Equity and diversity

A pivotal year for Canada’s engagement with global social justice

Julia Sánchez, President-CEO, Canadian Council for International Co-operation (CCIC)

February 20th is World Day of Social Justice, as recognized by the United Nations since 2007. The day is a call to observe social justice by supporting “efforts of the international community in poverty eradication, the promotion of full employment and decent work, gender equity and access to social well-being and justice for all”.  

Three events make 2015 a pivotal year for global social justice: first, there is the 20th anniversary and review of the Beijing...

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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 December 7, 1948 in a...

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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 important symbol of Canadian...

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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 allows them to fulfill...

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SSH News: Globe and Mail op-ed by Antonia Maioni, maximizing policy impact of research, student program choice, and other news

Globe and Mail op-ed by Antonia Maioni

A new op-ed by Federation President Antonia Maioni has appeared in The Globe and Mail. Maioni looks at the numbers of women in professional leadership positions and asks why women are underrepresented. Behind these numbers, suggests Maioni, is a larger picture of evolving notions of work-life balance spearheaded by women who are successfully negotiating a happy (and healthy) model of work.

Government of Canada invests $118m to support next generation of research talent

The Honourable...

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SSH News: Academics respond to Ottawa attack, Open Access Week, First Nations children

A day after the gun attack in Ottawa, the debate has started over how Canada should respond. Among these are the voices of academics. Wesley Wark, professor at the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Ottawa, urges Canadians in his Globe and Mail op-ed to be resilient, and ensure that our democratic society does not get “bent out of shape” by recent events. Le Devoir interviewed Criminology professor Maurice Cusson, who reminds us that homicide claims far more victims annually in Canada...

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Our President-Elect asks universities to evolve, not transform radically

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

“I love you, please change.”

These words succinctly capture Stephen Toope’s message to Canadian universities in his rich, nuanced and compelling October 2014 report for Taking Action for Canada: Jobs and Skills for the 21st Century. An initiative of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, Taking Action for Canada seeks to bring together educators, governments and businesses to develop solutions and best practices for keeping the next generation of Canadian workers engaged. 

Toope, a scholar of international law, is President-Elect of the Federation. He has also served as President of the Pierre Elliot Trudeau Foundation, President of the...

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A new imagination - Catherine Dauvergne and the new politics of immigration

Samara Bissonnette

In an installment of the Big Thinking series for Congress 2014, Catherine Dauvergne delivered one of her newest big ideas yesterday at Brock University in a presentation titled "The End of Settler Societies and the New Politics of Immigration". As a member of The Trudeau Foundation, which was founded in 2001 in tribute to the humanitarian virtues of Pierre Trudeau himself, Dauvergne acts as a pro-bono lawyer, a teacher, and a student of research herself, as she researches a new understanding of the politics of immigration around the world, with particular attention to our Canadian home. As a professor, she imparts advice and assistance to young scholars in her field and maintains the belief that "to really do justice to a big idea, you need time more than anything else", to which she added that "the Trudeau Foundation is a gift of time" to her...

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Russian anti-gay legislation sparks critical thought--Sochi and beyond

Liz Smith

Recent events in Russia are certainly at the forefront of a number of important geopolitical conversations. Things that might stand out include: the detaining of the 'Arctic 30' Greenpeace activists, granting temporary asylum to American whistleblower Edward Snowden, as well as the recent military intervention in the 2014 Ukrainian Revolution. Of course, the international spectacle of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games was, indeed, on the public radar, and Putin's enactment of the so-called 'anti-gay propaganda law' immediately before the Sochi Opening Ceremonies caught the attention of the masses. It was this topic that constituted the framework for a vibrant discussion by a roundtable of political and historical experts at Sunday night's Congress panel put on by the Canadian Historical Association (CHA), entitled "...

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Challenging casual homophobia

Liz Smith

How often do you hear “That’s so gay”? What about “faggot”, “dyke”, and “queer”? Here’s a less comfortable question: how often do you yourself use these words? While terms like these permeate our language, they are seldom challenged let alone recognized as a significant part of our popular discourse. Perpetuating this language without rigorous consideration of the connotations it holds is part of what enables a culture of ‘casual homophobia’—something that characterizes our contemporary society, even at times below our level of conscious awareness, and which has detrimental effects for sexual minorities.

Dr. Kristopher Wells, Director of the Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services at the University of Alberta (iSMSS), and Wade Davis, former American Football player and...

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