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Lee Tunstall

Adjunct Professor, Faculty of Arts, University of Calgary, Board co-Chair, Girls Action Foundation, and advisor,

Lee Tunstall is a freelance writer and researcher in Calgary and holds a Ph.D in history from the University of Cambridge, U.K.
The Senate Scandal Was Not Worth a $23 Million

The Senate Scandal Was Not Worth a $23 Million Audit

Consider me one of the millions of Canadians offended by the Senate spending scandal. But it's not for the reason you might think. The auditor general spent around $23 million on this investigation, and found less than $1 million in questionable expenses -- out of $180 million worth of expenses investigated. So we, the ever-patient, ever-indulgent taxpayers, spent $23 million to find out that 0.5 per cent of Senate expenses were questionable. Should we be outraged? Yes, by the dollar cost of the investigation and by the cost to the reputation of Canada's upper house.
06/16/2015 05:34 EDT
Let's Believe Women Who Report Sexual

Let's Believe Women Who Report Sexual Assault

Survivors of sexual assault experience a great deal of shame and guilt, particularly young women, as they internalize the victim-blaming messages conveyed by the media. This often keeps them from seeking the support they so desperately need. This International Women's Day, we need to encourage more initiatives that are centred on girls and young women. We need to commit to eliminating barriers to accessing support for survivors of sexual violence. And we need to support projects that deconstruct and challenge rape culture. But most importantly, we must listen and believe young women when they speak.
03/06/2015 06:22 EST
Why We May See More Homeless Seniors in Calgary's

Why We May See More Homeless Seniors in Calgary's Future

Twenty per cent of older adults live with a mental health issue. In Calgary alone, that equates to over 21,000 older adults, with between 1,000 and 2,000 living with severe and persistent psychotic disorders, including schizophrenia and delusional disorder. These figures do not take into account individuals between 45 and 65 who have lived a higher-risk lifestyle and been intermittently homeless. Such individuals age more quickly than the general population, and often present as "functionally geriatric" well before the age of 65.
12/10/2014 06:40 EST
Canadian Girls Are Suffering From

Canadian Girls Are Suffering From "Supergirl Dilemma"

While it's always good practice to stop and celebrate our achievements and accomplishments, we still have a long way to go to truly empower girls. The non-profit organization, Girls' Inc. coined the term "supergirl dilemma" in a 2006 report to describe the pressure on girls to be everything to everyone, all the time.
10/09/2014 01:24 EDT
If the Olympics Was All Female Canada Would Have Placed

If the Olympics Was All Female Canada Would Have Placed First

In honour of this International Women's Day, it seems fitting we turn our attention to our female Olympians, who performed so wonderfully well at Sochi, and made all of us back in Canada exceptionally proud. How well did they do? Very well. If there were an all-female Olympics, Canada would have placed first in the medal count, with six gold, six silver and one bronze.
03/07/2014 08:32 EST
Will Physical Sex Go

Will Physical Sex Go Extinct?

Spike Jonze's new movie, Her, has generated some controversy and debate about a human falling in love with an operating system. As technology permeates our lives more and more, such an idea becomes less like science fiction and more like a possible evolutionary change. It incites the question: Is it evolution or ultimate extinction if we continue to give up on physical sex? We still seem to be passionately interested in sex. It is far too early to tell if this is simply a behavioural blip, or a portend of something major in our evolutionary development. Spike Jonze may well be viewed as less of a filmmaker and more of a visionary prophet by future historians.
02/14/2014 08:16 EST

"His Worship Rob Ford": Is It Time to Ditch Honorifics?

Currently in Canada, Senators, Supreme or Federal Court judges, and privy councillors are allowed to use the honorific of "Honourable." The trio of senators who have been suspended without pay -- Mike Duffy, Pamela Wallin and Patrick Brazeau -- all retain their honorific titles of "The Honourable Senator" while under suspension. Stripped of their salaries, offices and budgets, it seems oddly Canadian to allow them to retain these clearly meaningless titles. So should we in Canada also move to do away with honorific titles completely? Should there be no more "Honourables" or "Worships" at all?
01/17/2014 05:36 EST
Cheer up, Toronto: Rob Ford's Not the Only Misbehaving

Cheer up, Toronto: Rob Ford's Not the Only Misbehaving Mayor

There are hints that Ford's type of behaviour, and in particular his adamant refusal to resign, are becoming an ugly trend. Far too many leaders these days are in it for themselves. So will we be inflicted with a Prime Minister Rob Ford?
12/04/2013 12:44 EST
It's Fitting the Tory Convention Starts on Halloween This

It's Fitting the Tory Convention Starts on Halloween This Year...

The Conservative convention actually opens on Halloween this year, and no one could forgive Stephen Harper if he didn't take the opportunity to dress up like someone -- anyone -- else after the pummelling Tom Mulcair has given him in Question Period lately.
10/31/2013 05:34 EDT
Where Are All the Women Time

Where Are All the Women Time Travellers?

Women have been decidedly ignored when it comes to time travelling. As I was thinking about this I came across Anna Smith's recent article on this very topic in <em>The Guardian</em>. Time travelling women are indeed rare, especially in sci-fi film. Smith notes in particular that Rachel McAdams has had three roles in time travelling movies, only to remain firmly rooted in the her own timeline in each one.
10/01/2013 05:38 EDT
A Long History of Animal Diplomacy (It's Not Just

A Long History of Animal Diplomacy (It's Not Just Pandas!)

With the arrival of Er Shun and Da Mao on their very own Panda FedEx Express last week, almost all of Canada stopped to welcome the darling bears. Animals, especially exotic ones, have a long history of being used in diplomatic gestures.
04/10/2013 12:25 EDT
This International Women's Day, Let's Think of the

This International Women's Day, Let's Think of the Girls

Modern women's history, as a separate branch of history, developed at the same time as the second wave of the women's movement, starting in the 1960s. But one stage of a woman's life is still vastly under-researched, and that stage is the earlier years of girlhood. It's interesting then to see that girls are fast becoming a focus of interest for some charities.
03/04/2013 05:01 EST
Are All the Single Ladies Really Like the Oil

Are All the Single Ladies Really Like the Oil Sands?

When I first read that Chen Weidong, chief energy researcher at the CNOOC Energy Economics Institute, had likened the oilsands to "leftover single women," I'll admit I was mightily aggrieved. This is because, well, I resemble that remark. It was flat out offensive. And women, especially single women, are becoming a powerful force in society.
11/15/2012 05:22 EST