Today, March 22, 2016, terrorists in Belgium killed themselves and thirty other innocent civilians when they detonated bombs attached to themselves in the airport and subway of Brussels.
It is easy to say that terrorists are evil and that they should be brought to justice. But the question that needs to be asked, and that frankly has yet to be asked, is what is driving people to leave their families, leave their children, mothers, and husbands and wives, and decide to blow themselves up and kill others in doing so? What is the core of the problem?
Identity is at the core of who we are as citizens of the world, of a country, of a region, and of a community. How we define ourselves and with whom we identify is, in my estimation, dependent on the circumstances in which we find ourselves. People commonly associate their identity with belonging to a certain class, race, religious group, or country of birth. But we can also define ourselves by our age, our ethnicity, and/or our sexual orientation. But the situation in which we asked, ‘Who are you?’ determines the answer to that question.
In Canada, our mistreatment of Aboriginals, Metis, and Inuit is well documented. But the question has arisen again, and again, and again. That is, how do we give First Nations peoples the same opportunities and hope that most non-First Nations have.
Canadians ought to remember the recent shooting in La Loche, Saskatchewan, which victimized four people and their families. In Manitoba lies the Cross Lake First Nation, located roughly five hundred kilometres north of Winnipeg. In this First Nations community six people, mostly youth, have taken their lives, dozens of others in a community numbering only 6000 have made attempts in the past three months, and over ten percent of the student body is on a suicide watch-list.
Yesterday, March 8, 2016 was International Women’s Day, during which we commemorated and celebrated how far women have come in societies around the world, and realize just how far we still need to go to achieve parity and equality between men and women around the world.
I feel it is particularly topical for my blog since it is titled “Because It’s 2015,” which was what Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said when asked why he insisted on a gender-equal cabinet, the first of its kind in Canada. Prime Minister Trudeau, a self-described feminist, reaffirmed his stance that in Canada all women and girls should be given every opportunity to reach their full potential and not be held back because of their sex.
Let’s get one thing straight before we start. Terrorism is not new. It is not an Islamic issue. It is not an issue confined to the Middle East. It does, though, concern everyone and it impacts everyone. It is a part of human history and it will continue to come back, again and again, to haunt us until we can find a long-term solution
I by no means am an expert on solving terrorism, but I will make suggestions to think about. It is clear that making war on terrorist groups like ISIS, Al-Qaeda, The Baader-Meinhof Group in Germany in the 1970s, or the Irish Republican Army, does appease the public on the attacking side. We cheer when buildings are blown up, or when people, our enemies, are killed. But what this violence also does is reinforce the ‘Us vs. Them’ mentality, not only in ‘Us’ but also in ‘Them.’ The more we blow up buildings and fly drones to kill people the more hardened the terrorists become.
It is time for a fresh approach, perhaps for a multi-faceted global strategy.
Books and movies have played a large role in forming the public’s perception of history and political events. You can go all the way back to the 1930s with the film “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington”, to he Cold War cinematic masterpiece “Dr. Strangelove,” to other political dramas such as “In the Name of the Father”, “The Motorcycle Diaries,” “Milk”, “Munich”, and, of course, “All The President’s Men.”
All of these movies, whether they were about telling a dramatic story, the evolution of people and countries, or painted a cruel, yet compelling image of political life, have informed their audiences to one degree or another. While “Malcolm X” and “Selma” showed us that race and religion are still important, “Judgment at Nuremberg”, Shake Hands With The Devil”, and “Hotel Rwanda”, showed us the history and acts that took place during and after genocides.
The recently completed meetings between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the provincial and territorial leaders led to the agreement on a game plan and national strategy towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions by Canada. A consensus was reached by all leaders in Vancouver this past weekend on the concept of putting a price on carbon. What that price will be and how it will be implemented is still up for negotiation, but Canada is moving in the direction of a cleaner economy.
This is the start of the progress that needs to be made to save our country and indeed our planet from the catastrophic events that will happen should we fail to acknowledge and defeat this man-made challenge. After all, Canadians and citizens of other countries are all in this together. Not just those living now, but those who are born tomorrow, next year and in the coming decades. As Assembly of First Nations’ National Chief Perry Belgarde said, “We have to start making decisions that will affect seven generations down the road.”
It’s a make-or-break day for U.S. Presidential hopefuls and one of the most important dates in any U.S. presidential race. So how did Super Tuesday start and why is it so important?
Every four years, Super Tuesday takes place on a Tuesday in either February or March during the U.S. Presidential race. Super Tuesday is the day when both Democrats and Republicans hold the most number of primaries of the election season.
This year, Super Tuesday takes place on March 1, 2016 and sees delegates from thirteen states and one territory casting their nomination for their preferred candidate to content the U.S. Presidential election.
Each state handles the voting process differently: some are primaries, which are run by the states; others are caucuses, which are typically put on by the state parties.
Due to the high number of primaries being held on one day, Super Tuesday can ultimately determine who…
The conflict in Syria has been going on far too long, and though this temporary truce may be the beginning of the end of the war, some positives have emerged. The civil war has shown us what the positives of human capabilities.
This past Saturday marked the arrival of the 25 000th refugee from Syria to Canada since November. An incredible 98 flights have landed in Canada with Syrian refugees spread out to over 250 communities from British Columbia, to Newfoundland, New Brunswick, Saskatchewan, Alberta and Ontario according to CBC News. The refugees have settled in Victoria, Vancouver, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Regina, Toronto, Ottawa, and London.