• Rape Culture is Real - We believe survivors
    On March 28th City Councillor Stephen Andrew tweeted "I do not believe there is a 'rape culture' in Victoria." We wonder why then 1 in 3 women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime. We wonder why then it is the collective, normalized experience of women to live in fear of rape. We wonder why it is that 80% of women/girls who are sexually assaulted know the perpetrator. Stephen Andrew's assertion that there is no "rape culture" in Victoria exposes a deeply problematic mindset that has no place on city council. The way Stephen Andrew denied rape culture and minimized women’s voices and experiences to defend men’s behaviour is the very definition of rape culture. What's worse is that Stephen Andrew denied the exisitenace of rape culture in response to the Survivors Story Project: https://www.instagram.com/survivorstoriesproject/ A community that have supported survivors and given them a platform to bravely come forward and share their credible stories of traumatic rape and sexual assault which have resulted in the recent termination of at least four men in the real estate industry. These women have found some justice where other avenues have failed. Stephen Andrew undermines this community of support and the bravery of these women coming forward by referring to them, in his 'apology' tweet, as 'justice by mob' that 'isn't good enough'. We think Stephen Andrew isn't 'good enough' to represent the City of Victoria. Stephen Andrew doesn't seem to know or care that less than 5% of sexual assaults are reported to police or that ⅔ of survivors report NOT having confidence in the criminal justice system. Most victims of sexualized violence, regardless of gender, do not report for fear they won't be believed. Stephen Andrews public statements further discredit and dismiss those who have the strength to come forward. Stephen Andrew deleted his tweet ONLY because of the public backlash he faced and in an act of reputational damage control he took to the media to say HE would lead a 'task force on sexual abuse'. We are unmoved by Stephen Andrews claims that he was "awakened" in the span of 24 hours. We do not want someone who just hours before did NOT believe survivors to take a leadership role in determining the path forward. Clearly Stephen Andrews reversal is politically calculated. Clearly Stephen Andrew doesn't not understand the damage he has done and how many will remain silent because of his words. Stephen Andrew has proven he knows nothing of the realities women and survivors face or the prevalence of sexualized violence. He has proven that he has no understanding of the current system that absolutely deters reporting. He has proven that he has zero regard for survivors' truths. Apologies are not enough. We are calling on him to resign. It is long overdue that Victoria council address rape culture in our city by advancing its 2019-2022 Strategic Plan goal to "explore ways to end sexual harassment and assault in Victoria" but THEY MUST DO MORE. We don't need a task force, we need an action plan. We need it immediately and we need it to centre the voices and experiences of survivors. We, the community, believe survivors and we NEED our city council to, too.
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    Created by Renay Morris
  • National Citizens' Assembly on Climate and Ecological Justice
    The COVID-19 crisis has revealed that swift emergency action and systemic change in the long-term public interest is both necessary and possible. The United Nations has reported that the destruction of nature is the root cause of present and future global pandemics, and the Government of Canada acknowledges that the climate and ecological emergency will contribute to worsening public health crises, including the further spread of infectious diseases. Climate change is rapidly outpacing scientific predictions, and the world is fast approaching tipping points that threaten abrupt and irreversible heating and biodiversity loss. Biodiversity loss and species extinction threaten human food systems. The climate crisis is predicted to lead to catastrophic economic losses and worsening political instability, affecting the most marginalized communities first and foremost. The people of Canada should be able to directly participate in the environmental, economic, social and political decisions which affect their lives and those of future generations. Citizens’ assemblies are representative, democratic instruments well-suited to overcoming political deadlock and addressing complex problems. Citizens’ assemblies produce evidence-based public judgment, and are not equivalent to other forms of public consultation, such as town halls or referendums, which rely solely on the collection of public opinion. Other G7 countries, such as France and the United Kingdom, have created national citizens’ assemblies on climate policy. So has the state of Washington. Since there exists a pre-qualified vendor of record with the Government of Canada, with expertise in the design and delivery of citizens’ assemblies (MASS LBP, masslbp.com), there is no reason for Canada not to do the same.
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    Created by Ian Fryer
  • Save Learn@Home Across Ontario!
