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Category Archive: Canada

Jun 26 2013

Non-Violent Direct Action Anyone Can Do (That Everyone Should)

It’s been a while since I last posted (and in fact, even since I last wrote an entry on my personal blog), and this entry is about part of the reason why—and that if you’re reading this, you should take up similar pass times. For anyone who is unfamiliar with the distinction between so-called “peaceful” …

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May 15 2013

Ray Bobb: To The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (Re-Posted With Permission)

Jamie

A brief note from Jamie on the piece of writing (by another author) that takes up the majority of this post: For readers who are unfamiliar with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, this is a government-implemented program in Canada, which visits indigenous communities primarily for the express purpose of hearing the experiences of residential school …

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Apr 23 2013

MP Scott Reid goes after atheists in the House of Commons #DefendDissent

Our beleaguered and religion-soaked cousins south of the border may, from time to time, look northward with envy at Canada’s largely non-religious civil society. Our politics are not replete with the same invocations to the intercession of the supernatural that plague the American landscape; indeed, it is considered somewhat gauche in most circles to make large …

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Apr 11 2013

Justice for Rehteah

I mentioned this story briefly in passing on Tuesday, but an atrocity has occurred in Nova Scotia (trigger warning for suicide): Rehtaeh Parsons had a goofy sense of humour and loved playing with her little sisters. She wore glasses, had long, dark hair and was a straight-A student whose favourite subject was science. On Sunday night, …

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Apr 03 2013

Mere speech

There is a long predigree in liberal public discourse about the dangers of punishing hate speech. The oft-quoted aphorism goes something like “the antidote to hate speech is more speech”*. The basic idea is that in a marketplace of ideas, bad ideas will be forced out by good ones, and thus the solution to hate …

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Mar 26 2013

Come too far to turn back now

When I was in Chicago, I was (deservedly) upbraided by a member of the audience for referring to the #IdleNoMore aboriginal sovereignty movement in the past tense. Of course this movement is still ongoing, just as it was before the advent of the hashtag and the dramatic public demonstrations that accompanied it. The latest federal …

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Mar 21 2013

Canadian House of Commons passes trans anti-discrimination bill

A rare bit of good news coming from the Canadian Parliament yesterday: A bill that would make it illegal to discriminate against transgender Canadians was approved by the House of Commons on Wednesday. The Opposition private member’s legislation passed by a vote of 149-137, with the crucial support of 16 Conservatives, including four cabinet ministers. It was …

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Mar 21 2013

Reporting from the Ministry of Irony

One of my deepest not-at-all-guilty pleasures is irony. If I were a more supernaturally-inclined person, I would point to events like this as evidence that there must be a supreme being: British Columbia’s largest oil spill response vessel got stuck on a sandbar en route to a federal news conference where Monday about strengthening Canada’s oil spill defences. …

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Mar 04 2013

SFU hosts dangerous anti-science crank group

Vancouver is a city in which one must be willing to put up with quite a bit of pseudoscientific woo-woo nonsense. There are reflexology and acupuncture and naturopathy clinics on every commercial block, each hawking their distinctive, heady mix of scientific ignorance and pure unadulterated bullshit. One learns to mutter epithets under one’s breath and …

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Feb 26 2013

South of what, exactly?

A map of Sutton District High School

One of the chief arguments pressed into service in defence of so-called “casual” racism – that is, racism that occurs as part of popular culture without any awareness of racist content on the part of the majority – is that in the absence of intent, acts are not racist. While we here know this to …

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