Why can't we seek a world where we rise to the occasion and confront our failings as a society? Why can't we demand better of ourselves and of our communities to create a place where all life is respected? Why can't the ingenuity of the human brain -- and limitlessness of the human heart -- foster a world where hope triumphs over hopelessness?
As the mom of a son with some level of special needs, I am often a part of the "fair" conversation. Or at least the whispered conversations that go on around me. "Did you know that he gets to play Lego while the other kids do gym? That doesn't seem to be very fair!"
Today women account for just 5% of Fortune 500 CEOs and a tragic 0.3% of FTSE 250 CEOs and, in 2013, the number of women in senior management roles, globally, was just 18.5%. These numbers haven't moved much in the last 30 years, so why should I expect them to improve during my daughter's career?
A scientist, or any knowledgeable person, will tell you climate change is a serious threat for Canada and the world. But the RCMP has a different take. A secret report by the national police force, obtained by Greenpeace, both minimizes the threat of global warming and conjures a spectre of threats posed by people who rightly call for sanity in dealing with problems caused by burning fossil fuels.
The story beneath these statistics and trends is even more worrisome. United Way surveyed almost 3,000 people in our city to ask how they feel about their current situation and prospects for the future. We found that 86 per cent of people say the gap between rich and poor is too big -- a consistent sentiment regardless of income, age, education, or background.
Sometimes leadership happens off the side of one's desk, while at other times it emerges collaboratively, with the help of community partners to advance shared goals. Here are some ways in which the Canada Winter Games' leadership, particularly around sustainability, rose to the top:
Canada made a concerted effort to end malaria deaths in this country a century ago and is now supporting efforts to do the same around the world as part of leadership on MNCH. I'm optimistic that the discussion around 'no missed opportunities' will help move us much more quickly towards a world free of preventable deaths among women and children and one free of diseases like malaria.
One of the busiest Canadian roadways slices through Canada's Banff National Park, creating a lethal corridor for wildlife. In the 1970s, animals died so frequently here that people called the highway the "meat maker."
Young women with breast cancer present our healthcare professionals with difficult cases. They are often diagnosed with aggressive forms of breast cancer that require tough therapies. And the powerful treatments needed to stop the cancer can cause many complex side effects for young women, including early menopause.
More than a century ago, an international conference of some 100 working women meeting in Copenhagen decided to establish an annual Women's Day. As we approach the 104th International Women's Day on March 8, large gender gaps remain both in Canada and globally. This time, however, the annual event may become a catalyst for meaningful action, at least in election-year Canada.
Last year when the Manchester dog's home went up in flames I was watching the television and my first thought was how proud I felt that the UK was such a generous nation of animal lovers. However this was swiftly followed by my second, which was, how can we possibly justify raising of £2million for animals when there are children like my eight-year-old son, Harrison, dying every day from fatal illnesses. Harrison has Duchenne, a disease that means he probably won't live to see his 20th birthday. In 2011 I founded Harrison's Fund to raise money to fund research to develop a cure.
I don't want to tell you the story of my drunkenness. You've heard it before, or seen it before, or a version of it. It is not unique. I don't have a tale to weave for you of bizarre miracles and angels and heavenly choirs. I want to tell you of simple amazement. I fell, upwards. I fell into a life, once I stopped shaking and twitching and seeing things and vomiting. This has not just been a sobriety lesson, but a life one. At school, with loved ones, even (perhaps especially and most simply) on my writing journey -- honesty, being open and willing to accept some guidance goes a long way.
People living in industry-heavy areas of cities such as Hamilton, Sarnia, and Windsor bear an unfair burden when it comes to exposure to air contaminants. Many of these substances -- including benzene, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and particulate matter -- are known to pose serious threats to human health,
In 1962 a doctor in Perth, Ontario gave my mother a sample pack of two tablets of the drug thalidomide. She took one pill for her morning sickness, but that one tiny pill made her feel even worse. That one pill stunted the growth of my arms. There are only 95 of us left out of 125, we are dying prematurely due to thalidomide-related injuries. On December 1, 2014, the Canadian parliament stood and voted unanimously 256-0 to support a motion that was tabled by MP Libby Davies to fully support us. We need to get this compensation now.
Earlier this month, Inuit leaders and others gathered in Ottawa to look back at the past 15 years and, more importantly, discuss Nunavut's future. With pressure growing to resolve many outstanding aboriginal treaty issues across Canada, it's worth looking at the Nunavut experience.
That people's outcomes in life shouldn't be determined by their income, gender, age, race, ethnicity, disability or geography is a truly transformative notion that could shift the course of global development - for good. But it's also a tall order.