways looked like Canada before 1988,” she said.

“The main reason [the old law] was struck down was unequal levels of access. And we have unequal levels of access now.”

The 1988 Supreme Court decision was extremely narrow. It viewed abortion as something governments weren’t allowed to actively prevent you from accessing, not something governments had an obligation to make accessible.

The seemingly minor distinction is an important one: When a court affirms a person’s negative right it means protection from government infringement on that right; a positive right, on the other hand, is about your right to something the government provides.

It means the bar for a judge wanting to remedy persistent inequitable access is significantly higher.

“Now most of [the unequal access] is caused by government inaction. And that’s a big hurdle for judges to get over,” Macfarlane said.

When abortion restrictions in New Brunswick and PEI made national news last year, many people in other provinces were shocked, Johnstone notes.

“People were saying, ‘Is this really a policy in Canada? We didn’t know.’”

In January New Brunswick struck down its requirement for two doctors to sign off on a woman’s abortion. Macfarlane considers the decision a victory for the pro-choice movement —; even if restrictions on where a woman can get an abortion and what the government will pay for remain in place.

“That was the most egregious actual governance rule surrounding access in the country,” he said.

It “was blatantly unconstitutional and now it’s gone. Finally.”

A tourist takes a photo of thousands of pink and blue flags in front of Parliament Hill as an anti-abortion group raises awareness Thursday October 2, 2014 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld


‘If [abortion is] a personal choice, why are taxpayers paying for it?’

Canada’s next reproductive rights revolution probably won’t come from the courts.

“Litigation is really expensive and it’s very slow,” Macfarlane said.

That would leave things up to provincial and federal governments and anyone putting public pressure on them.

Pro-choice public pressure can be tough to come by if most Canadians —; those in the urban centres of Ontario, B.C. and Quebec, especially —; think the issue is moot.

“People just assume that everything is fine. But of course it’s not,” Arthur said.

Those who’d rather see Canada crack down on abortion are at least as vocal as pro-choice groups, if not more so. Marches for Life in Ottawa and a recent anti-Liberal, anti-abortion campaign in Saskatoon indicated as much.

Last month anti-abortion activists rallied in front of PEI’s legislature, calling on the provincial government to “keep Prince Edward Island abortion-free.” 

They presented a petition to that effect with more than 3,000 signatures to pro-life MLA James Aylward, says Sarah MacDonald, youth representative for Campaign Life Coalition PEI.

“We’re just trying to raise our voices and let the government know a lot of islanders don’t want an abortion clinic on the island,” she said.

MacDonald wants measures many equality advocates would agree with: subsidized child care; support for single mothers; better ante-natal and neo-natal care.

But abortions, she said, aren’t among those “life-affirming” choices. She doesn’t want tax dollars funding them under any circumstance.

“If [abortion is] a personal choice, then why are taxpayers paying for it?” she said.

“I think when you consent to having sex you’re consenting to the idea, or the possibility, that you’re going to be having a baby.”

The tricky definition of medical necessity

Health care is a provincial issue —; for the most part it’s up to the provincial governments to decide what services are covered and how you get them.

But the feds have some leverage: Ottawa’s allowed to withhold health transfers from provinces if it thinks they aren’t holding up their end of the Health Act.

Pro-choice advocates argue uneven abortion access violates the Health Act’s principle of universality.

But that argument hinges on abortion being a “medically necessary” health service under the act.

Is abortion medically necessary? Depends whom you ask.

“The Canada Health Act talks about medically necessary services without defining what ‘medically necessary’ is,” said Wilfrid Laurier University health economist Logan McLeod.

“They leave it to the provinces.”

McLeod thinks it’d be a stretch for the feds to withhold funding from provinces it deems in violation of a particular definition of medical necessity.

But there is an economic argument to be made in making access to health services like abortion more equitable, he said: We know uneven access means people with fewer resources lose out. And we know that people born into families that can’t adequately care for them have poorer health and labour market trajectories —; “there’s this inter-generational persistence of disadvantage.”

“If we do prevent access, we’re going to systematically select out the people who probably need it the most.

