Welcome to The Feed, your bi-weekly resource to Canadian politics and policies broken down into itty bitty (super witty) bite-sized knowledge by Apathy is Boring.
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WHAT'S THE SCOOP?
Today we’re serving up something a little different at The Feed! We're chewing on the past and taking a closer look at a piece of history in Canada with the participation of the Government of Canada. Watch this space for this occasional aged feature, then read on for our regular menu. First up… what’s the scoop on African Culture Day?
Officially known as World Day for African and Afrodescendant Culture, aka WDAAC, this day is observed every year on January 24. So what’s it all about? The day is an opportunity to highlight the contributions of the many vibrant cultures of the African continent and the African diasporas around the world. As well, it’s about promoting their role in driving sustainable development, dialogue and peace.
WDAAC is held annually on January 24 because that’s the date the Charter for African Cultural Renaissance was adopted in 2006, by the heads of state and government of the African Union. (The African Union consists of 55 member states, all working towards an integrated and peaceful Africa.) WDAAC was first proclaimed by UNESCO in 2019. It also falls just before Black History Month, held every February.
In Canada, this day is considered an opportunity to reflect on and celebrate the rich cultures, heritage and achievements of Africans and African diasporas in this country. Recognizing and appreciating such contributions and cultures has been limited in the past, PM Trudeau has noted, adding that on WDAAC — and every single day — “we must protect and promote cultural diversity as a catalyst for dialogue, peace and prosperity for Africans, people of African descent and humanity as a whole.”
In addition to January 24, the United Nations is also marking the International Decade for People of African Descent. Running from 2015 to 2024, this decade focuses on the themes of recognition, justice and development. As part of its recognition of this international decade, the gov of Canada says developing policies and projects to stop anti-Black racism, discrimination and bias in public and private institutions is a priority.
Looking to learn more about the heritage and achievements of Africans and African diasporas in Canada? We’ve got some suggestions. Listen to Strong and Free, a six-part podcast series about Black history in Canada. We also recommend CBC’s Black on the Prairies series; this extensive anti-racist reading list; the film and theatre project called 21 Black Futures; and this National Film Board playlist, intended to provide a glimpse of the multi-layered lives of Canada’s diverse Black communities.
One Premier: There’s a new Yukon premier! And he’s following the trend we’ve seen in B.C., Alberta and Manitoba: he wasn’t voted in by the general public. Instead, Ranj Pillai was recently sworn in as the territory’s 10th premier after he ran unopposed in a leadership contest for the Yukon Liberal Party. Pillai was previously a key cabinet minister and deputy premier, and before that, a city councillor in Whitehorse.
Seven Ministers: Seven senior cabinet ministers will appear before a parliamentary committee that’s looking into why the Liberals have awarded more than $100 million in consulting contracts to one company. Radio-Canada revealed the skyrocketing value of McKinsey & Company’s federal contracts. That led opposition parties to demand explanations, and now a parliamentary committee on government operations is looking into the situation.
200 Vehicles: Speaking in Kyiv, Ukraine alongside Ukraine’s Defence Minister, Canada’s Defence Minister recently announced Canada is donating 200 Canadian-made armoured vehicles to Ukraine. They’re Canada’s next package of military aid, said minister Anita Anand, and they’ll cost $90 million. This follows another recent announcement of help from Canada, in the form of a $406-million U.S.-made missile defence system for Ukraine.
2.8 billion: A class action claim over residential school reparations — filed more than a decade ago — has been settled for $2.8 billion. The federal gov recently agreed to settle the lawsuit, which sought reparations for the collective harms residential schools inflicted, like loss of language and culture. The claim, filed in 2012, is part of a broader class action called the Gottfriedson case.
WHAT ELSE WE'RE NIBBLING ON
Former finance minister Bill Morneau’s new book spills the tea, offering an insider’s look at the first five years of the Trudeau government. Listen here for an interview with Morneau on his book, which covers his rocky relationship with PM Trudeau and the big challenges facing Canada. We’re loving this piece profiling the 18-year-old mayor elected to turn things around in a city in Arkansas. Jaylen Smith, one of the youngest African American mayors ever elected in America, is bringing a sense of optimism to the city. And we already knew Zellers was coming back, but now we know where the discount brand’s first 25 locations across Canada will be. Get ready to relive those sweet childhood memories!
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