Friday, December 27, 2013

Rob Ford bungles handling of ice storm emergency

Rob Ford, you have shown your incompetence again, by claiming that the ice storm that hit Southern Ontario, other parts of Eastern Canada, and parts of the U.S. last Sunday was NOT an emergency! What part of downed trees and damaged power lines does NOT constitute an emergency with you?! Many traffic lights are STILL out of power as a result of the ice storm--how is a city supposed to go on as usual with no working traffic lights?! People are living without heat and electricity in the dead of winter, and many have had to turn to warming centres just to survive! Yet none of this seems to register with you!
You, Rob Ford, say that you didn't want to call a state of emergency because you didn't want people to panic...well, guess what? PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN LIVING WITHOUT HEAT AND ELECTRICITY FOR ALMOST A WEEK ARE PANICKING ANYWAY! They have every reason to panic--they are hungry, cold, and desperate! Telling people to just be patient is NOT going to solve anything! These people need answers and real help! With people starving in the ongoing cold comes the risk of widespread illness--this is a real public health issue that needs to be dealt with IMMEDIATELY! If anyone gets sick or dies from not getting help during the ice storm, it will be MORE BLOOD on YOUR hands! Your bungling of the ice storm emergency shows yet again that you are not fit to be Mayor, and that you should be forced to resign!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Illegal arrest of Bahraini children is outrageous!

The false charges against 10 year old Jehad Nabeel AlSameea and 13 year old Abdulla Yusuf AlBahrani must be dropped, and both of these young children should be released immediately! Children should never be forced to suffer because of a country's political problems! The effects of torture and wrongful imprisonment on adults are horrible enough, but when it happens to children, the effects can only be that much worse! The ongoing political repression in Bahrain is horrifying, and the international community must intervene in Bahrain NOW to stop the oppression, or we will have another Syria on our hands!
What is your reaction to this story?

Friday, December 13, 2013

Open letter calling for Rob Ford's resignation

To Rob Ford:
Your resignation is long overdue! Your false allegations that Toronto Star journalist Daniel Dale is a pedophile are beyond vile! You have humiliated Canada with your unprofessional and criminal behaviour many times, but this is a new low! You should have been forced to resign and sent to jail a long time ago, and your slander of Daniel Dale is further proof that you have NO credibility!
You claim that you are staying on as Mayor because you represent the citizens of Toronto--who exactly are you representing? Almost nobody wants to be associated with you! When people are organizing protests and holding signs calling for your resignation, what does that tell you? When there are various petitions going around calling for your resignation, including this one here, it should be clear to you that most people do NOT want you representing the City of Toronto!
Stop humiliating Canada, retract your accusations against Daniel Dale, and resign! You are a drunken, loud-mouthed fool who has NO class! You have NO business in municipal politics! Stop complaining about the media "invading your privacy", when you CHOOSE to bring negative attention to yourself through your own thoughtless actions! Anyone who continues to make excuses for you is just as guilty as you are for condoning criminal behaviour!
Karen Akhtar

Friday, December 6, 2013

R.I.P. Nelson Mandela, and a reflection on how Canadian politicians should follow in his footsteps

Nelson Mandela's death is an enormous tragedy for the world--he was an incredible leader who made remarkable sacrifices not just for his country, but for all of humanity. His courage, strength, and compassion provide much-needed hope and inspiration in a world where cold political manipulation is all too common. He was a true activist who lived by his words, and he will be missed by many around the world.
Now if only more Canadian politicians could follow in Nelson Mandela's footsteps...
Canadian democracy is in a crisis. The Senate scandal and Rob Ford's outrageous antics reveal how greed and selfishness have taken precedence over real leadership and service to the community. We call ourselves a society based on equality, yet it is painfully clear that this value is not enforced. While many Canadian politicians are squandering money and doing as they please, we are failing our most vulnerable citizens. Immigrants are increasingly falling through the cracks right here in Canada. Khadijeh's story is a case in point--Khadijeh has been in Canada for almost 20 years, and STILL hasn't been granted Canadian status!
Other immigrants have had to face unreasonable hurdles while trying to come to Canada as well. Adel Benhmuda had to start a petition to convince Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) to drop its request for a $6,800 fee, which was related to the costs of deporting the Benhmudas back to Libya! The deportation resulted in Adel Benhmuda being tortured! These are not "little mistakes" by CIC--these are clear cases of CIC taking advantage of vulnerable citizens!
It's time for a change in leadership here in Canada. We must pay tribute to Nelson Mandela and his values by practicing what he advocated. We need politicians who are genuinely interested in working for the greater good of society, not just enriching themselves. A tall order, yes, but in a country that prides itself as a democracy, we must demand better. Anything less will lead to more cynicism, and a society that looks more like an oligarchy.