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CW

Today’s super chic is, Charlotte Whitton, born March 8, 1896 in Renfrew, Ontario; died January 25, 1975, a Canadian feminist and mayor of Ottawa. She was the first female mayor of a major city in Canada, serving from 1951 to 1956 and again from 1960 to 1964. Whitton is sometimes mistakenly credited as the first woman ever to serve as a mayor in Canada, but this distinction is in fact held by Barbara Hanley, who became mayor of the small town of Webbwood in 1936. Whitton was Ottawa’s city controller in 1951. Upon the unexpected death of mayor Grenville Goodwin that August, Whitton was immediately appointed acting Mayor and on 30 September 1951 was confirmed by city council to remain Mayor until the end of the normal three-year term.

Whitton attended Queen’s University, where she was the star of the women’s hockey team. At Queen’s, she also served as editor of the Queen’s Journal newspaper in 1917. From Queen’s she became the founding director of the Canadian Council on Child Welfare from 1920-1941 (which became the Canadian Welfare Council, now the Canadian Council on Social Development) and helped bring about new legislation to aide children in need.

Whitton never married, but lived for years with her lover, Margaret Grier. Her relationship with Grier was not widespread public knowledge until 1999, 24 years after Whitton’s death, when the National Archives of Canada publicly released the last of her personal papers, including many intimate personal letters between Whitton and Grier.

The two women met in Toronto, where they were both residents at the Kappa Alpha Theta Society house on the campus of the University of Toronto. Whitton accepted a position in 1918 as assistant secretary with the Social Service Council Of Canada, and Grier worked with the juvenile court, the Big Sister’s Association and the Girl Guides.

In Grier, Whitton had found a soulmate, even though the two had very diverse natures. Grier was shy, fair and quiet, with delicate features and a calm spirit. Whitton, younger by four years, was considered intimidating, confrontational, ambitious and egotistical.

In 1922, they moved to Ottawa together in order to advance Whitton’s career. They set up house and lived in a “Bostonian Marriage” type of relationship.

Whitton often wrote poetry to Grier.

So softly your tired head would lie
With gentle heaviness upon my breast
And knowing but each others’ arms
Desiring nothing more we two would rest

They owned a cottage together on McGregor Lake and escaped many a humid Ottawa summer weekend there. One letter written by Grier to Whitton while she was away on business – which was often – seems to sum up the nature of their relationship: “Just two nights gone and I’m so lonesome I could cry whenever I stop to think for a minute – Oh Lawrie, dear, I’m just about crazy all the time you are away from me.” Grier, the love of Whitton’s life, died in 1947.

Despite her strong views on women’s equality, Whitton was a strong social conservative and did not support making divorce easier. She did believe in and fought for equal pay and equal opportunities for women in the public and private sector. However, she did not believe in married women working outside of the home and held very conservative views on abortion and divorce. Her views on sexuality have been described as “prudish.” I personally feel she over compensated for being a lesbian, but that is just based on my own personal thoughts.

I leave you with her most famous quote,

Whatever women do they must do twice as well as men to be thought half as good. Luckily, this is not difficult.

;)

-Cara

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Growing up in North America the US was always the bad sibling and Canada the good one. You hear about how beautiful the land still is, how they are more open minded, a place where draft dodgers found their refuge from the evil American government, that Canada is not all about the insane capitalism worshiped in America, and how still in this day and age people don’t lock their front doors, so imagine my surprise when cruising the Rainforest Action Network I came upon this action alert, Help Free Political Prisoners in Canada!

Political Prisoners in…Canada? I don’t believe it! I decided to do some investigating, here’s what I found…

On March 17th, 2008, Chief Donny Morris and five other band council members (five men and one woman, KI councilor Cecilia Begg, who sits alone in the Thunder Bay District Jail. A jail which has had three aboriginal deaths in the last four years.) of Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug First Nation were sentenced to six months in prison by Justice Patrick Smith of the Ontario Superior Court in Thunder Bay, for contempt of a court injunction which prohibits them from interfering with a mineral exploration program by Platinex Inc., where they have lived in the Boreal forest for over 5,000 years.

The KI6 and tribe believe that according to the Adhesions made in 1929 of Treaty 9 it is their right by law to defend their land from Platinex Inc. In 2005, Platinex, prepared to drill on land it had staked a claim pursuant to Ontario’s mining laws, land covered by Treaty 9. KI First Nation members protested on the site, preventing the drilling. Plantinex sued for damages and sought an injunctionto prevent further protests.

KI First Nation, then received an interim injunction. The injunction was granted on the condition that the parties negotiate toward an agreement that would allow Platinex to drill. Ontario joined as the “intermediary”, between the two parties, but no agreement was reached.

Justice Patrick Smith lifted the injunction last May and imposed an agreement, proposed by Platinex and Ontario. This proposal pretty much ordered KI First Nation members to allow Platinex onto their land to drill. When they did not submit, they were found in contempt of court and have been jailed ever since.

What they KI First Nation did was defend an agreement enforced by the Treaty No. 9 to share the land as equals and to protect their land in accordance to their spiritual beliefs. The results was they were inprisoned. Watch out Canada you’re sounding more and more like America here. I enjoy thinking right above me is a place, that if need be, I can run to escape the evils of the U.S.A….don’t ruin it for me now.

Below I listed the KI demands, which I discovered in an article on Canadian Dimension‘s website, by Matthew Brett, an anti-war activist and freelance journalist based in Montreal.

THE KI DEMANDS:

With consultation between the exiled Council members and the Council in Kitchenuhmaykoosib, we take a strong stand on the following:

1. No Parliamentarian, be it federal or provincial member, is allowed in the Homelands of Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug;
2. No more free entry to Kitchenuhamaykoosib lands by Platinex or any other mining entity including First Nations mining companies;
3. Ongoing blockade will be more protected and secured in order to protect our KI Homelands;
4. Assembly of First Nations must abandon the partnership agreements with the mining industry in Canada;
5. All First Nation political territorial organizations in Ontario do not speak directly for or on behalf of Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug, but their support on the issue is welcome;
6. Ontario must respond to our proposal made with our brothers and sisters of the Ardoch Algonquin First Nation, to establish a joint panel on mining on First Nations lands.

These demands don’t seem so bad when you look at the history between Native Americans and North Americans, but I will not get into all of this here.

If you feel that injustice is being done, there are ways to get involved. First, the Rainforest Action Network has set up a letter to the Ontario government, where you just enter your information and click! Second, send this entry to everyone you know to educate people on what rights violation are occurring towards the KI First Nation. You can also email Premier McGuinty here.

I will leave you with a photo (and thought) I saw on the Free the KI6 site.

Amen.

-Cara

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Reason 62 from, 101 Reasons Why I Am Vegetarian:
In what is still the most comprehensive study of diet and life-style ever made, the China Study found that the consumption of relatively small amounts of animal protein is linked to chronic disease. The findings from this grand epidemiological study are especially compelling because they allowed meaningful comparisons between populations with similar genetic backgrounds, yet with nonhomogeneous diets. All together, the China Study provides the ultimate vegetarian vindication.

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