NDP in the lead in all of Canada! Environment, parents, women, trans* people and the poor feel relief.

Friend: Oh sweet Jesus – I like what I have been seeing in these polls lately

[Ottawa – May 22, 2015] We have seen the NDP in the lead more than once during the last three years and we have also seen tight three-way races. But we have not seen that since Justin Trudeau assumed leadership of the Liberal Party and…
  • They used a “hybrid probability panel and a random experimental test using live interviewers”.

    That settles it for me.

  • Now now we wouldn’t want any big NDP ominbus bills on universal childcare with a dash of defunding missions in Iraq and Syria thrown in 8)
  • Freddie Arps…yes! And also on my wish-list:
    – do away with minimum sentences
    – make receipts after carding mandatory again and make this information easily obtainable by researchers and the public.

    – free pony rides on Saturdays.
    – refund government fishery and ecology libraries.
    – reverse protected rivers decision.
    – reverse long form decision.
    – decriminalize sexwork.
    – like Norway implement 40% quotas of women and men on boards in corporations. 

    (I need breakfast otherwise I could go on… and on)

    Like · 1 · 2 hrs

Disney and gender bending- Canadian artist Yue (Sakimi Chan)

A little Disney gender bending by Canadian artist Yue (Sakimi Chan).

Jack Frost, Pocahontas, Cruella deVille…

My favourite is Ariel I think. So…happy and gay! Seriously, it’s so much more obvious the male gaze and its sexism when you put male-presenting bodies in women’s postures…

Freddie Arps's photo.Freddie Arps's photo.
Freddie Arps's photo.Freddie Arps's photo.Freddie Arps's photo.

Parents, good boys, murder and racism.

Mark Zustovich

(shared with public post)

As long as parents continue to defend their kids as “good boys” and ignore social media posts that show them flashing gang signs and wearing gang colors, these young people will continue to fall through the cracks and meet an almost certain death.

  • Not necessarily in opposition to your post:

    The police seems to think Duran (14 year old) was killed as revenge for something his brother did.
    So he may actually have been or have become a good boy.

    It’s parents everywhere that miss these signs
    (if they were in this case signs of bad behaviour at all and if Duran’s parents really didn’t say anything, see below)

    My thoughts are that good kids behave badly sometimes- including me.
    So calling Duran a good boy? Calling him a bad boy, shaming others like him, isn’t going to stop them making mistakes. Shaming doesn’t work as a parenting tool.

    But the article calling the boy a menacing presence online because he flashed gang signs and posted a photo of a gun? That’s plain racism.

    All of Texas posts guns on facebook and the number of white kids just being teenagers and flashing gang signs… Can’t count them even if I had a hundred hands.

    I’ve even seen parents or aunts here in Canada do a gang sign *with* their kids. And in this case we have no idea what conversations the parents had with the boy. Most children even in those neighbourhoods don’t end up dead. And some kids wear colour signs to feel protected.

    Not falling through the cracks for Hispanic and black children really means that a lot more money needs to be put in the public school system and a stop to broken window policies and school suspensions that shove them into the school-prison pipeline.

    All this to say that we don’t know if Duran’s parents ignored those or other signs and that blaming the parents or (in other articles) the Hispanic/Latino community or the teachers in public schools is not fair or logical.

    Until money and time is spent again on their school system and until racial profiling and the war on drugs stops, boys like him will be murdered by cops or by other neighbourhood youth.

Feminism and funding on Facebook: start of a conversation.

Marusya Bociurkiw

I find, in a raft of academic grant applications I’ve been submitting, the ones with explicit feminist content always get turned down, and those more generally ‘social justice’ oriented get accepted. Am I paranoid, or is the university becoming a privileged (and highly camouflaged) site of sexism?
  • Feminist is still an F word.

    I think for international NGO grant applications it is a little different: many grants explicitly for women and children.

    Maybe because women in poorer countries are more visibly discriminated against and because it’s easier to accept that there still is sexism when it happens in another country.

    We live in a society where our mayor doesn’t believe in white privilege or in male privilege. 

    A society where dentistry students can talk/write about hate fucking their classmates and *they* get support in the form of therapy and special individual classes.

    It’s not surprising that grant giving committees are soaked in the same sexism.

Tory bill threatens health, human rights of sex workers! Kill Bill C-36

This month’s Justice Committee hearings on Bill C-36 were an absolute circus. And not the happy, I-want-to-run-away-with kind. We’ve packed up the wagons and put away the big tent, but there’s still an elephant in the room: many Canadians are rightly concerned that the health and human rights of the women, men and trans people in the sex trade are not being seriously considered by some of our elected officials.

