Audio: Innocent people harmed by police background checks

The Canadian Civil Liberties Association has been investigating the way police forces across Canada keep records about the people they have contact with, and how those records are pulled up when prospective employers or others request background checks. It turns out that background checks harm many, many innocent people who have no criminal records. Non-criminal events like mental health-related 911 calls, … Continue reading

The politics of surprise

Canada’s last segregated school for African Canadian children closed in 1983 in Guysborough County, Nova Scotia. In Ontario, the last segregated school for African Canadian children closed in 1965 in Essex County, near Windsor. There were segregated schools of this kind in other provinces as well, but Ontario and Nova Scotia — home to Canada’s … Continue reading

The only mention of Canada in Nelson Mandela’s autobiography

“The Innuit are an aboriginal people historically mistreated by a white settler population; there were parallels between the plights of black South Africans and the Innuit people.” — Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom p. 584 I’ve just finished working my way through Mr. Mandela’s autobiography, written in the early 1990s, after his release from prison and … Continue reading

Parallel Lines

Back when the Earth was flat, they said parallel lines could never intersect. They said some were natural masters and others natural slaves. When the paradigm shifted and the Earth became round, there was a chance for parallel lines to meet as equals. But the righteous heard God instruct them otherwise. East was East and … Continue reading

My grandmother’s brother, Father Xavier Thaninayagam (BA, DD, MA, MLitt, PhD)

This is a biographical note I wrote about my grandmother’s brother, a priest and academic who was prominent in the study of Tamil literature, history and philosophy. The article was written as part of a publication commemorating the 140th anniversary of the school he attended as a boy growing up on the island of Kayts, off the … Continue reading