“Is that the result we want? I think a lot of us would say no.”

‘We know that abortion services remain patchy’

Liberal Health Minister Jane Philpott wouldn’t say whether she’d threaten to withhold health transfers to provinces such as New Brunswick or PEI if they don’t expand abortion access.

But an emailed statement from her office attributed to Philpott said she wants to improve it.

“Our government firmly supports a woman’s right to choose, and believes that safe and legal abortions should be available to any woman who needs it,” Philpott’s statement reads.

“We know that abortion services remain patchy in parts of the country, and that rural women in particular face barriers to access. Our government will examine ways to better equalize access for all Canadian women.”

Which ways, specifically, will the feds examine? No word yet.

“I would like to see governments recognize women’s equality rights and their role in securing them,” Johnstone said.

She’s more confident in the potency of public pressure in the wake of social activism in New Brunswick earlier and PEI this year.

“Those kinds of activities have given me a much more positive outlook than I might have had last year,” she said.

“Unfortunately … it often takes something quite terrible happening for people to recognize a problem and to organize around it.”

But for many women in Canada, Macfarlane says, that’s already happening.

“Every year there’s one or two women or girls rushed to hospital [in PEI] because they’ve attempted a home abortion,” he said.

“This is Canada in the 21st century and this is actually happening … because a province isn’t providing access to a basic health service.

“So that’s a problem.”

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Send us your stories: Have you had a rough (or exemplary) experience getting an abortion in Canada? Are you an abortion provider who’s felt targeted (or welcomed) in your community? We want to talk to you.

Note: We may contact you with follow-up questions but won’t publish anything you send us in response to this article without your permission. 

Beck Taxi takes online flak for cab lineup in bike lane

Posted by admin on 15/04/2019
Posted in 长沙夜网 

TORONTO – Beck Taxi is promising it will investigate how and why a line of up to 20 taxis ended up idling in a downtown Toronto bike lane Friday night, drawing plenty of online ire.

Outraged 桑拿会所 users caught the cabs clogging a separated bike lane on Richmond St. W near Bay Street.

Many reacted with pledges to boycott Beck and suggest that the company should be more sensitive of its public image during the ongoing battle against Uber.

Beck responded saying the lineup was unintentional and that it plans to look into the incident.

However, Beck spokesperson Kristine Hubbard also threw some blame at the city itself, blaming it isn’t providing enough legal parking spots to accommodate the growing number of taxi licenses.

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The personal is once again political, on both sides of the Pacific.

As Japan’s Supreme Court upholds a law requiring married couples to have the same surname, the glamorous spouse of Canada’s new prime minister is making Canadians revisit the idea of spousal surnames.

While Japan’s policy doesn’t specify which partner must give up his or her last name, 96 per cent of the time it’s the wife.

Akemi Ujitani, among a group of people gathered outside Tokyo’s Supreme Court building, broke into tears when the ruling was announced.

“This is about women’s human rights,” she said. “This is not right.”

In this Aug. 12, 2015 file photo, a couple dressed in Japanese traditional wedding Kimonos pose for a wedding photograph at Hibiya park in Tokyo. Japan’s Supreme Court has ruled that requiring married couples to have the same surname is constitutional, dealing a blow to a longtime effort for gender equality in choosing names.

AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi, File

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Quebec, for more than three decades, has taken the opposite approach.

The provincial government adopted a policy in 1981 preventing women from legally taking on their husband’s surname.

“The reason this law was adopted was to put an end to huge social pressure on women upon marrying to take the husband’s name,” said Marie-Hélène Dubé, a Montreal lawyer who specializes in family law.

“The goal was to promote equality of the spouses.”

READ MORE: Quebec one of the best places to be a woman in Canada, says study

‘Is it ridiculous to ask for freedom of choice?’

Madi Lussier, who’s in her mid 40s, was devastated to learn she wouldn’t be able to share her husband’s last name when the couple got married in 2007.

“I was quite shocked, actually. I cried.”

