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TRCMulcair-featureby MaryAnn Wilhelm

I am a damaged package of goods, worse than a suitcase that has gone through a US airport - I was a child, my mother was a child. These residential school adults were only children then. Rather than learning, kindness, love and compassion; they were stripped of parents, stripped of identity, raped, abused - neglected. I will never be whole and perhaps many more are like me and have come to those terms of understanding. I've long since accepted that reality. The void will always be there, a reminder of the past, like a grave with cross without a name.
My fingers fumbled their way this morning; a little hungover from the aftermath of last night's ‪Trith and Reconciliation conversation- #‎TRC2015‬. My fingers danced across the keyboard, searching for the words that represent what I experienced last night. For countless others across this country, spirits fight for survival, seek to find meaning, to find pride. Last night should have been a proud moment for all Canadians and Aboriginals but it's been smeared by one act. This act is an indignity to the dead, indignity to the nations, an indignity to all our missing and murdered aboriginal women and a cyber slap to all those who are missing family members. Even if Conservatives don't support the inquiry, Valcourt was a guest and should've at least stood up, at the least - stood up. No - he choose to stay seated, defiant and as a representative of the Conservatives he tells the nations of the world a story told over and over again in the history books of Conservative rule. "We have an Indian problem."

positivechange-featureby Robert Hope

So what's the difference between a "Minimum Wage" and a "Living Wage" and why are they different?
The minimum wage is an Ontario standard, preventing an employer from paying staff any less than this amount. While you would think that this minimum would only apply in unusual circumstances, that fact is that over 9% of those employed in Ontario are paid at this level. The law is designed to protect employees from any company that would like to pay even less than this, but can't because this law prevents them.
You may be told that there are "study groups" that examine this standard, but it is really set by the politicians in power, most of whom are supported by corporations and small businesses to get elected. Certainly a poorly paid worker won't have much time to donate or to volunteer for a politician during election time so unfortunately their opinion doesn't count for very much in the election process.

woman-featureby MaryAnn Wilhelm

I think that you can still be a fantastic woman, a whole woman without media's perception of what boob size you should be, or how big your lips and butt is, or how long your hair is. Being a woman is owning oneself, just as it is a man to own himself. Our identities shouldn't be shaped by media or religion but it is and it's up to each of us to push back.

It would have been more empowering I think if Caitlyn Jenner went for less. Perhaps that's part of the question- what makes one feel like a woman? Is transitioning like being a young girl growing into womanhood and we try to discover ourselves, our identity? We look outside ourselves to shape ourselves because we don't know what's inside? Or is it that we know what's inside but we don't know how to define it, shape it?

kimmentalhealth-featureby Kimberley Love

So was the October shooting rampage at Parliament Hill an act of madness or an act of terrorism? The despised Bill C-51 has now passed. Both the Liberals and the NDP have grudgingly accepted that the Bill should be amended – not revoked – but it's worrying to see how a few unsettling incidents can provoke a clamping-down of the rights of citizens. The trouble is, of course, that it's hard to have any kind of rational debate about an event that threatened both lives that matter to us, and symbols we care about deeply.

But if we're prepared to talk about the so-called terrorist threat, then it's high time we also had a rational conversation about mental health. This is the 64th annual Mental Health Week for the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA).

 

Canada-featby David McLaren

Judging by how quickly the Harper Government's election budget disappeared from the pages and the airways of the media, you might think that the discussion is over. I'd argue it hasn't really begun. For budgets are more than a government's spending plans. They are more than re-election platforms. They are cultural documents about how we will be governed.

This is a budget for the vote-rich middle class. But, given the stats, you have to ask yourself how many of us are left in the "middle class."

Canada has the 3rd highest rate of working-age poverty among 17 similar countries. Inequality is rising more rapidly here than in most other G20 nations. We have lost over 300,000 good jobs in Ontario since The Recession and the economy has replaced them with poor-paying, part time, precarious work.

 

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