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January-February 2017

Migrant detainees use hunger strikes to enact change in Ontario correctional centres

In 2013, more than 7,300 migrants were detained in Canada without charges or trial

Pema Tsering@PemaTsering1

Macdonald Scott’s client called him on October 17, 2016 to tell him that he, along with the other detainees at the Central East Correctional Centre in Lindsay, Ont., had stopped eating again. It was the third hunger strike in less than a year—an act of defiance that both encouraged Scott, an immigration lawyer, and worried him. […] More »

Inside the Toronto rally for Standing Rock

Hundreds showed up in the city to protest the Dakota Access Pipeline

Mick Sweetman@MickSweetman

As more than 200 people rallied against the Dakota Access Pipeline in Toronto’s financial district Saturday night it began to snow. The significance of the snow wasn’t lost on the attendees: their slogan, after all, is “water is life,” and they welcomed it joining them on the cold night. The Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) is a […] More »
January-February 2017

2017 Kick-Ass Activists: Geoff Wilson and Tim McConnell

LGBTQ substance users had few places to turn for support before Geoff Wilson and Tim McConnell created a safe space for them in Toronto

Al Donato@gollydrat

Geoff Wilson and Tim McConnell are close friends—the kind who don’t mind spending nearly every day for the past two years together. Sometimes it was to check out punk shows, go biking, or play pool. Most days, they were hard at work envisioning and building Pieces to Pathways (P2P), a drug addiction support initiative unlike any other in […] More »
January-February 2017

2017 Kick-Ass Activist: Vanessa Udy

Whether it’s through her work as a law student or a volunteer, Vanessa Udy wants all Quebecers to feel included

Jennifer M. Joseph@IamJenniferMJ

In 2011, the Navajo Nation made headlines after an American clothing retailer appropriated its name and started using its traditional patterns on products. It wasn’t the first time Indigenous communities faced such appropriation. That’s why Vanessa Udy, a corporate commercial lawyer from Montreal, is trying to find solutions to these problems. This year, the 30-year-old took a leap […] More »

OPINION: What Canadians can take away from three days of protest in Washington

Tannara Yelland reports from D.C. on protests surrounding the inauguration of President Donald Trump—and what Canadians should be worrying about

Tannara Yelland@tyelland

Women’s march in Washington. Last weekend, Washington, D.C. was the locus of celebrations marking the transfer of presidential power from Barack Obama to Donald Trump. The traditional ceremonies—from the swearing-in and the inaugural parade along Pennsylvania Avenue to the plethora of balls and galas—coincided with events such as the “Deploraball,” organized by members of the […] More »
January-February 2017

2017 Kick-Ass Activist: Courtney Skye

Comedian Courtney Skye uses her dark humour to address tough-to-broach Indigenous issues

Hana Shafi@hanashafi

Courtney Skye first thought to dabble in comedy after a trip to the makeup store. While in a Sephora in Hamilton, Ont., shopping for mascara and matte lipstick, she presented her First Nations status card while paying. The cashier took notice. “Oh you’re First Nations?” she said. “I hear a lot of your women have been […] More »
January-February 2017

2017 Kick-Ass Activist: Dexter Nyuurnibe

In 2012, Dexter Nyuurnibe tried to take his life. Now, he’s a leader for greater mental health awareness among Canadian youth

Emily Rivas@RivasEmily

Dexter Nyuurnibe has the ability to command attention in any room. The 24-year-old is well-spoken, well-dressed, and charming. He’s a self-proclaimed lover of people, pugs, poutine, and unicorns. He’s that guy at the bar who ensures everyone is having a good time. He’s also probably the last person you would think would be struggling with mental […] More »
January-February 2017

2017 Kick-Ass Activist: Nasra Adem

Now Edmonton’s Youth Poet Laureate, Nasra Adem takes to the mic to dole out spoken truths

Erica Ngao

As a teenager, Nasra Adem wrote in her journal about “dumb boys” and watched videos of spoken word poetry and slams on YouTube. Inspired by poets such as Carvens Lissaint of New York’s The Strivers Row, she started posting videos of herself performing, waiting on the courage to do so in front of a live audience. […] More »
January-February 2017

Inside an Ontario town’s fight to protect its local waters

Wellington residents are pushing against Nestlé Waters Canada as the company pursues regional well sites

Lindsay Kneteman@lindsayjaykay

If you think Canadians live with a massive excess of water, think again. Mike Nagy, the chair of the Wellington Water Watchers (WWW), a non-profit dedicated to protecting the local waters in Ontario’s Guelph-Wellington region, says many are disillusioned by this idea that’s patently untrue. But thanks to the spotlight the WWW has shined on Nestlé […] More »
January-February 2017

Why Leah Parsons is still fighting to keep her daughter Rehtaeh’s memory alive

After the story of her daughter's death drew international attention nearly four years ago, Parsons now travels the country to share her daughter's story

Michaela Cavanagh@mmcavanagh

For Leah Parsons, healing through activism is about finding a balance between doing enough and not wearing herself down. “With everything I do, I ask myself, ‘Does it feel light, or does it feel heavy, emotionally?’” she says. Nearly four years after her daughter, Rehtaeh, took her own life, Parsons steadies herself by being a […] More »

OPINION: Don’t let Jordan Peterson debate at the University of Toronto

The campus debate, scheduled for November 19, puts the health and well-being of LGBTQ2S students at risk

Alex Abramovich and Lisa Couperthwaite

This article is written from the standpoint of a clinical psychologist working in the area of trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), mood and anxiety disorders, and that of an independent scientist who has spent the last decade addressing the issue of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, and 2-Spirit (LGBTQ2S) youth homelessness. In addition to […] More »