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    My Friend, Justice Antonin Scalia I first met United States Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia when I was a law student at University of British Columbia in the Fall of 1998. He was invited to speak to our faculty and students about his (then) new book, A Matter of Interpretation, and I was quite happily tasked with driving him around while he was in Vancouver. He immediately struck me as a person who spoke his mind, unvarnished and without concern for the criticisms he might receive for his views. It was a refreshing and inspiring encounter, and the start of a warm friendship that was to last until his sad passing. As we connected over the years, we would discuss the politics and issues of the day. He would also share his latest experiences as an avid hunter and fisherman. We talked about our families: my four younger children and his nine adult children. And, certainly, it was always fascinating to hear his insights into the latest cases winding their way through the system. (Though, it goes without saying, he was always very careful not to reveal any details about pending decisions.) One particular lunch that I will never forget occurred in his office at the Supreme Court on November 7, 2000, the day of the U.S. Presidential Election. Polling placed both candidates, George Bush and Al Gore, in a tight race, but neither of us realized at the time that his Court would actually play a role in confirming the outcome five weeks later. His written decisions as a Justice were always articulate and thorough, and they were most certainly his decisions. But beyond his role as one of nine votes on the top US bench, he was the leading voice for more than a generation in favour of constitutional originalism. He believed that democracy needed to be protected from the imposition of the views of individuals (including himself) appointed to the bench. He felt very strongly about preserving the right of citizens to decide on issues that were left unaddressed in the constitution. Or, if constitutional change was needed, to follow the amendment process either through their elected officials or referenda. As a young man, my first encounter with him was formative. When I realised that a person who was brilliant, articulate and had attained a world-changing high office, could also be completely normal, I was encouraged to consider that I could pursue great things as well. In fact, it was one of the life experiences that persuaded me to risk pursuing elected office myself, which I did successfully not many years later. I will always be indebted to him for that. Antonin was warm, generous, funny, highly articulate, and self-deprecating. And ours was the kind of friendship where each time we met we would just pick up where we left off. Our next get together was going to be fishing in British Columbia this summer. Sadly, that will not happen now. I will miss my friend. Requiescat in pace.
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    Our Conservative government has delivered a $5 Billion SURPLUS for the first part of the year. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/federal-government-ran-5-billion-surplus-over-first-quarter-finance-canada/article26141782/
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