Human Rights

  • Time to free Canada’s long-term care system from its backward history

    History affords us a lens with which we may look back, spot mistakes, and, if we are wise, correct them. A situation that began before Confederation in 1867 has piggybacked upon itself for generations, repeating the same mistakes in one form or another. If we are to do better for seniors, the LTC system in Canada must break free from this historical pattern.

  • Machines in the chain of command

    Canada is now faced with an opportunity to take real initiative on defining the scope of arms control around an emerging technology that is on the verge of being adopted into wider military use, and falling out of human control. To do so, it will be necessary to show independence from an unscrupulous ally that is besieged by its own manifest destiny.

  • Canada drags its feet on international convention against torture

    This is the first article in a three-part series on Canada’s historical reluctance to ratify the United Nations’ Optional Protocol with the Convention against Torture (OPCAT). Despite being one of the early champions of this international law that exists to prevent torture in civilian and military detention centres, Canada has still not officially adopted the agreement.

  • Working people must lead the fight for universal pharmacare—not policymakers

    Data and statistics will keep piling up on the desks of indifferent bureaucrats, functioning, in a sense, like political sedatives. We cannot allow the passive decorum of Canadian political sentiment to temper our latent power—justice only emerges by means of popular revolt. Resisting capitalist interests will not be an easy task, but the fight to expand medicare must be led by working people—not policymakers.

  • Legal care for all: Why Canada needs a system of universal legal representation

    For most Canadians, a legal crisis will often have devastating financial consequences. Legal questions and problems, like health-related issues, are part of everyday life, yet, in contrast to our health care system, our legal system is unaffordable and thus inaccessible to most. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

  • Period equity now: Canadians need universal access to menstrual supplies at work

    Free period supplies at the workplace is “the tip of the iceberg” in terms of rectifying an outdated and harmful social ethic that compels individual women to “manage periods at work,” rather than pushing organizations, institutions, and companies to adapt to and support the natural functions of women’s bodies. No more hiding, no more whispering. The time for change is now.

  • Israel lobby waging campaign to silence progressive, pro-Palestinian restaurant

    The Israel lobby has waged a remarkably successful campaign to bankrupt a small left-wing Toronto restaurant. Despite claiming to fight bigotry, it is the Israeli nationalists who have been guilty of the most overt racism and arguably taken the most anti-Jewish positions in their protests against the eatery.

  • Female genital mutilation in Canada and the limits to criminalization

    COVID-19 has disrupted the global efforts to end the practice of female genital mutilation, or FGM, an internationally recognised form of violence against women and of child abuse. While some progress has been made in recent years, millions of girls around the world remain at risk.

  • ‘Cancel culture’ and the pro-Israel lobby

    If we want to identify the real masters of cancel culture, we need to follow the modus operandi of the institutional pro-Israel lobby and its adherents, like the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs or B’nai Brith Canada. They can teach us a thing or two about how to kill free speech, and how cancel culture works to stop an utterance before it is even spoken.

  • How settler colonial states use incarceration as a tool of dehumanization during the COVID crisis

    Incarceration is a manifestation and continuation of chronic and interwoven structures of oppression. It is used to enforce racial capitalism, apartheid and colonialism, from the US to Canada to occupied Palestine. This system is not broken because it tolerates the death traps prisons and jails have become. It is functioning exactly as designed, and will not provide justice in response to this tragedy.

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