Recent Commentary by our Grads

The women with informed opinions that we’ve trained, inspired or supported have published hundreds of commentaries in daily newspapers and prominent online sites, generating additional interview requests and exposure as a result. Here are just some of the analyses they’ve contributed as a result:

 

Demand better from social media on content

The Saskatoon StarPhoenix by Katrina German 22 November 2016

“Every person I know was voting for Hillary! How did this happen?” The collective scream that rang out on Facebook immediately following the American election provided a troubling glimpse into the future.

The reason that “everyone you know” in the United States was voting for Hillary or else “Trump will win” is simple: Facebook algorithms.

 

When it comes to divorce, our family law system is failing us

The Calgary Herald by Brynn Doctor 18 November 2016

As a mom, stepmom, partner to a divorcee, hopeful adoptive parent, communications consultant for separated families, and law student, I have had more than my fair share of exposure to our family law system.

Through all these roles, I have come to understand one thing very clearly: our family law system is woefully inadequate.

 

How our company called Trump’s climb

The Globe and Mail Report on Business by Erin Kelly 15 November 2016

In August, our company’s artificial intelligence noted a stunning reversal in Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s fortunes. His numbers were climbing fast and from every direction. Our published findings were met with some push-back, perhaps because of the contentious conclusion. Mr. Trump’s popularity was rising among the very groups the press said he was alienating: African-American and Hispanic voters.

 

To counter-balance Trump’s influence, let’s turn to First Nations’ values of openness and equality

The Ottawa Citizen by Amira Elghawaby 14 November 2016

The morning after Donald Trump’s victory, I was fortunate to seek refuge from the din at what I imagine would be a Canadian version of an anti-Trump rally.

 

Let this election be our rallying cry

The Huffington Post by Jess Tomlin 10 November 2016

Like so many Canadians today, I am in stunned by the news coming out of the U.S. With this presidential decision, the United States of America has put LGBT rights, immigrant rights, and reproductive rights on the line.

 

Dear American feminists, please dig deep and stay put

The Hill by Jess Tomlin 9 November 2016

To the Americans who are feeling fearful about what the next four years will bring, the parents in all 50 states who wrestled with what to say to their daughters this morning, and those in the U.S. who watched the election results come in and then Googled Canadian immigration with such frequency that the site crashed:

Canadians are just as worried by the election results as you are.

 

Developing countries must see climate finance promises kept: McKenna

The Energy Mix by Diane Beckett and Mitchell Beer 9 November 2016

Canada’s contributions to the fight against climate change should recognize that “countries like the Marshall Islands will be underwater at 2.0°C”, and that “developed countries, which largely caused the problem, need to be supporting less developed countries,” Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna told an Ottawa gathering in the week before the United Nations climate summit opened in Marrakech.

 

Canada’s focus on trade is big for small business

The Globe and Mail Report on Business by Andrea Stairs 6 November 2016

U.S. presidential nominees Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump may vehemently disagree on most key issues – immigration, economic prescriptions and who has the right temperament to be president – but one item the opponents seem to align on is trade. Throughout the campaign, both have made increasingly definitive statements against the Trans-Pacific Partnership and demonstrated strong skepticism toward the North American free-trade agreement and other international deals. Time will tell who will win the election, but one thing is certain: Come Wednesday morning, Canada’s top trade partner may want a new deal.

 

Online testing set Ontario students up to fail

The Ottawa Citizen by Claire Davies 26 October 2016

Last week we set up Grade 10 students across the province for failure. We used them as guinea pigs to test a deeply flawed online system that already has a history of letting us down.

 

To promote growth, Canada needs to fixate on data before credentials

The Globe and Mail Report on Business by Nobina Robinson 26 October 2016

At a recent conference in Ottawa, where speakers included Finance Minister Bill Morneau, Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains and Advisory Council on Economic Growth chair Dominic Barton, a challenge was laid on the table.

 

Catholic hospitals have no right to refuse assisted dying

The Globe and Mail by Daphne Gilbert 7 October 2016

Canadians are grappling with one of the most difficult legal issues we have faced in decades: our collective responsibility to facilitate medically assisted death for those who choose it and satisfy the legal criteria.

 

Defamation threats can damage democracy

St John Telegraph Journal by Hilary Young 3 October 2016

On Monday, NB Liquor Corporation threatened to sue this province’s Access to Information Commissioner in defamation. Commissioner Anne Bertrand had written a scathing report, criticising the way the Crown Corporation handled an access to information request. She said it considered itself “above the law”. Rather than engage in public debate, NB Liquor called its lawyers.

