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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 »

Inadequate pay for Crown prosecutors threatens the integrity of our justice system

dylan c. robertson

On February 8, roughly 1,500 Quebec crown prosecutors and lawyers went on strike in frustration over being the country’s most overworked and underpaid public lawyers. The strike is believed to be the first in Canada. Prosecutors were given the right to strike in 2003 by the provincial government, who opted for contracts and incremental raises instead of […] More »
January-February 2011

How Canada’s midwife shortage forces healthy mothers into hospitals

Jenn HardyWebsite

It wasn’t until the early 1900s that it became “normal” to have a baby under the watch of an obstetrician in a hospital. But over the last few decades, childbirth has become an increasingly complicated, medicalized affair, with more inductions, surgeries, and drugs than ever before. The advancements have saved many otherwise dangerous deliveries, but […] More »
January-February 2011

Would-be parents fight for publicly funded fertility treatments

Natalie Gallo

Infertile couples suffer in silence in a baby-crazed culture. Treatments are lightly regulated and cost a fortune. Why public funding could ease the burden and improve care It’s just another September day in Nova Scotia—sun shining, birds chirping, a late summer breeze playing in the treetops. Only one thing is different today for Shawna Young: […] More »

As 2011 dawns, Ontario’s extreme fighters prepare to fight—legally

Jeremy BealWebsite

Extreme fighting has always been illegal in Ontario, but underground fights happened anyway. With legalization in 2011, the controversial sport is about to become big business. The champ climbs into the steel cage against the sounds of loud, thrashing theme music, polite applause, and the odd hiss. Caleb Grummet may be holding the championship belt, […] More »
November-December 2010

Inside the bloody world of illegal plastic surgery

Jordan GinsbergWebsite

This is not an operating room. It’s a solarium. The glass windows connect to a metal frame that connects to the concrete floor, the floor of this enclosed balcony three storeys up. The concrete is coated with sealant to keep it non-porous. The less porous a surface, the less chance bacteria will take root and […] More »
November-December 2010

New Westminster, B.C., leads the way with Canada’s first living wage bylaw

Adam Lemieux

The fight against poverty in Canada recently added a new weapon to its arsenal: the living wage bylaw. While only one Canadian city, New Westminster, B.C., currently implements the practice, the push is on to make it the norm. Living wage bylaws require that workers employed directly or indirectly by a municipal government be paid […] More »
July-August 2010

26 million hectares of forest, $17 billion, and one lonely bush pilot

Ashley Walters

For years, Joel Theriault has waged a losing battle against pesticide spraying in Northern Ontario forests. He’s made enemies in the logging business, the Ministry of Natural Resources—and even among his fellow environmentalists. What keeps him going? On a chilly afternoon in mid-June 2009, bush-pilot-turned-environmental-activist Joel Theriault is once again flying over the deforested landscape […] More »