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

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

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

Youthful brains wired for invention

We thought the roof would rip off on Ottawa’s Canadian Tire Centre when 16,000 teens at WE Day erupted with enthusiastic shrieking normally reserved for homegrown heartthrob Justin Bieber. We had to believe the crowd would simmer down when they realized it was the other Justin taking centre stage. But it turns out Trudeau was  the guy  they wa...

December 18th, 2015 read more

The spin cycle

Imagine Stephen Harper or Thomas Mulcair as Stuart Little, the talking mouse from E.B. White’s classic children’s novel who pretends to be “king of the world.” This isn’t a PR agency’s vision for a new attack ad. The analogy, from an old issue of Media&Values, was meant to help children understand politicians by imagining themselve...

September 18th, 2015 read more

Amazing journey into the human heart

We’ve both dined on guinea pig in the Andes of Ecuador, and sipped goats’ blood in Kenya’s Maasai Mara. We’ve also navigated countless foreign metropolises with merely a grungy map and tattered phrase book. So when we watch The Amazing Race Canada, we envision ourselves as participants, eager to pass each cringe-inducing challenge and hagg...

September 8th, 2015 read more

Six documentaries that will transform your world view

Filmmaker Elise Pearlstein shared one of the documentaries she produced with her kids — and they promptly stopped flushing the toilet. The doc, Last Call at the Oasis, is a compelling look at water use and issues throughout North America. And Pearlstein, senior vice-president of documentary films with Participant Media (the company behind An Inc...

August 27th, 2015 read more

Attitude, not ability, gets us across life’s ‘finish lines’

Ezra Frech dribbles an imaginary basketball like he’s reigning over an NBA court. He bobs and weaves around the crowds backstage at WE Day Illinois. Immersed in his own game and oblivious to everyone, Ezra is suddenly in the air, scoring a dunk shot only he can see. Ezra is 10. He has a prosthetic lower left leg and was born with only one finger...

August 15th, 2015 read more