Canada’s identity forged by struggle that created shared values

Trudeau is wrong – it's not just diversity that makes us strong, it’s how our diverse parts find so much in common

Canada’s identity forged by struggle that created shared values“Be proud of your heritage – be passionate about your country,” was the motto of The Ukrainian Voice, a Winnipeg-based newspaper that recently ceased operations. First published in 1910, it was the leading advocate for Ukrainians in Canada. In this digital age, it couldn’t survive. Read by many in its day, it will be missed.…

Trans Mountain mired in hopeless consultations and useless studies

The court decision against the pipeline veered away from objective legal analysis into opinions designed to justify preconceived biases

Trans Mountain mired in hopeless consultations and useless studiesFor the second time in two years, three judges with the Federal Court of Appeal struck down a crucially important oil export pipeline project that had undergone years of regulatory review. The approval of Northern Gateway by the former federal government of Conservative Stephen Harper was struck down in 2016. That was after Enbridge spent…

Time to end mandatory minimum sentences for murder

Indigenous women are vastly over-represented among those sentenced to life

Time to end mandatory minimum sentences for murderWhat’s wrong with mandatory minimum sentences? Plenty. Especially when it comes to murder. High-profile serial murderers come to mind when Canadians think of murder convictions: Bernardo, Olson, Pickton. Few turn their minds to the 18-year-old Indigenous teen who kills her abusive drug dealer. Such a situation can amount to murder in our law. When it…

Reconciliation and healing require forward perspectives

We must embrace who we are as Canadians, the values that set us apart from the rest of the world

Reconciliation and healing require forward perspectives“Sometimes the medicine we need most comes from remembering who we were so we can reconcile it against who we wish to become,” writes Canadian poet Shane Koyczan. As we study the residential school system and its impact, it’s very important to remember that it wasn’t the fault of 21st century Canadians. It’s a part…

Groundhog Day, Trans Mountain pipeline style

Once again, the National Energy Board will review the contentious project. It's paralysis by analysis

Groundhog Day, Trans Mountain pipeline styleOn Groundhog Day on Feb. 2, Punxsutawney Phil in the United States and Wiarton Willie in Canada ceremonially emerge from their dens. If they see their shadows (meaning it’s a sunny day), they return to their dens for an additional six weeks of winter. And who can forget the classic movie Groundhog Day? Bill Murray…

A bad rap: one singer’s misplaced perspective on treaty rights

The federal government now spends approximately $100,000 per year on each First Nations family

A bad rap: one singer’s misplaced perspective on treaty rightsAs a regular attendee of the Winnipeg Folk Festival, I’ve had the good fortune to watch and hear a wide variety of interesting musicians over the years. One such performance was that of an Indigenous rapper. His main theme in a number of his songs was treaty rights. Basically, he powerfully denounced the government and…

Jean Chretien tried to end Canada’s apartheid system

As a cabinet minister under Pierre Trudeau, his bold plan would have improved the lives of Indigenous Canadians. It was doomed

Jean Chretien tried to end Canada’s apartheid systemFormer prime minister Jean Chrétien, now 84, sounded just like the feisty street fighter he once was during a recent CBC Radio interview. But his tenacity wasn't enough to win one of Canada’s gravest – and enduring – fights. From a very young backbencher, through many cabinet posts, and finally to a prime minister who only…

We shouldn’t teach ethnic languages in public schools

Teaching such languages is better done by parents and ethnic associations. Schools must focus on core subjects

We shouldn’t teach ethnic languages in public schoolsThe Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada called upon governments to make the teaching of Indigenous languages in public schools a priority. No one would disagree with the idea of having more Indigenous people become familiar with their ancestral languages. Many Canadians want their children to learn their ethnic languages. Parents with Scottish roots might…

Edmonton Eskimos are being forced to play the name game

The CFL team has carried the name for a long time and it’s not racist or demeaning in any way

Edmonton Eskimos are being forced to play the name gameThe Edmonton Eskimos are legendary. From the time of Jackie Parker and Normie Kwong, they’ve been one of the toughest contenders in the Canadian Football League. Now they face demands to change their name. Some Inuit and other Indigenous groups say the name is racist and demeaning, and ‘Eskimos’ must go. According to critics, the…

Canada’s persistent apartheid system

Canadians passionately denounced South Africa while not noticing that we had an apartheid system of our own. It's still here

Winnipeg’s Canadian Museum for Human Rights is commemorating Nelson Mandela’s long struggle against the white South African apartheid regime. Mandela, who died in 2013 at age 95, was imprisoned for 27 years because of his defiance of the regime and his determination to end apartheid. That apartheid regime divided people into racial categories and issued…
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