COVID-19 and subsequent lockdowns have amplified Canada’s inequalities in resources, wealth, and — notably — access to medical services, with the nation as a whole growing cognizant of these social and economic disparities. This is particularly acute in Northern Canada (encompassing Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut), which has long struggled with limited access to health […]
It was not until the frigid temperatures of Montréal winter began to bite that the Government took the plight of the city’s unhoused seriously. As if the disproportionate impact that Covid-19 has on unhoused people is not enough, the inability to conduct social distancing in shelters has left much of Montréal’s unhoused population outdoors to […]
Brazil is often celebrated for hosting part of the Amazon rainforest, known for its sheer size and diverse ecosystems, but the country also boasts another, lesser-known wildlife reservoir towards its western border: the Pantanal. This biome, a vast wetland of approximately 200,000 square kilometers spreading over parts of Brazil, Bolivia, and Paraguay, is home to […]
Progressive political values have, by and large, provided the impetus for improving universal human rights standards. However, even though the ends ought to be the principal objective of any political framework, the means can affect the ends in surprising and widespread ways. While it is admirable to fight for progressive outcomes, the means of cultural […]
“It has always been the greatest honour of my life to represent the people of my community, however, today perhaps more than ever, as we have seen their resilience and strength emerge on the world’s stage in recent weeks,” the Sipekne’katik Chief Mike Sack told a news release upon his reelection as chief of the […]
In recent decades, Canadians have felt increasingly detached from the misery of war, and consequently, take their human security for granted. As they turn on the news and educate themselves on war-zone conflict, they question the morality of callous governments and war criminals. While such outrage is necessary, it is time that Canadians stop deflecting […]
Food insecurity seldom comes to mind when considering Canada, a country recognized for its high standard of living. For those in the provinces, it may be shocking to hear the prices that those living in Northern Canada have to pay for such basic necessities. Yet food prices are so exorbitant that Northern Canadians, in particular the Indigenous communities that make up the majority of the population, are unable to sustain their families’ nutritional requirements. Government efforts to combat the issue are continuously insufficient and ineffective, exacerbating the structural inequalities faced by Indigenous populations in Canada.
“The enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being without distinction of race, religion, political belief, economic or social condition,” according to the World Health Organization. Health as a human right, however, has been widely overlooked as it becomes increasingly threatened by the effects of climate change. The health effects are not only diverse but also overwhelmingly negative and wide-ranging. These effects being both direct and indirect will therefore impact all individuals as well as economies worldwide. Populations are pressured to change their diets, rapid changes to ice, snow, and land result in more life-threatening accidents, and natural sources of drinking water are disappearing and diminishing in quality. It is estimated that between 2030 and 2050, there will be 250,000 additional annual deaths resulting from heat exposure, malaria, diarrhoea, and childhood malnutrition. The protection of the environment has thus become a crucial part of the contemporary human rights doctrine. According to the Office of the High Commissions for Human Rights, “Human rights law requires each State to do more than merely refrain from interfering with human rights itself; it also requires the State to undertake due diligence to protect against such harm from other sources.” The State has a duty to its people to safeguard their well being even if it means regulating environmentally harmful corporations and industries. Therefore, it is the evident inaction by global institutions, such as governments, relating to the exacerbation of climate change that violates the fundamental human right to health.
I am writing from a government-mandated, fourteen-day self-quarantine, now a standard procedure for those who have travelled outside of the country in the past two weeks. Like many, I was surprised at the rapid progression of events surrounding COVID-19. When I left Canada, there were 21 cases of coronavirus in the United Kingdom—none in Scotland, the country that I was visiting. Upon my return home, just ten days after my arrival abroad, the number of cases had risen astronomically. Hundreds of Britons were infected with the virus and community transmission had been detected. It was becoming increasingly clear that the coronavirus would not be limited to China. In the startlingly fast escalation of the crisis, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic.
The coronavirus, or COVID-19, has quickly swept across the world, leading the World Health Organization to announce on Wednesday March 11, 2020 that the issue has become a pandemic. The new label means the rapidly spreading virus has already begun spreading to countries around the globe and will likely continue to do so. Originating in Wuhan, China, there are now over 150,000 people worldwide who have contracted the virus.