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Human Rights

  • Public parks are public land

    Is one’s ‘right’ to not be exposed to tents in parks as important as another’s right to safety, community, or shelter? Of course not. The only line of reasoning that could uphold such an argument is one that places profit over people. The clearing of encampments has nothing to do with community safety or park aesthetics—it has everything to do with maintaining control over land and ensuring capitalist access to it.

  • Ottawa must intervene in closure of Alberta’s supervised consumption sites

    After a number of 2018 federal-level policy decisions, the accessibility of harm reduction measures like safe consumption sites for people who use drugs markedly affected the years-long opioid crisis. Yet, despite their effectiveness—backed by a high level of supporting scientific evidence—accessible harm reduction services are dependent on, and ultimately at the whim of, provincial governments.

  • Bill C-6 proves Conservative Party still a long way from genuine LGBTQ2 allyship

    In typical Conservative fashion, the party bungled whatever tentative goodwill they had been cautiously obtaining from LGBTQ2 voters, in a most unbecoming spectacle during a recent vote in the House of Commons. On June 22, during some of the final hours before parliament was to go on summer recess, 63 MPs, all of whom are Conservative, voted against the government’s proposed legislation to ban conversion therapy.

  • Transparency is voided when police weaponize copyrighted music

    An unsettling trend in law enforcement is occurring whereby police officers are weaponizing copyrighted music to thwart bystander recordings of police from going viral. It is not a mistake or a game but a growing police tactic. During a recent exchange with Black Lives Matter activists, an Alameda County Sheriff’s deputy in California was caught on camera pulling out his phone to soundtrack the interaction with Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space.”

  • Hounding Toronto’s homeless

    The neoliberal city needs its enforcers as a matter of great priority, writes CD columnist John Clarke. Those who are denied the right of housing must not be allowed to become too visible. If they seek shelter and safety in public parks, they will soon learn that, while there may be no housing or even adequate shelter available for them, there will be no lack of police batons to drive them from view.

  • Cancelling Canada Day is a move towards truth, justice and reconciliation

    The calls to cancel Canada Day continue to grow louder after hundreds of Indigenous children were found in unmarked graves near former Indian residential schools in British Columbia and Saskatchewan. A national day of mourning and collective reflection in honour of these children is far more fitting than the usual fireworks and parades which celebrate a country founded on genocide, writes Pam Palmater.

  • What really happened at a public meeting in Winnipeg labeled ‘anti-Semitic’?

    Proponents of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance insists that its working definition of antisemitism is aspirational, meant only to rally opposition to hatred of Jews, and is not legally binding. But the fallout from an event hosted in Winnipeg several years ago is emblematic of how the definition represents a direct threat to freedom of expression about Israel and Palestine.

  • When corporate interests trump the human right to clean drinking water

    Two corporations are in the midst of seeking Government of Manitoba approval to build and operate silica sand mines and processing facilities that would extract and process some 2.6 million tonnes of silica sand per year. One proposed mine would employ an unconventional and unproven mining method of extracting the silica sand by pumping it from deep within the aquifer that supplies drinking water to all of southeastern Manitoba.

  • Fixing the housing crisis will mean treating shelter as a right—not a commodity

    Those who argue that the housing crisis is a state failure neglect the fact the use of market stock as an investment tool is central to the problem of affordability. If housing is treated as a commodity, with the central goal of extracting a return, the market will price out and displace people. To end the housing crisis, we must end the commodity crisis. It’s well past time we ended both.

  • Liberals could have worked with the NDP to ban conversion therapy—instead, they chose to play games with the Tories

    Conversion therapy is premised on the noxious idea that gay people are broken. Jurisdictions around the world have outlawed these pseudoscientific “therapies,” and similar legislation is long past due in Canada—so it is utterly despicable that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delayed his long-promised ban on the practice to put the interests of the Liberal Party ahead of those being victimized today.

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