The pandemic is showing what is already true: that depending on employers to cover Canadians’ pharmaceutical costs does not work.
Today, after waiting for years, the federal government tabled Bill C-15, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been promising such legislation for years, and we saw the failure in the Senate of Romeo Saganash’s private members Bill C-262 last June. It must be noted this was not Trudeau’s bill, and he has not done anything to fulfill his promise until now.
Jenny Daggitt is a cardiac surgical ICU nurse, and her husband, Patrick, is a computer programmer. In 2017, when Jenny was three months pregnant, she put herself on thirty-three wait-lists of every and any type of child care, from community daycare programs to unlicensed outfits run out of people’s houses, within a thirty-minute walk from her home in East Vancouver. By the time her maternity leave ended, a year and a half later, she had heard of an opening at only one of the operations, but deemed it sketchy. Hiring a nanny, which, in Vancouver, could cost more than $30,000 per year, was unaffordable. So Patrick took paternity leave and Jenny picked up overtime to make up for the lost income. Eventually, they figured out a way for Patrick to work part-time and for Jenny to work twelve-hour night shifts and weekends so they could pay their bills and care for their daughter and not completely stall Patrick’s career.
One unavoidable feature of living in a small country is having your perceptions warped by larger ones around you. For Canadians, who number less than 40 million and reside next to the world’s most powerful nation, the problem has always been especially acute: American impressions of Canada invariably shape how the country sees itself. When those impressions are favorable, the result is a kind of feedback loop in which Canadians’ self-perceptions are torqued around those imported from abroad. Though there are certainly other reasons, this partly explains why so many Canadians tend to assume that the issues plaguing America barely exist north of the 49th parallel.
The most notable outcome of the 2020 U.S. election was that, as expected, Trump lost both the popular vote and the electoral college. However, the polls experienced significant errors, the nature of which is still being debated. Overall, it appears that polling understated support for Trump and the Republicans by about three or four points. It is also clear that there was a Republican anti-Trump vote (a group of Republican voters who were small 'c' conservatives that opposed Trump, but also supported Republican candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives). There was also increased turnout from a pro-Trump constituency, many likely middle aged or older and voting for the first time. The results disappointed Democrats who expected more. However, the party seems to trail the Republicans when it comes to innovative campaign techniques and it made other mistakes in its congressional campaigning.
There's no question that the role of women in society has changed since the 1970s, especially in politics. Where politicians used to imagine women as less capable beings, useful only for play and raising children, most politicians no longer think this (aloud, at least). Many politicians are feminists, including some who came to politics through feminist organizing. Feminist activists now must confront feminist politicians, which has confused some people about what feminists are even fighting for anymore.
We arrived at 1492 Land Back Lane just as the sun was setting, giving me only a brief glimpse of the full camp – the hill with Haudenosaunee flags flying; the land-back-mobile; the site across the road that was still green, unoccupied, and undeveloped; and the tents scattered across the land, with people weaving through them. I hadn’t seen so many people since before the quarantine, since the last occupation. Everything was dusty, and there were several fires lit across the camp, each surrounded by people laughing and enjoying themselves as the night gave them a moment’s rest from the working day. Someone was trying to make a water drum from some of the donated lumber, and in future rolling blockades those drums would be brought out to greet supporters that would arrive in droves to the camp.
On November 19, the Trudeau government tabled the Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act in the House of Commons. It is a plan to set greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. The act calls for a roadmap to meet targets in five-year increments from 2030 to 2050, and will require annual reporting by the minister of finance.
Unfortunately, however, the act imposes no immediate requirements for industry, and is insufficient to jump-start a transformative climate agenda. We have seen this movie before.
They've created noise to cover the failed COVID-19 response of Conservative Premiers, but Erin O'Toole's Conservative Party has done nothing to help Canadians through a pandemic and recession. Even their low support is far too high.
This year has afforded all of us more time to pay attention to the needs of people in our communities, especially the most marginalized, vulnerable and oppressed.