Yvonne Sam

About the Author Yvonne Sam

Yvonne’s columns always provoke reaction. Her folksy take on everyday issues is refreshing. With degrees in Education and Nursing, she continues to work in both fields.

Commentaries

Municipal Elections: Reflection or Rejection of Diversity

By Yvonne Sam On November 5, 2017 Quebec municipal elections will be held in the city of Montreal. The voting populace will elect 65 positions on the Montreal City Council, including the mayor, borough mayors and city councillors, as well as 38 borough councillors. Projet Montreal’s team of candidates for Notre-Dame-des-Neiges and Cote-des-Neiges are Sue Montgomery (Mayor), Magda Popeanu (CDN), Irina Maria Grecu (Snowdon), Graham Carpenter(Darlington), Christian Arseneault (Loyola) and Peter McQueen (NDG). There’s not a single person of colour on the team running in Montreal’s most populous borough, which has a more than 30% non-white population. No obvious displayed …

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After the Commission— Would Racism be in Remission?

Thursday, May 20, saw Immigration, Diversity and Inclusion Minister Kathleen Weil unveiling plans for the public consultation on systemic discrimination and racism in Quebec, which is scheduled to begin in September. The province will create different ways that would allow public participation in the consultation process, such as the launching of a website where Quebecers can answer a questionnaire and share personal stories. An additional four working groups will be created in areas where discrimination is a concern, such as work and employment, health, education, social services and housing. On completion of the consultation process, Quebec’s commission on human rights …

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Is this exercise yet another reporting charade? Or is a change within range?

Quebec launches Public Consultation on Systemic Racism and Discrimination Yvonne Sam Finally, Quebec is moving in step with her neighbour, Ontario, in the aftermath of a 2,662-signature petition tabled by Québec Solidaire MNA Amir Khadir, which called for “the creation of a consultation commission on systemic racism.” On Thursday May 20, Immigration, Diversity and Inclusion Minister Kathleen Weil unveiled plans for the public consultation on systemic discrimination and racism in Quebec, scheduled to commence next September. To this end the government and the Quebec Human Rights Commission, along with non-profit groups intend to hold province-wide meetings geared towards listening to …

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Commentaries

Reading is revolutionary

The struggle of Black people have been well-documented by multiple theologians, historians, journalists and researchers, as well as our ancestors who were in the unfortunate position of being in the ultimate form of bondage. Barbarities such as raping of our women, castrations, public lynching for (other people’s) “entertainment”, and the separation of families… were the norm for our people. Add to that the stripping us of our culture and suddenly you have a group of people in 2017 in the same position they have been since the 1600s. Much has changed since then, and while all of these have been …

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Black Lives will only matter when the Black Vote matters

We absolutely need a political strategy; it is nonsense to believe otherwise. Black lives will never matter in Canada until they matter to Black people enough that will force them to utilize every tool in the toolbox to fight back, and the biggest tool is the Black vote. A lingering question permeating the minds of Blacks throughout the provinces is how many more not guilty verdicts can the community take, especially when it comes down to police officers and the shootings of unarmed Black males. Yet another devastating blow was dealt to the Black community in Toronto when recently an …

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Quebec’s Glory shown through our Story?

Quebec and diversity are not fully compatible, but is there also a continued historical dissonance? The recent outrage and consequent debacle that surrounded the St. Jean Baptiste parade with singer Annie Villeneuve on a float being pushed solely by Black males calls for all concerned to nose dive into history books before sounding the alarm. Surrounding the float were droves of singing parade goers, bedecked in white from head to toe, which further caused social media to erupt in a brouhaha, criticizing the lack of representation and diversity by the organizers of the parade. The community quickly compared the images …

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Having a Say on Father’s Day

The day is not exclusive to receiving. Many men and women, men more so, talk ruefully of the emotional emptiness they feel when thinking about their father. They may sense love there, but also big question marks: What did he feel? What did he stand for? What did I mean to him? Father’s Day will soon be here and it’s an apt time to ponder on the topic. The secondary school I attended hosted an annual Father/son Day concert. The disc jockey (whose job it appeared to my youthful mind was to see that all fathers made fools of themselves) …

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Have we failed our Youth?

School will soon be out and the verdict will be in. Once parents begin to see their children’s grades the annual passing the blame game regarding the state of our education system will begin. Well it is what it is. But in 2017, passing the blame is certainly not a new game, as the system did not just begin its descent. As a community and as parents we have sat on the sidelines and made petty fuss, although this collision course has been taking place for quite some time. Regarding the education of our children, do the Black parents know …

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Anatomy of A Fall: The Trailings And Faiings Of A Senator

        The Senator dodged the bullet in resigning                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The First Canadian Senator kicked out amidst a sex scandal. The issue is not about making a moral judgment regarding extramarital sex, but instead, of a senator who crossed the line, creating a power imbalance between himself and a besotted underage female. In the Good Book, John 8:7 pointedly states, “He that is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone. Embattled Senator Don Meredith, despite pleading for forgiveness for his moral failing following his inappropriate sexual relationship with a teenager, also recently discovered that, based on …

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Fairness in Mental Health Awareness

In Canada, the first week in May is designated as Mental Illness Awareness Week, and one day of that is devoted to schizophrenia awareness. From the standpoint of a qualified mental health professional and a concerned citizen, I daresay that we need more than a week in any given year to be aware of mental health and its impact on our society; that time is far too short. We need time to not only be aware of the illness, but also to collectively ponder on our treatment of those among us who have mental illness, and press for political action …

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