• 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?

  • Author of teen autism memoir grows up but can’t escape heartbreak

    … my parents were never in a state of denial about my autism, nor did they ever consign me to a “special needs” pigeonhole. They just strove to help me get better at doing the things I was good at… It seems to be not widely enough recognized that there are positives to be found in the neurologies of people with autism. If the world at large would take a deeper interest in how our brains work and research our uniquenesses — as opposed to focusing on our treatment and cure — we could take pride in our neuro-atypical natures.

  • On Canada Day let us remind ourselves we have done well, even as we strive to do better

    Rather than endless existential agonizing over “who are we,” civic nationalism asks simply: what do we want to do together? What are the purposes we want to achieve, what are the ideals we want to stand for? … An element of self-criticism, such as we are now going through, is therefore very much in order. So is a sense of proportion. Like any society, Canada has many sins to its name; foremost among them is the historic treatment and present condition of aboriginal Canadians, which is rightly the source of so much shame at present. But it is not the whole of the Canadian story.

  • A gift to Canada: Lifting people out of poverty benefits us all

    Pervasive poverty has a negative impact on us all – it affects children, their nutrition, and their ability to learn and grow; it makes our communities less inclusive; it drives up costs for health care and infrastructure; and it limits our country’s economic growth and competitiveness… We also believe in the critical importance of public policy as a driver of social change… strategy must address four key themes – prosperity, opportunity, inclusion and reconciliation.