Iglika's Wild Idea

In Vancouver last month Iglika Ivanova presented her wild idea - a living wage for all Canadians - at the Transforming Society: 5 Wild Ideas for a Better Future event hosted by Changemakers Vancouver, Upstream, and Next Up. 

Watch the video below to hear about the problems a living wage would address and the positive impact its implementation would have on communities.

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How to make the Social Determinants of Health Matter: An Interview with Sir Michael Marmot

By Ryan Meili

Recently, I was fortunate to attend the Global Symposium on the Role of Physicians and National Medical Associations in Addressing Health Equity and the Social Determinants of Health held in London, England. The meeting was organized by the Canadian, British and World Medical Associations and had, among other goals, an agenda to assist public health pioneer Sir Michael Marmot in making such issues central to his upcoming role as president of the World Medical Association.

I sat down with Sir Michael to explore the stories, the evidence and the politics that come into play when doctors are actors for social change.

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Laura’s Story: A Journey Toward Mental and Physical Health

Though they may not be the first to leap to mind - gender and social inclusion are important determinants of health.

Socially excluded Canadians are more likely to be unemployed and earn lower wages. They have less access to health and social services. Discrimination, based on gender expectations, leads to stress that has serious health effects. Earlier this week, we shared a blog from Amanda that talked about how important it is to eliminate gender-based discrimination.

Today, we are honoured to share Laura's story, which highlights how important it is for our communities to be safe and supportive spaces and the need for improved access to health services for transgender people.

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Wild Idea - Paul Kershaw

In Vancouver last month Paul Kershaw presented his wild idea - to relieve the burden of GenSqueeze - at the Transforming Society: 5 Wild Ideas for a Better Future event hosted by Changemakers Vancouver, Upstream, and Next Up. 

Watch the video below to learn about how Paul believes we should be building an overdue lobby for Canadians under 50. He invites us to join him to not only preserve the supports that exist, but to "make Canada work once again for all generations". 

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How a Pink T-shirt Became a Catalyst for Change

This blog comes to us from Amanda Guthrie, Youth & Education Coordinator at the Avenue Community Centre for Gender & Sexual Diversity. 

Last week, Transgender Awareness Week and the Pink Revolution campaign coincided. You may have seen some of the events on the news or in the paper. Today, Amanda takes some time to reflect on why these weeks and campaigns are so important. 

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Harsha Walia's Wild Idea

In Vancouver last month Harsha Walia presented her wild idea - to Connect the Heart and Mind - at the Transforming Society: 5 Wild Ideas for a Better Future event hosted by Changemakers Vancouver, Upstream, and Next Up. 

Watch the video below to learn where Harsha believes our social change movements are falling flat. She asks us to dream of what it might look like to do better - to build movements that 'actively undo' the racialized and gendered undervaluing of many in our society. 

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There's more to progress than GDP

By Dr. Trevor Hancock

How we measure progress hinges on what we mean by progress, and what business we think we are in, as a society and as governments. Too often, it seems the central purpose is to grow the economy, but I believe there is more to life than that. 

This column was originally posted in Victoria's Times Colonist.

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Three signs someone is misleading you about income inequality in Canada

Contrary to conventional economic wisdom, inequality is no friend of the economy. Recently, the OECD estimated that increases in inequality in Canada during the 1990s are now costing our economy about $62 billion annually. That’s over 3% of GDP!

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The View from Upstream: Unearthed Poverty

By Cameron Dearlove 

On the eastern edge of downtown, near an expressway onramp, under streets and residential properties, lie the remains of some of Kitchener’s poorest citizens.

Years ago this was the property edge of the House of Industry and Refuge, Kitchener’s (then Berlin) “poor house.” The house’s “inmates,” as they were called, were the poor and destitute, aged, disabled, and orphaned. In exchange for work on the property, they received food and basic accommodations.

After death, an inmate’s unclaimed remains were buried in the “potters’ fields” where they remain today – a reminder of how punishing society can be to those on the margins, says Sandy Hoy, Associate Director of Research at the Manulife Centre for Community Health Research.f

This column was originally posted here on The Community Edition.

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Counterpoint: Growing income gap a health risk

On March 3, Upstream made the Financial Post. 

More specifically, a graphic we made about income inequality and health appeared above an article by Peter Shawn Taylor.

However, there were some pretty big holes in Taylor's assertions. Today, Ryan Meili addresses these gaps in his rebuttal in the Financial Post. 

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Connect upstream.