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4 ways Canadian prisons are getting worse than ever

simon wallace

1. Mental health, depression, and suicide are rampant We all know that prisons are too often warehouses for those amongst us suffering addictions or mental health problems. The actual numbers, however, are harrowing.  In federal penitentiaries 11% of prisoners have some sort of mental health diagnosis and 21.3% take prescription anti-psychotics on admission.  Almost 15% […] More »

Canada's treatment of Tamil refugees is a "defining moment," and we're failing

kevin philipupillai

Watch out! The terrorists are coming! They’re human smugglers too, all of them. They’re smuggling themselves. And there are many more boats on the horizon, watching and waiting to take advantage of our natural generosity. Xenophobic? Not us. We value immigration. In fact, there are thousands of good immigrants out there waiting patiently to get […] More »

Yet another Pride scandal: The marginalization of 'Blackness Yes!'

natalie samson

You may have already heard something of Pride Toronto’s new sign-vetting policy,  its banning of Queers Against Israeli Apartheid (QuAIA) from the parade, and its outlawing of the term “Israeli apartheid” from all Pride-related events.  Or about how, after weeks of public outrage, including the humiliation of having several Pride honourees return their awards, Pride […] More »

Wednesday WTF: Quebec's headwear ban is obviously totally unconstitutional

Graham F. Scott

Quebec is going ahead with its ludicrous ban on religious head-coverings like the niqab and the burka on provincial government property. It’s an astonishing piece of legislation that manages the improbable feat of being baselessly arbitrary and obviously xenophobic. The whole law is crafted to be targeted at a single identifiable—and extremely tiny—minority, but Premier […] More »

Game Theory #4: Dismal graduation rate for black NCAA players is the real March Madness

andrew wallace

The madness of March is upon us. And in the sporting world that means all college basketball, all the time. The Final Four tournament opened last week, where 64 teams (well, technically, 65—there’s a one-game playoff between the two worst sides to enter the actual tourney) do battle in one of the most exciting two-plus […] More »

Jane Creba shooting acquittals sting, but justice has been done

Nav PurewalWebsite

On Tuesday, the sixth and final remaining manslaughter charge in the Boxing Day shootings that killed 15-year-old Jane Creba and wounded several others in 2005 ended in acquittal. Two others, who actually fired weapons, had previously been convicted of second degree murder. G.C., whose full name is withheld because he was a minor at the […] More »

Book Review: Melanye T. Price's Dreaming Blackness

daniel tseghay

The unprecedented election for president of an African American south of the border probably looked to many like the culmination of a grand process of inclusion. African Americans, the story goes, can now see their efforts for civil rights and participation in the American Dream as embodied in Barack Obama. The struggle is over and […] More »

Taqwacore: The Birth of Punk Islam screens this weekend in Toronto, Montreal

Graham F. Scott

I love the idea of willing a new subculture into existence, and that’s the story of Taqwacore, a documentary that opens in Toronto and Montreal this weekend about the birth of “Punk Islam.” (The trailer’s embedded above, or you can see it on the film’s website.) Kick-started by Michael Muhammad Knight’s book of the same […] More »

Can I watch "Mad Men" with a clean conscience? Should I?

Graham F. Scott

I’m a fan of the AMC series Mad Men, which premiered its third season last night. The show has always occupied an awkward cultural space, both fetishizing and pathologizing its subjects: meticulously styled and artfully shot, it depicts a glossy, nostalgic vision of the early 1960s in America, but continually undermines that nostalgia, exposing the […] More »

Young Kenyans reject Truth and Reconciliation, favour International Criminal Court

Siena AnstisWebsite

The Obunga Youth Group sits on the edge of the biggest slums in Kisumu, the main city in the Nyanza Province of Western Kenya, and the epicentre of post-election violence. This week they held a forum and how to move beyond that horrific episode. With 12,000 people living on less than $1 a day, the […] More »

Wednesday WTF: Shutting down "India's Michael Jackson" over Kirpans?

Graham F. Scott

12,000 people showed up at the Telus Convention Centre in Calgary on Sunday night to see a concert by Punjabi singer Gurdas Maan. According to the Calgary Herald, about 10 of those concertgoers were wearing Kirpans, the ceremonial dagger worn by some observant Sikhs. When security guards at the venue refused those people entry, citing […] More »