    Dear Mr. Lecce, For families, the first and foremost benefit of the Learn@Home program was protection from the COVID-19 virus. But as this year progressed it became apparent that children enrolled in virtual learning have experienced myriad unexpected additional benefits BEYOND health and safety: - Decreased anxiety as a result of ZERO bullying, exclusion, cliques, etc. - Increased 1:1 time with educators - Greater efficiency in work completion, and therefore increased satisfaction - Increased outdoor time - Decreased sense of competition with classmates - Decreased illness from common cold/flu - Increased connectedness between parents and teachers - Enhanced academic performance in literally every area: math, literacy, science (students finally “getting” concepts that previously eluded them) - Quieter learning environment has decreased excess stimulation and increased concentration power - Uninterrupted learning time - Meeting more like-minded friends than in bricks-and-mortar - Increased confidence and overall happiness, a “lightness” of spirit - Flexibility of scheduling - Less stress, greater fulfillment, increased self-confidence Children who have dealt with severe bullying at bricks-and-mortar school have finally been able to relax, blossom, and exude joy in a new environment. For parents and kids alike, this is the GIFT of a lifetime. We are also aware, having spoken to L@H Principals, that there is ample data to illustrate that the remote environment has improved academic performance. Children previously plagued by behavioural challenges, or with complex IEP needs, are now thriving. As you can imagine, L@H parents facing the termination of this schooling option are appalled and deeply saddened on behalf of our children. During an otherwise traumatic time, L@H has provided our children with unwavering stability, ample social opportunities, improved academic performance, and enhanced self-confidence. With larger, more urban school boards continuing the program, rural students are being placed at a distinct disadvantage in having this learning option stripped from them. We urge you to do what's right and ENSURE EQUAL ACCESS to this program across the province. L@H has benefits that extend beyond health and safety and should therefore be upheld past the pandemic's end. Please help us support the students for whom this program has “cracked the code” of what a perfect learning environment looks like for them. Sincerely, Ontario Parents
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    Created by Kyra Evans
  • #PivotTheGradClock: Funding Extension Guarantee for All Graduate Students in Queen's
    In March 2020, over 2000 people called for the University to waive summer tuition in recognition of the immense impact COVID 19 was taking on SGPS members’ financial stability and wellbeing due to changes to educational delivery that affected us both as students and as labourers. This request was met with a stern “no.” Since then, graduate students have been working overtime to continue their studies and employment responsibilities at Queen’s. Many graduate students faced significant delays in receiving ethics approval and access to archives and had to adapt their research proposals due to restricted possibilities for in-person research. They also had to go above and beyond with their commitments to RA/TAships with the switch to online delivery. While the School of Graduate Studies is working to approve a policy about extensions for completion time, funding extensions should not be made on a case-by-case basis. Pressure needs to continue to be placed on the decision-makers at Queens to come up with a cross-department plan to ensure funding for all students who need additional time to completion. We the undersigned endorse this campaign and demand a one year funding extension guarantee for all graduate students currently enrolled in Queen’s. This provision will come with the option to opt out upon completion of research. We call for faculty members, faculty associations, department stakeholders and all graduate students to sign this letter and show our strength behind this much required change. Important: Add your designation alongside your last name in the box below with no special characters. For example, Jane (first name) Doe Graduate Student (last name and designation).
