The Supreme Court of Canada, in a 4-2 split decision, upheld a federal law barring prostitutes from soliciting business in public. The court ruled that the law is a justifiable violation of the constitutional guarantee of freedom of speech in light of its goal of eliminating street prostitution.
AND 'YES' TO SPOT CHECKS
In a 5-4 split decision, the Supreme Court of Canada also ruled that random police checks of motorists are permitted under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, because they are often “the only effective deterrent” against those who drive without a licence or when drunk.
UP IN SMOKE
RCMP in Nova Scotia used a pulp mill incinerator to destroy 35 tons of hashish worth an estimated $400 million. It was North America’s largest seizure of that drug. The RCMP found the hashish on May 27 on an abandoned raft on Nova Scotia’s southern shore, but made no arrests.
A CONTENTIOUS ELECTION
The Ontario Supreme Court nullified the results of the November, 1988, federal election in the Toronto-area riding of York North. After three vote counts in the closely contested fight, Conservative Michael O’Brien took the Commons seat. But he had to cede it to Liberal Maurizio Bevilacqua after yet another recount in January, 1989. In declaring the election void, the court cited mistakes by returning officers at polling stations.
BOY'S CONVICTION OVERTURNED
The Manitoba Court of Appeal reversed the conviction of a 13-year-old boy— whose identity is protected under the Young Offenders Act—for the murders of two Winnipeg women last summer. The boy, then 12, was found in the women’s home shortly after the killings, but he denied any involvement in the deaths. He remains in custody, charged with breaking and entering in the same incident.
PRAISE FOR CANADA
United Nations Secretary General Perez de Cuellar, on a four-day visit to Canada, praised Canada’s support for the United Nations, particularly its “enormous contribution to our peacekeeping efforts.”
The families of nine of the 14 women murdered by Marc Lepine at the University of Montreal’s engineering school on Dec. 6 asked the Quebec government to order a public inquiry into the massacre.
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