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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.

 

notley-feature-Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound NDP

Albertans are clearly not afraid of New Democrats. They elected a majority NDP government in their provincial election last night and reduced the Progressive Conservative to third place.

But Conservatives should not have been surprised if they had paid attention to what Albertans are thinking ...

higher taxes for those who can afford it
higher taxes for corporations
higher royalty rates on oil
less dependence on oil as an economic driver
deficit is not as important as services
increase funding for child care
do more to reduce greenhouse emissions

All good Canadian values. All federal NDP policies.

liberalbudget featThe important thing about budget commentary is to consider who is making it. One would naturally expect the party in power to paint a budget in glowing terms and the party in opposition to pan it. However, if a person really did want an unbiased opinion, they should seek out a well-informed neutral observer (and probably more than one). This would allow any interested person to come to their own conclusions and those conclusions would be of real value as long as one was able to keep an open mind.
For example, Don Drummond (a person who, I would think, is respected by all sides) stated a few days ago that, in his view, the budget was detailed, used realistic assumptions, maintained contingency factors, used reasonable revenue projections and showed a real commitment to modest spending increases and that all of these points gave credibility to the goal of balancing the budget by 2017-18 .

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