What’s in a name? Canadians debate the memorialization of historic figures

Calls to have controversial figures stripped off buildings or monuments have grown in strength recently, and university campuses haven’t gone unscathed. Today, the Indigenous peoples of Canada still challenge the glorification of historical figures who once condemned their cultures and their ancestors. This manifests itself through the multitude of post-secondary institutions, buildings, monuments, and streets that memorialize public figures who were involved in the systematic genocide of Indigenous identity, heritage and population. Recently, a debate has sparked about the renaming and removal of these memorials and the repercussions that surround it. Bruce Elliott, a history professor at Carleton who specializes in 18th and 19th century history, points out that a lot of monuments and buildings were actually erected by white […]

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Opinion: Canada must reflect on Charlottesville

If you haven’t seen or heard anything about Charlottesville, VA, in the news this past week, you’ve probably been living (happily) in an impenetrable social media-free bubble, where the words “white supremacy” and “alt-right” haven’t managed to chill you to your core. In any case, the “Unite the Right” march in Charlottesville on Aug. 12 saw the gathering of hundreds of white nationalists at the University of Virginia, who carried flaming torches while yelling chants including “white lives matter” and “blood and soil.”  Neo-Nazis and Ku Klux Klan members clashed with counter-protesters, leaving many people bleeding, battered and bruised as punches were thrown and smoke bombs were released. One counter-protester, Heather Heyer, was killed, after being struck by a car […]

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Letter: Pride must continue to be a protest against intolerance

This year, from Aug. 21 to 27, Capital Pride is happening in Ottawa to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community. Much has happened in 2017 regarding LGBTQ+ issues worldwide, with a constant debate regarding issues such as marriage equality, transgender rights, and gender neutrality. While many of these topics will be  explored amongst other issues, they are sometimes not discussed as much during Pride in place of safer stories. Viewing Pride Week just as a celebration denies all the hard work and struggles that people now and before have faced within the LGBTQ+ community. For me, Pride Week is a special time to self-reflect, and a safe space where I can freely be myself. I am proud and privileged to live in […]

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Editorial: Honorary degrees should be given separate ceremonies

On June 7, Québecois poet and songwriter Gilles Vigneault accepted an honorary doctorate of literature at a ceremony in St. Patrick’s Building. What made the ceremony unique was how it took place at a date and time that was separate from the regular week of convocation ceremonies, which took place from June 12-16. While this change from the typical routine was the only one of its kind for this convocation season, this routine should become the norm for other honorary degree recipients. Recipients should continue to speak at the regular ceremonies, but their background needs to make sense with the degrees being conferred that day. For example, if Vigneault received his degree on the same day as law students or […]

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Ottawa celebrates Canada 150 amidst rain and large crowds

Amidst heavy rain, long line-ups, and other controversial moments, Canadians from coast to coast gathered at Parliament Hill on Canada Day to celebrate Canada 150, witnessing a day’s worth of musical performances, special guest appearances, and nighttime fireworks. Throughout the early morning, the main focus was on Indigenous issues, following the setup of a teepee on Parliament Hill on June 28 by a group of Indigenous activists. Calling it a “re-occupation,” the intent was to highlight Canada’s history of violence and forced assimilation towards Indigenous people, according to the Toronto Star.  “[Canada Day allows us] to reflect on our past, to cheer on today, and to recommit ourselves to the future,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in his morning speech. “This is […]

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