2018

$100M donated anonymously to CAMH

With such a significant sum, and the attention it garners, it's worth considering/discussing/debating the politics of a "selfless" anonymous donation versus a public one (and the inherent transparency it carries). In other words, I flag to you the tactical repertoire or platform that is being provided to the "oft-repeated articulation of mental illness prevalence" (Titchkosky & Aubrecht, 2017), most obviously in the form of a "global burden of disease" (WHO, 2001), which is "affect[ing] some 6.7 million Canadians," so we were reminded through the announcement itself. Such a donation has extended the reach of "individualistic understandings of complex social problems" (Morrow, 2017) rather than working at an intersection of strategy (McDonnell & Werner, 2014). The moves of any game are crafted by the players, and the practices of silence are a timely alarm to ring.

Open letter to CAMH donor

LAMDA, the Law and Mental Disorder Association, responds to the CAMH donation by highlighting mental health patients needs.

2017

7 points to ponder for World Mental Health Day

Blogger, Kalina Jones, critically unpacks the dominant ideas perpetuated by approaches to talk about emotional wellbeing like "World Mental Health Day" and "Mental Health Awareness Week."

2016

"Mad Room" lays bare Black artist's struggle with the mental health system

Tangled Art Gallery in Toronto has launched its first-ever installation, featuring the work of (local) Artist in Residence, Gloria Swain. The exhibit, which features 40 paintings and sculptures, is pitched against a bed, a monitor, a small table with empty pill bottles and a coat hook with some clothing hanging on it. It is intended to challenge the public to witness or reconsider the intersecting histories of slavery, racism, violence, and mental health.

UC Berkeley reinstates Palestine course

Following outcry by students, members of faculty, lawyers, and supporters of free speech and academic freedom, UC Berkeley has (rightfully) reversed its decision to squash a student-led class on the history of Palestine.

York University student wins mental-health fight

University won’t require diagnosis before accommodating disabilities, after two-year fight involving the Ontario Human Rights Commission. Students says her peers ‘across Canada’ should not have to disclose their diagnoses.

Price-mongering, and now, "dog tags": State-sponsored violence through the real-estate market in Vancouver, BC.

 

With the BC Government having just announced that it will start tracking the origins of people buying homes in #Vancouver in hopes of better understanding foreign ownership, I'm at a lost of feelings.

 

2015

 
For a nuclear weapons convention and a nuclear-free world by 2020

 

This year marked the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, for which Canada provided the uranium ore. Let us pay our respects to the victims of war, including the soldiers who gave their lives or suffered through it, by calling for strong leadership without (nuclear) weaponry. Sign the petition here!

 

Re-telling our stories: Liberation or Re-oppression?

 

The Wall Street Journal reports on two recent studies that found that people who "narrate" their own lives to put a positive spin on them feel better overall. But a paper in Intersectionalities explores how re-narrating one's own sense of personal identity may either help free one from oppression or become a mere expression of one's oppression. Readers are asked to weigh in!

 

SFU "dinging" international students with exorbitant healthcare insurance

 

On the grievance filed by the TSSU for the mandatory Guard.Me International Insurance plan, including a letter Essya wrote on behalf of the Graduate Student Society in November 2014.

 

Vote "YES!" to improve congestion and greener pastures

 

From 16-29 March 2015, Metro Vancouver will be asked to vote on the transportation planning principles and potential funding measures as set out by the Mayor's Council, representing 23 local elected governments, and approved by the provincial government. The City of Vancouver is actively moving towards its goal of being the "Greenest City" by 2020 and the mayor, Gregor Robertson, is staunchly launching a YES! campaign.

 

Je suis Nigeria

 

As the world mourns the attack on Charlie Hebdo (and its implications on the freedom of expression), numerous critics urge equal concern for the ongoing violence in Nigeria,

 

UNB defends academic freedom in wake of racism complaint 

 

Vancouver Councillor, Kerry Jang, raises concerns over the pennings and racist views of Professor Richardo Duchesne, but the University of New Brunswick as well as the Association of New Brunswick Teachers has defended the principle of academic freedom in this era of increasing attack. Jang contends that the professor's blog constitutes hate speech and has prompted white supremacist emails following a "Year of Reconciliation" (21 June 2013-2014) in Vancouver.

 

2014

Say "NO" to pipelines! 

 

For much of November, Kinder Morgan – and Kinder Morgan alone – has had access to part of Burnaby Mountain conservation area on the unceded territory of the Coast Salish peoples. The ongoing destructive survey work for a yet-approved oil pipeline is a blatant disrespect for the will, rights, and laws of the traditional caretakers of the land who have been actively voicing opposition. It marks the latest permutation of Canada’s long history with violence and colonialism, and altogether undermines such efforts as the TLC to revitalize relationships between Indigenous communities and the Canadian society at large. Read the timeline published by the Tyee on many of the events leading up to the Court injunction.

 

2013

 
"Social circus" for change

 

To travel through such hostile and conflict areas as Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, and Israel is challenging in itselt, no less doing so in a rickshaw and as clooooowwwns!!! Read about Adnan R. Khan's awe-inspiring journey "based on the basic principle that happy childhoods produce happy adults. And that a little creativity just might make the impossible possible!" (as published in MacLean's on 14 January 2013)

 

Newspapers should be educating Canadians to be knowledge (not racist)

 

Read this article by Danica Denomme in which she calls into question a racist letter written by Don Olsen and published by the Nanaimo Daily News, noting that First Nations have a history "notable only for underachievement." Denomme considers the expansive timeline of First Nations, highlighting the 52-65 different language groups across Canada alone (with 32 of them being in British Columbia); she writes of their traditional ecological knowledge and teachings in geography, physics, biology, botany, mineralogy, geology, entymology and ichthyology, and how all of this has come into play in their medicines, nutrition, engineering, travel, and survival. To name only a few!

 

2012

 
Moore v. British Columbia

 

On 9 November 2012, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously (9-0) to uphold the BC Human Rights Tribunal decision in 2005 that the BC Ministry of Education had discriminated against Jeffrey Moore by having cut its diagnostic centre 15 years earlier and, thus, failed to provide him with a publicly funded program that accommodated his needs. Or, as Justice Rosalie Abella so cogently wrote in the decision, "Adequate special education is not a dispensable luxury [,,,] it is the ramp that provides access to the statutory commitment to education made to all children in British Columbia."

 

Support Ian Parker and the decolonization of the university 

 

To repress, to reprimand, and ultimately to misrepresent... Our universities should be critiquing not embodying colonialism! Please consider signing the petition to dispute MMU suspension of Professor Ian Parker for having raised concerns internally (by way of email) over workload, transparency, and University appointment procedures. Read about the charges against Professor Ian Parker for having raised concerns internally (by way of email) over workload, transparency, and University appointment procedures. Please consider signing the petition to dispute his suspension at MMU.

 

 

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