Canada Headed for a Stormy Ride

Canada

North of the 49th parallel, four more years of Stephen Harper’s Conservative rule has begun. On May 2nd, Canadians went to the polls and gave Harper the majority of seats in the House of Commons–the majority he has eagerly and unsuccessfully sought in two previous elections–and thus gave the Conservatives unshakable federal decision-making power. The […]

Canadian Women Want to Break Up with Stephen Harper

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Five weeks ago, the Canadian government was forced into an election, one the ruling party–Stephen Harper’s Conservatives–claimed the Canadian public didn’t want. But the campaign has turned into one that is likely to change the political landscape of Canada forever, sparked in part by an unprecedented debate over reproductive rights. In Canada, it’s possible for […]

Canada Offers “Duress” Defense for Battered Women

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Nicole Ryan had endured more than 15 horrific years of domestic abuse when, in 2008, she plotted to have her husband killed. Unbeknownst to her, the hired “hit man” was an undercover police officer who quickly had Ryan charged with “counseling to commit murder”. But last week, Ryan was acquitted in a Nova Scotia provincial […]

Wearing a Tube Top Does Not Equal Consent

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In a disgraceful judgment by the provincial court of Manitoba, Canada, Justice Robert Dewar allowed a convicted rapist to walk away with nothing but a curfew and a mandatory letter of apology to his victim. The reason? She was wearing a tube top, high heels and make-up the night of the rape–and she was drinking […]

One Feminist Asks, ‘Is Polygamy Inherently Bad for Women?’

Polygamy

The British Columbia Supreme Court is currently undertaking a fascinating and controversial review of Canada’s polygamy law, which has outlawed the practice since the 1890’s. The law is under review for possible violation of religious rights guaranteed under the Canadian constitution. Polygamy–whereby an individual (man or woman) has more than one spouse–has long been a […]

Remembering the Montreal Massacre

Montreal Massacre

Many writers talk about the story that claws its way out from your core. I have such a story. It haunts me as it haunts women all over the world. On December 6, 1989, 21 years ago today, 25-year-old Marc Lépine entered the University of Montreal engineering school, École Polytechnique, with a Sturm and Ruger […]

Newsflash: No New Trial For Serial Woman-Killer Robert Pickton

Vancouver Missing Women

Canada’s highest court announced today that Robert Pickton, the country’s infamous serial killer, will not get a retrial for the murders of six women in Vancouver, British Columbia. The Supreme Court upheld his original sentence, Canada’s maximum for murder–life with no chance of parole for 25 years. Pickton was also charged with the murder of […]

Are Honor Killings in Canada a “Muslim” Issue?

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The killers of 16-year-old Aqsa Pervez were convicted last week. Mohammad Pervez and Waqas Ahmed, Aqsa’s father and brother, were sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole for 18 years by a jury in Ontario, Canada. Aqsa was killed after being picked up by her brother from her school bus stop. DNA […]

This Canadian American Mourns the Public Option

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On the cusp of the U.S. healthcare vote, I am in the throes of a family health crisis in Canada, offering many moments to consider the “evils” of universal healthcare. This week my Canadian brother-in-law, Bruce, had a bone marrow transplant in a last-ditch effort to kill his leukemia. He is a 46-year-old union guy […]

No Gold for Gender

Since International Women’s Day falls on the heels of the Olympics this year, lace up your skates for some sportingly queer gender analysis. The 2010 Olympics must have been unusually queer, because they sure stirred up all kinds of gender anxiety. In response to the Olympic gold win by U.S. skater Evan Lysacek—skating in a […]