• A word to the wise: Why wisdom might be ripe for rediscovery

    … modern scholarly definitions mention certain traits: compassion and prosocial attitudes that reflect concern for the common good; pragmatic knowledge of life; the use of one’s pragmatic knowledge to resolve personal and social problems; an ability to cope with ambiguity and uncertainty and to see multiple points of view; emotional stability and mastery of one’s feelings; a capacity for reflection and for dispassionate self-understanding.

  • Ontario’s cities need a new approach to homelessness

    The system seems to simply move from crisis to crisis with minimal evidence of strategic or long-term thinking… Under this model, Ontario government would issue a call for proposals to its municipal partners and flow new funding based on bids by municipal governments to achieve real measurable outcomes… fewer people in core-housing need, fewer people on the waiting lists for social housing, and a reduction and ultimate elimination of homelessness.

  • Charities must innovate to attract a new generation of donors

    Canadians annually give more than $14-billion to charities and non-profit organizations. But our strong culture of giving, so essential to our quality of life, is increasingly at risk… Donations are dropping across all age categories and donors aged 50 and over account for 74 per cent of donations… the annual average donation by new citizens is $672, compared to $509 for native-born Canadians… Over the past 30 years, women have steadily gained ground as a percentage of donors. The only factor holding women back is income disparity.

  • 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.