Women in the Canadian Armed Forces: Recruitment

Today, I will return to a topic that I have covered in several previous posts, and will continue to repeat: the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) is struggling to meet its goals for female representation, and is showing few signs of improvement. In fact, the Auditor General released a report in 2016 which stated that the […]

Diversity in the Canadian Armed Forces

As Deputy Chair of the Standing Committee on National Security and Defence, I have had the opportunity to study several of the important issues affecting our Canadian Armed Forces as a part of our greater study of the Defence Policy Review. The results of this study can be found in two of our most recent […]

Who are the Yazidis?

Who are the Yazidis? The vast majority of Yazidis are found in northern Iraq, in and around the city of Sinjar. It is estimated that there are approximately 1.5 million individuals worldwide who adhere to the beliefs of Yazidism. Yazidism is a complex theology, and like all religions, is hard to sum up in a […]

A Place to Call Home: The Plight of the Myanmar Rohingya – Part 9

“This is just the most extraordinary scene. We’ve been hearing about this boat for the last four or five days through very, very occasional phone calls that have gone out, telling of their desperate plight. Nobody knew where they were, we’ve been searching for a long time … now we’ve found it.” Jonathan Head of […]

The Plight of the Yazidi People

Today, on the second anniversary of the brutal attack in Iraq known as the Sinjar Massacre, my thoughts are with the Yazidi people who had been displaced by the barbarism of ISIS. Two years ago, early in the morning, ISIS launched an attack on the town of Sinjar, the historic home of the Yazidi people […]

Bring Back Our Girls – A Mothers’ Day Message

Yesterday, on Mothers’ Day, families across Canada gathered to celebrate motherhood and the influence that mothers have on our lives.  On that day, I remembered my mother, whose gift of love allowed me to become the woman that I am today. On that day, I was also greeted by the warm wishes of my daughter, […]

A Place to Call Home: The Plight of the Myanmar Rohingya – Pt. 8

Mohammed Ayuf is a 16-year old Myanmar Rohingya. Myanmar has been his family’s home for as long as they can trace back. His grandparents were born in Rakhine before World War II, and his parents were raised in Sittwe. His father, Shafiq Ahmed, remembers living in the city where there were dozens of mosques and […]

Implementing Change in Carding Procedures

Over the last few months I have spoken out incessantly against the carding / street check practices that have been taking place across Ontario, as well as throughout Canada. I am extremely happy to hear that the Ontario Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services has proposed two regulations, one new and one amended, to […]

A Place to Call Home: The Plight of the Myanmar Rohingya – Pt. 7

As days turn into months, and months turn into seasons, the Myanmar Rohingya still struggle on their never-ending journey to find home. At a temporary camp made due to international pressure in Ache, Indonesia, situations for Rohingya refugees are less than stellar. One evening, four Rohingya women between the ages of 14 and 28 explained […]

A Place to Call Home: The Plight of the Myanmar Rohingya – Pt. 6

We cannot forget the Rohingya at this time.  7 months ago, in February 2015, Abdul, a 30-year old Rohingya, left his home and family in Myanmar and travelled by boat to Malaysia in hopes of securing a job and being able to provide a better life for him and his family. On his journey, he recounted […]