• Supreme Court makes it clear. Indigenous peoples can’t veto pipelines

    At the heart of this is the fact treaties signed between Indigenous nations and the Crown are part of Canada’s constitution. The courts have long held that this alone requires the government to consult with First Nations before authorizing projects that could affect treaty rights. What hasn’t been entirely clear is what consultation requires… while Indigenous peoples may have a “special public interest,” the judgment reads, in the end that interest must be balanced against other competing societal needs.

  • Beyond denial: Indigenous reconciliation requires recognition

    For reconciliation to fully manifest itself in Canada, denial must be ended in all of its aspects… to guide our work we released 10 principles – Principles Respecting Canada’s Relationship with Indigenous Peoples… [to] establish a clear, transparent foundation for reconciliation based on recognition… The principles bring a new direction and standard to how government officials must work and act in partnership with Indigenous peoples

  • Can we ever knock down the walls of the wealthy ghetto?

    There are two factors in particular that make Canada’s cycle of privilege a closed loop that excludes outsiders. The first is Canada’s lack of an inheritance tax. Taxing inheritance heavily doesn’t generate much government revenue… It expands privilege rather than keeping it cloistered… The second is Canada’s lax policy on private schools. The 6 per cent of Canadians who attend fee-charging schools are overwhelmingly there because their families are wealthy… even though their fees and sometimes their operations are taxpayer-subsidized.

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    How to turn Canada 150 into a celebration for everyone

    The original peoples of Canada are founding nations of this country and as such need to be able to govern themselves in full equality with other Canadians. That is certainly not true of our past, or of our present. But it must become the reality of our future… The Indian Act has created a reserve and political structure that actually blocks effective governance and equality. Its continued existence makes the dream of effective sovereignty and good governance impossible.

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    Tide is turning on Canada’s relationship with Indigenous people

    … every once in a while, specific political and economic forces have converged in such a way as to create space for Indigenous people to make very dramatic, important and lasting gains. It is in those openings that we can catch a glimpse of the Canada that can be. And we, on the Indigenous side, can rise to those occasions as well and put the historic pain we have suffered in perspective.

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    A tale of two Canadas: Where you grew up affects your income in adulthood

    The most dramatic finding by Dr. Corak… is that the place you come from is very likely to affect your odds of future success, perhaps as much or more than your family, your culture or anything else in your life. Those results are likely to surprise many Canadians and provoke serious debates about the policies and interventions that can help more people escape intergenerational poverty.

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    Should Indigenous ancestry dictate public policy?

    The logic of these developments is to allow anyone who can demonstrate any degree of Indian ancestry to apply for registration, that is, to receive legal Indian status… Some First Nations welcome the increased numbers, but many believe they cannot afford to provide services. They sometimes also fear that newly registered Indians who have lived off-reserve for decades no longer share their traditional culture.

  • Today, trans Canadians celebrate Bill C-16. Tomorrow, the work begins for us all

    … trans and gender non-binary Canadians are now recognized as formally equal citizens. But the work of real equality has only just begun… As the history of movements for racial justice and women’s rights has shown, anti-discrimination laws are limited in their ability to tackle structural inequalities. And the structural inequalities that trans and gender non-binary individuals face are monumental.

  • Indigenous rights in Canada: Significant work still needed

    Our Constitution requires governments to consult with Indigenous peoples before taking actions that may affect their rights. However, Canadian courts often state that consultation will typically not require consent, and – fearful of a veto power – government officials frequently argue that consent is not required. International laws also require that consultation be “free,” “prior,” and “fully informed,” and that Indigenous people are able to participate fully in decisions affecting them.

  • Ottawa’s ‘name-blind’ hiring a modest experiment with real promise

    … the “name-blind” hiring project announced this week is simple; the names, emails and countries of birth of job-seekers will be removed from their applications, with the aim of preventing the bias – unconscious or otherwise – that too often leads employers not to bring in applicants of diverse backgrounds for interviews.