Lussier, born in communist Romania, grew up with the idea that “the west was the land of freedom, where people have the freedom of choice.”

Quebec’s policy hit her like a brick, she said.

“I felt someone was trying to control my life again.”

Being somewhat of a traditionalist, the very thought of having to check into a hotel with her spouse under two separate names makes her “uncomfortable,” she said in a whisper.

In 2007 she wrote an open letter to the government, which included a petition to give spouses the freedom of choice.

She contacted the province’s minister of justice; the human rights commission and then-premier Pauline Marois.

No luck.

Dubé admits Quebec’s law may have been applied “too rigorously” in the first 20 years. It can be difficult to strike the right balance between improving freedom and protecting it, she said.

“The reality is if the rule is too flexible, women can be subject to pressures … where they can be forced to do something that they don’t really want to do.”

Exceptions to the law are made only in extreme cases, such as having a name that invites ridicule, prejudice or psychological suffering.

A case can also be made if you’ve used your partner’s surname in an official capacity for five years or more.

The rule applies to Canadian women who move to Quebec after getting married in other provinces, as well.

“If you want to keep your maiden name, I totally and completely support it. But I should have the right to take my husband’s name as well,” Lussier said.

“It’s 2015. … Come on.”

READ MORE:  ‘Because it’s 2015’: Trudeau’s gender-equal cabinet makes headlines around world

For many years after the 1981 law, Dubé said, it became fashionable for parents to give their children two last names. That has become less common.

For Dubé, retaining birth names feels like a defining part of Quebec culture.

“I think the rule has to be there because it’s important, it’s part of the identity for many Quebec women,” she said.

“It is for me an indication that I belong to myself.”

Lussier doesn’t buy it.

“Do I disappear as a human being if I take my husband’s name?”

Sophie’s choice

Canada’s de facto first lady recently raised eyebrows with a hyphenated version of her name: Sophie Grégoire-Trudeau.

“She should be called by her own family name. Didn’t her husband say ‘It’s 2015?’” Louise Langevin, a specialist in women’s law at Laval University in Quebec City, told The Globe and Mail last week.

“To take the name of your husband is a patriarchal tradition. … Symbolically, it’s a step backward.”

Calgary Herald columnist Naomi Lakritz disagreed.

“It turns out we women have made no progress at all. We’re still stuck in the 1970s, passing petty judgments about other women,” she wrote.

Lakritz called Quebec’s law “as oppressive as the opposite tenet of forcing a woman to change her name when she marries.”

Joke’s on them: The Prime Minister’s wife’s legal name is actually Sophie Grégoire.

“Although she is very proud that the name Grégoire-Trudeau is used, it is important to her that the name Grégoire always be present,” PMO spokesperson Olivier Duchesneau told Global News.

She also gave the name Grégoire to her son Hadrien as a middle name to make sure it stays in the family, Duchesneau added.

READ MORE: Lunch with Sophie Grégoire-Trudeau

The Trudeaus pose together for Vogue magazine.

Norman Jean Roy / Vogue

Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau celebrate after he won the Federal Liberal leadership Sunday April 14, 2013 in Ottawa.


Justin Trudeau’s and his wife Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau react as they greet their children at Rideau Hall in Ottawa, November 4, 2015.

Fred Chartrand/

Justin Trudeau holds his son Hadrien as he waves with his wife Sophie Gregoire Trudeau and daughter Ella-Grace as they arrive in Luton, England Wednesday Nov.25, 2015.

Adrian Wyld/

Justin Trudeau, his wife Sophie and their children Xavier and Ella-Grace celebrate after he won the Federal Liberal leadership April 14, 2013 in Ottawa.


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With files from Mari Yamaguchi and Yuri Kageyama, The Associated Press

Follow @TrishKozicka


MONTREAL – Even though Quebec is still projecting a balanced budget this fiscal year and the government intends to invest more in 2016, Quebecers shouldn’t expect cash to be flowing freely, Premier Philippe Couillard said Friday.

Couillard said his government will keep a tight rein on spending in the coming year and added that likely targets for cuts will be within the province-run liquor board and the Revenue Department.