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    Created by pivot the grad clock
  • Demand shelter for Brad Lamb's evicted tenants
    CBC reports that 9 Toronto residents have been kicked out of their homes with just 24 hours notice, after learning that the units had been illegally built in unsafe conditions - which almost led to death by carbon monoxide poisoning for several tenants. The landlord, Brad Lamb, is reported to have installed ineffective monoxide detectors that would, according to firefighters, have failed to protect the residents. With those tenants out on the street in the midst of the pandemic through no fault of their own, it's up to Brad Lamb to fix the situation he created. Lamb runs Toronto's top condo and loft brokerage. A search of his website reveals hundreds of available properties. He has the means to offer shelter to the people whose lives he almost destroyed and who he has evicted overnight. Send Brad's company an email demanding that they make some of their open units available to the evicted tenants immediately and for at least three months to give them time to find a new place. CBC article: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/west-end-apartment-residents-given-24-hours-to-vacate-1.5949249 (Comic art by @CarymaRules)
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    Created by Timothy Ellis Picture
  • Remove Joseph Trutch's Name From Trutch Street
    Why Decolonization Is Important: One street, one step. To create a future where settlers and Indigenous Peoples are equally respected, decolonization is vital. To decolonize, Canada needs to acknowledge its colonial history and abolish the oppressive systems that settlers created during colonization and continue to uphold. Trutch’s name commemorates the oppression of Indigenous Nations, Peoples, and cultures. In conjunction with current social justice movements, the need for reconciliation is being recognized. There is no better time as settlers to acknowledge our systems of oppression and to dismantle its remaining symbols. As of right now, Trutch street remains a symbol of cultural genocide. Allowing this name to be used on street signs, addresses, and bus stops, reinforces a colonial history which does not align with present day values. Why are we commemorating a colonial leader who demonstrated such racist acts towards Indigenous Nations? Removing his namesake is a step towards acknowledging that settlers oppressed other human beings through systems of white supremacy. This is a history that needs to be reconciled. We can remember Joseph Trutch, but we should not celebrate him. FAQs & Common Concerns 1. "If we remove this street name, are we 'erasing history?'” This action acknowledges that remembering our shared history is different than honoring a particular individual by placing them on a pedestal. We believe Joseph Trutch’s actions should be remembered, not celebrated. Removing his name from a street sign will not erase him from all the history books. In fact, renaming the street will create a discussion, and people often learn more about a historical figure as a result of this dialogue. 2. "You can’t judge the past by present-day standards!" True, the actions of the past were not made under current circumstances, but we believe that what is celebrated by our society is the decision of those who do the celebrating. We must choose who we want to celebrate now and not feel obligated to maintain the celebratory choices of past generations. Additionally, Trutch’s views and policies in relation to the Indigenous Peoples were extreme, even compared to the common perspectives of his time, and we believe his racist policies should not be celebrated. We should not celebrate blatantly racist individuals who turned their racism into policy. 3. "Removing this street name is a slippery slope. Where does it stop?" As removing these types of figures from celebration takes a lot of work, one action does not always lead to a cascade of similar actions. With that said, if there is a good reason for change, we believe change should happen. 4. "Changing this street name will be too expensive and/or inconvenient." Yes, there are costs associated with changing a street name, but the costs are relatively minimal compared to the city’s overall budget and the progress towards reconciliation that can occur with this action. Luckily, Trutch is one of the shortest streets in the city—very few people would be inconvenienced. 5. "This action is merely symbolic or performative. There are more important things to be working on." We completely agree that this should not be the end of our work. We see this as one of many necessary actions. We value this action because symbols signify what we value and celebrate as a society. The removal of a racist individual from celebration signifies a small but important change in our cultural values. And, if we cannot even remove a racist figure from our collective celebration on a street sign, how will we be able to address even larger issues of reconciliation and decolonization? We see this action as an accessible start to building our community’s capacity for greater change. You’ve signed this petition and you want to do more? Please contact the city councillors of Victoria, BC, and tell them why you think Trutch’s name should be removed from Trutch Street. Their contact information is provided below. You can give them a call, or copy and paste the following message into your email and send it to them. “Dear City Councillor, Joseph Trutch was a racist individual who should not be celebrated and commemorated on a street sign. I believe Victoria should decolonize its place names, and Trutch Street is a good place to start. If you want my support in the future, you should vote to remove his name. You have a responsibility to help Victoria reconcile its colonial history, and celebrating a racist figure does not align with my values. Sincerely, [insert your name]” You can email all of them, or even just one! Anything helps. General email: mayorandcouncil@victoria.ca Mayor Lisa Helps 250.361.0200 mayor@victoria.ca Councillor Marianne Alto 250.361.0216 malto@victoria.ca Councillor Stephen Andrew 250.361.0217 stephen.andrew@victoria.ca Councillor Sharmarke Dubow 250.361.0223 sdubow@victoria.ca Councillor Ben Isitt 250.882.9302 bisitt@victoria.ca Councillor Jeremy Loveday 250.361.0218 jloveday@victoria.ca Councillor Sarah Potts 250.361.0221 spotts@victoria.ca Councillor Charlayne Thornton-Joe 250.361.0219 cthornton-joe@victoria.ca Councillor Geoff Young 250.361.0220 gyoung@victoria.ca
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    Created by Jade Baird
  • Cancel taxpayer subsidies to all industries that emit Greenhouse gases
    Climate change is catastrophic, we have to work together to save our planet. There is no planet b. Every industry that does more harm than good, specifically the animal industry and fossil fuel industry, should not be subsidized by taxpayers.
