Women in poverty are falling into debtors' prison, reports Elizabeth Fry Society

13 February 2017 - 6:37pm

Women are going to jail in Canada, especially Indigenous women, because they are unable to pay fines for small infractions. So says the Calgary Elizabeth Fry Society. And once a woman is put into the justice system, she often runs into complications that prevent her getting out.

The situation would be much worse if it weren't for the 24 non-profit Elizabeth Fry Societies, who offer hope, counselling and practical help to women caught up in the justice system. Most of their clients are women and youth who face charges or jail time for petty crimes, crimes of poverty and survival, such as stealing food, public urination, shoplifting, panhandling or soliciting.

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Israel's response to Syrian refugee crisis has much in common with Trump's ban

13 February 2017 - 2:48pm

It is strange how supporters of Israel are responding to Donald Trump's Muslim and Syrian refugee ban. Some have applauded it, effectively acknowledging that Israel cheerleading is a right-wing cause. Others have sought to be seen taking the side of anti-racism and religious tolerance, all the while ignoring Israel's terrible treatment of Palestinian, Syrian and other refugees.

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Five ableist things I wish people would stop saying to me

13 February 2017 - 8:44am

Our society is not very good at listening to neurodivergent folks. When we're not being told we are lazy, the things we ask for are routinely ignored.

Sometimes the way that this happens is very subtle, and even the people who say they value accessibility sometimes say hurtful things when they are not paying attention. Here are some examples.

1. "You seem like you are okay" or "You seem normal"

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Leduc No. 1 and Alberta's unluckiest lucky day

13 February 2017 - 12:32am

February 13 is the 70th anniversary of the day Alberta simultaneously won the lottery and started to watch everything go to hell in a handcart. February 13...Alberta's unluckiest lucky day.

In other words, 70 years ago, with memories of the Great Depression and the Second World War still very fresh in the minds of the province's population of about 800,000 souls, Leduc No. 1, a few miles south of Edmonton, struck oil and the whole world changed.

Cars didn't have seat belts back in 1947, so no one thought to say: "Fasten your seat belts!" But by gosh, they should've!

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B.C. government's budget priorities are all out of whack

12 February 2017 - 9:12pm
Finance Minister Mike De Jong is promoting a balanced budget, but the reality is much bleaker. Dear B.C. Liberals: Your budget priorities need fixing.

Dear B.C. Liberals: Your budget priorities need fixing.

12 February 2017 - 12:22pm

Dear B.C Minister of Finance Michael De Jong,

Thank you for your voicemail message expressing your regret that I was not home to share with you my priorities for a balanced budget. Perhaps it was a good thing that I was not available for your call because I have a feeling you don’t really want to hear what I have to say about your government’s fiscal management record.

Firstly, I don't think we could even agree about the topic of our conversation since I see a balanced budget as an oxymoron, like fresh-frozen or pretty-ugly. A budget is a forecast, not a fixed entity. It's a projection that is at best an estimation of what spending will be.

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Advocates of more choice in education unite to condemn school board chair's call for more choice in education

12 February 2017 - 12:55am

Conservative politicians, their vocal supporters, private school operators, separate school system officials, charter school advocates, administrators from such institutions, and parents of home schooled children have all been chanting the mantra of "competition is good" for so long most of us can hardly remember hearing anything else.

So the reaction to Edmonton Public School Board Chair Michael Janz's suggestion last week that the public system should offer its own Roman Catholic education specialty program has been interesting, to say the least.

They hate it!

It turns out that competition is always good … except when it isn't! Who knew?

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Buying bargains for change - an interview with Bargain Jody

11 February 2017 - 6:29pm
Bargain Jody- Interview Part !

In Part One of Buying Bargains, Kelly Okamura talks with Jody Steinhauer (or Bargain Jody as she's fondly called).

They discuss the difference btween bargains and discounts, and how bargain shopping has changed from needs to fast fashion. They speak about making purchases that add value, helping people with real needs, and social corporate responsibility.

Project Winter Survival is an initiative by Engage and Change to fund 10,000 Survival Kits for the homeless and less fortunate.

This is Goodergoods' second Valentine's Day show -- listen to their first Valentine's edition - “Love and Passion”

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Trump's Muslim ban first step toward re-establishing American dominance in the Middle East

10 February 2017 - 5:29pm

Trump's executive order to ban citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from the U.S., comes in flagrant defiance of all international humanitarian laws and basic human rights. This ban is not about protecting Americans from ISIS or "Islamic extremists". Instead, Trump's policy is the first step in an economic and political strategy designed to rebuild the American Empire.

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Trudeau's do-nothing approach to electoral reform risks Canada's future

10 February 2017 - 1:44pm

Karl Nerenberg is your reporter on the Hill. Please consider supporting his work with a monthly donation Support Karl on Patreon today for as little as $1 per month!

The prime minister keeps making the bizarre argument that a partly proportional electoral system would allow anti-immigration Conservative Kellie Leitch to form her own party and get seats in parliament --perhaps even hold the balance of power.

