WiTOPoli Weekly: Friday, October 3

A roundup of some of the latest news in women, Toronto, and/or politics this week. What stories did you read this week? Tell us in the comments.

WiTOPoli Weekly: Friday, September 12

 

A roundup of some of the latest news in women, Toronto, and/or politics this week. What stories did you read this week? Tell us in the comments.

  • While serving as a witness at the committee hearing for Canada’s proposed sex work bill, former sex worker Terri-Jean Bedford was escorted out of the Senate because she exceeded her allotted response time. Bedford believes the proposed law is a “fundamentally flawed bill” and has often criticized the Senate committee for ignoring sex workers’ testimony.
  • In a show of support for domestic violence survivor Janay Rice, Twitter users employed the hashtag #WhyIStayed to share personal stories of intimate partner violence violence and the reasons why some survivors stay in abusive relationships. Toronto counsellor Farrah Khan of the Barbra Schlifer Clinic spoke to Metro Morning about how to respect survivors while engaging with these issues online.
  • Carleton University students were appalled to find frosh leaders wearing “fuck safe space” shirts, referencing a “safe space” policy that is specifically designed to ensure campus is free of homophobia and heterosexism.
  • After being confronted by Global News last friday, TDSB Trustee Sam Sotiropoulos refused to apologize for his transphobic and homophobic tweets. As transgender rights activist Susan Gapka explained,”It’s very concerning that people elected to public office don’t take the time to learn about our society.”
  • Hamilton activist Holly Jarrett launched the “Am I Next?” campaign, urging the Canadian federal government to investigate and take action on the epidemic of missing and murdered Aboriginal women.

 

WiTOPoli Weekly: Friday, August 29

A roundup of some of the latest news in women, Toronto, and/or politics this week. What stories did you read this week? Tell us in the comments.

  • Etobicoke Centre councillor Glora Lindsay Luby announced she will not be seeking re-election, surprising council in a farewell speech on Thursday. Luby was frequently at odds with Mayor Rob Ford, who called her a “waste of skin” in 2005, and was one of the early voices calling for Mayor Ford’s resignation after his crack-cocaine scandal.
  • Canada’s premiers and aboriginal leaders are calling on the federal government to have key ministers meet with them for a roundtable discussion on the issue of missing and murdered aboriginal women, after Prime Minister Stephen Harper ruled out a national public inquiry last week. Michèle Audette, the president of the Native Women’s Association of Canada, welcomed calls for the roundtable as a first step in “a new chapter.”
  • After new data was released by a coalition of community activists and social agencies revealing that child poverty in Toronto has reached “epidemic” levels with 29 per cent of children — almost 149,000 — living in low-income families, three mayoral candidates spoke out on plans to combat child poverty, at a forum organized by local advocacy groups.
  • After the integrity commissioner found that Toronto City Councillor Maria Augimeri violated the code of conduct by calling political rival Gus Cusimano a “criminale,” Mayor Rob Ford expressed outrage that Torontonians would be footing the $5,000 bill to cover the cost of processing the complaint.
  • Playboy Magazine published a flow-chart that asks the question: when it is appropriate to catcall a woman in public? (Their answer: when she has consented the catcalling beforehand, or when she is literally a cat.)

WiTOPoli Weekly: Friday, August 22

A roundup of some of the latest news in women, Toronto, and/or politics this week. What stories did you read this week? Tell us in the comments.

  • City councillor Karen Stintz has dropped out of the Toronto mayoral race, citing low poll numbers and insufficient campaign funds. At a press conference at city hall on Thursday, Stintz admitted that she was “disappointed that my visions and ideas did not gain the traction I had hoped,” and indicated that she will be leaving politics permanently.
  •  Warren Kinsella, a senior advisor on Olivia Chow’s mayoral campaign, was in hot water this week over comments he madeabout candidate John Tory’s SmartTrack transit plan. Kinsella dubbed the plan as “Segregation Track” on Twitter Tuesday, pointing to the way it avoids two neighbourhoods with sizable black populations. “I unreservedly and genuinely express apologies for hurting your feelings,” wrote Kinsella in a blog post addressed to Tory.
  •  Stephen Harper has ruled out a national inquiry into missing and aboriginal women, despite persistent requests after the murder of 15 year-old Tina Fontaine. “We should not view this as sociological phenomenon,” the PM told a news conferenceThursday. “We should view it as crime.” Aboriginal women make up 4.3 per cent of the Canadian population, but account for 16 per cent of female homicides and 11.3 per cent of missing women.
  • A New Democrat MP has quit the caucus over what she felt was an excessively pro-Israel stance on the current conflict in Gaza. Sana Hassainia, who represents the Montreal-area riding of Vercheres-Les Patriotes, was specifically critical of NDP Leader Tom Mulcair in a blog post that appeared online Wednesday. Party members have responded by suggesting that Hassainia was simply looking for an excuse to cover up her poor attendance; so far this year, Hassainia has the worst voting record of all MPs, showing up for only 8.7 per cent of votes in the House of Commons.