Like most religious minorities in Quebec, I am only slightly shocked by the proposed charter of values. The people that at the short end of the proverbial legislation stick are kids. Because our kids will live the rest of their future in the shadow of the laws and governments we support, it is imperative to consult them. So I decided to put my ear to the ground, and asked my youth group girls and their friends what they thought of the Quebec charter of values. Here are some reactions by girls age 12-16, all from different backgrounds and religions.
Dear Lakeridge Health, This week, you started a direct mail campaign targeting Quebec doctors, medical residents, and medical students. I agree with your nearly 500 "likers" on Facebook: it's one great ad. But I'm writing to ask you if things aren't tough enough here in Quebec right now without you Ontarians trying to lure away our professionals? Who suffers most directly if our doctors and medical students leave? (Hint: it's not the PQ!)
Premier Pauline Marois' proposal to ban religious symbols in public sector settings like schools, hospitals and daycares is as unconstitutional as it is offensive to every religious minority in Quebec and across the nation. Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms under Section 2 specifically states a Canadian's right to freedom of religion and expression among others, no matter where you are.
In January, the Morris Mirror ran an editorial by the community paper's editor-in-chief Reed Turcotte, that likened First Nations to terrorists and decried our "corruption and laziness." Not to be outdone, 80-something Nanaimo resident Don Olsen submitted a letter to the editor in March, detailing our supposed total lack of achievements and inability to survive in a modern world.
I'm not at all suggesting that the transition required for legalizing marijuana will be an easy road after all too many cheesy twists can cause high cholesterol. I would however like to say that my favorite quote from Mr.Trudeau on this topic is this: "I do not see this as a slippery slope... I see this as an issue of Legislators slowly catching up to where public opinion and public behavior actually is."
Jack Layton was a die-hard Trekkie, and had his own custom-made Trekkie uniform that he wore at conventions. He was a musician, and loved to gather his friends and colleagues, singing songs from the 1960s. He would encourage everyone to sing, even if you didn't know the words. He wore funky glasses and blue jeans. He kept his hair long.
At the beginning of last week we rejoiced with our colleagues upon hearing that Canadian premiers called for an inquiry into missing and murdered Aboriginal women. And then in less than 24-hours the Feds dismissed the premier's urgent call to action. Full stop. If hundreds of white women were murdered and missing would an inquiry be so quickly dismissed? What about hundreds of kindergarten teachers? Or hundreds of fire fighters? The premiers have it right. The time is now.
When Justin Trudeau announced to a crowd in BC that he supported the legalization of marijuana, he took a brave, yet proper stance on the wasteful, and tyrannical war on marijuana. Marijuana criminalization has ruined lives, and has distracted law enforcement into wasting their time and resources on a personal activity that shouldn't be a crime. Trudeau is on the side of common sense while the Conservatives are on the side of insanity, ignorance, and foolishness.
Prime Minister Harper's cabinet shuffle has established four new female faces in ministerial positions. But a recent study that finds women are out of touch when it comes to politics. According to study author, "It's not only that women tend to know less about public affairs, but they are more disconnected to the political process ... Women are more inclined to say they are not interested in politics than men. Women are also more inclined to say politics are complicated and difficult to understand." As a man, I say the following with much discomfort: This will not do, ladies. Politics is important, no matter your gender. You need to do better.
If we want our politicians to stop behaving like trained seals, it might not be necessary to take the whip away. So let me propose a different solution to the problem of party discipline: what if political parties had to formally and publicly disclose the amount of discipline they expect from their members on each vote -- from absolute obedience to the party line to absolute freedom?
What made me really mad and sad was, not whether the Alberta PCs or the Wildrose won or lost, but that these political dirty tricksters were willing to discredit and make fun of, in the eyes of the young people of Alberta, the "whole Christian faith", "Lake of Fire" T-shirts and all, for the sake of political gain.
When Elijah Harper passed away on May 17, 2013 I felt as though an arrow had pierced my heart. The man who inspired me to become what I am today was dead. In my childhood, there was only one Elijah Harper. Today, because he inspired an entire generation of First Nations youth, there are thousands of us.