No-one I've talked to, including people who have lived here their entire lives and whose parents grew up here, can ever remember seeing something like this happen before. And because it takes a confluence of perfect weather conditions to create these massive snow-castles, it may never happen again in our lifetime.
I honestly can't think of a major religion that forbids men from meeting in public with a group of women. And honestly, if this restriction existed, how would you even function in the world? Regardless of whether the student's request is legitimate, let's talk about the fact that certain people quite high up in the university's food chain were willing to grant the accommodation that the student was seeking. A secular university -- I seriously cannot stress that point enough -- was more than willing to make an exception based on a religious belief that women were ultimately so different from men that the two genders could not interact in public.
It's the eve of the 1994 general election in South Africa -- first democratic election in the nation's 342 years. Nelson Mandela comes to the South African Broadcasting Corporation for an election rally. The black working classes abandon their jobs, flow in a mighty river through the dank corridors to the rally in the basement. No-one with that colour skin has ever before been invited to a South African national election rally, much less been asked for their vote. Mandela speaks slowly, saying words the people gathered here want and need to hear. The beast that is apartheid is dead, he tells the crowd.
Quebec's Muslim women have been threatened -- violence against veiled women has increased dramatically since the Charter debate was introduced. In Quebec, the issue of choice and self-determination around the veil is critical. It would seem, then, that in matters of fashion, religion, and secularism, Montreal's Muslim women are being held to a higher standard by their provincial government. Montreal's young Hijabistas -- and those who support them -- told us what the veil means to them.
If you knew that [Sierra Leone's Revolutionary United Front] were coming, or if you even heard a rumour that the RUF were on their way, knowing that they cut the hands and feet off babies, you wouldn't hang around very long. And it worked -- it was very successful. It helped them clear the diamond fields, and they could dig diamonds to their heart's content. There are 1.5-million artisanal diamond diggers in Africa -- they produce about 16 per cent of the world's diamonds. So there's a good chance that 16 per cent of the diamonds in any store are part of that problem.
The daily, international circus that Rob Ford is circumventing so disastrously right now demonstrates why it's so important to have a Crisis Communications Plan and stick to it. In every crisis there is an opportunity to learn and to grow and to become stronger. Here's hoping that this week is a little quieter for Ford.
I choose to wear the poppy for a different reason. I choose to wear it because as a woman with Native ancestry, I want to remember those whose faces we never see in the Heritage moments or on the Remembrance Day TV spots. While we remember the many veterans who fought in the many wars Canada has been involved in, the iconic images of these veterans are whitewashed.
The Snowden affair reflects the realities of the cyber age. Technology has made it easier than ever for our governments to monitor our communications, eavesdrop on other governments, and store that information, all in the name of public safety. However, our reactions to what Edward Snowden did by exposing these practices are based on tradition.
The detention of Dr. Tarek Loubani and John Greyson was at the forefront of all Canadians' concerns for the 50 days they spent behind bars at Cairo's Tora Prison. Dr. Tarek Loubani is an emergency room physician in my riding and John Greyson is an acclaimed film-maker and professor at York University. They are now home safe.
For almost four decades, I did not talk about the plane crash. Instead, I buried the tragedy and any associated feelings of grief as deep down as possible. That was the way tragedies and death were dealt with in the 70s. I was told, directly and indirectly, that the subject was closed, never to be discussed... the subject of death was unmentionable.
Today my phone buzzed with the story of a film blogger calling 911 because he was bothered by someone using their cellphone during a screening. It's kind of a funny story to most, I suppose -- one that illustrates just how wrapped up people can get in this odd world. Except I didn't find it funny. At all. On any level. As a guy who spent every day of my working life for eight years trying to keep up with the volume of calls pouring in to 911 -- legitimate calls, each of which carried with it the weight of someone possibly dying -- I find Billington's action offensive.