He did it again on Thursday in Iqaluit.

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In times of despair, utopias are preferable to dystopias

10 February 2017 - 9:00am
Friday, February 10, 2017

There's something touching in how sales of 1984 have risen since Trump. Amazon is out of stock. Other dystopian novels, like Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, are doing well. It's one way to deal with a shock to the system: buy a book; then, basically, let it sit since it probably won't have much to do with what's spooking you on CNN. It's about the illusion of control.

Dystopias are warnings, utopias are yearnings. They keep chugging ahead into the future, unlike dystopias, which are meant to forewarn but can as easily depress and demobilize.

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Trudeau's broken promise on electoral reform may cost him the next election

10 February 2017 - 8:42am
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau may have already burned the bridges he built, both to the left and to the right, that won him a majority government in 2015. As burned bridges pile up, Trudeau's re-election may already be out of reach

Former Alberta premier Dave Hancock to be the subject of a hanging Monday afternoon at the Legislature

10 February 2017 - 12:59am

"You will always be fond of me. I represent to you all the sins you never had the courage to commit."
― Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

As predicted in this space three years ago, it was only a matter of time before we Albertans had added to our premier provincial collection new portraits of first ministers Alison Redford and Dave Hancock.

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The Quebec mosque attack victims spent their lives vilified as terrorists. Then they were murdered by one.

9 February 2017 - 6:33pm

A radicalized, right-wing, white Trump supporter walks into a place of worship and terrorizes a room full of innocent Muslim men as they submit in peace and prayer. How depressingly ironic! These men became the victims of the very label that the media and public use to condemn them: terrorist.

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What will be the worst consequence of Trudeau's broken promise on electoral reform?

9 February 2017 - 5:24pm

After months of delay, cynical maneuvering and two female cabinet ministers tossed under the Liberal bus of "Real Change," Justin Trudeau finally told the ministry of democratic institutions that "changing the electoral system will not be in your mandate." Surprise!

Karl Nerenberg calls this shameless about-face "a gift to the right." He's not wrong. Greg Squires says that this betrayal of the soft left-wing voters that delivered Trudeau his majority has already cost him re-election in 2019.

Choices Two promising young female cabinet ministers were thrown under the bus over a file the Liberals never took seriously. The Conservatives could win another false majority and usher in another Harper-like decade. Justin Trudeau will lose his majority and Canada won't be cool anymore :( Deep-seated cynicism will take root in the Canadian electorate, making it possible for a radical right-wing demagogue to ride a wave of populism to victory in Canada. Electoral reform was never closer to implementation at the federal level -- and now the chance is gone. All of the above None of the above For the last time: no one cares about electoral reform.

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No, there is no such thing as 'reverse' terrorism

9 February 2017 - 4:32pm

In the aftermath of the Quebec City mosque attack, we have heard and read all kinds of language to describe the event.  "Hate crime," "mass murder" and "terrorist attack" were all used and they all, to some extent, do define what has happened. However, one confused TVA anchor said on air that this was a case of "reverse" terrorism. As if terrorism had only one form: Muslim against others.

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Songs Upon the Rivers

9 February 2017 - 11:35am

The history of exploration in North America is a tapestry of cultural interactions. The children of Indigenous communities and European settlers eventually established an identity distinct from their ancestors. Songs Upon the Rivers collects information from primary sources and long-lost documents to map the distinct identity of French-Canadiens and Metis.

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Silenced twice by U.S. Senate, Coretta Scott King's words live on

9 February 2017 - 9:19am
Thursday, February 9, 2017

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., was interrupted while reading the words of Coretta Scott King on the U.S. Senate floor this week. Warren was reading a 1986 letter King wrote in opposition to the confirmation of Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, then a U.S. attorney in Alabama, to a federal district judgeship. In a rare decision, the Senate Judiciary Committee rejected Sessions. Now, as the Senate debated a new confirmation of Sen. Sessions for the position of U.S. attorney general, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., silenced Warren shortly after she read Coretta Scott King's words, invoking an obscure Senate rule against impugning colleagues. She was told to sit down and was barred from speaking further during the ongoing debate on Sessions.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., was interrupted while reading the words of Coretta Scott King on the U.S. Senate floor this week.

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Colombia's resistance to Canadian mining interests is multi-faceted and fearless

9 February 2017 - 9:03am
Indigenous people, Afro-Colombians, union leaders, farmers, students and academics in Colombia confront Canadian mining companies. Colombia's resistance to Canadian mining interests is multi-faceted and fearless

Brian Jean makes it clear, any new Alberta conservative party will be the Wildrose Party

9 February 2017 - 12:57am

In case you're still wondering how this unite-the-right thing is supposed to work, Wildrose Leader Brian Jean has clarified matters for you.

The party that emerges when the dust has settled will be the Wildrose Party, he told the world earlier this week. The Progressive Conservatives will be no more -- although, certainly, the "new" Wildrose party (which will not be new at all, of course) will soon try to rebrand itself "conservative."

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