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Articles

  • The Contemporary Struggle against Racism in Canada

    Racism continues to be manifest in various ways in Canadian society. It is not a distant “bad” memory, something that previous generations practiced and experienced. Many Canadians acknowledge some history of racial oppression and the need to address it. But efforts are often limited by the habitual contrast of Canadian racism with American racism in a way that encourages moral superiority, drawing on such artifacts as the underground railroad.

  • Racism in Canada

    Historians like to engage in thought experiments with dates. One way to measure the change in racism in Canada over the past forty years is to put the question in the context of the previous forty-year period. If one was asked the same question in 1963, Canada would probably not have looked all that different from the Canada of 1923. In 1963, as in 1923, Canada was still a country in which nearly all citizens (with the exception of Aboriginal people) could either directly or indirectly trace their ancestry to Europe. Within government policy and many organizations, non-white immigrants and Aboriginal peoples were still regarded as groups who posed “racial” problems for the processes of nation building and state formation.

    I doubt whether we can say that there is a similar continuity to the 1963-2003 comparison. Canada today is considerably different from the Canada that existed four decades ago

  • The Freedom to Choose

    Two major claims are made among gay and lesbian critics of the idea of gay marriage. The first is that the support of gay marriage represents a kind of assimilation to straight values and ideals. The second is that the widespread acceptance of gay marriage would threaten the existence of a separate gay and lesbian community. While there is some truth in the criticisms made from these two perspectives, they fail to come to terms with the reasons why some gay people might want to get married. What is more, they narrow the lived reality of marriage, failing to recognize that the practice has been multiple and varied.

  • Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace?

    When Toronto began issuing gay-marriage licenses on June 10, 2003, WorldNetDaily quoted Toronto attorney Michael Lershner as saying “The argument’s over. No more political discussion, we’ve won, the Charter won, it’s a great day for Canada.” Lershner had good reason to celebrate. Justices in three provinces had just redefined marriage as being between “two persons” instead of ” a man and a woman,” giving gay and lesbian couples across the country (and visiting citizens of the United States and elsewhere) legal grounds to apply for marriage licenses.

    However, hindsight shows Lershner’s proclamation that the political discussion is over to be a bit premature.

  • The Charest Factor

    It is an inescapable fact that, since the 1995 referendum, Québec politics have been dominated by two of Brian Mulroney’s former cabinet ministers. The first, Lucien Bouchard, made his way to the top post of the Parti Québécois (PQ) to replace the fallen Jacques Parizeau. The second, Jean Charest, a much younger politician, was pushed to the head of the Parti Libéral du Québec (PLQ) by the federal Liberals in order to fill the void left by the dull and uncharismatic Daniel Johnson Jr.

  • AIDS fighters confront ignorance and hypocrisy

    It makes you wonder what’s wrong with those who have the money – the power to write a different ending to this story. It could be their heads aren’t screwed on quite right. It could be, perhaps, that their shoes are too tight. However – to continue to paraphrase Dr. Seuss – maybe the most likely reason may be that their hearts are two sizes too small.

  • Labour report: labour battles in B.C. and Quebec

    Recent political developments do not bode well for unionized public-sector workers. While the decisive defeat of the Tories in Ontario is welcome news, the actions of the provincial Liberals reveal they have no intention of undoing the damage inflicted by Mike Harris.

  • Editorial: Run-Up To The 2004 Federal Election

    The business establishment was never happy with the split in the ranks of the Tories that followed the collapse of the Mulroney regime. Bay Street always likes an acceptable fallback to the party in office, a second party committed to its agenda in case the first one falters and is unable to deliver.

  • Inventing Enemies: Project Thread & Canadian “Security”

    In post-9/11 Canada, even minor immigration irregularities can quickly become the basis of suspicions of terrorist activities, depending on your religion and country of origin. The terrible consequences for immigrants of this new arrangement are obvious with the seven-month-long Project Thread investigation by the RCMP’s Public Security and Anti-Terrorism unit (PSAT) and Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC).

  • Top 10 Canadian NGO strategies & tactics to combat climate change

    Canadian environmental organizations play a wide range of roles in combating climate change. Some analyze and popularize the science and impacts of climate change, some challenge industry and many target governments. Others are focused on long-term public education campaigns, grassroots initiatives and building the movement.

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