The Great White Nope

“I wouldn’t call Canada racist. I’m not being nice when I say that, I’m being polite. Canadians are like that. That kind of polite where you hear a racial slur and pretend it didn’t happen. Or you see some bro get too close to a woman and you walk right by because it’s not your affair. This is not a confrontational country. I remember one recent Toronto subway ride where a white workman fresh off some job site, boots muddy, reflector bib on, interrupted two men — one brown, one white — who were about to brawl. You could feel the entire car getting progressively more tense as their voices escalated. But the workman got between them. ‘Come on guys, we’re all tired. Chill,’ he said. And they did. And when it was my turn to get off, I thanked him. ‘It’s just what you do,’ he said. I assume he was from out of town.”

Soraya Roberts – Longreads – December 2019

Living Well Amid Waste: Wealth, Wages, and Food Insecurity

Life after foster care in Canada

“Now 36, Kovarikova has emerged as a singular activist for kids in care. In 2017, she started Child Welfare Political Action Committee Canada (Child Welfare PAC), a cross-country advocacy and research network comprised largely of adults who have spent time in the foster care system. Kovarikova’s primary concern is the lack of federal and provincial data about foster kids, and she’s pushing for a longitudinal study of youth outcomes—everything from social contacts to death rates—after they age out of care. No official government body tracks these kids once they become adults, but academic research has overwhelmingly shown that they have significantly compromised life outcomes compared to peers who were not involved in care.”

Sarah Treleaven – Maclean’s – November 2019

‘At least hookers get wages’

“Mariam turns on location tracking when she’s en route to a date. Coordinating with her roommate, she sets a time by which she will send them a check-in text. Her purse contains one bottle of water-based lubricant, a strip of latex condoms, her wallet and keys, and a small pocket knife. She’s alone. Standing outside a Nuns’ Island condo complex, she refreshes her SeekingArrangement messages. Her client is 10 minutes late. She sits on the edge of a concrete planter, examining his profile. It ends with a familiar note: ‘no escorts, please.'”

Bee Khaleeli – Briarpatch – October 2019

The loud silence of queer poverty

“Egale has fallen into one of the more common traps of 2S-LGBTQ non-profit organizing. While well intentioned and certainly useful, their activism primarily represents the perceptions and interests of more privileged members of the community – those who do not deal directly with homelessness, substance abuse, sex work, and other, more ‘unseemly’ elements of 2S-LGBTQ life, which has historically largely been defined by its lack of access to capital.”

Alex Verman – Briarpatch – September 2019

A Park for All, or a Park for Some?

“There’s a stretch of corrugated metal that gives the lower Don River its shape, a retaining wall that separates water from bank. It was mostly dull, rusted green, until a series of blue, hand-painted phrases appeared along parts of the wall last fall. You can see them from the trail that runs parallel to the river, and they read like a guest list of all the people you might find in the Don River Valley Park. ‘A park for artists,’ reads one. ‘A park for the Indigenous,’ reads another. ‘A park for the homeless.’ The installation is titled A Park For All by artist Will Kwan, and it asks, simply: Who are parks like this one for?”

Matthew Braga – The Local – July 2019