• Magazine

    Dignity and solidarity

    The G20 summit held in Toronto this June closed with a commitment to “fiscal consolidation” from the world’s economic leaders. Among the strongest proponents of slashing public spending was Canada’s Minister of Finance Jim Flaherty. For many of those protesting the G20 on the streets of Toronto, the subtext of Flaherty’s austerity agenda was well understood: a continuation of the attack on access to housing, health care, education and welfare, among other social necessities.

  • Magazine

    Reinventing resistence

    Globalization has propelled neoliberalism across borders, not just as an ideology or system of commerce, but as the primary determinant of the daily realities of where people live, what they eat, how they work, and what rights they enjoy.

  • Magazine

    Room and board

    There are three things a farmer can’t live without: a wheelbarrow, a dog and a pry bar.” Maggie called this to me from just outside the barn, where she stood offering me the said pry bar. The dog looked up from where she lay lounging in the shade, and I paused where I crouched, preparing to heave a sizable boulder into the aforementioned wheelbarrow.

  • Magazine

    Discipline and punish

    The dream of a benevolent welfare state may live on in social work theory, conference papers and mission statements, but as far as front-line bureaucracy goes, welfare is dead. Only its image remains, as faint as chalk on a sidewalk. No longer even pretending to be a right or social safety net, social assistance has mutated into a series of manipulative tactics to prod and intimidate its clients into jobs that no one wants. In other words, welfare has become workfare.

  • Magazine

    Agriculture under apartheid

    As the boycott of Israeli goods continues to gain momentum in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and worldwide, Palestinian farmers are extricating themselves from the Israeli economy and building self-reliance through community-supported agriculture.

  • Magazine

    Reorganizing the workplace

    In a society where we must work to live, work is at the very core of our existence. Without work, we are deemed meaningless — non-citizens, outcasts. In the face of such dogmatic, almost religious, devotion, putting forward an alternative perspective on how to organize production and exchange seems almost heretical. It is no small task, but it is a necessary one

  • Magazine

    Pubs, pulpits and prairie fires

    Between 1929 and 1935, the Great Depression triggered Canada’s descent into what remains the worst economic downturn in the country’s history. By 1935, the number of jobless had topped one million. On June 3, 1935, over 1,200 unemployed and single men from British Columbia relief camps left Vancouver to “ride the rail” to Ottawa and deliver demands for work and wages to the Conservative government of Prime Minister R.B. Bennett.

  • Magazine

    Reluctant renegade

    Four years ago I left my job and, overnight, became a “stay-at-home mom.” If I ever say these words out loud, my toes curl under. A stay-at-home mom is something I never expected, or aspired, to be. I had grown up thinking that my mother’s generation had blasted a hole through the glass ceiling, and I always thought I would waltz along the path they had cleared to the highest levels of my chosen field.

  • Magazine

    Letter from the editor

    Health, and the way we manage our collective well-being, is inherently political. As perhaps the most universally relevant topic, health care cuts across lines of class, race, nationality, age, gender and political bent, and has the potential to either unite or polarize, to inspire or enrage. As well as being highly political, health care is also deeply personal, affecting each of us at the most fundamental level of our existence.

  • Magazine

    In defense of universal health care

    There’s nothing universal about an insurance-based system, and Canadians concerned about the future of medicare would do well to understand the problems inherent in the American system.

  • Magazine

    De-linking from dependency

    The concept of indigenous food sovereignty represents a policy approach that extends the concept of food security through honouring the wisdom and values of indigenous knowledge in maintaining responsible relationships with the land.

  • Magazine

    Breeding disease

    Many Canadians first learned of flesh-eating disease or necrotizing fasciitis in 1994 when then-Bloc Québécois leader Lucien Bouchard lost his leg, and very nearly his life, to the affliction. Media reports of Bouchard’s brush with death described the disease as “extremely rare.” It was at the time, but has since become more commonplace.

  • Magazine

    Healing denied

    Of the more than 150,000 First Nations, Inuit and Métis children who were forcibly removed from their families and enrolled in one of the many Indian Residential Schools (IRS) in Canada, it is estimated that there are 85,000 residential school survivors in Canada today. Alongside these survivors are the thousands more impacted by the intergenerational effects of residential schools on Aboriginal families.

  • Magazine

    Commodification

    Consumer culture is having significant repercussions on our physical and mental well-being. One hormone-injected cheeseburger or the placement of an offensively loud advertisement where a tree once stood will not singularly ruin one’s health. But all of these intrusions into our physical and mental space, experienced routinely and en masse, are devastating to our collective quality of life.

  • Magazine

    Freedom of (hate) speech

    A new generation of anti-choice groups is establishing a reputation for itself on Canadian campuses, with increasingly visible tactics that many pro-choice activists call discriminatory, harassing and hateful. In response, student unions and pro-choice groups have mobilized to prevent anti-choice presentations from taking place on campus and anti-choice groups from gaining club status.

  • Magazine

    In sickness and in wealth

    In Canada and around the world, the health of the poorest people is far worse than the health of the richest – and new evidence suggests we all suffer as a result. In order to address the fundamental unfairness of this situation, we need to completely rethink not just how we do health care, but how we do politics.

  • Magazine

    Community acupuncture

    As debates about national health care reform ensue in Canada and the U.S., with governments desperate to find an affordable way to provide equitable, effective and timely health care to an aging and increasingly sick population, is it possible we are missing the point entirely? An emerging network of community acupuncturists on both sides of the border are challenging the notion that increasing access to Western medicine is the best way to improve health care.

  • Magazine

    Cultivating community

    Nestled in a small park in the bustling central Toronto neighbourhood of Parkdale is a community garden project that is improving the health of the environment, the neighbourhood and the gardeners involved by reducing the social isolation and homogenization that often come with gentrification.

  • Magazine

    Letter from the editor

    I’ve undergone 19 years of schooling, but I’d say my real education came the summer after I finished my graduate degree. I spent that growing season, and the next, as part of a frontline literacy program in Ontario, working and living on farms alongside migrant workers from Mexico and the Caribbean, picking tomatoes and sweet corn, priming tobacco, harvesting ginseng.

  • Magazine

    A border runs through it

    At midnight on May 31, 2009, the guards who manned the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) station on the Mohawk (Kahnienkehaka) reserve of Akwesasne, near Cornwall, Ontario, abandoned the Canadian side of the U.S.-Canada border and went home. The guards were to be issued 9-mm Beretta pistols on the following day as part of Canada’s border security policy, but had been warned by Akwesasne community groups that armed agents of the Canadian government would not be tolerated on their land.