GLOBAL VOICES COLUMN ARCHIVE

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

On World Water Day, 2918 First Nations Homes Won’t Have Clean Water.

When we think about the 2.1 billion people who live without safe drinking water worldwide, we tend to think of drought-stricken families in countries where lakes and rivers are scarce. Most Canadians don’t consider the crisis closer to home, where vast freshwater resources help us forget that thousands of people within our borders are living with...

June 17th, 2019 read more

Are You Food Literate?

This year, Canadians will throw away over two million tonnes of food—that’s the equivalent of 18 CN Towers. As you toss out mouldy cheese and slimy cold cuts, you probably aren’t thinking about prairie farmers, struggling to feed their animals this winter after last year’s drought destroyed feed crops. Maybe you should be. Canadians are ...

March 28th, 2019 read more

Cradles in prison cells: Mothers behind bars

Amid the constant crackle of radios and chatter of inmates, surprising sounds linger in the prison halls. A baby’s coo. A mother’s gentle soothing. The creak of a rocking chair, rhymes recited from a children’s book, scratches of a crayon. Behind the barbed wire fence at Alouette Correctional Centre for Women, 50 kilometers east of Vanc...

May 6th, 2017 read more

Beyond World Water Day

Tyler and Alex Mifflin spent summers in the water. Childhood memories of canoe trips and pristine waves contrast heavily with something they heard from adults time and again: “Don’t swim in Lake Ontario. It’s too polluted.” That warning was the first drop in the bucket that’s become a shared life goal. Two decades later—after four...

March 11th, 2017 read more

Empower a girl, educate a boy

Hundreds looked on as proud young men, decked out in crisp uniforms, led their parents onto the campus that will help unlock their future. This January, the Kisaruni group of girls’ schools in Kenya’s Maasai Mara unveiled its first all-boys high school. After the opening ceremony, village elders christened it with a name. They chose Ngulot, ...

February 25th, 2017 read more

Black History Month can make us all better Canadians

Standing in front of an auditorium of mostly white faces, the president of the Ontario Black History Society asked a group of elementary students what they knew of Black History Month. A precocious girl in the first grade raised her hand. “She said to me, ‘That’s the month we have to feel bad about black people because they were slaves,’...

February 18th, 2017 read more

The power of letters in the digital age

Growing up, there was an unspoken absence in Zainib Abdullah’s life. In Richmond Hill, Ontario, far from the home her family left in Iraq, she pieced together the story of her uncle. He had been unjustly arrested and disappeared years earlier by Saddam Hussein’s government, without a trial or a chance to say goodbye to his loved ones. Now...

January 30th, 2017 read more

A Resolution for All Canadians

Canada’s poet laureate Gord Downie inspired us to think about reconciliation and resolutions. And it’s the Indigenous leaders we’ve spoken to who have given us the tools and advice we need to advance this important project. As we enter 2017 and our country’s 150th year, sharing stories and rewriting the narrative surrounding Indigenous p...

January 7th, 2017 read more

Without packages, boxes or bags: Your zero waste grocer

What’s in your fridge? Perhaps there’s bacon. Or the fixings for an omelet with cheese and tomato. But how much is actually edible? How much of it is packaging? Bacon slices are peeled out of a disposable plastic packet, while the eggs stand sentinel in a Styrofoam carton. Tomatoes are locked in a clamshell box, those miniature plastic pr...

October 29th, 2016 read more

Hub of activity : Working together to make change

Frédéric Sune looked around his kitchen at all the expensive tools strewn on the floor. The web developer bought them for a tiling job, but would never use them again. What a waste, he thought. At HUB Ottawa, a community space where entrepreneurs, professionals and activists gather to work and collaborate, he laughed about his tool woes with ano...

January 28th, 2016 read more