• For Indigenous People, Homelessness Is More Than Lacking a Home

    Historic Displacement Homelessness… Contemporary Geographic Separation Homelessness… Spiritual Disconnection Homelessness… Mental Disruption and Imbalance Homelessness… Cultural Disintegration and Loss Homelessness… Overcrowding Homelessness… Relocation and Mobility Homelessness… Going Home Homelessness… Nowhere to Go Homelessness… Escaping or Evading Harm Homelessness… Emergency Crisis Homelessness… Climatic Refugee Homelessness

  • Why I will celebrate Canada Day

    We have long been a work in progress… Our highest court of appeal rested in Britain until 1949. Our Constitution was not patriated until 1982… By modern standards, Canada has not always acted in an enlightened fashion… Far too often its treatment of Indigenous peoples has been shameful. But not always. In recent decades, the courts in particular have been mindful of Indigenous rights. This is all part of our history. We have to recognize it and deal with it.

  • Celebrate the tepee protest. Demonstration improves social justice

    In fact, there’s nothing more Canadian than impolite party-crashing. Protest is in this country’s DNA, from the 19th-century pro-democracy rebellions in Upper and Lower Canada to the road blockades of Clayoquot Sound to the youth-fueled energy of Black Lives Matter and Idle No More… in Canada protesters – both individuals and those who come together in large groups – have led the way and improved social justice for us all.

  • The Jane Addams Model

    She sought to change the world by planting herself deeply in a particular neighborhood. She treated each person as a unique soul… There are many philanthropists and caregivers today who dislike theory and just want to get practical. It is this sort of doer’s arrogance and intellectual laziness that explains why so many charities do no good or do positive harm.

  • Time to recognize Indigenous people as one of Canada’s founders

    As we celebrate the 150th year of Confederation surely it is time to recognize that Aboriginal Peoples are intrinsic to what we are as a country. It would be a symbolic gesture but it would go a long way to recognizing and embracing the idea that First Nations have always been much more than refugees in their own country.

  • Learning black history makes Canadians better

    With black Canadians at just three per cent of the population, we’ve heard the argument that Black History Month is less relevant than commemorating the larger Indigenous or South Asian community’s respective histories. But Black History Month doesn’t come at the expense of others. In fact, learning about the black Canadian experience builds empathy; it doesn’t divide it.

  • Why Canada has avoided an anti-trade, anti-immigration backlash

    If declining incomes fuel anti-globalization… then what sets Canada apart is its recent income gains… More than 70 per cent of men aged 55 to 64 had full-time jobs in 1976; 20 years later, that ratio had fallen to less than 50 per cent. The only bright spot was provided by women. Even though their incomes were (and are) still less than men’s, they did see some income growth… enough to offset men’s losses

  • Residential schools report challenges us all

    The report records the voices of 6,000 courageous witnesses and the history of their suffering, stubborn resilience and later struggles, plus historical background data and context. While Sinclair released his main findings earlier this year… the final report contains the searing evidentiary base that shaped his findings… Trudeau promised to work for a “total renewal” of the nation-to-nation relationship between Canada and 1.4 million indigenous peoples. He thanked Sinclair for charting “a way forward.”

  • Back When Ottawa Created a Housing Agency for All Canadians

    … CMHC… played a historic post-war role housing tens of thousands of new families, and then a generation later more or less invented social housing to shelter Canada’s neediest… CMHC provided financial backing, mortgage subsidies and operating assistance to hundreds of co-operatives and a wide-range of social housing projects from coast to coast. Most of those agreements are still in place, although the current Conservative government has served notice it will let them expire over the coming years.

  • We closed our doors to the world

    Since 2008 it has become harder to get into Canada, to stay here permanently, and to become a citizen. This is due to a steady stream of changes by the federal government that affect virtually all aspects of our immigration and refugee policy. Many of the changes came without public discussion or debate, often buried in “omnibus” bills… In 2014 refugees represented less than 9 per cent of the immigration flow to Canada (as compared to 14 per cent in 2005), while the economic class rose to 63.4 per cent and is targeted to reach 70 per cent.