And what better time to discuss sex workers’ health and human rights than the very week lawmakers, front-line workers, medical professionals and activists are all gathering for the 20th International AIDS Conference. There, it is readily acknowledged that criminal laws, including those prohibiting the purchase of sex, place sex workers at risk of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.

Sex workers already walk a tightrope. They often have to navigate the disgust of neighbours and family, the patronization of feminist saviours and the harassment of law enforcement, hoping to clear the streets of all that we as a society would rather not see. They do all this while trying to make a living.


What is getting lost in the parliamentary process is the fact that sex workers are entitled to human rights, including the right to health. In Canada v. Bedford, the Supreme Court of Canada told our government, in no uncertain terms, that the health, safety and human rights of sex workers must be respected. By countering with Bill C-36, our government is announcing that it just doesn’t care. And when committee hearings stem from a place that fundamentally disrespects sex workers and counts their human rights as expendable, a meaningless spectacle is the inevitable outcome. Health as a human right barely made it into the tent.

How will Bill C-36 affect the health of sex workers in Canada? First, there is a growing global agreement that criminalizing sex work violates sex workers’ human rights, and that criminalizing the men and women who pay for sex is also poor public health practice.

When buying sex is illegal, sex workers need to rush to negotiate terms of safer sex and have no time to identify clients, let alone screen them. Their regular clients shy away, leaving them with fewer options to refuse clients who may pose a risk of physical harm. With the loss of regular clients, sex workers will face pressure to see more clients, leaving less time for safety precautions. Sex workers may also be reluctant to carry condoms if doing so could lead to police harassment or a client’s arrest.


Sex workers who work on the street must continue to meet in back alleys and remote locations where they have no backup and where it will be harder to insist on safer sex. If sex workers get caught in the criminal net under a ban on communicating near children, they could also be prohibited from areas where there are food banks, shelters and health clinics that offer harm reduction supplies and HIV testing, among other services. And since the laws effectively prevent sex workers from working indoors, those individuals will have a much harder time creating a familiar environment where they can take the necessary precautions to protect their health.

None of this bodes well for sex workers’ health and human rights, or for HIV prevention.


During the Justice Committee hearings, some supporters of Bill C-36 equated all sex work with paid rape. Sex workers were cruelly heckled from the gallery and some committee members discredited their experiences, selectively listening only to those who contend that prostitution is inherently violent. The fact that all sex workers who testified said Bill C-36 would make their work dangerous may have been recorded on tape — but it was not heard.

The truth is that Bill C-36, even with a few post-committee amendments, will deprive sex workers of their right to health. The Bedford decision, which addressed this elephant in the room head-on, will be all but erased.

The circus has come and gone, and Canada will be left to test its newest constitutionally flawed law on the backs of sex workers.


Our thoughts are with all those who lost their lives on Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, including those researchers, medical professionals, activists and allies en route to AIDS 2014 in Melbourne.

Freddie Arps is a legal researcher with the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network.

listen to sex workers kill bill c-36


Every land is the holy land– Watch where the branches of the willows bend! And some haikus… Black Elk, Le Guin, Issa on Friday!



Every land is the holy land

by Ursula K. Le Guin (November 2006)


From a saying of Black Elk
Watch where the branches of the willows bend
See where the waters of the rivers tend
Graves in the rock, cradles in the sand
Every land is the holy land
Here was the battle to the bitter end
Here’s where the enemy killed the friend
Blood on the rock, tears on the sand
Every land is the holy land
Willow by the water bending in the wind
Bent till it’s broken and it will not stand
Listen to the word the messengers send
Life like the broken rock, death like the sand
Every land is the holy land


And some haikus for Friday:

The distant mountains
are reflected in the eye
of the dragonfly

Frog and I,
to eyeball.

A sheet of rain.
Only one man remains among
cherry blossom shadows

What good luck!
Bitten by
this year’s mosquitoes too.


Spring Haikus by Issa – Japanese poet.


Early spring –            From the bough
stream flows            floating downriver,
toward my door        insect song.

In spring rain
A pretty girl

Face of the spring moon —
About twelve years old,
I’d say.

The cricket
proudly pricks up its whiskers
and sings

My spring is just this: 
a single bamboo shoot, 
a willow branch

Moist spring moon – 
raise a finger 
and it drips.

The spring day 
In the pools.

Blossoms at night,
and the faces of people
moved by music.


A world of trials, 
and if the cherry blossoms, 
it simply blossom


Moon, plum blossoms, 
this, that, 
and the day goes.

Not very anxious 
to bloom, 
my plum tree

The new year arrived 
in utter simplicity – 
and a deep blue sky

People working fields, 
from my deepest heart, I bow. 
Now a little nap.

Before I arrived, 
who were the people living here? 
Only violets remain.