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AN ICONIC TRAGEDY

The horrific bus crash that took the lives of 16 players, coaches and team personnel from a Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League team has sparked a national outpouring of grief that is nothing short of a cultural phenomenon.  Since the April 6th crash, Canadian media has been filled with stories that have acquainted readers, listeners and viewers with every detail about the Humboldt Broncos team and town and the names, lives, billets and hometowns of each and every one of the deceased and several of the injured.  The public has responded with a wide variety of tributes, from the touchingly symbolic […]

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THE BURDENS OF PRIVILEGE

Much has been written recently about the necessity of confronting and reconciling legacies of privilege in Canadian society.  Just last week, posters went up in public schools in a school district in the BC Interior and at the Ontario University Institute of Technology in Oshawa asking students to reflect on their own privileged status, be it health, gender, race or sexual orientation.  Students, parents and members of the broader community were predictably outraged by the message.  However, while I would argue that students under the age of 21 are probably not the right audience for this reminder, it is not […]

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THE DISTRACTION OF MISPLACED OUTRAGE

On February 9, 2018, a Saskatchewan jury constituted in accordance with the Criminal Code of Canada acquitted farmer Gerald Stanley in the death of Colten Boushie, a 22-year old First Nations man.  The death resulted from an incident on the Stanley farm in which Mr. Boushie and three friends arrived in a disabled vehicle and attempted to start Mr. Stanley’s all-terrain vehicle before being confronted by Mr. Stanley and his son.  Mr. Stanley was charged and tried for second degree murder and the lesser included offence of manslaughter. On the basis of the portions of the testimony of the witnesses […]

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