Organized sport played an important role in the residential school system, which means that sport is implicated in Canada's history of cultural genocide. How we move our bodies, the values we attach to those movements, and the resources we provide to support certain types of movements and not others are political decisions.
Simply put, sports has a way of connecting people. When you throw on your team colours, you're no longer a Sikh, Jew, Christian, White, or Black. You're simply a fan. And the only thing that matters in that moment is realizing the dream of seeing your team lift up the trophy one day and host a parade on your home streets.
Even those Canadians reporting the highest knowledge about immigration history believe we have always been welcoming. Yet the country's history offers more than enough examples of restrictive immigration practices to suggest that there is at least a bit of ignorance among those of us presuming the most knowledge.
Equal Pay Day is great in principle but in practice, it's both ineffective and powerless to enact the real change working women need. While I as a woman--not to mention, a woman of a visible minority who's inordinately affected by any such wage gap -- openly encourages discussions of inequality, discrimination and sexism, I'm reluctant to engage in a dialogue that sparks interest just once a year.
Last week the Ontario Court of Appeal in Spence v BMO Trust overturned a lower court's decision to set aside the will of the late Mr. Eric Spence on the ground that the will was discriminatory and thus against public policy. The most astounding aspect of the appeal judgment is that it was necessary in the first place.
At what point does racism move from isolated incidents to a systemic problem in the Canadian Forces? Master Corporal Marc Frenette is quitting his decades-long service after years of racial harassment. Last May, Corporal Esther Wolki went public over the racial abuse she suffered and the damage it did to her mind. Not even the defence minister is immune from racist attacks. Then there's Private Wallace Fowler. For 16 years he has been trying to get the Forces to properly investigate the racism he says he endured.
Since the 1980s, it's been used to diminish and discredit efforts to reduce racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, ableism and other forms of discrimination. But despite people like Donald Trump declaring "I'm so tired of this politically correct crap," the efforts remain because the issues have not gone away.
Ontario's Human Rights Code protects people from discrimination based on characteristics like race, age, gender identity, and sex in situations like the provision of services, housing, and employment. People are also protected from discrimination based on their creed. The term "creed" isn't defined in the legislation, but until recently, it was thought to mean the same thing as religion. That is, until now.
I am sorry to say that no one can promise that you will not face discrimination again as you re-establish yourself in this country. But I know that there will be many of us that will stand with you when it happens. You will be among those fighting to ensure our handling of this humanitarian crisis does not seed future shame and add to the list of times that fear and intolerance guided our actions.
Prior to the 1970s, house parties were an essential element of the homosexual social scene. Photographs of these private affairs are rare. The few that are available in archival collections memorialize a history of forced seclusion. One of the most tantalizing photographs I've come across in my research of Canadian LGBT history is of a trio of men attending a Christmas party in 1956. Standing in front of a decorated tree, a young man with a then-stylish pompadour delights in opening his gift while another man, who has his arm around him and another gentleman, looks on.