I’m off on an adventure this morning, to buy valve oil from a music store in suburban Ottawa. Ah, the joys of living without a car. But I’m excited to take a stroll through some new-to-me neighbourhoods on the way.
We’re also now at those last four or so weeks of the year when things always ramp up for me—they’ll pass in a stressful blur, and then be done. (I have a hankering to head off to some wintery cabin for a week in the new year, to decompress and celebrate my higher education accomplishment—but the logistics involved in COVID times are a bit funky.)
The newsletters for the next few weeks may be a bit leaner or less thinky thinky than I’d like. So it goes!
- I’m intrigued by Jesse Helmer’s PhD research on “whether the laws, rules and norms (institutions) of local government in Canada are biased against renters and how that bias affects their political participation”. The linked thread offers some interesting examples of his argument, and links to what’s shaping up to be an exemplary research project website.
- Earlier this week, the National Post published a piece claiming that hundreds of thousands of ineligible people had claimed CERB, the main COVID-19 emergency support benefit. Its claim was false. Dr. Lindsay Tedds thoroughly debunked the article, providing a concise summary of its flaws (and a great overview of the tax system, to boot). Dr. Tedds has endured quite a bit of backlash from certain corners over her piece, despite performing the public service of setting the record straight. It’s very concerning to see the original, now-debunked claim circulate, and disappointing—though maybe not surprising—that it was published at all in the first place. Credible news media are essential to enabling democracy.
- Some snowbirds are going to—to me—absurd lengths to continue wintering in the US. It’s a good reminder that some people have very different risk assessments and tolerances than I do…
- Last week, I read this piece on “Library Values and the Articulation of the Good”. It’s a nuanced, thoughtful piece applying the “ends versus means” question of philosophy to libraries as public spaces, while also pulling in a host of other contemporary Canadian political examples. I dig political philosophy but usually find it hard to access—this is an excellent exception.
- I’ve been watching the Combined Sewage Storage Tunnel slowly come together in Ottawa over the last few years—it’s quite something to see all the dig sites mostly closed up. And now it’s operating! Infrastructure, cool stuff.
- Four weeks ago, I wrote about the Justice for Abdirahman movement in Ottawa. Earlier this week, in solidarity with other Black and Indigenous groups, the coalition put forward ten demands, with a physical presence at a busy Ottawa intersection. Early yesterday morning, Ottawa Police dismantled the protest site, arresting several protestors—just hours before they were scheduled to meet with City officials. I’m so tired of this city putting forward a progressive image because it’s “highly livable”, when in reality that prosperity is only enjoyed by some—actions like this reveal the actual inclinations of local politicians and city officials.
That’s all from me for today. All the best for the week ahead. Keep on trying to make your corner better—sometimes it’s all we can ask for.