Welcome back to our weekly review!
This 4-minute read breaks down the most important takeaways from the insightful pieces you might have missed on Nouvelle this week.
Voting Does Not Provide Absolution | Op-Ed
~ Sophia Chaudhry ~
- Systemic issues cannot be addressed through systemic behaviours.
- Elections often transform radical ideas into palatable moderate reforms which do not address underlying inequalities.
- Voting is at the foundation of democracy, yet it is only one aspect of a broader political process required for a state to maintain a healthy democracy.
The Takeaway: Engaging in difficult conversations, holding our politicians accountable, and protesting push the wheels of change further than just voting by itself.
Just How Systemic Is Anti-Black Racism in Canada? Part 1: Africville
~ Allison Lunianga ~
- Africville was a thriving Nova Scotian community of African Canadians, many of whom were descendants of escaped slaves who escaped the United States and enlisted to defend Canada.
- Yet, the community was systematically dismantled by a predominantly white municipality through sustained destruction of Black enterprises, identity and homes.
The Takeaway: To understand our present, we must study our past. This is a must-read for understanding the historical nature of Anti-Black racism in Canada.
- The unprecedented race towards finding a cure for COVID-19 has accelerated the usually 10+ year process of producing a vaccine with 130 vaccine candidates being tested worked on worldwide.
- The big debate taking place right now is who will own the rights over a potential vaccine and who will receive treatment first.
- While a vaccine might be over a year away, there are optimistic results over treatments which can help save critical COVID patients.
The Takeaway: This is the perfect summary to get up to date with medical developments related to COVID-19.
The Global Magnitsky Act: How Legislatures Can Prevent Atrocity
~ Daniel Twijuke ~
- The Global Magnitsky Act provides a mechanism through which human rights violators can be held accountable for their actions without punishing a country as a whole.
- It has been used to sanction Saudi officials responsible for the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, LGBT persecuting Chechnyan dictator Ramzan Kadyrov and others.
The Takeaway: This tool gives power to legislative bodies to prevent or punish mass atrocities. Last week, Canadian Senators called for the act to be used against Chinese officials for “gross violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms”.
Worth Breaking the Bank? Brexit Fine Print Risks Finance Sector
~ Matthew Pelletier ~
- While Brexit has fallen off the agenda due to COVID, its repercussions, especially on Britain’s financial system, have not.
- As trade talks resume, key negotiations will take place over issues ranging from European fishing rights in British waters to select EU regulations which UK will be able to diverge from.
The Takeaway: Britain believes it can negotiate a trade deal with the EU out of a position of power, but if it fails to make the right concessions, actors in its financial service market will either have to move their operations across the channel or search for new investments outside the EU.
- The recent Conservative Party leadership debate highlighted the lack of a clear plan on environmental issues among candidates.
- Past Conservatives have environmental ambitions, but recently debate has fixated on issues like the carbon tax.
- A party that is concerned about the fiscal future should find it easy to also consider the environment which their grandchildren will inherit.
The Takeaway: With climate being top of mind for many Canadians, the leadership race provides a key opportunity to engage in a topic which will be critical in the next election.
Privacy & Surveillance During the Recent Black Lives Matter Protests
~ Mattias Thuns ~
- The recent Black Lives Matter protests have exposed just how extensive surveillance technology is.
- Misuse by the police and private sector endanger people’s rights to privacy and protest.
- This begs the question: should profit and convenience take precedent over privacy and security?
The Takeaway: There is insufficient accountability in terms of the development and use of surveillance technology. This is a necessary step in finding a balance between the needs of criminal investigations and infringements on rights.
- Canada’s rural population faces a digital divide in terms of access to internet and fair fees. Yet, telecommunications industries have historically neglected this.
- Elon Musk’s recently stated that internet access for Northern Canada was a major priority for his new satellite internet start-up Starlink.
The Takeaway: In the 2019 election, all three major parties put forward proposals to deal with the digital divide. Yet, the implementation of Starlink could solve this problem for them, raising the question of what role the private sector should play.
- The Supreme Court recently ruled, in favor of an Uber driver, that it was unfair business practice for any dispute with the company’s services agreement to be arbitrated in the Netherlands.
- This opens the door for a proposed $400 million lawsuit to take place in Ontario Courts.
The Takeaway: With the recognition of the potential and actual exploitation of these workers, the Court is taking real steps to protect workers in emergent sectors from large multinational companies such as Uber which rely on “gig-economy workers”.
Thank you for taking the time to read through this summary. We hope you enjoyed it, learnt from it, and will make checking out the latest pieces from Nouvelle part of your daily routine!
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