- Series: The Basics
End-of-Life Decisions for Lesbians and Gay Men
In June 2001, Nova Scotia became the third province to pass legislation that permits same-sex couples to legally register their relationship in order to benefit from similar legal obligations as common-law heterosexual couples. Yet despite this new legislation’s aim to advance equal rights, end-of-life decisions for gays and lesbians remain difficult. Jeannette Auger examines how closeted relationships and the history of discrimination have led many partners to dismiss making decisions about end-of-life issues. This book outlines what partners need to consider to assert their legal rights when necessary.
Taxation, Democracy and Embedded Political Theory
For several years now, the business community, politicians, the media and many academics have been actively pro-moting tax cuts as the key to successful economic development. Governments everywhere, regardless of party label, have responded with policies of tax reduction. But taxation is about more than raising revenue or shaping economic activity. Taxation helps define the nature of a political community and the values of a political culture. Through examining two Saskatchewan tax reports, one from the early 1960s and the other from the late 1990s, this study uses political theory to demonstrate how different assumptions about taxation policy reflect and shape different conceptions of democracy and citizenship. It asks us to consider seriously how our policy choices can influence what kind of individuals we are and how we should live our lives together.
Environment, Law and the State in Canada
Critical research, writing and advocacy by legal academics and practitioners, NGOs, indigenous peoples and eco-feminists has existed on a global scale since the 1960s, but not until the 1990s did criminologists begin to examine environmental crime in a more concerted way. This late entrance by criminologist has much to do with who is involved in environmental crime–namely upper strata, mostly “white” men who run corporations and state agencies and the perception of environmental crime as soft crime. There are “critical” criminologists who are attempting to enforce existing legislation and policies and/or promote public education. For these reformists, debates tend to centre around prospective strengths and weaknesses of criminal law, civil law and self-regulating and other methods of policing and protecting ecosystems. Other criminologists examine how the “toxic” or “criminogenic” nature of capitalism enables states to facilitate and perpetrate environmental harms with virtual impunity. Toxic Criminology is the work of an assemblage of academics, activists, politicians and legal practitioners, all of whom harbour a wide range of interests and involvements in the study of, and resistance against, environmental wrongdoing. Individually and collectively, the authors address theoretical, politico-economic, legal, cultural and human dimensions of crimes and harms against the Canadian environment.
An Indigenous Perspective on Feminism and Aboriginal Women’s Activism
This book is not about feminism. Rather, feminism is the basis of the discussion, an example of how understanding oppression must consider a number of barriers. Euro-Canadian feminists rarely address the circumstances that are unique to First Nations’ women, instead working with the assumption that all women are a part of a similar struggle. Ouellette attempts to confront these barriers. Throughout interviews with a number of women, she highlights the following four questions. To what extent do Aboriginal women understand, experience and articulate their oppression? To what extent do colonized women perceive racism as the source of their oppression? To what extent do Aboriginal women view male domination within their own Aboriginal societies as the source of the oppression? How do Aboriginal women articulate racism and gender oppression?
Communication Styles in the Engineering Classroom
As more women enter male-dominated faculties such as engineering, there is a growing need to understand the set of social processes that impact upon them and the continuing need for curriculum reform. This understanding is crucially important for engineering students because of the increasing demand put on them to work in team-based environments in which they will need the collaborative skills of shared interaction, decision-making and responsibility.
Marxism, Modernity and the Aboriginal Question
The Left in Canada has had an uneasy relationship with the Aboriginal struggle for justice. There is a natural sympathy and alliance between the working class and its political representatives who are struggling against the exploitation of labour and Aboriginal peoples and nations who are resisting the dispossession of their lands and the loss of their culture. Yet the co-incidence of interests has very rarely led to any support by labour and the Left for Aboriginal resistance. In fact, rather than being allies, they have often been opponents. In the Maritimes, for example, two recent events-the Paul and Marshall cases-have led to the extension of Aboriginal rights to harvest wood and fish. These decisions were met with silence and even opposition by the Left and its constituency. Why has the Left not embraced more enthusiastically the Aboriginal struggle? This book argues that the answer can be found in the analyses of, and assumptions about, progress. The Left has drawn upon analytic strains in Marxist thought which emphasize the inevitability and benefits of “progress,” defined as the increasingly intensified utilization of technologies, especially relating to production. Hence, the desire by many Aboriginal leaders to preserve a traditional material culture has seemed retrograde and reactionary to those on the Left who equate worker emancipation and technological progress. Furthermore, many on the Left argued that the right to self-determination of nations does not apply to the nation-fragments to which Aboriginal peoples have been reduced. Against such a reading, this book proposes that centring the Marxist notion of alienation can provide the basis for a more fruitful co-operation between the emancipatory projects of the Left and Aboriginal peoples.
Globalization and the Casual Labour Problem in Canada
More and more people in Canada and other Western countries are now working at part-time, short-term and other casual jobs. People are now asking: What happened to full-time employment? Why is part-time work being promoted by business people and politicians as a positive thing? Situated historically, the restructuring of global capital and labour markets does not paint such a rosy picture. This book explains the contemporary casualization of work as integral to global economic restructuring. Hence, the increase in casual work is not simply a reflex of the expansion of the service sector, or of women’s post-second world war re-entry into paid employment, but is tied to a business agenda aimed at improving corporate profitability and controlling labour. A discussion of more democratic alternatives to the hollow society concludes the book.
Gender and Canadian Foreign Policy
This text contributes to the literature on gender and Canadian foreign policy, an area of study that is very much in its infancy. It introduces a (preliminary) theoretical framework as a way of applying feminist insights to Canadian foreign policy (what the authors call the feminist deconstructive method). Further, it shows the value in focusing on ideas and discourses as a starting point in order to engage conventional scholarship. And while not all encompassing, it provides a means by which to analyze “hard core” security and defence policies. Ultimately, the aim of the text is to legitimize the connection between gender and Canadian foreign policy and to ensure (and compel) students in the field that there are indeed grounds for redefining traditions.
Phoenix or Fizzle?
The National Child Benefit announced in the 1997 federal Budget promised 850 million dollars to move children out of the welfare rolls and the trap of poverty. This book attempts to outline the key concepts of this new program and set the stage for discussion of its potential impact. The writers do not agree. This book does not present a unified argument either supporting or critiquing the program but raises a series of important issues and concerns regarding the programs effectiveness in addressing child poverty. The question remains: Is this new federal social program a phoenix rising from the ashes of past social welfare programs or just a federal fizzle?
Developing a Community Response
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Effects (FAS/E) are particularly serious problems in many northern communities. Canadian material on this subject is lacking and services are poorly developed. Part of the reason has to do with the relatively recent recognition of FAS/E. However there is also the problem of hinterland location and resulting marginalization of populations in Northern parts of the country. The intent of this book is to provide an informative, practical and critical resource that will be useful to people such as social workers, educators, foster parents, case aides and nurses who provide direct service to those affected by FAS/E. The book challenges program planners and policy makers to recognize the seriousness of the problem and its long term effects. Contributors largely represent actual human service workers as opposed to academics.