Maya Johnson

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A political tug of war in naming new head of Human Rights Commission

Tamara Thermitus, an accomplished civil litigation lawyer nomination stymied by politics Maya Johnson Tamara Thermitus, an accomplished Haitian-born civil litigation lawyer with the Department of Justice Canada, has found herself at the center of a political tug-of-war at the National Assembly over who should become the new head of the Quebec Human Rights Commission. To be named to the position, Thermitus needs the support of at least two thirds of MNAs, but unanimity is preferred. In the final days of the fall session at the National Assembly, the government and opposition parties sparred over her candidacy. Earlier this month, La …

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Lifting the curtain on blackface

As a reporter, my job is to stay neutral and report both sides of any given conflict or story. We are trained to seek out balance, and to deliver it by presenting opposing perspectives. A large part of our job, as journalists, is to observe. Since December, a controversy has been simmering – and lately intensifying – in Quebec over blackface. In an annual satirical year-in-review production at Théâtre du Rideau Vert, a white actor depicted Montreal’s beloved Habs defenceman, P.K. Subban, by darkening his face with makeup. Was it a harmless, humourous sketch innocuously employing face paint as a …

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