 

Who will teach adults about digital literacy?

The Huffington Post by Cathy Burrell 30 September 2016

One of the biggest challenges I see as an adult educator who teaches social media is the language of technology. Older adults are not a homogenous group.

 

Orange shirt day honours the students of residential schools, and educates others

The Montreal Gazette by Hilary Rose 29 September 2016

Six-year-old Phyllis’s excitement about her first day of school was short-lived. She was thrilled to wear her brand-new orange shirt. But her school was St. Joseph’s Mission in Williams Lake, B.C. (a residential school), and Phyllis was stripped and put in a uniform.

 

National affordable housing plan urgently needed

The Star by Heather McGregor 27 September 2016

Women and children are being forced to live in housing that is unsafe, unaffordable, overcrowded, below standard or a combination of all four.

 

B.C. medicare case argues for wrong prescription

The Star by Martha Jackman 15 September 2016

The Charter challenge against medicare is not about improving access to care for patients, but allowing doctors to charge more.

 

The case of Justice Robin Camp: Bigotry does not belong on the bench

Ottawa Citizen and the Vancouver Sun by Daphne Gilbert, Lise Gotell and Elizabeth Sheehy 15 September 2016

How much enlightenment has Justice Robin Camp experienced since his now infamous comments at a 2014 rape trial? That question is at the core of the current hearing into whether he should be removed from the bench. But recently, in expressing his remorse over his comments during the trial, he confessed, “The thing I feel worst about is the questions I asked the accused.”

 

The principal-residence exemption is a fixable piece of the housing puzzle

The Globe and Mail Report on Business by Lisa Phillips 12 September 2016

There is no one simple strategy, no silver bullet, to make houses more affordable in some of Canada’s overheated markets. The problem has multiple causes, including ultralow interest rates, low supplies of housing for rent or purchase, and speculation.

 

Even when times are tough, think about employee retention

Globe and Mail by Shastri Ramnath 29 August 2016

When your industry is weathering a serious or sustained economic slump, and the goal of thriving is temporarily replaced with the goal of surviving, employee retention isn’t usually a top priority. But maybe it should be.

 

Team Refugee teaches us to approach crisis like a champion

Huffington Post by Jess Tomlin 19 August 2016

There are some compelling reasons that we loved Team Refugee at the 2016 Summer Olympics.

First, it was the stories. We were in awe of the grit: one day running barefoot through a crowded refugee camp in Kenya, the next, running the 800m in Rio. The guts: swimming your own rescue boat to shore and then winning your heat at the world’s most celebrated games.

Then it was the public acknowledgement of a painful year for the 65 million refugees who have crossed dangerous borders in overcrowded boats, carried all their belonging in their arms and left loved ones behind.

 

Better access to justice in Canada? There’s an app for that

The Globe and Mail by Jena McGill 13 July 2016

If a police officer stops you on the street and tells you to produce identification, do you know your rights? If not, do you know where to go to find out what they are?

 

Off tune, Tenors: ‘All lives matter’ is always an ignorant claim

The Globe and Mail by Naila Keleta-Mae 12 July 2016

Tonight, the group The Tenors altered the wording of the Canadian National Anthem when they sang it at the 87th Major League Baseball all-star game. “We’re all brothers and sisters. All lives matter to the great,” they sang as one of them held up a sign that read “All Lives Matter.”

Black Lives Matter is dramatic, unsettling and inconvenient. That’s the point.

The Globe and Mail by Naila Keleta-Mae 5 July 2016

Some people are livid that Black Lives Matter staged a 30 minute sit-in at Pride Toronto’s marquee parade on Sunday afternoon.

 

Indigenous Affairs help lines don’t work, advocates say

APTN 21 June 2016

Andrea Auger, Reconciliation and Research Manager at the First Nations Child and Family Caring Circle spoke to APTN about problems with the federal government’s application of Jordan’s Principle. [Video]

 

Canada’s migrant agricultural workers deserve full and equal rights. Here’s why.

TVO Current Affairs by Janet McLaughlin 16 June 2016

Earlier this year, a quiet decision by Loblaw to remove French’s brand ketchup from its shelves was met by an unexpected firestorm of protest from angry consumers. In the weeks following, the brand rose from relative obscurity into superhero status over its local tomato origins. Over the course of 24 hours, Canadians told Loblaw loud and clear that they wanted local Leamington, Ont., tomatoes in the popular condiment gracing their barbequed eats this summer. A surprised Loblaw management team quickly reversed its decision.

