In Ottawa, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) will once again convene a meeting of its 21 big city mayors. FCM is assembling the Big City Mayors' Caucus in advance of the federal budget, building on discussions which have been underway ever since the new government took office in late 2015.
After years of steady, but slow, steps in nature conservation, our collective stride seems to have lengthened in 2015. We still need to act on commitments to create more terrestrial and marine protected areas. We still have Canadian species that are at risk of disappearing. We still have parks and protected areas that need to be buffered and better connected.
I remember coming home for the holidays a few years ago, around the time of Idle No More, and learning about Shoal Lake through the council. The water we drink in Winnipeg comes from Shoal Lake First Nation, yet the community members themselves cannot drink their own water! I was devastated and angry at such a clear injustice.
Parents need to understand what the signs are to ensure their daughters are safe. All young girls can be targets for predators. Girls who are being bullied at school, struggling with changes on the home front or otherwise dealing with self-esteem issues are especially vulnerable.
They are stalkers, searching for someone to target and their hunting grounds are convenience stores, in malls, parks and, in Jessica's case, our local recreation centres. We thought that type of crime happened in other countries, not Canada. We were wrong.
I want parents and teachers to know that this is a real danger to their girls. I think that if I'd known the signs that I was being groomed for sex trafficking, it might not have happened to me. Predators don't discriminate. Raising awareness and knowing the signs is our first step to ending sex trafficking in Canada.
For millennia, this site at the confluence of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers was a trading post for Canada's First Nations, a status only enhanced by the arrival of French fur traders and the British Hudson's Bay Company in the 18th century.
At its core is the idea that all human beings have the right to freedom, equality and respect in their lives and in their government. Most permanent exhibits put you in the shoes of those discriminated against and the people who have made it their mission to help.
To maintain a French identity for their group, the four young "very wide-eyed" women picked the name after writing various words "we thought at first would be easy to say in English" on a sheet of paper.
I understood the importance of the Toronto Maple Leafs as an institution when my dad took me to a Toronto Marlies game around 1973 and I caught my first puck. In my 10-year-old mind, that black piece of rubber was as close to hockey royalty as I could ever imagine touching.
Canada has been receiving global attention, not just as a country, but also for its personality, style and popular cities and neighbourhoods for living. Forward-thinking and forward-moving urbanites and millennials looking to score the right balance between architectural beauty, 21st Century artistic and cultural relevance, consumer amenities and urban chic have fantastic options to choose from to call home.
I recently attended a mental health first aid course in order to further educate myself on the various mental illness disorders, the consequences of their severity and their overall prevalence in the population -- My eyes were opened to an entire population of our Canadian people whose rate of suicide was too horrifying to further ignore. As statistics related to aboriginal suicides were listed, I realized that this war being waged against the stigma of mental illness is but one of the many battles that will need to be addressed honestly in order to understand the magnitude of the affliction our mentally ill population is facing. As communities of aboriginals are fighting an invisible disease, society can dismiss the reality of the stigma by citing drugs and alcohol as the weak link in this people's history.
It's not as straightforward to simply relocate across the country. The theory that all provinces are alike is misguided, even though we do share two uniting forces in this great country -- ice hockey and our health care system.
Even as the conflict with Russian-backed separatists smolders, Kiev has ratcheted up a no less ferocious PR war. Hoping to bolster its case against Moscow, Ukraine as well as the country's foreign Diaspora have zeroed in on the Stalinist-induced famine of 1932-33.
Once the wheels were in motion to sell our house, I started to reflect on the idea of change and what that would mean for us. I'd have to quit the job that I loved, working in the culturally rich Winnipeg arts community and vacate the life that I set up for myself since moving to Winnipeg from Toronto.
Having opened its doors in September 2014, CMHR is not your typical museum, nor was it intended to be. CMHR's mission isn't to commemorate a specific event or group. It's about creating a safe, inclusive space to learn and engage in dialogue about human rights.