Full frontal Fascism, that dreadful Twentieth Century affliction, never had occasion to catch on with the Canadian people. Be thankful for that, though it doesn’t mean our history is without blemish. There has been a string of interest in Fascism in Canada that leads back decades.
In the globalized present, there is plenty to worry about. Influences arrive in Canada from a dysfunctional and unhappy America by the day. They combine with local conditions and still other global influences. The results are full of unhealthy potential.
Inside Rebel Media
The threat of far-right extremism in Canada
The unwitting role of Canadian media in marketing hatred
Tracking the ‘alt-right’ in Canada
Neo-nazism in Canada
image: Adrien Arcand in 1933. Arcand was a Montreal journalist who led a series of fascist/antisemitic political movements in Canada between 1929 and his death in 1967
(public domain via Wikipedia).
Any discussion of economic relationships and the character of society needs to fully consider the reality of prostitution or it remains incomplete. Initially, this can be a fraught undertaking but the honest citizen observing social difficulty with a conscience is obliged to make an effort given the implications of prostitution and human trafficking for women, youth and children within what is a very large, global business.
The essence of prostitution is the purchase of temporary access to the body of another, mostly by a man, for the purposes of penetration and gratification. While such a transaction seems simple enough it is usually accompanied by a societal smokescreen of ignorance, opinion, financial interest and emotionalism such that the reality remains obscure with a subsequently frustrating effect on creating a general perspective, let alone helpful social policy.
With this difficulty in mind we are lucky to have a generation of individuals giving us their efforts and words. Some of their urgency about prostitution is a response to recent legalization efforts in a number of countries. While considered sensible and well-intentioned at first these legalization efforts appear to be resulting in more harm than good. Prostitution seems to become industrialized where it is legalized.
Simple legalization ignores the direct reality of selling one’s body and little accounts for the behaviour of the male buyer. This blog recently came across the work of three women activists that offer a high-level starting point for considering this topic. Their Twitter accounts are a quick way to find and learn from their articles, websites, activism and books. Natashe Falle is in Toronto (see also her site Sex Trade 101). Rachel Moran and Julie Bindel are in Ireland and the UK respectively with Caitlin Roper Australia-based.
Through varied paths these women seem to have arrived at a common appreciation for what needs to come after legalization of the kind seen in New Zealand and Germany as well as other countries.
Here is a recent item from the website of UK magazine The Spectator by Julie Bindel with a podcast and other links.
Over sixty percent of Canada’s reported human trafficking activity takes place in the Greater Toronto Area. This CBC piece describes a recent case in Mississauga. The dull image of a row of motels on Dundas Street, a major artery used daily by a huge number of motor vehicles, gives no indication of the human risk encountered by trafficked women and youth in such places. While most of North America’s sprawl does not have ‘traditional’ red light districts like those of Amsterdam, for example, these communities are still home to sexual exploitation, pimping and prostitution.
‘Anyone can be a victim’: Canadian high school girls being lured into sex trade. Toronto-area teenager recounts how she was recruited into sex work by peers at 16
Recent attention to the so-called Nordic Model in which the criminalizing of paid sexual activity is transferred to the male buyer has generated enthusiasm and backlash. Canada is considered a Nordic Model country but it would seem there is still plenty of work to do on all of this.
Taken. I was a teenage runaway struggling to survive when I met a man who promised me love and security
On prostitution, can Canada learn from the Nordic Model?
The new era of Canadian sex work
vice.com (video 34:41)
image: Victory of the People via Flickr/CC
Three pieces about the big concrete buildings. Two practical, one more emotional, human. Important stuff.
Zoning changes give new life to Toronto’s ‘apartment neighbourhoods’: Hume. Hundreds of apartment highrises in Toronto were built with assumption that residents “would drive where they wanted to go, so services weren’t necessary”
More than just ‘neighbours’. As the seniors in her building begin to leave her life, Katarina Ohlsson tries to find the word that encapsulates their importance
image: Craig Sunter via Flickr/CC
Ontario needs to find a better balance when it comes to wages and economic relationships. A new report finds richer Ontarians doing well while their low income neighbours keep sliding.
Poor Ontario families getting poorer. New research says bottom half of families in Ontario are earning less, while richer families earn more
Ontario’s middle and working class families are losing ground
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives – links to 32-page .pdf file
Minimum wage hike needed as half of Ontarians see wages shrink
Ontario minimum wage increase good for workers and business: economist
bnn.ca (video 8:14)
image: Banalities via Flickr/CC
The poor need a guaranteed income, not our charity.
Community gardens, cooking classes, and food banks may make us feel good, but they don’t solve the problem of food insecurity
image: jamie via Flickr/CC
Why don’t big biz bosses look on paying living wages as one of the challenges of being in business? You know, instead of something to carp about. Why can’t our corporate commanders set living wages as a high level objective, apply the needed thought, creativity and resources and, well, just do it? Or, is it that they just don’t like the idea of living wages to begin with?
Galen Weston knows paying a living wage is bad for capitalism. A full-time minimum wage worker takes home $25,877. In Toronto where rent averages $2,000 a month, that means living in poverty
image: vintage ad from Jamie via Flickr/CC
Urban street people in difficulty require major help and commitment of resources. Which leads us quickly to important moral and logistical propositions most of us are content to have nothing to do with. Recent work suggests over $50,000 per year is required.
image: via Flickr/CC