GLOBAL VOICES COLUMN ARCHIVE

Giving a voice to the world's most fascinating untold global and social issues.

Canada gets poor grade in civics literacy

You’re stranded on a deserted island with 100 others. Organization is vital for survival. How will you choose a leader and make group decisions? What laws will you pass for your little society? At Waterdown District High School in Ontario, Nathan Tidridge plays this simulation game with his Grade 10 civics class. It’s a fun and fascinating w...

January 21st, 2017 read more

How the world can do better in 2017

“Have you tried switching 2016 off and back on again?” says an IT guy in a meme sweeping Facebook. Also making rounds online is a 2016 dumpster fire ornament. Festive and topical. As 2016 draws to a close, social media is alight with jokes and posts lamenting a year that will not go down in history as one of humanity’s finest. Civil war ke...

December 17th, 2016 read more

Paul Martin on reconnecting with Indigenous Canadians

Hitch hiking across Canada as a teen, Paul Martin took a summer job as a deckhand on a tug boat in Canada’s far north, toiling elbow-to-elbow alongside Dene First Nation, Inuit and Métis crew. When the work was done, he’d talk with them late into the night. His mates were friendly and smart, but the young Martin saw a sense of hopelessness in ...

June 4th, 2016 read more

Water: One of the First Casualties of War

When the people of Aleppo, Syria, turned on their taps in early March, they saw clean, running water for the first time in months. In January, the Islamic State seized the sole water plant that serves the entire city of Aleppo and shut it down, depriving three million people of drinking water. Syrian government forces took back the facility last...

April 15th, 2016 read more

Homeless in a bureaucratic system

Rachel faces a gut-wrenching decision: put her own life and her step-daughter’s safety at risk, or live on the streets. Rachel, 55, took her step-daughter, Jessica, 15, with her when she escaped her abusive husband and left her home in rural Ontario. Rachel and Jessica (whose names have been changed to protect their identity) went to a YWCA sh...

March 12th, 2016 read more

Stemming the tide of “stolen” Aboriginal children

Wisps of white smoke from smoldering sweet grass and sage curl above a small group sitting in a circle. The soothing scent seeps into the cedar planks of this traditional First Nations sweat lodge nestled inside the sweeping modern glass and brick curves of an urban building in downtown Ottawa. The Circle of Care program is where indigenous fami...

February 13th, 2016 read more

Canada’s no fly list—Alienating the innocent

Don’t ask Syed Adam Ahmed about the airport. Normally shy but amiable, the six-year-old growls in frustration while his face clouds over like an oncoming hurricane. The little hockey fan from Markham, Ont. is still extremely upset that he almost missed out on attending an NHL game in the U.S. because his name is the same of a person on Canada...

February 6th, 2016 read more

Is a world without juvenile prisons possible?

The city of Seattle, Washington, plans to never put another young person in jail. Is it a naïvely utopian vision, or an idea whose time has come? In September, the Seattle city council unanimously approved a motion calling for zero youth incarceration. Seattle councillor, Mike O’Brien, told us the idea emerged as community groups met to oppose ...

October 31st, 2015 read more

For business the future lies in sustainability

Perhaps you’ve heard the news that everyone is doomed. There’s a crater-sized gap between rich and poor and our planet is running out of room and resources, among other calamities. Governments and charities are struggling to right the ship. But what about business? If all companies harnessed their powers for good, capitalism could be the mos...

October 24th, 2015 read more

Youth issues, Election 2015: Mental health

Jennifer watched as her 11-year-old son’s symptoms grew worse by the day. Jacob wouldn’t leave the house. Then, he spat constantly to purge the poisons he feared were contaminating his body. He ultimately stopped eating. In November, 2013 Jacob had a total breakdown at school, falling into a catatonic seizure. It would take almost a year for t...

October 10th, 2015 read more