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"You're not wanted here! Go back home!"
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Many Canadians gave online to the ACLU to help overturn the Trump administration's de facto ban on travellers coming from several Muslim-majority countries. The unexpected effect of globalization is citizens feel empowered to act and comment on the actions of another country.
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There is a silver lining.
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Dear Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, as barely one year has elapsed since the historical COP21 agreement to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), we are deeply shaken by the federal government's approval of the proposed extension of the Trans Mountain Pipeline and the replacement of Enbridge's Line 3.
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It makes zero sense that in a nation with universal health care, we have decided that mental health does not matter and should not be financially covered.
Change the name. Not your mascot.
When I first heard about the Women's March on Washington back in November, I felt called to get involved. I've used my words and my voice over the years, but have never physically marched. It was finally the time! I decided to stand with the thousands of other concerned citizens and march in solidarity here in Toronto.
"I lived through Nixon, both Bushes and Reagan [and] the same greed, the same lack of caring for the underclasses was there."
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Some of the most passionate mental health advocates work in women's shelters. Women on the front-lines for addressing mental health needs. Women supporting other women to find safety, stability, and empowerment in their lives -- in a way, sisterhood embodied.
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Indigenous people are subject to racism, whether they are professors, authors, award winners, self-made or struggling. Our voices won't be silenced. I say: name your culprits and give them the exposure they desire.
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We continue to be bombarded with graphically depicted messages that either romanticize suicide in terms of simplistic Romeo and Juliet dreck, or unfairly portray those in the midst of a mental illness crisis as "mad." We start believing falsehoods that keep perpetuating negative stereotypes and stigma.
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Given that inequalities emerge early in life - and seem to persist - it is imperative and urgent that Canada invest, develop and sustain a high-quality early child development framework.
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"No human being is illegal."
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In Canada, men account for three out of every four suicides -- with seven men dying by suicide every day. And the risk is even greater for gay and bisexual men, who are four times more likely to attempt suicide than heterosexual men. Which isn't surprising since they also experience higher levels of harassment, discrimination in the workplace and are more likely to be the victims of violent crime.
The Women's March is a reminder that there are many ways to support a positive future. You don't have to make a sign or scream really loud or join 60,000 people on foot. You can educate yourself and others, you can donate to causes that support equality and the environment, you can volunteer for organizations that improve lives of people in your community and you can make small changes in your lifestyle to better the future of others.
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Before the conflict in Yemen escalated, 10-year-old Fahd lived peacefully with his family in the northern city of Sa'ada. His routine was to wake up every morning, go to school, play with friends in the evenings and go back home for dinner and do his school homework.
Given the all the recent geopolitical upheaval, I recognize it will take considerable effort for governments, businesses, and civil society to put aside their differences, roll up their sleeves, and work together to achieve the SDGs. But there really isn't a viable alternative.
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"I think this is the beginning of a global movement."
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Kids connect with characters who look like them, even if those characters are sidelined. But during playtime, your kid is the casting director. A toy they can identify with makes them the hero of their own story, and could overcome what we call 'activist's block,' the self-diminishing excuse we hear often: "I'm just one person. What can I do?"
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A looming famine threatens the survival of many, particularly children, as 5 million face starvation in Somalia. There's no time to mull this over, considering whether or not to respond. The stark fact is that hundreds of thousands of children need immediate help if they are to survive.
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All told, it's been a bleak day. But don't give up. Resistance isn't futile. If there's one thing that progressives should learn from Trump's election, it is that protest works.
Access to water and toilets is transformative. It opens doors to education, health, nutrition and to a better livelihood. Access to water and toilets offers women and girls so many more opportunities to contribute their fullest to their communities.
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As human tornado Donald Trump begins his apocalyptic presidency and Conservative leadership candidates Kellie Leitch and Kevin O'Leary try to emulate him here at home, it's time for Trudeau to get back to his old ways before the southern storm front crosses our border.
C/O International Development Research Centre
We are currently embroiled in a mass-extinction event and, by 2025, up to a fifth of our known wildlife species will be lost. Don't worry, this post isn't like the last ten minutes of a wildlife documentary where they tell you that all the lovely animals that you have been enjoying are about to die, and it's your fault.
Pulses have great potential for human nutrition due to their high protein content compared to other vegetables. Despite this, global research funding for pulse crops remains very small compared to investments made in cereal crops.
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We've all been dealing with Donald Trump's face filling our timelines and newsfeeds on the daily since he kicked off his presidential campaign by calling Mexicans rapists. And there's no end in sight...
New Credit First Nation
To be fully accepted by the medical establishment, the delivery method for medical marijuana has to evolve. In other words, smoking or eating cannabis-infused foods must be replaced by slow-release, standardized-dosage pills or capsules. And they have to be pharmaceutical-grade.
"If we do this, and do it right, other cities across Canada, and maybe the world, can take this model on."
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As the weeks close in before the release of the next federal budget, we need to get out our loudspeakers and make sure this government hears us clearly: we want an economic model that works for women.
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We need to hear tales that move beyond stereotypes to challenge and teach. These stories are out there - indigenous people have been telling them for generations, but too often we haven't listened.
Never before has a generation been so connected and self-organized, yet mired in such anguishing asymmetry with older generations of leadership. If so many young leaders are already responsive, responsible and also effective, why do senior leaders worldwide prevent them from joining them?