- Jonas Fossli Gherso discusses the unfortunate (and unnecessary) acceptance of burgeoning inequality even by the people who suffer most from its presence. And Ryan Meili interviews Gabor Mate about the ill health effects of an economic system designed to keep people under stress:
(T)he very nature of the system in which people live their lives is a significant source of illness. Now there are obvious factors like environmental pollution, toxins, and then of course there are the social determinants of health that you write about in A Healthy Society: the impact of poverty, the impact of inequality, the impact of history and continued racism. There’s an article in the Saskatoon Star Phoenix today about sentencing practices in the courts of Saskatchewan. People who are identified as Aboriginal are likely to get double the sentences of people who are not identified as Aboriginal. That’s going to have a health impact.- Meanwhile, Charles Smith points out how young workers are losing out as a result of policy choices designed to maximize employer leverage at their expense:
But I’m going to go beyond even that and say that even the people who are not on the wrong end of economic inequality or systemic racism are still made ill just by how we live our lives. The stress that we live under, the competition, the aggressiveness, the uncertainty, the loss of control that we experience in our lives. The gender inequalities, these are not just social phenomena, they have an actual impact on community health. The isolation people are experiencing.
Canadian young people are among the most educated in the world. According to the Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development, in 2014 Canada had the highest percentage of university or college trained population in the world. Recognizing that, Statistics Canada reported in 2010 that most OECD countries were more successful than Canada in employing individuals with university or college education.- Alan Kors reports on Stephen Lewis' advice in advocating for child care as a public good, not a benefit limited to those who immediately find spaces. And Jeffrey Simpson highlights how much work there is to be done in fixing a tax system built around the Cons' trinkets and baubles.
In other words, the problem with finding full and meaningful employment is not necessarily a problem with individual young people, but a broader problem of government and private sector employers.
Outside the classroom, students are demanding social change, pushing our organizations in new and exciting directions, challenging traditional pedagogy, and creating a new generation of community and ecological awareness.
At the University of Saskatchewan, young women are challenging traditional forms of power by creating new organizations and demanding justice in public and private life. Indigenous students are reclaiming space and demanding greater access to opportunities long denied to them.
All of this suggests that today's students are multi-talented, skilled and ready to lead. It is time that government and private employers recognized this by promoting an industrial policy designed to create meaningful full employment.
- Finally, Michael Den Tandt recognizes that the Cons' interest in Canadian troops goes no further than using them in photo ops. And Michael Harris notes that a direct clash between the Cons and the veterans they've left behind may make for an important piece of Canada's next election campaign.