Laneway house projects in Ottawa and Toronto target students

Ottawa has opened the door to a new type of affordable housing that has gained popularity in other cities like Vancouver. Coach houses—small residential units built on existing lots—were made legal in Ottawa last year, a first for Ontario cities. “People don’t have to buy more land, and they get more housing at a reduced cost,” said Tim Moerman, a city planner that helped bring coach houses to Ottawa. “But to me the real benefit is that it allows people to get more creative with housing.” The University of Toronto (U of T) is one such organization exploring affordable housing options. The school has announced a pilot project to build two laneway houses near campus, according to a recent release […]

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Free speech on campus: an in-depth look

The topic of free speech on university campuses continues to provoke debate and criticism in the wake of recent on-campus incidents.  One incident saw Carleton University President Roseann Runte coming under scrutiny in January, after an email titled “A Reflection for 2017” was sent out to students to promote the principle of free speech. The email was sent following various protests on campus in the fall semester. The email appeared to call campus protesters “noisy persons” who “fail to recognize [that] by preventing their duly-elected representatives to carry out their mandate, they themselves are contravening the basic principle of a civil society.” Samiha Rayeda, the volunteer, outreach, and programming coordinator for Carleton’s Ontario Public Interest Research Group (OPIRG), said the term […]

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Poet Laureate visits Carleton

Parliamentary Poet Laureate George Elliott Clarke gave a talk at Carleton University to students on March 9. Organized by the Centre for Transnational Cultural Awareness (CTCA), Clarke also performed a poetry reading the night before at the CTCA studio theatre. Clarke has received the Governor General’s award for poetry, an Order of Canada, and his book Whylah Falls was a selection in the 2002 edition of Canada Reads. He currently teaches at the University of Toronto, and has taught at schools like Harvard University, Duke University, McGill University, and the University of British Columbia. Central themes during Clarke’s talk included ideas of identity and heritage. He discussed his youth growing up in Nova Scotia, his experience as an African-Canadian, and […]

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Protesters against Peterson gathered outside NGC

When organizers at the National Gallery of Canada invited Jordan Peterson, a psychology professor from the University of Toronto, to speak about creativity on March 9, they were met with backlash. Petitions and protests quickly popped up in response to the event on social media, and during his appearance at the gallery around 100 protesters expressed their disagreement outside with signs and a megaphone. Kate Forman, a Carleton University student who identifies as gender-non-conforming, helped organize the protest against Peterson’s talk. “Peterson’s said a lot of negative, discriminatory things about trans people,” Forman said. “I think having the National Gallery, which is a federally-funded institution, use funds to have him present on their grounds is . . .  I think […]

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Researchers aim to fight hate speech by listening, not censoring

A new educational pilot project aimed at combating and raising awareness of online hate speech has recently been launched by researchers at Concordia University and Brock University. Rather than shutting down hate speech, the project is developing material aimed at critically analyzing and addressing hateful attitudes. The initiative, titled “Project SOMEONE,” was created to “sensitize youth, educators, and the broader public – both within and outside of Canada – to patterns of online hate with the goal of building resilience against hate speech and radicalization,” according to the project’s website. Tieja Thomas, a co-principal investigator of the project at Concordia University, said she and her colleagues saw a need for programming to help people develop critical thinking and digital literacy […]

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