A Sunday Poem: “Blank”

Poet Shai Ben-Shalom, an Israeli-born biologist, examines current events in the Blacklock's tradition each and every Sunday: "If you claim All Lives Matter you fail to realise we're talking Black Lives. If you hire a guy when any gender would do you..." READ MORE

Review: The Hoax

“We know ourselves only through stories,” writes Prof. Daniel Heath Justice of the University of British Columbia. Canadians define themselves through stories of pipelines or Catholicism or the fisheries or our grandparents’ ethnicity. In Why Indigenous Literatures Matter Justice tells a poignant story of discovering his Cherokee roots through a 1976 bestseller The Education Of Little Tree by Forrest Carter, the biography of an Indigenous boy raised by Tennessee mountaineers. “I read it every year,” writes Justice. “I suggested it to others. It told me a story that was so familiar; it became part of my story of self. But it wasn’t until I was an undergraduate that I learned the shattering truth.” The Education Of Little Tree was a literary hoax. The author was Asa Carter, a Ku Klux Klan organizer and former speechwriter for Alabama Governor George Wallace who turned a quick buck with a false account of “simplistic, noble savages”, writes  Prof. Justice. READ MORE

Terror Hunt Includes Hoodies

Unwitting bank customers have been reported to an anti-terror watchdog for trivial and even biased reasons, a University of Waterloo researcher has told the Commons finance committee. Grounds to report suspicious activity included customers who wore hoodies or sunglasses, or appeared Muslim: 'I've worn a hoodie. I can assure you I've never financed terror.' READ MORE

High-Rise Pot A Problem

Parliament must ban home marijuana cultivation or face a confusing patchwork of local regulations, building owners yesterday told the Senate legal and constitutional affairs committee. Landlords forecast numerous problems with cannabis legalization in condo buildings and apartments: "This is misguided." READ MORE

Few Visitors To Vets’ Offices

Records show newly-reopened regional offices of the Department of Veterans Affairs see as few as 1 to 5 walk-in visitors a day, including people picking up brochures. Cabinet reopened the offices last year following protests over Conservative closures: "They want a brochure, they want to understand a certain program." READ MORE

Bill Ends Secret Subsidies

The Commons yesterday opened debate on a private Conservative bill mandating disclosure of all corporate loans and guarantees approved by the Department of Industry. The sponsor called it “unfortunate to have to introduce a bill for more transparency.” READ MORE

Committee Springs To Life

The dormant Library of Parliament oversight committee yesterday sprang to life with agreement to hold public hearings on federal spending. Meeting for the first time in three years, the committee voted to question a Parliamentary Budget Officer who's criticized government secrecy: "It's about time." READ MORE

Guest Commentary

Dan Harris

Kids

My first job in 1995 was working with toddlers and preschoolers for $6.75 an hour. Challenges? You bet! In the summer program I had to prepare afternoon snacks for one hundred kids. Try slicing up mango for one hundred kids every day. I never want to see another mango as long as I live. Few challenges are as rewarding as teaching children to count to ten, or tie their shoes, or spell their name. I think most childcare workers love their job – I did – but it is a grinding experience, like parenthood.