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    Created by Viral DL
  • Support paid sick days for all U of T employees
    The University of Toronto likes to publicize its ranking as one of Canada’s top 100 employers. However, the truth is, in any given month, U of T, one of the richest (if not the richest) publicly funded education institutions in the country, hires more than 5,000 people on casual contracts – many working at or near full-time hours – with no guarantee of hours of work, no health benefits and no paid sick days. The University administration recently granted support staff three temporary, paid “Staff Wellness Days.” However, only a small percentage of those on casual contracts actually qualify for such paid leave. There exists at U of T and other post-secondary institutions an ingrained staff stratification where University management, with their inflated salaries and perks, argue that workers on casual contracts, many of whom are also students, somehow don’t deserve the health and income protections afforded by paid sick days. When sick and without paid sick days, these workers must make the difficult choice of going without income or else potentially infecting their fellow workers by going in to work. No person, especially during a global pandemic, should have to make such a choice. Right now, the union that represents many of these workers – United Steelworkers Local 1998 (Casual Unit) – is currently bargaining with U of T management, and one of the asks is paid sick days. Based on our initial meetings, we are expecting the University’s negotiators to reject this reasonable and necessary proposal. This is not what we should expect from a “model” employer. As one of the biggest employers in Toronto and amid a growing call for paid sick days for all, the U of T administration has an opportunity to show leadership on this issue and implement paid sick days for all employees at U of T. To that end, we encourage you – whether or not you are a part of the U of T community – to sign the petition.
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    Created by Nick Marchese
  • Stop Women Harrasment
    as we know women are the initial part of society if there are no women the men where not exist in this universe
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    Created by Mawliid Abdi
  • National Post: It's Time To Retire Rex Murphy
    On February 18th, columnist Rex Murphy published an article about the deadly ice storms plaguing Texas. It would be too polite to say that the column is full of lies, because lies contain an implicit admission that there is a different, hidden truth. Rather, Murphy's column is simply a regurgitated spew of false information that Murphy clearly believes to be true. A few examples: - Murphy alleges that the storm in Texas actually *disproves* climate science because, and I quote, "I thought we were not having winter anymore". - He claims that the real reason the grid failed is too much reliance on wind power - in Texas. Experts with actual meaningful information have determined that much of the grid failed, including gas, coal, and even nuclear power plants, and the blackouts were made worse by Texas being disconnected from the national grid (a move that was made to avoid federal safety regulations). - He closes the article by alleging once again that "winter" disproves all of climate science. With the climate crisis raging, Murphy's obvious misinformation is not just frustrating and off target - it's deadly. If Rex Murphy can't be bothered to learn the truth, then he can't be trusted with a public platform. It's time for the National Post to retire Rex Murphy.
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    Created by Timothy Ellis Picture
  • A livable basic income guarantee for everyone who needs it
    Until we have a national livable basic income guarantee for everyone who needs it, regardless of their work status, many of us will continue to be left behind living in poverty. We need a renewed social safety net for the 21st century that includes both income security and the social supports and services we need. We are facing turbulent times: climate change; energy transition; employment transition; racism and discrimination; vast income inequality; deep poverty; pandemics; an opioid crisis and food insecurity. Any one of us can fall into poverty at any time. To successfully adapt to all of the challenges of the 21st century, we need a social safety net that will catch not just some of us - but all of us. We each deserve to live with sufficient income and the supports and services we need to live with dignity.
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    Created by Susan Abells
  • Canada, bring former Blackwater Trump Pardoned War Criminals to Justice
    Recently President Donald Trump officially Pardoned these convicted War Criminals. Seventeen Iraqi civilians were killed and twenty more were injured in Nisour Square by these four Blackwater private security employees. It is important that the transcending Principles of International Justice be upheld by the Canadian Government no matter who the War Criminals are.
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    Created by Kenneth Agar-Newman