 

What’s keeping so many Alberta women out of the workforce?

Edmonton Journal by Rhonda Breitkreuz, 10 June 2016

Albertans like to think of ourselves as front-runners, but when it comes to the employment of women, we are lagging behind.

According to new data from Statistics Canada, we have the lowest proportion of dual-earner couples among all the provinces. In Alberta, 64 per cent of couples with kids are dual earner compared to the national average of 69 per cent. In short, we have more stay-at-home moms than other parts of the country.

 

We need Canadian courts to uphold the spirit of our tax laws

The Globe and Mail: Report on Business by Lisa Phillips 3 June 2016

The Panama Papers have refocused attention on how Canada can protect its tax base in a world of mobile capital and abundant tax planning. Who is responsible for closing the legal loopholes that enable tax avoidance? The essential role of the courts is often overlooked.

 

Why Ontario’s autism debate drives parents to rage and tears

Huffington Post by Janet McLaughlin 24 May 2016

It was “the most emotional and heartbreaking in my time at Queen’s Park.” That’s how NDP MPP Catherine Fife described the debate on autism treatment that occurred on May 17.

 

Someone tell the Ontario Liberals that autism doesn’t end at 5

Huffington Post by Janet McLaughlin 16 May 2016

When the Progressive Conservatives and the NDP agree on something, the issue must transcend ideology. The Ontario government’s recent cut of life-changing therapy for autistic kids has mobilized them both.

 

Does your organization’s power structure enable workplace abuse?

Globe and Mail by Sarah Neville 14 May 2016

The statement that former CBC producer Kathryn Borel read this week on the steps of Toronto’s courthouse should send a chill through many organizations. Even companies that don’t employ high-profile entertainers need to get serious about tackling workplace sexual harassment and examine how power is organized and shared.

 

Private member’s bill has the potential to change the rules of the political game 

The Hill Times by Nancy Peckford, Nicole Foster and Grace Lore 9 May 2016.

Today, the Private Member’s Bill C-237, the Candidate Gender Equity Act, drafted by NDP MP Kennedy Stewart, will be debated in the House of Commons. It’s a provocative Bill in a country that has never invoked any structural measures to ensure more women stand for office. At its core, the proposed Bill would change the way in which registered political parties are reimbursed for a significant portion of their campaign expenses. Many Canadians don’t realize that, in addition to a generous tax credit for individual contributions to federal political parties, parties are also reimbursed for up to half of eligible campaign expenditures

 

The antidote for chronic stress is chronic exercise 

Waterloo Region Record by Jennifer Heisz and Emily Paolucci 28 April 2016

Even Olympic athletes sometimes get the blues. Clara Hughes has publicly shared her struggle with depression, bringing much needed honesty and openness to the stigma surrounding mental illness. At its peak, Clara’s depression filled her with inescapable hopelessness and isolation. Through her dark periods, Clara recounts the empowering benefits of exercise on her mental health.

 

It’s up to this Parliament to chart a different course for women on the Hill

Hill Times by Nancy Peckford 25 April  2016.

Conservative MP Michelle Rempel’s article about everyday sexism on the Hill in last week’s National Post is another sobering reminder of a male-dominated workplace in which women who occupy positions of power are met with varying degrees of hostility and/or ignorance far too often. This is not unique to Parliament Hill. Gender-biased behaviour and cultural norms, which undermine or diminish women’s influence in traditionally male fora, are commonplace and often quite resistant to change. And while it may be tempting to characterize the particular brand of sexism we see on the Hill as particularly egregious, I am not sure it is.

 

Disabled northern and Indigenous women need to be part of policymaking process

Policy Options by Deborah Stienstra, Susan Manning and Gail Baikie 21 April 2016

Last fall, when Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau unveiled his gender-balanced cabinet, he explained it with the phrase “Because it’s 2015.”

Thirty years earlier, the equality provisions of Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms came into effect. While the current prime minister’s father signed the Charter in 1982 on April 17, the actual equality provisions were not enacted until 1985 to give the provinces and territories time to revise their legislation and regulations to reflect the new protections.

 

A girl’s worth (letter to editor)

Globe and Mail by Rita Morbia 13 April 2016

As an Indian-born woman with two daughters, I was appalled at the statistics on possible sex selection published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. I believe that my girls can do anything as well, if not better, than their male peers. However, patriarchy manifests itself in myriad ways around the globe. This is just another form. Canada should respond without promoting racial stereotypes or rolling back reproductive rights.

