• My activism is better than yours

    If one wants to roll into police services meetings, or use one’s writing skills to critique the systems that have been built largely to reinforce oppression, then that is your right. For those of us who are using our professional networks to try to move the needle to a better world in our respective corners that, too, is our right. We should not begrudge the others’ approach. No one has the right to tell Justice McLeod or any another Black person how they should go about their community work.

  • Why this unbeliever is happy to celebrate Christmas

    The truth is that our society has been given its moral principles by Christianity, and those principles shape us, whether we are committed to a religion or not. Christian feelings enter in the moral air we breathe and find a comfortable home within us. We believe we should see the welfare of others as at least as important as our own. We should treat everyone fairly… If we go out of our way to smooth the path of minorities, we are reflecting the same feelings.

  • How social service agencies can help build a collaborative and caring economy

    … trusting and supportive community relationships are the unique assets that social service agencies have to build upon… [to] put people back at the centre of creating and directing their economy. Through our local efforts, we can re-empower community members as protagonists of their own destiny, and build people’s expectations and democratic capacities to actively construct more and more of their economic landscape in ways that enable them to flourish.

  • Neither Wilfrid Laurier University’s methods nor teaching assistant’s debate helped trans people

    The considerable opposition to attempts to carve out a space to define people left out by a language founded on rigidly held ideas of two genders is indicative of the scope of oppression facing trans people… Perhaps this debate cut too close to the bone, making it not just an intellectual exercise on the finer points of grammar, but an intensely personal existential discussion… The best societies seek to protect their vulnerable, even when their people bumble their way through a new awareness of how to do things right.

  • Religion is still an instrument of colonialism

    Non-Indigenous religious groups understand how traumatizing it is when their places of worship are assaulted, when sites meant to be spaces of prayer and sanctuary are turned into spaces of violence and loss… that the ongoing desecration of sacred Indigenous sites fails to attract similar censure and solidarity is a sign of spiritual colonialism’s enduring power.

  • Respite centres are welcome, but just stop-gap measure for homeless

    Ottawa provides no funding for the city’s emergency shelter system, and the province’s contribution is fixed, no matter the increase in those in need of a bed. And neither senior government is kicking in enough money to repair the subsidized housing that currently exists, never mind building more… the cost of having 5,253 people on Toronto streets added up to $420,000 a night… putting the homeless into social housing would be just $34,000 a night.

  • Universities should not smother uncomfortable debates

    Universities, at their best, have always provided space for those who would challenge conventional wisdom. In this way, the academy has played a vital role in our social and cultural evolution… In these polarized times, this age-old struggle has become increasingly combative and dangerously divisive, with some on campus railing against political correctness to justify their hate and others imposing purity tests that chill rather than enable debate.

  • There’s no cure for autism — my daughter is wonderful just the way she is

    My daughter doesn’t have a special talent or ability, and she isn’t a quirky genius. She may never live independently or hold down a successful career. But these are arbitrary measurements of success, and she doesn’t need to achieve them to be valuable and worthwhile. What she needs is the freedom to be herself — as flappy, happy and autistic as she may be.

  • Invictus Games are an opportunity to advocate for disability rights

    … Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, Carla Qualtrough has yet to produce the legislation she was tasked with… Even provincially, the government has failed to keep its promise of enforcing the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act… The Liberal government has even gone so far as to obstruct investigations by disability advocates. This does not seem like leadership “committed to building a more accessible Ontario

  • Make data on homeless deaths public

    The city should release not just the number of homeless deaths, as it recently did for the first time, but other information it now collects, too, such as on gender, unofficial cause of death, and location of death… we know very little about how these people ended up on the street or how they died. Were these opiate overdoses, suicides, deaths by exposure? And therefore what are the policy responses we should be demanding of governments?