The recent passage of Bill 21 in Quebec, which effectively bans teachers and other provincial employees from wearing the hijab, continues in the legacy of discriminatory policy that is based on the securitization of Muslims in Canada. Put simply, expressions of Muslim identity are portrayed as a threat to security in Western societies, including Canada. Such Islamophobic overtures have been catapulted into the public discourse in recent years with the mainstreaming of right-wing political ideas that rest on the demonization of Muslims. As political leaders verbalize (unfounded) anxiety around cultural and political assertions by Canadian Muslims, the community continues to experience elevated levels of anti-Muslim hate and violence. The Quebec City mosque shooting is among the deadliest incidences of domestic terrorism in Canada. Hate crime statistics between 2016 and 2017 indicate a 151% increase in hate crimes targeting Muslims.
Every Google search, credit card purchase, social media interaction, and doctor’s visit leave traces of information about you, where you’ve been, who you’ve interacted with, and what you like. What’s more, advertisers, data brokers, and government agencies can collect and analyze the digital breadcrumbs you leave behind as you go about your day. Welcome to the world of ‘big data.’
*Editor’s note: the original quote (“ent’deux joints tu pourrais faire qu’qu’chose, ent’deux joints tu pourrais t’grouiller l’cul”) is the refrain of a popular 1973 Robert Charlebois song, lyrics by Pierre Bourgault, entitled “Entr’ deux joints”.
According to Statistics Canada, the illegal cannabis industry was already generating 5.6 billion dollars in profits in 2017 and each Canadian was rolling the equivalent of 20 g of cannabis.
The Liberal government shouldn’t bend to critics of its antiracism consultations, but it should also know racialized Canadians expect meaningful change.
The federal government is about to embark on nationwide antiracism consultations. The initiative is not without its naysayers. The announcement of the $23-million plan in the 2018 budget has been critiqued by prominentConservative MP Maxime Bernierandmedia pundits. Warnings to the government to“be careful”and to“keep a low profile”have cast a shadow over the process before it has even begun. If the Liberals intend to follow through on theirstatementof “standing up for diversity” and “building communities where everyone feels included,” backing down from the consultations and giving in to mainstream media and the right is not an option. Rather, their goal should be to ensure that the time of racialized Canadians and Indigenous people isn’t wasted by this process and that these consultations result in much-needed policy changes.
Making a prisoner spend four years isolated in a plexiglass cell under the constant glare of artificial light is a form of custody that shocks Canadian sensibilities. It is difficult to believe that such cruel treatment was imposed on Adam Capay in a Thunder Bay detention centre – but it was.
On September 22 and 23, the Broadbent Institute hosted Progress Summit BC to chart a progressive path forward for the province in this critical election year. The first keynote was delivered by Law Foundation Professor of Aboriginal Justice and Governance at the University of Victoria, Val Napoleon. Watch her remarks and presentation below.