• Stop debating age and actually teach us about consent

    We need to learn that consent can be affected by power dynamics, the influence of substances and perceived safety. In order for us to feel safe and empowered in our decisions, conversations must be constant and reflective of our experience. Education has to start young, acknowledging that consent is not only mandatory for sex but also for any kind of healthy relationship… So, we have to keep talking about it, a thousand times over, until things start to change.

  • Let’s hope Canadian courts see the true meaning of the niqab

    The higher value of “social cohesion” has twice guided rulings against challenges to niqab bans by the European Court of Human Rights, which noted that the religious duty for women to cover was “hard to reconcile” with the principle of gender equality. Let us hope that our judiciary agrees and rules accordingly.

  • What’s so scary about free speech on campus?

    The concept of words as weapons that can inflict damage on people’s equality rights is a staple of feminist legal thought. It is also widespread on campuses today… For all their talk about diversity and inclusion, universities have become monocultures of thought, where unpopular ideas are often regarded as downright toxic… “Universities are no longer places where ideas may freely circulate… if you even bring up the ‘wrong’ ideas, you are labelled as some sort of public enemy.”

  • 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.

  • Senate backs down from standoff over Indian Act amendment

    An amended bill that aims to rid the Indian Act of all its sexist elements has been approved by the Senate despite senators’ expressed concern that the government has given no timeline for removing one of the most contentious areas of discrimination… Its passage will mean the rules governing the transfer of Indian status from one generation to the next, which have favoured men over women for more than a century, will become gender-neutral.

  • Ontario must make bail reform meaningful

    If you own a house, have a job, and have family or friends who can pledge a sizable sum of money and act as supervisors, you are likely to soon be on your way home… immigrants, the mentally ill, racialized groups, and the poor stand the least chance of being released on bail. Despite remaining wholly innocent under the law, they lose their freedom for months or years as the criminal process plays out.

  • Federal government can and must put pensioners first

    The federal government can and must ensure bankruptcy laws put pensioners at the front of the line. And it can go one very important step further: working with the provinces and territories to create Canada-wide mandatory pension insurance. Such a system would guarantee monthly pensions up to $2,500 whenever an employer with an underfunded pension plan… It would be paid for by pension funds, a fair trade-off, given their tax-exempt status.

  • Bloated bureaucracy the real enemy of Indigenous reconciliation

    Two of the most vital measures of Indigenous reconciliation, the gap in child welfare funding and the national inquiry into murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls, have returned to centre stage this week… This government may have its heart in the right place when it comes to Indigenous reconciliation. But muscling aside an entrenched bureaucracy that slows, rather than speeds, action, will take more than that.

  • Ontario policing reforms will mean officers can be suspended without pay

    The creation of an inspector general to monitor police services, penalties for officers who fail to co-operate in police watchdog investigations, and the ability to suspend officers without pay were part of an announcement Thursday to revamp policing and the police oversight system in Ontario…. Other proposed changes include: Greater SIU powers of investigation… Expanded SIU powers to lay criminal charges… Penalties for non-cooperation…

  • Supreme court ruling clears way for B.C. ski resort on sacred Indigenous land

    The Supreme Court ruled the approval of the ski resort did not violate section 2(a) of the Charter, which guarantees the right to freedom of religion. “The Ktunaxa’s claim does not fall within the scope of s. 2(a) because neither the Ktunaxa’s freedom to hold their beliefs nor their freedom to manifest those beliefs is infringed by the Minister’s decision to approve the project,” said the decision, written by Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin and Justice Malcolm Rowe.