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The Gender Files

A young woman fights for independence, despite personal tragedy

In 2008, I met a young woman who had more barriers than most girls. Maria* was 17 when I met her. Her mother had just died from cancer. She was diagnosed with borderline autism as a child and had a...

Young female offenders connect to the community through artwork

It’s project go time. The girls of Emerald and Asperity units in the Burnaby Youth Custody Center (BYCC) have created community projects and the projects have turned into innovative initiatives....

Show me your love!

When I was young my class went on a field trip to Britannia Mine near Squamish.  We got to pan for gold and take home the flakes that we found.  As someone with limited long-term memory...

One step forward, another step back

That night, I received a call an hour before I was supposed to be at the custody centre.  I work with a group of girls there. We were about to move to the next step of the Passion Project, which...

The power of showing up

When I work with people I have one rule: regardless of how good or bad your day is, show up. Show up for your commitments. Show up with your best self whatever state is it in. It’s amazing how hard...

Young women search for forgiveness in cycle of violence

Once a week I run a program out of the youth custody centre in Burnaby.  I work with a group of girls who experience a wide range of life challenges; most of these challenges relate to some form...

How should we regulate sex work in Canada?

Earlier this week the BC Supreme Court ruled that former sex worker Sheryl Kiselbach and the Downtown Eastside Sex Workers United Against Violence can challenge Canadian prostitution laws. This comes...

Let's put a stop to violence against young women

When is enough really enough? Three young women under 22 years of age, three different cities in the Lower Mainland, less than a month apart and all casualties of extreme violence. What is happening...

The Conservatives don't have this one

I urge everyone who’s reading this to contact Rob Nicholson and include a link or two about this Robert Pickton fellow and the zany case of how he got away with murder for so long.

Gordon Campbell and Stephen Harper and the fathers in my life

 Gordon Campbell’s decision to make the HST plebiscite binding got me thinking about how politicians react in different ways to unpopular decisions that they make.  Say what you will about...
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