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Norman Bethune: Stepping forward to revolution

Extraordinary Canadians: Norman Bethune

by Adrienne Clarkson
(Penguin Canada,
When Norman Bethune left Montreal for Spain in 1936 to help the Republicans in their doomed effort to hold back Franco's fascists, he spoke no foreign languages and had no fixed role waiting for him. But he was among a group of determined individuals who believed "if fascism could be stopped in Spain, a larger war would not break out," and he wasted no time making himself useful. When Bethune left Madrid less than a year later, he had created and implemented a mobile blood transfusion unit, the first of its kind, that treated soldiers right at the front and drastically reduced fatalities. He was also on the verge of collapse, drinking heavily and making enemies on all sides.



Examining the rationales for war

November 18, 2013
| In the first of two interviews, Derrick O'Keefe critiques the notion of humanitarian war and similar rationales for aggression against other countries from Yugoslavia to Libya.
Length: 15:31 minutes (14.22 MB)

Syria, Humanity's Call

Saturday, June 1, 2013 - 2:00pm - 5:00pm


Sandford Fleming building, room 1105
10 King's College Road Located on the U of T grounds, just a 5 minute walk west of Queen's Park subway station.
Toronto, ON
43° 39' 36.6228" N, 79° 23' 41.496" W

Presented by the Syrian Canadian Foundation for Humanity. Join Doctors Without Borders (MSF), The Red Cross, The Sentinel Project and others to discuss the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Syria. $10/ ticket, $5 for students. Tickets are available through and All are welcome.

Syria is Calling

Saturday, February 9, 2013 - 6:00pm - 10:00pm


The Noor Cultural Centre
123 Wynford Drive
Toronto, ON
43° 43' 37.0236" N, 79° 19' 46.0128" W

Syria is Calling is a fundraising event sponsored by the Syrian Canadian Foundation for Humanity (SCFH). The SCFH is a not-for-profit, non-political organization whose purpose is to support humanitarian efforts within Syria and in neighbouring refugee camps. Guest speakers at the event include Suheir Atassi, Afra Jalabi and Doctors Without Boarders (MSF). The evening includes dinner, discussions and fundraising activities. Tickets are $50 per person. Visit for tickets or for information. 

| March 19, 2010

Canadian relief in Haiti

I was listening to the radio this morning about the Earthquake in Haiti. From what I understood there were a list of countries, US, UK, France, and I think three or four others sending disaster assistance to Haiti, Canada was not on the list as we are "furthering our investigation in the necessities of the situation." Does any one have more information on what we're doing?

Canadians speak out against humanitarian crisis in Sri Lanka

Canadians Concerned about Sri Lanka rally on the steps of the Sri Lankan Consulate in Toronto Saturday.

Related story:

| March 6, 2009

The uncertain business of doing good: Outsiders in Africa

Tuesday, February 10, 2009 - 6:00pm - 7:00pm


McMaster University MDCL 3020
1280 Main Street West Michael B. DeGroote Centre for Learning and Discovery Room 3020
Hamilton, ON L8S 4L8
Phone: (905)-383-7693
43° 15' 28.5408" N, 79° 55' 2.1792" W
Join veteran journalist and documentary filmmaker Larry Krotz for a fascinating discussion on the social and ethical implications of conducting humanitarian aid projects in Africa, from the Angolan civil war, to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, to AIDS research in Kenya.Over the past 15 years, Larry Krotz has travelled to a number of African countries, where he produced the documentary film, Searching for Hawa's Secret, and wrote extensively for magazines and newspapers on scientific research and foreign aid projects.

"A very engaging read ... Whether you are a scientist, student intern, international aid worker or traveller, the book forces one to ask: Who benefits?"

- Winnipeg Free Press

Published by University of Manitoba Press

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