• The Trafficked: It’s time to end the attitude of entitlement

    The issue of sex trafficking of indigenous and vulnerable women and girls is part of a broader issue of women’s inequality and violence against women. In Canada, we continue to turn a blind eye to attitudes of entitlement that allow the buying and selling of women and girls. We have an obligation to recognize the fundamental evil facts and act on them… We need to ask ourselves who is buying women and girls and end this practice, because without demand, there is no crime.

  • Why does drunk driving get more attention than FASD?

    In Canada there are more than 300,000 children with this disease. The lifetime cost for each child is five million dollars. So in Canada the cost to taxpayers of caring for those with FASD is in the millions. How can this medical and social tragedy be solved? … All social agencies agree prevention is the logical and cheapest one… Remember it’s not the government who is paying these bills, it’s you.

  • The explosive science of genetics

    Now we know from twin studies that both autism and schizophrenia have a strong genetic component, as do learning disabilities… The effects of family socialization on your children’s personalities… “are not large, not prominent and not pronounced.” What you do (or don’t do) to your kids has no influence on their innate intelligence, their temperament and personality traits, or their interests… Intelligence, one of the most heritable behavioural traits, is also an important factor in class differences.

  • When despair reigns, violence follows

    … there are indigenous communities that are thriving, where the rates of violence, suicide and substance abuse are average or below average. What distinguishes them is what social scientists call “cultural continuity,” meaning that, collectively, people have self-determination, and, individually, a sense of belonging… In short, having control over local institutions, and a collective sense of history and culture, helps shield vulnerable members, such as young people.

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    Why men commit suicide

    Firstly, suicide in men may be linked to occupational stress. Men continue to make up the overwhelming proportion of people working in the most dangerous and dirty occupations… Secondly, male suicide has been associated with specific life events, which particularly affect middle-aged men. Divorce is an event that may have a particularly deleterious effect… Thirdly, dominant notions of masculinity may affect suicide rates.

  • Where is the leader with the vision to match the refugee crisis?

    … we should seek as much immigration… as this vast and underpopulated country can accommodate, with a preference for legitimate fugitives from oppression. In 1912, Canada… accepted 402,000 immigrants… This would be like admitting two million immigrants to Canada in one year now. Instead of a national vision… we have paranoid xenophobia and tokenistic militarism from the government

  • At last, child care on the election agenda

    The NDP’s big play caused both the Conservatives and the Liberals to increase their focus on parents and children, and now all three parties have so called plans. Which is best? … The NDP plan is the most intriguing. It’s new social policy, like medicare was in its day. The Liberal proposal is most progressive as it helps those who need it most, but neither it or the Conservative family allowance program address the lack of quality affordable care.

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    Think gender comes down to X and Y chromosomes? Think again

    … while humans insist that you’re either male or female – that you have either XY or XX sex chromosomes – biology begs to differ… genetic men with Klinefelter syndrome possess an extra X chromosome… Genetic women with Turner syndrome have only one X chromosome… Even if you get the “right” combination of sex chromosomes, it’s no guarantee that you’ll fit into the carefully circumscribed human definitions of male and female.

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    Why do some vulnerable children become radicalized, while most others do not?

    … when youth have other ways of accessing the benefits that they get through political violence, they will choose the more adaptive strategies… If we are going to prevent criminal radicalization, we cannot rely solely on better policing, increased surveillance, and more restrictive laws. We will do better when we turn to community activists, youth workers, leaders in our communities, and, most importantly, youth themselves for direction on where to focus our prevention efforts.

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    Index ranks Canada as sixth most socially advanced country

    Canada sits in 6th place of 133 countries – the highest of any G7 nation – in an annual “social progress index”… The index… is meant to complement the traditional measure of gross domestic product in assessing progress. It tracks 52 indicators – from crime levels to literacy rates and gender equality – that reflect whether a country is providing essential needs to its citizens and opportunities for people to improve their lot in society.