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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 »

Gender Block: doctors can’t deny care based on their own beliefs. Wait, they could before?

Hillary Di Menna

In early March, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario released a draft policy paper saying doctors could no longer deny patient care based on moral or religious grounds. The Professional Obligations and Human Rights policy requires doctors who limit the care they provide based on beliefs—such as refusing to prescribe birth control or […] More »

Friday FTW: The movement to raise the minimum wage in Ontario

Espe Currie

The Workers’ Action Centre (WAC) is calling for a raise in the Ontario minimum wage, and has been organizing demonstrations and events since early March. On Tuesday, the Toronto Star published a piece from Campaign to Raise the Minimum Wage members Navjeet Sidhu and Yvonne Kelly, in which the activists outline the myriad reasons an increase […] More »

FTW Friday: Sweet news for bees

Hillary Di Menna

Canada now has a working group dedicated to figuring out bee mortality. On July 9, environmental group Sierra Club Canada shared a press release announcing the group’s formation, which is made up of beekeepers, farmers, scientists and others in agri-business. The press release mentions the recent loss of 27 million bees near Elwood, Ont. In […] More »
May-June 2012

Why can’t Johnny blog?

Barb MacDonald

A growing number of teachers and parents say Ontario’s current school  curriculum will graduate scores of children who are 21st century illiterate. Inside the fight for more technology and social media in the classroom. Every school day from September to June at 3:30 p.m., Aerin Guy meets her nine-year old daughter at school. On this […] More »
November-December 2011

Ontario risks losing a huge swath of prime farmland to the Melancthon quarry

Matthew Strader

Carl Cosack wonders who is standing on guard for his piece of Ontario. The 52-year-old rancher manages a herd of black angus cows and 30 horses, making him one of Ontario’s last traditional trail hands and proud owner of one of the province’s few remaining amateur ranches (don’t call it a “dude ranch”). Thanks to […] More »
November-December 2011

How Grassy Narrows’ lawsuit could change aboriginal-government relations across Canada

Carmelle Wolfson@TeamCarmelle

On a cold December day nine years ago, a group of young people from the Grassy Narrows First Nation lay down in front of a line of logging trucks on a snow-covered road. Chrissy Swain, now 32, recalls that day at Slant Lake, about an hour north of Kenora, Ontario, which set off what has […] More »
September-October 2011

Aamjiwnaang First Nation case could add environmental rights to Canada’s constitution

Teresa Goff

Over the last 40 years, 90 countries have amended their constitutions to include the right to a healthy environment. Portugal was the first in 1976, and since then scores have followed, from Argentina to Zambia. But not Canada. What we have is the 1999 Canadian Environmental Protection Act. Under that law, polluters found in violation […] More »
July-August 2011

How Ontario’s Greenbelt is failing farmers—and the local food movement

Chelsea Murray@chelsea_murray

The greenbelt saved 1.8 million acres of green space from urban sprawl. So why are the farmers who live and work there moving away? Photos by Ian Willms Robert Beynon’s dairy farm sits just north of the Toronto suburb of Richmond Hill, on one of the southernmost edges of Ontario’s greenbelt. It’s a small operation […] More »
March-April 2011

Time to abolish separate Catholic school boards

Graham F. Scott

In Alberta, Ontario, and Saskatchewan, parallel education systems still exist: the secular public school boards, and separate Catholic school boards. It is time to abolish that system. The problem of separate school boards is not their Catholicism; it is their separateness. Public funding elevates one religious tradition above all others, and in secular, multicultural contemporary Canada, that […] More »

Will California-style "voter recall" legislation catch on in Canada?

dylan c. robertson

You can vote a politician in, but wouldn’t it be fun to vote one out? Well you can — in the US, in Switzerland, in Venezuela, and even in BC. Voter recall—known in political science as a citizens’ initiative—is best known for taking place in the basketcase democracy that is California. In 2003 the “Dump Davis” campaign was launched a […] More »