Capital Pride profile: Kaeden Seburn, co-founder of SAEFTY Ottawa

Youth marshal hopes to “get back to the roots of Pride,” connect with young trans people

Graham Robertson, Editor

Finding spaces run by and for trans people can often be a challenge here in Canada’s capital. Many existing support groups and centres tend to be facilitated by cisgender people who aren’t equipped to provide adequate resources or effectively answer questions pertaining to trans health care, specifically for youth.

To remedy this, a group of trans youth in the community, including nineteen year-old Kaeden Seburn, founded Support and Education for Trans Youth (SAEFTY) last October, Ottawa’s first support group by and for trans youth.

Continue reading

One year since Ste. Foy massacre, Ottawa stands in remembrance with Muslim Canadians

Savannah Awde, Editor

It was just before 8 p.m. on Jan. 29, 2017, when a lone gunman entered the Islamic Cultural Centre of Quebec City and open fired, killing six people and injuring 19.

One year later, around the same time, a large group of Ottawa locals gathered at the Human Rights Memorial in front of city hall to remember the lives lost to Islamophobia. The vigil itself was organized by the National Council for Canadian Muslims (NCCM), and was part of several vigils taking place across Canada.

Photo: Savannah Awde.

Continue reading

Ottawa educator launches short film to raise awareness of stalking

Julie Lalonde shares story of being stalked for over a decade

Nadia Drissi El-Bouzaidi, Reporter

The first steps to many relationships in 2017 happen online. In fact, many of us often take to “stalking” the objects of our desires until we know every little detail that their social media feeds have to offer. However for Ottawa-based public educator Julie Lalonde, this is one of her biggest pet peeves. “The language we use about stalking in an online context just infuriates me,” she says. “Everytime we say those things we’re really minimizing the impact of actual stalking.”

Lalonde, who is a sexual assault survivor, launched her short film, Outside of the Shadows, on Dec. 15 to raise awareness about the dangers of criminal harassment, more commonly known as stalking, by sharing her own harrowing 12-year ordeal of being stalked.

Shedding light on stalking

Criminal harassment is defined as engaging  “in conduct referred to in subsection (2) that causes that other person reasonably, in all the circumstances, to fear for their safety or the safety of anyone known to them” in the Canadian Criminal Code and is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

Stalking most commonly occurs in the context of intimate relationships, but also occurs in situations where the victim is unknown to the perpetrator, or in cases where the perpetrator holds a grudge against the the victim.

Continue reading

Ask Women Anything panel on sexual harassment highlights need for women’s voices in media

Anchal Sharma, Editor

On Thursday Nov. 30, Media Action, an Ottawa-based non profit organization that pushes for gender equity within the media, hosted their second fall panel of their Ask Women Anything Series—an event where women who are experts in various fields and have media connections come together to answer questions by the general public.

The event is intended to give women the opportunity to voice their informed opinions about a certain topic, with Thursday’s panel focussing on sexual harassment, and the Me Too campaign.

“Ask Women Anything started when we (realized) ‘hey I know this woman, and she’s an expert…’ wouldn’t it be great if we could hear from these women, and amplify their voices,” said Amanda Parraig, the president of Media Action, adding that it was inspired by Reddit’s Ask Me Anything subreddit.

The latest edition of the event took place at Bar Robo and heard from Amy Kishek, a labour lawyer, Yamikani Msosa, Vice Chair of the Ontario Coalition of Rape Crisis Centres, Major Nancy Perron—a military officer in the Canadian Armed Forces with a masters of psychology—and Chelby Marie Daigle, editor-in-chief of Muslim Link.

Continue reading

Justin Trudeau delivers apology to LGBTQ+ community

Apology highlights government’s impacts on families, employment opportunities

Graham Robertson, Editor

On Tuesday, Nov. 28, leaders from Canada’s major political parties delivered an apology to the LGBTQ+ community in the House of Commons.

Continue reading

Editorial: Community news closures indicate consumer-driven business model is long overdue for Ottawa

Savannah Awde, Editor

On the morning of Monday Nov. 27, Postmedia announced an acquisition of 22 Torstar community newspapers and two free commuter dailies, and the closure of nine in Ottawa.

This change means the exit of well-known community papers in Ottawa, such as Metro Ottawa, the Kanata Kourier-Standard, Nepean/Barrhaven News, Orleans News, Ottawa East News, and more.

According to Paul Godfrey, Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, “This transaction allows Postmedia to focus on strategic areas and core products, and allows us to continue with a suite of community-based products, in a deeply disrupted industry.”

There’s no debating that this industry is undergoing a massive overhaul. What’s worth debating is whether the answer to this transformational period is to shut down news outlets that are investigating and reporting at a local level.

Continue reading

Protest at Libyan embassy seeks Canadian action on alleged slave trade in Libya

Savannah Awde, Editor

The sidewalk at the intersection of Metcalfe and Slater Street was busier than usual on the afternoon of Wednesday Nov. 22, as protesters gathered in front of the Libyan embassy. This action came as part of a string of global rallies seeking to draw attention to reports of African migrants being sold as slaves in Libya.

According to event organizer Faridath Yessoufou, the protest was born simply by people coming together through their anger towards the situation. “We are not a movement, we are just people,” Yessoufou said.

Continue reading