Humanists for Social Justice and Environmental Action supports Human Rights, Social and Economic Justice, Environmental Activism and Planetary Ethics in North America & Globally, with particular reference to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other Human Rights UN treaties and conventions listed above.

Wednesday

National indigenous Peoples Day

National Indigenous Peoples Day — a day intended to recognize and celebrate the cultures and contributions of the First Nations, Inuit, and M├ętis peoples 

THE CONVERSATION

Some of the original calls for this day from the National Indian Brotherhood — now the Assembly of First Nations — were for a “National Indigenous Solidarity day.” As people gather to celebrate, it’s vital that this celebration is connected to the recognition of ongoing settler colonial violence and commitments to solidarity.

Limiting who public space is for and how it can be used is central to settler colonialism both in Canada and other settler colonial places. The process involves the violent removal of people from encampments.

Securing these spaces is at the expense of some people and works to perpetuate and make invisible what German philosopher Friedrich Engels called social murder (a concept that has re-emerged amid many issues, including COVID-19) — an unnatural death that occurs due to social, political or economic oppression.

Friday

Indian voters saw through religious rhetoric, opting instead to curtail Modi's political power

Modi’s narrow win suggests Indian voters saw through religious rhetoric, opting instead to curtail his political power
Part of the answer lies in the Modi government’s failure to realize that while economic benefits had been substantial, their distribution has been uneven. India has seen a growth in inequality and persistent unemployment both in rural and urban areas. Unemployment of those aged 20 to 24 years is at a high of 44.49%. And that is the overall national number; that data does not tell us that it may be much worse in certain regions. 
 other explanation is that Modi’s exploitation of historic Hindu-Muslim tensions seems to have run its natural course. You can beat the religious drum – and Modi did with rhetoric including calling Muslims “infiltrators” – but then the day-to-day issues of jobs, housing and other such necessities take over, and these are the things people care about the most. BJP made a miscalculation, in my analysis. It failed to realize that in a country where only 11.3% of children get adequate nutrition, 
Hindu pride cannot be eaten – ultimately, it’s the price of potatoes and other essentials that matter.

Editorial: A Faulty Case to Relocate the Science Centre

Editorial: A Faulty Case to Relocate the Science Centre

Taking all of this into account, the actual cost for repairing the science centre may be closer to $350M, including a generous $100M allocation for renovations and new exhibitions, while the cost of a relocated science centre could be in the $1B range.

The government’s case for relocating the Ontario Science Centre argues that the smaller facility will attract more visitors. The estimates count on laying off 53 people—one of every six people who currently work at the Science Centre. In short, they are expecting that 50% more people will visit a facility that is 45% of the size of the current Science Centre, with a significantly reduced staff managing it all.

Let’s make no mistake: the new, enormously expensive facility wouldn’t be a beauty queen. In the preliminary plans, student spaces and classrooms are in the basement. The Ontario government plans to use a public-private partnership (P3) method to procure the building—it already put out a call for a PDC consultant last summer.

There is an imperative to change course on the shuttering and relocation of the Ontario Science Centre. While we may take it for granted, there is value in taking care of what we have: a magnificent, much-loved Ontario Science Centre that is in need of some TLC. The value of such a gem isn’t something we usually quantify, but if we did—in a neutral way—it’s clear how the business case would land.