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Justice

Feature

June 2012

Tough on crime, weak on evidence

By Edward L. Greenspan

One of Canada’s top defence lawyers picks apart the government’s case for more prisons and longer sentences

Feature

May 2012

Three partners, one family

By Pieta Woolley

Feature

May 2012

Handmaids no more

By Laurel Walton

We were young, unmarried and pregnant. They forced us to surrender our babies. Now we're older, braver and determined to change an adoption system that still favours the privileged.

Feature

April 2012

Reconciling to a Hard Truth

By Richard Wright

An adjudication process set up to compensate residential school survivors has been flooded with thousands of new claims. The numbers suggest that abuse was far more common than anyone imagined.

Feature

March 2012

Seven innovations for a better world

By Karen Stiller

These clever fixes may not solve all of humanity’s problems, but they promise to improve the lives of millions

Feature

March 2012

First United’s time of trial

By Pieta Woolley

Resignations, looming funding cuts and bad press have forced a historic United Church mission to rethink its role in Canada’s poorest neighbourhood

Feature

February 2012

Caught in the bottleneck

By Carolyn Morris

New limits on refugee applications are meant to relieve a backlog of unprocessed claims. Churches fear the cap will undo the sponsorship program that has helped thousands flee to safety in Canada.

Feature

January 2012

Could Pathways work on reserves?

By Richard Wright

Feature

January 2012

Dropping in

By Richard Wright

Pathways to Education is a tutoring program that helps low-income students graduate from high school. Manitoba educators are hoping the innovative approach will also reduce dropout rates among First Nations students.

Feature

January 2012

El Salvador’s journey of redemption

By Tim Johnson

Two decades ago, civil war raged in Central America’s smallest country. Visitors today will discover that while the scars remain, the healing power of peace is stronger.

Feature

January 2012

A taste of tolerance

By Cory Ruf

Fleeing persecution in Europe, Roma refugees are building new lives in Canada. But their welcome here is far from guaranteed.

Feature

November 2011

Photo essay: After apartheid

By Kevin Spurgaitis

Twenty years after South Africa abolished its race laws, residents of its most populous township still struggle to get by in a deeply unequal society.

Feature

June 2011

Clouds in my Cuban coffee

By Alicia von Stamwitz

The writer returns to the country of her birth, only to have her illusions met by hard reality

Feature

June 2011

In defence of human smuggling

By Carolyn Morris

When life is at stake, a human smuggler could be a refugee’s only hope of escape

Feature

May 2011

Interview with Maude Barlow

By Frank Dabbs

Author and social justice advocate talks about the values that inform her work and the ideas that sustain her

Feature

May 2011

Stain of terror

By Brian Platt

Iran’s main opposition group laid down its arms a decade ago. But as far as Canada is concerned, it’s still a terrorist organization. What does it take to lose the label?

Feature

May 2011

A new day for the oldest profession

By Pieta Woolley

Will new-found legal respectability protect sex workers or simply encourage more prostitution?

Feature

April 2011

ObserverDocs: To the Ends of the Earth

By Alanna Mitchell

Drawn to the Arctic and Antarctica within a span of six months, award-winning science author encounters the alarming signs of climate change

Feature

March 2011

The other battlefield

By Brian Platt

The author journeys to Afghanistan and discovers that Afghan women don’t need us to rescue them. They need security and education in order to flourish on their own terms.

Feature

March 2011

A forgotten injustice

By Samantha Rideout

In the 1950s, the federal government shipped thousands of Inuit south for tuberculosis treatment. Many died and were buried in graves far from home. A United Church in Quebec is helping to remember and honour the dead.

Feature

February 2011

Palestine’s ‘clear call to action’

By Mike Milne

A document circulating in the United Church opens a new chapter in the Middle East debate

Feature

February 2011

Pipe dreams

By Will Braun

Churches and Aboriginals were once allies in the fight against industrial megaprojects. These days, some First Nations are seeking economic salvation in partnerships with their former foes.

Feature

January 2011

Politics and prisons

By Patricia Clarke

As the federal government gets tough on crime, Canada’s jails are expanding. Many wonder if larger prisons — and ballooning corrections budgets — are the right way to go.

Feature

December 2010

Prescription for a pandemic

By Kevin Spurgaitis

Scientists, activists and politicians agree that generic drugs can slow or stop the global spread of HIV-AIDS. So why haven't they been made more accessible?

Feature

November 2010

Abortion wars: the next front

By Kevin Spurgaitis

After 20 years of relative peace, activists on both sides of the abortion debate are mobilizing for a new battle that threatens to reopen bitter ethical divisions

Feature

September 2010

Shaken to the core

By Various Writers

Last winter's earthquake changed Haiti forever. It also left an indelible mark on four writers who witnessed the disaster and its aftermath.

Feature

September 2010

The cost of doing good

By Trisha Elliott

Donors often wonder how much of their money goes directly to the causes they support. But that may not be the question to ask.

Feature

September 2010

Can big business save the planet?

By Kevin Spurgaitis

Philanthro-capitalists are putting their money where their morals are, using cash and clout to redefine the meaning of good business

Feature

July 2010

A home here is possible

By Miriam Spies

Twelve years ago, the author felt excluded at church because of her cerebral palsy. By speaking out, she helped her church become more accessible for all.

Feature

July 2010

Gambling on casinos

By Richard Wright

Casinos bring much-needed jobs and revenue to First Nations communities, but can also exacerbate social problems. Do the wins outweigh the losses?

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Editorials

David Wilson%

Observations

by David Wilson

Outrage is the new normal

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Video

ObserverDocs: Stolen Mother

by Observer Staff

The daughter and adoptive mother of one of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women share their story

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Profiles

October 2017

Fall from grace

by Justin Dallaire

Don Hume was a United Church minister nearing retirement. Then he tried crack cocaine.

Faith

September 2017

Yearning

by Jane Dawson

Restless longing is at the core of the human condition, urging us onward through life. What happens when it veers off course?

Society

July 2017

From far and wide

by Various Writers

Meet 11 immigrants who are putting down new roots

Faith

October 2017

A tale of two cancers

by Catherine Gordon

One year after the writer discovered she had breast cancer, her sister in California received the same diagnosis. They both recovered, but their experiences were worlds apart.

World

June 2017

Resisting genocide

by Sally Armstrong

In August 2014, ISIS attacked Iraq’s Yazidis, slaughtering thousands and forcing women and girls into sexual slavery. Today, the survivors are fighting for their ancient way of life.

Society

April 2017

Dear Grandkids

by Various Writers

Six acclaimed Canadian authors write letters from the heart

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