I was raised on a dairy farm in Belledune, a small community on New Brunswick's North Shore. By the time I showed up to school in the fall of 1968, the schoolhouse was bordered by a smelter on one side and a fertilizer plant on the other. I started hearing a little voice inside me saying, "Do something!"
We live in a society where it is impossible to live a functional lifestyle and not consume products made from petro-chemicals every single day. As such, the notion that environmentalists -- such as Neil Young for example -- have no right to criticize oil sands developments, pipelines or fracking because they "choose" to heat their homes and drive cars is downright nonsensical.
China's National People's Congress meet in Beijing Wednesday, with the country's crippling smog, which now looms as a threat to the leadership, high on the agenda. China's air isn't polluted because the technologies to keep it clean are unavailable but because the country lacks a credible regulatory regime that makes polluters pay and rewards investors to innovate. Why does the government target BBQs and individuals instead of the major polluters? Because it knows how to deprive ordinary citizens of their property and their lives. It doesn't know how to regulate an incoherent economy bereft of market discipline.
Last year was the first-ever Happiness Day, and we heard plentiful advice on how to make ourselves happy. But if we want to maximize our planet's sum total of happiness, it would seem most efficient to share the fortune we have -- material, emotional and spiritual -- with those who have little.
The question remains, how do we encourage more men to be advocates for the women in their lives?
Before the end of today, you might notice a few small media stories mentioning that it's International Women's Day. If you're like many Canadians, you might wonder why we still need a day like this, especially in a country like ours. It's tempting to believe gender discrimination is a thing of the past. But unfortunately, women and girls in Canada still face disproportionate levels of violence and poverty simply because of their gender. And we all pay the price -- whether we know it or not.
This morning, I was proud to shake Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson's hand and congratulate the City of Edmonton on being named Canada's Earth Hour City Capital for 2014.
A recent study found executives of both sexes consider the tension between work and family to be primarily a women's problem. The official theme for International Women's Day 2014 is "equality for women is progress for all." Let's do exactly that by supporting progressive policies for women, and new opportunities for men and families.
In celebration of International Women's Day, I would like to share experiences from the recent State visit to India that my husband, the Governor General, and I led, along with members of Parliament, and leaders from business, education, research and civil society. Both in Canada and India, and elsewhere in the world, whether for social or economic returns or both, women entrepreneurs are making our world better. I salute them on this International Women's Day!
There is a second Lesotho. In this Lesotho HIV disproportionally affects women, and girls are kicked out of school for becoming pregnant. Despite the empowerment of a minority of women into positions of political power, this is a Lesotho where patriarchal norms persist and sexual violence is all too often ignored.
It's surprising when you think of it, that in the era of Macklemore and Neil Patrick Harris and openly gay football players that we could live in a world where homophobia still happens, where this is still even an issue. But 2014 has been a mixed bag when it comes to ensuring basic respect for same sex couples.
Imagine what would happen if the Crown suppressed thousands of pages of police evidence from an important trial? It wouldn't take a legal expert to tell you there would be an immediate mistrial -- especially if the Crown also prepared a false evidence sheet that mislead the judges. And yet, this was done to the survivors of St. Anne's Residential School.
As millions celebrate International Women's Day this March 8, it's worth reflecting on where gaps remain in addressing gender issues in the spread of and response to HIV. The face of HIV has changed dramatically since the early years of the epidemic. Women now represent more than half of all people living with HIV worldwide.
There's no shortage of examples of how a company's commitment to an issue can inspire an entire country to act. The right for a woman to walk down the street in a developing nation without the fear or reality of being raped has not yet been one of those examples. I think it has incredible potential and power with Canada's own women and men, a unique opportunity to create a legacy of fostering systemic change globally.
While the UN Security Council holds urgent talks and Secretary-General Ban-Ki Moon urges dialogue to resolve the Ukraine crisis, other areas of crisis fall to the back pages of newspapers. Yet, four level-three emergencies are currently affecting children: the Central African Republic, the Philippines, South Sudan, and Syria. The three conflicts are claiming lives and childhoods.
Every parent's nightmare: They invade your home, snatch your most treasured jewel -- your two young children. You want to run and rescue your children, but you can't. The truth is your worst nightmare is a reality for captive elephants.