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Our Times 3

Human Rights

  • The Xinjiang genocide allegations are unjustified

    According to Jeffrey Sachs and William Schabas, there are credible charges of human rights abuses against Uighurs, but those do not per se constitute genocide. And we must understand the context of the Chinese crackdown in Xinjiang, which had essentially the same motivation as America’s foray into the Middle East and Central Asia after the September 2001 attacks: to stop the terrorism of militant Islamic groups.

  • Federal budget ignores Canada’s ongoing genocide against Indigenous peoples

    Canada’s continued denial of the basic human rights of Indigenous peoples is written right into budget 2021, a document that clearly falls well short on addressing this country’s ongoing genocide crisis. How many more Indigenous women and girls need to go missing before the federal government addresses this historic crime for what it is—genocide—and takes the nationwide urgent action that is needed to end it?

  • Trudeau abandons promised LTC standards, bowing to for-profit care agenda

    After promising to establish national standards for long-term care in response to the tragic outcomes of COVID-19, the federal government has now washed its hands of that responsibility. It is instead passing the buck to a toothless accreditation industry to create updated standards. This band-aid solution is a far cry from what experts, advocates, and many residents, have long been asking for.

  • India’s COVID crisis shows why Canada needs to oppose vaccine monopolies

    Canada’s role in obstructing India and the rest of the Global South in their attempts to waive vaccine patent rights is immoral, unjust, and completely illogical, propping up a system of extreme vaccine inequality by allowing just 16 percent of the world’s population, all of whom reside in wealthy countries, to maintain control of half of all confirmed vaccine orders.

  • Bill Gates says ‘no’ to sharing vaccine formulas with global poor to end pandemic

    Bill Gates, one of the world’s richest men and most powerful philanthropists, was the target of criticism from social justice campaigners on Sunday after arguing that lifting patent protections on COVID-19 vaccine technology and sharing recipes with the world to foster a massive ramp up in manufacturing and distribution—despite a growing international call to do exactly that—is a bad idea.

  • A post-pandemic social peace accord?

    The key consideration is how the left should orient itself in the period that is now opening up. The concessions that employers and states make aren’t driven by wishes and hopes; they hinge on the willingness of those in power to provide them. The post-war approach was based on a capacity to broker social peace, while ensuring a robust flow of profits. There is no such prospect before us at present.

  • Long-awaited ‘reforms’ fail to address realities of environmental injustice

    Purported ‘reforms’ to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act amount to little more than nice words, with little to none of the material change that working Canadians need from environmental legislation. Real reform would recognize that the working class bears the brunt of industrial capital’s impact on the environment and resultantly faces disproportionately poor health outcomes.

  • Ontario’s priority should be public health—not profits and police

    If social media is any barometer, there is hunger for change across Ontario. All factions of the left need to propose an alternative agenda at the scale of the crisis that prioritizes public health over profit and police. Only then can we break with the lethal logic underpinning the Ford government: that death and disaster are an acceptable cost in the pursuit of profit.

  • Protecting police with hate speech legislation will not bring respect to law enforcement

    Proper respect is earned, not given or forced. Increased police force whether through the use of violence in response to protest speech, as a result of perceived disrespectful encounters with citizens, or labeling public criticism of police actions that result in death as “hate speech” will never bring any moral authority or more respect to police. Indeed, it will surely do just the opposite.

  • Social media has done more for transparency and accountability than police body-worn cameras

    Following the circulation of a recent video of a violent altercation with police, Montréal mayor Valérie Plante has renewed calls for police body-worn cameras. The cameras are also currently being discussed in Winnipeg. Viral videos on social media have arguably done more for police transparency and accountably than body-worn cameras. Perhaps a better idea is to encourage the public to record police encounters with citizens.

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