National Newswatch

Prime minister’s ‘sunny ways’ have dark linings

Oct 30 2020 — Jenn Jefferys — Has anyone else noticed that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau seems tired lately? Like, really tired? A global pandemic, a climate crisis, BIPOC resistance, Donald Trump’s possible re-election — all this is enough to stress anyone out. Add on the ongoing WE scandal and violent racial and economic tensions rising in Nova Scotia and you’ve got […]

What’s truly toxic is the way we’ve treated our Governor General

Sep 21 2020 — Jenn Jefferys — For ambitious feminists living in this country, the challenges facing our head of state in recent weeks have been difficult to watch. Julie Payette has faced several waves of criticism since she was first invested as Canada’s 29th Governor General in October 2017. Initially it was just from news media. But more recently — and […]

Removing racist team names has been too long coming

Jul 17 2020 — Jenn Jefferys — I’ll never forget the impeccable grace by which a close friend once reacted to a bundle of sage that was for sale at a chain department store, not long before shopping in stores became so complicated and anxiety-inducing. Half Mohawk and half Anishinaabekwe, my friend was justifiably furious as this sacred medicine was to be […]

Mental health concerns ‘very real’ during pandemic

Jun 11 2020 — Jenn Jefferys — There’s no swab test for the illnesses in the looming echo pandemic, but they pose a threat just as urgent as COVID-19. Mandatory isolation orders, though imperative, have fractured tangible human connection for months. The front-line is burnt out, businesses are collapsing, and parents are justifiably exhausted. The coronavirus has made life difficult even for […]

Toxic masculinity is killing us

Apr 27 2020 — Jenn Jefferys — By now you’ve surely heard about the 51-year-old white man who — during a horrific global pandemic that’s already turned our whole world upside down — terrorized Nova Scotia, killing 22 innocent people and burning five or more family homes to the ground.

Beyond buzzwords: the reconciliation revolution

Apr 1 2020 — Jenn Jefferys — In principle, reconciliation is something most Canadians can get behind. In practice, that changes. Until the novel coronavirus took hold, Wet’suwet’en Nation solidarity demonstrations like the ones held in Kitchener and Waterloo back in February were pushing reconciliation back onto the public agenda. Morning commutes were disrupted, farmers became anxious, and provincial exports were delayed […]

Anne Kingston: A Feminist Journalist Who Made a Difference

Feb 24 2020 — Jenn Jefferys — In a world where ‘feminism’ has become a cheap marketing tool for some, Anne Kingston was authentically and unabashedly feminist. Kingston, who died this month at 62, was insatiably curious. She was driven to demand better of everything and everyone. Hers was the calibre of journalism that left editors’ minds spinning, and competing writers — […]

Ottawa’s got something to look forward to

Jan 27 2020 — Jenn Jefferys — For the first time in a long while, the City of Ottawa has something to look forward to. The city recently announced its approved structural plan and location for the new Ottawa Public Library-Library and Archives Canada joint facility (“OPL-LAC”): opening in late 2024. According to project collaborators the OPL-LAC design is the result of […]

A few new cracks in that glass ceiling

Nov 6 2017 — Jenn Jefferys — From Hollywood to Parliament Hill, women and girls are regularly preyed upon by powerful men. The Harvey Weinstein-inspired #MeToo movement effectively highlighted the very real rape culture that feminist activists have fought to bring to your attention since … well, forever. But as the front page of the Montreal Gazette demonstrated this morning, the underlying […]

Legalizing pot should help Trudeau retain crucial youth vote

Oct 31 2017 — Jenn Jefferys — The Liberal plan to legalize pot next year will not only make history. It may be key to the governing party’s chances of re-election in 2019. Polling data that surfaced after the 2015 election suggests that the youth vote strongly contributed to the Liberals’ majority win at the ballot box. Millennials reportedly turned up at […]

The abortion debate still excels at dividing us

Sep 27 2017 — Jenn Jefferys — For the first time in quite a while, the House of Commons found itself divided this week over a particularly fraught subject: a woman’s right to choose. Reproductive rights were resurrected as an item for debate when the House Standing Committee on the Status of Women was so divided over the nomination of Conservative MP […]

Decolonizing law and policy needs more than Liberal lip service

Mar 9 2017 — Jenn Jefferys — Last year, opposition parties fought hard to open up the Liberal-dominated Commons committee on electoral reform. The governing Liberals eventually caved under public pressure and evened it up with a more balanced, less partisan membership. Yet again last week, the Liberals sought to dominate another file. On Wednesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that his […]

Indigenous communities across Canada need women’s shelters now

Feb 23 2017 — Jenn Jefferys — Up to 4,000 indigenous families were glued to the media earlier this month when the five Commissioners for the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls held their first press conference in Ottawa. It was a long time coming. Since the inquiry officially began on Sept. 1, 2016, families have been waiting […]