Progressive politics, ideas & culture



November-December 2015

Need not apply

Each year, thousands of university graduates move to Korea to teach English. But why are so many of them white—and what does this say about racism here in Canada?

Dave HazzanWebsite@DaveHazzan

About five years ago, a rumour began circulating in South Korea that Indian and Filipino nationals might become eligible for E-2 English teaching visas. At this time, I had already been teaching in Korea for eight years on and off. It had been a wonderful resource for paying for backpacking trips through Asia and boozy […] More »
November-December 2015

Good work

Millennials work hard to get their degrees—so why does everybody think they’re brats when they demand meaningful jobs? Hana Shafi deconstructs post-grad promises and the myth of entitlement

Hana Shafi@HanaShafi

The months leading up to my graduation this spring were a mix of excitement and desperation. Excitement, because after four years of journalism school at Ryerson University my love for academia had turned sour—I was aching to be done. Desperation, because I knew once I was done, my unemployment would be more apparent and stark […] More »
November-December 2015

What kind of citizen?

Today’s test-focused, results-based education system discourages critical thinking and puts democracy at risk. Why it’s time to start teaching dissent

Joel WestheimerWebsite@joelwestheimer

If students from a totalitarian nation were secretly transported to a Canadian classroom to continue their lessons with new teachers and a new curriculum, would they be able to tell the difference? I do not ask this question facetiously. It seems plausible that a good lesson in multiplication, chemistry, or a foreign language might seem […] More »
November-December 2015

In their shoes

Nearly 20 years ago, Mary Gordon created a program to bring moms and babies into school classrooms. How empathy can create kinder kids, better adults, and a more equitable society

Blair MlotekWebsite@blairmlo

Mary Gordon believes in the power of empathy. It can, she says, stop patterns of abuse, draw the curtain on generational cruelty, and create kinder, better worlds—especially if we instill its importance at a young age. That’s why, in 1996, the former teacher, as well as creator of the first Toronto District School Board daycare […] More »
November-December 2015

The saviour syndrome

When it comes to education, today’s social justice movement leaves behind the very people it’s trying to help. (Otherwise known as: Why I’m tired of your white guilt)

Nashwa KhanWebsite@nashwakay

I don’t have much in common with Eminem, but I do empathize with these lyrics about his pre-rap battle jitters: “Palms sweaty, knees weak, arms heavy.” My body floods with this nerve-wracking discomfort in a space so many others navigate with ease: the rich world of academia. As a 23-year-old woman with extensive coursework in […] More »
May-June 2015


Nashwa Kahn@nashwakay

From our education system to our literary community, why is CanLit so white? Nashwa Khan challenges the default narrative JUNOT DÍAZ UNLEASHED A BOMBSHELL on the writing world when he published his essay “MFA vs. PoC” in the New Yorker last spring. The Dominican American author is a creative writing professor, a fiction editor for […] More »
November-December 2013

In defence of the iGeneration

Renée WilsonWebsite

A scientific and anecdotal rumination on why today’s kids are more than all right—they’re the best generation yet I had only been a College professor for three years when Gregory Levey’s controversial and much-discussed magazine piece “Lament for the iGeneration” was published in 2009. I interpreted it as a cautionary tale: if we’re in the […] More »

WTF Wednesday: tobacco industry still targeting youth

Joe Thomson

If high-school kids are smoking, they’re likely to have used flavoured tobacco products like candy flavoured cigarillos, according to a coalition of health groups that released the findings of their Youth Smoking survey on Monday. More than 50 percent of those who smoked had used flavoured tobacco products, which have come under fire for their […] More »

WTF Wednesday: Globe and Mail’s Margaret Wente steps up to defend David Gilmour

Vincent Colistro

By the time Friday rolled around last week there was a veritable anthology of jokes to which “David Gilmour” was the punch line. The paper-bag jowls and complacent half-smile of his face pasted on News Feeds and blogs like an advert for a public flogging. Everywhere that CanLit went, so too went the name David […] More »

Friday FTW: Dalhousie University’s PUPPY ROOM OMG

Sara Harowitz

My roommate has this hilarious—and, uh, brilliant—idea to rid the world of war and conflict: Put all of the world’s leaders in a room full of puppies, she says, and everybody will suddenly get along. Aptly dubbed Puppies For Peace, the program would, she argues, solve all of the world’s problems because, like, PUPPIES! World […] More »

A new generation farmer weighs in on beef

Anna Bowen

Ian McCormick is one of the new generation of Canadian farmers.  Thanks to programs like FarmStart and CRAFT (Canadian Regional Alliance for Farmer Training), new farmers — young people and folks who often didn’t grow up farming — are trying their hand at small-scale production.  FarmStart helps develop a new generation of farmers by leasing […] More »