THIS

Progressive politics, ideas & culture

Menu

Equality

May-June 2016

Is welfare sexist?

Some provincial governments will cut off social and disability assistance if a woman’s partner makes too much money—a 1950s era policy that curbs independence, reinforces the marry-rich cliché, and can even put women in danger

Amanda Van Slyke

Independence has never come easy for me—but it’s always been vital. I was born premature in 1989 with undiagnosed dyspraxia, a neurological disorder that permanently affects memory, coordination, and processing speed. Because my development was delayed and I was held back in kindergarten, I heavily relied on my classmates throughout school. I nodded my head […] More »
May-June 2016

New issue on newsstands now!

Introducing our May/June issue

This Magazine

In this issue’s cover story, Doug Horner examines the defiant success of community radio, arguing that it provides a resilient blueprint for successful, worth-tuning-in-to media in the Digital Age. Could community radio be the surprising winner when it comes to the future of news? Read Doug’s piece to let us know what you think! Also […] More »
March-April 2016

We could be heroes

Epic fantasy and sci-fi are today’s bestsellers and blockbusters. But in a world that can imagine magic and dragons, why is diversity so hard to find?

Nicole Abi-Najem@NajemNorth

I was maybe, what, eight years old? There I was, standing in my literal cave of a stinky basement—a carved-out hollow of dark, dank stone under my rickety old house—scrounging through books piled high into mountains of dust. I whipped out one book. The cover stood out: A woman with flowing ebony braids is striking […] 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 »
September-October 2015

Tories in review: women’s rights

Gender Block columnist Hillary Di Menna investigates how women's rights & issues have fared under the Conservatives

Hillary Di Menna

THE SUN HITS the back of my neck as I kneel over my poster board. It’s a hot summer afternoon in June and I’m colouring with markers, shared with the hands of girls decades my junior, helping with childcare at a sex worker solidarity rally. We’re at Toronto’s Allan Gardens, the day’s setting for lunch, […] More »
September-October 2015

Tories in review: LGBTQ rights

Today in our Tories in Review series, Larkin Schmiedl looks at nine years of attacks on LGBTQ rights in Canada

Larkin Schmiedl

OVER THE PAST SIX YEARS, Stephen Harper’s Conservative government has—surprisingly—become an outspoken champion of gay rights worldwide. In 2009, Harper arranged a private meeting with Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni to urge him to drop a controversial law that would imprison homosexuals for life. In 2011, Immigration Minister John Baird not only launched a pilot program […] More »
September-October 2015

Tories in review: The North

We ask: Does Stephen Harper's professed love for Canada's North runs any deeper than his annual photo op tour?

Rhiannon Russell

THERE ISN’T MUCH OF A GROWING SEASON in Old Crow, the Yukon’s northernmost community. Yet a vegetable garden has flourished there for the past three years, thanks to the efforts of the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation and funding, in part, from the territorial government. In June, residents planted cauliflower, garlic, kale, cabbage, onions, potatoes, lettuce, […] More »
September-October 2015

Tories in review: Islamophobia

In our new issue, we examine how 10 key Canadian issues have fared after nearly a decade of Conservative leadership. First up: Hana Shafi on how Islamophobia has festered in the past nine years under Stephen Harper

Hana Shafi

SIX YEARS AGO, then 16-year-old Urooba Jamal was walking home from school in Surrey, B.C. with her two friends, one of whom was wearing hijab. Suddenly, she felt something hit her leg. It was a rock. Then came another and another—more whizzed past her. The culprits were a group of boys, likely no older than […] More »
July-August 2015

One year later

Denise Hansen

Denise Hansen examines the Black Lives Matter movement in Canada—and why there’s cause for anger and hope here, too PROTESTS AND MARCHES AND SIT-INS have never really been my chosen course of social action. I can remember my dear family friend Kathy, a valiant social justice advocate, trying over the years to introduce my tender, […] More »