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Columnists

Sasha: Sperm donations, and the criminalization of sex work

Dear Sasha,

My girlfriend went into menopause unexpectedly at 31, when a simple (botched) surgery ended in her waking up with a complete hysterectomy.

She is the only daughter, and her brother never had children of his own because he married a woman who already had five.

Both she and her parents really wanted her to have children of her own. When she and I met, we agreed that we, too, wanted children. It's been five years since the surgery, and she is still distraught over the issue.

Canada's treatment of the Tamil refugees is a defining moment

The MV Sun Sea (right) and the impromptu refugee processing centre set up to received 490 Tamils. As seen from across the harbour on the shore of the Esquimalt First Nation after the ship’s arrival on Aug. 13, 2010. Photo: Wongo888/Flickr

Whatever else happens, the MV Sun Sea shall be remembered as having posed a security, immigration and moral dilemma for Canada, depending on who you speak to.

A Thai registered cargo ship, the MV Sun Sea had approximately 500 potential claimants for refugee status, all of whom are of Tamil origin. It originated in Sri Lanka and was denied permission to dock by Thailand and Australia. 

The ship arrived in Canadian waters Friday and was intercepted by armed Canadian military and the RCMP. After health and security officials boarded the ship in Victoria, B.C., the passengers were given medical check-ups; most have been moved to detention centres in the Vancouver area while their refugee claims are being processed. Hearings are due to begin today.

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A missing daughter: Jessie Foster's story

Jessie Foster (right) at her 2002 high school graduation with her mother, Glendene Grant. Jessie went missing in Las Vegas in March 2006 and her mother believes she is the victim of human trafficking. Photo courtesy of Glendene Grant.

This week will be a busy one for Glendene Grant but she describes it as resulting from "a mother's passion for her child." She will appear on radio and TV, give print media interviews, and talk to anyone who will listen.

The Kamloops, B.C., internet technician lost her daughter, Jessie Foster, four years ago, after the 22-year-old disappeared from her home in Las Vegas. Grant has hardly paused in the time since, the trauma of the loss compelling her to reach out in every direction, and across international borders in the effort to locate Foster.

"I absolutely can't stop, but I've had some people ask me why I'm wasting my time. It hurts," Grant said.

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Human trafficking research reveals Canada's role in violence against Aboriginal women

Photo: flickr/Stephen Harper

Canada's response to the safety concerns of Indigenous women and girls has garnered significant attention in recent months. Alongside high-profile debates about Canadian sex work laws and the experiences of Aboriginal women and girls in sex industries, significant attention has focused on Canada's response, or lack of response, to the nearly 1,200 murdered and missing Aboriginal women and girls.

Similarly, recent discussions of human trafficking have foregrounded the vulnerability of Indigenous girls and women. In 2012, both an RCMP report and the National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking specifically label Aboriginal women and girls as having heightened risk of becoming victims of human trafficking.

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face2face

Shae Invidiata on the fight against human trafficking

August 31, 2014
| Listen in to Shae as she gives us her take on slavery, Bill C-36, "evil at its best" and why Canada is at a crossroads when it comes to the slave trade.
Length: 47:10 minutes (64.79 MB)
Image: Flickr/PJStarr
| July 14, 2014
| June 11, 2014
face2face

Lindsey Higgs on MTV EXIT and gender equality

August 30, 2013
| Lindsey touches on gender equality, our responsibility to the other and why she does what she does. She has a passion for youth engagement and social change of all kinds.
Length: 39:46 minutes (31.87 MB)
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