Month: July 2017

How Taxes Can Reduce Inequality

How Taxes Can Reduce Inequality

By Dennis Howlett on July 24th, 2017

We need to tackle inequality at both ends of the income scale. Everyone, even the rich, benefits from a more equal society with better population health, reduced crime, better educational and employment opportunities, and a more vigorous economy.

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Meeting the Needs of the Dear Neighbour

Meeting the Needs of the Dear Neighbour

By Leah Watkiss on July 24th, 2017

On May 12, 60 Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto, along with their associates and partners, gathered to illustrate the faces of poverty and offer solutions. At the Sisters’ residence, they hosted Meeting the Needs of the Dear Neighbour, a story-telling event in response to the federal government’s poverty reduction strategy consultation process.

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Book Review: An Army of Problem Solvers

From the Catalyst, Summer 2017

An Army of Problem Solvers: Reconciliation and the Solutions Economy

By Shaun Loney

McNally Robinson, 2016

Reviewed by Asha Kerr-Wilson

An Army of Problem Solvers is about empowering people to be the problem solvers of the big social, economic, and environmental problems faced by their communities. Shaun Loney is a social entrepreneur and former civil servant who has worked with and been involved in establishing a number of social enterprises – small-scale community non-profits that aim to address social or environmental challenges using market forces

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Book Review: Towards a Prairie Atonement

From the Catalyst, Summer 2017

Towards a Prairie Atonement

By Trevor Herriot

University of Regina Press, 2016

Reviewed by Dennis Gruending

Trevor Herriot is a gifted Saskatchewan writer who has published five acclaimed books within the past 16 years. His grandparents were European settlers on land just north of the Qu’Appelle River, which flows through Southern Saskatchewan into Manitoba. Herriot has staked his literary claim on that region. He has a strong naturalist bent and writes in illuminating detail about what he sees and hears on the ground, and about what has been lost. The prairie landscape, he says, has become one of the most altered on the planet.

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Book Review: Living on the Land

From the Catalyst, Summer 2017

Living on the Land: Indigenous Women’s Understanding of Place

Edited by Nathalie Kermoal and Isabel Altamirano-Jiménez

Athabasca University Press, 2016

Reviewed by Michelle Nieviadomy

Living on the Land is a beautiful and complex collection of perspective, story, knowledge, and wisdom. This book captures the traditional role, depth, and power of the Indigenous women from the Mohawk, Cree, Naskapi, Mayangna, Métis, and Inuit peoples. Not all Indigenous women come from the same narrative. And this book importantly gives each Indigenous woman a distinct voice on where she originates. Her story is meaningful as it is a bridge of knowledge from the ancestral way of being to the modern world in which she lives.

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Book Review: Wrongs to Rights

From the Catalyst, Summer 2017

Wrongs to Rights: How Churches Can Engage the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Edited by Steve Heinrichs

Mennonite Church Canada, 2016

Reviewed by Amie Nault

There has been a lot of discussion lately about how to best respond to the calls to action presented in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Final Report. For many of us, we are left with the desire to do something, but remain unaware of what that something is.

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Book Review: After the Sands

From the Catalyst, Summer 2017

After the Sands: Energy and Ecological Security for Canadians

By Gordon Laxer

​Douglas & McIntyre, 2015

Reviewed by Karri Munn-Venn

After the Sands is a fascinating, if dense, history of Canadian energy policy, offered by prominent Alberta political economist, Gordon Laxer.

At its core, After the Sands is a call for a fundamental reorientation of government approaches to energy policy and societal understanding of the urgency of the climate crisis.

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Book Review: Better Now

From the Catalyst, Summer 2017

Better Now: Six Big Ideas to Improve Health Care for All Canadians

By Dr. Danielle Martin

Allen Lane, 2017

Reviewed by Sally Guy

Better Now will likely find itself preaching to the choir. That is not to say that Martin is ever preachy—in fact, her style is conversational and unpretentious. But those that really need to read this book, sadly, won’t. Many of the ‘big ideas’ would hinge on the participation of all levels of government, and would require a fundamental shift in the way many Canadians understand the rights of citizenship.

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Book Review: Finding Home in the Promised Land

From the Catalyst, Summer 2017

Finding Home in the Promised Land: A Personal History of Homelessness and Social Exile

By Jane Harris

J. Gordon Shillingford, 2015

Reviewed by Darlene O’Leary

“I fought my way out of the wilderness, but I still wear cuts inside my body and soul.”

In Finding Home in the Promised Land, author Jane Harris shares her deeply personal story of domestic violence, poverty, homelessness, and social exile. She also offers a narrative and historical glimpse of her Scottish immigrant ancestors, particularly her great-great grandmother. Their struggles in the new “promised land” of pre- Confederation Canada both parallel and contrast Harris’s own quest for home.

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Book Review: Hopeful Realism in Urban Ministry

From the Catalyst, Summer 2017

Hopeful Realism in Urban Ministry: Critical Explorations and Constructive Affirmations of Hoping Justice Prayerfully

By Barry K. Morris

Wipf & Stock Publishers, 2016

Reviewed by Lee Hollaar

To all involved in any seemingly overwhelming ministry, this is an important and refreshing read. While dealing with issues of poverty, marginalization, and the politics of exclusion, it’s easy to move beyond naive optimism and approach a sense of futility. While the author looks through the lens of ministry in urban settings, this book speaks with equal cogency to the work of social justice—and any ministry, for that matter.

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