Equity Matters

Canada and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

By Rhoda Howard-Hassmann, Canada Research Chair in International Human Rights, Wilfrid Laurier University

This blog post was contributed for Human Rights Day, observed on December 10.

December 10, 2014 is the 66th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).

In his Why Canada Cares (McGill-Queen`s University Press, 2012, pp. 4-5), Andrew Lui shows that Canada`s initial response to the formulation of the UDHR was extremely negative.  Canada was worried the UDHR would give rights to Communists, Jehovah`s Witnesses, Japanese Canadians and Aboriginal Canadians. Canada also opposed economic and social rights. Indeed, Canada actually abstained on...

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Executive Override of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

By Pearl Eliadis
Pearl Eliadis is a Montreal lawyer. She teaches at the Faculty of Law, McGill University and is a Full Member of the Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism. 

This blog post was contributed for Human Rights Day, observed on December 10.

This text is drawn from the introductory pages of Speaking Out on Human Rights: Debating Canada’s Human Rights System (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2014). 

There is a broad consensus in Canada when it comes to human rights. Between 2010 and 2012, Focus Canada surveys showed that more than 70 percent of respondents considered the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms to be an...

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Humanities and social science research is crucial to our understanding of the changing workplace

Jean-Marc Mangin, Executive Director, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

In her recent op-ed for The Globe and Mail, Federation President and McGill Professor Antonia Maioni rightly asks why women, who have outnumbered men at universities for years, remain underrepresented in leadership positions in the workplace. Behind these numbers, suggests Maioni, is a larger picture of evolving notions of work-life balance spearheaded by women who are successfully negotiating a happier (and healthier) model of work. This...

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Women in science: challenges and opportunities

Mélanie Béchard, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

Curious. Bold. Resilient. Lucky.

These were all adjectives used by the panelists at a recent roundtable discussion at McGill University entitled Women in Science: Challenges and Opportunities.

The esteemed panelists – whose titles, accomplishments and accolades are too numerous to mention here – included Brenda Milner, Victoria Kaspi and Rima Rozen from McGill, and Jane Stewart from Concordia.

The Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences’ president-elect Antonia Maioni chaired the discussion, which was hosted by the Royal Society of Canada and the Royal Society of the UK.

Interestingly, most members of the panel felt they had never personally experienced gender-related bias during their careers as leading scientists.

...

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A Personal Account of Integrating the Federation Blog while Teaching Diverse University Students

Dolana Mogadime, Brock University, Member of the Federation’s Equity and Diversity Steering Committee

One cannot help but notice when walking through the corridor of a university setting that the student body attending Canadian institutions is becoming increasing diverse. As such, university professors have an ethical responsibility to respond in relation to both curriculum resources and teaching approaches in ways that engage learners where they are. The concept of intersectionality (Shields, 2008) provides theoretical insights into how social categories (e.g. race, class, gender, sexuality) operate in everyday life experiences along the axes of both oppression and domination. For the past ten years I’ve been teaching graduate level courses in both Curriculum Studies and the Social and Cultural...

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Disability in the Canadian Academy

James Deaville, Carleton University, Member of the Federation’s Equity and Diversity Steering Committee

According to the revised version of the Ontarians with Disabilities Act from 2005 (originally drafted in 2001),

“disability” means,

(a) any degree of physical disability, infirmity, malformation or disfigurement that is caused by bodily injury, birth defect or illness and, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, includes diabetes mellitus, epilepsy, a brain injury, any degree of paralysis, amputation, lack of physical co-ordination, blindness or visual impediment, deafness or hearing impediment, muteness or speech impediment, or physical reliance on a guide dog or other animal or on a wheelchair or other remedial...

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What we talk about when we talk about reconciliation

Ashok Mathur, Thompson Rivers University, Member of the Federation’s Equity and Diversity Steering Committee

As the momentum grows around the Truth and Reconciliation Commission on Indian Residential Schools, with upcoming national events in 2013 in both Montreal and Vancouver, there is a concurrent, critical, and necessarily contemplative tone rising from various quarters. There was a time, not that long ago in the leadup to the striking of the current TRC, when Aboriginal advocates and their allies were clear in their demand for reconciliation now. But now that we have had the opportunity to see what the act of reconciliation looks like (and perhaps more importantly, what it does not resemble) there is a chorus of voices questioning, first, is that all there is? and second, is this the...

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Equity Matters: Ideas can… build a more equitable Canada

Dr. Lynn Wells VP Equity and Diversity, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences
Vice-President Academic, First Nations University of Canada

It’s been some months since I’ve been elected to the position of Vice-President, Equity and Diversity, for the CFHSS, and I’ve been taking that time to learn about the excellent work of the Federation and of Malinda Smith, who held this position before me.  I’ve learned a great deal from her blogs and reports, and hope that I can follow, however stumblingly, in her footsteps.

My interests in equity and diversity issues relate to various elements of my background.  As a...

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Crossroads: Race and Gender in the Canadian Academy – Searching for Equity

Caitlin Stone Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

During the afternoon of May 31, Frances HenryCarol TatorCarl James, and Ena Dua gathered to present their research and findings on the marginalization of racialized faculty in Canadian universities. Research was conducted using personal interviews, surveys, and site visits and the results were not surprising. As Tator explained, universities have been very slow to make positive changes to make their universities a more equitable environment for racialized faculty members. What often occurs is that administrations will pay lip service to equity issues for faculty but no real changes will take place.

The majority of faculty surveyed who identified as a visible minority were...

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Crossroads: The Status of Gender, Women and Sexuality in the Academy

Caitlin Stone Canadian Federation of the Humanities and Social Sciences

Many scholars in the social sciences and humanities have spent years critically examining the social constructions of gender and sexuality in society and how women are expected to behave in social settings. While academic settings seem to be environments that welcome difference, many professors who identify as gender-queer are met with social resistance in their own workplace. In addition, female professors are expected to perform according to traditional gender roles. As one panel audience member recalled: “my teaching evaluations have been the highest they’ve ever been when I am kind, caring, and soft spoken towards my students.”

Together, Janice RistockMargaret Ann Armour, and André P. Grace ...

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