Blog

  • Blog

    Seeking Refuge Is an Essential Travel: Advocating for the Reopening of Roxham Road

    I was still in Tijuana, situated on the US-Mexico border, when the pandemic was declared. I was working in a legal aid clinic for migrants seeking asylum in the United States. The global situation was getting worse every day and I finally had to return to Quebec.

    I was able to leave Tijuana, a place that represents immobility and confinement for so many others with whom I shared my days.

    As I felt the weight of this contrast on the plane, I felt the border I was leaving behind––the one that blocks the “South” from the “North”––extend itself beneath me.

    It is impossible to claim asylum in Canada without touching its soil. And to fly to Canada, you need money, and more importantly, you need a visitor’s permit, which is very difficult to get for most people seeking refuge.

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    The Virus is a Relation

    COVID-19 is a virus; it’s also a relationship. Whether people live or die when they get sick depends on webs of social relations, the history of oppression carried in their bodies, what care is made available for them to receive, and so much that we don’t yet understand. One way for us to understand the pandemic is to look at what activities, what practices, it sparks. How might we think about this novel coronavirus as a relationship? If we do this, we can make ethical, political, and ecological evaluations of the relationships we proliferate in response to “the virus.”

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    Pharmacare and the Future of Healing

    As Parliament closed this month to prepare for the surge of the Covid-19 pandemic in Canada, it unanimously passed a bill tabled by the NDP calling for the implementation of universal pharmacare by 2022. The move follows the release in June 2019 of the Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare’s report, commissioned by the Trudeau government, with sixty recommendations detailing a clear plan for drug insurance across Canada, including a timeline calling for implementation starting in 2022 with a transition plan in place as soon as this year. According to the general consensus emerging out of its detailed study, the Council envisaged universal, publicly-funded coverage for medications, with the federal government as a key partner in financing the programme. The Council’s proposal, bold for our times in that it would see the biggest expansion of state-funded welfare in a generation, has spooked governments, who are already shuffling backwards, hedging their bets. The Canadian Medical Association, the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions, and the Canadian Labour Congress have however already endorsed the plan.

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    Mental Health and Climate Activism: it’s a double-edged sword, but it doesn’t need to be

    We know a topic has hit the big leagues when Teen Vogue writes a story about it. The latest from this remarkable magazine is a story about the mental health benefits of climate activism.

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    Remembering for the Future: Learning from the 1999 Seattle Shutdown

    On Tuesday, November 30, 1999, I was standing in downtown Seattle on 6th Avenue between Pike and Union – an unremarkable place amidst remarkable circumstances. Directly in front of me stood a reinforced line of police officers in full body armor, carrying truncheons, rubber bullet guns, and grenade launchers.

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    Honouring Dave Vasey on his birthday

    Dave founded Rising Tide Toronto at the end of 2012, as a reincarnation of a previous group he had organized with - Environmental Justice Toronto.

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    Insurgent Politics against the Backdrop of Hong Kong’s Existential Crisis

    Even in a city like Hong Kong, where mass protests are commonplace, it is undeniable that the current resistance sparked by the government’s introduction of legislation to allow extradition to China is historic in scale and substance. For the past few months, there have been protests with attendances in the millions, almost daily confrontations with riot police, “non-cooperation movement” involving acts of civil disobedience targeting Hong Kong’s infrastructure, a general strike, and even multiple suicides as political acts, with no end in sight. The protest movement has coalesced around five demands: withdrawal of the extradition bill, retraction of the riot designation for the June 12 protests, amnesty for arrested protesters, inquiry into police conduct, and implementation of universal suffrage.

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    Unist’ot’en camp: Resistance, Solidarity and the State!

    Almost ten years ago major pipeline companies including Trans-Canada, Enbridge, and Pacific Trails, proposed construction of several pipelines through Wet’suwet’en territories in what is called British Columbia. Freda Huson, with the support of her community, started the Unist’ot’en camp to stop the trespassing by these pipeline companies on their territory. A check-point was erected, followed by a cabin built in the pathway of the proposed pipelines.

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    Carvans and Mutual Aids

    In recent weeks United States border agents have again fired tear gas across the U.S.-Mexican border at participants of the ‘migrant caravan’ on the other side.