Though the mission and vision of Bell Let’s Talk certainly materialize positive dialogue about mental illness, the Canadian public must also be aware of the the deep systemic issues the organization fails to tackle. Despite raising over $8 million in donations for this year’s fundraiser, the campaign itself fails to provide further education on mental illness and naively relies on a social media campaign that occurs once a year and then fades from the public eye until the next fundraiser. This creates an image of philanthropic charity that Bell maintains in order to reap tax cuts laid out by the Canadian government for corporations that contribute to social causes.
These deaths were far from the family’s choice. Economic instability or political persecution in home countries, mixed with the U.S. and Canada’s unsupportive and often oppressive immigration systems, force the hands of migrants seeking asylum. When people are refused entry or refused humane conditions upon entry, gambling on death becomes a risk that migrants are willing to take.
The pandemic has disproportionately affected students and they are still feeling the residual damages caused by changes to the education system and the labour market. Although their situation is getting somewhat better, students’ lives have been changed permanently byCOVID-19 and they still lack proper support.
In the early parts of January, Premier Heather Stefanson was dragged through the mud for claiming Manitobans should fend for themselves through COVID-19. “This virus is running throughout our community and it’s up to Manitobans to look after themselves,” Stefanson said. For me, this quote evoked an eerily dystopian image of apocalypse survivors fighting for resources in a libertarian hellscape as their overlord looked on in her ivory tower. Stefanson has thrown equitable health policy out of the window for the health of the economy, and the most vulnerable will serve as the sacrificial lambs by which the divinity of her pragmatic policies rest on.
In a rare piece of good COVID-19 news, researchers in Texas are developing a COVID-19 vaccine called Corbevax that developers say will be based on conventional vaccine technology, will be cheaper to produce and less complicated to store. Crucially, they do not intend to patent the vaccine, hoping this will make it more accessible in low-income countries.
My hope is that one day, when looking back at this motion, student leaders will be able to see beyond the scope efficiency and find themselves more in tune with the appropriate steps they can make toward representing the U of M’s diverse community. But for now, I can only wish that constituents become more aware of who they vote for to represent them in the biggest student-led political body at our university.
It has become apparent that not even our elected board is trusted with proposing changes to governing documents. As UMSU president Brendan Scott made clear both during debate at a meeting Jan. 6 and in a subsequent interview, it is expected of representatives to simply provide yes-or-no answers to questions presented by bureaucrats.
If the City of Winnipeg and the provincial government truly have any concern for reconciliation, development programs at the Forks must come to a halt and the revenues dedicated to them should be redistributed to help combat the genocide of Indigenous people in Canada. Although shrouded in self-congratulatory arrogance, there is nothing to be proud about when it comes to the developments and archeology taking place at the Forks.
Besides being homesick, international students also suffer from a grotesque lack of support. Getting lost around campus, poor signage at facilities and the complete lack of guidance all contribute to the struggles of new arrivals. As a newly arrived student myself, fresh off the plane from Colombia, I know all about it.
People eagerly come together during the holiday season to celebrate. However, as COVID-19 cases surged across the world, many were forced to change their New Year’s plans yet again. Amid the rising COVID-19 cases due to the Omicron variant, Canadians were not the exception. While the federal government recommended citizens avoid foreign travel without establishing travel bans, provincial governments established various restrictions to reduce the transmissibility of the virus in their jurisdictions. Lack of preparation has defined most governments’ responses to the new variant.