A just reconciliation requires more than simply talking about the need to heal the deep wounds of history. Words of apology alone are insufficient; concrete actions on both symbolic and material fronts are required. Reparations for historical injustices must include not only apology, financial redress, legal reform, and policy change, but also the rewriting of national history and public commemoration.
In every region of the country, Survivors and others have sent a strong message, as received by this Commission: for reconciliation to thrive in the coming years, Canada must move from apology to action. (Summary of the Final Report of the TRC)
- This week Ontario became the first province to ban conversion therapy for LGBTQ children. We hope that other provinces (maybe Manitoba!) will follow suit very soon.
- On Tuesday, PEI government announced that those people seeking an abortion in the province will no longer need to get a referral, blood work, or an ultrasound before booking an appointment for the procedure in Moncton, New Brunswick. This is clearly a very important step toward better access to reproductive and sexual health care in the maritimes, but it’s important to remember that going out of province for an abortion is NOT local access. Travel costs are not covered and, although New Brunswick is increasing its capacity for reproductive and sexual health care, wait times can still be long. This success demonstrates that public pressure and policy alternatives can institute real change–so much work remains to be done.
- Bill C-24 came into effect last week, officially implementing our new two-tier citizenship system. Under this new law, people who hold dual citizenships or who weren’t born in Canada can have their Canadian citizenship revoked (justified as a means to protect Canadians from jihadi terrorism)–as a result criminal behaviour can now be punished by exile. Citizenship and Immigration Canada released an infographic explaining that the new process is more streamlined and less costly. In the new system, there is no longer a requirement for a judge to rule whether citizenship should be granted or taken away…so probably not a very fair or constitutional process all together. Sign this petition to stop Bill C-24.
- Watch Molly Crabapple’s illustrated report on how the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement locks up immigrants for profit.
- The Centre for Policy Alternatives released a new report on the Halifax living wage this week, finding that a person working full time in Halifax would need to make $20.10/hour to get by (in a province where the current minimum wage is $10.60!)
- Janet Mock on media, privilege, health care access, glamour and the iconic Caitlyn Jenner Vanity Fair cover.
- Crucial reading by Sarah Hagi on Islam, Muslim women, and feminist exclusion: “After educating myself and realizing that feminism has many interpretations, I now identify as a feminist. However, in even the most progressive feminist spaces, I have seen how little some feminists seem to understand that the experience of a Muslim woman is as diverse as the experience of any woman.”
- One woman’s approach to manspreading? Sitting on men. An Alberta-based GUTS editor is planning to follow suit on Edmonton’s LRT. Full report to come.
- If I could acquire any talent without putting in any effort (or experiencing any pain) it would have to be skateboarding like the best woman skateboarder in America. I would also like to be able to train my very cute dog to do gymnastics.
- I just stared reading Alexis Coe’s dispatches from a cabin in the woods and they are wonderful. Here’s a taste from her final instalment: “For the first time in my entire life, I can’t tell you where or how I want to live. But in the midst of losing so many things that were once so important, I’ve also lost something that, it turns out, isn’t that important to me: the need for certainty. I don’t know what comes next. That isn’t strength, but the source of it. I thank the creek for revealing it to me.”
- Training at pretend companies is being used to fight longterm unemployment in Europe as a result of the ongoing economic crisis; people are working full-time at fake companies for fake wages in order to qualify themselves for real employment, but also to occupy their time: “We believe in it…We organize ourselves as if we’re working in the real world. And you’re working so much and dealing with other colleagues, that you don’t even see the time pass.“
This strange solution gives rise to so many questions for me, about the anxiety induced by precarious working conditions (represented so brilliantly and painfully in Two Days, One Night, which I finally watched recently and pretty much wept the entire time. It’s very good and you should see it when you can), and about the relevance of a universal basic income in an evolving labour movement (Michelle Chen and Sarah Jaffe give a great breakdown in Belabored Podcast #77: Should the Labor Movement Support Basic Income?). I’m curious about these things and want to know more about what people are saying about them so if you have thoughts or links please share below!
- Finally, this Suffragette movie probably isn’t perfect, but Meryl Streep telling Carey Mulligan to never give up the fight just might be.