Nicholas Mizera is a Opinion and Blogs Editor at HuffPost Canada.
He has lent his unique voice and sense of style to prominent print and digital publications including Toronto Life, Gotstyle Man, the Bay St. Bull, Sharp Magazine and DailyXY. He has also appeared on television and radio to report the news and provide expertise.
Busy celebrating the best of what Polish culture had to offer, I rarely paused to think about the darker parts of my heritage. But moving out from my childhood home and joining a Polish community during a formative time of my life brought this willful ignorance into stark relief.
For those of you who grew up in a later era (or, perhaps, haven't fully caught up with the rest of Canadian society since those heady days), let me remind you why critics urged guys to burn their tight denim and labelled men who wore the style as less-than: skinny jeans were feminine, and feminine -- for guys -- means "bad." Substitute any other vaguely feminine trend, from floral prints to makeup for men, and it's the same story. But we've made so much progress since then, right?
Keeping relationships within a culture can be convenient, comfortable and maybe even somewhat expected of you -- but it also makes it easy to keep one's culture alive. Our parents had a clear blueprint for passing on their traditions, something the growing number of culturally mixed couples like us simply don't have.
A citizen's advocacy group has recently called Sophie Grégoire Trudeau out for accepting gifts and loans of clothing from Canadian fashion labels, deeming her "for sale" for daring to wear support for our country's industry on her sleeve. I can see how gifts and loans can make for some bad optics, even if the role of prime minister's wife has little real political oomph behind it. However, in a world where few powerful individuals direct their influence toward social good like Grégoire Trudeau does, Democracy Watch's threadbare argument seems to be more about populist-pleasing celebrity shaming than hypothetical conflicts of interests.
There's a growing number of people who think ending news reporting on acts of terror will somehow #SilenceTerror. And I could not disagree more with this all-too-convenient answer to a complex issue. Proper news reporting may seem to give credence to terrorist organizations who actively court such media attention, but it will never truly further their cause -- not when reporting often counters and negates the narratives spun by extremist organizations. Amid the shouting of social media, professional reporting offers fact, reason and, most importantly, context.
This Canada Day we are reminded that our country is a nation of immigrants, many of whom took risks similar to yours to create a better life for themselves and their children. And, like you, they came to the right place. I am proud to be Canadian. I am proud to be Polish. And I am proud to live in a country where those two things are actually one and the same.
In the wake of the Panama Papers investigation, federal anti-money laundering agency Fintrac slapped an unnamed Canadian bank with a $1.1-million penalty for failing to report a suspicious transaction and various money transfers. Fintrac hopes the move sends a "strong message" to individuals attempting to short the country's coffers. How's that, exactly?
Many legal definitions of sexual assault, including Canada's, try to balance two things: the rights of the accused to remain innocent until proven guilty, and the rights of the complainants to seek justice in a fair and balanced court of law. However, our laws are strongly biased in favour of the accused because of one little clause.
Historically, female designers have been behind about one in six of all collections presented at Toronto Men's Fashion Week. This may sound like a fair ratio for a menswear show (undoubtedly there exist some with no female representation at all), but I assure you that it is not. Women have as much business being at a men's fashion week as male designers do at womenswear shows around the world -- that is, a lot.
I consider throwing on the same T-shirt and jeans or suit and tie -- day in, day out -- a missed opportunity to improve your productivity before you head into the workplace. That bit of mental energy and time you may devote to finding something new to wear every morning can very well pay off dividends, I find. It's meditation by menswear.