This week, two European tourists complained about the Canadian car culture after a brief stint in the 10 million square kilometer nation of over 35-million people. The British and Danish complainers now reside in Aarhus, Denmark. While I support criticizing a country, it is also good to have the facts in order. To that end, here are some stats Chabowski should have taken into account before making rush judgments on Canadian society.
Germany must be doing something right: four time winners of the World Cup and an economic and technological powerhouse. As a travel destination, however, Germany is often overlooked and underrated. With a range of possibilities from picturesque castles to culture-rich cities, Germany is an ideal year-round holiday destination.
Growing up, I was often embarrassed that my dad sometimes drove a taxi because I thought it was not "prestigious." Ironically, it was during my research on motivation at the prestigious Harvard Medical School Addiction Research Program that I realized that much of what motivates me (and all people) comes from lessons I learned from him in that taxi. Here are some of them.
Since the feminist movement, women have openly discussed and debated what it means to be female. This multi-decade dialogue has led to a more nuanced understanding of the complexity of womanhood, and what it means to grow and develop as a multi-faceted woman. A similar dialogue between men about the nuanced intricacies of malehood has been slower to develop.
If we convey negative or suspicious attitudes about other cultures and ethnicities, our kids will pick up on these and replicate our behaviour. "Monkey see, monkey do" is real so keep this in mind and remember to convey a positive and open attitude about other cultures, particularly around your children.
Canadian governments and broadcasters have been quietly withdrawing all support for documentary. Commercial television, now concentrated in the hands of a few megacorps, does its shareholder diligence by playing strictly to the cheap seats; its screens are filled with sporting fights, gun-toting men, bouncing breasts and dancing cats. Federal governments, increasingly influenced by neo-liberal doctrine, have been shrinking the NFB and CBC for a generation now while refusing to enforce license conditions which might force TV to create a little public parkland within the malling of our mindscapes.
In just a few short years, relatively simple technology that enables people to find like-minded individuals with similar tastes in artwork, has eclipsed and then surpassed a 50 year old institution of government. Hopefully, governments will learn the lessons of other industries and choose to embrace this technological advancement for what it is -- the democratization of art
The amazing thing about our country is that we're still young. Compared to other countries we're like barely-legal young. We're still losing our baby teeth, learning how to walk, working out the kinks and growing into our clothes. And from what I see, the core of what Canadian-ness is, is multiculturalism. So I have problem with Black History Month, and the reason is this: I don't believe we should assign one month out of the year (and the shortest month, mind you) to one race. Why? Because although, yes, it brings awareness to the history and celebrates its triumphs, it sets them apart from the norm, reiterating this whole notion of "otherness."
The fact is our student populations are becoming more diverse, though that's barely mirrored in the staff make-up of most urban schools. And while there is recognition of a need to hire teachers that better reflect the student population, reaching that goal remains a long way off considering the comparably low number of teachers who self-identify as visible minorities. In the meantime, we need to foster culturally sensitive and inclusive schools where student engagement leads to higher graduation rates, the de-glamorization of gangs, and the nurturing of productive citizens of all backgrounds.
I agree when Strombo says that he can leave his personal biases aside when talking about teams other than his beloved Montreal Canadiens, but do sports journalists really have less serious reporting to do than traditional journalists? Is Strombo right that the fan and journalist roles in sports are unlikely to clash? Recent events say no.
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.
Toronto is facing a political problem that it hasn't asked for. That problem has threatened both the trust Torontonians place in their government and how the world sees this city. We can strengthen our city. We can empower our immigrant communities, create jobs, and create a safe environment. But in order to do so, next year we have to stay focused on policy, not politics.
The Kijiji Finding Yourself in Canada Mosaic is a collaborative art project that allows users to upload photos of the places, people, and experiences in Canada that evoke happiness, serenity and a sense of adventure. It asks people to contribute Canadian images and it captures the essence of the Canadian experience.
I miss my dark skin. I have Vitiligo -- an auto-immune disease where the body creates antibodies that destroy the pigment, melanin, leaving patches of white pigment-less skin, which spreads over time. So when I see girls electively going through various beauty treatments to achieve that sort of lightness of being, my blood boils. It took me up to a year to go completely white, and that was 10 years ago. So for those who voluntarily want to go lighter, I know deep down, even fifty shades won't make the least bit of difference for them.