Thousands are dying at sea, in detention and on the way to what they hope are better lives. They deserve more than our empathy, understanding and compassion. They also deserve -- and need -- a helping hand.
On this day, the International Day of the Disappeared, I want to share my story. I was taken to the infamous Campo de Mayo. I knew then this meant torture and death. Compared to some, my time at Campo de Mayo was relatively short, four weeks -- that felt like four centuries. The next day the torture began and with it the test of my resilience. Again, memories are a maelstrom of images, sounds and smells: interrogation sessions, my head submerged in water or sewage, rats running amongst exhausted and tortured bodies, injections of "truth" serum, nights of rape.
Earlier this summer, Canada's first transitional housing dedicated to LGBT youth opened in Toronto--the YMCA's Sprott House. Reading about this great initiative raised our awareness about an issue that needs to be on the radar of all Canadians -- the unacceptable rate of LGBT youth who have no place to call home. LGBT youth become homeless for much of the same reasons as other young people -- family conflict, abuse, mental health issues and addiction. LGBT youth also experience higher rates of mental health and addiction issues in large part because of discrimination.
In line with the hippocratic oath, we physicians-in-training make a formal request to our colleagues and mentors, we call upon the Canadian Medical Association, MD Financial, the College of Family Physicians of Canada and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada to divest from fossil fuels.
Canada is a treasure trove of rivers, lakes and wetlands supporting countless communities, economies and species. With freshwater species experiencing the greatest rate of decline in what is being referred to as the sixth great extinction, Canada must step up efforts to improve watershed health for people and animals. For a prime example of our freshwater health and wealth, we need to look no further than the Skeena watershed on the northwest coast of British Columbia.
The fast approaching deadline for the Millennium Development Goals is a reminder of vital commitments by all the global society on priorities vital for development. On July 6-7 2015, Norway hosted a global summit on education for development and attempted to do precisely this.
If we disconnect from the natural world, we become disconnected from who we are -- to the detriment of our health and the health of the ecosystems on which our well-being and survival depend. Understanding that we're part of nature and acting on that understanding makes us healthier and happier, and encourages us to care for the natural systems around us.
If governments and policymakers won't commit to finding a lasting political, diplomatic and military solution to Syria's unrest because it is 'the right thing to do', perhaps they can be provoked into action out of inherent selfishness.
This phenomenon of taking children back to their native countries during the summer break to undergo female genital mutilation is called "vacation cutting." FGM is a horrendous, harmful and painful cultural practice that involves partial or total removal of a girl's genitalia, ostensibly as a rite of maturity but more clearly to control a girl's sexuality.
I wish the Malahat First Nation luck in developing economic capacity in their community, but I will not support LNG in the Saanich Inlet. Furthermore, I do not support the "sellout" of British Columbia by the B.C. Liberals or inability of the B.C. NDP to take a clear position as they search for whatever position appears to be politically popular.
The senseless killing of Cecil the lion has catalyzed a worldwide discussion about the gratuitous trophy hunting of large carnivores. In Western Canada, countless "Cecils" are killed in an equally senseless manner each and every year for the amusement, pleasure and excitement of recreational hunters.
In a moment of boredom, two teens in Lanark County, Ont., smash their way into a hardware store and help themselves to the goods. Police nabbed the pair soon after. But instead of going before judge and jury, the teens faced their victims in a citizen-run "restorative justice" forum. It's an approach that's gaining popularity across Canada, showing there's more than one way to be tough on crime.
We all know a country can only develop fully if all of its population has access to water and sanitation. Taps and toilets transform people's life chances, leading to better health, education and economic opportunities. It is fundamental to eradicating extreme poverty and to women and girl's empowerment.
We've all been there, standing in line to use the toilet. The wait can seem like forever, but in reality it's probably only a few inconvenient minutes. Now imagine having to wait for hours every single day just to use a private toilet, only to find the facilities lacking at the front of the queue and nothing to wash your hands with.
Coffee is social, cultural, and for much of the Western world, coffee is fuel. For many of us, our morning coffee is top priority in keeping up with life's many demands. Unfortunately for coffee junkies worldwide, the coffee industry is being threatened on a global level by the impacts of climate change.
On top of existing prohibitions on "undesirable organisations", on numerous public demonstrations, on gay pride rallies and on materials said to "promote" homosexuality, Russia's recent restrictions are faintly ludicrous and distinctly sinister.