Equity Matters

On the Twentieth Anniversary of National Aboriginal Day

Yasmeen Abu-LabanProfessor of Political Science at the University of Alberta, and President of the Canadian Political Science Association

June 21, 2016 marks the twentieth anniversary of National Aboriginal Day.   Canada’s official proclamation of a National Aboriginal Day stemmed from recommendations by Indigenous groups as well as the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples.

For those concerned with equity in educational institutions and practices, National Aboriginal Day also offers educators (along with all Canadians) opportunities for sharing in Indigenous cultures and traditions, as well as teaching and learning.

 For example, when I served as a “non-Aboriginal” parent volunteer for the National Aboriginal Day celebration in my son’s K-12...

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Fresh Air and New Hope for Canada and Human Rights

 

John Packer, Director, Human Rights Research and Education Centre, University of Ottawa

This blog was prepared for the celebration of Human Rights Day 2015. 

There is a palpable sense of relief within the human rights community following the federal election results of October 19th.  Notwithstanding some commitments and investments in selected matters like religious freedom and LGBTQ rights, the past decade has been one of substantial damage to human rights in Canada, and our generally positive reputation abroad (if not always fully merited) took a broad and deep hit.   

With the new majority Government in Ottawa, Canada claims to be “back” – not least in terms of a strong commitment to...

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Why are we still debating diversity versus merit in 2015?

 

Susan Franceschet, University of Calgary; Karen Beckwith, Case Western Reserve University; Claire Annesley, University of Sussex

Canada’s first gender-equal cabinet is being celebrated by equality and diversity advocates but criticized by those who believe that using selection criteria like gender, race, or ethnicity violates merit. Those who trumpet merit believe that selection to high-level positions like cabinet or corporate boards must be based on demonstrable skills, achievements, and credentials with no consideration of the other characteristics of the individuals holding those credentials. In fact, critics of quotas as a mechanism to ensure diversity go a step further, arguing that quotas will lead to the selection of less qualified...

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Who is telling our stories? Canadian millennials in literature and the humanities

 

Kofi Hope, Rhodes Scholar, Doctor of Philosophy in Politics & Managing Director, Community Empowering Enterprises

On July 14, Go Set a Watchman will be released to the general public, a sequel of sorts to Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird.  Few works of literature have had a more profound role in shaping conversations on race in the 20th century than To Kill a Mockingbird

For my part, I read the book in 1999 as a grade 10 student in Mississauga.  While undoubtedly a classic novel, To Kill a Mockingbird...

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Global sustainable development goals have potential to drive change in Canada

Shannon Kindornay, Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, Carleton University

There is no question that 2015 is a year for change both within Canada and abroad. As noted by Julia Sánchez, President-CEO, Canadian Council for International Co-operation, in her blog on Canada’s engagement with global social justice, not only are Canadians facing an election year in 2015, but changes are afoot on the global stage. This year, governments will negotiate a set of universal Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the United Nations to replace the Millennium Development Goals that will expire at the end of 2015. These goals will apply to all countries, including Canada, and...

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Les femmes et le terrorisme

Nathalie Des Rosiers, Université d’Ottawa

Partout dans le monde, on s’efforce d’inventer des solutions juridiques pour mettre fin au terrorisme.   Le Canda ne fait pas exception : un projet de loi propose des détentions préventives,  un partage d’information entre agences et un mandat au service de renseignements « d’agir » pour prévenir des attaques.  Le public est prêt à accepter ces mesures sans précédent parce qu’ils ont peur de ces attaques féroces imprévisibles qu’on voit sur YouTube et à la télé.

La violence faite aux femmes, la disparition ou le meurtre d’une centaine de femmes autochtones ne suscitent pas le...

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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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"The Nuances of Blackness and/in the Canadian Academy" – A tool for engaging with equity pedagogy in the graduate classroom

Author: Dolana Mogadime, Associate Professor, Brock University

Over the past few years, I have used the Federation for the Humanities and Social Science’s Equity Matters blog series as a teaching tool for my graduate level courses in education.  The Federation’s blog is an excellent mechanism for community building and knowledge exchange.  It provides scholars who are committed to theoretical and critical research with a wealth of public, open access materials to share with students. These materials, in the form of panel presentations, online discussions and posts, provide a way for students to step into equity conversations and engage with them.

"The Nuances of Blackness and/in...

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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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