Samuel Getachew is a resident of Toronto and is a regular contributor to TZTA, Generation Next and Leaders & Legacies (among others). He is the recipient of the City of Toronto's William P. Hubbard Award for Equity and Human Rights and was chosen by the Toronto Star as 'Person to Watch' in 2014.
In the summer of 2008, Canada's (now) Minister of Health, Dr. Jane Philpott, was in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where she met with Ethiopian colleagues to explore the possibility of establishing family medicine as a formal discipline in the East African country of 90 million people. For the next decade, she would help spread an initiative to help launch such a program in the East African nation.
As an MP in Ottawa, he supported a private member's bill that attempted to restrict a women's right to choose. A decade ago, as a newly elected MP, he voted against same-sex marriage. In the decade he has been an MP in Ottawa, he has not moved past his backbench status, freeing him to build a coalition for an eventual leadership run.
02/02/2016 11:10 EST
Gordon Cressy and Isabel Bassett will officially become members of the Order of Ontario. I nominated Cressy because of his commitment to social justice, defence of minority rights and idealism. I became a fan of Bassett when she was a noted progressive cabinet minister in Mike Harris's ultra-Conservative government.
01/20/2016 03:52 EST
Samara Canada has indeed become a special place for those looking to be politically engaged. It recognizes the emerging leaders among us, helps us network with the powerful and facilitates smart political discussions among its many achievements.
12/08/2015 01:55 EST
"Violence against women is a violation of the most basic human rights," Prime Minster Justin Trudeau reflected. I would like to highlight two Canadian women who have faced tremendous tragedy in their lives, yet have pulled them together and are inspiring us all to embrace better ideals in our citizenship.
11/30/2015 01:24 EST
The much-anticipated, important and powerful movie -- Difret -- premiered in Toronto at the Carlton cinema. It exposes the subject of violence against women in Ethiopia. Difret, which means "courage" in Amharic, aims to start a real and overdue conversation on this neglected subject.
11/06/2015 06:15 EST
As the new Prime Minister-elect fulfills a campaign promise of a gender balanced cabinet -- I hope he would also fulfill the promise of cultural diversity among the executive members of his new government. He would be best served, by looking at Ahmed Hussen -- a formidable, talented and hard working Canadian -- up-close and using his talent in cabinet.
10/27/2015 08:35 EDT
Continued humiliations and defeats, at the hands of Stephen Harper, has made the Liberals, more organized, open and accessible than ever before. What has always impressed me about them, is their strong will to survive, triumph and ultimately, win. Trudeau has that mojo.
10/15/2015 12:40 EDT
By the time you read this column, my membership in the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario will likely be revoked (if not, I will resign). I will no longer be the director of a riding association in the Toronto Centre Conservative Association. This is not because I am no longer useful to the once-proud party of Bill Davis, John Robarts and, yes, Christine Elliott, but because I am coming out against comrade Stephen Harper -- our party's federal counterpart. The Stephen Harper era has made us too partisan, extremely fearful of our neighbours, cheerleaders in world affairs, less tolerant to new immigrants and refugees and mere observers in the affairs of our country -- instead of active actors.
09/29/2015 05:18 EDT
People who look like you and I are outraged, hurt and disappointed by you and your government. As the Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services and a person of colour, you seem to be defending a policy that is racist, arbitrary and discriminatory. How can you ever reform a policy that takes away the basic human rights of ordinary people?
09/02/2015 05:53 EDT
As former United Nations secretary general, Kofi Annan, once reflected: "A society that cuts itself off from its youth severs
08/12/2015 05:13 EDT
There are too many of us who are randomly stopped by the police, questioned and ridiculed for no reason. Many of us lack an understanding of our basic human rights. But a new smartphone application, developed by a newly minted lawyer and activist, comes as a relief to many of us.
07/17/2015 05:06 EDT
The Ethiopian-Canadian diaspora in Toronto, through a made in Toronto initiative, People To People Canada, is slowly but surely making an impact on the ground in helping change that reality. The organization, founded in 1999, has become a passionate advocate for Ethiopia's vulnerable HIV/AIDS orphan children.
06/19/2015 12:34 EDT
In a world, where reasonable black outrage and passion, is still viewed as militant and fringe, none of these voices mattered for John Tory since he became mayor last year. It is just unfortunate it took four years for the black community to be listened to and mere days for the "other" voice.
06/12/2015 08:20 EDT
Last night, at the Isabel Bader Theatre in downtown Toronto, the foundation hosted a sold-out talk called Ask Her and allowed us all a chance to interact and have a conversation with some of the remarkable women of Africa. What an impressive list of speakers.
05/28/2015 12:57 EDT
In the absence of a clear-cut vision from the Liberals, the NDP has become the reasonable alternative. The party is now on record voting against Bill C-51 and voicing a strong opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline. Mulcair has advocated for a national child care policy worth $8 billion and proposed targeted tax cuts for families.
05/26/2015 05:52 EDT
Like many public institutions named after noted Canadians, such as the Barbara Frum Branch Public Library, I hope this library is also named after a Canadian that is still respected and adored and left a powerful legacy. I have such a name that needs to be acknowleged by naming the new library after him
05/21/2015 12:28 EDT
In the 2014 municipal election, I should have voted for Olivia Chow. I voted for John Tory and that was a mistake.Citizens like me and many others made him look smart, progressive and moderate. Sadly, he is not. Essentially, we became the human face of a man whose ideals are wrong for Toronto and Torontonians. We should have known better. I voted for Tory but I certainly did not endorse a second-class citizenship for myself. Why is he endorsing public policies that Torontonians, for the most part, do not want? Why are we, our fellow black and brown citizens, allowed to be treated in such a way?
05/15/2015 07:36 EDT
Toronto's Polict Chief-designate Mark Saunders is on record as supporting carding as a "valuable tool." The policy is racist, wrong and reflects poorly on our collective public ideals. If he continues to endorse racial profiling, as a black citizen himself, his historic achievement would be in name only.
04/21/2015 06:17 EDT
he Toronto Police Services board approved and endorsed a policy of racial profiling -- carding -- to keep track of residents who look like me last night. From now onward, any Toronto Police officer can arbitrarily stop me without informing me of my rights, when no specific offence has not been committed and I am not considered a suspect. If refusing to reappoint Councillor Michael Thompson, the lone black member of the Toronto Police board, was not enough, Mayor John Tory voted to endorse the carding policy. I am disappointed and we should all be outraged.
04/17/2015 05:49 EDT
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