From the category archives:

Canada eh

Former astronaut Julie Payette has been named Canada’s next Governor General, taking over from David Johnston in September. And of course, the internet is all abuzz, because a woman is doing a job that has clearly was made for a man… even though Payette is exceptionally qualified, will be the fourth woman to hold the post in Canada, and is representing the Queen (who, y’know, is also a woman).

Once again, The Beaverton nails it:

“It only took a master’s degree in engineering, knowing six languages, playing classical piano with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, being a mother, and maneuvering a space shuttle payload into the International Space Station to convince the man that Payette has what it takes to be the Queen’s symbolic representative in Canada.”

(HT: Liesl, who has basically become one of my primary sources of content lately.)


Dear Justin Trudeau:

There’s a LOT to criticize about Canada’s relationship with our First Nations, both past and present. So, two thoughts about this statement:

1. Words matter. Tone matters. On this, I will commend you for your words and for attempting to strike a real dialogue for perhaps the first time in Canadian history.

2. But actions also matter. And your government has been in power for nearly two years now. Indigenous women are still going missing or being murdered at alarming rates, while law enforcement turns a blind eye. Indigenous communities still suffer from a lack of clean drinking water, services, schools, healthcare, resources, and opportunity. A young person in a First Nations community is more likely to end up in jail than to graduate high school. Indigenous land is still being destroyed to accommodate oil companies. And so on, and so forth. The litany is endless. And this isn’t the past. This is 2017.

In short, these protest are urgent and necessary. And visiting the protesters with open ears and a willingness to engage in dialogue is a good first step. But honestly? Talk’s cheap. It’s time for action. Not only because you promised, But because it’s right.

Canada turns 150 this weekend, and plenty of people will be celebrating. There’s lots to celebrate in this great country of ours. But we have to acknowledge that we built this country by trampling over the rights of its original inhabitants. And that they deserve not only truth, but true reconciliation. As in, making shit right.

Actions. Not words. Get to it.

A Canadian citizen.


Mental Health in Canada: Let’s do more than talk


Campaigns like “Let’s Talk” are all well and good when it comes to ending the stigma and launching a conversation. But it’s not enough to just talk about mental health. We urgently need to fix our system to provide better access treatment, prevention and education. The Globe and Mail’s #OpenMinds Series has some practical, common-sense […]

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Digital devices at the border: A guide for Canadians


BCCLA has written a clear, easy-to-understand guide for Canadians about issues that are far from clear or easy to understand: The first thing to remember if you’re a Canadian travelling to the United States is that you do not have a free-standing right to enter the US. Many Canadians have been crossing the Canada-US border […]

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I admit it: I’m a census nerd


I’m one of those Canadians who really, really likes the census. I completed it (alas, the short version) within minutes of receiving my card in the mail. Apparently, I’m not the only one: This census reportedly had a 98% response rate, higher than the last two censuses. In fact, so many people were excited that […]

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Americans: Considering moving to Canada if Trump wins?


Google searches for “moving to Canada” rose by 1000% after the US primary “Super Tuesday” results: In the four hours around the close of polls across Super Tuesday states, searches for “how can I move to Canada” on Google spiked by 350%. By midnight, the query had risen to more than 1000% its normal search volume. […]

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Elizabeth May should not be Environment Minister


There are petitions going around urging Justin Trudeau to appoint Elizabeth May as Environment Minister. I think that’s a terrible idea. Here’s why: After a decade of Stephen Harper’s “war on science”, we finally have a government committed to returning to evidence-based decision making. Trudeau wants to bring back the long form census. He wants […]

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It’s a Liberal majority!


Wow. Just wow. Prime Minister Trudeau. It’s been a long time since Canada has heard those words. Before my lifetime, anyway. I dared hope for a Liberal minority. I never in my wildest dreams could have predicted a Liberal majority. The Tories have been turfed out. Stephen Harper has announced he will step down as […]

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Pollwatch: Dirty tricks as Canadians vote


#Pollwatch: I’ve been hearing reports of people having difficulty voting, despite being on the voter registration list and showing up with multiple forms of ID. Via the Orwellian-named “Fair Elections Act“, Stephen Harper is trying to make it more difficult for people to vote, and I fear he may be succeeding. Don’t let him get […]

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John Oliver on Canadian Election: Don’t vote for Harper


John Oliver is one of my favourite comedian-slash-pundits. Last night, he took on the topic of the Canadian federal election, as only he could: Now, it’s true that this is a bit of a lighthearted treatment of the topic, with plenty of room for moose jokes and Canadian stereotypes. But remember that Oliver is addressing […]

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