 

How can a criminal law system that fails victims of sexual assault be considered great?

Policy Options by Daphne Gilbert, Elizabeth Sheehy and Blair Crew 12 April 2016

In the aftermath of the acquittal of Jian Ghomeshi on four counts of sexual assault and one count of choking to overcome resistance, many commentators— particularly defence lawyers and Crown attorneys — have asserted that the case does not indicate that anything is “broken” in our criminal justice system. Instead, they say, it’s a great system — possibly the best in the world. It just doesn’t work that well for sexual assault, they acknowledge.

 

Autistic children denied hope due to being five

The Toronto Star by Janet McLaughlin and Willem van Heiningen 7 April 2016

Imagine that your child cannot look you in the eye, wave hello, or tell you he loves you. He has difficulty sleeping and often wakes in the night crying, but can’t tell you why. When he is sick or in pain, he can’t describe what hurts. He gets upset at seemingly random changes in his environment, sometimes to the point of sobbing uncontrollably, but can’t express the reason. You love him beyond words, yet you feel helpless.

 

Ghomeshi case raises disturbing legal issues

Victoria Times Colonist Rebecca Johnson and Gillian Calder 5 April 2016

The R. vs. Ghomeshi judgment begins with the word “warning.” And although the warning is about the publication ban for two of the complainants, it might as well be an image of a dragon on a 14th-century map, scaring off those about to navigate the words of the judgment due to dangers that lie below the surface.

 

We need data on physical activity among people with disabilities

Hamilton Spectator by Kathleen Martin Ginis 5 April 2016

He was doing so well. He should still be doing well. He was a young man in our McMaster University exercise program for people with spinal cord injuries, MacWheelers. He had worked hard to build a good life after becoming paraplegic. His twice-weekly workouts at our gym were relieving his pain so well that he’d been able to get off medication. He had a good, fulfilling job. He was thriving.

Then he got a new job and moved away, to a community where there is no place for the same kind of supported exercise.

 

Finding Canada’s way again on the rights of persons with disabilities

Centre for International Policy Studies Blog by Deborah Stienstra and Steven Estey 31 March 2016

It has been ten years since Canada signed the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), recognizing the equal rights of the one billion people with disabilities around the world and their families. Even before, in 1998, then Prime Minister Chretien accepted the Franklin Delano Roosevelt International Disability Award recognizing Canada’s exceptional international leadership in the area of disability rights. And twenty years ago, in 1996, Canada welcomed the world to sign the Landmine Convention, the first international arms treaty to explicitly recognize the rights of people with disabilities with its groundbreaking Article 6 on victim assistance.

 

Impact investing’s not inefficient; your money’s working double duty

Globe and Mail by Laura Doering 31 March 2016

If your investments were a person, who would they be? Perhaps a bespectacled accountant tallying pennies in a cubicle. Or maybe an exhausted analyst with shoulders hunched over an Excel spreadsheet. If you’re like many Canadians, you aspire to be a different kind of investment: one who stays late at the office, but also volunteers on the weekends.

 

BPA is still present in 60% of cans in the U.S.: Study

Time Magazine 30 March 2016

University of Calgary researcher Deborah Kurrasch comments on BPA alternatives.

 

Sounding the alarm will backfire thanks to human nature

Globe and Mail by Sarah Wolfe 22 March 2016

Today is World Water Day, and experts everywhere are sounding the alarm about water problems.

We’ll learn about children in distant lands who die from drinking contaminated water and women who suffer sexual assault because they don’t have access to private toilets. We’ll see photographs of urban flooding and the damage it has caused to municipal infrastructure and personal property. We’ll hear more about climate change, persistent drought and rising food prices. Someone will link water scarcity to the destabilization of societies and to violence and human migration. The list of global water problems is endless, daunting and heartbreaking.

In the digital economy, SMEs must be fast followers

Globe and Mail: Report on Business by Isabelle Perreault 15 March 2016

A 1-per-cent increase in labour productivity from adopting advanced technologies would yield $8-billion for the Canadian economy, according to a report released last week. The Information and Communications Technology Council’s (ICTC) 2015 labour market outlook also confirmed that small- to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) – the bedrock of our economy – aren’t embracing digital technologies as fast as they should.

 

Attacking poverty to foster creativity in entrepreneurs

New York Times 12 March 2016

Research into entrepreneurial creativity by Rotman Strategic Management professor Laura Doering was profiled in the New York Times.

 

Can robo advisers replace human financial advisers?

