Tag Archives: Regulation

Breast Cancer & Toxics: Do labelling campaigns burden women?

Delighted to have this “Guest Post” from Osgoode colleague and IFLS member  Dayna N. Scott who is the Exec Dir of the National Network on Environments and Women’s Health.  You can find some of her research here, on SSRN.

Léa Pool’s documentary about the breast cancer industry, Pink Ribbons Inc (clip below), premiered at the Toronto International Film Fest last month. Cancer has touched all of us, and it has probably inspired in all of us an urge to “do something”, too, but this film challenges us to think a lot more about what kinds of things we should do if we really want to stop this disease.  Pool’s film was inspired by Samantha King’s book Pink Ribbons, Inc.: Breast Cancer and the Politics of Philanthropy.

Breast Cancer Action Montreal (BCAM) is an organization that really is working towards preventing breast cancer.  They recently launched a campaign, in this spirit, asking for a recognizable symbol or label to be placed on all consumer products in Canada that contain carcinogens.   But doesn’t a labelling campaign (see Femme Toxic‘)  just shift the onus (and the risk!) onto individual consumers – mainly women – who will vary dramatically in their capacities to make use of that label?  We at the National Network on Environments and Women’s Health argue that this “precautionary consumption” is undeniably women’s work.

Read my exchange with Patricia Kearns of BCAM here.

logo for action group Femme ToxicDayna Scott.

Head to Toe: Joanna Birenbaum for International Women's Day @ Bata Shoe Museum

Rabbit shoeIn acknowledgement of International Women’s Day, a global day commemorating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future join Joanna Birenbaum, Director of Litigation, Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund, as she offers an illustrated talk. The practice of wearing the niqab in Canada has recently received significant public attention and Birenbaum will talk about Canadian law’s response to women who wear the niqab, and whether women’s equality can be advanced by legislating how women dress.

After Bedford : Off the Streets? November 24 at Osgoode

Come and join us for this.  I know, law students – it’s late in the semester. But still, it is going to be really interesting. .

What might the Canada v. Bedford decision mean for the future of sex work and sex workers in Canada?  This panel will explore the litigation, the decision, and the “what next” questions around regulation and vulnerability.


Christa Big Canoe, B.A., J.D. First Nations and feminist Lawyer

Valerie Scott Sex worker, Litigant in Bedford v. Canada and Director of Sex Professionals of Canada

Dr. Emily van der Meulen Community-based researcher and Post-doctoral Fellow at the Centre for Research on Inner City Health

Prof. Alan Young Associate Professor, Osgoode Hall Law School and Lawyer for Terri Jean Bedford in Bedford v. Canada

24 November · 12:30 – 14:30

Osgoode Hall Moot Court (Rm 101), York University, Keele Campus

Light refreshments will be provided.  This event is wheelchair accessible.

Moderated by Professor Sonia Lawrence Director, Institute for Feminist Legal Studies at Osgoode Hall Law School

From Bedford v. Canada:

“Prostitution is not illegal in Canada. However, Parliament has seen fit to criminalize most aspects of prostitution. The conclusion I have reached is that three provisions of the Criminal Code that seek to address facets of prostitution (living on the avails of prostitution, keeping a common bawdy-house and communicating in a public place for the purpose of engaging in prostitution) are not in accord with the principles of fundamental justice and must be struck down. These laws, individually and together, force prostitutes to choose between their liberty interest and their right to security of the person as protected under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. I have found that these laws infringe the core values protected by section 7 and that this infringement is not saved by section 1 as a reasonable limit demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.”

Organized by:

Metropolitan Action Committee on Violence Against Women (METRAC) Community Justice Program, www.metrac.org
Ontario Women’s Justice Network, www.owjn.org
Institute for Feminist Legal Studies at Osgoode Hall Law School, http://ifls.osgoode.yorku.ca/