A criminal charge based on the race of the victim is wrong

Not all the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls report recommendations stand up to scrutiny

A criminal charge based on the race of the victim is wrongThe Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIW) report declares that violence against Indigenous women is genocide. But do the recommendations stand up to scrutiny? Already, a Senate committee is at work dealing with some the report’s 200-plus recommendations, as part of the Senate’s study of an omnibus criminal justice act, Bill C-75. One…

The essential values of having courage and being kind

Instinct says to fight or flee, yet often neither is possible. Examining the story of Cinderella shows us that being kind and having courage can be enough

The essential values of having courage and being kindThough The Walt Disney Co. has been criticized for changing traditional fairy tales to make them palatable for modern audiences, sometimes it simply brings the lesson of the legend into very clear focus. A good example is the 2015 live action version of Cinderella starring Lily James, of Downton Abby fame. Cinderella’s birth mother gives…

A high-tech tool to help manage high-conflict relationships

Carrie Gour of PwrSwitch talks about helping those being harassed, stalked or abused reclaim peace of mind, a sense of security and a measure of control

A high-tech tool to help manage high-conflict relationshipsCarrie Gour is co-founder and CEO of PwrSwitch. What is PwrSwitch and what does it do? Gour: PwrSwitch is an application designed especially (though not exclusively) for anyone managing the aftermath of a high-conflict relationship, or anyone dealing with cyber-harassment or cyber-stalking. It effortlessly creates the foundation of evidence you need to file court orders,…

Facing death with an attitude that’s full of life

Mike Sloan’s positive, upbeat tone and zest for life in the face of adversity has truly been inspiring

Facing death with an attitude that’s full of life“Death is not the opposite of life but an innate part of it,” Haruki Murakami wrote in his acclaimed novel Norwegian Wood. “By living our lives, we nurture death.” This is rational. Nevertheless, death isn’t something we enjoy spending every waking moment thinking about. That’s especially true when we’re still at the point in our…

A close shave: marketing and politics indistinguishable

Gillette has stepped boldly into the socio-political minefields of #MeToo, bullying, spousal abuse and male self-absorption

A close shave: marketing and politics indistinguishableIt’s tempting to take the recent’s ‘controversy’ over the Gillette shaving company’s new advertising campaign at something less than face value. For starters, controversy itself is no longer the conversational cutting edge it once was. In this era of fake-versus-false news, universal short attention spans and ludicrous overstatement as the entry price for even being…

Repressed memory syndrome so much psychobabble

Memory is not a video camera accurately recording our experiences and is easily manipulated

Repressed memory syndrome so much psychobabblePeople frequently ask me about the possibility of repressed memories being the origin of their problems. This is a holdover from the once dominant psychoanalytic approach to psychiatric treatment. On television and in the movies we frequently watch psychiatrists help people recover memories of events from their childhood that may somehow explain the way they…

Reckless rhetoric is no way to debate public policy

The basic presumption of democracy requires us to try to understand one another rather than calling opponents murderers

Reckless rhetoric is no way to debate public policyDennis Raphael, a professor of health policy and management at York University in Toronto, recently penned an opinion piece that represents a low point for discourse about public policy in Canada. Raphael describes the policies of the new Conservative government in Ontario, and specifically the decision not to increase the minimum wage next year, as “social…

Time to end mandatory minimum sentences for murder

Indigenous women are vastly over-represented among those sentenced to life

Time to end mandatory minimum sentences for murderWhat’s wrong with mandatory minimum sentences? Plenty. Especially when it comes to murder. High-profile serial murderers come to mind when Canadians think of murder convictions: Bernardo, Olson, Pickton. Few turn their minds to the 18-year-old Indigenous teen who kills her abusive drug dealer. Such a situation can amount to murder in our law. When it…

Reconciliation and healing require forward perspectives

We must embrace who we are as Canadians, the values that set us apart from the rest of the world

Reconciliation and healing require forward perspectives“Sometimes the medicine we need most comes from remembering who we were so we can reconcile it against who we wish to become,” writes Canadian poet Shane Koyczan. As we study the residential school system and its impact, it’s very important to remember that it wasn’t the fault of 21st century Canadians. It’s a part…

When a culture of fear dominates, organizations crumble

Without accountability within our organizations, we lack credibility. Without credibility, we lose our respect and become irrelevant

When a culture of fear dominates, organizations crumbleThe Catholic church has faced increased – and justified – criticism of its handling of abuse cases. There are allegations that the highest authorities of the church turned a blind eye to the misdeeds of some of its leaders. The results were catastrophic at so many levels, especially for those people who were abused by…