Wall Street Journal 28 February 2016

Lisa Kramer, professor of Finance at the University of Toronto provides her expertise on robo financial advisers.

 

Gates to prosperity

Winnipeg Free Press by Lori Wilkinson 19 February 2016

Many people wonder why Canada is opening its doors for Syrian refugees when there is so much poverty, inequality and injustice in our own society. Leaving aside Canada’s moral and international legal obligations, critics of the refugees argue that they are an unnecessary expense. What most don’t realize, however, is that refugees are actually an economic benefit to our country.

 

Get what’s mine: “Formation” changes the way we listen to Beyoncé forever

Noisey.vice.com by Naila Keleta-Mae 8 February 2016

Beyoncé’s a performer. That said, she’s invited us to watch her get free in “Formation” but she also needs us to witness—to “get” it; to get her as an artist. What we’ve witnessed, with the release of “Formation,” is a master class in how pop artists can clearly articulate political views that differ from the mainstream without being labeled didactic and marginalized by the media. And “Formation” couldn’t be quietly relegated to the ether of the internet because it’s such a good pop song. Its mainstream trap beat is skillfully created by producer Mike WiLL Made It; the lyrics, co-written with Rae Sremmurd’s Swae Lee, provide just the right amount of braggadocio, sex and cute one liners; the looks, styled by Shiona Turini and Marni Senofonte, got the attention of bloggers, and the video direction by Melina Matsoukas delivers just the right artsy-pop-documentary feel.

 

Despite progress, women remain a distinct minority in House

The Hill Times by Nancy Peckford, 8 February 2016

Since getting elected, most Members of Parliament now have fully functional offices, their staff are getting into the swing of things and everyone is adapting (or re-adjusting) to life as they straddle time on the Hill with the demands of their ridings.

 

The way forward on sexual assault on campus

Ottawa Citizen by Elizabeth Sheehy and Allan Rock 5 February 2016

Two years ago, allegations of sexual violence involving students led the University of Ottawa to create a task force on respect and equality, with a mandate to recommend policies and practices to create a safe and respectful environment on campus.

 

Jian Ghomeshi’s sexual assault trial fuels debate over defence’s tactics

The Globe and Mail 3 February 2016

Elaine Craig weighs in on the debate among criminal defense lawyers about the practice of “whacking” female sexual assault complainants.

 

Refugees: What do we know? 

CTV News 03 February 2016

University of Manitoba sociology professor, Lori Wilkinson, speaks about refugees on CTV Morning News.

 

A person with Alzheimer’s disease is still here

The Hamilton Spectator by Jennifer Heisz 30 January 2016

In the movie Still Alice, Julianne Moore infused grace and honesty into the struggles faced by a woman with Alzheimer’s disease. In coming to terms with the heartbreaking symptoms of dementia, Alice must also learn to confront her own stigma of the disease.

 

Want to silence the truth? Sue for defamation

The Toronto Star by Hilary Young 17 January 2016

In 1989, Memorial University professor Ranjit Chandra committed flagrant academic fraud. He invented data showing that certain baby formulas, made by companies that were paying him, helped prevent allergies. Upon discovering the misconduct, Memorial confronted the professor, who resigned. But it didn’t reveal its findings to the public, nor to journals that published Dr. Chandra’s papers. In fact, the baby formula paper was only recently retracted, after 25 years. Last week it was announced that he’d been stripped of his Order of Canada.

 

Medical insurance case no cause for concern

St. John’s Telegraph by Hilary Young 12 January 2016

In the 1990s, Shirley Shannon was sexually abused by her doctor, K.A. Akuffo-Akoto. The New Brunswick woman and her husband sued Dr. Akoto and the court found in their favour. As I tell my law students, however, winning your case does not mean you will get your money. Unfortunately for the Shannons, Dr. Akoto was no longer in Canada and he did not leave behind any assets that could be used to satisfy the judgment.

 

Low-cost airlines may offer a greener way to travel

CBC 8 January 2016

University of Waterloo professor Jennifer Lynes offered insight into the relative environmental impact of discount airlines to listeners of CBC’s Morning Edition in Kitchener-Waterloo.

 

Ottawa police should adopt the ‘Philadelphia model’ to give sexual assault victims justice

Feministcurrent.com by Elizabeth Sheehy 6 January 2016

The Ottawa Police Service’s recently announced decision to charge the man who allegedly raped, strangled, punched, and spat upon Mélodie Morin on the University of Ottawa campus last fall may reassure the public that police are responding effectively to sexual violence in our city. Should we rest easy?

 

 

 

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