“Budgetary rigour has to continue,” he told reporters as the legislature ended its fall session.

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“The important period of belt-tightening has been achieved and it worked but I wouldn’t want to send the signal that we will be spending without counting. We will continue to manage public finances rigorously.”

The past 12 months were marred by ongoing street protests by students and public sector workers demanding an end to the cuts and budget compressions of the last two years, particularly in the
education and civil service sectors.

READ MORE: Hundreds walk in Montreal austerity protest

Couillard touted his government’s plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 30 per cent from 1990 levels and stated his government has brought back political stability to the province.

His opponents, during their respective end-of-session news conferences, tried to portray the Liberals as a party that has acted ruthlessly by cutting budgets and causing untold damage to the
province’s social services.

“Quebecers have come to realize the government of Philippe Couillard has no limit to the damage it is ready to cause to realize its austerity program,” said Parti Quebecois Leader Pierre Karl Peladeau.

Budget cuts have had a “devastating” effect on the education sector, said Peladeau, who more than once this year joined protests outside public schools demanding more investment in education.

Peladeau used this week’s Quebec Superior Court decision suspending the province’s doctor-assisted suicide law to lobby for independence.

READ MORE: Quebec appeals ruling on euthanasia law

He said the decision, which states Quebec cannot implement the law because it contravenes the Criminal Code, shows once again “that we are not masters in our own house.”

The PQ leader promised to work hard in 2016 to spread the message of sovereignty to Quebecers.

Francois Legault, leader of the Coalition for Quebec’s Future, admitted 2015 was a difficult year as his party was overshadowed by the PQ leadership race and the federal election.

He said he’s looking forward to 2016 in order to introduce Quebecers to his plan to unite nationalists with a project for an economically strong Quebec inside Canada.

Legault wants to use next year to show Quebecers they don’t have to vote Liberal if they want an alternative, federalist option to the PQ.

“Couillard can’t continue to go around Quebec saying his party is the only one working on a project to keep Quebec in Canada,” Legault said.


BAGHDAD – The presence of Turkish troops near the Islamic State-held city of Mosul in northern Iraq is a “violation” of international law, Iraq’s president said Saturday.

President Fuad Masum called the move a “violation of international norms, laws and Iraq’s national sovereignty,” and said it was contributing to increased tensions in the region.

Hakim al-Zamili, the head of parliament’s security and defence committee, went a step further, calling on Iraq’s prime minister to launch airstrikes against the Turkish troops if they remained in Iraqi territory.

WATCH:Iraqi troops attempt to retake neighbourhood from Islamic State

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Turkey has said a military battalion equipped with armoured vehicles has been in the Bashiqa region close to Mosul in the northern Ninevah province for the last five months as part of a training mission to help forces fighting the Islamic State group. Mosul fell to the extremists in June 2014 amid a stunning collapse of Iraqi security forces.

Plans to try to retake Mosul last spring were sidelined as the extremist group advanced on other fronts.

The founder of the training camp outside Mosul, former Ninevah governor Atheel al-Nujaifi, told The Associated Press that the Turkish trainers were at his base at the request of Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and Defence Minister Khaled al-Obeidi. He said the Turkish forces are training but not arming Sunni fighters.

“They didn’t give us any weapons even though we asked them to,” he said. “We equipped this force from the black market with our own money and we believe they’re the best force to liberate Mosul… These people will be very effective to hold ground because they are from there and there’ll be no resistance to them from local people.”

Sunni fighters in Ninevah and the western Anbar province say the Shiite-dominated government has failed to provide them with the support and weaponry needed to defeat the IS group. The government fears that arming Sunni tribes and militias could backfire. Sunni grievances were a key factor fueling the rise of the IS group, and many Sunnis initially welcomed the extremists as liberators.

The U.S.-led coalition launched 12 airstrikes on IS targets in Iraq on Friday, including two near Mosul targeting tactical units and fighting positions.


Associated Press writers Susannah George in Baghdad and Balint Szlanko in Irbil, Iraq contributed to this report.

©2015The Associated Press